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 →

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 →

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.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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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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