The Atomic Show #061 – Allison MacFarlane, Atomic Agnostic

Dr. Allison MacFarlane is an Associate Professor of Environment Science and Policy at George Mason University. She is also a self proclaimed nuclear agnostic who is not sure that nuclear power can grow much. About a month ago a friend sent me a link to an interesting panel discussion that was held at MIT on…

How I developed my atomic insights

I have spent the past 25 years studying and operating various kinds of energy production and consumption systems. My experience includes ocean sailing trips dependent on wind, batteries and and auxiliary diesel, backpacking trips dependent on biomass and auxiliary propane stoves, twelve 90-day patrols on a submarine in engineering jobs including chief engineer, 9 semester…

Fusion versus Fission ā€“ Difficult versus Easy

Yesterday morning (3 March 2005) I heard a story on National Public Radio (NPR) that reminded me why I chose an engineering focused career instead of one focused on science. (Aside: I carefully avoid calling myself an engineer, though I served as one in the Navy for a couple of decades. My undergraduate degree is…

Saying the ā€˜Nā€™ word Nuclear ā€“ in polite company

The ‘n’ word is definitely back in fashion. There are at least five large partnerships in the United States that are preparing to build new nuclear power plants, though all of them are keeping a rather low profile. The five identified efforts include a consortium led by Excelon that is investigating an early site permit…

Atomic Energy: Powerful Job Generator

It is easy to find recent news stories describing the effects of high energy prices on the world’s economy. A more challenging task is finding articles or analysis describing effective alternatives to watching increasing quantities of money flow from energy consumers and to energy suppliers. A large portion of this torrent of cash is flowing…

Rooting for the Underdog: Small Nations Often Need Atomic Power

It made my day to watch the lowly Florida Marlins beat the 26 time “World Champion” New York Yankees. I nearly wept when the mighty Notre Dame football team kicked a last second field goal to squeak out a victory over Navy for the 39th time in a row. I cheered madly when the American…

Ike Was Right: We Need Atoms for Peace

Imagine how different the world political stage would be if oil was just another commodity instead of being seen as THE vital ingredient in the world’s economy. Whole power structures and economic arrangements would shift dramatically. No longer would we be treated to the spectacle of democratically elected leaders groveling to despots that just happen…

Ike Was Right: Oil is Obsolete

As I continue to read as much as I can stomach about Israel’s current struggle for its very survival, I have developed strong desire to shout on the streets. My message to Sharon and all the other leaders in the world is that we do not need oil. That fact should make the equation far…

The United States Should Lead the Way by Michael Fox

As a scientist whose career includes the management of a plutonium laboratory, I am keenly aware of the many attributes of plutonium. Over the years I have also learned that advice from nuclear critics about plutonium is consistently unreliable. The critics are again offering unreliable information to the Secretary of Energy about the disposition of…

Why Throw Away a Priceless Resource by Theodore Rockwell

In a press release carefully coordinated with mass internet mailings to all the old anti-technology political action groups, Nader’s well-funded Critical Mass organization tries to create the impression of “a growing coalition of national, international and grassroots groups” joined by “many scientists, experts and the public.” But there is nothing spontaneous or grass-rootsy about this…

Letter from the Editor Plutonium Politics Leads To Unusual Logic

On December 9, 1996, the United States Department of Energy issued a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement that advocated an investigation of two possible alternatives for handling plutonium from decommissioned nuclear weapons. One option is to combine the plutonium with uranium to produce mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel that can be used in conventional nuclear reactor plants. The…