nojayuk writes: The world's last operating
nuclear reactor, Wylfa 1 in Anglesey, Wales was closed yesterday
after providing carbon-free power for over 40 years. Wylfa1 was originally scheduled to shut in 2012 along with the adjacent Wylfa 2 reactor but it was kept operating for another three years with the innovative use of partially-burnt fuel from Wylfa 2 and remaining stocks of fresh Magnox fuel. The reactor will be defuelled and move into its decommissioning phase over the next year.
The Magnox design used gas-cooling and a carbon moderator with the capability to produce weapons-grade plutonium depending on how it was fuelled and operated. Its design fed into the next-generation AGRs which provide about 6GW of Britain's electricity supply today.
nojayuk writes: There's another launcher delivering cargo to the ISS apart from US and Russian vehicles, and it's Japanese. The fifth Koutonori (White Stork) cargo vehicle was successfully launched today at from pad 2 of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima south of Tokyo at 11:50:49 UTC, carrying over 5 tonnes of food, spare parts and scientific equipment to the ISS in a pressurised cabin and an external racking system. This is the fifth successful launch in a row for the Japanese H2B launcher. The Koutonoris have carried over 20 tonnes of cargo in total to the ISS, more than double the amount of SpaceX's six successful CRS resupply flights.
nojayuk writes: The nuclear plants in Japan damaged by the earthquake and tsunami are being stabilised after much drama and attention from the rest of the world, but there's another crisis approaching for the Japanese people, a severe lack of electrical power supply over the coming hot summer when air-conditioning loads will soar beyond the ability of the crippled electrical supply system.
Pachiguy, the blogger at Spike Japan puts some numbers to the missing megawatts and the problems one of the world's most advanced countries in the world faces in keeping its people cool and its factories running over the next few years.