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PostPosted: May 10, 2016 4:08 pm 
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The US House of Representatives H.R.4979 - Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2016 was introduced last month. It's a brand nuclear day; perfect for fission!

This is the hearing from April 29, 2016, on CSPAN-3:

http://www.c-span.org/video/?408832-1/officials-testify-nuclear-energy-technologies

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"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on Jun 29, 2016 10:54 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: May 11, 2016 1:10 pm 
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114th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 4979

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 18, 2016

Mr. Latta (for himself and Mr. McNerney) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To foster civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies and enhance the licensing and commercial deployment of such technologies.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2016”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) Nuclear energy generates approximately 20 percent of the total electricity and approximately 60 percent of the carbon-free electricity of the United States.

(2) Nuclear power plants operate consistently at a 90 percent capacity factor, and provide consumers and businesses with reliable and affordable electricity.

(3) Nuclear power plants generate billions of dollars in national economic activity through nationwide procurements and provide thousands of Americans with high paying jobs contributing substantially to the local economies in communities where they operate.

(4) The United States commercial nuclear industry must continue to lead the international civilian nuclear marketplace, because it is one of our most powerful national security tools, guaranteeing the safe, secure, and exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy.

(5) Maintaining the Nation’s nuclear fleet of commercial light water reactors and expanding the use of new advanced reactor designs would support continued production of reliable baseload electricity and maintain United States global leadership in nuclear power.

(6) The development of advanced reactor designs would benefit from a performance-based, risk-informed, efficient, and cost-effective regulatory framework with defined milestones and the opportunity for applicants to demonstrate progress through Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) ADVANCED REACTOR.—The term “advanced reactor” means a nuclear fission reactor with significant design improvements over the most recent generation of nuclear reactors. Such improvements may include inherent safety features, lower waste yields, greater fuel utilization, superior reliability, resistance to proliferation, and increased thermal efficiency.

(2) DEPARTMENT.—The term “Department” means the Department of Energy.

(3) LICENSING.—The term “licensing” means NRC activities related to reviewing applications for licenses, permits, and design certifications, and requests for any other regulatory approval for nuclear reactors within the responsibilities of the NRC under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

(4) NATIONAL LABORATORY.—The term “National Laboratory” has the meaning given that term in section 2 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15801).

(5) NRC.—The term “NRC” means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(6) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Energy.

SEC. 4. Agency coordination.

The NRC and the Department shall enter into the a memorandum of understanding regarding the following topics:

(1) TECHNICAL EXPERTISE.—Ensuring that the Department has sufficient technical expertise to support the civilian nuclear industry’s timely development and commercial deployment of safe, innovative advanced reactor technology and the NRC has sufficient technical expertise to support the evaluation of applications for licenses, permits, and design certifications, and other requests for regulatory approval for advanced reactors.

(2) MODELING AND SIMULATION.—The use of computers and software codes to calculate the behavior and performance of advanced reactors based on mathematical models of their physical behavior.

(3) FACILITIES.—Ensuring that the Department maintains and develops the facilities to support the civilian nuclear industry’s timely development and commercial deployment of safe, innovative reactor technology and ensuring that the NRC has access to such facilities, as needed.

SEC. 5. Reporting to Congress.

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report that evaluates the status of activities intended to facilitate the testing and demonstration of advanced reactors on Department land and facilities and the potential for the Department to use testing and demonstration on private land.

SEC. 6. Advanced reactor regulatory framework.

Quote:
It appears that this new regulatory framework would greatly help, for one advanced design (LFTR), Flibe Energy to get going with milestones and funding (should include DOE grants, too?) enough to get the licensing plan going assuming it hasn't already. The EPRI LFTR independent technology assessment published last October seems to be an initial phase of this new licensing process.


(a) Plan required.—Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the NRC shall transmit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate a plan for developing an efficient, risk-informed, technology-neutral framework for advanced reactor licensing. The plan shall evaluate the following subjects, consistent with the NRC’s role in protecting public health and safety and common defense and security:

(1) The unique aspects of advanced reactor licensing and any associated legal, regulatory, and policy issues the NRC will need to address to develop a framework for licensing advanced reactors.

(2) Options for licensing advanced reactors under existing NRC regulations in title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, a proposed new regulatory framework, or a combination of these approaches.

(3) Options to expedite and streamline the licensing of advanced reactors, including opportunities to minimize the time from application submittal to final NRC approval and minimize the delays that may result from any necessary amendments or supplements to applications.

(4) Options to expand the incorporation of consensus-based codes and standards into the advanced reactor regulatory framework to minimize time to completion and provide flexibility in implementation.

(5) Options to make the advanced reactor licensing framework more predictable. This evaluation should consider opportunities to improve the process by which application review milestones are established and maintained.

(6) Options to allow applicants to use phased review processes under which the NRC issues approvals that do not require the NRC to re-review previously approved information. This evaluation shall consider the NRC’s ability to review and conditionally approve partial applications, early design information, and submittals that contain design criteria and processes to be used to develop information to support a later phase of the design review.

(7) The extent to which NRC action or modification of policy is needed to implement any part of the plan required by this subsection.

(8) The role of licensing advanced reactors within NRC long-term strategic resource planning, staffing, and funding levels.

(b) Coordination and stakeholder input required.—In developing the plan required by subsection (a), the NRC shall seek input from the Department, the nuclear industry, and other public stakeholders.

(c) Cost and schedule estimate.—The plan required by subsection (a) shall include proposed cost estimates, budgets, and specific milestones for implementing the advanced reactor regulatory framework by 2019.

SEC. 7. User fees and annual charges.

Section 6101(c)(2)(A) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 2214(c)(2)(A)) is amended—

(1) by striking “and” at the end of clause (iii);

(2) by striking the period at the end of clause (iv) and inserting “; and”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

“(v) for fiscal years ending before October 1, 2020, amounts appropriated to the Commission for activities related to the development of regulatory infrastructure for advanced nuclear reactor technologies.”.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on May 18, 2016 7:20 am, edited 9 times in total.

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PostPosted: May 11, 2016 1:39 pm 
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Quote:
In this Act:

(1) ADVANCED REACTOR.—The term “advanced reactor” means a nuclear fission reactor with significant design improvements over the most recent generation of nuclear reactors. Such improvements may include inherent safety features, lower waste yields, greater fuel utilization, superior reliability, resistance to proliferation, and increased thermal efficiency.


There has been severe criticism of the NRC on this forum on how the NRC is a "captured regulator" biased to secure the uranium fuel cycle according to LWR technology and hostile toward other designs and especially the thorium fuel cycle and U-233 being a severe proliferation risk. Here is an effort to fix problems and the NRC critics here who are highly qualified to judge merits have no input? Absence of a view is in itself a view. Is this forum dead? Maybe I killed it.

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"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on Jun 01, 2016 10:15 am, edited 8 times in total.

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PostPosted: May 11, 2016 10:20 pm 
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While this act might be nice to have I do not believe it is necessary and I believe that it will be relatively pointless. There already exists a framework for the DOE to license advanced reactors, all they need is proper motivation to do so. This motivation I believe comes largely from the White House. What we need is an administration that is supportive of nuclear power. Our current POTUS has rarely even mentioned nuclear power and when he does it's just happy mouth noises about "investigating" and "researching" but nothing about actually building anything.

What we need is a DOE that actually gives a damn about nuclear power. Alternatively we need a handful of states to stand up to the federal government and tell the people in DC that they will license nuclear power on their own. The federal government is a construct of the states and therefore has only the authority the states give it. If the states decide that the government can no longer have a monopoly on nuclear material then the federal government can't really do much about it. I suppose they could try to do a few things but given how much of a pushover the federal government has been on marijuana I have to wonder just how much the people in DC are willing to do to oppose any future similar acts of defying federal law by state governments.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: May 12, 2016 11:46 am 
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Kurt,

Thank you for honoring my request to review and discuss this bill that I thought was important to help non-LWR power get a chance to compete. It appears based on your comments that you may not have listened to the hearings or looked into this deeper. You are the only one so far who has responded to my post on this subject. I find that fact highly instructive.

Kurt Sellner wrote:
While this act might be nice to have I do not believe it is necessary and I believe that it will be relatively pointless.

I know the feeling of pointlessness. I get that. But I think I'll keep trying to find consensus on the best way to go.

Kurt Sellner wrote:
There already exists a framework for the DOE to license advanced reactors . . .

The DOE licenses nuclear reactors? What is the NRC? I'm not sure you are correct about that. Like Admiral Stockdale said, "Who am I?" Did you find this out the last time you tried to license your advanced nuclear reactor design?

Kurt Sellner wrote:
. . . all they need is proper motivation to do so. This motivation I believe comes largely from the White House. What we need is an administration that is supportive of nuclear power. Our current POTUS has rarely even mentioned nuclear power and when he does it's just happy mouth noises about "investigating" and "researching" but nothing about actually building anything.

So, Kurt, help me to understand this press release because my head has thickened since I resigned my ten-year chemist position with the Corps of Engineers in 1998:
Quote:

Kurt Sellner wrote:
What we need is a DOE that actually gives a damn about nuclear power.

Is this why you resigned from the DOE, Kurt? I know that feeling of frustration with a giant bureaucracy; often when my unit had to sit through the meetings on waste, fraud, and abuse.

Kurt Sellner wrote:
Alternatively we need a handful of states to stand up to the federal government . . .

Didn't some of our states try this back in 1860? Kurt, when you were in the military, were you like me? Did you come to better appreciate the efforts at Philadelphia in the late 1780s? I took the oath to defend our Constitution with my life if necessary. My father was an army colonel. I love the United States of America and I believe in it's goals. It's not easy to get hundreds of millions of citizens to agree on things, as far as I can tell.

Kurt Sellner wrote:
The federal government is a construct of the states and therefore has only the authority the states give it.

Constitution of the United States of America wrote:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

Kurt Sellner wrote:
If the states decide that the government can no longer have a monopoly on nuclear material then the federal government can't really do much about it.

Amateur License - AC0GT - Sellner, Kurt A

As a ham operator, would you prefer Iowa has it's own rules for broadcast?

Kurt Sellner wrote:
I suppose they could try to do a few things but given how much of a pushover the federal government has been on marijuana I have to wonder just how much the people in DC are willing to do to oppose any future similar acts of defying federal law by state governments.

I guess maybe you won't be running for representative of your district or for a senate seat?

I'm not sure the new Islamic caliphate is interested in hijacking civilian flights to crash them into D.C.-area marijuana growing operations (D.C. legalized recreational marijuana use in February 2015) unless they're near official buildings like on Capitol Hill, maybe. The EDF EPR's containment structure is a double wall designed to withstand a direct hit from a hijacked commercial flight. The "evil weed with roots in hell" poses severe dangers as its use is in violation of Sharia law, which encourages extreme jihad.

I apologize, Kurt, for my challenges to you and your views on what seems to be a very important subject: what's the best way to get at the energy from thorium. I've been working in entertainment since I left the Corps. It's hard to stay too serious for too long before someone is messing with you, making jokes. I think it's best to keep it light. The 11th and last of the winning negotiating tactics that are at the core of The Art of the Deal is: "Have fun!" It's good advice.

Long-lived, environmentally mobile fission products are no joke. Your idea of everyone having freedom to work with nuclear materials is not wise. Your idea was overruled at the birth of nuclear technologies in the one and only United States of America. It will most likely remain so. The US NRC is the gold standard for wise management of nuclear technologies. The whole world looks to our NRC. This is wise.

This bill, once refined, passed, and signed into law will do what needs to be done to help find the best way to get at the abundant and valuable energy stored in thorium.

To the founder of this great and visionary forum:

Your silence on my topic here is well spoken. I am praying that your work behind the scenes will be fruitful. Your company's goal to focus on a pure thorium fuel cycle in an optimal fluid-fueled reactor that keeps protactinium and FPs out of the neutron flux is wise as far as I can tell at this time for what I know. I hope that the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2016 is truly ideal for the developer of the LFTR (Flibe Energy, Huntsville, AL) and becomes law here in the Home of the Free. I hope Flibe Energy rapidly uses the new rules to secure funding and a utility customer for its LFTR design. I'm betting that once the first Flibe Energy LFTR is up and running, it will dramatically out-perform in nuclear power generation worldwide.

I am disappointed at this time that the truly awesome and highly talented, supremely intelligent science and engineering experts who contribute to this forum are not weighing in on this bill that stands to greatly support our goals.

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"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


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PostPosted: May 12, 2016 9:19 pm 
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There isn't much bipartisan cooperation in the US Congress lately, I think. Maybe.

This legislation has good bipartisan support.

Hopefully it moves through the committees and wins in congress. Then it goes to President Obama's desk. Based on the spirit of this White House Fact Sheet, it appears our president is predisposed to and ready to sign The Act into law.

Quote:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 06, 2015

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Actions to Ensure that Nuclear Energy Remains a Vibrant Component of the United States’ Clean Energy Strategy

As detailed in the Climate Action Plan, President Obama is committed to using every appropriate tool to combat climate change. Nuclear power, which in 2014 generated about 60 percent of carbon-free electricity in the United States, continues to play a major role in efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector. As America leads the global transition to a low-carbon economy, the continued development of new and advanced nuclear technologies along with support for currently operating nuclear power plants is an important component of our clean energy strategy. Investing in the safe and secure development of nuclear power also helps advance other vital policy objectives in the national interest, such as maintaining economic competitiveness and job creation, as well as enhancing nuclear nonproliferation efforts, nuclear safety and security, and energy security.

The President’s FY 2016 Budget includes more than $900 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) to support the U.S. civilian nuclear energy sector by leading federal research, development, and demonstration efforts in nuclear energy technologies, ranging from power generation, safety, hybrid energy systems, and security technologies, among other things. DOE also supports the deployment of these technologies with $12.5 billion in remaining loan guarantee authority for advanced nuclear projects through Title 17. DOE’s investments in nuclear energy help secure the three strategic objectives that are foundational to our nation’s energy system: energy security, economic competitiveness, and environmental responsibility.

Today, the White House is announcing and highlighting the following actions to sustain and advance nuclear energy, including:

Launching the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear: DOE is establishing the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) to provide the nuclear energy community with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move new or advanced nuclear reactor designs toward commercialization while ensuring the continued safe, reliable, and economic operation of the existing nuclear fleet. GAIN will provide the nuclear community with a single point of access to the broad range of capabilities – people, facilities, materials, and data – across the DOE complex and its National Lab capabilities. Focused research opportunities and dedicated industry engagement will also be important components of GAIN, ensuring that DOE-sponsored activities are impactful to companies working to realize the full potential of nuclear energy.

GAIN will feature:

Access to Capabilities: Through the Clean Energy Investment Center in DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), GAIN will provide a single point of contact for users interested in a wide range of nuclear energy related capabilities and expertise. As an initiating step, Idaho National Lab will serve as the GAIN integrator for Office of Nuclear Energy capabilities.

Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Database: DOE is also publishing the Nuclear Energy Infrastructure database (NEID), which provides a catalogue of existing nuclear energy related infrastructure that will enhance transparency and support nuclear community engagement through GAIN. NEID currently includes information on 802 research and development instruments in 377 facilities at 84 institutions in the United States and abroad. Nuclear technology developers can access the database to identify resources available to support development and implementation of their technology, as well as contacts, availability, and the process for accessing the capability.

Small Business Vouchers: To support the strong interest in nuclear energy from a significant number of new companies working to develop advanced nuclear energy technologies, DOE plans to make $2 million available in the form of vouchers to provide assistance to small business applicants (including entrepreneur-led start-ups) seeking to access the knowledge and capabilities available across the DOE complex. This will enhance the ability of GAIN to serve a broader segment of the nuclear community. Information on available capabilities can be found HERE.

Assisting Navigation of the Regulatory Process: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), consistent with its role as an independent safety and security regulator, will provide DOE with accurate, current information on the NRC’s regulations and licensing processes. DOE will work through GAIN with prospective applicants for advanced nuclear technology to understand and navigate the regulatory process for licensing new reactor technology.

Convening Second Workshop on Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors – The NRC and DOE will hold the Second Advanced Non-Light Water Reactors Workshops in spring 2016. The successful first workshop was held in September 2015. The purpose of the workshop is to explore options for increased efficiency, from both a technical and regulatory perspective, in the safe development and deployment of innovative reactor technologies. This would include examining both near-term and longer-term opportunities to test, demonstrate, and construct prototype advanced reactors, and evaluate the most appropriate licensing processes.

Supplementing Loan Guarantee Solicitation for Nuclear Energy: Today, DOE is supplementing its existing solicitation that makes up to $12.5 billion in loan guarantees available to support innovative nuclear energy projects. The solicitation states that eligible projects can include construction of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, uprates and upgrades at existing facilities, and front-end nuclear facilities. In addition, the new supplement clarifies that project costs for an eligible project that are incurred as part of the NRC licensing process, such as design certification, construction permits, and combined construction and operating licenses (COL), could be eligible costs that may be financed with a loan guaranteed by DOE.

Establishing Light Water Reactor (LWR) Research, Development, and Deployment Working Group: DOE is formally announcing the establishment of the LWR Research, Development, and Deployment (RDD) Working Group to examine possible needs for future RDD to support the development of competitive advanced LWRs, as well as maintain the safe, efficient operations of currently operating nuclear power plants. The group will consist of federal, national laboratory, and industry participants. Recommendations are expected to DOE by February 2016.

Addressing Small Modular Reactor Needs through Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors: Today, DOE’s Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) is signing an agreement with NuScale to establish new cost-shared modeling and simulation tools under the CASL Energy Innovation Hub at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This agreement specifies the work that will be done by CASL to install and support the use of its virtual reactor tools on NuScale systems and by NuScale to simulate performance questions using CASL tools. Through this agreement, CASL tools will be expanded to better simulate SMR operation and inform design decisions. These efforts can lead to more efficient reactor designs that improve lifetime operation in a power plant.

Investing in SMR Licensing: DOE began investing up to $452 million dollars over six years starting in FY 2012 to support first-of-a-kind engineering costs associated with certification and licensing activities for SMRs through the NRC. By utilizing cost-share agreements with private industry through a licensing technical support program, DOE supports the domestic development of these innovative nuclear technologies, thereby strengthening American manufacturing capabilities and the associated nuclear supply chain, improving domestic employment opportunities, and creating important export opportunities for the United States. It is expected that the first SMR design application will be submitted to the NRC in late-2016.

Designing a Modernized LWR Control Room: DOE is partnering with Arizona Public Service’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station to design a modernized control room for an operating commercial LWR. Working together through a cost-shared partnership, DOE’s LWR Sustainability Program and Palo Verde will consider the best way to replace traditional analog systems with digital systems that optimize control room operations. This work supports the long-term sustainability and efficiency of the currently operating nuclear power plants by assisting nuclear utilities to address reliability and obsolescence issues of legacy analog control rooms.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on May 12, 2016 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 12, 2016 10:23 pm 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.

So, Kurt, you didn't show interest in the software engineering section-part of The Bill?

Quote:
“Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2016”

SEC. 4. Agency coordination.

The NRC and the Department shall enter into the a memorandum of understanding regarding the following topics:

(2) MODELING AND SIMULATION.—The use of computers and software codes to calculate the behavior and performance of advanced reactors based on mathematical models of their physical behavior.

I've done some rudimentary programming in legacy systems for laboratory information management. But the nuclear stuff has to be seriously gnarly.

With fluid-fueled running in concert with counter-current extractors, off-gas systems, electrolytic HF-F2 flows, the partridge-in-a-pear-tree counters, and Lord knows how many sensors? all running in concert, the machine software systems would be badass.

Can you call Tony Stark?

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"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


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PostPosted: May 14, 2016 2:32 pm 
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Tim Meyer wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
There already exists a framework for the DOE to license advanced reactors . . .

The DOE licenses nuclear reactors? What is the NRC? I'm not sure you are correct about that. Like Admiral Stockdale said, "Who am I?" Did you find this out the last time you tried to license your advanced nuclear reactor design?

I always thought the NRC was an organization within the DOE and searching the internet on this it seems even the federal government is not sure about this. I've read a couple news releases on how the NRC has coordinated with the DOE on something, implying they have autonomy. I've also seen an organization chart which shows that people within the NRC reporting directly to the Secretary of Energy, which implies the NRC is a subordinate entity.

Here's what I'm quite sure about, no one is getting nuclear fuel without permission from the DOE. For someone to operate a nuclear power reactor they need permission from the DOE, they may also need permission from the NRC and/or DOD but its the DOE that is the gatekeeper and the keymaster. I recall a talk from Dr. Bussard on his Polywell Fusor project and the difficulty he had in obtaining funding. Private funding was difficult because the DOE didn't like the idea and they would have to license it. He went to the DOD and they gave him some money but he was told that if the funding was too large then the DOE would take over and kill it. The DOE has long been hostile to nuclear energy research.

Tim Meyer wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
. . . all they need is proper motivation to do so. This motivation I believe comes largely from the White House. What we need is an administration that is supportive of nuclear power. Our current POTUS has rarely even mentioned nuclear power and when he does it's just happy mouth noises about "investigating" and "researching" but nothing about actually building anything.

So, Kurt, help me to understand this press release because my head has thickened since I resigned my ten-year chemist position with the Corps of Engineers in 1998:
Quote:

Obama has been POTUS for seven years and he says the DOE will be accepting application for SMRs a few months before he leaves office? That does not look like the actions of someone that is an advocate for nuclear energy. Dr. Buassard died before Obama came into office but his team continued working on the Polywell for years after. If Obama was interested in seeing nuclear power thrive then I would have expected him to have the DOE fund this research properly so that they could built a fusor large enough to prove their theories. Flibe Energy and other companies have been asking for permission to built prototypes as well in the last seven years, where is their license?

Tim Meyer wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
What we need is a DOE that actually gives a damn about nuclear power.

Is this why you resigned from the DOE, Kurt? I know that feeling of frustration with a giant bureaucracy; often when my unit had to sit through the meetings on waste, fraud, and abuse.

You know full well that I did not work for the DOE. You invited me to comment in this thread and when I tell you something you didn't like to hear you then mock my ignorance and inexperience in nuclear energy. I'm confused, among other things. I've been accused of being a nuclear engineer often enough on this site that I felt it necessary to put a disclaimer in my signature stating otherwise. My engineering background gives me an incomplete picture of how proper nuclear engineering is done. I have enough experience as an engineer working on private and government projects that I have some insight on how both work. This includes the politics of getting government approval, funding, and so forth.

You invited me to comment because you said you valued my earlier comments knowing that I am not a nuclear engineer. I came here as your guest. I didn't expect such treatment from my host.

Tim Meyer wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
Alternatively we need a handful of states to stand up to the federal government . . .

Didn't some of our states try this back in 1860? Kurt, when you were in the military, were you like me? Did you come to better appreciate the efforts at Philadelphia in the late 1780s? I took the oath to defend our Constitution with my life if necessary. My father was an army colonel. I love the United States of America and I believe in it's goals. It's not easy to get hundreds of millions of citizens to agree on things, as far as I can tell.

I served in the US Army as a Specialist in military intelligence, a career cut short by an injury in training. I would have entered the military as an officer but at the time the Army wasn't taking direct commission officers except for medical positions, and I'm an engineer not a nurse. My father was a Staff Sergeant in the Iowa Army National Guard, and many of my uncles also served. I'm also not sure what this has to do with anything but it appears we both have family traditions of serving our nation.

In my understanding it is precisely because it is difficult to get so many to agree on something that the authors of the US Constitution created a federated government. The federal government has a handful of enumerated responsibilities. Given that the concept of nuclear power did not exist at the time it is understandable that the regulation of nuclear power is not mentioned in the US Constitution. As you point out those powers not delegated to the federal government do remain with the states or the people. It is because of this that I can say with confidence that the states have the authority to regulate nuclear material and facilities on their own if they wish.

While people will claim that the Civil War was about "states rights" I have my own interpretation and many that think likewise. Tell me, what "state right" did those states want to retain? The only answer to that question is slavery. They fought for the "right" to keep slaves. Therefore the war was over the freeing or keeping of slaves. The right of a state to regulate marijuana or uranium does not involve involuntary servitude and therefore I believe the assertion of these rights will not result in a shooting war. So far the federal government has been very accommodating to marijuana legalization, and I suspect that they are doing so because they know they have very little support from the public or the Constitution to maintain their ban on marijuana.

Imagine that Iowa State University restarts their nuclear engineering program, and in doing so they build a research reactor much like the one removed from campus while I studied there. The state government brings in the best and brightest from the state to assure it is constructed and operated safely, and issue a license stating such under the authority of the governor and General Assembly. This isn't a state developing weapons. This isn't a state infringing on the freedoms of its inhabitants. It is a state researching the means to develop carbon free energy for its citizens and the world. Do you really think the federal government would get upset about this? I'm sure they would but not to the point of a shooting war. I'd expect the NRC and/or DOE to come to inspect it and know that they are in a political corner either issue a license or make some statement similar to the DEA on state regulation of marijuana.

Tim Meyer wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
If the states decide that the government can no longer have a monopoly on nuclear material then the federal government can't really do much about it.

Amateur License - AC0GT - Sellner, Kurt A

As a ham operator, would you prefer Iowa has it's own rules for broadcast?

The fact that you bothered to look up my name in government records is a bit creepy. Yes, I am licensed as a radio operator by the FCC and that is a link to my license in the FCC database.

If the FCC was regulating radios like the NRC is regulating nuclear power then, yes, I would prefer that Iowa issue it's own licenses. If the FCC was run like the NRC we'd still be listening to AM radio and Morse code instead of having digital broadcast television and satellite TV. Perhaps that is a bit unfair, we had color TV and FM radio in the 1960's and so we'd likely have those but no cell phones, no Wi-Fi, no Bluetooth, and no satellite radio. Iowa is an independent nation within the USA just as much as Scotland is an independent nation within the UK. I hear that Scotland held a vote for independence recently, and I hear a few states in the USA have considered it as well. I feel that such differences should be able to be resolved without such votes but I believe that dissolving a union by vote should be possible without resorting to war.

Tim Meyer wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
I suppose they could try to do a few things but given how much of a pushover the federal government has been on marijuana I have to wonder just how much the people in DC are willing to do to oppose any future similar acts of defying federal law by state governments.

I guess maybe you won't be running for representative of your district or for a senate seat?

No, I don't believe I have the patience or temperament for such. Perhaps after I finish grad school though. I plan to take some classes on energy and the environment which should give me a better idea on what to expect from the liberals that surround me. In case you haven't noticed the people of Iowa are quite conservative and/or libertarian excepting the large population of liberals in the I-380 corridor. I'd have to run against the likes of Braley, Blum, and Loebsack. With Blum as the incumbent I not only believe I'd have little chance at a run I also don't feel the need, he seems like a good person for the job.

Tim Meyer wrote:
I'm not sure the new Islamic caliphate is interested in hijacking civilian flights to crash them into D.C.-area marijuana growing operations (D.C. legalized recreational marijuana use in February 2015) unless they're near official buildings like on Capitol Hill, maybe.

<snip>

Long-lived, environmentally mobile fission products are no joke. Your idea of everyone having freedom to work with nuclear materials is not wise. Your idea was overruled at the birth of nuclear technologies in the one and only United States of America. It will most likely remain so. The US NRC is the gold standard for wise management of nuclear technologies. The whole world looks to our NRC. This is wise.

<snip>

I am disappointed at this time that the truly awesome and highly talented, supremely intelligent science and engineering experts who contribute to this forum are not weighing in on this bill that stands to greatly support our goals.

This is where you've gone all over the place but I'd like to comment on a few things. The "new Islamic caliphate" is not going to get any more upset with us over legalizing marijuana or developing SMRs. They are upset with us because we don't bow to the same god that they do. So long as we value freedom, education, and especially the right to worship as we choose then they will continue to attack us as much as they are able. While I didn't join the military with the goal of sending Muslims to meet their god I am not opposed to helping them die for their beliefs. As General Patton has said the military isn't about dying for your country, it's making the other bastards die for theirs.

I did not propose a nuclear "free for all", I proposed having the states license nuclear materials within their own borders. There are states within the USA that have populations just as large, educated, wealthy, etc. as many nations with nuclear energy facilities. I don't expect any state to operate a nuclear power facility in a vacuum, there would no doubt be domestic and international corporations getting involved much like how the UK has contractors from France working on its new plant. I also don't expect the NRC to evaporate if states license reactors on their own. We have state boards of education and a federal Department of Education, each working in tandem, I'd expect state nuclear licensing boards to work with the NRC in a similar manner. I'd expect a state nuclear board to have the final say on what happens in the state just like how a state board of education has a final say on what is taught in schools.

On your concern that few are contributing on this thread I have my suspicions. One of which is how you've responded to my comment.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: May 14, 2016 2:56 pm 
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Tim Meyer wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.

So, Kurt, you didn't show interest in the software engineering section-part of The Bill?

I do have interest in the software engineering aspects of the nuclear energy industry, I just don't believe this bill will do much to help. What I do believe will help is getting the anti-nuclear politicians out of office. I recall a debate between Obama and McCain where they were asked about nuclear power. Obama made some happy mouth noises about how he'd fund research in nuclear power and how it was important for our economy. This was after John McCain spoke about how he'd support building nuclear power plants in the USA. If Obama wanted to make a stance on nuclear power there was his chance and he failed. He just heard his opponent say he'd want to see more nuclear power plants built, as in constructed. Obama responded with no mention of actually building anything. That is what I've seen from this government for the last seven years, they'll do a lot of talk about nuclear power but nothing actually gets built. John McCain was a naval aviator, a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and he's landed planes on nuclear powered aircraft carriers in his career, his opinion on nuclear power carries much more weight because of that. This is especially true when his opponent was a lawyer, "community organizer" (whatever that means), college lecturer (he was never a professor), and professional politician.

As you will find in other posts I've made in this forum I've asked how to best educate myself to become an attractive candidate as a software engineer to people in the nuclear power industry. I fully intend to take coursework recommended by others in this forum in nuclear power as much as my access to coursework and funds allow.

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PostPosted: May 16, 2016 6:03 am 
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Well, software engineering is not unimportant in nuclear power plants. The British company Rolls-Royce, best known as the aero engine manufacturer, is, if I am correct, also the market leader in the "I&C" or Instrumentation & Control sector of the nuclear engineering industry.


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PostPosted: May 16, 2016 6:49 am 
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Yes, they sold over 2M boards:
http://www.rolls-royce.com/~/media/File ... -50342.pdf


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PostPosted: May 16, 2016 2:54 pm 
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Thank you, Kurt. You and I could have a private discussion. You've weighed in on H.R.4979. Thank you. Also, camiel and Burghard: No reaction to this legislation?

I posted the bill in case the nuclear heavy-weights on this forum could review it, maybe suggest improvements. The apparent goal of this legislation is to upgrade the U.S. nuclear rules to facilitate the development and deployment of advanced reactors.

I found in an important topic on this forum under » Liquid-Halide Reactors » Reactor Materials and Fluids:

LMFR versus LFTR on Jan 02, 2013 3:22 am

where
jaro wrote:
Like ORNL's MSR, BNL's use of HEU in the LMFR was considered entirely acceptable back then - as BOTH research teams in fact assumed at the time. But it makes both concepts total non-starters politically, in today's far less permissive nonproliferation environment. It is EXACTLY the same issue that makes the development and deployment of classic-type pure Thorium-U233 breeders (LFTRs) impossible today [emphasis].

It may take many decades or even centuries to change national and global nonproliferation policies: in the meantime, engineers should concentrate on finding technical solutions which are politically acceptable and licensable. Other concepts are little more that science fiction: a waste of engineers' time & effort.

Happy 2013 to all !

Jaro

So it's been three years and now S.2795 and H.R.4979 have been introduced and had hearings. And our president
Quote:
. . . is committed to using every appropriate tool to combat climate change. Nuclear power, which in 2014 generated about 60 percent of carbon-free electricity in the United States, continues to play a major role in efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector. As America leads the global transition to a low-carbon economy, the continued development of new and advanced nuclear technologies [emphasis] along with support for currently operating nuclear power plants is an important component of our clean energy strategy. Investing in the safe and secure development of nuclear power also helps advance other vital policy objectives in the national interest, such as maintaining economic competitiveness and job creation, as well as enhancing nuclear nonproliferation efforts, nuclear safety and security, and energy security.

The President’s FY 2016 Budget includes more than $900 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) to support the U.S. civilian nuclear energy sector by leading federal research, development, and demonstration efforts in nuclear energy technologies, ranging from power generation, safety, hybrid energy systems, and security technologies, among other things. DOE also supports the deployment of these technologies with $12.5 billion in remaining loan guarantee authority for advanced nuclear projects through Title 17. DOE’s investments in nuclear energy help secure the three strategic objectives that are foundational to our nation’s energy system: energy security, economic competitiveness, and environmental responsibility.

Impossible? I hope not. There's a lot of cynicism out there and disgust with gridlock in Washington. This legislation is an opportunity to save face in one of the most contentious election years in U.S. history. I am writing to my representative (Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL) to support H.R. 4084 and H.R. 4979.

H.R. 4979 is gaining co-sponsors. One more just now: Rep. Tonko, Paul [D-NY-20]. A Democrat.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4979/cosponsors?pageSort=lastToFirst

U.S. Support for Nuclear Energy at 51%
Quote:
For nuclear energy, 47% of Republicans support greater emphasis, compared with 24% of Democrats.

But H.R. 4084 (Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act) and the more recent H.R. 4979 and S. 2795 all have good bipartisan support with President Obama's support.

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PostPosted: May 20, 2016 12:47 pm 
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My letter to Rep. Buchanan (R-FL) has yet remained unanswered. I didn't expect a reply. I could become cynical like way too many people these days. I'm not going to. I could could adopt rude manners like too many these days. I'm not going to.

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Last edited by Tim Meyer on Jun 29, 2016 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2016 9:58 am 
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U.S. advanced nuclear energy technology regulation reform for 2016 begins with S. 2795, as best as I can tell--for 2016. Shortly after, H.R. 4979 was introduced. H.R. 4084 Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act is dated March 1, 2016; introduced 11 November 2015? It has related bills: H.R. 4066 Nuclear Innovation Act, and H.R. 4909 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.

(I killed the separate topic "S.2795 - Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act" to this forum.)

Sponsor: Sen. Inhofe, James M. [R-OK] (Introduced 04/13/2016)
Committees: Senate - Environment and Public Works
Latest Action: 04/21/2016 Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. Hearings held.

S.2795 - Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act

The hearing is on CSPAN: Nuclear Energy Regulation

At ~1:13:34 Sen. Inhofe remarks how he still has the gavel and Sen. Booker says, "You are like Thor, sir, with his mighty hammer." [laughs] A missed opportunity to add the namesake of the other and better fertile primordial element for nuclear energy.

The climate change denial industry is most widespread in the United States, where the official Senate Environmental Committee is chaired by James Inhofe, who famously called climate change “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” and claimed to have debunked it in 2015 when he took a snowball with him and threw it on the Senate floor.

S. 2795 is still alive; The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA) of 2016. Sen. Inhofe's support of nuclear energy does not depend upon "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

From: Here Are the 56 Percent of Congressional Republicans Who Deny Climate Change, H.R. 4979 Rep. Robert E. Latta (R-OH) is not on the list.

I wonder what is the true motivation of the membership here. All these impressive plans for bringing back the ORNL molten salt reactor program so it can be completed and codified (42 U.S.C. and 10 CFR) will most certainly require U.S. Congressional action and a signature from our President according to the U.S. Constitution.

No member here exhibited the worthiness of posting U.S. legislative actions on the very reason why fluid fuel reactors are not running today. Darryl Siemer: no comments on NEIMA or H.R. 4979? Anyone besides Kurt Sellner? (Kurt: You already commented.)

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PostPosted: Jun 29, 2016 12:16 pm 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
I always thought the NRC was an organization within the DOE and searching the internet on this it seems even the federal government is not sure about this.
Really, Kurt? Evidently when you searched the internet on U.S. nuclear laws you missed this one:
. . . the principal set of rules and regulations issued by federal agencies regarding nuclear energy.

Kurt Sellner wrote:
I've read a couple news releases on how the NRC has coordinated with the DOE on something, implying they have autonomy. I've also seen an organization chart which shows that people within the NRC reporting directly to the Secretary of Energy, which implies the NRC is a subordinate entity.
Thanks for supplying the chart or the link to it, Kurt. Here's another link you evidently missed in your search: Title 42 of the United States Code. It's the LAW! Note chapters 84, 88, and 108.
In 1942, during World War II, the United States started the Manhattan Project, a project to develop the atomic bomb, under the eye of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After the war in 1946, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was created to control the future of the project.

In 1974 the AEC gave way to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which was tasked with regulating the nuclear power industry, and the Energy Research and Development Administration, which was tasked to manage nuclear weapons, naval reactors, and energy development programs.
The latter became our DOE.

You say, "Here's what I'm quite sure about, no one is getting nuclear fuel without permission from the DOE." So what does that have to do with the language in H.R. 4979 or S. 2795? Our DOE has a HUGE responsibility to manage the worst nuclear arsenal in human history with its highly radioactive inventories.

You say, "For someone to operate a nuclear power reactor they need permission from the DOE, they may also need permission from the NRC and/or DOD but its the DOE that is the gatekeeper and the keymaster." So, you're more interested in the power to grant permissions and holding keys to locks?

"The DOE has long been hostile to nuclear energy research." Really, Kurt?

No one read these bills?

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