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 →

Nuclear Waste Pt. 1: Fear is the mind-killer

I'm sure you've seen images like this before. Something to make you feel unsafe or scared. Bright colours, visible warning signs, all things that point to those drums being filled with things that are horribly dangerous, and likely to leak out at any moment and poison the surrounding area à la The Simpsons. The reality is... actual... 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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