Climate change

June 1, 2009

P4TP chapter 4 – everyone can now read Blees on IFR

LMFBRFor those who do not yet have the book (tsk, tsk), you can now read Chapter 4 of Prescription for the Planet, “Newclear Power”, by downloading it here. Tom Blees has generously decided to put this chapter (pg 117 — 139) on the web to allow a more rapid dissemination of the basic facts about IFR to everyone you know (family, friends, fellow environmentalists, politicians, the media) — so please do pass on the link:

I have already reviewed Chapters 4 and 5 of P4TP, here. The downloadable chapter covers the following topics:

– An introduction to the Integral Fast Reactor  (IFR) project and its experimental testbed, the EBR-II at Argonne

– Nuclear Physics 101, a primer to nuclear power generation

– Light Water Reactors and Fast Reactors: similarities and differences

– A comprehensive description of the IFR concept and its revolutionary design principles, in easy to understand terms

Be amazed, be thrilled, learn something new — read chapter 4 of P4TP and pass on the link. It’s a great way to whet people’s appetite and make them hungry for more information on this new type of nuclear power — which can be found by reading the whole book, reading this site, and going over other warehouses of info like Steve Kirsch’s IFR website.

I’m currently up to Part IV of my VI part review of P4TP. I’ve still got important topics to cover, such as the proposed programme of international oversight of IFRs, and the story of what has stalled progress to date.

In other news,  reader David Lockwood alerted me to an interesting new study by a group from MIT on global warming, to appear in Journal of Climate (published by the American Meteorological Society). There are a couple of news stories about it, here and here. The graphical ‘roulette wheel’ results of the study are shown below.

Their probabilistic analysis implies that a ‘no mitigation policy’ scenario — right hand wheel — is likely to lead to warming of about 5.2 degrees Celsius by 2100, with a 90% probability range of 3.5 to 7.4 degrees. This estimate is somewhat higher than the range projected for the A1FI scenario from the latest IPPC report in 2007.

The new work by MIT has included improved economic modelling based on updated emissions data, more explicit handling of aerosol masking and soot-driven warming, and improved measurements of deep ocean temperature rises — the latest data suggests lower than expected transfer of heat and CO2. There are lots more details to be found in the story written up for Science Daily. Substantial policy intervention (read ‘deep and sustained mitigation’) — left hand wheel — lowers the odds of severe warming, but it still leaves a substantial burden of adaptation for future generations.

Still, if you were in the climate casino, which wheel would you rather spin?

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