gordona writes: "Perhaps free energy or nearly free is on the way. A PhD student at the University of Delaware had demonstrated how that free hydrogen gas can be generated with sunlight, zinc oxide, and water. A chamber that holds the zinc oxide is heated by concentrating sunlight to 3500 degrees Fahrenheit which vaporizes the zinc. The zinc vapor can then be put into water which then reacts to form zinc oxide releasing hydrogen. It isn't stated how the zinc vapor is separated from the oxygen that is generated however and its not clear if the process is scalable."
The Chemical Engineer, a magazine published by Britain's Institution of Chemical Engineers, is reporting allegations that safety standards are being neglected in the design of a nuclear fuel fabrication facility being built in South Carolina. The $4 billion plant, near Aiken, will produce so-called mixed-oxide fuel, consisting of uranium and plutonium recovered from spent nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons. Dan Tedder, an emeritus professor of chemical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told The Chemical Engineer that basic process design information was incomplete, with serious implications for safety.
Tedder, who served last year as an independent technical reviewer on the project for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, predicted that safety problems will manifest themselves when the plant is operational. "The documentation provided in the license application is very superficial" and "isn't consistent with reasonable and generally accepted good engineering practice," Tedder told The Chemical Engineer.
The NRC has dismissed Tedder's accusations as unfounded but has barred access to documents in dispute, on security grounds.
The full article is referenced at the end and is even more damning
gordona writes: "The current issue of "Mother Jones Magazine" (http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/07/john-mccain-no-technology-policy.html), compares the technology policies of the two major presidential candidates. Other than sweeping generalization, McCain offers little in the way of specifics and taking a hard-line on using technology by pedophiles. Oh wait, he promises a better battery. How you may ask? By offering a $300M prize. He is against net neutrality because it is an attempt to micromanage business and innovation. And apparently, he cannot use a computer without assistance. It is not known, however, if he thinks the internet is a series of tubes. Obama on the other hand appears to be more astute with regard to the technology — he apparently has an iPOD! Of course, all the candidates' positions are subject to change once elected."
gordona writes: "According to Yahoo News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080516/pl_afp/mideastusdiplomacybushsaudideals), the US is making plans to offer the Saudi's enriched uranium in exchange for "protection" of the oil in that region. Presumably, this offer is also for increased production. I don't think the Saudi's have nuclear (nucular) reactors yet, however. In addition, last Fall, the BBC reported that the Saudi's were offering Uranium to Iran (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7073699.stm). I guess the bottom line here is that desparation rules the day. In Iran, before the Shah was deposed the US was planning on developing nuclear power there. That project was never completed (started?) when the Shah was deposed. If it had been, then the current regime would have had nuclear power. Can the same be said for Saudi Arabia? How stable is it there and what are the unforseen consequences of our benevolence?"