1. IDaho Samizdat reports that the Nuclear Fabrication Consortium (NFC) will be holding a two-day meeting in Cleveland Sept 20-21.
Dan Yurman will be covering the conference for Fuel Cycle Week. On his blog is an edited version of his coverage in last week’s issue of the Consortium’s work on welding, nuclear fuel bundle cladding and more information about the conference. The American Nuclear Society listed over 900 firms that manufacture components for nuclear reactors
Nuclear supply chain trade group works fabrication issues
Getting stuff out the door to build new reactors takes innovation as well as hard work
Nate Ames, Technical Director of the organization based in Columbus, OH, told FCW in a telephone interview NFC was established to independently develop fabrication approaches and data that support the establishment of a vibrant US nuclear industry.
“Our goal is for the American nuclear supply chain to compete successfully on the global stage by enabling more cost-effective and reliable nuclear power in a carbon constrained environment.”
“Our members include the most influential OEMs, suppliers, and innovators in the nuclear industry.” According to the NFC’s web site, members include Areva, B&W, Nucor, and Westinghouse; as well as 16 others.
Renewable energy plans all forecast large renewable energy shortfalls in meeting consumer energy demands. These plans fall back on energy efficiency to bridge the gap between consumer energy demands and and limited renewable generating capacity. A postulate of classic economic theory, Jevons paradox, maintains that increased energy efficiency leads to increased energy use. Nuclear power generation offers the only way out of the renewables energy gap, and in particular Molten Salt Reactor technology offers a highly scalable, low cost and safe solution to a rapid deployment of the nuclear energy gap solution.
Mr. Wellinghoff of the FERC famously said “I think baseload capacity is going to become an anachronism. Baseload capacity really used to only mean in an economic dispatch, which you dispatch first, what would be the cheapest thing to do.” Since then the debate between those that believe baseload is, for the foreseeable future, required and those that believe, like Mr. Wellinghoff that baseload is an anachronism of the 20th century. In fact, recently a paper published by an economist at Duke University claims that North Carolina (apparently serving as a proxy for the entire country) does not require any baseload capacity and that wind and solar can pretty much take care of everything.
Former American Nuclear Society President Gail Marcus has just finished a book — Nuclear Firsts: Milestones on the Road to Nuclear Power Development — that chronicles the history of nuclear power through the stories of the milestones in the development and deployment of the technology. Looking backward can illuminate the path forward as well, and some of the key messages that she took from my review of history are relevant to the on-going discussions about the future of nuclear power are distilled in this post.
5. Yes Vermont Yankee has A post about politics in Vermont. Peter Shumlin is running for Governor of Vermont. His opponent seems to be Vermont Yankee power plant.
When Shell Oil Company, the Sierra Club, the Cato Institute, the Rocky Mountain Institute, Exelon, and ExxonMobil (among many other strange bedfellows) all agree on the “best” source of new energy that is not really a source at all, Rod Adams gets suspicious of the underlying motives. Is the only needed solution to our energy supply challenges using what we already have more efficiently, or is that just a good reason to stop trying to replace our current sources – and suppliers?
7. Nuclear reactors are the main ways to approach or exceed high density 1 kg/kw power sources, which would enable VASIMR rocket to get to Mars in 39 days.
Molten Salt Fast Reactor would take about 50 kg of plutonium and get to about 3 kg/kw.
Uranium nitride reactors are funded and being commercially developed for 2013-2018 and could get to 2-3 kg/kw.
Vapor Core Reactors have a bunch of academic study and are expected to achieve 0.3-1 kg/kw.
Stretched lens solar arrays could go from 3kg/kw to 1kg/kw.
A proposed strontium 90 beta decay thermophotovoltaic system could achieve 10kg/kw and better photovoltaics and other improvements might enable about 5kg/kw
8. Hyperion Power Generation signed a memorandum of understanding with the Savannah River National Laboratory Thursday to build the first demonstration reactor at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Hyperion is developing a 25-MW fast reactor that uses uranium nitride fuel and lead bismuth eutectic coolant. Hyperion power generation wants to factory mass produce these reactors and to eventually build hundreds each year. Hyperion Power Generation has leters of intent with several other international companies. The parties aim to build an operational prototype by 2017 or 2018,
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