Friday, 21 December 2012
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 18:42
Nuclear best option for Europe, report says: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ EE-Nuclear_best_option_for_Euro pe_report_says-1912124.html
"Nuclear energy is the European Union's answer to meeting aggressive
targets on carbon dioxide emissions while reducing dependency on fossil
fuels, according to consultants Frost & Sullivan.
In a new
report - entitled European Nuclear Power Sector: Trends and
Opportunities - Frost & Sullivan says, "Despite the environmental
risks, nuclear energy shows potential to reduce emissions and dependence
on fossil fuels, and therefore, will be a major contributor to the
European energy mix in 2020."
The report notes that, despite the
accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, the number of nuclear
power reactors under construction worldwide "is still higher now than
across the last two decades."
Frost and Sullivan pointed out that
France, Finland, the UK and Sweden have all reaffirmed their commitment
to nuclear power, while Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic are also
planning to push ahead with new units, following increased safety
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 18:37
Thursday, 20 December 2012
Chamber seeking nuclear science centre: http://
www.thedailyobserver.ca/2012/ 12/19/ chamber-seeking-nuclear-science -centre
"The Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce is proposing the
establishment of a centre to promote the area’s tourism while
celebrating its rich science and technology heritage.
hopes the Canadian Nuclear Science and Technology Centre will not only
draw visitors, but sell the benefits of doing business in this region.
While the business plan for the 3,500-square foot centre, to be located
along the Highway 17 corridor but in close proximity to Atomic Energy
of Canada Limited at Chalk River, are in their infancy so far all
stakeholders involved support the concept. That partnership with the
chamber includes AECL and the municipalities of Deep River, Laurentian
Hills and Head, Clara and Maria.
“There has certainly been some
significant interest and they have asked us to continue our
investigation into their particular opportunity,” past-president Gary
Melnyk recently told the organization’s annual general meeting.
chamber will manage and staff the centre as a year-round tourist
information centre. It will promote attractions and activities as well
as economic development initiatives aimed at aiding businesses in the
area. It will also provide a local Chamber of Commerce point of contact
for anyone inquiring about economic development statistics and data."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:08
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Berkeley Lab developing quick way to ID people exposed to ionizing radiation: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/
"The scientists identified eight DNA-repair genes in human blood whose
expression responses change more than twofold soon after blood is
exposed to radiation. They also learned how these genes respond when
blood is exposed to inflammation stress, which can occur because of an
injury or infection. Inflammation can mimic the effects of radiation and
lead to false diagnoses.
The result is a panel of biochemical
markers that can discriminate between blood samples exposed to
radiation, inflammation, or both. The scientists believe these markers
could be incorporated into a blood test that quickly triages people
involved in radiation-related incidents."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:49
UK nuclear regulator approves EDF, Areva reactor design: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/
2012-12-13/ u-k-nuclear-regulator-said-to-a pprove-edf-areva-reactor-desig n.html
"The U.K. nuclear regulator gave approval to a reactor design by
Areva SA (AREVA) and Electricite de France SA, bringing EDF closer to
its goal of expanding in England.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation
and the Environment Agency permitted Areva’s U.K. European pressurized
water reactor design for construction in Britain, according to a
statement today on the ONR website.
The government wants to make
building new nuclear stations more palatable for investors while
reassuring consumers the industry is safe as it pushes low-carbon energy
sources to meet growing demand. EDF, GDF Suez (GSZ) SA and Iberdrola SA
(IBE) are among companies studying whether to build nuclear plants in
Britain, which is seeking to replace an aging power station without
adding to carbon emissions.
“It is a significant step, and ensures
that this reactor meets the high standards that we insist upon,” said
Colin Patchett, acting chief inspector of nuclear installations at ONR.
“There remain site-specific issues that must be addressed before we’ll
approve its construction on any site.”
The purpose of the so-called
Generic Design Assessment process is to improve the safety and
environmental aspects of reactors while their designs are still on paper
to avoid costly changes during construction. The Areva, EDF design,
called the U.K. EPR, is the first to go through the assessment process.
It cost the companies 35 million pounds ($57 million) and took five
years. All new reactor types proposed for the U.K. must complete the
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:46
A great short video on nuclear recycling from the Argonne National Laboratory: http://ansnuclearcafe.org/
2012/12/14/ nuclear-cafe-matinee-nuclear-re cycling/
"The 800 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity produced by the 104
nuclear reactors in the United States each year – all while emitting no
greenhouse gases — is by far America’s biggest source of green energy.
And this abundant energy source can become even greener by recycling
used nuclear fuel.
Currently, only about five percent of the uranium
in a nuclear fuel rod gets fissioned for energy; after that, the rods
are taken out of the reactor and put into storage. There is a way,
however, to use almost all of the uranium in a fuel rod. Recycling the
uranium in used nuclear fuel could power the United States for a
thousand years, just by using the uranium we’ve already mined, and all
of this energy carbon-free."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:41
Thursday, 13 December 2012
China nuclear roll-out re-starts; outside suppliers and investors welcome: http://
analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.c om/new-build/ new-build-om-supply-chain-china -nuclear-roll-out-re-starts-ou tside-suppliers-and-investors? utm_source=http%3A%2F%2Fuk.nuc learenergyinsider.com%2Ffc_nei _decomlz%2F&utm_medium=email&u tm_campaign=NEI+e-brief+1212&u tm_term=New+Build%2C+OandM+and +Supply+Chain%3A+China+nuclear +roll-out+re-starts&utm_conten t=151899
"China has restarted its stalled nuclear reactor development programme,
approving roll-outs of new and semi-completed projects. New safety
protocols for new build and waste treatment are also driving new
equipment and service contracts.
China halted all projects, and
suspended approvals of new projects, in the wake of the Fukushima
Daiichi disaster in Japan last year and initiated a safety audit on all
current and future projects to ensure nothing similar could happen in
This October the Chinese Ministry of Environmental
Protection (which last year replaced the State Environmental Protection
Administration, better known as SEPA) has formally approved
environmental certification to all nuclear projects in the country.
Their report claimed that all reactors in China had now been monitored
under strict safety protocols and that no accident above level two,
defined as a failure of safety measures, but without actual
consequences, has ever occurred in China. Additionally the Ministry has
granted certification to 778 people passing nuclear safety exams. The
planned roll out is now officially back on."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:26
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
U.S. Nuclear Generation at 12-Week High: http://www.businessweek.com/
news/2012-12-07/ three-reactors-lift-u-dot-s-dot -nuclear-generation-to-12-week -high
"U.S. nuclear-power generation climbed to a 12-week high as an
Illinois unit started after refueling and reactors in Alabama and South
Carolina increased output.
U.S. generation gained 1.3 percent to
90,143 megawatts, or 88 percent of capacity, the most since Sept. 14,
according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg.
Production, which has risen for 11 straight days, was 5.5 percent lower
than a year earlier with 11 of the 104 U.S. reactors offline."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:40
US Nuclear industry plans rescue wagon for disasters: http://www.businessweek.com/
ap/2012-12-09/ nuclear-industry-plans-rescue-w agon-in-disasters
"If disaster strikes a nuclear power plant in the U.S., the utility
industry wants the ability to fly in heavy-duty equipment that could
avert a meltdown.
That capability is part of a larger industry plan
being developed to meet new rules that emerged since a 2011 tsunami
struck the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan, flooding its
emergency equipment and causing nuclear meltdowns that sent radiation
leaking into the environment. The tsunami exceeded the worst-case
scenario the plant was designed to withstand, and it showed how an
extreme, widespread disaster can complicate emergency plans.
effort, called FLEX, is the nuclear industry's method for meeting new
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules that will force 65 plants in
the U.S. to get extra emergency equipment on site and store it
protectively. As a backup, the industry is developing regional hubs in
Memphis, Tenn., and Phoenix that could truck or even fly in more
equipment to stricken reactors. Industry leaders say the effort will add
another layer of defense in case a Fukushima-style disaster destroys a
nuclear plant's multiple backup systems."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:37
UN to adopt advice on radiation: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ RS_UN_approves_radiation_advice _1012121.html
"The United Nations is to adopt advice on radiation that clarifies what
can be said about its health effects on individuals and large
populations. A preliminary report has also found no observable health
effects from last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima.
come from the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
(UNSCEAR) after five years of work. An independent body of
international experts, UNSCEAR has met regularly since 1955 and helped
establish radiation as the best understood carcinogen in the world
through its studies of atomic bomb survivors and the effects of the
Having been officially approved by the UN
General Assembly, the reports - as well as a resolution welcoming them -
will be endorsed in coming weeks. They will then serve to inform all
countries of the world when setting their own national radiation safety
Presenting to the UN General Assembly, UNSCEAR's chair
Wolfgang Weiss said that preliminary findings were that no radiation
health effects had been observed in Japan among the public, workers or
children in the area of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This
is in line with studies already published by the World Health
Organisation and Tokyo University that showed people near the damaged
power plant received such low doses of radiation that no discernible
health effect could be expected."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:29
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Interesting perspective from David Jackson: More Glory Days for Chalk River? http://reactorscanada.com/
2012/05/31/ more-glory-days-for-chalk-river /
perhaps that has been and continues to be the worst mistake
eliminating “curiosity oriented research”: "When I left in 1996 the
decline of CRL was reaching its climax in a process of decay that had
started in the mid 1960’s. The steady erosion over the foregoing years
culminated in the cancellation or transfer of the best scientific
programs under the government program review process of that era. A
dismal succession of weak and ineffectual leaders tried to preserve the
labs through dubious commercialization schemes and strived to eliminate
“curiosity oriented research” because they thought it was what the
government wanted them to do. The problem was that most of the
management simply didn’t understand how the Ottawa bureaucracy worked
and those who did understand didn’t stick around enough to make a
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:37
Nuclear Power in Canada at World Nuclear Association updated Nov. 2012: http://www.world-nuclear.org/
info/ inf49a_Nuclear_Power_in_Canada. html
I have posted this link here a few times, this is updated version last
month: "Canada has developed its own line of nuclear power reactors,
starting from research in 1944 when an engineering design team was
brought together in Montreal, Quebec, to develop a heavy water moderated
nuclear reactor. The National Research Experimental Reactor (NRX) began
operation in 1947 at Chalk River, Ontario, where today the Chalk River
Laboratories are the locus of much of Canada's nuclear research and
development. The government established Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd
(AECL) as a crown corporation in 1952 with a mandate to research and
develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The National Research Universal
(NRU) reactor was built at Chalk River in 1957. Today, NRU produces 40%
of the world supply of molybdenum-99, the source of technetium-99
widely used for medical diagnosis, and cobalt-60 for cancer treatment.
AECL, in cooperation with Canadian industry, began developing the first
Candu (Canada deuterium uranium) reactor in the late 1950s. Candu
reactors use heavy water (deuterium oxide) as a moderator and coolant,
and are fueled using natural uranium (as opposed to enriched uranium).
The advantages of the Candu reactor are savings in fuel cost, because
the uranium does not have to go through the enrichment process, and
reduced reactor downtime from refueling and maintenance. These savings
are partially offset by the cost of producing heavy water. A small (22
MWe) Candu prototype went into operation in 1962 at Rolphton, Ontario,
30 km upstream from the Chalk River facilities. A larger prototype – 200
MWe – began generating power at Douglas Point, Ontario, in 1967. It was
the design basis of the first Indian PHWR power reactors, Rawatbhata 1
The first commercial Candu reactors began operations in
Pickering, Ontario, in 1971. Sixteen of Canada's 18 commercial reactors
are located in Ontario (the others are in Quebec and New Brunswick). In
2008, 53% of Ontario's electricity production came from nuclear power.
The Darlington plant which came on line 1990-93 experienced a major cost
overrun in construction largely due to political interference.
technology and design of Candu reactors have evolved through several
generations, with the newest reactors the Enhanced Candu 6 (EC6, based
on Qinshan in China), and the next-generation Advanced Candu Reactor
Today, there are 32 Candu power reactors in seven
countries, as well as 13 'Candu derivative' reactors in India, with more
being built. Export sales of 12 Candu units have been made to South
Korea (4), Romania (2), India (2), Pakistan (1), Argentina (1) and China
(2), along with the engineering expertise to build and operate them.
Three of the Canadian units are undergoing major refurbishment.
mid 2011 AECL sold its reactor division to SNC-Lavalin's Candu Energy
subsidiary for C$ 15 million, with the Canadian government retaining
intellectual property rights for the CANDU reactors, in the hope of
future royalties from new build and life extension projects "while
reducing taxpayers' exposure to nuclear commercial risks". Candu Energy
will pursue new business opportunities in connection with existing CANDU
reactors worldwide and new build opportunities with EC6 models and the
third-generation ACR-1000 design. The government will contribute $75
million towards completing the EC6 development program. Candu Energy
will complete the refurbishment projects at Bruce, Point Lepreau,
Wolsong and Gentilly through subcontract service agreements with the
Canadian government. About 1200 employees will transfer to Candu Energy.
As well as their use for electricity, Candu power reactors produce
almost all the world's supply of the cobalt-60 radioisotope for medical
and sterilization use."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:26
Nordion Provides Update on MAPLE Arbitration Costs: http://www.financialpost.com/
markets/news/ Nordion+Provides+Update+MAPLE+A rbitration+Costs/7650882/ story.html
"Nordion has received and is currently assessing the legal merits and
financial implications of AECL’s costs submissions. AECL submitted
total arbitration-related costs of approximately $46 million. The
Company expects to file a response to AECL’s submission with the
tribunal in early 2013. The tribunal is expected to schedule proceedings
to hear both parties’ arguments during the Company’s second fiscal
quarter of 2013. Nordion expects a decision to be rendered regarding the
allocation of arbitration-related costs thereafter. As the MAPLE
arbitration decision of the tribunal favored AECL, Nordion may be
responsible for a portion of AECL's costs which could be material."
The news also made it to reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/04/nordian-maple-aecl-idUSL4N09E4G220121204
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:15
Monday, 10 December 2012
to dramatically increase nuclear power generation through use of
mini-reactors: "The plants – the height of a three-storey building –
would create enough power to light a small town and would be six times
cheaper to build than the huge new power stations being planned.
Next month, the Department of Energy and Climate Change will publish a
long-term strategy for nuclear power. The Government is keen for Britain
to become a world leader in constructing such plants.
But as we
lack the research required, finance ministers are encouraging scientists
at the National Nuclear Laboratory, headquartered in Sellafield,
Cumbria, to collaborate on international projects into small modular
Along with mPower from Virginia, Britain’s
Rolls-Royce is a global leader in the field as it has experience in
building small nuclear reactors for submarines.
Demand for SMRs is
likely to be strong, as they can be built in areas where large nuclear
plants, which require huge water resources for cooling, cannot be
And mini-nuclear reactors are far more flexible than
current power stations, as their output can be increased or they can be
turned off altogether. The department has also identified valuable
exports to underdeveloped countries with inadequate grid systems.
Most important is that SMRs cost £200million to £300million to build
compared with £2billion for the typical large nuclear plants now being
planned for the UK.
They can be built in factories and then transported to a site, rather than be part of a huge earth-moving project."
money/markets/article-2245205/ Mini-nuclear-reactors-Governmen t-energy-plan.html#ixzz2EdqUz1 jL
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:01
Friday, 7 December 2012
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
A great read at Nature magazine on nuclear energy and its future: http://www.nature.com/news/
nuclear-energy-radical-reactors -1.11957 “If you're going to get off fossil fuel, you have to have a serious nuclear programme.”
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 19:37
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
marks 111the Birthday of Werner Karl Heisenberg (5 December 1901 – 1
February 1976). He was a German theoretical physicist who was awarded
the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1932 "for the creation of quantum
mechanics". Perhaps his most famous work is the uncertainty principle
published in 1927. He also made important contributions in other fields
such as magnetism. What he may not be known for is his effort in
planning the first West German nuclear reactor at Karlsruhe, together
with a research reactor in Munich, in 1957. Here are some good links
about him and his work:
"Heisenberg’s influence and that of his
colleagues is evidenced by their twofold impact on the important field
of West German nuclear policy: support of nuclear energy and opposition
to nuclear weapons. In 1955 the Western allies granted the Federal
Republic full sovereignty all restrictions upon West German research.
Heisenberg and his colleagues immediately launched a public campaign for
a crash program in nuclear energy development. Under Heisenberg’s
direction, Germany’s first nuclear reactor, a research model, was set up
at Garching (near Munich) in 1957. At the same time, a major nuclear
research section was established at Heisenberg’s Max Planck Institute
under the direction of Karl Wirtz; it eventually relocated in
Karlsruhe." from http://www.encyclopedia.com/
Oral history interview transcript with Werner Heisenberg - http://www.aip.org/history/
ohilist/4661_1.html(30 Nov. 1962)
ohilist/5027.html(16 June 1970)
Nobel Lecture by Werner Heisenberg - http://www.nobelprize.org/
A great video on Uncertainty Principle - http://www.youtube.com/
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 21:23
A good read: Global Warming Targets and Capital Costs of Germany's 'Energiewende': http://
theenergycollective.com/ willem-post/151031/ global-warming-targets-and-capi tal-costs-germany-s-energiewen de
"The above data indicates Germany restructuring a major part of its
economy towards renewables, a.k.a. ENERGIEWENDE, would make no global
warming and/or climate change difference, but would adversely affect
Germany's future economic well-being, because it would end up with an
energy systems that would have about 2 to 3 times the levelized
(owning+O&M) cost of competitor nations that did not follow Germany.
Germany is implementing renewables through subsidies more so than other
nations, because it has the excess capital to do so, and because it
claims to want to set an example to the world. A bit of chest beating;
gorillas do it in the jungle. Other nations, especially the developing
nations and least developed nations, do not have the resources, and/or
the willingness, to follow Germany."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:48
Monday, 3 December 2012
Wow! Fossil-Fuel Subsidies of Rich Nations Five Times Climate Aid http://www.businessweek.com/
news/2012-12-02/ fossil-fuel-subsidies-of-rich-n ations-are-five-times-climate- aid ... I wonder why you don't hear the same amount of complaint about such subsidies as you always hear for nuclear???
Here's a link to the 2011 numbers for energy subsidies in the United States which includes nuclear... http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2011/08/03/eia-releases-new-subsidy-report-subsidies-for-renewables-increase-186-percent/
Sunday, 2 December 2012
Dec 2, 2012 marks the 70th anniversary of the first self-sustained nuclear reaction! Happy 70th! http://www.cbsnews.com/
8301-3445_162-57556651/ almanac-the-1st-self-sustained- nuclear-reaction/
Also see: http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2012/12/02/a-weekend-of-nuclear-history/ for more nuclear history in this week! From ANS: "70 years since the world's first nuclear reactor achieved a sustained chain reaction - 55 years since the world's first full-scale commercial nuclear power plant went to full power in Shippingport, PA - and yesterday marked the inactivation ceremony of the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise"
This is also a great short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tKf7R2XncM
Great conversation on the impact to human history of the construction and operation of Critical Pile 1 with several renowned nuclear professionals: http://atomicinsights.com/2012/12/atomic-show-191-70th-anniversary-of-cp-1-the-first-controlled-chain-reaction.html this is direct link to the audio: http://s3.amazonaws.com/AtomicShowFiles/atomic_20121202_191.mp3
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 19:42
Saturday, 1 December 2012
Michael Binder is reappointed as CNSC President for another five year term: http://
www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/ mediacentre/releases/ news_release.cfm?news_release_i d=433
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 12:46
Thursday, 29 November 2012
History of crystallography, a great listen from BBC radio: http://www.bbc.co.uk/
"Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of crystallography,
the study of crystals and their structure. The discovery in the early
20th century that X-rays could be diffracted by a crystal revolutionised
our knowledge of materials. This crystal technology has touched most
people's lives, thanks to the vital role it plays in diverse scientific
disciplines - from physics and chemistry, to molecular biology and
mineralogy. To date, 28 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to scientists
working with X-ray crystallography, an indication of its crucial
The history of crystallography began with the work of
Johannes Kepler in the 17th century, but perhaps the most crucial leap
in understanding came with the work of the father-and-son team the
Braggs in 1912. They built on the work of the German physicist Max von
Laue who had proved that X-rays are a form of light waves and that it
was possible to scatter these rays using a crystal. The Braggs undertook
seminal experiments which transformed our perception of crystals and
their atomic arrangements, and led to some of the most significant
scientific findings of the last century - such as revealing the
structure of DNA. "
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 10:59
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
A great short video from CNSC: Understanding Nuclear Power Plants http://www.youtube.com/
"The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has recently created a video
showing the progression of an accident scenario involving a total
station blackout at a nuclear power plant.
This video was designed
to help the public better understand the multiple layers of safety
systems at Canadian nuclear power plants. It highlights that even during
an extremely severe accident, nuclear reactors in this country will
safely shut down and contain radioactivity."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 19:40
Nuclear energy can help cut down the greenhouse gas emissions!
New York City's greenhouse gas emissions as one-ton spheres of carbon dioxide gas: http://www.youtube.com/
"In 2010 New York City added 54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide
(equivalent) to the atmosphere, but that number means little to most
people because few of us have a sense of scale for atmospheric
Carbon Visuals (http://www.carbonvisuals.com/) and Environmental Defense Fund (http://www.edf.org/climate/
wanted to make those emissions feel a bit more real - the total
emissions and the rate of emission. Designed to engage the 'person on
the street', this version is exploratory and still work in progress.
Mayor Bloomberg's office has not been involved in the creation or
dissemination of this video."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:11
Neat! Small Reactor for Deep Space Exploration: http://www.youtube.com/
"This is the first demonstration of a space nuclear reactor system to
produce electricity in the United States since 1965, and an experiment
demonstrated the first use of a heat pipe to cool a small nuclear
reactor and then harvest the heat to power a Stirling engine at the
Nevada National Security Site's Device Assembly Facility confirms basic
nuclear reactor physics and heat transfer for a simple, reliable space
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:08
Stop the War on Science: http://www.youtube.com/
"It's time to stop the war on science. Since Prime Minister Harper
came into power, Canada has been subjected to a ruthless assault on its
science capacity. This attack has been systemic and strategic, targeting
science that seeks to understand the impacts of industry on the
environment -- information the Harper Government considers inconvenient
to their economic agenda. These actions will result in the significant
and widespread degradation of our country's environment and natural
The crippling of Canada's public science capacity under
the guise of austerity measures, coupled with the weakening of federal
environmental laws in the absence of open debate, is a blatant
desecration of science, nature, and democracy. We need to stop this war
on science, and let's start by saving the ELA.
Help spread this video in the name of ending the Harper Government's war on science. Go to http://www.saveela.org/ for more information on how YOU can take action!"
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:07
Monday, 26 November 2012
UK grants first nuclear site licence for 25 years: http://
www.powerengineeringint.com/ articles/2012/11/ uk-grants-first-nuclear-site-li cence-for-25-years.html
"The UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation today granted the first new
site licence for a nuclear power station in Britain for 25 years.
The licence has been granted to NNB Generation Company, a subsidiary of
EDF (Euronext: EDF), which wants to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley
Point in Somerset."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 18:53
French state has authorised full construction of the world's largest
tokamak nuclear fusion reactor with a formal decree to allow creation of
a 'basic nuclear installation': http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ NN-State_blessing_for_ITER_cons truction-2011127.html
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 18:41
Friday, 23 November 2012
Why this is not surprising!??? Gas industry joins anti-nuke movement: http://www.pennenergy.com/
wirenews/powernews/2012/11/22/ gas-industry-joins-anti-nuke-mo vement-nl-corporate-lobbyists- pose-hard-questions-about-cost -of-nucle.html "A new nuclear debate is starting to percolate in Ontario.
At industry conferences and in the corridors of Queen's Park, energy
activists are questioning whether Ontario should invest billions in new
nuclear energy units.
But these activists aren't the longtime foes
of the nuclear industry, who based their arguments on moral and
They're working for corporate clients and
asking hard questions about the economics of nuclear power, given the
alternatives, like plentiful natural gas.
They're suggesting that producing electricity with gas may be cheaper, faster and less risky than building new nuclear units.
"In our view it's going to be extremely challenging for any government
in the future in this province to do new nuclear," Jason Chee-Aloy of
consulting firm Power Advisory LLC said in a recent presentation. "From a
pure dollars and cents cost point of view, there are real issues with
it," he told the Association of Power Producers of Ontario (APPrO).
Chee-Aloy is not a fringe player. He's an economist and former senior energy bureaucrat with the Ontario Power Authority.
The skepticism is a direct challenge to Ontario Power Generation's
proposal to build two new reactors, each capable of producing 1,000
megawatts, at its Darlington nuclear station.
Bruce Boland, senior vice-president of OPG, makes the case for building new nuclear units.
"Same reason we've done nuclear in the past," he said in an interview. "Reliable, relative low cost power, and very clean." "
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:37
A good read: Why Communicate Science? People Need What Scientists Have; Scientists Need People to Have it... http://www.aps.org/
"By “communicate science,” I mean professional scientists explaining
something about science to non-scientists. My question is, “Why?” But
many scientists are still debating whether we should; many see why they
Communicating science takes time away from research,
from teaching, from being home; from something else we need to be doing.
The time is not adequately compensated. Doing interviews with
reporters, or visiting legislators, has no assigned “impact factor” that
boosts vitae-value. Appearing on the radio or TV or in the news, giving
talks to civic groups, writing op-eds or articles geared to “popular”
audiences, or even a translational book for the general public; all
count little, sometimes nothing, towards tenure. Sometimes they actually
hurt. Communicating science can be seen as unprofessional. Peers may
think less of you. It may seem absurd that many scientists would think
it unprofessional to explain science, but that thinking is a fact in
academia. And anyway, communicating is the job of communicators such as
professional science writers.
All the above reasons not to
communicate science are valid. Next question: Are those reasons
sufficient? Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein apparently didn’t think
so. Granted, we’re not them. We all juggle priorities and make
compromises on how we can and must spend our time. But it’s my
conviction that scientists should elevate communicating science as
something important and worthwhile. That brings us to “Why.”
scientists believe we should communicate because public support is
crucial for continued public funding. That’s circular and self-serving.
In the long run, it’s likely self-defeating. Simply explaining that the
space program resulted in such marvels as Tang and Teflon–two oft-cited
benefits of science that, in fact, everyone can live without–doesn’t
adequately elevate the power of science above everything else vying for
public money, such as military spending, bank-bailouts, infrastructure,
I believe it’s important for people to get to know
scientists as people, as members of civil society in their communities.
And I believe the message is not one of facts, nor reports about the
latest research, but of the overarching and deeply penetrating grandeur
of science: how it uniquely has the power to unlock the secrets of life
and the universe–and how scientific thinking can help people evaluate
claims, think for themselves, and demand proof."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:30
Korea invests big in basic research, really amazing that such
recognition for support of basic research is done by a country
that is traditionally big in industry, it is a simple but important
fact: The countries that lead in science and technology have “not only
produced numerous Nobel laureates but also generated colossal national
wealth on the strength of the achievements of basic research.” yet why
is Canada moving in the opposite direction???: http://www.physicstoday.org/
"When times are tough, the tendency among Western countries is to
knuckle down and demand that research produce results fast. South Korea,
with its new Institute for Basic Science (IBS), is doing the opposite.
Starting with 15 or so research centers this year, the IBS is on an
ambitious track to grow by 2017 into a network of 50 centers with a
total annual budget of $600 million.
At the 17 May IBS inauguration
ceremony, South Korean president Myung-bak Lee said, “We have thus far
only emulated advanced technologies of other countries and traced their
footsteps. In order for us to emerge as an advanced, leading nation,
however, we need to become a creative pacesetter based on basic science
and original technologies.”
The countries that lead in science and
technology, he said, have “not only produced numerous Nobel laureates
but also generated colossal national wealth on the strength of the
achievements of basic research.” With the launch of the IBS, Lee said,
“the nation is marking a new beginning. Our future depends heavily on
the science community.”"
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:26
Open letter from the eight EIROforum directors general, preparatory to
the European Council summit on the EU Multiannual financial framework.
The letter is signed by - among others - the ILL Director, Andrew
Harrison: We need a similar letter for Canada! http://www.ill.eu/en/
news-events/news/ open-letter-from-eiroforum-dgs- about-the-future-of-european-r esearch/
"We call on you – the Heads of State or Government of the EU Member
States and the Presidents of the European Council, the European
Parliament and the European Commission – to reconfirm your collective
support for science so that it can continue to make a significant
contribution to Europe’s economic recovery and beyond."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:22
Thursday, 22 November 2012
Uranium Moratoriums Are Not Supported by Science: CNSC President http://
www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/ mediacentre/issues/ letters_to_the_editor/ 20121122-uranium-moratoriums.cf m
"Following the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) recent
decision to license a uranium exploration project in Quebec, I’m
dismayed that recent statements and discussions over the safety of
uranium mining have been based neither on fact nor science. Uranium
mining and milling in this country is tightly regulated by the CNSC.
Canada is a world leader in responsibly developing this resource. This
is largely attributable to a solid safety track record.
mining is the only type of mining that has a dedicated federal regulator
that oversees all aspects of operation on an ongoing basis. Provincial
oversight is also strictly applied. In fact, uranium mining is the most
regulated, monitored and understood type of mining in Canada.
Activists, medical practitioners and politicians who have demanded
moratoriums may have various reasons for doing so, but their claims that
the public and environment are at risk are fundamentally wrong. The
provincial governments that have decided to ban uranium exploration have
done so ignoring years of evidence-based scientific research on this
The CNSC would never compromise safety by issuing a
licence or allowing a uranium mine or mill to operate if it were not
safe to do so. All monitoring data shows that uranium mining is as safe
as other conventional metal mining in Canada. "
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:22
Very cool! How cosmic ray muons could reveal hidden nuclear waste? http://
www.technologyreview.com/view/ 429607/ how-cosmic-ray-muons-could-reve al-hidden-nuclear-waste/
"Muons were once used to "X-ray" an Egyptian pyramid. Now physicists
hope to use a similar method to peer inside old nuclear waste
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:50
Recycling spent nuclear fuel: the ultimate solution for the US? http://
analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.c om/operations-maintenance/ recycling-spent-nuclear-fuel-ul timate-solution-us?utm_source= http%3A%2F%2Fuk.nuclearenergyi nsider.com%2Ffc_nei_decomlz%2F &utm_medium=email&utm_campaign =NEI+e-brief+2111&utm_term=Rec ycling+spent+nuclear+fuel%3A+t he+ultimate+solution+for+the+U S&utm_content=151899
"Unlike Russia, Japan and several European countries, the United
States does not recycle its used nuclear fuel. But new, advanced drivers
are reviving the possibility of recycling the nation’s spent nuclear
fuel. What will influence this decision and what conditions will need to
be met first?"... "Through Areva, France has been at the forefront in
UNF recycling and has reached an industrial maturity that lends itself
well to use elsewhere. Areva has undertaken de-conversion of enrichment
tails at Pierrelatte since the 1980s, and today, at its La Hague site,
it operates the MELOX plant; a used-fuel recycling facility with
capacity of 1,700 tons per year that has been working since 1995. It is
also the world’s only operational large-capacity MOX fuel production
Areva has proposed building a $20bn plant in the US with a
similar technology to the one it uses in France, where 17 per cent of
electricity is derived from recycled UNF. According to Areva, the group
has joined with Duke Energy, one of America's largest nuclear power
producers, to submit a proposal to the Department of Energy for the
construction of an MOX-fuel fabrication plant to supply MOX fuel to
reactors in the US.
“A common question raised during discussions on
reprocessing is, ‘If the French are reprocessing used fuel, why isn’t
the US?’. In many ways, the U.S. and France represent opposite ends of
the spectrum,” notes Sowder.
“In France, the recycling of MOX in
light-water reactors is a mature, ongoing commercial practice supported
by an existing industrial, commercial, and regulatory infrastructure.
This situation has resulted from a deliberate, multi-decade national
energy policy prioritizing energy security for a country with limited
domestic natural energy resources. Accordingly, there would need to be a
compelling reason for France to abandon its recycling programme,” he
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
US government to fund up to half the cost of a five-year project to
design and commercialize small modular nuclear power reactors: http://www.usatoday.com/story/
news/nation/2012/11/20/ obama-doe-fund-modular-nuclear- reactors/1717843/
"o develop a new generation of nuclear power, the Obama administration
announced Tuesday that it will fund up to half the cost of a five-year
project to design and commercialize small, modular reactors for the
The Department of Energy said it aims to have these
reactors, which have attracted private funding from investors including
Bill Gates, in operation by 2022. It said it will negotiate the
project's total cost with Babcock & Wilcox, an energy technology
company based in Charlotte, that will lead the project in partnership
with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Bechtel International.
"Low-carbon nuclear energy has an important role to play in America's
energy future," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in announcing the
award, citing President Obama's push for an all-of-the-above energy
strategy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. He said DOE will accept
funding requests from other companies developing such technology.
Small modular reactors (SMRs) are typically about one-third the size of
current nuclear power plants. Although some of the technology has been
used in naval propulsion plants, DOE says it's not been commercialized
yet in the United States but could offer lower upfront costs, improved
safety and greater flexibility. It says SMRs could be made in U.S.
factories and moved to sites, including remote or small areas that
cannot support large reactors, where they would be ready to "plug and
play" upon arrival."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:52
Monday, 19 November 2012
Astronauts Could Survive Mars Radiation, Curiosity Rover Finds: http://www.space.com/
Mars rover Curiosity's radiation measurements - the first ever taken on
the surface of another planet - appear to be roughly similar to those
of low-Earth orbit. "Absolutely, astronauts can live in this
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:43
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Nano insights could lead to improved nuclear reactors: http://www.rdmag.com/news/
2012/11/ nano-insights-could-lead-improv ed-nuclear-reactors
"In order to build the next generation of nuclear reactors, materials
scientists are trying to unlock the secrets of certain materials that
are radiation-damage tolerant. Now researchers at the California
Institute of Technology (Caltech) have brought new understanding to one
of those secrets—how the interfaces between two carefully selected
metals can absorb, or heal, radiation damage.
"When it comes to
selecting proper structural materials for advanced nuclear reactors, it
is crucial that we understand radiation damage and its effects on
materials properties. And we need to study these effects on isolated
small-scale features," says Julia R. Greer, an assistant professor of
materials science and mechanics at Caltech. With that in mind, Greer and
colleagues from Caltech, Sandia National Laboratories, UC Berkeley, and
Los Alamos National Laboratory have taken a closer look at
radiation-induced damage, zooming in all the way to the nanoscale—where
lengths are measured in billionths of meters. Their results appear
online in the journals Advanced Functional Materials and Small."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:41
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Quebec latest decommissioning supply chain opportunity: http://
analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.c om/supply-chain/ quebec-latest-decommissioning-s upply-chain-opportunity?utm_so urce=http%3A%2F%2Fuk.nuclearen ergyinsider.com%2Ffc_nei_decom lz%2F&utm_medium=email&utm_cam paign=NEI+e-brief+updated+1411 &utm_term=Quebec+latest+decomm issioning+supply+chain+opportu nity&utm_content=151899
"In Canada’s largest province of Quebec, Hydro Quebec has announced
that the only nuclear power plant that exists there is to be shut down
in a $1.8m project, where the decommissioning process will take up to 50
Quebec Hydro recently revealed that the Gentilly-2
generating station that has been in reliably in operation since 1983
will stop producing electricity on December 28 this year.
decided that the plant will cease to be in operation due to financial
reasons, after an audit revised refurbishment cycle costs up to $4.3bn,
which was a significant increase on the original cost of rebuilding.
Hydro Quebec has said that it will release further detailed analysis of why they decided to pull the plug on the plant.
When the plant becomes dormant, plans are in place of how stage by
stage the building will be decommissioned. Initially there will be an
18- month period where staff will be involved in defueling the reactor,
treating the heavy water and deactivating several systems."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 10:37
Very cool: Isotope analysis provides clues in crime case: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/
11/13/science/ isotope-analysis-provides-clues -in-a-florida-cold-case.html?p agewanted=1&_r=0
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:26
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Bragg Centenary: http://crystallography.org.uk/
"In 2013 it will be 100 years since the pioneering work undertaken by
William Henry Bragg and his son, William Lawrence Bragg, which
underpins the discipline of X-ray crystallography, and for which they
were jointly awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915. By formulating
the relationship between a crystal’s atomic structure and its X-ray
diffraction pattern they provided a tool which has revolutionised our
understanding of the structure of matter ranging from minerals,
pharmaceutical materials, and catalysts to DNA, proteins and viruses."
For those who could also access Nature Magazine: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7423/full/491186a.html
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 18:03
Here is your chance to comment on CNSC's Draft GD-384, Site Access Security Clearance for High-Security Sites: http://
www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/ readingroom/infobulletins/ view_bulletin.cfm?bulletin_id=3 18
... it also has the link to the full draft pdf document... "The
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has released for a second
round of public consultation draft guidance document GD-384, Site Access
Security Clearance for High-Security Sites.
GD-384, Site Access
Security Clearance for High-Security Sites, sets out the guidance of the
CNSC for processing a site access security clearance. The document was
developed to address key considerations for licensees of high-security
sites and nuclear facilities within Canada who will be authorizing
unescorted access to protected areas, as defined under the Nuclear
Security Regulations. The purpose of the Site Access Security Clearance
(SASC) is to prevent unreasonable risk to high-security sites. This
includes risks to operations, personnel, safety and national security
from an insider threat.
The document has undergone significant
revisions as a result of the first round of public consultation. The
revised draft of GD-384 includes additional details on the screening and
interview processes (including managing risk), and on granting a SASC.
Guidance on reporting to the CNSC and the need for an appeal process has
also been added. Furthermore, three appendices with process maps have
been inserted into the document to clarify and provide step-by-step
instructions on the SASC process."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:49
Neat! Optical atomic clocks could redefine unit of time: http://physics.aps.org/
articles/v5/126 "Optical atomic clocks now outperform the best microwave cesium atomic clocks in terms of precision.
Never measure anything but frequency!” was the advice  of the late
Arthur Schawlow, the 1981 Nobel Prize winner in physics. Frequency is,
in fact, the physical quantity that can be measured with by far the
greatest accuracy. This is because it can be referenced to a highly
accurate standard: the cesium atomic clock, in which a second is defined
as 9192631770 periods of the microwave radiation emitted by a
cesium-133 atom transitioning between two nuclear spin (hyperfine)
states . Now, in Physical Review Letters, Alan Madej and colleagues
at the National Research Council in Canada report they have greatly
increased the accuracy with which another atomic frequency standard, the
optical transition in an isolated strontium ion, can be measured.
Furthermore, the precision of their frequency measurement now supersedes
that of the existing cesium standard, which could lead to the adoption
of a new frequency standard for defining the second as the basic unit of
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 08:30
Reactor reuses nuclear waste: http://bostonherald.com/
jobfind/news/technology/view/ 20221112reactor_reuses_nuclear_ waste
"Two Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral candidates are
designing a nuclear power plant that would convert nuclear waste from
conventional reactors into electricity — a plant you could walk away
from, they said, without the risk of a radioactive leak like the
meltdown last year that crippled parts of Japan.
Leslie Dewan and
Mark Massie, co-founders of Transatomic Power, have developed the WAMSR,
or Waste-Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor, a 400- to 500-megawatt plant
that would convert high-level nuclear waste into electric power, at a
price competitive with fossil fuels."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:47
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Federal scientists muzzled to protect tar sands reputation? read and decide for yourself: http://www.desmogblog.com/
2012/11/08/ stephen-harper-hates-science-fe deral-government-muzzles-scien tists-protect-tar-sands-reputa tion
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:28
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
birthday Marie Skłodowska-Curie! A French-Polish physicist and chemist,
famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity, she was the first
woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and the
only person to win in multiple sciences. She was also the first female
professor at the University of Paris (La Sorbonne), and in 1995 became
the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in
Paris. Just a remarkable human being all around! Also see: http://www.nobelprize.org/
watch?v=JoLzG4Dc9tk&playnext=1& list=PL4CEE754050446883&featur e=results_main
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:21
A change in supply to meet isotope demand: http://seekingalpha.com/
article/ 976731-a-change-in-supply-to-me et-isotope-demand
"Nordion does not produce isotopes itself, but uses the NRU reactor in
Canada, which is scheduled to be shut down in the next four years. The
reactor is currently operating at full capacity, yet the demand is
greater due to a shortage in other regions. The company has had to
evolve over the years with more efficient means of producing medical
isotopes-- in other words, getting more bang for the buck. Nordion has
become the world leader in cobalt-60, which is used to produce gamma
radiation, and also in the creation of targeted therapies with
yttrium-90. Therefore, Nordion is a diversified company; but if the NRU
reactor were to close, it would be a huge hit to the company. The
company does have a backup isotope supply in Russia; but in terms of
supplying the U.S. (its largest market), the costs would drastically
rise if the NRU reactor closes because of the logistics involved in
transporting and producing various isotopes."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 13:32
Mounting storage concerns in US: Who’s responsible? http://
analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.c om/decommissioning/ mounting-storage-concerns-who%E 2%80%99s-responsible?utm_sourc e=http%3A%2F%2Fuk.nuclearenerg yinsider.com%2Ffc_nei_decomlz% 2F&utm_medium=email&utm_campai gn=NEI+e-brief+0711&utm_term=M ounting+storage+concerns%3A+Wh o%E2%80%99s+responsible&utm_co ntent=151899
"After 50 years of generating nuclear power and with approximately
67,000 tons of fuel being temporarily stored at about 75 operating and
shutdown nuclear facilities, the United States is still at crossroads
regarding what will be the nation’s policy for the disposition of its
spent nuclear fuel.
Since 1987, Yucca Mountain in Nevada has been
the federal government’s primary choice for a nuclear waste repository.
But despite the $10bn spent on the project, doubts linger over the
Department of Energy’s (DOE) planned opening of the repository in 2017,
after it failed to open it in 1998 – the original deadline established
by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.
A multitude of issues have delayed
the project, from Nevada’s opposition to building the repository in
their state, to President Obama’s withdrawal of the project’s license
application. The current debate is whether to link or one or more
short-term storage facilities or to build a permanent repository,
similar to Yucca Mountain. Until a decision is made, however, storage
concerns for utilities with used nuclear fuel (UNF) will remain. "
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 13:17