nuclear Archives

July 28, 2007

United States Naval Nuclear Power School | An Inside Look - Part I

United States nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarineThe Wikipedia entry for the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School says » "It is regarded as one of the most difficult academic programs in the world."

The phrase in the world caught my attention.

Never quite sure how much I can (or can't) say .. cuz the curriculum is comprised, largely, of material labeled confidential (with a big red stamp). I'm sure I'll get a call if I say too much.

Much has already been written. Official NPS web site » here. I was enlisted, but the website for the officer's version of same program is » here.

"Nuke school" was located in Orlando when I went (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth). Navy moved it to Charleston in (uh .. not sure the year .. probably mid-to-late '90's).

Biggest thing I remember (in looking back, reflecting) is the ego .. associated with being 20 years old, flying to Hawaii .. to run a reactor plant on a billion-dollar nuclear sub (the ultimate in WMDs).

And the Navy trains well .. best program of its kind .. due to a combination of Uncle Sam's unlimited budget (as reactors tend to be expen$ive) and Rickover's guiding influence ...

Continue reading "United States Naval Nuclear Power School | An Inside Look - Part I" »

July 31, 2007

U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School | An Inside Look - Part II

Officers & the Nuclear Culture

United States nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine

This entry continued from » Part I

Far from being coddled, Nuclear officers were taken to task and held responsible.

Do you recall the fiasco at Abu Ghraib prison? .. the one where the officers in charge claimed ignorance? before fingering the enlisted folk? That would've never happened under Rickover's watch. He would've had their officer nuts hanging in his office by sunset.

Nobody told Rickover, "Sir, I uh, didn't know that was going on ..." .. uh, not if they wanted to keep their jobs. In Rickover's Navy, not knowing about something (ignorance) is *worse* than condoning it.

Not a single one of them had the balls to stand up and say, "That prison was my responsibility." Every one pointed the finger and claimed ignorance. Zero accountability.

If you research the case of the nuclear submarine that ran aground, you'll find they were given bad maps (said so in the 60 Minutes interview) .. which didn't include the underwater mountain. The Captain *still* took responsibility .. claiming he should've verified the maps .. by checking them against other sources.

How's *that* for a contrast with what we've seen from officers (in the news) from other military services? (But I digress. That stuff frosts my @ss, as you can probably tell.)

Continue reading "U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School | An Inside Look - Part II" »

August 1, 2007

Various Topics » Nuclear Nightmare, Learning XHTML/CSS, Trying to Quit Coffee, Dog to Wed in Prague

U.S. Naval NuclearPower School | An Inside Look - Part IIBroke up recent blog entry (about Navy Nuclear Power school) into two parts.

The original grew too long for a single page. Also added heading titles (not needed with shorter entries).

Part II es aqui » U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School | An Inside Look - Part II

I could write a book on this subject. (Looks like somebody already did.) Hard to turn it off. Hard to forget. So many stories. I still dream about being in. Like a recurring nightmare.

In my dream, I realize I should've been discharged long ago. When I tell the Chief however, he blows me off, saying he's too busy to process my paperwork. "Come back tomorrow," he says. It's like I'm stuck in the Navy, & can't get out.

The only other entry (btw) I did that for (» broke into 2 parts & added headings) was the one » Comparing Joomla vs Drupal Content Management Systems. Another case of more-than-expected.

Still reading Head First XHTML/CSS book. Learning about CSS. Already know most of this, too, but definitely best chapter yet (far as learning useful info). Next chapter covers » fonts + color, both of which interest me. Hopefully I'll learn some new tricks.

Continue reading "Various Topics » Nuclear Nightmare, Learning XHTML/CSS, Trying to Quit Coffee, Dog to Wed in Prague" »

August 21, 2007

Synchronicity, Coincidence & the Sedlec Ossuary

Radiation: can't see it. Can't feel, hear, smell or taste it. Yet even a tiny amount of radioactive material can be lethal.

Virgil at Kutna HoraBeing trained to deal with the hazards of ionizing radiation (an unseen danger) has conditioned me (for better or worse) to view life a little .. differently.

My habit (of being consciousness of the unseen) is not something I try to do, mind you. Rather, after of years of working in the industry, it has become part of who I am (for better or worse).

On the positive side, it's easier for me to view life more spiritually. On the negative, it tends to make me suspicious .. in a curiously observant way.

If you apply this habit (being conscious of the unseen) to normal, everyday life (where we encounter countless stimuli), you might see why I'm quick to question statistical anomalies.

Say for example, you're sitting in a movie theater, watching a great flick, and you have to be somewhere right afterwards. You see the movie starting to wind down, so you move to the rear of the auditorium (where several hundred movie-goers are seated), prepared to make your escape (to beat the rush).

Continue reading "Synchronicity, Coincidence & the Sedlec Ossuary" »

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Ye Olde Rad Blog II in the nuclear category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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