Personal aside from Rod Adams

Rod's new mustache started Movember 2009

Rod’s new mustache started Movember 2009

Part of my persona and my “brand” is a hairy upper lip. In the past 31 years, I have only been clean shaven for a few days in Movember 2009. The occasion for that loss of mustache event was an opportunity to bring attention to men’s health issues by helping the Movember campaign to raise money for prostate and testicular cancer research.

The campaign is designed to highlight efforts to work on these twin killers by having thousands to millions of fundraisers growing mustaches. After a month of happily watching NFL players wear pink, I think it would be kind of fun to see the whole league growing mustaches together.

Of course, since I nearly always have a mustache, the only way I can join the effort is to shave the one I have and start anew. Since some of you have commented over time about the hairy upper lip that you see every time you visit Atomic Insights, I am hoping that you will be moved to visit my Movember page and make a generous donation to help the cause.

Aside: I do not ask you for much here. There are no ads and not even a “donate” button. This is one of the exceptions to that rule. I am asking nicely for you to help support an important cause. End Aside.

Here is that Movember page URL one more time –

About Rod Adams

7 Responses to “Personal aside from Rod Adams”

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  1. Michael Sheak says:


    I have an interest in portable nuclear power and towards a machine for use in a national security application. My idea is “outside the bun” and most laugh at me when revealing my intentions but I am never discouraged….easily.

    The brief background you’ve made available and your assumed skill set is the catalyst for reaching out to you. I would enjoy “brainstorming” with you at some point if interested,


    • John Englert says:


      COL Paul Rogue, USA has been socializing the concept of deploying small reactors for the last few years.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Michael Sheak

      Have you ever visited Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. (

      I have been interested in “portable” nuclear power systems for many years and would be happy to engage in discussions as long as the science and engineering does not depend on assumptions unavailable in legitimate thermodynamics and nuclear engineering textbooks.

  2. Daniel says:

    The Chinese are coming !!!

    Remember Vogtle? Well, in order to smooth the learning curve, Shaw Power Group announced that Chinese employees will join the the project over the next four years.

    The first batch of six people is expected to include planners and electrical engineers, all experienced in building AP1000 projects, commonly known as third-generation reactors will arrive shortly.

    In the meantime, McFarlane argues that US nuclear innovations are on the verge.

    No matter what, things are indeed moving along. I am optimistic.

  3. Daniel says:

    On another note I have to disagree with Rod on securing long term electricity prices to have construction of nuclear plants emerge.

    For example on the financing issue. I maintain that loan guarantees up front is the proper way to finance nuclear plants. (England is starting to realize this) It also goes with the matching concept in finance. It will only be needed for the first 4 to 6 AP1000 as the industrial model and macro economic situation are very different than 40 years ago:

    1) Cost of money is cheap.
    2) Many parts are manufactured prior to being shipped to the construction site and economies of scale are possible. The US missed the boat 40 years ago with 110 designs for 110 nuclear plants. Somehow we still fail to today acknowledge that.

    Having electricity prices secured for the long term is OK but the operating costs of a nuke (fuel being an insignificant variable cost as opposed to other base load competitors like coal, gas) are totally different and electricity price guarantee plays a lesser role in this context.

    To conclude, after 4 or 5 AP1000 plants under out belts, we will have mastered the learning curve and all financing and costing issues will be predictable. This is when the nuclear revolution will begin. Plus every country except the US can build nuclear plants on time and on budget. Is the NRC of any help ? Not really.

    The last Candus to be built were success stories.

    • Pete51 says:

      “Plus every country except the US can build nuclear plants on time and on budget.”

      Areva hasn’t done all that well with their EPR in Finland. It is a First of a Kind plant, and one can expect delays. I believe they had some problems with management of subcontractors, something reminiscent of the WPPSS fiasco in Washington state. I don’t know if Flamanville-3 is any better. It has had its share of delays too.

      But the South Koreans and Chinese seem to have a knack for keeping on schedule and on budget. When the Japanese were building plants, it only took them three years to build an ABWR.

      I see that Southern Co, Shaw and the NRC have worked out their issues with the Vogtle 3 and 4 nuclear islands basemat rebar and concrete. That is a positive development, but they still have a long way to go.

    • Rod Adams says:


      Loan guarantees would be as risky for nuclear plants without an established strike price as student loan guarantees are for students in a lousy job market.

      In my world, loans have to be paid back; the only legitimate way to do that is with income. A nuclear plant selling into a depressed market will not have a sufficient income stream to pay back its financial backers and would end up defaulting. The last thing that nuclear technology needs right now is a Solyndra style default.