Carnival of Nuclear Energy 258

1. Yes Vermont Yankee Blog: Atoms Not Dams: Surprising Facts for Earth Day.

Noting Jim Conca’s post on the biggest power plants (by electricity produced, not by nameplate), I note that Vermont Yankee was a bigger power plant (produced more power per year) than Hoover Dam. Every Day is Earth Day when you support nuclear energy! Blog post by Meredith Angwin.

2. At Northwest Clean Energy Blog -Ecomodernism–a fresh approach to thinking about the environment

The “Ecomodernist Manifesto” and a recent New Yorker article by Jonathan Franzen both look at the balance of addressing climate change versus saving ecologies that exist today. The “Ecomodernist Manifesto” forms a more upbeat conclusion: with dense clean energy sources, such as nuclear and advanced solar, we can have vibrant ecologies, a healthy planet, and healthy people. (Franzen doesn’t even mention nuclear as an option.) Blog post by Meredith Angwin.

3. At Northwest Clean Energy Blog – Three years on, uranium fuel transaction continues to yield Northwest ratepayer savings

Because of volatility and price risk, Energy Northwest (EN) avoids spot market purchases of nuclear fuel. Three years ago, EN made a long-term fuel purchase. The purchase saved millions for ratepayers. EN paid approximately $65 million for fuel that would cost $256 million on today’s spot market. Blog post by John Dobken.

4. Dan Yurman – Neutron Bytes – US boosts nuclear energy in Asia while neglecting it at home

A paradox of the Obama administration is that this week it inked major new relationships with nuclear energy powers in Asia while continuing its neglect of the use of nuclear energy at home. The two key developments are a revision to the US treaty with South Korea on nuclear energy and a presidential notice of a proposed 123 agreement between the US and China on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

5. ANS Nuclear Cafe: “Hope for Nuclear Regulatory Reform?”

Jim Hopf describes progress in, and further ideas for progress towards, reforms in the regulation of nuclear energy in the United States that could lead to all-around improvements for the nuclear industry. Specifically, Hopf points out Senator Lamar Alexander’s desire to cut down on unnecessary regulations throughout the government.

6. World Nuclear News – “An Unsung Hero Makes its Last Voyage” by Will Davis

Will Davis looks at the life of the nuclear power barge STURGIS in a piece specially written for World Nuclear News, and wonders if the final days of the STURGIS also herald the arrival of the promise it originally extended four decades ago.

7. Forbes James Conca – Captain Kirk Wants To Beam Down Water For California’s MegaDrought

The former Captain James T. Kirk wants to crowdfund a water pipeline from Seattle down to Lake Mead in Nevada to fix California’s megadrought. That’s a bad idea. It’s cheaper and better to build desalination plants. They produce drinking water at a cost of less than a tenth of a cent per gallon. The power requirement to desalinate seawater for a family of four is about the same as the total power consumption of their refrigerator. Thirty desalination plants would cost the same as what is being raised for a pipeline and would produce a billion gallons of freshwater a day.

8. Nextbigfuture – there is a proposal to construct two 600 MWe high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTRs) at Ruijin city in China’s Jiangxi province has passed a preliminary feasibility review, China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC) recently announced.

The Jiangxi provincial development and reform commission has already given the go-ahead to begin preliminary work at Ruijin and construction of the reactors is expected to start in 2017, with grid connection in 2021

The design of the Ruijin HTRs is based on the smaller demonstration HTR-PM under construction at Shidaowan near Weihai city in Shandong province. That plant will initially comprise twin HTR-PM reactor modules driving a single 210 MWe steam turbine. Construction started in late 2012. CNEC said civil construction work on the HTR-PM is nearing completion and equipment installation would soon begin. The demonstration unit is scheduled to start commercial operation in late 2017.

Pebble bed reactors should be walk away safe, because the pebbles can handle 2000 degrees and protect the fuel from meltdown.

9. Forbes James Conca – What Do You Have To DO To Become THE World Power?

China is set to become THE world power by repeating what America did in the 1950s and 60s – install a TW of electricity generation, construct the world’s largest manufacturing base, develop a robust space program and an exceptional intelligence network, gain overwhelming economic and political influence over your neighbors, build schools, bridges, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure to cover at least 80% of your population, assemble a high-tech conventional military that exceeds all others, and build a nuclear arsenal that has merely adequate first-strike capability to deter interference.