All SONE articles


All articles and newsletters, most recent first

Solar Power Volcanic Risk

Iceland has been in the news several times in recent months as volcanic eruptions have forced the evacuation of the town of Grindavik and threatened the electricity generation system. This threat continues, with lava flows from the vent now two miles long. In recent years, unrelated volcanic activity elsewhere in Iceland has caused entirely different problems.


SONE Newsletter 297 – May 2024

Nuclear Skills — Nuclear fuel developments in UK — Nuclear safety: a disagreement with the Director General of the IAEA — Activity at Sheffield — Sizewell, Wylfa and Teesside — Nuclear developments around the world — More on Sellafield


Society and Nuclear Energy: What Is the Role for Radiological Protection?

A critical assessment of the LNT model, as discussed in SONE Newsletter 296, April 2024


SONE Newsletter 296 – April 2024

An analogy with bridges and ferries — Radiological protection: science confronts the LNT Model — Stories of nuclear plant closures in New York and elsewhere in USA — Europe’s Energy Blunders: Lessons from IEA Chief — Current enthusiasm for new nuclear going critical — Nuclear news from a number of countries that caught my eye — “New Nuclear is HOT”, a new book by Robert Hargraves.


SONE Newsletter 295 – March 2024

Nuclear Energy Declaration Adopted in Brussels — Nuclear closure was hailed as a green win, then emissions went up — The Science Museum is looking forwards — Oppenheimer conclusion — Six early nuclear reactor films digitized — Austria and Nuclear Power — Regulations: cooperation between UK ONR, US NRC and CNSC — British Industry is busy, at home and abroad! — Pressure for US regulatory changes.


SONE Newsletter 294 – February 2024

The simple basis of chemical & nuclear energy, 1924 — Great British Nuclear – Simon Bowen — A funded proposal for Westinghouse SMRs on Teesside — News about Wylfa and Heysham — MoltexFlex and Moltex SSR Wasteburner — Sellafield and nuclear waste — Establishing confidence in nuclear energy — Cracks in the “Renewables” Net Zero project.


Establishing confidence in nuclear energy: a study of 120 years of evidence and 80 years of myth

Plentiful energy is essential to a thriving society. But there are only three types of primary energy source widely available on Earth today: renewables, fossil fuels, and nuclear. The contrast between the three is evident from the weight of fuel—energised material—sufficient for one person to cover food, heating, transport, and other needs throughout their life.


The music of chemical and nuclear energy

The simple quantitative description of chemical energy as waves hidden in matter is 100 years old. The record of 70 years confirms that the nuclear power is safer than burning fossil fuels, but unwarranted caution has inflated its costs and denied society its benefits – this is not sustainable.


SONE Newsletter 293 – January 2024

GO for Sizewell C construction ... and a proper nuclear programme announced — News of UK AGR plant extensions — From COP28 — Moltex in Canada and MoltexFlex in UK — NuScale — Newcleo — HALEU fuel — Nuclear powered shipping — Nuclear Energy Maritime Organisation — Zion Lights asks a good question — Films.


Report on COP 28 in Dubai, UAE

This document is a summary of my conversations and observations, plus announcements and news events associated with COP 28, which took place from November 30th to December 12th 2023 in the Emirate of Dubai. I was sponsored by the American Nuclear Society, so there is a nuclear focus to this report.


SONE Newsletter 292 – December 2023

Early news of policy changes at COP28 — Opportunities abroad — US Nuclear Regulatory Commission dragging its feet — Learning to live with a Million — Report from The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy — Heating as well as electricity — Oil and gas executives — Germany realises it needs nuclear.


SONE Newsletter 291 – November 2023

SONE Silver Jubilee Celebrations, House of Lords, 27th October — The Health Physics Society Tells Truth to Power in the USA — October 2, UK Government announces six competitors for first SMR — Another UK competitor, Newcleo — Green light for Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment — Donald Avery (1926-2023) — Minutes of the SONE AGM 2023.


Donald Avery: an obituary

Donald Avery (1926-2023), a distinguished player in the nuclear fuel world who passed away on 4th August. His obituary is contributed by his son.


Cardarelli letter to DC leaders

A letter from John J Cardarelli II of the Health Physics Society to various leaders in Washington DC, requesting an investigation to ensure that the latest science is incorporated into the radiation protection standards for low-dose environments. (Effectively, an investigation of the LNT [Linear No Threshold] model applied to radiation protection.)


SONE Newsletter 290 – September/October 2023

Winners of the Jubilee Essay Prize Competition — House of Lords Celebration — “Science at the Shops” Oct 22nd — Manpower, and womanpower too — Last Energy — A podcast with Tom Nelson — Nuclear shipping news — Reconsidering regulations — The weather gets worse for renewables — The Renewable Rover — Too old? Nonsense!


The Winners of the SONE Jubilee Essay Prizes

Winning entries in the essay competitions held to mark SONE's 25th anniversary of its foundation on 1 June 1998. Both prizes, for those up to 38 and up to 18, attracted strong fields. Entries showed evidence of significant reading and productive imagination. All were reviewed and discussed by a small committee of SONE who were unanimous in selecting the two winners.