Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Business Writing and Nuclear Power

I've several reasons for investigating the effects of the Nuclear Power industry and Naval Nuclear Power on business and technical writing. First, when I see the process documents and checklists which are so common in the business world, I recognize something I saw in the Navy's Nuclear Power program--the tendency to develop a written procedure for every activity, no matter how trivial it seems on the surface. Rickover used texts to extend his control over the submarine fleet. Even though he wasn't in the formal chain of command of the ship's officers, he was so powerful a figure that he could virtually shut down a ship's operations and likely get the Commanding Officer (CO) fired if Rickover's office became dissatisfied with they way the crew operated the propulsion plant. Rickover required periodic reports on reactor physics, training and qualification of the crew, maintenance, and operations. If he read something he didn't like, he frequently punished the CO. The "regular Navy" hated his methods, and often referred to his bureaucratic processes as "creeping nucism."

So far the blogs I have received URLs for are listed to the right. I'm missing links from about 25% of students.


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