The Hiroshima Syndrome’s Fukushima Commentary is proudly hosting this week’s edition of the Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers. We have postings by Dr. Jim Conca, Dr. Robert Hayes, Dan Yurman, Meredith Angwin, and Rod Adams.

Here’s the Fact or Fiction (?) quiz for this week… In a speech to the National Association of Science Writers, New York City, September 16th, 1954, then-AEC Chairman Lewis Strauss said nuclear energy would become “too cheap to meter”.

Now…for this week’s Blogs. To read the full articles, please click on the individual links. Blog topics for this edition include… nuclear waste is no threat to Lake Huron, nuclear and hydroelectric are environmentally friendly, Idaho’s battle over small amounts of used nuclear fuel, disturbing trends in Vermont and New Hampshire, and six decades of learning about fast reactors.

*              *              *

From Dr. Jim Conca (2) –

(at Forbes magazine)

Panel Says Canada Should Bury Nuclear Waste Near Lake Huron

Low-level waste is even less radioactive, and consists of common industrial stuff that has been contaminated with low levels of radioactivity during routine clean-up and maintenance at the nuclear facilities. It includes mops, rags, paper towels, temporary floor coverings, floor sweepings, protective clothing and hardware items such as tools. Much of these wastes are incinerated or compacted to reduce their volume before disposal. This stuff is not a threat to anyone.

(and at Reboot Illinois)

Bills in General Assembly good for Illinois nuclear power, clean energy

Illinois has more nuclear energy generation than any other state – almost half of its electricity comes from nuclear power. Recently, Illinois lawmakers proposed creating a low-carbon standard for energy that meets federal greenhouse gas regulations for the power sector and, for the first time, includes nuclear along with the other low-carbon sources.


From Dr. Robert Hayes at Science 2.0

Environmentally Friendly Electricity Production: Nuclear and Hydroelectric

When it comes to making electricity, there is no such utopia where this can be done without some impact to the environment and no waste generation.  Everything we do generates some waste and has some cost and it really just comes down to a cost benefit analysis. This analysis shows that nuclear and hydroelectric generation are the best of the bunch.

From Dan Yurman at Neutron Bytes (2) –

Neutron Bytes – Dan Yurman

Idaho’s big battle over a small amount of spent nuclear fuel

Want to know what Idaho’s dispute about two bundles of 25 spent fuel rods each is really like? Take a metal garbage can, say 39 gallon size, and put it over your head. Then have someone bang on the outside of it with a broomstick. It makes a really big racket, but aside from some residual ringing in your ears, there will be no physical harm. That’s what the sound and fury of the current dispute looks and sounds like. Put the Department of Energy inside the garbage can and put two former Idaho governors outside it with sticks, and that’s what’s going on.


Areva’s reactor division goes on the auction block

Electricite de France SA (EDF) will offer 2 billion euros for Areva. This will will set off a lumbering process of bureaucratic bean-counting since both EDF and Areva are creations of the French government. The negotiations will be more of a case of a hostile takeover than an acquisition since EDF will have to decide which parts of Areva’s workforce it wants to keep. The deal would include Areva’s reactor division, which employs 15,000 people worldwide and a much smaller engineering division reported to employ 1,200 people. The deal would not include Areva’s uranium mining, enrichment, and nuclear fuels operations.


From Meredith Angwin…two from Yes Vermont Yankee and one from Northwest Clean Energy

The Government Chooses the Electricity Supplier: Disturbing Trends in Vermont and New Hampshire

In the interests of Green Power, the town of Hanover New Hampshire has a link to a Green Utility on its website. The website urges residents of the town to change their utility contracts, and choose the town-favorite utility. Meanwhile, in Vermont, a new law encourages (maybe forces?) Vermont utilities to buy more power from HydroQuebec. Meredith Angwin compares these governmental forays into “favorite vendor” status with how things worked in her youth, in Mayor Richard J. Daley’s Chicago.

Vermont Did Lead the Way (Guest post by George Clain)

George Clain, past president of IBEW local 300 at Vermont Yankee, writes about how Vermont was leading the way into a low-carbon future when Vermont Yankee was operating.  He stresses the importance of keeping other low-carbon generators (such as hydro and nuclear) operating in the Northeast.


A pretty remarkable moment in Salem

John Dobken describes a public hearing in on a bill in the Oregon legislature: A proposed Oregon task force would study the future role of nuclear technologies in the state of Oregon.  The hearing showed bi-partisan legislative support for Oregon’s future involvement with NuScale Power and possibly other new types of reactors.


From Rod Adams at Atomic Insights

Integrating six decades of learning about fast reactors 

The Global American Business Initiative hosted a morning workshop titled “Sustainable Nuclear Energy for the Future: Improving Safety, Economics, and Waste Management” on May 28. John Sackett and Yoon Chang provided enlightening presentations about their experience with the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR).

*              *              *  

Fact or Fiction (?) quiz answer – Fiction. Here’s what Strauss actually said, “It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter, will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history, will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age.” (emphasis added) Many historians say Strauss was actually referring to the promise of fusion-generated power, not fission. Regardless, his speech says nothing about the promise of nuclear energy, regardless of the source.