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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Rolls Royce plans fleets of small nuclear reactors. At approx £2billion per reactor (that’s approx $2.8billion) how much will each fleet cost?

Rolls-Royce expects the first five reactors to cost £2.2bn each, falling to £1.8bn for subsequent units.

SMRs could not achieve economies of scale unless developers secured a large number of orders. “How are you going to get orders for 16 of an unproven reactor type and if you don’t have orders for 16 how are you going to build a factory?” 

Rolls-Royce courts investors for mini nuclear plants, Consortium led by engine group seeks £300m in funding as it prepares application for small modular reactors, Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh and Sylvia Pfeifer in London Ft.com, 17 May 21,

A consortium led by Rolls-Royce that is hoping to build a fleet of mini nuclear power stations across Britain is talking to investors to secure £300m in funding as it prepares to submit its design to regulators later this year. The consortium, which also includes Jacobs and Laing O’Rourke, hopes to be the first “small modular reactor” developer to put its design through the UK’s rigorous nuclear regulatory assessment. The process is expected to take up to four years but would keep the companies on track to complete their first 470MW plant by the early 2030s, which would be capable of generating enough low-carbon electricity for about 1m homes.


 UK prime minister Boris Johnson backed SMRs as part of his 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” last year. The technology is viewed within the government as a good way to create manufacturing jobs as well as delivering on Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda. Rolls-Royce believes at least 16 SMRs could be installed at existing and former nuclear sites in Britain and more could potentially be built at locations such as former coal mines. It estimates the programme could create as many as 40,000 jobs in the UK regions by 2050.

Environmental groups say the technology is unproved and point out that nuclear energy leaves behind a legacy of waste, the most toxic of which takes at least 100,000 years to decay The prime minister has promised £215m in public funds, which the consortium hopes will help it secure the £300m in private match funding needed for the project to progress.  

Rolls-Royce, which has been working on SMRs since 2015, expects the first five reactors to cost £2.2bn each, falling to £1.8bn for subsequent units.

It has argued that its design, which uses pressurised water reactors similar to existing nuclear power stations and boasts an increased generation capacity from 440MW previously, is more commercially viable and lower-risk than rival plans. The company has also claimed it could compete with renewable technologies such as offshore wind.  Tom Samson, chief executive of the Rolls-Royce-led consortium, said “the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings down its cost to be comparable with offshore wind at around £50/MWh”.

But Tom Burke, chair of climate change think-tank E3G, argued that SMRs could not achieve economies of scale unless developers secured a large number of orders. “How are you going to get orders for 16 of an unproven reactor type and if you don’t have orders for 16 how are you going to build a factory?”  If sufficient private funding is secured, the consortium intends to set up a special purpose vehicle this summer in which Rolls-Royce is expected to retain a significant interest. The programme could give Rolls-Royce an important new revenue stream as it looks to reduce its exposure to the commercial aerospace sector, which has been severely dented by the coronavirus pandemic.https://www.ft.com/content/11ba5955-2f75-4eb5-b3e9-73f74684eb10

May 18, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

Chernobyl is showing signs of a possible new nuclear accident

Chernobyl is showing signs of a possible new nuclear accident, scientists say.  Nuclear reactions are smoldering again   https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/energy/553844-chernobyl-is-showing-signs-of-a-possible-new-nuclear  .Christian Spencer | May 17, 2021

Radioactive waste is smoldering in a part of Chernobyl that is unreachable.

Two chemical experts heed caution of another explosion.

The fatal 1986 explosion left the place a ghost town.

Scientists are warning that another explosion could occur in Chernobyl due to the spike in neutron numbers in an underground room called 305/2.

The numbers may indicate that new fission reactions are taking place, and there’s a possibility the smoldering nuclear reaction — in a room that’s currently unreachable — could lead to an explosion, Business Insider reported.

“[It is] like the embers in a barbecue pit,” Neil Hyatt, a professor of nuclear materials science and engineering at the University of Sheffield Lecturer, told Science magazine.

Fellow scientist, Maxim Saveliev, a senior researcher with the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) in Kyiv, Ukraine, agrees with Hyatt, saying “there are many uncertainties, but we can’t rule out the possibility of [an] accident.”

The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident near the No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, close to the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR. The April 26, 1986 disaster is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history for the amount of money it cost and the number of lives lost. The Chernobyl disaster is one of two energy-related accidents that were rated a level 7, the maximum.

About 50 people were killed, and the explosion resulted in thousands of radiation-related deaths.

As of now, the New Safe Confinement (NCS), a $1.8-billion protective confinement shelter, was built in 2019 to stop the contamination of radioactive.

The NSC was also created to lower the neutron counts, with Saveliev saying the issue of a possible explosion might resolve itself.

After 35 years, the evacuated city still resembles a ghost town.

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Israeli public opinion makes a US-Iran nuclear deal urgent

Israeli public opinion makes a US-Iran nuclear deal urgent, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Doreen Horschig | May 14, 2021   Israel has consistently opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that the Biden administration is seeking to revive. The recent diplomatic talks in Vienna have been a welcome opportunity for proponents of the deal. But when progress was reported, Israel allegedly damaged an Iranian military vessel and a few days later caused a power outage at the Iranian nuclear site in Natanz.

Israel believes Tehran never abandoned its ambition to become a nuclear-armed state and that the deal paves the path for realizing this ambition. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his administration have been trying to convince the United States that a return to the JCPOA would be a mistake unless major flaws are addressed.

There are some straightforward reasons why it might be in Israel’s interest to revive the JCPOA, including a reduction of Iran’s installed centrifuges and stockpiles of enriched uranium. But another reason for reviving the deal has received little attention: Israeli public opinion. Not because the public supports the JCPOA (they don’t), but because—as my own recent research found—the Israeli public is highly hawkish and would be supportive of a nuclear first strike against a nuclear-armed Iran.

In other words, the world cannot rely on the Israeli public to avoid atomic warfare in the Middle East. Because of this, the Biden administration needs to redouble its efforts to make sure that the United States and Iran re-enter the nuclear deal. If Iran further develops the bomb and eventually obtains it, Israel’s government has public backing for a nuclear first strike against Iran—which would be both a regional and global disaster. The Israeli public will not provide a constraint if a nuclear strike is being considered………………

Israeli public opinion. Very few recent polls have attempted to identify preferences among the Israeli population for a nuclear strike. To fill this gap, I worked with Midgam—an Israeli research and consulting firm that frequently partners with academics—last summer to survey a nationally representative sample of 1,022 Israeli adults, including both Jews and Arabs. The survey aims to understand the circumstances under which people might support a first strike with a nuclear weapon………..

My survey results confirm a large hawkish majority indeed lurks within the Israeli public. Survey respondents read a government press release presenting a scenario that included an Iranian nuclear threat—and suggesting that an Israeli nuclear strike would effectively destroy an Iranian nuclear facility. The respondents were then asked: “Given the facts described in the article, if Israel decides to strike, how much would you approve or disapprove of this decision?” The findings suggest that 60 percent of Israelis approved of a nuclear first strike on Natanz if they felt threatened by a (hypothetically) nuclear-armed Iran. Even with a reminder of likely Iranian retaliation, approval for a strike was higher (45 percent) than disapproval (38 percent).

When I dug deeper to explore why some people are so supportive of the use of an atomic bomb, my research suggested that Israelis who were reminded of their mortality (through open-ended questions about their own deaths) were significantly more likely to support nuclear use in a first strike than those who were not reminded of death. Though it may seem paradoxical, a theory of psychology called Terror Management Theory predicts just that. It suggests that, when individuals are prompted to think of their own death, they become less risk-averse and increase their support for extreme aggression toward whatever it is that challenges their worldview—a worldview that normally provides a defensive death-denying belief. And what could remind Israelis more of their death than the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran?

This all suggests that the public cannot be counted on to be a constraint on Israeli leadership. Unlike during the Cold War, when people took to the streets to protest the US-Soviet arms race and use of nuclear weapons, there is currently no visible pro-disarmament sentiment in Israel. No public opposition in Israel will put a check on an Israeli nuclear first strike.

To avoid a dire conflict, it is in Israel’s interest to support diplomatic steps. So far, the JCPOA has prevented a trajectory to a nuclear first strike more effectively than counterproliferation measures and withdrawal did. If Israel needs one more reason to sympathize with the JCPOA, here it is: Public hawkishness could be a contributing factor that spirals the country into a nuclear crisis.

……….. If Israel wants to prevent a situation in which a nuclear-armed Iran causes the Israeli citizenry to support a nuclear first strike, then it should get on board with the JCPOA. And the Israeli public’s hawkishness should give the Biden administration an increased sense of purpose and urgency.

The window of opportunity to revive the Iran nuclear deal is closing quickly………………While the deal is not perfect, it’s at least a measure that has shown effectiveness in the past. ……….https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/israeli-public-opinion-makes-a-us-iran-nuclear-deal-urgent?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=MondayNewsletter05172021&utm_content=NuclearRisk_IranDealUrgent_05142021

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Israel, politics international, public opinion | Leave a comment

White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear


White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear, carbon capture projects,
The Hill 
BY RACHEL FRAZIN – 05/17/21 
The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council expressed opposition to nuclear and carbon capture projects as well as projects that expand capacity for fossil fuel production in a report issued Friday.

The volunteer advisory council listed such projects as among “examples of the types of projects that will not benefit a community,” in a set of recommendations issued to the White House. 

The recommendations issued by the council, which is made up of leaders in the environmental justice movement, are meant to advise the Biden administration, but don’t necessarily reflect administration policy. 

In fact, the opposition appears to be somewhat at odds with policies the administration has backed, like President Biden’s promotion of a carbon capture tax credit in his infrastructure plan. 

The report did not specify why the advisory panel considers such projects not to be beneficial, but opponents have raised concerns about nuclear waste. ……..   https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/553927-white-house-environmental-justice-advisors-expresses-opposition-to

May 18, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Should Bill Gates be viewed as a man of character and a trusted adviser to world leaders?

Gates’ reputation and practices are now open to further questions and scrutiny.

Billionaire Bill Gates’ Alleged Relationships With Women While Married Raise Questions About His Character, Forbes, Jack Kelly, Senior Contributor  17 May 21,  Bill Gates, the multibillionaire cofounder of Microsoft, was viewed and mostly respected by the public as a nerdy, brainy and awkward guy. In the tech community, it was different. Gates was feared. Rivals saw him as brutal and ruthless.

The U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division accused Microsoft of running a monopoly and filed suit—United States v. MicrosoftCompetitors were knocked out of business. His childhood best friend and cofounder, Paul Allen, claimed Gates “conspired with Microsoft’s first chief executive, Steve Ballmer, to reduce his co-founder’s stake,” while he was “recovering from treatment for lymphoma.” 

Extolling Gates’ cultivated persona of a well-meaning billionaire, Times Magazine wrote in March 2020, “Late on Friday, cofounder and original chief executive officer Bill Gates, the man most closely identified with the world’s largest software maker, said he will leave the company’s board to devote more time to his charitable foundation, which is is playing a key role in global health initiatives and expanding into new areas like climate change.” The takeaway from this type of fawning reporting belied the real man. 

The real story, according to the Wall Street Journal,  was far different than initially reported. “Microsoft Corp. board members decided that Bill Gates needed to step down from its board in 2020 as they pursued an investigation into the billionaire’s prior romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee that was deemed inappropriate.”  

An investigation initiated by Microsoft’s board of directors determined that Gates had to go. After decades helming the software company, Gates resigned before the board finished its probe.  …………..

Gates became a fixture on the news, weighing in on Covid-19, vaccines and a wide array of other global matters. His past take-no-prisoners approach to business at Microsoft was forgotten. He transformed into a new persona of a caring, well-meaning philanthropist. 

In fairness, Gates has accomplished great work through his foundation and efforts. He may have saved and improved millions of lives around the world through his philanthropic endeavors.

It appears, in hindsight, that this may have been some sort of attempt for redemption, atoning for past actions. Sadly, moving forward, in light of these allegations, Gates’ reputation and practices are now open to further questions and scrutiny.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2021/05/17/billionaire-bill-gates-alleged-relationships-with-women-while-married-raises-questions-about-his-character/?sh=29595a985001

May 18, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Nuclear emergency guidelines on thyroid radiation exposure under review in Japan

Nuclear emergency guidelines on thyroid radiation exposure under review in Japan,  Japan News, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 17 May, 21

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) plans to establish a system for measuring thyroid gland radiation levels of nearby residents in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear power plant accident, during a review of the government’s nuclear emergency response guidelines being undertaken this fiscal year.

Revisions will likely include a requirement to measure radiation levels of children under the age of 18 and pregnant women, who are most vulnerable to radiation exposure………

Officials are particularly concerned about areas where radiation levels reach 500 microsieverts per hour, which requires immediate evacuation, and those where levels continuously exceed 20 microsieverts per hour, which requires temporary relocation.

The NRA is considering mainly targeting children under the age of 18, pregnant women and nursing mothers in such areas.

Radioactive iodine-131 released in a nuclear accident halves in about eight days, highlighting the importance of taking measurements immediately after an accident to determine radiation exposure levels.

However, the measurement target until now was unclear and the response system and equipment were insufficient………. only about 1,000 of the 370,000 children under the age of 18 in Fukushima Prefecture have had their thyroid gland radiation levels measured.  https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0007405020

May 18, 2021 Posted by | health, Japan | Leave a comment

Israel’s Mossad co-operating with Saudi Arabia in devising military action against Iran?

Mossad Chief Reportedly Visited Saudi Arabia for Talks on Iran, https://www.haaretz.com/1.5152341 17 May 21, Account on WorldNetDaily follows series of recent reports on increasing secret cooperation between Israel and the Saudis, including defense coordination on matters related to possible military action.

Mossad chief Meir Dagan visited Saudi Arabia recently, if unofficial reports published over the weekend on the WorldNetDaily website are accurate. The Internet news site attributed the story to Arab sources.

According to the reports, the talks conducted in Saudi Arabia with the head of Israel’s espionage agency dealt with Iran and its nuclear program. The account follows a series of recent reports on increasing secret cooperation between Israel and the Saudis, including defense coordination on matters related to possible military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Two months ago, the Times of London reported that during the course of a Saudi military exercise, air defense system operations were halted for a few hours to rehearse a scenario whereby Israeli fighter planes would cross Saudi Arabian air space en route to an attack on Iran.

Arab and Iranian media outlets have also reported Israeli air force planes and helicopters landing in Saudi Arabia for the purposes of positioning equipment there.
Three weeks ago, it was reported that the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador in Washington said at a conference that the consequences of nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranians would be more serious than an Israeli assault, because a nuclear Iran could not be tolerated. His remarks reflect a common concern felt in Israel and the Persian Gulf states over nuclear weapons in Iranian hands.

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Scaling back missile defense could prevent a nuclear attack



The Fate of the Planet: Unconventional Takes On Pandemics and Nuclear Defense Could Protect Humanity From Catastrophic Failure

Scitech Daily By AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY MAY 16, 2021

 ”’……….Scaling back missile defense could prevent a nuclear attack

A single nuclear weapon could kill millions and destroy a city instantaneously. Hundreds of weapons could wipe out functioning society in a large nation. Even a limited nuclear war could cause a climate catastrophe, leading to the starvation of hundreds of millions of people.

Recently, Russia, China, and North Korea have deployed new types of nearly unstoppable missiles.

“Missile defense is an idea that can sound appealing at first—doesn’t defense sound like the right thing to do?” said Frederick Lamb, astrophysicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, cochair of the 2003 APS Study of Boost-Phase Missile Defense, and chair of the current APS Panel on Public Affairs Study of Missile Defense and National Security.

“But when the technical challenges and arms race implications are considered, one can see that deploying a system that is intended to defend against intercontinental ballistic missiles is unlikely to improve the security of the United States,” he said.

Lamb points to the United Kingdom’s decision to increase its nuclear arsenal by 44%, possibly motivated by Russia’s new missile defense system around Moscow. He sees the move as yet another sign that existing limits on nuclear weapons are unraveling. Even missile defenses that would never work in practice can catalyze the development of new nuclear weapons and increase global risk.

Lamb will share what may happen if the United States ramps up new missile defense systems.

“What is done about nuclear weapons and missile defenses by the United States and other countries affects the safety and survival of every person on the planet,” he said.  https://scitechdaily.com/the-fate-of-the-planet-unconventional-takes-on-pandemics-and-nuclear-defense-could-protect-humanity-from-catastrophic-failure

May 18, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan slammed for not addressing nuclear wastewater dumping concerns

CGTN  16 May 21,  Noting Japan yet to refuse to respond directly to the concerns of the international community, China again urged Japan on Monday to face up to its responsibility and refrain from wantonly disposing the polluted water before reaching consensus with all stakeholders and international agencies through consultations.

China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily news briefing when asked to comment on Seoul’s request to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) calling for exploring ways to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog to ensure safety in Japan’s planned release of Fukushima nuclear polluted water………. https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-05-17/Japan-slammed-for-not-addressing-nuclear-wastewater-dumping-concerns-10l2UShieyc/index.html

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alabama hospital installs radiation-free spine imaging tool

Alabama hospital installs radiation-free spine imaging tool    https://www.beckersspine.com/orthopedic-a-spine-device-a-implant-news/item/51800-alabama-hospital-installs-radiation-free-spine-imaging-tool.htmlAlan Condon –  Birmingham, Ala.-based Princeton Baptist Medical Center reportedly is the first hospital in the state to implement the Flash navigation system for spine and cranial procedures, CBS affiliate WIAT reported May 14.

Designed by 7D Surgical, Flash uses visible light to create a 3D image for spine surgical navigation, eliminating patient and staff exposure to intraoperative radiation, according to the company.

The technology was approved for neurologic surgery in 2016 but since has expanded to spine surgery.

The Flash system costs $500,000, compared to other navigation systems on the market that run up to $1.2 million, according to 7D Surgical.

7D Surgical is expected to be acquired by SeaSpine this quarter.

May 18, 2021 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Pacific Nuclear test veterans encouraged quest for apology will succeed  

Nuclear test veterans encouraged quest for apology will succeed  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300309768/nuclear-test-veterans-encouraged-quest-for-apology-will-succeed, Jimmy Ellingham May 17 2021  Pacific nuclear test veterans are encouraged their quest to gain a long-awaited apology for being exposed to radiation appears to have ministerial support

Kiwi sailors on the decks of the HMNZS Rotoiti and HMNZS Pukaki witnessed atomic explosions and collected weather data during Operation Grapple, Britain’s Pacific nuclear testing programme of the 1950s.

The New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association, which represents the more than 500 Kiwi sailors involved, is pushing for a meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The association wants an apology for the sailors, and help for medical problems in their children and grandchildren.

To lay the groundwork for the prime ministerial audience the association’s chairman, Tere Tahi, of Bulls, has met with Veterans’ Affairs Minister Meka Whaitiri.

Tahi said last week’s audience with the minister, her secretary and head of Veterans’ Affairs Bernadine Mackenzie went well, a feeling he hadn’t had from meetings with previous ministers.

“They were mighty to talk to. The minister was really good and she said that she’ll do what she can for the veterans.”

The trio listened to arguments about how what the navy veterans went through had affected their children and grandchildren. Tahi and his son James represented the association.

At present the veterans can get help for medical problems, but their offspring cannot.

Tahi said Whaitiri was asked if she could approach Ardern about a meeting, and she said she would try.

“We put our case across to her [Whaitiri], which is what we wanted to do. She was very good.

“We want recognition. We want an apology.”


The association’s plan was to argue its case to Ardern on humanitarian grounds, telling the stories of its members.

It’s thought about 60 of the Kiwi sailors are still alive.

The association’s plan was to argue its case to Ardern on humanitarian grounds, telling the stories of its members.

It’s thought about 60 of the Kiwi sailors are still alive.

The association was formed in the 1990s. At a reunion about that time it became clear many veterans were affected by cancer and other health 

May 18, 2021 Posted by | health, New Zealand, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Early atomic bomb research – the ‘demon core’ that killed physicist Harry Daghlian 

The Demon Core: How One Man Intervened With His Bare Hands During A Nuclear Accident   https://www.iflscience.com/physics/the-demon-core-accident-how-one-man-stopped-a-nuclear-detonation-with-his-bare-hands/ 17 May 21,

Following the end of World War 2 and the devastating impacts of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings, the Cold War was looming. The immense destruction and power promised by atomic bombs pushed world superpowers into a nuclear research frenzy, with the USA preparing to drop a third on Japan , and the remaining nations creating their own arsenal as a deterrent or defense.  

Enter the ‘demon core’. Sitting at a sizeable 6.2 kilograms (13.7 pounds) and 3.5 inches in diameter, this spherical mass of radioactive plutonium (at the time named ‘Rhufus’) was designed in nuclear research to be a fissile core for early iterations of the atomic bomb. Throughout 1945 and 1946, the demon core was experimented on ……

As expected from its’ ominous title, the demon core was not kind to the nuclear physicists involved. Designed as a bomb core, it had just a tiny margin before it would increase radioactivity and become supercritical (once the fission reaction has begun, it increases in rate). Therefore, any external factors that could increase reactivity, for example, compression of the core (which is how the fission bomb detonates), must be carefully monitored around the demon core.

Despite the danger, researchers used the core as an experimental piece on supercriticality, using neutron reflectors to push it to its’ limits. Neutron reflectors are used to surround the core, and as the nuclear fission reaction occurs, they reflect neutrons back at the nuclear material to increase the amount of fission taking place.

In 1945, alone in his laboratory, physicist Harry Daghlian was performing a neutron reflector experiment on the demon core when he mistakenly dropped a brick of reflective tungsten carbide onto the core, pushing it into supercriticality and releasing a deadly burst of neutron radiation. After a 3-week battle with acute radiation sickness, Daghlian succumbed to his wounds, leading to tighter legislation around nuclear research in the Manhattan Project – although it would not be strict enough.

Despite the danger, researchers used the core as an experimental piece on supercriticality, using neutron reflectors to push it to its’ limits. Neutron reflectors are used to surround the core, and as the nuclear fission reaction occurs, they reflect neutrons back at the nuclear material to increase the amount of fission taking place.

In 1945, alone in his laboratory, physicist Harry Daghlian was performing a neutron reflector experiment on the demon core when he mistakenly dropped a brick of reflective tungsten carbide onto the core, pushing it into supercriticality and releasing a deadly burst of neutron radiation. After a 3-week battle with acute radiation sickness, Daghlian succumbed to his wounds, leading to tighter legislation around nuclear research in the Manhattan Project – although it would not be strict enough.

That burst of radiation would kill Slotin within 9 days of exposure. Stood right beside him during the accident, Alvin Graves would also receive a huge dose of radiation but would survive the ordeal and live for another 20 years before death. Owing to Slotin’s quick thinking and body position, which absorbed most of the radiation, the remaining onlookers were shielded from the blast and survived to tell the tale.  

Following the accidents, the core would finally gain its name as the demon core, before being recycled down into other fissile cores. 

May 18, 2021 Posted by | history, incidents, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Tesla’s Bitcoin about-face is a warning for cryptocurrencies that ignore climate change

Don’t be lulled into thinking that Elon Musk is some sort of expeert on environmrent. He plans to continue with Bitcoin, as well as with a multitude of rockets and space satellites – all mpowered by – guess what” plutonium and other forms of nuclear energy

Tesla’s Bitcoin about-face is a warning for cryptocurrencies that ignore climate change, The ConversationJohn Hawkins, Senior Lecturer, Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society and NATSEM, University of Canberra  17 May 21

 Over the weekend, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk suggested his company could sell off its Bitcoin holdings, sending the cryptocurrency plummeting.

It followed Musk’s announcement earlier this month that his company would no longer accept Bitcoin in payment for its electric cars, due to the fossil fuels needed to create the digital currency.

Bitcoin is created via high-powered computers solving complex mathematical equations. These computers use a lot of electricity, which is often generated by fossil fuels. Tesla’s about-face is a blow to Bitcoin, the value of which jumped when Tesla got on board.

Tesla’s stance is a big winner for both the climate, and the company’s “green” reputation. The development has also shone the spotlight further onto the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency – an issue that will not go away soon.

how, exactly, is Bitcoin – and many other cryptocurrencies – bad for the environment?

It all comes down to the energy used to create it. Before a Bitcoin transaction takes place, the person spending the coin must be verified as the valid owner. And once the transaction is complete it must be digitally recorded in a database known as a “blockchain” ledger.

Unlike a traditional bank where transactions are centrally verified and recorded, Bitcoin’s ledger comprises a distributed database of users. They verify transactions by running complex mathematical problems through high-powered computers. The first user to solve the calculation and add it to the blockchain is rewarded with Bitcoin. The process is termed “mining”.

Over time, the Bitcoin system increases the complexity of the problems as more computing power is applied to them. In the early days mining could be done by geeks in their bedrooms using home computers. Now it mostly done using vast rooms full of very expensive specialised equipment, which only companies can afford.

The process uses a lot of energy. The University of Cambridge recently estimated Bitcoin used more electricity each year than the entire economies of Argentina or Sweden.

Some of this electricity comes from renewables. But analyses suggest most Bitcoin mining occurs in China, and the main power source is coal. A recent study in Nature concluded Bitcoin operations in China are on track to produce 130 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2024 – more than the entire economy of the Czech Republic……….   https://theconversation.com/teslas-bitcoin-about-face-is-a-warning-for-cryptocurrencies-that-ignore-climate-change-160928

May 18, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY | Leave a comment

U.S. tiptoes through sanctions minefield toward Iran nuclear deal

U.S. tiptoes through sanctions minefield toward Iran nuclear deal, Reuters, Daphne PsaledakisArshad Mohammed 17 May 21, ,  As the United States searches for a path back to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, it is tiptoeing through a minefield laid by former U.S. President Donald Trump.

The mines are Iran-related sanctions Trump imposed on more than 700 entities and people, according to a Reuters tally of U.S. Treasury actions, after he abandoned the nuclear deal and restored all the sanctions it had removed.

Among these, Trump blacklisted about two dozen institutions vital to Iran’s economy, including its central bank and national oil company, using U.S. laws designed to punish foreign actors for supporting terrorism or weapons proliferation.

Removing many of those sanctions is inevitable if Iran is to export its oil, the biggest benefit it would receive for complying with the nuclear agreement and reining in its atomic program.

But dropping them leaves Democratic President Joe Biden open to accusations that he is soft on terrorism, a political punch that may be unavoidable if the deal is to be revived.

The possibility has already drawn fierce Republican criticism………….. https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/us-tiptoes-through-sanctions-minefield-toward-iran-nuclear-deal-2021-05-17/

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weatherwatch: does nuclear power really keep the lights on?

Weatherwatch: does nuclear power really keep the lights on?    With nuclear fading away, Britain must learn how to carefully manage renewable energy https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/may/15/weatherwatch-does-nuclear-power-really-keep-the-lights-on, Paul BrownSat 15 May 2021 1

The nuclear industry is fond of telling us the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow, as if people living in Britain did not already know that. But the point atomic enthusiasts are making is that wind and solar electricity generation is not reliable, while nuclear will keep the lights on.

But things are a bit more complicated than that. This is partly because large-scale batteries, pump storage in reservoirs and other ways of topping up electricity supplies mean that baseload power provided by nuclear reactors is no longer needed. Another reason is that nuclear output is falling while renewables get ever stronger.

Output of electricity over a year is measured in terawatt hours (TWh). In 2020, generation from nuclear was 50.3TWh, down 11% from 2019, partly because of cracks and rust in ageing reactors. Renewable output reached a record high of 120.3TWh.

Significantly, 2020 nuclear generation was 13TWh less than in 1989, when nuclear provided 20% of the nation’s electricity, and wind and solar contributions were hardly measurable.

Even with the massive station Hinkley Point C being built in Somerset, nuclear power is fading away. To keep the lights on we will have to increasingly learn to carefully manage the power produced by our unreliable weather.

May 18, 2021 Posted by | ENERGY, UK | Leave a comment