What I tell people is, if you decide you want a nuclear power plant – you don’t just go buy it at the nuclear plant store.
We’ve learned a lot in the last year about the importance of supply chains.
ln the case of small modular nuclear reactors, there’s a whole lot that the casual viewer of the puffy Aljazeera piece above, might not understand about the hurdles that a new nuclear buildout has to get over – to be viable.

Examples below.


However, there is one major hurdle to the construction of most advanced reactors under development in the United States—the uranium type of fuel on which those reactors are designed to run is currently sold commercially by only one company in the world. And that company is a subsidiary of Russia’s ROSATOM, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation.

The federal government and U.S. companies developing advanced nuclear reactors—including Bill Gates’ TerraPower—recognize the urgent need to eliminate reliance on a Russian state corporation for nuclear fuel for America’s next-generation nuclear reactors.  

The association Uranium Producers of America noted during a Senate committee hearing after the Russian invasion of Ukraine that “almost none of the fuel needed to power America’s nuclear fleet today comes from domestic producers, while U.S. nuclear utilities purchase nearly half of the of the uranium they consume from state-owned entities (SEO) in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.”

“We estimate that there is more than $1 billion in annual U.S. dollar purchases of nuclear fuel flowing to ROSATOM,” said Scott Melbye, president of the association and Executive Vice President at Uranium Energy Corp.

ROSATOM is not under Western sanctions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine because of the Russian state firm’s importance in the supply chain of the global nuclear power industry. But the U.S. firms developing the next generation of more efficient, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly nuclear reactors don’t want to do business with Russia anymore.

Hence, the need for a commercially viable and stable domestic supply chain of the fuel for those advanced reactors—HALEU, or high assay low enriched uranium. 

“If America wants to lead the global deployment of these innovative new reactors, establishing an assured domestic source of HALEU is essential,” says U.S. nuclear fuel supplier Centrus Energy, the only company in the U.S. currently licensed to produce HALEU.

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Power density of batteries is growing at a pace similar to the way processing speed and computer memory have improved in the last 3 decades.

Spoiler Below:

The Peripheral is a series based on the book by William (Neuromancer) Gibson, set partly in a future version of London.

The big statues are, it turns out (spoiler) carbon capture devices. (according to the most recent episode. Things, of course, could change)

Ok, not that big a spoiler, it’s (so far) incidental to the plot, just another feature of dystopian London circa 2100.
If you’re done with “House of Dragons”, not a bad place to go.

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May this be a barbinger of the coming US election.

Not a victory yet.

Check your local Net Metering regulations. Know your geographical orientation – south facing roof? Unobstructed access to sun? Do your research to avoid fly by night installers, there are some scammers out there.

Rick Wilson absolutely nails it above.

The current rise in overt anti-semitism has been part of the blowback from the split from reality that has been a primary focus of the climate denial industry for decades.

Below, ABC News report from 2010 is prime example.

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The one safe bet on the price of natural gas is that it will be volatile, as it has always been historically. The gyrations of recent months show why it’s considered unwise to sign long term contracts for gas – one key advantage of renewable sources. (prices for wind and sun have been historically, well, nonexistent)

Wall Street Journal:

Natural-gas prices have fallen more than 40% since hitting shale-era highs in late August, reducing the risk of budget-busting heating billsthis winter for millions of Americans and potentially easing a major cost pressure for manufacturers.

The decline is due to warm autumn weather, record domestic production and gas-storage facilities that have filled up fast since the end of air-conditioning season. Now, one of the big drivers of inflation costs roughly the same as it did a year ago. 

Analysts warn that unusually cold weather could send prices soaring anew this winter, especially in the Northeast where maxed out pipelines have effectively capped output from Appalachia’s prolific producers.

Yet many are forecasting that prices will be lower on average in 2023 than they were this year. They expect rising supply from increasingly efficient North American drillers along with slower-growing demand from an economy throttled back by central bankers trying to slow inflation with higher borrowing costs

Natural-gas futures for December delivery ended Friday at $5.684 per million British thermal units, just 4.75% higher than a year ago. Early last week, futures slipped below $5 for the first time since March, when energy markets were jolted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Permian Basin producers in recent days swamped the Waha trading hub in West Texas, pushing prices into negative territory. In some cash trades, sellers paid buyers more than $1 per million British thermal units to take away gas that was fetching more than $8 at the start of September, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Analysts say futures prices are likely to rise a bit once furnaces fire up and a big liquefied-natural-gas export terminal in Texas resumes operations following a fire this summer. But they expect prices to decline next year.

Goldman Sachs analysts forecast that benchmark U.S. prices would average $5 per million British thermal units in 2023. BofA Securities anticipates $4.50. Through Friday, natural-gas futures this year have averaged about $6.60 per million British thermal units, straining not just household budgets but also the gas-consuming makers of materials ranging from steel and cement to plastic and fertilizer.

Investors are betting on cheaper gas, too. Hedge funds and other speculators in recent weeks have built up their biggest collective wager that prices will fall since the panic selloff during the Covid lockdown in early 2020, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

Rising natural-gas prices have been a safe bet since the early days of the pandemic. Some of the hottest weather on record stretched supplies at home and abroad, while the closure of coal-fired power plants left electricity producers without an alternative to natural gas. After Ukraine was invaded, European utilities and manufacturers bid up boatloads of shale gas to replace Russian exports.

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