Saturday, October 31, 2009

Student Loans for Nuclear Plants


Fast Fission Podcast #11 – MP3 File

A bi-partisan group of US Senators is pushing for an increase in the nuclear federal loan guarantee program. They argue the USA can not meet air pollution goals without a sizable nuclear expansion, and the loan guarantee program is essential to getting new construction underway. As it stands now the Federal government has approved $18.5 Billion in loan guarantees, but the industry is pushing for $50-100 billion.

Anti-nuclear groups are mounting a full assault, much as they did earlier this year when a small group in the House tried to get a similar provision added to the Waxman-Markey bill. In that case the anti's succeeded and the pro-nuclear provision was struck from the bill.

Anti-nuclear groups like Greenpeace call the proposal a "massive subsidy," but that stretches the truth. Loan guarantees are not subsidies, they are a guarantee by the government to repay investors for a portion of the cost if the borrower defaults. Their purpose is to reduce the risk of the loans so lenders can offer lower interest rates. The borrowers bear the full cost of the program plus administrative fees.

There's a parallel that many of us are familiar with: the federal college student loan program. The government guarantees student loans so that college students with limited resources can borrower money with favorable terms and at low interest rates. The program allows them to invest in an education they might otherwise be unable to afford. Even though the government backs student loan, the borrower is still required to repay the loan. If the borrower suffers some kind of financial catastrophe and is unable to repay, then the government pays off the loan and works with the borrower to recoup their losses. The program helps people invest in their future and the cost to the government is very, very low because the default rate is almost zero.

Think of the loan guarantees as student loans for nuclear plants. The government stands behind the loans, allowing the borrowers to get favorable terms for large investments they otherwise could not afford. The borrowers pay for the program, and they pay back the loans. Just like the student loan program, the nuclear loan guarantees are a wise investment in our future!

Radiation Health Risks from Nuclear Plants


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Sometimes bad things happen to good people for no apparent reason. This is particularly true when it come to illness. Sometimes people get sick and sometimes people die without ever knowing why or how they became ill. This can be difficult to accept because we believe we deserve answers and we want to find the cause of our suffering. We want to have someone or some thing to blame for our illness - that's human nature.

Over the years anti-nuclear activists have taken advantage of this aspect of human nature to spread fear about nuclear energy. I was listening to a radio show the other day and a gentleman called in to the show who was apparently the victim of this kind of misinformation.460>_2287641

[you’ll have to listen to the clip to hear what he said]

This gentleman firmly believes that radiation from a nuclear plant caused his father's death, and somehow influenced the health of his entire school class. He also claimed there are thousands of other people similarly affected. We all have friends and family members who have developed illnesses for no apparent reason, so it is easy to empathize with this gentleman.

I really do feel for him and his family, but the facts tell the opposite story: working in a nuclear plant is safer than just about any other profession, safer even than working in a retail store. Today, there are over 60,000 people working for nuclear utilities around the USA, and many thousands more at national laboratories and in related industries, plus hundreds of thousands who have worked there in the past. To suggest there is some grand conspiracy to cover up an epidemic of health effects is not only unrealistic, it is pure fantasy. There is no evidence to suggest that occupational radiation exposure at commercial nuclear plants has caused any ill health affects to workers or to the public.

In fact, many progressive scientists are beginning to consider the possibility that that low levels of radiation may have beneficial health effects because radiation may stimulate cellular repair mechanisms that protect against disease. This is called the “hormesis theory”. Here are some links to information about the hormesis theory. By the way, the hormesis theory does not only apply to radiation, it is a widely acknowledged affect that is the basis for homeopathic medicine.

Radiation Hormesis

Introduction to Radiation Hormesis

US Taxpayers Funding Wind & Solar Overseas


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It's 9:00 at night and I'm on an Amtrak train heading north out of Washington DC where I attended an awe inspiring inaugural Thorium Energy Alliance Conference. What a great event! I learned a lot about thorium as an energy source and about the various kinds of reactors that might take advantage of thorium's unique properties: its amazing energy density, proliferation resistance, safety, and suitability for low cost reactors that could be assembly line produced and deployed around the world. So I'm sitting on the train scanning the news coming across Twitter when a story from the NY Times almost made me scream out loud! I am NOT KIDDING! If I was at home not in a train car full of sleeping passengers I'd be screaming at my Blackberry in frustration!

Here's the deal: the United Nations recently formed a new agency called the International Renewable Energy Agency whose goal is to encourage deployment of renewable energy around the world, and foster sharing of technology between developed and undeveloped nations. Essentially, it is an international trade association promoting mostly wind and solar energy. So you might say, “No big deal, let them do their thing!” right?


Why am I so passionate about nuclear energy?

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Today is Blog Action Day 2009 and this year's topic is Climate Change.

Is man made climate change real or not? Heck, I don't know. What I DO know is this: whether or not human activity is causing global warming or not, there are certain things that it just makes sense for us to be doing.

We need to wean ourselves off of imported fossil fuels as our primary energy source. Oil and gas won't last forever and prices are sure to rise as supplies dwindle and demand grows. Imported fossil fuels come from places in the world that have amassed huge amounts of wealth at our expense. A lot of that money is funding people who want to kill us and destroy the freedoms that millions of people have died to earn and to protect.

Nuclear Blogger Meeting

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Who says blogging and podcasting has to be all work and no play? Come and join your favorite nuclear bloggers, reporters, writers and podcasters at an "underground meet up" on Tuesday, November 17 , 2009 at 6:00 PM at the Omni Hotel. Participants will include more than a dozen of today's most influential pro-nuclear voices on the Internet and in print.

My sources tell me the following people have indicated they plan to attend:

Media Bias, Anyone?

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I have a Google alert set up to notify me when nuclear related news stories hit the wire services and I’ve noticed something interesting: every spring and fall there’s a flood of media coverage when nuclear plants begin shutting down for refueling outages. In fact just today I received 14 messages letting me know that a hand full of nuclear McGuireunits shut down to refuel. Power plants like to schedule maintenance when electricity demand and replacement power prices are at their lowest, and that means in the fall and spring.

The spring / fall outage practice is not unique to nuclear plants; other kinds of power plants do it too. Interestingly enough, though, we rarely hear about coal, hydro, gas or wind power plant outages. The media does not seem to report when large coal or hydro plants shut down. If the news were being fairly reported, statistically, we would be hearing about even more power plant shutdowns.

Take coal for example; according to Wikipedia there are 1493 coal power plants in operation in the United States (compared to 104 nuclear plants). Taking into account typical nuclear refueling outages and the lower reliability of coal plants each spring and fall there are 25 to 30 nuclear plant outages and more than 400 coal plant outages. We should be getting blasted with news reports of coal plants shutting down! Instead, while there are more than ten times as many opportunities to report coal plant outages, we virtually never get those reports. I looked today and I could not find a single news story in the last week of any coal or hydro plant in the United States shutting down for any reason!

This is a subtle example of media bias against nuclear energy. ANYTHING that happens in a nuclear plant is news, yet we almost never hear of events, routine or otherwise, that take place at other kinds of power plants. I suppose the reporters and editors would argue they’re only reporting what the public wants to hear. Perhaps it’s the other way around – maybe they are selecting which events to report as a way of pushing an agenda. I’ll let you decide which is true but I think the data speaks for itself.

By the way, the photo on the right above is of the Gardiner Reid Power Plant in Nevada. According to the Environmental News Service, this plant produces the greatest amount of greenhouse gas of any power plant in the United States. The photo on the left is Wolf Creek Nuclear plant, an 1140 MW nuclear plant that produces zero greenhouse gasses while supplying enough energy for about 800,000 customers. Wolf Creek began a refueling outage today.

Will the USA Follow Europe and Become Dependent on Russian Gas?

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News stories are not always as benign as they appear.

On October 9, 2009 ran a story about Gazprom, Russia's state owned natural gas company. It would seem they've set up shop in Houston, TX and have begun a very aggressive program to enter the US natural gas market. They are targeting 5% of the market within 5 years, and 10% within 10 years.

Their strategy? Import LNG into the US and sell it at a price low enough to undercut domestic suppliers. Since the US uses about 60 billion cubic feet of gas per day, that would mean importing 6 billion cu feet per day from Russia. That amount of gas would mean $64 Million flowing out of the US into Russia every day, along with a loss of American jobs and energy security.

Russia already has undue political influence in Europe where they control a large percentage of the natural gas supply. There's little the USA can do to prevent the Russians from carryout out their plan; LNG is a commodity bought and sold on the international market. The only sure way to prevent importing energy is to have a supply of lower cost home-grown energy. The only large scale domestic energy sources with low enough costs to compete with gas are coal and nuclear.

Nuclear-Powered Electric Vehicles

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Will hybrid electric vehicles spell the end of the oil age? At least one major international bank thinks so. This week Deutsche Bank released a report that predicts a oil prices will spike causing US consumers to flock to high-mileage hybrid vehicles. This in turn will cause petroleum demand to dive and never recover. In the end, electric and hybrid electric vehicles will take over the roads.

When this happens, with one-fifth of the electric grid powered from clean nuclear energy, we'll be shifting our transportation energy source from imported oil to home grown nuclear energy.

A Lot to Like in Kerry-Boxer

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The senate has released their version of the climate bill and there’s a lot to like in it. The bill was drafted by Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Barbara Boxer of California. Unlike the House climate bill, the Senate version makes it clear that meeting CO2 reduction targets is impossible without nuclear energy. The bill contains at least a starting point for discussing how to responsibly promote the expansion of nuclear energy.

This is good news! We finally have the new Congress going on the record in favor of nuclear energy, and influential Democrats doing so who in the past would never have been so vocally supportive. There will be plenty of debate, and the nuclear “Title” might not survive to the final climate bill, but this is a big step in the right direction!

Nuclear's Brand Recognition


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I’m happy to see the nuclear industry getting it’s name out there in the public eye. It’s about time!

The latest venture is sponsorship of the Washington Capitols Hockey Team in an advertisement promoting the “Clean Air benefits” at Verizon Center in Washing DC. Hey, if T. Boone Pickens can do it, so can we! According to the Associated Press, the ad has some anti-nuclear groups fuming! In my book that’s a good thing! Greenpeace hates it when we tell the truth in a way that the public can relate!


This follows on the heels of NEI and Entergy’s sponsorship of a Newman Wachs Atlantic Championship race car.

Keep it up! Before you know it Nuclear Energy will be a household name!

What Nuclear Waste Problem?

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I have a family member that I love dearly and have an infinite amount of respect for. She is a fantastic mother, a caring person, respected in her chosen profession, and a good friend. She would do anything she could to help someone in need. When we first met she was strongly opposed to nuclear energy. Over the years we have discussed it from time to time and I’ve had some influence on her perspective. She's not totally won over yet, but we’re making progress. Not too long ago she asked me, “But what about the waste? That really worries me!” She really didn’t believe me when I said “There’s no such thing as a nuclear waste problem. That’s nothing but a myth.”

Let me explain.

Used nuclear fuel is very safely stored in earthquake proof storage pools and dry storage casks at nuclear plants around the USA. It can stay there until we’re ready to recycle it, and we WILL recycle it eventually because it would be a waste not to do so. When we remove used fuel from a reactor more than 90% of the potential energy is still in the fuel. It would be wasteful to even consider putting it in a hole a mile underground! Also, when we do recycle it, the left over material is much smaller and is much easier to handle, but we’ll talk about that in a few minutes.

First we need to look at the components of used power reactor fuel, and recognize that with recycling each of the components can be separated from one another. A typical batch of used nuclear reactor fuel is made up of the following materials (not counting the structural materials):
  • Uranium: 93%
  • Plutonium: 1.5%
  • Minor Actinides: 0.2%
  • Fission Products: 5.3%

When the fuel is new the concentration of the isotope U-235 is about 4% and U-238 is the rest. After the fuel is burned in a reactor the uranium is mostly U-238 (very close to the isotopic mix of natural uranium) because most of the U-235 gets burned out by absorbing neutrons and fissioning. There is also a small but important amount of plutonium that is formed when uranium atoms capture neutrons but do not fission. This is called “breeding” and in fact at the end of life of a reactor fuel load more than 20% of the heat generated is from the fission of plutonium atoms formed by breeding. All of this plutonium and uranium can be mixed back together to make new nuclear fuel. This is what is commonly referred to as mixed oxide fuel, or MOX fuel. MOX fuel is currently used in commercial reactors in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium.

Risk of Diverting Used Power Reactor Fuel for Weapons

This is a good time to discuss a common misperception about reprocessing and the risk that a rogue nation would use commercial nuclear fuel reprocessing as a source for weapons grade plutonium. It turns out this really is not an issue. The plutonium from used fuel is a mixture of five isotopes, Pu-238 through Pu-242.

Let’s take a look at how each plutonium isotope would affect a nuclear weapon:

Pu-238, 240, and 242 all spontaneously fission which produces neutrons and a lot of heat. If used in a bomb, the material would heat up and melt the high-explosive material used to trigger the device. The neutrons can also cause an early detonation which would lower the yield of the bomb. Pu-241 decays to an undesirable isotope americium-241. Americium-241 emits intense alpha particles and gamma rays. If used in a weapon it would cause a high radiation fields that would make handling the device very difficult. It would also make the weapon easier to detect. Only Pu-239 is good for weapons. In weapons grade plutonium, the Pu-239 makes up more than 90% of the total, but in reactor grade plutonium only about 53% of the material is Pu-239. The rest made up of the other undesirable plutonium isotopes.

So while it is technically possible to create a nuclear explosion using reactor grade plutonium, in the real world with real world limitations and constraints it would be virtually impossible to create a deployable nuclear weapon from reactor grade plutonium. The US NRC agrees with me in this. On the safety of MOX fuel fabricated from down-blended weapons grade plutonium after it has been used in a nuclear power plant the NRC says,
Using the plutonium in the reactor as MOX fuel makes using it for any other purposes difficult.

Of all of the nations that have developed nuclear weapons, none have ever obtained their plutonium from used nuclear fuel from a power reactor. Usually it comes from special kind of test or research reactor called a “fast reactor” that makes mostly Pu-239.

This raises a logical question; if reactor grade plutonium is unsuitable for building bombs, why did the USA ban reprocessing commercial fuel in the mid-1970’s? The basis for the commercial fuel reprocessing ban was political and was NOT supported by sound science or engineering. Even though President Reagan later overturned the ban, the damage was done. Now, thirty years later, companies like Areva and GE are proposing new fuel recycling facilities in the USA but those are years away from being a reality. In the mean time, this is yet another area where the USA has lost it’s technological lead. Canada, Russia, France, and the UK all went on to develop reprocessing industries and now sell MOX fuel to customers around the world.

We have not completely overcome our national irrational aversion to MOX fuel. NRC rules make it very difficult for commercial reactors in the USA to take advantage of MOX fuel. It is not enough for plant operators to prove MOX fuel will perform as expected based sophisticated computer modeling and hundreds of reactor years of experience around the world. Any operator who wants to take advantage of MOX fuel must

  1. Amend their operating license to allow using MOX fuel, a process that includes public comment and inevitable interference by anti-nuclear groups,

  2. Operate with test fuel assemblies for “a few years”

  3. Analyze the performance of the fuel, then submit a report to the NRC

  4. Finally, the NRC must review and approve the final application.

Utilities are in the business to make electricity, not perform research and development. Unless the rules are streamlined to allow the thoughtful application of international experience it is unlikely many utilities will choose to use MOX fuel. The Catawba nuclear plant in South Carolina went through this process as part of a US DOE funded program. They ran a test from 2005 through 2008 with several MOX test assemblies. The MOX fuel in the test was fabricated from down-blended weapons grade plutonium, not from reprocessed reactor fuel, and was part of a government program to dispose of excess weapons grade material.

Let’s Finish Recycling Our Used Nuclear Fuel

After we remove the uranium and plutonium and recycle it back to other reactors to be burned again we are left with a combination of actinides and fission products making up about 5.5% of the original mass. Within this mixture there are several highly valuable isotopes that can be extracted and sold commercially. Many like strontium, cesium, iodine, chromium and iron have medical uses such as treating various kinds of cancer and perform special tests. There are also many industrial uses for isotopes like californium, americium, and krypton. These materials can fetch hundreds or even thousands of dollars per gram!

Recycling Nuclear Fuel is a Good Idea

Including structural materials and other factors, with reprocessing the volume of waste requiring long term disposal is only about 25% of the original volume. This can be safely vitrified (mixed with glass) as is done in France, or encased in corrosion resistant containers, then monitored while the radiation decays to near background levels. Also, when the MOX fuel is returned to the reactor we are greatly increasing the amount of energy extracted from the original uranium. This means we need to mine less uranium ore (creating less environmental impact) and we greatly extend our fuel supply. It does cost more to reprocess fuel compared to the current once-through fuel cycle, but because the price of uranium is such a small component of the total electricity costs from nuclear plants, the financial impact is very low.

The chemical / mechanical process used to recycle reactor fuel is called the PUREX process. In this process the used fuel is first dissolved in aqueous nitric acid. Then kerosene and tributyl phosphate, an organic solvent are added. The Pu and U stay together and separate out from the minor actinides and fission products.

What is “Depleted Uranium” and Is it toxic?

Anti-nuclear activists often try to make a big deal out of how “depleted” uranium is handled. When dug out of the ground, natural uranium ore contains three isotopes, U-238 (99.27%), U-234 (0.001%), and U-235 (0.2%). To prepare the uranium for use as a reactor fuel the percentage of U-235 is raised to anywhere from about 1% to about 4% of the total. This is accomplished by removing some of the U-238 from the mixture to increase the relative amount of U-235. This process is called “enriching” the uranium. The left over U-238 that is removed during the enrichment process is called “depleted” because it is depleted of U-235.

Because the U-235 is more radioactive than the left over U-238, depleted uranium is less radioactive than natural ore. If we chose to, we could put the depleted uranium back into the hole in the ground where we extracted the ore, and we would be leaving the encironment less naturally radioactive than it was in its natural state. Of course, environmental regulations won’t allow that. That’s no worry; there’s a good market for depleted uranium because of its unique physical and chemical properties. It is very dense (about twice as dense as lead) so it makes great counter weights for aircraft. Depleted uranium (DU) is a very good radiation shield, so it is used as safety shielding for medical personnel who work in nuclear medicine around x-ray machines and other imaging devices. Also, DU is very tough so it is used by the military as armor for vehicles and in armor piercing rockets.

According to the World Health Organization, the health risks of exposure to depleted uranium are extremely low.
Under most circumstances, use of DU will make a negligible contribution to the overall natural background levels of uranium in the environment. Probably the greatest potential for DU exposure will follow conflict where DU munitions are used.

With this in mind, the WHO inspected sites where DU weapons were used in Kosovo and concluded there was very little risk of exposure to people who live nearby.


  1. Federation of American Scientists at

  2. “Terrestrial Energy” by William Tucker

  3. at

  4. The European Nuclear Society

  5. NRC on MOX Fuel at

  6. World Health Organization in depleted uranium at

A Gathering of Visionaries

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Sitting in the audience at the 1st Thorium Energy Alliance Conference, I could not help but think about the people who stood around that pile of uranium and graphite in a squash court almost 70 years ago at the site of the first man-made self-sustained nuclear cCP1Paintinghain reaction. Most were visionaries, brilliant scientists, some engineers, and a few reporters. I wondered how many of them truly understood the significance of what they were doing that day and how their work would change the world.

The mix of talent was the same here today; engineers, physicists, and media. They clearly have a vision for the future and a compelling case for getting there. This podcast is an audio recording of the keynote address for the conference provided by Kirk Sorensen of Energy from Thorium, a passionate engineer with a vision that is best told in his own words.

I've been reporting events from the conference using Twitter. If you are not following me on Twitter you might want to give it a try. You can follow me here or on the link on the right side bar of this page.

John Wheeler

Saber Rattling & Iran's Nuclear Program

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News outlets around the world were buzzing last week when Iran announced in a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it has built a second nuclear fuel enrichment facility deep under a mountain near the city of Qom. The UN security council appeared outraged and the US government claimed it has known of the facility for “some time.”

There continues to be deep disagreement between Iran and the UN Security Council about the Islamic Republic’s intentions and their responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Iran claims they are following the rules to the letter: they notified the IAEA about the facility 180 days before it is scheduled to go into operation, precisely as required by their agreement with the IAEA. President Obama on the other hand, stated Iran is “breaking the rules all nations must follow.,” and other members of the Security Council seem to agree. They cite a later UN provision that requires Iran to notify them before building any such facility.

Herein lies the problem: there are TWO SETS OF RULES! The earlier version required Iran to notify the IAEA before loading special nuclear material into a new facility – essentially they had to tell the IAEA (a branch of the UN) 180 days before beginning operation. A later version of the rule requires notification before beginning beginning construction of an enrichment facility. Iran claims they are not required to comply with the later version because other parties to the agreement (the USA and Europe) failed to meet their end of the deal. Specifically, under what are called the “additional protocols” and the “Subsidiary Agreement” the USA and Western European nations were to recognize Iran’s legitimate right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, and in exchange Iran would agree to notify the IAEA before BUILDING more enrichment capacity. The earlier version of the agreements required notification later in the process – before OPERATING a new enrichment facility.

At least one nuclear weapons expert says Iran is right. Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector, says Iran is both legally and technically correct. According to Mr. Ritter, Iran agreed to voluntarily follow the later agreement pending ratification by their Parliament. Since their Parliament has never ratified the agreement, Iran is not legally bound to it. Instead, Iran is bound by the earlier agreement requiring Iran to inform the IAEA about the facility before beginning operation.

Mr. Ritter also says the IAEA currently has a 100% accounting for all of Iran’s nuclear material and none has been diverted to weapons production or enriched to weapons grade. If Scott Ritter is correct, and I have no reason to doubt his expertise, then two things are true: (1) Iran has not broken any laws or treaties by building a second enrichment facility, and (2) there should be no cause for alarm or immediate concern that they will develop nuclear weapons.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to enjoy the company of a group of old friends, all of them well educated and well traveled. Somehow we got on the topic of Iran’s nuclear program and they seemed surprised by my opinion that Iran is being bullied by the US and other security council members. “Why?”, they asked, “would an oil rich nation like Iran bother with a nuclear energy program when they have all the energy they need?” I think there are many people who have the same question and conclude Iran’s sole purpose for developing a nuclear energy program is to produce weapons. To me the answer is fairly simple: Iran wants what every nation wants; products to export with a value greater than their imports, a secure energy supply, and good jobs for its citizens.

While Iran is the 5th largest petroleum producer in the world, they import 40% of their energy supply! This is because they lack the refining capacity to turn their crude oil into fuel products. They are exporting crude oil, a valuable raw material, but they are missing out of the opportunity to create jobs and wealth at home by turning that raw material into higher value products to use at home and to sell abroad. They would like to generate a surplus of wealth that they can invest into building more refining capacity and more manufacturing capacity for other kinds of durable goods. They are exporting a lower value product, essentially paying other nations refine it, then importing the higher valued finished products.

In addition, virtually all of their electricity comes from burning oil. This is oil they could be exporting to earn cash, or refining at home and exporting the products for even greater earnings. Because nuclear energy can produce electricity at a fraction of the cost of oil, they want to build nuclear plants replace the oil-fired plants. This way they can sell more oil or refined products, and refine oil with lower cost energy from nuclear plants. They are also looking to the future. As oil becomes more scarce the cost of continuing to burn oil for electricity will become a greater and greater burden on their economy. They need to have an energy source that is insulated from that price volatility. It makes perfect economic sense that Iran wants to build nuclear power plants and to produce their own nuclear energy fuel.

I have been critical of Iran in the past for their unwillingness to operate their nuclear program under full transparency and for their aggressive statements that tend to destabilize an already fragile situation in the Middle East. I still hold those opinions. However, I support their developing nuclear know how and the capability to build power plants and create their own nuclear fuel. Of course I oppose their developing nuclear weapons, yet I believe that if they have a strong desire and motivation to acquire nuclear weapons there is very little any other nation can do to stop them. Military action short of total annihilation would create only temporary setbacks and would foster such ill will that revenge and retaliation would inevitably follow.

Thorium Energy Alliance Conference

On a much more positive note, I want let you know about a very special event that will be held on October 19th and 20th in Washington DC. The first ever Thorium Energy Alliance Conference will be held at the Kellogg Conference Hotel. This is a two day event that will feature topics like understanding thorium energy, recent investments in the technology, various reactor designed that use thorium as a fuel, and much more.

Here's a flier for the conference and links to their web site where you can get all the information on rates, locations, and the agenda. I am still unsure if I'll be able to attend, but I am doing my best to be there. One thing that I think is fantastic is that the entire conference will be video taped and will eventually be posted on the Thorium Energy Alliance web site. When that happens even if you are unable to attend in person you'll be able to review more than 20 hours of video on line.