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* Posts by Symon

526 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009

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MIT boffins moot tsunami-proof floating nuke power plants

Symon
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Re: Security risks

If the sodium leaks, bomb it with chlorine and sprinkle the remains on your chips! It's interesting that the fact that sodium reacts with trace water and oxygen, protects other components in the reactor.

From the wikipedia...

"Unlike reactors that use relatively slow low energy (thermal) neutrons, fast-neutron reactors need nuclear reactor coolant that does not moderate or block neutrons (like water does in an LWR) so that they have sufficient energy to fission actinide isotopes that are fissionable but not fissile. The core must also be compact and contain as small amount of material that might act as neutron moderators as possible. Metal sodium (Na) coolant in many ways has the most attractive combination of properties for this purpose. In addition to not being a neutron moderator, desirable physical characteristics include:

Low melting temperature. Low vapor pressure. High boiling temperature. Excellent thermal conductivity. Low viscosity. Light weight. Thermal and radiation stability.

Other benefits:

Abundant and low cost material. Cleaning with chlorine produces non-toxic table salt. Compatible with other materials used in the core (does not react or dissolve stainless steel) so no special corrosion protection measures needed. Low pumping power (from light weight and low viscosity). Maintains an oxygen (and water) free environment by reacting with trace amounts to make sodium oxide or sodium hydroxide and hydrogen, thereby protecting other components from corrosion. Light weight (low density) improves resistance to seismic inertia events (earthquakes.)

Drawbacks:

Extreme fire hazard with any significant amounts of air (oxygen) and spontaneous combustion with water, rendering sodium leaks and flooding dangerous. This was the case at the Monju Nuclear Power Plant in a 1995 accident and fire. Reactions with water produce hydrogen which can be explosive. Sodium activation product (isotope) 24Na releases dangerous energetic photons when it decays (however it has a very short half-life of 15 hours). Reactor design keeps 24Na in the reactor pool and carries away heat for power production using a secondary sodium loop, adding costs to construction and maintenance.

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Symon
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Alert

Re: .. Fukishima Residents Never Allowed Home?

What's more dangerous, a nuclear power plant or doctors?

Fukushima, 1000 excess cancer deaths from radiation. (If you believe Frank N. von Hippel)

Chernobyl, Greenpeace say 200,000 excess caner deaths. (Probably a massive overestimate)

America, about 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes. That's per year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iatrogenesis

(It's likely that the excess cancer deaths above are huge overestimates, but I included the biggest ones I could find for comparison purposes.)

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Symon
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Mushroom

Re: Security risks

Build an Integral Fast Reactor.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/dec/05/sellafield-nuclear-energy-solution

"Conventional nuclear power uses just 0.6% of the energy contained in the uranium that fuels it. Integral fast reactors can use almost all the rest. There is already enough nuclear waste on earth to meet the world's energy needs for several hundred years, with scarcely any carbon emissions. IFRs need be loaded with fissile material just once. From then on they can keep recycling it, extracting ever more of its energy, until a small fraction of the waste remains. Its components have half-lives of tens, rather than millions, of years. This makes them more dangerous in the short term but much easier to manage in the long term. When the hot waste has been used up, the IFRs can be loaded with depleted uranium (U-238), of which the world has a massive stockpile

The material being reprocessed never leaves the site: it remains within a sealed and remotely operated recycling plant. Anyone trying to remove it would quickly die. By ensuring the fissile products are unusable, the IFR process reduces the risk of weapons proliferation. The plant operates at scarcely more than atmospheric pressure, so it can't blow its top. Better still, it could melt down only by breaking the laws of physics. If the fuel pins begin to overheat, their expansion stops the fission reaction. If, like the Fukushima plant, an IFR loses its power supply, it simply shuts down, without human agency. Running on waste, with fewer pumps and valves than conventional plants, they are also likely to be a good deal cheaper."

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Symon
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Re: Fukushima

All they had to do was put the diesel generators on the roof. Then the coolant pumps could have been kept running.

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Symon
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Mushroom

@TRT

Just so you know, there's about 4.5 billion tons of uranium in seawater already. Maybe that gives you a sense of perspective.

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2012/ph241/ferguson2/

You might also find this interesting.

"A key consideration here is that we can measure radiation at any amount. You need trillions of atoms of mercury, lead or any other toxic chemical to see them at all, but we can see one atom disintegrating.

The good thing is – we can see every atom.

The bad thing is – we can see every atom.

This double-edged sword makes it difficult for the public to evaluate anything associated with nuclear and makes everyone freak out every time something happens, no matter how small."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/03/05/wipp-is-still-the-best-and-only-choice-for-nuclear-waste/

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Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?

Symon
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Tesco.

I was in Tesco the other day, and they have a 'going out of date' section. I bought a trifle that had about 1100 calories in it, half my daily needs. It cost 27p and had all the major food groups, i.e. dairy, fruit, sponge and jelly. Lovely.

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Cheat Win XP DEATH: Little-known tool to save you from the XPocalypse

Symon
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Re: Danger Will Robinson

@auburnman.

"And that's what I've done. Maintained it for 20 years. This old broom's had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time."

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Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Symon
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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

Symon
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Re: Isn't this...

Hmmm, a laser might not be enough. You probably need an elephant gun.

Burt Gummer: Broke into the wrong goddamn rec room, didn't ya you bastard!

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Dear Reg: What is a 'Lag' and a 'Jacksey'?

Symon
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Re: Oh Cecilia!

You're shaking my confidence daily.

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Inmarsat: Doppler effect helped 'locate' MH370

Symon
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Re: It's got a beat!

The bigger mistake is thinking it's 8 parts per 10,000 when it's actually 8 parts per 10,000,000. See my post above.

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Symon
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FAIL

19th Century Physics Fail.

"If we ignore the Reuter's “19th century physics” angle, that's still an impressively accurate frequency resolution: taking the cruising velocity of the aircraft as around 250 m/second, its impact on a 1 GHz signal would be a change of around 0.08 per cent, even if MH370 had been flying directly at the satellite."

Where do I start on this?

1) As any 19th century physicist will tell you, Fo=FV(V +/- Vs)

2) So, the percentage change in observed frequency Fo is unrelated to the absolute value of the actual frequency F, it is simply (1 - V/(V +/- Vs)). 100%. No need to mention 1GHz at all.

3) V, the velocity of the waves, = c in this case, i.e. ~300e6 m/s. Vs, the velocity of the source, is about 250m/s. So, the percentage change is 8.3e-7.100= 8.3e-5 = 0.000083%. The article is out by three orders of magnitude.

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Whitehall and Microsoft thrashing out 1-year NHS WinXP lifeline

Symon
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Megaphone

Re: Nice to see...

As any cyclist will tell you, there's no such thing as Road Fund License anymore. It stopped in 1936. What you are talking about is Vehicle Excise Duty, which is a tax on a vehicle's emissions. Road maintenance is funded out of general taxation. Just saying...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_Fund

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Bono bests Bezos in Fortune's 'World's 50 Greatest Leaders' list

Symon
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Stop

Re: This is a joke?

From the Daily Fail.

"Of course, no one can begrudge Bono the wealth he has made. What does leave him open to those accusations of hypocrisy is U2's decision ... to move part of its multi-million pound operation (the band is the world's most profitable, earning £141million last year) from Ireland to Amsterdam after the Irish government announced it was reforming its famously lenient tax laws for artists."

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Every little helps: Dirty MOLE BANDITS clean out Tesco ATM from BELOW

Symon
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Holmes

DS Mark Toker?

What has he been smoking?

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

Symon
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Paris Hilton

Your lupins or your life.

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore

Riding through the land

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore

Without a merry band

He steals from the poor

And gives to the rich

Stupid bitch

"Wait a tic... blimey, this redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought."

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Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

Symon
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Re: Equal or !=

@Pete. It's not PC gone mad. It's PC gone mentally challenged. Thanks.

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What have Cherie Blair, Jonathan Porritt and El Reg's mobile desk got in common?

Symon
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Megaphone

Porritt is wrong. Just wrong.

Even George Monbiot knows we've got to build more nuclear power. Not Porritt though, along with his cronies he wrote a letter to the PM. Here's an extract from Monbiot's reply:-

"... the 12 March [Porritt] letter focuses significantly on economics, in short, arguing that nuclear is too expensive. We would point out that even if this were true, the writers themselves would have helped make it so by devoting decades to campaigning against the technology during their tenures at Friends of the Earth. In addition, if anyone has yet invented an inexpensive low-carbon energy source, we have yet to hear about it – Friends of the Earth today campaigns vociferously in favour of the retention of the solar feed-in-tariff, which delivers perhaps the most expensive, unreliable and socially regressive electricity ever deployed anywhere. Once again, we would refer you to the Climate Change Committee, which found that nuclear was potentially the cheapest of all low-carbon options available by 2030 (appendix 2)."

http://www.monbiot.com/2012/03/15/a-letter-to-david-cameron/

Further reading:- http://www.monbiot.com/category/nuclear/

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Symon
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Meh

b3ta.com They're already at it.

e.g. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/scaryduck/000000_zpsff405985.jpg

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

Symon
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Re: Here's more sensible analysis...

Too soon?

http://www.b3tards.com/u/06fcfde66d4d6d6f8f8a/missing.jpg

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GRAV WAVE TSUNAMI boffinry BONANZA – the aftershock of the universe's Big Bang

Symon
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Paris Hilton

Re: Congratulations to the team ...

Phil, are you saying Barraco Barner didn't deserve his? Shurely shome mishtake...

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ZEPPELINS to replace Goodyear blimps in American skies

Symon
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Couldn't resist, sorry.

Frank: It's the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girl dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day.

Jane: Goodyear?

Frank: No, the worst.

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Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth

Symon
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Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

@Terry, I agree with you. The point was that a pedantic grammar Nazi would raise a question, not beg it!

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Symon
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Headmaster

Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

@Dan, Lost.

If you're going to use the pedantic grammar Nazi icon, at least educate yourselves on what 'begging the question' actually means. Thanks awfully.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

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What did you see, Elder Galaxies? What made you age so quickly?

Symon
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Headmaster

Re: Run that by me again...

"begs the question"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

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CIA hacked Senate PCs to delete torture reports. And Senator Feinstein is outraged

Symon
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Stop

Re: Blimey." I see Pinko Commie Faggots"

"Feinstein...sexual habits".

I need my brains erased with mind rubbers.

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Indestructible Death Stars blow up planets with glowing KILL RAY

Symon
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Mushroom

Indestructible?

You'll being eating your words in a few million years time when Theta1 Orionis C blows up. Not due to "The Force" so much, but due to "The Physics".

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Neil Young touts MP3 player that's no Piece of Crap

Symon
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Megaphone

Re: CAPS LOCK MUSIC

The best speaker wire is ribbon cable. Fits nicely under the carpet!

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Zaphod Beeblebrox style third arm cyborg prosthesis unveiled

Symon
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Alert

Re: He's looking quite healthy...

Well, where I'm from it means you're dead. After all, the word is a portmanteau of electricity and executed. That said, it seems that the usage is different in some places, and for some it can mean seriously injured as well as killed.

Anyway, you should be more careful!

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Symon
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Headmaster

He's looking quite healthy...

...for someone who's been 'electrocuted'.

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WHOA: Get a load of Asteroid DX110 JUST MISSING planet EARTH

Symon
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Facepalm

It was bound to miss this time. The journo failed to properly read the link he posted. The one in 10 million chance of collision is in 2046. Obviously! It missed by a quarter of a million miles this time, FFS.

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Symon
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FAIL

Re: "the chance of an Earth impact are one-in-ten-million."

The 1 in 10^7 impact risk is not for this pass. It's for a pass in 2046.

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Symon
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Coat

It's right just after teatime where I am. I believe so anyway, as long as 'right just after' is the tautology I think it is.

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Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

Symon
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Facepalm

Re: Cs-137 plume

@Fortran.

Talking of WIPP, they had a radiation leak there on Feb. 14th. A tiny amount of radiation was released, and yet the media are in uproar.

At least Forbes has a balanced view.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/03/05/wipp-is-still-the-best-and-only-choice-for-nuclear-waste/

"You need trillions of atoms of mercury, lead or any other toxic chemical to see them at all, but we can see one atom disintegrating. The good thing is – we can see every atom. The bad thing is – we can see every atom."

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Chillax, cranky commentards: Anger can KILL YOU

Symon
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Megaphone

Re: Breaking news...

@Chris, careful now. Think of the health risks associated with being pissed off with someone who, while trying to be clever, can't use punctuation or even have the common courtesy to proofread their comments. It makes me mad. Fuckers.

Whoops.

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Cable thieves hang up on BT, cause MAJOR outage

Symon
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Megaphone

Re: The biggest hurdle

@Terry, of course she doesn't. It's a typical attack against political correctness. PC has done a lot to help the lives of millions of people. Have a listen to that fat, Terry Christian look-a-like, Stewart Lee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmsV1TuESrc

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French youth faces court for illegal drone flight

Symon
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Megaphone

Re: Congratulations

It would not funny to use the term "Nancy Boy" in this article, in the same way it wouldn't be funny to use the term "Mong Boy" if someone took videos of the South Downs. That's because there's no connection between the phrase and the article's subject matter. If the youth had used his big chopper to spy on his cheating boyfriend in Nancy, then maybe it would be funny and clever. The whole political correctness issue is moot, there's no gay connection to this story whatsoever.

Now, if you want to discuss political correctness, let me point you in the direction of the increasingly fat stand up comedian Stewart Lee. He said:-

"It really worries me that 84% of this audience agrees with that statement, because the kind of people that say "political correctness gone mad" are usually using that phrase as a kind of cover action to attack minorities or people that they disagree with. I'm of an age that I can see what a difference political correctness has made. When I was four years old, my grandfather drove me around Birmingham, where the Tories had just fought an election campaign saying, "if you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour," and he drove me around saying, "this is where all the niggers and the coons and the jungle bunnies live." And I remember being at school in the early 80s and my teacher, when he read the register, instead of saying the name of the one asian boy in the class, he would say, "is the black spot in," right? And all these things have gradually been eroded by political correctness, which seems to me to be about an institutionalised politeness at its worst. And if there is some fallout from this, which means that someone in an office might get in trouble one day for saying something that someone was a bit unsure about because they couldn't decide whether it was sexist or homophobic or racist, it's a small price to pay for the massive benefits and improvements in the quality of life for millions of people that political correctness has made. It's a complete lie that allows the right, which basically controls media now, and international politics, to make people on the left who are concerned about the way people are represented look like killjoys. And I'm sick, I'm really sick-- 84% of you in this room that have agreed with this phrase, you're like those people who turn around and go, "you know who the most oppressed minorities in Britain are? White, middle-class men." You're a bunch of idiots."

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China confirms Jade Rabbit lunar rover has conked out

Symon
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Flame

Re: IT 0, LP 1 (but don't worry, it's not about climate change)

The Soviets used strontium 90 in their RTGs, instead of that imperialist Plutonium. Check out this movie, which uses one as a cool plot device!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_I_Ended_This_Summer

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Mars rover Curiosity snaps 'pale blue dot' image of Earth, Moon

Symon
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"We look very small indeed."

OK, one last time. These are small... but the ones out there are far away. Small... far away... ah forget it!

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Greenland glacier QUADRUPLES speed, swells seas

Symon
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Mushroom

Re: ReduceGHGs

@Vlad, right! You'd think Greenpeace et al would love nuclear, especially breeder reactors. They are, by any reasonable definition of the term, renewable.

http://sustainablenuclear.org/PADs/pad11983cohen.pdf

"Since energy sources derived from the sun are called “renewable,” that adjective apparently means that they will be available in undiminished quantity at present costs for as long as the current relationship between the sun and Earth persists, about 5 billion years. It is the purpose of this note to show that breeder reactors using nuclear fission fulfil this definition of a renewable energy source, and in fact can supply all the world’s energy needs at present costs for that time period."

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Stephen Fry rewrites computer history again: This time it's serious

Symon
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Re: Somebody put it far better than I could...

@Horrid. You beat me to Julie Burchill's assessment! At least it was probably her.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/columnists/julie-burchill/julie-burchill-gay-man-lays-into-women-fine-but-when-its-the-other-way-around-2123387.html

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Fancy a little kinky sex? GCHQ+NSA will know - thanks to ANGRY BIRDS

Symon
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Black Helicopters

Protections for “innocent foreign citizens.”

Leila: What if he's innocent?

Agent Rogersz: No one is innocent.

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Boffins: Antarctic glacier in irreversible decline, will raise sea levels by 1cm

Symon
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Megaphone

@Hubert

Ah, a popular topic on these forums. Ever since Thomas Malthus published "An Essay on the Principle of Population" in 1798, people have predicted a catastrophe and a return to subsistence existence because of population rise. Even clever folks like Paul Ehrlich. Guess what? It never happened. The green revolution happened instead, and, for example, from 1961 until 2005 food production per capita increased 25%. As more parts of the world become industrialised, food production will continue to rise and birth rates will fall. There won't be a Malthusian catastrophe, or to use your phrase, Malthusian theory is "utter bollocks".

Instead, we have found that the world's large population has produced the greatest period of technological growth ever. The drive to feed, clothe, water, home, medicate, educate etc. the populace has driven enormous improvements in health, longevity, and every other measure of human well-being. As Frank Zappa would've told you, necessity is the mother of invention.

If you're interested in further reading may I suggest you start from here:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe#Criticism

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Chinese Moon rover, lander duo wake up after two-week snooze

Symon
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Coat

Re: @ Dalek Dave

@Dave,

Read this webpage and fuck off. Thanks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism

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Classy Oregon diners tipped waitress with 'crystal meth' – cops

Symon
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Pirate

Re: WTF..

Is it meant to show her innards?

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Symon
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Mushroom

Re: "a meth lab comprising a small torch, batteries and other items",

I read someone that the primary detection method that the cops use for finding meth labs is to turn up at the site of an explosion. Awil, allow me to second your icon!

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NSA refuses to deny spying on members of Congress

Symon
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Re: Collect

@AC 04:41

Actually it's Ms. Manning these days. Just saying.

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'BILLION-YEAR DISK' to help FUTURE LIFEFORMS study us

Symon
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Alien

Re: So in a few millenia..

CATS: You have no chance to survive make your time.

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Now THAT'S a sunroof: Solar-powered family car emerges from Ford labs

Symon
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Re: So at last a usable hybrid for modern city living?

If you live in the city, I expect you'll be taking the bus, cycling, walking... ?

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