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Gender: Male
Current location: New Jersey
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 28,584

Journal Archives

Coming Back to Me.

No fair to James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin Pierce.


Our modern historians need to improve their understanding of worst. Afterall, Buchanan inherited the divisions; he didn't create them.


USA needs nuclear to achieve net zero, says US Energy Secretary Granholm

USA needs nuclear to achieve net zero, says Granholm

Preserving the existing fleet of nuclear plants, driving the development of advanced reactors and investing in nuclear R&D are all essential to the USA's clean energy transition, Jennifer Granholm, secretary of the US Department of Energy (DOE), stressed this week. Speaking at the annual general meeting of the American Nuclear Society, Granholm told nuclear industry workers and students watching the webinar: "We need you".

"President Biden is absolutely committed to getting this country powered by clean energy, using every single clean energy tool available," Granholm said.

This is the only way, she said, that the USA will meet its targets of a 52% reduction in CO2 emissions by the end of 2030, 100% clean energy by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050.

"Those are big goals, so let me say it loud and clear: Carbon-free nuclear power is an absolutely critical part of our decarbonisation equation," she said.

The Biden Administration is acting on this through its 2022 budget proposal and in its American Jobs Plan, she said. The budget request calls for a USD1.8 billion of funding for the country's nuclear energy programme.

The first priority though, she said, is to preserve the existing nuclear fleet, which generates 20% of US electricity and represents more than half of its carbon-free power.

"DOE already works across the nuclear sector, which includes some of you. We work with you and we work with you on projects to reduce the operating costs and increase revenues from the nuclear fleet, and with this budget we've put USD175 million into these modernisation efforts. A lot of it is going into developing and deploying new and improved fuels to enhance performance and to reduce costs. And we're going to keep doing everything that we can to encourage our partners in the states to keep their reactors online," she said...

Chemists Failing at Being Witty: Weak Attempt at a Pun.

A Not-So-Ancient Grease History: Click Chemistry and Protein Lipid Modifications

(Kiall F. Suazo, Keun-Young Park, and Mark D. Distefano, Chemical Reviews 2021 121 (12), 7178-7248)

A dorky graphic for my fellow dorky chemists.

It's um, "magic."

Magic of Alpha: The Chemistry of a Remarkable Bidentate Phosphine, 1,2-Bis(di-tert-butylphosphinomethyl)benzene

(Johanna Vondran, Marc R. L. Furst, Graham R. Eastham, Thomas Seidensticker, and David J. Cole-Hamilton
Chemical Reviews 2021 121 (11), 6610-6653)

The Power of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.

I don't know why anyone else is a Democrat, but I know why I'm a Democrat, and it very much involves one of Franklin Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms," specifically the "freedom from want."

I regard human poverty as a driver of many the other intractable problems the world faces, but given that we are undergoing an environmental collapse on a global scale, addressing poverty is impossible without also addressing sustainability should be a nonstarter, since doing otherwise will simply shift the burden of poverty on to future generations.

This is a scientific and engineering challenge, an extreme challenge, but one that can be met.

I recognize that there is a very real poverty problem in the US, but to me, poverty beyond our borders is extremely exigent as well.

I personally believe that sustainability and meeting human development goals, the latter an activity that the UN has been organizing for quite some time, but I do think that everyone must think anew to do so, not just people on the right, but we on the left must also think anew.

I thus read with interest an editorial in the most recent issue of one of the scientific journals I regularly scan and read, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

The editorial is here, and may be open sourced: The Power of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering Research

An excerpt:

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) unveiled an ambitious plan, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at providing guidelines, applicable universally to all nations, for equitable and responsible development, respectful of humans and ecosystems.(1) The SDGs plan sets a clear agenda to be achieved by 2030 (Agenda 2030), composed of 17 goals and 169 targets, that promotes economic growth, environmental protection, social inclusion, and human well-being.(2) This framework has been adopted by many governmental agencies, foundations, and companies in order to articulate specific actions in the broader context of sustainable development.(3,4) The global scientific community has also established connections to the SDGs, highlighting the central role that sustainable chemistry and engineering must play to realize them.(5,6) In particular, the SDGs are a powerful way to focus on how chemicals are used.(7) The central role and impact of advanced technologies on global well-being and sustainability are further recognized by the declaration of a United Nations International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development in 2022.(8)

The graphic from the paper:

I note, with hope, that three of the papers in the magnificent previous issue of this journal touched on the resource most critical to meeting these goals, uranium chemistry, and a third, on the recovery of elements from seawater, touched on it as well. A fourth certainly evokes, certainly for me, if not others, thinking about uranium chemistry, since it makes clear that a putative "cure" can be worse than the disease. It's this paper: Avoiding Regrettable Substitutions: Green Toxicology for Sustainable Chemistry (Alexandra Maertens, Emily Golden, and Thomas Hartung
ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2021 9 (23), 7749-7758)

We are making a big mistake if do anything other than "going nuclear" against climate change, climate change being, in part, a function of poverty in ways that I personally can see clearly.

I rather like this quote.

It's like Gabriele Sadowski always says,...

"...The appropriate equations can easily be written for any potential function as



She's such a kidder, that Gabriele...

Perturbed-Chain SAFT:  An Equation of State Based on a Perturbation Theory for Chain Molecules (Joachim Gross and Gabriele Sadowski, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2001 40 (4), 1244-1260)

No threat.

For Father's Day, my son sent me an electronic copy of a book called "Nuclear Corrosion Science and Engineering."

My virus protection software scans every file I download.

So I downloaded a chapter an this popped up: "No threat in Corrosion issues in supercritical water reactor (SCWR) systems."

I don't know about you, but I'm pleased to find that out. I guess I don't have to read the chapter.
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