Especially during National Engineers Week, we like this quote from Art Wharton on the morality and the ethics behind the choice to be a nuclear engineer, and to advocate for nuclear engergy solutions to our world’s needs. He begins by describing an ANS gathering of nuclear power supporters:
The participants felt a moral calling to advance nuclear science and technology through their work, and through their communications via social media. Most participants recounted an obligation that they felt to their community or their family, including the futures of their grandchildren….
I originally decided to work in nuclear energy because it was “cool” to me. When I first learned that the energy density of a single fuel pellet equaled almost a ton of coal, I had to learn more. When I was a young boy camping with a Boy Scout troop, they advocated leaving the campground in better condition than we found had it, so the energy density and cleanliness of nuclear energy compared with other energy sources was compelling to me as a young adult. I followed the “cool” path, in my eyes, not realizing at the time that I was making a moral or ethical choice.
That changed in an unexpected way when I graduated college, and I took an oath called The Obligation of the Engineer…
Electrical power production provides life-saving opportunities. Refrigeration keeps food safe. Air conditioning saves many from heat stroke during the summer, and heating systems preserve life in the winter. The medical industry is dependent on electricity for many life-saving technologies. As you’re reading this paragraph, you’re probably listing out other things that electricity does to preserve and enhance life in ways that many people take for granted. Nuclear energy provides this life-saving electricity with the smallest footprint per unit of energy, and in my strong opinion, makes “the best use of Earth’s precious wealth.”
I have an obligation to give my knowledge, without reservation, for the public good….