For John, BLUF: George may be right about that Architect thing. Nothing to see here; just move along.
I was following a discussion on line that included a mention of the French Aircraft Carrier, the nuclear powered Charles DeGaulle. A comment was made about the French use of nuclear power and one participant wrote:
as a partial aside that might be of interest....several years ago in France I had dinner with a French Minister responsible for housing employees associated with the nuclear power plants-inter alia."The French approached it as an engineering issue and the US as a legal issue". Of course we approach a lot of things as a legal issue. We are a nation of laws, as opposed to a nation of bureaucrats, but there is something to be said for giving the Engineers the lead in these kinds of things. The French do have a great safety record with regard to nuclear power. But, is it the engineers, the lawyers or the bureaucrats?
We started discussing US nuke plants and the French approach. As most may know, France is about 90% nuke generated power and they havn't had a major issue since the plant inceptions in the 50's.
He said there is a fundamental difference between how the French and US went about nuclear power that has made all the difference—The French approached it as an engineering issue and the US as a legal issue. Since power grids transferred the energy across the entire nation, the French government sponsored/managed them vice the provinces.
The French system is a standardized model generation facility with upgrades as developed. Everything is uniform and all employees go through a govt managed education and certification program. Their record is near spotless.
Regards — Cliff