Friday, April 13, 2012

1. Entreprenuclear? What’s that?

Entrepreneur + Nuclear

“What does that mean?”, you might ask. If you have a few minutes to read, I would be happy to tell you.

Entreprenuclear is more than simply a convenient amalgamation of two words that both possess a “new”sound. Entreprenuclear is starting off as simply a pro-nuclear,and hopefully insightful and informative, blog. I intend to use Entreprenuclear's corner of the Internet to educate and encourage people in regards to the peaceful use of Atomic (aka Nuclear) Energy,championing value-creating Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Nuclear energy, even it its present state, is downright incredible. To think that several truckloads of fuel delivered to a single unit can provide the electrical power needs for hundreds of thousands of (nearly a million) people for 18-24 straight months at a time is amazing if you actually think about it. Oh, and thinking will be encouraged here at Entreprenuclear.

As incredible as the existing,operating, commercial nuclear power plants are, Peaceful Atomic Energy has not yet come close to reaching its full potential. Present commercial nuclear power plants use LESS THAN 5%of their potential fissile energy (sparing any details of this calculation, for now). Even considering this lack of maturity, fully fabricated nuclear fuel costs approximately one third on a per unit of energy basis ($0.65-0.92/MBtu) of even natural gas which is presently at a 10-12 year low price in North America(dipping below $2.00/MBtu,at the Henry Hub) .

Looking at only those facts, nuclear energy would seem to be ripe for value creating innovation and entrepreneurship,right?

Well many people would likely say no and that nuclear power plants are inherently expensive or that regulations prevent much of any innovation or opportunities for entrepreneurship.

While I would likely agree with those people that building nuclear power plants is far from an easy task and that it does NOT provide short term pay-backs, the long-term benefits of being patient and properly completing a high quality nuclear power plant (NPP) are almost amazing in terms of energy supply security and electricity rate stability. The alleged inherently expensive nature of NPPs and the present structure of nuclear regulation actually probably present the two areas of greatest entrepreneurial need in regards to the use of Peaceful Atomic Energy.

Further education will be necessary on many fronts for a large portion of the advances that Peaceful Atomic Energy is poised to make. I may simply be a nerd (mechanical engineer by schooling), but I think that in some ways, “nuclear people” historically have done themselves a disservice by being far too willing to allow non-”nuclear people” to believe that understanding nuclear fission is beyond their intellectual capabilities. I say that on a basic level, that is patently FALSE. Yes, there are many details that I am also clueless about and that are best learned by earning a difficult BS, MS, or PhD degree, but EVERYONE should strive to have some understanding of the basics of nuclear power production. I plan to make efforts to provide some simplistic explanations here at Entreprenuclear.

Entreprenuclear is here to encourage both present and FUTURE “nuclear people”. Entreprenuclear will try to highlight upcoming advances in nuclear power technologies (attempting to stay relatively agnostic in regards to any particular technology, since advancement is advancement), highlight entrepreneurial news regarding new nuclear ventures, and also promote INTRApreneurship within existing established nuclear energy organizations.  Submissions of examples of EntrepreNuclear or IntrapreNuclear activities will be welcomed here at Entreprenuclear and in some cases could result in a blog entry highlighting the activity (with permission, of course).

The future is what nuclear energy is really about, a future that I am hopeful isn't laced with mandated decreases of utilizing energy, whether mandated by governments or nature via depleted fossil fuel resources.  Decreasing usage of energy would equal decreased economic activity and decreased standards of living, for the whole world, in addition to likely fights for scarce remaining fossil fuel resources. I am hopeful that peaceful atomic energy will be allowed to advance and flourish in the future world that will be inhabited by any children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that I may someday bring into the world. I previously shared some of these Atomic Dreams this past Martin Luther King Day on Atomic Insights.

Peaceful Atomic Energy is basically still in its first product cycle past prototyping. There are miles of improvements that can be made for the future (not to say that the nuclear plants that are already operating aren't quite incredible), both in regards to new designs and in how currently operating plants are managed, supported, and operated.

The second posting here will list some of the on-going entrepreneurial activities and opportunities within the realm of Peaceful Atomic Energy. 

Constructive, non-spam comments and questions will always be welcome here at Entreprenuclear. I am more than willing to admit that I myself still have much to learn.


  1. I'm glad to see another fresh open-minded blog! Good luck and fair sailing!

    One of the topics I'd like see explored is (however fanciful or seemingly impractical!) the concept of actually refitting or retrofitting current nuclear plants into Thorium hybrids as a kind of "bridge" toward dedicated Thorium plants and a way to perhaps avoid the waste and expenses of decommissioning plants and abandoning prized real estate already surrounded by nuke-friendly communities.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  2. James, I have seen you comment many, many times over at Atomic Insights. I think that utilizing existing infrastructure and retro-fitting with nuclear heat sources holds a pretty good amount of promise. I plan to cover that topic at some point in the future.