Author Archive | Gail Marcus

Energy and Jobs:

A Delicate Balance I have long been troubled by the question of how society should deal with the human impact of technology advances.  I have been especially concerned when I see advertisements for an industry arguing that a factory or a power plant or a coal mine needs to be kept open because of the […]

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The Dilemma of Regulation:

Is it Good or Evil? After I reported on the death of Harold Denton last week, I couldn’t shake the feeling that his career and his role in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island (TMI) accident had some larger implications that I should have addressed–namely, the importance of a good regulator. When I lecture […]

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A Tribute to Harold Denton:

A Man for the Moment  Harold Denton, left, is shown in the control room at Three Mile Island  with President Jimmy Carter and a power plant technician on April 1, 1979. (AP) Sadly, this is one of two posts this week of the deaths of two icons of the technical community, and of my professional […]

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A Tribute to Mildred Dresselhaus:

Note to readers:  The URL title of this post was intended to be “A Tribute to Mildred Dresselhaus.”  In attempting to add the YouTube video of the Super Bowl ad, my control over the title has somehow been overridden.  Although the right title appears in the post, the URL is not the same.  I am […]

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Term Limits at DNFSB:

Good or Bad? My last blog on my experiences in the Presidential appointment process as a candidate for a position on the board of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) elicited several comments about the undesirability of Board members staying on after their terms have expired if they are not immediately replaced. Since this […]

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Fusion in 30?:

What the “Breakthrough” Means It was interesting, in more ways than one, to read some of the coverage of the recent news from the fusion research community.  The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California announced in the journal Nature that they had used lasers to compress a pellet […]

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Nuclear Power and Earthquakes:

A Contribution to the Dialogue When I studied nuclear engineering in grad school, I thought that nuclear power was an intersection between different science and engineering disciplines–nuclear, mechanical, chemical, electrical, systems, etc. At the time, that scope seemed plenty broad to me.  Little did I realize that, over the years, I would find my work […]

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Good News from Europe:

Reasoned Approaches to Energy Policy Two optimistic pieces of news regarding energy policy emerged from Europe in the last week or so.  One of them was a European Union decision that scrapped binding renewable energy targets for the future.  The other was a report that the Swiss public recognizes the contribution nuclear power makes to […]

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Acronym Mania:

Of PESTs and STEEPLEs Several yars ago, I did a blogpost on NIMBY and other related acronyms. I was actually surprised I found as many as I did, and I never expected to find enough new terms to do another post on acronyms again. Then, I started discovering that there were whole new worlds of […]

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Knowledge Management:

An Ongoing Problem  A few years ago, I did a lot of work on “nuclear knowledge management,” or NKM.  There are a lot of definitions of what NKM includes, but my first brush with knowledge management came when, as a Department of Energy manager, I was visited by researchers from the national laboratories.  They told […]

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