Lenka Kollar is a fascinating nuclear energy educator with an inherited entrepreneurial spirit. She recently decided to move forward from her job as a nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory to form a consulting company and start a blog titled Nuclear Undone.
I had the pleasure of meeting her face-to-face — after several months of exchanging information with her via Twitter — at the recent American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting. We talked about shared interests; not only are we both fascinated with nuclear energy issues but we both like to communicate with people so much that we each recently left full time employment to focus on that task. I’ve been publishing Atomic Insights as a hobby for more than 18 years; she published her first post on Nuclear Undone on October 29, 2013.
I suspect that her readership might skyrocket past mine unless I work pretty hard. She is not new to blogging; she has been running a popular health and fitness blog Healthy Fit Goddess for several years while working as a nuclear engineer. That’s okay; I love the idea of having more people like Lenka sharing their knowledge about nuclear energy.
Her most recent post described a session about nuclear non-proliferation held at the ANS meeting. She ended the post with the following question:
Do you think the nuclear nonproliferation regime is effective?
Here is the response I provided.
Judging the effectiveness of the non-proliferation regime depends on what you think the real goals of the effort are. The regime has done a good job making it difficult to obtain nuclear material, increasing the cost of successful acquisition. It has probably discouraged a country or two from obtaining weapons by peer pressure or by making the effort prohibitively expensive.
It has also accomplished what I think has always been the underlying goal of many of the original architects of the regime; it has increased the cost of using nuclear energy to the point where it has discouraged dozens of countries from becoming nuclear energy consumers.
That has helped to maintain the business of selling petroleum and other fossil fuels as one of the most profitable enterprises the world has ever known. That furthers the interests of a large portion of the political and economic establishment.
I hope this is one of the nuclear myths that you attempt to undo. IMHO, the NPT really is a discriminatory treaty — as some non-nuclear weapons states have always claimed — that is designed to cement the superiority of the nuclear weapons states.
It also functions on another level to ensure that multinational hydrocarbon corporations (both investor and government owned) do not have to compete against atomic energy on anything close to a level playing field.
Publisher, Atomic Insights
Please visit Nuclear Undone and welcome Lenka to the world of nuclear energy bloggers.
Aside: I had to catch myself; I almost wrote “pronuclear bloggers”, but the Nuclear Undone “About” page makes the following statement: “Nuclear Undone is not pro or against nuclear energy, but rather serves as an education portal for those wanting to learn more about important nuclear issues.” It also says “This website is for you to learn and not to pass on the agenda of the nuclear industry or government.” I’m okay with that position; the more information people learn about nuclear energy, the better — as long as the information is accurate. End Aside.