SONE Newsletter 279 – August 2022

Posted by Wade Allison on 13 August 2022 in Newsletters

Tagged with: Dame Sue Ion, Hinkley Point, James Lovelock, NuScale, YouTube, Zion Lights.

This month

A report of sad News

On 26th July 2022, his 103rd Birthday, James Lovelock died.

James Lovelock CH CBE FRS, was a Patron of SONE and the inventor of the Gaia theory, an optimistic description of the two-way dynamic relationship between life and the environment. His voice was independent and scientific, or, as some have preferred to see it, controversial. What we now see happening around the world shows that everyone should have taken what he said more seriously.

Nature has published an obituary

In 2004 he was interviewed by Dame Sue Ion. The recording is available on the SONE Website

Shortly before his 100th birthday I had the privilege of visiting Jim and his wife Sandy in their wind swept home overlooking the Dorset coast. We enjoyed a very positive discussion. His enthusiasm for nuclear energy and his interdisciplinary view of the environment was undimmed.

Reactor News

World performance report 2022

[Thanks to Adrian Bull and Paul Spare for highlighting this interesting WNA report.]

As well as charts showing the balance of new plants and closures during the year, there are two particularly interesting articles on pages 14-15 on the twin High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors at Shandong Shidaowan, China, of 150 MWt each that were connected to the grid last December. They use 8.5% enriched uranium in fuel pebbles, graphite moderation and helium cooling. Running at 750 C the design promises high thermodynamic efficiency, processing heat and many applications. Developed over many years in Germany and South Africa it has been brought to fruition first in China. The same technology is being developed in UK by Penultimate Power in collaboration with Japan.

Hinkley Point B

EDF Energy announced the Hinkley Point B 1 reactor has been permanently shut down bringing an end to electricity generation at the Hinkley Point B plant in Somerset, England, after 46 years of operation. The Hinkley Point B 2 reactor was shut down on 6 July. [from World Nuclear ]

From Germany

Zion Lights of Emergency Reactor quotes from Der Spiegel, 5th August:
“These approval ratings for nuclear power are astounding”
✅ 78% of Germans are in FAVOUR of continuing to operate their remaining 3 nuclear power plants
✅ 41% want to build NEW nuclear power plants
✅ Even German GREENS are mostly in favour of nuclear energy

Many enthusiastic comments have been posted on social media as a result.

Wade Allison added:
Individuals think for themselves and are free to change their opinion, even in Germany. But political authorities get left behind!

From USA

The US NRC has approved the design of the NuScale Reactor for use in the United States.

This is a pressurised water small modular reactor. The application was submitted in Dec. 2016. Why has it taken so long? Some very critical voices have been raised about the obstructive role played by the NRC in the last half century. It seems likely that more will be heard about this as the US nuclear programme is rejuvenated (assuming that it is)

Meanwhile NuScale has floated on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:SMR) and its price has risen by 50%.

“Threshold Conference” by The Thorium Network

On 19 July 2022 a discussion with SONE Members, Malcolm Grimstone and Wade Allison.

Featured article this month