Monthly Archives: March 2011

The problem with MOX

TVA has said it intends to use mixed oxide, or MOX, at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant reactors. MOX uses plutonium — from nuclear warheads in the U.S., from spent fuel rods in Japan. An enormously expensive plant in Savannah, Ga., is producing MOX, and only TVA has agreed to take it off the Energy Department’s hands.

The problems in Japan bring into focus the dangers presented by MOX, as reported by The Telegraph:

Nuclear expert John Large explains why Japan is preparing for a ‘worst case scenario’, as workers there battle with damaged power plants.

A hydrogen explosion could occur at Unit 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has warned. That would follow a blast that took place Saturday at the same power plant as operators attempted to prevent a nuclear meltdown of another unit by injecting seawater into it.

If there is an explosion in the second reactor in Fukushima and there are leaks, it could be more dangerous, Mr Large said because this reactor uses mixed oxide fuel, or mox fuel, which contains more plutonium.

“If you do an analysis of the same type of reactor, one fuelled with uranium, one fuelled with mox, what you find generally is that about twice as many people will require evacuation under a mox-fuelled reactor accident,” said Mr Large.

“About one and a half times as many people will die in the interim, and two to three more times will die in the longer term. So it has a very significant radiological impact in the aftermath of an accident.”

Mr Large led the risk assessment team for the raising of the damaged Russian nuclear submarine Kursk.

As I discussed in a column last year, TVA needs to think hard about its mission before embarking on the plan. The disaster unfolding in Japan should make it think even harder.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Energy, Nuclear energy

Watch out for that union guy…

A public union employee, a tea party activist and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Chart from The Atlantic

Chart Of The Day II

11 Mar 2011 12:25 pm

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Brooks and the DC money game

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, has been busy working in Washington, D.C. He also has been busy raising money. Below is a list of some of the fund-raising functions organized for Brooks since he took office.

Brooks is hardly unique, and he has campaign debt to re-pay. His tea party fervor for making independent decisions, however, seems to clash with holding his tin cup out for special-interest money. His attractiveness to lobbyists no doubt got a boost from his solid committee assignments, including his chairmanship of a sub-committee. Voters who thought they would benefit from these assignments need to settle for sharing the spoils with well-heeled lobbyists.

The list, which is available here:

Mar 29
Happy Hour@ Capitol Hill Club
Beneficiaries: Mo Brooks
Contribution: $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual
Make Checks to: The Gula Graham Group

Mar16
Breakfast@ Capitol Hill Club
Beneficiaries: Mo Brooks
Contribution: $2,000 PAC Co-Host; $1,000 Individual Co-Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual
Make Checks to: The Gula Graham Group

Mar 11
Lunch@ Charlie Palmer Steak
Beneficiaries: Mo Brooks
Contribution: $2,000 PAC Co-Host; $1,000 Individual Co-Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual
Make Checks to: The Gula Graham Group

Mar 1
Breakfast@ Capitol Hill Club
Beneficiaries: Mo Brooks
Contribution: $2,000 PAC Co-Host; $1,000 Individual Co-Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual
Make Checks to: The Gula Graham Group

Feb 17
Breakfast@ Capitol Hill Club
Beneficiaries: Mo Brooks
Contribution: $2,000 PAC Co-Host; $1,000 Individual Co-Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual
Make Checks to: The Gula Graham Group

Feb 11
Lunch@ Charlie Palmer Steak
Beneficiaries: Mo Brooks
Contribution: $2,000 PAC Co-Host; $1,000 Individual Co-Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual
Make Checks to: The Gula Graham Group

Feb 10
Lunch@ Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) Townhouse
Beneficiaries: Mo Brooks
Contribution: $2,000 PAC Co-Host; $1,000 Individual Co-Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual
Make Checks to: The Gula Graham Group

Feb 8
Happy Hour@ Capitol Hill Club
Beneficiaries: Mo Brooks
Contribution: $2,000 PAC Co-Host; $1,000 Individual Co-Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual
Make Checks to: The Gula Graham Group

Jan 25
Lunch@ Capitol Hill Club
Beneficiaries: Mo Brooks
Contribution: $2,000 PAC Co-Host; $1,000 Individual Co-Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual
Make Checks to: The Gula Graham Group

1 Comment

Filed under Conservatism, Ethics