• Tue, Jul 25 2017

    Manish S. Shah – District Court Judge Northern Illinois In July 2017, District Court Judge Manish Shah , U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, handed a decisive victory to nuclear energy supporters and plant owners in a case that challenged Illinois’s right to choose the mix of fuels used to produce power inside its borders. The plaintiffs opposed the “Future Energy Jobs Act” ...read m...
    • Fri, Jul 21 2017

    Moon Jae-in Making Friends By Promising To Buy More Gas

    During his successful campaign to become South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in promised to dramatically increase South Korea’s natural gas consumption. Within weeks of taking office, he took several concrete steps towards fulfilling that promise. He announced the near-term closure of 10 coal plants, he allowed the operating license to expire as scheduled for South Korea’s oldest ...read more
    • Wed, Jul 12 2017

    There’s Less To Musk’s Big Australian Battery Deal Than Promotion Implies

    Tesla Inc. Powerpacks and inverters stand at the Southern California Edison Co. Mira Loma energy storage system facility in Ontario, California, U.S., on Thursday, June 1, 2017. The Mira Loma substation houses nearly 400 Tesla Powerpack units, produces 20 MW of electrical power and stores 80 MW-hrs of energy. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg It should surprise no one to learn that Elon Musk ...read more
    • Thu, Jul 6 2017

    Gas Interests Opposing U.S. Nuke Industry’s State-by-State Strategy

    Pro-Nuclear Campaigners The nuclear industry’s strategy of working in individual U.S. states to obtain support for financially stressed plants has stalled . Despite successfully implemented efforts in New York and Illinois to provide assistance that is narrowly targeted at a handful of especially vulnerable units, no other state has been able to get a support measure out of the discussion phase ...read more
    • Wed, Jul 5 2017

    Credibility of Influential Paper On ‘100% Renewables’ Challenged by Peer-Reviewed Critique

    A pernicious myth was forcefully attacked in June when the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper titled Evaluation of A Proposal for Reliable Low-Cost Grid Power with 100% Wind, Water, and Solar . The abstract of the new paper, which was developed during the past year by Christopher Clack and a team of 20 co-authors, includes the following clear challenge: “We find that ...read more
    • Mon, Jun 26 2017

    Do Natural Gas Interests Create Or Amplify Bad News About Nuclear Energy? Will They Continue To Push?

    “Don’t wait for a serious crisis to occur. Create one that can be more carefully controlled to your advantage.” Credit: Fictional natural gas futures trader whose last name might be Dulles or Bundy One of my favorite sources for natural gas industry news and opinions is RBN Energy LLC . Their blog is near the top of my reading list; the authors claim reached roughly 20,000 energy ...read more
    • Tue, Jun 20 2017

    Spent Fuel Pools Protect The Public. Don’t Believe Skeptics

    A two-page Policy Forum opinion piece titled Nuclear safety regulation in the post-Fukushima era: Flawed analyses underlie lax U.S. regulation of spent fuel by Edwin Lyman, Michael Schoeppner and Frank von Hippel appeared in the May 26, 2017 issue of Science Magazine , an outlet that has a public reputation as a reliable source of technical information. The authors admit in their final paragraph ...read more
    • Sat, Jun 10 2017

    Lightbridge Gaining Momentum In Drive to Commercialize Fuel

    Exploded view of Lightbridge fuel assembly. Image source: Lightbridge presentation I received a pleasant surprise near the end of May while performing a spot check of my modest portfolio of individual stocks. Lightbridge (NASDAQ: LTBR), a holding that hasn’t performed well for several years, had nearly doubled since my check a week before. Since then it has ratcheted up another 20% or so. My online ...read more
    • Wed, Jun 7 2017

    Atomic Insights is hosting a summer sleepover camp

    I apologize for the lack of recent articles. Since the last week in May, the headquarters of Atomic Insights has been hosting a family summer camp for three really happy and energetic children ranging in age from 2-7. During rare and short free time, I’ve been engaging on Twitter or moderating comments here, but finding the time to create new article content here has been difficult. I’ll ...read more
    • Tue, May 30 2017

    South Korea’s President-Elect Pledges ‘Nuclear Zero’ by 2060. Actions Have Already Begun

    Nuclear energy in the Republic of Korea is being threatened as a result of the May 9 presidential election of Moon Jae-in. Since at least 2012, when he suffered a narrow election defeat, Moon has advocated a halt to nuclear plant construction, prohibiting license extensions and achieving a “nuclear zero” policy by 2060. With the election behind him, Moon can expect support in the National Assembly ...read more
    • Wed, May 24 2017

    Nominations for NRC Commissioners

    Yesterday, the President announced his intent to fill two vacancies at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The White House press release names Annie Caputo, currently serving as senior policy advisor for Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to a seat with a term expiring June 30, 2021. As stated in the announcement, “Ms. Caputo has more than 20 ...read more
    • Thu, May 18 2017

    Challenging EPA’s legal authority set strict limits on low dose radiation

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been seeking input on regulations that should be repealed, replaced or modified. The comment window opened on April 13 and closed on May 15. In response to the request, members of Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information (SARI) prepared a document containing scientifically supported arguments for eliminating regulations that contain strict limits ...read more
    • Mon, May 15 2017

    Nuclear fear has been purposely created. It can be overcome

    Jon Talton of the Seattle Times published a piece in reaction to the recent kerfuffle about a structural collapse at an old, wooden beam-reinforced tunnel roof at the Hanford site in eastern Washington. The tunnel has been the storage location for equipment and obsolete components that were used several decades ago when the site was producing materials for the U.S. nuclear weapons program. The equipment ...read mor...
    • Mon, May 15 2017

    Commercial supplies of HALEU needed to enable advanced reactors

    Jake DeWitte and Caroline Cochrane, the cofounders of Oklo, a start up company that is developing a 1-2 MWe nuclear reactor-based power system for remote areas, have been credited with drawing attention to a problem that can be solved by a government policy decision. “Nearly all advanced reactors have a need for low enriched fuel greater than 5%,” Cochrane recently wrote in an email. Oklo is the ...read more
    • Mon, May 15 2017

    Nuclear Provisions of S. 512, Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA)

    The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA), S. 512 , is a draft bill reported out of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee on March 22 that directs both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Department of Energy to make significant changes in the way they treat nuclear energy technology development. While it is not an appropriation and includes no designated ...read more
    • Sat, May 13 2017

    Vogtle 3 and 4 construction continuation agreement through June 3

    Georgia Power announced that it has reached an agreement – “in principle” – with Westinghouse to transition Vogtle 3 & 4 project management to Southern Nuclear and Georgia Power. The agreement will not be fully implemented until after the current engineering, procurement and construction contract has been rejected in Westinghouse’s bankruptcy proceeding. The transition agreement ...read more
    • Thu, May 11 2017

    Emirates Nuclear Announces Construction Completion And Operational Delay For First Nuclear Unit

    Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC Photo credit: ENEC Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) confirmed last week that it had completed construction for its first of four large nuclear units. It also announced that the initial operation of the plant will be delayed until sometime in 2018 to allow sufficient time to gain more operational experience and obtain national and international ...read mo...
    • Fri, May 5 2017

    People’s Climate March: Why Nuclear Advocates Felt Excluded And Chose To Stay Away

    People’s Climate March includes opposition to biggest clean energy opportunities On a blisteringly hot April day in Washington, D.C., some people and organizations interested in addressing climate change gathered and marched with signs and chants. Notably, the event excluded the scientists, engineers, clean air advocates, environmentalists and clean energy technologists who recognize that nuclear ...read more
    • Thu, May 4 2017

    GA Power And Westinghouse Extend Temp Vogtle Nuclear Plant Construction Agreement Through May 12

    Some of 5,000+ on site workers Late Friday evening, Georgia Power issued a terse press release . Thousands of people who have been tensely anticipating a crucial decision regarding the fate of the Plant Vogtle expansion project cannot stop worrying yet. We will now mark our calendars for May 12 as the next deadline for announcing a decision about whether the massive project will be continued through ...read more
    • Sat, Apr 29 2017

    GA Power announces a decision deferral until May 12

    Vogtle Unit 4 is running about 6 months behind Unit 3. Last night, GA Power issued a terse press release stating that it will continue working on the detailed project assessment needed before it can decide whether or not to continue trying to complete Vogtle units 3 and 4. The new date is Friday, May 12. More details are available at GA Power And Westinghouse Extend Temp Nuclear Plant Construction ...read more
    • Thu, Apr 27 2017

    Above board competition in energy markets finally emerging. API Ohio pushing for nuclear shutdowns

    The Ohio division of the American Petroleum Institute (API Ohio) recently issued a press release urging members of the “Ohio legislature to reject legislation that would subsidize nuclear power companies, and called on corporate supporters of the legislation to stop misleading Ohio consumers with false information on the economic and environmental consequences of shuttering nuclear power plants ...read more
    • Thu, Apr 20 2017

    Donald Hoffman – Changes at EXCEL Services Corporation and within the nuclear energy industry

    A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with Donald Hoffman, the founder, president and CEO of EXCEL Services Corporation (EXCEL) . Hoffman is an active and visible leader within the nuclear industry. He’s a past President of the American Nuclear Society (ANS); his company has been a major exhibitor at ANS events for several decades – people who have attended any national ANS meeting since the 1990s ...read more
    • Mon, Apr 17 2017

    Implications Of South Korean Presidential Election On Its World Class Nuclear Industry

    Inside the U. S. nuclear energy industry, there is a high level of respect and admiration – along with a barely suppressed tinge of jealousy – for the way that the Republic of Korea (aka South Korea) has steadily developed its world class nuclear power plant manufacturing and construction industry. Starting from zero operating plants in the mid 1970s, South Korea now has 28 units that reliably supply ...read more
    • Thu, Apr 13 2017

    Competitive battle for electricity market share in Pennsylvania. Price wars harm customers in long run.

    The Beaver Valley (PA) Times has published an important article titled Group forms to oppose bailout of struggling nuclear power industry . That article needs to be read and retained by those of us who believe that existing nuclear plants are important pillars of the U.S. electricity supply network that is often called “the grid.” The article, if read with a critical eye and an understanding ...read mor...
    • Tue, Apr 11 2017

    Did the Nuclear Renaissance in the U.S. falter because people ignored lessons from the First Atomic Age?

    During the ANS Student Conference 2017 in Pittsburg, PA, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison made the effort to find me and introduce himself. Among several other topics, he wanted to exchange thoughts about an article that I first published more than 22 years ago. The student indicated his interest in becoming an atomic entrepreneur or finding other ways to enable a more entrepreneurial ...read more