Beavering Away 233


I am sorry there have been so few posts lately. I am terrifically busy. Yesterday I was up before dawn and back after midnight, having spent the day in Wales. Regular readers will realise that I am working on something I shan’t be able to blog about until it has come to fruition. I was most amused recently by a commenter who called me an “armchair critic.” I shall be in Germany, Brazil, Afghanistan and Ghana in the next two months.

Also I continue to dig into the extraordinary case of Adam Werritty and just why he was holding all those meetings with Matthew Gould, while Gould was Private Secretary to Miliband and then while he was Private Secretary to Hague, and then while he was UK Ambassador to Israel. I have new information, but as I am working on it with someone else quasi-mainstream I shan’t break it before they do. It is a story that really ought to be a television documentary, but given the mainstream media blackout, I was considering whether a podcast format might be a good way to get it further out there. But I need someone who can film it in a reasonably professional way, cutting in pictures, document extracts and interviews in a manner that looks good.

Any ideas or volunteers out there?


233 thoughts on “Beavering Away

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  • Mary

    25 January 2012
    Israel detains Hamas MP Aziz Dweik for six months
    Aziz Dweik was arrested by Israel in 2006 and spent almost three years in prison
    .
    An Israeli military court has ordered Hamas MP Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian parliament, to be held without trial for six months.
    .
    His lawyer told Reuters news agency that the detention order says his client is “liable to be involved in hostile actions against Israel”.
    .
    Mr Dweik was detained on Thursday near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
    .
    Both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which Israel has designated a terrorist group, condemned the arrest.
    .
    Hamas said Israel wanted to undermine its attempts at reconciliation with the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16714967

    .
    Note the little extra comment from ZBC – ..which Israel has designated a terrorist group.

  • crab

    ** Craig ** >>>

    Crab: “Tony12 are you responsible for the noisy campaign of TonyOPMOC drunken spleen posts? …”

    Tony12: No. Too busy working most of the time. I am a much more simple soul. We do classical music videos, documentaries and interviews – mainly for the internet so we have the right codecs for delivering content, not just for broadcasting or making DVDs.

    My apologies for the confusion Tony. I hope Craig sees your fine offer and good on you!

  • boniface goncourt

    ## Uzbek in the UK

    @ Boniface Goncourt
    .
    Are you saying that Holocaust was not made up? By Soviets? US? British? ##

    The holo a hoax? What with all that forensic and documentary evidence? You an anti-semite or something? I mean, I get my soap from a nice old Viennese lady who has a stock of ‘echte Judenseife’. Surely she couldn’t be fooling me.

  • Anon

    Mary

    OK so you think I am a nutter? – notice how ‘Occupy’ has been savagely put down?”
    I agree with Angrysoba – if you want to see savage put downs might I suggest you look at Syria, where Assad among other attrocities has even shelled a Palestiniann refugee camp.
    .
    Could we please have a source for that piece of black propaganda.
    .

    Well I know Gorgeous George is usually a source of black propaganda

    http://www.votegeorgegalloway.com/2011/08/george-galloway-on-syria.html

    But if you google “syrian navy palestinian refugee camp” you will find plenty of other considerably more reliable sources verified the story.

    As Keynes said when the facts change I change my mind – what do you do Mary?

  • Fedup

    Clark
    “I’m not opposed to nuclear power in principle, but I don’t like the current power reactors. Remember, at Fukushima, all three operational reactors suffered meltdowns. I’ve never heard of high burnup in the conventional fuel cycle, and the 100,000 or so tonnes of spent fuel would seem to contradict that.”
    ,
    ,
    You are talking about old reactors not current reactors, as ever the meaningless scaremongering have resulted in circular arguments( not you, the Luddite) .
    ,
    A reactor that is running for bomb material production cannot produce power, and a reactor producing power, cannot make bomb material. Therefore the owners ought to make their mind up what they want before commissioning the construction of the relevant reactor.
    ,
    Also the stock of waste fuel is a combination of the bomb material and product of the old reactors usage.
    ,
    ,
    New reactors, or current reactors, have a much more comprehensive and extensive control systems with the state of the art sensors that the old reactors could not have access to. The greater degrees of monitoring and enhanced control systems in addition to much more advanced construction methods have resulted in the higher rates of fuel burn.
    ,
    Your contentions hold valid only for the old reactors and or bomb factories and not the new designs and constructs. There is no need to engage in huge debates, you discount the advances in reactor control system and sensor technologies as well as evolved designs of the fuel rods, to conclude as you have.

  • Fedup

    Anon
    ,
    Time to talk is past, you want to stop it go to Syria, otherwise, accept it, you and your kind have lost the phony fight/ revolution lite , and the end game is not as it had been planned.
    ,
    The propaganda bullshit is only wishful thinking, and is not getting anywhere.
    ,
    Savage put downs are;in Qatif Saudi, Manama Bahrain, and Sanaa, Taiz, Yemen, not Syria. Get your fucking facts right.

  • Anon

    Fedup – Taqqiya on your part I’m afraid – savage put downs occur throughout the Middle East not just in those regimes that you don’t favour. Fact.

  • Fedup

    Anon
    Sanctimonious charade goes on…….. now Syria is replaced with :”savage put downs occur throughout the Middle East not just in those regimes that you don’t favour. Fact.”
    ,
    Not across the planet, and in UK they are called yobs and trouble makers and get six month jail time for taking a bottle of water to drink.
    ,
    Apparently the stereotypical generalisation only applies to Mid east, and we all know, which group of supremacists hold such a vile world view.
    ,

  • Clark

    Fedup, what figure for burnup do you have, and is that with reprocessing? Reactors certainly can produce power and weapon grade material simultaneously; the UK Magnox plants were designed to do just this. Producing plutonium inevitably produces lots of heat as well, so it makes sense to generate electricity as a by-product. What is your source? It looks a bit too pro-nuclear to me.

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    “the UK Magnox plants were designed to do just this. ”
    ,
    ,
    You are now grasping at straws. The power output from these reactors were as much as a small diesel powered electricity substation (emergencies for internal use). Further, the way these were driven to produce bomb making material, wound up in the mess that no one had anticipated.
    ,
    That is the trouble Clark, whence the levels of illiteracy among the body of experts is overlooked, with a view to facilitation of secondary and tertiary goals, the net result is always a cock up and a round of shit hitting the fans.
    ,
    Clark, read about Bikini Atoll hydrogen bomb detonations, the US luminaries engaged in manufacture of that bomb, were so out of whack with their science; that detonation resulted in two islands getting blown up. The scientific observers nearby getting nearly vaporised. As well as the comical scenes of these scientists getting evaced out of their bunkers clad in bed sheets thrown on them, that sported two eye-holes (Burka was invented in Bikini, hows about that for a Sun Headline?), for protection from fall out.
    ,
    The degrees of disinformation about nuclear power generation, have yielded an unbelievably bogus environment of scaremongering; great many falsehoods taken as gospel truths. Our current debate is in a fashion akin to comparing a modern day steam driven liner, to Turbinia! Arguing about the shortcomings of steam turbines.
    ,
    The nuclear sciences as well as reactor construction and control sciences have made huge leaps forward. However, the “possible” threats from this vital branch of science, has translated into an all out effort to stop the use of nuclear power generation.
    ,
    To ban construction and use of steel mills for production of steel because knives and guns can be made out of the steel manufactured, would sound ludicrous, and stupid. Alas in the same fashion banning the construction and use of nuclear power generation plants, has been made to appear to be a sane and logical move!
    ,
    Clark I know you favour nuclear power generation, however, the data at your disposal has been made available by the same pernicious agencies, who employed nuclear scientists with questionable degrees of literacy who easily could have blown themselves up along with their own inventions, as well as setting the scene for the release of controlled information on the subject. The subsequent fear and loathing of the nuclear sciences, has been on the lines of; in case the other guy wants to make the bomb too!
    ,

  • crab

    “A reactor that is running for bomb material production cannot produce power, and a reactor producing power, cannot make bomb material.”
    .
    That is an unusual claim. Can you explain or reference it?

  • Clark

    Fedup, the nuclear power generation issue is something I’ve been reading about since the Fukushima disaster. The issue seems highly polarised, with highly conflicting claims from the opposing parties. I have been deliberately reading diverse sources to assess the range of the controversy. You say I’m “grasping at straws”, but I’m not out to prove anything or support a particular viewpoint. Rather, I’m trying to assess the conflicting viewpoints in order to get a clearer view myself.
    .
    From Wikipedia, electrical power output per Magnox reactor ranged from 50MWe in 1958 to 490MWe in 1971, and per Maxnox power station from 200MWe to nearly a gigawatt. These are respectable output figures for the times they were constructed, way beyond “a small diesel powered electricity substation” (substations aren’t diesel powered and don’t generate power; they transform electrical voltage and current, and perform control, redistribution and telemetry functions).
    .
    The discrepancy between the above figures and your assertion suggest to me that your source is inaccurate, probably affected by the polarisation of the debate. Likewise with your claim for high fuel burnup (generation II reactors have burnup figures of about 6%). So please cite your sources so I can include them in my overall assessment.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Azra
    .
    It not this article over 2 years old? Oil can be traded for any currency but so far US remains the largest oil importer. China if makes its currency traded free in the world market might make it very competitive but then Chinese government will lose its control over subsidising Chinese export via artificially lowered exchange rates.

  • Azra

    Uzbeck, you are absolutely right it is dated October 2009 which I did not notice as the heading was on the front page of today’s independent online articles!

  • Azra

    Uzbek : do you think then going into Libya was a kind of warning to the Gulf States. (ie give the idea of trading in anything but Dollar otherwise….)

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Azra,
    .
    Was not there history of complicated relations between Gaddafi and the west , US in particular? Was not he called ‘Mad Dog’ and blamed for Lockerbie?
    .
    Trading oil for dollars of course plays in favour of US, but also the fact that US dollar is still major reserve currency and with troubles in Eurozone, with political situation in Russia and Chinese unwillingness to allow free trade of renminbi there is no other currency that could play this role. And as you might know at present there is not enough gold to replace all paper that is stack in various reserve banks.

  • Azra

    UzbeK : eh, didn’t Gaddafi gave up thoughts of nuclear weapon, etc. and was he not embraced by the international community and became a friend (at least for a time!).

    Didn’t Saadam also wanted to divert from dollar to other currencies ??

    Somehow I do believe currency plays a role in the conflicts created by USA and their poodles.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Azra
    .
    You might of course be right but oil comes first before currency. Ability to have influence over governments that rule the countries with oil is probably more important than currency for which oil is traded. Over 60% of oil traded in the world is bought by US and Europe and this alone would be sufficient to keep both dollar and Euro dominant currencies in oil trading. But this alone is not sufficient to guarantee economic development in those countries for which currencies oil is traded. On the other hand having puppet governments that would guarantee oil supply even for whichever currency is quite important for economic development and seems to be a priority behind war in Iraq.
    .
    Also just to let you know that share of Libya in world oil trade is less than 3% and considering this and your argument in support war for oil trade currency conspiracy this would not have made any hugely significant impact on overall US dollar global dominant position. For instance Russia that is second largest after Saudis oil exporter trades around 50% of its oil for Euros and other currencies and yet this has not brought US dollar down.

  • Azra

    Uzbek, If you look at the Mundi Index, actually 60% of oil is not imported by Europe and USA and by increase in the consumption by China, India, South Korea it is going to be even less than whatever percentage is today.

    EU purchases it oil from Russia, but do they pay in Euro or dollar for it? (I need to research that!). I would not be surprised that EU countries paid in dollar for their oil, they are so subservient to USA.
    There are too many who beleive petrodallr is one of the main reason if not the reason for the last ten years of ME being torn apart by the west. (glboal research, Foreign Policy Journal amongst many other).

  • Fedup

    Magnox is a now obsolete type of nuclear power reactor which was designed and is still in use in the United Kingdom, and was exported to other countries, both as a power plant, and, when operated accordingly, as a producer of plutonium for nuclear weapons.”
    ,
    ,
    ,

    “substations aren’t diesel powered”
    Going pedantic now, are we? Et tu Clark?
    ,
    Depending on the “station” we can assume all manner and variances thereof; watering substations are not diesel powered either, also food substations do not need diesel powered generators too.
    ,
    Best check your figures again, and soon you will find those figures are aggregate figures and wildly optimistic, the original reactor outputs were of the order of 5MW. Look around and you may actually find the correct answer. (the Windscale et al, truly dangerous and primitive attempts in reactor construction)
    ,
    ,
    ,
    The poisoned well of nuclear fuel burn-up issue that is the bread and butter issue of the “Greens” etc. has come to substitute for the outright opposition, given the current hydrocarbon pricing racket. The assumptions that are made, and often lacking any understanding of the issues, yield to all manner of wild speculations, with all manner of inaccuracies, but hey who cares, they are out to rubbish the industry anyway.
    ,
    ,
    Noting that despite the lower cost of nuclear fuel, compared to the the cost of a nuclear power plant. However, we find fuel is still expensive, prompting continuing efforts to increase performance of the existing fuel rods. This is achieved through increasing the energy obtained from each existing fuel pellet, in the way to offset against the costs of additional new fuel enrichment, and the cost of waste fuel management, and prohibitive costs of disposal.
    ,
    Further though the manufacture and disposal of fewer fuel assemblies. The balance of these costs and savings to date has favoured an increase in fuel burnup, although economic studies suggest that the additional costs for further burnup increases may not be so favourable in any given existing reactors.
    ,
    Clarke to upgrade the existing reactors will cost a great deal of money and economically makes no sense, however the new reactors coming on line already have these features built in and can enjoy the benefits outlined in above.
    ,
    Unfortunately most sources of any relevance (no histrionics and shrill cries of ban the bomb) are to be found in standard text books concerning the Pressurised Water Reactors. Do a search in Google books and you will find a some decent reading material.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Azra
    .
    If you look carefully at the mundi index chart amongst the countries with crude oil consumption of 1 million barrels a day or more US and European countries account for over 60% (as you need to discount countries like Russia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia as most of the oil they use is not imported).
    .
    According to some Russian web sites Russia does export oil for Euros and for rubles to former Soviet republics.

  • Clark

    Fedup, burnup is important because high burnup means less “spent fuel”, less reactor down-time for refueling, and less reprocessing; reducing any of these reduces costs. Increasing burnup is the primary method of “increasing the energy obtained from each existing fuel pellet”. If I remember rightly, the cost of uranium (as opposed to fabricated fuel elements) is a minor part of the overall cost of nuclear-generated electricity, so conservation of uranium is of little importance in terms of costs. In the longer term, burnup affects how long our reserves of uranium will last.
    .
    I’m not keen on your suggestion that I go and find “The Truth”. As I said, I already read diverse sources. Some claims I can check, others I can’t. Presumably, you are in the same situation; how am I supposed to judge whether your conclusions are accurate? Please just cite your sources so I can assess them.

  • Clark

    Fedup, there is a very active group campaigning for contemporary development of MSRs (Molten Salt Reactors) and thorium fuel cycles. Some of these people claim that vested interests within the established industry, primarily fuel fabricators and reprocessors, are distributing disinformation to discredit MSRs. Judging from the inaccuracies I’ve seen in some articles critical of MSRs and thorium, they could be right.

  • Azra

    Uzbek, yes, I realize that, but are you not forgetting that USA is the fourth largest oil producer (Arab league, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA, IRan… ) and UK produces some (North Sea) as well!

  • Azra

    Uzbek : Woops, mistake! don’t know how Arab League appeared in there! in fact USA is the 3rd largest oil producing country, it is just their consumption is so high that they need to import a lot.

  • crab

    “A reactor that is running for bomb material production cannot produce power, and a reactor producing power, cannot make bomb material.”

    “Magnox is a now obsolete type of nuclear power reactor which was designed and is still in use in the United Kingdom, and was exported to other countries, both as a power plant, and, +when operated accordingly+, as a producer of plutonium for nuclear weapons.”

    This citation did not support your previous assertion at all fedup, you should be able to understand that at least after a second take -and it is just one example of the kind of error you should not be making while dictating the state of nuclear technology here -and while complaining about being questioned on it. If a nuclear scientist commented here, they would be happy to see questions on their work, interest, testimoney – not fedup.

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