Carnival of Nuclear Energy 244

1. Northwest Celan Energy – Cybersecurity at Columbia Generating Station

Here comes the movie “Blackhat” to scare people about cybersecurity at nuclear plants! But before we all join the Hollywood-inflicted panic, Dean Kovacs of Energy Northwest Information Services describes some (but not all, of course) of the cybersecurity measures in place at Columbia Generating Station.

2. Northwest Clean Energy – Used nuclear fuel storage in perspective

This blog post by John Dobken compares the current storage area for spent fuel at Columbia Generating Station with the size of a neighborhood convenience store. The convenience store has a bigger footprint. We throw kitchen garbage in a waste bin in the kitchen, but the food we cook is safe and wholesome and uncontaminated. Similar but stronger reasoning shows the safety of dry casks on a nuclear site.

3. Atomic Insights – What We’re Told About Climate Change Versus What We’re Told About Genetic Effects of Radiation

There are numerous similarities between the AAAS document titled What We Know: The Reality, Risk and Response to Climate Change and the National Academy of Sciences 1956 document titled Genetics Committee Report Concerning Effects of Radioactivity on Heredity, one of six sections of the Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation.

4. Forbes – Rooftop Solar Shines Light On Bad Business Practices

Consumers, State Attorney Generals and members of Congress have raised concerns that rooftop solar leasing companies are using deceptive marketing practices that overstate cost savings in order to get homeowners to buy their products, similar to what happened with the subprime mortgage crisis. Fortunately, serious companies exist that provide the true pros and cons of these systems in an overall long-term energy strategy that includes various technologies and strategies to fit the customers needs, often not pushing rooftop arrays at all.

On January 19, the workforce at Vermont Yankee will be cut almost in half. On January 20, 240 fewer people will have jobs at Vermont Yankee. Some of those people are retiring or being transferred to other Entergy plants. Nevertheless, Friday January 16 (the final day for many people) was a sad day all around. Two blog posts at Yes Vermont Yankee describe and comment on this event.

5. Yes Vermont Yankee – Timeline, Layoffs and an Insult

Yes Vermont Yankee describes the layoff timeline, and how many people are taking new jobs at other plants. The post includes blogger Meredith answering an anti-nuclear blogger who described her and other bloggers as “hysterically ballistic” about the plant closing.

6. Yes Vermont Yankee – Video of Interviews with Vermont Yankee People

Entergy put together a short video of Vermont Yankee employees interviewing other employees on the last day of plant operation. It was a well-run plant where people worked together. You can hear and see the employees in this video.

7. Nextbigfuture – Cigar Lake to produce 3000-4000 tons of Uranium in 2015 Cameco expects that the Cigar Lake mine will produce between 6 and 8 million pounds of uranium oxide (2308 to 3077 tU) this year. The mine produced 340,000 pounds U3O8 in 2014, its first year of operations. Production is expected to ramp up to 8,200 t/yr U3O8 (7,000 tU/yr) over four years from late 2014.

8. Nextbigfuture – Production of 300,000 fuel pebbles per year will start in August as China prepare factory mass produced nuclear reactors

China’s Institute for Nuclear and New Energy Technology (INET) at Tsinghua University has conducted research on HTGR fuel element technology over the past 30 years. It developed a trial production line with an annual capacity of 100,000 spherical fuel elements. However, INET requires qualification of its fuel to support licensing of the HTR-PM reactor systems.

The construction of a pilot production line for fuel elements for the Shidaowan HTR-PM is nearing completion in Baotou, Inner Mongolia. The production line will have an annual capacity of 300,000 fuel elements. It is expected to be commissioned in August.