Host Daniel Raimi talks with Professor Todd Allen, chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan. Todd and Daniel discuss Chernobyl. What caused the explosion, what is known about its health effects, and what lessons did policymakers and nuclear engineers learn from the disaster? Todd and Daniel also comment on the recent HBO miniseries called "Chernobyl." What did it get right, and where did it miss the mark?
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The Full Transcript
Daniel Raimi: Hello, and welcome to Resources Radio: A weekly podcast from Resources for the Future. I'm your host, Daniel Raimi. This week, we talk with Professor Todd Allen, chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering, and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan.
Todd and I are going to talk about Chernobyl. What caused the explosion, what do we know about its health effects, and what lessons did policymakers, and nuclear engineers learn from the disaster? Also, I'll ask Todd about the recent HBO Miniseries called Chernobyl, what did it get right, and where did it miss the mark? Stay with us, and find out. Todd Allen of the University of Michigan, thank you so much for joining us today on Resources Radio.
Todd Allen: Yeah, glad to, appreciate it.
Daniel Raimi: So Todd, we're going to talk about nuclear energy today, and Chernobyl in particular, but before we get into those topics, can you tell us a little bit about how you got into the world of energy, and nuclear energy in particular?
Todd Allen: Yeah, so it's kind of a random high school story. It turns out that I'm sitting in high school history class, and they said that if we were willing to skip history to listen to a navy ROTC recruiter, we could get out of class, and of course that sounded like a good deal. No family history of Navy, right? But filled out the form, signed it up, and then it came back, and offered me a scholarship, which allowed me to go to Northwestern, which I couldn't afford to otherwise.
So, now I know that once I graduate, I'm going to have to be a Navy officer, and they said, 'You're either going to be a Marine, you're going to fly airplanes, you're going to be on a surface ship, or you're going to be on a submarine.' For whatever reason, I decided submarining sounded the most interesting.
Then I learned that nuclear power is critical to making a modern submarine work, and then the last part, which gets to devious professors, when you apply at Northwestern as a freshman, I applied to be a computer scientist, but you're not assigned to a department, you get a random freshman advisor, and he asked me what I wanted to do, and I said, 'Well, I signed up for computer science, but I'm kind of interested in this nuclear thing', and he says, 'Well, why don't we just sign you up for nuclear? You can always change later.'
Well, it turns out he was a nuclear professor, I guess. So, I bumped into this, and so it's one of those random things as a kid, probably didn't put a lot of thought into it, and it worked out, and then there's sort of a career in nuclear that follows both in research, and academia.
Daniel Raimi: Right. Fantastic, and I wish we actually had more time to talk about your career, and your work today. We're not going to focus on that. We'll have to do another episode where we come back, and learn more about your work, and talk about nuclear energy more broadly, but as I mentioned, today, we're mostly going to talk about Chernobyl, and that's largely because of this HBO miniseries that's come out recently, gotten a lot of attention. I've watched it. I think you've watched it.
Todd Allen: Yep.
Daniel Raimi: I thought dramatically, it was really quite compelling, a really well-made show, and we're going to talk a little bit about some of the context around the actual events that occurred.
Todd Allen: Sure.
Daniel Raimi: So, nuclear energy, I just want to preface this by saying nuclear energy is still a very controversial topic for many. Our purpose is not to advocate for, or against deployment, but just to talk about what we know about this particular event.
Todd Allen: Sure.
Daniel Raimi: And also I should say if you haven't watched the show, it's okay to keep listening. You don't need to be deep into the show itself to enjoy this conversation. We're not going to go deep into the weeds on the show itself.
So with all that background, let's start at the beginning with Chernobyl. So, the explosion happened ironically during what I believe was a safety test. Can you tell us a little bit about the sort of chain of events that led to the explosion itself?
Todd Allen: Yeah, sure. So the idea with this test, and for those of you that watched the show, they actually explained it pretty well. I was pretty pleased with the explanation. All nuclear reactors, especially of that size, you need to be able to cool the fuel under all conditions.
They had a worry that if they lost power to their pumps, the backup system was a set of diesel generators that would start up, and the electricity would then provide power to pumps, and they'd be able to keep cooling their core, running water through it, but they knew that the diesel took about a minute to get up, and so it was a worry about what happens in this minute, and even when the reactors shut down, there's still a lot of heat that comes out from radioactive decay.
So, a loss of a minute matters, and their thought was that they could use the steam coming out of their turbines. You're slowly losing steam, because you've turned off the heat source, but that they would use that, and then they could use that to power pumps just long enough for the diesel's to come up, and so they were setting up to run a test to do that.
It was a test that they should've done a long time ago. It was part of the safety basis for the reactor, but that was the idea, right? And where they ran into problems, there were a lot of problems, but I'd bin them into design, right? They had a design that was naturally unstable in a certain range, and the problem here is, and this is going to get into maybe a little bit of basic nuclear, I'll try to keep it simple, but the way you make energy in nuclear is you've got a uranium atom, and if you can add one neutron, it will split apart.
It will give you a lot of energy, and it'll give you two, to three more neutrons, right? And the goal is of those two, to three neutrons, you want one of them to cause another fission, and on average one, and then you're at steady state, right? So then what happens to the other neutrons?
Well, either they get absorbed in another material, and you can use that to control the reactor, and they talked about control rods. If you have a material that really likes to absorb neutrons, you put them in the reactor, it grabs the extra ones, you don't have one, all right? Available for fission, it's less, power goes down.
They can also leak, right? But it's controlling the reactors is this balance between those. They had a design problem where at low powers where they ended up running this test, it had what's called 'positive reactivity.' They use that word in the show. It really just means that if the power goes up a little bit, it reinforces itself, and it wants to keep going up.
You don't really want to design a reactor that way. You want things to temper the direction that it's going in. So, one of the problems was that they had a design problem, had a second design problem in that these control rods that allow you to shut the reactor down, at the bottom they had a piece of graphite.
That particular material will actually put the neutrons in a more reactive condition. So, that was a problem. So, those are design problems, then they had operational problems. I think they understood, but didn't respect something called a 'xenon transient'. It's getting a little wonky, but when the uranium atom splits in two, it basically splits into anything in the periodic table.
Not every reaction is the same. That's why I say you get two, to three neutrons, because each reaction is different, but xenon, we call it a poison. It absorbs a lot of neutrons. So, it's going to tend to want to shut the reactor down. They didn't respect that, right?
They brought the power down in a way they shouldn't have before the test, and in order to compensate, to get the power up high enough for their test, they yanked those control rods all the way out to the top of the core.
Daniel Raimi: Right.
Todd Allen: So now, they got themselves in a position where the thing that you can shut the reactor down is as far out as you can get. So, take time to get in, and at the very bottom of it, you've got this reactive part that's going to make things worse, and so you have this design problem, you have an operator problem in that they didn't respect the physics of how the reactor worked, and they had an operational problem, which is, you don't change major test parameters on the fly.
They brought in a crew change, didn't brief them well on the test, they weren't ready to do the test. They sort of overrode safety precautions as part of this, because they were so interested in getting this test done, and so in the end, what they ended up with was this awful combination of a crew that was not trained for the test, that was not respecting the physics of the reactor, put themselves in the worst possible position you could be, and then it was exacerbated by a design flaw, and the whole thing just went wrong from there.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah, and I know we're only scratching the surface there on the sort of technical issues of what happened, but I think that's a really good introduction, and teaser for people, they can dive more deeply into that subject if they want to. Let's go now to sort of the aftermath, the immediate aftermath, and then the longer term aftermath of the incident.
So in the immediate aftermath, local firefighters were called to the scene without any protective equipment. They are literally spraying hoses, water on an open nuclear reactor with no protection, receiving enormous doses of radiation.
When I was doing some background research, the numbers I saw were that the sort of direct deaths caused by this incident were either 30, or 31 people died in the months after the event due to these acute doses of radiation. Can you tell us a little bit about the sort of physical effects of being exposed to that level of radiation for the duration that maybe the firefighters were on that night?
Todd Allen: Yeah. So, the reason that radiation is harmful to you is that it has high enough energy that it can come in, and damage your cells, and it can do it in multiple ways. There's different types of radiation, right? Some of it can penetrate your whole body, some of it can be stopped by your skin, but one of two things happens: It can either come in, and physically damage a cell by colliding with it.
Just imagine a pool ball hitting the other ones, right? And you just knock them all over the place, so you can physically damage the cells in your body with that collision. Other types of radiation can react, and change the chemistry of the cells in your body, but in the same way, it's destructive, right? And depending on how quickly the radiation hits your body, we call it very small doses. This is not what happened with the firefighters, but you get a small amount, your body can recover.
All right? If we couldn't, then we'd all be dead, because there's a certain amount of radiation in the world. You know, my first job, I was a nuclear submarine officer. So, I'm driving around on this thing, and we'd get operational dose, and we're all fine, right? It's because our bodies have a certain ability to recover.
If it comes fast in high doses like that, and this is what happened to the firefighters, the damage to the cells is not recoverable, and that could be to your bone marrow, it can be to your cardio system, your lungs, and your heart, or your gastrointestinal system, and the show depicted it correctly. You feel sick, and then you feel like you're okay, but the damage is done, and your body just can not recover from all that high concentrated, high energy that damages the cells.
Daniel Raimi: Right. That makes sense, and so let's move from the sort of acute exposure, to people who may have been exposed for a longer period of time. There were eventually, I believe about 300,000 people resettled from what's called the exclusion zone, which is now about a thousand square miles, I believe, in, and around Chernobyl, or Pripyat, the name of the town that was there.
From what I read, and I'm interested to hear your expertise on this, one of the most common health effects that occurred for those 300,000 people was an increase in the rate of thyroid cancer, in particular, children who may have been exposed to high levels of radiation by drinking milk from cows in that area, and maybe some other pathways, but can you talk a little bit about kind of what we know about the long-term health effects for the individuals who were living not in the immediate vicinity of the reactor, but in the miles surrounding it?
Todd Allen: Yeah, so you're right, the biggest effect was the thyroid cancer. So, I mentioned that in a fission, you get every atom in the periodic table, one of them you get is radioactive iodine, and it turns out that biologically it concentrates in your thyroid, right? And one of the ways we get iodine is by drinking milk.
So in this system, you've got the radioactive iodine coming out of the core, and especially spreading around, and now becomes part of the food system, and whenever you ingest things, it can eventually leave your body, or it can decay, but if it's something that stays in your body for long enough, and decays really quickly, meaning it's giving off a lot of damage to your cells from the energy, then it can harm you, and that's why in the show, the one nurse said, 'Do we have iodine pills to give to people?'
Because if you knew this was coming, if you had planned, you'd take the pill, it floods your thyroid, such that now if you drank that milk, your thyroid doesn't want anymore iodine, so it will biologically not accept it, or flush it quickly, but they didn't do that. It turns out that thyroid cancer is curable.
So your numbers, I think, are consistent with everything I've read. So it doesn't kill you, it's still awful, right? They have to do surgery to remove your thyroid, but that was a huge effect. Beyond that, and this will always be controversial, right? The United Nations has a scientific board that studies effective radiation on people. It's called the United Nations Scientific Council on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, something like that.
Daniel Raimi: Okay.
Todd Allen: And they've studied it for 30 years, right? And they look at it, and basically say, while they attribute about just short of 30 more deaths, to sort of long-term, low dose radiation effects, that's all that they're willing to attribute. This is always controversial, because more people than that in the exclusion zone developed cancers.
The problem is, they can't separate it from all the other things that might cause cancer, and so of course, if you're a scientist who is emotionally unconnected to Chernobyl, you would say, 'Ah, the scientific evidence says that most people's bodies recovered, and that was not an effect'.
If you live there, right? This was a society where no one was told what was going on. They don't trust the government, and they don't have any real reason to trust this group of scientists from a government body anymore, right? So, I think forever you will see a large range of effect in how many people were touched, and it's because we really, in the end, don't know, or can't definitively say that that cancer was tied to this specific event.
So, if you believe the United Nations group, it turned out to be a fairly small number. It's sort of consistent with the way we do radiation protection, and by that I mean, the average dose was 30 millisievert. The units don't matter, but in radiation workers where we allow you to get a dose, the yearly limit is 20, right? So, it wasn't significantly more than we allow workers to get on a yearly basis.
So in that sense, it's believable, but I also realize that for a lot of people it's personal, right? And they don't trust government figures, and I think you'll always see this very disparate interpretation of what happened.
Daniel Raimi: Right, right, and I mean, just to put a note on this, we're talking about physical health effects, and mortality. There's obviously all sorts of social effects of being relocated, and having to move from the place where you've lived your whole life, or maybe your family has lived in, and that can have indirect health effects as well, as well as just affects on your quality of life obviously.
Todd Allen: And this is not unique to nuclear. I mean, the same thing happens in hurricanes, right? I think one of the things we're not very sophisticated at is figuring out this balance between how much harm someone's put in from the event, whether it's a Chernobyl-type event, or a hurricane, and how much damage we may do by physically moving them, because it's typically in elderly. I don't think we're very good at it, and they certainly were horrible at it in Chernobyl.
Daniel Raimi: Right, yeah, right. So, let's take another step down the timeline here, and talk a little bit about some of the ways in which nuclear design, and safety systems differ from what we saw at Chernobyl.
So, either today, or back in the early 1980's when this event occurred, can you talk a little bit about the key differences between the types of reactors, and the safety systems that we have in the United States, versus what we saw at Chernobyl, which I believe it was called an RBMK reactor?
I have no idea what that stands for, but the show drilled it into me. So, can you talk a little bit about just some of the major differences, and I know we'll be painting with a broad brush here.
Todd Allen: Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I don't remember what RBMK stands for either, but it somehow means a water cooled reactor with a graphite moderator.
Daniel Raimi: Okay.
Todd Allen: If you translate the Russian. So, some of the differences, one of the big differences is this idea, I called it positive reactivity. A regulator would not allow us to design that reactor that way. A second is containment vessels. So in the US, if you have a reactor of this size, and Chernobyl, those RBMK's are huge. They're enormous.
Daniel Raimi: Do you know, ballpark, how many megawatts?
Todd Allen: I don't remember on top of my head, I think it's around a thousand. I think it's comparable to the US designs, but physically it's bigger.
Daniel Raimi: I see.
Todd Allen: Because it was a design that the Soviets had built to be able to do weapons material production, and power production, it turns out that if you want to make weapons, you would really like to irradiate uranium for a very short period of time, then get it out of the reactor.
So on the US side, we'll leave fuel in for two years at a time, six years before it's done. It doesn't create very useful weapons material. Soviets have a system where they like to be able to put it in, and remove it, right? So, you have to have room to do this, because of that, and I think also because of cost, and I think probably because of an overconfidence in their own abilities, they didn't build what we call a 'containment structure.'
And the idea with a containment structure is if you do have something happen, and you breach the core, it's another shield that does not allow the radioactivity to escape out into the atmosphere. So, the reason why Chernobyl exploded really was once they lost control of the reaction, the problem is can you remove the heat?
If you can't, you melt the tube that the fuel's in, so you melt the tube, it hits the water, the water turns to steam. Now, it's like a kettle boiling, right? Pressure went up, and then it blew the lid. Then, now air comes in, and reacts with all this graphite, and that starts burning, and that causes another major release of energy, and then stuff flies all over the place.
Without a containment, that did not keep everything contained to the problem, and it's taken them 30 something years to finally build what they call, 'the new safe containment' around that.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah, just last year, I think I was reading.
Todd Allen: Yeah, 2017, yeah.
Daniel Raimi: Okay. Yeah. They finally completed that. It's an amazing structure, by the way. I urge you to look it up if you're listening to this online.
Todd Allen: Yeah. So, I think those are the two sort of design things, and as we talked about before, I mean, and some of the other things that are not designed related, but the way we do operations. You know, on the US side now, I mentioned we're very procedurally compliant, right? You would never go through, and take a piece of paper with lines through it where you weren't sure whether you were supposed to do this step, or not, and when you do changes, there's a very formal system for going through, and making sure you get all the right reviews before you do that.
So, there's a little lax operations, and I think it goes back to not understanding potential problems, sort of training problems, and also one of the themes of the show was secrecy, and not passing information. They knew that this design problem was an issue, but they didn't share it, right?
Whereas in the Western system, now we've got what's called INPO in the US, Institute for Nuclear Power Operations actually formed after the Three Mile Island where the utilities understood they really need to pass stuff around, right?
If you've got a similar reactor, and you run into an issue, you need everybody to understand what that was so you can do training. Navy had the same system, we call them incident reports. If another submarine did something, we'd get it, we'd have to do our training. So, I think there was design problems, but also some structural problems in how you operate the reactor.
Daniel Raimi: Right, and administrative problems. I mean, the tagline for the show I think is, 'What is the cost of lies?' And so talking about the chain of either untruths, or concealed truths that sort of led to this ultimate issue.
Todd Allen: Yup. Yup, and it's why we ended up in the US splitting what had been the Atomic Energy Commission into the Department of Energy. So, in the Atomic Energy Commission in the beginning, it had both the mandate to develop systems, and to regulate them, and so when we split those into the Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the idea was that the regulator needs to be independent, right?
They need to be able to look at a design, and say, 'No, you can't do that.' They would give you positive reactivity at low power, and it's not acceptable.
Daniel Raimi: Right, right. Yeah, we've seen some of the same issues with oil, and gas development actually in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, there was a split up of the regulatory agency that was also responsible for overseeing production. So, some of these conflicts come up in other areas of energy.
Todd Allen: Yeah, I was actually thinking about that too in watching Chernobyl, but there's this thing where we get overconfident about our designs, and our ability to do stuff, and then these amazing people who go to tremendous sacrifices to try to stop it, and I thought about Deepwater Horizon, I thought about the crazy stuff we had to do after the first Iraq War with all the burning oil platforms. People are pretty amazing.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah.
Todd Allen: Yeah.
Daniel Raimi: Let's take another sort of implications question here, and you've already touched on a couple of these elements, so don't feel like you need to repeat yourself, but what are some of the sort of major lessons that you think either engineers, or policymakers took from the Chernobyl incident, and sort of applied it in US, or a quote unquote Western context?
Todd Allen: Yeah, yeah. I think it reinforced people's belief that for these styles of very large reactors, that you did need a containment system. To not have that was crazy. I think that it reinforced people's belief that you needed an independent regulator that would look, and design, and not allow you to have unstable regions.
I think it caused people to double down on this idea that was coming out of Three Mile Island about sharing information, very formal training procedures, very formal operational procedures. You know, we have these rules, they call them sort of stop work authority, right? Where if the big boss says 'Do something', and you as a worker say, 'I think that's going to put us in an unsafe condition' for whatever reason, the junior worker in a sense has the permission to say, 'No, we will stop.' And the system now says 'We will. We'll back off, and we'll think about this, and make sure that we're very thoughtful about doing it.'
The other thing is, if you go to sort of Western facilities, the emergency responders have some training in the system that they need to go after, and so for those that the watched the Chernobyl movie, the firefighters had no idea, right? They were talking about, 'Well, maybe the roof is just on fire.' They had no idea that spraying water onto the system could actually make it worse from a nuclear reactivity standpoint.
They had no idea that they were getting radiation dose, and so I think that all of those things were part of the Western design, and as I said, some of them we got better with time. The repercussions of the Three Mile Island were very small considered to Chernobyl, but it did force people to think about how you operate these plants, how you share information. So, I think a lot of what was learned was more operational, because I think we understood, and wouldn't allow the things they did in design space.
Daniel Raimi: That makes sense.
Todd Allen: Yeah.
Daniel Raimi: So now, last question before we move to our sort of final segment, which I call Top of the Stack, which is turning back to the show, the mini series Chernobyl on HBO. What, if anything, were the important issues that you thought the show left out, or maybe mis-contextualized, or did you have any complaints about the show that you think are significant for those of us who don't know a lot about nuclear energy?
Todd Allen: Yeah. So, I was actually really impressed, even some of the ways they talked about stuff. So, I tried to explain reactivity by counting neutrons, but they had this scene where they had the blue, and the red, and what makes it go up, and go down. I thought it might still be a little bit wonky, but technically, they were getting things correct.
The only thing that I sort of can quibble with were the way they talked about some of the medical effects, and the most egregious one was this idea that somehow, the baby could absorb the radiation from the mother. This is not physically possible, right?
Daniel Raimi: Let me just for those of you who haven't seen the show, so there's a pregnant woman in the show whose firefighter husband is one of the firefighters who responds to what they thought was a regular fire, and of course was an open nuclear reactor. That firefighter becomes very ill, and there are scenes when the firefighter, and his wife, his pregnant wife are spending time together, they are physically touching, and there are sort of implications that these connections are harmful to the child.
Todd Allen: That's actually the scene that I'm talking about, and so then there are a few things like that, and generally, I give the movie makers credit for being pretty thoughtful about that, but for those of us that do nuclear, we always worry that people don't understand the effects of radiation, right?
And so when you see a scene like that, and if it leaves people with the idea that somehow if I'm exposed to radiation, that I become radioactive, and this is not what happens. I don't become radioactive. Although for your listeners, it turns out that every human is very mildly radioactive.
So, actually getting married, right? The fact that you are now hanging out together all the time, you actually increase your dose, but in a very loving way, but this idea that getting exposed to radiation makes you radioactive somehow, it's not true. Otherwise, every time you went to the dentist, you'd walk out with a radioactive head once you got the X-rays.
So, it was sort of the depiction of some of the medical things that I think they went a little too far with traumatic license, but in a lot of ways, the technical explanations, the explanations of the things that bureaucratically they did wrong, because the system wouldn't let them be honest. I think that was all done really well.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah. Great. Well that's good to know. So, now I can safely recommend the show to my friends, and check it out. Okay, cool. So now, let's close out with the question that we ask everyone who joins us, which is what's at the top of your literal, or metaphorical reading stack.
So, something you've read, or watched, or heard that you'd recommend to our listeners, and I'll start with something that one of your comments just reminded me of, which was one of my favorite films of all times, it's called Lessons of Darkness. It's a documentary by Werner Hertzog, the great German filmmaker, and the film is a documentary about the aftermath of the first Iraq War.
So essentially, he, and his crew take helicopters, and they fly them over the burning oil fields of Kuwait, and they also follow a company that I believe was called Boots & Coots at the time. It's since been acquired by Halliburton, a company that specializes in controlling, and extinguishing oil, and gas fires.
So, it's just an incredible documentary. There's German opera throughout, and it's this really amazing landscape. So, I definitely recommend that if you want some dystopia in your life, Lessons of Darkness. How about you, Todd? What's on the top of your stack?
Todd Allen: You know, you meet people that are always current, and reading the hottest book, that is the opposite of me. I'm usually reading the one that was hot three years ago, but I'm actually reading two books now. One, because I have to, one because I'm interested. So, the one that I have to, it turns out that the University of Michigan has this program called 'Common Freshman Read.'
They ask all the engineering students, incoming freshmen to read this book, and then they're going to have a conversation about it. Well, they picked something called Full Body Burden, which is a history, personal history, family history of Rocky Flats, which was a US weapons production facility near Denver, and so we're going to have some events in addition to the Common Read thing this Fall to try to give the students a context of things in nuclear other than the book.
So, I definitely need to know what the book says, but the other one that I'm sort of reading by choice, which I think is actually really important, and probably be forever timely is this book called The Grid by Gretchen Bakke, it came out a few years ago.
We have all these conversations about climate change, and how the energy system can change, but it seems like a lot of times, we under-discuss the transmission ability to get this stuff from where we're making it, and it's this interesting combination of technology, economics, public policy, but also social, right?
Because you're going to build infrastructure, and that affects people, and then you get into all sorts of conversations about, can you install this infrastructure to move things? Where do you want it to be? Do you want the energy sources close to people, or far away? I think it's going to be a very timely read for a long time, and so I would definitely recommend it. Yeah, I'm sort of midway through, but enchanted.
Daniel Raimi: Great. Okay, The Grid, and that reminds me, there's also a new book called Superpower by Russell Gold, who's an excellent Wall Street Journal energy reporter, and that book is also about an attempt to build some high voltage transmission across the US. So, you can put both of those in your stack maybe.
Todd Allen: Yeah, yeah. So, it goes back to point. I was at this thing called the Intermountain Energy Summit a few years ago, and they had a reporter from NPR as one of the keynote speakers, really liked this idea of building new high voltage grids, and he was pretty dismissive of the need for nuclear, because he felt if you had this grid, then you could couple renewables, you could move stuff, and it was fascinating for me, because the lady who was in charge of Idaho Falls Power, very small, municipal power system, ran hydro primarily, stood up, and basically said, 'Do you know how hard it is to site power lines? I mean, you're saying nuclear is not possible, because it takes too long to build. Your power lines are not any easier.'
And so that's why I think this is a fascinating subject, because it involves all these different elements of, how do you get people the energy they want, and keep them happy with the way you do it?
Daniel Raimi: Right.
Todd Allen: Yeah.
Daniel Raimi: Fantastic. Well, Todd Allen, University of Michigan, thank you so much for those recommendations, and for helping us understand Chernobyl, and its aftermath, and its implications. Thanks so much for joining us on Resources Radio.
Todd Allen: Yeah, any time. Glad to help.
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