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 →

Neutron Capture and More!

Why do some elements fission and others sit there like lumps. I'm looking at you Lead!

That Darn CO2

Okay, so we all know about CO2. And most people generally accept that we should reduce the amount of it that we dump into the atmosphere. But how can you know how much CO2 your country/province/state/tiny island is emitting into the world? Luckily for you, there is a handy dandy site just for this very... Continue Reading →

Energy and Civilization series: More than just Electricity II, The Electric Boogaloo

So I feel I need to add a bit of an addendum to my last post. I stated that there wasn't really a very efficient or effective way to reach the very high temperatures that industrial processes like making cement require (1400C and above) but then I remembered that I'm a fool and missed the... Continue Reading →

Energy and Civilization Series: More than just Electricity.

Electricity runs pretty much everything in modern society. Our phones, our lights, our computers, our refrigerators... It is the cornerstone of modern society and will continue to play a very large role in how civilization continues to prosper throughout the foreseeable future. But it's not alone in providing us with the foundations of how we... Continue Reading →

Efficiency: the many conflicting numbers

If I told you that nuclear energy had the worst fuel efficiency of any energy production system would you believe me? What if I then said that it had the best operational efficiency of any electricity generating system? I would think that you would be starting to either get confused or think that I was... Continue Reading →

Technology Jargon Series: Thermal vs Fast

There are so many phrases, acronyms or words that have unique meanings in the nuclear industry and it, like most other specialized industries, unfortunately, seems impenetrable to the layman thanks to this jargon. In this series of posts, I'll attempt to peel back some of the most common jargon and hopefully allow people to have... Continue Reading →

Canadian legacy in Nuclear: CANDU

As a Canadian, I can't start up a nuclear blog without talking about the CANDU reactor design. A reactor design that has stood the test of time in its decades of operation racking up not only an impressive safety record but also have been shown to be able to run for over 890 days continuously.... Continue Reading →

Types of Radiation 3/3: Neutrons!

Neutron radiation is probably the least publicized form of the four types of radiation I have discussed, and this is possibly because it is the rarest "common" kind. You will likely never encounter neutron radiation in your life as the only place that it regularly occurs is in the direct handling of nuclear fuels. This... Continue Reading →

Types of Radiation 2/3: Gamma

Gamma Rays... The most well-known type of nuclear radiation, thanks to the efforts of comic books and movies for the past several decades. However, unlike comic books, being exposed to gamma radiation will not actually turn you into a giant green rage monster, and also unlike what anti-nuclear advocates have tried to tell people, it... Continue Reading →

Types of Radiation 1/3: Alpha and Beta

How many types of nuclear radiation are there? Don't look on Wikipedia, that would be cheating.  Post all the kinds you can think of in the comments below. I'll give you a hint, there are more than four but I'll just talk about these specific 4 in this series of posts: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and... Continue Reading →

Counting radiation

who knew something you learned with your ABCs could be so difficult?

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