fiverings-200h Nuclear Safety - Rings of Protection

1. Design
- Modern reactor and plant designs overcome complexities and provide more critical decision making information to operators.
2. Security - Security and information technologies plus integrated community involvement protect nuclear facilties from external threats.
3. Operations - As policies and operations guides get more complex new technologies provide guidance for operator decision making.
4. Training - Advanced training methods backed by management support can help create a safety culture within each facility.
5. Simulation - Emmersive exercises to reinforce all areas of training and to test responsiveness and understanding.
Nuclear Safety News - Energy Power Plants
OakFlat DOS Nuclear Reactor Simulator Game
Written by Richard L Mc Comas   
Friday, 19 June 2009 19:36

oakflatAt the request of a reader, I recently scoured the internet and my archival hard drives for an old CP/M nuclear simulation game, but couldn't find it.  I did, however, bump into some video which might really interest those readers who are also interested (or even passionate) about nuclear power simulation technology for nuclear training purposes. OakFlat.exe was a late 80s DOS simulation game created for consumer fun and education, where you control a nuclear reactor in order to produce maximum output while minimizing stress and damage on the reactor (and above all, avoid a meltdown).

If you want to see this game, but you don't have DOS on any of your machines anymore, you can see a nice overview on a youtube video which is available which you can view when see this entire article by clicking on the READMORE link. We had a devil of a time finding this, so for historical and archival purposes, we are now maintaining the code for this shareware game on this site, available at this link:

Within the zip file is a DOC file that has all of the documentation on how to install and run this simulation. If the graphics look REALLY BAD to you, it is because there AREN'T ANY.  In the early days of DOS, screens were 80 characters wide by 25 lines high, so the animated graphic of the reactor was created by refreshing the screen with colored text blocks.

GE Hitachi Pushes Congress to Adopts Nuclear Waste Recycling Technologies
Thursday, 18 June 2009 15:27

GE Hitachi is pushing U.S. Congress to support the development of new technologies that will allow for recycling of spent nuclear fuel. Congress is presently working on legislation governing the safe storage of spent nuclear fuel. GEH, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, took the opportunity to ask congress to make research for the development of technologies that will allow spent nuclear fuel to be turning in to an asset rather than a liability.

Lisa Price, Senior Vice President for GEH told the Science & Technology Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives that this technology is needed to secure the future of the nuclear energy industry as well as the well being of this and all countries. Price went on to say that reducing the risks of nuclear waste needs to be a priority.

Japan forms new Council to Aid Other Countries in Deploying Nuclear Energy
Thursday, 18 June 2009 15:27
Japan's Minister of Econimic Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikia
Japan's Minister of Econimic Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikia
Japan has decided to become a leader in the deployment of nuclear technologies. Today Japan announced a newly formed organization that will help other nations promote and deploy nuclear power. Officials said the purpose of the newly formed organization is required in the age of high energy demands, global warming and the need for clean, reliable power.

The new formed organization will be named the International Nuclear Energy Cooperation Council (INECC) and will be have representation from the government and private sectors including power, utility, nuclear power plant manufacturers and nuclear researchers.

Japan's Minister of Economy Trade and Industry, Toshihiro Nikai said it will help overseas expansion of nuclear energy technologies and allow Japan to meet the requests coming from Asia and Middle East. He indicated that nuclear power plants have seen an increase in demand as their no emissions, high yield and long term reliability are considered.

Bishops in Alberta Have Serious Questions Regarding the Ethics of Nuclear Energy
Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:28
Archbishop Richard Smith
Catholic bishops in Alberta say that serious questions of an ethical nature need answering before decisions should be made regarding whether to build reactors for nuclear power in the area.

In a letter delivered Wednesday, the ACCB (Alberta Conference of Catholic Bishops) requested more input from the public regarding the question of nuclear power, expressing concerns regarding safekeeping of the environment, the effect on supplies of water, protection of humanity, security concerns and sufficient consultation.

Catholic Bishop Henry said that expert opinions regarding nuclear energy remain divided, the debate could likely become polarized.

An online survey conducted by the energy department wasn't sufficient considering the issues size and the possible impact it may have on generations to come and the environment, Henry said.

German Nuclear Energy Workers Face Massive Job Losses
Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:28

German workers in the nuclear power industry are facing job cuts. Workers at the German based E. ON utility company are facing job cuts and are protesting the action. E. ON has stated they are not looking to reduce energy production at this time. Output will not be reduced because of the job cuts until the third quarter according to the labor union that oversees the nuclear industry workers, Ver di.

Striking is banned however Ver di continues discussions with the executives at the utilities board. Sven Bergelin, a union representative but also has a seat on the utility supervisory board, stated that the company is operating more than 1/3 of Germany's 17 nuclear reactors that are presently online as well as having stakes in the remaining reactors.

McDermott to Unveil Smaller Reactors With Smaller Price Tags
Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:28

One approach to new technologies involving nuclear power is to downsize the reactor. Mini-reactors, in the range of 125 megawatt are being introduced by McDermott International. The intention is to make cheaper and more flexible reactors so more of them can be deployed vs. having to implement mega reactors.

This represents the first small nuclear reactor by a U.S. based firm. McDermott International Inc is a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox (B&W).

The reactors in the range of the 125 megawatt design are intended to be cheap and modular allowing utility companies to deploy them as needed rather having such a heavy upfront cost. This changes the financial paradigm that utility companies have faced when looking at nuclear power. Massive up front costs have to be spread across the expected life span of the reactor. The smaller reactors make that equation more favorable to investors.

Lack of Water Rights Will Not Slow Utah Nuclear Projects
Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:28

A lack of readily available water and the complete lack of water rights in the area of southern Utah is not going to stall mining for oil shale or nuclear power plant development projects. Sate officials and industry staff relayed to a legislative committees Wednesday that these hurdles can be overcome.

Kent Jones, Utah's state engineer, recommended the seeking of water rights that are presently under the control of other people as the Unitah Basin capacity is at capacity.

Director of Utah Division of Water Resources, Dennis Strong conveyed the limitation would not be allowed to place a constraint upon oil shale mining or nuclear power plant development. He felt that water presently ear marked for agriculture business could be obtained. Strong further stated that growing houses instead of crops was a decision that was common place.

Egypt Signs $160 Million Deal with Australia's WorleyParson for Nuclear Energy Plan
Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:28
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif
Egyptian authorities have signed a deal with Australia's WorleyParsons for consulting on a nuclear power plant. The deal is projected to be worth approximately 900 million pound Egyptian or $160 million.

The Australian firm will look for suitable locations for a nuclear power plant in Egypt. This nuclear power plant would be the first in Egypt. WorleyParsons will also review and refresh the studies done on the site at Dabaa located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt has long planned on building a nuclear power plant there, dating back to the early 1980's. Egyptian cabinet members confirmed the consultancy agreement and that Egypt is renewing its plans for a nuclear plant near the Mediterranean coast.

Maryland Public Service Commission Steps in to Review Constellation Deal
Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:28
smokestacks The debate over the Constellation Energy Group's dealings with the French utility began yesterday. Maryland's Public Service Commission is holding hearings starting on August 19th that will determine whether Constellation Energy Group can sell up to 50% of its nuclear power resources to Electricite de France. The Public Service Commission is Maryland's highest ranking energy regulation authority and will determine whether the deal between Constellation and Electricite de France is in the public's best interest.

Constellation was hoping the regulatory hurdle would not be placed in their path for closing the deal. They wanted to the complete the deal by September 17th of this year. Constellation is suing over the regulatory restriction.

Nuclear Energy Meets Waxman-Markey Bill Requirements
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 18:19
waxmanThe energy bill named "Waxman-Markey" set ambitious goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and while nuclear power appears to be the surest means of meeting those goals, the industry does not appear to realize this. Nuclear power has been a bit unacknowledged as a part in this role. Steve Kirsh of the Huffing Post made these statements earlier today.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Chu, and Susan Hockfield, MIT's president, make the point that nuclear must be key in moving forward and that all clean energy couldn't be supplied by renewables only. Some would argue that nuclear energy is a renewable energy, but this is a contentious point due to the fact that uranium, the material that fuels nuclear plants, is a limited resource. In other words, it will run out eventually, experts say in 30 to 60 years.

Yet, he goes on, the bill contains 932 pages, yet "nuclear" appears only twice. An odd thing when you consider 70% of the CO2-free power comes from nuclear energy. More odd when you consider that we have not built any new reactors for 30 years, yet it is 70% of clean power generated!

Americans in Denial About Energy Costs
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 18:19

activistPoliticians and business people do not always see eye-to-eye in regards to energy policies, politicians normally remain idealistic while the business folks are the realists. Tables were turned somewhat today, however when Christine Todd Whitman, who used to be the EPA administrator and now governor of New Jersey and T. Boone Pickens, a wind investor, both contended that the United States has to invest in renewable energy and expand production of domestic energy. It was also Whitman who cautioned that an American public hasn't yet come to appreciate involved costs. Their comments arose during economic discussions sponsored by Time Warner (TWX, Fortune 500), Fortune and's parent company.

Piketon Ohio Awaiting Confirmation of New Nuclear Plant
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 18:19

smokestacks2In Piketon, Ohio residents of Pike County are awaiting an official confirmation of plans to construct a nuclear plant there. Rumors have been running rampant but local politicians have remained close-mouthed regarding the subject of the nuclear plant possibilities. Though an official announcement has yet to be made, it is clear when talking to residents that a nuclear plant would be a welcome addition to the area. Unemployment is high in the area and many residents see a power plant as an opportunity for many more jobs. Though no one has been able to comment officially on the subject, it is clear that the inhabitants of the area have few concerns regarding the safety of a nuclear facility.

Women Play a Key Role in Energy Future
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 18:19

women-impacting-public-policyA national survey has shown that women want the U.S. to deploy clean energy. The survey also shows that woman want additional information concerning clean energy and renewable electricity, that health concerns from air pollution is a major cause of concern and that women business owners are leading the way by example.

The survey of 801 women across the country was commissioned by the WIPP, Women Impacting Public Policy, and was worked jointly by the Women's Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE). The survey shows that women are making decisions that move towards clean energy and more than half of those surveyed are willing to pay more for it. The women responding favorably to increased costs for clean energy are willing to pay $30 more per month. Much like their male counterparts they admit to not fully understanding the sources of electricity that are presently deployed today nor the impacts it has on clean air and water quality. The issue of global warming is equally elusive to women and men.

Senate Energy Committee Approves Energy Bill
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 18:19

profile.bingamanjeffThe Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (SENRC) passed an energy bill with a 15-8 vote. The bill is a sweeping reform in energy policy with the intent to move the nations energy policy forward.

Chairman Bingaman, democrat from New Mexico, labeled the bill a compromise amongst all committee members. He went on to say that no member got everything they wanted and no member was completely excluded from having something they wanted in the bill.

The bills provisions impose a national standard for renewable electricity, impact clean energy through federal financing of projects, set standard measurements for efficiency, allow for more gas and oil leasing off the eastern coast of the Gulf of Mexico and implement new mandates for electricity transmission power siting at the federal level. Provisions for cybersecurity, the creation of a strategic reserve for refined products, increased work force training for energy agencies, setting of liability protection for participants of the Energy Department sponsored carbon sequestration project.

Elmore County Idaho Wants Nuclear Plant on Snake River
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 18:19

ConnieCruser-ElmoreCountyConnie Cruser, who is commissioner of Elmore County was speaking about the nuclear plant that has been proposed to be built in farmland by Snake River. She said that building the plant will promote economic development and the creation of jobs.

The proposal says only the area of Simco Road is zoned for a heavy industry such as a 1,600-megawatt nuclear plant. Cruser said that it is too important a decision to determine on a single word: 'only.'

Cruser and commissioners Shaw and Rose, considered the proposal to be conflicting with their intentions in protecting the county's community values. This resulted in a compromise, asking the Zoning Commission's consideration in rewriting its comprehensive plan with the intentions of expanding the areas around which heavy industry would be allowed. They added that the P&Z commission should send them a new rezoning decision with a detailed plan for development included.

DOE Awards Millions in Scholarships to Help Promote the Nuclear Energy Field
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 18:19

steve-chuSteven Chu, Secretary of US Energy, announced almost $9 million in awards designed to help generate interest and support for the next generation of nuclear energy development in the United States. The program is called the Nuclear Energy University Program and is funded by the Department of Engery (DOE). The DOE will provide almost $3 million in scholarships or fellowships to more than 85 nuclear science and nuclear engineering students within the U.S. An additional $6 million is being made available for grants to 29 universities and colleges in the U.S. across 23 states.

The Nuclear Energy Universities Program (NEUP) helps to drive the U.S.'s nuclear power research programs within schools around the country. The hope is to attract and retain undergraduate and graduate students of the highest caliber within the nuclear science and engineering programs. Money for research environments and infrastructure is being made available to colleges and universities in an attempt to help them attract exceptional students in the field of nuclear energy. With the present nuclear energy staff aging and 50% being eligible for retirement within the next 10 years the DOE has a very serious and legitimate concern about falling behind or becoming under staffed.

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Official Resources

The US Nuclear Regulator Commission website has a wealth of information on the plants, safety protocols, and more. Link
The International Atomic Energy Agency is the primariy international nuclear authority focussing on nuclear verification and security, safety and technology transfer. Link
The National Nuclear Security Administration deals with military use of nuclear power and nuclear weapons safety and proliferation. Link