Hinkley Point & HS2
As I have stated my doubts about increasing our reliance on nuclear power, due to the costs of decommissioning and the number problems seen despite a never-ending supply of “perfect” back-up systems which are back-up by even more “perfect” back-up systems. Despite these “totally reliable” systems on systems we still seem to get problems with radio-active leaks in various forms, melt-downs and other hazards/accidents, while we still have no viable system storage for the dangerous waste produced.
Cameron’s government has severely mishandled this country’s turn away from fossil fuels, which has resulted in the early closure of generating plant. This country will therefore experience a “shortfall” in supply in the near future and nuclear power is seen as the way to “plug the gap”, a problem which HS2 and it’s huge demands on our energy production, will only exacerbate and force the provision of further nuclear installations.
“How much electricity will HS2 need?” is a question that has been asked without an answer for the last six years, until now. The speed required for HS2 would mean significantly increased power requirements compared to the rest of the electric trains on the rail network. HS2 Ltd have been quite evasive on this point, but HS2 Ltd Chief Executive (Simon Kirby), has admitted: “The total maximum demand of HS2 for both Phase One and Two is estimated to be 800 MW.” But what does that mean? Well there has been a lot of fuss about the recent plans for Hinkley Point C. The cost of that project is £18bn, to build two reactors capable of 1,650 MW output each. So when it is running, HS2 would require half of the output of one of those reactors.
No one mentions the cost of de-commissioning the growing list of failing plants. Sellafield is one and the process could take more than a century. It is expected to achieve brownfield status by 2120 if everything goes as planned. This decommission activity is being paid indirectly by taxpayers at the rate of £1.5bn per year. Engineers estimate that it could cost the nation up to £50bn to clean this up over the next 100 years. Parts of the complex are the most hazardous in all Europe, representing another challenge to engineers and contractors working around this toxic scenario. Stop Press: Wylfa reactor, recently damaged and repaired, then leaked again. Decommissioning is being considered. Heysham 1 closed down because of “boiler damage”. Hartlepool was inspected and closed. Both Heysham and Hartlepool will be out of action for 8 weeks for repairs, all plants mentioned are of a similar age and design.
Just think, we will have to fund building another “HS2” just to decommission one station and no one has yet provided a satisfactory answer to the disposal of the ever growing pile of nuclear waste! Personally, I do not wish to glow in the dark or find myself sitting on a huge underground nuclear waste dump, which cannot be guaranteed to not escape into the environment at some point or poison the water tables and our descendants! Heaven forbid I should mention “fracking” and the potential problems to the environment and the disposal plans for the nuclear industry. All things considered, the government and the generating companies have been precipitous in closing coal fired generating stations, while “green” energy does not yet have sufficient capacity to take up the slack. We have nuclear power stations which are now life expired and therefore becoming unreliable and may have to be decommissioned.
France For some time the French have been seeking a 3rd party to help with the astronomical costs of maintaining and decommissioning its considerable nuclear industry and are getting more and more desperate. EDF (largely state-owned French constructors) have 58 in France and 8 in the UK, many of which are old and becoming unreliable (see above), while funding debts which would turn your hair white. The Cameron government made an agreement to guarantee a price of £92.50 per megawatt hour for 35 years. This price being in excess of twice the wholesale price now charged. Guess who are the suckers funding the French bail-out? EDF think building the reactors sought will be so demanding that they will be driven bankrupt.
China The Chinese economy is becoming unstable while the nuclear technology to be used may be either “pirated” (now confirmed) or largely untested. Given the large and increasing number of dodgy “fakes” emerging from the Chinese Peoples Republic, the increasingly dubious reports regarding those in power and the Chinese present attempt to blackmail us into continuing with the dubious program, who will keep the lights on, and will the result blow-up in our faces. I can personally see a strong reason for investing in firms who build fall-out shelters.
The French and the Chinese obviously feel that we are suckers who can be robbed blind or used as a nuclear test-bed for untried technology. I suggest that French should look for another mug and the Chinese make their own population glow in the dark first.
Cameron’s enthusiasm for HS2 obviously makes the rest of the planet think we are mad or gullible. MPT
Are animals “intelligent”?
Some time ago I featured a report concerning a wild dolphin which made a conscious decision to seek human help when it got trapped in some fishing net. It allowed divers to work on the webbing and only left when it had to breathe and thereafter returned to allow them to finish. I have little doubt that there are a large number of people who now regard me as a bigger nut than they first thought. So what do you think of this?
My new assistant “Alfie” has featured here before. Sometimes he shows possible intelligence, but other times he just ignores you and leaves you in a quandary as to whether or not he is just being a cat or is just plain thick.
This morning, while I was working on my computer, he ambled in and dabbed my leg and I asked him if he wanted lunch. He rolled over on to his side and lay there staring at me and I thought “you are really not very bright are you”.
I went downstairs, cleaned his bowl and put fresh food in, then went into the lounge with his bowl and a piece of kitchen towel (we normally cover his food when he finishes in case of flies). Just out of pure devilment I said to him (I quote) “Enjoy lunch, don’t get it on the carpet and cover it up when you have finished” and then put a piece of towel down about 6 inches from his bowl.
A short time later Ann went downstairs to prepare our lunch and called out “Mike come here”. Ann also regards the way I talk to our pets as proof that I am a borderline loony. I went downstairs. “You know what you said to Alfie”, look in there. So I did ……….. Then I knew no one would believe me.
Time 22.20hrs 29.6.2016 (Photo taken in very lowlight conditions). Site: next doors driveway. (Top of my car in foreground).
1. A gnome re-homed by local vandals (this has occurred before).
2. A refugee from the RNLI waiting to open a new office after all the water seen around here.
3. Have the “bracing” winds in Skegness got a bit too strong and overcome the “Fisherman”.
4. Is it a spotter awaiting the first HS2 train.
5. A jet pilot who used an experimental ejector seat.
6. Have “they” landed and this is first contact.
7. A new advertisement for “Fishermans Friends”.
Please note, he hasn’t got food on the floor either.