Energy

344 Items

Ambassador Ivor Richard, left, of the United Kingdom, and U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, right, raise their arms during vote, Friday, Nov. 4, 1977 at the United Nations Security Council.

(AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Caught Red-Handed: How States Wield Proof to Coerce Wrongdoers

| Fall 2021

States frequently acquire proof that other states have violated norms. Yet, existing theories do not fully explain how states wield such proof to coerce wrongdoers. Four case studies of nuclear proliferation probe a novel theory of how states coerce norm violators by concealing, sharing privately, or publicizing proof of guilt.

Ahvaz, Iran is the city most at risk from spent fuel fires at Bushehr.

Arad M./Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How to Reduce the Risk of a Catastrophic Spent Nuclear Fuel Fire Near the Persian Gulf

| Oct. 06, 2021

There are many reasons for concern about the safety of nuclear facilities in the gulf. Particularly in the region where Bushehr is located, Iran is prone to seismic activity. The UAE has limited experience in operating nuclear facilities. And terrorist groups have identified energy infrastructure as a key target—and even attacked nuclear installations.

The Grohnde Nuclear Power Plant in Germany.

pxfuel

Journal Article - Issues in Science and Technology

A Viable Nuclear Industry

| Summer 2021

Aditi Verma and Denia Djokić call for rethinking our collective approach to the benefits and risks of nuclear technology—a call that is crucial and timely. As humanity confronts the catastrophic consequences of climate change, questions related to the viability of nuclear energy to achieve a decarbonized world abound. The authors, however, push the boundaries of the current conversation by arguing that what is required to make nuclear energy “viable” for the twenty-first century is much more than just an exercise in technological development.

Doha, Qatar is one of the Persian Gulf cities most at risk from a spent fuel fire at Barakah.

Hossein Ostovar/Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Science & Global Security

Risks to Persian Gulf Cities from Spent Fuel Fires at the Barakah and Bushehr Nuclear Power Plants

| Aug. 18, 2021

Interest in nuclear power has grown in some Middle Eastern states despite poor economics, seismic activity, and attacks on nuclear facilities in the region. This article assesses risks from cesium-137 release and dispersal from spent nuclear fuel fires at Barakah in the United Arab Emirates and Bushehr in Iran to public health, the water supply, and the food security of major Persian Gulf cities. Doha, Dammam, Al-Hofuf, and Manama are most at risk of receiving 1.5 MBq/m2 for a spent fuel fire at Barakah, while a spent fuel fire at Bushehr could affect Shiraz, Ahvaz, Basrah, and Kuwait City, albeit at lower probabilities. Absent a decision to end nuclear power in the region, options for reducing the potential risks of spent fuel fires on Persian Gulf populations include the timely transfer of spent fuel from pools into safer dry cask storage, multilateral disaster-response planning, and a commitment not to attack nuclear facilities.

Nuclear operations professionals at Idaho National Laboratory's Advanced Test Reactor routinely refuel the reactor and perform maintenance from the reactor top area.

Idaho National Laboratory via Flickr

Journal Article - Nuclear Technology

The Nuclear, Humanities, and Social Science Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities for Speaking Across the Disciplinary Divides

| Aug. 07, 2021

The central aim of this special issue is to explore how research findings and insights from the humanities and social sciences can be used to shape and meaningfully inform the work of practitioners and policy makers in the nuclear energy sector and its corresponding areas of research and practice—all of which presently, in many ways, simultaneously face several challenges and opportunities and find themselves at a crossroads.

Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Photorush/Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Nature Energy

Increase in Frequency of Nuclear Power Outages Due to Changing Climate

| July 05, 2021

Climate-related changes have already affected operating conditions for different types of energy system, in particular power plants. With more than three decades of data on changing climate, we are now in a position to empirically assess the impact of climate change on power plant operations. Such empirical assessments can provide an additional measure of the resilience of power plants going forward. Here I analyse climate-linked outages in nuclear power plants over the past three decades. My assessment shows that the average frequency of climate-induced disruptions has dramatically increased from 0.2 outage per reactor-year in the 1990s to 1.5 in the past decade. Based on the projections for adopted climate scenarios, the average annual energy loss of the global nuclear fleet is estimated to range between 0.8% and 1.4% in the mid-term (2046–2065) and 1.4% and 2.4% in the long term (2081–2100).

Jasmine Hatcher's work in Brookhaven's Medical Isotope Research and Production Program focuses on extracting Actinium-225, a rare radioactive element that can be used in cancer radiation therapy.

Brookhaven National Laboratory via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How to Make Sure Neutrons Save Lives Instead of End Them

| May 12, 2021

To ensure that the world has reliable access to the neutrons it needs, at the lowest possible cost, and to facilitate further efforts to minimize and eventually eliminate civilian use of highly enriched uranium, we need an international mechanism to anticipate worldwide neutron needs and plan how to meet them. In essence, the 2016 National Academies’ report recommendation (which sadly remains unfulfilled even in the United States) should be internationalized.

A power-generating unit control panel at Kursk Nuclear Power Plant in Kurchatov, Russia, in 2008.

Sergey Pyatakov/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Issues in Science and Technology

Reimagining Nuclear Engineering

| May 07, 2021

Nuclear reactors remain a technology whose risks and benefits, potential and real, are inequitably distributed in society, temporally and geographically. The fuel that powers reactors comes from mines that have poisoned Indigenous communities and Global South nations for decades. The connection between a nation’s nuclear energy capability and its possession of nuclear weapons, though once direct and now more attenuated, nevertheless persists. And finally there are the environmental footprints of the nuclear era: its wastes. Though often described by nuclear engineers as a technically solved problem, the disposition of nuclear waste remains unresolved in most countries (Finland and Sweden are exceptions), its fate an ongoing open question, particularly in the United States. However this question may eventually be answered, nuclear waste will perhaps be the most enduring vestige of the Anthropocene.

The Chooz nuclear power plant in France (Raimond Spekking/Wikimedia Commons).

Raimond Spekking/Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Nuclear Engineering and Design

What Can Nuclear Engineers Learn From Design Research?

| August 2021

Although nuclear reactor design is recognized as an essential skill and intellectual output of academic nuclear engineering, little attention has been paid within the discipline to the structure of the reactor design process and factors influencing design outcomes. This paper, which marks the first systematic attempt to explore the structure of the reactor design process and choices, applies methodological and theoretical tools developed within the mechanical engineering design studies field to the study of nuclear reactor design.