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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Radiation Dose Safety: LNT, Training Wheels, and Growing Up

Why are people scared of radiation? Honestly, there are too many reasons to reliably and comprehensively list. There was the threat of nuclear war, there was rampant misinformation, a lack of education... But the part that I want to talk about was the contribution made by the regulators and organizations in charge of safety. Namely,... 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 →

Energy and Civilization Series: Decarbonisation and the Second Law

Well I hope everyone had a good Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Holiday Season/Time off Work/Overtime shift or anything else I might have missed. Today we are back on the train of how to undo the damage done to our environment by hundreds of years of bad kids getting coal in their stockings for Christmas. First the bad news. Just... 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 →

Canadian legacy in Nuclear: CANDU

As a Canadian, I can't start up a nuclear blog without talking about the CANDU reactor design. A reactor design that has stood the test of time in its decades of operation racking up not only an impressive safety record but also have been shown to be able to run for over 890 days continuously.... 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 →

Types of Radiation 1/3: Alpha and Beta

How many types of nuclear radiation are there? Don't look on Wikipedia, that would be cheating.  Post all the kinds you can think of in the comments below. I'll give you a hint, there are more than four but I'll just talk about these specific 4 in this series of posts: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and... Continue Reading →

Counting radiation

who knew something you learned with your ABCs could be so difficult?

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