Another blogger about nuclear energy – Lenka Kollar at Nuclear Undone

Lenka Kollar is a fascinating nuclear energy educator with an inherited entrepreneurial spirit. She recently decided to move forward from her job as a nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory to form a consulting company and start a blog titled Nuclear Undone.

I had the pleasure of meeting her face-to-face — after several months of exchanging information with her via Twitter — at the recent American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting. We talked about shared interests; not only are we both fascinated with nuclear energy issues but we both like to communicate with people so much that we each recently left full time employment to focus on that task. I’ve been publishing Atomic Insights as a hobby for more than 18 years; she published her first post on Nuclear Undone on October 29, 2013.

I suspect that her readership might skyrocket past mine unless I work pretty hard. She is not new to blogging; she has been running a popular health and fitness blog Healthy Fit Goddess for several years while working as a nuclear engineer. That’s okay; I love the idea of having more people like Lenka sharing their knowledge about nuclear energy.

Her most recent post described a session about nuclear non-proliferation held at the ANS meeting. She ended the post with the following question:

Do you think the nuclear nonproliferation regime is effective?

Here is the response I provided.

Judging the effectiveness of the non-proliferation regime depends on what you think the real goals of the effort are. The regime has done a good job making it difficult to obtain nuclear material, increasing the cost of successful acquisition. It has probably discouraged a country or two from obtaining weapons by peer pressure or by making the effort prohibitively expensive.

It has also accomplished what I think has always been the underlying goal of many of the original architects of the regime; it has increased the cost of using nuclear energy to the point where it has discouraged dozens of countries from becoming nuclear energy consumers.

That has helped to maintain the business of selling petroleum and other fossil fuels as one of the most profitable enterprises the world has ever known. That furthers the interests of a large portion of the political and economic establishment.

I hope this is one of the nuclear myths that you attempt to undo. IMHO, the NPT really is a discriminatory treaty — as some non-nuclear weapons states have always claimed — that is designed to cement the superiority of the nuclear weapons states.

It also functions on another level to ensure that multinational hydrocarbon corporations (both investor and government owned) do not have to compete against atomic energy on anything close to a level playing field.

Rod Adams
Publisher, Atomic Insights

Please visit Nuclear Undone and welcome Lenka to the world of nuclear energy bloggers.

Aside: I had to catch myself; I almost wrote “pronuclear bloggers”, but the Nuclear Undone “About” page makes the following statement: “Nuclear Undone is not pro or against nuclear energy, but rather serves as an education portal for those wanting to learn more about important nuclear issues.” It also says “This website is for you to learn and not to pass on the agenda of the nuclear industry or government.” I’m okay with that position; the more information people learn about nuclear energy, the better — as long as the information is accurate. End Aside.

About Rod Adams

58 Responses to “Another blogger about nuclear energy – Lenka Kollar at Nuclear Undone”

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  1. Daniel says:

    By openly stating :

    Nuclear Undone is not pro or against nuclear energy

    She is copycating the UCS. Not a good idea.

    • starvinglion says:

      She’s just another socialist utopian. “Jobs for everyone on earth”….”Everyone is equal”…

      No wonder shes not pro or against nuclear energy. She doesn’t believe in anything except *someone else* writing her a check.

    • Rod Adams says:

      I don’t know. The ambiguity has worked well for UCS in terms of building a sustainable, reasonably well supported organization.

      I doesn’t hurt to emulate successful models with a twist.

  2. starvinglion says:

    “Nuclear Undone is not pro or against nuclear energy”

    Typical socialist utopian. We’re all equal. Jobs for everyone on earth. The only thing she believes in is someone else writing her a check.

    • John Tucker says:

      Wait a minute I thought I was the socialist free check loven walmart welfare queen. If you keep calling everyone that I am not going to feel so special.

  3. starvinglion says:

    Here is an example of ‘Nuclear Undone’….The pro-nuclear UK can’t even build its own nuclear reactors, and is instead providing subsidies to and allowing majority ownership by Chinese. So much for nuclear enabling sovereignty and security, huh? I wonder why Rod Adams didn’t have a post on this major catastrophe:

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/17/nuclear-expert-warning-chinese-role-uk-plants

  4. John Tucker says:

    Of course anything truly impartial or even science based these days is treated like a radical pro nuclear stance after so many years of skewed anti nuclear activism.

    Incidentally, speaking of the anti nukes; I used to enjoy reading the comments over at “ENE News” as fast as I could and in a high pitched voice because it sometimes made me laugh.

    I hadn’t been lately because I thought the insanity would have died down from the lack of any real crisis and, of course, after so many months of totally embarrassing themselves. I see I was quite mistaken.

    Ive learned :

    1. Tokyo needs to be immediately evacuated.
    2. The entire pacific ocean is “dying”
    3. If fuel rods touch they will explode.
    4. If you have been feeling not so good in the last few years -> Fukushima
    5. There is no sign of life in Fukushima exclusion zone – its a “nuclear wasteland” (except for a few birds)
    6. Huge sinister cover up is occurring and only some education professor (aka polymath and nuclear expert) at penn state in the US is onto it.

  5. Daniel says:

    We kow wind mills are killing birds with their blades. Now, solar is frying them on their migration path.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/11/12/Oops-Solar-Energy-Plants-are-Killing-Rare-birds

    And Diablo is held accountable for the plancton that the slightly warm water kills. A big study and cooling towers will be required at a heafty cost.

    I am not amused at all.

  6. Daniel says:

    People don’t kill endangered species birds.

    Solar and Wind do with tacit support from the Federal government in place and the green movement.

    • John Tucker says:

      Bas will show up in a few minutes to remind us how wonderful wind and solar are in Germany. Of course they are a complete joke there in actual generation now:

      German week-ahead peakload power prices at highest since Jan on low wind, cold

      Average wind power generation was forecast to remain at below average levels at 3.4 GW for Saturday, 1.5 GW Sunday and 3.6 GW Monday, according to a source.

      Solar output was seen in a range between 2-3 GW for average peakload hours through to Monday, the source added. ( http://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/london/german-week-ahead-peakload-power-prices-at-highest-21828027 )

      They’ll burn some palletized “renewable” wonder fuel and call it all “green” though. Shhhhhhh! – German Pellet Green is made out of forests!

  7. Daniel says:

    Here is the article where Diablo Canyon has to build a 12 BILLION dollars cooling tower system to mitigate the harm it does to the local environment (warm water kills plancton)

    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/11/02/2763083/diablo-canyon-faces-deadlines.html

    But wind and solar can kill birds at will.

    • John Tucker says:

      OMG you are kidding. Dams eradicate whole species and ecosystems and they are worried about a small plume near the plant. That cooling colossus will do more damage.

      I will have to read up on this one.

  8. EZ says:

    It’s good to hear about Lenka Kollar’s blog. The more accurate information about nuclear power available to the public the better.

    Here I wanted to share this.
    Nuke Huggers? Why Some Climate Scientists Are Warming To Nuclear Power
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkrancer/2013/11/15/nuke-huggers-why-some-climate-scientists-are-warming-to-nuclear-power/?ss=business%3Aenergy

  9. John Tucker says:

    Japan Shelves Plan to Slash Emissions, Citing Fukushima

    Under its new goal, Japan, one of the world’s top polluters, would still seek to reduce its current emissions. But it would release 3 percent more greenhouse gases by 2020 compared to levels in 1990. Japan’s previous government had promised before the Fukushima crisis to cut greenhouse emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels, expecting that it could rely on nuclear power to achieve that goal. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/world/asia/japan-shelves-plan-to-slash-emissions-citing-fukushima.html?_r=0 )

    This is incredibly worrisome and came as a shock to the climate change discussion in Copenhagen but I dont think it will be their final answer. Too much is occurring for any one to ignore the consequences of increased GGs.

  10. John Tucker says:

    This is from march but I missed it in all the news fluff and clutter.

    Ministry: Rate of Fukushima thyroid abnormalities roughly normal

    there was no telling if that incidence rate was particularly high or reflected contamination from radioactive iodine released from the nuclear plant because it was the first time high-performance ultrasound devices had been used to test children’s thyroid glands in such a comprehensive study.

    To obtain control data for comparison, the Environment Ministry tested 4,365 children aged between 3 and 18 in three other cities far from Fukushima , using ultrasound devices of the same performance and diagnostic standards.

    The surveys found cysts measuring up to 2 cm and lumps measuring up to 5 mm in 56.6 percent of the children tested. Larger cysts and lumps were found in 1.0 percent of them, compared with 0.6 percent in the Fukushima children .( http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201303090076 )

    How many times has a supposed increase been repeated in US news with no mention of all this>? I saw it more than a few times last week during the pandora’s promise release. Even on CNN.

    • John Tucker says:

      Im not going to get over this.

      Most of us that had read the Chernobyl stuff knew, where average internal doses where at least hundreds and hundreds of times higher (if not thousands and thousands), and there were thyroid normalities and cancer[?? general population??] ( http://www.thingsworsethannuclearpower.com/2012/05/things-worse-than-chernobyl.html ) but it showed up much later?

      We knew there was something aims here. ( http://www.japanprobe.com/2012/07/21/more-anti-nuclear-fearmongering-thyroid-growths-in-fukushima/ )

      How is it no one in mass media could be bothered to check the most basic details of the survey? Nevermind mind coastal japan has history of anomalies when it comes to thyroid surveys as well too.

      How could so many miss this and parrot fraudulent anti nuke claims for so long?

      • starvinglion says:

        blah blah blah about side issues that don’t matter

        bottom line: can’t build a reactor on US soil even if regulations were nil. there is no longer enough manufacturing capability within us borders to ensure quality control. thats why large #’s of SMR’s will never work here. they will outsource manufacture and get in return reactors that quickly fail. then industry gets taken over by this “government” of cronies and you end up with east germany or worse.

        all the blowhard paper governmetn engineers with their innovation for the past 40 years. and what have we got to show for it? a ton of consultants on the dole…and ever shrinking industry.

        • John Tucker says:

          And the only world superpower with no one else close. Theres that. We invented Solar, wind, nuclear generation too. Climate science as well for that matter. Won both world wars. Outlived communism. Are exploring space nearly alone – soon will be colonizing it.

          They just started intently looking at licensing in 2010 and 2011 for SMRs in the US. Thats 2 human years ago. There are plans to build and permit requests have been submitted in the US. Give it time.

        • Smilin Joe Fission says:

          You really think companies are going to buy components from manufacturers, foreign or domestic, that have such low quality control standards? That is not how a company stays in business.

          By the way, SMR construction is completely possible using only domestic (US) manufacturers for heavy components.

          • starvinglion says:

            Do you realize that the DOE has completely outscourced conceptual design of nuclear reactors to china? Thats how asleep you people are.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @starvinglion

            Since I know quite a few Americans who are employed in the task of conceptual design of nuclear reactors, I have to challenge your false assertion that “DOE has completely outsourced conceptual design of nuclear reactors to China.” Please stop making bold, incorrect, and unreferenced statements. Otherwise you will be blocked from commenting.

          • Cory Stansbury says:

            That’s interesting, I didn’t know I worked in China. I thought I worked in Pittsburgh. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure 100% of the people working on the conceptual design of Westinghouse SMR either live here, Columbia, SC, Newington, NH, Windsor, CT, St. Louis, MO, or Kansas City, MO. Are any of those places in China? My geography may be a bit rusty.

          • starvinglion says:

            Here is the reference. Its obvious the USA, UK, and Germany have totally given up on nuclear.

            http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Thorium-Fuelled-Molten-Salt-Reactors-Weinberg-Foundation.pdf

          • starvinglion says:

            Read it and weep:

            “The US Department of Energy (DOE) started a multi-university research programme in January 2012 and US experts have been participating in a design review of the Chinese FHR design. US and Chinese research teams plan to independently develop predictive models to understand the behaviour of the Chinese design. There are also plans for US research students to work in China on the FHR programme.”

            Now, what part of “Chinese design” do you utopians not understand?

          • Rod Adams says:

            What part of US expert participation and “independently develop predictive models” do you fail to understand? In addition, this quote appears to be discussing a specific design effort; your initial comment implied that all of the various design efforts in progress today have been outsourced to the Chinese.

          • starvinglion says:

            “…discussing a specific design effort”

            Supported by the DOE. Do you really think the DOE will support any other design?

        • ZachF says:

          “can’t build a reactor on US soil even if regulations were nil”

          Uhhh… the regulations are certainly a lot more than nil and there are five reactors under construction here in the US.

          • Daniel says:

            Wait til Mac F and Monz get their heads to ensuring that plants can withstand asteroids and meteorites.

            Fukushima regulation did not kill the industry, but out of space fears will.

        • Cory Stansbury says:

          100% of the sourcing for the Westinghouse SMR can be done domestically. That was a goal from day one. You are incorrect.

          • starvinglion says:

            This is the same Westinghouse that has been doing technology transfers with China for many years now.

          • Cory Stansbury says:

            Your point being? Technology transfer was a condition of the sale. Areva had to do the same thing with the EPR. Guess what? It wasn’t the first time either. We effectively started Areva, Mitsubishi Nuclear, and KEPCO too.

      • John Tucker says:

        Indeed the number of cases that received further research/intervention that did turn out to become cancer are expected according to cancer expert Professor Geraldine Thomas. Thyroid cancer is a very slow growing cancer that doesn’t arouse attention normally until complications are observed.

        • John Tucker says:

          Just dropping some of my reading in here too, as I see they are now hyping screening cases that revealed cancer and you guys will undoubtedly have to deal with this, although the timing is still completely incorrect for these cancers to be related to the fukushima plant issues :

          Revised American Thyroid Association Management
          Guidelines for Patients with Thyroid Nodules
          and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer
          – 2009

          Epidemiologic studies have shown the prevalence of palpa-
          ble thyroid nodules to be approximately 5% in women and 1%
          in men living in iodine-sufficient parts of the world (1,2). In
          contrast, high-resolution ultrasound (US) can detect thyroid
          nodules in 19–67% of randomly selected individuals with
          higher frequencies in women and the elderly
          (3). The clinical
          importance of thyroid nodules rests with the need to exclude
          thyroid cancer which occurs in 5–15%
          depending on age, sex,
          radiation exposure history, family history, and other factors
          ( http://www.thyca.org/download/document/409/DTCguidelines.pdf )

          That pretty much finishes it.

          • John Tucker says:

            unless…. you like me are thinking, jesus h if thats true, thats a lot of cancer in the general population!! so one last thing (dont get mad rod), and its quite incredible, im ashamed I didn’t know about it:

            Papillary Thyroid Cancer Overdiagnosed; Therapy Unnecessary

            “We need to recognize that subcentimeter papillary thyroid cancers are probably a normal finding, based on extensive data from autopsy series, showing that 5% to 30% of patients have a small occult papillary thyroid cancer in their thyroid glands when they die of other causes,” said lead author Luc G.T. Morris, MD, from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Head and Neck Service in New York. ( http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/808401 )

            Id look again at any cancer incidence statistical study that involves/is dependent on thyroid cancer after this. Likely it has been skewed.

          • Brian Mays says:

            John – In addition, the rate of occurrence of these occult cancers varies among populations, researchers still don’t understand why. For example, they occur more frequently in the populations of Japan and Finland. The Japanese are much closer to the 30% than the 5%.

            Increased screening for thyroid problems detects these harmless cancers that otherwise would have gone unnoticed because they do not cause any symptoms. Thus, just looking for it causes the “cancer rate” to go up.

          • John Tucker says:

            Well I had not been keeping up with current research and that pretty much floored me Brain. Especially how the screening process could influence such a simple study so drastically.

            Not ONE of the mass media stories on the matter referenced current knowledge except in a vague and crude attempt to advance a perceived cover up perhaps.

          • jmdesp says:

            And still you still haven’t read about how screening multiplied the rate by 10 in Korea. See this comment by a Korean physician http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f4706/rr/663420 on an article about how zealous imaging has increased detection and treatment of low risk tumours.

  11. Mitch says:

    Well Rod, since “(rabidly anti)Nuclear News”‘s Christina Macpherson has come out that you’re a “consummate liar running an industry subsidized propaganda site populated by ignoramuses”, say we openly and civilly invite her to your round table for a little poker with pros? If she backs out that says it all. I love emperors being publicly plucked like chickens!

    • John Tucker says:

      You mean there is a human that takes credit for phony “Nuclear News” and its posts? Shocking in and of itself.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Mitch

      Can you provide a link? I’d be happy to engage.

      • Chris says:

        Not the one Mitch mentions but relevant.
        Noel Christina Macpherson Wauchope, who runs the website www.antinuclear.net under the name Christina Macpherson, told BusinessDay she was not in a position to hire lawyers.
        “I think they must have thought AntiNuclear Australia was a big organisation, but it is just me,” she said.
        http://nuclearnewsaustralia.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/global-legal-adviser-to-nuclear-industry-threatens-anti-nuclear-campaigner/

      • Mitch says:

        No response to email summons. good luck: http://nuclear-news.net/author/christinamacpherson/ This is one wack job corrupting the opinions of far too many people by passing junk for news to let her slide.

        • James Greenidge says:

          Forget invitations and email. She’s going to have to be dragged into the Atomic Roundtable kicking and screaming. This woman fancies herself off as a Madeline O’Hare of nuclear energy. Question is just why would she (or any top anti-nuke honcho) stick her head and lies into Rod’s guillotine when she makes oodles of bucks off nuke scare books, speaking tours, sponsoring sham petitions and fund-raising for glowing kiddie victims of Fukushima? She should be shut down just for commerce fraud like that, forget over contorting issues and passing FUD for fact. That she has such a wide gullible audience that unquestioningly feeds into her bull, likely far far more than those of all nuclear blogs pooled together, shows just how much work nuclear public education has cut out for it. Again, it’s time for outfits like NEI and ANS to responsibly step up to the plate and take an aggressive anti-FUD stance via hard constant public nuclear education campaign in media and web because U.S. and Western nuclear is losing to totally groundless fear and charlatans. Put all those dues to some practical use! It just might help save a heap of jobs and spare a lot of grief!

          James Greenidge
          Queens NY

        • Rod Adams says:

          I was hoping for a direct link to her libel calling me a consummate liar and falsely stating that Atomic Insights is industry-funded.

  12. starvinglion says:

    “consummate liar running an industry subsidized propaganda site populated by ignoramuses”

    I don’t mind that. My beef is “Where are the jobs in nuclear other than cheerleading oops I mean consulting/education?”…

    None in “pro”-nuclear Britain’s *future* it would appear. None here in corruption riddled America either. Nuclear jobs are fast converging toward 0 even in conceptual design. This central planning government simply wants to outsource absolutely everything and the people around here just seem to prefer putting a bag over their head and pretend its not happening.

    There is an absurd obsession with university based innovation as if useless garbage like the internet, various electronic toys, goofy energy schemes such as algae, etc are relevant when in fact they don’t matter one iota to the necessities of quality of life. This has applied to nuclear as well. Even the abomination called nuclear fusion is still widely supported by fission proponents as fine science.

    The mindless drivel I read around here about climate change, lifting all 7 billion to much higher standards, proliferation…etc is from ivory tower types who are simply interested in socking it to the taxpayer suckers with even more burden. They couldn’t care less about the real world.

    I say again, WHERE ARE THE GOOD JOBS in nuclear?…in a bogus state that obsessed with shedding them as fast as possible

    • John Tucker says:

      It probably doest bother you most of the information is sensationalized/incorrect either Id imagine.

      Groups look for funding post-Vermont Yankee

      Currently, the plant employs about 620 people and has an average salary of $100,000. The plant pays about $1.15 million in local taxes every year. ( http://www.timesargus.com/article/20131030/NEWS03/710309900 )

    • Smilin Joe Fission says:

      Have you ever spoken to a PhD researcher at a university or been a researcher at a university? Nuclear engineering departments work closely with industry partners very often. They communicate with each other to design projects that aim to improve safety margins and the overall economics of the plant. Nuclear engineering department research produces a large amount of practical science that the industry uses.

  13. John Tucker says:

    Andrew Revkin seems to be toying with the idea of creating a new nuclear related blog. ( http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/ )

    That would be moderated but It would be cool if there was a way on blogs, especially general discussion blogs, to encourage reference particularity higher value scientific/trusted references as opposed to popularity and social media related rating systems that have taken over the Internet.

    That makes people (including myself) lazy, and encourages a Dunning–Kruger like quantity of sources/agreements over quality approach to truth I believe.

    • Atomikrabbit says:

      I asked Revkin years ago why his dotEarth blogroll contained only anti and no pro-nuclear environmental organizations.

      I never got a response, but perhaps this suggestion, and similar ones from many others, began to make an impression. His comments as referee between RFK and Robert Stone at the Pandora’s Promise premier indicated that, although he still has a lot of knowledge gaps to fill, he is starting to see the Cherenkov light.

    • quokka says:

      Speaking of Andrew Revkin, here’s a piece on the current hysteria over the removal of fuel from SFP 4:

      http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/on-global-terror-and-the-fukushima-fuel-move/?_r=0

      He quotes David Lochbaum from UCS who actually seems quite level headed and sensible.

  14. Lenka Kollar says:

    Thanks for the shout out Rod!

  15. starvinglion says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/japans-solar-dream-shatters-projects-fail-224915122–sector.html

    They need to bring in BAS and the rest of the phds from Germany to show them how to run a solar scam proper.

  16. James Greenidge says:

    Does anyone else find their rebuttals being filtered out at http://nuclear-news.net/2013/11/19/fukushima-fallout-damaged-thyroid-glands-of-california-babies/ ? This an horrendously irresponsible piece of contagious fear that should be called out — but she seems to be cherry-picking her feedback. ( I just try to never let a anti-nuke FUD rant go unchallenged to infect the innocent.)

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  17. Wtf Brambles says:

    I was doing some basic searches and found this thread where Rod attempted to engage with “Christina Mac” in 2008.

    http://www.nwprogressive.org/weblog/2008/05/toxic-waste-fatal-flaw-of-nuclear-power.html

    Hit the ‘End’ key on your keyboard to see the last comment, her comment, hanging in the wind. I don’t so much care about her getting what appears to be the last word — but the answers to those questions could (or have) been addressed in some posts here and on other rational nuclear sites. Seeing them addressed in one place could make for a powerful document, though we’re likely still only talking milliwatts..