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Which Way Security?

I read your article ”What About the Nukes?” [March] with great interest. I have worked on and/or managed our nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile evaluation program from June 1968 until I retired from the federal government in January 2006. From 1989 to 2002 I was the Department of Energy’s (DOE) program manager for weapons evaluation. From summer 2002 through 2005 I was the director of the Weapons Quality and Surveillance Division, with responsibility for oversight of how the surveillance program was meeting DOE testing requirements. The purpose of my comments is not to take a position on the need for a reliable replacement warhead; it is to point out a number of errors in the article.

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This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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