Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Nuclear Energy, Big and Small

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The biggest problem with nuclear energy, much bigger than the overblown fears of future accidents such as Chernobyl or Three Mile Island, is the potential for weapons proliferation, as the article below from The Economist discusses.

On another front, the BBC article further down presents a whole different side of nuclear: a very small fusion reactor, hand built in an amateur’s New York workshop. Individual inventors like this, not just in nuclear, may be key to helping the U.S. achieve energy independence. I’m quite certain the creator’s lack of hair is unrelated to his work in nuclear energy.

Finally, the Energy Central article at the bottom of this post gives some of the more practical concerns for the use of nuclear energy in the U.S.


Nuclear proliferation in South Asia

The power of nightmares

China’s proposed sale of nuclear reactors to Pakistan will intensify nuclear rivalry with India. But the damage will go far wider

Jun 24th 2010

AT FIRST sight, China’s proposed sale of two civilian nuclear-power reactors to Pakistan hardly seems a danger sign. Pakistan already has the bomb, so it has all the nuclear secrets it needs. Next-door India has the bomb too, and has been seeking similar deals with other countries.


America argued that India had a spotless non-proliferation record (it doesn’t) and that bringing it into the non-proliferation “mainstream” could only bolster global anti-proliferation efforts (it didn’t). The deal incensed not just China and Pakistan but many others, inside and outside the NSG. An immediate casualty was the effort to get all members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), who have already promised not to seek the bomb, to sign up to an additional protocol on toughened safeguards. Many have, but on hearing of the America-India deal Brazil’s president is reputed to have flatly ruled that out. And where Brazil has put its foot down, others have also hesitated.

Read the entire article here.

Extreme DIY: Building a homemade nuclear reactor in NYC

Wednesday, 23 June 2010 09:01 UK

By Matthew Danzico
BBC News, Brooklyn, New York

Many might be alarmed to learn of a homemade nuclear reactor being built next door. But what if this form of extreme DIY could help solve the world’s energy crisis?

By day, Mark Suppes is a web developer for fashion giant Gucci. By night, he cycles to a New York warehouse and tinkers with his own nuclear fusion reactor.

Read the entire article here.

Nuclear’s New Path

June 18, 2010

Ken Silverstein, EnergyBiz Insider

BP’s oil spill cuts two ways in terms of nuclear energy. On the one hand, it would tend to bode well for the growth of the non-fossil-fired energy. On the hand, it begs for a greater dialogue about nuclear safety.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

June 24th, 2010 at 8:13 am