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May-07-2011 17:59printcomments

Reactor Reax: Roundup of Stories About Nuclear Power

Problems relating to this non natural supply of power are diverse and widespread.

Workers begin removing nuclear contaminated water at Fukushima
Removal of radioactive water begins at Fukushima (AFP Photo) Russian TV

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - Is the writing on the wall, visible to all? I have to ask that question, as we mire through the mindless mire of corporate thinking in a modern age that is in so many ways, not even close to an age of awareness and understanding.

There will always be reasons that big business and deep pocketed men want to boost their earnings and further their power in the world, but back to that writing on the wall.

We knew about the inherent dangers of nuclear power long before the first power plant was ever constructed. It is perverse that even in Japan, corners were cut to save money in the construction of the Fukushima nuclear facility.

Alas, just like with Deepwater Horizon, neither government nor business can truly be trusted. They will always cut corners to save money and they are only in their line of work for the money anyway.

As you will learn in this latest roundup of nuclear related stories from Physicians for Social Responsibility, problems relating to this non natural supply of power are diverse and widespread.

- forward by News Editor Tim King

Nuclear power: Learn from Florida's mistakes, (op-ed by Florida state Sen. Mike Fasano is a Republican who has represented the 11th District since 2002), Cedar Rapids Gazette, May 6, 2011. "I understand that the Iowa General Assembly is considering legislation to allow early cost recovery for new nuclear power generation. I write to share how we in Florida learned the hard way that such legislation is bad for consumers and bad for our state and why I went from being a supporter of similar legislation to the prime sponsor of legislation to repeal it."

Japan's Nuclear Catastrophe Leaves Little to Celebrate on Children's Day, (op-ed by Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies), Huffington Post, May 6, 2011. "On April 19, the Japanese government sharply ramped up its radiation exposure limit to 2,000 millirem per year (20 mSv/y) for schools and playgrounds in Fukushima prefecture. Japanese children are now permitted to be exposed to an hourly dose rate 165 times above normal background radiation and 133 times more than levels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows for the American public. Japanese schoolchildren will be allowed to be exposed to the same level recommended by the International Commission on Radiation Protection for nuclear workers. Unlike workers, however, children won't have a choice as to whether they can be so exposed."

Nuclear meltdowns are bad for returns, (op-ed by Raj Thamotheram and Maxime Le Floch, members of the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets, and co-authors of a forthcoming book on corporate failures in light of the BP oil spill), Financial Times, May 1, 2011. "These are not new insights. But common sense does not automatically translate into common practice. The global financial crisis had already shown that lessons learned from the dotcom bubble and Enron were not put into practice to any great extent. It is important we do not ignore the lessons of the Gulf of Mexico and Fukushima."

Exclusive: Renewable energy to leap, costs to fall: UN, Reuters, May 4, 2011. Renewable energies such as wind or solar power are set to surge by 2050, and expected advances in technology will bring significant cost cuts, a draft United Nations report showed on Wednesday."

Heat Waves Putting Pressure on Nuclear Power's Outmoded Cooling Technologies, SolveClimate News, May 4, 2011. "All existing nuclear plants use vast amounts of water as a coolant. But in recent years — often far from the public eye — hot river and lake temperatures have forced power plants worldwide to decrease generating capacity."

NRG Energy 1Q Swings To Loss On Texas Nuclear Project Pullout, Dow Jones, May 5, 2011. "NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) swung to a first-quarter loss as political risks surrounding two planned nuclear reactors in Texas prompted the power producer to withdraw from the project."

Nuclear Fuel in Dry Casks Needs Better Security, Watchdog Says, Bloomberg, May 4, 2011. "U.S. regulators need to improve the security for used nuclear fuel stored in steel and concrete containers, a government watchdog said in a report. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has no central database of security-related information for so-called dry cask storage, and doesn't have a comprehensive document outlining the roles and responsibilities of staff, according to a report by the agency's inspector general."

Experts Divided Over Safety of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, Reuters, May 2, 2011. "A recent MSNBC investigation based on Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) figures reveals that among the country's 104 nuclear power plants, Indian Point carries the greatest risk of reactor core damage from an earthquake."

"Reactor Reax" is featured on, a Web site maintained by Physicians for Social Responsibility.

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Gaucho May 11, 2011 2:51 pm (Pacific time)

Here is what is going to derail that dinosaur.

Please take 15 min and explore the link provided

Rossi has given three demonstrations so far including with professors from Bologna University and the Swedish skeptics society and the Chairman of the Swedish Physics Union. This is a link to the LENR site where detailed information about cold fusion efforts is available. The Naval Research lab has been working on this with positive results for over 10 years. Yet the major scientific magazines refuse to touch this issue since it was purportedly discredited by some researchers and an institution that stood to lose 10s of millions in funding per year and numerous PHD candidates and hundreds of grad students who were working on the government funded hot fusion reactor. This funded hot fusion system has never produced surplus energy after billions have been spent and years of research.

Rossi has announced a 1MW Cold Fusion facility to be opened in Greece this Oct. Yet top line periodicals have yet to publish even one article. This will change the economics of the world lifting many people out of poverty and it will also threaten many vested interests.

Rossi 6-hour demonstration convinces Swedish experts
April 2011
On March 29, 2011, a test of a smaller Rossi device was performed. It was attended by two new observers: Hanno Essén, associate professor of theoretical physics and chairman of the Swedish Skeptics Society, and Sven Kullander, chairman of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' Energy Committee. They agree with other independent observers that the device must be producing a nuclear reaction. See NyTeknik: Swedish physicists on the E-cat: "It's a nuclear reaction."
This test employed a new, smaller device with a 50 cm3 cell. It produced ~4.4 kW for 6 hours, or 25 kWh (90 MJ).
Essén and Kullander wrote a report, also in NyTeknik, Experimental test of a mini-Rossi device at the Leonardocorp, Bologna 29 March 2011. Focardi gave a revealing radio interview. Here is an English translation.
NyTeknik has published a number of articles about Rossi. They are all listed here. The New Energy Times is keeping a close watch on news articles about Rossi. They have a list of articles here.

Plans to begin commercial cold fusion reactor production this year
March 2011
A company has been formed in Athens, Greece, Defkalion Green Technologies S. A., for the purpose of manufacturing and selling Andrea Rossi Energy Catalyzer cold fusion reactors. According to the Greek newspaper "Investor's World" and other sources, the company is capitalized at €200 million, which includes €100 million to be paid in as royalties, presumably to Rossi. The Greek press says the company plans to manufacture 300,000 machines a year for the Greek and Balkan market. The company website says it has exclusive rights to sell the machines everywhere except the Americas.

Rossi has announced that he is fabricating a 1 MW reactor to produce hot water (not steam or electricity), scheduled for October 2011. He is building the machine in Florida before shipping it to the Defkalion factory. It will consist of 100 small devices similar to the one demonstrated at U. Bologna.
We have uploaded a new paper from Scott Chubb describing the Rossi device and recent events about it.

Rossi 18-hour demonstration
February 2011, updated March 2011
On February 10 and 11, 2011, Levi et al. (U. Bologna) performed another test of the Rossi device. Compared to the January 14 test, they used a much higher flow rate, to keep the cooling water from vaporizing. This is partly to recover more heat, and partly because Celani and others criticized phase-change calorimetry as too complicated. There were concerns about the enthalpy of wet steam versus dry steam, and the use of a relative humidity meter to determine how dry the steam was. A source close to the test gave Jed Rothwell the following figures. These are approximations:
Duration of test: 18 hours
Flow rate: 3,000 L/h = ~833 ml/s.
Cooling water input temperature: 15°C
Cooling water output temperature: ~20°C
Input power from control electronics: variable, average 80 W, closer to 20 W for 6 hours
The temperature difference of 5°C * 833 ml = 4,165 calories/second = 17,493 W. Observers estimated average power as 16 kW. A 5°C temperature difference can easily be measured with confidence.
3,000 L/h is 793 gallons/h, which is the output of a medium-sized $120 ornamental pond pump.
The control electronics input of ~80 W is in line with what was reported for tests before Jan. 14. Input power was high on that day because there was a problem with cracked welding, according to the Levi report.
18 hours * 16 kW = 288 kWh = 1,037 MJ. That is the amount of energy in 26 kg of gasoline (7.9 gallons). Given the size and weight of the device, this rules out a chemical source of energy.
NyTeknik published a fascinating description of the latest experiment (in English). This includes new details, such as the fact that the power briefly peaked at 130 kW. NyTeknik also published an interview with two outside experts about the demonstration: Prof. Emeritus at Uppsala University Sven Kullander, chairman of the National Academy of Sciences Energy Committee, and Hanno Essén, associate professor of theoretical physics, Swedish Royal Institute of Technology. Two versions are available, in English and Swedish.
On March 3, Rossi conducted an informative on-line chat with NyTeknik readers.
Rossi and U. Bologna have announced that tests on the device will continue for a year.

skinnydog May 7, 2011 10:52 pm (Pacific time)

Nuclear power isn't the problem. The problem is with the reactors we've been using to produce it. If the reactors at Fukushima had been Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) they wouldn’t have had a disaster on their hands. Liquid-fuel reactor technology was successfully developed at Oak Ridge National Labs in the 1960s. Although the test reactor worked flawlessly, the project was shelved, a victim of Cold War strategy. But LFTRs have been gathering a lot of attention lately, particularly since the events in Japan. A LFTR is a completely different type of reactor. For one thing, it can't melt down. It's physically impossible. And since it’s air-cooled, it doesn’t have to be located near the shore. It can even be placed in an underground vault. A tsunami would roll right over it, like a truck over a manhole cover. Imagine a kettle of lava that never boils. A LFTR uses liquid fuel⎯nuclear material dissolved in molten fluoride salt. Conventional reactors are atomic pressure cookers, using solid fuel rods to super-heat water. And that means the constant possibility of high-pressure ruptures and steam leaks. LFTRs don’t even use water. Instead, they heat helium to spin a turbine for generating power. So if a LFTR leaks, it’s not a catastrophe. The molten salt will "pool and cool" just like lava, for easy containment, recovery, and re-use. LFTRs burn Thorium, a mildly radioactive material as common as tin and found all over the world. We’ve already mined enough raw Thorium to power the country for 400 years. It’s the waste at our Rare Earth Element mines. LFTRs consume fuel so efficiently that they can even use the spent fuel from other reactors, while producing a miniscule amount of waste themselves. In fact, the waste from a LFTR is virtually harmless in just 300 years. (No, that’s not a typo.) Yucca Mountain is obsolete. So are Uranium reactors. LFTR technology has been sitting on the shelf at Oak Ridge for over forty years. But now the manuals are dusted off, and a dedicated group of nuclear industry outsiders is ready to build another test reactor and give it a go. Will it work? If it doesn’t, we’ll have one more reactor to retire. But if it does work⎯and there is every reason to believe that it will⎯the LFTR will launch a new American paradigm of clean, cheap, safe and abundant energy. Let’s build one and see.

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