- Terrestrial energy closed its final seed funding round to fund their molten salt reactor design.
- Plasma Jet magneto inertial fusion has various projects and companies working towards it. It seems like a promising approach to nuclear
fusion and can also deliver very good space propulsion even if energy generation were not to work out.
- Human hopes of reaching stars other than the Sun are currently limited by the maturity of advanced propulsion technologies. One of the few
candidate propulsion systems for providing interstellar flight capabilities is nuclear fusion. In the past many fusion propulsion concepts have been proposed and some of them even explored in high detail (Project Daedalus), however, as scientific progress in this field has advanced, new fusion concepts have emerged that merit evaluation as potential drivers for interstellar missions. Plasma jet
driven Magneto-Inertial Fusion (PJMIF) is one of those concepts. PJMIF involves a salvo of converging plasma jets that form a uniform liner,
which compresses a magnetized target to fusion conditions. It is an Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF)-Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF)
hybrid approach that has the potential for many benefits over both ICF and MCF, such as lower system mass and significantly lower cost.
- Gail Marcus has been discussing the Fukushima accident ever since it occurred just over 3 years ago. This week, she refreshes a discussion on Fukushima and safety culture. In particular, she discusses a study that points out that a nearby nuclear power station, Onagawa, run by the Tohoku Electric Power Company, survived the accident with few problems. Was it luck, or was it safety culture? Marcus looks at various arguments that point to either corporate culture or Japanese culture and notes some of the issues that need to be considered.
- Rod Adams found a folder in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum titled National Coal Policy Conference that documents an apparently successful effort to influence a rising political star to support national policies that favor coal over natural gas, residual oil and atomic energy.
- Leslie Corrice covers the latest antinuclear rants of another misguided/evil wolf in sheep’s clothing.
- The 2014 Annual Report of the AAPG Energy Minerals Division Committee has some interesting findings. In general, the outlook for significant changes to the world’s energy mix is not good, and business-as-usual appears to be winning over significant change towards alternative energy sources. The supply of uranium is strong, but the supply of rare earth elements needed in the energy sector is weak.
- A combination of concerns about nuclear nonproliferation, recent actions by Russia, proposed budget reallocation by the Obama Administration, and the unsupported declaration of “cold-standby” status for the MOX Project by Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Moniz prompted a surge of questions from seven senators and more than 20 Congressional representatives, the Chair of the DOE-designated Community Reuse Organization for the Savannah River Site, the president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, suppliers and others.