Protecting our shared environment is a conservative value and a liberal responsibility

It is past time to move towards a broader view of our shared responsibility to protect our environment, seek improved prosperity, and leave a better world than the one to which we were born.

The political boundary lines that seem to have been hardened in recent years are preventing us from cooperating, even in areas where we share many aspirations.

There is a scene in Robert Stone’s Pandora’s Promise, a documentary made by a life-long liberal in support of a new look at nuclear energy, a powerful energy technology has somehow gained the reputation of being supported by conservatives and frowned on by liberals, in which Margaret Thatcher is seen giving a speech to the United Nations on the need to work together to prevent global climate change, protect biodiversity, and reduce all forms of pollution. That clip is cogent, but far too short.

Stone recently shared a link to the full speech on an email list to which we both subscribe and contribute. Please take the time to listen carefully to a heartfelt, well-written and well-delivered speech. Please ask why we have let more than a quarter of a century pass since that speech without engaging in the productive, cooperative effort that she outlines. More importantly, please ask yourself what we should do, starting today, to work together on items of common interest to us all.

PS – Yes, I know I can be almost irrationally optimistic — from a conventional point of view.

Paul Wilson & Bret Bennington vs Arnie Gundersen & Heidi Hutner on Nuclear Sustainability

On Nov 20, 2014, Hofstra University hosted its annual Pride and Purpose Debate. This year’s proposition was the following – “Should nuclear energy be expanded to help create a more sustainable future?” The debate included the following panelists: For – J Bret Bennington, professor of geology, Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability at Hofstra University. […]

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Transatomic Power – Anatomy of Next

Dr. Leslie Dewan is a co-founder and the CEO of Transatomic Power, a venture capital-funded start-up based on research conducted at MIT. Along with Mark Massie, the other co-founder, Dewan is exploring a design that uses a molten salt fuel that enables materials currently classified as “nuclear waste” to provide the heat source for a […]

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Tour of NuScale control room and test facility

Jose Rod Test Facility

Disclosure: I have a small contract to provide NuScale with advice and energy market information. That work represents less than 5% of my income for 2014. On October 20, 2014, I had the opportunity to visit NuScale’s facilities in Corvallis, OR. Though the company now has offices in three cities, Corvallis, the home of Oregon […]

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UAMPS stepping forward to serve customers

The established nuclear energy industry has taken a wait-and-see approach to the idea of developing and deploying smaller, simpler fission power stations that can take advantage of the economy of series production. The industry’s trade organization, the Nuclear Energy Institute, has expressed cautious optimism and has engaged in a moderate effort to identify regulatory obstacles […]

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Prospective customers lining up at NuScale

Each orange circle represents a potential NuScale power plant

A few days ago, Dan Yurman at Neutron Bytes published a blog post that is now titled Flash: NuScale executive says firm may build SMRs at Idaho lab. It was a follow-up to an earlier post in which Dan speculated about the Idaho National Lab’s potential as a good site for a new nuclear power […]

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Atomic Show #223 – Diablo Saudi UAE Ukraine S Korea

On September 7, 2014, I gathered a group of nuclear energy observers to discuss a variety of topics of interest to people who believe energy is important. We talked about Diablo Canyon’s earthquake resilience, Saudi Arabia’s interest in a rapid growth in nuclear energy production, the certification of the APR+ in South Korea, the progress […]

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Terrestrial Energy – Molten Salt Reactor Designed to Be Commercial Success

There is a growing roster of innovative organizations populated by people who recognize that nuclear technology is still in its infancy. Terrestrial Energy is one of the most promising of those organization because of its combination of problem solving technology, visionary leadership, and strong focus on meeting commercial needs. Nearly all of the commercial nuclear […]

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Armond Cohen: Looks at Lovins’s claims with questioning analysis

A few hours ago, I posted a blog titled Amory Lovins-speak: Three misleading statements in a 15 second sound bite. That post included a video embed of Lovins presentation during a March 28, 2014 symposium sponsored by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth titled Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium: The Past, Present, and […]

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Amory Lovins-speak: Three misleading statements in a 15 second sound bite

I had the opportunity to be in the audience during the above talk. You might notice my impolite interjections; I have often been accused of being very poor at hiding my real reactions and feelings. There is a reason why I stopped playing poker during game nights on the USS Stonewall Jackson. I was losing […]

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Russia continues sustained fast breeder reactor effort

On June 26, 2014, the 60th anniversary of the start of the 5 MWe Obninsk reactor that was the first reactor in the world to routinely supply electricity to a commercial power grid, Russia started up the latest in a series of sodium-cooled fast reactors, the BN-800. This new nuclear plant is an evolutionary refinement […]

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