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Gender: Male
Current location: New Jersey
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 28,208

Journal Archives

Trinidad and Tobago For the Love of the Music.

Sixteen tons

Hellscape McDonalds.

More at the Link: Hellscape McDonald's

Art, I think.

Meet Dr. Kathryn Huff, The 1st Biden-Harris Administration Appointment to DOE's Nuclear Dept.

Dr. Kathryn Huff

Viewpoint: Kathryn Huff, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at the US DOE

The Biden administration, while engaged in a reactionary enthusiasm for highly popular but completely ineffective so called "renewable energy," is, I think, quietly aware of reality. That is, at least, how I interpret the remarks of the curiously bureaucratically titled "Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy," Dr. Kathryn Huff.

Dr. Huff, who received her Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, was most recently an Assistant Professor Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she did research on advanced reactor designs and fuel cycle innovations.

This picture accompanies the viewpoint article:

The viewpoint can be found here: Viewpoint: Demonstration AND test reactors: both are necessary for innovation

An excerpt:

"The impacts of climate change are playing out in real-time all over the world, including in the United States. Oppressive heat domes have blanketed most of the country, severe flooding and storms continue to grow in intensity, and forest fires on the West Cost are ripping through acres of dry land with smoke that can been seen all the way on the East Coast.

We simply can't wait any longer and Secretary Granholm has made it crystal clear that we need to deploy all existing and new technologies NOW in order to temper these impacts - that must include innovations in nuclear energy.

The United States is fortunate to have some of the best nuclear innovators on the planet developing new reactor technologies that will expand access to reliable, clean energy all over the world.

Many of these US vendors are planning to demonstrate their reactors within the decade, but in order to innovate faster and improve upon these designs over time, we also need the necessary infrastructure to support their development and, more importantly, their commercial deployment.

This unique challenge is both a sprint and marathon at the same time, which is why we need reactor demonstrations AND a new test reactor to facilitate the future growth of these technologies.

The purpose of a demonstration is to prove that a technology works as intended. New innovations stem from these successful demos to improve the future generations of that product. Think of the latest version of your cell phone or the clever features in next year's new cars.

This same innovation cycle happens in nuclear energy.

Many of the advanced reactors in the demonstration pipeline right now are incorporating innovative fuels, materials, and technologies into modern concepts that build upon more than 50 reactor demonstrations at our national laboratories.

And, while these reactors will soon be ready to demonstrate their enhanced features over today's reactors, they will also continue to evolve and improve over time, which is why it's essential for our nation to expand our R&D infrastructure accordingly.

Since the 1960s, nuclear innovation has been fuelled by world-class nuclear R&D infrastructure at our labs and universities, including many campus Test, Research, and Training Reactors and the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory. ATR is the world's premier thermal neutron test reactor and enables nuclear fuel and materials testing for our military, federal, university, and industry partners.

While ATR and other US Department of Energy (DOE) test reactors will continue to provide this important capability, these thermal neutron reactors are not capable of sustaining neutrons at concentrations and speeds high enough to perform accelerated testing of innovative nuclear technologies. Faster testing will allow scientists to test multiple ideas quickly, identify what works, and make refinements that yield innovations to support the safer and more economical operation of nuclear power plants...

So called "renewable energy," despite the expenditure of trillions of dollars on it, has had absolutely no effect on climate change. The rate of increases in the concentrations of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide in the planetary atmosphere, after half a century of loud cheering for wind and solar, is accelerating, not decelerating.

Minds like Dr. Huff are the last, best chance we have to save what still is left to save, and perhaps even restore some of what has been lost.

I trust you're having a nice weekend.

Crianca morta

Criança morta (Dead Child) Candido Portinari, Brazilian, 1944, At the Museum of Art of São Paulo, Brazil.

IAEA Pre-COP26 Event Showcases Young Nuclear Experts Driving Innovation for Climate Change

I'm on the mailing list for the International Atomic Energy Agency and this came through on the newsfeed:

IAEA Pre-COP26 Event Showcases Young Nuclear Experts Driving Innovation for Climate Change

Showcasing the power of youth in forging nuclear energy innovations to mitigate climate change, the IAEA kicked off a series of events on 1 September held in connection with the Pre-COP26 climate meeting to be hosted by Italy later this month, the final ministerial gathering before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

Young professionals engaged in cutting-edge nuclear power projects supporting net-zero efforts in China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom (UK), United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE) gathered virtually for Youth Engagement on the Road to Decarbonization – the first of three events the Agency is hosting as part of the All4Climate initiative launched by COP26 co-host Italy.

“Whether it’s melting ice caps or historic flooding, signs of the climate crisis are unfolding before our eyes, underscoring the need to address the climate crisis with proven, effective technologies,” said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy. “Nuclear power, in partnership with other low-carbon energy sources, can accelerate the transition to net zero emissions.”

In China, the Guohe One+ project is aimed at demonstrating how one nuclear reactor can not only produce electricity free of greenhouse gas emissions, but at the same time in partnership with other low-carbon sources, how it can also provide a variety of products to help decarbonize other sectors, including heat for homes and water desalination.

“The hybrid use of nuclear power – a combination of nuclear, wind, solar and other renewable sources – will be a key force in meeting the challenges of climate change,” said Xu Yin, Project Management Engineer for the Guohe One+ demonstration project at the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI).

Emerging nuclear power technologies such as small modular reactors (SMRs), whether based on land or sea, can help provide the reliable backbone for future clean energy systems that integrate nuclear power with variable renewables, said Arina Samkova, a specialist for Rusatom Overseas. The world’s first advanced SMRs were recently deployed in Russia, aboard the Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear power plant that provides electricity and heating to the local community...

Personally I disagree with Xu Xin, with all due respect, with his work on hybrid nuclear energy, something I enthusiastically support.

The problem that many people have with nuclear energy is that it makes wind, solar, and other "renewable" energy unnecessary and redundant. The quotation marks are mine. I am a dissident when it comes to the highly popular claim that so called "renewable energy" is sustainable. The material costs, primarily in metals, means that the program means mining the effort to make this junk work will involve tearing the earth to pieces as we, and more dolorous, future generations, work ores of continuously decreasing grades.

So called "renewable energy" didn't work, isn't working, and won't work to address climate change. People however have a hard time giving up their unsupportable faith.

To steal lines from Macbeth, so called renewable energy advocates are all full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. With them it's always, "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, and all their yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death."

Every year seven million people die from combustion waste, aka "air pollution," while we all wait for the grand renewable energy nirvana that never comes.

I am very pleased that young nuclear professionals are raising their voices. I have enormous respect for the rising generation, which I expect to be a much greater than generation than mine. They couldn't be worse.

Out of curiosity, if you're under 35 here on DU, please check in.

I'm getting the feeling that most of us here are old folks.

Let me know if it's not true.

A Year Ago, I Started Sending My GF These Photos Whenever She Asked If The Baby Was OK

Reading = Learning.

I was shocked when Dad asked me to fix the electricity.

Dad Sucks at Doing the Laundry

And now the absolute worst...

...Uncle Donald Came to Visit Today.


I read a paper and was inspired to give this advice to my son: "Keep your math muscles working."

My day to day life is involved peripherally in chromatography, analytical chromatography as opposed to industrial chromatography, but I really don't think on a very profound level about it. When someone from the lab comes to me to describe what they have done and to get my comments or advice, and I ask about the chromatographic conditions, I often have to look up the chemistry of the columns in order to make suggestions. As I've aged and advanced in my career, I've moved further and further away from the theory into a lazy realm of automatic reference to experience.

It's been a long time, too long probably, since I sat down to think much about solving a differential equation, and my mathematical muscles have atrophied, something that struck me when I came across this beautiful paper, by Pakistani scientists, about the theory behind what we do so lazily day to day, without much thought. The paper is this one: Discontinuous Galerkin Scheme for Solving a Lumped Kinetic Model of Non-isothermal Liquid Chromatography with Bi-Langmuir Isotherms Ambreen Khan, Sadia Perveen, and Shamsul Qamar Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2021 60 (34), 12592-12601.

From the text, which starts with the sophomore chemistry discussion of chromatography and quickly moves beyond:

Chromatography is widely used for purification, separation, and identification of the mixture’s components for quantitative and qualitative inspection. It is successfully practiced in laboratories and industries to carry out various complex separations. This technique is regularly used in the pharmaceutical sector to detect the unknown compounds and purity of the mixture, in the chemical industry to test water samples and to check the air quality, and in the food industry to determine the nutritional quality of food. It also plays a vital role in forensic science, fingerprinting, protein separation (such as insulin purification), plasma fractionation, and enzyme purification. This technique is also used in different sectors such as fuel industry, biotechnology, and biochemical processes.(1−5)

Chromatography has several types, such as liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and ion-exchange chromatography. However, all of them follow the same basic principles. In chromatography, separation of the mixture components takes place between two phases, called as mobile and stationary phases. Here, we consider a liquid chromatography setup in which the adsorbent is solid and the solvent is liquid. The mobile phase (solvent), carrying the components of the mixture, is injected into the column containing the stationary phase (adsorbent). As a result, different chemical and physical interactions take place between the mixture’s component and the particles of the column. Those components of the mixture which are interacting strongly with the stationary phase are slowing down, while weakly interacting components are moving faster. Thus, the separated mixture components can be collected at the other end of the column.

The temperature of the column has an increasingly important role in the development and optimization of high-performance liquid chromatography.(6−10) Variations in the column’s temperature can enhance its performance, such as shortening of analysis and separation times, sharpening of elution profiles, reduction in the use of organic solvents, and allowing faster conversion of the reactant into products in reactive chromatography.(11−16) The efficiency of the column and the stability of the stationary phase and analytes could be improved under controlled temperature operation. Several experimental studies have been carried out in the literature on non-isothermal chromatography to demonstrate thermal effects on the retention behaviors of the elution profiles, variations in the concentrations and volumes of the injected pulses, packing materials, and ion-exchange chromatography.(17−25)
Mechanistic modeling is an extremely important section of chromatographic theory to understand and visualize the dynamics inside the column, to hypothetically examine the procedure of chromatography, and to streamline the product quality. Different multifaceted models have been introduced in the literature for simulating mass exchange and partitioning phenomena inside the chromatographic columns, for instance, equilibrium dispersive model (EDM), the lumped kinetic model (LKM), the general rate model, and many more.(1−5) All these models consist of a system of partial differential equations (PDEs) of advection–diffusion type coupled with some algebraic or differential equations. The linearity and non-linearity of these models are determined by the adsorption isotherm related to them. Analytical solutions of these models are possible for linear adsorption isotherms.(26−29) However, to study different types of thermodynamic adsorption equilibria, such as the generalized bi-Langmuir isotherm, accurate, stable, and efficient numerical techniques are the only available tool to obtain solutions.

The literature provides a wide range of numerical methods for solving the convection-dominated PDEs. Some of them are the non-oscillatory finite difference (FD) methods such as TVB (total variation bounded), TVD (total variation diminishing), ENO (essentially non-oscillatory), and weighted ENO schemes. These methods have the ability to avoid oscillations due to sharp discontinuities in the solution profiles.(30−47) Despite having simple coding, the FD methods are generally difficult to apply if complicated boundary conditions or/and complex geometries are involved.(48) The adaptive stencil idea of the ENO scheme provides high-order accuracy by implementing large stencil but gives low-order accuracy in the elements near the boundaries of the domain.

On the other hand, the finite element (FE) methods have the capability to handle complicated boundary conditions and complex geometries. FE methods, such as classical artificial viscosity and standard Galerkin methods, have low-order accuracy, are unstable, and can generate non-physical solutions. Streamline diffusion of the FE method, developed in refs (49−52), significantly reduces oscillations by considering the L∞ bound of the numerical solution. This method is implicit in time, whereas hyperbolic problems are functioning more naturally for explicit techniques due to the existence of strong shocks.(53−55) Therefore, the DG method was introduced and implemented to address these issues.

The DG method was first presented by Reed and Hill(56) to solve the steady-state linear hyperbolic equations and later in 1974 Lesaint and Raviart(57) proposed the mathematical analysis of this method by demonstrating the importance of applying the DG method to the neutron transport problem. Hulme(58,59) has suggested a similar approach for the solutions of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) by considering continuous, rather than a discontinuous, approximation of the solutions in their weak form. In 1988, the local discontinuous Galerkin (LDG) method was introduced by Cockburn, and afterward, the method was studied in detail for one-dimensional (1D) and multidimensional problems by Cockburn and other researchers.(60−64) Further development was made by Bassi and Rebay(65) in 1997 by considering DG space discretization in a different manner and by choosing numerical fluxes to solve compressible Navier–Stokes equations.

Boris Grigoryevich Galerkin was an interesting guy, a political radical in his youth, sentenced to a Czarist prison - where one was apparently allowed to do lots of math - he gave up political activism to focus on engineering mathematics, although he did become a Menshevik at one point; being a former Menshevik in Stalinist times was often fatal. He then was instrumental in developing a branch of mathematics that is well suited in modern times, given the development of modern computational power, to numerical solutions to differential equations. Irrespective of the repressive time and place in which he lived, Galerkin went on to become a world leading scientist, and during World War II was actually commissioned as a General in the Soviet Military, even though he knew nothing of military life and was embarrassed whenever people saluted him. He died in 1945, apparently of exhaustion.


I sometimes find myself pondering Langmuir adsorption coefficients, and at other times the related but different BET (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller) adsorption conceptions, but again, lazily.

Some text in a graphics format owing to the lack of an equation editor here:

...and so on.

The models by the way, produce some very ugly chromatography. Here's figure 6:

The caption:

Figure 6. Comparison of RKLDG and HR-FVS for two-component non-isothermal elution considering a non-linear isotherm with ce/cf = 1, k = 10 min–1, and k = 100 min–1. However, b1Iref = b2Iref = 1.0, b1IIref = b2IIref = 2.5.

My son has honored me by proposing to steal all of my ideas after pursing a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering. My "ideas" such as they are, do involve chemical separations of the valuable components of used nuclear fuel. I'm a Charles Forsberg fan.

Nuclear Engineering texts involve a considerable amount of mathematical sophistication, but in recent years, when I go through them - if I go through them, and sometimes I do - it's in a lazy fashion, a kind of mental note that lazily says "it's there if I want to spend the time to go deeper" but I never do.

I suppose in an nuclear engineer's career, a time comes that one just calls up the software without looking under the hood. This is my habit; I trust the mass spectrometry software, but seldom think about what lies beneath. (This can, albeit under rare circumstances, be dangerous.)

It is better, I think to really live in the mathematics. I sent this paper to my son, not because I expect him to read it or need it but as a warning to be better than his father throughout his life, something he is well on his way to achieving.

Have a nice weekend.
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