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Gender: Female
Hometown: NE New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Serious Snow Country :(
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 190,205

Journal Archives

Safer Nuclear Power, at Half the Price

Transatomic, an MIT spinoff, is developing a nuclear reactor that it estimates will cut the overall cost of a nuclear power plant in half. It’s an updated molten-salt reactor, a type that’s highly resistant to meltdowns. Molten-salt reactors were demonstrated in the 1960s at Oak Ridge National Lab, where one test reactor ran for six years, but the technology hasn’t been used commercially.

The new reactor design, which so far exists only on paper, produces 20 times as much power for its size as Oak Ridge’s technology. That means relatively small, yet powerful, reactors could be built less expensively in factories and shipped by rail instead of being built on site like conventional ones. Transatomic also modified the original molten-salt design to allow it to run on nuclear waste.

High costs, together with concerns about safety and waste disposal, have largely stalled construction of new nuclear plants in the United States and elsewhere (though construction continues in some countries, including China). Japan and Germany even shut down existing plants after the Fukushima accident two years ago (see “Japan’s Economic Troubles Spur a Return to Nuclear” and “Small Nukes Get Boost”). Several companies are trying to address the cost issue by developing small modular reactors that can be built in factories. But these are typically limited to producing 200 megawatts of power, whereas conventional reactors produce more than 1,000 megawatts.

Transatomic says it can split the difference, building a 500-megawatt power plant that achieves some of the cost savings associated with the smaller reactor designs. It estimates that it can build a plant based on such a reactor for $1.7 billion, roughly half the cost per megawatt of current plants. The company has raised $1 million in seed funding, including some from Ray Rothrock, a partner at the VC firm Venrock. Although its cofounders, Mark Massie and Leslie Dewan, are still PhD candidates at MIT, the design has attracted some top advisors, including Regis Matzie, the former CTO of the major nuclear power plant supplier Westinghouse Electric, and Richard Lester, the head of the nuclear engineering department at MIT.


I'm not trying to start anything here, just thought this was too noteworthy not to post.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Wed Mar 13, 2013, 01:04 AM (34 replies)

Sellers must tell buyers if meth was manufactured in vehicle

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) - State legislators are working to protect people from buying a car that meth has been manufactured in.

A proposed bill would require dealers or sellers who know meth has been made in a vehicle within two years to inform a potential buyer.

State Sen. Ron Alting (R-22) said the information has to be in writing. He said if a seller does not do that, he or she will be required to reimburse the buyer the amount of money paid for the vehicle. He said the seller may also have to pay no more than $10,000 in liquidated damages.

Alting said more and more people seem to be making meth in their cars and sometimes get caught doing it.


Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Mar 9, 2013, 05:48 AM (9 replies)

Hess, under pressure, to exit retail business

NEW YORK — Hess is getting out of the gas station business and ridding itself of its energy trading and marketing businesses, as it shifts its focus further into exploration and production.

The company will also nominate a slate of six independent directors to its board, replacing six that already hold seats.

The announcement arrives about a month after the hedge fund Elliott Management, one of the company's largest shareholders, accused the board of "poor oversight," and said that the company's management was responsible for more than a "decade of failures."

Elliott, which holds a 4 percent stake in Hess Corp., is pushing to seat five outsiders on the board.

But Hess rejected Elliott's nominees in a letter to shareholders Monday, accusing the firm of trying to disrupt progress it has already made in reshaping itself. It said that Elliott hasn't taken into account how much company shares have risen since it began to shed previous business models.

Hess said the nominees chosen by Elliott would effectively dismantle the company.

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Wed Mar 6, 2013, 07:03 AM (2 replies)

Kenyans go to the polls in crucial election

Source: BBC News

Kenyans are voting in an election that observers describe as the most important in the country's history.

It is the first time a vote has taken place under a new constitution, designed to prevent a repeat of violence that followed the 2007 polls.

More than 1,000 people died in widespread ethnic violence when supporters of rival candidates clashed.

Despite appeals for calm, at least four police officers died when they were attacked near Mombasa on Monday.

At least six other people - including several attackers - are also reported to have died in the assault in the early hours in Changamwe, half an hour's drive from the centre of Mombasa.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21651267

In the capital Nairobi, voters rose early to stand in line, some of them chanting "peace"
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Mon Mar 4, 2013, 04:08 AM (2 replies)
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