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PostPosted: Mar 16, 2017 8:30 am 
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Trump would increase Energy Department funds to manage nuclear stockpile

DOE emerged with far fewer cuts than I would have thought.


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PostPosted: Mar 16, 2017 1:30 pm 
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DOE needs to be cut because much of what it's doing doesn't really have much to do with energy.

NNSA should not be a part of DOE - it should be moved to defense

The reasons for doing so include
1) it puts the responsibility where it belongs
2) the military has almost infinitely deep pockets
3) it would cut out at least one layer of DOE's incompetent bureaucracy
4) its top leadership is genuinely patriotic, within a system constrained by real things and an unambiguous chain of command, and genuinely concerned about technical issues apt to impact national security (not entirely politically driven)
see
http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/MAB_2014.pdf
https://www.cna.org/centers/ipr/ewc/
https://www.cna.org/cna_files/pdf/natio ... change.pdf
https://www.cna.org/mab/reports

This means that it/they are both more apt to and more capable of seeing to it that this country gets serious about developing/implementing a sustainable nuclear renaissance.

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PostPosted: Mar 16, 2017 5:34 pm 
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darryl siemer wrote:
NNSA should not be a part of DOE - it should be moved to defense


I agree completely. Moving NNSA to the Defense Department would at long last correct the error made in 1946 when the Atomic Energy Commission was created as an ostensibly civilian agency but was immediately given an almost exclusively military mission.


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PostPosted: Mar 18, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Trump’s Budget Takes a Cleaver to Cronyism and Waste at the Energy Department

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The Heritage Foundation has long made the case for Congress and the administration to make such cuts. While narrow special interests are crying “bloody murder,” this draft budget reflects broader realities that must be addressed.

The Department of Energy dabbles in far more activity than it should. This distracts from legitimate government responsibilities and often puts the government in direct competition with the private sector.

When the Department of Energy intervenes in energy markets through loan programs, research, development, and commercialization, it squashes entrepreneurs that do not receive government support. Both public and private investment dollars are drawn to favored projects that the Department of Energy anoints as political winners, and other potentially promising technologies lose out.

We constantly hear that the momentum green energy revolution is irreversible—that lower costs and market forces are going to drive more investment in renewable technologies. Here’s an opportunity to prove it.


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PostPosted: Mar 20, 2017 5:25 pm 
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Perry needs to focus the energies of his new department

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So, what should Mr. Perry do now that he finds himself at the helm of a sprawling, widely diversified, $29 billion enterprise? Do a few things and do them well, set priorities and reduce or eliminate distractions. The department should reset its focus and concentrate on three critical objectives: maintaining the nuclear weapons complex, efficiently addressing environmental cleanup, and ceasing its wasteful and disruptive intervention in energy markets.


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PostPosted: Mar 23, 2017 2:59 am 
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The elections bring up new uncertainties. The most populated state of India (Uttar Pradesh, over 200 million people) has got an enthusiastic new administration. The business as usual people are in a panic.


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PostPosted: Apr 04, 2017 9:02 am 
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Trump picks Bush veteran to be Rick Perry's deputy

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President Trump will nominate Dan Brouillette, a former Energy Department official under former President George W. Bush, to be the department’s deputy secretary. The White House announced Trump’s intent to nominate Brouillette to the post late Monday. The department oversees a network of national laboratories conducting a wide variety of research and development. It also maintains the nation’s nuclear arsenal and nuclear reactors for the Navy. If confirmed by the Senate, Brouillette would become the second Senate-confirmed senior official at Energy, following Rick Perry, who started as secretary last month. Brouillette would bring years of energy policy experience to the department, the kind of credentials that Perry, Texas’s former governor, lacks. Brouillette served at the Energy Department from 2001 to 2003, where he was assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental affairs. He was also a member of Louisiana’s State Mineral and Energy Board from 2013 to 2016. After his work in the Bush administration, he went on to work at the House Energy and Commerce Committee as its chief of staff under then-Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), who was the panel’s chairman at the time. Brouillette then worked as a vice president at Ford Motor Co., leading its policy and government affairs activities, from 2004 to 2006. He is now an executive at USAA, a banking and financial services firm.


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PostPosted: Apr 05, 2017 5:03 pm 
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Rick Perry added to National Security Council’s core decision-makers


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PostPosted: Apr 05, 2017 6:46 pm 
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Is it that the Energy Secretary, who happens to be Rick Perry, was added to the NSC, or is it that Rick Perry, who happens to be the Energy Secretary, that was added to the NSC? I believe it's that Trump wanted Perry on the NSC, not necessarily the Energy Secretary.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: Jun 13, 2017 8:27 pm 
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Energy Secretary Perry Pulls a U-Turn on Climate

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At a White House Cabinet meeting, Perry told President Trump that he defended the United States' withdrawal from the global accord while meeting with energy ministers last week in China and Japan. “They needed to hear why America was stepping away from the Paris accord, and they did,” Perry said. “And how America is not stepping back, but we're stepping into place and sending some messages.” Before Trump's decision to quit the accord earlier this month, Perry said it would be better to stay in. “I'm not going to tell the president of the United States to walk away from the Paris accord,” Perry said at Bloomberg New Energy Finance's Future of Energy Summit in New York City in April. “I think we probably need to renegotiate it.” Perry's acquiescence to Trump is part of a trend. Since his confirmation hearing in January, Perry pledged support for many initiatives at DOE, but has also lauded White House budget proposals that slash these programs (Climatewire, May 31).


We saw the same thing under Obama. Both Chu and Moniz had public positions that they rapidly walked away from quickly after they became Energy Secretaries, most notably on Yucca Mountain.


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PostPosted: Jun 15, 2017 8:00 am 
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Isn't Dr. Holcomb getting resources for MSR development at ORNL? Isn't the NRC supposed to be getting MSR licensing specs? Isn't the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear getting funded? Aren't there initiatives to get MSRs going that are happening both publicly and privately at home and abroad?

Kirk: You allowed me into your forum. I learn from you and the contributors here. Like Dr. Siemer. Now that Perry is DOE head, the better he understands the options, I would hope the more likely he'll appreciate performance criteria in an objective way? But I guess my optimism is annoying. I hate to rain on the parade of negative fools—sorry.

If the LFTR is so great, then how is that accomplished? Ed Pheil who posts to my facebook page says he's the CTO of Elysium that is building a MCSFR evidently in competition with TerraPower. Secretary of Energy can help Congress adjust the laws of the land to allow for >20% fissile and new exposure limits model that removes an evidently erroneous assumption fixed into the LNT rule that got built into the laws (mainly gamma?)—I would think.

If it's just a couple of rules that need to be upgraded and made functional to unleash an insanely powerful, plentiful, and clean energy resource available to our national and international economies, then it's up to those who know to go to the lawmakers and the Secretary of Energy and educate them.

I am watching the Allam Cycle test at the ExTex site and North Dakota that will add it to the lignite syngas and use the CO2 for more shale oil fracking in the Bakken—control of that component of the carbon cycle that would benefit from MSR heat.

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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2017 4:41 pm 
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Energy Sec Rick Perry warns Fukushima could happen here if US doesn't deal with its nuclear waste

Perry cites ‘moral obligation’ to build Yucca nuclear waste site


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PostPosted: Jun 21, 2017 8:45 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
So using "pyro-processing" say at Hanford in the West and SRS in the East as sites for spent LWR fuel burning in dissolved fuel molten salt reactor (DFMSR) complexes is not being discussed.

I thought the scientists and engineers working on dissolved fuel (DF) MSRs can envision such machines actually consuming the SNF extracted from the fuel assemblies and chemically converted to salts for introduction into core salt loops that promise high burn-up of the spent solid fuel? The fission product gases and solids are in some cases isolated as safe commodities and the rest vitrified for geologic deposition—much shorter lived waste (300-yr v 100,000-yr)?

But big processing facilities like the SRS MOX plant—that has been suspended?—will be needed and secured with co-located DFMSRs? Why not two big facilities: Hanford and SRS with 50-100 GW power station complexes at each site? They could be used for breeding U-233 for Flibe Energy LFTRs. And if 99.995% lithium-7 is in that picture, new lithium processes have to be invented and deployed.

I'm not qualified for such leadership positions as Representative, Senator, or President, or Secretary of Energy, or the like. But people talk about the sacred nature of loftiness. What is leadership, or courage, or any of those kinds of things?

So, I follow you, Kirk and all the other great scientists and engineers, and your forum here. Seems this is one of the rare places where real sense in energy technology policies is being discussed and made—and problem solutions. Especially the latter because it seems to me that what most of the "leaders" and media do is outline problems. It's tiring. I like solutions. I used to be into chemistry and try to be a chemist messing around with solutions—like molten salt solutions—pretty neat.

My naive scenario in this post is also a basis for a Thorium Energy Act (TEA) of the U.S. Congress to establish the nuclear weapons source material as a national economic fuel. The "leaders" talk about ramping up economic growth. Spent nuclear fuel and thorium energy is several millions times more energy dense than all our Nation's fossil carbon reserves combined!

And there's a million really tough tech problems that'll need large numbers of dedicated high-tech high-grade careers for young grads. I don't get it. I heard of a TEA party but not the Thorium Energy Act of the United States of America. That would beat the Apollo program by orders of magnitude and be worth a return on investment measured in thousands of trillions of USDs in potential energy stored in the nuclei of thorium ores in a couple of great locations in the CONUS.

So, I don't know. But I could not resist writing something to your post where you offer nothing but the sound of people unable to see your hand—and like the person who was not merely imagined a fool but has gone on record and removed all doubt.

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"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


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PostPosted: Jun 23, 2017 7:22 pm 
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Secretary Perry backs off on budget defense, touts small nukes in hearings

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He both opened his testimony with praise for small modular reactors, and closed with it, pointing to their flexibility and baseload properties. "Given the ongoing promise of SMR technology," Perry noted in prepared testimony, the Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal includes $20 million for early-state research and development. "I have a great belief in small modular reactors," Perry said, noting work being done in the private sector and their potential to serve far-flung communities. That allowed Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, to find common cause with Perry, cheering the work being done to serve rural communities. "We are pioneering microgrids in Alaska that the rest of the world is paying attention to," said the ranking member.


The praise for small modular reactors is perplexing. There are very few (arguably one) vendors, there appears to be little demand for them by utilities, and they likely cost more per kilowatt than large reactors. The only real reason I see for any enthusiasm for them by the Secretary is that there doesn't seem to be much else left in the DOE Nuclear Energy portfolio.

And next year's DOE-NE budget cuts out the licensing support for SMRs. So go figure.


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PostPosted: Jun 24, 2017 2:32 am 
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So using "pyro-processing" say at Hanford in the West and SRS in the East as sites for spent LWR fuel burning in dissolved fuel molten salt reactor (DFMSR) complexes is not being discussed.

I thought the scientists and engineers working on dissolved fuel (DF) MSRs can envision such machines actually consuming the SNF extracted from the fuel assemblies and chemically converted to salts for introduction into core salt loops that promise high burn-up of the spent solid fuel? The fission product gases and solids are in some cases isolated as safe commodities and the rest vitrified for geologic deposition—much shorter lived waste (300-yr v 100,000-yr)?

The idea of a 'Dissolved Fuel Reactor' really excites me. I guess it is close to an Aqueous homogeneous reactor.
Reprocessing in case of an MSR is best a use of fractional distillation of chlorides or fluorides. Has anyone experimented with fractional crystallisation?
A much higher degree of separation is required in case of weapons. It may be uneconomic to use the same processes in case of reactor fuel. Full use of fertile fuel in a fast or thermal thorium reactor can only be in conjunction with reprocessing. Cost effective processing is more useful than infructuous fissile material controls.
Will someone work on it?


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