Energy Intensity: The Futures We See

I've been getting bummed out lately. It's been feeling like all I 'm doing here is playing catch up to old ideas and old arguments against nuclear energy. That aggravates me because it means that we have lost control over the direction of the conversation. If we want the conversation to change, then we have... Continue Reading →

A Nuke Nerd at the City of Edmonton Executive Committee

So there was no post last friday because I was busy writing and practicing the speech I gave yesterday. It was to the Edmonton Executive Committee talking about Climate Change. Thanks to Aaron Hinman who recorded my speech and single question that was asked of me so you all don't have to sit through 8... Continue Reading →

The Efficiency Paradox: Envisioning a No Guilt, No Holds Barred Future.

How many of you have ever upgraded your washing machine, or dryer, or dishwasher to a new, high efficiency model? Or maybe you remember your parents doing so when you were younger? And now how many of you remember that you started using it more than you used the old one? Yes my lovelies. Make... Continue Reading →

Dichotomy, Hypocrisy, and Greek Tragedy.

Conflict in literature is a fascinating thing. Not only for the catharsis of the resolution, but for the struggle in the action, and the tension of the incitement. However people seem to be much more cognizant of the theme of a work when they choose whether they are interested in it or not. Which makes... 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 →

Indirect Income: Load Following, Potholes, and the Elderly

Dear Mom, please ignore the next paragraph. Just move on to the third one and pretend that that is the real beginning of this post. Fuck potholes and all their horrible children. Avatars of the impermanence of mans creations and active forces of entropy that love to do nothing more than wreck tires, throw steering... 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 →

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 →

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 →

Technology Jargon Series: Void Coefficient

Bubbles have always been interesting. Whether they are in your water or floating through the air on a summers day they always seem to capture our attention. however these darling little pockets of gas have a dark side. They are all members of Greenpeace and want to endanger nuclear plants. Remember that nuclear reactors are... 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 →

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