Dieter Helm – Nuclear saga cannot go on (Leaders must push to a happy ending)

Dieter Helm has generously shared an April 2013 article written for Prospect Magazine titled Stumbling towards crisis. In that article Helm points to US energy decision making as a good example that serves as a contrast to UK energy policy making. He sees chosen path in the UK as almost guaranteeing a crisis. In his […]

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Does nuclear energy need to do it all?

At The Energy Collective, there is an active comment thread on a post titled Is Bill McKibben Really Serious About Climate Change? that has been sustained since March 8, 2013. Recently there was a comment that provided an opportunity to address a frequently expressed meme that is often used by people who oppose the use […]

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Visual – How much material does it take to run a 3,600 MWe coal plant

Utility companies that operate both coal and nuclear power plants rarely use the important communications techniques of comparison and contrast to help people understand the benefits of nuclear energy. There is some business logic behind that policy. I have a different set of interests and am not constrained by a need to protect any particular […]

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Switch II Fission, the Sequel

Last night I drove to Lexington, VA where the sustainability program was hosting a screening of Switch (to a smarter future). There was a decent crowd; perhaps 100 or more students, faculty and townspeople. It is an impressive documentary, with inside views of facilities that people rarely see. It also does a good job of […]

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How long before Wisconsin electricity customers regret loss of Kewaunee?

After a number of discussions with people in positions close to the decision to destroy the Kewaunee nuclear power station, I am now about 98% sure that it will be shut down as currently scheduled in May of 2013. I am also about 95% sure that the decision will cost electricity customers in the Midwest […]

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Atomic Show #200 – Celebrating atomic communicators

On March 9, 2006, Shane Brown and I recorded the first episode of The Atomic Show. We formatted the show as a couple of geeks chatting about atomic energy and published it on Cameron Reilly’s The Podcast Network. On March 17, 2013, I hosted and recorded Atomic Show #200 as a roundtable discussion that included […]

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Are Mark Cooper and Peter Bradford climate change deniers?

In a recent paper, Mark Cooper and Peter Bradford advocate expanded use of natural gas, even if that expansion requires using hydraulic fracturing. They believe that fossil fuel plants should continue dumping vast quantities of combustion waste into our shared atmosphere, even after new nuclear energy plants start operating. They dismiss the notion of a […]

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Study of Port Hope radium and uranium processing workers shows longer lives

The results of a study titled Mortality (1950–1999) and cancer incidence (1969–1999) of workers in the Port Hope cohort study exposed to a unique combination of radium, uranium and γ-ray doses have recently been published on BJM Open, which describes itself as follows: “An open access, online-only general medical journal dedicated to publishing research from […]

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Nuclear energy fights climate change and energy poverty at same time

The Washington Post Wonkblog recently published an article with the following headline Can the world fight climate change and energy poverty at the same time? There is a straightforward answer to that question that involves some hard work and some paradigm busting, but at least it is a path that offers a good chance of […]

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Radiation Superstition

By Robert Hargraves Nearly a million people each year die of breathing particulates from burning coal; the climate temperature may increase 2°C this century; more than a billion people have no electricity. Yet within our reach is a solution to these global crises of increasing air pollution deaths, climate change, and the growing populations of […]

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Switch Energy Project – faint praise for nuclear energy

A colleagues who used to work in the oil and gas industry pointed me to an article from the November 2012 issue of the Journal of Petroleum Technology titled Switch: The New Documentary on Energy’s Future. The article describes a video research project undertaken by Scott Tinker, a former oil and gas company geologist who […]

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Atomic Show #199 – Fukushima happened 2 years ago

Before March 11, 2011, “Fukushima” was the name of a relatively unknown prefecture in Japan. Now it is a shorthand reference to an event in which three large nuclear power plants melted and released a small quantity of long lived radioactive material that has not harmed any human being. Here is a brief synopsis of […]

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