Re: [asa] World sets ocean temperature record

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net>
Date: Wed Aug 26 2009 - 20:36:29 EDT

Response from Ian posted on his behalf:

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Rich Blinne
  To: Randy Isaac
  Cc: asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 3:37 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] World sets ocean temperature record

  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 20:37:16 2009

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