Saturday, January 29, 2011

Carnival of Nuclear Energy #37 plus Other Nuke News

The 37th Carnival of Nuclear Energy can be found at Idaho Samizdat (via NextBigFuture). Excerpt:

ANS Nuclear Cafe

Ulrich Decher, Ph.D., examines the premise that 'wind-generated electricity is free' by analyzing the costs associated with installing, maintaining and operating wind turbines and turbine farms.

Since wind turbines must be paired with other generators of equivalent power to compensate for wind variations and for electricity grid stability, he also looks at economic and other factors associated with combining wind generation with natural gas, oil and hydropower.

Dr. Decher concludes that there is no economic justification for building windmills except when low-cost alternatives are not available -- and that there is no free lunch.


small reactorsSakatchewan wants small modular nuclear reactors. The sparsely populated province thinks node balancing its far flung grid would work

Brad Wall, the entrepreneurial provincial premier of Saskatchewan, knows that mining 20% of the world’s uranium supply won’t fuel the region’s economy forever. For years Wall has wanted to move up the value chain.

A few years ago he floated the idea of getting Canada into the uranium enrichment business. Now Wall, and his energy minister Bill Boyd, want to develop a plan to deploy small modular reactors (SMRs), e.g., with less than 300 MW, across the wide open spaces of Saskatchewan.

Atomic Insights

powerlines Forty-year-old nuclear plants with paid off mortgages can operate so cheaply that they could sell their output using an "all you can eat" pricing model similar to the ones used by cable television or internet service providers.

Those plants have achieved the condition that Lewis L. Strauss described 56 years ago when he waxed poetic about a world with electricity that was too cheap to meter (measure).

Unfortunately, mature nuclear plants have competitors that will do everything they can to push that low cost, clean, reliable power off of the grid.

Nuclear Green

A panel of of United Kingdom House of Commons Members recommends energy rationing in a report written by the late English Green David Fleming and his associate Shaun Chamerlin.

But the report, which argues that nuclear power does not offer a solution to British energy woes, depends of an earlier Fleming anti-nuclear Pamphlet which was harshly criticized in 400 comments on the Oil Drum.

_Much more at IS

Chile's new freedom-oriented government is very interested in nuclear energy, but Chile has its share of lefty-Luddites

Iowa officials are looking at small modular reactors as safe, reliable providers of clean, vital power

Steven Chu on video expressing his admiration for small nuclear fission reactors, despite the NRC under Obama stonewalling new reactor designs

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