1. Looking forward to an interview with Robert Stone, Bill Tucker, and maybe Stewart Brand.

    Then go ahead and swing for the fences with pro-nuclear royalty like Sir Richard Branson, Lady Barbara Judge, and of course Bill Gates.

  2. Congratulations on the 200th show! Thank you for all your dedication and hard work for promoting nuclear energy awareness.

  3. My iTunes is downloading show #200 and I very much look forward to listening to it tomorrow!

    I wanted to thank Shane and Rod for an amazing show, the first podcasts are an amazing source of very diverse information of all aspects around technology, not only nuclear, and it’s truly a shame that Shane (pun intended!) could not keep up doing the show with Rod.

    This podcast has been the cornerstone of my quick learning curve in a field that I did not know much about, though I have always been very much pro-technology and thus pro-nuclear. I listened to every single show, it took me a while but it was very much worth the time invested!

    Again, thanks atomic Rod, I owe you a lot!


    Luca Bertagnolio
    Futuro Nucleare
    (a blog that I would like to maintain for real, someday…)

  4. Hi Rod,

    Congratulations on your 200th podcast! I discovered your blog and podcast via your appearance on DotNetRocks back in early February and have been working my way back through the treasure trove of articles, comments and podcasts ever since, as geeks are sometimes known to do. I have learned a tremendous amount and as a long time supporter of Nuclear Power I’ve also been able to hone my arguments in support of Nuclear Power with the wealth of information I’ve discovered here.

    Thanks again and I’m looking forward to the next 200 podcasts!

    Rich Harrison
    Charlotte, NC

  5. Congratulations and thank you for these podcasts. My favourites were the ones where anti-nuclear people hang up at the end of the call. (Carbon free, nuclear free guy).

    Does anyone know what this fast reactor report is that Ben Heard mentioned??

  6. Perhaps your “Atomic Show” should start an effort to rename radiation as “Vitamin R.” Your analogy of an aspirin is not cutting it. Using the typical vitamins that people overdose on with no ill effects provides an analogy that as far as the human body is concerned, high doses and even mega-doses do not usually have serious life ending effects (unless medical intervention is prevented, ignored or denied – just like mega-doses of Vitamin R).

    If Vitamin R is used already, then we could have a “Vitamin alpha, beta and gamma,” which might even be better. Radiation has been denigrated by the anti nukes since the atomic bomb and the implications of nuclear proliferation in an effort to minimize nuclear. The cure was to make Radiation BAD. Tell people “Radiation kills you.” You have provided articles on this here several times. Look at the MSDS for ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). It reads like one for radiation. The doom and gloom and hazards warned against are the same in the MSDA for the chemical known as Vitamin E. However, who even thinks twice about taking two Vitamin C tablets (and the highest dosage tablet available at GNC) when they have a cold? When I was a kid my doctor told me to take 4 Vitamin E tablets a day. He said it would help with the Acne. Today they rube the oil right on the face! Think about that after reading the MSDS! Take some time and look at all of the needed chemicals. Arsenic is included in this list. A lack of arsenic will kill you. There are many others that are also common poisons. Then there is a big group that, if the lay person read the MSDS, they would eliminate that chemical from his diet. I am sure you have heard of stories along the lines of people eliminating certain foods from their diet and the severe consequences.

    Clearly, the MDR (minimum daily requirement) of Vitamin “R” would be at those levels that at level of radiation that existed when whatever being evolved into humans. And, following normal excepted guidelines that the FDA uses establishing drug limits a maximum should be established. I would think that this maximum daily allowance would be higher than the dose received if living full time in Denver CO in an un protected area, or in Ramsar, Iran for example as it clearly has been proven these people live a perfectly normal healthy (radiation effects wise) life.

    Further, when one looks at the required levels of radiation and compares it with the overly restrictive levels based upon the LNT methodology, the limits actually cause harm. This would also allow limits that mean something and are not pulled out of a hat like the radiation limit was. It still amazes me that we have the limit that we now do. In the 60’s I was reading a Navy manual on radiation protection written in the 1940’s. In it there was a description on how the radiation level was established for the radiation exposure for those making and testing the bomb. They took the various radiation sources (alpha, beta, and gamma) and determined the level that caused reddening of the skin – like sunburn, and divided that level by ten. That was the limit in that book. However, even more amazing was that those levels were exactly ten times the level that was in the Radiation technology manual I was studying at Nuclear Power School. It has been more than 50 years, we are still using those same values. Draw your own conclusions.

  7. In this purely intra-nukie discussion among CONUS nationals, one person alleged that Germany has no seismic problem, unlike Japan. However, the Rhine Valley geological fault led to the destruction of the city of Bale by earthquake in nearby Switzerland in 1356, hence the oldest French NPP at Fessenheim, 20 km from the German city of Freiburg, is a cause for concern in Germany, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fessenheim_Nuclear_Power_Plant.

    Secondly, one other interviewee surmised that France had to be doing better economically than Germany, and this because it has power from NPPs. Please do yourself the favour of consulting some/any US website on current finance and economics before saying such a baseless thing, as an apparently “science-only” person. This is because from Libertarian Right to what passes for the Left in the USA, all US finance people are agreed that France is in big trouble currently, but of course they disagree on why.

    Overall, discussions such as this podcast are fruitless because they fail to address the central fact tackled by Tom Blees in “Prescription for the Planet”, in which CONUS national Blees is honest enough to face up to the nuclear proliferation problem posed (even) by his praised Generation IV IFR. Blees proposes an international regulatory system that he wants to call GREAT, an acronym.

    But his suggestion has vanished without trace on all nukie fora ever since.

    Now why is that? I propose from my observations that all Anglo nukies in USA, UK, AU, CAN, NZ have an inherent set of biasses:

    1. they are adherents of the US alliance and hence expansionist aggression, to the benefit of private corporations, without reservation. That is, they are nationals of the participant nations and hence like fish in the water of what has been misnamed Pax Americana. Does a fish know it is in water?

    2. their knowledge of relevant history and politics of their own and third-party countries is minimal, as I saw again in this podcast. As they tend to have technical educations, this is understandable in the Anglo context, where breadth of historical and cultural knowledge is not greatly prized among techies.

    3. they hence fondly believe that persuading their own publics not to be afraid of nuclear is merely a matter of education and a purely technical issue related only to domestic politics, i.e. the domestic energy supply. They fail to understand that being pro or anti nuclear is not a discrete choice but part of a package deal in which the national-capitalist-conservative rational numerate (sometimes Christian) camp in their countries squares off against the “leftoid bleeding heart watermelon green emotional innumerate pagan hand-wavers”.

    In other words, people show political tribal loyalties so as to gain strength in numbers, this making the job of “educating” them on NPPs equivalent to breaking them out of their respective camp. Good luck.

    4. they have never read nor heard of the book by US WW1 war hero Gen. Smedley Butler “War is a Racket” and hence do not understand the relationship between weapons-related technology and the projection of US and NAT0 power onto other countries.

    The most egregious example of the hypocrisy this leads Anglo nukies into is the case of Iran:

    all 16 CONUS intelligence agencies, in the face of the lies of NATO governments and media, have denied in the US National Intelligence Estimate that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. But I have yet to hear from any Anglosphere nukie any defence whatsoever of the Iranian civilian nuclear programme, nor any condemnation of the repeated murders by Israel of Iranian atomic scientists working on that programme, nor the infiltration of the viruses Stuxnet and Flame into Iranian atomic plants.

    This hypocrisy by Mr Adams and consorts is of course self-preservation: who in the USA wants to be called an “Iran lover” at this juncture in 2013? However, Mr Adams at least is reading about Kermit Roosevelt’s Operation Ajax in Iran in 1953, so hope springs eternal.

    Iranian nukies with good English do not contribute to Anglo pro-nuke blogs, I wonder why?

    1. If being pro-nuclear is part of a package deal, why did quite a few people change camp ? Does it sound like Lovelock the author of the well-known “Gaia theory” is part of the pro-nuclear package ? (he didn’t change camp, he was pro-nuclear from start)

      Germany is doing better economically than France, yes, do you know just how cheap it is to burn dirty coal lignite coal that you only transport on a 1 km distance on a conveyor belt ? The savings it brings allows you next then to waste a lot of money on inefficient solution.

      How come those who supposedly favor private corporations without reservation end up prising so much the result one of the most egregious case of industrial policy favoring a by then fully state owned monopole, EDF ?
      Since it’s no more part of the state, EDF is much less pro-nuclear (or then like in UK, playing a strong arm tactic even if very likely badly hurts long term perspectives), it prefers a lot to pocket the renewable easy money, making a lot of profits from using loops in the rules to built large scale large solar farm with the high subsidies rates for much smaller capacities.
      How comes the first American utility to start building a nuclear plant in recent years was state-owned TVA ? Showing a long term view the owners of Kewaunee completely miss ?

      About Iran, I don’t worry at all about their militarily program which everyone with a brain knows is exclusively saber rattling, but I do quite much about the Bushehr plant which very likely might be the least safe of the planet. How would this ugly mix of German, Iranian, and Russians components behave in case of a serious accident ? But worse, no other nuclear country has as bad a security culture as Iran, which is crashing airplanes at an dismal rate.

      And Fessenheim was from start built to resist the historical Bale earthquake, maybe you should more worry about Beznau which is both older and nearer from Bale, Germany itself is still running the Philippsburg plant which is also in the Rhine valley, using it’s water for cooling. Not just that but just the German utility EnBW actualy owns 17,5% and imports back to Germany the corresponding electricity. The Swiss own another 15%, so togther they brought enough money for the plant construction that one may wonder if it would have been constructed without their financial help.

      But in order to be even safer, the foundation plate of Fessenheim will soon be modified, not just by adding a special heat resistant concrete, but also by creating a tunnel so that the surface over which the corium would flow in case of a melt out will go from 28m2 to 80 m2.

      If you want to worry about a nuclear plant that’s built in a highly seismic location, with the standard of earliest Russian VVER reactor, and a much weaker containment than the European one, you’d better pick Armenia’s Metsamor, where the potential earthqauke is much stronger than at Fessenheim.

    2. Please search this blog for “Iran” before making too many assumptions about my political stances or my fear of being called an “Iran lover”. You might also try searching for commentary about the establishment and its love of petrodollars taken from the occupants of the land above the resources, often by consorting with despots, oligarchs and dictators.

  8. Mr Adams,

    Towards the end of this episode, you said (paraphrased) ‘99% of what I learned about nuclear power plants is not classified and can be found in Samual Glasstone Reactor Engineering textbook’.

    I am in search of just such a textbook (or two) at a reasonable price.

    I have a BS in Math, and have a decent grasp of nuclear physics thanks to “Nuclear Energy, Sixth Edition: An Introduction to the Concepts, Systems, and Applications of Nuclear Processes” by Raymond L Murray.

    I am interested in gaining knowledge about topics such as:
    – flux, transients and the impact these have on materials and primary loop engineering
    – regulatory (US) basics and the impact these have on materials and primary loop engineering
    – practical primary loop thermodynamics
    – practical primary-to-secondary HX design

    My personal point of view is that water is a terrible choice for a primary working fluid and that molten salt makes a lot more sense. (closed loop primary and very large reservoir secondary. probably another HX and traditional working fluid to drive balance of plant).

    What would you recommend?

    (note that the Glasstone text has been split into two seperate volumes since the 1994 edition)

    Love Your Work!


  9. Rob,

    As I listened to show #200 I kept thinking that there’s got to be a way for pro-nuclear types who aren’t “in the industry” to spread the word about nuclear power. As cheesy as it sounds, I want pro-nuclear t-shirts (and polo shirts for wearing at the office) as conversation starters. I also like the idea of improving nuclear literacy, perhaps even “gamifying” it with achievement levels (watch some videos, take some online tests — nothing fancy, just the facts). In fact, the t-shirt idea can be combined with nuclear literacy: don’t you think a shirt with a “Gold-level Nuclear Energy Literate” would start a conversation or two?

    And while certainly not the most high-brow method, being able to cite and back up basic science is highly effective. A group of my coworkers laughed at the joke that they fart more radioactivity (through naturally occurring Carbon 14) on a daily basis than the average nuclear power plant emits but the laughter quickly gave way to faces showing the mental wheels turning as they pondered how emission-less nuclear power actually is.

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