Van Snyder's Index of Nuclear Articles
- William H. Hannum, Gerald E. Marsh, George S. Stanford
Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste Scientific American (December 2005).
This is the place to start if you're entirely new to the topic of nuclear
power in general, and especially if you want to know what to do about nuclear
- Charles E. Till and Yoon Il Chang, Plentiful Energy:
The Story of the Integral Fast Reactor. (2011) ISBN 978-1466384606.
Essential reading if you want to understand why we need fast-neutron reactors.
- David Baurac, Passively safe
reactors rely on nature to keep them cool, Argonne Logos 20, 1
(Winter 2002). "Imagine a nuclear power plant so safe that even the worst
emergencies would not damage the core or release radioactivity. And imagine that
this is achieved not with specially engineered emergency systems, but through
the laws of nature and behavior inherent in the reactor's materials and
- B.P. Heard, B.W. Brook, T.M.L. Wigley, C.J.A. Bradshaw, Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the
feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems, Renewable and
Sustainable Energy Reviews 76, Elsevier (2017), 1122-1133.
"While many modelled scenarios have been published claiming to show that a 100%
renewable electricity system [that excludes nuclear power] is achievable, there
is no empirical or historical evidence that demonstrates that such systems are
in fact feasible."
Free link: http://www.thesciencecouncil.com/images/pdfs/Burden%20of%20Proof.pdf
- Jesse D. Jenkins and Samuel Thernstrom,
Deep Decarbonization of the Electric Power Sector: Insights from Recent
Literature (March 2017).
Deep decarbonization without nuclear power will be extremely expensive (and
Brook et al say it's impossible).
- Michael Buchdahl Roth and Paulina Jaramillo, Going nuclear for climate
mitigation: An analysis of the cost effectiveness of preserving existing U.S.
nuclear power plants as a carbon avoidance strategy, Energy 131
(15 July 2017) pp 67-77.
"Preventing nuclear plant retirements is a cost-effective carbon avoidance
strategy. The premature retirement of U.S. nuclear power plants could eliminate
some of the benefits of proposed carbon regulations."
- Euan Mearns,
Grid-Scale Storage of Renewable Energy: The Impossible Dream,
Energy Matters (November 20, 2017).
UK had about 26 GWe installed capacity of wind and solar in 2016, with average
output of 4.6 GW, a capacity factor of 17.7%. From the abstract of the article:
"The utopian ambition for variable renewable energy is to convert it into uniform
firm capacity using energy storage. Here we present an analysis of actual UK
wind and solar generation for the whole of 2016 at 30 minute resolution and
calculate the grid-scale storage requirement. In order to deliver 4.6 GW uniform
and firm RE supply throughout the year, from 26 GW of installed capacity,
requires 1.8 TWh of storage. We show that this is both thermodynamically and
economically implausible to implement with current technology."
My back-of-the-envelope calculation concluded that for
a 1,700 GWe all-renewable American energy system, 2.8 times US 2016 GDB would be
required per year for batteries alone.
- South Australian blackout
I waited to comment on the SA blackout: reflections on preliminary findings,
Ben Heard explains that the entire grid in the State of South Australia failed
after a windstorm because of a lack of inertia (i.e., frequency stability).
There was insufficient frequency stability, so more and more providers had to
shed load to prevent damage to their systems. What provides inertia on an
electricity distribution grid? Heavy synchronous rotating generators -- coal,
gas, nuclear, hydro. The relatively clean, modern, 485 MWe combined-cycle gas
generator in Adelaide was offline because its economics had been subsidized away
to pay for wind from the public purse.