Thursday, February 15, 2007

The price of silence

When they persecuted those rumored to be sympathetic to Intelligent Design,
I remained silent;
I was not a proponent of Intelligent Design.

When they refused tenure to those concerned with the morality of embryonic stem cell research,
I remained silent;
I was not concerned with the morality of embryonic stem cell research.

When they stripped of their titles those who did not believe that current global warming is unprecedented and primarily caused by human activity,
I did not speak out;
I was not a skeptic of human-caused, catastrophic global warming.

When they prohibited the use of a safe, effective man-made chemical to combat the spread of malaria,
I did not speak out;
I was not in danger of becoming infected with malaria.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Monday, February 12, 2007

New radiothermal battery will provide town's power for decades

Radiothermal battery. That's my term. Toshiba calls it a Nuclear battery, or a 4S sodium cooled reactor (4S = Super Safe, Small, and Simple).

Toshiba wants to build one for Galena Alaska. It will supply power for the town for up to 30 years at a much reduced cost compared to the diesel-generated power they currently have - which costs them three times as much as the national average.

The 4S is a very small molten sodium-cooled reactor designed by Toshiba. The reactor presently being considered is 10 MWe though larger and smaller versions exist. The 4S is intended for use in remote locations and to operate without refueling during its 30-year life. The 4S has been compared with a nuclear “battery” because it does not require refueling. The lack of refueling would mean that the reactor’s fuel supply would be a capital cost rather than an operating cost. It has been suggested that the fuel might be relatively low cost, reprocessed spent fuels originating from more conventional power reactors.

More here.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Nuclear Power - and hydrogen too!

The process involves a new kind of nuclear reactor that can run electricity through water at a very high temperature, and use a ceramic sieve to separate the oxygen from the hydrogen. Such a reactor could not only produce electricity for the grid, but also enough hydrogen to equal two and a half gallons of gasoline per second.

Hockey Stick Antics

According to the World Climate report, new evidence from Antarctica, published by a prestigious international team of scientists further challenges the infamous hockey stick. Their report focuses on elephant seals which are rarely seen in Antarctica today due to the extreme cold, but were apparently abundant in the area over the last few thousand years...

Click here for the mp3 audio version.

The "infamous hockey stick" graph purporting to show catastrophic global warming in recent decades appeared in the 2001 IPCC "Assessment Report." It is debunked thoroughly here.

Pebble Power

"The PBMR is a revolutionary small reactor, about 10% the size of a conventional nuclear plant, and is gas-cooled and can be sited anywhere. The reactor is ideally suited for developing countries, being inexpensive and easy to operate. It is also ideal for the developed world too."

Click here for the mp3 audio version.

DDT use reduces AIDS?

A major new study published in Science magazine suggests that the DDT ban also helped increase fatal cases of AIDS around the world.

Click here for mp3 audio version.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Nuclear power to extract oil from Canadian Oil Sands

One method of extracting the tar-like bitumen from the oil sands is to inject steam into the ground to make it flow more easily. Currently, industry burns relatively clean natural gas to make the steam needed to get the gooey crude.

This is a process one oil economist has likened to using gold to make lead, using up supplies that can be used in the chemical industry or for heating homes, and in any case emitting greenhouse gases.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Light-powered cars

The research is applying new materials, new technologies and new ideas to radically improve an old concept -- thermophotovoltaic (TPV) conversion of light into electricity. Rather than using the engine to turn a generator or alternator in a car, for example, the new TPV system would burn a little fuel to create super-bright light. Efficient photo diodes (which are similar to solar cells) would then harvest the energy and send the electricity off to run the various lighting, electrical and electronic systems in the car.

Nuclear without the waste

This PhD research showed that it is possible to obtain a closed nuclear fuel cycle with a GFR. It also revealed that the GFR could use the waste materials of other light water reactors (LWR). The Gas-cooled Fast Reactor can therefore serve as an 'incinerator' of nuclear waste.

Coal-to-diesel Breakthrough Could Drastically Cut Oil Imports

"With our new catalysts, one can generate productive, clean burning fuels with Fischer-Tropsch, economically and at unsurpassed levels of efficiency."