Jellyfish forcing a Scottish nuclear power plant to shut down its reactors? It’s not a fantasy …


Think those damn jellyfish are just a Mediterranean vacation problem? It turns out they got in and clogged the cooling water intake pipes to Scotland’s only active nuclear power plant at Torness, outside Dunbar, forcing the reactor to shut down. stop under an emergency procedure.

A commercial drone company called RUAS has asked the Civil Aviation Authority for a so-called temporary danger zone to be enforced around the site so that its pilots can fly observation drones at sea to register the invaders. and kelp in an early warning system, so that station water intake can be avoided with reduced and costly total shutdown.

If granted, it will apply from December until the end of February, and many drones will buzz like hornets.

The app says:

“The problem is that they are regularly affected either by jellyfish blooms or by marine infiltration, including microalgae, which block the entrance to the nuclear power plant.

“As a result, the reactor overheats due to the lack of a water intake that cools the reactor, creating the need to shut down the reactor completely as an emergency procedure. This has implications when they need to reactivate the reactor, which is expensive and time consuming. ”

It doesn’t sound healthy to me at all. The company also wants permission to fly drones, or BVLOS, the acronym for Beyond visual line of site, which means pilots on the ground will play with their gamepads and watch as they don’t hit seagulls or of boats on a video screen.

Just the kind of task you could do from the pub.

No change of sea

As protesters pack their backpacks on the eve of COP26 and delegates check to see if their private planes are refueled and ready to go, another major polluter, the massive cruise ship Serenade Of The Seas, is learned. , prepares the custom for its 274 days, the ocean churning of 65 countries around the globe and through plastic detritus.

Prices start at $ 61,000 per person, which is way cheaper than a Branson or Bezos rocket, but beyond the pocket of most.

from U.S.

But 274 days !? It’s nine months. There are shorter prison sentences for violence. After about a week on board, you would pray for an iceberg.

The ship, owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, features 13 decks, mini golf course, arcade, climbing wall, swimming pool, theater and spa , says my brochure. And dozens of bars and restaurants, of course.

It has a gas turbine engine with diesel reserve, which is slightly less polluting than its sister ship Harmony Of The Seas, which uses 66,000 gallons of diesel per day, but it uses more fuel and also releases bad toxins.

What they won’t tell you is that

Royal Caribbean has paid a record fine of $ 18million (around £ 13million) for illegally dumping tons of waste oil and chemicals into US waters. The Miami-based company admitted 21 counts of deliberately dumping oily bilge water and dangerous chemicals from its dry cleaning shops and photo printing and processing equipment in 1999.

The fine was so large because the crew lied to the US Coast Guard about slicks dragging their ships. But the evidence proved the company had engaged in a fleet-wide plot to dump oil in U.S. coastal waters.

“Royal Caribbean used our nation’s waters as a dumping ground, even as it branded itself as a ‘green’ environmental company,” then US Attorney General Janet Reno said.

Very expensive green place

JOE Biden is bringing an entourage of 900 with him to COP26 in Glasgow, although the main yins will stay near Edinburgh and be helicoptered.

If you can get a hotel room in Glasgow you will be in luck, but not when it comes to paying as you will be drier than the Gobi Desert and your temperature will add a degree or two to global warming.

At the time of writing, you could get a room for a week at the three-star Charing Cross Hotel for £ 9,114, the normal price being around £ 1,000.

There’s sort of a bargain at Wallace Budget Rooms – which is in Tradeston, not the prettiest part of town – down from £ 10,500 to £ 8,400. Usually it’s as low as £ 280.

Add to that striking workers and trains, and lawyers refusing to represent arrested protesters, and Glasgow is not the place to be in November.

A shaggy dog ​​story

THIS beats the ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse. “It was the bathwater that got me pregnant.”

I am indebted to LSE professor Marc David Baer for this information. In his book The Ottomans, he describes “deviant dervishes” who worshiped dance, wine and hashish, were “frequently intoxicated and screamed” and walked around almost naked, or banged in the air – which the delegates of the COP26 can also meet on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow.

There was a prominent one called Haji Bektash who had many female disciples, one of whom bore him three sons by drinking the holy man’s bath water.

Spur of the moment

MY son and a few of his friends were at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last Sunday to watch the NFL American Football game between the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In theory, each of the 60,000 people should have been doubly vaccinated, but there was no visible control and hardly anyone wore a mask. So, this was probably a superspreader event.

Covid infections are seeing a shocking increase. In the UK, they have increased by 35% in two weeks. In England, it is 38% in the same fortnight. And in Scotland, if the rate only increases 5%, it masks (pun intended) peaks of 26% in the Forth Valley and 32% in the Borders.

Either way, there is nothing to be proud of. Britain’s rate of 70 cases per 100,000

(46 in Scotland) contrasts with rates falling in Italy to five per 100,000 and, in France, to just 0.05 per 100,000.

And we keep doing nothing

about that.

Love is not drugs

It’s surprising but true that unlike here – at least for now – the United States does not regulate or negotiate the price of drugs. American pharmaceutical companies are content to set their own prices, as they see fit. What a joy for investors, but hell for the 25 million punters who cannot afford insurance.

In June of last year, as the pandemic raged, pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences set the price for Remdesivir – the first drug approved in the United States.

to treat Covid-19 – at $ 3,120 per treatment.

There are also what are called “patent thickets” where Big Pharma builds a large number of often meaningless patents around a product that competitors have to challenge in court for years and at great expense before. to be able to market competing products.

For example, AbbVie, which sells the world’s best-selling drug Humira (it’s to treat Crohn’s disease) has filed 257 related patent applications. Fight your way through it. This is one of the reasons it costs $ 7,389 (£ 5,600) for a month’s supply.

But for the NHS, that’s the kind of price we would pay here for essential drugs.

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