• Thu, Nov 21 2013

    Nuclear Medicine, Radiopharmaceuticals, and Chalk River Labs

    Without the key radionuclides that are used in radiopharmaceuticals, we would not have nuclear medicine as we know it today: by definition, without the radiopharmaceuticals we cannot have the nuclear diagnostic and therapeutic modalities that we depend upon for life-saving medical care. The concept of nuclear medicine was rooted in early discoveries about radioactivity by George de Hevesy in the 1920s, but really took...
    • Tue, Nov 12 2013

    Rod Adams' Blog, Greg Jaczko, and Veterinarians Leading Academic Medical Centers

    Surgical suite, in honor of the medical contributions of the nuclear industry and International Day of Radiology. Drawing in marker by the author. I would like to call everyone's attention to Rod Adams ' blog post over at Atomic Insights regarding former NRC charman Dr. Greg Jaczko's "concerns" about future nuclear power and possible safety issues germane to America's next generation of...
    • Thu, Oct 24 2013

    The Golden Age: Nuclear-powered Aircraft

    The North American XB-70, which might have become the USAF's main nuclear-powered bomber platform. Sketch by the author in ink and Copic markers. � Soon I will be writing on this blog about the history of the United States Air Force's efforts to produce a nuclear-powered strategic bomber platform. It's a story told in bits and pieces elsewhere and there's some very fine writing on the subject out...
    • Sun, Oct 20 2013

    Virginia's Possible Nuclear Future

    Covington, Virginia. Photo by the author. The past two weeks, I spent a fair amount of time hiking in my native state of Virginia (I was born in Roanoke, though I grew up mainly in Florida). While Virginia offers some amazing natural areas to explore including some of the best national forests and state parks in the entire nation, I spent some time in small cities and towns, just walking around and seeing what was...
    • Thu, Oct 3 2013

    Vacation

    I will be camping in western Virginia the coming two weeks, so probably no new blog posts for a bit. I wish everyone well as I explore my home state!
    • Sat, Sep 28 2013

    Russia's return to the Arctic North, enabled by Nuclear Power

    Drawing of the DeLong Islands in the East Siberian Sea, pencil and Copic markers, by the author. With Russia’s program to provide barge-like floating nuclear power plants—the first being the Academician Lomonosov —in the news recently, it’s fitting to look back to the actual origins of this novel solution to power provision and the need for such a solution in the first place. The concept...
    • Tue, Sep 24 2013

    DOE's Funding for Nuclear Research is Too Little

    Digital lithograph by the author of the interior of the Annular Core Research Reactor at Sandia Labs. DOE's Funding for Nuclear Research is Too Little for What is at Stake The US Department of Energy has announced its annual funding for university-level research in novel applications and techniques in nuclear power and associated fields. A total of $61 million has been allocated for this research and the majority...
    • Mon, Sep 16 2013

    The Good News and the Bad News: Japan, and Obama's Push Against Coal

    Everyone following the nuclear industry probably is aware that Japan is shutting down its last remaining power reactor today, in good part due to public pressure in the wake of Fukushima Daiichi. The Japanese are taking an approach that is not what I would like to see, but is understandable due to how public opinion shifts after a disaster. So, goodbye to nuclear in Japan—for now. That is of course the bad news...
    • Thu, Sep 12 2013

    Macfarlane, Yucca Mountain, and the Issue of Impartiality

    Fort Saint Vrain Generating Station, as it was opened in 1979 as a nuclear power facility. Drawing by the author in pencil and Copic markers. � As many of you are probably aware, Dr. Allison Macfarlane, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman, provided a prepared testimony yesterday to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on the Environment and Economy, regarding the Yucca Mountain project...
    • Wed, Sep 4 2013

    Nuclear in the Arts and the Duty of the Artist

    Artists, myself included, have often been drawn to the landscapes of American industry. Nuclear power, while no different in its attraction, has alas, a different emotional response from many writers, visual artists, and musicians. Still, no matter one's politics or opinions, there is a duty to be informed in all we do—and that includes the arts. Drawing in pencil and Copic markers of an industrial landscape...
    • Thu, Aug 29 2013

    Towards a Nuclear Belarus

    Sketch of downtown Minsk, Belarus, by the author in pencil and Copic markers. Belarus is a nation that probably doesn’t cross many people’s minds every day unless they have some direct connection to the country, live in neighboring Poland, or are like myself in the field of Slavic studies. However, for nuclear-watchers, some interesting things are afoot in Belarus right now. Even when it was still a...
    • Wed, Aug 21 2013

    It's About Time: the Progressive Push for Nuclear

    I would like to call your attention to this blog post by Eric Schmitz where he details the logical reasons for liberals and progressives to favor and advocate for nuclear power: http://nuclearprogress.org/the-breakthrough-institute-liberals-and-progressives-for-nuclear . Schmitz and other progressives are providing a much-needed voice for nuclear in the arena of liberal politics. How nuclear power became a darling...
    • Sun, Aug 18 2013

    What Could Have Been: Some Thoughts on Crystal River and Levy

    Photograph of Fort Island Trail Beach with the Crystal River Power Plant complex in the background, by the author. Most of you who follow the business and politics of American nuclear power know that this past spring, Duke Energy made the difficult choice to shutter their Crystal River 3 Nuclear Power Plant for good after structural issues with the concrete containment structure for the unit's pressurized water...
    • Fri, Aug 16 2013

    Alex Wellerstein's blog on the history of Cold War nuclear science

    Rendering of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor site by the author, done in pencil and Copic markers and based on an origincal architectural sketch for the project. Alex Wellerstein , a historian at the American Institute of Physics, has a really awesome blog on the history of Cold War-era nuclear science, engineering, and our weapons programs. Given that Dr. Wellerstein has a PhD in the history of science from Harvard...
    • Mon, Aug 12 2013

    How to Talk About Nuclear to Non-Nuke People

    H. B. Robinson Nuclear Power Plant, rendering in pencil and Copic markers by the author. � How to Talk About Nuclear to Non-Nuke People: Questions and Answers All the major players in the nuclear industry from power companies to various industry supply-side folks have their own marketing and public relations people dedicated to providing a positive, comforting, view of nuclear power to the general public. However...
    • Sat, Aug 10 2013

    about that little switchgear issue . . .

    Cinch River Breeder Reactor, pen and Copic marker rendering by the author. In most industries, when a random article of electrical equipment breaks, only a handful of people know: the engineers and techs who have to deal with it, whomever has to sign off on repairs or a new one, and maybe a few folks higher up. That's not what happens in nuclear power in the United States. This is in fact what happens—please...
    • Fri, Aug 9 2013

    Regarding Russia

    Central Moscow, drawing in pencil, ink, and Copic marker by the author. � Regarding Russia Note: I will be writing more on specifics—both historical and current—of Russia's nuclear industries. This short op-ed just introduces a few isses and thoughts on those issues, so if it seems detail is missing here or there, it wasn't possible in a short blog post to cover all the ground. More to come...
    • Wed, Aug 7 2013

    The Abject, Or, Why are people afraid of nuclear power?

    Pen and Copic marker rendering of the South Texas Nuclear Generating Station by the author. I was gathering my thoughts to write a blog post about why many people in the general public seem to distrust or even fear nuclear power and, indeed it seems, anything nuclear whatsoever. How, exactly, has an overall impressive safety record and the ability to provide safe, clean, energy devoid of dependence on foreign nations...
    • Tue, Aug 6 2013

    "Big, ugly, and scary", or How Hollywood has Misinformed the Public About Nuclear Power

    Pencil drawing by the author; Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station, Hollywood, Alabama. by Mike Walker History and science—or perhaps the history of science—as it pertains to the nuclear industry will be the main focus of this blog, hence the somewhat-mundane but honestly pragmatic title. I’ve long been an advocate of nuclear power (and in general an increase in peaceful applications of nuclear...