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PostPosted: Nov 16, 2016 4:29 pm 
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President Carter was a submarine officer but never actually became a nuclear engineer http://atomicinsights.com/picking-on-the-jimmy-carter-myth/

"One myth correction, however. President Carter was a submarine officer, but he was not a nuclear engineer.

He graduated from the US Naval Academy in June 1946 (he entered in 1943 with the class of 1947, but his class was in a war-driven accelerated 3 year program) with an undesignated bachelor of science degree. Even if the Naval Academy had offered a majors program for his class, it is unlikely that it would have included Nuclear Engineering as a option – after all, the Manhattan Project was a dark secret for most of his time at Annapolis.

After graduation, Jimmy Carter served as a surface warfare officer for a two years and then volunteered for the submarine force. He served in a variety of billets, including engineer officer of diesel submarines and qualified to command submarines.

In November 1952, he began a three month temporary duty assignment at the Naval Reactor branch. He started nuclear power school (a six month course of study that leads to operator training) in March, 1953. In July 1953, his father passed away and he resigned his commission to run the family peanut farm. He was discharged from active duty on 9 October, 1953. According to an old friend of mine who served as Rickover’s personnel officer at Naval Reactors, LT Carter did not complete nuclear power school because of the need to take care of business at home.

The prototype for the USS Nautilus was completed in Idaho in May 1953, so LT Carter might have had some opportunity to see it in action before leaving the Navy. However, the USS Nautilus did not go to sea until January 17, 1955, so there is no possibility that he ever qualified to stand watch on a nuclear powered submarine."

Take that as you may, but I do not consider President Carter to be knowledgeable.

Jim L.


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PostPosted: Nov 17, 2016 7:27 pm 
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Jim L. wrote:
President Carter was a submarine officer but never actually became a nuclear engineer

I didn't want to imply that he was, but that is a commonly held belief which I shared until I read that article. Rod Adams did an excellent job at Atomic Insights at clearing that up.

Jim L. wrote:
Take that as you may, but I do not consider President Carter to be knowledgeable.

Well, I do consider him knowledgeable. He knew enough of diesel and steam power plants to command a US Navy vessel. He knew enough of radiation hazards to lead a cleanup crew at Chalk River after the reactor meltdown there. While he did not complete his studies while in the Navy he did take some classes and I assume he learned something from that. While serving as governor in Georgia a nuclear power plant came online in his state, I imagine that he learned something from that too. As POTUS he had access to all kinds of advisors on nuclear power, and has toured a nuclear powered submarine.

This may all lead to answer why Carter wasn't more supportive of nuclear power. At Chalk River he had to clean up the mess of a meltdown. During his presidency there was the Three Mile Island accident. I can only imagine that his view of nuclear power was colored by that.

I believe Carter had more than enough knowledge on nuclear power to know it could be done safely. Carter, as POTUS, asked Admiral Rickover to testify before Congress about nuclear safety. Those two knew each for some time before the Three Mile Island investigations, it would not be inconceivable that they spoke at length on nuclear power before and after. I believe he was likely the most knowledgeable POTUS we've had when it comes to nuclear power.

Tim Meyer wrote:
Carter must have known about the ORNL MSBR project, or did he? Reagan? Old news. The question is President Trump.

Yes, Trump is the question. He's a businessman and I expect him to do what is good for business. If someone can show him that nuclear power can be done safely, inexpensively, and that there is a market for it, then I would suspect he'd support it. Trump is also a salesman. If he thinks nuclear power is a good idea then he's going to do a good job selling it to Congress and the public.

I wonder what role a future VPOTUS Pence will fill when it comes to nuclear power policy. In looking at his profile on Wikipedia I see a pretty close fit to what Mr. Sorensen has described as the problem in government. Pence looks like what I'd call a "professional politician", someone that decides at a young age that they want to run for public office and do that for the rest of their life. Such people tend to go to college and study a history, political science, or similar. The professional politician will often then later go on to law school and/or business school. They'll often move to where they think that their political views would be popular, and perhaps even marry into a family with ties in politics. Some will take time serving in the military, usually in the Guard or reserves. Think of names like Kennedy, Bush, McCain, Pelosi and (of course) Clinton.

Just a quick look at Pence's policies does seem to indicate that he's an atypical professional politician. Most professional politicians will see more government as the solution to every problem but Pence has fought to shrink it in some areas, this is not always the case but he does seem to believe that less government control on energy is a good idea.

_________________
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: Nov 18, 2016 12:19 pm 
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Rod has more about President Carter's education and experience in the bottom half of this article: http://atomicinsights.com/resume-inflation-can-skew-discussion-and-lead-to-bad-decisions/ . Also, Carter's actions during and after his term are demonstrative as well. Other than that, I think we will have to "agree to disagree" in regards to the former president. And it is probably too far off topic.

Jim L.


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