1. I look forward to downloading and listening to the podcast. Margaret, Meredith, Will and Rod are sure to make for a good conversation.

    Regarding nuclear plant safety…Even though Fukushima didn’t result in any deaths, the damage to the plants and the radioactive contamination to the land around them makes for a good argument that inherently safe plants need to be developed which do not need emergency AC sources of power. Therefore, the following piece of news is somewhat disappointing. The Dept. of Energy is stopping its funding of SMR R&D at the Savannah River Site.


    1. This is bad news. And just when I thought that the USA was actually rather better than I feared on the stimulation of nuclear technology development. Or is that overstatement?

      1. @ Joris,

        There is plenty of capital to finance SMR R&D around the world. The US, Russia, China, France, South Korea are all in on it.

        The DOE financing is not an issue to me.

      2. @Joris,

        The DOE needs to stop pretending that it is the “Energy” department and come to terms with it being the nuclear weapon and national security department.

  2. “… a very bad event that destroys three formerly productive nuclear power units at an admittedly vulnerable site with insufficient preventive measures did not result in a single human injury any worse than a mild sunburn from exposure to radiation.”

    Your statement above misses a large part of what is wrong with nuclear power. The Fukushima accident is not just a sunburn as you imply:

    Expensive accident: >$500 billion
    Thousands of people evacuated from there homes: >100,000 people
    Thousands of businesses destroyed
    Huge area of Fukushima area land contaminated for years
    Japan was lucky the wind was blowing out to the ocean most of the time
    Japan was lucky that the radioactive liquids spilled into the deep ocean


  3. Ok, I have been shooting off my mouth about the ability of plants to Load follow and why that would make the LFTR a much better choice. I found out that ALL Nukes can load follow but that the NRC does not want the grid operators to directly control the Power output of a Nuke. Suddenly using a Molten Salt heat storage as the interface to the steam plants makes HUGE sense to me.

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