Our Voice: Thumbs up to CBC’s new nuclear reactor model

Powerful story

To something old that is new again at Columbia Basin College.

A complex model of a nuclear reactor built in the ’70s will be used as a teaching tool for students in the college’s nuclear technology program.

The acrylic model will allow students to see complex assemblage of valves, lines and tanks just like you’d see in a reactor that provides power to more than 1 million homes.

Previously, students had to rely only on schematics to learn about the complex systems.

Tetra Tech in Richland and the Eastern Washington Section of the American Nuclear Society, which had possession of the model, are working with the CBC Foundation to preserve it for future generations.

The model took thousands of hours and millions of dollars to build. It has 27 components that would cover 400 square feet when fully assembled. The society says it was a “barn find” and they are excited to rescue the model and share it with the next generation of workers in the nuclear industry.

Economic upswing

To the thriving Tri-Cities.

It’s easy to see the growth here with a new restaurant opening just about every week and housing and commercial development booming throughout the community.

And one of the great things about all that growth is that it creates jobs.

The Tri-Cities had one of the best September’s on record for jobs with 105,400 nonfarm jobs, according to the Employment Security Department. That’s 300 more jobs than when we had the big boom from federal stimulus dollars a few years back.

Another great sign is the growth in non-Hanford jobs with more than 3,400 created in the past two years.

That also means our unemployment rate is low, at 5.4 percent, a number not seen since 2008.

Our job inventory has been on the upswing for 18 months, with industries like agriculture, construction, health care and education contributing to the growth.

Blood money

To buying off accused Nazis with Social Security.

It is shameful that U.S. taxpayers have paid millions of dollars to suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards for leaving the U.S. quietly before deportation proceedings could be finalized.

The practice has been in place for decades and there are at least four living beneficiaries living abroad.

The United States should have no part in it.