Let me tell you what I think of people who have "calling of national service", they are power hungry, control freak beehive drones, which is not a contradiction of terms, this actually complements itself. The people that want to do any gov't activity are the very last ones that should be allowed anywhere near it. Gov't is a system disease, like cancer, hiv and leprosy combined. Its willing agents are the poison that is kills the host.
I'd think that there was a similar morale drop in the 1970's, but the NSA has managed to survive that decade unscathed. Once Snowden is finally stopped (not an if, but when), the morale will eventually go back up like it did in the 1980s.
Some people aren't fit to have a security clearance. For some people, they learn that when they learn that they can't get a clearance. Others learn that when they break the rules and lose their clearance. Snowden was one of the latter and thinks that he's more special than anyone else than releases secrets - just because he contains PR-friendly ones.
Sorry Seth, it just doesn't work text-only without the "Darth Vader" lung-ventilator audio FX track.
Not buyin' it, man.
Dude... I'm dying over here.
That would be the perfect user interface design for such a device. Nipple.Navigation(tm)
Light water reactors were "fail safe by design" when they were introduced in the 1950s and 1960s. And actually their safety record is far better than that of any other industry.
But that ain't good enough when the results of those rare failures are so devastating.
So basically "fail safe by design" is not anywhere good enough when it comes to nuclear power facilities. The damn things need to be fail safe in practice-- and not only do we not know how to do that, nobody knows how to learn how to do that. For one thing, humans are a critical part of the operation of any of these things, and we do not have a clue about how to design a reliable human being, let alone how to construct one.
Case in point: pebble bed reactors look good on paper, but rubbing those balls against each other is going to create dust, and no one knows how that dust is going to behave during long term exposure to 1500 degree temperatures. Our materials science doesn't cover that. Nor can it, not with any kind of reliability. At a guess, if any of that dust came in contact with air before it cooled to less than ten times ambient temperature, it would explode like gun powder. And that's just the safety cladding. Underneath that candy coated shell is a pyrolitic material whose behavior in moist air is quite similar to anti-tank and bunker-busting ordinance.
So how can anyone develop a safe design when it involves an environment so alien that we cannot reproduce it? Or even develop sensors that could say what it is doing if we could somehow mimic it? Talk about black boxes. "Fail safe by design" has no meaning in these conditions.
"...Trumps YOUR nearsightedness and fears. I'm and EXPERT! On CLIMATE!"
of-course the only real we have today to cover our energy needs while destroying the environment the least is by using nuclear energy.
Of-course the governments of the world stand in the way of the free market experimenting with nuclear energy, AFAIC that's the reason I don't have a flying car yet, it's because we are not yet powering cars with tiny nuclear reactors and that will not change until we get gov't out of energy business (and if you want progress in any field that is useful, get government out of it).
The other point parent post makes is that the USA nuclear industry is chock full of corruption. I expect that is true, simply because projects with huge budgets attract those who are more interested in taking a piece of the pie than in doing a good, or even adequate, job.
Sigh... said it before, but....
Big sigh... Heard it before.
In many technologies there is a big step between completing an adequate design phase and constructing an implementation that works, fulfills the minimum specifications, and meets safety regulations. In the nuclear industry, this step is too far; there is nothing solid on the other side of the chasm to put one's foot upon.
As yet, there are no reactors that can burn used fuel. The entire future of the industry is nothing but an engineer's wet dream, conceived in CAD, based on wonderful assumptions of materials behavior over the long term under conditions that have never existed.
The reactors the parent post speaks of are, in the most literal sense, science fiction. They will most certainly work if every detail of the science behind them is an adequate reflection of reality-- but too many of those pesky details are, paradoxically, both absolutely critical, and purely speculative.
Current day nuclear engineers should focus on the problems that the industry has already created: Fuckyoushima, Chernobyl, the mess at Hanford, the hundreds of casks of spent fuel in temporary storage, the incredibly greater number of spent rods sitting in cooling ponds for want of any better place to put them. Any future nuclear engineers would do far better in switching now to a sustainable career.
I am talking about cancer not about heart attacks, just to clarify.
By the way, you are correct, heart disease as a issue in humans is a bio-mechanical problem so it is much simpler to solve.
(Essentially straight forward, since wee can design machines as well to replace the heart, or simply just cut stuff out that doesn't work.)
So we can mitigate that much better than cancer (which is uncontrolled cell growth.)
Still I can cite many cases where the medical, primarily Universities and Pharma companies have done some seriously dark deals in the back board rooms just to set back any advances using patents to protect cash flow.
I know, because I worked in a Biotech company that would rather see you kill grandma than let go of its patents and cash flow. Everything else be damned including the set backs for DECADES it would cause in the cancer field.
No YOU are full of it.
MRI's or CAT scans aid in diagnosing a problem.
If you had cancer in 1952, the only change in outcome compared to today is a a pretty picture too look at in your doctors office that cost GIANT WADS of F'ing cash.
"Awe, you have cancer look at the pretty picture." You have 3 months, oh and if you want 6 months, we will need you to go into bankrupcy.
vs in 1952
You have cancer, your going to die.
(No bankrupcy, no giant wads of cash for pretty pictures.)
You sir are a MORON.
Not only are cures not profitable, they disrupt billions in cash flows for different treatment options for cancer.
Any sort of cure in the field would probably put a bullseye on your forehead.
Eventually we will have a cure for cancer and it will be HIGHLY regulated or sold to the highest bidder only like all valuable and rare commodities.
We're talking religious zealot nut cases that think dying for their deity is glorious and expected.
ooohh... Sounds scary, until you realize it is basically the same thing as patriotic nutcases that think dying for their country is glorious and expected.
"Basically the same thing"?
So then, can you remember the last time a US soldier screamed "Praise Jesus!" before detonating a suicide vest among civilians including innocent women and children?
Yeah, me either.
You seem to have reached your fecal-matter capacity limits on that one.
On the other hand, what has the West done to Iran anyway?
Only deposed democratically elected Iranian government in order to give Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, otherwise known as BP, cheaper access to Iranian oil, but that's ancient history too, isn't it?
STEM programs are partly to blame. But there is another part.
Playing with a technology that will eventually create massive deadly catastrophes just isn't much fun. Anyone who takes a serious look at the industry will realize that even if the French and Chinese manage to build effective recycling and millennial storage facilities, that won't make a dent in the amount of nuclear waste we have already generated. There is basically no money going toward developing the clean-up part of the cycle, so the most that anyone in today's nuclear industry can hope for is that they will be comfortably dead in their coffins long before their great grandchildren are trying to eke out some kind of miserable life in the radiotoxic environment that we are going to leave to them.
Anyone with any brights at all would realize that for a satisfying career, they are better off becoming experts in biochar, composting facilities, or even energy efficient, low emission cremation furnaces. Those are where tomorrow's glory will be found! In ways to make better use of dead things than in making more things dead!