Writer, Creator, Thinker — www.robertpotter.co

A move that once again threatens stability in the Middle East.

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It’s rare to see a news story so seemingly ripped from the pages of a cheesy action flick, yet with the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, by way of a remote-controlled machine gun mounted atop a truck that was then rigged to explode, you’d be forgiven for thinking that was the case. No one has officially taken credit for the killing, but all signs point to Israel. Mossad, the Israeli equivalent to our CIA, has a history of carrying out covert operations and killings in Tehran. …


As did many other countries during the Cold War.

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In the last century, the United States completed over one thousand tests involving nuclear weaponry. The majority of these experiments involved the deployment of US soldiers to either witness the event or clean up afterward. I was surprised to learn of the existence of these Atomic Veterans and only more infuriated when I learned of their struggle for recognition, ever since the first known test of the atomic bomb in 1945.

According to the Atomic Heritage Foundation, “ During the early Cold War, the United States wanted to prepare servicemen for the possibility of a nuclear war and placed them only miles away from nuclear test detonation sites. Depending on the particular shot, servicemen were stationed approximately 6 to 11 kilometers (approximately 3.7 to 6.8 miles) away from ground zero during Operation Buster-Jangle in 1951. At the same time, the government also wanted to research the psychological impacts of witnessing these explosions. Psychiatrists were present before, during, and after tests to assess the psychological effects.” The government subjected hundreds of thousands of veterans to these tests in varying capacities, often giving them little or no protective equipment and woefully inadequate decontamination procedures following. …


And potentially the secret weapon in reducing climate change.

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The trajectory of technology has often been a matter of density more than anything else. Given a certain amount of space, how much can we fit inside it? How can we make the components smaller with each iteration? The first computers filled several rooms and were far from efficient, but now a razor-thin laptop that fits into your backpack can run circles around the computers of thirty years ago. The same goes for your phones, your TVs, and your cameras. Technology has always played with the idea of doing more with less. Why would nuclear energy be any different?

From the United States to Russia to China and Canada, nuclear energy is beginning to make a resurgence but with one small change: the size. NuScale Power, an American energy company, formed in 2007, is at the forefront of this push, touting its patented small modular reactor (SMR) design, claiming it’s safer, cleaner, more cost-effective, and scalable than traditional reactors. Their website reads, “ Smarter, more cost-effective, and simplified, our advanced SMR design eliminates two-thirds of previously required safety systems and components found in today’s large reactors. This Triple Crown For Nuclear Plant Safety™ design safely shuts down and self-cools, indefinitely with no operator action, no AC or DC power, and no additional water. This is a first for commercial nuclear power.” The company is planning on deploying these new SMR reactors in groups of 4,6, and 12, but realistically, 125 of these SMR NuScale reactors could fit inside a traditional reactor’s containment building. …


Fukushima site owner claims they are running out of space.

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Photo by Steven Diaz on Unsplash

On March 11, 2011, Japan suffered a magnitude nine earthquake that set into motion the worst nuclear incident since Chernobyl almost forty years ago. The natural disaster combined with a 14-meter high tsunami overwhelmed the backup generators at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Ōkuma, Japan, leading to three meltdowns, a series of hydrogen explosions, and the release of radioactive contamination from several of the reactors. Over 154,000 people in the surrounding area were evacuated, and large amounts of contaminated water were released into the Pacific Ocean.

According to the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), negligence by the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), combined with lax oversight by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry were the two major contributing factors to the Fukushima Plant’s meltdown. Now, almost ten years later, while there has been no noticeable rise in physical health consequences resulting from the incident, the debate concerning what to do with contaminated water still being generated from the plant continues today. …


It’s time for the Trump Administration to admit defeat.

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Are nuclear weapons worth going to war over? If you ask the Trump administration, the answer is likely less. Some might wonder how that answer squares with the Pentagon’s recent announcement concerning US troop drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq. As with most things in foreign policy these days, the response usually amounts to a shrug, the reality being that there are no overarching goals in foreign policy, only individual use cases.

For Iran specifically, the mission has been clear for a while: prevent Iran from constructing a nuclear weapon. Much hay has been made stretching back even to the Bush administration about Iran’s potential to develop nuclear weapons. John Bolton has been recklessly advocating for strikes against Iran for decades to prevent such a thing from happening. Conservatives have been chomping at the bit to turn the heat up on Iran for years, a desire that has exploded in recent years. Dealing with war and suffering in such casual terms should be alarming to anyone paying attention, especially if that war is in the name of global safety. …


How 2020 feels so apocalyptic.

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I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of an end to the world or, more specifically, an “apocalypse.” As a child, I imagined the apocalypse as a spiritual battle between good and evil. I thought Revelation was one of the most badass books of the Bible. I loved reading about the different crazy visions the prophets had and diving into the symbolism of various numbers and things. Half of my family are committed Lutherans, so through going to church every Sunday and attending youth groups and bible studies, I became closely acquainted with the Biblical version of the apocalypse.

Back then, my fascination with this stuff was purely surface level. I thought angels and demons were cool. I loved the high-concept drama of it all and the pulpy high-stakes storylines. The other half of my family, who wasn’t religious, loved video games. It’s no coincidence that the Diablo series of computer games was a favorite of mine. I found the idea of doing battle against the worst demons in hell as appealing as ever. Angels would battle against demons, Jesus Christ would face off against Satan, and eventually, good would triumph over evil. All the Christians would go to heaven and live forever in bliss. Everyone else would burn in hell. Several video game iterations had you face off against the devil himself, slaying him in dramatic fashion to save the world. Everything turned on a dichotomy: there was a good group and an evil group. You were either one or the other. …


It’s the only logical evolution for a group truly looking to reclaim their party.

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Photo by Library of Congress on Unsplash

As the dust slowly settles from this election, the grand bargain made by a spectrum of groups ranging from progressives to moderate Republicans is fading away, and already old habits have come rearing back. Progressives couldn’t wait even a week before attacking the Never-Trump group known as The Lincoln Project (TLP) over what claiming TLP’s tactic were nothing more than a grift whose only purpose was to burn money and make its founders rich.

Harsh words, especially as The Lincoln Project recently announced their work would continue in Georgia to help Democrats swing the Senate. To their credit, progressive complaining hasn’t seemed to slow TLP down, and already the rumor mill is churning about what their next move will be after the Georgia runoff. …


This election has proven that a blue Georgia is possible.

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Photo by Alejandro Duarte on Unsplash

It is now a sure thing that control of the U.S. Senate will fall to a pair of runoff elections: Jon Ossoff (D) facing David Perdue (R) and Reverend Raphael Warnock (D) facing Kelly Loeffler (R). It is hard to understate the importance of these two races in deciding whether or not Democrats are able to enact meaningful, progressive legislation and ultimately improve millions of peoples lives through bold change. As the presidential race winds down and Joe Biden becomes our next president, the next battle is only two months away on January 5th for control of the U.S. Senate.

It is critical that Democrats use every tool within their means to help these two excellent Democratic candidates succeed in their respective races. I know you’re exhausted. …


All this swiping and sniping at allies needs to end.

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Photo by Long Ma on Unsplash

Democrats, can we go one day without sniping at each other? Like, seriously? This is unacceptable and the finger-pointing NEEDS to stop.

Like, why on God’s green earth is it so hard to just let the progressives do their own thing over in NYC and California and the moderate democrats and now even moderate republicans do their own thing elsewhere. The Democratic party is a big tent, baby. There’s plenty of room for everyone. Y’all don’t even need to look at each other much less talk to each other in this tent. …


Democrats must reclaim underdog status if they hope to win handily again.

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Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

This election doesn’t feel good. I don’t feel good. It’s not what we wanted. This isn’t the grand repudiation of Trump and Trumpism that we thought this election could be. It’s more like limping over the finish line, bloodied and bruised than anything else, a pyrrhic victory instead of a triumphant return to normalcy.

There will be no doubt a lot of head-scratching, shifting of blame, diving into the misaligned polling, and sharp accusations lobbed in the coming weeks. All of the democratic factions will come out in force to offer up their weak takes as to what happened. Why was the blue wave more a blue trickle? Why after so much money and time and effort is spent, are the returns so little? …

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