112th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers – Back At Atomic Insights

Every week, people who write articles about nuclear energy gather their favorites together in a single post called the Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers. We’ve been doing this regularly for more than two years; it is my pleasure to host the 112th issue of the Carnival. Here are our favorite posts from the first week of July 2012.

Margaret Harding, blogging at 4 Factor Consulting, leads off this week’s list of favorites with the following:


Russian Gold? Margaret discusses her view of why the Russians have announced that they may seek a Design Certification for the VVER from the U.S. NRC. She does not believe it is because the U.S. is the Gold Standard, but you’ll have to read the article to find out the real reason.

Dan Yurman, at Idaho Samizdat has also written about the relationship between design certifications and marketing efforts for new nuclear power plants.

Safety certification and reactor brands

It seems that globally, safety certification is not necessarily a precondition for a sale. As far as reactor vendors are concerned, the lunch counter is open and anyone can place an order.

While safety certification delays come and go, marketing goes on in spite of progress, or the lack of it, by the US NRC or anyone else. Gold standard or not, to roads that lead to new reactor deals will roll on.

Meredith Angwin, blogging from the fertile nuclear news territory of Vermont, published an article titled:

Vermont Loses Lawsuit Against NRC about Water Quality Permit

At Yes Vermont Yankee, Meredith analyses the opponent attempt to shut down Vermont Yankee by suing the NRC. The Vermont Department of Public Service and a local opponent organization claimed the NRC license renewal to Vermont Yankee was invalid. They said Vermont Yankee didn’t have a proper water quality license from the state. Since the state is in charge of water quality licenses, and the state never mentioned water quality concerns until after the NRC license extension had been granted, the state was on thin ground indeed. Reading about such folly is fun, when you can also read about how they lost in court.

Among other important topics, Leslie Corrice is tracking the continuing saga at Fukushima on his blog titled Hiroshima Syndrome. His blog is a great place to visit if you want to dig past the antinuclear spin provided by people like Arnie Gundersen and Helen Caldicott. He provides the following update:

The NAIIC Fukushima report – Some hits and some misses

The Japanese Diet’s Nuclear Accident Independent Investigative Committee (NAIIC) has issued its executive summary of their Fukushima report. The more than 640-page report was given to the Diet on Thursday, but only the executive summary has been released to the public. The full report is “coming soon”. My summation and critique of the Executive Summary is sprinkled with a few Japanese news media article citations. Most of it rings true, but the largely speculative beliefs that unit #2 containment failed on March 15, and the quake caused damage to unit #1 before the wave hit (a LOCA??) need to be addressed and refuted.

The editor at ANS Nuclear Cafe submitted the following post:

Implications of improved radiation protection standards for Fukushima

The American Nuclear Society’s annual meeting for 2012 featured the President’s Special Session on “Low-Level Radiation & Its Implications for Fukushima Recovery.” Rod Adams at the ANS Nuclear Cafe discusses the recent history and current status of radiation protection regulation, and asks whether Fukushima shows the time is ripe to again attempt to bring sense and science to a reevaluation of the linear no-threshold model (LNT) and the sometimes deleterious aspects of regulations that use LNT as their basis.

(Yes, I wrote that one, but I was not involved in the process of selecting it for submission. It received quite a few comments from people whose names are familiar to Atomic Insights readers.)

Update: (Posted 7:36 am July 7, 2012)

Dr. Robert Hayes recently began publishing a blog titled Science and Technology. He submitted the following article, but somehow I missed it in my stack of emails:

Radioactive food in my pantry? Yes, radioactive food!.

Would you eat radioactive food? What would you do if you found out that there was some being sold in a neighborhood store or even already in your own pantry? Well get ready to act on that because I am going to point out foods in all of these categories, oh yes, right here in the United States.

A short list of some of the more radioactive food items sold and eaten commonly includes the following; nuts, potatoes, bananas, avocadoes, beans, carrots and meat (including seafood). The strange thing about these is that they are sold and billed as health foods even though they are much higher in radioactivity than other common foods which might not be billed as being so healthy. The primary reason for these foods having elevated levels of radioactivity has nothing to do with Fukushima, Chernobyl or even nuclear weapons testing. In fact, these foods generally have elevated radioactivity content relative to other foods due to naturally occurring potassium in the foods themselves. The potassium being naturally radioactive, when concentrated in food, makes that food more radioactive than its surroundings where there is less potassium.

(Posted at 2:00 pm on July 7, 2012)

Gail Marcus, who blogs at Nuclear Power Talk, provided the following contribution:

Fukushima Accident Report: “Made in Japan”

Gail comments on statements by the Chairman of the Japanese Diet’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, whose report was just released.  She particularly addresses his observations about the contributions of Japanese culture to the environment that led to the accident, and his assertion that this makes the accident a “Made in Japan” event.  Gail has addressed some of the cultural issues in Japan in her past blogs, and she now comments on what it may mean for Japan in the future

End Update

This has not been a very productive week for new material on Atomic Insights. Not trying to make excuses, but production has been slowed by a derecho encouraged evacuation from Lynchburg that resulted in a very nice, but unplanned, family beach vacation. We lost electrical power on Friday, June 29 at 9:30 pm. The local power company under promised and over delivered. They told us it would take a week or more to restore our service, but it really only took four days.

I’m a wimp and do not like living without air conditioning or refrigeration, especially with temperatures forecast to be at or near 100 – with humidity not far behind. After dumping the contents of our refrigerators and freezers, we left town with our cats in search of a more comfortable abode.

My only post this week was actually more about natural gas than about nuclear energy. I tried to help people understand why I do not believe that temporarily low prices in the North American natural gas market are very beneficial – or even the accidental of real market forces.

IQ2 Debate – No Fracking Way: The Natural Gas Boom is Doing More Harm Than Good

It’s been way too long since I hosted the Carnival. It’s been fun reviewing everyone’s contributions; I hope to host more regularly in the coming months.

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3 Responses to “112th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers – Back At Atomic Insights”

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  1. Steve Jones says:

    Just in case this hasn’t showed up on your radar/Geiger Counter. This was broadcast on the BBC show “From our own Correspondent” this week about the worry of radioactivity from Chernobyl forest fire.


  2. The hyperlink to: IQ2 Debate – No Fracking Way: The Natural Gas Boom is Doing More Harm Than Good is not functioning.