Monday, February 27, 2012

Technology Ups and Downs - Part 3 - The Betrayal

The nuclear industry cannot deny it, they are stuck in the hell of mass deployment of a technology that is only 1 in 1000 away from a major disaster, and should be somewhere near 1 in 10 million.  We designers were betrayed by the evolution of utterly contemptible and extremely stupid nuclear organizations.  I don't want to pick on any single outfit, it is universal.

What happened to our dreams?  We always had hierarchical organizations, but there was a strong barrier between the sordid politics, and the designing groups.  After all, we had to make something that worked.  But as the organization and plants aged, it turned into a self-similar organization.  That means that every sub-unit resembles each other and the organization as a whole.  Think of a tree described as a smaller tree on a branch.  Thus we get the whole tree, and each branch resembles a whole tree.

This is very bad for a nuclear organization.  The main purpose of such an organization is to hide the deficiencies of its older plants, and to deal with sordid politics.  Thus, every sub-unit becomes political, and hides it's dirty laundry.  Think of a big ancient walled city.  You are on the outside, and very concerned that it doesn't blow up, kill you, and waste all your money.  Yet, all you see are shining walls.  On top of the walls, all you see are smiling Stepford Wives, saying how perfect everything is.  They say you know it must be perfect because you can't see in, and you never hear anything from the inside.  Trust us, they say.

Yet, the inside is horrible!  The buildings are constantly collapsing, everything is getting patched up, and everybody plays politics by backstabbing each other.  All the news going outside is suppressed by the Wives.  If some intrepid explorer got in and managed to get out again, nobody would believe him!  Only total destruction by an earthquake would reveal the stinking mess.

Obviously, the professional smilers would deny such a thing at nuclear organizations.  How would you ever know?  Yet we see the disasters, and we don't see all the internal disasters that would lead up to this.

Nuclear plants have not gone up the reliability curve that is required for a mass-deployed technology, because of their opaque organizations.  People are now exercising their choice of abolishing the technology, which has never happened before, and will be immensely destructive to society.  Nobody trusts the nuclear organizations.

True, they will argue that they have regulation, and internal oversight.  But these people have caught the same disease as all the others.  They just want to feather their nests!  Nuclear regulators and oversights are just required to make sure the plants sweep their floors.  Otherwise they would never do it.  (Believe me!).

The nuclear designers were just bright people with both a broad and long view.  I witnessed most of them eventually leaving with disgust as they were betrayed.  The reason we only have 'hacked' odds of reliability is that everyone in these organizations can't see beyond the end of their nose, they work on personal experience and living history.  Any earthquake that comes at 1 in thousand will sweep away all their badly maintained backups, and cause multiple failures.  We can only hope it will be contained at the last second.

The End.


Harold Asmis said...

Not giving me a free lunch. I am depressed about my ability to help them...

Harold Asmis said...

Very sad, there will be no CBC series for me :( Nothing happened.