Wed, 8 July 2015
"Nuclear Follies" a presentation by Jim Beall (nuclear engineer).
There was a time in which the astounding power of nuclear reactions was expected to solve a wide variety of humanity's problems. So thousands of research projects were launched by businesses, governments, and universities to find all the ways it was surely going to be useful. Most all proved to be dead ends, and were abandoned. Today, many of them look ridiculous. The lesson of this presentation is the swiftness with which humanity can experience a global paradigm shift; in this case, falling in love, and then out of love, with everything nuclear. Or if you prefer, you can just focus on how simultaneously funny and scary some of these efforts were.
Jim Beall (BS-Math, MBA, PE) has been a nuclear engineer for over 40 years. His experience in engineering and power systems began as a naval officer, shortly after surviving one of Admiral Rickover's infamous interviews, aboard USS Long Beach (CGN-9). Experience after the USN includes design, construction, inspection, and assessment with a nuclear utility and an architect engineering firm before joining the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). Assignments at the USNRC included senior resident inspector (both for construction and operations), inspection team leader, and senior enforcement specialist before serving as the policy assistant for reactors to three different USNRC Commissioners and earning the agency's Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the July 8, 2015 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 48 minutes] This presentation was recorded in front of an audience at the science fiction and fantasy convention LibertyCon in Chattanooga TN, on June 27, 2015.
Stephen Euin Cobb has interviewed over 350 people for his work as an author, futurist, magazine writer and award-winning podcaster. A contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine; he has also been a regular contributor for Robot, H+, Grim Couture and Port Iris magazines; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen's Universe Magazine. For the last nine years he has produced a weekly podcast, The Future And You, which explores (through interviews, panel discussions and commentary) all the ways the future will be different from today. He is an artist, essayist, game designer, transhumanist, and is on the Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation. Stephen is the author of an ebook about the future entitled: Indistinguishable from Magic: Predictions of Revolutionary Future Science.