Nuclear Power

Mass and Volume of Spent Nuclear Fuel – NRC Response

I recently wrote a post on the Mass and Volume of Spent Nuclear Fuel. Roberto Kersevan pointed out in a comment that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) arrive at a very different figure to myself. I therefore wrote to the NRC to point out their mistake. Here is their response as promised: Peter, Thank you […]

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Posted in Spent Fuel | 3 Comments »

More About This Blog

I have recently had several comments questioning1 my ‘scientific integrity’ and implying that I have a political agenda. I can assure them that I definitely and unashamedly have a political agenda – if I am not writing about nuclear power I am writing about politics. I am an anti-nuclear campaigner. If I were writing scientific […]

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Mass and Volume of Spent Nuclear Fuel

I frequently hear comments about the amount of spent nuclear fuel for a certain amount of energy. One figure is that it is one pound coin for every household per year. Somewhere else I am told it is 0.3mg per KWh. Others will tell you that you could fit it into the Albert Hall – […]

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‘Bigging Up’ Nuclear

The director of one of the companies I used to work for had a technique of getting contracts which is probably not that uncommon. He would get contracts with promises to deliver with ridiculous short time scales for delivery and also undercut the competitors on price. He then renegotiated the contract after a while once […]

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The Problem of Complex Systems

This post is a bit abstract but I hope it will help people understand the problems involved with dealing with complex systems. The reason it is abstract is because I want to make the ‘complex systems’ as simple as possible. We are told that nuclear is ‘certainly’ safe, that there is ‘no possibility’ of an […]

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The Problems Of Fail-safes and Redundancy

When discussing nuclear safety we are often told by the nuclear industry that they have ‘fail-safes’ , ‘built in redundancy’ etc that make their reactors ‘safe’. In this post I shall explore some of these claims. It will, hopefully, not bring up any surprises for people involved in nuclear safety but will hopefully be useful […]

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Posted in Accidents and Risks | 2 Comments »

The ‘unscientific’ approach to Radiation Risk

This post was going to be about the ICRP’s (International Committee on Radiological Protection) risk model. However, Dr Chris Busby has recently written1 an article for The Ecologist which covers some of what I was going to say. However, there are a few additional points I would like to make. It is important to note […]

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Posted in Accidents and Risks | 1 Comment »

A is for Atom

Here is a link to a 1992 programme by Adam Curtis called ‘A is for Atom’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/adamcurtis/2011/03/a_is_for_atom.html What I found interesting was the interviews with some of the people involved in the very early days of the nuclear power industry including: Alvin Weinberg, inventor of the PWR and BWR reactor Glenn Seaborg, Chairman of the […]

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Learning The Lessons Of The Titanic

In a recent news article1 about the evacuation zone around Sizewell nuclear power plant Jeremy Western, director of special projects and nuclear new build for EDF, said that the zone was so small because the likelihood of an accident was “exceedingly unlikely”. This is rather like saying that an ocean liner does not need a […]

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‘Burning’ Nuclear Waste in Nuclear Reactors

I was recently asked for my opinion on the DUPIC (Direct Use of spent PWR fuel In CANDU) reactor. Although I do not have any comments about this reactor compared to other reactors which ‘burn nuclear waste’ I thought I would say a few words about the concept in general. Before we go onto that […]

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