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.”
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.
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.
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?
The world’s first Westinghouse AP1000 pressurized water reactor is scheduled to begin operation later this year at the Sanmen Nuclear Power Station in China. Another AP1000 is scheduled to go online later this year at the Haiyang nuclear power plant in China, with two more AP1000 units to be operational at those sites in 2015, and four additional to follow after that.
Meanwhile, four AP1000 units are under construction at the Plant Vogtle and V.C. Summer nuclear plants in the United States.
The following time-lapse film covers construction at the Sanmen-1 site from 2009 through 2014.
“It is time to make the case for science,” says host Neil deGrasse Tyson of the upcoming relaunch of the classic 1980 series Cosmos. The new Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey premieres this Sunday, March 9, on FOX, and Monday, March 10, on the National Geographic Network—all in all, in 170 countries and 45 languages, the largest global opening ever for any television series, according to executive producer, writer, and director Ann Druyan.
Nuclear-related? Sure! The universe itself is nuclear-powered, and from the Curiosity rover on Mars to the most powerful space telescopes, our understanding of nuclear science and use of nuclear technologies have been indispensable in humanity’s exploration and understanding of that greatest of all mysteries, and greatest of all voyages… the Cosmos.
We no longer have Carl Sagan, but if the new series can capture the charm and wonder of the old, and portray this to a mass audience, we could be in for something special. As in this trip back in time, in which Dr. Sagan (at 28:27) begins to discuss the prospects for… nuclear-powered starships.
For more on the new Cosmos and its creators, see this review in the New York Times. Or, just tune in Sunday evening and enjoy the ride.
Fans of the popular games Portal and Portal II will get a kick out of this one—or just fans of evil and corrupt artificial intelligences—or just fans of nuclear fission, fusion, and astronomy.
As part of the education and public outreach department of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, an A.I. system is brought online to manage the NASA servers—but unfortunately, and of course completely unexpectedly, it turns out to be mad with lust for power.
In the process of dealing with this highly entertaining, if evil, machine, brilliant computer technicians learn about the A.I. system’s fusion and fission power cores and the basic science of the processes behind them—and even how old the light is that we see from the sun, among other interesting things.
Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory have demonstrated realistic full-core predictive modeling of a commercial nuclear reactor over multiple years of use. The simulation platform is named MOOSE (Multiphysics Object Oriented Simulation Environment).
MOOSE is designed to make modeling and simulation, traditionally a daunting task, much more accessible to a broad array of scientists, in a fraction of the time previously required. For more on MOOSE and its revolutionary applications in nuclear engineering, please see here and here.
In this simulation video, the MOOSE team tracks hundreds of properties of thousands of reactor components to predict detailed conditions and behavior of 40,000 fuel rods in the new Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, of which eight units are now under construction in the United States and China.
In honor of the Seattle Seahawks’ convincing victory in the Super Bowl just a few short days ago, today’s Nuclear Matinee videos come straight from the great state of Washington, home to Energy Northwest’s 1,170-megawatt Columbia Generating Station—which, incidentally, produces enough electricity to power a city the size of Seattle.
In fact, this entertaining 30-second PSA would be quite suitable for energizing halftime during any lopsided Super Bowl:
What if you could eliminate the carbon emissions from half the passenger cars in Washington State? In effect, that’s what Columbia Generating Station does every year:
In today’s Nuclear Matinee, take a trip inside a nuclear reactor core with Jem Stansfield and the BBC. Jem explores a never-used reactor core at the Zwentendorf nuclear power plant in Austria to explain, in the most straightforward of terms, how a nuclear power station works.
A nuclear power station contributes a lot more in benefits to a community and region than just massive amounts of 24/7 electricity generation—although it should be noted that, in the case of Seabrook Station alone, 42 percent of New Hampshire’s entire electricity generation comes from this single power plant. Amazing. See this excellent post at NEI Nuclear Notes for more on Seabrook’s “bigger picture,” and this story for more on regional economic benefits in particular.
Having a few days ago caught up with the latest milestones in construction of new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, let us take a look at the latest history in the making at the construction site of units 2 and 3 of the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in South Carolina – and in the local community surrounding one of the largest construction projects in the state’s history. Construction of two new Westinghouse AP1000 reactors officially began in March 2013 and the reactors are planned to be online in 2018.
Thanks to South Carolina Electric & Gas for producing this fine video update
It’s been more than two years since Vogtle Units 3 and 4 began to rise from the landscape near Waynesboro, Georgia—though construction officially began just last March with pouring of the Unit 3 basemat concrete, and a few months ago in November with the Unit 4 basemat. Turbine buildings, cooling towers, AP1000 reactor operator training… 2013 saw great strides toward the first new commercial nuclear power reactors in the United States in 30 years. Join host Joe Washington for a tour of the most recent milestones achieved in this amazing construction project.
Thanks to Southern Company for producing this fine video.