Oh, look, Trident hunting drones

Last week, the Shadow defence secretary, Emily Thornberry, was criticised- some would say mocked- by the pro-apocalypse wing of the Labour Party after she said that there could soon be sea going drones capable of tracking nuclear submarines. The Trident supporters lined up to smugly report that such devices were impossible.

So imagine my surprise when I read this morning that DARPA has a drone submarine hunter built and ready to undergo sea trials. It’s shocking that the Armageddon apologists could be wrong. I guess they’ve put so much faith in the incredible powers of Trident, that they can’t conceive any of the ways in which the system is flawed or could be compromised.

Drone sub hunter versus not-quite-stealthy-enough sub, the future of the world at stake. I think I have to store that one away as a potential story.

(Not) Going Underground 1

BBC News – Cumbria nuclear project rejected by councillors.

About twenty years ago I had a Summer job entering and editing geological data from boreholes in West Cumbria.   Working on five (or possibly ten, it was two decades ago, I can’t remember every detail) metres of core sample at a time, a team of geologists were noting every vein, fissure and fracture and detailing thickness, angle etc..  They were drawing up an image of the geological stability, and therefore suitability for long term nuclear waste storage, of the rocks under the Lake District.

At the time, I was of the opinion that Cumbria would get the deep storage even if there were more suitable places to put it.  The area was resolutely Labour and the Tory government would be less worried about pissing off people who weren’t going to vote for them anyway.  When the Summer was over I went back to university and more or less forgot about the problems of long term nuclear waste storage.  So it was something of a surprise to find that it was still an issue, and that a decision hadn’t yet been made.

Given that one of the proposed locations was Ennerdale- just over the hill from my parents’ house and unspoilt but for a bit of forestry- I’m glad that Cumbria County Council have said no.  The declaration by Copeland Borough Council that they might “go it alone” is disappointing, though.

We’ll be searching for the people that never never went to war

Submarines in the harbour
Submarines of your dreams
not mine
The red red sky
must take the price
For giving to the people
who never never go to war

We’re glad it’s all over
We’re glad it’s all over
We’re glad it’s all over
We’re glad it’s all over

Hidden tunnels
secret items
guarded fences
Planet earth
resting ground
right now
The blue blue moon
knows that soon
We’ll be searching for the people
that never never went to war

We’re glad it’s all over
We’re glad it’s all over

The red red sky
must take the price
The red red sky
is giving to the people
that never never go to war

We’re glad it’s all over
We’re glad it´s all over
We’re glad it’´s all over…

Captain Sensible – Glad It’s All Over

The NRDC Archive of Nuclear Data

Yes, that’s right, new-clear. Say nukular and I may have to slap you. 1

It seems the Republicans have been listening to my rants every time Wubble U mispronounces nuclear. From the transcript of Palin’s acceptance speech-

Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines … build more new-clear plants … create jobs with clean coal … and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources.

I heard a BBC continuity announcer say nukular the other night. There was some choice language aimed at the television.

[I still don’t think nuclear is any sort of answer- too long to build, far more expensive in the long run than they promise and just another example of governments thinking big when they should just be thinking- but correct pronunciation of the word is a matter of principle.]

via Talking Points Memo