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  1. As if campaign rhetoric actually telegraphs intent. To observe the degree of lying being employed by both candidates, it is prudent to disregard any opinions, promises, policy suggestions, or utterances of any kind used in their attempt to slither and ooze their way into the Oval Office.

    1. Its weird. Positive or negative I dont weigh too much into the statements of these candidates. I still lean more towards Trump more as a punitive measure for the press being so biased and incompetent. But I know some disagree.

      Anywho last month(s) I let a pneumonia go to far, was on life support in a drug induced coma, and coming through all of it I just wish this election was over with. Its a major depressing, divisive and distracting drag to wake up to after almost biting it.

      1. @John T Tucker

        Very sorry to hear about your illness. Happy to hear that you are recovering.

        I’m all for shaking up the two-party establishment with its ad-supported media partners. However, I simply cannot comprehend the damage that a guy like Trump could cause if elected President. He’s done plenty of damage already as an obnoxious, vain and petty candidate who somehow attracted enough support to be nominated.

        I’ll admit my biases: I don’t like fabulously wealthy people who started off with inherited wealth and connections, some of which were kind of shady to begin with. I don’t like braggarts who keep telling other how fantastic they are and how terrific things will be under their leadership. I value education, critical thinking and civility. I’m a feminist. I believe immigration is one of many things that has always made America great. I dislike reality TV.

        In other words, Trump has no redeeming qualities in my estimation.

        On the other hand, I have never trusted the Clintons nor the people that they choose as friends or employees. In my special interest area, I cannot forget the damage done to nuclear energy when Clinton killed the IFR and declared that research in advanced nuclear was completely unnecessary – which drove the DOE nuclear energy research budget to zero for a couple of years.

        Secretary Clinton says some positive things about nuclear, but she will most likely still pay attention to the Podestas, Kevin Knobloch, Von Hipple, Joe Romm, Amory Lovins and Ernie Moniz.

        That’s why I’m planning to vote for Johnson-Weld, despite having been told by both Clinton and Trump supporters that I will be personally responsible for putting the entire world at risk by enabling the election of their opponent.

        1. Do not forget the “Clinton Peace Dividend” which was obtained by decimating the military and the source of the funds for the phony claim that Clinton balanced the budget. How long is it going to take to restore the military with eight more years of Clinton and eight more years of no budgets with continuing resolutions designed to suck even more funds from the military and distribute the wealth to achieve social justice?

          1. Rich…wow…that’s exactly how one balances the budget: cut useless military spending. In fact…the military budget has been going up *ever year* since the Eisenhower administrator…what are you kvetching about???

            The US could of built 200 AP1000s and put coal out of business for generation had we not gone to war in Iraq.

            The budget for “defense” is and has always been bloated. It’s not our job to police the world, let the world do it. We should *halve* the existing military budget, get ride of at least 2 carrier groups and close down, oh, say, at least 1500 overseas military bases that have no business even existing.

            We need to start investing *as a nation* in atomic energy. We could of phased out every coal and oil AND gas plant by now had we done that.

          2. @David – Have you read the history of Why there was a WWI and WWII and their aftermath/costs in terms of Dollars and Lives? Do you not see any corollaries to what happened before those wars and what is happening now? I hope your children are learning Russian and/or Mandarin Chinese.
            Who is selling/building all of the nuclear power plants? NOT the USA. And by the time the US NRC blesses a new generation reactor it will be out of date by the world standards. The AEC (predecessor to the DOE) “blessed” the early reactors, which were copies of proven military reactors, when they were trying to use peaceful atoms. The present NRC is doing everything possible to eliminate nuclear power.
            In 1975 I was a project manager on a team building the First “Digital” control system for the first Digital nuclear power plant. It was 20 years before the NRC allowed digital systems in a NNP in a non control situation that were in Important to Safety Systems. And another 15-20 years before they were approving Digital systems for ITS equipment. Last plant I worked at finaly got a Digital Feedwater Control system approved by the NRC in 2010! Factor that timeline into your dreams of the NRC approving any new generation reactor on US soil. Ad in that the present Nuclear Industry does not have the military “experimenting/testing” these proposed systems void of the NRC iron fist oversight.

          3. Rich. Its amazing to me that reasonably intelligent people can recite a script, without pondering whether or not it is based in reality. I know people currently involved in our latest wonder warplane debacle. And, across the board, the concensus is that it is a piece of crap, that will endanger the lives of any pilot foolish enough to get behind the stick. Huge money, that has the sole purpose of lining pockets, and to hell with actually enriching the capability of our military. The defense industry operates this way, with the complicity of our “leaders”, who, with assistance from those who profit from such worthless programs, wrote the script you are repeating by rote. Do you realize that just prior to 9/11, it was being reported that the DOD, (with Dov Zakiem at the helm), could not account for TWO TRILLION DOLLARS? Of course, when 9/11 happened, the revelation was shelved, never to be mentioned again. Its not conspiracy theory. Its fact. Research it. So, instead of accountability and actual defense, our DOD is engaged, with the private sector, in a mass marketing campaign, that you are buying lock, stock, and barrel. Literally. Think, man. Think.

          4. Some time back, Rod, I predicted, on this site, that Bush and Clinton would cinch the nomination. I saw Trump as a hapless clown who would NEVER achieve nomination, much less actually come close to stumbling into the Oval Office. Sadly, I underestimated the toll that right wing politics, since the Reagan era, and right wing media influence, has inflicted on our national “conservative” psyche.

            Well, I’d like to venture forth with another couple of predictions, seeing as how my track record is at a dismal 50%. First, if Trump is elected, he will be impeached within three years, probably too late to reverse the inevitable damage he will do to our world standing. Second, if Clinton is elected, the disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people will be complete and irreversable, and the two state solution will forever be off the table and unattainable. (If it isn’t already). Israel will openly annex ALL the disputed land, (prefaced by a false flag terrorist event followed by Israeli inflicted carnage), and the Muslim anger will spill over into the moderate Muslim communities that have, up to this point, rejected terrorism.

        2. I simply cannot comprehend the damage that a guy like Trump could cause if elected President. He’s done plenty of damage already as an obnoxious, vain and petty candidate who somehow attracted enough support to be nominated.

          So instead you’re implicitly supporting (by refusing to outright oppose) the grossly corrupt, outright criminal candidate who left the WH “penniless” and has since amassed a fortune around $0.25 BILLION despite only having a public-servant salary for 4 of the last 8 years as Secretary of State.

          You’re taking at face value the accusations of people like Alicia Machado, who is apparently psycho and whose daughter was sired by a narco-terrorist.  You’ll look at the rotting edifice of American politics and prefer it to the essential bulldozer required to clear and rebuild it… because he once called her “fat”.


          1. Character matters. Trump has none, Clinton has very little. I did not see Rod defend Clinton, nor can I do so. Its of no suprise me that some here support Trump, because they have offered the same racist bluster and drool that he has offered. Just because some can recognize the dangerous narcissitic mental illness suffered by Donald Trump, it doesn’t mean we miss seeing the shrewd corruption that personifies the two Clintons. But to support Trump is to lay aside all pretenses of good judgement or laudable morality. One could argue that the status quo is far more desirable than suffering the leadership of a wild card megolamaniac who lives in a constant state of victimhood, and who has bragged unabashedly about engaging in a wide range of despicable behaviours.

            It brings a chuckle to my senses that it is easy to guess who here would voice support for the pathetic and dangerous Mr. Trump. But really, theres nothing funny about it. In my wildest dreams, I never thought our country could sink so low.

          2. Poa,

            The Pentagon recently admitted to accounting errors that meant they could not account for $6 trillion dollars.

            That’s three times the snafu from 2001.

        3. Thanks Rod. Its been difficult but as impatient as I get sometimes I was barely standing and using a walker just a month ago.

          I dont feel Trump is that unusually bad or believe the extent of the negative press he has received. Everybody has their own favorite issues this election and you cannot “change” anyone’s mind with this degree of polarization. Really no single person’s vote even matters all that much (but everyone needs to vote) and no matter what happens in the election or later it wont be arguably anyone’s fault. We are at best spectators in this and getting bent out of shape about any of it is a waste of your time, and make you look bad.

          Im not so into the sex stuff – here are the issues Id have liked to see worked on, or just some mention and at least ideas for addressing:

          We are now 20 trillion in debt and the yearly budget deficits are increasing again – after record highs. One third of Americans are on public assistance, home ownership and workforce participation rates are at 50 and 30 year lows. Internet companies and the new economy are not creating paying job fast enough or in significant numbers. Internationally – the Russians and everybody acting out, then realistically probably about double the people have died in the Syrian civil war as probably Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts combined, chemical weapons have likely been used dozens of times and the rebels we supported in one way or another have become the Islamic State. In the US surveillance of individual Americans has increased as have international extrajudicial drone strikes by about 10 times over Bush. Our fair and very liberal immigration policies are not being fairly enforced across the board, potential immigrants are not being properly vetted.

          And then there is the energy thing. I haven’t heard anyone make a detailed pitch for a competent energy policy. No one in the press seems to be pushing these issues. The space program is languishing – I wont even discuss that.

          No matter what the next president will likely fail. I dont think Trump will work out that bad. If nothing else, first, we have to have a unbiased and honest press reporting – not hyping, advocating and distracting. This election has become about that.

          Regardless Im ready to throw that monkey wrench into the establishment machine. I hope it breaks it.

        4. Kudos on sticking with Johnson-Weld.

          Like you, I see the Libertarian ticket as the only valid ballot choice this election cycle.

          Nowhere is it written in the US Constitution that the US has to have a two-party system.

    1. “Both need edjicating about that nuklear stuff…”

      Ah, I can tell by your vocabulary that you must be a Trump supporter!

      (Just kidding.)

  2. POA: This is a web site about nuclear power. I think we should stay away from middle east politics. If you want to discuss the Palestinian issue, you should post on a website (there are plenty) dedicated to that.

    1. Actually, Thomas, the conversation had drifted into the realm of politics, and the two people (actually three, if we consider Rod’s laudable, but hopeless, endorsement) we are unfortunate enough to have to choose from. In discussing these candidates, it would be remiss to avoid talking about foreign policy issues. As Secretary Of State, Clinton showed herself as little more than a vassel of Netanyau, standing idly by as Israel pursued and accomplished unprecedented expansion of its illegal settlement activity. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration increased loans and military aid to, (again), unprecedented levels. I shudder to think what level of war crimes, illegal settlement expansion, and apartheid policies will be tolerated by a Clinton Administration. I apologise if I have aired facts that are uncomfortable to you. And its intriqueing that as often as threads can stray off issue, this is the one you voice exception to. What are you afraid of?

      1. I think it is OK if the conversation drifts and discusses the candidates position on nuclear power, but I believe that an issue such as the occupation of Tibet or issues relating to the Middle East do not belong on this blog.

        1. Thomas…

          Apparently Rod and I aren’t the only ones that recognize the important role that our relationship with Israel plays in energy matters. And a huge part of that issue is how much of the oil shale assets are on disputed territory. Israel is not reluctant to divert Palestinian water for its own purposes, and mede it out to the Palestinians, drip by drip. So, we are to assume they will treat oil assets, and the resultant revenue, any different? And, how involved will american oil companies be involved in exploiting these shale oils assets, while ignoring the Palestinian struggle for autonomy and revenue? Your protest strikes me as an attempt at muzzling discussion about an issue our “leaders” would prefer un-aired.


          US to establish American-Israeli energy center in coming year
          By SHARON UDASIN
          Wed, 14 Sep 2016, 07:12 PM

          The center will build on programs such as the BIRD Energy program and the upcoming energy- water desalination challenge.

          1. Oh…and by the way, Thomas…



            Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down with Piers Morgan for an exclusive interview earlier today in Israel. Topics included the Palestinian conflict, Libya, Egypt and more. It also touched on Japan. “It certainly caused me to reconsider the projects of building civil nuclear power plants,” Netanyahu said. “I have to tell you I was a lot more enthusiastic about it than I am now.”

            “Are you saying you might actually stop any kind of nuclear program in Israel,” asked Morgan. “I don’t think we’re going to pursue civil nuclear energy in the coming years,” responded Netanyahu.

          2. And just because I’m such a nice guy, Thomas, heres one more for you. And then I’ll rest my case, because I know it irritates some here if I bury a thread in ACTUAL FACTS about Israel and its role in ifluencing international energy issues….


            An excerpt….

            News about the Meged oil field arrived at an embarrassing moment—as the World Bank argued that Israel was destroying the Palestinian economy either by plundering Palestinian natural resources for itself or by making them inaccessible to Palestinians through movement restrictions and classifying areas as military zones.

            The report focuses on the large area of the West Bank designated as Area C in the Oslo accords, which continues to be under full Israeli control and where Israel has built more than 200 settlements for Jews only.

            Comprising nearly two-thirds of West Bank territory, Area C includes most of the Palestinians’ major resources, including land for agriculture and development, water aquifers, Dead Sea minerals, quarries, and archaeological and tourism sites.

            Israel’s energy and water ministry, which oversees oil exploration, is led by Silvan Shalom, a close ally of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and a supporter of Israel’s settlement program in the West Bank.

            According to the World Bank’s research, the Palestinian Authority could generate at least $3.4 billion in extra income a year if given full control of Area C.

            A World Bank spokeswoman said the figure was “very conservative,” as there were some resources, including the oil field, for which its researchers had not been able to collect data.

            Nonetheless, even the income from resources identified by the World Bank would increase the PA’s GDP by a third, reducing a ballooning deficit, cutting unemployment rates that have reached 23 percent, easing poverty and food insecurity and helping the fledgling state break free of aid dependency.

            But none of this could be achieved, said the Bank, as long as Israel maintains its chokehold on Area C—or what the Bank calls “restricted land.”

            According to Mariam Sherman, the World Bank’s director in the West Bank and Gaza: “Unleashing the potential from that ‘restricted land’…and allowing Palestinians to put these resources to work would provide whole new areas of economic activity and set the economy on the path to sustainable growth.”

    2. @Thomas Lowinger

      Actually, this is a site about energy and energy politics from an atomic point of view. We cannot fully understand the current situation of nuclear energy use in the US without understanding the competitors to nuclear energy, including oil.

      Once you accept the fact that oil and gas play an enormous role in the American economy and underpin our position of power in the world, you should recognize that Middle East politics is important to an understanding of energy, including nuclear energy.

      In other words, though I prefer to minimize the discussion of religious strife here, I do not reject the idea that America’s involvement with Isreal plays a role in our energy situation.

      1. Rod: This is an excellent blog. I am a medical physicist strongly in favor of nuclear power. I definitely agree that American involvement in Israel impacts on energy policy, but still we should not go overboard into the discussion of tangential issues.

        1. @Thomas Lowinger

          Thank you for the kind words. I agree that the value of this forum would be diminished if we went overboard on any given issue. It also suffers, however, if there are artificial boundaries imposed that prevent discussion of important issues that are related in important ways to the overall topic of the importance of clean, abundant, affordable, reliable energy for human development.

          1. Perhaps Thomas is worried that information like the following may see the light of day…..


            An excerpt..

            But there is another economic motive driving Israeli policy, as the recently arrested Druze journalist had reported: the smell of oil.

            Last fall, an Israeli geologist working for the American company Genie Oil and Gas reported evidence of a huge oil find in the Golan Heights — with the potential to supply billions of gallons of crude, enough to make Israel a net oil exporter. Rejecting complaints by environmental groups, Israeli authorities granted the company a two-year extension of its right to carry out test drilling on 150-square-miles of occupied Syrian land.

            Genie Oil and the Israel Lobby

            Genie Oil is no ordinary drilling company. Its American CEO, Howard Jonas, is a major campaign donor to Netanyahu. The chairman of its Israeli subsidiary, Brig. Gen. Efraim Eitam, is a former leader of the National Religious Party who called for expelling Palestinians from the occupied territories and murdering their leaders.

            He said of the Palestinian people, “These are creatures who came out of the depths of darkness. It is not by chance that the State of Israel got the mission to pave the way for the rest of the world, to militarily get rid of these dark forces.”

            Media magnate Rupert Murdoch, one of the billionaire. (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)
            Media magnate Rupert Murdoch, one of the billionaire. (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)
            The company’s shareholders include at least two billionaire supporters of Israel: multinational media magnate Rupert Murdoch and retired investment banker Lord Jacob Rothschild (whose family foundation donated the Knesset and Supreme Court buildings to Israel).

            Murdoch and Rothschild also sit on Genie Oil’s well-connected “strategic advisory board.” Its chair, Michael Steinhardt, is a prominent Wall Street hedge fund manager and a major financial backer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a hawkish, neoconservative think tank noted for its fear-mongering against Palestinian leaders as well as Syria and Iran.

            Other advisory board members include former Vice President Richard Cheney; James Woolsey, former CIA Director and chairman of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Leadership Council who has called for tougher U.S. military intervention against Syria; former Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, who sponsored the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation bill; former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson; and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

  3. Today on CNN there was a hardly flattering story on the opening of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. Just total negative garbage. ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/20/us/tennessee-nuclear-power-plant/index.html )

    I think anti nuclear / pro ultra simplistic renewable is part of the left leaning media’s permanent package deal. Its never going to work out Rod. Not in our lifetimes at least. We do not have a unbiased reasonable and open press that would be necessary to change it. If nothing else this election has proved that conclusively.

    To me it seems like politically you are trying the same thing over and over. Hoping for a better result and always being disappointed. Perhaps its time to try another approach, or at least work the other side of the equation? It seems easier these days, to convince ordinary Republicans to be reasonable than it is to get Democrats to be honest.

    1. @John T Tucker

      Thanks for the free advice. I hope you’re not offended if I fail to follow it.

      I remain convinced that opposition to nuclear energy is both bipartisan and purposely misinformed. There are sincere individuals who are honestly afraid of nuclear energy, just as there are individuals that are honestly afraid of flying in commercial airplanes.

      There may be some legitimate reason to fear both air travel and nuclear energy, but there are also financial reasons why competitors might want to take advantage of natural responses and inflame them if at all possible.

      In the energy business, the competition is far more direct and much more a “zero sum game.” There is no fundamental reason for limiting travel, so air travel actually helps increase all travel. In energy, however, the overall demand has limits that can only be slowly grown and prices are highly linked to an overall impression of scarcity. It is hard to make a business case for purposely spreading a fear of flying, but quite easy to see that spreading fear of nuclear can be a rewarding activity since so many interests benefit by keeping an almost unlimited supply of cheap, clean energy away from human society.

      Though it might not seem like we’re making much progress, I take solace in the following thoughts: There are far more energy consumers in the world than energy suppliers. The vast majority of human beings benefit when energy is clean, cheap and so abundant that there are incentives to dream up new ways of making use of its abundance.

      1. No, never offended, Im glad people think differently and from other perspectives. It generally keeps things on the right track and moving forward. Sometimes I feel bad for you guys in the field. Things seem like a constant disappointment the last half decade or so.

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