Mr. Childerson serves as the B&W mPower Design Engineering Manager for the nuclear island design team located in Lynchburg, Virginia. His team is responsible for the Nuclear Steam Supply System design and interfaces with the Bechtel Power engineering team responsible for the balance of plant design as well as all civil/structural design for the plant. Much of Mr. Childerson’s 30-year career with Babcock & Wilcox was spent at the Babcock & Wilcox Research and Development Division (later McDermott Technology, Inc.) in Alliance, Ohio. He was involved with nuclear thermal-hydraulic research and development programs associated with the power generation industry. These programs included small break loss-of-coolant accident testing of scaled models of the Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Steam Supply System. He also managed the Performance Engineering Unit at Babcock and Wilcox’s Nuclear Operations Group in Barberton, Ohio prior to the mPower development project. The Unit is responsible for the thermal-hydraulic design of nuclear plant components including multi-phase heat exchangers. Mr. Childerson received his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1980 and his master’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1981, both from the University of Illinois. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is a Registered Professional Engineer with the State of Ohio.
Dr. Henry Cialone
Dr Cialone is President and CEO of EWI, North America’s leading independent materials joining technology organization. He has a record of creating new business opportunities through technological innovation. After joining EWI in 2005, Dr. Cialone engineered a turnaround of the company by focusing on strengthening the balance sheet, expanding the company’s portfolio of manufacturing technologies, and creating public-private partnerships like the Nuclear Fabrication Consortium. Previously, he was an executive at Battelle, where he developed and managed the commercial energy technology portfolio ultimately leading the commercial energy business and serving on the governing board of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Dr. Cialone received his BS degree in materials engineering from Brown University, and his MS and PhD degrees in materials science, also from Brown, where he specialized in hydrogen enhanced fracture. He has completed executive management programs at Fuqua and Wharton.
Dr. Rich Denning
Dr. Denning spent most of his career at Battelle Memorial Institute before joining the OSU faculty in 1999. He was a major contributor to the two major studies of the risk of nuclear power plant accidents, WASH-1400 (1975) and NUREG-1150 (1990. He assisted the NRC in the development and oversight of its severe accident research program. He was a consultant to the Three Mile Island Special Inquiry Group. Dr. Denning was previously a member of DOE’s Advisory Committee on Nuclear Facility Safety and NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards. He chaired the Nuclear Engineering Program at The Ohio State University from July 1999 to June 2001 and from March 2006 to June 2007. He is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society. He has recently been examining the societal risk of nuclear power plant accidents in light of the extensive land contamination experienced in the Fukushima Dai-ichi accidents in comparison with other societal risks.
Dr. Charles Forsberg
Dr. Forsberg is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study, Director and principle investigator of the High-Temperature Salt-Cooled Reactor Project, and University Lead for Idaho National Laboratory Institute for Nuclear Energy and Science (INEST) Nuclear Hybrid Energy Systems program. Before joining MIT, he was a Corporate Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and recipient of the 2005 Robert E. Wilson Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for outstanding chemical engineering contributions to nuclear energy, including his work in hydrogen production and nuclear-renewable energy futures. He received the American Nuclear Society special award for innovative nuclear reactor design on salt-cooled reactors. Dr. Forsberg earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and his doctorate in Nuclear Engineering from MIT. He has been awarded 11 patents and has published over 200 papers.
Dr. Robert Hargraves
Dr. Hargraves is a study leader at Dartmouth ILEAD. He was chief information officer at Boston Scientific Corporation and previously a senior consultant with Arthur D. Little. He founded a computer software firm, DTSS Incorporated, while at Dartmouth College where he was assistant professor of mathematics and associate director of the computation center. He graduated from Brown University (Ph.D. Physics) and Dartmouth College (A.B. Mathematics and Physics). Dr. Hargraves is the author of the book THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal. He promotes the “Aim High!” vision of a world energy future powered by Thorium and liquid-fluoride reactors. He is the co-author of the American Scientist article “Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors” and teaches energy policy at Dartmouth’s Institute for Lifelong Education.
Dr. Robert Iotti
Dr. Iotti has had an extensive career in the nuclear industry, primarily in engineering and construction, project management and liability management. Dr. Iotti’s involvement with fusion energy dates back to the early 80’s with the design and construction of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR ), then with the design of the TPX at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory until TPX was canceled (TPX eventually became South Korea’s K-Star. In the early 90’s he was seconded to the Department of Energy to help manage the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor , at that time a joint effort of the European Union, Japan, the Soviet Union and the US to develop fusion power. The U.S left ITER for a period of years, but rejoined when the project was restarted earnest in 2001. Dr. Iotti he was then called to serve as the 1st Chairman of the Management Advisory Committee to the ITER Council, a position which is rotated every two years amongst the present 7 parties participating in the effort. The original four have been joined by South Korea, China and India. He continues to serve on the MAC to the present day. Dr. Iotti was president of CH2MHILL’s nuclear division and has overseen major nuclear activities, including well-known and successful clean-up projects at Rocky Flats, Colo., and Mound, Ohio, and projects involving ongoing Department of Energy operations.
Mr. Rivers is the Senior Level Advisor on Security for the Division of Security Policy, Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response at the NRC. Some areas of his responsibility include categorization of nuclear and radioactive materials with respect to construction of improvised nuclear devices and radiological dispersal devices, chemical security of high-risk chemicals, critical infrastructure protection issues, and developing a more risk informed approach for the security of nuclear facilities. Mr. Rivers has more than twenty-five years of experience in nuclear safeguards and security. Prior to joining NRC, Mr. Rivers was Manager for the Nonproliferation Support Program at the Department of Energy (DOE). He was responsible to prepare DOE facilities to host international inspectors under a variety of arms control and nonproliferation treaties and initiatives. He served on, and headed U.S. delegations that participated in bilateral and multilateral security consultations. Prior to the position at DOE, Mr. Rivers served as the Science Applications International Corporation Chief Scientist for Nuclear Safeguards and Security. Mr. Rivers has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and attended graduate school in statistics at the Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Julian Rosenman
Dr. Rosenman is the Clinical Director of the Department of Radiation Oncology at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Dr. Rosenman is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Rosenman graduated with his MD in 1977 from the Southwestern Medical School, after earning a PhD in physics from the University of Texas in 1971. Dr. Rosenman has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles, as well as numerous book chapters, and given hundreds of scientific presentations. His research includes extensive work on radiation treatment and therapy, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), and the use of computing and 3D technologies in cancer treatment.
Mr. Sorensen is a co-founder and chief nuclear technologist at Flibe Energy Inc., where he leads development of the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR). Kirk previously worked for ten years as an aerospace engineer for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and as chief nuclear technologist at Teledyne Brown Engineering. Kirk has been a leading public advocate and subject matter expert for thorium energy and LFTR technology for many years. He founded the weblog “Energy from Thorium” which has been the platform for the international grassroots effort to revive research and development of molten salt reactors. Kirk has been a prominent advocate for thorium energy including speaking engagements at TEDx, Google Tech Talks, Thorium Energy Alliance conferences, International Thorium Energy Organization conferences and as a panelist at energy symposia.
Mr. Spielman is a distinguished alumnus of OSU. He played eight seasons with the Detroit Lions and is a member of the Football College Hall of Fame. Mr. Spielman was a two time All American while at OSU. He won both the Harley Chic and the Lombardi awards, and was named the Ohio State’s MVP in 1987. In 1998, Mr. Spielman and his wife, Stefanie, established the Stefanie Spielman Breast Cancer Research Fund. Since then, the Fund has raised over $11 million to support breast cancer research and to assist breast cancer patients. On November 19, 2009, Mr. Spielman’s wife, Stefanie, died after a 10 year battle with Breast Cancer.
Dr. Xiaodong Sun
Dr. Sun is currently an associate professor of Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering at The Ohio State University. Dr. Sun received his B.S. in Thermal Engineering and M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University in 2001. From 2002 to August 2004, Dr. Sun was a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University. Dr. Sun’s research interest areas include reactor thermal hydraulics and safety; two-phase flow experimentation, modeling, and numerical simulation; and high-temperature reactors. He has co-authored 36 journal articles and over 70 conference papers. Dr. Sun has served as vice chair of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Thermal Hydraulics Division, president of the ANS Alpha Nu Sigma National Honor Society, and vice chair of the ANS Book Publishing Committee. He was one of the two assistant Technical Program Chairs (TPCs) for the ANS 2011 Annual Meeting and is slated to be the TPC for the ANS 2012 Winter Meeting. Dr. Sun received the 2011 Lumley Engineering Research Award from the OSU College of Engineering.
Dr. Heather Willauer
Dr. Willauer is a Research Chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. Dr. Willauer received her B.S in Chemistry from Berry College in 1996 and went on to complete her Ph.D. in analytical Chemistry in 2002 from the University of Alabama. After completing her Ph.D., she went to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate before joining NRL as a full time research chemist in 2004. Currently at NRL she is working on the capture of CO2 and hydrogen from seawater and their subsequent synthesis to energy rich hydrocarbons. She has published over 50 papers in referred journals, and presented over 30 papers at professional meetings, and over 10 NRL reports, and major contributions to 7 books.
Jiang Mianheng gave the lead-off presentation at the International Thorium Energy Organization 2012 meeting in Shanghai, sponsored by the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear and Applied Physics and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Jiang Mianheng is the son of former president Jiang Zemin and a leader of CAS. After publication of Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors in the July/August 2010 American Scientist he led a delegation to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to learn more about the ORNL molten salt reactors experience. In January 2011 the CAS announced a $350 million 5 year thorium MSR project engaging 400 people.
Videographer Gordon McDowell provided this initial draft of Jiang’s presentation. Jiang explains China’s GDP growth, urbanization, and increasing energy demand and concern about environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels. He presents the potential for using LFTR to solve these problems. You might spot some graphics from the American Scientist article and the Aim High presentation.
After his presentation I presented him a copy of THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal, which he insisted that I autograph.
I really enjoyed watching Alex Pasternack’s new short video on Dr. Edward Teller:
Ralph Moir had told me this story about Teller before, but watching it presented this way with the video interviews of Teller and short descriptions of projects that we worked on, was much richer. Teller was indeed a very unique kind of person, whose early experiences with Communism in Hungary shocked his mind into responses that others struggled to understand. I hesitate to cast any judgements since I certainly did not go through what Teller went through, but I have noticed that among Hungarian emigres to the US of a particular age (and I have met several) there is an intensity of personality that I have come to believe must be a product of this environment.
In posting this, I went back to reference an earlier post I had made for Alex’s previous effort, “The Thorium Dream”, and discovered to my horror that I had never posted it on the blog! So in attempting to rectify for that past oversight, here is his enjoyable short documentary on the growing effort to bring an understanding of thorium and the molten-salt reactor to the world.
Finally, Moir references the paper that he and Teller co-wrote, which was Teller’s final paper. For those of you who would like to read it, here it is in PDF form:
Thorium-Fueled Underground Power Plant Based on Molten Salt Technology, by Ralph Moir and Edward Teller, 2004
Joe Bonometti and I have been colleagues and friends for a long time. At NASA we were the program manager and chief engineer for the MXER Tether technology program from 2003-2007 and we learned a lot about the dos and don’t of technology development.
Now Joe is working on a very large and excited technology development program and his understandings of tech development have grown immensely. Joe also did one of the very first “Tech-Talks” at Google on the subject of LFTR technology. I still remember how excited he was after he gave the talk and he called me and said “you’ve got to get out here!”
Many thanks to Gordon McDowell for editing this video!
Dr. Ritsuo Yoshioka of the International Thorium Molten-Salt Forum has relayed some sad news to us:
“This is a very sad notice. Professor Kazuo Furukawa passed away on December 14th 2011. He had a cancer surgery in last summer, and he once came back. In last October, he gave several lectures at different seminars, and gave lectures on the Internet TVs, very actively. He was in a hospital since last November in order to relax his body, but it is a time we have to say the final words. I and other staffs will keep promoting his will, that is to realize Thorium MSR on this world. We hope your cooperation to this Forum, same as before.”
I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Furukawa at the first Thorium Energy Conference (ThEC2010) in London, England in October 2010. Dr. Furukawa was very friendly to all but forceful in his conviction that only the molten-salt reactor had the potential to usefully realize the titanic energies of thorium.
The conference featured speakers from other thorium-related reactor topics, including solid-fueled thorium reactors and accelerator-driven thorium reactors. Without fail, at the conclusion of any talk on a thorium reactor type other than an MSR, Dr. Furukawa would raise his had for the first question, and in his broken English spoken with great earnestness, would try to convey his intense convictions in the superlative merit of the molten-salt reactor.
This was a man who wasn’t going to waste any time.
Shortly after the London conference, Dr. Furukawa and Senator Keishiro Fukushima traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee and I drove up there and served as a bit of a host for them. We visited several locations and I enjoyed having some time to talk with Dr. Furukawa.
He shared several stories with me that stay with me–one might even say that they haunt me.
The first was his description of being a young sickly man on the island of Honshu in August 1945. He had been called into military service to repel the anticipated American invasion of the Japanese home islands. He knew he would die soon in the invasion. He told me that when he heard that the bombs had gone off in Hiroshima and Nagasaki he realized that the Japanese would surrender, and for the first time in many years, he believed that he would live and have a future.
He told me that he committed his life to improving the lives of all humanity because of his elation that his life would continue. I had heard stories of American soldiers who believed that they would certainly be killed in a Japanese invasion, but this was the first time I ever heard the same story but told from a Japanese perspective.
He also shared a copy of a talk given by Alvin Weinberg called “The Protohistory of the Molten-Salt Reactor”. This talk contained some very valuable insights into the beginnings of fluoride reactor research in the US, but then Furukawa made a casual, almost off-hand remark:
“Alvin would never talk about the MSR in the United States the way he would talk about it with us when he was abroad.”
I realized that Weinberg was truly scared by the American nuclear community and what they had done and still could do to him and his colleagues because of their defense of the MSR concept. And Furukawa confirmed that Weinberg was a great advocate of the concept when he was “out of the watchful ears” of the American nuclear community.
Farewell, Dr. Furukawa, and thank you for all that you did for us.
The Low-Carbon Earth Summit 2011 is being held in Dalian, China this week. I was originally going to attend but in the end was not able, so I am indebted to Dr. Harold Dodds of the University of Tennessee for giving my presentation at LCES-2011 yesterday.
The presentation is pretty simple and has an attached narration in the notes. I hope you enjoy it and I am very appreciative to Dr. Dodds for presenting it in Dalian.
Thanks to the indefatigable Gordon McDowell, my presentation at TEAC3 on May 12, 2011 is now available on YouTube:
Along with that of the inspiring and enlightening Dr. Robert Hargraves:
I hope you enjoy the presentations!
After the luncheon panel on “Green Technology: What’s Now & What’s Next” at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, in Aspen, I confronted Amory Lovins and asked him a simple question: “Is there any potential technological innovation that would cause you to reconsider your views on nuclear power?”
Lovins is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute and his anti-nuclear stance is well-known, as exemplified by this article entitled “Forget Nuclear.” Lovins claim is that nuclear is both unsafe and uneconomical as compared to new wind and solar capacity. His answer to my question was, essentially, “No.” When I mentioned that I am the writer of the thorium feature that ran in Wired last year he replied “Well, I recall thinking that you got the economics and the technology backward.”
I have great respect for the work of the Rocky Mountain Institute and I will not detail here the ways in which he has it wrong on thorium-based nuclear power (for that please see the book version of the thorium story, due out next spring from Macmillan Science)—other than to note that the close-mindedness epitomized by his reply is what got us into our current energy crisis in the first place. What I will do is share some of the insights from the panel, which featured futurist Peter Schwartz, co-founder of Global Business Network, and Andy Karsner, CEO of Manifest Energy. The consensus was that there’s great reason for optimism on the technology side and little reason for it on the policy and politics side.
“We’re in a remarkable period of this great storm of innovation worldwide,” said Schwartz. “The problem is in the U.S.” The problem, he added, was the inability of the government to take concrete, rational policy steps that will clear the way for green-technology innovation to reach the market and for innovative companies to succeed.
The unexpected boom in natural gas from shale deposits, said Karsner, could serve as a relatively low-carbon bridge to the renewable-energy-based economy of the future, but that the obstacles of pervasive regulation and perverse incentives could prevent that from happening.
“We’re just an anti-energy development country,” declared Karsner. “That’s where we are.”
In his new book Reinventing Fire, due out in the fall, Lovins argues that by 2050 we can build a non-fossil-fuel based energy industry that includes no nuclear, significantly less natural gas, no oil, and that essentially runs on wind and solar and other renewables, with an 80 percent decrease in carbon emissions and 180 percent growth in GDP. (I do not share that optimism.)
Schwartz—who does not share Lovins’ knee-jerk opposition to nuclear power—mentioned that we are on the verge of a “new industrial revolution” based on new energy technologies, that will transform many businesses. “Where that will lead manufacturing, energy, and other industries is an open question,” Schwartz added. “What’s unquestionable is that the range of options will continue to grow.”
Mutiplying options was another theme that each of the panelists promoted. Lovins mentioned the work of RMI spinoff FiberForge, which has led the way in developing cars made from ultralight materials, chiefly carbon fiber, that will require one-third the energy to power them. He claimed that at least three carmakers (including most visibly BMW) have adopted this strategy and four others are in process of adopting it—representing a “radically different competitive path in automaking.”
As options for energy sources, particularly in transportation, multiply, one risk is “consumer confusion,” said Schwartz. If there are cars on the market with multiple forms of power sources—plug-in hybrid, hydrogen battery, serial hybrid, diesel, biofuel, and so on—the question for buyers become “What do I want, and how amI supposed to think about that?”
Given the rapid advance of clean-energy technology, the larger question, said Karsner, is one of national competitiveness: “Will we use these new resources, including natural gas and the new technology ideas, to address our greatest problems [in the United States] or will we export the gas, deploy solar manufacturing facilities, and send our better ideas to China, to collateralize our debt to China to pay the Saudis?”
Three things to point out about this discussion:
a) It’s remarkable how many discussions of the future of energy come down to Us vs.Them, i.e., the U.S. vs. China.
b) There is broad agreement that technologies will be available to meet broad carbon-emission goals by 2050, if national policy is shifted.
c) It’s remarkable that in a discussion that centered around energy density and efficiency, nuclear power was hardly even mentioned.