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It's Still Time to Build the Nuclear Reactors
the best time to build the nuclear reactors was every day for the last 50 years, the second best time is now; my friends write, I write; hire me or recommend me to your friends
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When I first arrived in Austin, my friend Emmet Penney recruited me to organize several events in support of nuclear power. This was part of a global event series organized by Stand Up For Nuclear. I was their “guy in Texas” and I didn’t know hardly anyone here. However, I quickly connected with members of Austin’s Bitcoin community and recruited them to attend my Nuclear Bitcoin meetup.
Fortunately, those events caught the attention of Avik Roy, President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP). He reached out to me and hired me as a visiting fellow to conduct research on nuclear energy policy and broader energy markets. With the support of our team, I have now published my first research paper for FREOPP: The Urgency of Rethinking U.S. Nuclear Energy Regulation.
If you’re interested in energy policy or keeping the lights on, I would love it if you would read the paper and provide any constructive feedback.
A few key ideas from the paper:
“The costs of implementing a grid based solely on renewable energy and battery storage rise nonlinearly as a greater portion of the energy mix comes from non-dispatchable sources, like wind and solar.”
This has significant policy implications because carbon emissions, as I understand it, are a global issue and the raw materials for batteries are scarce. The marginal value of one ‘utility-scale battery system’ in a locality with 5% of power generated from renewables and batteries is much greater than in a locality with 50% of power generated from renewables and batteries.
Our present nuclear regulations do not reflect the popular will of Americans, as represented by our recent presidential elections and relevant legislation, or the empirical research of our leading institutions and practitioners of radiology.
“The first civilian nuclear power plant in the U.S. began operations less than a century ago. It is reasonable to believe that our understanding of the potentials of these isotopes may rapidly change over a short time. There are proposals to store these materials in secure geological formations for millions of years to come, but retrieving them after the fact would then be uneconomical. Whereas the cost of locally and safely storing these materials in dry casks is trivial and this solution mitigates the risk of any missed future opportunities.“
“…If the U.S. had taken France’s path, generating the equivalent amount of electricity would have produced 29.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide over the 1979–2020 period instead of the 54 gigatons of carbon dioxide that were produced by coal in actuality: a reduction in carbon emissions of 54 percent.”
The paper itself is at least half a coffee in length but should serve as a great primer for anyone interested in joining me down the energy rabbit hole. If you have any suggestions for books or articles that I should read, please don’t hesitate to send them my way.
Jacob Harrison wrote a great piece Jesus at Burning Man, a Girardian analysis of the symbols and rituals at the Burning Man festival.
Even if you don’t believe in the literal truth of the Bible story, you can consider it as a hypothetical meditation on human nature. The story addresses the question: “What would happen if a perfect person did walk the Earth?” And the answer the Bible gives is that we probably couldn’t stand him and would find an excuse to kill him. He would be an irresistible victim. If you find this answer plausible, then how can we maintain the illusion of the justice of the scapegoat mechanism?
Santi Ruiz published Is it Okay to Finish Books? Santi has diligently read fifty or more books every year for many years in a row. Our conversations have prompted a lot of reflection on my own reading habits and practices. His newsletter, Regress Studies, is nascent but I’ve seen enough, I’m already long!
Paul Millerd published and sold thousands of copies of his first book The Pathless Path (way more than I have!) After spending years working in elite consulting, Paul decided to step off his ‘default path’ and see if he could design a life that was more aligned with his understanding of himself and the world. I found this book to be borderline therapeutic as I seem to have wandered off my own conventional path in 2020 and have not found my way back. I plan to write and reflect more about some of Paul’s ideas but wanted to plug it here asap!
Jacob, Santi, and Paul are all friends and excellent writers. Don’t be afraid to click a link.
Is Personal Knowledge Management a Nerd Snipe? (Seeking Tribe)
One Year in Austin: Bad, Weird, Good (Seeking Tribe)
Some of my contract work has dried up as my clients have re-organized in preparation for a market slow down. I am open to contract work and full-time roles. You can review my eclectic work experience here. Fortunately, I was able to rebuild my savings over the past few months and I would like to keep them incase the economy is about to slow down even more.
For recent contract work I have: conducted qualitative market research for hedge funds, written blog and social media content for high growth tech companies, conducted research and provided editing services for various organizations, advised leaders on organizational design and community strategy, and helped to place qualified candidates at early-stage startups.
I’m open to variety of full-time opportunities. Ideally I would: apply my diverse skill set to help work on a real problem, with a great team, in Austin or remote (I’ll fly wherever but let me live here), at a company that will exist two years from now. I’ve recently applied for roles as a: Customer Experience Manager, Organizational Designer, Consultant, x of Platform (for VC), Community Director, Investment Analyst, and more. All referrals are appreciated!
Thanks for all of the wonderful feedback and comments on my most recent pieces. I had spent a lot of time on last week’s piece in particular and the pay off for the extra time certainly felt worthwhile.