Monday, 28 November 2011

Nearly 14% of electricity generated in the world is from nuclear

did you know: "Nuclear power now accounts for nearly 14% of electricity generated in the world with 440 active reactors in 30 countries, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA). Six countries, the United States, France, Japan, Russia, Germany and South Korea, account for three-quarters of the energy so generated." see nice graphics here:

Cardiac Nuclear Imaging

Cardiac Nuclear Imaging: another application of nuclear technology, this time in medicine, a nice read:

50 Years of Nuclear-Powered Spacecrafts

Here are a couple of good articles to learn more about how nuclear fuel is used for space missions and its history: ..., see also: ...."Plutonium-238, which is different than the type of plutonium used in nuclear weapons, emits heat that is converted into electricity. The material has been particularly useful on missions that venture into the outer solar system, where the scant sunlight cannot effectively be harnessed using solar panels."

Friday, 25 November 2011

Nuclear-powered rover Curiosity will be launched to the red planet on Saturday

Nuclear-powered rover Curiosity, the most complex and powerful robotic space vehicle ever built for research on distant planets, will be launched to Mars on Saturday! The price tag only $2.5-billion (more than what it takes to build a research reactor): ... also see:

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Neutron scattering at CRL is mentioned in the Parliament

Parliament session: Nov. 21, 2011, neutron scattering at CRL is mentioned in a speech by the Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke member of Parliament, Mrs. Cheryl Gallant: This is the part related to neutron scattering: "Using the technique that Brockhouse pioneered, the NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre at NRU today enables scientists from across Canada and around the world to investigate new materials with neutrons. In fact, after the tragedy with the space shuttle Challenger, NASA commissioned the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre to determine whether or not it was a seal that caused the accident.
Dr. Dominic Ryan, president of the Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering, outlined that the NRC-CNBC in Chalk River is Canada's scientific hub for research using neutron beams as probes of materials. Since everything is made of material, even our own bodies, materials research using neutron beams has a broad range of applications."

This is the full speech:
"Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC): next intervention
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Willowdale.
It is my pleasure on behalf of the people of Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke to speak in support of the legislation before us, the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act.
The decision by the people of Canada to vote in favour of a strong, stable, majority government was our mandate to get on with the job of providing Canadians with good government.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The NIST Center for Neutron Research: Over 40 Years Serving NIST/NBS and the Nation

This is a great document describing the history of the NIST reactor and neutron program over the past 50 years, the full pdf could be found at: by Jack Rush (a NIST Senior Fellow (Emeritus) and was the leader of neutron scattering research at the NCNR for 35 years) and Ron Cappelletti (Professor of Physics (Emeritus), Ohio University, has worked as a physicist at the NCNR since 1999): "This brief history will attempt to place the NBSR and its evolution into the most heavily used and productive neutron source in the United States within the perspective of events of the last half of the twentieth century which greatly influenced the need for large facilities in American science and technology (and at NBS)."

Jeff Lynn wins Presidential Rank Award

Jeff Lynn wins Presidential Rank Award for his many contributions to condensed matter physics. Congratulations Jeff, this is richly deserved!

Nuclear-powered Mars Rover ready for launch

Nuclear-powered Mars Rover ready for launch: "it’s does not have solar panels, and that’s because it does not need them. NASA has opted for a more reliable miniature nuclear battery to serve as Curiosity’s main power source."... "A few days before the rover's scheduled launch on November 25, NASA scientists will install the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator. The generator is equipped with thermocouples that convert the heat generated from the natural decay of the plutonium dioxide into electricity. The power supply can provide Curiosity with a constant 110 watts of electricity that will allow the rover to travel farther than previous rovers and use more powerful analytical tools, all while continuously recharging its batteries." , see also:

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Candu Energy Inc looks for a boost in Ontario

Candu Energy Inc has put development of ACR technology on hold, but "Patrick Lamarre, who heads Candu Energy Inc., told the Toronto Board of Trade there’s plenty of business for the company to go after with its existing technology. And he urged the Ontario government to commit soon to building new Candu reactors at the Darlington nuclear station in order to boost Candu’s credibility with foreign buyers." read more: ... the full address could be found as a pdf file here:

Monday, 14 November 2011

Cobalt-60 at 60: The Legacy of Saskatchewan’s Innovative Cancer Treatment

Cobalt-60 at 60: The Legacy of Saskatchewan’s Innovative Cancer Treatment, an open-house event on December 4, 2011... seems a great event with a great panel discussion after the official opening ceremony: "Following the formal opening ceremony, the WDM has organized, in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan, a discussion by a panel of experts from the field of nuclear medicine on the legacy of the cobalt bomb. Speakers will include Dr. Paul Babyn, Dr. John Root and Dr. L. Dean Chapman from the U of S in Saskatoon, and Dr. David Pantalony from the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa."... check out the details:
more on celebrating cobalt-60 at 60:
Also see: 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

SNC-Lavalin is forecasting profits for its Candu Energy sector next year

SNC-Lavalin is forecasting profits for its Candu Energy sector next year: "SNC-Lavalin is forecasting operating profits for its Candu Energy sector next year, a month after completing the acquisition of the commercial division of the Atomic Energy of Canada.
“Despite the challenge we face, we are confident that Candu Energy is well-positioned for 2012 given the opportunities in this sector as well as the quality and professionalism of our new 1,400 personnel,” CEO Pierre Duhaime said Friday in a conference call.
The company took on more workers than originally forecast, in part, because it won a contract to upgrade Argentina’s 27-year-old Embalse generating station. The $440-million deal followed five years of discussions. The total refurbishment will cost more than US$1.3 billion and take some five years to complete. Additional projects are possible in Ontario and Quebec, along with new build construction opportunities in Romania, Jordan and Ontario." read more:

CANDUs can be more flexible than natural gas-fired & hydro generation

CANDUs can be more flexible than natural gas-fired & hydro generation: "New nuclear build in Ontario will be highly manoeuvrable with a dispatchable power range wider than gas or coal and could even have dispatching preference over hydro. See Appendix which describes the operation of the Ontario grid." read more:

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Saskatchewan Party is re-elected in record fashion

Saskatchewan Party is re-elected in record fashion! great news for nuclear developments in Saskatchewan as the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation ( was recently established with funding from this government, with a great promise to put Saskatchewan at the forefront of the research and technology in the country and internationally. As the Saskatchewan Premier says this will allow them to be able to "do more than simply taking it out of ground"!!! ( ... Go Saskatchewan!!! Congratulations to Premier Brad Wall and his team! keep up the good work!

Monday, 7 November 2011

144th birthday of the remarkable physicist, Marie Curie, is celebrated around the world

144th birthday of the remarkable physicist, Marie Curie, is celebrated around the world. She was born Nov. 7, 1867. Here are a few good sites to explore about her life and achievements: ..., , ... ,... ,... , ... (you could download the entire site as a pdf), ... (a great short video) ,... and this is how google is celebrating this day:
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." Marie Curie

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Periodic Table swells with three new elements named

Periodic Table swells with three new elements named: "The elements are numbered 110, 111 and 112 and are called darmstadtium (Ds), roentgenium (Rg) and copernicium (Cn)." Read more:
Also see:

Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to zero!

A must see: "At TED2010, Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for "miracles" to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he's backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050."
This is also a must see, Nuclear Energy After Fukushima: "in a video broadcast to the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation, Bill discusses what governments and the private sector can do to increase the role of nuclear power in delivering safe, affordable, and clean energy to the world – and especially to the poor."

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Oct. 1908 -- Lord Ernest Rutherford receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on the chemistry of radioactive substances

Wow it is incredible: it has been 103 years since Lord Ernest Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on the chemistry of radioactive substances in Oct. 1908. Here ( is a nice bio for "father" of nuclear physics. Among quotes referred to him, I love this one the best!:) "All science is either physics or stamp collecting" (

Nordion-AECL arbitration hearings extended

And Nordion-AECL arbitration hearings saga gets extension:

CANDU business continues

Meanwhile CANDU business continues: "Companies that supply parts for Candu nuclear plants say a new contract to refurbish a reactor in Argentina will mean $100 million worth of business for them.
The newly privatized arm of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Candu Energy, signed the $400-million deal with Argentina in August to overhaul a Candu reactor that has been providing electricity in Argentina since 1984.
Companies that make up the supply chain for Candu say the contract will keep skilled jobs in Canada."

Chalk River Nuclear Labs will receive more funding

Chalk River Nuclear Labs will receive more funding in the budget: "Another $200 million — on top of nearly $250 million previously approved — will be coughed up for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's research laboratories and the Chalk River facility that are still a part of the financially troubled Crown corporation.":

AECL gets new leadership

AECL gets new chief executive, chairman: it is great to have a scientist leading the laboratories especially in these crucial times with uncertain future!: "Ottawa said Robert Walker, who was senior vice-president of nuclear laboratories at AECL, will take over from Hugh MacDiarmid as chief executive.
Walker, an engineer by training, has also worked as assistant deputy minister of science and technology at the Department of National Defence and the chief executive of Defence Research and Development Canada.":
Here is the link to Dr. Robert Walker's bio:
Same story at

AECL to submit a plan to CNSC for the end of operation or for continued operation of NRU beyond 2016 by mid-2014

Also here is the link to the CNSC Transcript of Public Hearing for license renewal. One quite important point in the document is: "Additionally, CNSC staff recommend that AECL develop and submit for the approval of the Commission, by June 30th, 2014, a plan for the end of operation or for continued operation of the NRU reactor beyond 2016. This will ensure that there is a defined approach for the future of NRU well before the expiry of the proposed licence." The significance of this statement is that informs AECL that the uncertainty about the long term future of NRU reactor cannot go on for ever... (

Chalk River license is renewed for five more years

The first is the great news that CNSC has approved AECL's application to renew the operating license for the Chalk River Laboratories Site for a period of 5 years. This is great news for neutron scattering, isotope and nuclear research communities as it means NRU is allowed to operate for the next 5 years:
 Also see the link below for a summary of the Record of Proceedings
and Decision:
"While in principle the decision allows for an extension to the life of NRU, operation remains contingent on the results of licensed safety requirements, one such being a reactor vessel inspection report CNSC expects to receive from AECL by February 2012." from
"I am extremely pleased that the Commission has renewed the Chalk River operating licence for five years," said Dr. Robert Walker, AECL President and Chief Executive Officer. "This license is vital to enabling AECL to deliver value to Canadians and the world as Canada’s premier nuclear Science and Technology organization.” from:
News of the license approval at