Fantasy Crossfire debate: Ed Lyman versus Rod Adams on fast breeder reactors

CNN has done a masterful job of seizing the opportunity provided by Robert Stone’s thought-provoking Pandora’s Promise to generate a passionate discussion about the use of nuclear energy — a vitally important topic — at a critical time in American history. The decision makers at that somewhat fading network should be congratulated.

Of course, generating passionate discussion about controversial subjects on which large numbers of people hold strong opinions is one of the best ways for an entertainment network like CNN to entice viewers to pay attention to their shows and articles. Getting viewers to tune in and pay attention is exactly what CNN’s real customers demand. As any well-informed citizen should know, the real customers of large media companies are not the viewers; the real customers, the people responsible for most of the media’s revenues, are the advertisers.

Pandora’s Promise has offered the network the opportunity to generate some heated debate already, with episodes like the Piers Morgan Show discussion between Robert Stone and Robert Kennedy and the Crossfire episode with Michael Shellenberger and Ralph Nader. I hope that the network programmers milk those great properties by repeated showings and perhaps some well promoted YouTube releases.

Here’s another show suggestion for CNN: I volunteer to go head to head on Crossfire with Dr. Ed Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Here’s the twist that should make the show interesting — I think my position qualifies as being “on the left” while Lyman, who works for an “environmental” organization, is promoting ideas that seem to qualify him as the guy “on the right.”

Imaginary Crossfire Promotion

Imaginary Crossfire Promotion

Read more »

Hydrocarbon-fueled establishment hates idea of plutonium economy

In the above clip from a recent interview on CNN’s Piers Morgan, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. describes how Pandora’s Promise advocates that canceling the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) project in 1994 was a mistake. RFK Jr., a man from an iconic family that has been a part of the US moneyed Establishment for the better […]

Read more »

Can nuclear energy save Detroit?

Update: (August 2, 2013) – American Atomics is now claiming that there is no site in Detroit that is large enough to house the infrastructure that they are planning to build. Here is a link to their post. http://safereactor.org/post/57104636966/no-room-in-detroit It is a pretty incredible claim for a company that currently has no facilities. Supposedly the […]

Read more »

Recycling used nuclear fuel – Argonne research explained in 4 min video

One of the most frequently used arguments against using nuclear energy is “the waste issue.” When people ask me, “what do you do with the waste”, my standard answer is “recycle it.” The truly curious then ask for more information. A few days ago, Nuclear Street shared a video produced by Argonne National Laboratory that […]

Read more »

FFTF – What could a functional Fast Flux Test Facility do for the US?

A friend shared the above video about the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF). I thought it was worth sharing and discussing, though I am not sure how current it is. The FFTF was not a shining example of government efficiency; it was initially conceived in the 1960s, finally completed in the late 1970s, started up […]

Read more »

Pronuclear videos continuing to proliferate – The Nuclear Option

With a hat tip to Ben Heard at Decarbonize SA, I thought it might inspire you to see two videos side by side. These videos were created in geographic locations that are about as far apart as you can get and still be on Earth. As far as I can tell, neither creative team knew […]

Read more »

Pursuing the unlimited energy dream – history of the Integral Fast Reactor

Note: Len Koch, whose participation in nuclear energy research started in the 1940s, wrote the below open letter to colleagues who are striving to restore interest in the progress that they made in research and development of the Integral Fast Reactor during the period from 1954-1994 the year that President Clinton and Hazel O’Leary, his […]

Read more »

Cloistered nuclear scientists needed Sun Tzu’s advice – “Know your enemy”

The Art of War

I just received my copy of Plentiful Energy: The Story of the Integral Fast Reactor. The complex history of a simple reactor technology with emphasis on its scientific basis for non-specialists by Charles Till and Yoon Il Chang. There is no doubt that it is going to be a fascinating read, but I had to […]

Read more »

Update from Hyperion Power Generation Chief Operating Officer

Yesterday morning I wrote a post titled Where is Hyperion Power Generation headed now? By the time I was ready for a lunch break, I had received an email from the Chief Operating Officer of Hyperion Power Generation offering to fill me in on some of the details that he was able to make public. […]

Read more »

Update on fast reactor group challenge to MIT

Steve Kirsch, an MIT graduate and enough of an entrepreneurial success to have an auditorium at the school that carries his name, has updated his challenge to the faculty at his alma mater in a post on The Huffington Post titled Is MIT Afraid to Debate Nuclear Report?. Steve is quite serious about this challenge […]

Read more »

Fast reactor advocates throw down gauntlet to MIT authors

Near the end of 2010, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a summary of a report titled The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle as part of its MIT Energy Initiative. The complete report was released a few months ago. The conclusions published that report initiated a virtual firestorm of reaction among the members of […]

Read more »

The Atomic Show #148 – Hyperion Power Module Update

On January 21, 2010, I caught up with Forrest Rudin and TJ Trapp of Hyperion Power Generation. Forrest is Hyperion’s Chief of Staff; TJ is the Vice President of Engineering. They were on the road meeting with various stakeholders to explain more about their product. They took the time out of their schedule to provide […]

Read more »