In the past couple of days, I have read a number of articles that fire up my competitive juices.
- BNET – China Seeks Nuclear Industry Domination
- Industrial Fuels and Power – Russia aims to capture 25 per cent of global nuclear reactor market
- Christian Science Monitor – South Korea pushes to recycle nuclear power plant fuel
- Kuwait Times – Nuclear Energy: Are We Ready For It?
There are times when I wonder how “the greatest generation” of Americans feel about our current competitive position in the world’s nuclear industry. How would the nuclear technology pioneers who developed nuclear submarines from scratch in just 5 years, commercial nuclear power stations less than 15 years after first discovering self-sustaining chain reactions, and an industry capable of completing an average of 9 plants per year for ten years in a row feel about our lack of progress? In fact, there are times when I wonder if naming the generation of people who fought in World War II as “the greatest generation” has permanently condemned the rest of us to being a pale comparison. After all, if “the greatest” has already happened, how can you expect anything but decline?
Then I remember all of the amazingly talented people I have met and worked with over the years. I think about all of the young, energetic minds that I will be able to engage in a couple of weeks at the 2010 ANS Student Conference. I think about all of the strong leaders who have deep personal understanding of how nuclear fission power plants can work reliably under the toughest environmental conditions on the planet.
With all of those thoughts, I am ready to do “battle” with any comers and to show them that America still knows how to build and operate manufacturing plants, power plants, ships, and effective training systems. (Note: I put the word battle into quotes because I am actually quite a peaceful guy at heart. I am speaking of figurative battles where no one gets hurt – unless they think that losing market share for their fossil fuel products is painful.) We do not have to remain timid and dependent on others. Instead, we can lead the world to a place where there is less want, more clean water, more reliable power, less pollution, and more prosperity.
Financial Times (March 29, 2010)- South Korea’s nuclear ambitions