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lewis_whokeyser 65 posts  |  Last Activity: Feb 27, 2015 2:41 PM Member since: Oct 6, 1999
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  • Reply to

    Nuclear Accident in Ukraine, breaking news

    by gojeera Dec 3, 2014 5:58 AM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Dec 3, 2014 7:03 AM Flag

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk announced the accident at Zaporizhzhya NPP on Wednesday morning, calling on the energy minister to hold a news conference.

    "I know that an accident has occurred at the Zaporizhye NPP," Yatseniuk said, asking Demchyshyn to make clear when the problem would be resolved and what steps would be taken to restore normal power supply across Ukraine.

    News agency Interfax Ukraine said the problem had occurred at bloc No 3—a 1,000-megawatt reactor—and that the resulting lack of output had worsened the power crisis in the country. Interfax added that the bloc was expected to come back on stream on December 5.

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Dec 3, 2014 6:32 PM Flag

    On the world stage, America's oil production pulls this nation's economy ahead while stalling countries hostile to America. Last week, OPEC decided it was not going to cut oil production in response to the plummeting cost of a barrel of oil.

    That was a mistake, writes the UK Telegraph: "Opec has misjudged the threat. As late as last year, it was dismissing US shale as a flash in the pan. Abdalla El-Badri, the group's secretary-general, still insists that half of all US shale output is vulnerable below $85."

    Currently, the world's oil producers are in a game of chicken with their economies. If the price of oil drops too low, the competing countries will have to stop production because the cost would not be worth it. At the moment, their cost of producing oil is much higher than that of the United States.

    The Telegraph again: "The fiscal break-even cost is $161 for Venezuela, $160 for Yemen, $132 for Algeria, $131 for Iran, $126 for Nigeria, and $125 for Bahrain, $111 for Iraq, and $105 for Russia, and even $98 for Saudi Arabia itself, according to Citigroup."

    And how far does the price of oil have to drop before it starts to hurt the U.S. shale fields? $50, according to CNBC.

    This sets the U.S. in the strategic position to win in the economic struggle for oil domination against hostile nations. For example, Russia is now facing serious economic challenges, and as a result will possibly slow exploration for oil and gas in its Arctic seas. According to the Brookings Institute, the Great Bear estimated the global price of oil would be at $97 dollars as it set its 2014 budget. Once the price of oil slid below $80, however, it headed for economic trouble because oil accounts for 14.5% of Russia's GDP. If oil prices remain low, how will Vladimir Putin fund his shadow war in Ukraine?

  • Reply to

    Nuclear Accident in Ukraine, breaking news

    by gojeera Dec 3, 2014 5:58 AM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Dec 4, 2014 1:46 PM Flag

    Ukraine Energy and Coal Industry Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said: "Actually, there is no threat at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
    "Repairs for the unit are underway, and it is expected to be in operation by 5 Decembe, 2014."
    "There was an electrical short circuit in the system of energy delivery late last week, thus, only one unit, unit number 3, is out of order at the nuclear power plant. There is no threat to the reactor. This is technical damage which is being eliminated.
    "The block is in a state of repair."
    Located in the south-east part of Ukraine in Enerhodar, the Zaporizhzhya NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and the fifth-largest worldwide.
    Equipped with six VVER-1000 pressurised light water nuclear reactors, the plant has a combined power output of 6,000MW, which accounts for 50% of electricity from nuclear power and more than 20% of total power supply in Ukraine.

    No big deal, unless they are lying...

    I worked at a plant where the transformer blew up once. The flames were higher than the containment dome!

  • lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Dec 5, 2014 10:29 PM Flag

    The production of tritium requires the generation of energetic neutrons. There are two suitable ways of producing such neutrons: nuclear reactors and accelerators. In an accelerator, neutrons are produced by a process called spallation. Protons, accelerated in a particle accelerator to very high energies, strike a target made of tungsten. The energetic protons then knock neutrons and more protons off the tungsten atoms like billiard balls. These neutrons and protons then knock off more neutrons in a cascade fashion. In a nuclear reactor, energy is produced by nuclear fission, or splitting, of uranium and plutonium atoms. Neutrons are used to produce the fission in the first place, and a byproduct of this reaction is more neutrons. Most of these neutrons are used to create more fission reactions -- a chain reaction -- but some neutrons leave the reaction region -- the reactor core -- without initiating a fission reaction. These neutrons are available for other nuclear reactions including those that produce tritium. In both cases, the quantity of neutrons produced can be controlled by adjusting parameters inherent to the accelerator or nuclear reactor. (Wikipedia)

    The ACP doesn't appear to have anything to do with tritium production.

  • CHISINAU (Reuters) - Police in Moldova said on Tuesday they had detained seven people suspected of smuggling radioactive Uranium-238 on a train from Russia, a substance they said could have been used to make a "dirty bomb".
    Police discovered about 200 grams (7 oz) of hazardous substances worth about 1.7 million euros ($2.1 million) during a sting operation last week, said Ion Bodrug, head of an Interior Ministry investigative department.
    "After a preliminary examination we realized we were talking about Uranium-238, an extremely dangerous radioactive substance used to make 'dirty' nuclear bombs," he told a news conference.
    A dirty bomb is not, in fact, a nuclear device and does not produce a nuclear explosion. Instead it mixes conventional explosives with radioactive material, with the aim of spreading contamination.
    Another dangerous substance, mercury, was also discovered by the police, who believe the gang's aim was to sell the materials in Europe, Bodrug said.

    Question: If 7 oz of U-238 is worth $2.1 million, what is a 48-ton Tails cylinder worth?
    Maybe LEU's stock price IS too low, it's just in the wrong business!

  • lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Dec 10, 2014 10:13 AM Flag

    Obviously, the Reuter's reporter is math-challenged. The Navy uses depleted U-238 bullets in its Vulcan-Phalanx Gatling Gun. Each slug weighs about a pound and it fires 3000 rounds per minute.
    U-238 is also a terrible choice for a dirty bomb since it is only mildly radioactive and relatively easy to decontaminate. I believe yellowcake is selling for around $40/kg.

  • lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Dec 15, 2014 10:00 PM Flag

    The supply of oil has been rising strongly over the last several years. Only a couple of years ago in 2012, world oil supply according to the International Energy Agency totaled 88.6 million barrels per day. But in just the last two years, global supply has jumped a robust 5.6%, or 5.0 million barrels per day, to 93.6 million barrels through the third quarter of 2014. At first, this increased supply was well received by the market place, as the global demand for oil was running in excess of supply by as much as 700,000 barrels per day as recently as late last year.

    Global supply and demand fundamentals began to change in 2014. While the daily supply of oil kept surging with each passing month this year, demand growth from the global market place effectively ground to a halt. As a result, the world has found itself with an excess supply of oil of as much as 1 million barrels per day. When supply is running in excess of demand, such are the conditions for a decline in prices. And drop they have.

    So where exactly has the marginal increase in supply been derived over the last couple of years? Almost exclusively the Americas including the United States. For example, in 2012 the Americas produced 14.6 million barrels per day, or 16.4% of the world's oil supply, while the rest of the world produced 74.0 million barrels per day. Today, the Americas have increased production by a stunning 28% to 18.7 million barrels per day, or 20.0% of the world's oil supply, while the rest of the world is still producing 74.9 million barrels per day, which is just 1% more than in 2012. Thus, American energy producers, particularly those higher cost suppliers that recently brought production online in the last few years, are bearing the brunt of the recent decline. In particular, those suppliers that depended heavily on leverage to achieve increased production now suddenly find themselves wobbling for survival.

  • Nuclear Street News
    A British parliamentary committee on Wednesday will endorse small modular nuclear reactors, which some view as the perfect answer to the energy needs of the future.

    While technology for the 300-megawatt or smaller power plants is in development, some see SMRs as a viable option for nuclear power that is carbon emissions free and yet avoids the high construction costs and some of the political resistance presented by large nuclear power plants that cost billions of dollars to build.

    Parliament's cross-party Energy and Climate Change Committee, having reviewed the option of modular construction of nuclear plants, has concluded that a “a sustained period of collaboration between government and industry,” will be required to put SMRs into operation in Britain.

    If that is done, the small modular plants built at existing nuclear facilities could play a “key role in delivering low-carbon energy and lower upfront capital costs compared to large, conventional nuclear reactors,” said committee chairman Tim Yeo.

    Yeo also noted that the commercial aspects of moving forward with small reactors was “unclear.” He also said the government should endorse SMR development at existing nuclear plants, where there would be smaller additional costs and local workforces already familiar with nuclear power.

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Dec 17, 2014 8:21 PM Flag

    After six years and a multiplicity of safety studies the results seem to indicate that fracking can be done safely—but often is not. And that is conclusive enough to allow the current governor, Andrew Cuomo, to officially ban the practice, according to The New York Times.

    Cuomo, who won reelection last month, made the ban official via Acting Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker. Zucker publicly stated at a year-end cabinet meeting that the science on fracking’s health impacts is too incomplete but suggests serious risks, according to the long-awaited review from his department.

    Those risks range from air pollution near gas-handling facilities (as has been seen in Texas) to the problem of disposing of billions of liters of contaminated water safely. Dumping that water back underground has led to earthquakes across the U.S. in states like Ohio and Oklahoma. And the rush to drill and frack has led to some poorly made wells that then leak methane.

  • Reply to

    OT: Fracking Banned in New York

    by lewis_whokeyser Dec 17, 2014 8:21 PM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Dec 18, 2014 9:58 AM Flag

    I'll look it up. Nice to hear from you.
    Merry Christmas!

  • Reply to

    Docu-drama on Hyman Rickover on PBS

    by sponge_bob_is_no_square Dec 18, 2014 3:09 PM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Dec 18, 2014 7:06 PM Flag

    I remember my first Rickover interview. To get in the nuclear Navy, you had to pass the Rickover interview. The purpose of the interview was to see how you handled stress.
    You walk into the office and see this incredibly old guy with no two teeth pointing in the same direction and,without looking up, he says "You don't study much, do you?"
    I don't remember my answer, but his reply was "GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE!!!"
    Stressful indeed!

  • Reply to

    Docu-drama on Hyman Rickover on PBS

    by sponge_bob_is_no_square Dec 18, 2014 3:09 PM
    lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Dec 20, 2014 11:37 AM Flag

    A friend of mine went through Seal training. He can now eat fish and play tunes on those little squeeze horns.

    At one time the Navy Nuclear School was ranked the third toughest academic curriculum, right after Harvard Law and MIT Physics. 12 hr days, six days a week was the norm.

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Dec 23, 2014 8:56 PM Flag

    The Obama administration is cramming like a college student trying to study for a final exam, publishing more than 1,200 new regulations in the last 15 days alone, according to data from

    Energy and environment rules are the biggest category, with 139 published by the federal government in the last 15 days, according to

    One of the most contentious new regulations is the EPA’s coal ash rule. The rule has been criticized by the coal industry and environmental groups — though for entirely different reasons — and has a price tag of up to $20.3 billion. The rule was finalized last Friday.

    Before that, the Obama administration finalized a new ozone standard that could become the costliest rule ever proposed by the EPA. The EPA released the rule while millions of Americans were getting ready to eat some turkey and pie for Thanksgiving.

    Regulations listed on include “Notices from the Federal Register; Proposed Rules; Final Rules.” The government website shows that 309 rules were proposed or finalized in the last 15 days and 892 notices from the federal register were received — some of which could lead to new rulemakings.

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Dec 24, 2014 12:17 PM Flag

    Low energy nuclear reactor (LENR) technology, and by extension palladium, is attracting the attention of one of the richest men in the world and a pioneer inventor of new technology.

    LENR is science’s new approach to the 1990s’ concept of “cold fusion,” which failed spectacularly. However, by learning from previous mistakes, and by applying newly developed nano-technology, scientists around the world have since worked on ways of making LENR work.

    In a recent visit to Italy, billionaire business man, investor and inventor Bill Gates said that for several years he has been a believer in the idea of LENR, and is a sponsor of companies developing the technology. Gates is not only the Chairman of TerraPower, a company developing a “new class of nuclear reactors using innovative core physics.” He is also a member of the American Energy Innovation Council and supporter of new technologies through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he founded in 2000.

    In June of this year, he wrote a blog titled “We need Energy Miracles” to stress the importance of new technologies like LENR.

    Tech Metals Insider previously reported on the technology, its “side effects” of creating precious metals, and its application by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan.

    During his trip to Italy he visited the national agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA) where scientists have made significant progress towards a working design for low energy nuclear fusion. The centerpiece of their design is the same as in Mitsubishi’s: palladium.

    Creating palladium foil with just the right parameters, and managing stress levels in the material was a key issue, one that the researchers at EMEA were able to resolve several years ago.

    Nuclear Energy Times describes the state of LENR development as “laboratory experiments which have the potent

  • Important to Centrus Energy because it doesn't require enrichment.

    China's experimental sodium-cooled nuclear power plant, a 65-megawatt prototype, has been up and running at full capacity for three days as of late last week.

    The prototype is China's first fast neutron reactor that operates with a closed fuel cycle to make highly efficient use of uranium, which reduces waste.
    The plant can make use of uranium-238, which is an underutilized uranium isotope, said Zhang Donghui, deputy chief engineer with the China Institute of Atomic Energy.
    In theory, Zhang said, the isotope can be fully used as a fuel. In fast reactor conditions, the “utility ratio will reach 60 to 70 percent … still a considerable number,” Zhang said.
    Before going for a fully commercial fast reactor plant, a larger prototype will be constructed, said the Secretary General of the China Atomic Energy Authority Liu Yongde.
    “China has become one of the few countries that have fully mastered the core technologies in fast reactor design, construction, installation, test and operation,” Yongde said.
    Fast reactors are expected to play a key role in China's nuclear power future, CRI reported.

    This is the technology that failed ex-President Jimmy Carter killed.

  • lewis_whokeyser lewis_whokeyser Dec 24, 2014 11:22 PM Flag

    Carter was a big anti-proliferation nut who felt that a reactor that generated PU-239 was a serious proliferation threat since the PU-239 could be chemically separated to make bomb-grade plutonium. He broke the originally envisioned fuel cycle in order to prevent this.

    Ironically, Jimmy Carter was instrumental in circumventing then-president Bill Clinton's efforts to prevent North Korea from getting the bomb, so Carter actually ensured a terrorist-supporting state got nuclear weapons while America was denied cheap, safe breeder reactors.

    Carter also famously predicted the world would run out of natural gas by the year 2000.

    Until recently, Carter was the worst president in my lifetime.

  • Indian Village Demands Real Electricity, Not Solar Gimmick

    This is very funny:

    “Former Chief minister met by village youngsters carrying placards demanding “real source of energy”, and “not the fake solar powered” one.

    The least you would expect when you bring electricity to an entire village, ending over three decades of darkness, is a ‘thank you’ from its residents. But no such niceties here in Dharnai, a nondescript village tucked away in the Naxal heartland of Bihar.

    The residents of Dharnai are far from satisfied to see lights for the first time in 33 years, courtesy a solar-powered micro-grid set up by the environment watchdog Greenpeace India. They now want asli bijli (real electricity) from the government.”

    How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm...?

    Happy New Year!

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Dec 30, 2014 6:24 PM Flag

    The plant had an emergency shutdown a few days ago and now this. Probably nothing, but we didn't know about Chernobyl till they detected the radiation in Europe:
    A radioactive leak has been detected at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe, a media report says, citing the country’s emergency services. Ukrainian officials have denied the report.

    LifeNews published what it claims is a leaked report by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, which denies an earlier assessment by the plant’s authorities that the radiation at the facility is equal to the natural background following an incident on Sunday.

    RT is trying to verify the report.

    Ukrainian authorities have denied the Russian media report that a radioactive leak had taken place at the plant, Reuters reported.

    "The plant works normally, there have been no accidents," an energy ministry official told the news agency. No official comment on whether the leaked documents are authentic has been provided.

    Two documents released by LifeNews appear to show that the plant's officials put deliberately misleading information on their website. The documents – both addressed to the head of the regional emergency services – state that radiation levels at the plant on Sunday and Monday were 16.8 times higher than the legally permitted norm.

    By Monday, the levels had slightly increased – growing from 16.3 to 16.8 times higher, and Unit 6 was still shut down, the report said, contradicting the plant's statements that the problem had been fixed and that the plant was operating normally.

    On Sunday, one reactor at the plant was automatically shut down after a glitch, becoming the second halt in operations in recent weeks. The reactor was running at 40 percent of nominal power, the plant's official website said, adding that radiation at the facility being at the level of 8-12 microroentgens an hour.

    The error was later announced to have been corrected, and the troubled unit was placed back on line.

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Dec 30, 2014 6:45 PM Flag

    The International Institute for Sustainable Development estimates that the CO2 and climate benefits from replacing petroleum fuels with biofuels like ethanol are basically zero. They claim that it would be almost 100 times more effective, and much less costly, to significantly reduce vehicle emissions through more stringent standards, and to increase CAFE standards on all cars and light trucks to over 40 miles per gallon as was done in Japan just a few years ago.

    In 2014, the U.S. will use almost 5 billion bushels of corn to produce over 13 billion gallons of ethanol fuel. The grain required to fill a 25-gallon gas tank with ethanol can feed one person for a year, so the amount of corn used to make that 13 billion gallons of ethanol will not feed the almost 500 million people it was feeding in 2000. This is the entire population of the Western Hemisphere outside of the United States.

    In 2007, the global price of corn doubled as a result of an explosion in ethanol production in the U.S. Because corn is the most common animal feed and has many other uses in the food industry, the price of milk, cheese, eggs, meat, corn-based sweeteners and cereals increased as well. World grain reserves dwindled to less than two months, the lowest level in over 30 years.

    Additional unintended effects from the increase in ethanol production include the dramatic rise in land rents, the increase in natural gas and chemicals used for fertilizers, over-pumping of aquifers like the Ogallala that serve many mid-western states, clear-cutting forests to plant fuel crops, and the revival of destructive practices such as edge tillage. Edge tillage is planting right up to the edge of the field thereby removing protective bordering lands and increasing soil erosion, chemical runoff and other problems. It took us 40 years to end edge tillage in this country, and overnight ethanol brought it back with a vengeance..

  • lewis_whokeyser by lewis_whokeyser Dec 31, 2014 5:44 AM Flag

    The Obama administration’s move to allow exports of ultralight crude without government approval may encourage shale drilling and thwart Saudi Arabia’s strategy to curb U.S. output, further weakening oil markets, according to Citigroup Inc.
    A type of crude known as condensate can be exported if it is run through a distillation tower, which separates the hydrocarbons that make up the oil, according to U.S. government guidelines published yesterday. That may boost supplies ready to be sold overseas to as much as 1 million barrels a day by the end of 2015, Citigroup analysts led by Ed Morse in New York said in an e-mailed report.
    Saudi Arabia led the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to maintain its production quota at a meeting last month even as a shale boom boosted U.S. output to the highest in more than three decades. That prompted speculation OPEC was willing to let prices fall to force some companies with higher drilling costs to stop pumping.
    “U.S. producers are under the gun to reduce capital expenditures given lower prices,” Citigroup said in the report. “Now an export route provides a new lease on life that can further weaken crude oil markets and throw a monkey wrench into recent Saudi plans to cripple U.S. production.”
    Current U.S. export capacity is at about 200,000 barrels a day, which could be expanded to 500,000 a day by the middle of 2015, according to the bank.

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