The NY Times Green Inc. blog recently asked readers to provide some suggestions for an image makeover for nuclear power. I did not like the published responses very much so I submitted my own:
In 1991, I took a cruise with my wife and noticed just how much smoke was pouring out of the stack over our head as we were sitting on deck. At the time, I had just completed a three year assignment as the Engineer Officer of the USS Von Steuben, a powerful ship with an engine so clean it could operate while we were submerged. In addition to producing no emissions, the Von S ran for about 14 years without refueling. I want to share the image that the cruise inspired.
I hope that people like Bill Messina get a chance to meet and get to know some of the amazing professionals that I have worked with in my years associated with nuclear power technologies. His view of humanity might be significantly changed by the experience.
Founder, Adams Atomic Engines, Inc.
Publisher, Atomic Insights
Host and producer, The Atomic Show Podcast
My comment will make more sense if I quote part of Bill Messina’s comment:
• How would you overcome the malingering and incompetence of workers who neglect important safety routines?
• How do you ensure that managers do not sacrifice safety to the bottom line? … [T]he managers at Indian Point have resisted shutting down the facility for repair, citing economic reasons, which puts the metropolitan area of New York at risk of a Three Mile Island incident.
• How do you insure that government regulators do not compromise the safety of citizens for political reasons? … I read an article 25 years after Three Mile Island where a government safety inspector said he pleaded with his superior to let people know of the danger. He was rebuffed.”