NRC FY2016 budget hearing – Sen Alexander and Sen Feinstein

On March 4, 2015, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development held a hearing about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s FY2016 budget. The video archive is available for review. The only senators from the subcommittee who took part in the hearing were Sen Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) with an invited […]

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Agencies should not allow creation of a hostile environment at public meetings

On February 19, 2015, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) transported a substantial contingent of regulators to Brattleboro, VT to hold a public meeting about Entergy’s Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR) for the permanently shutdown Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Brattleboro Community TV produced a video record of the event. Watching that video is […]

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Sweet Briar College announced its closure on March 3, 2015

SWC mug

You might be wondering why I’ve chosen to write about an announcement that a small, but historic women’s liberal arts college is planning to close. What does that have to do with atomic energy? The college, Sweet Briar College, is located a little less than an hour from my Forest, VA home. I’ve met a […]

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Diseconomy of scale – world’s largest canned-motor reactor coolant pump

On February 16, 2015, an AP article by Ray Henry titled Nuclear plants delayed in China, watched closely by US firms contained a short paragraph that has contributed to a number of sleepless nights. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of other people affected in the same manner who have far more at stake than […]

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Atomic Show #235 – Energy and Empire by George Gonzales

Energy and Empire cover

Dr. George Gonzales is an associate professor of political science at the University of Miami. In 2012, he published a book titled Energy and Empire: The Politics of Nuclear and Solar Power in the United States. In his book, Professor Gonzales recognizes that the development of nuclear energy poses an obvious threat to the continued […]

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Atomic Show #234 – Update from South Australia

Ben Heard of Think Climate Consulting and DecarboniseSA.com joined me for a discussion about the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia. In early February, the South Australian government announced the formation of a royal commission to investigate the state’s future role in the nuclear fuel cycle. As Ben explained, royal commissions are fairly rare and only […]

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Atomic Show #233 – Innovators discuss advanced reactor development in US

There are a growing number of innovative small companies and a few divisions of larger companies that have recognized that nuclear energy offers solutions to a number of important human challenges. Despite the proclamations by opponents, the Nuclear Renaissance is not any more dead in 2015 than the original Renaissance was dead in 1315. In […]

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Learn more about internationalizing market for SMRs at 5th Annual SMR Summit

Interest is growing in building right-sized reactors. In the relatively near future, there will be operating demonstration plants in China, Argentina, and Russia proving that the nuclear industry has learned that the one-size fits all model cannot work if the chosen size is in the range of 1,000 MWe. There simply are not enough customers […]

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How do metal alloy fuel fast reactors respond to rapid reactivity insertion events?

Update: (Posted Feb 21, 2015 at 7:22) The title has been modified after initial discussion indicated it was incomplete. Other related updates are in blue font. Fast neutron spectrum reactors offer one answer to the trump question that is often used to halt informative discussions about using more atomic energy to reduce our excessive dependence […]

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Proving a Negative – Why Modern Used Nuclear Fuel Cannot Be Used to Make a Weapon

Editor’s note: This post was first published on Jul 24, 2010. While working on a new post involving the use of fast spectrum reactors to address many important society challenges, I thought it would be worthwhile to share this important background piece to let you start thinking about some of the misinformation you might have […]

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Senator Clinton Anderson on fossil fuel opposition to atomic energy

Senator Clinton Anderson (D-NM) was a long time member and sometimes Chairman of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. As part of my energy history research, I’ve been reading Outsider in the Senate: Senator Clinton Anderson’s Memoirs. There are several passages in that book worthy of note. While the three services competed with one another […]

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TV series marathon – Men Who Built America

I took advantage of circumstances and technology last night to indulge in a TV series marathon consisting of watching the entire season of the 2012 History Channel series titled The Men Who Built America. Though originally aired in 19 episodes, Netflix is showing series as four 80-90 minute segments. One of the most eye-opening things […]

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