The Weather Channel visits B&W mPower, Inc.

On February 14, 2013, my day job employer hosted a contingent from The Weather Channel who wanted to learn more about the B&W mPowerTM Reactor project. The video is quite informative and encouraging; even though there is a little poetic license taken with the story and the technical description.

Though I work for B&W mPower, Inc. and this video is a shameless plug for my employer, I am not a company spokesperson. My opinions here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of The Babcock & Wilcox Company.

About Rod Adams

5 Responses to “The Weather Channel visits B&W mPower, Inc.”

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  1. James Greenidge says:

    Thanks for this vid!
    Funny. I was looking toward regular stats on how much the SMRs would generate and how cleanly and quietly and green friendly it was and all the coal infrastructure it’d replace, except that over 95% of this spot had overtones of “Will Robinson, Danger, Danger!! Hazard! Hazard!!” It didn’t miss me how they found space for coyly ominous mentions like 8-foot thick concrete slabs and emergency cooling systems and shut-down switches instead of explaining how the reactor peacefully generates steam for turbines like they _would_ for gas and oil plants. And of course Fukushima’s scary haunting image thrown in without outright spelling out no lives lost or public property damage. Am I being too harsh? What did viewers get positive or informative about this plant expect it’s basically dangerous and a lingering threat, really? The report sure didn’t sound all that reassuring or assuaging about nukes to me! I look forward to their cheerful peril-free reports on windmills, solar farms and algaeoline or even “clean coal” — oh yeah, they’re coming! Green-hued global warming crusader TWC ironically isn’t any fan of nukes (unlike its founders long ago) so I expect that this was mostly slow-day filler than truly any enlightening piece. Time long past to crank out some REAL nuclear PSAs — you nuclear PR officers hear??

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    • Rod Adams says:

      @James Greenidge

      You make some excellent points. Nukes have been forced to think so hard about safety systems and accident response that they often think that is what people really want to know about. Instead of starting a conversation with offense, describing how many clean kilowatt-hours this plant will generate over its life, for example, we start on the defensive to show how many layers of protection we have designed into the plant to ensure that it is safer than existing plants – which are already so safe that we have a 55 year operating history with few, if any impacts on public health or attempting to reduce the CO2 output of a fossil fuel plant to less than about 400 grams CO2/kilowatt-hour.

      I will challenge your continued use of “PSA” as an acronym. No media outlet is likely to run informational spots about nuclear energy for free; the industry is going to have to bite the bullet and budget for advertising in a wide variety of forms and venues. It is not cheap to alter public opinion, but at least it is more possible than striving to control nuclear fusion here on earth.

      • James Greenidge says:

        Two minutes twenty second spot. I think a truly fair & balanced TWC could’ve crammed all those safety feature mentions into thirty seconds (car commercials do it all the time) and spent the rest being truly constructive to the energy interests of the locality by focusing on how much electricity was being generated, the small amount of resources used, the general peace and quiet and cleanliness of the plant’s neighborhood, instead of giving the not so subtle perception of spending all that time on those ever alert station operators at all those tons of _safety_ controls who were still only just tenuously controlling a wild beast that was straining its chains. I know that sounds over the top but that’s how the non-techie public perceives nuclear, and that same “beast barely under control!” news reporting did the job on people’s heads with Shoreham and is now at work with Indian Point (“two giant eggshells which just can’t wait to burst at the smallest slip!!” a’la a WCBS reporter.”). I mean, did WTC REALLY have to sow some FUD with images of Geiger-countered Fukushima tots if the report was so pressed for time — really? I’d love to know how much real plant education by that CEO was left on the WTC’s cutting room floor!

        Re: PSA terms. I don’t know what other term to use that won’t sound like dismissive greedy corporate self-promotion. Hudson River and Long Island Sound green groups get free PSA slots on metro NYC TV to promote a clean environment environment and slam (via darkly visual inference) Indian Point and Millstone while using sunny visuals of windmills and solar panels. The stations label them as PSAs because such “information” comes under “for the public good.” (that’s also how Puppy Rescue and a few other little health/green groups get away with daily “Ad” PSAs in the nation’s priciest TV and cable market here). I say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and that nuclear professional organizations and atomic unions should shell out PSAs that don’t specifically promote any plant or company but serve to “educate” the general public on the way unsung safety record of and the positive environmental virtues of all nuclear plants “as part of the mix” to better the world. I know it can be done, and it gets me that the will to aggressively defend one’s own field and energy security isn’t out there and that it’s the antis who have the guts and sass and media regard.

        James Greenidge
        Queens NY

      • Joel Riddle says:

        Rod, for accuracy, I would change that very last sentence to “more possible than striving to control confined, non-fission-ignited nuclear fusion here on earth”.

  2. Jason C says:

    Great video but I wanted to see more! I don’t regard this as a shameless plug as it was somewhat educational and not trying to sell a book or a record. :)

    There’s an art form to creating 2-3 minute news segments and as that goes, this wasn’t too bad.

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