Tuesday 3 June 2014

The Coxxer goes Nuclear

I've written several times now about Professor Brian Cox and the role he plays in the media, for example, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/prof-brian-cox-watch-this-space.html. Not surprisingly he is back on the television yet again. This time he was opening a new exhibition at the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven, Cumbria. The exhibition tells the story of the Sellafield nuclear facility nearby, see: http://www.itv.com/news/border/story/2014-05-30/professor-brian-cox-opens-beacon-museum/ (Thanks to my friend and fellow researcher Heidi King for bringing this to my attention). Since the late 1940's it has been used to reprocess nuclear materials for weapons, also fuels for nuclear power-plants. In 1957 there was a major fire which resulted in a leak of radioactive gas into the surrounding environment.

Nuclear power is extremely controversial for several reasons, especially the dangers of accidents like the one in the Windscale pile at Sellafield. Others have been even worse like Chernobyl, the K-219 submarine disaster and Fukushima. Even without adverse incidents, the nuclear process inevitably produces toxic waste that can poison the environment and cannot be effectively disposed of. It can only be stored in a place where it can never escape... hopefully. It also has to be carefully guarded for security reasons in case somebody tries to steal it and make an illicit nuclear or radioactive bomb. As a result governments and the nuclear power industry have employed a huge propaganda machine to persuade the public to agree to their proposals. They'll use all kinds of carrot-and-stick inducements like the dangers of fossil fuel dependency in terms of climate change and peak oil. I question both those risks, but the important point is that the wider propaganda campaign has insured that most people do not. The nuclear power lobby also claim that nuclear energy will create jobs and they'll visit unemployment-ravaged towns and cities neighbouring proposed sites for nuclear facilities to try and tempt the residents into their camp. The British Government is currently pushing for more nuclear power-plants and more waste storage sites across the whole country, therefore events like this one in Cumbria are not just about casual historical interest; they are highly politicized. Watching Baroness Verma strolling round side by side with Cox confirms it. Prof. Cox is being used once again as a tool of rhetoric; the smiling photogenic "rock star physicist" is promoting nuclear power simply by turning up, let alone giving an opinion. What he says in his video interview on the above news page is purely parroting the flannel the nuclear lobby always delivers. Does Cox believe in it himself? I don't know; and it doesn't matter so much as that many people will hang onto his words either way, especially the youth for whom he is a heroic pop scientist. People will assume he's an expert on nuclear power because of his education and his status as a scientific spokesman. In truth his own speciality is in theoretical particle physics; he's not a nuclear engineer. I'm glad there was a protest outside. Of course Cox laughs at the notion of free energy, a subject I've discussed a lot, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/ben-emlyn-jones-live-at-bufog.html. The whole charade over the question of nuclear power is totally academic and is what Richard D Hall calls a "phoney bone of contention". Maybe that's done deliberately to distract.


Anonymous said...

Brian is making a big big mistake soon his American dream will have to come crashing down when he wakes up and smells ths coffee I sent him a fact sheet to his twitter all about how dangerous nuclear power is not one reply back his enjoying the caviar too much or his handlers have told him not to talk to dangerous conspiracy likes such as me :-) He was spotted being escorted up there ina big spotless car as protested reported. Anyone like to tweet Brian and tell him you do not think Nuclear energy is such a good thing tweet him here @ProfBrianCox

Anonymous said...

I would like to indulge further on this article somewhere along the lines of certain scientific agenda's not directly involving itself for financial gain but for the whole nuclear 'possibility' for it's capturing of dangerous forces which scientist thrive on that ultimately is exploited by the capitalist system. But.....I think it more befitting simply to state 'Knobs for cox'