Thursday, 31 January 2013
U.S. used nuclear fuel: the elephant is a mouse, is the solution to America’s power generation problems by Steve Aplin
great read from Steve Aplin: U.S. used nuclear fuel: the elephant is a
mouse, is the solution to America’s power generation problems: http://
canadianenergyissues.com/2013/ 01/29/ u-s-used-nuclear-fuel-the-eleph ant-is-a-mouse-is-the-solution -to-americas-power-generation- problems/
..."Listening to American politicians talk about energy security and
clean energy is sometimes like listening to Captain Queeg testifying at
the court martial: at first it sounds congruous, coherent, and
believable, but upon the easiest cross examination it rapidly collapses
under its own contradiction and irrelevancies. This is especially true
with those politicians who fancy themselves to be friendly to the
environment. In one breath they thunder on about the evils of man-made
CO2. In the next, they promote—depending on the audience of the
day—CO2-intensive things like domestic oil drilling, “clean coal,” and
“clean natural gas.”"..... "The truly amazing thing is, there is an
energy solution, a proven one, that can—and does—provide huge amounts of
reliable, real energy (as opposed to the made-up phantom energy
produced in the fantasies of the advocates of renewables, biofuels, and
conservation), using materials that America already possesses in
relatively huge amounts. This is of course nuclear energy, and in
particular the vast amounts of energy that reside in used nuclear fuel."
A Push for LEU Isotopes: What it Means for Imaging: http://
www.diagnosticimaging.com/ contrast-agents/content/ article/113619/2124856
...NRU uses HEU to produce medical isotopes (the reactor fuel is
LEU), have not heard of any plans to change from HEU to LEU for medical
isotopes at NRU, interesting that the expected date of 2016 for a full
conversion to LEU for medical isorope production coincides with the
Harper's decision that NRU will no longer produce isotopes beyond 2016: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/ sources/uranium-nuclear/1353
"This is why investments are being made to relicense the NRU to 2016.
However, it is not the intention to have the NRU produce isotopes beyond
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:14
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
May not appreciate how much COLD temperatures are used in everyday life: Keeping Samples Cold, Very Cold: http://www.rdmag.com/articles/
2012/07/ keeping-samples-cold-very-cold? et_cid=3050571&et_rid=51749195 3&linkid=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rdma g.com%2Farticles%2F2012%2F07%2 Fkeeping-samples-cold-very-col d
And let's not forget vacuum technology's application in everyday life: http://www.mcallister.com/vacuum2.html
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:32
The giant oil company, Exxon, reclaims the title of world's largest company, as Apple slides... http://online.wsj.com/article/
..."Exxon shares have remained relatively steady over the past year,
trading around $75 at the low and $90 at the high. The oil conglomerate
is slated to report earnings before the start of trading Feb. 1.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect it to report per-share
earnings of $2.02 on $117 billion of revenue."
Given how much profits oil corporations take in, shouldn't they spend much more money on alternative energy investments???
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:04
Assembly of Nuclear Fusion Generation Test Equipment Begins in Japan: http://www.power-eng.com/news/
2013/01/28/ assembly-of-nuclear-fusion-gene ration-test-equipment-begins-i n-japan.html
..." The equipment will be assembled over six years at the agency's
Naka Fusion Institute in Naka, Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.
The experiment, scheduled to start in March 2019, will focus on
transforming the fuel into a high-pressure plasma state, aiming to
achieve electricity generation by recreating the nuclear fusion
reactions inside the sun.
The equipment, called JT-60SA, will be built jointly by Japan and European countries.
Superconducting coil and vacuum vessels inside the equipment will use
strong magnetic fields and electric current to contain the plasma."
" In nuclear fusion generation, one gram of fuel would produce energy equivalent to that generated from 8 tons of petroleum, through the atomic fusion of deuterium extracted from seawater and tritium.
The countries involved are hoping for the commercial launch of the new type of power generation, which leaves little nuclear waste, as early as the middle of the century."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 03:52
Monday, 28 January 2013
Mark your calendars: ICNS 2013 (International Conference on Neutron Scattering) will take place in Edinburgh from 8 - 12 July 2013. Participants will be from a wide range of disciplines including physics, chemistry, earth science, engineering, materials science and biology: http://www.icns2013.org/home
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:55
Saturday, 26 January 2013
This is so cool! Compact Neutron Source Takes First Picture: http://physics.aps.org/
..."Energetic neutrons provide an important tool for studying the
properties of materials. The most intense neutron sources are fission
reactors and particle accelerators, but they are costly to build and
research groups compete intensely for access. A cheaper and more
portable alternative is to generate neutrons from the interaction of
high-energy laser pulses with a solid target. Researchers at Los Alamos
National Laboratory in New Mexico have now recorded the first radiograph
with a laser-neutron source, a proof of principle marking the sources’
readiness for university labs."
The writeup in Physics World: http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2013/jan/30/neutrons-on-a-lab-bench
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:33
Friday, 25 January 2013
From Scientific American: What impact will oil from Canada's tar sands have on the planet? Big and bad! http://
www.scientificamerican.com/ article.cfm?id=tar-sands-and-ke ystone-xl-pipeline-impact-on-g lobal-warming&WT.mc_id=SA_Face book
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:55
Thursday, 24 January 2013
Another great read by Steve Aplin: Nuclear medicine in Northern Ontario: another spinoff benefit from the CANDU program: http://
canadianenergyissues.com/2013/ 01/20/ nuclear-medicine-in-northern-on tario-another-spinoff-benefit- from-the-candu-program/
..."Bruce Power, by far Canada’s single largest electricity generating
plant, is also the biggest clean energy centre in the western
hemisphere. The plant’s eight CANDU nuclear generating units are capable
of cranking out 50 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. If
generators running on allegedly clean natural gas were to provide 50
billion kWh, they would dump more than 27 million metric tons of carbon
dioxide (CO2) into the air in a single year. As I mentioned last week, a
big portion of those 27 million tons of CO2 would wind up in the
world’s already-stressed oceans, making their water more acidic. We
cannot afford to let this happen. Thank heavens for Bruce, and all other
nuclear plants—they produce power without CO2.
The Bruce plant is
also a major world producer of cobalt-60, arguably the most widespread
and important medical isotope. Co-60 is made in CANDUs and other
reactors (primarily the NRU at Chalk River) by bombarding cobalt-59, the
naturally occurring isotope of the element cobalt, with neutrons. It is
an extremely useful material, because of its strong gamma radiation. In
some circumstances, gamma rays kill cancer. In fact Co-60 gammas have
treated millions of cancer patients world wide."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:21
Things worse than nuclear power: everyday explosions: http://
www.thingsworsethannuclearpower .com/2012/11/ everyday-explosions.html
..."Yesterday, two people were nearly killed by a natural gas
explosion in Utah, which did not even make the news. They are reportedly
Updated tonight, a WSJ article shows that
almost 30 homes will have to be demolished, 7 were injured, and two
killed from what was likely a natural gas explosion in Indianapolis a
couple weeks ago. If it is the case, more people were killed from
natural gas in that one incident than have been killed in over 50 years
of U.S. commercial nuclear power due to radiation (zero). It is also
far more people than killed in the Fukushima nuclear "disaster" (also
zero- see "Earthquakes and Tsunamis")."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:18
Europe’s unlikeliest wildlife sanctuary: http://www.slate.com/articles/
health_and_science/ nuclear_power/2013/01/ wildlife_in_chernobyl_debate_ov er_mutations_and_populations_o f_plants_and.single.html
..."Chernobyl’s abundant and surprisingly normal-looking wildlife has
shaken up how biologists think about the environmental effects of
radioactivity. The idea that the world’s biggest radioactive wasteland
could become Europe’s largest wildlife sanctuary is completely
counterintuitive for anyone raised on nuclear dystopias.
isn’t good for all animals. Many species that like human
company—swallows, white storks, pigeons—mostly left the region along
with the people. Also, small creatures seem to be more vulnerable to the
effects of radiation than large ones. That may be why Chernobyl rodents
studied in the 1990s had shorter life spans and smaller litters than
their counterparts outside the zone. Stag beetles had uneven horns. But
it didn’t affect their population numbers.
And because the health of
wild animal species is usually judged by their numbers rather than the
conditions of individuals, Chernobyl wildlife is considered healthy.
According to all the population counts performed by Ukraine and Belarus
over the past 27 years, there is enormous animal diversity and
abundance. The prevailing scientific view of the exclusion zone has
become that it is an unintentional wildlife sanctuary. This conclusion
rests on the premise that radiation is less harmful to wildlife
populations than we are."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:14
From What-If folks: What if I took a swim in a typical spent nuclear fuel pool? http://what-if.xkcd.com/29/ ...."Assuming you’re a reasonably good swimmer, you could probably survive treading water anywhere from 10 to 40 hours. At that point, you would black out from fatigue and drown. This is also true for a pool without nuclear fuel in the bottom."
Japan learns nuclear restart requirements: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ RS_Japan_learns_nuclear_restart _requirements_2101131.html
..."Tough new rules for Japanese nuclear power plants have been
revealed in draft form. Among them are that power companies should be
able to contain a severe accident situation for an entire week without
The draft proposals for accident prevention and
mitigation came from Japan's newly established Nuclear Regulation
Authority (NRA), which has enough independence to do its work free from
governmental control and undue industrial influence. It published the
proposals today, announcing a period of discussion with power companies
before the end of January when it wants to begin formulating final
versions for publication in July.
Meeting the demands of these rules
will be essential for power companies wanting to restart nuclear
reactors that have laid idle for many months. The NRA has previously
said that utilities will be able to apply for inspections and approval
prior to July, although it would not give its final opinion until after
the final requirements had been passed into law."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:59
Market analysts see nuclear the right move for EU: http://
analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.c om/new-build/ clean-energy-independence-why-m arket-analysts-see-nuclear-mov e-right-direction-eu?utm_sourc e=http%3A%2F%2Fuk.nuclearenerg yinsider.com%2Ffc_nei_decomlz% 2F&utm_medium=email&utm_campai gn=NEI+e-brief+2301&utm_term=W hy+market+analysts+see+nuclear +as+a+right+move+in+the+EU+&ut m_content=151899
..."New research from market analysis experts Frost and Sullivan has
found that nuclear energy is the answer for the European Union (EU) if
it wishes to meet its carbon emission reduction targets by 2020.
Whilst the study accepts that there are environmental risks for nuclear
energy, reactors still hand EU member states the most practical way of
weaning themselves off fossil fuels. The research concludes that
globally the number of nuclear new builds is increasing, with Asia
leading the way with the most new projects currently in operation, with
the United States approving their first new nuclear plants since 1970
with its Vogtle 3 and 4 projects based in Georgia.
countries such as Germany, Italy and Belgium pulling away from nuclear,
the paper points to the UK, Sweden and countries across Central and
Eastern Europe, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, swaying towards
nuclear energy, leaving more plants being built than being
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:57
While still there is no news about the future of CRL, Ottawa contributes operating funds for CLS: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/
technology/ Ottawa+contributes+operating+fu nds/7856878/story.html
..."The federal government, through the Canada Foundation for
Innovation (CFI), is pumping up to $67 million into the Canadian Light
Source (CLS) synchrotron over five years.
The money will go toward operating and maintenance costs of the CLS, located at the University of Saskatchewan.
“It is paying the salaries, it is helping us to operate the facility,”
said CLS executive director Josef Hormes. “It means staying
state-of-the-art, cutting-edge research is what we can offer our users.”
The federal funding, which would cover up to 40 per cent of the costs,
is contingent on the CLS coming up with the remaining 60 per cent from
Monday, 21 January 2013
Another great read from James Conca: Fear Of Radiation -- It's All In The Noise: http://www.forbes.com/sites/
jamesconca/2013/01/20/ fear-of-radiation-its-all-in-th e-noise/
..."The recent astounding decision by the United Nations Scientific
Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (Radiation Not A Big Deal)
can only be interpreted if one understands noise. UNSCEAR’s report
confessed that low doses of radiation should not be used to predict
cancers in future populations, contrary to what everyone’s been doing
for the last 60 years.
The report, along with many new findings (No
DNA Damage at 400x Background), supports the observation that radiation
doses less than about 10 rem (0.1 Sv) have no observable effects on
human health and the environment. Less than 10 rem (0.1 Sv) is the
region that encompasses annual background levels around the world.
Another way of saying this is “below 10 rem/yr (0.1 Sv/yr), the effects of radiation disappear in the noise.”
It’s like trying to hear Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon from across
the room while operating a buzz saw without hearing protection. And
then trying to say it’s the music that caused some of your hearing
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:02
Sunday, 20 January 2013
Remarkable! Research projects at Sylvia Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation: http://www.cbc.ca/player/
For more details of the announced project see: http://www.fedorukcentre.ca/news/news-releases/news-release-fedoruk-centre-announces-first-research-grant-recipients,-new-look-in-honour-of-sylvia-fedoruk.php
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:13
AECL official unable to explain Point Lepreau delays: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/
new-brunswick/story/2013/01/15/ nb-eub-lepreau-aecl-expert-608. html
Friday, 18 January 2013
A must read from Nature magazine: Fukushima: Fallout of fear: http://www.nature.com/news/
..."After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan kept people safe from
the physical effects of radiation — but not from the psychological
Thursday, 17 January 2013
presentation at a town-hall meeting with staff of Canada's Embassy in
Tokyo in Dec 2012: here you will find the link to the full pdf file of
the presentation: http://
www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/ mediacentre/presentations/ presentations-2012.cfm#a2012121 9
..." from CNSC: "The purpose of the town-hall meeting was to provide an
overview of the Fukushima nuclear accident, to describe the CNSC's
response to the accident and the safety of Canadian nuclear facilities
as well as to engage in an open dialogue in order to provide factual and
scientific responses to any questions from Embassy staff or their
Waste encapsulation: nuclear sector keeps eye on Finland’s progress: http://
analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.c om/decommissioning/ waste-encapsulation-nuclear-sec tor-keeps-eye-finland%E2%80%99 s-progress?utm_source=http%3A% 2F%2Fuk.nuclearenergyinsider.c om%2Ffc_nei_decomlz%2F&utm_med ium=email&utm_campaign=NEI+e-b rief+1601&utm_term=Waste+encap sulation%3A+nuclear+sector+kee ps+eye+on+Finland%E2%80%99s+pr ogress&utm_content=151899
" A total of 9,000 tonnes of uranium fuel is planned to be disposed of
from the four existing plant units that are operated by Posiva's owners
TVO and Fortum, as well as Olkiluoto 3 currently under construction, and
Olkiluoto 4 that is in the pipeline for the future.
The project has
become a reality after 30 years of research, that has been in process
ever since the commissioning of the existing nuclear plants, and the
plans consist of a hybrid of two interconnected nuclear facilities, of
an above-ground encapsulation plant and an underground final repository.
The repository will be built at a depth of between 400-500 metres
that will consist of a tunnel network to be built in stages alongside
all the related technical facilities.
Timo Seppala, communications
manager for Posiva, explains: “The development of the final disposal
unit has come after three decades of development, but the idea is not
globally new and the model of this kind of final disposal unit has been
based on what has happened in Sweden.” "
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:43
A must-watch documentary coming up in the 2013 Sundance film festival: PANDORA’S PROMISE: http://whatnottodoc.com/2013/
01/11/ 2013-sundance-docs-in-focus-pan doras-promise/
..."The atomic bomb, the specter of a global nuclear holocaust, and
disasters like Fukushima have made nuclear energy synonymous with the
darkest nightmares of the modern world. But what if everyone has nuclear
power wrong? What if people knew that there are reactors that are
self-sustaining and fully controllable and ones that require no waste
disposal? What if nuclear power is the only energy source that has the
ability to stop climate change?
Prolific documentarian Robert
Stone and environmentalists, scientists, and energy experts share the
reasons why they have changed their minds from being fiercely anti– to
strongly pro–nuclear energy. The film
directly attacks popularly held reasons to oppose nuclear energy,
including fear of another disaster like Chernobyl, the problem of waste,
and the weakness of clean alternatives like wind and solar energy.
Whatever your stance, Stone’s compelling film opens Pandora’s box and
promises to change the conversation for years to come. With the world’s
unquenchable thirst for energy and its resulting threat to our
environment, the stakes may be nothing less than the survival of the
planet." ..."Beyond the convincing arguments and data put forth by
former anti-nuclear activists, Stone himself is a celebrated filmmaker
whose previous works have addressed the apparent dangers of nuclear
power and explored other environmental themes, so the project reflects
the views of individuals who have clearly given the topic careful
Also see: http://decarbonisesa.com/2012/12/10/pandoras-promise-pro-nuclear-environmentalism-on-film/
Another review of the documentary: If You Care About the Environment, You Should Support Nuclear Power: "A good, politically charged documentary often seizes on what the audience already believes and throws fuel on the fire (see, e.g., the work of Michael Moore). A better such documentary tries to convince its audience that what it takes for granted is flat-out wrong." http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/01/24/pandora_s_promise_review_nuclear_power_documentary_is_persuasive_and_timely.html
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
The birth of neutron diffraction! http://
www.symmetrymagazine.org/ article/january-2013/ neutron-scattering
The inelastic neutron scattering (triple axis spectroscopy) was invented by the Canadian Nobel Prize winner
Bertram N. Brockhouse: http://www.physics.mcmaster.ca/files/People/Bertram_N._Brockhouse/brockhouse.html
...Brockhouse and Shull jointly won the 1994 Physics Nobel Prize each
for their contribution to inelastic and diffraction neutron scattering,
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:38
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Great news! Ontario to close smog-producing coal-fired generating stations: http://www.rcinet.ca/english/
blog/ 09_29_31_2013-01-14-ontario-to- close-coal-fired-generating-st ations/
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:44
The Pro-Nukes Environmental Movement: http://www.slate.com/articles/
health_and_science/ nuclear_power/2013/01/ nuclear_energy_and_climate_chan ge_environmentalists_debate_ho w_to_stop_global.html
"James Hansen, NASA’s top climate scientist, is one of the most
impassioned and trusted voices on global warming. People listen closely
to what he says about how drastically the climate is changing.
when Hansen suggests what to do about it, many of those same people tune
him out. Some even roll their eyes. What message is he peddling that
few seemingly want to hear? It’s twofold: No. 1, solar and wind power
cannot meet the world’s voracious demand for energy, especially given
the projected needs of emerging economies like India and China, and No.
2, nuclear power is our best hope to get off of fossil fuels, which are primarily responsible for the heat-trapping gases cooking the planet.
Many in the environmental community say that renewable energy is a
viable solution to the climate problem. So do numerous energy wonks,
including two researchers who penned a 2009 cover story in Scientific
American asserting that “wind, water, and solar technologies can provide
100 percent of the world’s energy” by 2030. Hansen calls claims like
this the equivalent of “believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”
He’s not the only environmental luminary who is bullish on nuclear
power. Last year, Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, director of the
Earth Institute, echoed Hansen’s argument. A number of other champions
of nuclear power have stepped forward in recent years, from Australian
climate scientist Barry Brook to American writer Gwyneth Cravens, author
of Power to Save the World: The Truth about Nuclear Energy. A breakaway
group in the traditionally no-nukes environmental movement has also
begun advocating passionately for nuclear power. That story is the
subject of a new documentary that is premiering this month at the
Debunking the Denial: “16 Years of No Global Warming” http://www.slate.com/blogs/
bad_astronomy/2013/01/14/ no_global_warming_for_16_years_ debunking_climate_change_denia l.html ..."And instead of doing something about it, we have to tie up all our time fighting denialist propaganda. It’s shameful.
So let this be clear: There is no scientific controversy over this.
Climate change denial is purely, 100 percent made-up political and
corporate-sponsored crap. When the loudest voices are fossil-fuel funded
think tanks, when they don’t publish in science journals but instead
write error-laden op-eds in partisan venues, when they have to
manipulate the data to support their point, then what they’re doing
2012 was in top 10 warmest on record: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21033083
New start for US nuclear disposal: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ WR_New_start_for_US_nuclear_dis posal_1401131.html
"America will begin again this year on a program to store its used
reactor fuel and military wastes. This time the siting process will be
based on attaining the consent of a host community.
A new waste
disposal strategy was announced on 10 January by Stephen Chu, head of
the Department of Energy (DoE). He underlined the importance of nuclear
energy to the US power system which counts 104 operating nuclear
reactors. Safe management and disposal of highly radioactive used
reactor fuel as well as similar military wastes "must remain a national
priority" in order to "ensure that nuclear power remains part of our
diversified clean-energy portfolio," he said.
America's new strategy
would see a 'pilot interim store' being operation in 2021, with a focus
on taking used nuclear fuel from current shut down power plant sites.
By 2025 a larger 'full-scale interim store' would open, and by 2048 an
underground disposal facility should be in place to permanently store
and dispose of the material. The facilities could be co-located in any
combination or sited separately - all depending on the expressed will of
American people. There could even be more than one underground disposal
great read: What is an isotope? http://theconversation.edu.au/
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Environmentally friendly, not so fast: Wind farm turbines wear sooner than expected, says study: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
earth/energy/windpower/9770837/ Wind-farm-turbines-wear-sooner- than-expected-says-study.html
"Britain’s wind farms are wearing out far more rapidly than previously
thought, making them more expensive as a result, according to an
authoritative new study. " and someone needs to clean up the mess
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:19
A good read: Like We've Been Saying -- Radiation Is Not A Big Deal: http://www.forbes.com/sites/
jamesconca/2013/01/11/ like-weve-been-saying-radiation -is-not-a-big-deal/ ?ss=business%3Aenergy
..."A very big report came out last month with very little fanfare.
It concluded what we in nuclear science have been saying for decades –
radiation doses less than about 10 rem (0.1 Sv) are no big deal. The
linear no-threshold dose hypothesis (LNT) does not apply to doses less
than 10 rem (0.1 Sv), which is the region encompassing background levels
around the world, and is the region of most importance to nuclear
energy, most medical procedures and most areas affected by accidents
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:09
What a great idea: EDF nuclear to power UK trains: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ C_Nuclear_for_the_long_haul_110 1131.html
..."By electrifying more track and contracting nuclear power supplies
from EDF Energy the UK rail network operator will reduce fossil fuel use
over the next ten years.
A joint statement today described how
Network Rail will purchase power exclusively from EDF Energy, with that
supply matched to nuclear generation. With a requirement of 3.2 TWh per
year, Network Rail is the UK's largest power customer. It owns all the
railway infrastructure and purchases power centrally, recouping money
from firms that operate trains across its network."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:07
Thursday, 10 January 2013
Have any question about tritium, here is a great Tritium Fact Sheet by CNSC: http://
www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/ readingroom/factsheets/ tritium.cfm"The
CNSC has published a new fact sheet on tritium. This fact sheet
presents in plain language the basic information about tritium — where
it comes from, how it impacts health, and how it is regulated to ensure
public safety." well done!
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
A program to listen to on January 12: The Crude Effects of Alberta's Oil sands on CBC's Quirks & Quarks: http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/2013/
01/09/ january-12-the-crude-effects-of -albertas-oilsands/
"Alberta's massive oilsands have produced an impressive amount of crude
oil over the past two decades. But according to a new study from
Queen's University and Environment Canada, they're producing an alarming
amount of pollution as well. The study looked at 6 small lakes near
the oilsands, and found surprisingly high levels of a toxic chemical
that is a known carcinogen in the water. And by analyzing the sediment
from the past 50 years, they showed that the chemical deposits have been
steadily rising since large-scale oilsands production began in 1978.
We'll speak to one author of the study who says this is "the smoking
gun" that proves the contamination is not natural. It seems that the
bitumen is biting back."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 18:39
US invests to address shortage of rare earth metals: http://www.ameslab.gov/news/
news-releases/ ames-laboratory-lead-new-resear ch-effort-address-shortages-cr itical-materials
... "CMI will leverage these existing research programs into a larger,
coordinated effort designed to eliminate materials criticality as an
impediment to the commercialization of clean energy technologies. The
Hub will address challenges across the entire life cycle of these
materials. This ranges from enabling new sources; improving the
economics of existing sources; accelerating material development and
deployment; more efficient use in manufacturing; recycling and reuse;
and developing strategies to assess and address the life cycles of new
materials. Cross-cutting research, including developing computational
tools and supply chain and economic analyses, will also be necessary to
support the basic science needs across all challenge areas."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 18:35
From CNSC: Today CNSC Executive VP, Ramzi Jammal, made a presentation
to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) about Canada's
regulatory approach and oversight for filtered venting for reactor
containment. The US NRC is looking into the issue of containment venting
systems for US-type nuclear power reactors that use boiling water
reactors with Mark I and Mark II containment designs... Here is the link
to get pdf file of the CNSC VP and other participants: http://nrc.gov/reading-rm/
matter what the climate change deniers refuse to accept the facts even
though they have become so obvious especially the effects of burning
fossil fuels! This is a good read: 2012 hottest year on record in
contiguous U.S., NOAA says http://www.washingtonpost.com/
national/health-science/ 2012-hottest-year-on-record-in- continental-us-noaa-says/2013/ 01/08/ 5c9dc1ae-55d9-11e2-8b9e-dd87735 94efc_story.html
... from page 2: "In 2004, Princeton University professors Robert
Socolow and Stephen Pacala wrote an influential paper outlining how the
world could stabilize its greenhouse-gas emissions by mid-
through a series of “wedges,” using current technology, such as sharply
increasing nuclear power worldwide, eliminating deforestation and
converting conventional plowing to no-tillage farming."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:16
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Well graphene just keeps getting better and better! Graphene oxide soaks up radioactive waste: http://news.rice.edu/2013/01/
08/ another-tiny-miracle-graphene-o xide-soaks-up-radioactive-wast e-2/
"A collaborative effort by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour and the
Moscow lab of chemist Stepan Kalmykov determined that microscopic,
atom-thick flakes of graphene oxide bind quickly to natural and
human-made radionuclides and condense them into solids. The flakes are
soluble in liquids and easily produced in bulk.
The experimental results were reported in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.
The discovery, Tour said, could be a boon in the cleanup of
contaminated sites like the Fukushima nuclear plants damaged by the 2011
earthquake and tsunami. It could also cut the cost of hydraulic
fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas recovery and help reboot
American mining of rare earth metals, he said.
large surface area defines its capacity to adsorb toxins, Kalmykov said.
“So the high retention properties are not surprising to us,” he said.
“What is astonishing is the very fast kinetics of sorption, which is
“In the probabilistic world of chemical reactions where scarce
stuff (low concentrations) infrequently bumps into something with which
it can react, there is a greater likelihood that the ‘magic’ will
happen with graphene oxide than with a big old hunk of bentonite,” said
Steven Winston, a former vice president of Lockheed Martin and Parsons
Engineering and an expert in nuclear power and remediation who is
working with the researchers. “In short, fast is good.”"
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:53
A great read by Steve Aplin: Isotopes for heat: http://
canadianenergyissues.com/2013/ 01/04/ isotopes-for-heat-an-old-new-id ea-whose-time-came-went-and-ha s-come-again/
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:28
Friday, 4 January 2013
Happy New Year everyone… Another year is behind us! 2012 was another eventful year starting with the Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) for the future of Chalk River Labs and continuing with a stream of announcements related to research funding cuts. After the sale of the CANDU branch of AECL in 2011, the RFEI was meant to gauge any stakeholder (members of the public, universities, private industries) interest in participating in the future of AECL's Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories. With the RFEI process completed by March 2012, the hope was that the government would announce its decision for the future of the lab by the fall 2012. We are already into the New Year and there is still no news as to when the government will make an announcement. One thing that is clear, and has been clear for many years, is that a replacement for the aging NRU reactor either at Chalk River Laboratories or at University of Saskatchewan (wouldn’t it be great if both would get one!!!) will guarantee the future of neutron scattering, nuclear research and isotope production in Canada and their many benefits to the country for many years to come! Once again as Theodore Roosevelt said: “In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”… Here is a look back at some highlights of the posts on the group wall (I have tested the links and they should all work) and let us hope 2013 brings more support and funding for basic research in Canada especially commitment to replace the aging NRU reactor. Here is the link to the document 2012 Year in Review: http://futureofneutronscatteringincanada.blogspot.ca/p/2012-year-in-review.html
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 19:36
Japan's cautious return to nuclear power: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/
"Japan appears to be heading toward a gradual revival of nuclear power
generation under a new government supportive of retaining it, but the
outlook for the industry in 2013 is unclear, with antinuclear sentiment
still lingering among the public amid the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1
The new government led by the Liberal Democratic
Party has already signaled that it has no intention of following in the
footsteps of the Democratic Party of Japan government, which was
overthrown after the Dec. 16 election, when it comes to energy policy.
The DPJ government aimed at phasing out nuclear power by the 2030s.
"We need to reconsider the previous government's policy of seeking zero
operations of nuclear plants," Economy, Trade and Industry Minister
Toshimitsu Motegi told a press conference shortly after assuming the
He also said that completely giving up Japan's
spent-fuel recycling policy, which would lose its role if nuclear power
generation ends, is "currently not an option," and that the government
backs the resumption of reactors as long as they are deemed safe by the
Nuclear Regulation Authority, the new atomic watchdog.
are likely to encourage utilities, which have been desperate to restart
idled reactors to boost their business. The minister's words also leave
open the possibility of allowing utilities to install new reactors that
have been planned but are not yet under construction."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:00
on the government's research cuts: The changing research climate in
Canada by Béla Joós, Physics in Canada Editor-in-Chief: http://www.cap.ca/en/article/
"The cancellation of NSERC’s Major Resources Support (MRS) program has
broader implications, jeopardizing the future of many facilities, such
as the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre at Chalk River and the Polar
Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) [3,4]. Ironically,
we were told by NSERC at the CAP Congress that the MRS program is the
victim of its own popularity: too many applications led to a
bureaucratic and financial burden on NSERC. This cancellation appears as
an attempt to download financial responsibility to academic
institutions with already strained resources. The impact of the
elimination of the MRS program extends throughout the natural sciences.
In biological- and environmental-related sciences, this decision
coincided with significant cuts to federally-funded environmental
research. Neglecting research that informs us about the state of our
planet cannot lead to good policy decisions . There is a widespread
perception that, for our current federal government, ideology trumps
evidence. This has led to the “Death of evidence” demonstration on
Parliament Hill in June 2012 and an international call to the government
to justify its decisions [6,7]." ... "Finally, the current
preoccupation with technology transfer and innovation should not
undermine the excellent fundamental curiosity-driven research that is
present in Canada [1,2]. It is from that research that physical
principles underlying new technologies will emerge. To maintain a
diversified and thriving academic research environment, the DGP program
should remain a priority and will need a healthy RTI program to support
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:41
Thursday, 3 January 2013
An entertaining must-read for those of you interested in the history of Deep River: Almost the Perfect Place to Live: http://www.sttranslation.com/
"This full-length article appeared in Maclean's Magazine, September 15,
1958, and was penned by up-and-coming journalist Peter C. Newman.
Photographs by Sam Tata."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 19:13
A must read by Allan R. Gregg, a well-known Canadian pundit and former Progressive Conservative pollster: "1984 in 2012 – The Assault on Reason": http://allangregg.com/?p=80 "Ok, so now the facts were beginning to tell a different story. This was no random act of downsizing, but a deliberate attempt to obliterate certain activities that were previously viewed as a legitimate part of government decision-making – namely, using research, science and evidence as the basis to make policy decisions. It also amounted to an attempt to eliminate anyone who might use science, facts and evidence to challenge government policies."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 19:05
How U.S.-European cooperation can deliver cheaper, safer nuclear energy by Barry Brook: http://bravenewclimate.com/
"As the debate over climate policy picks up again in the wake of
Hurricane Sandy and President Obama’s reelection, policymakers should
prioritize efforts that will accelerate the adoption of zero-carbon
technologies, especially the only proven baseload source available: next
Whereas traditional nuclear reactors from the
1950s were designed in secret, advanced models are being researched,
designed, and financed by innovative international collaborations. Take
GE-Hitachi’s PRISM, a joint American-Japanese venture to construct a
power plant in the United Kingdom capable of processing plutonium. Or
the recent announcement that South Korea’s national electric utility,
KEPCO, had been awarded a contract to build the first nuclear plant in
the United Arab Emirates, using Australian-mined uranium for fuel.
An expanding international community recognizes the importance of
developing advanced nuclear reactor designs to meet energy needs and
address global warming. Thirteen countries have joined the Generation IV
International Forum (GIF), for instance, a cooperative endeavor to
encourage governments and industry to support advanced nuclear energy
concepts. Member countries, which include the United States, Japan,
Russia, and China, have agreed to expand R&D funding for advanced
nuclear projects that meet stringent sustainability, economic, safety
and nonproliferation goals.
Yet despite international agreement on
the necessity of next generation nuclear systems, there is a dearth of
support at the national level. In the US, annual federal RD&D
spending for advanced fission reactors has not exceeded $200 million in
the last 10 years, following much larger budgets through the 1970s to
mid-1990s. The majority of research and investment in advanced nuclear
systems today comes from Asia, and most new nuclear is constructed in
developing nations. Yet many of the countries most interested in
building more nuclear are largely stuck with old Generation II designs."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 04:54
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Birthday Harriet Brooks! she was born in 1876 in Exeter, Ontario.
Brooks studied physics at McGill University and became the first woman
to earn a master's degree in any field. She worked with Ernest
Rutherford discovering radon and helping to establish that radioactive
decay entails the transmutation of one element into another: http://www.physics.ucla.edu/
Canada’s first female nuclear physicist: http://publications.mcgill.ca/reporter/2011/03/women%E2%80%99s-day-profile-remembering-harriet-brooks-canada%E2%80%99s-first-woman-nuclear-physicist/
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 10:21