My friends know me as Rod, but some of them call me Atomic. I have a habit that I want to share with you – I am a preacher of the benefits of atomic energy. I have been writing about this topic for more than a dozen years, starting on the USENET when my Internet access was on the Prodigy service. Though my handle has occasionally been copied by other people, if you look for posts by AtomicRod, you will generally find material that I have written. In April of 1995, I began publishing Atomic Energy Insights on paper. In November 1995, with some volunteer help from students at the University of Wisconsin, Atomic Energy Insights went online.
During the last ten years, the publication has seen flurries of activity, but we have always maintained our presence and archives. The name of the publication morphed to simply Atomic Insights – it is easier to say. The current state of the energy business and new discussions of the potential for atomic energy to solve real problems has led to an increase in traffic to Atomic Insights. When I find an audience that is interested in my passion, I try to meet their needs and requests so that they come back for more.
I have been meaning to add a blog to Atomic Insights for at least a year, but life interferes with many good intentions. Despite the fact that I often awaken very early in the morning, I have not figured out how to stretch the day beyond 24 hours. By the use of minimalist sleep patterns and avoidance of most TV programs, I push those limits as far as possible.
I finally found the “round tuit” necessary (as my Dad used to say) to motivate me to get the Atomic Insights Blog started. The motivating event was the Nuclear Energy Institute’s (NEI) Nuclear Energy Assembly, held in my daytime home of Washington DC from 16-18 May 2005. The theme of the event was Nuclear Energy 2005: A Time of Opportunity.
A number of well qualified leaders spoke at the meeting – you can find audio files in mp4 format at Atomic Insights. In addition to the formal speakers, however, I tried to take full advantage of hallway conversations to meet new people and engage in interesting discussions. All of you with experience in any industry gathering will understand when I say that there is often more to be gained from those conversations than from listening to the prepared speeches.
My basic take away from the meeting is that there is indeed a time of opportunity, but that feeling of energy and “euphoria” (to use the word used by ADM Skip Bowman, the NEI President) is tempered a bit by the knowledge that I have gained in a long struggle in what is going to prove to be a huge, international endeavor to change the course of what may be the world’s largest and most profitable industry.
As Duke University’s basketball coach – Coach Mike Krzyzewski – explained to the gathering, the effort will require a focused, team effort. As Lisa Shell, the incoming president of the North American – Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN) said, that team may be composed of a relatively small group of dedicated individuals who have what it takes to change the world.
Welcome to the Atomic Insights Blog. Please join the team of people who are exchanging and publishing information about what may very well be the most important technology discovered in the 20th century. The impacts that atomic power can have on the 21st century and beyond will enable historians to understand why that statement is true; it may not be so apparent to you today.