Nuclear Energy

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Reactor history

Nuclear Power Reactor Technology, 1950-1953 (Part 1)

Why did the US abandon a lead in reactor design? Cheryl Rofer; Physics Today; 7 Aug 2015

Sometime in the late 1960s, a great shakeup occurred in nuclear reactor research. [T]he Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory at that time ... was suddenly dissolved. ... The key player was Milton Shaw, who directed the Atomic Energy Commission’s (AEC) Reactor Development and Testing Division (RDTD) at that time. Shaw refocused the US civil nuclear program toward a single goal of the liquid-metal fast breeder reactor, making a number of strategic mistakes that have had long-term safety consequences for the industry.

Reactor Types

Nuclear Reactor Wikipedia

Nuclear power IET

An introduction to nuclear power technologies
A wide range of nuclear issues, ranging from the use of nuclear power in the UK, decommissioning of nuclear power stations, the nuclear fuel cycle, a glossary of nuclear terms, and the decay rate of Uranium238.

Nuclear reactor types IET

Introduction to the various types of nuclear reactors worldwide and information on prototype designs
Many different reactor systems have been proposed and some of these have been developed to prototype and commercial scale. Six types of reactor (Magnox, AGR, PWR, BWR, CANDU and RBMK) have emerged as the designs used to produce commercial electricity around the world. A further reactor type, the so-called fast reactor, has been developed to full-scale demonstration stage. These various reactor types will now be described, together with current developments and some prototype designs.

What is a nuclear reactor? Overview of common reactor types

What is a fission reactor a fission reactor and how does it fission reactor and how does it work? and how does it work? Sense About Science

Summary of predominantly UK sold-fuel reactor types

Generation II reactor Wikipedia

Existing Nuclear


Nuclear Power IPCC Working Group III: Mitigation

  • Present Situation
  • Nuclear Economics
  • Waste Disposal


Nuclear IEA

Nuclear fission is a mature technology that has been in use for more than 50 years. The latest designs for nuclear power plants build on this experience to offer enhanced safety and performance, and are ready for wider deployment over the next few years. There is great potential for new developments in nuclear energy technology to enhance nuclear’s role in a sustainable energy future. Nevertheless, important barriers to a rapid expansion of nuclear energy remain. Governments need to set clear and consistent policies on nuclear to encourage private sector investment. Gaining greater public acceptance will also be key, and this will be helped by early implementation of plans for geological disposal of radioactive waste, as well as continued safe and effective operation of nuclear plants.



Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy

Since the release in 2010 of Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy (IEA/NEA, 2010), a number of events have had a significant impact on the global energy sector and on the outlook for nuclear energy. They include the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) accident in March 2011, the global financial and economic crises that hit many industrialised countries during the period 2008-10 and failings in both electricity and CO2 markets. Despite these additional challenges, nuclear energy still remains a proven low-carbon source of base-load electricity, and many countries have reaffirmed the importance of nuclear energy within their countries’ energy strategies.
To achieve the goal of limiting global temperature increases to just 2 degrees Celsius (°C) by the end of the century, a halving of global energy-related emissions by 2050 will be needed. A wide range of low-carbon energy technologies will be needed to support this transition, including nuclear energy.

Technology Roadmap - Nuclear Energy IEA; 2015

Current trends in energy supply and use are unsustainable. Without decisive action, energy related emissions of carbon dioxide will nearly double by 2050 and increased fossil energy demand will heighten concerns over the security of supplies. We can change our current path, but this will take an energy revolution in which low carbon energy technologies will have a crucial role to play. Energy efficiency, many types of renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power and new transport technologies will all require widespread deployment if we are to sharply reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Economics *


This New Fuel could make nuclear power safer and cheaper Richard Martin; MIT Technology Review; 31st Mar 2016

Lightbridge has developed a metallic fuel for nuclear reactors that it claims will tackle some of the industry’s biggest challenges, but safety questions remain


MOX Battle: Mixed Oxide Nuclear Fuel Raises Safety Questions John Matson; Scientific American; 25 Mar 2011

One of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi reactors contains a blend of uranium and plutonium fuel that may soon find use in the U.S. Does it pose more risks than standard uranium fuel?


"Nuclear Power as a Solution to Climate Change: Why the Public Discussion is Such a Mess" Karen Street

Can our need for a carbon-free future override our fears of nuclear energy? Debbie Carlson; The Guardian; 12 Sep 2016

Unlike coal and natural gas plants that emit carbon emissions while producing electricity, nuclear generates none. So why aren’t more states getting onboard?

Tritium Radioactive leaks found at 75% of US nuke sites

Indian Point

Diablo Canyon

Greens target license renewal for Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

Watts Bar

TVA's Watts Bar Unit 2 achieves commercial operation Ed Marcum; Knoxville News Sentinel; 19 Oct 2016

TVA began construction of the Unit 2 reactor in 1973, but stopped in 1985 because power demand had slowed, but costs associated with nuclear plants rose. TVA resumed work on the reactor in 2007 after deciding that it could be completed at a cost of $2.5 billion. However, TVA announced a revised budget and schedule in 2012, when the federal utility determined the project was $1.5 billion to $21 billion over budget and about three years behind schedule.TVA re-estimated that cost at nearly $4.5 billion with commercial operation to begin by June of this year. Since then, TVA managed to keep the project close to the new budget and schedule, although in February, the TVA board authorized an additional $200 million after flood prevention steps required after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident added to the initial cost.

The First U.S. Nuclear Plant In 20 Years Goes Online Zainab Calcuttawala; Oilprice; 19 Oct 2016

Roughly 650,000 homes in Tennessee will be powered by the first nuclear power generator to enter into commercial operation in the United States in 20 years, according to a new report by The Hill. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 2 reactor will produce 1,150 megawatts of power, the company’s announcement on Wednesday said. The Nuclear Energy Institute counts Watts Bar 2, which formally connected to Tennessee’s power grid in June, as the 100th nuclear power reactor to operate in the United States.


Multiple milestones for Vogtle 3 and 4 World Nuclear News; 29 Mar 2016


Final Clean Power Plan Drops Support For Existing Nuclear Plants Jeff McMahon; Forbes; 3 Aug 2015





Nuclear Power in Finland Wikipedia

Finland Plans Phaseout Of Coal With Nuclear To Help Fill Gap Neutron Bytes; 10 Sep 2017

(NucNet) Finland will introduce legislation in 2018 to phase out coal and increase carbon taxes with additional nuclear capacity from two new reactors.
Riku Huttunen, director-general of Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, told Reuters that the current strategy is to get rid of coal by 2030 and that the process will be started by legislation due next year.
According to the International Energy Agency, Finland is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – with coal producing about 10% of the country’s consumption.
To cope with the gap left by coal, Finland will have to increase the amount of energy produced from other fuel sources, Mr Huttunen was quoted as saying.
Nuclear power could take up the slack as two new reactors – the Olkiluoto-3 EPR and the Russia-supplied Hanhikivi-1– are scheduled to come online in 2018 and 2024.
Finland wants to increase its energy security by relying less on imports. Around 70% of coal is imported from Russia. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Finland’s four existing nuclear units at Olkiluoto and Loviisa accounted for almost 34% of electricity production in 2016.


Belgium to give iodine pills to entire population in case of nuclear disaster Jess Staufenberg; Independent; 29 Apr 2016

'We know they don't really have a grip on the terrorist situation in Belgium,' a Green Party MEP has said


Vattenfall sues Germany over phase-out policy World Nuclear News; 16 Oct 2016

Swedish utility Vattenfall is suing Germany at the Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes over the closure of the Brunsbüttel and Krümmel nuclear power plants. The move follows the German government's decision to withdraw from nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Vattenfall spokesman Magnus Kryssare declined to confirm German media reports that the Swedish company is seeking €4.7 billion ($6 billion) in damages.

Swedish Utility Suing Germany Over Closure Of Brunsbüttel & Krümmel Nuclear Power Plants Glenn Meyers; Cleantechnica; 17 Oct 2016


Nuclear Power in China Wikipedia

First Taishan EPR completes cold tests World Nuclear News; 1 Feb 2016

Cold function tests have been completed at unit 1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province. The unit is expected to start up in the first half of next year and will be the first EPR reactor to begin operating.

China revises commissioning dates of EPRs World Nuclear News; 22 Feb 2017

The two EPR units under construction at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province will not enter commercial operation until the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018, respectively. This is some six months later than originally scheduled.

Fourth Ningde unit connected to grid World Nuclear News; 31 Mar 2016

Unit 4 at the Ningde nuclear power plant in China's Fujian province has been connected to the electricity grid, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced yesterday. The 1087 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor was connected to the grid at 11.02pm on 29 March, CGN said. Work on the nuclear island at Ningde 4 officially began in September 2010. The dome of its reactor building was successfully lowered into place in May 2012. Four Chinese-designed CPR-1000 units have been built as Phase I of the Ningde plant, near Fuding city. Work on the first unit started in February 2008, with construction of units 2 and 3 beginning in November 2008 and January 2010, respectively. Unit 1 began commercial operation in April 2013, while unit 2 began supplying electricity to the grid in January 2014. Unit 3 came online in June 2015.

Grid connection for Hongyanhe 4 World Nuclear News; 1 Apr 2016

Unit 4 of the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant in China's Liaoning province today began supplying electricity to the grid. The reactor is expected to enter commercial operation later this year. The 1087 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor was connected to the grid at 9.52am today, China General Nuclear (CGN) said. Its grid connection came just two days after the connection of unit 4 at CGN's Ningde plant in Fujian province. Construction of Phase I of the Hongyanhe plant, comprising four CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors, began in August 2009. Units 1 and 2 have been in commercial operation since June 2013 and May 2014, respectively, while unit 3 entered commercial operation last August.

The nuclear option Nature (editorial) 4 May 2016

China is vigorously promoting nuclear energy, but its pursuit of reprocessing is misguided.


Shikoku moves closer to Ikata 3 restart 4 Mar 2016

Japanese institute sees 19 reactor restarts by March 2018 World Nuclear News; 28 Jul 2016

Seven Japanese nuclear power reactors are likely to be in operation by the end of next March and 12 more one year later, according to an estimate by the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ).


India budgets to boost nuclear projects 1 Mar 2016

extra 30 billion rupees ($442 million) to boost nuclear power generation projects over the next 15-20 years
India has 21 nuclear power plants in operation, with six under construction, and plans for further construction of both indigenous pressurized heavy water reactors and projects with overseas partners. In April 2015 the government gave its approval in principle for new nuclear plants at ten sites in nine states: indigenous PHWRs at Gorakhpur in Haryana's Fatehabad; Chutka and Bhimpur in Madhya Pradesh; Kaiga in Karnataka; and Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan; and plants with foreign cooperation at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu (VVER); Jaitapur in Maharashtra (EPR); Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat (AP1000); Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh (ESBWR) and Haripur in West Bengal (VVER). Two 600 MWe fast breeder reactors are also proposed at Kalpakkam.
In January, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and French president Francois Hollande said that the two countries are on course to finalize a deal on the construction of six EPR units at Jaitapur by the end of the year. The same month, the Indian cabinet confirmed that commercial negotiations between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Westinghouse on the construction of six AP1000 units at Mithi Virdi in India were also on course to be finalized this year.

A future energy giant? India's thorium-based nuclear plans; 1 Oct 2010


Russia plans start-up of first Gen-III+ unit this summer World Nuclear News; 30 Mar 2016

ASE Group has announced plans for Russia to connect its first Generation-III+ nuclear power unit to the grid this summer. The first fuel assembly was loaded at unit 1 of the Novovoronezh II nuclear power plant in western Russia on 24 March at 3.28am, while the "active phase" of the loading process began the following day. Novovoronezh 6 is a Generation-III+ VVER 1200/392M pressurised water reactor (PWR) unit with a design net capacity of 1114 MWe. It is the first of two units at Novovoronezh II - the lead project for the deployment of the AES-2006 design incorporating a Gidropress-designed PWR, an evolutionary development from the VVER-1000. Construction of Novovoronezh II units 1 and 2, also known as Novovoronezh units 6 and 7, began in June 2008 and July 2009, respectively. The original Novovoronezh site nearby already hosts three operating reactors and two that are being decommissioned.


Poll finds support for nuclear phaseout Urs Geiser;; 21 Oct 2016

A proposal to decommission Switzerland’s nuclear power plants by 2029 has the backing of a majority of citizens, according to a survey conducted seven weeks ahead of a nationwide vote. Despite this, pollsters believe the initiative is likely to be defeated on November 27.


Nuclear Power in the United Kingdom Wikipedia

Nuclear Options Euan Mearns; Energy Matters; 4 Aug 2016

With Hinkley Point C and nuclear new-build in the UK very much in the public eye, I have found the range of nuclear options being discussed rather confusing. This post provides an overview of the 6 main reactor designs that are vying for the global market today focussing on the large, >1 GW Generation III reactors. While the post focusses on the UK, the part on generic designs should be of interest to all readers.

Hinkley Point C


Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield will show viewers the reality of atomic power Daily Mirror; 23 Jul 2015

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili will present Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield and aim to tell the story of the country's often controversial nuclear industry


First look at new Moorside nuclear plant Andrew Clarke; Times & Star; 27 Apr 2016

This is the first glimpse of what the new £10 billion Moorside nuclear power station could look like. NuGen - the firm behind the plans for Moorside - has published the artist's impression ahead of 28 public events being held across the county to give people the chance to have their say. Plans for the three-reactor site on land next to Sellafield - and its associated accommodation and transport links - are likely to have widespread impacts.


NuGen confirms Toshiba commitment to Moorside World Nuclear News; 14 Feb 2017

Toshiba Corp is committed to Moorside despite announcing today it would reduce its exposure to reactor construction projects outside Japan, the head of its UK joint venture, NuGeneration, has said. The Japanese electronics conglomerate reported a net loss of JPY390 billion ($3.4 billion) in the year to March 2017 and said it would book a JPY712.5 billion ($6.3 billion) loss on its US nuclear unit.
NuGen, of which Toshiba owns 60% and France's Engie 40%, plans to build a nuclear power plant of up to 3.8 GWe gross capacity at the site in West Cumbria, using AP1000 nuclear reactor technology provided by Westinghouse. Toshiba, which bought Westinghouse in 2006, warned in December last year that it might have to write off "several billion" dollars because of the purchase in 2015 of US construction firm CB&I Stone & Webster.


UK to start approval process for Chinese nuclear reactor at Bradwell Nina Chestney; Reuters; 10 Jan 2017

The British government has asked nuclear regulators to start the process for approving a Chinese-designed reactor for a proposed plant in Britain, expected to be one of the first new plants in decades. General Nuclear Services (GNS), an industrial partnership between French utility EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation(CGN), hopes to use the design at a new nuclear station planned to be built in Bradwell, Essex. CGN intends to make a number of investments in Britain's nuclear power sector, most notably the new Hinkley Point C project in southwest England which was approved by the government last September.


IAEA approves Kenya nuclear power application 25 Apr 2016

Toshiba Westinghouse

Westinghouse Files for Bankruptcy, in Blow to Nuclear Power DIANE CARDWELL and JONATHAN SOBLE; New York Times; 29 Mar 2017

Westinghouse Electric Company, which helped drive the development of nuclear energy and the electric grid itself, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, casting a shadow over the global nuclear industry.
The filing comes as the company’s corporate parent, Toshiba of Japan, scrambles to stanch huge losses stemming from Westinghouse’s troubled nuclear construction projects in the American South.

How two cutting edge U.S. nuclear projects bankrupted Westinghouse Tom Hals and Emily Flitter; Reuters; 2 May 2017

Westinghouse miscalculated the time it would take, and the possible pitfalls involved, in rolling out its innovative AP1000 nuclear plants, according to a close examination by Reuters of the projects.
Those problems have led to an estimated $13 billion in cost overruns and left in doubt the future of the two plants, the one in Georgia and another in South Carolina.
Overwhelmed by the costs of construction, Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy on March 29, while its corporate parent, Japan's Toshiba Corp, is close to financial ruin [L3N1HI4SD]. It has said that controls at Westinghouse were "insufficient."
The miscalculations underscore the difficulties facing a global industry that aims to build about 160 reactors and is expected to generate around $740 billion in sales of equipment in services in the coming decade, according to nuclear industry trade groups.
The sector's problems extend well beyond Westinghouse. France's Areva is being restructured, in part due to delays and huge cost overruns at a nuclear plant the company is building in Finland.
Even though Westinghouse's approach of pre-fabricated plants was untested, the company offered aggressive estimates of the cost and time it would take to build its AP1000 plants in order to win future business from U.S. utility companies. It also misjudged regulatory hurdles and used a construction company that lacked experience with the rigor and demands of nuclear work, according to state and federal regulators' reports, bankruptcy filings and interviews with current and former employees.

New Nuclear Reactor Technologies *

Nuclear radiation *

Nuclear safety *


Will We Run Out of Uranium? Charles Barton; The Energy Collective; 7 Feb 2010

Barton estimates U reserves and compares with MacKay

Sustaining the Wind Part 3 – Is Uranium Exhaustible? NNadir; Brave New Climate;

U.S. uranium production is near historic low as imports continue to fuel U.S. reactors EIA; 1 Jun 2016

Uranium from seawater

see also Pollution

Uranium From Seawater Could Keep Our Lights On for 13,000 Years Futurism; 23 Apr 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy has developed a more cost-efficient material to harvest uranium from the ocean. This development has experts looking into seawater uranium as a potential energy source. the DOE team has developed new adsorbents that brought the costs of seawater uranium extraction down by three to four times and in just five years. The team created braids of polyethylene fibers that contain amidoxime, a chemical species that binds uranium. Tests show the new material has the ability to hold more than 6 grams of uranium per kilogram of adsorbent in 56 days of submersion in natural seawater.

Advances in extracting uranium from seawater announced in special issue Oak Ridge National Laboratory; 21 Apr 2016

The oceans hold more than four billion tons of uranium—enough to meet global energy needs for the next 10,000 years if only we could capture the element from seawater to fuel nuclear power plants. Major advances in this area have been published by the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
Uranium from terrestrial sources can last for approximately 100 years, according to Erich Schneider of the University of Texas–Austin

Uranium Extraction from Seawater Takes a Major Step Forward Jennifer Hackett; Scientific American; 1 Jul 2016

Earth’s oceans hold four billion tons of the element used to power nuclear plants
The earth's oceans hold enough uranium to power all the world's major cities for thousands of years—if we can extract it. A project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy is making notable advances in this quest: scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a material that can effectively pull uranium out of seawater. The material builds on work by researchers in Japan and consists of braided polyethylene fibers coated with the chemical amidoxime. In seawater, amidoxime attracts and binds uranium dioxide to the surface of the braids, which can be on the order of 15 centimeters in diameter and run multiple meters in length depending on where they are deployed. Later, an acidic treatment recovers the uranium in the form of uranyl ions, a product that requires processing and enrichment before becoming fuel. The procedure was described in a special report this spring in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

Nuclear waste

CO2 emissions / LCOE

Life-cycle greenhouse-gas emissions of energy sources wikpedia

surveys various sources


2014 IPCC, Global warming potential of selected electricity sources

median 12 g(CO2e)/kWh for nuclear GHG emissions

2011 IPCC aggregated results of the available literature

16g CO2/kWh

2014 IPCC, Global warming potential of selected electricity sources

3.7 - 12 - 110 g/kWh


Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen: Nuclear energy study Wikipedia

The study was heavily criticized, such as a rebuttal by researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute.[4] With further criticism from Sevior and Flitney who issued the following statement:
We compared the predicted energy cost [using Storm van Leeuwen's study[3]] of Uranium mining and milling for Ranger, Olympic Dam and Rössing to the energy consumption as reported. All are significantly over predicted (5 PJ, 60 PJ and 69 PJ vs 0.8 PJ, 5 PJ and 1 PJ respectively). [...]
The energy consumption is predicted to be so large that is comparable to the energy consumption of a particular sub-section of the economy. In the case of Rössing, the over prediction is larger than the energy consumption of the entire country of Namibia.

J.W.Storm van Leeuwen Life cycle analysis of the nuclear energy system from website Nuclear power insights

Point Refuted a Thousand Times: “Nuclear is not low-carbon” Luke Weston; Energy Reality Project;

The meme that nuclear energy is bad because it has poor whole-of-lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, or poor EROEI, that are not comparable to wind energy, hydroelectricity and other climate-change-friendly energy technologies, but are in fact comparable to greenhouse-gas-intensive fossil fuel combustion is perhaps one of the oldest, most comprehensively debunked PRATT concerning arguments that emerged during the resurgence of public debate in the early 2000s about the importance of nuclear energy.
If you find any anti-nuclear energy activist who makes this claim, and you trace its roots back to the source (in the rare cases where they’re trying to be remotely credible and are actually citing reference material), in 99% of cases you’ll find that this argument originates from exactly the same place: just one pair of authors and their non-peer-reviewed website.
Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Phillip Smith’s original essay “Nuclear power – the energy balance“, which is where all this stuff originates from, has never been published in a scientific journal or subjected to any kind of formal peer-review process. In fact, it has only ever been published on the authors’ own website.
Their work has been widely debunked and discredited for many years, with some of the more egregious errors and assumptions discussed here:


Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power: A critical survey Benjamin K. Sovacool; Energy Policy; 2008


Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air metafaq

I heard it takes more energy to build a nuclear power plant than you ever get back from it... is that true?
No, of course not! Why would France and Finland and Sweden build so many power plants if that were true? They could just use the energy directly. The energy cost of uranium enrichment is described in my book, along with figures for the amount of concrete and steel used in the materials of the power station. The exact figures vary from country to country, but as a ballpark figure the carbon footprint of enrichment, building, decommisioning, and waste management is about 20 grams CO2 per kWh (compare with coal power stations at 1000 g CO2 per kWh) and raw petrol and gas at about 250 grams per kWh. Nuclear power stations produce at least ten times as much energy as it takes to make them, make their fuel, and decommision them.


Nuclear Plants Running For 80 Years Trump Renewables And Gas Conca; Forbes

U.S. Senate Wants To Decrease CO2 By Increasing Nuclear Energy Conca; Forbes

Advanced Nuclear Summit


Nuclear Decommissioning Wikipedia


Nuclear Provision: explaining the cost of cleaning up Britain's nuclear legacy Nuclear Decommissioning Authority; updated: 1 Sep 2016

The 2016 forecast is that future clean-up across the UK will cost around £117 billion spread across the next 120 years or so. This is broadly unchanged from the previous year’s estimate. However, forecasts for work that will be carried over the next century are inevitably uncertain: the future is impossible to predict. It will be a number of years, for example, before many site programmes resolve exactly how the work will be delivered and identify suitable technologies. In recognition of this uncertainty, the NDA publishes a range of estimates that could potentially be realistic. Based on the best data now available, different assumptions could produce figures somewhere between £95 billion and £219 billion.
73.1% Sellafield

UK's nuclear clean-up cost estimate dips to $154 billion World Nuclear News; 15 Jul 2016

Nuclear_Decommissioning_Authority Wikipedia

he Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is a non-departmental public body of the British Department of Energy and Climate Change, formed by the Energy Act 2004. It evolved from the Coal and Nuclear Liabilities Unit of the Department of Trade and Industry. It came into existence during late 2004, and took on its main functions on 1 April 2005. Its purpose is to deliver the decommissioning and clean-up of the UK’s civil nuclear legacy in a safe and cost-effective manner, and where possible to accelerate programmes of work that reduce hazard. The NDA does not directly manage the UK's nuclear sites. It oversees the work through contracts with specially designed companies known as site licence companies. The NDA determines the overall strategy and priorities for managing decommissioning. Although the NDA itself only employs 300 staff, its annual budget is £3.2 billion. The vast majority of the NDA budget is spent through contracts with site licence companies, who also sub contract to other companies which provide special services. The NDA aims to do this by introducing innovation and contractor expertise through a series of competitions similar to the model that has been used in the United States.


Blowing-Up The Myths Around Nuclear Power And Terrorism Geoff Russell; New Matilda; 21 Apr 2016

Nuclear weapons and nuclear power are not the same thing. Even the much feared ‘dirty bomb’ is less of a challenge than many would have you think

reactor grade Pu

Reactor-Grade Plutonium Can be Used to Make Powerful and Reliable Nuclear Weapons: Separated plutonium in the fuel cycle must be protected as if it were nuclear weapons Richard L. Garwin, Senior Fellow for Science and Technology; Council on Foreign Relations, New York; 26 Aug 1998

As access to technology advances throughout the world, the barrier to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists or nations is more and more the barrier to weapon-usable fissionable material -- traditionally high-enriched uranium or "weapon-grade" plutonium. Even a modest nuclear weapon delivered by aircraft, missile, ship, or truck can threaten the lives of 100,000 people. Therefore it is important to understand whether reactor-grade plutonium from the nuclear fuel cycle -- typically 65% fissile (by thermal neutrons) compared with 93% fissile for weapon-grade material -- can readily be used to create nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the answer is that it can be so used. The conclusion, therefore, is that separated reactor-grade plutonium must be guarded in just the same way as if it were weapon-grade plutonium if it is not to contribute greatly to the spread and possible use of nuclear weaponry.

dirty bomb

Global security experts warn of dirty bomb interest Rachel Wittel; WBIR; 27 Mar 2016

(WBIR) Less than a week after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, authorities are investigating whether the suicide bombers were involved in the secret videotaping of a Belgian nuclear scientist. Investigators found a camera with hours of footage while searching the apartment of a suspect in the Paris terror attacks last fall. “Those terrorists had an intention of apparently either sabotaging a nuclear plant or acquiring nuclear material," Dean Rice, Global Fellow for UT's Institute for Nuclear Security, said. "The only reason they would acquire nuclear material would be to use it as a terror device as a dirty bomb.” A dirty bomb isn't a weapon meant to kill masses of people like a nuclear bomb would. “It’s an area denial and economic impact weapon," Howard Hall, UT Governor’s chair for nuclear security, said. “What it does is it terrifies the public. There’s a great deal of fear in our culture over radiation, and so, that fear is what radiological dispersal device, or the dirty bomb as they’re called, play on.”

Public perception

communicating risk

Risk expert: Why radiation fears are often exaggerated Alison George; New Scientist; 23 Mar 2011

David Speigelhalter
What is it about nuclear energy that makes people particularly fearful?
There has been a lot of research on this. Nuclear radiation ticks all the boxes for increasing the fear factor. It is invisible, an unknowable quantity. People don’t feel in control of it, and they don’t understand it. They feel it is imposed upon them and that it is unnatural. It has the dread quality of causing cancer and birth defects. Nuclear power has been staggeringly safe, but that doesn’t stop people being anxious about it, just as airplanes and trains are an amazingly safe way to travel but people still worry far more about plane crashes than car crashes.

anti-nuclear movements

Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ as a model for Australian climate policy? Graham Palmer, Energy Matters; June 2014

history of anti-nuclear movements in Germany & Australia


Energy solutions in a changing climate Iida Ruishalme; Thoughtscapism; 6 Mar 2015

Many people respect the views of the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) on the state of the climate – at least roughly half of the global population perceives global warming as a threat. Most of them whole-heartedly acknowledge that we need to take action to mitigate climate change. The odd thing is, though, that a great many seem to ignore a significant portion of what the IPCC is saying when it comes to climate solutions.

It’s time for environmentalists to give nuclear a fair go Barry W. Brook, Corey Bradshaw; The Conversation; 15 Dec 2014

Should nuclear energy be part of Australia’s (and many other countries') future energy mix? We think so, particularly as part of a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent dangerous climate change. But there are other reasons for supporting nuclear technology. In a paper recently published in Conservation Biology, we show that an energy mix including nuclear power has lowest impact on wildlife and ecosystems — which is what we need given the dire state of the world’s biodiversity. In response, we have gathered signatures of 66 leading conservation scientists from 14 countries in an open letter asking that the environmental community: weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources using objective evidence and pragmatic trade-offs, rather than simply relying on idealistic perceptions of what is ‘green’.

David MacKay’s foreword to COP21 edition of Climate Gamble J. M. Korhonen; Climate Gamble; 18 May 2016

Professor Sir David J C MacKay, famous for his excellent book “Sustainable Energy: Without hot air,” very kindly provided the following foreword for our COP21 edition of Climate Gamble.

Sarah Spath Sarah Spath; Mothers for Nuclear; 8 Jun 2016

I believe in sustainability. It angers me to think that poor decisions that we make today for convenience, frugality, or some political pat on the back to corporations are destroying our environment. We use nature as a credit card with no spending limit and overdraft the environment to live a plush existence with little concern for the eventual consequences.

Hansen & Co

Top Climate Scientists Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Tom Wigley, Dr. Ken Caldeira and Dr. Kerry Emanuel to Issue Stark Challenge at Paris COP21 Climate Conference 12 Nov 2015

Press Conference to take place on Thursday, December 3 at 14:00 in the Gallery of Solutions – Media Stage – Air and Space Museum, Paris, Le Bourget
Four of the world’s leading climate scientists, Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Tom Wigley, Dr. Ken Caldeira and Dr. Kerry Emanuel, will issue a stark challenge to world leaders and environmental campaigners attending the COP21 climate summit at a scheduled press conference in Paris on December 3.
Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Tom Wigley, Dr. Ken Caldeira and Dr. Kerry Emanuel will present research showing the increasing urgency of fully decarbonizing the world economy. However, they will also show that renewables alone cannot realistically meet the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees C, and that a major expansion of nuclear power is essential to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system this century. (1)

Shellenberger - TED

How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment Michael Shellenberger TED; Jun 2016

How Fear of Nuclear Ends Michael Shellenberger; TEDxCalPoly; 5 Jan 2017

Michael Shellenberger shows us how the fear of nuclear power was created by people who had ideological fears or sought to exploit it for political gain, including California's former and current Governor, Jerry Brown. Indeed, even the Sierra Club was pro-nuclear in the 1960s.

Why I changed my mind about nuclear power Michael Shellenberger; TEDxBerlin; 17 Nov 2017

Examines effects of Germany's nuclear shutdown and talks about many of people's reservations about nuclear energy.

The Left

The Left Needs to Reconsider its Automatic Position Against Nuclear Energy

Media And Progressives Turn On Bernie Over Nuclear Power Andrew Follett, Energy and Environmental Reporter; The Daily Caller; 4th Apr 2016

The same progressives and media elites who typically fawn over presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders are now attacking him for his opposition to nuclear power, which they claim is an essential tool in the fight against global warming.
Sanders’s plan to phase out all of America’s nuclear reactors, which currently provide 20 percent U.S. electricity, is a “serious defect” in his global warming plans, progressive website Mother Jones published last week. Other media critics such as Slate andUSA Today have slammed Sanders for his anti-nuclear stance in the last month, claiming getting rid of nuclear power would do more harm than good.
Scientists are also lining up to oppose Sanders’s plan. Despite environmental opposition, most scientists and engineers agree nuclear power is actually great for the environment.

People’s Fission - A supporter's plea for Bernie Sanders to change his mind and embrace nuclear energy LEIGH PHILLIPS; New Republic; 14 Apr 2016

One of the main reasons that lefties like me don’t just back Bernie Sanders, but have an uncommon amount of trust in him, is his dogged, unflappable, remarkably un-politician-like hyperconsistency. For 40 years, he has stuck to the same script on campaign finance, on the billionaire class (even referring to “the richest one-half of one percent” way back in 1971, long before Occupy Wall Street), on the death penalty, on workers’ rights. In 1983, he was fighting for LGBT civil rights when Reagan administration officials still regularly subjected gays, lesbians, and people with AIDS to hate-filled ridicule. He opposed a dodgy trade deal with Panama long before the Panama Papers were leaked. On issue after issue, he’s been on the right side of history, years ahead of schedule.
But there’s one issue on which Sanders has been hyperconsistently wrong. One yuuuuge-ly important, planet-saving, tiny little thing. It’s his irrational, evidence-free opposition to nuclear energy.
Sanders—along with much of the left—needs to take another look at this issue. Because with his democratic-socialist, public-sector ethic, Sanders may just be the only candidate who could actually deliver the sort of mass build-out of nuclear power that the world desperately needs if we are to stave off catastrophic climate change. And even if he doesn’t become president, an informed change of heart on nuclear could convince many of his fans to follow suit.

The Right

The Real Climate Consensus: Nuclear Power James Taylor; Forbes; 3 Aug 2017

The scientific debate between warmists and skeptics makes for good media headlines, but policymakers and the American public should be told more about an important consensus between the two camps: the desirability of nuclear power.
A large number of prominent scientists warning about a climate crisis publicly support nuclear power as a zero-emissions power source. A large number of Democratic public policymakers warning about a climate crisis support zero-emissions nuclear power. And conservatives and skeptics who warn about the high costs and unreliability of wind and solar power support nuclear power as a reliable, cost-effective zero-emissions power source.
“Some 65% of AAS scientists favor building more nuclear power plants—a clear though not overwhelming consilience. Why? Because nuclear power generates green energy and does not rely on fossil fuels. A group of scientists, journalists and policy wonks calling themselves eco-modernists, have laid out a green case for nuclear energy in numerous forums. “Nuclear fission today represents the only present-day zero-carbon technology with the demonstrated ability to meet most, if not all, of the energy demands of a modern economy,” the group declared in what has come to be known as “An Ecomodernist Manifesto“.
Many of the most prominent scientists advocating government action to address global warming support nuclear power. The list of scientists who have voiced support for nuclear power is a virtual who’s who of prominent warmists. Here is a small sample of such scientists:
A powerful consensus, transcending scientific and political beliefs, supports nuclear power as an effective and affordable means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Perhaps we can overlook our political differences long enough to prioritize removing impediments to nuclear power in America and throughout the world.

Pruitt blasts Europe, Merkel for ‘hypocrisy’ on climate ANDREW RESTUCCIA; Politico; 12 Jul 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt dismissed European critics of President Donald Trump's climate policies as hypocrites on Wednesday, while chastising German Chancellor Angela Merkel for phasing out her country's nuclear power plants.
"I just think the hypocrisy runs rampant," Pruitt said in an interview with POLITICO. "To look at us as a nation and say, 'You all need to do more' in light of what we’ve done in leading with innovation and technology — the hypocrisy is palpable in those areas."
Pruitt mentioned Merkel by name, urging the public to press her on the issue. If reducing carbon dioxide emissions "is so important to you, Madam Chancellor, why are you getting rid of nuclear? Because last time I checked, it’s pretty clean on CO2," he said.


Myths vs. Facts

  • Thorium is just another idea being pushed by the nuclear industry.
  • Thorium as a nuclear fuel has been a failure
  • We know that it will take at least thirty years to build a thorium reactor.
  • Thorium reactors still need uranium or plutonium. This is a proliferation risk.
  • Using thorium would require a resumption of reprocessing in the United States
  • There’s no point to developing thorium reactors because it will still produce radiation.
  • Molten salt will explode on contact with air and water.
  • All radiation is dangerous at any dose level.
  • Radiation is a silent threat that is difficult to detect.
  • All radioactive material is dangerous, and a long half life means it is really dangerous.
  • radioactivity lasts forever
  • Nuclear energy equals nuclear weapons
  • The world will never change and accept energy from thorium.


Disneyland - 3.14 - Our Friend the Atom

Denialism and the 'Scientific Consensus': Naomi Oreskes' Attacks on Nuclear Energy and GMOs Expose Deep Divide Among Environmentalists Jon Entine; HuffPo

Natural Gas Industry Blasts Nuclear Power With Fake News James Conca; Forbes; 15 Jun 2017

The American Petroleum Institute has flooded the airwaves in Ohio and Pennsylvania with anti-nuke commercials by pushing fear – fear of higher prices and fear of radiation.

What’s Really Going on at Fukushima?

Radiation Alert: L.A. Gas Well Spewing LETHAL LEVELS Of Breathable Nuclear Material: “Fukushima Class Disaster”

Hiroshima and Nagasaki anti-nuclear propaganda debunked by the hard facts

lots of links

IRRADIATED The hidden legacy of 70 years of atomic weaponry: At least 33,480 Americans dead Will the nation’s new nuclear age yield more unwanted fallout?

Why You Can’t Build a Bomb From Spent Fuel

An hour every day workout can power your home for twenty-four hours

Whales Continue to Die Off in Pacific Ocean: Scientists Suspect Fukushima Radiation at Fault RealFarmacy

‘Emission free’ nuclear power is more greenwash Justin McKeating; Greenpeace blog

what you get searching Google images for Fukushima Refutations to Anti-Nuclear Memes; facebook

'Hot Water': Film Review Frank Scheck; The Hollywood Reporter; 16 Mar 2016

The doc features extensive commentary by scientists and academics who testify to the negative long-term effects, including Dr. Helen Caldicott, who has devoted much of her career to opposing nuclear power. Another party heard from is former congressman and environmental activist Dennis Kucinich, who happens to be married to the film's co-producer, Elizabeth Kucinich.
But the array of talking heads, impressive and convincing as they are, don't have the impact of the personal stories included, such as the moving accounts by the members of a Native American South Dakota clan who have suffered abnormally high cancer rates (the director actually steps out from behind the camera to comfort one tearful subject). Comments are often blunt and to the point, such as when one testifier declares, "Water killed my mother."
We hear about such things as the contamination of livestock, resulting in tainted meat; high levels of cancers and birth defects among people living in affected areas; and the huge costs of clean-ups, which are inevitably passed on to the public.

How Nuclear Power Causes Global Warming Harvey Wasserman; The Progressive; 21 Sep 2016

Supporters of nuclear power like to argue that nukes are the key to combatting climate change. Here’s why they are dead wrong.
A Gish Gallop of anti-nuclear claims ranging from misleading to completely untrue.