Net-Zero grid, net-zero buildings, net-zero housing, net-zero climate goals. We hear these phrases all over the place nowadays. They are meant to be the gold standard for environmental conscientiousness and progressive planning. And they are. That's the problem. A net outcome is a term most often used in economic considerations where all inputs and outputs... Continue Reading →
Power Pt. 1: The Ability to do Work
What is the purpose of Power? It doesn't matter if it is something physical like electricity, or something more esoteric like the authority wielded by politicians, business leaders, or even church leaders. The purpose of Power has always been to affect change on the world around you. In other words, it is the ability to... Continue Reading →
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 →
Heat, Energy, and Climate: The Three Amigos
I'm going to start off by saying that I don't care if anyone reading this article believes in man-made climate change or thinks it's a scam. I'm not here to champion anything, I just feel there is a lot of misunderstanding of the topic because everyone discusses it 3 or 4 levels above the fundamental... Continue Reading →
A Stranger in a Strange Conference #EDU2019
Energy Disrupters Unite 2019. A smaller conference in an important city in an important province in a country that I love, even with it's problems. Here I spent 2 days listening to some of the most driven, and insightful people I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Their talks wandered over and through... 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 →
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 →
Fuel: Energy and growth without sacrifice?
We all know what fuel is. Almost literally to the point that none of us actually knows what fuel is. Like the colour red, or microwaves, or bread (my condolences to people with Celiac disease). It's such a pervasive part of our lives that we barely even question it anymore. But that's a problem as... 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 →
Okay so I believe you now. What can I do?
This is where the fun stuff really happens. And by fun I mean tedious, and by happens I mean crawls along at the snails pace of provincial bureaucracy and politics. Unfortunately however, there is only one way of pushing along the progress of promoting nuclear energy into mainstream acceptance and that is by pestering every... 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 →
Spotlight: Terrestrial Energy Inc.
SMRs are a rapidly expanding field of interest in the modern nuclear industry, seeking to provide all the benefits of current nuclear energy, while dramatically reducing costs and construction times and taking advantage of modern factory construction logistics. There are dozens of companies that are active in this field such as Westinghouse, GE-Hitachi, TerraPower, NuScale,... 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 →
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 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 →
Nuclear and Solar: Bffs?
I know I give solar a hard time. I point out the flaws and failings of it on a semi-regular basis here, but only because I know it can do better. Solar right now is a victim of the success of the ideologies that it has been picked up by. A whole movement about how... 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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