Starting this month, we are posting separately the SONE monthly Newsletter and the substantive articles that were sometimes abbreviated to fit a printed letter. Each month the Newsletter will cover brief items of news and introduce the new longer pieces posted at the same time and available on the SONE website on the Articles tab.
Please read them! As a SONE Member, please feel free to comment. firstname.lastname@example.org
- The new government in South Korea is reconsidering nuclear power!
- It has been confirmed that on 12 March Olkiluoto 3, the Finnish 1600 MWe EPR reactor, was connected to the grid at last. Its construction started in 2005. The Hinkley C Project in Somerset consists of two such reactors (for operation 2026), as also planned for the Sizewell C Project. Two EPR reactors were successfully connected to the grid at Taishan, China, in 2018 and 2019. (A recent CNN misinformed story about a fuel problem is explained at: Straight to voicemail - Nuclear Engineering International ).
- In 2023 construction was supposed to start on the Hanhikivi 1, the Finnish 1200 MWe VVER Rosatom reactor, for commercial operation in 2029. However, the fate of this project is affected by the Ukraine War.
- The UK is looking at a 20-year extension of the Sizewell B nuclear power plant to 2055 (FT March 14). Without the ageing graphite problem of the AGRs, this should be one of the easiest decisions for the UK power industry.
- In the Ukraine-Russia War the IAEA has been properly concerned about Chernobyl and the power station at Zaporozhe – that is the conditions for the staff and who is responsible while the power stations are occupied by Russian troops who have no experience whatever. Unfortunately, the press managed to publish wildly exaggerated accounts, and politicians made equally irresponsible statements, too. While I was writing on the wider subject of nuclear war (see article, below), Ted Norhaus of the Breakthrough Institute posted a sensible rebuke: The Media’s Hysterical Coverage of Attacks on Ukraine’s Nuclear Power Plant.
Recommended Articles this month
Siting Implications of Nuclear Energy: A path to net zero
[A study from the Dalton Institute at the University of Manchester. Adrian Bull is interested to receive comments.]
William Bodell, Adrian Bull, Gregg Butler, Dalton Institute
This maps the nine actions required to understand the whole nuclear energy lifecycle better, to help ensure the sector can realistically and responsibly deliver the scale of development required. Essentially it explains why we need to have a whole-life view of nuclear sites, as well as of nuclear materials such as uranium, if we’re going to have the best chance of reaching Net Zero with a significant contribution from nuclear power.
You don’t have to be a scientist to trust nuclear energy
[A simple discussion of the fear of radiation and nuclear in a few words]
Wade Allison Hon Sec SONE
As the world discusses sources of energy it is spooked by an eighty-year-old fear of ionising radiation and all forms of nuclear energy. But evidence from simple observation shows that this fear is simply misplaced and that everybody should be confident in making a future with nuclear power.
Nature, Energy and Society: A scientific study of the options facing civilisation today
[A student-level study of energy provision based on all scientific possibilities]
Wade Allison, Hon Sec SONE
The nations of the world plan to stop burning carbon fuels but have not fixed on the replacement. For social and economic confidence, they need to share a proper picture of the options. The science is simply explained and not in doubt, though widely misunderstood. Energy sources belong to three distinct groups – “renewables”, chemical and nuclear. Since human life began it has adopted each of these in turn. In the past the initial disruption has been more than off-set by the rise in human values that followed. Now, to complete the final step we answer those who would look backwards to the age of “renewables”. Instead, the world should look forwards to a heavy dependence on nuclear energy with a confidence, informed by natural science and openly shared in society.
A scientific and responsible view of a nuclear threat in war.
[A brief review prompted by reactions to the possibility of nuclear war.]
Wade Allison, Hon Sec SONE
Recently, irresponsible stories about nuclear radiation risks in the Ukraine-Russia War have appeared in the media, despite being firmly rebuked. In times of war misinformation can be dangerous and the subject deserves a wider discussion. It is a long time since the world received serious threats that included the words “nuclear” and “radiation”. How much weight should we attach to them? The science has changed since the Cold War, even though much of the same rhetoric is trotted out. Today the threat of a nuclear blast remains as serious as before, but we can be more relaxed about radiation.
Nuclear energy and society, radiation and life – the evidence
[An academic critique of the evidence and rationale that is the basis of current radiation protection. The text of a presentation at Oxford Energy Colloquium, Oxford School of Geography and the Environment, 1 Nov. 2016.]
Wade Allison, Hon Sec SONE
The most effective source of carbon-free energy available on a large scale is nuclear and this would be accepted but for the general view that it is particularly dangerous. The scientific evidence does not support this long-held apprehension. Why has this contradiction persisted for so long and why is nuclear power apparently so expensive? The evidence makes plain the need for a root-and-branch cultural change in attitudes to nuclear technology.