Atomic Awesome

Why The World Needs Nuclear Power

Nuclear_Power_Plant[Editor’s Note: Nuclear Science Week was pointed out to us on the tips line by Elizabeth Eckhart, along with a commitment to contribute. If you’d like to see AtomicToasters come back from its Chernobyl-like radioactive slumber, you should follow Elizabeth’s lead, and send in

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stuff for the rest of us to discuss. You can also follow Elizabeth’s Twitter account at @elizeckhart] Continue reading Why The World Needs Nuclear Power

Atomic Awesome

User Input: Polarizing Energy

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In the United States this week, the Smithsonian Institute is sponsoring Nuclear Science Week, a program to educate students — and the general public at large — about the whole picture surrounding nuclear energy. It’s an admirable program, because it’s not shying away from discussing the negatives, while taking a […]

User Input

User Input: Peculiar Knowledge

I was on a road trip last week with a co-worker, and through a long, circuitous route from diesel engines to hydrogen fuel cells, we got onto the topic of electricity generation. At some point, he opined that the only viable solution was solar power, and he couldn’t understand why the government wasn’t […]

Atomic Awesome

America’s Secret Government Town Part Deux

Construction of the K-25 Plant with one of the original homes in the area.

Within 3 years, the government had built a bustling city. One that technically didn’t exist, yet was important to our understanding of the atom. Technically called the Clinton Engineer Works, the name Oak Ridge was chosen in 1943 to give the town a more civilian sounding name.
Continue reading America’s Secret Government Town Part Deux

Atomic Awesome

America’s Secret Government Town

In east Tennessee is the idyllic town you see above. It looks like any other small town in America. In 1945 it had a population of 75,000. Ten schools fed children’s brains. Seventeen restaurants and thirteen supermarkets fed their bellies. A library, churches, parks, sporting facilities adn even a symphony orchestra make it hard to distinguish from any other small town. Except for one big thing.
Continue reading America’s Secret Government Town


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Startup: How To Be Accidentally Great

The CANDU fuel cycle: It eats everything and emits only rainbows and a hint of pine scent.

One of the safest and most efficient nuclear power plant types is the Canadian designed CANDU reactor. CANDU stands for CANada Deuterium Uranium, which basically means that Deuterium is a real thing and not (as previously […]


Startup: Nuclear Reactions Are Pretty!

It's so soothing!

This is what the inside of a nuclear reactor looks like. Yes, really.

Specifically, this photo comes from the inside of the PULSTAR reactor in North Carolina. This is primarily a research reactor, with an output of only 1MW. Relative to other pool-type reactors using similar technology, it is an […]