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The Canadian Nuclear FAQ  

by Dr. Jeremy Whitlock


Published in the December 2007 issue of the Canadian Nuclear Society Bulletin, Vol.28, No.4.

That Was Then

by Jeremy Whitlock

In honour of the 50th anniversary of the old girl herself, NRU - a bit creaky but still going strong - this ode to mountains climbed and rivers crossed is offered to anyone thinking of raising a glass:

In days of old
When men were bold,
And neutrons weren't invented,
We stoked our fires
On carbon pyres,
And felt ourselves contented.

While Rutherford bleat
That as for heat,
His atoms were a Bohr,
'Twas Meitner's muse
Lit Fermi's fuse,
And the beggars won a war.

Came C.D. Howe
To take a bow,
For Canada played a role,
In Montreal
They caught the ball
(But didn't catch the Mole).

Laurence's pile
Was all the while
The first, but quite sub-par,
Kowarski's ZEEP
Ran cold and deep
And critically raised the bar.

To Lewis came spoils
Of wartime toils,
When Cockroft's job was done,
'Twas time for dreams
Of Brockhouse beams,
And cancer on the run.

Past Oiseau Rock
Began to flock,
Young scientists in the know,
They craned their necks
To see how far they'd go.

They did so well,
Was born to lead the show,
Barely weaned,
"100" cleaned,
It said "Okay, let's go!"

The NRU,
Conceived and grew
Of vision cobalt-plated,
When brains unleash
There is no niche
That can't be dominated.

Young mountaineers
Defied frontiers,
With nuclear fire in the belly,
Peaks unclear,
None showed fear,
But Ewan et al turned to Ge(Li).

Laurels reaped,
Discoveries heaped,
A Nobel Prize belated,
The Quest was still
The best until
Summarily spallated...

Pollution free
Emerged the driving goal,
Natural U
CANDU it too,
With Canadian heart and soul.

Foster's team
Designed the dream,
McRae and MacKay got it done,
Howey led
The thoroughbred,
And McConnell's crew let it run.

And now, ensconced
And renaissanced,
It's days of old again.
'Tis time for dreams
Once more it seems,
Onwards, women and men!

Discussion welcome.

©2011 Jeremy Whitlock

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