Reader feedback: April 2022

April 13, 2022
The latest letters to the editors, and their responses

Nuclear key to sustainable future

We have a fossil fuel power plant not far from us that made national news a few years ago with an ash spill. I did some research, and found it would take more than 82,000 acres of solar panels to replace it. This doesn't take into account the batteries needed to store power for use in the dark.

Nuclear is the only form of energy production that's viable to reach the required electrical output. When are people in charge going to wake up and realize that fact? Bechtel came up with a form of smaller reactors that could be placed in their own containment, so if a problem came up, you could just seal them up.

John Ford
Retired nuclear worker

The editor responds:

I agree that nuclear power should be a key part of any decarbonization strategy going forward. While Fukishima was certainly a tragedy, the bigger tragedy was the black eye it delivered to a nuclear industry that was on an upswing at the time. Germany's decision to shut down all nuclear plants by the end of this year will only make fighting climate change harder. It remains to be seen if the situation in Ukraine can reverse public sentiment, and keep its remaining three plants operational. — KL

Career advice always in style

What a finely crafted article Russ Rhinehart wrote on “10 guides to career advice,” in the January issue. He featured a great blend of simple advice with personal stories. I was impressed and encouraged.

Jason Marquis
Chief Operating Officer
Marquis Energy

The author responds:

Thank you very much, Jason. I’m hoping the Develop Your Potential series adds value to the audience. By the way, I just visited the Marquis Energy website. I strongly support your vision, and wish you all the best in moving us toward a sustainable future.

Russ Rhinehart
www.r3eda.com

Next-gen tech needs new skills

I enjoyed John Rezabek’s February issue column entitled “Hold the bus for sustainable skills.” I agree with him about enabling and deploying new control system technologies for current and next-gen workers and the risks companies will face.

We began integrating fieldbus into our DeltaV DCS for “informational data” back in the early 2000s. We learned a lot of lessons the hard way about system design and hardening. What I also saw then was, as he explained, a lack of adoption by our technicians. The fieldbus interface was “too confusing” and “too slow” for some to build competency with, and they preferred the HART devices.

I believe Ethernet devices will definitely be the future of industrial communications. It will be a slow grind to bring the industry to maturity. Just as there are still some pneumatic and 4-20 mA devices at some facilities, it’ll be years to get some sites to convert to Ethernet.

Dennis Fairchild
ICE Lead, McClain Power Plant
OGE Energy

The author responds:

Dennis, thanks for your feedback and glad you could relate. We're agreed that the path for brownfield sites will be a slow slog.

John Rezabek
[email protected]