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The Rise of Small Nuclear Plants 490

ColdWetDog writes "The Oil Drum (one of the best sites to discuss the technical details of the Macondo Blowout) is typically focused on ramifications of petroleum use, and in particular the Peak Oil theory. They run short guest articles from time to time on various aspects of energy use and policies. Today they have an interesting article on small nuclear reactors with a refreshing amount of technical detail concerning their construction, use, and fueling. The author's major thesis: 'Pick up almost any book about nuclear energy and you will find that the prevailing wisdom is that nuclear plants must be very large in order to be competitive. This assumption is widely accepted, but, if its roots are understood, it can be effectively challenged. Recently, however, a growing body of plant designers, utility companies, government agencies, and financial players are recognizing that smaller plants can take advantage of greater opportunities to apply lessons learned, take advantage of the engineering and tooling savings possible with higher numbers of units, and better meet customer needs in terms of capacity additions and financing. The resulting systems are a welcome addition to the nuclear power plant menu, which has previously been limited to one size — extra large.'"

Comment Tithe (Score 3, Interesting) 596

My family is not wealthy but we have what we need. We give away a minimum of 10% of our gross income and we don't miss it one bit. This Christmas we spent more time and money sponsoring a family in need than we did on ourselves and it was the best Christmas that I can remember. Something special happens when you start putting other people and their needs above yourself and I wish more people would choose to experience it.

Inside Factory China 135

blackbearnh writes "While China is attempting to pull its industry up out of mere manufacturing mode, for now the country is the production workhorse of the consumer electronics industry. Almost anything you pick up at a Best Buy first breathed life across the Pacific Ocean. But what is it like to shepherd a product through the design and production process? Andrew 'bunnie' Huang has done just that with the Chumby, a new Internet appliance. In an interview with O'Reilly Radar, he talks about the logistical and moral issues involved with manufacturing in China, as well as his take on the consumer's right to hack the hardware they purchase."

Press Favored Obama Throughout Campaign 1601

narcberry writes "After complaints of one-sided reporting, the Washington Post checked their own articles and agreed. Obama was clearly favored, throughout his campaign, in terms of more favorable articles, less criticism, better page real-estate, more pictures, and total disregard for problems such as his drug use. 'Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Reporters, photographers and editors found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. Journalists love the new; McCain, 25 years older than Obama, was already well known and had more scars from his longer career in politics. The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain's 786. Both had hard-fought primary campaigns, but Obama's battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton was longer, and the numbers reflect that. McCain clinched the GOP nomination on March 4, three months before Obama won his. From June 4 to Election Day, the tally was Obama, 626 stories, and McCain, 584. Obama was on the front page 176 times, McCain, 144 times; 41 stories featured both.'"
The Internet

Submission + - Pirate Bay earns 20,000 Euros a day ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: controverisal pro-piracy website the piratebay likes to portray itself as an innocent hobby site that provides a free index without censorship, but recent facts show that the site is earning up to 20,000 Euros per day from its advertising. Taking in money on this scale puts a different slant on the motives behind the Swedish filesharing site, and could open up the runners of the site to prosecution for profiting from copyright infringement.

Submission + - Arctic Ice melting much faster than models predict

Socguy writes: Arctic sea ice is melting three times faster than many scientists have projected, U.S. researchers reported Monday, just days ahead of the next major international report on climate change. ate-arctic.html

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado in Boulder, using actual measurements, concluded Arctic sea ice has declined at an average rate of about 7.8 per cent a decade between 1953 and 2006.

By contrast, 18 computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations-sponsored climate research group, estimated an average rate of decline of 2.5 per cent a decade over the same period, the researchers said.

They said the discrepancy between their observations and computer projections indicate computer models may have failed to portray the entire impact of increasing levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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