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/
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:46
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