The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) recently released a report entitled “Life Cycle Assessment of Electricity Generation Options” (UNECE Report; Report).  The report analyzes the environmental profiles of the full lifecycle of various technologies in order to evaluate their “all in” environmental costs—such as greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), human toxicity, water use, and other environmental and health metrics of different electricity sources—including wind, solar, coal, gas, hydro, and nuclear. In a finding that may be very surprising to many, but likely not to those in the nuclear field, nuclear had some of the smallest impacts on the environment out of all the electricity sources analyzed.

Click here to read the entire article.
 

The Strategic Capabilities Office is considering engineering designs by BWXT Advanced Technologies, LLC, and X-energy, LLC. One design will be selected and announced this spring.

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon today announced that Idaho National Labs will build and initially operate a type of mobile “nuclear microreactor” designed to help power its ever-more-electrified military machine.

Project Pele, a project under the Strategic Capabilities Office, will be the first electricity-generating Generation IV nuclear reactor built in the US, following Chinese success in the field last year. The US version is designed to deliver one to five megawatts of electrical power for a minimum of three years, according to the press release.

Read the entire article at breakingdefense.com

 

(There isn't a threat from Ukraine's nuclear power plants.)

...a podcast from https://www.decouplepodcast.org with host Jesse Freeston at jessefreeston.com

How dangerous are Ukraine's nuclear power plants? Could our wartime atomic fears be critically misplaced? Jesse watches WAY too much coverage of the fighting around Ukraine's reactors and speaks to some proper experts about what he sees.

Some of the topics covered:

  • Could Ukraine's Current Reactors Explode Like Chernobyl?
  • Health Effects of Chernobyl
  • Radioactive Cloud Over Europe? 
  • Could We See Another Fukushima?

Watch the podcast at Decouple STUDIOS

 

...with Dr. Chris Keefer and Kalev Kallemets, Mar 6, 2022

Dr. Keefer is an Emergency Medicine physician, pro-nuclear activist, the senior editor of Decouple Media, and host of the Decouple podcast.

Kalev Kallemets, CEO of Fermi Energia, joins Dr. Keefer to reflect on energy, geopolitics, and SMRs in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Recorded on February 24, 2022. The current geopolitical situation with Russia and Ukraine is fast-moving, and this interview does not reflect the most recent developments.

Click here to listen to the podcast at Decouplemedia.org

Click here to read the transcript

 

Investing in the next generation of nuclear reactors could give the world an important tool for reducing carbon emissions.

As the world’s climate continues to warm, more than 50 nations have pledged to achieve “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury. That means producing radically lower levels of these gases in the decades ahead while removing from the atmosphere the equivalent of what we do produce.

Click here to read the article at The Wallstreet Journal

Ron Gester, a co-founder and board member of SCGI, has been researching and writing about the need for nuclear energy in our fight against climate change and global poverty for many years. In his most recent paper, he shares his personal journey with hopes of reaching those who are opposed or not yet informed. It distills years of research into a compelling story and a thoroughly documented resource.

Excerpts:

"I was alarmed by the spread of wind turbines and solar panels. Ridgelines and seascapes were becoming industrialized, fields were being fenced off to protect panels, trees were being cut down because they cast shadows … and the transition was just in its infancy."

"I concluded that nuclear “waste” was, in fact, a massive energy resource that will probably benefit future generations."

"I learned that ionizing radiation was a relatively weak carcinogen [1,2] and my heightened fear of it was the result of fiction, marketing, and cold-war propaganda. [3] Nuclear energy ranked among the safest (per TWh) and cleanest (per GWh) forms of energy. [4]"


Why I Changed My Mind

Ron Gester, retired geologist and physician                                                                                                    August 2021

In the 1970s, I marched in opposition to nuclear power plants. In 2008, I began to realize that I knew a lot about nuclear energy … that just wasn’t true. When I discovered how wrong I had been, I became obsessed with the quality of my information. I wanted to promote options for fighting climate change and global poverty that were supported by rigorous science and math. David MacKay’s book, Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air, showed how. [1] After much effort, I concluded that nuclear energy was one of those options – perhaps the most important one – since clean energy is essential for fighting both climate change and global poverty. I realized that while other forms of clean energy were important, they would not be sufficient. What follows is a summary of why I changed my mind.

Click here to read the entire article.

Generation IV nuclear reactors are being developed through an international cooperation of 14 countries—including the United States.

The U.S. Department of Energy and its national labs are supporting research and development on a wide range of new advanced reactor technologies that could be a game-changer for the nuclear industry. These innovative systems are expected to be cleaner, safer, and more efficient than previous generations.

  • Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor
  • Very High-Temperature Reactor
  • Molten Salt Reactor

Click here to read about them...

Advanced nuclear technologies can propel the world toward our climate goals by providing affordable, zero-carbon electricity and heat; supporting the growth of renewable energy sources; and supplying clean energy for water desalination, hydrogen production, and other processes that will be vital in creating a low-carbon economy.

Read the entire article at www.thirdway.org

Today, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, urged President Biden to preserve the United States’ civil nuclear fleet and prevent further plant closures. Chairman Manchin also highlighted that nuclear energy is critical to providing a reliable power grid, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing climate change.

letter from manchin to biden 2021 04 20


 

By Dennis Normile

One evening in June 2011, Masaharu Tsubokura went to bed and found he couldn’t close his left eye. His face was paralyzed, and for a few weeks the doctor who had spent months counseling residents displaced by a massive nuclear disaster was himself a patient.

The paralysis was temporary. But the stress that caused it has been a constant in Tsubokura’s life since he volunteered in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, days after the triple catastrophe that rocked it on 11 March 2011: a magnitude 9 earthquake, a tsunami that rose up to 40 meters, and multiple meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. What was meant to be a short volunteer stint giving health checks to evacuees became a career that has lasted 10 years and counting.

Read the article at sciencemag.org

By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow for The New Yorker
February 19, 2021

"One of the county’s major employers was the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, situated on the coastline outside the city. Jobs there were stable and well-paying. But Diablo Canyon is a nuclear facility—it consists of two reactors, each contained inside a giant concrete dome—and Hoff, like many people, was suspicious of nuclear power . . .

She considered herself an environmentalist and took it for granted that environmentalism and nuclear power were at odds."

Click to read the article at The New Yorker

 

by Llewellyn King at forbes.com

If you want to design a car, there are certain constants like four wheels. And for a car, you can draw on millions of design hours that are readily accessible, and trillions of years of operating experience.

If you want to design a nuclear reactor, there are almost no limitations. In fact, there are a mind-boggling number of design possibilities.

Hundreds of reactor designs have made it onto paper and the constants are few. You’ll need a fissile fuel, or a fertile fuel element with a fissile trigger, but otherwise there are no limits. Not all that is known about reactor design is accessible because it is either proprietary or classified.

The reactor fuel, the moderator, the size, the operating characteristics are all wide-open choices. More: For each reactor type, there are huge variations. Choosing an optimum design going forward is the challenge.

Click here to read the entire article at forbes.com

Leaders of World Nuclear Association working groups participated in a webinar yesterday to highlight some of the issues of key importance to the global nuclear industry. These include harmonisation in reactor licensing; energy market design; safety regulation; and, new applications of nuclear energy. The Industry Gamechangers webinar was a pre-event to the Association's Strategic eForum to be held next week.

Click here to read the article at World Nuclear News

How can humanity deal with the dual challenges of climate change and the soaring demand for energy in developing countries? Tom ThorCon Floating Nuclear PlantRussia's first floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, being moved to its shoreside berthBlees, president of the Science Council for Global Initiatives, a member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, has answers to these questions. A very different energy transition is about to take place globally. Details are in his article.

The founders of a nuclear power startup company called ThorCon have abundant experience in designing and building some of the biggest ships in the world. They realized that molten salt nuclear reactor technology was compatible with the construction techniques used in state-of-the-art shipyards. So why not build complete floating power plants using the latest shipyard building methods and technologies? Such vessels could be self-contained and ready to connect to the power grid in any country. Quality control and cost control could be assured, as would the rapid construction time. The size of the ship necessary to house a fully functional 500MW or 1,000MW power plant would be considerably smaller than ships they've previously built.

by Conley & Maloney @ TEAC8

Roadmaptonowhere.com was created by Mike Conley and Timothy Maloney in response to mistakes they've found in Mark Z. Jacobson's 100% Renewables proposal. This presentation ( and Roadmaptonowhere.com) also incorporate errors uncovered by 21 leading experts in energy research, as they reviewed Jacobson's plan. See blog at Scientific American

Watch the video.

Jan. 15, 2020 - Author and environmental activist Michael Shellenberger makes his case to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Tech.

See the video.

Read the transcript.

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