Atomic Show #249 – All-Electric America by Freeman and Parks

S. David Freeman and Leah Y Parks have published a book titled All-Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future.

There are a number of visionary sections of the book that appeal to me. However, I was not surprised to find out that the book takes a strong position in opposition to nuclear energy. I’ve long been aware of S. David Freeman, his career in the electricity production enterprise, and his forty-fifty year old position on nuclear energy.

With the help of the book’s publicist, I was able to arrange an interview with Dave and Leah. As luck would have it, our arranged appointment was at noon on January 22, 2016. That is the day when the mid-Atlantic region of the US was scheduled to receive an epic snowstorm that the Weather Channel had named Winter Storm Jonas.

Jonas arrived in Lynchburg at about 7:30 am, almost exactly when the forecasters predicted about 72 hours in advance of the storm. At noon, when we started talking, it had not yet arrived in Washington, DC, where David was located. Since Leah was on the west coast, she had no weather related comments to make during the discussion.

The presence of that storm gave me a little bit of ammunition for discussing the limitations of an All-Electric America vision that avoids both fossil fuel and nuclear energy, instead planning to rely on wind, solar and storage.

I may be a little biased, but I think this might be one of the more intriguing Atomic Show’s yet.

One of the interesting aspects of the conversation was realizing that Freeman traces his opposition to nuclear energy to the enormous costs that were being imposed on TVA as a result of the Three Mile Island accident. He might have been a little taken aback by the way I understood his experience and provided a different point of view on the basis for the disruptive changes ordered by the NRC.

I think you might also enjoy the segment in which Freeman appeals to the authority of President Carter and his proclaimed training as a nuclear submariner, despite the documented historical fact that LT Jimmy Carter resigned his commission and returned to Plains, GA about 14 months BEFORE the first nuclear powered submarine reported that it was “Underway on nuclear power.”

In fact, when LT Carter left the Navy, the USS Nautilus was still in the drydock at the Electric Boat shipyard. It wasn’t launched until January of 1954; Carter was in Plains by October of 1953.

Note: I called Leah immediately after we finished the show to exchange a little more information. We ended up talking for about a half an hour about shared values and dreams.

I apologize for forgetting to use my mute button. I’ve a bit of a cold, so you can hear my breathing while my guests are talking. No excuses.


Why James Hansen might be underestimating nuclear energy’s growth potential and why Joe Romm is wrong

Joe Romm, an energy industry and climate change pundit who was once mentored by Amory Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute, recently sat down at his keyboard to produce a piece providing the basis for his opinion that James Hansen, Ken Caldeira, Tom Wigley and Kerry Emanuel — and hundreds to thousands of other nuclear […]

Read more »

Treasure trove of documents about the ML-1, the US Army’s trailer-mounted, nitrogen-cooled, atomic fission-heated generator

I recently published an article featuring a video from the Army Nuclear Power Program that focused on the Army’s mobile, low power closed cycle nitrogen cooled nuclear reactor designated the ML-1. The article generated a good discussion that indicated a strong desire for more information about the program. My initial searches didn’t turn up a […]

Read more »

Why did Richard Nixon so strongly endorse nuclear energy in April 1973?


On April 18, 1973, President Richard Nixon gave a special message to the congress of the United States on energy policy. Unlike more recent offerings by presidents regarding energy, that document placed a huge emphasis on making regulatory and legislative changes that would enable the rapid expansion of nuclear power; the ‘N’ word appears in […]

Read more »

How would a Rockefeller crony react to Eddington’s vision of subatomic energy?

Recently an Atomic Insights reader shared a document that inspired a new line of thinking about the chronology of atomic energy development. The inspirational document was a PDF copy of a chapter titled Little Red Schoolhouse from Freeman Dyson‘s memoir, Disturbing the Universe. It was a brief tale about a memorable burst of creativity in […]

Read more »

Licensing demonstration reactors in the United States

During the joint DOE-NRC workshop on advanced non-light water reactors held last week (Sep 1-2, 2015), John Adams of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation gave a presentation on reactor license classification terminology. It made me squirm in my chair with the desire to interrupt. Probably because he has read and […]

Read more »

Sad-ending story of EBR-II told by three of its pioneers

During the period between 1961 and 1994, an extraordinary machine called the Experimental Breeder Reactor 2 (EBR-II) was created and operated in the high desert of Idaho by a team of dedicated, determined, and distinguished people. In 1986, that machine demonstrated that it could protect itself in the event of a complete loss of flow […]

Read more »

Jerry Cuttler and Mohan Doss add their voices to Calabrese’s challenge to Science Magazine. Rejected – so far.

Yesterday, Atomic Insights published a copy of a letter that Dr. Edward Calabrese sent to Marcia K. McNutt, the Editor-in-Chief of Science Magazine. I have obtained permission to publish copies of two related letters addressed to Ms. McNutt, one from Dr. Jerry Cuttler and one from Dr. Mohan Doss. In addition, I have obtained a […]

Read more »

Edward Calabrese challenges Science Magazine to right a 59 year-old case of scientific misconduct

Dr. Edward Calabrese shared the below letter to the editor in chief of Science Magazine with several of his professional colleagues. One of them shared it with me. I immediately contacted Dr. Calabrese and obtained his permission to share it with Atomic Insights readers. Dr. Calabrese did not initiate this coverage of his ongoing investigation […]

Read more »

Nova’s “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail”

On July 29, 2015, a week before the August 6 commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, PBS (Public Broadcast System in the US) aired a documentary titled Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail. Unlike many efforts on similar topics, this one is worth watching. More importantly, it is worth recommending […]

Read more »