Promoting clean, safe, reliable 4th generation nuclear power, 24/7/365


By James Conca

nucPowerAlwaysReadyThe Columbia Generating Station nuclear power plant just north of Richland, WA. ENAs Polar Vortices, Bomb Cyclones and massive hurricanes pummel America more and more often, nuclear power plants keep on putting out maximum power when all other sources can’t.

For the last month, the Pacific Northwest’s only">nuclear power plant has been under a “No Touch” order to help keep the heat on as record cold and snow covered the region. I was stuck in my house for eight days.">As reported by Annette Cary of the Tri-City Herald, the">Bonneville Power Administration, which markets the electricity produced at the nuclear plant near Richland, asked">Energy Northwest, the operator of the power plant, not to do anything that would prevent the plant from producing 100% power at all times during an unusually cold February across the state that increased the demand for electricity – no maintenance activities, even on its turbine generator and in the transformer yard. Don’t do anything that would stop the reliable and constant power output of nuclear.

Click to read article at Forbes...

Charles Peterson was the head of the international energy practice for the Pillsbury law firm. As of late 2018 he has taken a teaching assignment in Seoul, South Korea.

He started his career in nuclear energy when was interviewed by Admiral Rickover and selected to serve in nuclear submarines. He was sent to the University of California at Berkeley to study nuclear engineering. His first assignment after being certified by the Atomic Energy Commission as a senior reactor operator was at the Idaho National Reactor Test Station. Here he worked directly with Rickover in the development of the reactors that would power the first nuclear-powered submarines. He later became a shift supervisor at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station. His first assignment at sea was as the chief engineer of a Skipjack class, fast attack submarine that could cruise at 43 knots submerged. After four patrols in the Sea of Okhotsk, North Pacific and the Artic, including one that lasted for over eight months, he was assigned as the engineer to supervise the construction of the ballistic missile submarine, the USS Samuel Adams SSBN 620, and he later became the chief engineer for seven deterrent patrols in the Norwegian Sea and the Mediterranean. He returned to the United States to supervise the reconstruction of the Sam Houston SSBN 609 and sailed on her for 6 patrols.

After obtaining an M.B.A. at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1971 and a J.D. at the Stanford School of Law in 1973, he joined the General Electric Nuclear Power Division and in 1975 he became Department General Counsel for the Nuclear Fuel Department. In that capacity, he participated in the sale of nuclear fuel in the United States and 10 foreign countries. In 1979, he was appointed Division General Counsel of the General Electric Aircraft Equipment Division where he was involved in sales of aircraft equipment to the United States and foreign governments.

In 1983, Mr. Peterson joined Cogema, the French nuclear fuel company that became part of AREVA, as the first Executive Vice President of its US subsidiary. He later served as President of Nuexco during the period when Nuexco came to prominence as a leading international nuclear fuel trading company.

He has the noteworthy distinction of having led one of the top management teams that played a critical role in the development of the nuclear power program in the United Arab Emirates and being the lead negotiator for the purchase of the Barakah nuclear power plant, and was formally recognized for his work with a commendation from the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

He acted as a legal advisor in connection with the introduction of the Little Willow NPP Project to MidAmerican Energy (Warren Buffet) and the negotiation of the Little Willow contract with KEPCO. Between 2014 and 2018, he assisted Saudi Arabia in its efforts to negotiate a 123 Agreement with the United States.

He has been recognized by the IAEA for his work in teaching young managers that are starting nuclear programs. He has also been recognized by the legal rating agency, Chambers Global for his legal work in the field of Energy: Nuclear-Regulatory & Litigation (2006-2017).

concaUsedNucFuelMany people cite "nuclear waste" as the reason we shouldn't pursue more nuclear energy. But there also exists a big disconnect on what nuclear waste, or used nuclear fuel, actually is. And what it isn't.

In this short video (Pt. 1 of 3), Dr. James Conca, a scientist with degrees from Cal-Tech, formerly of NASA, and Los Alamos and Pacific Northwest National Labs, explains the what and the why behind used nuclear fuel and how it is stored.

Click here to view Part One

How much do you know about radiation? In Part II of his series on used nuclear fuel, Dr. James Conca looks at the radiation involved in storing used nuclear fuel and how long it lasts.

Click here to view Part Two

In the third and final segment from scientist Dr. James Conca, we look at the safety of used nuclear fuel, the confusion some people have with defense waste - and the need for a long-term repository.

Click here to view Part Three


In an attempt to resolve the controversial issue of tectonic and hydrologic stability of the Yucca Mountain region, the National Academy of Sciences established a Panel on Coupled Hydrologic/Tectonic/Hydrothermal Systems. The Panel has recently released it's findings in a report entitled Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise? The representation of data and the scientific validity of this report was the subject of comprehensive evaluations and reviews which has led to correspondence between Dr. Charles Archambeau and Dr. Frank Press, the President of the National Academy of Sciences. All such correspondence prior to April 9, 1993 is covered by TRAC Special Report #5, "Dialogs on the Yucca Mountain Controversy." The present report represents a continuation of the dialog between Dr. Archambeau and Dr. Press; specifically the letter from Dr. Press to Dr. Archambeau dated April 9, 1993 and Archambeau's response to Press, dated August 19,1993.

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Antinuclear Sentiment Brings Coal-Fired Future

After clear warnings from scientists more than 20 years ago, the issues of human-caused climate change and fossil-fuel-dominated energy should be on the way into the environmental history books. Sadly, they’re not, which is why we need a new global movement of nuclear support.

A bit like the CFC/ozone dilemma, we should by now be enjoying disputes about just how the success came about, and focusing attention on more challenging sources of emissions.

What happened instead? A denial machine that cut its teeth working for the tobacco industry moved on to climate change. Climate change denial took off as the vested interests did what they do best. In this they found a most unexpected ally: environmentalism and the emergent paradigm of sustainability.

With the roots of the movement being more strongly defined as anti-nuclear than anti-fossil fuels, environmentalism effectively pulled uranium from the table. Were it not for their opposition, uranium might have powered the boom of the developing world in the 90s and 00s while also gradually re-powering the developed world towards zero-carbon energy generation.

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