Category Archives: Nuclear Advocacy

Action List Contributors Nuclear Advocacy

Energy and Climate Change Conference will have many of our supporters present.

Dr. Alex Cannara and Dr. Bob Greene will be going to what sounds like an important conference in Virginia with two sessions where they each take turns as moderator with panelists many here will know.  Both take place Wednesday,  Jan. 28th.
Morning Session:

S28. Nuclear Energy as a Non-Carbon Energy Option with moderator Dr. Bob Greene
Should we be re-evaluating Nuclear Energy as the prime tool to stall Climate Change?

Afternoon Session:

S40. Nuclear Energy: Technologies for 2025 and 2050 and Advancing Nuclear-Energy Options with moderator: Dr. Alex Cannara

See Alex’s post

See Conference Details

jan26-29-conference

Nuclear Advocacy

My Second Midlife Crisis

​I am writing this as I face an uncertain future as an activist. Without going back to school I want to know how one makes a difference in their locality in my case Ontario. Ideally I’d like to have the whole Canadian government attend an all day seminar to teach them the truth about energy. Failing that I’d settle for the Premier of Ontario and the Energy minister. What I have realized is that without funds my activism is nothing more than PR. As a person who has limited resources you can imagine a self employed musician has with few ways to communicate outside website blogs.​ Without funding there’s not much choice.​

I followed a steady path after quitting university back in 1976. I wanted to get a music degree in composition but changed my mind when I realized I could not study the masters until fourth year. Also it was too costly and I did not have the right teachers. I made a career of music anyway. logo9

Almost 30 years later I got my degree in computer science (still paying student loans.) In the last seven years ​​I have found my​ ​interest is consumed with all things nuclear. Science would have been​ ​my calling with the right mentors but music was indeed my stronger​ ​talent.

So I am getting to know key players in the nuclear industry. ​I have been a volunteer for various nuclear conferences and that is giving me a better idea of what the “climate” in the nuclear industry is like for lack of a better word. ​​I know it’s all about refurbishing right now​ but I hope that changes. I will be advocating to convert Pickering into a Generation IV nuclear facility in 2020 rather than decommission.

The Energy Reality Project is my cause and the name I chose to spite Al Gore and his anti nuclear ideology who claims to understand “climate.” You may wonder how a musician arrived at my current views. It was through the Thorium evangelism of Kirk Sorensen back in 2007. But I have come a long way since then. I realize that energy is the most important issue that is connected to every other issue in many ways. I don’t think there is a better world-changing topic that is more meaningful. And nuclear energy is the only type of energy that can effectively make a difference.

I have noticed the fascination that the industry has for Small Modular Reactors and I applaud David LeBlanc for his successes with the IMSR and Terrestrial Energy.

What I am lacking is any kind of industry support for my wish to educate the people that matter. I hope to turn the Energy Reality Project into a one stop easy to access plain language source for people to grasp what nuclear energy is all about. It seemed only natural that with so many learning challenged people out there that a
resource that is unbiased (on the surface anyway, that was the original intent) and makes comparisons and reveals what each energy source is and how they perform that it would become a great tool.

I know that websites are not much good without a presence in the real world. I am planning to get a on-profit status. We will organize meetings and do things as a group. I have chosen to visit the annual American Geophysical Union conference this December 15th to 19th at the Muscone Center in San Francisco. I will be there Monday to Wednesday and I am volunteering at the Thorium Energy of Silicon Valley booth #2617 to promote Molten Salt Reactors along with a handful of other topics such as awareness of oceanic acidity, the saving of the Diablo reactor and of course theEnergy Reality Project.

You can see I have raised some funds here http://patreon.com/energyrealist through a new kind of crowd funding. It is far short of my needs but a beginning.​ I also have donate buttons at http://thoriummsr.com and on http://energyrealityproject.com​

There is so much more I could have shared (see my pronuclear websites below) but it better if you explore my websites. So if you are able to arrange funding please do so and if you are unable at this time maybe provide any suggestions what you think should be my next course of action.

Depending on the level of sponsorship or donation you can arrange I can list the kind of funds I would like. $20,000 would allow me to pursue non-profit status and legal fees as well as allow me to spend the time needed on the project and blogging without worries of making a living for the next year. $9,000 would allow me to develop and pay a professional writer for a story about molten salt reactors plus deal with travel expenses to two conferences in 2015 in the US. This would give a much needed boost for nuclear approval ratings. $700 would help with my rent in for next month and give me some printed materials to promote the various topics at the AGU conference.

Thank you.

Rick Maltese
647-379-9655

My @pronuclear Assets

http://energyrealityproject.com
http://thoriummsr.com
http://deregulatetheatom.com
http://MsSci.com
http://economicsofnuclear.com
http://nuclearclarity.wordpress.com

Nuclear Advocacy

Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers #191 – Jan-12-2014

I’m glad to be hosting the Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers this week. We have a cold spell in our hemisphere while high temperatures prevail in other parts of the world. The weather has been extreme to say the least to begin 2014. A lot of us stayed indoors to avoid the roads and the cold. I am urging the bloggers, environmentalists, concerned citizens to unite. I started a new initiative called The Energy Reality Project. I am determined to reach out beyond the internet and encourage people to go out and get ACTIVE this year. We’ll be needing it more and more each year to make a difference. We need to motivate our own advocates as well as the Big Nuclear companies to promote nuclear energy. We will be helping the planet and the economy.
Nuke Power Talk
Post from Gail Marcus
    There seems to be a never-ending supply of new acronyms. Gail Marcus, who blogged on acronyms once before on Nuke Power Talk, does so again this week with a new cache of acronyms she has stumbled upon.

Yes Vermont Yankee
Post from Meredith Angwin
    On a cold day during the Arctic Vortex, Meredith Angwin monitors the situation on the New England grid. Natural gas was expensive and unavailable, so higher-carbon oil and coal were on-line. Nuclear remains the backbone of the grid. This post contains many graphics illustrating the grid situation.

The Hiroshima Syndrome/Fukushima Commentary
Two Posts from Leslie Corrice
    The Press-dreaded spent fuel transfer at F. Daiichi has gone two months without a hitch. In addition, it seems Tepco has effectively resolved the storage tank leakage problems that dominated the headlines the last half of 2013. Most Japanese news outlets are relatively devoid of new Fukushima news because there’s nothing scary or upsetting to report. But a few newspapers have literally bent over backwards to keep Fukushima-angst alive among their readers.
    This morning Tepco stopped the operation of the water decontamination system called ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System). All three ALPS streams must have been operating for a considerable period of time before the crane broke down on Tuesday, but nobody seemed to care. Both Tepco and the Press seem to feel the world does not need to know that ~7.8 million gallons of Fukushima wastewater has been stripped of radioactive Cesium and Strontium since October 28.

ANS Nuclear Cafe
Post from Will Davis
    In the early days of nuclear power research, it was by no means clear which designs would prove to be most viable. An illustrated look at the first five year program of the US Atomic Energy Commission for development of commercial nuclear power.
Post from Rod Adams
    From his home state of Virginia, Rod Adams writes on an important missed opportunity due to the state’s ongoing uranium mine moratorium – the potential economic development benefits are much more important than widely acknowledged.

Next Big Future
Four Posts from Brian Wang
    China acquires energy technology and other technology and then scales them up massively.
    China’s energy infrastructure strength today foreshadows even more economic strength in a few years. This is even with expected economic slowdown to 4-6% GDP growth after 2016.
    During the Polar vortex natural gas went up to $100 per thousand cubic feet on the east coast and even $40 in Texas, Coal plants had problems too but nuclear energy performed great.
    China is heading up to 4.8 billion tons of coal per year in 2020 and they will spray water from their skyscrapers to blunt the worst of the particulate pollution. They will also finally force coal plants to turn on the smokestack bagging systems that reduce particulate pollution.

Canadian Energy Issues
Post from Steve Aplin
    Germany has some of the most expensive and dirty electricity in the European Union. This is not in spite of the highly touted energiewende, but because of it. As Steve Aplin demonstrates, the upshot of Germany’s rush to renewable energy has been that German use of combustible fuels, especially coal, to make electricity has increased.

Atomic Power Review
Post from Will Davis
    At Atomic Power Review, Will Davis continues coverage of the South Korean nuclear corruption and parts scandal with this latest develoment – plus background links to previous coverage.

Forbes
Post from James Conca
    Diversity is really important – in biology, in culture, and in energy production. The polar vortex that hammered the United State last week demonstrated how badly we need a diverse energy mix (a third fossil, a third nuclear and a third renewable would do nicely) and how lucky we were to have significant nuclear power.

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

Why is there no public support to reform nuclear energy regulatory policy?

First there needs to be a perceived need for reform. What this blog is about has everything to do with raising awareness. So although the answer to the title question might seem obvious the polls indicate higher than 50% support for nuclear energy. Learning the obstacles to a sustainable energy future is  much too low a priority for most people. The opinion that nuclear energy needs to be a part of the energy mix is not widespread enough.

The idea of the NRC is to be an objective unbiased watchdog that provides guidelines and enforcement of regulations to safeguard against possible contact or release of radiation to all citizens. There are political forces which interfere with that objectivity and bias. I don’t want to condemn the NRC as operators but more in the way that the organization is structured and how far it deviates from it’s original reason for being. This post explores the consequences of too much scrutiny and built-in punitive fees that only apply to nuclear creating an unfair advantage to the alternative energy sources. I get a little resistance from some of our own pro nuclear community when I post on this topic. I think it has to do with the feeling that the NRC is so far out of the public’s radar that it is a waste of time to write about it. Still others see regulations as black and white and that the politics around the institution are not the fault of NRC members. Of course it is not their fault and my concept of deregulating is not just about the regulations themselves.

I see climate change as a very serious issue. But perhaps the best solution to that issue is nuclear energy. Nuclear is good for preventing climate change from going totally out of control. Why? Because it produces zero emissions. But it will be a race with time to gain acceptance and implementation. The hurdles are understanding the economics, the myths surrounding it and paying attention to the new and improved design concepts.

Acceptance is largely slow to take hold because of the negative view of anything nuclear that started way back at the beginning of the arms race during the cold war. We fail to fully understand that so many of the false impressions are due to the uninformed public. There is a massive amount of unnecessary hysteria over the idea of radiation. Radiation in small doses can be beneficial. We know that. Yet some people sick with cancer still refuse radiation treatment for fear of the consequences.

The fact is that many cancer patients survive because of radiation treatment. The effects of radiation are not permanent. They use radiation in some food purification. How is it that these mundane processes don’t get in the news but nuclear reactor accidents are the big apocalyptic events that make news everywhere.

Yet nobody has died from radiation at a commercial plant since Chernobyl. Now I’ve started that can of worms, Three Mile Island and Fukushima are the only other known nuclear accidents that had major public reactions yet no illnesses appeared as a result.

Keep in mind that there are more reasons than climate change to use nuclear and promoting new nuclear plant designs because they not only are a game changer economically but also environmentally, industrially and medically. The NRC has a lot to do with the economics. And the economics have a lot to do with whether nuclear energy benefits industrial or medical technologies.

Species extinction is tied to ecology imbalance. We are witnessing the biggest environmental changes in several millennia. That means we have new weather patterns that cause floods and drought along with rising sea levels and fresh water shortages. Besides emitting no CO2, new nuclear plant models can be used to desalinate water. Do the forest fires start from a shortage of fresh water? Could fresh water be pumped to farms and forest lands while we get cheap clean electricity? Why not.

I know there is a very strong influence from climate deniers and fossil fuel industry to oppose climate change believers. Of course nuclear energy is too strong a competitor. These same people oppose nuclear energy and try to confuse the issues based on general public ignorance on all things nuclear, especially nuclear energy, purely for profit gain.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been both beneficial and harmful to the cause of nuclear energy and are also unknowingly prolonging climate change. The best way to eliminate CO2, other greenhouse gas emissions and toxic chemicals is to replace coal plants with Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs).

It is a complex subject and requires strong investigative skills to determine how much of what the NRC does is simply by the book and how much is guided by corporate and political forces. What drives NRC policy change? Despite the odds, over 100 Nuclear Power Plants have survived and continuously benefited our country by replacing potentially very harmful green house gas and pollution from coal plants across the USA.

In 2006, there were 1493 coal-powered units at the electrical utilities across the US, with the total nominal capacity of 336 GW (compared to 1024 units at nominal 278 GW in 2000). The actual average generated power from coal in 2006 was 227 GW (2 trillion kilowatt-hours per year), the highest in the world and still slightly ahead of China (1.95 trillion kilowatt-hours per year) at that time. (source Wikipedia.) There are still way too many coal plants.

How can the country proceed to build electric cars with a clear conscience knowing that the batteries will be charged by the 45% electric energy sources that are the worst polluting machines on the planet.

“an incredibly important problem that continues to get worse with every day in
which humans consume 80 million barrels of oil, 16 million tons of coal, and about
300 million cubic feet of natural gas all while releasing the resulting waste products
into our shared atmosphere and bodies of water.” – Atomic Insights (recent post by Rod Adams)

For instance there are a couple of recent law suits against the NRC for extending the length of time for storing spent nuclear fuel (“nuclear waste”) on site of the nuclear power plant (NPP) from forty to sixty years.

I have a strong bias for reforming the NRC. I believe they are preventing innovation. The biggest hurdles for innovators are barriers like the fact that they must pay $50 million for the application process which most of time gets rejected. This leaves only the existing companies like GE and big utility companies who can afford to apply for NRC approval Unfortunately I also believe that Obama has chosen the wrong advisors with people like John Holdren and Ernest Moniz and Steven Chu. Chu is more of a conservationist and his area of nuclear expertise is focused a very different field of atomic science than nuclear energy.

Dan Rather in his recent broadcast Rather somehow got the right questions but limited his people and point of view to the opinions of mainstream nuclear “has beens”.
see http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2011/03/pragmatic-view-of-nuclear-renaissance.html

Some people think the NRC deserves credit for the success of improved conditions in Nuclear Plants and there excellent safety record but credit should also go to the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations and the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

Much of the damage to nuclear energy’s image was because of public and political pressure after Three Mile Island and the fictional China Syndrome movie.

For this story to be effective you need to be convinced that Nuclear Energy is the answer to the worlds energy needs. I can not convince you in this email. I can give you excellent sources on where to begin:

CanadianEnergyIssues.com   (Steve Aplin)  –  DeregulateTheAtom.com   (Rick Maltese) – AtomicInsights.com   (Rod Adams)

Thanks
Rick Maltese

from Toronto, Ontario Canada which has the biggest per capita consumption of electricity produced from nuclear power in North America. Only surpassed by France (my own educated guess).

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

The Human Erosion of Progress and Will

Erosion is a process of gradually losing earth to natural processes like wind and water but I am referring to a different erosion and that is the general understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (S.T.E.A.M.)? I first stumbled on this combination of words, and it's both convenient and ironic acronym, in an article about education in New Mexico.

What does this erosion mean to our futures and does it matter? How do we even recognize the moments when the best technological solutions are put on hold in favor of what will bring in a quick profit and excite share-holders? Cornering prices in the energy market has been a strategy by the natural gas utility owners. My thoughts move to fracking for natural gas. It is rapidly growing worldwide. There has been very little time to get a true estimate about the damage that fracking causes. Apart from the damage to the local environment there may be cumulative damage to the atmosphere. Methane is said to escape to the atmosphere which is a much worse green house gas than CO2.

What about learning complex science? Is Nuclear Physics so hard to learn? How much do we need? It is complex but what you need to know is not so far away or hard to find. So between truth and fear lies a lot of fact finding to clear up the misconceptions about nuclear. Once the truth comes out then we can see how the big energy players care more about profits than the environment. Getting a grasp on the science will also help to lighten your view of what is possible and what is not. Common myths like "all radiation is dangerous" can easily be seen to be false by looking at data and knowing that radiation is everywhere.

Most people know that when we disturb nature we affect the way nature reacts. Examples are abundant. If someone accidentally introduces an insect or a fish from another land or habitat and that creature has no natural predator or enemy keeping their populations in check, it will sometimes result in the loss of crops and/or other forms of life. The ease of human mobility and their careless behavior can have a devastating result on other species and on the general survival of healthy vegetation. It is an unfortunate mistake and in the past such actions were forgiven. The popularity of beaver fur hats in the 1700's was the driving force behind much of the early exploration in Canada. But trapping caused a dramatic decline in the beaver populations. (See wikipedia's list of human caused transfer of invasive species.) Again these human caused activities were mostly done unknowingly.

It is beginning to be imperative that we take responsibility for the damage we cause to nature and our planet Earth. Pleading ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse in the information age. It's sounds like a cliche but you are either part of the problem or you are part of the solution.

Travelling has become very easy, too easy. But with travel comes responsibility. We travel great distances by planes, trains and cars for business and pleasure and we tolerate gas fumes and inconvenient traffic jams using up fuel that pollutes the air without much consideration of its cumulative effect. The environmentalist will seriously consider finding work close to home or finding a home close to work. The idea of providing incentives for living closer to the workplace is pretty rarely implemented. Housing near employment centers is usually more expensive. Cooperation of employers with employees needs to improve to make a difference.

Do electric cars make sense if the charging of the cars relies on energy created by fossil fuels? So you electric car supporters need to support nuclear because it keeps cars going without affecting the air quality. Nuclear energy can through process heat in high temperature reactors also be a solution for producing hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

How we erode progress has just as much to do with turning a blind eye as it does with willful ignorance.  The kind of human failure I'm talking about has to do with many human traits including greed and self-indulgence. In addition this failure is also determined by the limits of how we practice capitalism. The traditional idea of each home having a "bread-winner" is still very prevalent among couples and families. The idea of being pragmatic and driven to provide food and shelter has a "noble" origin and harmonizes well with the idea of what defines success. The mansion on the hill does you no good if you are caught in a mudslide due to extreme weather.

Who's to blame for this decline in awareness, the apparent complacency? Not everybody, but almost everybody. Seriously.

The wealthy 1% are more to blame. The old idea of the nouveau riche and the bourgeoisie had some traits in common, traits similar to what we now call the 1% and they live up to their reputation as shallow and greedy with a false sense of self importance.

And in the middle are banking and financial institutions. While the 1% are busy controlling what they can to maintain their advantage over keeping the wealth the banks and financial institutions are allowing inflation perpetually which could be argued is the worst influence.

The less wealthy 99% are to blame for masochistically taking the abuse without fighting back and if they do fight back it's for the wrong reasons and often contribute to the noise by fighting for causes that do more damage than good.

I think of Greenpeace protests against nuclear plants. They occasionally succeed in delaying construction but what is just as bad or worse is that they promote the notion that nuclear energy is scary allowing natural gas and even coal to dominate the base load power. They really do meddle and they have outlived their welcome to those who have a more enlightened view of what is needed. The recent arrest of Greenpeace activists by Russian authorities is a perfect example. They wanted to draw attention to the offshore drilling for oil. Their arrest had many thinking they deserved it. Oil independence is not such a crazy idea and groups like Greenpeace need to pick which companies they protest more thoughtfully. What about coal and natural gas?

Another example is the unwillingness of so many protesters to actually try to understand the science and relative value both economically and environmentally is another example of the human failure. Two nuclear reactors in the US were recently shut down due to market driven factors. Kewaunee in Wisconsin and Vermont Yankee were forced out of business partly because of the existence of cheap natural gas. But the other factor is lack of public awareness. Too many people see the closing of a nuclear power plant as a victory. I am one that feels both angry and sad that fear of radiation, and I mean any radiation is very much part of the North American psyche. There is a huge difference between reality and perception. We need to close this gap.

The reactions to the Fukushima accident has endless claims of insane apocalyptic scenarios. The truth is far calmer than most people think. Robert Stone asks the right question when he says: "Is everything you know about nuclear energy wrong?" His documentary Pandora's Promise which opened in Theaters last June and will be airing on CNN in November (Nov-7 at 9pm) is a great eye opener. The documentary film asks the right questions. The premise for the film is about how it's featured guests who, being once anti nuclear, changed directions to support nuclear. Most of what we think we know about nuclear is wrong. I think the film succeeds in getting viewers to think and to gain a much needed perspective on the subject.

There is an arrogance that accompanies fear. The damage to US reputation abroad has been heightened by the arrogant treatment of muslims and the countries that contain terrorists of muslim heritage because of their connection to the 9/11 twin tower tragedy. The flames of fear were stoked by war mongers who encouraged war for profit. The reckless thinking of profit for the short term sounds like a serious case of greed and that might explain why the separation between rich and poor is increasing. Possibly the rich sense a future where entitlement will be the only way to escape the misery that the planet will become.

But what about "will"? What should an individual do? Anonymity is both a condition and an excuse for bad behavior. We witness this daily in car traffic. People feel anonymous behind the car steering wheel and raising a finger or showing our dark side is not so uncommon. Is the same effect occurring by remaining passive to concerns like fracking, natural gas pipelines, coal plant operation? In other words anonymity is making us less responsible. Nobody will confront our horn blast or finger gesture as we rapidly drive off in another direction. Is it a similar hiding that we do by being unnoticed? Hiding behind the wheel and hiding behind your anonymity in front of a TV screen or computer screen is a convenient way to be ruled out of the loop when action is needed.

But our condition is still easy to understand. The continual battle to make ends meet in the face of constant inflation and loss of employment opportunities. But there is a connection between our lack of involvement in the process and the never ending spiral. We keep using credit cards and living beyond our means giving the bank reasons to keep up their penalties and fees. Why not join a credit union which has fewer fees and penalties. I know you need to pay off the debts first.

So our collective inaction adds up quickly and we let democracy lose to whoever makes the most effort to manipulate the system. Brush up on your STEAM and when you are ready you can start making a difference.

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

Not Wanted on the Voyage and The Future of Nuclear

I asked myself “What did I learn?” from the Oct. 9, 2013 first Future of Nuclear Conference. I volunteered my services as a camera operator and wannabe contributor. The conference was better attended than I had expected. Many key players were present. Over 80 mostly nuclear industry people although I did spot a couple of anti-nuclear people I had met before.

Tom_Mitchell_Oct-9-13

After watching several speakers who delivered their talks without much enthusiasm I found myself wanting to shake things up a little. After all Ontario is the unsung hero of energy systems in the world. Why not shout and boast about our successes of reduced coal, increased nuclear and renewables (however subsidized) and as a result cleaner air and thriving economy? I found myself wanting to remind everyone of the misplaced praise given by the anti-nuclear movement to German initiatives when Ontario is actually proving to be a much more successful model.

The facilities at the MaRS centre are first rate. The microphones, screens, comforts all very pleasant. Henry Vehovec, the conference organizer, did a nice job of scheduling and promoting the event.
I think my biggest wake-up call from the whole event is that everyone present has there own agenda. This was evident from the response to my grassroots concept that I was promoting the “Energy Reality Project.” I had a one pager attempting to be as concise as possible outlining what the project was about. I had a few responses but it was the lack of enthusiasm that tipped me off that I was too obviously not a big enough player to be taken seriously. Perhaps their lack of response was the result of conditioning after 30 years from road blocks to nuclear.

After a couple of years of doing conferences I find that the few in Canada that I have attended leaves me thinking we are too insular and lacking in PR and ambition. The two Thorium Energy Alliance conferences I attended in Chicago had far more visible enthusiasm.

Tom Mitchell from OPG gave a slow and low key speech that had an off the cuff delivery. It was hard to tell if he actually was using notes. But, there would be few places he could speak where the audience would have been as attentive and interested in what he had to say. It’s not that he doesn’t deserve it. He does manage the largest utility company in Canada. OPG runs Pickering and Darlington and owns the Bruce reactors which combined provide 60% of Ontario’s electricity and that is in addition to a mix of hydro, gas, coal, biomass and wind.

I walked away from the conference realizing that the nuclear industry in Canada (mostly Ontario) is in desperate need of revitalization. Very much like the house of commons proceedings I see a large group of individuals who appear to be powerless and frustrated at their lack of influence over the few that actually have power. What’s worse is that the power is in the hands of those who do not understand the important role that nuclear energy provides.

Little did we know that the following day that the Globe and Mail would drop the news about Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals announcement to cancel the two new nuclear builds in Darlington. The possibility of new builds are what had attracted speakers from Westinghouse and Babcock and Wilcox to the conference to make their presentations. The stranglehold on nuclear energy is even worse in the US. David LeBlanc of Terrestrial Energy Inc., during his talk about molten salt reactors and his own IMSR, commented that he has been telling his US counterparts seeking to sell their nuclear concepts to try Canada which has a more reasonable regulator in the CNSC. I had heard this from David before but it somehow had more significance with the presence of CNSC’s Director General of Nuclear Power Generation, Greg Rzentkowski.

I hope you were not expecting a detailed report. I can simply say that there will be a video of the numerous talks.

I learned a few things from Tom Mitchell’s talk and maybe more from his Q & A.
They (OPG) cannot do any major planning. They are dictated to by the Ministry of Energy. They are more like property managers and utility operators. That was my impression. He spoke about being open to partnerships. I asked him later are they open to partnerships outside Ontario and he said yes.

Here are the people who spoke:

  • Michael Delage(General Fusion)
  • David LeBlanc(Terrestrial Energy)
  • Greg Rzentkowski(CNSC)
  • Rosemary Yeremian(Strategic Insights)
  • John Luxat (McMaster Professor)
  • Krista Hill(Nuclear Law)
  • Cedric Jobe(Ontario Ministry of Energy)
  • Ron Lewis(Westinghouse)
  • Ron Oberth(OCI)
  • Thomas Snyder (Babcock and Wilcox)
  • Jim Burpee(Canadian Electrical Association)
  • Milt Caplan(MZ Consulting)
  • Paul Dinner(Mindfirst)
  • Shobhit Shanker (consultant)
  • Marina Freire-Gormaly (Graduate Student at U of T)

John Spears covered the event – Nuclear industry faces critical decade – OPG Chief

So I’m not giving a play by play but the event was a success and will leave a lasting impression for those who attended. The information and learning are what drives people like myself to attend these conferences and I did learn a lot. However, not everyone there was like me. The walkaway value to those looking for contacts to further their careers were at least given 3 chances including lunch to meet and mingle.

So now that a few days have passed since the event I reflect back to the unexpected Ontario government announcement to cancel new builds in Darlington. I thought about one of the bold comments made during one of the panel discussions. That was something to the effect that if CANDU does not work harder on marketing abroad that it could be fated to go the way of the Avro Arrow and RIM Blackberry. But something else lingered. It was a feeling of belonging to a group that were “not wanted on the voyage.” No matter that nuclear energy could well be the one technology that could prevent catastrophic global warming. When it comes to predicting doomsday I’ll remember that humans are quite possibly not up to the task of recognizing a solution that stares them right in the face. There are times that I have started to feel too old and somewhat ignored by peers and younger people who can’t relate. So in another sense I feel “not wanted on the voyage” of other people too. But I don’t give up easy. I expect next years Future of Nuclear Conference to go even better and have high hopes for Toronto becoming an energy hub that will attract international attention.

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

Carnival #177: Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers

Atomic Insights
Post from the original nuclear blogger himself Rod Adams
    Rod Adams is making a career change. For the foreseeable future, he is going to write books and articles for a living. This career move has been a long time in the making. During Rod’s first interview for a nuclear-related job, Admiral Rickover asked him, “English major? Why are you an English major?” Rod responded “Because I like to read and write, sir.” He followed up with “Write? Have you ever written any books? I have. Three of them. Have you read any of them?” Rod response was “Not yet, sir.” Rod’s done the promised reading, now it’s time to do the writing.

Deregulate the Atom
Post from Rick Maltese
    What is the future of nuclear energy? A conference with a Canadian perspective which is truly an Ontario perspective. And Canada has reason to be proud and reason to boast about Ontario’s success.

Yes Vermont Yankee
Post from Meredith Angwin
    Entergy announced that it will close Vermont Yankee next year, and opponents began having parties. In response, plant supporters have written letters to the editor: “Count me out of the party.” By publicly expressing their sadness that Vermont Yankee is closing, supporters show that anti-nuclear sentiment is NOT universal.

Canadian Energy Issues
Post from Steve Aplin
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced Monday that it is unequivocal that the planet is warming up and that man-made carbon emissions are responsible. Steve Aplin wonders why the mainstream environmental lobby, which has used the IPCC report to criticize governments for inaction on climate change, continues to oppose nuclear energy, the only proven large-scale zero-carbon electricity generation source.

Nuke Power Talk
Post from Gail Marcus
    At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus reflects on an “offer” made by Sir John Armitt to break the financing impasse for Hinkley Point C in the UK by using an approach similar to that used for the construction of the facilities for the 2012 London Olympics. Since he made that offer, hints are emerging from the UK that some solution has been found, although it is not clear yet what the solution is. Whatever emerges in the case of Hinkley Point C, the financing issue remains a serious challenge for new nuclear plants, so Gail finds it encouraging that people are thinking outside the box.

ANS Nuclear Cafe
Post by Rod Adams
    Some observers assert a long future of low natural gas prices in North America and an enormous ramp-up in electricity generating market share for gas. However, Rod Adams reminds us that gas is a volatile commodity, in more ways than one, and points to some factors indicating an impending end to the current low-price gas glut. In light of these factors, short-term thinking and planning – which is leading to increased natural gas dependence and has contributed to the puzzling shutdown of perfectly operational assets like the Kewaunee and, next fall, the Vermont Yankee nuclear plants – may not be very smart.

Next Big Future
Post by Brian Wang
    Some coal is high in fluorine and also has iron pyrite. The combination is deadly – when burned it make hydrofluoric acid. Coal pollution is getting deep into food and water in China where it cannot be washed away. It is damaging teeth and bones of many people. Excess fluorine consumption can often cause dental fluorinosis, a condition in which excess fluorine is deposited in the teeth, discoloring them. In more severe cases, fluorine deposition in the bones can lead to osteofluorosis, which can cause disfigurement, deformity, and chronic pain.

The Hiroshima Syndrome/Fukushima Commentary
Post by Leslie Corrice
    Many in Japan believe that the Fukushima accident was the third nuclear bombing of their country, albeit self-inflicted. If it were up to the people of Hiroshima, the confusion between reactors and bombs would be a thing of the past. But it isn’t, and the residents of the city to first suffer a nuclear weapon don’t like it one bit.

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

Future of Nuclear Conference in Toronto Oct. 9th

Future of Nuclear, a Conference that will be held in Toronto, Ontario, on Oct 9 in the beautiful Mars Center on College Street, just east of University Ave.

ONTARIO is home to the largest-capacity nuclear plants in the world supplying 12,500 Megawatts to the province. Sixty percent of our power is nuclear. Our CANDU reactors have an outstanding performance record for safety and reliability. With AECLs privatization two years ago there are new opportunities for renewed global growth reaching beyond the existing plants in South Korea, India, China and Argentina. Ontario’s workable energy mix is the new green standard, with nuclear playing an important role while science progresses forward.

See what science and technology hold in store for energy innovation and solutions. The keynote speaker will be Tom Mitchell, the CEO of Ontario Power Generation. His keynote responds to MIT Prof. Richard Lester’s call for action against the climate breakdown:

    “If the world is to avoid the most harmful effects of rising greenhouse gas levels while still meeting the demand for abundant, affordable, reliable energy, nothing less than a fundamental transformation of current patterns of energy production, delivery, and use will be necessary. This historic transformation to a low-carbon energy system will almost certainly not be achievable without a large-scale expansion of nuclear energy globally, along with very rapid scale-up of renewables and major advances in energy efficiency in both developed and developing economies.”

Also on the roster is Canadian visionary and inventor, physicist David LeBlanc, founder and director of Terrestrial Energy Inc. He will update us on his new Generation-Four reactor which he envisages will be operational in less than a decade. We are making significant gains in eliminating coal plants and reducing fossil fuel emissions. Future reactors will go even farther by converting existing nuclear waste into fuel and providing process heat for industrial use never before available.

The media turmoil in the wake of the Fukushima disaster is giving way to a calmer, more reflective climate where a less polarized discussion of nuclear options and a more holistic perspective of energy in all its forms is taking place.

I hope to see you at the conference. You can become a pathfinder and help Canada be a leader of an emerging safer nuclear renaissance. Join me for a full day’s conference on Wednesday, Oct 9.

See details on their website FutureOfNuclear.com, where you can register. Hope to see you soon.

MaRSmars-logo

Contributors Nuclear Advocacy

Carnival #175: Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers

Nuke Power Talk – Carnival Entry
Post from Gail Marcus
    At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus addresses the issue of the future of the electric grid and the fact that some pundits are declaring that it is quickly becoming obsolete. Although there have been several articles recently pointing out how more people and more companies are opting to generate some of their own electricity, she points out that some of these schemes actually increase the demands on the grid.

Two Posts from ANS Nuclear Cafe – Carnival Entry
Post from Jim Hopf
Are Nuclear Plant Closures Due to Market Manipulation and Decommissioning Fund Rules?
    Many are having a hard time understanding Entergy’s decision to schedule the closing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant next year. Jim Hopf examines the issues, as well as policy adjustments that could help prevent a similar situation in the future.
The 2013 Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation
Post from Matthew Gidden and Nicholas Thompson
    Matthew Gidden and Nicholas Thompson, chair and co-chair of the 2013 Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation, recount events and activities of this year’s delegation in Washington, DC. Students from around the country held discussions with politicians and policymakers – key governmental affairs staff, Nuclear Regulatory Commissioners, high-level staff at DOE, Department of State, and Office of Management and Budget, as well as over 100 congressional offices – concerning nuclear engineering education funding, energy policy, and other important nuclear issues.

Yes Vermont Yankee Blog – Carnival Entry
Post from Meredith Angwin
    A local panel addressed the issue of “what will happen after Vermont Yankee closes.” One panelist had written a paper that seemed rather snarky about nuclear workers. This post at Yes Vermont Yankee describes the justifiable pride nuclear workers can take in their contribution to society.

Atomic Insights – Carnival Entry
Post from Rod Adams
    During the 1970s, the antinuclear movement made a collective decision to use “the waste issue” as a weapon to help force the eventual shutdown of the industry. Though the strategy has not succeeded in forcing any plants in the US to shut down, it has prevented a number of plants from being built. Ralph Nader, one of the most visible organizers of the movement, often referred to the waste issue as the Achilles heel of the nuclear industry. He described his movement’s strategy for taking advantage of the perceived weakness in some detail during a 1997 interview as part of a PBS Frontline show titled Nuclear Reactions. The issue continues to be used to slow nuclear energy development.

Two Posts from Hiroshima Syndrome – Carnival Entry
Posts from Leslie Corrice
    PM Shinzo Abe said he wants F. Daiichi units 5&6 decommissioned. This seems to have been a unilateral decision on his part, and may well be a big mistake. Abe should rescind his request before it makes the situation with accident cleanup worse than it is now.
    American nuclear expert Lake Barrett says releasing mildly-radioactive water to the Pacific will harm no-one. Hearing these calming statements from an internationally-recognized expert on reactor accident recovery seems to have struck home with a few of the news sources in Japan. Are some of Japan’s news outlets starting to get it right?

Post from Atomic Power Review – Carnival Entry
Post from Will Davis
    This week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rather startled the press with the declaration that he had told TEPCO’s management to decommission the two undamaged units at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. Many people appear not to have understood that the fate of these units had not been in any way sealed so far as TEPCO management was concerned. Will Davis knew this; he provides the back story on this topic as well as the present developments.

Posts from Canadian Energy Issues – Carnival Entry
2 Posts from Steve Aplin
    Whose electricity is cleaner, Ontario’s or Germany’s? Steve Aplin of Canadian Energy Issues crunches the numbers and compares Ontario real time data with Germany pre-nuclear phaseout. His results will disappoint and perhaps outrage those who think that Germany is a paragon of clean electricity.
    “… Many if not most Ontario utilities have moved to time-of-use pricing. This means that there are certain hours of the day, called peak hours, when electricity is more expensive … Our electricity system is set up so that at those times we call expensive and polluting fossil-fired generating plants into service. These plants were put into the system and made available for precisely this purpose—to provide power during peak hours. Because they are fossil plants they produce gargantuan amounts of CO …”

3 Posts from Next Big Future – Carnival Entry
Posts from Brian Wang
    Here is a presentation on load following thorium molten salt reactors
    Another Canadian company is developing a nuclear reactor for the Canadian Oilsands. This is a lead cooled integral reactor with a prismatic core.
    Asia plans to add 103 nuclear reactors by 2025

Post from Forbes – Carnival Entry
Post from James Conca
    Wind turbines kill hundreds of eagles a year, but are not held accountable like other industries with the help of the Interior Department. The large physical footprint probably represents the weakest point of wind energy.

Action List Nuclear Advocacy

More Clarity about Fukushima from Rational Rod Adams

I have been going to Hiroshima Syndrome for reliable updates on Fukushima but sometimes a post by a nuclear professional who only makes occasional posts about Fukushima can state what you need to know in a more succinct manner. Rod Adams of Atomic Insights does just that. Here are some highlights from Fear Mongering Over Water Leaks at Fukushima Dai Ichi
I am no expert so I like it when people like Rod explains
“there is no reason for anyone to be concerned that “contaminated” water from the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station is going to cause them any physical harm, now or in the future… Those nutty activists would have to be very patient people, because they would have to drink that water for many years before any negative effects might show up… Fish swimming in the harbor have nothing to worry about; people who eat fish that swam in the harbor have nothing to worry about; people who decide to swim in the harbor would have nothing to worry about…If someone drank two liters per day of the water that we are supposed to be afraid of for an entire year, their committed effective dose would be just 3 mSv; it would slightly more than double their annual background dose. If the entire amount of that water entered the Pacific Ocean, it would contain less than 0.00002 grams (0.02 milligrams) of strontium-90. Now can you see why I am not worried and why I think you need to stop worrying? Of course, I expect that most of the people who have made it this far were never worried in the first place, but you might have family, friends or acquaintances who have been losing sleep in fear of the Blob – in the form of water leaking from Fukushima – coming to get them. One more thing – the most recent stories have included concerns that additional groundwater is flowing onto the power station site an might become contaminated on its normal path to the ocean. Remember what I wrote earlier; a limited amount of radioactive material does not get any larger just because more clean water is added.”
Read the “full story here.”