Hyman Rickover on Nuclear Designs

While doing some research for a book I’m working on, I came across a June 5, 1953 memo by Hyman Rickover, head of the naval reactors branch of the Atomic Energy Commission. For those readers who don’t know, Rickover is the father of nuclear power for electricity in the U.S., both for the U.S. Navy […]

Read More

Molten Salt Reactor Claims Melt Down Under Scrutiny

It was an astonishing event when two MIT nuclear engineering graduate students at the end of 2015 announced they had come up with a revolutionary design for a molten salt nuclear reactor that could solve many of the technological problems of conventional light-water reactors. Cofounders of the firm Transatomic – Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie […]

Read More

Harold Denton, Three Mile Island Hero, Dies at 80

Harold Denton, a career federal civil servant who helped prevent panic during the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island March 28, 1979 and days after, died February 13 at his home in Knoxville, Tenn. He was 80. The cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease coupled with complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Denton was an […]

Read More

Oroville Dam a Major Renewable Energy Asset

The threat of a catastrophe at California’s Oroville Dam appears to be over. California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) lifted the evacuation order that last week moved some 180,000 residents out of the area that could be flooded if the water level topped the 770-foot dam. But the dam’s troubles have also temporarily brought down […]

Read More

‘Pausebuster’: Did NOAA’s Tom Karl Cook Climate Data?

Did a top federal government climate scientist hide data in order to refute a record of nearly two recent decades when global warming didn’t appear to occur? Did that scientist then refuse to archive the data, preventing independent analysis? That’s the claim of John Bates, a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist in charge […]

Read More

How Can FERC Function Without a Quorum?

With the Trump administration’s elevation of Democrat Cheryl LaFleur to acting chairman of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the demotion of Norman Bay (and his subsequent resignation) the agency now lacks a quorum as of Friday, Feb. 3. What are the practical consequences? This is not a unique situation at FERC. In early 1993, as […]

Read More

The Political Kabuki of Senate Confirmation

The incoming Trump administration will see its selection of an energy and environment management team at the Department of Energy, Department of Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency in place soon. A series of confirmation hearings this week for Trump nominees Rep. Ryan Zinke, Montana Republican, for Interior; Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA; […]

Read More

Feds Hammer Asian Engineer for Alleged Spying for China

The U.S. government – the Department of Energy, the State Department, the Justice Department, and the White House – has again shown how ham-handed and stereotyped it is when it comes to Asian-American nuclear scientists and fears of espionage related to China. The government appears to be profiling scientists and engineers with Chinese backgrounds. The […]

Read More

As a U.S. Business, Nuclear Power Stinks

Regardless of one’s views of the social values of nuclear power — compelling cases can be made all around — as a business proposition nuclear stinks. The latest evidence comes from the giant Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, which saw a third of its market value vanish in two days of trading (20% in one day, a […]

Read More

New Coal Rules Give Trump Political Opportunities

The Obama administration has fired two parting shots at the coal industry that are more about public relations than environmental protection. They could be early and easy targets for the incoming Trump administration to show its resolve to “rescue” coal. Just about a year ago, in January, the administration announced a moratorium on new coal […]

Read More