On 8 January at the suggestion of SONE member, Malcolm Savidge, the Cirencester Science and Technology Society hosted a lecture on “Nature, Nuclear Energy and Life”. On 25 January SONE members attended an open “Stargazing” event hosted by the Oxford Physics Department.
Some cuttings from the daily press by James Lovelock and Sir Bernard Ingham. “A Message for Society from Science” published in Oxford at the end of 2019 by Wade Allison. News of bizarre political decisions that will lead to self-harm by EU. A discussion on synthetic fuels with Christopher Cockcroft.
All General Election candidates have received an open letter organised by the Nuclear Industry Association and signed by many familiar names. You can read it by clicking here. Though it reads well, it lets the “renewables” off too lightly, I argue.
26th July 2019 is the 100th Birthday of James Lovelock CH CBE FRS, Patron of SONE, Lovelock is the doyen of the broad scientific study of the environment and its future including the part that nuclear energy should play. In the 1970s he developed the Gaia Theory, a description of the two-way dynamic relationship between life and its environment.
The website for the Moltex Molten Salt Reactor is offering an investment opportunity open during May and June. I understand that this offer is well subscribed and any SONE member who is interested may have to act quickly to avoid disappointment. (This is not a recommendation, but SONE will alert members whenever such a new opportunity to support nuclear energy initiatives in the UK comes to our attention.)
A resolution to cease carbon emissions, as passed by Parliament with great fanfare, achieves nothing unless a thought-out plan follows. The solution should come from advances in science and technology, everyone supposes. These two, science and technology, get conflated by commentators who would benefit from studying the difference.
A Good News Month – mostly There have been a few seminal moments in industrial history when a whole new vision of the future appeare. I think of Brunel’s Great Britain, Stephenson’s Rocket and the repeal of the Red Flag Act in 1896 when a new more realistic idea of safety on the roads allowed an avalanche of new development to begin.
Energy, life and the environment renewables, fossil fuel and nuclear. To most creatures energy means food and warmth. Squirrels may hedge against changing conditions by simply hoarding nuts, but early humans expanded their interest in energy as they learnt to use fire, power mills and sail ships.
A time to look forward – the future for nuclear. We live in exciting times, and I mean that in a positive sense. The benefit of new nuclear is evident from the large plants now coming online in China. The future for the UK is fraught with major financial and political hurdles but the investment has to be made if the UK is to thrive.
The future prospects for successful energy production are crystal clear, unlike other matters that face nations today. The only feasible solution is nuclear deployed on a grand scale, although there is a healthily wide choice of actual designs to choose from.
Alan Woods described the ideas behind the 440 MWe small reactor that the consortium lead by Rolls Royce has proposed to the UK Government. Unlike many of the other designs that are jostling for attention and support around the world, including the UK, it is based on standard PWR (Pressurised Water Reactor) technology with standard fuel.