Underreported: The Nuclear Scientist Shortage

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Nuclear energy is slated to become a bigger part of America's energy mix, but who will work at the plants once they've been built? Dr. Ivan Oelrich joins us to talk about the shortage of nuclear technicians and operators in the United States today. Dr. Oelrich is Vice President for Strategic Security programs at the Federation of American Scientists. We'll also be joined by Michael Scott Moore, a staff writer at Der Spiegel Online in Berlin.


Michael Scott Moore and Dr. Ivan Oelrich

Comments [11]


The scariest 10 seconds in radio.

Glad it turned out OK.

Part of the charm of live broadcasting.

Apr. 02 2009 02:04 PM


But Germany is importing its electricity from France which generates 75% of its power from nuclear.

Well Pat Buchanan is right. Its the death of the west. The western kids will be studying art, politics, english and history. (They are important, but let's not go overbard) The asians will be studying science etc.. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

Apr. 02 2009 01:58 PM

What does Obama he mean by safe nuclear power? We have it now. The French reprocess their fuel rods.

Also what about our nuclear subs. Is any one producing green urine, or feces as a result of serving on those subs.

We don't have to store the waste, we can reprocess. Plus Sweden is re-starting its efforts at nuclear power.

Also, there are no carbon sequestration technologies. There are at least 10 years away.

Apr. 02 2009 01:54 PM
hjs from 11211

Nuclear has a carbon footprint
mining, transport of fuel, disposing of the waste.

Apr. 02 2009 01:52 PM

What about Modular Nuclear power? Is that cheaper.

Also what about Thorium?

Apr. 02 2009 01:48 PM

Lopate, please note: your broadcasts do indeed have an impact on cultural discussions and eventually decisions.

Apr. 02 2009 01:48 PM


But nuclear power can be scaled. A small amount of uranium has as much density as a half of ton of coal.

Apr. 02 2009 01:46 PM

Thanks for the Obama quote. But he has not mentioned nuclear power since he has been sworn in as President. I was waiting for him to mention nuclear in his speech to congress. I was very disappointed.

Let's blame our country for having its head in the sand regarding nuclear. It's a shame that France (who invented heavy water see Jonathan Schell's book), India and China are pursuing this. We had to rewrite our laws for India, yet we do not pursue this technology.

Apr. 02 2009 01:45 PM
K from NJ from NJ


Are You OK?

Did you get some of that radioactive iodine from the last segment?

Apr. 02 2009 01:45 PM
Alvin from Manhattan

While the U.S. concentrates on reducing its existing stockpile of thermonuclear weapons, are we losing the ability to manufacture and properly maintain them? For example, the U.S. may have lost its "recipe" for making Fogbank, an aerojel required for the proper operation of thermonuclear weapons. I suspect that there are other critical technical skills, both nuclear and non-nuclear, being lost. Do we still have people who can manufacture an aspherical plutonium pit? How confident are we in our continuing ability to build aspherical explosive lenses? If we ever have to replace some weapons, either due to sabotage or a change in strategy, could we do it?

Apr. 02 2009 11:46 AM
M. Carroll from Downtown Manhatta

What's the problem? It's not rocket science!

Apr. 02 2009 11:29 AM

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