The Hiroshima Syndrome’s Fukushima Commentary is proudly hosting the latest edition of the Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers. This week, we have postings by Dr. James Conca, Meredith Angwin, Jessica Lovering, Dan Yurman, and Dr. Gail Marcus.

Here’s the Fact or Fiction (?) quiz for this week… Guacamole is almost as radioactive as bananas.

 Now…for this week’s Blogs. To read the full articles, please click on the individual links. Blog topics for this edition include… Fukushima apples featured in a world cocktail competition, how the Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund helps schools, why Britain’s Hinckley Point C is not a stealth military project, the case for a nuclear energy investment bank, and how replacing CFCs with HFCs might not be a good choice.

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From Dr. James Conca at Forbes Magazine
Fukushima Apples Are Dynamite In Cocktails

The 42nd World Cocktail Championships kicked off in Tokyo this week It is an unusual event for discussing a Fukushima accident topic, but that is exactly what Yoshikazu Suda is doing. He’s a a bartender in Tokyo’s Ginza district who hails from Fukushima. During the contest, several varieties of fruit will be used, but only Fukushima-grown apples will be used in the fruit-cutting event. Contrary to fears, Fukushima-grown food has no detectable radiation from the accident.


From Meredith Angwin at Yes Vermont Yankee
Vermont Yankee Decomm Fund Supports Local Schools
(guest post by Guy Page)

When Entergy announced that Vermont Yankee was closing, the company made a Master Settlement Agreement with the state of Vermont. It included a $5.2 million donation from Entergy to the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund.  Part of this money is now being used to help Vermont schools convert to advanced wood-heating systems. (Guy Page is involved with the Vermont Energy Partnership)


From Jessica Lovering of The Breakthrough Institute
Britain’s Civilian Nuclear Program Is Not a Stealth Military Program

Last week, Peter Wynn Kirby, a social anthropologist at Oxford, wrote in the NY Times that the United Kingdom promoted the Hinkley Point C project as “a stealth initiative to bolster Britain’s nuclear deterrent.” The author’s argument was entirely dependent on a “painstaking study” authored by the Science Research Project at University of Sussex. While the study offers up self-described circumstantial evidence for links between British civilian and military nuclear suppliers, their main argument is that there can be no other explanation for the United Kingdom’s support for nuclear power.

From Dan Yurman at Neutron Bytes
The Case for a Nuclear Energy Investment Bank

America needs a government-backed investment bank to secure capital at reasonable interest rates for development of advanced reactors. This blog post describes the kinds of mechanisms that could be developed to provide the capital and financing mechanisms that are the missing links in the chain of events that need to be completed for nuclear start-ups to get the one thing they need most – customers.


From Dr. Gail Marcus at Nuke Power Talk
More Unintended Consequences: Air Pollution versus Climate change

Gail Marcus reflects on a meeting she recently attended that identified some unintended consequences of the effort to save the ozone layer by eliminating the use of CFCs.  One replacement, HFCs, may be good for the ozone, but is a potent greenhouse gas.  She draws parallels between this case and other times when one technology replaced another.


From Andy Dawson at Energy Matters
UK Electricity 2050 Part 1: a demand model

A modeling exercise on what a decarbonized UK energy system might look like.  It’ll be appearing in the parts, this being the first.  It deals with demand levels and patterns with respect to substantial electrification of road transport, based on the assumption of removal of natural gas and oil from heating.


From Brian Wang at Next Big Future
First two generation 3+ nuclear reactors will be operation in China by the end of this year

The first four reactor coolant pumps for Haiyang unit #1, in China’s Shandong Province, have be4en run simultaneously at full speed. The AP1000 is set to begin operating by the end of the year. Because it uses passive safety design, the AP1000 has 50% fewer safety-related valves, 35% fewer pumps, 80% less safety-related piping, 85% less control cabling, and 45% less seismic building volume than the Westinghouse generation II PWR.

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Here’s the Fact or Fiction (?) answer for this week… Fact.

A recent scientific study found that many common household items are detectably radioactive, including foods. Most people already know that bananas are radioactive, as well as potatoes, carrots, lima beans, red meat, low sodium table salt, beer, and brazil nuts, But, no we know that guacamole must be added to the list. Researchers from North Carolina State University found that the avocado is almost as radioactive as the banana: 0.16 micrograys per hour vs. 0.17 µGy/hr. Is this a lot? Of course not. It is trvial, and much, much less than any reasonable level of concern. By the way… carrots top the list as perhaps the most radioactive food, at more than double the level of avocados and bananas, closely followed by brazil nuts.