The ENERGY TOMMOROW section includes many types of nuclear technologies that have better performance and more passive safety features than the Light Water Reactors used so far. The future for everyone and the environment and wildlife depends on these advance nuclear power technologies.
John Kotek, Nuclear Energy Institute, NEI: may be a "watershed" year for the US nuclear industry, which must maintain a strong domestic sector by keeping its reactors operating but must also demonstrate it can build new plants, while paving the way for advanced reactors.
The Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (PRISM) designed by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is a small, modular, sodium-cooled fast reactor. The PRISM core is located in a pool-type containment vessel and is fueled with metallic fuel. Each PRISM produces 311 MW of electricity.
Gary Young, retired engineering manager: It is lamented that far too few of the electorate have any real understanding of the hard sciences. This lack of understanding has given rise to embracing poor (junk) science at even some of the highest levels of academic and political thought. The current concept of most concern is all the political rhetoric about renewables such as solar and wind providing our energy. There is only one well understood technology at the present time that could produce vast amounts of power in addition to fossil fuels and that is nuclear. We are held back from the nuclear solution by unfounded fear. The root of the fear is the very wrong doctrine of “liner no threshold” concerning the biological effects of radiation. In truth, there are thresholds and almost nothing in science is linear.
Gary Young, mechanical engineer, major product development manager - Before retirement, he worked on product development that significantly contributed to profitability of a global technology company. In this series of articles titled "A Galactic Visitor's Essay," he uses a fictional galactic visitor to let his outstanding technical knowledge and practical experience describe important new ways to use existing nuclear power technologies that can solve many problems existing today in nuclear power and energy needs in general. It is meant to be fun reading for the informed general public, students, and government leadership.
Gary Young, mechanical engineer, major product development manager - Before retirement, he worked on product development that significantly contributed to profitability of a global technology company. In this three part series of articles titled "A Galactic Visitor's Essay," he uses a fictional galactic visitor to let his outstanding technical knowledge and practical experience describe important new ways to use existing nuclear power that can solve many problems existing today in nuclear power and energy needs in general. Part III is the presentation of his grand idea, starting in the United States.
Cheryl Rofer, Nuclear Diner: Two South Carolina utilities are abandoning two unfinished nuclear reactors, half of the new reactors being built in the United States today. A decision on the other two will be made later this month. Congratulations for contributing to this failure to: 1) The contractors who cannot build nuclear plants on time and within budget. 2) The utilities that cannot contract or manage the building of nuclear plants. 3) The financiers who have botched their judgments of the projects. 4) Proponents of nuclear power. 5) Opponents of nuclear power. 6) The Department of Energy and its predecessors. 7) Congress and the White House.
Michael Shellenberger, Founder-President of Environmental Progress: Global demand for electricity is set to rise 70% over the next 25 years. New nuclear reactor components can increasingly be mass-manufactured in factories and shipped around the world for reassembly on site. What’s at stake is a market worth $500 to $740 billion over the next decade and hundreds of thousands of high-skill and high-wage jobs. This essay applies to America and other countries who promote nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, and nuclear science for peaceful purposes. This new Atoms for Peace effort could inspire and unite the world around something almost everyone wants: cheap, clean energy and its beneficial and very valuable by-products and services.
James Conca, Geochemist: Yucca Mountain has always been political, from its initial choice to its recent death. The problem this time is that most of our high-level nuclear waste is no longer high-level. And most scientists agree we shouldn’t dispose of spent nuclear fuel until we reuse it in our new reactors that are designed to burn it. Besides, the highly-fractured, variably saturated, dual-porosity volcanic tuff at Yucca Mountain with highly oxidizing groundwater, was the wrong rock to begin with, causing the cost to skyrocket and the technical hurdles to keep mounting. Anti-nuclear activists have used Yucca Mt. to oppose the new generation of nuclear power plants by saying we have no place to put the waste. Unfortunately, everyone has focused on the political and legal aspects without understanding the science. And we know what happens when Human Law runs into Natural Law – Natural Law wins every time.
Melanie Windridge, plasma physicist, fusion energy, Energy Industry Times - The promise of electricity generated from nuclear fusion is one that has always seemed too far in the future to be taken seriously. Tokamak Energy, however, believes the combination of two emerging technologies that together enable the construction of smaller, cheaper machines open up the way to commercialisation.
James Conca, Geochemist: New reactor designs are pretty advanced and ready to be rolled out. Whether they’re variations on the traditional light-water reactor (NuScale), new molten salt designs (IMSR), air-cooled, liquid metal, or advanced fast-reactors that burn everything from spent fuel from old reactors to Iraqi tank armor (TerraPower; General Atomics), SMRs like the Xe-100 build on the successful experience of previous designs and the redundant safety systems developed over the last 60 years.