Saturday, January 22, 2011

Carnival of the Nukes #36 at ANS Nuclear Cafe

The 36th edition of the Carnival of Nuclear Energy is hosted at ANS Nuclear Cafe. Here are some excerpts.

Mike Blake of Nuclear News talks about the growing support for nuclear energy in the United States. He ties this support to dramatic changes in nuclear power management and regulation over the past 30 years and discusses the Top 5 improvements in the U.S. nuclear energy industry.

Nuke Power Talk

Many people in the nuclear industry are looking to the new Congress and hoping for action in some key areas to help jump-start the nuclear industry. Having lived and worked inside the Beltway for more years than I care to admit to any more, I’d like to caution everyone that the Washington scene is extraordinarily complicated.


Alvin Weinberg - photo Oak Ridge National Laboratory

In “Rediscovering Weinberg’s Vision,” Charles Barton recounts how Alvin Weinberg’s death lead him to recover Weinberg’s vision of the role of energy in society. Charles notes his own childhood relationship with the Weinberg family, and his year as “a glorified Intern” with the ORNL-NSF Environmental Studies program.  In contrast to Amory Lovins whose predictions were almost never correct, many of Alvin Weinberg’s predictions about energy have proven correct.

In his post, “Alvin Weinberg and the Molten Salt Reactor,” Charles Barton recounts how his rediscovery of Alvin Weinberg’s vision lead him to look anew at the Molten Salt Reactor. Charles found a number of Weinberg’s papers on Molten Salt Reactors on Kirk Sorensen’s Blog, Energy from Thorium. An account of Weinberg’s management style is included as well as an extensive quote from a Weinberg essay on the Molten Salt Breeder Reactor.

Atomic Insights

For Sale – Nuclear Power Plant for less than $1,500 per kilowatt that can be running in about 5 years.

Based on a number of private conversations, I have learned that Exelon would be willing to sell the Zion Nuclear Station if a qualified buyer made a reasonable offer. For about $3 billion and a few years of challenging work, the buyer would have a refurbished, 2100 MWe nuclear plant with a fresh, 20 year operating license. A reasonable estimate is that the plant could be producing revenue by 2016.

_Much more at NukeCarnival36

Areva is developing a 100 MW SMR, one version of which may evolve into an underwater nuclear reactor!
Areva has already begun developing a small modular reactor, or SMR, of about 100 MW, based on the experience of its Technicatome unit in building reactor plants for submarines and France's nuclear-power aircraft carrier, the Charles De Gaulle. Such a reactor could be embarked in a FlexBlue power plant, Boissier said.

Boissier said the market for SMRs is estimated at about 200 units worldwide over the next 20 years. "Flexblue could take a significant share" of that market, he said, but declined to define what he meant by significant.

He said the study will determine how much a FlexBlue plant would cost and what would be the price of electricity it produced, but added "preliminary studies show that we should be compatible with the cost of renewable energies, and better than solar power." _Platts

SMR developer NuScale is forced to suspend operations for the time being due to problems with an investor

The dual "fission-fusion" nuclear reactor being developed at the U. of Texas promises to eliminate future problems with nuclear waste or weapons proliferation.

Brian Wang provides links to all editions of the Carnival of Nuclear Energy



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