Jim Conca

Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Needs A Quick Win For Nuclear

Jim Conca

Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last Monday had some nice things for nuclear energy. The overall Bill is a $1.2 trillion for everything from bridges and roads to the nation's broadband, water and energy systems. Nuclear got about $25 billion.

U.S. Air Force Base To Be First To Deploy New Nuclear ‘Microreactor’ - Soon Every Town Could Have One

Jim Conca

Every branch of the US Military is worried about climate change. They have been since well before it became controversial. Their conclusions are climate change is a significant threat multiplier. So their choice of Eielson Air Force Base to receive its first nuclear microreactor is a good one.

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COP26 – Another Failure For The Planet

Jim Conca

The elephant in the room at COP26 was why nuclear power was excluded from the adult’s table. All nuclear applications to establish exhibits at the COP26 "Green Zone" were rejected…but there was plenty of space for the Soroptimists, the The Froglife Trust and The British Dragonfly Society.

What American's Really Think About Climate Change – The America In One Room Survey

Jim Conca

A highly dynamic deliberative polling experience was carried out by NORC with more than a thousand Americans on the subject of Climate Change. The results were stunning, and showed that Americans can come together on key issues, especially when politicians get out of the way, even on nuclear power.

How Digital Transformation will Bend the Curve of the Linear Economy Toward the Circular

Speaker: Bruce Armstrong Taylor, Co-Founder & Managing Director of SmartNations Foundation, Jimmy Jia, Venture Partner at Pi Labs, Fabienne Durand, Senior Advisor to the SmartNations Foundation, & Roger Strukhoff, Executive Director of the Tau Institute

The Carbon Zero, Circular Economy, is easily the most profoundly important result of digital transformation. Industry 4.0 has a massively cumulative impact on dematerialization (in all forms) and resultant decarbonization (both emissions and embodied) throughout the economy. Join panelists Bruce Armstrong Taylor, Jimmy Jia, Fabienne Durand, and their moderator Roger Strukhoff as they discuss how bending the carbon/GHG heavy linear economy to the circular is one of the hidden benefits of digital disruption.

Helion Energy Raises $500 Million On The Fusion Power Of Stars

Jim Conca

Helion, a clean energy company seeking to usher in a new era of zero-carbon electricity from fusion, just announced its raise of $500 million to be used to complete the construction of Polaris, their seventh-generation fusion generator and the world’s first fusion electricity demonstration facility.

Atoms For Peace – ANEEL To Sustain It

Jim Conca

Clean Core Thorium Energy announced that the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Nuclear Engineering and Science Center has successfully fabricated the first fuel pellets of Clean Core’s proprietary Th-U advanced nuclear fuel technology in partnership with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

California Governor Gavin Newsom Proclaims Natural Gas To Be Zero-Carbon

Jim Conca

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could outlaw wildfires? Or legislate against Polar Vortexes? That’s what California Governor Gavin Newsom did with carbon emissions from natural gas by signing into law Senate Bill 423. Just declare gas zero-carbon and that’s that.

Latest IPCC Report Predicts Disaster - Yet Again. But Not Much Will Happen - Yet Again.

Jim Conca

This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report, which warns that we will not be able to limit global warming to even 2°C unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in carbon emissions. Spoiler Alert – it’s already too late.

What Would Nuclear Batteries Do For Us?

Jim Conca

Centralized power systems are inefficient and cumbersome in our new technological future. Like the old telephone system that gave way to autonomous locally-controlled hand-held devices, nuclear batteries can make the same change for power to small, mobile, safe, clean, and affordable markets.

NuScale Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Moves Another Step Forward

Jim Conca

The small modular nuclear reactor designed by NuScale has received an order to prepare for a combined construction and operating license application to build their SMR as part of the Carbon Free Power Project of Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS).

AR/VR Simulations for Sustainable, Regenerative, Circular Cities

Speaker: Nik Gowing, Brenda Laurel, Sheridan Tatsuno, Archie Kasnet, and Bruce Armstrong Taylor

Join our amazing panelists, Nik Gowing, Founder at Thinking the Unthinkable and International Broadcaster; Brenda Laurel, PhD, Principal, Neogaian Interactive; Sheridan Tatsuno, Principal, Dreamscape Global; Archie Kasnet, CEO, Regenerative; and Bruce Armstrong Taylor, The Climate 4.0 Project, to discuss how today's AR/VR and related AI-enabled technologies can be effectively applied, using data from such sources as NASA and NOAA, to both improve and accelerate urban sustainability planning and design.

Japan Will Release Radioactive Fukushima Water Into The Ocean

Jim Conca

And that’s exactly what they should do. And the International Atomic Energy Agency agrees. Only a small amount of tritium is left, so trivial that it could not harm humans or anything in the environment.

There Is Still Time To Save U.S. Global Leadership In Nuclear Energy If Congress Doesn’t Cut Off The VTR To Spite Its Face

Jim Conca

Congress is set to cut off funding for the very reactor we need to move nuclear power forward. Called the VTR, it will test new types of reactors that will get ten times the energy of existing reactors and create nuclear waste that is easier to handle and isn’t hot for very long.

Finland Breaks Ground On Its Deep Geologic Nuclear Waste Repository

Jim Conca

The Finnish waste management company, Posiva Oy, announced the start of excavation on their deep geologic nuclear waste repository for their spent nuclear fuel. Operation of the repository is expected to begin in 2023. The total cost estimate is about €2.6 billion ($3.4 billion).

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Drought, Heat And Nuclear – Gavin Newsom’s Elephant In The Room

Jim Conca

Governor Newsom issued an Emergency Proclamation regarding California electricity that does little to address the real issues and does not mention nuclear power. Nuclear is the most resistant extreme weather, so why is Newsom closing California’s only remaining nuclear plant?

International Marine Shipping Industry Considers Nuclear Propulsion

Jim Conca

The international shipping industry wants to reduce their rather large carbon footprint and are considering installing nuclear power in their increasingly large ships. It would save billions of barrels of oil per year. And they only have to adopt the Nuclear Navy’s protocols to be safe and easy.

China Will Lead The World In Nuclear Energy, Along With All Other Energy Sources, Sooner Than You Think

Jim Conca

China will soon have more nuclear than America and France combined. China plans to build another hundred reactors by 2035, their domestically-developed third-generation reactor designs, which in turn are based on the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor of the type we are building at Vogtle in Georgia.

Energy 354

Wind Turbines On Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills – How Not To Pursue A Green New Deal

Jim Conca

A company out of Boulder, CO called Scout Clean Energy has applied for a permit to build a massive turbine wind farm in Washington State on the Horse Heaven Hills, circumventing the local government. But they’re building it in the wrong state.

America’s Aging Infrastructure Gets C-Minus On Its Report Card

Jim Conca

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave us a C- on our infrastructure report card with Aviation (D+), Bridges (C), Dams (D), Drinking Water (C-), Hazardous Waste (D+), Inland Waterways (D+), Public Parks (D+), Ports (B-), Rail (B), Roads (D), Transit (D-), Wastewater (D+) and Energy (C-).

Wyoming To Lead The Coal-To-Nuclear Transition

Jim Conca

States like Wyoming and Montana are evaluating replacing coal with nuclear and Bill Gates’ TerraPower, has partnered with GE Hitachi, Bechtel, Energy Northwest, Duke Energy, DOE and the State of Wyoming to do just that with their new 345MW fast reactor with a molten salt-based energy storage system.

China To Build The First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor – Of Course

Jim Conca

China has 49 nuclear reactors in operation, 17 under construction, and another 100 planned by 2035. China has also established the first national institute dedicated to nuclear. So, of course, they’ve started building their first small modular reactor, the Linglong One.

Jennifer Granholm And Jay Inslee Dedicate Energy Sciences Center At The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Jim Conca

Energy Secretary Granholm and Washington Governor Inslee dedicated a $90-million energy science research facility that will accelerate scientific discovery in chemistry, materials science and computing, helping speed us towards a new energy future - just the kind of infrastructure we need.

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Washington State Senate Bill 5244 – Needed Support For Nuclear Power

Jim Conca

The Washington State Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee drafted a new bill, SB 5244, encouraging the production of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, and components through the Invest in Washington Act. A very necessary thing to do.

What’s Happening? Global Emissions Are Still Rising

Jim Conca

Global electricity demand will increase almost 10% by 2022, and half of this will be fossil fuel, particularly new coal in the developing world. Nuclear will grow by only 2%, and is one important reason emissions will grow so much during this period.

Washington State’s Approaching Energy Crisis – Good Intentions Gone Wrong?

Jim Conca

WA State has trouble on the horizon – with its electrical grid, as in not being reliable, and as in risk of rolling blackouts. The trouble stems from decarbonizing. Getting rid of coal is the low-hanging fruit, but just getting rid of it without a real plan to replace it can do more harm than good.

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How To Defend Against The Electromagnetic Pulse Threat By Literally Painting Over It

Jim Conca

The possible threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) to our grid occasionally crops up in the news. The usual fix is to put metal cages, known as Faraday Cages, around critical components. But we might just be able to paint over it.

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New Nuclear Fuel Can Be Here Even Faster Than New Reactors

Jim Conca

New nuclear fuel made from U and Th, called ANEEL, can address several issues with nuclear power – cost, proliferation and waste, especially when used in CANDU/PHWR reactors. And it will be here soon not in the 2030s. It’s made-in-America makes it a prime candidate for export to emerging markets.

Nuclear Power Just Doesn’t Need Much Fuel

Jim Conca

On May 8th, the Columbia Generating Station, the only nuclear power plant in the Pacific Northwest, disconnected from the grid for its biannual refueling. It refueled and connected back to the grid only 42 days later. Just in time for summer’s increased electricity demand.

60 Years Of Nuclear In Space Is Just The Beginning

Jim Conca

This summer NASA marked the 60th anniversary of a nuclear-powered spaceflight. The Transit IV-A was an experimental navigational satellite with a radioisotope-powered generator, launched by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory from Cape Canaveral on 29 June 1961. But that was just the beginning.

Australia Picks A Nuclear Waste Disposal Site - Now The Dance Begins

Jim Conca

Australia has declared that the national nuclear waste storage facility, more correctly referred to as a radioactive waste site, will be at Napandee, near Kimba, on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. The choice was widely expected as the government had already picked Napandee as its preferred site.

Waste 235

Blackouts And Megadroughts – Decarbonization Without A Good Plan Just Makes Them Worse

Jim Conca

The western U.S. is facing the largest risks of blackouts and droughts in history. California was bad enough last year. Poorly-planned decarbonization will not help. SMRs and hydro would.

Nuclear Power Continues To Break Records In Safety And Generation

Jim Conca

Energy Northwest in Richland, WA, which operates the only nuclear power plant in the region, the Columbia Generating Station, has earned the American Public Power Association’s Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2020. Not to mention breaking all generation records.

Managers Of $40 Trillion Make Plans To Decarbonize The World

Jim Conca

The IIGCC is a European group of global pension funds and investment managers, totaling over 1,200 members in 16 countries, who control more than $40 trillion in assets (€33 trillion). They have drawn up a plan to cut carbon in their portfolios to net-zero and hope other investors will join them.

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U.S. Solar Needs A New Model – Lumio Answers From Silicon Slopes

Jim Conca

Rooftop solar’s success depends on its business model as much as solar cells. A new company, Lumio seeks to provide a total Home Experience - your home creates power, manages its own energy, cleans its own water, filters its own air, monitors itself and calls professionals when the house needs them.

Energy 307

America Steps Forward To Expand Nuclear Power

Jim Conca

DOE awarded TerraPower/GE Hitachi and X-energy an initial $80 million each to commercialize their advanced nuclear reactors, planning up to $3.2 billion. They also approved a $1.4 billion award to UAMPS for the development and construction of a 720 MWe NuScale small modular nuclear power plant.

Atomic Chickens: Texas Lawmakers Reject Proven Plan To Store Nuclear Waste

Jim Conca

The best, safest, least expensive solution to nuclear waste gets a near-unanimous bipartisan negative vote from the Texas Legislature. Lawmakers banned storage of high-level radioactive waste in Texas, including spent nuclear fuel, at their approved nuclear waste disposal site near Andrews, Texas.

Waste 254

China Has ‘First-Strike’ Capability To Melt U.S. Power Grid With Electromagnetic Pulse Weapon

Jim Conca

China now has a network of satellites, high-speed missiles, and super-EMP weapons that could melt down our electric grid, fry critical communications, and even takeout the ability of our aircraft carrier groups to respond.

ANEEL: A Game Changing Nuclear Fuel

Jim Conca

A new nuclear fuel made from both uranium and thorium, especially when used in CANDU/PHWRs, can address several issues with nuclear power – proliferation, waste and cost. Plus it’s made-in-America makes it a prime candidate for export to emerging markets.

Do New Nuclear Reactor Designs Change The Nuclear Waste Issue?

Jim Conca

The form of nuclear waste makes a difference in repository performance since heat loading and density determine waste spacing and repository size. But nuclear waste takes up such a small volume that these should have little effect on the issue as a whole and we’ll only need a single repository.

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Preliminary Data Suggests Low-Dose Radiation May Be Successful Treatment For Severe Covid-19

Jim Conca

Human medical trials have begun on severely ill COVID-19 patients using low-doses of radiation. The first results on a very small group at Emory University Hospital were published this week and the results were quite extraordinary.

Can Carbon Capture And Storage Save California’s Grid?

Jim Conca

CA has carbon capture and storage potential for 60 million MtCO2/yr, even more with newer strategies. This would allow natural gas plants to continue to operate instead of having to install three times that capacity in renewables with their concomitant issues of back-up and capacity overbuilding.

Heat, Wildfires And Power Grid Challenges – Even The Pacific Northwest Begins To Worry

Jim Conca

Heat waves are stressing the electrical grid in the Pacific Northwest, making regional system operators prepare for rolling blackouts. Fortunately, we have tools to cope, including hydro and nuclear power, and demand response where you just ask big users to please not use any power for a while.