Today: 23.Feb.2018

Kristin Zaitz, Civil Engineer, Project Manager at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, Co-Founder of Mothers for Nuclear: My parents taught us about leaving wilderness more pristine than we found it. Dad took me backpacking as soon as I was old enough to carry a pack. We slept under the stars and marveled at the expanse of the sky, and our small place in a big universe. Knowledge is power. When I was pregnant, I inspected the inside of a containment dome during a refueling outage. I knew from my dosimeter that I got less radiation exposure than my coworker who ate a banana that day. I have run marathons for the last decade and have started taking Oliver, 6 and Kate, 3 on runs with me. Their little lungs work so hard — I feel glad we live near a nuclear plant, which emits no air pollution, and is far away from the polluted skies of Los Angeles and New York

Published in Energy Today

Howard Cork Hayden, Emeritus Professor of Physics, author of The Energy Advocate: Most Americans, 80%, live in urban areas. Most urban areas are not windy. Only Chicago has the name, windy city. Most windy areas are far from cities along wilderness ridge lines, barren plains, out in the ocean. Most of the best wind sites have extreme weather that can regularly damage wind farms. The power from a wind turbine is highly non-linear with wind speed. Wind direction varies. A wind rose graph shows the variability of direction and speed. Compared to fossil fuels and nuclear power, wind energy is not at all practical.

Published in Energy Tomorrow

Van Snyder, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JPL, Mathematician: Popular discussions about nuclear power eventually get around to at least one of five objections: It's not safe; no one knows what to do about waste; it's too expensive; it leads to nuclear weapons proliferation; or there isn't enough uranium. All of these objections are baseless. It is clearly obvious that nuclear power in the form of safe fast-neutron breeder reactors with on-site electrorefining must be a necessary (and economical) part of the American energy economy. Should the United States develop the technology, or buy it from France, Russia, China and India?

Published in Energy Tomorrow

Bloomberg, Weixin Zha, Brian Parkin: By 2030, the eastern German town of Poedelwitz will likely be razed to get at the rich veins of coal beneath its half-timbered houses. The reason: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s effort to steer Germany toward greener energy, which has unexpectedly meant booming demand for dirty coal. “This is unparalleled destruction of the environment,” says Jens Hausner, a farmer who has seen 17 of his 20 hectares consumed by digging equipment that looks like something out of a Mad Max movie. In a bit more than a decade, the hulking machines are expected to claw through the town’s 13th-century church and 40 or so remaining homes. None of this will lead to a significant reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide. From a scientific point of view, none of this matters. Its all politics, pure politics.

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