Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2015

Dark Energy & Its Discontents

Dark Energy & Its Discontents Peter Coles, University of Sussex BRLSI Friday 24 th April 2015 Notes by William Gaskell AMInstP Parsec is about 3 lightyears Calcium “doublet” signature on spectrum is marker used to measure Doppler shift with red/blue shifted light from galaxy/star indicaates relative velocity galaxy/star is moving away/towards us. Hubble’s law is:  v=H 0 D Which describes how Universe is expanding but Hubble never wrote about it and he got his constant wrong by a factor of 10. Alexander Friedman took Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and developed a more comprehensive model from it “The Freedman Model” – or The Big Bang Model. Dark Energy is something that creates gravity but is not stuff – it’s like pressure that the vacuum of space exerts on matter. Dark Energy increases as space expands, as it is a constant like the Hubble constant, but space expands in order to spread out the energy density of matter evenly. Photosphere is the v

Seminar on the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) by Hitachi [vendor of reactor]

Seminar on the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) by Hitachi [vendor of reactor] University of Birmingham, 21 st -22 nd April 2015 Notes by William Gaskell MSc PTNR Birmingham Introduction to ABWR By Mr K. Moriya of Hitachi-GE [Information in this seminar is based on the Japanese safety licence for ABWR which will vary from ABWR UK design after GDA process with ONR] Hitachi aim to establish an ABWR chair in academia at undergraduate level. [–perhaps at Bangor University in Wales] Interesting specifications of reactor: ·          Thermal power is 3975MW ·          Temperature of steam from core is 287˚C ·          10 pumps (RIPs) in the pressure vessel of reactor →    Safety work using STAR-CD code to model pump trip in reactor so that we know how to control core in such situations ·          60 Hz 52” blade turbines used in ABWR to generate electricity from steam produced in core ·          Each emergency backup diesel generator has 4000kW capacity [

Education and Training in Nuclear Decommissioning Conference in Birmingham

Education and Training in Nuclear Decommissioning Conference in Birmingham Notes by William Gaskell, at University of Birmingham School of Physics and Astronomy, 16-17th April 2015 Identifying needs for E&T in Nuclear Decommissioning Mrs Helena Harding – Radioactive Waste Management Geological deposition: ·          555 jobs required over 140 years of the project’s life ·          50% would be “skilled” 25% “management and professional” class workers Communication: ·          Need to commercialise safety cases so that people can understand them better ·          Communicating effectively to broad range of people, from technical to non-English-speaking stakeholders Mr Axel Backer – Energiewerke Nord EWN GmbH, Germany Licencing procedures need to be utilised to allow work to progress as quickly as possible by creating synergies. Dr Steven Judge – National Physical Laboratory, UK SQEP – Suitably Qualified & Experienced Person Training can be demons

Bristol Festival of Ideas 2015

Coleridge Lecture: Reimagining the City By Melissa Harrison at Wills Memorial Building Reception Room, Bristol 2 nd April 2015 Shelley thought “Hell is a city much like London” when he was writing in the early 19 th century 1851 Urban population exceeded rural population in the UK, 1 st time in the world that this had happened in a country. It was thought city living “led to death of society”. [I think that may have something to do with the Palace of Versailles culture.] Today 82% live in urban environments with the following benefits: ·          Boosted immune response ·          Better mental health treatment Birdlife saved in UK in 1962 by book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson about the damaging effects of DDT use as a pesticide to the food chain. ·          Bird of prey who are at the top of the chain were affected by a build up of DDT in their bodies and the effect was that the egg shells became thin and lost integrity leading to a rapid decline i

Clearing the Air – Trams for Bath

Clearing the Air – Trams for Bath Prof Lewis Lesley BRLSI 1 st April 2015 ·          Air pollution kills 29,000 people per year in the UK Proportion of greenhouse gas emissions: ·          Transport 20% ·          Energy 35% 60 Billion trips made in total in Britain per year ·          64% by car ·          12% by public transport ·          8 tram systems in UK carrying 0.3% of total trips made Whole year’s pollution quota exceeded by transport sector in first 15 days of the year! Tram solution: 8 times less energy required than to use a bus and is electrified meaning can be powered by renewable, low-carbon electricity sources. Shallowest system would be most suitable & cost-effective ·          Easiest & quickest to install ·          Most resilient to damage by road traffic (buses etc) Bath trams operated from 1904 – 1939 Looking at historical precedents for inspiration for developmental models of successful tram systems: ·     

The Rings of Saturn and the Cassini Mission

The Rings of Saturn and the Cassini Mission William Herschel Society Free Public Lecture with the University of Bath By Carl Murray 19 th November 2014 at the Chancellor’s Building, University of Bath ·          It was previously thought there were 21 moons of Saturn, now we know more than 63 exist. ·          Saturn’s Rings are 90%+ pure water ice ·          Smaller moons of Saturn get covered in dust ·          Smaller amount of dust on larger moon,, Enceladus, which darkens leading face of white moon.