The John Loughlin Show – “The Viability of Nuclear Energy” with Kirk Sorensen

John J. Loughlin II is a former three-term Republican State Representative and former Republican Whip serving in the Rhode Island House of Representatives before running for US Congress in 2010. He served in a leadership role on the Naval Affairs Committee, and was a member of House Labor, Health Education and Welfare Committee, and House Veteran’s Affairs. He has also worked in television and film for more than 30 years. He is the host of the John Loughlin radio show on WPRO and is a frequent contributor on WJAR-TV (NBC) as a political analyst. JOHN LOUGHLIN: You’ve heard me say […]

London CGLN Conference talk, September 6, 2022

This is the talk that I gave over lunchtime at the Clean Growth Leadership Network conference, held in London on September 6, 2022: We’re all glad to be here and enjoying one another’s company as we talk about these important issues, but there’s no denying that we’re meeting under a shadow. All of us are seeing the news articles about what is happening across Europe. Factories shutting down. People unable to heat their homes. Small businesses shutting down because the power bill arrives and it’s ten times bigger than anything they’ve ever seen before. We’re staring down the barrel of […]

YPE podcast with Dr. Kurt Harris

Spotify: YPE Podcast with Kurt Harris Back in July, Dr. Kurt Harris of Flibe Energy spoke on the Young Professionals in Energy Podcast, an organization that aims to facilitate the advancement of young professionals in the global energy industry. We’ve summarized the podcast here for a quick look at some of the things they discussed. Kurt’s background Kurt Harris was born in Logan, UT, and received his bachelor’s degree as well as his PhD at Utah State University. He lived for two years as a missionary in Mozambique, where he observed a nation in the midst of an energy crisis, […]

Quotes from Glenn Seaborg’s autobiography

These are notable quotes from Glenn Seaborg’s 1993 autobiography “The Atomic Energy Commission Under Nixon“. Breeder Reactor Beginnings In the United States and several other countries, decisions were made quite early that a reactor employing fast neutrons, utilizing the uranium cycle, and cooled with liquid sodium, the so-called liquid metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR), was the most attractive concept to pursue. Utilizing fast neutrons seemed preferable because non-productive absorption of neutrons is less in fast breeders than it is in thermal breeders; thus, the breeding ratio would be greater in fast than in thermal breeders. The uranium cycle was selected […]

Quotes from Alvin Weinberg’s autobiography

These are notable quotes from Alvin Weinberg’s 1994 autobiography “The First Nuclear Era, the Life and Times of a Technological Fixer“. Thorium will create the Second Nuclear Era Until then I had never quite appreciated the full significance of the breeder. But now I became obsessed with the idea that humankind’s whole future depended on the breeder. For society generally to achieve and maintain a living standard of today’s developed countries depends on the availability of a relatively cheap, inexhaustible source of energy. Although the AEC established an office labeled “Fast Breeder,” no corresponding office labeled “Thermal Breeder” was established. […]

Remembrances of Dr. Kazuo Furukawa

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 […]

1962 AEC Report to Kennedy on Nuclear Power

In trying to answer the persistent question about LFTRs: “why wasn’t this done before?” I’ve obtained a report from 1962 made to President Kennedy where future development options for nuclear power were laid before him. Alvin Weinberg specifically references this report in his 1994 memoir (“First Nuclear Era”) and goes on to say that it recommends both the plutonium fast-breeder reactor and the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor as technologies that should be developed. Here’s what Weinberg had to say in his book: “Until then I had never quite appreciated the full significance of the breeder. But now I became obsessed with […]

Alvin Weinberg’s MSR "Protohistory"

I was very fortunate to meet Dr. Kazuo Furukawa in person several weeks ago, and he shared with me a fascinating talk that had somehow escaped my attempts to discover everything Alvin Weinberg said or thought or wrote down about the molten-salt reactor. The talk was called “The proto-history of the molten salt system” and it was given by Weinberg on February 23, 1997 to a delegation of Korean scientists visiting Oak Ridge National Lab. Weinberg’s biography “The First Nuclear Era” doesn’t say nearly as much about his experiences with MSR technology as I would have hoped, but it still […]

The Green Road not Taken

Not far west from the ruined community of Cefn Croes lies the Snowdonia Mountains of Wales, the site of one of the United Kingdom’s most beautiful National Parks. It was to Snowdonia in 1971 that a young Amory Lovins came at the behest of David Brower. Young Lovins, a three-time college dropout with an unearned MA from Oxford – don’t even ask, suffice to say Oxford does not issue earned MA’s in physics, the appropriate earned degree for Lovins would have been a BSc, which Lovins never received – who, that is Lovins, a short while ago had become acquainted […]

A Brief History of the Fluid Fuel Reactor: The Molten Salt Reactor Adventure Begins

(guest post by Charles Barton) Eugene Wigner spent a brief period as Research Director of what was then called the Clinton Laboratories. Oak Ride was in 1943 a town that did not exist, so the Laboratory could not be named for it. Instead the assigned name that of Clinton, the old East Tennessee town that was the county seat of Anderson County, where most of the Oak Ridge complex was located. Wigner’s stay was not a happy one for him, but is was exceedingly fruitful for the Laboratory. Wigner brought with him a team of brilliant scientists, and attracted more […]