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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Spivs to right of them, Dorks to left of them

A few days ago I read a piece in The Engineer about various alternatives for UK nuclear.

The situation over Britain’s proposed fleet of new nuclear reactors can charitably be described as a mess, and it isn’t one that looks likely to be tidied up any time soon. 

An interesting start but painfully familiar. Further on there is a mention of Liquid Fuelled Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) and opportunities for the UK to involve itself in what may turn out to be an important nuclear development.

If it’s true that the UK is incapable of developing a fighter jet on its own (and we gave our opinion on that a few months ago) then it must surely be beyond our capability to sort out all the problems with LFTR development. But there are interested parties in the US and thorium research is underway in China: this sounds like a prime candidate for a multinational research effort, something which would probably be more palatable to many than the current proposed Chinese investment in UK nuclear.

What struck me was not so much the content of the piece, but the political realities illustrated by the above photo. These two guys are supposed to have our hopes for the future on their shoulders. 

We must be mad.


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Paddington said...

I have high hopes for those technologies as well. The design is safer than most power plants, with no direct pollution.

A K Haart said...

Paddington - I have too and it is a tragedy that we in the UK aren't more involved. Fascinating possibilities are out there but we seem unable to grasp them. Maybe we need a senior minister who is actually interested and informed.

Paddington said...

What percentage of elected officials, civil servants and senior managers in industry know anything at all about science and technology.

It makes me think of Sir Humphrey in "Yes, Minister", who is proud that his classics education prepares him so well fro running a 20th century country.

James Higham said...

Not us mad - the voters.

Amfortas said...

I have little doubt that Britain can develop its own fighters and reactors and any damn thing else it puts an engineering mind to. The problem is not talent but political clods.