Inglis, David Rittenhouse, 1905-1995. Conversations with David Inglis: Part 6. The 1970s and 1980sDavid R. Inglis Papers (FS 033). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
(00:01:20)Beginnings of nuclear
power at Argonne and Oak Ridge in post-war period and efforts to build reactors for
industrial purposes; pressures of arms race leads to feeling they need something positive to
show for nuclear power: "atoms for peace"; government gave nuclear power to industry "on a
platter"; safety precautions.
(00:07:22)Arrival at conclusion that any commercial program for nuclear
power was premature in early 1950s; lack of safety at nuclear plants; Three Mile Island,
(00:11:45)Federation of American Scientists and nuclear power, did not play a
particularly large role due to ideological diversity in FAS, leading in part to formation of
Union of Concerned Scientists.
(00:14:21)Difficulties of nuclear energy and question of
whether it should be pursued at all, possible benefits of fusion energy.
(00:16:21)Alternative energy sources, energy conservation; Bill Heronemus and wind power; theoretical
interest in rotation; helping with political support for Heronemus in developing large-scale
wind projects; offshore wind farms.
(00:23:00)Failure of political support for offshore
wind; Department of Energy and fealty to nuclear power and foregone feasibility testing; a
conscious effort to suppress Heronemus's ideas.
(00:27:07)Interactions with Hans Bethe
on practicability of wind power.
(00:29:44)Offshore wind energy and prospects for
locating wind farms; requirements for storage of power.
for offshore wind farms.
(00:35:13)Government support for alternate energy held back by
commitment to subsidize nuclear industry, lack of political interest or will.
(00:37:05)Tidal power and other alternate energy sources.
(00:40:41)Failure of Grandpa's Knob windmill in
(00:42:18)Lessons from Chernobyl and Three Mile Island accidents; Dick Webb was
(00:43:53)Unlikely prospects for cold fusion.
(00:46:33)Risk assessments in
nuclear power; waste disposal, decommissioning.
(00:49:54)Future of nuclear power,
industry will not be interested enough in it to invest.
(00:51:15)Reaction of industry to
(00:52:36)Complacency about nuclear weapons and mass nuclear armament
and missed opportunities and failures of Bush administration in negotiating with Russians.
(00:55:40)Interest in mechanisms of life; do the laws of physics make life or do other
laws apply? Extrasensory perception.