Lockheed’s fusion sales pitch

Please count me as an extreme skeptic on the possibility of anything useful coming from the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works fusion project described in the below commercial.

The only explanation I can think of for the recent hype and attention given to this project is that there is a competition that I do not know about where a government agency or someone with really deep pockets has offered billions of dollars to fund the research on some kind of cost-plus basis with no performance metrics required.

One of the key tip-offs is that if the spokesperson is part of a company that succeeds in accomplishing anything close to the claim, he would never have to worry about finding another job. Despite that fact, the video ends with the young guy saying that the job will be finished before he can retire and he will have to find another job to do.

Corvallis to Richland and back

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After an informative tour of the NuScale facilities in Corvallis, OR on October 20, I continued my quick visit to the Pacific Northwest. I had originally arranged my travel plans to fly into Portland, OR instead Richland, WA — which was my ultimate destination — for a variety of reasons. It enabled the visit to […]

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Tour of NuScale control room and test facility

Jose Rod Test Facility

Disclosure: I have a small contract to provide NuScale with advice and energy market information. That work represents less than 5% of my income for 2014. On October 20, 2014, I had the opportunity to visit NuScale’s facilities in Corvallis, OR. Though the company now has offices in three cities, Corvallis, the home of Oregon […]

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UAMPS stepping forward to serve customers

The established nuclear energy industry has taken a wait-and-see approach to the idea of developing and deploying smaller, simpler fission power stations that can take advantage of the economy of series production. The industry’s trade organization, the Nuclear Energy Institute, has expressed cautious optimism and has engaged in a moderate effort to identify regulatory obstacles […]

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The Canadians are coming

Hugh MacDiarmid, the Chairman of the Board for Terrestrial Energy, Inc., gave a talk to the Economic Club of Canada on September 24, 2014. That talk included a brief description of TEI’s integral molten salt reactor technology, but most of the talk was visionary in nature and aimed at exciting his Canadian audience about the […]

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Nuclear energy getting attention on No Agenda podcast

No Agenda, staring Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak bills itself as “The Best Podcast in the Universe.” It is the best, most entertaining, most thought-provoking, and most professionally-produced podcast I listen to, so I cannot argue with the frequently repeated claim. On Episode 656, recorded and released on September 28, Curry and Dvorak chatted […]

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Atomic Show #223 – Diablo Saudi UAE Ukraine S Korea

On September 7, 2014, I gathered a group of nuclear energy observers to discuss a variety of topics of interest to people who believe energy is important. We talked about Diablo Canyon’s earthquake resilience, Saudi Arabia’s interest in a rapid growth in nuclear energy production, the certification of the APR+ in South Korea, the progress […]

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Terrestrial Energy – Molten Salt Reactor Designed to Be Commercial Success

There is a growing roster of innovative organizations populated by people who recognize that nuclear technology is still in its infancy. Terrestrial Energy is one of the most promising of those organization because of its combination of problem solving technology, visionary leadership, and strong focus on meeting commercial needs. Nearly all of the commercial nuclear […]

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Discussing nuclear energy in Australia

On August 5, 2014, Professor Barry Brook, Ian Hore-Lacy and Professor Ken Balwin chatted with ABC [Australian Broadcast Corporation] 666 morning host Genevieve Jacobs about nuclear energy. Each member of the panel provided a brief statement and then there was a lengthy question and answer period lasting nearly an hour. You really should watch the […]

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HTR-PM – Nuclear-heated gas producing superheated steam

The first HTR-PM (High Temperature Reactor – Pebble Module), one of the more intriguing nuclear plant designs, is currently under construction on the coast of the Shidao Bay near Weihai, China. This system uses evolutionary engineering design principles that give it a high probability of success, assuming that the developers and financial supporters maintain their […]

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Fission is an elegant way to heat a gas

What if it was possible to combine the low capital cost, reliability, and responsive operations of simple cycle combustion gas turbines with the low fuel cost and zero-emission capability of an actinide (uranium, thorium, or plutonium) fuel source? Machines like that could disrupt a few business models while giving the world’s economy a powerful new […]

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Nuclear-Powered Trans-Ocean Shipping – 3rd place in New York Advanced Energy contest

I received an update from Benjamin Haas, the SUNY Maritime student who has been working on nuclear powered ship designs from a complete systems perspective for the past three semesters. He and his team have not just focused on the technical aspects of designing a power plant and a ship that could take full advantage […]

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