ANS 2015 Plenary Talks – Part 5 Scott Tinker, Texas state geologist and star of the documentary “Switch”

Scott Tinker, Director, Bureau of Economic Geology and creator of Switch was the final speaker during the plenary session on June 8, 2015 at the American Nuclear Society (ANS) annual meeting.

As usual, his talk was face paced, well delivered and full of important information about energy. His segment about the challenges and opportunities associated with producing oil and gas from tight reservoirs like shale rock should be particularly new and useful to listeners from the American Nuclear Society and the Atomic Show podcast.

This is one of my favorite quotes from the talk.

You’ll hear people say, “If we just had the political will, we’d be fully renewable.” Smart people have said this. Well, there’s thermodynamics, kinetics, economics… And there’s materials, scale… There’s a lot of things besides political will that drive our resource behavior and always will.

Tinker emphasized four measures of effectiveness for energy alternatives. Available, affordable, reliable, sustainable. Those are quite similar to the four measures that Tom Fanning from Southern Company lists as the most important features — clean, safe, reliable, affordable — to qualitatively evaluate when making big energy system decisions.

They are the measures that determine which sources merit significant investment and development.

Tinker’s evaluation puts two sources at the top of the heap — natural gas and nuclear. In that way, he has a lot in common with Robert Bryce, who has written favorably about N2N – natural gas to nuclear.

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