Thursday, June 14, 2012

16. It Has Been Too Long

Apologies to anyone who may have ventured here to Entreprenuclear within the past few weeks, only to be disappointed that there have been no new posts. I have just gotten decently settled in for a new job assignment a considerable distance away from what I know as home. Now that I am settled nicely, posts should resume a decent frequency.

I am going to write this post quickly since I am about to drive somewhere, so I apologize that there probably won't be any pretty (nor random) pictures.

What I am up to lately:
Work-wise, I am getting up to speed on my new assignment and should soon be making some nice contributions to increasing the nuclear generating capacity within the U.S. (this should be considered a good thing for all U.S. energy consumers, regardless of their geographic location).

"Leisure-wise", with my new assignment and location (not knowing people and thus having a mostly empty social calendar for now), I have more time to be reading 2 books in parallel (which I think might be a rather appropriate way to read them). If you on the links, you'll arrive at the Amazon site's listing for each

(which tells the story of how the idea of utilizing thorium in a Molten Salt Reactor has been resurrected from near-total obscurity, to now being widely discussed globally, a random review)
(which as the subtitle states, tells the story of the Integral Fast Reactor; Brave New Climate Post about it)

I apologize. Apparently I lied about the lack of pictures, it is funny how a blog just starts to flow once you actually sit down to write it.

(Digression about e-books vs. physical books)
I got the Kindle version of Super Fuel, and it looks like it will be the first book I will actually finish reading on an electronic reading device. I might have done the same for Plentiful Energy, but no electronic version was available, and yes, that might be a reflection on the relative electronic/Internet credentials of the group of advocates/story-tellers for each reactor type. The fact that recent knowledge of thorium in a molten salt reactor (an MSR, not to be confused with a Moisture Separator Reheater) is primarily a result of Kirk Sorensen's and Charles Barton's blogging efforts makes it seem appropriate that of the 2 books, the thorium one would be the one with a Kindle version. I have found myself many times wanting to make notes in the margins while reading "Plentiful Energy" (yes, my "Abundant Energy, Yes Please" logo, if it is worthy of being called a logo, was inspired by this title) and I don't feel that carrying my iPad down to the beach would be too safe, so there is something to be said for an actual physical, paper pages-containing book. At some point, I may go back through and make some physical notes and blog about them here.  (/END digression).

I am still pretty early on in Super Fuel, but I have already gotten to parts about people that I feel like I know, like Kirk Sorensen, Charles Barton, and Dr. Robert Hargraves who have greatly contributed to the spread of knowledge about the possibilities of utilizing thorium in a molten salt reactor. That has been pretty neat. I am a bit further along in reading Plentiful Energy. This book does a great job of explaining the positive attributes of the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR), however, it has a massive blind spot in never mentioning thorium at all. That was likely intentional, and it might be better, as it doesn't actively encourage any types of fratricide amongst pro-nuclear/abundant energy proponents. I have at times tried to quell a few of those (rather cordial) disagreements, utilizing my middle child instincts (or actually, those are probably more developed skills than instincts).

As I said above, once a blog starts flowing it starts flowing, so I am actually going to stop typing now and I will save my post about a legitimately practical method of harnessing fusion energy and of my displeasure at the roughly 10-to-1 discrepancy for U.S. government spending on dismantling/destroying nuclear capabilities compared to improving, enhancing, and expanding nuclear capabilities for another day.

Happy Flag Day, everyone in the U.S.