Linda Pentz Gunter: My normal rule of thumb is to ignore the unrelenting pro-nuclear trolls who pepper our sites with incessant nay-saying and, occasionally ad hominem name-calling. After all, they have only one goal in mind — other than to get up one’s nose — which is to dominate and thereby control the narrative. But recently, a recurring theme has emerged which needs addressing, because it speaks to who is allowed to talk about nuclear power. In the view of the trolls, if you have no scientific credentials, you are unqualified to comment on nuclear power. In my case, because I have a degree in English literature, albeit garnered many decades ago, I have, according to the trolls, no authority to expound on the negatives of nuclear anything. There are some rather obvious flaws in this argument, the first being that it pre-supposes the human brain is incapable of learning anything new after the age of 21.
Beyond Nuclear 30th May 2021 read more »
By opening the door to new technologies, the nuclear industry can tackle major challenges, including cost-cutting, tracing carbon emissions, and ensuring staff are equipped to carry out specialised work. And yet, the sector has always been rather slow to embrace digital transformation: an observation echoed recently by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. Why the reticence? Even today, the nuclear industry is largely paper-based or poorly digitised. Given the long half-life of nuclear waste, planning is often done on a 10,000-year basis – with trusty pen and paper still used to track vital information in huge archives. Technology is advancing at such a pace that many believe planning for thousands of years on software that might be considered archaic in the next five is simply a waste of time. As we know, the nuclear industry is also a highly regulated place. From procurement to software development, processes are adopted on a “safety first” basis – and quite rightly. There are also security concerns about the management of sensitive data. But that does not mean that innovation and safety are mutually exclusive: quite the opposite, in fact.
NS Energy 31st May 2021 read more »