News out of Fukushima-Daiichi this week is encouraging: TEPCO successfully transferred the first batch of fuel rod assemblies from the reactor unit No. 4 spent fuel pool to a common fuel pool building offering longer-term stable storage conditions. Completing the process for the more than 1,000 fuel rod assemblies that remain at No. 4 is projected to take a year, and will be a first major step toward decommissioning of the site.
The following video may be of interest to those who are watching and following events at Fukushima closely, as it shows the removal of one of the fuel rod assemblies via underwater camera. Much ink has been spilled over the past year concerning perils and hazards of this stage of decommissioning—so one might as well see part of how it’s done.
Cask with 22 fuel rod assemblies heads to common fuel pool building (Kyodo News)
The Sun is powered by the strongest source of energy in the universe – nuclear fusion – and teams of scientists and engineers around the world are working toward harnessing fusion to power the long-term future of civilization. In effect… they are working to “create a star” on earth.
This excellent (and well-produced!) piece by the BBC takes a look inside the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, home of the world’s most powerful laser. The goal? To use the laser to compress a pellet of hydrogen fuel to the point of “ignition” – when a self-sustaining fusion reaction releases more energy than what was required to initiate it.
Media reports during the murkiness of the US government shutdown indicated that “breakeven” was achieved at NIF last month… well maybe, maybe not. Regardless, there is still a long way to go and there remain challenges to overcome. But then, NIF also has lots of company in the race for fusion energy…
Thanks to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory YouTube and BBC Two Horizon
Today’s ANS Nuclear Cafe Matinée takes faithful viewers through the beautiful waterways and countryside of France, following the route of the massive reactor pressure vessel being delivered to the new 1,650 MWe European Pressurized Reactor under construction at the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant.
A caveat: Users must supply their own sound track, as these are silent movies. Hmm… The Pointer Sisters’ Neutron Dance is quite upbeat, but not bucolic. George Clinton’s Atomic Dog doesn’t quite capture the moment. Perhaps something French? La Marseillaise?
At any rate, enjoy the journey!
Thanks to Salle de Presse Youtube for posting these fine videos, and thanks to the Nuclear Street News Team who posted these videos earlier.
Can we assume that everyone knows that the misty cloud from a cooling tower at a nuclear plant — is simply water?
Well, it is never safe to assume. In this video excerpt from Powering America, workers at American nuclear plants explain how and why cooling towers work. In addition to confirming that, yes, the cloud one sees is merely from clean steam, the way these big cooling towers work is quite interesting in its own right.
One interesting point to start with: The water from the cooling tower at the Watts Barr nuclear plant in the video – is cleaner than the river it came from.
Thanks to Heritage Foundation for producing this video. Watch the Powering America film on the nuclear energy industry, as told by the people who make it go, in its entirety
Two new AP1000 nuclear power reactors are under construction at the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in Fairfield County, South Carolina. Along with two new units at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia, these are the first new nuclear units built in the United States in the past three decades.
As host Rhonda O’Banion explains, teamwork in the community and on the construction site go hand-in-hand—as evidenced by North American Young Generation in Nuclear’s school supplies drive for the local McCrory–Liston School of Technology. Preparations for the basemat concrete pour are underway for Unit 3, while major components for Unit 2—such as the reactor vessel and reactor vessel head—have arrived, and construction including the containment vessel and cooling towers is well underway:
For more technical details, see these media briefings hosted by SCE&G Chief Operating Officer Stephen A. Byrne:
Also see Videos Offer Update on New Reactor Construction at V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant at Nuclear Street.
Thanks to South Carolina Electric & Gas for producing these fine videos.
The ANS Nuclear Cafe Matinee is usually celebrated on Fridays—but this time, we just couldn’t wait.
A new video is out from the Plant Vogtle nuclear construction site! Two new AP1000 nuclear power reactors are under construction at Vogtle, near Waynesboro, Georgia, scheduled to begin operations in 2017 and 2018. Along with two units under construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in South Carolina, these will be the first new nuclear units built in the United States in the past three decades.
As host Joe Washington says, almost every day reveals a new milestone and historic achievement:
For a personal report from the Vogtle site regarding nuclear safety culture, in case you missed it, see Fighting for the Next Inch by Peter Shaw.
Thanks to Georgia Power for producing this video
Years ago, filmmaker Robert Stone helped Michael Moore make his very first movie (Roger & Me). Here, Stone and Moore discuss the pro-nuclear energy documentary Pandora’s Promise, directed by Stone and featured this summer at Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival.
Being on the political left apparently no longer means being anti-nuclear (energy).
Pandora’s Promise makes its television debut on CNN Thursday, November 7, at 9PM Eastern Time.
Also see Rod Adams’ excellent post on this video at Atomic Insights.
Thanks to Pandora’s Promise YouTube for hosting this video
The ANS Nuclear Cafe Matinee today visits the Switch Energy Project and its impressive array of interviews with world-class energy experts.
Dr. Ernest Moniz, now US Secretary of Energy, offers some words on the rationale behind government involvement in cost-sharing agreements for the development and licensing of small modular reactors. Babcock & Wilcox won the first such funding with its mPower project, and further applications are currently under consideration, with an announcement from the Department of Energy expected soon. See Update and Perspective on Small Modular Reactor Development for a good introduction and overview of SMR development, features, tradeoffs, and potential pitfalls.
Switch is a documentary on the worldwide future of energy, directed by Harry Lynch and produced by Arcos Films, released in 2012. The title derives from the point at which energy derived from fossil fuels, compared to all other energy sources, will switch places in terms of providing the majority of world energy—possibly as soon as 50 years from now.
The full interview with Dr. Moniz on energy is quite interesting in its own right:
Thanks to Arcos Films for producing and sharing this video.
At the birthplace of nuclear energy, one man dares to answer all questions nuclear – Dr. Dave Grabaskas of Argonne National Laboratory.
Have a question for nuclear engineer Dr. Dave Grabaskas? Leave it in the video’s comment section for a chance to have it answered in a follow-up video. You can also submit a question via email.
Thanks to Dr. Dave Grabaskas and thanks to Argonne National Laboratory
For faithful viewers of the ANS Nuclear Matinee—an instant classic from not so long ago, starring Microsoft founder, philanthropist, and nuclear energy enthusiast (and investor) Bill Gates.
Gates is a prominent investor in the nuclear reactor development firm TerraPower. For more information on the “traveling wave” reactor concept that the company is developing, see this post at ANS Nuclear Cafe, and this interview with TerraPower CEO John Gilleland in ANS Nuclear News magazine. More recent company news, including exploration of other reactor designs and thorium fuel, can be found in very interesting interviews posted at the Weinberg Foundation blog.
Gates’ enthusiasm for a better future world of infinite energy supply is quite infectious—see for yourself!
Thanks to the NEINetwork on YouTube (Nuclear Energy Institute) for uploading this excellent video of a presentation at MIT, April 2010.
James Hansen, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, earlier this year co-authored a study that conservatively estimated that nuclear power has saved 1.8 million lives since 1971 that otherwise would have been lost due to fossil fuel pollution and associated causes. For more information, see this post at Scientific American blogs—and this previous ANS nuclear matinée.
Hansen’s specialty is climate change, and he is the leading climate change scientist in the United States. Filmmaker Robert Stone, director of the recent groundbreaking nuclear energy documentary Pandora’s Promise, conducted this fascinating interview with Hansen concerning his very strong views on the future of nuclear power in that context.
Thanks to Pandora’s Promise for sharing this interview
Switch is a documentary on the worldwide future of energy directed by Harry Lynch and produced by Arcos Films, released in 2012. Dr. Scott Tinker of the University of Texas takes viewers on a global tour of energy sites and facilities to explore the next energy transition of our civilization – the point at which energy derived from fossil fuels, versus from “everything else,” switch places in terms of providing the majority of world energy. The film posits that this enormous, colossal transition is likely to occur within 50 years.
In addition, the Switch Energy Project website is host to over 300 short videos and expert interviews on every kind of energy topic. The “nuclear” category alone is very impressive.
The film and the Switch Energy Project attempt a level-headed, scientific view of energy sources and options. So, how does nuclear energy fare? Let’s take a look:
Thanks to Arcos Films for producing and sharing this video
A new time-lapse video shows early site preparation and containment vessel bottom head placement at the Plant Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Georgia. Two new nuclear power reactors are scheduled to begin operations at Plant Vogtle in 2017 and 2018. Along with two units under construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in South Carolina, these will be the first new nuclear units built in the United States in the last three decades. Enjoy the show!
Thanks to Georgia Power for producing this video.
This is a simply excellent video on nuclear energy for a wide audience. How much and how well can one person communicate on nuclear energy in less than 90 seconds? Click play to find out:
For good measure, Sam the Answer Man tackles energy diversification:
Enjoy these videos but missed something? Watch them again at Yes Vermont Yankee! (And… spread them around, perhaps with those handy buttons at the bottom of this post.)
Thanks to Southern Company—operators of the Farley, Hatch, and Vogtle nuclear energy facilities and builders of the new Vogtle units 3 & 4—for producing these videos
GoogleTalks recently conducted a highly informative and entertaining interview session featuring Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, director Robert Stone, and the cast of the film Pandora’s Promise: Stewart Brand, Gwyneth Cravens, Michael Schellenberger, and Mark Lynas.
How and why did these former anti-nuclear activists and scientists come to reevaluate their views and reach new conclusions about nuclear energy? You may well find their stories and explanations quite compelling.
To view the film and reach your own conclusions: See the Pandora’s Promise website for theaters and showtimes.
CNN Films has acquired cable television broadcast rights to the film and will air it this fall.