Sep 7, 2022
Are you scared of Nuclear Energy? And when you read the title, the first image or thought that came to your mind was Chernobyl, or maybe Fukushima? Well, there is a lot of misinformation out there about the subject of Nuclear Energy. So, today we'll be talking about the misinformation and educating ourselves on the subject with my interview with Nuclear Energy expert Steven Curtis. So, without further ado, let's get into it.
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Mr. Curtis was a 38-year resident of Nevada with a close association with the spent nuclear fuel issue and a 15-year career with the DOE-NV. He attended his first Yucca Mountain meeting in 1981 and has been associated with the project academically and educationally ever since.
As a student employee, Mr. Curtis was employed at the whole-body radiation counter for people at the Environmental Protection Agency campus at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
He began his tenure at DOE-NV as a project and operations officer for the Soviet Verification Program. After the testing program ended, he was recruited into a nuclear emergency response where he served as a nuclear technical team leader for Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) and Radiological Consequence Management Teams associated with the Federal Radiological Management and Assessment (FRMAC) emergency management interagency nuclear response posture.
He concurrently served as a program manager in such programs as NEST Research and Development, the Non-proliferation experiment, the Aerial Measuring System, the National Center for Counter-Terrorism (NCCT), and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Project Omega deployment to Kazakhstan in support of conventional explosives in the Deglin Mountain Soviet testing tunnels.
Mr. Curtis served in both the active duty Army and the Nevada National Guard for a combined 11 years as an Armor officer and strategic communications expert. He was responsible for all Army communications strategic testing throughout the European and Middle-East major commands.
His tactical experience includes a rotation at the National Training Center as an Armor Company Commander and 7 years as a staff officer and company commander in the 1/221 Armor Battalion in Las Vegas.
After departing the DOE, he was engaged in development and integration work at UNLV and Desert Research Institute (DRI) in areas of national security. As proposal manager, he led the successful team in Nevada to secure the FAA designation as an FAA National UAS Test Site. He currently works as a subject matter expert and senior consultant to Readiness Resource Group in areas of training, exercise, counterterrorism, local responder emergency management, nuclear technology, and health physics. He has served as President of the Nevada sections of both the Health Physics Society and the American Nuclear Society and is currently working under a small grant from the American Nuclear Society Operations and Power Division to develop and conduct educational seminars in Nevada for the public and for Government Officials.
He holds a BSEE and a Master's Degree in Health Physics, both from UNLV. Mr. Curtis has been active in STEM activities for schools as a 27-year volunteer coordinator for the High School Science Bowl, Co-founder of Skybot Challenge, an engineering-based competition for students in 3-D robotics (UAS), and a consistent speaker in the Clark County School District classrooms to encourage students to find their passion through continued education.
You can reach Mr. Curtis here:
A bit about me (Dr. Orest Komarnyckyj):
Dr. Orest Komarnyckyj enjoyed a prestigious career as a periodontal regenerative surgeon moving to a new passion in June 2018. He retired after a 33-year career to pursue new passions. At 69 Dr. Orest has taken on a new role as an Interviewer, Podcaster and government-certified Old Guy. He streams from his new home in Las Vegas, NV. He lives with his wife of 29 years, Oksana. His status as an empty-nesters with two out of college-employed children has left him with time and energy to share decades of successes, failures, and wisdom.
02:33 Guest introduction
04:25 Let's deal with big fears people have
08:28 How efficient is nuclear energy in producing energy?
10:16 Can the uranium that has been used in the old-style reactors can be recycled as fuel in the new ones?
11:53 Is there any shortage of spent uranium at this point?
13:31 Countries that rely on nuclear power
14:20 What kind of footprint does a small reactor have in comparison to a nuclear power plant?
16:45 Are there any grid issues that are alleviated because of the number of reactors that are in such close proximity?
20:52 Commercial ends/Small nuclear reactors traveling around the world on Navy ships
23:25 Windmills as the power source
26:10 Challenge with electric cars
28:45 Limitation of solar and windmills
30:52 Biggest challenge to fully embracing nuclear power in the United States
36:45 Getting in touch with Steve
40:00 Closing thoughts