Carnival of Nuclear Energy 223

1. From ANS Nuclear Cafe – Unintended Anti-Nuclear Consequences Lurking in the EPA Clean Power Plan” by Remy Devoe

A detailed analysis of the U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan indicates that 15 states are incentivized to shut down all their nuclear units and replace them with carbon-intensive natural gas. This would be a most detrimental consequence — but the comment period on the EPA carbon rule is open until October 16th and nuclear experts and advocates are urged to comment

2. ANS Nuclear Cafe – Proposed Revisions to Nuclear Plant Release/Public Exposure Regulations: ANS Response to EPA” by Jim Hopf

In January the U.S. EPA proposed reviewing its regulations on public radiation exposure limits from nuclear power plant operations – Jim Hopf examines the American Nuclear Society’s response, and his own.

3. NewsOK – Professional Engineering Licensure and Safety by Robert Hayes.

A short review of why a professional engineering licensure is important for public safety.

Every state in the union has safety requirements for engineered systems relied upon for public safety. This ranges from medical practitioners and water distribution to the design of bridges and mines.

One of the ways public safety is enforced is by requiring engineered systems to be overseen and approved by at least one state licensed professional engineer (PE). Obtaining licensure from the state as a professional engineer is not a trivial task and is typically not obtained even by those having a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

4. Atomic Show #220 – Atoms for California

Andrew Benson introduced himself as a “lowly energy analyst” at the California Energy Commission. He has decided that California needs more nuclear energy and needs some people to dedicate themselves to spreading that word. He has started a blog titled Atoms for California and a Twitter feed at with a terrific photo of San Onofre in the background. Andrew’s father has been a senior reactor operator at San Onofre for more than 30 years. SCE’s surprise decision to close the plant was one of the catalysts for Andrew’s decision to take action.

He is 22 years old.

5. From Atomic Insights – Esso Italiana paid political parties for specific “corporate objectives” including oil instead of nuclear

In 1972, an Exxon internal audit disclosed that Esso Italiana, Exxon’s Italian subsidiary, had been making payments to Italian political parties that were tied by amount to specific corporate objectives. One of the objectives that was listed on documents seized by Italian authorities was halting nuclear energy development in Italy in favor of burning more oil in electrical power plants.

6. Nextbigfuture – China’s pebble bed nuclear reactor gets a prototype helium fan

A prototype helium fan for use in China’s HTR-PM high-temperature gas-cooled reactor has successfully completed testing. A demonstration plant based on twin HTR-PM units is currently under construction at Shidaowan, Shandong province.

The purpose of the helium fan can be compared to that of the main circulation pump in a pressurized water reactor: to provide sufficient flow of coolant during the reactor’s start-up, operation and shut down to take away the heat generated by the reactor core. The HTR-PM features pebble bed fuel and helium coolant.

The demonstration plant’s twin HTR-PM units will drive a single 210 MWe turbine. It is expected to begin operating around 2017. Eighteen further units are proposed for the Shidaowan site, near Rongcheng in Weihai city.

7. Nextbigfuture – UPower technology enables an always on, container-sized, truly carbon-free and emission-free nano-nuclear battery for remote and distributed generation where energy costs can exceed 30 cents/kWh, and power is needed 24/7. The generator is a containerized unit that provides over a decade of energy without refueling, and can generate electricity for 40% less than competing technologies in these markets. The UPower generator is powered by a unique compact, solid state, micro reactor that produces over 1 MW and can cogenerate process heat.

The key to the UPower strategy is its truly modular technology which enables the ultimate in lean development and in lean manufacturing. For this reason, UPower will have development costs on the order of 1/50th the size of other “small” nuclear technologies.

UPower has been funded by Ycombinator.

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