The latest crowd sourced blog post at ANS Nuclear Cafe brings readers a series of very special historical objects, papers, and other pieces of the past of nuclear energy — as depicted in personal descriptions and stories told by their owners…
2. NEI submissions:
Biomass is, literally, the biggest flaming crock in the energy business. The world is deciding between harnessing the energy of the atom, developed by the smartest minds of the modern age (like Einstein), and reverting to the technology of a caveman.
Rebecca Smith asked an interesting question in a recent Wall Street Journal article titled Can Gas Undo Nuclear Power? She describes how financial analysts are wondering whether or not certain nuclear plants are at risk of being shuttered as being uneconomical in an era of cheap natural gas.
It is a legitimate question for people who have a shallow understanding of the way that markets work. However, people who understand a little more and think about the long game might want to ask the question in a different way – Should gas be purposely enabled to undo nuclear power? It might even be useful to ask a related question – What can nuclear energy fans do to change the game and encourage owners to keep their plants running?
In an update on the Energy Education Project status, Meredith Angwin announces the Vermont Energy Land Use Report. This new initiative will describe the land-use consequences of Vermont’s “90% renewable” energy plan. What does this plan mean for our mountains and forests?
Evan Twarog, age 15, explains how Vermont Yankee electricity is Proudly Made in America. (reprint of a letter to the editor that appeared in many local newspapers.)
(Feb. 2, 2013) Japan Believes America Has the Better Regulatory Mouse-trap – Over the past two weeks, Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority has revealed the specifics of their proposed new rules for nukes. The NRA says they are using America’s NRC as their model of change – and by all accounts they are doing exactly that. Even with its warts and wrinkles, the US NRC is the better regulatory mouse-trap.
(Jan. 28, 2013) Japan’s Radiation Standards Strangle TEPCO – Tepco says they will eventually run out of room for low-level waste water storage tanks, thus releases are inevitable. Tepco says they will not make the discharge until the waters meet all Japanese radiological standards. Because of Tokyo’s overly-restrictive track record on setting radiological limits, Tepco may as well be waiting for pigs to grow wings.
14. Nextbigfuture – Japan can cut its power costs by 30 percent if it restarts at least half the country’s 50 nuclear reactors by 2014, a government adviser said. The savings would amount to 1.8 trillion yen ($20.3 billion), the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, a Tokyo- based research group known as IEEJ, said in report posted today on its website. The country paid an estimated 6 trillion yen last year for its liquefied natural gas imports, twice as much as the year before, Yukio Edano, the country’s former trade and industry minister, said at a conference in September.
15. Nextbigfuture – Unit 1 of the Hongyanhe plant in Liaoning province in northeast China has moved closer to commissioning by achieving a sustained chain reaction. The 1080 MWe reactor achieved first criticality on 16 January, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co (CGNPC) and China Power Investment Corp (CPI) reported. China’s restarted nuclear program will unfurl more slowly than had originally been planned, with a less ambitious target (only 130-140 gigawatts of installed capacity now seem likely by 2030). The officials have cancelled projects located in inland regions prone to earthquakes and short of water, and are increasing training for operators and funding for regulators.
16. Nextbigfuture – Operation Unthinkable was a code-name of two related plans of a conflict between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. Both were ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff at the end of World War II in Europe.
The first of the two assumed a surprise attack on the Soviet forces stationed in Germany in order to “impose the will of the Western Allies” on the Soviets and force Joseph Stalin to honour the agreements in regards to the future of Central Europe. When the odds were judged “fanciful”, the original plan was abandoned. The code-name was used instead for a defensive scenario, in which the British were to defend against a Soviet drive towards the North Sea and the Atlantic following the withdrawal of the American forces from the continent.
Southern California Edison has released the information that it has begun to respond to numerous RAI’s (Request for Additional Information) pursuant to the Confirmatory Action Letter covering tube degradation at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The press release and numerous background links provide information enough for anyone, novice or expert, to get up to speed on the issues at hand and possible remedies.