• Tue, Apr 10 2018

    Atomic fission technology is a terrible candidate for a “do not resuscitate” order. Antinuclear groups MUST not be granted right to put one in place

    I’m going to beg forgiveness and literary license for the following extended, potentially inappropriate, and perhaps too personal metaphor. For several weeks, I’ve been struggling with finding my “voice” in dealing with current events related to the U.S. electricity production system. As part of my healing process, I went on a several day long reading binge that included some ...read more
    • Mon, Apr 2 2018

    Is America’s vaunted electricity supply system on course for rocks and shoals?

    Late last week, while many observers were focused on a long weekend of religious celebrations with friends and families, there were several announcements made in the slowly developing crisis in the American electricity supply system. Operators of a number of several large power plants with the ability to produce electricity night and day, wind or calm, pipeline or no pipeline, declared that they ...read more
    • Thu, Mar 29 2018

    I apologize for falling for a dirty trick that might have been planted by an oil and gas lobbyist

    Though I take some pride in my critical reading skills and resistance to getting snookered by scam stories, I fell for a doozy yesterday. Unfortunately, I ended up propagating what might have been a clever ruse designed to paint nuclear energy advocacy in a bad light. It’s a story worth telling after I apologize profusely for the disinformation I shared. Here’s the short version. A muckraking ...read mo...
    • Wed, Mar 7 2018

    Michael Shellenberger. Independent thinker. Lifelong Democrat. Trying to take back California from “country club” Establishment

    Led by Michael Shellenberger, pro-nuclear environmentalists celebrate NYPSC decision to create Zero Emission Credit program for upstate nuclear California, an enormously populous and wealthy state with an outsized impact on the culture, economy and politics of the United States, has a gubernatorial election this year. Jerry Brown, who has served a total of four terms and is the son of a former two ...read more
    • Wed, Feb 28 2018

    Deep state actors at OMB turn DOE leaders into red-faced liars. Cannot revive, revitalize and expand nuclear energy with 25% less money

    Mark Menezes, the Undersecretary of Energy at the Department of Energy, gave an optimistic, forward-looking, audience-flattering, stage-setting talk at the Advanced Reactor Technical Summit. At least five times during his 10-minute talk, he repeated various combinations of a phrase – “revive, revitalize and expand” – that is apparently the mantra that the Administration has chosen to describe ...read more
    • Tue, Feb 27 2018

    Advanced nuclear energy systems are ready for investors who seek ground floor opportunities

    Last week, the Nuclear Infrastructure Council hosted its 5th annual Advanced Reactor Technical Summit. The agenda was packed; information and ideas came rapidly enough to inspire significant post-event reflection. One question worth of significant additional discussion is “How do we match the ingenuity and enthusiasm of atomic innovators with the large magnitude financing sources needed to advance ...read more
    • Sat, Feb 24 2018

    Time to Re-examine Alternatives for Plutonium Disposition – Dr. Peter Lyons explains why dilute and dispose is wasteful and unworkable

    By Peter Lyons Somewhere in Russia, 34 tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium—enough material to make about 10,000 weapons—are awaiting disposal. Moscow was supposed to start destroying this stockpile, but has yet to start, leaving a huge threat lurking in an unknown location. If even a tiny fraction of this material fell into terrorists’ hands, they could threaten nuclear terrorism around the world ...read more
    • Fri, Feb 23 2018

    Optimism, pessimism, realism and everything in between before the official start of the Advanced Reactor Technical Summit V

    I’ll start with a thank you and a congratulations to the Nuclear Infrastructure Council, David Blee, Caleb Ward and all supporting staff for assembling a great cast of attendees and speakers at the fifth annual Advanced Reactor Technical Summit. The event was a high quality, well run and skillfully moderated affair that provided valuable learning experiences and excellent networking opportunities ...read more
    • Wed, Feb 21 2018

    Career OMB employees sabotaging Trump’s quest for energy dominance

    For now, I’m going to leave all names out of this piece of hearsay. Please believe me when I say that my sources are good and varied. Throughout his campaign, President Trump ran on the slogan “Make America Great Again.” That inspired many to attend his rallies and probably convinced many to vote for him. Within the shrinking nuclear energy industry, there was hope that the new Administration would ...read more
    • Mon, Feb 12 2018

    Atomic Show #262 – New thinking about nuclear energy

    It’s time – or way past time – to think and talk about nuclear energy in new ways, recognizing the importance of the topic for the future health and prosperity of humanity. This show includes 5 forward leaning thought leaders in atomic energy. All of them are optimistic about nuclear’s future, often driven by their acceptance of the fact that abundant clean energy isn’t possible ...read more
    • Sat, Feb 10 2018

    Rep Shimkus, a conservative market proponent, recognizes that “the waste issue” imposes a financial risk and cost on nuclear energy

    During a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing titled DOE Modernization: Advancing the Economic and National Security Benefits of America’s Nuclear Infrastructure there was an important exchange between Rep. Shimkus (R-IL) and Maria Korsnick, President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute. So you don’t have to scroll through 4 hours of video, I extracted the specific clip for ...read more
    • Thu, Feb 8 2018

    Reminder to DOE and Congress – US has a world beating Fast Flux Test Facility sitting idle in eastern Washington

    Photo credit: Wikipedia credited to U.S. DOE and in public domain. Note: The below is an updated version of a post first published in March 2017. Since DOE is preparing for its revised FY2019 budget submission and Congress is already holding hearings about DOE priorities , the subject of a fast neutron facility has reentered the advanced nuclear energy conversation. There is a known gap in fast ...read more
    • Sun, Feb 4 2018

    Atomic fission offers a path that addresses climate change without making ugly tradeoffs

    Atomic fission is an abundant, natural source of heat from materials that have few competing uses. The heat released by completely fissioning actinide source materials like uranium, thorium or plutonium is 1-10 million times as much as burning the same mass of typical combustible materials. That energy dense fuel reduces the complexity and operational importance of a continuous fuel delivery infrastructure ...read ...
    • Fri, Jan 26 2018

    Performance of the New England power grid during extreme cold Dec 25-Jan 8

    The Independent System Operator for the New England power grid (ISO-NE) has produced a summary brief describing the challenges associated with Arctic Outbreak 2017-2018, a period of substantially below normal temperatures that lasted from Dec.25, 2017 until Jan. 8, 2018. After describing the intensity of the cold wave with a number of graphs, charts, images and words, the brief made the following ...read more
    • Wed, Jan 10 2018

    NuScale announces a major step in the NRC’s review of its passively safe SMR

    NuScale, a leader in the increasingly competitive field of advanced nuclear reactor design, has announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reviewers issued a document that formally agrees that their design does not require any electrical power to achieve safe shutdown. It’s difficult to explain the importance of that regulatory position. People with experience in the costly hurdles ...read more
    • Mon, Jan 8 2018

    Urenco, Bruce Power Sign MOU To Develop U-Battery for Canada

    Urenco, Bruce Power and AMEC NSS Limited recently announced that they had signed an MOU to cooperate in the design, licensing and development of Urenco’s U-Battery micro nuclear system for the Canadian electricity and heat market. The U-Battery contains a 10 MWth nuclear heat source that can be configured to produce either 4 MWe plus useful heat in a cogeneration mode or process heat at a delivery ...read more
    • Fri, Jan 5 2018

    Will the U.S cold wave help solve OPEC’s oil inventory hangover?

    ISO New England Fuel Mix Jan 5, 2018 05:33 Since 2014, investor-focused publications have used terms like ‘ awash in oil ’, ‘ oil glut ’ and even ‘ world is “drowning” in oil’ to describe the world’s stockpile of already extracted and stored inventory of crude oil. Similar phrases have also been occasionally used to describe inventories of various refined products like gasoline, distillate ...read more
    • Thu, Jan 4 2018

    Paying attention to energy discussions on Twitter

    I apologize for the virtual silence here over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been keeping up a fairly active presence on Twitter, posting short updates and getting involved in a few serious conversations as time allows. Even if you do not have a Twitter account, you can read my feed at https://twitter.com/Atomicrod?s=17 One topic that is keeping me up at night is the stress being put on the grid ...read more
    • Fri, Dec 22 2017

    Vogtle continuation decision tells me America still produces leaders that can make complicated, long-term decisions

    The Georgia Public Service Commission unanimously approved a plan to continue the Vogtle Expansion Project. Georgia Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Company, immediately accepted the deal contained in the plan and will continue moving forward with due diligence and effort. The announced decisions made me even more confident that there is strong leadership remaining in America, despite ...read more
    • Thu, Dec 21 2017

    Year-end support for energy industry research and information

    A number of you have recently made recurring payments to Atomic Insights. Thank you. Those payments give us the tools we need as we strive to increase our reach and provide unique insights into the energy world from an atomic perspective. If you’re not yet a regular contributor, please use the button below to make a non tax-deductible payment. You will be trading something of value to us — ...read more
    • Wed, Dec 20 2017

    Did the Republican tax reform bill add the last straw that halts large nuclear plant construction in U.S.

    Early this morning, Senate Republicans passed a tax reform package. Despite passing generous, deficit-increasing legislation that includes many provisions that favor corporations and most forms of energy production, it did not include an extension of the operational deadline that must be met to qualify for the nuclear production tax credit. In my analysis, there is a high probability that the failure ...read more
    • Mon, Dec 18 2017

    Atomic Show #261 – Three advanced nuclear technology developers

    Advanced nuclear development projects have made some significant steps during 2017. I met – via Skype – with representatives of three of the projects yesterday. Several more were invited, but were busy doing business even on a Sunday evening. The three who were able to attend were Seth Grae, the CEO of Lightbridge , Canon Bryant, the CFO of Terrestrial Energy , and Robert Hargraves a key player on ...read more
    • Fri, Dec 15 2017

    NERC 10-year grid reliability report contains nuanced warnings that many fail to understand

    Greentech Media recently published another article claiming that there is a new report that supports its contention that the NOPR – Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish a Grid Resilience Pricing Rule – Sec. of Energy Perry sent to FERC is misguided. I cannot help but wonder if the author read the report . If he did, I then have to wonder about his reading comprehension skills. It’s difficult ...read more
    • Tue, Dec 12 2017

    Why are many nuclear advocates turning against large scale wind and solar energy?

    On Friday, a well-respected energy industry observer posed an important question on Twitter . Michael Liebreich @MLiebreich Replying to @tder2012 @Daniel_W_See and 4 others Answer. The. Question: Why have you concluded that attacking cheap wind and solar is the best way to help nuclear? Please explain, because from where I sit it’s pretty darn clear: the more you thorium boys attack ...read more
    • Thu, Dec 7 2017

    Synergies between nuclear energy and coal

    Some recent converts to nuclear energy advocacy are offended and confused by the fact that nuclear energy and coal have been lumped together in the Department of Energy’s recent effort to return profitable conditions to established power plants that do not depend on favorable weather or just-in-time natural gas fuel delivery. A segment of the offended advocates were initially stimulated to learn ...read more