Mad Scientists: Nuclear proponents who know neither the value nor the fragility of human life.

Just for the record, here's the Nuclear Mafia's #1 Mad Scientist. I'm sure you recognize him!

-- Above photo is from: Times Tribune, c. 1979.

On the inside back flap of Dr. Teller's book Energy From Heaven and Earth (the book he is holding in the photo shown above), he is described thusly:

"Edward Teller, born in Hungary and educated in Germany, came to the United States in 1935. A theoretical physicist who had an early interest in explaining the structure of matter on the basis of modern atomic theory, he worked extensively on nuclear developments during and after World War II. Dr. Teller led the earliest efforts to ensure the safety of nuclear power reactors. He became deeply interested in applied science, including clean power generation. In recent years he has concentrated increasingly on the varied aspects of the coming energy shortage, and has argued for utilization of every feasible form of energy"

-- Above quote is from: Energy From Heaven and Earth, by Dr. Edward Teller, W. H. Freeman & Co., San Francisco, CA, 1979.

Sounds good? OF COURSE IT DOES! Lip service always sounds good! But a realistic, sane view of the problem of clean power generation is that we should exploit the cleanest, safest potential forms of energy first, then the next-cleanest and safest, the next after that, and so on. INSTEAD, Dr. Teller pushed the MOST DIRTY SOLUTION FIRST. His lip service came only after decades of dogged effort trying, unsuccessfully, to make the worst solution work, and the creation of a virtually UNSTOPPABLE JUGGERNAUT -- an industry which creates BILLIONS OF CURIES OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE each year. By 1979 Dr. Teller (and the entire nuclear industry) had learned to talk about "clean energy" as if they could be a part of that potential future. But all such talk from the pro-nukers is just meaningless lip service.


Below are some potential nuclear products from the minds of Mad Scientists. First is a test assembly for a nuclear rocket. Mad scientists at NASA and JPL continue this type of research to this day, comfortably funded with YOUR MONEY:

-- Above image is from: Time Magazine, 1959. (Picture is an inset of the original).

This next image is of a prototype of a nuclear engine for an airplane. The uranium fuel would superheat the air directly. Fortunately, work on this mad idea was eventually abandoned.

-- Above image is from: Time Magazine, 1959. (Worker-bee uniforms have been colored yellow by this author for easy size reference.)


Additional nuclear dreams have included cities underground, on the moon, on Mars, and in orbit around the Earth. Nuclear bombs were going to be used to carve new canals. Locally-operated nuclear power plants would provide warm water for heating buildings, as well as electricity. Radiation treatments for medical patients would be done at the power plant, utilizing a special porthole in the bottom of the reactor.

Streets would be heated in the winter to eliminate icy driving conditions for the nuclear-powered cars and trucks which would run on them. Pacemakers were powered by plutonium for a while (but fortunately they no longer are). Dreams of nuclear-powered portable electronic devices such as nuke-powered radios persisted for years.

Few people talk seriously about these ideas anymore, but all were earnestly proposed by the Mad Scientists of Nuclear Power, and many received millions, and sometimes billions of dollars in research funding before being abandoned.


Copyright (c) 2002 by Russell D. Hoffman. All Rights Reserved