This site first hosted the Carnival all the way back on July 8, 2011 with the 60th edition. From that very first time, I began a tradition here of showing readers a photo at the start and asking them "What is this?" This has continued until now. Some are easy, some are hard; I had to look for a full hour this morning before I found a photo that I thought could be guessed, but was tricky and which I had also never used before. So here you go - What is this?
The answer after the Carnival entries. And here they are!
Canadian Energy Issues - Steve Aplin
Ontario nuclear winning streak rolls on: impressive example of energy efficiency
Ontario’s nuclear generating fleet has produced record amounts of power over the past few weeks. Using current and historical electric power production data, Steve Aplin of Canadian Energy Issues shows that the nuclear fleet is by far the most efficient producer of power in Ontario. Because it emits no air pollution, nuclear is also the only technology that can further reduce electricity-related air emissions without curtailing vital economic and social activity.
Atomic Insights - Rod Adams
Why did gullible reporters promote a student paper about nuclear facility security?
An approachable and informative discussion of the race between
large-scale nuclear energy production and climate change - with an
emphasis on the history and potential of molten salt, thorium,
generation IV reactors - by grassroots supporter Jerry Nolan.
The discovery of radioactively contaminated water leakage at
Fukushima-Daiichi was declared an INES Level 3 event this week, focusing
the world’s attention on the site once again -- Will Davis with an
update and analysis of the situation and implications for the future.
Nuke Power Talk - Gail Marcus
Post-Fukushima Japan: Unseen Impacts
It's interesting to note that the bottom of the release states "Formerly American Locomotive Company," as the name change was still relatively new. It's also important to note that this facility was built to support the AEC reactor program which resulted in construction of a number of small reactors for various remote locations, and not in support of an oft-rumored nuclear locomotive program.
ALCO Products did not achieve the front-running status in the nuclear energy programs of the US as it might have wished. While it had early success with small plants for the Army (not only acting as reactor designer and manufacturer, but also manufacturing the reactor pressure vessels, pressurizer vessels, and steam generators for some projects) it didn't make any break into the larger power reactor market -- although ALCO was in fact offering a 125 MWe commercial nuclear power plant in 1959 which it stated in advertisements was fully designed. None was built.
In 1963, ALCO Products shed most of its nuclear business and refocused on its roots of locomotive manufacturing. ALCO briefly made some headway against new, direct competitor (and former partner) General Electric in the diesel-electric locomotive field, with introduction of the new ALCO Century locomotives (so named to mark ALCO's 100th anniversary) and with an attempt to manufacture very large locomotives using hydraulic, instead of electric, transmission. Reliability problems, coupled with dominance of the field by Electro-Motive (a division of General Motors) and unending expenditure of monies by General Electric in the field made ALCO's position shaky. After divesting its nuclear business, ALCO had been bought by Worthington Corporation, which later became Studebaker-Worthington. The owners decided to get out of the locomotive business in 1969, and ALCO's product lines which remained were sold off.
The name remains familiar today in nuclear energy circles not just due to the history so briefly detailed above, but also because of the fact that some nuclear plants still employ ALCO design model 251 diesel engines as part of their EDG equipment. The 251 product line has passed through a number of hands since 1969 but presently is under the (very competent) roof of Fairbanks-Morse - itself a former competitor in the diesel locomotive field.
Getting back to nuclear energy.. the Critical Facility's days didn't end when ALCO sold its nuclear business; this facility too was sold, and remains today in modified form as the Walthousen Reactor Critical Facility, operated by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Click here to see their page about the facility, including a link to a long video which shows the facility off to good advantage.
I hope you've enjoyed the Carnival this week. Let me know if you guessed the photo before I identified it, using the comments section!
12:45 PM Eastern 8/25/2013
ATOMIC POWER REVIEW