Atomic Show #254: Don't Let a Crisis Go to Waste
Rachel Pritzker and Ben Heard, two skilled communicators that have recognized the immense gift to humanity represented by the tightly packed power inside uranium and thorium nuclei, joined me in a terrific discussion about effectively communicating the awesome story of nuclear energy.
It should be apparent by now that the US nuclear industry is facing a situation difficult enough to qualify as a crisis. We must seize the attention grabbing opportunity that briefly accompanies such a situation.
Despite a couple of decades of outstanding plant performance, the number of units that have been declared to be uneconomic is growing. Plants are being shutdown and replaced by a plants burning natural gas with occasional support from wind or solar when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.
Nuclear professionals, traditionally a group of people that is still strongly influenced by the presence of a large contingent of people from the Silent Service, have not successfully made the case that their product is difficult to replace. They have not effectively provided an optimistic vision for the future, instead spending most of their time in public on the defensive.
Rachel and Ben both recently returned from attending the Nuclear Energy Assembly in Miami. Ben attended the Clean Energy Ministerial in San Francisco and shared some important thoughts about the contrasts between the two events. He also shared some reflections on the differences in the audiences that attended the two events.
The gulf between those two events was more than just the three thousand miles of geographic distance.
I hope that a few people who are in New Orleans this week for the ANS Annual Meeting have a chance to download this episode. Perhaps they can make use of the discussion to stimulate some conversations of their own.
Towards the end of the episode, we mentioned Mothers for Nuclear and the March for Environmental Hope that they are organizing. Please take the time to learn more about the organization and try to plan at least some participation in the March.
Photo Credit: Greg Dunlap via Flickr