The Alberta Oil Life: Ubiquity and the Road to Zero Carbon

Medical implants, food packaging, cellphones, athletic apparel, dress shoes, paper, screws, nails, water bottles, car tires, video games, beach umbrellas, sandpaper, headphones, cancer drugs, recreational drugs, painkillers, colostomy bags, hospital beds, regular beds, fishing lines, boats, cosplay costumes, comic books, coloured inks, paint, shopping carts, musical instruments, concert hall chairs, pens, stress balls, tennis balls,... Continue Reading →

A Nuclear Nerd Presents to the Edmonton Energy Transition Leadership Network

Foreward: So I didn't post on friday last week because I was busy writing a presentation. It was not in fact this presentation that is below, it was an entirely different one that I determined was crap and scrapped late friday night. Thus forcing me to build this new one from scratch 4 days before... 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 →

Nuclear Safety: Sophistication vs. Capability, A Metaphor.

So I've found that talking about nuclear safety doesn't really resonate with people. Whether it's because they think that it's far too complicated and immediately file it under "too much work" or because they might actually recognize how much work goes into it, thus putting it in the "it will just work" folder of their... 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 →

Teenage Rebellion on a massive scale.

Changing the colours you like to wear? Check. Going where people tell you not to, to do things you shouldn't? Check. Ignoring people who want to help you? Check. And believing you have all the answers if only people would listen to you? Check. The one on the left is the asshole responsible for a... Continue Reading →

Nuclear Money: How expensive is today compared to tomorrow?

How much more is a dollar today worth compared to a dollar tomorrow? what about a year from now? or 10? This is a huge question in the energy industry, and particular groups have very different answers to it. I wish people would stop sending messages like this, we could really use all that money...... 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 →

Nuclear “Waste” pt.4: And only I will remain

For thousands of years, humanity has had the crazy idea that things could be turned into other things. The most famous example of this pursuit is the transmutation of lead into gold. But nowadays it is not much more than a metaphor than the creation of something valuable from something considered basal, put in the... Continue Reading →

Nuclear Waste pt.3: I will face my fear

So most waste is barely radioactive and the stuff that is dangerous is a tiny fraction of what we currently consider it to be... so what do we do with it? Well, right now the answer is not a lot. As I said, the LLW gets held onto until it's below background levels and then... Continue Reading →

Nuclear Waste Pt. 2: Fear is the little death

10,000 years, 50,000 years, 100,000 years... figures regularly tossed around to scare people into wanting to prevent nuclear reactors from being built because "what will we do with the waste?" So let's dive a little deeper into what High-Level Waste is. Remember from the last article, HLW is the spent fuel bundles that were used... 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 →

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 →

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 →

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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