Atomic Show #191 – 70th Anniversary of CP-1, the First Controlled Fission Chain Reaction

On Sunday, December 2, 2012, I gathered together a group of nuclear professionals to talk about the impact to human history of the construction and operation of Critical Pile 1 (CP-1). That simple assembly of graphite, uranium, and uranium dioxide was built in about 6 weeks. When measurements taken during construction indicated that the system […]

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Atomic Show #190 – Nuclear plant performance during Hurricane Sandy

There are 34 nuclear reactors located in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Of those, 7 were shutdown for planned maintenance. Three units tripped due to disturbances on the grid or issues with one of their redundant cooling systems. The other 24 remained operational and supplied as much power as the grid could accept. On Sunday, […]

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Atomic Show #189 – Energy Subsidies

Dr. Jim Conca recently published an article titled What’s Better? A Carbon Tax or Energy Subsidies? for his column on Forbes.com. I invited him, along with Cal Abel, a nuclear engineering PhD candidate at Georgia Tech with a strong interest in energy economics, for a chat on the Atomic Show. We got a little off […]

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Atomic Show #188 – Wheeler and Harding discuss ANS Utility Working Conference

During the first week of August each year, the American Nuclear Society hosts a conference called the Utility Working Conference (ANS-UWC). It is one of my favorite ANS meetings because it draws a crowd of professionals whose daily employment is focused on safely operating electricity production facilities powered by atomic fission. Those facilities produce 20% […]

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Atomic Show #187 – Women In Nuclear (US WIN) 2012

During the period from July 15-18 2012, more than 440 nuclear professionals attended the annual U. S. Women In Nuclear (US WIN) conference held in Orlando, FL. I spoke to three of the attendees – Julie Ezold, Sandy DePirro, and Savannah Fitzwater – about the conference and about the organization. The women work in three […]

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Atomic Show #186 – SMRs, Climate Change, and Natural Gas Competition

On the evening of July 29, 2012, Suzy Hobbs-Baker, Director of the Nuclear Literacy Project and founder of PopAtomic Studios, Dan Yurman, who blogs at Idaho Samizdat and writes for Fuel Cycle Week and the ANS Nuclear Cafe, Margaret Harding, an independent nuclear energy consultant who blogs at 4 Factor Consulting, and Cal Abel, a […]

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The Atomic Show #185 – Is Thorium Superior to Uranium?

On July 23, 2012, busy schedules aligned and I had the chance to talk with Richard Martin, the author of SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future and Kirk Sorensen, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Flibe Energy, a start-up company formed to “develop small modular reactors based on liquid-fluoride thorium reactor […]

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The Atomic Show #184 – Kirk Sorensen, Co-Founder Flibe Energy

Kirk Sorensen is the co-founder and chief technologist of Flibe Energy. He is a member of a tiny club of people who can honestly claim to be atomic entrepreneurs. He is a brilliant man – one of the few people who has been both a rocket scientist and a nuclear engineer. Kirk is best known […]

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Atomic Show #183 – Arjun Makhijani Explains Carbon Free, Nuclear Free Strategy

Dr. Arjun Makhijani has been fighting against the use of nuclear fission energy since his college days in the late 1960s. He was influenced by Professor Thomas Pigford at the University of California, Berkeley who lectured on the need to build 1000 nuclear reactors because using fission was better than depending on coal. After hearing […]

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Atomic Show #182 – 53 Weeks after Fukushima

The last two episodes of the Atomic Show have been conversations with people who responded to the events of Fukushima by sharing accurate information in as many venues as they could reach. Three people who I really wanted to include in those conversations were unable to participate, so I asked them to gather on March […]

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Atomic Show #181 – The Year After Fukushima (Part 2)

There was so much to talk about regarding the way that the world responded to the great north east Japan earthquake and tsunami – and the subsequent damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station that I gathered a second group of people in the evening of Sunday March 11, 2012. This group included Will […]

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Atomic Show #180 – The Year After Fukushima (Part 1)

One year ago today, one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history occurred less than 100 miles off of the north east coast of Japan. About 30-40 minutes later, a series of 7 tsunamis (tidal waves) decimated a large section of the coast, washing over numerous engineered barriers. The waves destroyed homes, factories, bridges, roads, […]

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