SPITZER on CNN “speak plain English”

kaplandj • March 23, 2011

Software Business

I watched Eliot Spitzer on CNN  on March 15th interview a former GE Nuclear Engineer. Start like this:

“Thirty-five years ago, Dale Bridenbaugh resigned from his job at General Electric. It was in protest for what he saw as critical design flaw in the Mark 1 nuclear reactor design. That’s the same design used at Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. Dale Bridenbaugh joins us now from San Jose, California. Dale, welcome and thanks for joining us…..”

Mr. Bridenbaugh proceeded to explain the situtation about the design of the plants. Goes like:

“Well, it bothered me and it bothered a lot of other people. In 1975, it became aware that the design of the Mark 1 containments had not taken into account all of the loads that they could experience during a design basis accident, a loss of coolant accident. So it was necessary to mount a crash program to reanalyze those loads and to see what modifications needed to be made and whether the plants were continued safe to run. I was at the time — there were 16 Mark 1 plants in operation in the United States and another eight under construction. I was asked to be the project manager of that reassessment.”


Spitzer: “OK, now put this into English for us…”. Later again in a nasty tone as only he could so: “OK. We’ll keep bringing you back though to plain English.”

To me it was very plain English and presented at a level that I felt everyone could understand. That is the difference between us and them I guess. “They” don’t like engineering speak. He should have just said “WORLD BE ENDING….NUC BAD!”.