Atomic Show #197 – Radium, educational museums and Voices for Vermont Yankee

On Sunday, February 24, I gathered a group of fission fans to talk about a number of nuclear energy related topics. We discussed Romance of Radium and how perceptions about radiation have been molded over the 76 years since it was produced. Then, people had learned enough about the benefits of using power emitted from atomic nuclei so that the only powerfully radioactive material was valued at $750,000 per ounce, and had also learned enough about time, distance, shielding and consumption avoidance to have essentially eliminated accidental radiation related injury.

We also talked about the importance of sharing accurate nuclear science and technology related material with as many people as possible. We discussed an interesting model situation in the UK where the Sellafield installation is taking over a financially struggling, but popular tourist museum named The Beacon so that it can help people better understand the benefits of a complicated technology.

Guests on this episode of The Atomic Show include:
Meredith Angwin, who publishes Yes Vermont Yankee and who recently released Voices for Vermont Yankee on Kindle.
Steve Aplin, who publishes Canadian Energy Issues which focuses on the energy situation in Ontario. (Steve confessed that his day job employer is in the fossil fuel industry, but we don’t hold that against him. He knows the importance of energy density and ultra low emissions.)
Gwyneth Cravens, author of Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy and one of the stars of the Sundance sensation titled Pandora’s Promise. (Gwyneth talked a little about some of the opportunities she has had recently to talk to some very deep-pocketed people in Mountain View, CA who are intensely interested in using nuclear energy to save the world.
Will Davis, who publishes the authoritative Atomic Power Review and who frequently contributes to ANS Nuclear Cafe and Fuel Cycle Week.
Andrea Jennetta, who publishes Fuel Cycle Week and I Dig U Mining

I hope you enjoy the conversation. Please provide your commentary; we are always interested in learning more about how to better communicate what I believe is the most important message available – nuclear energy really does have the power to change the world and make it a cleaner, more prosperous, more energetic place.

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2 Responses to “Atomic Show #197 – Radium, educational museums and Voices for Vermont Yankee”

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  1. Stephen says:

    Great podcast as always. Thank you.

    As UK gets a mention, just to say that gradually, at the end of last year and beginning of this, UK’s nuclear power plants are opening up again to the public. I went down to have a look round Sizewell B last week. Anyone know what the current situation is in US regarding plants opening to the public?

    http://www.edfenergy.com/about-us/energy-generation/nuclear-generation/nuclear-visitor-centres.shtml

    And as Rickover gets a mention, been reading Jimmy Carter’s White House Diary

    http://www.amazon.com/White-House-Diary-Jimmy-Carter/dp/B007MXG8NG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361899232&sr=8-1&keywords=white+house+diary

    really fascinating. Rickover visited Carter several times every year during his presidency and very interesting to read what Carter wrote about it (back then and now).

  2. James Greenidge says:

    Good show:

    Like this cast! An encore is a must do! (It could be the nucleus of a rapid response anti-FUD web/media/YouTube nuclear truth squad!) Some off cuff bit thought nuggets for future shows;

    What would’ve been great expanding on is the comparison of Berlin Airlift coal tonnage vs its weight equivalence in uranium. How many monster Oil / LNG tankers = how much uranium in weight / energy expenditure. A retrospective of the nuclear conversion of eco liberal Paul Newman and why is he seldom mentioned/lauded in pro nuclear activities like Sagan is for space science / and his conversion unmentioned in Hollywood which might’ve seeded and encouraged more actors and musicians to hawk nuclear.

    I do know too many “science shows” and media types (at least NYC media) and many non-college educators (at least) depict E=mc2 as being the “formula for an A-bomb”. PSA’s using a take-off of Fukushima-New Mexico rad exposure.

    Inviting a nuclear blogger in Japan on-board for local perspectives there and on-site news. (BTW Japanese students at my college claimed the demo A-bomb thingie would’ve never scored, like them surrendering to a ghost/mirage, etc).

    As big examples, what is British Columbia’s and Australia’s specific beefs against nuclear and whether they’d concede to being wrong or mislead. U.N.’s environmental hypocrisy banning nuclear energy from Antarctica while current bases burn oil and create huge oil drum dumps and contamination.

    Atomic Review has a pic of bottom half of containment being built; sure doesn’t look cheap compared digging a hole; question the containment effectiveness and costs building reactors underground. Cutting edge alternates to infamous cooling towers to make nuclear more unobtrusive. The Rickover misinterpreted comment recalls to me that no engineer ever said that a bumble shouldn’t be able to fly; a newspaperman in the 1940’s said an engineer did.

    Allowing antis to call the shots labeling nuclear as “unnatural”. More info on NASA and development of nuclear drives to give wider public exposure of nuclear applications to help dispel “good for only war and evil things” perception. Suggest that Savannah curators create a online 3-D walk-thru tour (bad description of something common on Google maps) of every part of Savannah. Should be a quick cheap project for eager beaver local college students, right?

    To Jennetta and Steve; is the best community friendly future of uranium mining totally underground bore-machine type mining? Are there any international joint ventures in building and hawking SMRs? Love to know of a public nuclear quotient survey and it such determines their support of nuclear power and applications.

    Lastly, an open challenge to Sierra Club, Green Peace, Helen and Arnie and Doc Kaku to a Atomic Show debate. These are my two cents. Hope they’re any good!

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY