A Closer Look At Studies: Cost of Controlling Radiation Exposure

The nuclear industry has controlled radiation exposure for many years based on the principle of keeping doses As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). In theory, this is not a bad standard, but a great deal of time and money hinge on interpretation of the word “reasonable.” In the nuclear industry, one of the most heavily […]

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Letter from the Editor: Economics of Electrical Energy

Before discussing nuclear energy economics, it might be useful to understand how power plant investment decisions are made by electrical utilities. It is a complex subject, but one that is worth a bit of study. Normal Commodity? If electrical power was a normal commodity, the question that would rule production capacity investment decisions is, “How […]

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How Expensive Is Nuclear Power?: Nuclear Cost Data In The United States

It is difficult to convince people to stop believing an assertion they have heard over and over again, no matter how false the statement is. One of these false statements is that nuclear electricity is more costly than fossil generated electricity. One must understand that there are 109 different nuclear power plants operating in the […]

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Historical Repetition?: Will Nuclear Propulsion Follow Steam Propulsion?

These are not the comments of people with a vested interest in nuclear power. They are the words of professional mariners and historians who understand the importance of propulsion machinery in ocean commerce.The following is a sampling of comments on nuclear merchant ships from before 1973. Here are the observations of retired ship captain Alan […]

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Nuclear Research Ship: Japanese Learn Nuclear Techniques at Sea

The Japanese nuclear ship Mutsu is designed not for show, but for research. She is currently being used by the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) as a test bed to validate computer models of the behavior of pressurized water reactors in an ocean environment. The Mutsu has a 10,000 shaft horsepower nuclear engine. The […]

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Marine Nuclear Propulsion: The Undeniable Facts

Many observers deny that the success of nuclear propulsion for warships has any relationship to the possibility of success in a commercial endeavor. They claim that the costs are far too high, that merchant ships do not obtain much benefit from high speed endurance, or that the public will not accept nuclear powered shipping. There, […]

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Letter from the Editor: Wasted Nuclear Knowledge

I spent 12 years in the U.S. Navy learning how to operate nuclear heated engines at sea. The most challenging and rewarding job during those years was serving as the Engineer Officer (what surface ships would call the Chief Engineer Officer) of the USS Von Steuben, SSBN 632 (GOLD). I have also spent several years […]

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Minimize Waste: Focus on Recycling

One of the most successful ways to conserve valuable raw materials is to pay careful attention to manufacturing and use processes so that less of the material is wasted. There is ample opportunity for process type improvements in the nuclear power industry, even though many improvements have already been made. There are also institutional hurdles […]

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Opposition to Reprocessing Are the Reports Always True?

One of the reasons this letter focuses on the issue of recycling and waste minimization is that there has been a recent full court press in the opinion sections of major newspapers and in Congressional hearing rooms to stiffen the U. S. government’s already extreme policy limiting the use of plutonium in energy generating plants. […]

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Nuclear Fuel Recycling: Getting Down to Business

Although the United States has chosen to focus on a throw-away fuel cycle, many of our allies have decided that recycling nuclear fuel fits their national interests. France and Great Britain, have built large, modern, and very expensive facilities to extract useful metals from used fuel rods to provide raw material for new fuel assemblies. […]

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Waste to Energy: Learning to Recognize Waste as Value

In the 1980s, many municipalities built facilities to convert garbage into energy. Some of those plants, in order to keep the garbage burning at a high temperature, also burned natural gas or oil. The machines were designed to solve a problem in providing adequate facilities for garbage disposal by burning it to produce electricity. The […]

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