Re: [asa] World sets ocean temperature record

From: Rich Blinne <rich.blinne@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Aug 26 2009 - 15:37:39 EDT

On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 12:14 PM, Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net>wrote:

> It's interesting to talk to ASA Fellow Ian Hutchinson about this. He
> heads the nuclear engineering department at MIT. There's a big problem with
> the long dearth and demise of nuclear engineering programs in the US. I
> think he said only about two viable departments existed a few years ago, all
> the others having shut down. Re-establishing those departments and training
> a suitable source of expertise for designing and operating nuclear reactors
> at the level required will take a while. Maybe up to 10 years. Ian is
> confident that even today's technology can make both operation and disposal
> safe and future technologies will improve that ability. But it's not
> something that can change on a dime. Fortunately he says they are flooded
> with interest now.
>
> So I wouldn't say no one seems to be talking about nuclear. Some folks are
> at least doing something about it. Whether it's enough or not, I don't know.
>
> Randy
>

I have a question that I would like to throw Ian's way. One of the research
programs that's mentioned in the House climate bill is greater thermal
recovery at existing nuclear and fossil fuel plants. How feasible is this
and how much difference does it make? To my non-expert eyes it looks like a
great opportunity. There's 800 GW of generating capacity in the US and itís
operating at an average of 28% efficiency. EPA and DoE studies suggest
technologies like cogeneration and waste heat recovery could produce 40% of
the nationís electricity.

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

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Received on Wed Aug 26 15:38:38 2009

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