Heat and Cubes: The secret math of SMRs

We're going to do things a little differently this time. Normally I talk about a complex topic by drilling down to the fundamentals and then building back up to make the point about the original topic. This time however we are going to start at the top and explore that layer before removing it and... Continue Reading →

Power pt 3: Flexibility and Resilience

Oh man this one is a lot longer than I expected. But it's been simmering for like 2 months so maybe it's time? Who cares, let's dive in. Connecting the Dispersed So in this final portion of our series on Power and some of the less obvious aspects about it, we want to talk about... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 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 →

Nuclear and Garbage Pt 1: The scale of the issue

To those who read this site and use Freedom Units, 1 cubic meter is about 35 cubic feet. Also the unit MTHM means METRIC Tonne of Heavy Metal, not Million Tonnes of Heavy Metal which was a mistake I made for about 2 hours before I realized I was being stupid. Not my proudest moment.... 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.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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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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