Tennesee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Unit 2 Timeline

Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear plant went critical on May 23rd of this year and synched to the grid for the first time earlier this month.  This is the first commercial nuclear plant to come online in the US in quite some time.  The last newly built reactor to enter service was TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 1, in 1996.  This article illustrates the Unit 2 timeline; hi-lighting the major steps and has some pretty cool pictures.  Check it out and feel free to leave a...

Diversity and Energy Supply

These days it seems that it’s all about diversity.  We hear it every day.  Companies need to diversify; diversify their products; diversify their work force; diversify their talent.  Organizations seek to diversify themselves to capture a broad range of experience. But, what is diversity?  According to Merriam-Webster, ‘diversity’ is the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc. or the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization.  I see this as simply, ‘variety’. So, as a business or organization, why do we seek out diversity?  If we were all high-speed, low-drag, top notched engineers (like me!), wouldn’t our organization be better if we had 100 more just like that?  More is better, right? In my experience, the answer to those questions is a resounding ‘no’.  We realize that different life experiences bring different perspectives to problem solving, which are highly valued by companies of all kinds.  A diverse company is positioned better to driving innovation with increased creativity which enables capture of more of the market slice.  Diversifying your financial portfolio provides some protection from industry sector crashes.  Diversifying your supply chain provides your company or organization a greater level of security of supply. So why not ‘diversity of energy supply’?  Makes sense, right?  ‘All-of-the-above’ energy policy, to include, wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, coal, natural gas, geothermal, etc. The act of limiting energy sources is a step back from diversification of energy supply in California.  Energy diversity acts as a balance for the risks and costs associated with production and is the bedrock for security...

Advancing Small Mobile and Modular Nuclear Reactors for External Power Distribution

This is a very interesting article which shows the diversity of China’s nuclear movement.  Small mobile reactors are common with regard to nuclear powered ships and submarines.  However, the Chinese are on several nuclear roadways and this one is unique in that they’re developing a mobile modular nuclear plant that is meant for external power distribution.  Additionally, they are exploring several reactor types besides the light water reactor, such as: fast reactors, molten salt and thorium....