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 →

Nuclear energy, problem solving, and the time on the clock.

I'm going to start this article off with a bit of a personal touch. I had a mentor a few years back and he gave me some very good advice that has shaped a lot of the outlook I have on what is going on in the world. One of his favourite lines is "The... 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 →

A Nuclear Foundation: Building to Bigger, Cleaner Heights

Mining is something we all benefit from, but it's not actually that great from a practicality standpoint. Huge investments of capital are required to produce and maintain the equipment required to do the work. I mean just look at the variety of drill heads that are available for various different kinds of mining. Don't judge... Continue Reading →

Nuclear in Alberta: What could have been and could still be

So recently I found this. The public release document about the attempt to put a CANDU facility up in Peace River, Alberta. It's a great document, very clearly written and covers all the need to know bases for people wondering about nuclear power in Alberta. But what I really want to draw peoples attention to... Continue Reading →

Nuclear Energy: The Case for Intentional Inefficiency

Efficiency is the name of the game in society nowadays. Fuel efficiency, energy efficiency, mechanical efficiency, transmission efficiency... We hear or think about these things with impressive amounts of regularity, but what about other kinds of efficiency? How efficient we are at doing our tasks at work? How smoothly we can get the kids packed... 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. 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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