1. As a fellow submariner, 2 years as a nuke MM and 4 as an ELT, I greatly appreciate your defense of our fraternity. You are right, we are often too silent and I appluad your refusal to remain silent in this case.

  2. Well said, Rod.
    Membership of “Silent Service” is earned, sometimes at great cost.
    Mr. Miller should remain silent about his own service.


    1. No he was not an “A Ganger,” that would have meant that he was the Damage Control Officer(DCA) which is part of the Engineering Dept. Looks like he may have been the Operations Officer.

  3. Rod Adams has a long history of stating untruths and slandering people whose opinions he doesn’t like. He has the audacity to claim I was not a Navy nuclear engineering officer, when he pointed out that I was one.

    Lost in his false accusations is the fact that he never offered facts to disprove what I said in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists or in the New York Times: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/a-nuclear-submariner-challenges-a-pro-nuclear-film/?_r=0. Truth is determined by facts, not by background. But Rod has no facts, so he just slanders my background.

    He makes much of the fact that I was assigned to be the USS SEAWOLF’s supply officer as well as a nuclear engineering officer. That’s no reflection on me. I performed well enough in prototype training to get orders to an SSBN sub, where I probably would have been assigned to the Engineering Department. But a fellow officer lied to the Navy about having bought a house in New London to get out of the orders he earned to go to SEAWOLF, which was leaving for California in a few months. So I got his orders, and he got mine.

    The assignment of nuclear trained officers to be supply officers had nothing to do with the number of officer bunks, so far as I know. The Navy was slowly switching to Supply Corps officers. They had already done that on Nautilus, and they did it on Seawolf when I left the Navy. Again, it had nothing to do with my qualifications.

    Dr. John Miller

    1. Mr. Miller,

      I will ask you to please answer the question I asked in the comment section of the other thread (I think you may have been gone by then)

      In order to demonstrate your engineering and operating expertise with current light water reactors please compare and contrast the difference between an iso condenser and an ice condenser and explain how each works (without reference material or Wikipedia please) this should be very smile for a nuclear engineer who is qualified to write about the technical merits of current light water reactors.

      Thank you in advance for showing us all your technical expertise.

    2. I served 1977-85, US Navy Electronics Technician / Reactor Operator on cruiser USS LONG BEACH, and aircraft carrier USS CARL VINSON. Specifically NEC 3383 and 3393.

      I believe the controversy with Dr Miller’s resume is the use of the term “Engineer” which is a specific qualification for nuclear power program Officers. In the service we had one standard definition for that specific qualification designation – and in the civilian world the definition is much broader.

      To become a Chief Engineer on a US Navy nuclear ship, the candidate must be qualified “Engineer”. Rod described the process in detail.

      So ad hominem is not necessary, specificity clarifies ambiguity.

      In my role as a commercial Senior Reactor Operator Instructor, often it is required to translate a Navy veterans descriptions into commercial industry usages. The acronym SRO for example, in the Navy is a qualification for a Reactor Operator to maintain a shutdown plant. In commercial power, SRO is a NRC Senior Reactor Operator License for supervision and direction of overall plant operation. Same acronym – two different specifications.

      I do not believe we need to “defend the club” as the SEALs do. Only one former President claimed to be a US Navy Nuclear Engineer, and not much harm became of it.

        1. Another President that will have a big impact on the nuclear industry is Vladimir Putin.

          If you are a pro nuke, you have to like what he is up to. He really believes in the future of nuclear energy.

          Russia is everywhere: Argentina, India, Iran, Vietnam, Finland, China, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom.

          They control the mining and fuel industry. They value the waste and understand it contains untapped energy.

          They will have the first SMR up and running in 2016 and have orders for it.

          Now, do I approve of his other achievements? No.

          1. From the 50’s through the 70’s the US was the leader in commercial application of nuclear technology. Just 20 years ago no US NPP would have considered buying their replacement steam generator, reactor head, etc. from a foreign country. Now I can’t even name a facility in the USA that can make one. Is the Barberton, OH, B&W facility still in operation? Last time I was past there it did not look like as active as in the 50’s and 60’s. I am in my 70’s now and I would wager that we (the USA, and probably the rest of the world) will be buying our next generation NSSS from China or Russia. Look at the number of colleges/universities that no longer offer courses in Nuclear Engineering or have a training reactor compared to those in the 60’s. From what I read, seems like most are community colleges offering a technical degree for operators, technicians and HP personnel.

    3. Dr. Miller,
      You are a perfect example of a “Nuclear Hysteric”. The US Navy is the best in the world when it comes to training people to operate nuclear reactors. Evidence of this is the few nuclear accidents in the US navy compared to what used to be the USSR.

      You don’t present much factual information in your comment above. Almost everything you say is false. I served on the Duke University Radiation Safety Committee for many years. You should be ashamed for publishing such nonsense.

      In 2002 I opposed another nuclear hysteric (Eleanor Kinnaird). She is still the North Carolina Senator for district 23:

    4. The following comment was originally submitted on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists article at 7:02 am yesterday using my Discus login. I used that site’s feature to announce I had posted it to my Twitter followers, but almost 22 hours later it is still awaiting moderation.

      Fortunately, I have my own communication tool.


      Though John Dudley Miller graduated from the Navy’s nuclear power training pipeline and stood watch at the entry level position (for commissioned officers) of Engineering Officer of the Watch, it is a stretch to state that he was a nuclear engineering officer on US submarines. According to his own web site, he was never assigned to be a division officer in the engineering department; instead, he supervised cooks and storekeepers.

      That might explain why he has no idea how modern sodium cooled fast reactors ensure that the remotely possible rate of reactivity addition is kept well within the control limits of the negative temperature coefficient of reactivity. It might explain why he fails to understand that a paper written in 1956 based on a theoretical computation about an assumed system has nothing to do with the performance of real systems that have completely different design features. He apparently has no clue about the difference between a sodium pool system and one in which the sodium is contained in piping systems or the difference between metal alloy fuels and the oxide fuel used at Fermi 1.

      In the circle of antinuclear activists or social scientists, Miller’s exceedingly brief and undistinguished submarine service might make him appear to be an expert; in my world of actual nuclear engineers, system designers and nuclear power plant operations specialists, he is a complete and utter lightweight with no credibility whatsoever.


      Rod Adams
      Publisher, Atomic Insights
      Host and producer, the Atomic Show podcast

      1. I tried explaining to him that TRIGA reactors can go prompt critical and not “explode”. This was his response:

        Dr. John Miller
        The Navy trained officers not to use the dollars and cents accounting for reactivity, so I need to refresh myself on that before responding.

        Dr. John Miller

        Apparently he doesn’t know what dollars and cents are, even though he’s debating reactivity controls in fast breeder reactors.

        1. I’m no doctor, but I know that a reactivity ($) dollar is a term dating back to the Manhattan Project to describe reactivity or fractional change in neutron population in terms of Delayed Neutron Fraction.

          $1 worth of reactivity = DNF = a prompt critical state.
          percentages thereof are called cents.

          Most reactivity additions are in small percentages of the Delayed Neutron Fraction, and delayed neutrons, relied upon to maintain a critical stae makes reactor power easily controllable by coefficients and operators.

          Doctor, read up on it.

          (former ET / RO, US Navy)

    5. @Dr, Miller

      I carefully and accurately described your tenuous claim to being a “nuclear engineering officer on US Navy submarines.” I avoided including the even more enlightening reason that the claim is so dubious – you started your nuclear power training with just a BA, so it is pretty darned obvious to any observer who counts that the Navy did not hire you for your engineering skills.

      Though I was also not an engineer when I started nuke school, I had at least earned a BS, not a BA.

  4. General Wesley Clark supports Navy ships of the future to run on bio fuels knowing that nuclear militarily the best option.

    Motivation and conviction. What will it be ?

    1. LOL. Daniel, It’s absolutely insane to want to run ships on biofuels. Where did you get this about Wesley Clark? What a twirker! I find it Hilarious! Is there a link anywhere?

          1. Those would be nuclear powered turbines… might be worth while actually have reliable wind.

            Speaking of which, they couldn’t stand the speed. 30+kts. wind turbines cutoff somewhere around 20kts, somewhere between a full and a standard bell. Can a skimmer help me on that… All I know about carriers is that when you see afterburners from a jet taking off you are too close and its time to go deep.

        1. Thanks Daniel. I can’t understand why someone so smart can advocate for something so crazy evil.

        2. From that article, it doesn’t sound like anyone is advocating changing nuclear powered ships to biofuels – but simply that the Navy *already* has some types of boats (I’m guessing smaller support vessels?) that currently run on fossil fuels, and he is advocating switching from the use of oil-products to biofuels for those specific uses. That, at least on the surface, seems like an idea worth considering. . . but, also, perhaps not, since we do have a domestic oil industry in the US.

  5. Rod,
    Excellent piece. I concur with your assessment. I was not aware of the Seawolf’s conversion to a special projects boat. This would likely mean that John Miller had roughly 3-6 months underway time prior to entering a 2-3 year availability. Because of this time constraint he likely just qualified EOOW, so that he could qualify EDO for the conversion.

    From his description he was a regular JO, that was just in the cone. This is surprising because commands receive a tremendous amount of pressure to make every officer eligible to take the Engineer’s exam. Failure to accomplish this adversely impacts the Engineer Officer, Executive Officer and the Commanding Officer through reduced ORSE grades and poor FITREP’s. (PORSE, in the Seawolf’s case, which heavily rely on qualifications and training to re-certify the crew for plant operations)

    As Rickover was NAVSEA08 at the time, and from reading through old nuke notes and NRTM’s, I think the structure and requirements then are much as they are today. This lack of care for the professional development of a JO by his command smacks of negligence or of some other factor.

    When I asked Miller about his taking the Engineer’s exam and qualifying Engineer, he did not understand the importance of that question, which at the time confirmed my doubts about his qualification in those fields. Here, as a nuclear officer, failure to qualify engineer means that your career is terminated. To even select for Department Head everyone has to qualify Engineer. His lack of meeting the criteria for qualifications means that he did not qualify and that he was not promotable. Because of this, there would be no space for him in the Navy due to his lack of qualification, contrary to what he said.

    Facts do not lead to truth. Facts can lead to understanding. However, a misapplication of facts does not lead to understanding. Truth, per say, does not exist. Science is about understanding. If one has the proper understanding the outcome of their observations are reproducible. If one lacks understanding, the outcome of their observations are just random noise. When we apply random noise with the pedigree of reproducibility people tend to die.

    The importance of the Engineer qualification, why Rod and I keep going back to this, is that it is proof that you understand the system interrelations and design philosophy of the reactor plant. The chief focus of this is to test your specific understanding of what constitutes reactor safety and how that safety is maintained in day-to-day operations and during adverse casualty conditions. It is not being able to follow a procedure (that is the purpose of qualifications) it is about understanding the basis behind the procedures.

    In Volume I book I of every Reactor Plant Manual, there is an oft overlooked procedural blurb. It states that the procedures as written only apply to the configuration specified in the initial conditions. It is not possible to describe every procedure possible for any concievable situation. The responsibility of the operator is to use their understanding and knowledge of the plant, the systems, the situation, and the need to adapt the procedure. As the Engineer Officer I relied upon my Engineer qualified JO’s to apply their understanding and guidance to maintain reactor safety in many complex and myriad situations. That training was one of my main responsibilities it served as the basis of my job which was to keep the ship at sea with maximal propulsion. I could not do my job until I ensured that the reactor was safe. I did that by ensuring that my operators were competent.

    Your claim of knowledge above that which you posses, of presuming competence without demonstrated experience and qualification is an insult to every officer that qualified engineer. I offered to help you to provide you with discourse and the benefit of my experience and understanding. You ignored that offer, which to me demonstrates a lack of sincerity. Without fundamental understanding your actions are free to proceed in any direction you so choose. Understanding and integrity are the tools that we use to constrain our own action so that we can be of service to our fellow man. Without such constraints we may proclaim being of higher service, but in fact we are only in service of ourselves and our own egos.


    Rod, The Midshipmen oath was changed. Mine was, “This Midshipman will not lie, cheat, or steel; nor tolerate those that do.” I first heard that at the Naval Academy in 1993 during a Summer Science and Engineering Seminar. It was also the same one I had to repeat during NROTC. Rest assured knowing that every officer commissioned after at least 1993 had to recite that oath.

    1. Wow, Mr. Abel. I clicked in from NEI Nuclear Notes at the seven hour mark. You sure write well, especially considering the speed. When you gonna get that degree, so we can call you “Dr. Abel, PhD”?

      I don’t know for sure but expect Dr. PhD (Hat tip: Sean McKinnon) realizes that “engineering officer” and EOOW mean different things. By not qualifying “engineer officer,” by omission he misleads people, especially those not familiar with Navy jargon. Rod (of course) said it better than me.

      1. Agreed. One who lies lies best by carefully picking and arranging logically true facts, omitting easily clarifying facts, and then allowing false pretense to do the rest.
        The goal of the lier is to mislead.

        Occasionally, Rod makes ’em scurry back under the refrigerator, with the rest of their ilk. I don’t have anything to do with Nuclear Energy (except as an advocate), but I find this site very entertaining.

  6. I find it interesting that Mr Miller was able to resign his commission after 4 years. I was an enlisted nuke and my contract was 6 years active duty, there were no reservists in nuclear so every enlisted man served 6 years. The officers may have a different length of service but ai doubt that the navy after training an officer for nearly 2 years would allow an officer to resign after 4 years active duty.
    Do any of the former officers have any insights on this?

    1. When I was in my senior year at NROTC Cal Berkeley, the nuclear-trained staff instructor called me into his office (Nov 1979). He told me that since NR was getting so few volunteers for nuclear power, they had temporarily removed the requirement for the standard addl 1 yr “agreement to remain on active duty” that was normally required for going through nuclear power training. I said, sure, I’ll go interview at NR, since what have I got to lose. In Dec 1979, I interviewed @ NR, had my brief 2 minute mtg w/ Adm Rickover, and was accepted. In Aug 1980, I started NPS in Orlando (Class 8007). So I only had a 4 year commitment, which turned out not to matter as I liked what I was doing and made it a career.

      An interesting sidebar was that one of the classes behind me at NPS (8101?), supposedly full of USNA grads who had had their orders changed from other line specialties (I.e. aviation) to nuclear power, performed extremely poorly on one of their first exams. Afterwards, the NPS XO stood them all up and made them recite their oath of office en mass. The rumored reason for the mass exam failure was that they had got it into their heads that if they failed out of nuke school, they could go back to their originally desired specialties.

      1. Yes, the Navy did this to hundreds of officers who graduated from the Naval Academy. My XO on SEAWOLF, Fred Carter, was one of these, and he detested the Navy for what they did to him.

        As another officer once told me: Son, the Navy thinks your job is a fuse holder. You are the fuse. If you burn out, they’ll shit-can you and put a new fuse in your place.

        Dr. John Miller

    2. I resigned my commission after 6 years, two years after I left active duty. There was an article in the paper in 1974, after June, which said the Pentagon was considering calling up to active duty all nuclear-trained sub officers because of the possibility of imminent war in the Middle East. I resigned that day!

      Dr. John Miller

      1. So you joined a branch of the United States Military, the US Navy, and when it was rumoured they may go to war you quit?

        What did you expect would happen and be expected of you?

        That also speaks volumes of your character. You have your training and employment paid by the US government, funded by US tax payers, in an area of tactical importance (submarine warfare) only to quit once the faintest whiff of actual warfare arises. Not to mention the lack of discipline and moral value you showed to the US Navy.

        Highly dishonourable to the USN and all those who served proudly.

        1. Thanks for comment Irregular.

          I was appalled at the statement by Miller and was struggling to find the words.

          My time in the Navy was during the first Gulf War and I was angered by the reserves who were trying to find some way to get discharged to avoid recieving overseas orders. Not all reserves, but enough for it to be noticed at higher levels.

          Miller’s comment reminded me of those people. The ones who were more than happy to use the GI benefits paid by the US taxpayer as long as they didn’t have to perform any real work required by the US military.

          Your comment hits on all the crtical points.

          1. Any-time Bill.

            I have a few good friends serving in my home countries armed services. I know here that attending the Military colleges does get you an expense paid Bachelor degree with all associated costs covered; accommodation, food, books, tools etc. But the caveat is that every graduate serves a minimum 5 years afterwards, with the additional bonus of being an officer after entry.

            I have utmost respect for my friends and all their fellow service men and women, and those that came before. I hate to see people gaming the system to get a free pass to boost their CV.

            It surprises me that John didn’t get the point of what the military’s primary purpose is. Maybe a lesson in Clausewitz’s On War is in order?

      2. @Dr. Miller

        I apologize for the inaccuracies you pointed out. I have corrected my post with the information that you have generously provided.

      1. I read “Atomic America: How a Deadly Explosion and a Feared Admiral Changed the Course of Nuclear History” and found the HR story very interesting (even for an Army guy.) Strange how Rickover preferred to wear an ordinary business suit instead of his uniform while on duty. Seems it drove the other flag o’s crazy.

        1. To moe fully understand Rickover’s complexity and the nature of his impact on the Navy nuclear power program, I highly recommend reading Ted Rockwell’s excellent book titled “The Rickover Effect: How One Man Made a Difference”.

  7. Rod Adams believes in nuclear power so much, he will slander anybody who believes otherwise.

    I joined up for Navy ROTC in the spring of 1964 in high school. There was no draft lottery. By the time there was a lottery, I had been in the Navy almost two years. So no, Rod, I didn’t join up because I got a low draft lottery number. You lie.

    The SEAWOLF did not enter Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Junw 1971. We arrived through the Panama Canal in November 1970.

    Rod knows I served four years in the Navy, from June 1968 through June 1972. He prefers to mislead readers by saying two years.

    Rod also knows I got exactly the same training he got. Although he stayed several more years in the Navy than I did, his service was all on SSBNs, where you drive around in circles for two months at 4 mph. My service was on the second oldest nuclear sub in the world, which when I was on it, was having accidents that our Navy training said were impossible. So I have much more relevant experience than he does.

    Last, Rod claims my resume is deficient. What it shows is that I was a professional nuclear engineering officer, a professional journalist, a professional inferential statistician and a professional litigation support consultant. So I am a professional in four fields; he’s a professional in only one.

    Dr. John Miller

    1. I have read and verified so many lies about nuclear power that it is obvious that there are certain groups who are being paid to lie for a living on the topic. You are clearly associated with at least one of those groups. Shame on you.

      How does it feel to make your living as a professional liar, producing nothing of use to civilization, but acting as a parasite on society, poisoning its decision making ability with inaccurate information which leads to sub-optimal choices? Do you ever wish that you had contributed something real to society? Do you ever wish you weren’t a useless fake?

      I have nothing but contempt for you, John Miller, and all those associated with you.

      1. You’re a fool. I was a nuclear engineering officer on a US Navy submarine.

        What are your qualifications? Have you ever even taken courses in nuclear engineering?

        Dr. John Miller
        @Nuclear Reporter

        1. What are your qualifications?

          What an ironic question to ask in the comments of a blog article that questions your qualifications.

          1. It’s pertinent. You criticize me, but you apparently have no training or experience in nuclear power.

            Dr. John Miller

          2. You criticize me, but you apparently have no training or experience in nuclear power.

            “Dr.” Miller – Are you talking to me? I’ve worked in the nuclear industry in both North America and Europe, and I continue to work in the industry today. Would you like me to send you my publication list? Unlike you, I don’t write BS articles, full of myth and innuendo, about various designs of nuclear plants; I’ve done real engineering work on them. By comparison, your “training and experience” is utterly insignificant.

        2. So you think that a minuscule amount of experience/education more than 40 years ago makes you an authority. Heck, I was a NASA engineer 30 years ago, but it doesn’t make me an authority on space flight.

          You’re pathetic. Like the guy with one shred of meaningful experience on his resume who tries to puff it up into a lot more than it is. Only in a sincere job seeker’s case, you kind of admire the determination, and wish him well. In your case…well, as I said, you’re just pathetic, and it would be comical, if you weren’t vandalizing public information in the USA and stealing the people’s right to make informed decisions.

          If this weren’t a deadly serious topic in a critical decision making period, you’d be nothing more than a pathetic joke. An old man trying to put on airs, like a little child dressing in daddy’s clothes and thinking it makes him an adult. But then, you are a pathetic infant with no concept of honor, duty, truth, nor respect.

          1. Jeff Walther shows himself incapable of supplying any evidence that would disprove my evidence. You he writes non-stop gratuitous insults instead. He has nothing important or pertinent to say.

            Dr. John Miller

          2. Not incapable. I just don’t see the point. You invited me to a pissing contest of credentials. You have none to start with, so I see no point in participating.

            Additionally, I want to clearly illustrate the complete and utter lack of respect I have for you and your ilk. We’ve debunked your FUD a million times. You bring nothing new to the table, other than a slightly novel argument-from-authority without any actual authority.

            I don’t need to prove any credentials to recognize a charlatan and a liar when I read one. Now, if you had a new argument which had not already been debunked over and over again, it would be worthy of a discussion — assuming you could meet the initial burden of proof for your position.

            Don’t you feel even a little bit of shame knowing that you’re earning your living on the backs of honest productive people, misleading them with your lies and spew, because you lack any useful skills or abilities? After forty years of being a parasite, is there no part of you which wants to make an honest useful contribution to society? That anti-Vietnam self-righteousness can only carry you so far, especially when you’ve wandered into an area with no connection to Vietnam other than a similarity in social tribe.

      2. @Jeff
        …read … so many lies about nuclear power that it is obvious that there are certain groups who are being paid to lie for a living on the topic…

        So I assume you think that Mark Lynas belongs to that group.
        As he brings the credibility of the nuclear community down with his fantasies.

    2. “Rod, I didn’t join up because I got a low draft lottery number.”

      And he didn’t say you did.

      Does your making strawmen make you an expert on farming?

  8. Rod Adams is an inveterate stater of untruths. I did not join the Navy because I got a low draft number. When I signed on to Navy ROTC in 1964, there was no draft lottery. The draft lottery began in 1970, after I’d been in the Navy 1 1/2 years.

    So once again, Rod Adams lies.

    Any reasonable person will decide that Rod Adams consistently writes untruths about nuclear power and anybody who criticizes it. To use a term of art, Rod is a fool.

    Dr. John Miller
    @Nuclear Power

    1. And once again Rod Adams didn’t say you had a low draft number or that you joined the Navy because you had a low draft number.

      So once again, Mr John Miller lies.

    2. Dr. Miller,

      Would you mind listing a few of those untruths about Nuclear Power? I have been reading Rod’s blog for a while. He has at least one or two people from the Nuclear power industry that follow his blog.

      I am much more interested to see a debate with you over the untruths you claim he tells. From my very much lay point of view, with the limited research I can do about his claims, he seems truthful to me.

      I appreciate the way this blog welcomes anyone to post and enforces a civil debate. Very little tribalism here, other than a vigorous pro-nuclear position.

      1. Here’s one untruth I remember. Rod contacted Andy Revkin, the New York Times blogger in whose space I wrote my review of “Pandora’s Promise.” He wrote,
        “Miller knows nothing about nuclear.”

        That statement is a lie. I went to Nuclear Power School and prototype reactor training exactly like Rod did. I qualified as an engineering officer of the watch on two different Navy submarine reactors, just like Rod did.

        When someone says things he knows are false, that person is a liar.

        You can show me anything Rod has written, and it’s quite likely there are falsehoods in it that I can point out for you.

        Dr. John Miller

        1. “So no, Rod, I didn’t join up because I got a low draft lottery number. You lie.”

          Mr Miller, that statement is a lie as Rod never said what you claim.

          And as someone said, ‘When someone says things he knows are false, that person is a liar.’.

        2. @Dr. John Miller

          There is a difference between an Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) and an “engineering officer”. There is also a difference in the depth of training and qualification of the Engineer Officer and a junior division officer. That is especially true when talking about a junior division officer whose performance can be guessed by understanding the implications of the fact that he was not selected by his commanding officer to serve in one of the available engineering officer billets for any portion of his initial ship tour.

          That is not something decided by a faceless bureaucracy; individual ship Commanding Officers (COs) are the people who assign junior officers to billets in a rotating fashion once they have been ordered to a ship. As Cal Abel, another “served Engineer Officer” explained in this comment, COs are held accountable for ensuring that all of their junior officers have an opportunity to serve in an engineering officer billet for at least a year so that they meet the minimum eligibility standard for taking the Engineer Exam.

          A CO has the authority to choose not to assign an officer to an engineering billet, but he would be asked to justify that decision to his squadron commander and probably need to explain his reasoning to Naval Reactors. An officer that does not qualify as an Engineer Officer cannot continue to serve in the nuclear navy; the Navy invests a lot of money into training each officer and does not toss them aside lightly.

          For readers who are not aware of the training and job assignment progression within the Navy nuclear power program, the Engineer Officer is the technical manager of the Engineering Department. He is always on his second ship tour and is hand picked for his assignment based on his technical rating, a closely held score that is a function of nuclear power school performance, junior officer performance and performance on the Engineer Exam. (To this day, I can only guess at what my technical rating was.)

          The Engineer is generally considered to be the “third officer” on board a ship, with number one being the CO and number two being the Executive Officer. One of the Engineer’s many duties is to be actively involved in the qualification of all Engineering Officer of the Watch candidates, up to and including providing a final oral examination and signing the qualification card for all EOOWs.

          1. Once again, Rod Adams writes a flood of falsehoods.

            The orders for SEAWOLF were for a nuclear-trained officer to be the supply officer. I graduated high enough from prototype training to choose an SSBN, the Theodore Roosevelt, where I probably would have been assigned as a division officer in the Engineering Department.

            But as I’ve said before, another guy, who went to prototype in Connecticut, did poorly enough that he got the SEAWOLF orders. He told the Navy he had already bought a house in New London so he couldn’t take the SEAWOLF orders, which required that he move to California nine months later. A fellow officer told me he lied to the Navy and hadn’t bought a home.

            I called my detailer to argue about it, but he and the liar were both Naval Academy officers and I was NROTC, so he sided with that guy.

            So let me say it again, the orders to SEAWOLF were to be the supply officer and qualify as EOOW. They had nothing to do with me or my qualifications. They could not be changed by the SEAWOLF’s CO.

            So as usual, you and Cal Abel don’t know what you’re talking about.

            Last, while I was in the Navy, submarine nuclear officers were changed from the unrestricted line officer code to a special new code for submarine nuclear engineering officers. I was recoded, and every other officer on my ship was too. So the Navy designated me as a submarine nuclear engineering officer.

            The basic fact here is that you wrote an article whose title was “Was John Miller a submarine nuclear engineering officer?”, as if that were a fact in doubt. My Navy officer designation said I was. The fact that I qualified Engineering Officer of the Watch says I was.

            So Rod Adams has libeled me. In claiming I was not a “nuclear engineering officer,” he just shows the slimy depths he will go to attack someone just because that person sees there are problems and dangers with nuclear power.

            So you and Abel claim you follow your midshipman’s code of honor when you do not. Lying is not acceptable behavior.

            Dr. John Miller

            1. @Dr. John Miller

              You have made some interesting statements about the way that nuclear trained officers were being managed during the early 1970s. I will have to do some additional research to find out if things really changed that dramatically in the 10 years between your departure and my arrival.

              Going back to your continued accusation that I have been lying, I guess I have overstated it slightly. You’re work experience shows that you may know something about nuclear, but it also shows that you did not have an opportunity to learn very much. Your writing shows that you either forgot or do not believe most of what you were taught.

          2. Weird, I know, but isn’t the first officer the XO, second in command? That would make CHENG, or the engineering officer (what Dr. PhD lets people think we was) second officer and third in command.

            English is hard, and Navy English is even harder, especially 25 years (wow) removed.

          3. “where I probably would have been assigned as a division officer in the Engineering Department”

            Supposition on your part. Also you appeared to claim that your orders would have told the CO where he had to assign you. So what did your orders say before they were changed?

            “A fellow officer told me he lied to the Navy and hadn’t bought a home.”

            So apparently you have no direct knowledge of whether this was true or not.

            “so he sided with that guy.”

            Supposition on your part.

            “So the Navy designated me as a submarine nuclear engineering officer.

            My Navy officer designation said I was.”

            Well Mr Miller, at one point the Navy assigned me the NEC of a nuclear surface ship ELT despite the fact that I never served on board a nuclear surface ship. I also qualified as EOOW on a submarines and a prototype, yet I wasn’t a ‘nuclear engineering officer’.

  9. To the former submariners who take Rod’s side against mine, please don’t be so stupid as to believe his slander. I qualified in submarines just like Rod did. I qualified as the Engineering Officer of the Watch on two different sub reactors, just like Rod did.

    Moreover, my experience was on the Navy’s second-oldest sub, which had accidents in a way that our Navy training claimed was impossible. In contract, Rod’s SSBN subs just carved out little circles in the ocean waiting to start World War III.

    Dr. John Miller

    1. Yea, yea, as former NAVY enlisted man that worked for a living I have to ask, if you didn’t want a misunderstanding you simply should not have been so ambiguous about it. I still cant honestly say what your level of interaction was in the experience is as I was not there.

      But Rod is painfully honest about his position:

      Rod Adams – Pro-nuclear advocate with extensive small nuclear plant operating experience. Former submarine Engineer Officer. Founder, Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. Host and producer, The Atomic Show Podcast.

      Why not stick around and argue your positions reasonably, If the “professional” aspect of this bothers you so much Dr Miller; as you do seem to notice and care whats posted and arguably care also very much about these matters.

      Also :

      “my experience was on the Navy’s second-oldest sub”

      And you think that is what gives you valuable unquestionable insight into the future of nuclear power technology?

      1. And you think that is what gives you valuable unquestionable insight into the future of nuclear power technology?

        Nah … but it makes him a fine rodeo clown.

        Just look at this. He’s currently engaged in a pitiful pissing contest with a bunch of ex-navy nukes. “My sub was older than your sub.” That’s apparently the best that this clown can do. Meanwhile, Dr. Slideline Entertainment hasn’t been near a nuclear reactor in four decades.

        What a pathetic waste of oxygen.

        1. I know, I saw that.

          “Well I was a steam locomotive conductor in 1850 and I can tell you there is no future in these automobiles”

          If you are going to erroneously attack Lynas interest in FBRs as “proof” of his “incompetence” at least pick the current PFBR project in Kalpakkam as a starting point. Not circa 1950’s tech and references that belong on antiques roadshow.

    2. Qualifying as Engineering Officer Of the Watch does not make you an Engineer. I, as an enlisted NCO, qualified as Engineering Officer Of the Watch on two different subs as a PO1 and CPO also. Still took two more years of college and then the PE to be considered an “Engineer” by my peers. Guess it is different in the academia world.

      At the time I went to NPS (early 60’s), those with two plus years of college went through what they called the “advanced” phase of NPS. We were told that it was “the exact same training they give the officers.” Courses included actual college engineering level Calculus, Physics, etc. text books. Courses that I had taken before and took again to get my BS degree. Didn’t make me an “Engineer” but it sure made those last two years of college EASY.

      Oh, and the “boomer” I was on did a lot more than “go around in circles.” It went places that most fast attacks did at the time. We took pictures of other submarines undersides (non American) while submerged, and were awarded several unit citations for things that, as nuke, I had no idea what they were for. The Captain did not make Rear Admiral early by “driving around in circles.”

      1. Awesome, Chief! (Or whatever came after, though that’s immaterial– ask any chief.) Cold War hero. I remember the hottest running enlisted guys qualifying as EOOW. And those Coners with the awards were also carefully recording those non-American tunes for SOSUS. (Ex-girlfriend was a– something– the people who “listen” to SOSUS).

    3. “Dr.” John Miller – For someone who claims to have a PhD in the social sciences, you really should know the difference between slander and libel. Yet, apparently, you do not.

      If Rod Adams has indeed committed libel (the correct term, as any educated person knows), then you should file suit in a court of law, as would be your right. However, until such time that you have brought formal charges through your legal representatives, the rest of us would very much appreciate if you would keep your chickensh’t accusations to yourself. We’re really, really tired of listening to you act like a complete jackass.

      Thanking you in advance,

      Dr. Brian Mays

      P.S. And no, I was never a former submariner, so please go bugger yourself. Thanks again.

  10. Dr. Miller I believe the only issue that Rod is bringing up here is that you were not an nuclear engineering officer which is a very specific title related to qualifying as an engineering officer. I appreciate that you went through NPS and qualified as EOOW on both S5G and whatever plant Seawolf was at that time, I’m not sure what it was converted to from its original plant design. You should be upfront about this because your whole claim to knowledge is based on this. Therefore, you are not being honest about your credentials.
    I would never impugn your motives or integrity by saying you were trying to get out of the draft and acknowledge that you were in the Navy before the draft lottery. I enlisted prior to the lottery when I was reclassified and was facing the draft and knew that I would be in Southeast Asia within about 6 mos. I didn’t appreciate my time in the Navy but was definitely dedicated to what I did as a Mechanical Operator on an SSN. That is I hated the Navy but loved working on the reactor plant and understood how important and demanding a job it was.
    All this being said, the Navy is an excellent starting point for a career in nuclear power but to claim special knowledge based only on experience gained from working on a simple power reactor such as S5G or S1W and compare that to a commercial power reactor shows a lack of understanding of the complexities and operating characteristics of commercial power plants.
    If you wonder about my credentials I have spent almost 40 years in nuclear power and got my start as an enlisted man on an SSN. After leaving the Navy I helped design PWRs and BWRs and am currently an engineering manager at a BWR.

    1. Seawolf had a S2W model reactor the same as Nautilus. I was a Mechanical Operator on Nautilus. I wonder if Mr Miller can share what the accidents were that occurred on Seawolf. Since both S2W and S5G power plants are different from each other and different from the standard at the time S5W it is possible that things could happened on Seawolf would differ from could be different than expected from the S5W oriented training.
      I have been a Senior Reactor Operator on a Westinghouse PWR, there is virtually no resemblance to a Navy nuclear power plant other than both are PWRs.

  11. Miller writes that Lynas states in his book:
    …To halt global warming by 2030 … world must build 800 new nuclear power plants …
    As electricity generation delivers only a minor contribution to global warming (GHG/CO2).
    E.g. transport (planes, ships, etc.) and heating (houses, offices, etc) deliver more.

    How did he calculate that replacing thermal power plants by 800 NPP’s, is enough to stop global warming? Seems he did not show that.
    Even our climate scientists do not have reliable quantity models to calculate that.
    So it is just fantasy.

    …each one will be designed to be inherently safe. Even in the worst imaginable scenario … It simply could not melt down.
    So he says those will be generation IV reactors. LFTR? I remember vaguely the Oak Ridge thorium reactor could get a melt down, which threatened to occur near/at decommissioning.
    So development time at least 10 years (Chinese need that for thorium already).

    Being very optimistic, the first reactor design that can be used for normal operation is in 2023.
    Hence no time to take the teething problems out before starting with the big series of 800 reactors (where are all the engineers). As building a NPP takes at least 7years.
    Those 800 NPP’s will then all have the same (hopefully small) teething troubles…

    If committed, this project will deliver the next confirmation that nuclear folks cannot manage building NPP’s in time and according to specifications…

    I find it unbelievable that these childish fantasies are taken serious.

    1. Yet in another post you praise the German disaster that has increased GGs from their electricity generation sector two years running. And increased power costs.

      1. @John
        Thanks to their renewable they are the only country that met the Kyoto targets (-25% GHG emissions compared to 1990) already in 2012.

        Since 2001 they reduced GHG emissions with 12% despite (or may be thanks as it is an expression of their will to keep the environment clean from harmful stuff such as radiation) closing 10 of the 19 NPP they had in 2001.

        No other (not minor) country comes even near these decrease rates of GHG emissions!
        Especially not the nuclear countries!

        1. You think that the fact that their target was based on CO2 produced by all the old inefficient plants and industry in the former East Germany might have had something to do with it?

    2. Whats also amazing is you would quote a quote of a quote taken out of context. When did that become acceptable? In what alternate universe is that an appropriate way to begin an argument?

      The rest isnt even worth commenting on till you express it coherently.

      1. @John
        Your two years are 1 year plus the first 5 month of this year.

        I checked Germany at page 16 of your link.
        Saw that renewable generated 40.6TWh and nuclear generated 39.2TWh in the first five months of this year.

        So your statement is only true because you take Hydro off as renewable.
        What do you take off next time? Waste? Biomass? Solar?

        I do not follow Japan intensive.

        1. In your world 39.2TWh delivered when ordered, is worse than 40TWh delivered to random customers at random times.

          A man walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender takes his money then tells the man he’ll get his beer when the beer distributor’s truck arrives. The bartender tells the man the truck is on a random schedule and doesn’t know when the truck will show up. A cop then walks in, the Bartender’s brother, and the bartender then tells the man he’ll have to charge him a premium, since random truck arrivals are the wave of the future and needs to be encouraged…..

        2. wow and I was almost sure I said ” ALL NON HYDRO “Renewables” ” in that post – I must have been mistaken.

          People may want to look at how those numbers are generated and separated in that report themselves as you have obviously taken to being blatantly dishonest or have some kind of reading comprehension issue.

          As for the CO2 I assume you are talking about electricity generation as Nuclear power, and solar and wind in Germany are used exclusively (from what I know) for electricity generation.

          Of course they dont make the numbers easy to find, which is a bit odd in itself but here we go:

          2011 :

          Carbon Emissions from electricity generation INCREASED “only slightly.” (it was, surprise, an unusually warm winter) according to German press release.

          All emissions were down 2.4 percent included electricity usage and heating fuel (down significantly due to milder weather) ( http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/uba-info-presse/2012/pd12-017_weniger_treibhausgase_mit_weniger_atomenergie.htm )

          [Use google translate if needed]

          2012 :

          I need to find the exact 2012 electric number still – its up as more coal was consumed FOR ELECTRICITY.

          Germany’s Greenhouse Gas Output Rose in 2012 as Coal Use Surged

          Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.6 percent last year as more coal was burned to generate power, according to the Environment Ministry.

          Carbon dioxide emissions led the increase with a 2 percent jump, the ministry said today, citing preliminary data from the Federal Environment Agency. Germany emitted 931 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents last year as the use of lignite rose 5.1 percent, it said. ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-25/germany-s-greenhouse-gas-output-rose-in-2012-as-coal-use-surged.html )


          Emissions are up so far as well from excessive coal use as we have seen.

          So you may want to read my response twice this time before you post your response/apology. Meanwhile ill dig around for a more accurate breakdown of the 2012 numbers.

          1. @John
            Yes you wrote:”.. ALL NON HYDRO “Renewables” COMBINED…”
            So I responded:”So your statement is only true because you take Hydro off as renewable.”.
            That is quite correct, in line with your statement.

            Further you write: “As for the CO2 I assume you are talking about electricity generation as Nuclear power, and solar and wind in Germany are used exclusively … for electricity generation.
            Assumption not quite correct for Germany. Some people have also heat panels on their roof (for shower/bath and/or central heating system). But that is rather small (~0.5GW). You see those more often at lower latitudes. I saw them on many/most houses in Turkey.

            You find an overview of the official German emissions numbers per year in post:

            …Emissions are up so far as well from excessive coal use..
            Not if you correct for the net export increase of electricity this year.

          2. Note : When you are increasing pollution in electricity production growing exports in times of excessive surplus are not a plus.

            Thats not something to celebrate Bas.

          3. @John
            When you are increasing pollution in electricity production growing exports in times of excessive surplus are not a plus. ..
            That is a great plus for us in the Netherlands!
            As we do not have to produce that electricity ourselves against higher prices using thermal (CO2 producing) plants. We import from Germany for ~€40/MWh while the costs, if we produce ourselves are ~€50/MWh.

            It is just announced that we install a new connection to the German grid of 2.3GW and enhance another one in order to import more of their wind & solar. With the growing capacity of solar and wind, the periods during which we can buy their electricity for very low prices are growing!

            If this goes on another thermal plant in NL, will be closed as its load factor becomes to low.

            1. @Bas

              You appear confused. John’s comment pointed out that Germany’s electricity supply, even in the surplus times when it is exporting that power to its neighbors, is not clean. It is increasingly composed of lignite burning plants to replace the nuclear plants it is shutting down.

              There is no benefit to the world’s atmosphere if lignite is burned in Germany and the electricity is exported to the Netherlands to replace power that would have been produced by burning natural gas, which is your primary source of non-nuclear electricity.

      1. @Cal
        Congratulations with your booming economy.

        Just an advice. Do not trust your gov. Deal.
        About half the things he says in the short article that you linked, are patently incorrect!
        If a Dutch or German in such a position would do that, he will be in great troubles.

        Few examples:
        I quote:“If they do not have the nuclear power, they’re going to have to import their energy,”
        Germany is a net exporter of electricity since shutting down the 8 NPP’s in 2011…

        I quote:“Germany has taken an even stronger stand than Japan, shutting off the production of nuclear power altogether. As a result, the Germans now must choose between importing energy from France ­– which still relies heavily on nuclear power – or buying other forms of energy such as gas from Russia”
        The truth:
        – Germany still has 9 NPP’s up and running, which produce ~94TWh/a.
        – Germany is a net exporter of electricity to France, and they buy less gas from Russia for electricity production…
        If anything, they use more of their own cheap brown coal.

        Was Vogtle not the new NPP for which the investment money is paid in advance by the rate payers, so the utility has no risk at all?
        A real nice capitalistic arrangement for the owners only.

        1. LOL of course they are exporting more. It seems they generally have to run a lot of capacity when “renewables” spike. Not that ive seen any guarantee this electricity sold at a loss is even used by other countries. I imagine a lot of it isnt as not even Germany seems to be able to cut off the conventional power so quickly.

          The simpleton green world must be such a pleasure to be a part of now. You never seem to have to worry about details or reality.


          TSOs Activate Reserve Power Plants Due to Expected High Wind Power Input ( http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=12069 )

          Germany’s wind power chaos should be a warning to the UK

          The more a country depends on such sources of energy, the more there will arise – as Germany is discovering – two massive technical problems. One is that it becomes incredibly difficult to maintain a consistent supply of power to the grid, when that wildly fluctuating renewable output has to be balanced by input from conventional power stations. The other is that, to keep that back-up constantly available can require fossil-fuel power plants to run much of the time very inefficiently and expensively (incidentally chucking out so much more “carbon” than normal that it negates any supposed CO2 savings from the wind).( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9559656/Germanys-wind-power-chaos-should-be-a-warning-to-the-UK.html )

          German Utilities Pay Power Users as Warm, Windy Christmas Looms ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-24/german-utilities-pay-power-users-as-warm-windy-christmas-looms.html )

          1. @John
            A reliable grid while 0%, 25%, 50% or 100% of the electricity is delivered by renewable is a matter of good management.
            While Germany have ~25% renewable, their grid reliability is ~10 times better than the grid in USA where renewable is only few percent.

            …The other is that, to keep that back-up constantly available can require fossil-fuel power plants to run much of the time very inefficiently and expensively…
            These stories are not based on real figures.

            In situations that wind/solar deliver not enough:
            – pumped and other storage are the first to take over
            – then the new power plants that burn waste & biomass (may be mixed with coal), take over.

          2. Then why not turn off the lignite? Its the energy equivalent of burning tires. The reason the German grid is so reliable now is overcapacity. Not intermittent renewables. The fact that they have such a surplus and still run thermal and, for them, hated nuclear is to compensate for unreliable power.

            The cold hard truth is that Germany hasn’t figured out a way around it. Its a disaster.

          3. @John
            …The reason the German grid is so reliable now is overcapacity…
            Overcapacity has nothing to do with it.

            The track record of the grids here in NL as well as Germany, show already for more than 50years a far far higher reliability.
            Some reasons:
            – Redundancy in the backbone power lines
            – Lower voltage lines are in the ground. That delivers also a nicer view for the citizens. Nowadays even stretches of high voltage lines under the ground.

            – Arrangements with some big users that they switch off the moment the load tend to become to heavy (e.g. if the frequency goes down to below 48.8Hz; 50Hz is the standard here). They get compensation for it.

            – Arrangement with the big wind turbine parks to switch off automatically at over production in the grid (E.g. the moment frequency becomes 50.2Hz).
            They (and PV-solar) can do that very fast and easy (same with switch on).

            – Arrangements with old power plants to do the same.
            That cannot be done automatically by grid management (as is done with wind turbine parks) and not as fast.

          4. Where are you getting this German grid “reliability” spiel Bas ?? Ive heard you say it several times. I dont think that is completely true:

            Grid Instability Has Industry Scrambling for Solutions

            Sudden fluctuations in Germany’s power grid are causing major damage to a number of industrial companies. While many of them have responded by getting their own power generators and regulators to help minimize the risks, they warn that companies might be forced to leave if the government doesn’t deal with the issues fast. ( http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/instability-in-power-grid-comes-at-high-cost-for-german-industry-a-850419.html )

        2. WRONG BAS!

          Southern Company has not accepted or finalized any loan guarantees.

          If you are referring to a regulated electricity market that is stupid because ANY plant they build wind, solar, gas, nuke, hydro is paid by the ratepayers. But if you think about it even in a merchant market the plants are paid for by the customers (rate payers) so what’s the point?

          1. @Sean
            The point is that the utility then does not have the normal entrepreneurial risks.
            Building a NPP contains then no risk for the utility, while they do get a nice profit..

          2. But isn’t the same true for ANY plant including wind and solar? So again what makes nuclear “special” in this regard?

            Hint: what makes it special is the reduced operating cost over the balance of life of the plant compared to gas which as we know wind and solar “need” to be reliable.

          3. @Sean
            … isn’t the same true for ANY plant including wind and solar? …
            E.g. with PV-panels I have to invest.
            If the stuff fails then I have to take the loss of my investment (not the rate payers).
            In Germany you get a guaranteed price for the production during 15-20years.
            In NL no security regarding the price for your production.

            But it seems that in some states in USA, the utility transfers (part of) the investment risk for new NPP’s to the rate payers (who pay a surcharge).
            And I understood that the utility has a monopoly in practice, so they get also ‘guaranteed’ a nice price for production.

          4. I was already amazed as these rules imply a far bigger subsidy than EDF asks for the new NPP at Hinckley Point (UK). Which are:”loan guarantees for the investment + guaranteed price of ~$180/MWh for all production during 35years”.

            May be somebody can explain the real rules around those new NPP’s such as Vogtle?

            Then why makes gov. Deal of Georgia so much rumor around the new NPP (justifying it)?

        3. Ok… You make no sense.

          Every plant is in one way or another paid for by the customers of the power it will produce. In a merchant market situation the company prices their electricity to cover all the costs plus a profit. In a regulated market the regulator sets the rate to cover the costs plus a profit. All the money in the end comes from the same place… The people who buy the electricity. Same as car owners pay to build automobile plants, and people who drink beer pay for breweries to be built. The big difference is that in a merchant market there is the risk that no one will buy your electricity at your price but that is true regardless of what technology makes the power. In a regulated market there is less risk but the risk is less for all technology nuclear is not “special” in this regard. It is common sense!

  12. I have a question for both Dr. John and Rod. It has to do with students today are encouraged to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math STEM subjects. Why do I see Social Relations and English as majors? I would think anyone interested in nuclear energy would major in a science major. If you major in a “liberal arsty” field how do you get all the advance math and science courses in 4 years?

    Oh, and did you both have to “hot bunk” because of lack of beds in submarines?

    1. Speaking for myself, the BS I received in English required 30 hours of English courses plus the following:
      16 hours of calculus and differential equations
      8 hours of chemistry
      8 hours of physics
      8 hours of EE
      4 hours of thermodynamics
      4 hours of fluids
      3 hours of basic propulsion systems
      6 hours of control systems

      STEM courses are valuable, but so are the ability to read and think critically. Far too many scientists and engineers fail to learn how to question initial assumptions and specified comditions.

      No hot bunking required for anyone on SSBN 632 or 634

      UNIT CLARIFICATION The “hours” mentioned above are semester-hours. A semester hour is the number of hours spent in class each week for a full academic semester. A “4-hour” course generally means four hours per week in lecture for about 16 weeks. For science & some engineering courses it might mean three hour of lecture plus a 2-hour lab block. All courses included a comprehensive final. My résumé includes the GPA I earned. (USNA has generally done a good job avoiding the grade inflation common in Ivy League schools.)

      1. Simultaneously for you was all the boot camp “flavor” of USNA– for four years. And then for you came the “fire hose” of Nuke School and NPTU. Wow. In retrospect, you Canoe U Nukes are pretty impressive. Subs, too, but I can’t relate to that. (And Aviation: RIP, Neptunus Lex.)

        Like Chief Lentz said above, the rigors of Navy training sure made college easy (by comparison). Sorry for you it was inverted. You should’ve gone Mustang.

  13. Mr. Miller,

    You claim to be an expert will you PLEASE answer the question I posed so that we may all qualify your claimed expertise?

    If you need me to restate the question I will…

    Please compare and contrast an iso condenser vs. an ice condenser while explaining to us how each one works.

    This should be VERY easy for an expert such as yourself.

  14. At the end of the day, all Navy nukes are pro nukes. Except maybe Dr Miller.

    There are always marginals and everyone is allowed to think for himself. On that Dr Miller is right.

    I always liked the Dalai Lama who says that we each have the right to make our own mind and do our own research. Science and facts based decision making is a big thing for the Dalai Lama and for buddhism . Each for his own quest.

    Also, I always loved the Dalai Lama who asks the simple and disarming question : What is your motivation ?

    I know what Rod’s motivation is. What is your motivation Dr Miller ?

    One man chose to be pro something and the other, an anti.

    I want to go thru life being pro something. It is healthier.

    1. “What is your motivation Dr Miller ?”

      Let me take a stab at it. Everyone can return to this discussion in two years and see if it is right or wrong:

      1) to become the new “go-to guy” when the media need an ostensibly well credentialed talking-head for discussions of nuclear power. Of course a contract with a nice retainer fee comes with this, with bonuses for air-time or articles. This in turn enhances the credentials for…
      2) a book deal on the perils of nuclear energy, endorsed by all the leading lights of the anti industry;
      3) subsequent book tours, media appearances, speaking engagements, “non-profit” foundations, websites…

      Of course all of this will be subsumed under the cover of “concern for the environment”, or “protecting the public”, or “concern for future generations”.

      Sound familiar?

  15. To the utter shame of the NYT and Andrew Revkin, they published this fraud and charlatan’s anti-nuclear ravings. (“On August 16, 2013, Andrew Revkin published a blog titled A Nuclear Submariner Challenges a Pro-Nuclear Film that generated a firestorm of comments (683 as of the time this blog was written).”) A fun project would be for the REAL nuclear submariner experts assembled here on this blog, defending their honor and that of the nuclear Navy, to divide up the task of demolishing the arguments of this “Dr. John Dudley Miller”, fake Navy “nuclear engineer”. and then challenge the silly, non-serious Andrew Revkin to publish it.

    1. Revkin was challenged about this on Twitter (@Revkin).

      I don’t monitor 24/7, but to the best of my knowledge he never responded.

      1. Actually, Revkin responded with an open invitation. I haven’t had time to take him up on it yet, but plan to have plenty of time in the near future.

  16. Congratulations of making EOOW as an enlisted man. You are a man above men, clearly!

    I am very disturbed by your description of SSBN followings. I think it’s insane for the Navy to risk a collision with a ship with 16x 7 independent multiply-targeted hydrogen bomb missiles. That is a job for fast attack subs.

    Dr. John Miller

  17. To Daniel,

    I admire the Dalai Lama too.

    I’m a first-year Baby Boomer, and our motivation as adults has always been to find out the truth, no matter whom it helps or hurts. I joined the Navy neither pro-nuclear or anti-. For me, it was a way to avoid the war in Vietnam, which to me was a civil war that Vietnamese ought to decide for themselves.

    I have been a Navy nuke and then followed nuclear power and written about it for 45 years now. I continue to be motivated to tell the truth.

    I’m as open to pro-nuke evidence as anti-nuke evidence. So if you have evidence that disagrees with mine, please contact me at johnmillerATnasw.org.

    Dr. John Miller

    1. “For me, it was a way to avoid the war in Vietnam…”

      So although his supposition that it may have had to do with draft numbers was wrong, Rod was correct in you do whatever you could to avoid serving in Vietnam. Because you thought your Commander in Chief and those in positions of authority were wrong. Yet you still willingly served in the military, taking a spot that forced someone else to serve in Vietnam. Wow what a twisted set of ethics you have.

  18. To Paul,

    Like so many pro-nukes, you don’t have a shred of evidence proving my writing is incorrect. So you sling insults instead. Either provide evidence or stop posting.

    Dr. John Miller

    1. Evidence?

      We are in the era of transition from fossil to fissile. The old resists the new. It goes down to defeat whining and screaming. But defeat: complete, utter humiliating defeat is inevitable. See: China’s costs per kilowatt of new nuclear construction on Next Big Future. Read it and weep, anti-nuclear frauds and zealots.

  19. Mr. John Dudley Miller proves himself a “fool” by failing to answer a simple question that would help is qualify his true technical expertise.

  20. To Sean McKinnon:

    I tried to answer you twice last night, but Rod’s setup ditched both comments. An iso condenser utilizes a reservoir of water. That’s the BWR design. An ice condenser, used on some Westinghouse plants, provides an extra heat sink beyond what a normal steam to condensate plant can provide.

    Dr. John Miller

    1. Mr. Miller,

      I would expect much more from a nuclear engineer. I have never had an issue commenting on this blog. My suspicion has been confirmed thank you.

      1. @Sean

        There is no indication on the backend of any of Dr. Miller’s comments being lost or delayed. Other commenters occasionally have comments that get delayed by automated filers requiring manual moderation.

        1. What I experience, especially when I “Reply” to a message is that I submit a comment and the next screen tells me I have been disconnected from Atomic Insights. I have had more luck starting at “At a comment” and addressing my comment to the person I want to reply to.

          What is going wrong that the program “eats” my comment and never posts it?


        2. Just to clarify my suspicion was that Mr. Miller does not have the technical background in light water reactors that he claims which is evident by his non answer to the very specific question posed not anything to do with the comment system that always works fine for me.

    2. john,
      I recognize your problem.
      Normally the blog system works great, but sometimes you upload a post and it just vanishes.
      Same the second time, etc. After a day or so it operates fine again.

      These small hick-ups led to a few double posts from me, as not finding the post I made a second upload. But then it showed the first upload was also posted.

      But generally it is a great system!

      1. @Bas

        You are one of the commenters whose posts are occasionally identified as spam by the automated system running here. I suspect that is because of your activity on other sites.

        Most of the time I dig your comments out of the spam folder. Sometimes, I agreed with the system’s decision to classify them as spam. Those comments are trashed, which makes them disappear.

        1. @Rod
          Thanks for you illustration.!

          But then I still do not understand why the ~ same comment is posted correct, when I upload it one or two days later on?

      2. Thanks! But it is a problem that comments you submit vanish. Rod, do you know about this problem, and is there a fix?


    3. Looks like you proved the point that you don’t what an isoalation condenser of an ice condenser are.
      I am also still wondering what accidents you saw on USS Seawolf that were beyond any training you received.

    4. An isolation condenser can remove decay heat when Main Steam Isolation Valves are closed using condensing tubes in a vented tank of water.
      Following MSIV closure in a BWR, the reactor scrams (on valve position of any 3 steam lines <90% open) and pressure rises. Low Low Set SRVs open and lower Reactor Pressure and that SRV lift costs level inventory, dumping to the Suppression Pool.
      The Isolation Condenser starts on High Reactor Pressure (BWR/3 and earlier) and conserves inventory. Condensing Main Steam, returning condensate to the recirc loop.
      This operates below the SRV lift setpoints and the SRVs should remain shut.
      Even with no reactor feed, RPV Water Level should end up at least 3 feet above Top of Active Fuel at 0 psig / 212 F in the reactor.

      An Ice Condenser is one type of PWR Containment pressure mitigation, On a LOCA, steam in the Containment melts ice in ice racks located in the Containment. This limits maximum Containment Pressure long term in the accident analysis.

      Your explanation was not what I'd expect from a man of letters and a Navy nuclear engineer with decades of experience. You are what we called in the Navy; Light Weight.

  21. To Dan Walther,

    As long as you provide no evidence proving my evidence wrong, you have nothing to say. Your insults show you to be immature and delusional on the subject of nuclear power. No one has ever disproved my evidence.

    To me, it is cowardly for you to continue to insult me but never prove that any of my evidence is false.

    Dr. John Miller

  22. Another phoney organization. This one is associated with Gorbatchev.

    I am a CPA, among many other things, and this group:


    is presenting to the CPA- Québec in Montreal on Oct 24.

    I wrote to my order to express my disdain.

  23. To Rod Adams:

    You don’t have to do research to determine how the Navy did things in 1970. You just have to believe me. Since I do not lie, ever, about anything, that should be enough.

    There never was a distinction in my Navy service that officers who weren’t Engineering Department division heads weren’t nuclear engineering officers. I doubt that such a distinction was ever made when you were in the Navy either.

    You are so obsessed with nuclear power, you cannot tell the truth about it ever. Now you say I “may know” something about nuclear. I qualified EOOW twice. Do you think anybody can do that without knowing more than enough to operate the plant safely?

    Last, although I don’t even have an engineering B.S. degree and I couldn’t design anything, on SEAWOLF I saw two beginnings of accidents that occurred in a way that Navy training taught us COULD NOT HAPPEN. Although I thought when the SEAWOLF orders were unfairly dumped on me that I was very unlucky, in fact, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. So I do have some nuclear experience that none of you other guys ever got. It is irreplaceable experience.

    Dr. John Miller

    1. @Dr. John Miller

      Qualifying EOOW is simply a license to learn. It means that your bosses have determined that you know enough to be safe, especially when you are surrounded by qualified technicians and are able to obtain assistance within seconds to minutes of asking for it.

      It certainly does not make you a nuclear energy expert. I make that statement as someone who provided the final qualification interview for about a dozen EOOWs during my 40 month long tour as the Engineer Officer.

      I freely admit that I am “obsessed” with nuclear energy. It has captured my nearly undivided attention for the past 25 years. I honestly believe that it is the only energy production technology with the potential for providing 9 billion people with abundant, reliable, emission free power. Please stop calling me a liar merely because I have pointed out the weaknesses in your resume.

      1. Your continued statements like “Miller knows nothing about nuclear” and “Miller may know something about nuclear” are far, far from the truth. The evidence is clear. You’re not telling the truth.

        The main expertise I claim is that I was one of thousands of guys who qualified EOOW on a nuclear plant. The only other expertise I have is the blessing of being on SEAWOLF when she suffered accidents that aren’t supposed to occur.

        Beyond that, I don’t have even an undergrad degree in engineering.

        What I do have is an open mind, something you don’t. I wait everyday to see some post that will prove that nuclear power is indeed safe. So far I haven’t seen that. What I have learned over the past 45 years is that the vast majority of evidence about nukes favors the anti-nuke position.

        Dr. John Miller

        1. What I do have is an open mind, something you don’t.

          Dr. John Miller (thank god you finally dropped the pretentious “PhD” at the end of your name),

          It’s highly amusing that you apparently don’t realize that claims of having an “open mind” and claims of having personal, exclusive access to “the truth” are mutually contradictory.

          Which is it? Do you claim to know “the truth,” which nobody can refute, or do you really have an “open mind,” which would allow you to realize when you are wrong?

          I wait everyday to see some post that will prove that nuclear power is indeed safe.

          Ah … and you somehow think that this “proof” will occur in just one post? But then again, as you admit, you “don’t have even an undergrad degree in engineering.” That much is clear, but it does bring into question your ability to evaluate the “proof” that you so eagerly demand when it is presented.

          Dr. Miller, with each comment that you post here, you continue to demonstrate that you are a coward, an ignoramus, and a fool. Your meretricious arguments and defense of your record give us a perfect picture of exactly who you are.

          All I can say to that is … please keep them coming! You provide a splendid example of how stubbornly bullheaded, petty, thin-skinned, and intellectually bankrupt the anti-nuclear crowd is.

          Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

          Brian Mays

          1. Thank you Brian that is exactly the point I was trying to make by asking Mr. Miller to give us a technical analysis of two similar sounding systems to show that he does not have the technical knowledge to evaluate the “evidence”

        2. @Miller

          The main expertise I claim is that I was one of thousands of guys who qualified EOOW on a nuclear plant. The only other expertise I have is the blessing of being on SEAWOLF when she suffered accidents that aren’t supposed to occur.

          Both of the items you state should be described with the word “experience”, not “expertise”. Your presence at an event does not provide expertise. Your qualification as an EOOW tells me little or nothing about your performance on your written exam or oral qualification board. What was your score on the test? Did you pass your board on the first try, or did you have to come back with “look-ups”? How long did it take you to qualify?

          It also tells me nothing about your performance as a watchstander. As the rest of the Navy guys can testify, we have all seen talented EOOWs, less talented EOOWs, and perhaps even some EOOWs who were scary enough to be DQed.

          If a 55-year record of zero fatalities due to released radiation cannot convince you that nuclear systems (including operators) have been engineered to be acceptably safe, there is nothing any of us can write that will change your religiously held view that nuclear energy is inherently unsafe. I’m not going to bother trying.

    2. Not a fine point, but is it in your judgment a “lie” to mislead by omission? To “slant” things? To not add context to claims about nuclear bombs v. reactors, epidemiologically (and weakly) estimated cancer cases indistinguishable from the noise? Why would you do such things? Why would you glance upon an engineering marvel like S5G and pronounce insurmountable danger regarding all things of nuclear power?

    3. Miller,

      First your experience isn’t that unique. I worked with an officer that qualified on both a sub and a surface ship, both of which saw action. So that is two, count them two quals on two plants, one under the water and one above. When nukes that stay in beyond their initial 5 or 6 years and finish their shore rotation, they usually qualify on a different plant. Many of us ex-Navy people have similar stories either personal or indirect.

      And yes someone can be qualified EOOW and not understand how to run the plant safely. I stood watch with at least one officer who struggled to run an operating steam plant when underway. That individual let the numerous possibilities of everything that might go wrong get in the way of everything that was working correctly. Vapor locked his brain and he couldn’t think straight. Yet he had a nuclear degree and was able to pass the tests. Eventually he started getting the point of the running a steam plant that had a reactor as its primary power source but for awhile he needed hand holding to get him through his watches. Reminds me of someone else….Makes me wonder about the people who served on your watches.

      I am sure many of us ex-Nukes can dredge up similar sea stories and commence to bore everyone to death especially about how the Navy screwed us over. Welcome to the real world. Quit crying over your spilled milk and cheerios and move on with life.

      IOW stop with the “I am unique” crap. Stop with the crap that somehow just because you qualified on two plants in 1970 you are eminently qualified to address nuclear issues of today in today’s far more complex world of power generation for commercial applications. Many of us have been studying nuclear issues for decades and do not consider ourselves the only source to speak about nuclear power. We freely admit that there are still many things to learn.

      Continual learning is something you fail to grasp though since you have closed that door. In your world you are an “expert” on all things nuclear and have the ego to state it therefore have shut off additional learning for yourself. From my vantage point you are a beat reporter looking for nuclear whistleblower type people for your next big break article or are motivated by other goals such as those discussed above in Atomikrabbit’s comment. (BTW have you found anyone who wants to bad mouth Fort St Varian or is it just a case of disgruntled workers who didn’t like being told what to do at the time?)

      And for god’s sake will you please stop with constant bleating about how you saw the BEGINNINGS of two events that Navy Nuclear training supposedly stated wouldn’t happen in 1970 operating under 1970 era training programs.

      You haven’t explained what those events were, you haven’t stated what the training program was telling you then and you haven’t reconciled that training with current events. Nor have you explained the severity of the events within the context of the operating situation at that time. So while you may get oohs and aaahs from your typical anti-nuclear audience by telling those soap opera tidbits, many of us here are not impressed.

      I saw a pump run backwards and still pump water in the DU. Wow… hold the presses. But as we learned it wasn’t a unique event even though my Navy training told me that wasn’t possible. Until it was. And guess what, nothing happened except the pump had to be overhauled which was a pain in the a$$ since we were underway at the time. I was also a part of an actual scram when a breaker failed that supposedly would not fail for another thousand cycles or some ridiculously large number.

      However in your world both those events could be termed the BEGININGS of an event since if we lost the DU or we couldn’t get the failed breaker replaced in time then we could have lost the ship, out in the middle of the ocean, far, far away from land where even the Skipper of the SS Minnow couldn’t help us. Oh my what to do, much hand wringing….what to DO!!! What would happed if we lost our primary source of make-up water and we were miles from land and then we would have had to use seawater to cool the core. Or we couldn’t fix the breaker and the reactor was heating up since we had been running over 75% power for a long power run. Oh my….what to do, what to do….. Oh wait we used our Navy training, screwed our heads on and fixed the issues like we were supposed to do.

      Those were the BEGINNINGS of accident scenarios that WEREN’T supposed to happen. However they did occur and we fixed them using our Navy training and got back underway. No one panicked, no one became an instant nuclear power hater, we all just dug in and fixed the issues depending on what contribution we could make based on our individual skill sets.

      There are literally thousands of sailors, both sub and surface; enlisted and officers, who have been through the Nuclear Navy since you were qualified and have seen the BEGINNINGS of accidents or near-accidents or near misses or whatever is the term du jour these days. The training program has undergone massive upgrades and lessons learned. So none of your experience makes you any more qualified then any of us. None of these events you rely on for your thin resume make you an expert of anything related to nuclear. It just means you have a foot in the door.

      Your supposedly unique personal experience also doesn’t mean nuclear power is “bad”. What your constant yammering about it does though is point out your inherent fear of nuclear power. That wasn’t my issue nor was that anyone else’s issue until you brought your fear here and out into the public. Then because of your fear and its after effects, since you have made it your mission to become a Caldicott follower, many other people are now living in fear of something that isn’t real. Made up fear.

      Now in the little anti-nuclear world you run in, your brief stint in the Nuclear Navy during height of the Vietnam War protests has obviously gained you points. That crap doesn’t fly here. Nor does your grade school tactics of trying to prove you are better then any of us with your constant self-proclamations of your supposed importance. Every time I have to read your protestations about how you know more then even the original design engineers, this image of a little boy in a playground comes to mind. The one who is trying prove to everyone he is better then anyone else because his dad is wealthy or a police officer or a lawyer or fill-in-the-blank-here…….. But those that know the truth are just shaking their heads and wondering why the little boy is trying so hard to prove how important he is by association instead of real accomplishment.

      Also trying to wear some moral mantle around your shoulders after claiming you willingly resigned your commission may gain you points in your little anti-nuclear groups that you run in. However that group of aging hippies who protested the Vietnam War and the young wannabes are living in a past that never existed and are striving for a future that requires a population reduction by draconian means if their game plan comes to pass. It is a vision of the future that I don’t want to be a part of which is why I continue to advocate for nuclear power as the primary solution to extending our finite natural resources.

      False hopes and manufactured fear. That’s all you’re selling. False hopes and manufactured fear.

    4. An irreplacable experience but you didn’t seem to like it. Why be such a grouch? Meanwhile, I never did get an answer from you about did you take STEM subjects like Rod did and did you have to hot bunk on the Seawolf? Rod by the way, did answer.

    5. “Since I do not lie, ever, about anything”

      I have pointed out where you have lied in the comment of this blog. So this would be another lie you have told just here.

      “So I do have some nuclear experience that none of you other guys ever got.”

      Well since you have no idea what nuclear experience some of us have that statement is laughable.

    6. @Dr. John Miller

      There never was a distinction in my Navy service that officers who weren’t Engineering Department division heads weren’t nuclear engineering officers. I doubt that such a distinction was ever made when you were in the Navy either.

      Actually, we were never referred to as “nuclear engineering officers”. The term of art at the time I entered the submarine force was “nuclear-trained submarine officer”. We sometimes referred to officers assigned to billets in the engineering department as “engineering officers”, but normally the term was reserved for the limited duty officers that were assigned to various shipyards and repair facilities; they were “Engineering Duty Officers.”

      I will be contacting people in the navy personnel command to determine if the terminology was different in the early 1970s. I might need to contact the historians as well. For some odd reason, I just do not feel comfortable taking you at your word on this topic.

  24. Serious non-snide question John (I do concede some of my previous ones had some gusto), Why do you refer to the Seawolf as a SSBN?

    AFAIK Seawolf’s designation during your service was SSN-575, a Nuclear powered attack sub, whereas SSBN is a Ballistic Missile capable sub. Furthermore the Seawolf was a SIGINT platform post overhaul in the 70s, tapping Soviet sea cables during Operation Ivy Bells and others. I’m not sure as to why you refer to it having a Ballistic Missile capability, unless there was something about her the records don’t show.

    1. @Irregular

      I think you have misread Miller’s comments on this topic. He told us he was supposed to go to an SSBN, but ended up being ordered to Seawolf. He did not serve on the ship after its conversion was complete; his resume clearly states that he left while the ship was still undergoing the conversion process.

  25. “Are they going to put wind Turbines on the carriers next?”

    War ships were driven by wind power for at least 2000 years. It does work, but modern drives work better.

  26. Curious what Class John Miller was in? I went through the same NP school, Vallecitos, and the very cool S5G prototype ( v cool main turbine with no reduction gears). Anyhow I was in 69-2, class wasn’t that big which one was his?

    while only an enlisted dog I seem to remember that, at the the time, all officers who entered the program had to go through the Rickover interview on the chair with the dodgy legs. Not something one would forget, perhaps just a ‘one upon a time’ story.

    1. David Snedeker,

      Class 8304 here, 15 years behind you and near 30 years since I was there, but in retrospect I view S5G as an engineering marvel of experiment. The long turbine was cool with very many stages (relative to conventional plants). Like you said, no reduction gears. Idea was to remove just one more noisemaker. Same for the NC flow that is now common. No primary pumps. Was S5G first with that? Don’t know why the long turbine didn’t catch on– probably cost. Enlisted Dog: Still my Cold War hero. Speaking of cold, how about waiting for the bus in Idaho Falls at about 0-dark hundred in the dead of winter?

      Yours, and thanks, Rod, for the forum,


      1. S5G was a cool plant. You didn’t mention the automatic Fast Insert feature, which allowed you to avoid a scram and provide power again that much sooner.

        So far as I know, USS Narwahl was the only sub with an S5G plant. Don’t know why.

        Lots of good ideas have failed to make it onto other subs. On SEAWOLF, we had a first of a kind voice notification system to take the place of gongs and horns, because research had shown that guys sleep through those things. So if there was flooding in the engine room, a mid-1950s beautiful blond woman said breathlessly: “Flooding…in the Engine Room. Flooding…in the Engine Room.”

        Nobody ever slept through her alarms, and the electricians said the system was so good, it would last forever. So what did the Navy do? They never used it on another ship. Go figure.

        1. Cool.

          Yes, Narwhal was the actual ship that used S5G. I didn’t know (or have forgotten) about the fast insert v. SCRAM, but I was an MM/ELT, Though cross-trained as all Nukes are, perhaps I didn’t get that detail. Also, the long turbine sans reduction gears let it have only one turbine, not a high pressure plus low pressure. The primary was pH controlled with… something. Hydrazine? Oxygen scavenger plus pH control rather than H2 and NH4OH? The secondary didn’t use phosphates like, say, D2G. Instead morpholine. The phrase was “all-volatile.” Hated the face-suckers during fire drills, but the manifold supplied air was SO preferable to OBAs used in surface ships. Hated the commute from Ammon, the 2/3/4 12 on 12 off schedule, three of the 12 off consumed by travel. But that was Cold War.

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