It’s been three months since I’ve posted. The gap has been simple: I’m drafting new words at the moment, putting chapters down, and during this phase, no discards or leftovers pop up. Everything I deal with, I need, so nothing for this blog…
Well, now I’m sorting out data and items of interest do reveal themselves. Take this book, Nuclear Power from Underseas to Outer Space by pioneering nuclear engineer John Simpson.
The book is out of print, nearly thirty years old, and never mentioned, but it is a treasure trove of technical stuff but also historical and commercial insights. For example (p. 22):
What is of interest to me is his comment that Westinghouse’s Bettis laboratory was a “gamble,” far riskier than the “switchgear department.” Bettis ended up as a revolutionary nuclear energy laboratory. What’s more, the Atomic Energy Commission funded its establishment! Viewed from 2022, the Bettis laboratory was obviously an easy business decision for the firm. But that’s completely wrong, it was a risky allocation of capital, a “gamble.” This is something I’d never have realized from recent historical commentaries, it needed to be recalled by an actual participant in history.