Effective government involvement essential for many innovations

The Breakthrough Institute has published a thought-provoking piece titled Reinventing Libertarianism: Jim Manzi and the New Conservative Case for Innovation It is highly recommended reading. Here is a comment that I left on the piece, focusing on my particular interest area of clean nuclear energy development. Interesting observations. I agree with just about everything other…

NS Savannah tours May 18, 2014

Press Release Historic Ship N.S. Savannah Open for Tours May 18, 2014 in Observance of Maritime Day N.S. Savannah Association, Inc. 4/17/2014 The unique, nuclear powered ship N.S. Savannah will be opened for tours at her pier in Baltimore, Md. on Sunday, May 18, 2014 as a part of the annual commemoration of Maritime Day….

Some lessons were learned from TMI. Others were not.

Some lessons were learned from TMI. Others were not.

On March 28, 1979, a little more than thirty-five years ago, a nuclear reactor located on an island in the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, suffered a partial core melt. On some levels, the accident that became known as TMI (Three Mile Island) was a wake-up call and an expensive learning opportunity for both the…

Nuclear Energy: Past, Present, and Future

Nuclear Energy: Past, Present, and Future

On Friday, March 28, 2014, I had the privilege of attending a symposium at Dartmouth College titled Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium: The Past, Present, and Future of Nuclear Energy. If you are curious and have a free nine hours, you can watch an archived copy of the main event on YouTube. The thing…

Atomic Show #214 – Age of Radiance Author Craig Nelson

The Age of Radiance is good read that adds personality and details to a story I know pretty well – the history of the Atomic Age from the discovery of radiation, to the discovery of fission, to the Manhattan Project to apply the newfound power to the task of creating a war-ending super weapon, and…

Atomic Show #213 – TMI Memories

At 4:00 am on March 28, 1979, the accident at Three Mile Island Unit 2 began. That day, 35 years ago this coming Friday, is seared into the memory of most of the people who were working in the industry, who regularly watched the evening news, or who lived in the northeast US. Most can…

Alvin Weinberg’s liquid fuel reactors

Alvin Weinberg’s liquid fuel reactors

A nuclear pioneer’s work on safer, cheaper, inexhaustible nuclear power is still inspiring nuclear environmentalists. by Robert Hargraves Physicist Alvin Weinberg worked on the Manhattan Project and later co-invented the pressurized water nuclear reactor. As Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory he led development of liquid fuel reactors, including walk-away-safe liquid fluoride thorium reactors with…

Muller influenced the BEAR to adopt the Linear No Threshold (LNT) assumption in 1956

Hermann Muller, the 1946 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine, insisted that there was no threshold of risk from ionizing radiation. His opinion has had a long lasting influence on standards for radiation dose. He was wrong. History is complicated. Influential people often impose their will with long-lasting results. The stories can be difficult…

The first Critmass, December 2, 1942

Seventy one years ago — on December 2, 1942, at 3:25 pm — Enrico Fermi and his team achieved the first controlled, man-made, self sustaining chain reaction in a simple reactor. In recognition of that historical event, several of my nuclear colleagues refer to December 2 as “Critmass” (short for critical mass). The first nuclear…

Atomic Show #210 – Leadership by Navy nukes

This show was inspired by a post on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Healthiness titled Why I’m Not Afraid of Fukushima. That post was written by a guest blogger named Jeremiah Scott; he is an electrical engineering student who is attending college in the Pacific Northwest with the help of the GI bill. He…