Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Popular Science Magazine: Two Next-Gen Nukes

A great article detailing thorium molten salt reactors published by Popular Science Magazine: "One pound of thorium produces as much power as 300 pounds of uranium--or 3.5 million pounds of coal."​gy/article/2011-06/next-gen-nu​ke-designs-promise-safe-effici​ent-emissions-free-energy

Sunday, 24 July 2011

A Is For Atom (1952)

A wonderful retro animated movie presenting what an atom is, how atomic energy is released, the peacetime applications of atomic energy and the byproducts of nuclear fission! an excellent cartoon that's both very entertaining and surprisingly informative considering it was made in 1952-1953... I am also quite amazed by the clarity of presentation of this complicated material, an excellent educational tool that can't be found too often these days... Most of the film's predictions are already a reality with nuclear planes and trains almost there ( Great stuff!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

25T, world-largest split-magnet, makes its debut!

25T !!!, world-largest split-magnet, makes its debut, I bet it won't be too long before such magnets used routinely at neutron scattering beam lines:​arch/Mag-Lab-does-the-impossib​le
... also check out:​d-Stories/25-tesla-world-r​ecord-split-magnet-makes-i​ts-debut

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Canada

Interesting data: did you know between 1990 and 2008, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia experienced the largest growth in greenhouse gas emissions: 72.8%, 42.8% and 32.0%, respectively!!!​s-indicators/default.asp?lang=​en&n=444DC5FC-1 .... also did you know Canada produces about 20% of the total emission in the world:​s-indicators/default.asp?lang=​en&n=042EDE8E-1 ... and for those who wonder what is the source of these emissions, check out:​s-indicators/default.asp?lang=​En&n=995C74D1-1 and guess what: "Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are mostly due to our heavy use of fossil fuels for transportation, electricity production, oil and gas extraction, heating, and other energy-related areas."!!! could nuclear energy make a difference???

Monday, 18 July 2011

India pursuing partnership with Canada to sell nuclear reactors

India is pursuing partnership with Canada to sell nuclear reactors not in India but third countries:​story/2011/07/17/cda-india-can​ada-nuclear.html ... Indian High Commissioner: "We have our own technology. I don't know if we are really looking at buying another reactor from Canada, but certainly we are looking forward to co-operation with Canada," he said. "Joint ventures, maybe we could work together on research ... the agreement actually provides for all of that."

After the sale of CANDU, now what?

Interesting read looking forward asking question what happens to the future builds and refurbishments now that the sale of Candu is completed:​m/2011/07/18/candu-back-in-the​-game-what-now/

Sunday, 17 July 2011

For climate’s sake, nuclear power is not an ‘option’, it is a ‘necessity’

A great read by Barry Brook, Director of Climate Science at the University of Adelaide (Australia), on why "For climate’s sake, nuclear power is not an ‘option’, it is a ‘necessity’" with detailed arguments, lots of great references for further reading, graphics and videos:​1/07/17/nuclear-climate-necessity/ "Our sustainable energy future depends critically on choices made today. Some countries in the developed and developing world has already made their choice – for them, the only open question is, how big will their nuclear programmes get? For most others, there remains great uncertainty. I urge green groups to become rational ‘Promethean environmentalists’ – ecopragmatists – and support all forms of low-carbon energy such that they can work together and compete on a fair and level playing field to displace coal, gas and oil as quickly as possible. There may be no silver bullet for solving the climate and energy crises, but there are bullets, and two are made of uranium and thorium. As Ben Heard and I say in our sustainable energy choices video, we have to choose to act – now."
Also check out this 2-part article by him on why renewable energy, from sunlight, wind, waves and plant life cannot fix the energy and climate crises:​/2011/05/09/renewables-are​-not-sufficient-p1/ and​/2011/05/12/renewables-are​-not-sufficient-p2/ "Nuclear power, not renewable energy or energy efficiency, will probably end up being the primary global solution to the climate and energy crises. This is the emergent result of trying to be honest, logical and pragmatic about what will and will not work, within real-world physical, economic and social constraints."

Friday, 15 July 2011

Happy 40th birthday, ILL

ILL turns 40 and still going strong with its neutron flux, its neutron scattering instrumentation, great science it produces and its commitment for excellent staff and proper funding for facility!!! Happy 40th birthday, ILL​011/07/happy_fortieth_birthday​_ill.html

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Assessing the AECL sale

Would you like to know what your MPs in PC, Liberal and NDP think about the sale of AECL, here is a great short video of MPs Mike Lake, Peter Julian and David McGuinty discussing the sale of Atomic Energy of Canada's commercial reactor division to SNC-Lavalin, what do you think?​essing-the-aecl-sale/188739044​7

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Expansion of NIST Centre for Neutron Research presses on

amazing photos of the expansion of NIST Centre for Neutron Research! it all looks great and on time, can't wait to go back for more experiments there, check out photos and more related to expansion here:​sion2/yqims2/ ... note that in 2009 the NCNR reactor was relicensed to continue operation until July 2029:​071409.cfm ... also interesting to note that the reactor became operational in 1967-68 only 10 years after NRU came on line... Great work maintaining and expanding the reactor and neutron scattering group there been producing great science already for many years and will be for many more to come, great job!

Monday, 11 July 2011

UK wants to be a serious nuclear nation once again

UK wants to be a serious nuclear nation once again, Charles Hendry, energy minister said last week: "My view is that nuclear is vital for the energy sector today and can be just as vital many years in the future. And that's why we don't want to see one nuclear power plant built, but we want to see a fleet. But for that to happen we need certainty and clarity for industry and investors." ... "Hendry noted that the government, and its predecessor, had been systematically identifying and addressing the issues that could block investment in nuclear power.
"We must go forward with new nuclear and we would be a darker and less prosperous nation without it. After more than a decade since we built the last plant, there should be no doubt that UK wants to be a serious nuclear nation once again," concluded Hendry." Read more:​org/NP-Britain_to_return_as_se​rious_nuclear_nation-0507111.h​tml
... note that France has also serious plans for maintaining and expanding its programs on nuclear energy: "French President Nicolas Sarkozy has confirmed plans to invest €1 billion ($1.4 billion) in future nuclear programs including fourth generation reactor research." See:​​s_nuclear_with_%E2%82%AC1_​billion_pledge2806117.html
What is Canada's plan??? Is there a national strategy? Where is the debate/discussion/national​ dialougue that is required to determine the national strategy???​age/view/macdonald-07-11-2​011

CNSC Renews Operating License for Gentilly-2 Nuclear Generating Station and its Waste Management Facility

This news item was lost amidst the news of sale of AECL's Candu division last week: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has renewed the operating license issued to Hydro-Québec for a five-year period for its Gentilly-2 nuclear generating station, and to merge it with its waste management facility operating license. Read more:​/mediacentre/releases/news_rel​ease.cfm?news_release_id=386

Sunday, 10 July 2011

How to win argument for producing electricity by nuclear energy with zero carbon emission

In light of the post below on Q&A with Bill Gates, this is also a good read trying to answer why anti-nuclear movement has had some track in countries like Australia and how to win zero carbon electricity by nuclear power argument: "in South Australia around 720g CO2-e/kWh (which is one of the lowest levels in the country I might add. NSW, Victoria and Queensland are all much higher), compared to a mere 90g CO2-e/kWh in nuclear dominated France.":​07/08/why-pro-nuclear-has-fail​ed-when-anti-nuclear-has-succe​eded/
And here you could find the greenhouse gas emissions from power generation by different methods, as seen: "Nuclear energy is among those energy sources producing very low levels of carbon dioxide emissions from their full life cycle. It is closely comparable with renewables such as wind, solar and hydro in this respect."​rg/why/greenhouse_gas_from​_generation.html

Friday, 8 July 2011

Bill Gates on the World’s Energy Crisis

"Gates argues that nuclear power is still safer than all other energy options, rich countries aren’t spending enough on R&D, and installing solar panels on your roof is not helping to reduce CO2 emissions. It’s merely “cute.”" ... "Coal and natural gas have much lower capital costs, and they tend to kill only a few at a time, which is highly preferred by politicians."... see​2011/06/mf_qagates/all/1 for more great insights from Bill Gates on world's energy crisis...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Saskatchewan continues to make progress in its plans to build up viable nuclear research and technology programs

See this link for the statement of purpose for the newly established Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation in SK:​op/backgrounder.pdf ... as Saskatchewan Premier says this will allow them to be able to "do more than simply taking it out of ground"!!!... also watch this cbc report:​ab/CBC/4708465/ ... Go Saskatchewan!!!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Dr. William Buyers (NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre, Chalk River Laboratories) has been appointed an officer of the Order of Canada

Dr. William Buyers (NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre, Chalk River Laboratories) has been appointed an officer of the Order of Canada "For his contributions to condensed matter physics, particularly in the field of magnetism.". This is great news! it so nice to see that a condensed matter physicist has been recognized with such a high honour and in a public manner (as opposed to only peers in the same field) for his many contributions in the field of condensed matter physics using neutron scattering. Dr. Buyers is a world-renowned scientist in the field of condensed matter physics who has been using neutron scattering facilities at Chalk River Laboratories and other labs to make major advancements in the areas of quantum magnetism, superconductivity, and other novel materials... This is a well-deserved honour... Congratulations Bill! also see: and A great read on early days of neutron scattering at CRL written by Bill and published in Physics in Canada in 2000:

Canada slips further in innovation rankings

I am also not surprised by this report: "Canada slips further in innovation rankings" it is simple, invest today and profit tomorrow... "the country is spending less per capita on research and development, business R&D is down, venture capital relative to GDP is down, government spending on R&D has fallen and the ranking of Canadians in high-school test scores is lower." not hard to guess all these are among the reasons why the low marks for innovation. Read more:

Canadians Support Retain Public Control of Crown Corporations | Abacus Data

... not surprised by the result of this survey (Canadians are least likely to believe that Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL), the Crown Corporation responsible managing Canada’s national nuclear energy program, should be privatized.), Canadian people have always shown common sense, the decision makers, hmmm??? read more: