All SONE articles

All articles and newsletters, most recent first

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.

SONE Newsletter 289 – August 2023

Prize Giving and AGM — House of Lords — Major Change in US Nuclear Regulations — Admiral Rickover — It should never have been allowed! — Select Committee on Science and Technology — Renewables in trouble — Copenhagen Atomics — Long life in evacuation zones — A new podcast.

Energy resources and our future — from 1957

An essay on ‘Energy Resources and Our Future’ by Admiral Hyman G Rickover in 1957. This is not a submission for our essay competition today because it was written more than 66 years ago. It contains many misunderstandings, but many more truths that have since been ignored and now deserve to be re-embraced. We may hope that the SONE Jubilee Competition will succeed in encouraging young people today to entertain a suitably modernised version of such a vision of the future – and then, like Rickover, follow their vision through.

SONE Newsletter 288 – July 2023

Approval of the Sizewell C was lawful — France confirms commitment to Nuclear Energy — Did coal bail out solar? — Battery fire killed four in NYC — Siemens Energy’s profits have tumbled — China authorises a new Thorium MSR — No babies were harmed — New platform for nuclear videos — SONE Jubilee essay competitions continue.

A pro-nuclear talk at the Reform Club

Notes for a talk at the Reform Club, London, on 21 June 2023: Ensure that people have access to a plentiful supply of energy that is affordable, safe, secure, and reliable and which does not contribute to our carbon emissions, then there will be no need to feel guilty about not denying ourselves the benefits of energy. And no need to cheat on any environmental commitments. The only energy source that meets all of these requirements is electricity generated from nuclear energy.