Thursday, June 16, 2011

UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineer Department MELTSDOWN to ZERO after Meltdown

If there is one thing clear from the chart above it is that the University of California Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Program's future hangs in balance depending on the public's perception of and reaction to the Fukushima Nuclear disaster. It is a position they know well; after Three Mile Island, their undergraduate enrollment went to ZERO students. After the Chernobly nuclear incident, UCB's Nuke department's enrollment dropped by approximately 67%. More over it is not just the UCB that is at risk, but the entire industry. Emeritus Professor T.H. Pigford (founding chair of UC Berkeley Nuke Engineering) when asked what Three Mile island meant for the industry stated on page 149 of his PDF oral history-

"A more powerful reaction in industry was the demonstration
that the industry might not be able to survive another accident.
And they don't mean just the industry that owns the reactor, but
the whole industry
, because the whole industry is deeply affected
by poor performance in any one of the plants."

It is abundantly clear that nothing less than the ENTIRE FUTURE OF THE NUCLEAR industry hangs in balance on the management of the public's perception of the Fukushima disaster.

The enrollment data from the chart above was derived from the following PDF presentation:

The Future of Nuclear Energy: A California Perspective

Per F. Peterson
Department of Nuclear Engineering
University of California, Berkeley
California Energy Commission
2005 Integrated Energy Policy Workshop
August 15-16, 2005

The original chart is displayed below.

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