Monday, December 17, 2012

Nuclear News & Carnival of Nuclear Energy Blogging #135

ANS Nuclear Cafe is this week's host for the Carnival, the 135th in the series. Here are some excerpts:

Things Worse Than Nuclear Power: Terror

Fear of nuclear power, radiation, and nuclear materials proliferation is a red herring for real terrorism dangers.

Atomic Insights: Power cheaper than coal – thorium AND uranium make it possible

Bob Hargraves is a professor with a good facility for numbers, and a talent for clear explanations. He demonstrates that there is little hope of driving down the total cost of producing energy from unreliable weather-dependent sources, because the capital investment in those sources will often be idle and not producing any revenue. He persuasively demonstrates that well-designed and built nuclear plants whose operators successfully achieve capacity factors in the range of 85-90% are already cost competitive with coal. He also shows how nuclear plant designers can apply well-understood techniques to achieve even better economic performance.

ANS Nuclear Cafe: Timing and Framing: How to address nuclear and climate change

In the wake of superstorm Sandy, Suzy Hobbs Baker argues that “right now is the perfect time to provide a new framework for supporting nuclear as a solution to climate change.”

The Nuclear Diner: US and Russia – Reactor Wars

It is fascinating that the US and Russia are now competing in the global field of nuclear reactor construction. It is not only the reactor designers, but the politicians that are weighing in and supporting the designer from their nation. It has the sense of being competitive and a bit like a school yard fight. Susan Voss has been studying and analyzing the Russian nuclear program for many years and is interested in how they are growing and changing to be more competitive on the international market. The competitive field she focuses on in this post is the Czech Republic. The Czech government put out a request for bids and three companies put in proposals: Westinghouse/Toshiba representing the US and Japan, Rosatom representing Russia, and AREVA representing France. Interestingly enough, AREVA was tossed out of the competition for not meeting “crucial requirements.” [Reuters]

Next Big Future: Japan likely heading for a pro-nuclear LDP win in national elections this week

In this Sunday, Dec 16th election, Japan is expected to be electing the most pro-nuclear of its major political parties, the LDP, to a return to government.

Dr. Robert Hayes: Nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear revival, and the Permian Basin

Dr. Hayes on a nuclear renaissance going on in the Permian Basin — in uranium enrichment and associated processes [that's in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico, folks]

Yes Vermont Yankee: The very latest lawsuit: opponents will probably lose

To keep operating, Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant needs a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB). In this post, Meredith Angwin describes the latest opponent tactic of bringing suit in Vermont Supreme Court to deny the certificate. The certificate is already being judged in hearings before the PSB and under litigation in Federal Court.

_ANSNuclear Cafe

Japan is on the way to increasing its nuclear power production

Russia signs deal to build nuclear plant in UAE

UK nuclear regulators approve Areva design . . . move closer to new UK nuclear plants built by French company

Small modular reactors likely to fill important niche in future power grids

Europe would be smart to build more nuclear reactors



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