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18 Comments

  1. Well, whatever McFarlane’s credentials, one can at least hope for better than this guy.

  2. Well, whatever McFarlane’s credentials, one can at least hope for an immediate rescind of the 50 miles evacuation zone with a note that there was no scientific merit to this decision.

  3. Ultimately, I guess it depends on whether if McFarlane is going to be as much of a conspiring political handpuppet as her predecessor. She’s probably smart enough to potentially learn quickly what her *real* job is at the NRC, from the other commissioners. The question is whether she will *do* her job, as opposed to putting sand in the gearbox and screwing up the works.

    1. @ Joris

      Part of the job is to protect the environment. Emission free energy has to appeal to her since she admits being pro climate.

      Let’s see if she can do simple inference à la Descartes.

      1. Would be nice. I hope nuclear appeals a lot to her, because it’s all been taking far too long. We should have had exponential growth in nuclear power and dirt cheap energy, so that synthetic gas and liquid fuel production would be no problem. We are crucifying ourselves now with skyrocketing oil prices and (soon) gasprices around $5-8/mmBTU for shale gas.

        I would be very happy if we could have simplified procedures to build full scale prototypes. A new nuclear development project for very small nuclear such as 20MWth should not cost more than a few hundred million euro’s to get to working prototype, within 5 years. Or is that unlikely to be possible nomatter how minimal the licencing is? (Minimal licencing for me means that the public is adequately protected.)

        Thanks,

        Joris

    2. Based on her confirmation and how it came to be necessitated, McFarlane’s real job is to promote the interests of Harry Reid. It has nothing to do with operating the NRC in any semblance of efficiency or within the legal parameters passed by both houses. In fact by ignoring the law and promoting inefficiency she is supporting Reid’s agenda.

      Of course, I could be completely misreading the administration. However, based on its track record, I doubt it. The bags of sand are waiting for her in her office. With a note, “Remember who got you this job. H.R.”

  4. I predict a book will be coming out from Jaczko in less than one year from now. It will be the usual rehash of how he’s so passionate about safety and was smeared by his fellow workers who didn’t care as much as he did. Yawn! I might get it in case I have trouble sleeping.

  5. If Jaczko was so passionate about nuclear safety, why did he waste his time in school studying the low energy behavior of mesons and baryons and why did he decide that the best place to use a PhD in particle physics was inside the Washington, DC beltway in a congressional staff office?

    The man had a plan that was partially based on an assumption that the American public could not tell the difference between a nuclear energy expert and a politician with a degree in particle physics. The plan worked far too well, but at least in the Internet era there is a way to make use of the old saw:

    You can fool some of the people all of the time. You can fool all of the people some of the time. But you can never fool all of the people all of the time.

    1. Rod,

      You knew of course that the saying: ‘You can fool some of the people all of the time. You can fool all of the people some of the time. But you can never fool all of the people all of the time.’ is attributed to the 16th US President Lincoln.

    2. Rod,
      Hate to say it, but when it comes to inside the beltway, hacks like Jazcko are relative experts to everyone else. There are no experts just opinions and opinions are made. He provided enough credibility (PhD in Physics) and willingness to support his boses’ opinions that he was very successful.

      Want to rectify this, get more young people motivated to take the AAAS fellowship who have some inkling of nuclear energy. The problem is then they are not an expert in something else… Bottom line load the institutional knowledge base (congressional staffers) with people who support your cause. This is where the power resides. This is where the laws are written. It is the power of the pen. The power of the vote is less than this, especially if you don’t understand what it is that you are voting for.

  6. Dear Rod,

    Have you ever called anyone a “pronuclear activist”? Do you consider yourself to be one?

    1. @Peter Bradford

      Absolutely! In fact “Atomic Activist” is one way that’s introduce myself at cocktail parties. I am convinced that nuclear fission is superior to hydrocarbon combustion and that unreliables like wind and solar lost to hydrocarbon combustion about 175 years ago. Without a strong push from fossil fuel funded governments, they would not even be a blip in the market today.

      I’ll ask other readers – do you consider yourself a pro-nuclear activist?

    2. Peter Bradford,

      I can confirm that Rod definitely identifies himself as such in social settings. He’s not a wallflower.

      As for me, I have been pronuclear since I was a teenager — i.e., since I was old enough to understand the technology. I have considered myself a “pronuclear activist” since 2001, thanks to NA-YGN.

      When it comes to public opinion, sometimes common sense needs a helping hand. I’m happy and proud to provide that. It has been an American tradition since the days of Thomas Paine.

  7. I do what I can for the pro-nuclear cause. I am pro-nuclear and cooperate with others to further promote nuclear energy, so I guess that makes me a pro-nuclear activist.

    1. @Jason – as one of the grateful recipients of your assistance, I am proud that you consider yourself a pro nuclear activist.

      Anyone who appreciates the look and feel of Atomic Insights should know that Jason is “the man” when it comes to WordPress sites that have a pleasing layout.

  8. I started my blog Yes Vermont Yankee on January 1, 2010. At that time, I wrote this as my blogger profile, and I have not changed it since.

    Vermont
    I am a physical chemist, a writer, and a former project manager at EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute). For many years, I owned a consulting business in corrosion control, and most of my clients were nuclear utilities and EPRI. Now I am a pro-nuclear activist and a writer. I write both commercial material and fiction.

    I am disappointed that Mr. Bradford does not read my blog.I Others at Vermont Law School do read it.

    Meredith

  9. It is vexing that the Idaho National Labs. seems to be working upon “Generation IV” reactor technologies that seem to me to be inferior to the Integral Fast Reactor that was developed at the same location, and tested successfully for its designed in passive safety about a week before Chernobyl, in April 1986.

    It is even more vexing that somehow news of the IFR, and its cancellation in 1994, escaped my attention until after I had retired, ten years ago. Worse still, neither the Argonne Labs website, nor that at Berkeley U. which also had it, are there any more.

  10. @Rod
    “unreliables like wind and solar lost to hydrocarbon combustion about 175 years ago”
    I’ve noted that too, and cannot understand that people are not intuitively suspicious of the idea that the alternative to the energy of the “dark Satanic mills” could be based upon the wind, water, and biofuels (whale oil?) that coal supplanted.

    The Queen Mary’s maiden voyage across the Atlantic took over four days. But her speed of 19 knots is probably totally unobtainable by a sailing ship. It would need an equally long waterline, and steady wind speed considerably more than 19 knots. Perhaps a “moderate gale”, Force 7, 32-38 mph? So why does anybody buy into the wind turbine idea?

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