The Story of the Integral Fast Reactor, the Complex History of a Simple Reactor Technoloogy, with Emphasis on Its Scientific Basis for Non-specialists
Author: Charles E. Till,Yoon Il Chang
Category: Technology & Engineering
The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) is a fast reactor system developed at Argonne National Laboratory in the decade 1984 to 1994. The IFR project developed the technology for a complete system; the reactor, the entire fuel cycle and the waste management technologies were all included in the development program. The reactor concept had important features and characteristics that were completely new and fuel cycle and waste management technologies that were entirely new developments. The reactor is a “fast” reactor – that is, the chain reaction is maintained by “fast” neutrons with high energy – which produces its own fuel. The IFR reactor and associated fuel cycle is a closed system. Electrical power is generated, new fissile fuel is produced to replace the fuel burned, its used fuel is processed for recycling by pyroprocessing – a new development – and waste is put in final form for disposal. All this is done on one self-sufficient site.The scale and duration of the project and its funding made it the largest nuclear energy R and D program of its day. Its purpose was the development of a long term massive new energy source, capable of meeting the nation's electrical energy needs in any amount, and for as long as it is needed, forever, if necessary. Safety, non-proliferation and waste toxicity properties were improved as well, these three the characteristics most commonly cited in opposition to nuclear power.Development proceeded from success to success. Most of the development had been done when the program was abruptly cancelled by the newly elected Clinton Administration. In his 1994 State of the Union address the president stated that “unnecessary programs in advanced reactor development will be terminated.” The IFR was that program.This book gives the real story of the IFR, written by the two nuclear scientists who were most deeply involved in its conception, the development of its R and D program, and its management.Between the scientific and engineering papers and reports, and books on the IFR, and the non-technical and often impassioned dialogue that continues to this day on fast reactor technology, we felt there is room for a volume that, while accurate technically, is written in a manner accessible to the non-specialist and even to the non-technical reader who simply wants to know what this technology is.
The complexity of carbon reduction and economic sustainability is significantly complicated by competing aspects of socioeconomic practices as well as legislative, regulatory, and scientific requirements and protocols. An easy to read and understand guide, Sioshansi, along with an international group of contributors, moves through the maze of carbon reduction methods and technologies, providing steps and insights to meet carbon reduction requirements and maintaining the health and welfare of the firm. The book’s three part treatment is based on a clear and rigorous exposition of a wide range of options to reduce the carbon footprint Part 1 of the book, Challenge of Sustainability, examines the fundamental drivers of energy demand – economic growth, the need for basic energy services, and the interdependence of economic, political, environmental, social, equity, legacy and policy issues. Part 2 of the book, Technological Solutions, examines how energy can be used to support basic energy service needs of homes, commercial and industrial facilities and for other applications. Part 3 of the book, case studies, covers a number of innovative projects, initiatives, concepts or self-imposed targets in different parts of the world with the aim of significantly reducing energy use and carbon footprint of a company, a community, a city or an entire country. There was a widespread recognition among environmental engineers and energy economist of the importance of carbon reduction while sustaining the firm’s economic growth. The only book to bring together both subjects into one easy to understand reference, Carbon Reduction and Economic Sustainability not only clearly explains which option has the lowest energy/carbon footprint but also which option would better suit the business in question. This includes carbon reduction for residential, transport, industrial and public sectors. The only book to clearly explain the economic and environmental engineering aspects of carbon reduction. Case studies taken from a number of international projects. Carbon reduction options for all sectors of society. The role of the planning system in carbon reduction.
Energy and agriculture are both extremely broad subjects and their interactions - the subject of this book - cover almost the full spectrum of the agricultural sciences. Yet the subject is a relatively new one whose importance first received widespread recognition barely a decade ago, following the dramatic increase in oil prices during 1973. The impact of this increase was such as to promote a world-wide debate on the future direction that agriculture should take. This debate was, and is, of particular concern in countries where agriculture plays a leading role in economic and social development. During the last half century many national agricultural systems have been transformed from almost closed, self-sufficient systems with few locally produced inputs geared to satisfy local requirements, to intensive, open systems, utilizing large quantities of energy-rich inputs such as fossil fuel for manufactured agro-chemicals, water distribution and imported animal feedstuffs to produce a range of sophisticated products, often for export, which in tum require many energy-rich inputs for their marketing. This industrialization of agriculture has proved to be very successful in many respects and indeed was accepted as a general model for agricultural development allowing increased productivity and efficiency per unit land, labor and water, even in areas with limited natural resources.
Could everything we know about fossil fuels be wrong? For decades, environmentalists have told us that using fossil fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet at the same time, by every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water to climate safety, life has been getting better and better. How can this be? The explanation, energy expert Alex Epstein argues in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, is that we usually hear only one side of the story. We’re taught to think only of the negatives of fossil fuels, their risks and side effects, but not their positives—their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy for a world of seven billion people. And the moral significance of cheap, reliable energy, Epstein argues, is woefully underrated. Energy is our ability to improve every single aspect of life, whether economic or environmental. If we look at the big picture of fossil fuels compared with the alternatives, the overall impact of using fossil fuels is to make the world a far better place. We are morally obligated to use more fossil fuels for the sake of our economy and our environment. Drawing on original insights and cutting-edge research, Epstein argues that most of what we hear about fossil fuels is a myth. For instance . . . Myth: Fossil fuels are dirty. Truth: The environmental benefits of using fossil fuels far outweigh the risks. Fossil fuels don’t take a naturally clean environment and make it dirty; they take a naturally dirty environment and make it clean. They don’t take a naturally safe climate and make it dangerous; they take a naturally dangerous climate and make it ever safer. Myth: Fossil fuels are unsustainable, so we should strive to use “renewable” solar and wind. Truth: The sun and wind are intermittent, unreliable fuels that always need backup from a reliable source of energy—usually fossil fuels. There are huge amounts of fossil fuels left, and we have plenty of time to find something cheaper. Myth: Fossil fuels are hurting the developing world. Truth: Fossil fuels are the key to improving the quality of life for billions of people in the developing world. If we withhold them, access to clean water plummets, critical medical machines like incubators become impossible to operate, and life expectancy drops significantly. Calls to “get off fossil fuels” are calls to degrade the lives of innocent people who merely want the same opportunities we enjoy in the West. Taking everything into account, including the facts about climate change, Epstein argues that “fossil fuels are easy to misunderstand and demonize, but they are absolutely good to use. And they absolutely need to be championed. . . . Mankind’s use of fossil fuels is supremely virtuous—because human life is the standard of value and because using fossil fuels transforms our environment to make it wonderful for human life.”
Why the Origin of Life and the Evolution of Molecular Knowledge Imply Design
Author: Stuart Pullen
This volume examines issues associated with chemical evolution, the origin of life, and the evolution of molecular knowledge. It develops statistical models to describe the evolution of the first genes and proteins, but the fact that naturalistic laws fail to explain the origin of life implies that life was created.
This second edition represents an extensive revision of the ?rst edition, - though the motivation for the book and the intended audiences, as described inthepreviouspreface,remainthesame. Theoveralllengthhasbeenincreased substantially, with revised or expanded discussions of a number of topics, - cluding Yucca Mountain repository plans, new reactor designs, health e?ects of radiation, costs of electricity, and dangers from terrorism and weapons p- liferation. The overall status of nuclear power has changed rather little over the past eight years. Nuclear reactor construction remains at a very low ebb in much of the world, with the exception of Asia, while nuclear power’s share of the electricity supply continues to be about 75% in France and 20% in the United States. However,therearesignsofaheightenedinterestinconsideringpossible nuclear growth. In the late 1990s, the U. S. Department of Energy began new programs to stimulate research and planning for future reactors, and many candidate designs are now contending—at least on paper—to be the next generation leaders. Outside the United States, the commercial development ofthePebbleBedModularReactorisbeingpursuedinSouthAfrica,aFrench- German consortium has won an order from Finlandfor the long-plannedEPR (European Pressurized Water Reactor), and new reactors have been built or planned in Asia. In an unanticipated positive development for nuclear energy, the capacity factor of U. S. reactors has increased dramatically in recent years, and most operating reactors now appear headed for 20-year license renewals.
This completely revised edition of Energy Law and the Environment has greatly expanded its scope to explore how international law engages with multinational companies regarding energy sources, ownership of those resources, and state sovereignty. Written for all the players in the energy sector, lawyers and non-lawyers alike, this second edition has been aptly renamed International Law for Energy and the Environment. It considers issues of energy sector regulation related to economics and protection of intellectual property associated with development of technologies for mitigating environmentally damaging emissions. The book is divided into three sections that build upon each other. Section I addresses the interrelationship between international law, environmental law, and the energy sector. It covers regulatory theory within an economic context; the regulation of multinational companies with regard to international regulation and state rules; and trade, competition, and environmental law in the energy sector. Section II examines the regulation of the various energy sectors—oil, gas, and nuclear—and how international law affects them and their ownership, risk, and liability. Section III considers some of the main energy producer/user jurisdictions where energy companies operate, including more developed systems around the world, such as the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Australia as well as two major emerging economies, namely, India and China. The final chapter reviews the material presented in the book, drawing conclusions about the current state of environmental regulation in the energy sector and identifying potential future developments.
This second volume of Energy Resources and Systems is focused on renewable energy resources. Renewable energy mainly comes from wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, ocean, bioenergy, ethanol and hydrogen. Each of these energy resources is important and growing. For example, high-head hydroelectric energy is a well established energy resource and already contributes about 20% of the world’s electricity. Some countries have significant high-head resources and produce the bulk of their electrical power by this method. However, the bulk of the world’s high-head hydroelectric resources have not been exploited, particularly by the underdeveloped countries. Low-head hydroelectric is unexploited and has the potential to be a growth area. Wind energy is the fastest growing of the renewable energy resources for the electricity generation. Solar energy is a popular renewable energy resource. Geothermal energy is viable near volcanic areas. Bioenergy and ethanol have grown in recent years primarily due to changes in public policy meant to encourage its usage. Energy policies stimulated the growth of ethanol, for example, with the unintended side effect of rise in food prices. Hydrogen has been pushed as a transportation fuel. The authors want to provide a comprehensive series of texts on the interlinking of the nature of energy resources, the systems that utilize them, the environmental effects, the socioeconomic impact, the political aspects and governing policies. Volume 1 on Fundamentals and Non Renewable Resources was published in 2009. It blends fundamental concepts with an understanding of the non-renewable resources that dominate today’s society. The authors are now working on Volume 3, on nuclear advanced energy resources and nuclear batteries, consists of fusion, space power systems, nuclear energy conversion, nuclear batteries and advanced power, fuel cells and energy storage. Volume 4 will cover environmental effects, remediation and policy. Solutions to providing long term, stable and economical energy is a complex problem, which links social, economical, technical and environmental issues. It is the goal of the four volume Energy Resources and Systems series to tell the whole story and provide the background required by students of energy to understand the complex nature of the problem and the importance of linking social, economical, technical and environmental issues.
Author: United Nations. Economic Commission for Europe
Publisher: United Nations Publications
Category: Business & Economics
This is one of five reports that review the performance of multilateral institutions in promoting and financing energy efficiency improvements in selected economies in transition. The countries concerned are: Belarus (ISBN 9211010853); Bulgaria (ISBN 9211010861); Kazakhstan (ISBN 9211010888); The Russian Federation (ISBN 9211010896); Ukraine (ISBN 9211010918). Each of the reports are in two parts: the first looks the framework conditions in each country and the second looks at the programmes of multilateral organisations and international financial institutions
With rapidly declining costs and seemingly unlimited sunshine, the choice of solar in Australia seems obvious. Yet despite its many advantages, homes with solar remain completely dependent on the electricity grid for reliable supply, which in Australia implies mostly coal-fired generation. Indeed, even countries that have invested heavily in solar, such as Spain and Germany, have been unable to deflect the trajectory of fossil fuel dependence. The reasons for this apparent paradox are varied, and this book provides a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the practical applications of photovoltaics (PV) in modern electricity systems. While the conventional life-cycle assessment (LCA) boundaries as prescribed by the IEA-PVPS provide a consistent methodology for comparing evolving PV technologies, the narrow boundaries exclude many critical downstream energy costs. Similarly, simple cost comparisons of PV versus conventional power sources overlook the significant economic and energy costs of intermittency and grid integration. Yet distributed storage, which could provide potentially valuable network support, is frequently given a low priority by advocates of solar. Treating PV as an extension of, rather than as a substitute for, the fossil fuel enterprise enables a more productive discussion of PV’s potential role in electricity generation. The sunburnt country of Australia, which has a modern electricity system, is an ideal case study for exploring the potential of solar PV. With a focus on rooftop solar, energy storage, grid integration, and electricity system issues, Energy in Australia offers valuable insights into the practical challenges of solar power. Although many national economies are already confronting a downward trend in energy return on investment (EROI) of oil and gas from both conventional and unconventional sources, the large-scale deployment of low-emission energy sources that lie below a critical minimum EROI threshold may ultimately prove counter-productive.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the war between Iran and Iraq underline the grim thesis of this book. Howard Bucknell argues that our dependence upon foreign oil poses an unequaled threat not only to our security as a nation but also to the fabric of our society. He issues a call for confronting this imminent crisis, for conservation and for the urgent development of new sources of energy.
As the world’s traditional sources of energy are gradually being depleted, global energy usage continues to increase. The impetus to find new sources of energy is rendered even more urgent when you consider that traditional sources of energy are costly and can cause widespread damage to the Earth and its climate. This volume examines our reliance on fossil fuels, the risks associated with our continued dependence on them, and surveys the costs and benefits of other sources of energy, including nuclear energy, biofuels, and solar, wind, and water power.
Examines the impact humans have on the environment when using energy and offers examples of sustainable living, including choosing to use clean energy, planting trees, using low-energy lights, and traveling on foot or by bicycle.