Keep the faith... "Don't ever give up." Dr. Bob

In the current movie, “Pandora’s Promise,” in a 1995 clip, Sen. John Kerry announced the end of advanced reactor development. Approaching 20 years later, after an unbelievable fight, the FFTF remains inerted, in deactivated condition, its stainless steel core and internals remain in certified, pristine condition. There is no other fast neutron test facility in the USA or France and Japan’s Monju reactor remains on political life support. Japan’s work at FFTF was ambushed and the tests failed. France had a bilateral R&D deal that was abrogated. Domestically, the EBR II died, the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) project disbanded, metal fuel with pyroprocessing R&D stopped, MOX fuel work was abandoned , and post-irradiation materials testing projects were curtailed. With such important work, we never gave up.
In GW Bush’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), the FFTF was studied for reactivation for advanced reactor fuels R&D. But with the arrival of the Obama Administration, the very substantial GNEP work hit the dustbin at DOE HQ The physicist, former Secretary Chu made no decision as he understood the enormous future value of this preserved fast neutron research laboratory, a very low cost option.
Somewhat comforting is an agreement to support Russia with the commissioning of a GenIV fast neutron test reactor. For current work there is limited space available, in Russia.
For champions who have passed during this time, I remember: “Never give up” Dr Robert Schenter, who pioneered and championed medical isotope applications; Dr. Mike Fox, the consummate teacher who fascinated children at the state capital with his “cloud chamber;” Mike Brown for his work with gamma ray sterilization. David Parmete with his loyalty and support of Citizens for Medical Isotopes. My Mom and Dad who supported my belief in radioimmunotherapy “the Cure Starts Here,” a hope for the cure of cancer.

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2 comments to Keep the faith… “Don’t ever give up.” Dr. Bob

  • It’s flexibility, integrity, reliability, and safety surpassed all of it’s contemporaries noted. It is sad indeed that a technically astute society which built it was trumped by a post-modernism society bent on throwing things away before completion of utility and true societal advancement.

  • Gerald Woodcock

    Are we SURE there is no appeal from this?? I’m not willing to give up, even now! There HAS to be some other way to approach this! We have pulled FFTF out of the fire too many times to give up now. I won’t stop until the wrecking ball has been hammering on it for a week or two!
    GW

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