Radiation Damage: Biology is just Physics with lots of extra steps right?

You can't see it, you can't feel it, you can't smell it, and you can only tell where it is either by its effect or by specialized detecting equipment. It's easy to understand the fear and hesitancy when it comes to radiation exposure. I can't do much to try and fight that kind of fear.... Continue Reading →

Base-load, Intermittent, and Energy Storage: The Use of Tools.

https://twitter.com/PhysWiz/status/1159424165297963009?s=20 Even if you aren't a pro-nuclear person, I'm sure you might have seen the argument that nuclear cannot load follow being used somewhere online. And then probably using that as a reason why we should be moving to a renewable mixture of wind and solar backed by storage. I never realized how self-defeating it... Continue Reading →

Nuclear Energy: When Free Markets Aren’t.

Also known as "if renewables are so cheap, why is my energy bill so high?" Here in Alberta we've been hearing for a long time about how cheap renewables are. Solar projects coming online at under 5 cents per kWh. Wind bids at 2 cents per kWh! So why does my electricity bill still say... Continue Reading →

Economics of Nuclear: How to avoid Nickel and Diming

I have been told that I seem to have a standard method of opening with a seemingly contradictory statement to my general goal of promoting nuclear power and then suverting it either immediately or over the whole course of the article. Well since I am a creature of habit I feel no need to change... Continue Reading →

Fundamentals of Nuclear: Meltdowns

Quickly, and without looking online to find the answers, which of the following is a nuclear meltdown? Most of them should be pretty easy but there is a good chance I might have tricked you, because the correct answer is none of them. I'll explain what I mean in a bit, but first I'm going... Continue Reading →

Fuel Efficiency: #TurnUpforBurnUp

Sorry American Nuclear Society, I'm hopping on your coat-tails for the title. This is what I would probably consider the last of the basics of nuclear energy topics. If you've been following along with my blog so far I wold say that this is the last of the 100 level courses. So straight to it.... Continue Reading →

Australian Questions, Canadian Answers, Commonwealth Camaraderie.

Australia, I just want you to know before I get started that I love you and I don't mean to hurt you. You're surrounded by friends here and we just want what is best for you and all the rest of us. This is an intervention against your pointless fear. These questions were taken and... Continue Reading →

Back of the nuclear napkin: Cost efficiency.

People don't seem to believe me when I say that Nuclear would be one of the cheapest ways to switch over to zero-carbon energy. So welcome to another rough and ready math attempt. We'll take 3 different scenarios: nuclear, solar PV and off-shore wind as these seem to be the most common grid-scale applications of... Continue Reading →

Reasons for Nuclear: The KISS principle

I have always been a man of seemingly conflicting interests. I'm an engineer and scientist in my core, I appreciate the ability to be productive and useful in logical and quantifiable ways. But I have also been vigorously involved in the Arts and know that unquantifiable efforts can be productive in their own right. Every... Continue Reading →

Energy and Civilization Series: Porcupines and Environmental Stewardship

It feels like the last few articles have been kinda curmudgeonly so it's time to shift the outlook and focus on aspirational things today. Namely that everyone's favourite oil and gas whipping boy, Tailings ponds, can be cleaned up much faster than current estimates by application of nuclear power and the helping hand of a... Continue Reading →

Planning for the Future: Orphan Wells vs. Nuclear Decommissioning

So there was some big news in Canada a little while ago pertaining to small oil companies and the environment. On January 31, the Supreme Court of Canada determined that a company in danger of, or currently in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings must pay all environmental obligations prior to paying out creditors. This includes... Continue Reading →

Nerd Nite #46 Talk: Nuclear Radiation

So I mentioned that I had given a talk back on January 8th at an event called Nerd Nite in Edmonton and here is the video. There are a couple of skips due to the limits of the camera that was used, but they aren't very large so no one should get left behind. If... Continue Reading →

Civilian vs Military: Power, Proliferation, and Pandora

I never wanted to write this article. There is already way too much conflation of nuclear energy with nuclear weapons, and even writing with the best of intentions and clearest of language I guarantee that someone will attempt to use this article as proof that nuclear is too dangerous because Bombs! I ignore these people... Continue Reading →

Jargon Series: Fissile vs Fertile

I've been seeing another lie popping up about nuclear energy lately. People saying that Even though Nuclear Energy is low carbon, we lack the accessible supplies of Uranium to supply our power requirements for enough time to help combat climate change. ( I plan on touching on those other points in other articles.) Let's be... Continue Reading →

Nuclear Safety: Materials Science and Boys with their Toys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4wDqSnBJ-k That is a decommissioned and cleaned F-4 Phantom fighter jet attached to a rocket sled and slammed into an 11-foot thick concrete/steel/lead wall at 500 MPH. It is also the reason that I have never felt insecure about anything bad happening to a nuclear reactor due to an external force. Whether it be a... Continue Reading →

Costs of Nuclear: Lies, Greed, and Misery

Now I can stand a lot of things that people don't understand about nuclear. Radiation can be complicated, physics goes over a lot of peoples heads. But money is something that Everyone has to interact with every day of their lives once they stop living off their parents. So today I want to try to... Continue Reading →

Radiation Dose Safety: LNT, Training Wheels, and Growing Up

Why are people scared of radiation? Honestly, there are too many reasons to reliably and comprehensively list. There was the threat of nuclear war, there was rampant misinformation, a lack of education... But the part that I want to talk about was the contribution made by the regulators and organizations in charge of safety. Namely,... Continue Reading →

Fundamentals of Nuclear Science: Half-lives and The Weather Girls.

So it has come to my attention that a surprising number of people don't actually know what half-lives are and what they describe. And as you know, when there is something about nuclear science that the general population does not understand, they immediately assume the worst possible thing. At it's most fundamental a radioactive half-life... Continue Reading →

Nuclear and CO2: The Long Game

Short post today, I'm getting ready for a presentation this upcoming Tuesday at Edmonton NerdNite So fingers crossed for me! Today I want to talk about something that most people seem to forget about when they are talking about climate models and CO2 reduction and emission targets. We don't win if we hit those targets... Continue Reading →

Reasons for Nuclear Series #1: First Principles

I've covered more than a few items on this blog about basic education and understanding of nuclear power. Today though I'm going to switch gears and talk about one reason I think nuclear energy is the way we need to go forward into the future. Something aspirational rather than merely educational if you will. So... Continue Reading →

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