Sunday, July 04, 2010

Carnival of Nuclear Energy #8 at NextBigFuture

Brian Wang presents the 8th Carnival of Nuclear Energy. Excerpt:

1. Idaho Samizdat - Finland approves plan for two more reactors 

2. Acknowledging that Vermont Yankee is old, Meredith Angwin points out that replacing it with untried methods of power production (the Energy Amplifier) is not a good idea....
6. Nextbigfuture has the Focus Fusionexplanation of how dense plasma focus fusion could be scaled in experiments this year to prove breakeven.

More on nuclear energy from the Seattle Times:
The operating performance of existing reactors is truly outstanding. They operate longer between fuel reloading, resulting in less used fuel being generated. They are also 50 percent more efficient. In 1980, reactors operated at less than 60 percent efficiency while today it is over 90 percent. The power output of reactors has also been safely increased by more than 5 percent, the equivalent of 5 ½ new reactors, with another 3 ½ reactors worth of additions expected.

Reactor operating lifetimes are also being extended. Initially, reactors were licensed for 40 years of operation. As of the end of 2009, the NRC extended the operating license of 59 reactors by 20 years — another 50 percent improvement. In time, most of the existing plants will have their licenses extended to 60 years, with 80 years of operating life being considered.

The multiple reactor designs that were a contributing factor to the problems at WPPSS have been replaced by fewer standard designs. The NRC has established a Design Certification, Early Site Permit and Combined Construction and Operating licensing process that provides more-predictable licensing procedures with full public input and due process.

New reactor designs under review are referred to as Gen (for generation) III, reflecting that designs and features have evolved to incorporate lessons learned with improved technology and construction processes. In general, Gen III reactors have passive safety features, less-active systems, improved instrumentation and reduced construction times...

...Lifetime cost for nuclear power is very competitive because of low fuel costs, high operating efficiency and long operating life. Unlike other energy sources, the cost for waste disposal and plant decommissioning are included in the operating cost and paid for as you go....

...Nuclear energy has progressed from its overly optimistic early years, through a turbulent adolescence, and is now a mature technology. It is a clean, secure and sustainable base-load source of electricity and an essential ingredient in meeting the world's increasing energy demand. Frankly, there is no solution without it. _SeattleTimes

Brian Wang reports that thousands of people have died this year in accidents related to fossil fuels energy. None, of course, have died in nuclear energy related accidents.
Brian Wang

Nuclear reactors are safe, and getting safer. It is government incompetence and corruption that is downright dangerous.

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