ArchiveJune 2024

A diary

At the Institution of Mechanical Engineering, overlooking leafy St James’s Park in London, you can get a look at one of the most extraordinary records in nuclear power’s history, namely the diaries of Christopher Hinton, overlord of the first British reactors and the nation’s nuclear arms materials factories. Not all the years are available but what is open to the public is. . .

Technical intricacies

Anyone considering nuclear reactors from outside the scientific or engineering professions can pretend, after reading and reading and reading, that he or she “understands” how they work. She can absorb all the technicalities of neutron speed, fuel, moderator, and coolant, and imagine that’s all that’s that is needed. But of course that’s naive. Huge complexity lies. . .

An unprofessional grizzle

Yesterday, buried in book editing while on the road, I acknowledged what I’ve been avoiding: I need to absorb and document Australia’s current nuclear debate. You might view this statement as trivial and unprofessional, and, truth be told, I’m ashamed to admit it. Here’s the essence. The leader of the conservative opposition party here has challenged the governing Labor Party’s climate change. . .

The drama of Sputnik

The Soviet Union’s Sputnik rocket, launched in late 1957, impacted mightily on both the Cold War arms race and the efforts to bring in nuclear power. It suddenly and unexpectedly announced to the world that the East, regarded as technologically backward, might well be leading the space race. I love skilful, exuberant prose, and no doubt you do also, so I bring to you a delightful couple of. . .

Archives