Yearly Archives: 2011

Action List

Recommendations to BRC

Another post that was sitting in the draft box:

Short Version:
First, short-term storage is all that is needed. And second, it is necessary to change the way the NRC assists with innovation and self-education.

Long term storage should not be on the table for anything other than decommissioned materials that cannot be reused and the minute quantities of waste that cannot be made useful after reprocessing.
Technology is available to deal with reprocessing within the lifetime of useable recyclable waste. Of all 4th generation reactors the Molten Salt Reactor family is a technology most likely to occur in the near future. Objections to the LFTR variant of the TMSR and the Liquid Chloride Fast Reactor and the DMSR all have modern solutions achievable within 10 years.

Lastly, engineers and academics need to play a larger role in the consultation process for allowing new nuclear reactor designs. Business models are secondary when the human race is at stake.

Long Version:
Understanding the need for storage needs to be put in the right context. Some important questions that are not even in their radar are:
1) What if there was a way to make the same amount of energy with only a fraction of fuel that is currently used?
2) What if the fuel used was mostly all burned up in the process to create electricity?
3) What if society could benefit from an already tested and proven technology which would allow some of the excess heat from creating nuclear power to enable desalinating sea water into fresh water.
4) What if the public’s safety was immediately less risky by a factor of a few thousand times. After all how do we measure risk? Are we taking about a large earth quake that only strike once in a thousand years.
5) What if a melt down is impossible in a new reactor design?

I could recommend just one reactor that can do all of the above. The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor.

One sign of a failing government is when there is too much bureaucracy. Satirical plays like Kafka’s Metamorphosis and the film Brazil by Terry Gilliam use extremes to show how people gradually adjust or cope with the entanglement of rules and rule makers imposed on their lives. Somehow people who are not qualified become placed in charge. What has been taking place for thirty or forty years is a wider and wider employment of people filling jobs that really accomplish very little. When a system is set in place to protect the public from possible radiation there is a neurosis that pervades the public because of their general ignorance about the dangers at stake.

Action List Contributors

Rod Adams reports on Gregory Jaczko and the NRC

I had this sitting in Draft Mode for months and finally decided to post it:

Rod Adams is applying pressure in his own way for justice. Nuclear energy has been held back for years by the NRC. They make the process of building a new reactor nearly impossible with the set of rules, regulations and licensing requirements to get NRC approval. Now it’s time to fight back.

~~ has many more posts since I started ~~

What is evident is that Gregory Jaczko is abusing his power to carry out his personal agenda against nuclear energy and uses the the fact that he has a passion for safety as his excuse. The concern is mounting that he has just plain and simply been preventing nuclear energy from succeeding anywhere.
House committee report sharply critical of passive-aggressive decision on Yucca

Commercial media, bloggers and congressmen agree – Jaczko abused his position to further patron’s agenda

Another hurdle that Jaczko is erecting in front of the nuclear renaissance


Using nuclear saves an increase in CO2 caused by recharging electric cars.

Another post that was sitting in the draft box:

Two scenarios exist for cities and cars that would enable our future cities to maintain a low carbon footprint.

1. Get rid of cars and use trains and buses which is what seems to be happening in Europe and

2. Use electric cars but use electricity from nuclear energy to charge the cars.

The idea that millions of cars need coal and natural gas plants to create the energy needed to charge the cars is just shifting the pollution of the air to the power plants. This is why nuclear is so appealing.  The energy density and the fact that no emissions are created to produce electricity is the best reason to increase nuclear energy.

North America is a car culture. To expect vast numbers of people to give up their cars is not realistic. Somehow we need to get away from a car culture but that will not happen soon. Maybe if we are devastated and have major floods as a result of climate change people can be weaned off of cars. But in the meantime there is wide support for getting rid of dependence on gasoline. Electric cars seem to be the answer.  And the answer to the increase in energy demand to run the cars will best be handled by nuclear energy.

No matter what people may think of the effects that the Fukushima events had on Nuclear Energy the biggest mistake Japan could make at this time would be to abandon nuclear power. Japan was well on it’s way to eliminating gas and diesel vehicles and switching to electric vehicles. The set back that eliminating nuclear would have on the econ0my and the environment would be devastating. In order to keep the energy balance needed to sustain the populations need for transportation and the energy needed to now rebuild Japans north is not going to happen from renewable sources.


Nuclear Advocacy Uncategorized

Nuclear Advocacy 101

Another Post that was sitting in the Draft box:

Have you thought about supporting Nuclear but were afraid to because too many of the people you know hate anything Nuclear?

You are not alone. But a revolution is needed in desperate times. No revolution ever started with everyone sitting on the fence.

How serious is Fukushima’s nuclear accident or more accurately freak of nature disaster?

1. The reactors were 40 years old and the regulators did not keep their equipment up to date as the American equivalent reactors did.

2. The actual radiation released is misrepresented by the media and the decision to use Bequerels instead of  Milli Sieverts

the average natural background radiation in the United States is 2.6 mSv. The legal limit for annual exposure by nuclear workers is 50 mSv, and in Japan that limit was just raised for emergency workers to 250 mSv.

The highest specific exposures reported so far were of two workers at the Fukushima plant who received doses of 170 to 180 mSv on March 24 — lower than the new Japanese standard, but still enough to cause some symptoms (reports say the men had rashes on the areas exposed to radioactive water – probably pychosomatic).

3. Iodine and Cesium were the initial concerns at Fukushima but iodine has a short half life and is no longer a threat and Cesium has low solubility. The fear that is could get into the fish is unwarranted.
On the ocean near Japan see report by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency

Action List Contributors

Singapore and S.E. Asia seek Nuclear Energy

Another post that was sitting in the draft box.

As some major European countries like Germany and Italy react negatively to the Fukushima event Singapore has decided it needs nuclear energy…

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

What exactly do we need to teach people about nuclear energy?

I need help with a primer on nuclear. My output has nearly stopped on my blogs because I have
been discouraged by the size of the task to wake up the world to realize the benefits of nuclear power.
So my input on this blog will be to keep this post growing until I’m satisfied it is a good primer to educate
any average person about nuclear energy.

*** Found a great website that kind of accomplishes what I’m setting out to do here
*** created by Leslie Corrice

If people are introduced to nuclear energy the right way
they are more likely to recognize and side with nuclear energy as a solution to many problems:

1. Radiation
a) The earth has been exposed to radiation for 4.54 billion years when the earth was created
and this “background” radiation is everywhere – stronger at higher altitudes
b) I don’t know the average lifespan of a nuclear scientists but there are a lot of examples of nuclear scientists who live well past their 80s
c) the actual levels of various radioactive elements at Fukushima over time compared to Chernobyl and TMI

2. Energy density
a) comparing the energy output difference of Uranium to Coal
b) comparing the energy output difference of Thorium in Molten Salt Reactors to Uranium to coal
c) explaining the good existing plants and designs and the advantages of new reactors and how the old ones are still good just not as good.

3. Nuclear Physics
a) I think the focus needs to be E=mc squared
this alone explains a lot.
Explaining that the big atoms are less stable
and that they have several isotopes
and that changing mass is what releases energy
the miracle is that we figured out how to alter the mass of an atom
We don’t need to go much beyond that.

4. Climate Change – Global Warming
The climate is changing. It is offering more extremes. The problem with using the terms global warming is that some people like to point out the occasional example that show the opposite trend. These are rare exceptions.

The biggest evidence of global warming is the melting icecaps. This should be a an EMERGENCY ALERT!!! but not enough people care or understand.

The increasing need for abundant energy is directly related to two things. A growing world population and a decrease in fossil fuel availability. Nuclear energy is an abundant cheap energy source. The newest reactor designs are going to make a big difference once they start being built. Our current reactors are quite old and even though they can run for decades the newest reactors are safer and burn the fuel more efficiently which means less waste.

5. Ecology – species survival or extinction

6. The quality of life
– corporate domination > political interference > fears > profits of corporations thrive

5. Economics > Cheap reliable energy > education > affluence > population reduction

7. Nuclear Plants – the good and the better. The only really bad plant ever known was Chernobyl


Media Disappointed by Nuclear’s Amazing Performance

When major disasters like Fukushima fail to materialize the media is disappointed. The truth is that Nuclear Power Plants are designed to respond to violent storms and, although never tested, terrorist attacks. So all they have left in order to get attention is to make exaggerated and false claims often twisting the truth in order to attract readers.

Action List Contributors Nuclear Advocacy

Rally for Vermont Yankee Sept 12 at Brattleboro Courthouse

For Immediate Release:
Contact Meredith Angwin

Early in the morning of September 12, local supporters of nuclear energy will rally near the Brattleboro Courthouse to show support for continued operation of Vermont Yankee power plant. At 9 a.m. that morning, hearings will begin in Federal Court on the lawsuit between the State of Vermont and Entergy. Among other things, Entergy contends that Vermont has attempted to regulate the radiological safety of Vermont Yankee, in direct defiance of federal law.

A group of people supporting nuclear power will be near the Courthouse that morning. The group includes members of the Ethan Allen Institute Energy Education Project, the American Nuclear Society Vermont Pilot Project, and the Coalition for Energy Solutions. We will be there to support continued operation of Vermont Yankee power plant, a plant that produces one-third of Vermont’s electricity with virtually no emissions. Many of the members of our group have advanced degrees in engineering, chemistry and physics. We will be happy to answer questions about nuclear energy. However, we are not there to argue with dedicated nuclear opponents. We will avoid confrontations and name-calling, which are both unfortunate tactics of some plant opponents.

This rally is not planned by Entergy or sponsored by Entergy. However, any Entergy employees who decide to join us are very welcome.

Participants will include:

• Meredith Angwin, director of the Energy Education Project of the Ethan Allen Institute
• Dr. Robert Hargraves, energy educator at Dartmouth ILEAD and advanced reactor specialist
• Willem Post, well-known energy commentator on The Energy Collective: conservation advocate and wind critic
• Richard Schmidt, nuclear engineer and advocate for small-scale solar

All these people will be available for on-site interviews.

Meredith Angwin

Action List Contributors

Nuclear Carnival Number 68

Collection of posts from Pronuclear Bloggers Sept 3/2011 in its 68th week:

Meredith Angwin:
(Yes Vermont Yankee)

“What is the Real Impact? Richard Schmidt on Strontium, Mercury and Potassium in Fish”

“In this guest post, Richard Schmidt discusses how much Sr-90 was in the fish caught in the Connecticut River, the fish that caused Governor Shumlin to say he wouldn’t eat fish from the river. Schmidt points out that people are advised to restrict their intake of local fish due to mercury. The mercury comes from coal plants. Neither the strontium nor the potassium in the fish is a hazard.”


Margaret Harding:

Pest(el) in the Nuclear Industry the Economic Part 5

Margaret returns to her strategic analysis with an overview of some of the international economic drivers for the nuclear industry.


Brian Wang:

1. Building More Efficient Nuclear Fission Reactors

An exclusive Interview with Nextbigfuture with Terrapower nuclear Engineer Robert Petroski. He describes how reactors using depleted uranium could potentially play a major role in ameliorating the world’s energy problems.

2. China Energy Plan through 2015

Progress on low-carbon energy will come from a four-fold growth in nuclear power to 40GW (gigawatts), 63GW of new hydroelectric capacity, a growth of 22GW in gas-fired generation18, 48GW19 of new wind capacity to more than double the current capacity and solar capacity expected to reach 5GW of by 2015. The country aims to have 100 gigawatts (GW) of on-grid wind farm generating capacity by the end of 2015 and to generate 190 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of wind energy annually, the China Securities Journal reported, citing a government plan. Of the planned 10 GW of solar power capacity in 2015, photovoltaic power installations will account for 9 GW and concentrated solar thermal power capacity will make up the rest, the report said.

3. Japan’s 13 Month Maintenance Schedule

Japan’s 13 month maintenance cycle could shutdown all of their reactors and Germany has blackout risks as they exit nuclear


Rod Adams:

1. NRC Lack of planning may increase delays for new reactor licenses

It has been more than five months since the US NRC started spending a large quantity of unplanned resources in response to the Fukushima event. However, the agency has not requested any additional resources from congressional appropriators. The result is a squeeze on activities associated with new license applications. That will slow those efforts.

The NRC Public Affairs Office has indicated that there is no plan to change the situation.

2. Nuclear Fission Energy is superior to other energy sources

3. Shoreham Chapter 6 – Logical inconsistency. Wanting clean air while fighting to shut down nuclear


Dan Yurman: (Idaho Samizdat)

1. Debunking Rep. Ed Markey over hurricane Irene

In a breathless press release issued early this morning (08/29/11), Rep. Ed Markey, D- Mass., claims that U.S. nuclear reactors impacted by hurricane Irene had a far rougher time than reported in the news media.

What’s important is that none of the information items in the NRC Event Report indicate that the safety of the reactors was compromised in any way. There were no injuries to plant personnel and no radioactive releases.

It appears the NRC gave Markey’s office an early look at the event report from its private stock of information before it was posted on the agency’s website. How else would he have gotten the press release out so fast. This is flat out cheesy work. All federal agencies leak like sieves. NRC just happens to push a little harder for Ed Markey.

There is another problem with the NRC’s report, and that is that PR offices for the affected reactors never mentioned these reports to the NRC that took place throughout the weekend. And that comes after they were constantly providing updates via Twitter and Facebook. As for the NRC itself, why did it wait until Monday to release this information?

2. China restarts progress on it’s nuclear energy program

Post-Fukushima safety checks are done, but the size of the new build will be smaller

After five months China has mostly completed the safety inspections of its 11 GWe of nuclear energy plants. Work will resume on on the start of construction of new nuclear power stations. China temporarily suspended its nuclear new build on March 16, 2011.

In May 2011 the Chinese Environmental Ministry announced a series of supplemental measures to improve safety at the nation’s nuclear power plants. In August an IAEA team completed a review of China’s nuclear regulatory program with a series of recommendations to beef up its capabilities.

It’s not clear that work ever stopped on construction of reactor projects that had already broken ground. That includes four reactors being built by Westinghouse and two being built by Areva.

No operating reactors were reported to be closed by the inspections. The government did not released the results of the safety inspections. The report said that the safety checks would continue through October 2011.


John Bickel:

No! We did not almost lose North Anna

John Bickel discusses the margin of safety and the factors used to assess the amount of work used to design earthquake safe reactors and how critics can mislead or misunderstand the numbers.


Steve Aplin:

“Faced with choosing environment or jobs, Obama chooses… jobs”

“President Obama on Friday walked away from a commitment to reduce smog. That was obviously because he does not want to hamper a U.S. jobs recovery by making energy more expensive. But the president could, with a stroke of the pen, create thousands of high paid jobs and create huge amounts of smog-free energy. How? By getting his Office of Management and Budget to stop stonewalling loan guarantees for new nuclear energy projects.”


Charles Barton:

Indian and Chinese Development, Essay Part 1

Deproliferation India and Thorium Fuel, Essay Part 2

MSR/LFTR Development and Chinese Economic Growth, Essay Part 3

“… a series of posts which I plan to offer that will argue that current nuclear nonproliferation schemes are at best transitory, and are likely to undergo significant changes before the middle of the 21th century.

Barry Brook:

“What is your energy philosophy?”

Barry describes how many skeptics or those people with selfish motives often suggest that pronuclear environmentalists have hidden or dishonest intentions.



Japanese government and transparency

Gail Marcus discusses the issue of transparency, and compares the NRC response to TMI with the Japanese response to Fukushima.



Upcoming Films About Nuclear Power


My Newest Post: F.E.A.R. Fukushima Emits Acceptable Radiation

Some of my colleagues pointed me to the important article by British activist and journalist Mark Lynas. He explains very well how the hardship faced by Japanese residents living in fear and forced to leave their homes is far worse than returning with a properly assessed understanding of the true risks.

 Other past Nuclear Carnivals which is a weekly collection of pronuclear blogger roundups:
62. (Idaho Samizdat)

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

F.E.A.R. Fukushima Emits Acceptable Radiation

Mark Lynas – How dangerous is the Fukushima exclusion zone?

What Lynas says here is good timing and I sure hope the residents around Fukushima Daichi get a chance to read this. With the new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda things look more promising than the direction things were going in under Naoto Kan. As Lynas points out the emotional impact of being forced from your home outweighs the possible effects from radiation. Read on because my title was carefully zeroing in on “fear” for a reason.

“So the scientific consensus currently is that the radioactivity released by the accident at Fukushima will very likely present a small additional lifetime risk of cancer for people whose homes are in the relatively high 10-100 mSv contamination range. Given that the contamination comes largely from caesium-137 (which has a half-life of about 30 years) this will persist for long enough to make permanent evacuation a worrying prospect. Think about it seriously: would you return to your home if doing so presented you with a one-in-a-thousand to one-in-a-hundred additional risk of cancer? This is the choice faced by the Japanese population and authorities.”

Mark Lynas makes some very good points here and makes the statements that many pronuclear people already know. For example the linear no-threshold model cannot and should no longer be taken seriously with the overwhelming evidence that indicates that low radiation levels are not harmful and a significant body of evidence indicates it may even be beneficial.

“…The study estimates that were the same adult to undergo annual CT scans until age 75 – giving them similar exposure to living in Fukushima-contaminated areas with radiation doses of 10mSv/yr – the additional risk of cancer mortality would be about 1.9%, or 19 in 1000. By comparison, an individual’s lifetime chance of dying in a traffic accident in the US is estimated at 1 in 77 (or 13 in 1000).

For the purposes of argument, therefore, if everyone living in the exclusion zone (and other severely-contaminated areas) could be persuaded to give up driving (and to eschew smoking, which presents a massive lifetime risk of 100 in 1000 of causing lung cancer) then everyone could in theory be allowed to return with no additional loss of life to the impacts of radiation. The risks could simply be traded off each other. One could also make a strong case that people living in the Fukushima exclusion zone would still be better off statistically than those in heavily-polluted city centres, near coal-fired power stations and in industrial zones, which likely present higher carcinogenic risks…”

But read the whole article and the comments!!!