This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 18, 2011 9:49 PM. The previous post in this blog was Beauty's only skin deep. The next post in this blog is More than they can stand. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, July 18, 2011

Turnover at switch of Reed nuke reactor

Steve Frantz, the Segway-riding director of the toy research reactor at Reed College, has retired and been replaced by Melinda Krahenbuhl, who formerly directed the University of Utah reactor for four years. Those years were not without controversy.

For the last three years, Krahenbuhl, 49, worked as research reactor director at Dow Chemical in Michigan. She's leaving Dow while its reactor, like Reed's, is in the midst of a license renewal application. The Reed reactor, which has no backup electrical supply, is 43 years old, about the same age as Dow's.

Comments (8)

One discernible pattern I'm picking up on is you don't really like nuclear power very much, do you Jack? As a general proposition, is there any way Reed could operate a reactor on its campus that you'd consider acceptable?

Reed College+Nuclear reactor. Sent shivers up my spine!

*deep sigh* I hear they let undergrads work at it too. These are people with no college degree Jack! Can you just imagine?

Other than what you may have seen on the teevee or read on the internet, how much do you really know about nuclear science? (Hey, if it's on wikipedia it must be true.) The controversy you link to is a lax standards of journalism controversy, not a nuclear one.

As for that "missing" battery backup: The reactor at Reed, which I worked at before I got my very own college degree, requires no electricity to safely shutdown, only to run, so in the event of a loss of power, like your computer, it just won't run.

Ernie, Jack is actually pretty knowledgeable on the subject. I don't always agree with him, but I gotta give him that.

A 43-year-old reactor run by kids is a recipe for disaster. "It can't fail" is not a satisfactory message from an industry that has screwed up, and lied about it, for going on 70 years.

The Reed reactor should have a backup generator. It would cost about $500. And they ought to decommission that toy by 2015. If they can't afford a new one, that's Reed's problem.

And you'd think just from an educational standpoint alone they'd want something a little more state-of-the-art.

Included in "state-of-the-art" are seismic safeguards. What was done in this respect 43 years ago? Have they been since retrofitted or upgraded? I don't know, just asking.

Clicky Web Analytics