Dr. A. David Rossin is a former President of the American Nuclear Society, an Engineering Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a career nuclear engineer. He has deep experience in private industry, with the national laboratories and in energy policy as a former Assistant Secretary of Energy.
We spoke on March 30, 2010 about Dave’s research into the nuclear policies promised by Governor Jimmy Carter during the 1976 campaign for President. Those policies were later implemented by President Carter after his election success. As Dave says during our talk, until President Carter, many people could legitimately dismiss campaign promises, but President Carter actually made a book of his various promises and worked to try to keep them.
Much to the detriment of nuclear energy development in the United States, two of his kept promises were to halt used fuel recycling in the US and to avoid creation of a “plutonium economy” by stopping the breeder reactor program.
Unlike Dr. Rossin, I am a suspicious guy who believes that many important decisions in the politics can best be understood by following the money. The obvious beneficiaries of a policy to avoid a “plutonium economy” are those entities who already have control over “the hydrocarbon economy”. No commodity supplier profits by being replaced. Dr. Rossin disagrees, but that made for a bit of a lively discussion.