Tag Archives: nuclear power

Why don't nuclear reactors go kaboom? A reactor kinetics primer part - 3

Water Dolphin

We have discussed the time behavior of the neutron flux and reactivity feedbacks. Now it is time for the the thermal side of things. The point kinetics model describes how much energy is produced in the fuel, but we also need a model for how the energy is transported within the fuel, through the fuel cladding and into the coolant. To figure it out we need models for heat conduction through the fuel and cladding, heat transfer to the fluid through convection, properties of the fluid at different temperatures and pressures and so on. This blog post will deal with the heat conduction in the pellet and through the cladding.

Continue reading Why don't nuclear reactors go kaboom? A reactor kinetics primer part - 3

Why don't nuclear reactors go kaboom? A reactor kinetics primer part - 1

Nuclear reactors contain tons of fissile material and nuclear bombs contain only kilograms of fissile materials, so why does one of them explode with enough force to flatten a city but the other doesn't? I will pull out some latex skillz and geek it out with equations to describe the physics behind whats in nuclear engineering is called reactivity excursions or RIA (Reactivity Insertion Accident). The level of these blog posts will be such that an interested and fairly math savy person can understand and calculate these kind of things on their own.

Castle Romeo photo: United States Department of Energy, Source: Wikimedia

Continue reading Why don't nuclear reactors go kaboom? A reactor kinetics primer part - 1

Nuclear news

Together they are giving a picture that Russia is really beginning to go all in for nuclear. Of course Russia has always been a pioneer in the nuclear field, but despite that they "only" have 33 reactors running producing less than 18% of electricity.


Taken from the IAEA PRIS database

Continue reading Nuclear news

Some good videos with Bill Gates

Bill Gates has fully realized the potential of nuclear and he has spoken often and a lot on the issue. Here are a few videos that are well worth watching.

The Gate Notes: Nuclear Energy after Fukushima (click on the link, video can not be embedded here)

The Gate Notes: An Energy Briefing with Daniel Yergin: Nuclear Energy

And here are two videos embedded. Continue reading Some good videos with Bill Gates

Did the Japanese authorities lie about the Fukushima accident? Part 1.

A powerpoint presentation made by professor Majia Holmer Nadesan is getting some attention around the web, in the presentation she claims that the Japanese authorities, among others, lied and covered up information about the Fukushima accident. So let's have a look at it.

Continue reading Did the Japanese authorities lie about the Fukushima accident? Part 1.

Why I do not trust "We don't need nuclear" rethorics

Dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist... for decades You have been telling me "It's easy to get off nuclear, if we just want to!". Well, alot more powerful people than You have made similar promises...

Where do we stand today after all these promises? Pretty much exactly where we were 5-10-20-40 years ago.

So - dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist - You promise me gold and green forests... but You don't deliver. Maybe this wasn't Your fault. Maybe You'd like to blame Big Oil or lazy politicians or a public that just won't see things the way You do. It's allright... You can try to shift the blame any place You want. But it doesn't matter whose fault it is, becasue assigning blame does not alleviate the problem.

So when You - dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist - today, yet again, try to tell me it's allright to renounce nuclear power, it means I cannot trust You, because things might no go they way You promise me they will.

What will You - dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist - need to do to gain my trust again?

Well it's easy: get the replacements up and running. Get full replacements for fossil fuels and nuclear power up and running, hooked to the grids and pumping GigaWatthours of energy into them, and I'll trust You again.

So... dear Mr./Ms. Anti-Nuclear Activist.... get to work. We're eagerly waiting for You.

Oh... and one last thing: while we wait for you to get this work done, You do not get to say we cannot make any new nuclear power if we want to, at least on the "We're not gonna need it in a while"-argument alone.  Just saying this FYI...

German economy minister: "To prevent paper cuts, we must cut off our arms"

Ok, now it is official: Germany has gone batshit crazy.

Power firms should invest massively in coal and gas-fired power technology and renewable energy sources, Harry Voigtsberger, economy minister of Germany's most populous state North Rhine Westphalia, said in the Financial Times Deutschland.

The original article can be read here (in german).

Angela Markel seems to be agreeing...

In a document from Friday's meeting obtained by Reuters, Merkel and her ministers laid out a six-point plan that includes a 5 billion-euro credit programme to support renewables.

It will also require building new gas and coal plants, Merkel said. "Gas and coal power plants were discussed... an accelerated exit from nuclear energy will lead to replacement power stations," she said.

Why? So they can get rid of nuclear power...

This is about as stupid an idea as to say that in order to prevent paper cuts to your finger you should cut off your arms!

Sure... you achieve what you aimed for... but did you really concider the side effects before you took a knife and started carving?

Diese dummen Deutschen...

George Monbiot: "...the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all"

George Monbiot, environmentalist and journalist... and once a strong opponent to nuclear power has faced an "unpalatable truth": the anti-nuclear lobby lied to us.


The article is only about 30 years overdue... but I cannot stop smiling when I read this. Monbiot did what everyone should do: check the facts, think for yourself, dare to think you may have been either right or wrong.

The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all

I've discovered that when the facts don't suit them, the movement resorts to the follies of cover-up they usually denounce

George Monbiot

Over the last fortnight I've made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong. We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice.

Thank yo so much for this George. Along with Mark Lynas and Patrick Moore, you have shown that "green" does not have to mean "unscientific zeal".

A litte riddle... solve it and win pins.

This is not so much an April Fools joke as it is a little riddle. It connects to a current event... and to things that happened in the last century. And of course it has something to do with nuclear power.

What are these equations?
What are these equations?

This is a comparison between two estimated values... what are they?

Update: we have a winner! Tony scored a perfect bullseye. I'm quoting him here:

‘a’ is the number of iodine atoms that would fill the known universe, if the iodine were at ‘normal’ temperature/pressure.

the second number is the number of radioactive iodine atoms you would have needed, when Chernobyl exploded, in order to have one radioactive iodine atom left today.

An added trivia is that the estimated number of atoms in the known universe is approximately 10^80.

The upshot of all this is this: there is not a single atom of Iodine-131 released by Chernobyl in existence today. The last atom decayed in no more than 4 years after the accident.