Tag Archives: Nuclear

Carbon Capture and Green Technology

By S. Julio Friedmann – The world is emitting more carbon dioxide than even the worst-case IPCC models allow. In 2010, roughly 35 billion tons of man-made CO2 entered the atmosphere — about 70 times the weight of all human beings on earth. That annual volume is about seven billion tons more than it was in 2004, largely because of rapid economic growth in developing countries.

Unfortunately, energy technology, on the whole, has not evolved fast enough to cope with the CO2 problem. Novel nuclear reactor research continues, including new fuel cycles (like thorium), proliferation-resistant designs, new “inherently safe” designs, and lower-cost approaches. However, the tragedy of the tsunami-induced reactor failures in Japan has delayed the deployment of new nuclear technologies. more> http://twurl.nl/posymb


Is there enough Uranium ore to do the job?

Uranium supply and demandThe Last Tech Age – If we cannot replace ALL power generation, is there any fuel we could replace with uranium?

No, Nuclear resources are not able to supply an alternative for petroleum. If every country decided to try this, the reserve would drain immediately and resource wars might become inevitable …

Our point here is that, as energy-rich as uranium may be, it can not make up for the failing energy sources that society depends on.  We are blocked from success by our once-through rule.  The root cause behind this rule is not a technical issue, but a social one: Governments do not believe they can control the overseers who gain financially from nuclear power.  This is a sad truth; because of it, we did not adopt reactors that are intrinsic safety and burn “waste” fuel. more> http://tinyurl.com/45y2ur9

NASA technology looks inside Japan’s nuclear reactor

R&D Mag – Design techniques honed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for Mars rovers were used to create the rover currently examining the inside of Japan’s nuclear reactors, in areas not yet deemed safe for human crews.

Recently, iRobot provided two PackBots to help after the devastating March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The PackBot models, currently taking radioactivity readings in the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant buildings, are equipped with multiple cameras and hazard material sensors. The images and readings provided by the PackBots indicated radiation levels are still too high to allow human repair crews to safely enter the buildings. more> http://tinyurl.com/3vdjl96/

Germany debates how to dump nuclear power

Nuclear power, GermanyBy Brian Rohan – Germany has embarked on a state-sponsored shift away from nuclear energy toward renewables and fossil fuels as worries over atomic power have grown in the wake of Japan’s nuclear disaster.

“We all want to exit nuclear energy as soon as possible and make the switch to supplying via renewable energy,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said, adding that efforts would focus on developing power grids, renewable technology and energy efficiency. more> http://tinyurl.com/628wxmc

Boiling the Ocean

IT JuingleBy Hesh Wiener – General Electric, a company nearly twice the size of IBM, is in an Obamic situation, a position so deeply disappointing that it makes one’s heart break. Its Mark I nuclear reactors lie at the heart of a catastrophe in Japan. Its agility at tax avoidance has become a target of the New York Times, which trims its taxes the old fashioned way, by not making money. Meanwhile, GE’s chairman, Jeffrey Immelt, is trying to help run the USA. IBM is pointing out, with a straight face, that we need a smarter planet. Who would want a stupider one?

The civilized, diligent, orderly, educated, and hygienic Japanese don’t seem to trust the electric power company, its regulatory overseers, or even the supervisors of the team that is fighting the radiation hazards. It is natural enough for there to be name-calling in the wake of any industrial accident, but when key players such as, in this case, General Electric, also seem to be keen on cutting corners and influencing legislators, the criticism becomes louder and more credible. Every party involved in the Japanese situation and, right now at least, every party involved in the nuclear power industry, is getting tarred or perhaps irradiated with the same brush.

IBM really ought to get to work on this. After all, it’s still on this planet. more> http://tinyurl.com/42be8ah


Building a Better Nuclear Reactor

Building Better ReactorBy Peter Coy – Nuclear power plants will never be completely safe, but they can be made far safer than they are today. The key is humility. The next generation of plants must be built to work with nature—and human nature—rather than against them. They must be safe by design, so that even if every possible thing goes wrong, the outcome will stop short of disaster. In the language of the nuclear industry, they must be “walkaway safe,” meaning that even if all power is lost and the coolant leaks and the operators flee the scene, there will be no meltdown of the core, no fire in the spent fuel rods, and no bursts of radioactive steam into the atmosphere.

Nuclear plants have one thing going for them that hasn’t changed since the leak at Fukushima. They generate badly needed electricity without creating greenhouse gases that cause global warming. more> http://tinyurl.com/4fsyog4


Nuclear Energy Guide

By Natallia Pinchuk, Nick Touran, Brian Wagner – A nuclear reactor is a system that contains and controls sustained nuclear chain reactions. Reactors are used for generating electricity, moving aircraft carriers and submarines, producing medical isotopes for imaging and cancer treatment, and for conducting research. more> http://tinyurl.com/4uwsav5

Control The Nuclear Power Plant (Demonstration), Henrik Eriksson http://tinyurl.com/dd4ph

Inside a Nuclear Reactor (Photo gallery), LIFE http://tinyurl.com/48ltz7l

cfr Nuclear Energy GuideCouncil on Foreign Relations – Nuclear power comes with unique issues of construction, fuel, operation, and waste. Changes in related policies are needed as the industry seeks to grow. more> http://tinyurl.com/4ub3the