Category Archives: Nuclear Matinee

Video Matinee: Controlling a Nuclear Power Plant

This new video from AREVA takes a fascinating look at the “brain and nervous system” for controlling a nuclear power plant: the plant’s Instrumentation and Control (I&C) system.

Thanks to AREVA Next Energy Blog for sharing this video.

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Why TVA Is Completing Watts Bar 2

Got a minute (and 22 seconds)? Catch a quick update on the first new commercial nuclear energy in the United States of the 21st century—in Tennessee.

Mike Skaggs, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s senior vice president for Watts Bar Operations  and Construction, explains how and why Watts Bar Unit 2 will be completed. Watts Bar-2 is scheduled to come online at the end of 2015, and will make nuclear energy a full 40 percent of TVA’s electrical generation. (Much more on Watts Bar-2 here, and more Watts Bar videos at ANS Nuclear Cafe here.)

Thanks to Nuclear Energy Institute Network for sharing this video.

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Nuclear Matinee: Heavy Lifting at V.C. Summer

Heavy lifts equal heavy progress at the construction site of V.C. Summer-2 and -3 in South Carolina. Following is the latest update on recent major milestones completed at what will be the first new commercial nuclear energy reactors in the United States in 30 years.

Earlier this summer CNBC paid a visit to V.C. Summer and featured the plant and its workers—see CNBC’s Where the Jobs Are: The New Nuclear Generation at V.C. Summer.

Thanks to SCE&G Nuclear YouTube for sharing this video update.

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Nuclear Matinee: The Mighty Watts Bar FLEX Building

If a tornado just happens to come through… flying steel pipes, telephone poles, or even automobiles will be no match for this building. This is the new Watts Bar FLEX building, housing emergency backup equipment like generators and pumps that could be used to replace equipment in case of damage from a natural disaster. Watts Bar will likely be the first nuclear facility in the United States to comply with all the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s post-Fukushima requirements, as the Tennessee Valley Authority works toward licensing for Watts Bar Unit 2 with a target date of beginning commercial operation in December next year.

And take a more in-depth tour of the building:

Thanks to the Tennessee Valley Authority for producing the first fine video, and thanks to the Nuclear Energy Institute News Team for producing the second.

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Nuclear Video Matinee: Vogtle Nuclear Construction Update

Near Augusta, Georgia, the first new commercial nuclear power reactors under construction in the United States in 30 years continue to “go vertical.”  Take an inside look at the latest from the Vogtle-3 and -4 construction site, including placement of the 1.8 million pound containment vessel bottom head for Unit 4, the cooling tower for Unit 3 surpassing 300 feet, and a very interesting visit to the Port of Savannah where many of the most massive Vogtle components arrive via ship.

Thanks to Georgia Power YouTube for sharing this construction update.

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Nuclear Matinee: CNBC’s Where The Jobs Are—The New Nuclear Generation at V.C. Summer

CNBC’s Mary Thompson visits the construction site of two new nuclear energy reactors at V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in South Carolina, and talks with South Carolina Electric & Gas Company Chief Nuclear Officer Jeffrey Archie about new construction and operation jobs—in South Carolina and industry-wide.

Thanks to CNBC for sharing this video

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Nuclear Matinee: Getting to Know Nuclear: Past, Present, and Future

With Memorial Day Weekend at hand, this is a good time to sit down and take a more in-depth look at the history, and the future, of nuclear energy.  Dr. Roger Blomquist of Argonne National Laboratory leads a public tour on this fascinating topic.  Note the video begins at 0:40 and Dr. Blomquist begins at 7:30.

Thanks to Argonne National Laboratory for sharing this video

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Nuclear Video Matinee Mother’s Day Double Feature

The second Sunday in May marks the celebration of Mother’s Day in the United States and many countries. In honor of this wonderful tradition, the Nuclear Cafe Matinee is quite pleased to showcase interviews with nuclear engineer Julie Ezold, Californium-252 Production Program Manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

This week Alan Williams of WVLT in Knoxville, Tenn., interviewed Ms. Ezold at her laboratories at the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center at Oak Ridge to discuss her work, motherhood of her 5-year-old daughter, and one of her passions—involving youngsters, and often quite young ones at that, with the fun of science.

So what is Californium-252 all about? [e.g., how do they start a nuclear reactor anyway?] Like most of nuclear technology, it’s used in more places and more ways than one might ever imagine—even including the discovery of entirely new elements that have never existed before. Ms. Ezold explains in this video released last month by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory:

Thanks to WVLT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory for sharing these fine videos.

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Nuclear Video Matinee: Fukushima Health Effects in North America (?)

Studies by Janette Sherman and Joseph Mangano purporting to link radiation from Fukushima to health effects in the United States have made for alarming headlines in news outlets on occasion, and have come under fire by critics who charge flawed methodology (for example, What Can We Do About Junk Science and Researchers Trumpet Another Flawed Fukushima Study).

When the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation assesses the health effects of Fukushima in Japan and concludes that we are unlikely to see any increase in cancer rates or birth defects—ever, let alone  months or a few years later—well, somebody seems likely to be wrong.

Could it be Mangano and Sherman? For a careful and thorough examination, see the following—and for much more in detail and discussion, visit Mangano and Sherman Take Down at Atomic Insights.

Thanks to GoddardsJournal on YouTube and Atomic Insights.

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Nuclear Video Matinee: Offshore Nuclear Plants

Jacopo Buongiorno of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discusses some of the advantages of a nuclear reactor concept under development in collaboration with industry and other universities: floating off-shore nuclear power plants, constructed entirely in a shipyard, anchored off the coast, linked to the electric grid via undersea cable. Earthquakes and tsunamis would not be a threat, the ocean would be readily available to serve as a heat sink for reactor cooling, emergency evacuation planning would be a lesser consideration…

A potentially revolutionary advance in nuclear engineering? The concept has made quite a splash in the media—the latest being more details via a story in The Economist.

Thanks to Massachusetts Institute of Technology YouTube and the Nuclear Street News Team.

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Nuclear video matinee: Africa looks to nuclear power

The World Bank reports that fewer than 10 percent of African households have access to the electrical grid.  Some countries such as Kenya and Nigeria are looking to add nuclear energy to their grids, Egypt has plans to implement nuclear energy and South Africa wants to expand its share.  This video from Voice of America News discusses some recent developments in nuclear energy in Africa and pros and cons.

As South African nuclear physicist Kelvin Kemm notes in the video, “They need to double  electricity consumption immediately, and then double it again, and again and again for their people.”

For recent details on developments regarding Kenya see Kenya’s studied approach to a nuclear future at ANS Nuclear Cafe.

Thanks to VOA News on YouTube for sharing this video.  For text see Africa looks to nuclear power to light up continent

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Nuclear Video Matinee: NuScale and TerraPower at CERAWeek

ICOSA Media caught up with NuScale chief executive officer Chris Colbert and TerraPower CEO John Gilleland at the recent CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, Tex. The two leaders of these innovative nuclear energy companies discuss the how’s and why’s of their small and beautiful reactor designs—the NuScale Small Modular reactor and the TerraPower Traveling Wave reactor.

NuScale and TerraPower are no strangers to ANS Nuclear Cafe—for more details see Bill Gates: “I Love Nuclear”, Bill Gates on Nuclear Energy and TerraPower, and SMRs Get Further Push with Western Initiative for Nuclear.

Thanks to ICOSA Media on YouTube for sharing this video.

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Nuclear Matinee: Vogtle Nuclear Construction Update

Near Augusta, Georgia, the first new commercial nuclear power reactors built in the United States in 30 years continue to take shape. This latest video update features the recent heavy lift of the massive 5-story CA20 module, which will house the spent fuel pool, fuel transfer canal, and other essential components for Unit 3. The video also features a visit by US Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz, day-to-day problem-solving operations at the site’s operations control center (especially during recent unusually cold weather), and the immeasurable beneficial economic and other impacts on the region’s economy and school systems. Fuel loading and connection to the grid is scheduled for Unit 3 in 2017, and Unit 4 in 2018.

Thanks to Georgia Power YouTube for sharing this construction update.

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Nuclear Matinee: How It’s Made—Spent Nuclear Fuel Containers

This excerpt from the Discovery Channel’s How It’s Made series documents the making of a spent nuclear fuel container.

It might be a little dry, but if so that’s still OK—it’s for dry cask storage after all.

Thanks to How It’s Made Youtube for sharing this video

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Nuclear Matinee: Making Sci-Fi Sci-Fact—Nuclear Energy History and Perceptions

Don Miley of Idaho National Laboratory leads a highly enjoyable and thought-provoking tour through the images, perceptions, and yes, the reality of ‘nuclear’ and nuclear energy research through history.

What should ‘nuclear’ mean to us? What images and perceptions should immediately come to mind?

Thanks to TEDx Talks for sharing this video.

What city is this?

What city is this?