Karl Morgan and Group-Think

under construction . Chapter Four of Karl Morgan’s book is entitled “My Biggest Mistake”, and relates the occassion where he was to speak at an international conference against one set of nuclear technologies and in favor or another. While enroute to the international conference, things changes back at the lab. The Oak Ridge Lab, Karl’s employer had previously advocated in the same way as Morgan. The US President had, during Karl’s absence from America, decided otherwise. And funding was to be forthcoming for the very technology Karl had previously considered very dangerous. He was censored, and had a choice.

Karl Morgan: “I check us in on the flight to Frankfurt. When the ticket agent recognized my name, she exclaimed in her limited English, Go to the phone, call this number, our police and your FBI are looking everywhere to find you!”

On ringing Oak Ridge, Karl was told all the 250 advanced copies of his speech had been destroyed because the speech was now against policy. The speech contradicted a decision made far higher up.

Karl continues: “We believed the Molten Salt Thermal Breeder and our unified system would be substantially safer safer than the Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor or the proposed Boiling Water Reactor or Pressurized Water Reactor….(these devices) “would allow billions of curies of fission products to remain in the reactor for the fuel lifetime, essentially waiting for an explosion (like those that later occurred at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl) to smear them around the world.”

“Culler revealed the real reason management wanted to muzzle me when he admitted that I was getting crosswise with Washington with powerful elements in the nuclear industrial complex. (Oak Ridge National Laboratories coveted large contracts for its development). He told me in effect..”..Don’t youo realize the President has decided to allocate $30 million dollars of extra money to expedite the building of a demonstration Liquid Metal Faster Breeder Reactor? You are jeopardizing the welfare of the Laboratory. ” Culler also implied that if Karl went ahead with his original speech, Karl would be responsible for the loss of “hundreds of Oak Ridge jobs.”

Would he stick to his guns or would he accept the censorship of his technical viewpoint, which favored, at that stage in his life, one type of fission technology over another?

It’s the old either /or debate, rather than considering the whole range of energy options. And the chosen technology Karl was being ordered to endorse was the one he objected to in part because it was the one which most efficiently produced bomb fuel.

Which is why, in part, the President favored it, i guess.

2 Responses to “Karl Morgan and Group-Think”

  1. CaptD Says:

    When people are told to “Stand Down” from what they believe is telling the truth, Society loses…

    This is why Nuclear has “had its day” and from Fukushima forward it is to RISKY for even the wealthiest Countries let alone all the others!

  2. Mara Says:

    Despite the recent recording by volunteers on the west coast of various levels of rad-fallout from Fuku., the President seems to be recklessly continuing with the nuke industry, which heavily supported his 2008 campaign. I’d like to know if possible if they are still supporting him now– or if they turned their support to Romney, who IMO is the worst of the two so far any anything goes.

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