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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Dalgety Bay - Before the "Environmental" Miserabilists Arrived

   I have been sent this by Malcolm Parkin who is a regular in the letter columns of the Scotsman and other Scottish newspapers. It is unedited except for some underlinings of my own which relate to the "radium" issue I am concerned with.

I well remember RAF Donibristle, near Dalgety Bay, when it was active in the fifties. A part of it was known as HMS Merlin due to a Naval presence. Donibristle was eventually used to scrap aircraft and small ships, and to dismantle them for parts, and then eventually all kinds of military kit and vehicles were scrapped there.

There always a headline when some local kid found a hand grenade, usually from an army personnel carrier that had not been properly checked. Aircraft used to arrive with parachutes and overalls still in them. A mate of mine got a pair of pilots gloves out of a wrecked Harvard.

Nobody gave a thought to radioactivity, because there was only the fluorescence and luminescence (radium) from aircraft instruments, and they were usually taken away from the site anyway. Some flammable parts (wiring harnesses, doped fabric airframe covering, rubber tyres, and paperwork mainly) were burnt in huge fires that used to give off strange explosions and vast toxic fumes. The ashes were then put on the beach to be washed away. The smell was fantastic.

I salvaged maintenance manuals and pilots notes for dozens of aircraft types before they were burnt. I also got a fair number of rounds of 0.5 inch Browning machine gun ammunition from some scrapped Mk 5 Spitfires. The precautions and procedures used then would certainly not pass muster today. The whole place was wide open for access day and night, and scrap merchants would arrive with trucks and just take stuff away.

When it was all eventually cleared up, the smooth concrete slab runways and perimeter track were quickly used for unofficial car and bike racing until about 1966, and this only stopped as factories began to be built, and builders debris began to appear on the runways. It was also a popular place for domestic driving lessons as I remember. The runways began to break up naturally, but mostly from the wear of the plant and machinery used by the factory builders. There were also complaints about noise from the owners of the new houses in the area. They would call the Fife cops, who would casually arrive and watch with interest for a while, before asking us to move on. If something really good was going on, they would sit for half an hour or so, until we had finished.

In 1967 I drove one of the last “unofficial” 100mph sprints on runway 07 / 25 for the Lothian Car Club, who used it for high speed manoeuvrability competitions. There was a goodly crowd of enthusiasts from afar, who had gathered to watch when word got out.

Afterwards, we all went to a pub in Hillend, and got thoroughly ratted before driving home over the recently (1964) opened Forth Road Bridge.

Great days.

Regards : Malcolm

  Nowadays with so many nanny state regulators desperately looking for something to regulate we wouldn't get away with anything like that.

  However how does it affect the current case? Well it looks like they disassembled significantly more than the 20 aircraft I assumed. On the other hand the interesting stuff was "usually" taken away and then a second time anything interesting would be taken away by scrappies. Combining those it looks like my estimate of 0.26 of a gram left was well on the high side and it may very well be that all of the dials were taken away, leaving no radium.

  Since SEPA have said that they have no information about how many aircraft were disassembled I will, in a spirit of being helpful, pass this on to them. It may not be a detailed account of the disassembling but it is certainly more than SEPA had when they started this fiasco.

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Friday, April 06, 2012

Bosnia and Hercegovina - 20 Years on - The Media Celebrates

  On the BBC this morning they were wittering on about the war in B&H which, if the BBC are to be trusted, was started by the Serbs refusing to accept a referendum for "independence".

   This is not true. Though the Serbs had the law on their side over the referendum. Not only did the constitution require 2/;3rd of the population to support any change, but under that constitution, with its presidency rotating among all the community leaders, the lawful president if B&H was not the Moslem leader and former WW2 Nazi, Alia Izetbegovic, but the Serb leader Radovan Karadzic (now being "tried" by NATO for opposing secession). In fact the fighting started when the (ex-)Nazi Moslems deliberately shot up a wedding party.
Karadzic began his cross-examination by showing the witness minutes from a session of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina held on March 2, 1992.
The presidency was discussing the murder of the father of the bridegroom at a wedding party because he was carrying a Serb flag in the Sarajevo neighborhood of Bascarsija. Karadzic also showed the witness exhibit D385, which was a police report on the crime.

Mandic told the court about the incident saying, "We, from the Crime Prevention Service that I headed, knew who the perpetrator was, Delalic, Rasim, and that he was in a house at Bistrik. However, we were not in a position to arrest him or to take any measures because the Patriotic League and the reserve police force were guarding him. The reserve police from Stari Grad Police Station, headed by Dahic, Ismet, at that point they had between 600 and 1,000 men. Of course, all of them were ethnic Muslims, and that was a major problem."
Karadzic asked the witness, "Do you remember that the killer was treated as a hero and that he appeared very soon on television to explain why he had killed that member of the wedding party?" Mandic responded, "Yes, he was invited to a TV show."
As a result of the killing, and subsequent protection of the killer by the Muslim police, Serbs in Sarajevo erected barricades.
Delalic, Rasim does not appear among the list of people brought to "trial" by the NATO funded "court" but then he isn't a Serb.

The BBC then moved on to the "Srebrenica massacre". Moving even further from being a news organisation into an openly racist propaganda one they asserted as fact that the "official" massacre (A) happened, (B) was the only massacre worth mentioning and (C) was the worst atrocity in Europe since WW2. All these are total lies.

(A) There is no evidence whatsoever that the massacre of 7,000/;8,000/11,000/15,000 Moslem soldiers ever took place. The total number of bodies found is under 2,000 which matches the number of combat casualties the Moslem forces have claimed. When Izetbegovic first made the massacre claim it was accepted that the garrison of the town was 7,500 and he claimed they were all missing. It is now known that at least 7,000 of them reached Moslem lines and were transferred to the Tuzla front, without even being allowed to contact their families. The various "mass graves" that NATO claimed to have detected by satellite, during the war, turned out to be empty - but , as with the size of the garrison, the story was changed.

(B) While there is no evidence, beyond one dubious "eye witness" that the "official" massacre ever happened there was a genuine massacre and of civilians. NATO had reached a deal whereby the town would become a "safe area" with the Moslem militia disarmed. Having reached the deal they not only did not enforce it they did far worse. Moslem Nazis were given free reign to pass through the NATO "safe" lines to attack surrounding villages, inhabited mainly by women, children and old men. They murdered 3870 identified victims. This is not disputed - it was even acknowledged by General Morrilon, the NATO commander at the time, on oath during the Milosevic "trial" - it is simply censored on all occasions, by our "free" media.

    Defining the killing of soldiers trying to kill you, as genocide is a new interpretation. No such doubt exists about the murder of thousands of unarmed civilians purely because of their race. Nasir Oric, the Moslem commander was so proud of this that he showed western journalist videos of him beheading civilians taken from his extensive home video collection. The Toronto Star and Washington Post reported this but the British media decided this was not newsworthy. Obviously the NATO funded "court" would only have prosecuted Oric for this genocide had it been interested in justice rather than promoting racist smears and thus they didn't.

(C) At almost the same time the Croatians, led by former Nazi Franjo Tudjman, broke through the UN ceasefire lines to invade the Serbian province of Krajina. This attack is widely known to have been organised by American and British staff officers and largely armed by Germany. It had NATO air support. Quarter of a million people were driven from their homes. About half of them are still "missing". Even the fact that the Croatians murdered the UN troops maning the dividing line did not stir any media interest, at least in the NATO countries.

  By any objective standards the permanent "disappearance" of 125,000 people, mainly civilians, is far worse than the "official" Srebrenica massacre would be, had it ever happened.

   Of course over the years our media have ratcheted up hatred against many countries, in preparation for bombing.

   The "incubator babies" story about the Kuwait invasion is now acknowledged to be false. As were Iraq's WMDs. The claims that Gaddafi handed out viagra to his black troops to assist them in raping gas had no subsequent evidential basis. Far more people are being killed and tortured there now than beffore we "liberated" Libya. In Syria the claims that 18 babies died when Syrian troops cut off a hospital's electricity in one day, or that the numerous terrorist bombs set off in areas loyal to Assad were actually set off by his forces seems surprising.

   Of course it is possible that the BBC and other British media are, in the latter cases, demonstrating infinitely more commitment to the truth in the various things they report today, than they did over Yugoslavia, but there is no particular reason to think so.

   For example I have yet to see any mention of Al Quaeda's contribution to the "democracy" movement in both Libya and Syria. Our relations with these terrorists seems to have come full circle. They used to be our allies in fighting the occupation of Afghanistan (by the USSR) and provided most of the non-conscript troops on the "Bosnian people's war for independence" (Babar Ahmed whom we are now trying to extradite was one). Then, following 9/11 we engaged in a "war on terror" with them, which though it killed fewer than die on the roads on a busy weekend, significantly eroded our freedom. Now they are back to being our allies in attacking small countries again.

PS. This is going out as a letter. It will be interesting to see if any part of the British media feels able to, even in an edited version, allow the publication of anything honest on this subject.

UPDATE I should have confirmed that the Independent did not publish the shortened version of the letter they had promised to. I guess I was so unsurprised to find censorship in the Nazi cause being maintained. My thanks to the commentor who mentioned it and I agree with him that the ICTY decision not to bring Nasir Oric to trial for the undisputed genocide of at least 3,800 Serb civilians is incompatible with any claim that any member of the ICTY, or their paymasters, is not a wholly corrupt racist Nazi & the entire "trial" system a racist farce

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Professor Bernard L Cohen - R.I.P

  On 17th March Professor Bernard L Cohen died.

  I first read of Professor Cohen in the late Professor John McCarthy's site when he reported on his calculation of the amount of usable uranium available from seawater.
Cohen calculates that we could take 16,000 tonne per year of uranium from seawater, which would supply 25 times the world's present electricity usage and twice the world's present total energy consumption. He argues that given the geological cycles of erosion, subduction and uplift, the supply would last for 5 billion years with a withdrawal rate of 6,500 tonne per year. The crust contains 6.5x10^13 tonne of uranium.

He comments that lasting 5 billion years, i.e. longer than the sun will support life on earth, should cause uranium to be considered a renewable resource.

  I personally made use of this in a speech to the LibDems. In fact this calculation is most useful in making the point simply. The amount of radioactives in the ground enormously exceeds that in the sea it is simply that the seawater calculation is indisputable as is the fact that it can be recovered. Thus there is no possibility of the human race running out of power, unless we deliberately decide to do so.

   Professor Cohen was also responsible for the largest statistical study of background radiation levels across the US, compared with health, which thoroughly and apparently successfully (nobody has suggested other factors which could account for it)  disproved the radiation LN theory & found a positive effect from radiation of roughly half the negative effect of smoking.
...We compiled hundreds of thousands of radon measurements from several sources to give the average radon level (r) in homes for 1729 US counties, well over half of all US counties and comprising about 90% of the total US population
We see a clear tendency for m [age adjusted lung cancer rates] to decrease with increasing r [radon level], in sharp contrast to the increase expected from the supposition that radon can cause lung cancer, shown by the line labelled "theory". ...

Since no other plausible explanation has been found after years of effort by myself and others, I conclude that the most plausible explanation for our discrepancy is that the linear no-threshold theory fails, grossly over-estimating the cancer risk in the low dose, low dose rate region. There are no other data capable of testing the theory in that region.
   He also wrote this book, The Nuclear energy Option, on the history of the nuclear power industry. I have several times quoted from it here, particularly Chapter 9 on how the costs of reactors were artificially raised, as much as 13.6 times by regulatory Luddism
Some plants completed in the late 1980s have cost as much as $5 billion, 30 times what they cost 15 years earlier. Inflation, of course, has played a role, but the consumer price index increased only by a factor of 2.2 between 1973 and 1983
  And there is the instance of him, when Ralph Nader described plutonium as "the most toxic substance" of him challenging Nader to eat as much caffeine as he would plutonium oxide. That indicated not just knowledge but personal bravery. Nader, presumably knowing that he had lied, refused the challenge which, in a world where the news media were interested in facts or simply human interest news rather than false scare stories would have been much more widely reported and permanently discredited him.
Ralph Nader, noted activist and lawyer, once claimed that plutonium was “the most toxic substance known to mankind.”
Other writers and scientists, often with far less publicity, have published detailed analyses of these claims and used statistics and experience to prove them totally false. One man, Dr. Bernard Cohen, went so far as to volunteer to eat as much plutonium as Ralph Nader would caffeine in an attempt to demonstrate the folly of the severe toxicity claims.
Mr. Nader refused the challenge.
   It would be overstating to equate Professor Cohen with Dr Semmelweis, since the former has not been alone in his path, but his place as a significant figure in the history of human progress is assured.

  Wkiipedia entry

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Dalgety Bay - Scotsman Letter

 Yesterday the Scotsman published a letter disputing mine of Monday.
Radiation is naturally occurring and only dangerous in very large doses. I wore a film badge for a decade to protect me from high-accumulated doses of radiation. It has even been suggested in The Scotsman that a little radiation, like a peck of dirt, does you good.
But radioactive particles are a different matter. Plutonium is the most poisonous substance known to man

To answer it I found myself doing a bit of useful research and found that the evidence is quite clear that "particles" are not inherently more dangerous than general radiation, indeed that since "particles" can pass through the body quickly they are actually safer. I also found out about Cohen's challenge to Nader. Which resulted in this letter published today.
In reply to my letter criticising politically useful anti-nuclear scare stories, particularly the Dalgety Bay one, Dr George Shering asserts (letter 3rd April) - not entirely relevantly since nobody claims it is present at Dalgety - that "Plutonium is the most poisonous substance known to man".
In fact that honour lies with Botulinum toxin, plutonium is far down the list. This claim was originally made by Ralph Nader. It was disputed by, among others, Professor Bernard Cohen who offered to eat as much plutonium as Mr Nader would of caffeine. Nader refused.
Despite this the claim has been widely promoted by the "environmentally aware" and remains a mainstay of the anti-nuclear movement. Dr Shering's remark about the added toxicity of particles over widespread radiation is also wrong.

The theory in which a particle of plutonium dust radiates a localised spot of lung tissue has been tested and found false—such particles are more mobile than originally thought and toxicity is not measurably increased due to particulate form.

There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during 1940s; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them.
Also the difference between a particle and a clump is, to some extent, merely a matter of definition. SEPA's experts have told them that, at least in some instances, sizeable "particles" could not be further desegregated, proving that there was no specific point source with the "particle".

With the manmade (well mined from natural pitchblende) radium being no more than 0.26 of a gram when natural radium in the area is 1 gram and other radioactives 9 tons it is virtually inevitable that the large majority of "particles" will be natural concentrations and the fact, when I asked under the FoI Act, SEPA have refused to say exactly where and when their alleged chemical testing of particles, proving them to be paint, took place does not inspire confidence.
He also mentions Fukushima. Though the tsunami killed 21,000 not a single person was killed, or even injured by radiation. Anybody may confirm that the number of news stories about the non-lethal "radiation catastrophe" is considerably more than of the catastrophe that killed so many.
Nonetheless I thank Dr Shering for being more willing to openly debate the subject than SEPA. Readers may judge for themselves whether he has made my assertion that the anti-nuclear movement is based on hysteria rather than evidence less or more credible.
Reference - Plutonium toxicity and the eat it challenge

Hot particle theory
  The Scotsman ran it without editing out which is remarkable for the longest letter of the day. They did change the paragraphs slightly. I have kept my 2nd last para (about Fukushima) as I wrote it but kept their other changes,
   Their online comments have been entirely favourable and I think the letter worked.
  On checking for another source on the Cohen - Nader challenge I found this
When Ralph Nader described plutonium as "the most toxic substance known to mankind", Cohen, then a tenured professor, offered to consume on camera as much plutonium oxide as Nader could consume of caffeine, the stimulant found in coffee and other beverages, which in its pure form has an oral (LD50) of 192 milligrams per kilogram in rats.

  I also found that he died on 17th March We have lost a valuable fighter in the cause of human progress

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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Clydespace in the News

Some time ago I wrote about Clydespace, a satellite manufacturing company in Glasgow.

   They must have done a good party for the journalists or something because suddenly they appeared in a whole range of newspapers and on BBC Newsnight Scotland. This is from the Mail - ignore the moronic headline and picture- that is the sub-editor's choice.
the company is to link three cubes together to create UKube-1 - which will be the first complete satellite to be assembled by Clyde Space.

It's part of a pilot programme from the UK Space Agency to test new technologies in space.

Mechanical design engineer Steven Kirk is well aware of its particular significance for Clyde Space - and for Scotland.
‘It's our first full platform,’ he said. ‘So by demonstrating this we can demonstrate that we can build a full satellite. We'll have the pedigree.
CubeSat is expected to enter orbit next year.
The underlying CubeSat concept came originally from America - to create a satellite 10cm by 10cm by 10cm.

More than 600 CubeSats have been launched so far. The Glasgow firm has made components for 40% of them.
  There was a time when 80% of the metal hulled ships in the world were Clydebuilt. Some components in 40% of the cubesats off the world isn't quite the same but it isn't minor either.

   As technology improves miniaturisation gets easier and there is no reason that satellites 10cm on a side cannot hold enough observational and computing capacity to match anything produced a few decades in even the largest satellites.

   Another advantage is that, because they are so light a solar sale can be scaled down equally. 
Light-Sail 1

Taking advantage of the technological advances in micro- and nano-spacecraft over the past five years, The Planetary Society will build LightSail-1 with three Cubesat spacecraft. One Cubesat will form the central electronics and control module, and two additional Cubesats will house the solar sail module. Cameras, additional sensors, and a control system will be added to the basic Cubesat electronics bus.
LightSail-1 will have four triangular sails, arranged in a diamond shape resembling a giant kite. Constructed of 32 square meters of mylar, LightSail-1 will be placed in an orbit over 800 kilometers above Earth, high enough to escape the drag of Earth’s uppermost atmosphere. At that altitude the spacecraft will be subject only to the force of gravity keeping it in orbit and the pressure of sunlight on its sails increasing the orbital energy. The mission will give us a good, clean trial of sunlight as a means of propulsion.
  After Beagle 2 (33.2 kg in 2003, cost about £35 million) ESA moved in and promised to do it is a more "professional" manner for about £200 mill. Still nothing on the horizon.

   But if a solar sail could take a cubesat to Mars and the miniaturisation technology has moved in....

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Dalgety Bay - Scotsman letter

   This is in today's Scotsman. It was sent out to a range of papers across the UK. If anybody sees it elsewhere I would be obliged if you let me know.  
For three months, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency had promised to declare Dalgety Bay’s beach “radioactive waste” if the Ministry of Defence did not pay an unspecified amount of Danegeld. It has not done so.
Now, suddenly, Sepa has lifted this threat – at least until next May. For years Sepa has claimed the proof that the radiation could not be natural is that it consists of particles of paint – but Freedom of Information requests on the subject have shown it either has no such evidence or is deliberately refusing to provide it.
For years it has claimed to have found the radioactive “daughter elements” of radium in the rock, though the only such element is the inert gas radon.
Again it can provide no evidence of this. Now Sepa has suddenly claimed to have found radium itself, but again refuses to provide the evidence when asked under the FoI. What is undisputed is that the radiation level is less than two-thirds that in any Aberdeen Street (Sepa’s own experts told it that years ago).that there is no evidence that it in any way exceeds that occurring naturally in adjoining beaches; or that the original radium could not have exceeded 0.26 of a gram (by comparison in a square mile of land one would expect 1 gram of natural radium, 9 tons of uranium and thorium & 1.5 million tons of soil).
Beyond even that, While it is widely claimed that radiation, even at naturally occurring levels, must be dangerous and the entire anti-nuclear scare is built on this claim, there is no evidence for that and never has been . Such evidence as there is points to close to natural levels of radiation being beneficial to life. When you think about it this is unsurprising since we evolved in the natural world  According to HL Mencken “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”. By his reckoning, the Scottish Government bureaucracy must be among the world’s most expert practical politicians - which goes far to explain our current troubles.
Neil Craig

    Editing in bold. They also changed the divisions I had made between paragraphs, which were, in my opinion, improvements. Which is why I am showing their paragraphs. Bearing in mind that space limitations exist I am happy with the editing here.

    I would also like to highlight this from the comment by UKIP Scotland in my Saturday article
I would issue a challenge to SEPA, to examine ANY Beach in Scotland, and I am practically certain that they will find radioactive "particles", some may be naturally occurring, and some may be "man-made", but moreover I would state that it will be impossible to distinguish between these two possible sources of any "particle" found.
   This seems a reasonable challenge which, if there is any experimental validity to SEPA's claims they could pass with ease. It also affects the scare story SEPA have run for decades about finding radioactive particles at Dounreay. Elsewhere we here good news about the "clean up" of Dounreay, which, if the beach radiation is natural, must be almost entirely an unnecessary picking of the public's pocket. 
In 2000 it had been thought cleaning up the site would take until 2063 at a cost of £4 billion. But by 2005, when the NDA was established, it was estimated the work would take until 2036 and cost £2.7 billion.
However, it is said the project should now be completed a decade earlier than that and for about £1 billion less.

   It will be interesting to see if SEPA feel able to publicly defend their case. Previously, apart from the claims proven false, they have not except to threaten legal action, against me. What is also interesting is the MSM coverage of this, or tather lack thereof. Only the BBC, whose headline is naturally both alarmist and supportive of SEPA and the Courier, but not the Scotsman, had reported SEPA's original announcement. Considering that the former PM had made this a personal issue and produced a Parliamentary debate, is an extraordinary lack.

   It is worth reading the full BBC article below the headline alongside SEPA's press release to see what an easy job "journalism" is if your only role is to reprint press releases from government sources, while censoring anything that might expand the story. Particularly egregious on the BBC's part here because the organisation, knows, beyond any dispute, that much if not all of SEPA's story they are reprinting, is factually untrue.

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