Today, we are proud to host the 275th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers, here at Northwest Clean Energy. The Carnival is a compendium of nuclear blogs that rotates from blog site to blog site. This is Northwest Clean Energy’s first time hosting the Carnival. It is a pleasure and an honor to host it.
Why We Need Nuclear Power: Blog posts from near and far
Nuclear power provides over 40% of Sweden’s electricity, has avoided over 2 billion tons of CO2 emissions, and has saved tens of thousands of lives by not burning fossil fuel. Sweden is a net exporter of low-carbon electricity to other parts of Europe. Sweden basically cannot import power during extreme weather conditions. If Sweden shut down nuclear power, what would be the effects?
At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus discusses an article that helps rebut the argument that we can meet all our energy needs with solar and wind power. One important point that she raises: there is a big difference between what we can do and what we should do.
An objective observer of the current public debate over how to power society without dumping carbon into the air would wonder why we spend so much time discussing everything–except what works.
Looking Toward the Future: Blog posts on new initiatives
Rachel Pritzker is a philanthropist who aims to solve problems, even if the solutions require rethinking long held notions. She is the founder and chairman of the Pritzker Innovation Fund, and the Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Breakthrough Institute. She played a role in the production of Pandora’s Promise, and she is one of 18 authors of the recently released Ecomodernist Manifesto.
In this podcast, Pritzker and Rod Adams talked about the importance of nuclear energy as a tool for improving human prosperity and environmental cleanliness. (Podcast is slightly more than one hour long.)
NuScale Power has developed a small modular reactor, based on PWR technology, and with passive safety features. NuScale plans for these reactors to be deployed in the Pacific Northwest (Idaho and possibly Washington state), as early as 2024.
Recently, NuScale staged its first NuScale Expo at the Oregon State University campus at Corvallis. John Dobken reports on presentations including the humanitarian need for small reactors, the business potential for SMR development, and the importance of nuclear energy to the Pacific Northwest.
Money: Market reforms good for nuclear, government reports raise financial doubts
The US General Accounting Office has published a major report about the prospects for advanced reactors being developed for commercial customers in the US. The outlook is not especially hopeful. In summary, the government watchdog agency found that:
Reactor designers told GAO they face challenges associated with the up to $1 billion to $2 billion cost of developing and certifying a design. Even with a reactor design ready to submit to NRC, the licensing and construction can take nearly a decade or more before a reactor is operational. The time that the NRC would take to evaluate a design is also a barrier.
Pay For Performance Rewards Reliability and Nuclear
Meredith Angwin at Yes Vermont Yankee
Meredith Angwin reviews the Pennsylvania/Midwest grid operator’s (PJM) recent rule changes for capacity auctions. PJM has instituted “Pay for Performance” rules. The new rules favor reliable plants, including nuclear plants.
An NGO opposed to completing the MOx facility has leaked a DOE red team report to the news media. The findings in the report cast doubt on whether completing the MOX facility is cost effective compared to alternatives for disposing of 34 tonnes of weapons grade plutonium.
Fighting the FUD: A few blog posts on combating Fear Uncertainty and Doubt spread by nuclear opponents
The Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), a reliably anti-nuclear organization, is worried about some new petitions for rulemaking. These petitions ask the NRC to stop using the linear, no-threshold model as the basis for radiation protection regulations. One of NIRS objections is that changing the regulations might make it cost less to operate nuclear power plants.