Those of us over a certain age may well remember the Pedoscope. These were a familiar sight in the shoe shops when our mothers took us there to have some new shoes. This was not an infrequent occurrence as when we were children our feet grew quickly, necessitating a change of shoe. For me this entailed a walk up to the Deer Park parade on Street Lane in Roundhay, Leeds. Invariably there would be something like a fashionable “winkle piker” as worn by the Beetles. But mother always chose “sensible shoes” – something I am now grateful for. Whenever I see an exotic sports car with an impractically low ground clearance having difficulty with a “sleeping policemen” I think of those times. And smile.
Returning to the Pedoscope. These devices (image above) were manufactured by the Pedoscope Company Ltd., Victoria Street, St. Albans and were quite popular.
Of course, environmentalists would react with horror were they to come across a working example today!!!!!!!
The reason of course for the demise of the Pedoscope was the danger inherent in the X Rays it produced. This has an interesting bearing on a possible reason to explain the bizarre situation this country is now in so far as its electrical generating policy is concerned.
It is a common thing to call our politicians (at least those we disagree with), fools. Indeed, insofar as present policy is concerned (seeking to power an industrialised economy using wind turbines and solar panels) there would seem to be conclusive evidence that Messrs. Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are fools.
But then these men are intelligent men with good degrees. It is hard to dismiss them as nincompoops. Then of course there are such as the pathetic arguments about ocean acidification peddled by the Greens, arguments that can be debunked using GCE “O” level science let alone graduate level science!
In our article http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2015/01/02/of-cameron-and-carrots-what-is-he-not-telling-you/ we asked the question: “What are they not telling you?”
It appears they may well be an answer – of sorts. And it DOES not involve flying saucers! It is however connected with the Pedoscope!
ITER (originally an acronym of International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor and Latin for “the way” or “the road”) is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project, which is currently building the world’s largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor adjacent to the Cadarache facility in the south of France. It is NOT an anti-matter device designed by “little green men”!!!! The UK as an EU member is part of this project. The project is funded and run by seven member entities – the European Union, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and the USA. The EU, as host party for the ITER complex, is contributing about 45 percent of the cost, with the other six parties contributing approximately 9 percent each.
ITER’s website: http://www.iter.org/
There are those who say that the tokamak cannot work in the sense that it can ever be a viable energy source as it will always require more energy to power it than it can produce in fusion. However there are those who strongly dispute this and state that tokamak fusion reactors will be the power source of the future. These sources go onto state that the overly optimistic claims made in the early days of fission nuclear power (that electricity would be too cheap to invoice) would still be overly optimistic insofar as tokamak fusion is concerned but they go on to sate that such technology could bring power production costs down to the level of very large scale coal powered plants – plants that would be unencumbered by cost increasing technologies such as carbon capture.
OK then, we hear you ask Dear Reader, if tokamak fusion is such a promising technology why aren’t we hearing more about it?
For a very good reason!
The Reader will know that when politicians keep things secret it can be for reasons of National Security (details about the Royal Navy’s Trident submarines for instance) or confidentiality (patient records for instance). The Reader however is fully aware that much information is kept secret as it is “politically awkward” – in other words, if the public know about it, they may not vote for these fellows! This of course is probably the most common reason for keeping things secret.
Unfortunately however for Messrs. Cameron, Clegg and Miliband it is difficult to cover up things like the laws of physics! You see, these are laws made by the Almighty and are not subject to amendment in the House of Commons! No matter the size of the government’s majority!
Now let us return to the tokamak fusion reactor. Let is adopt maximum optimism and assume that when switched on the French device will indeed produce a stable and continuous fusion reaction and that more energy is produced than is used.
This begs the question: How do we turn what is being produced into electricity that can be used to power a kettle to enable the scientists a well deserved cup of tea!
It is the answer to this that is the probable cause of the secrecy! You see it will involve X Rays! Lots and lots of X Rays! Enough to make Greenpeace activists hysterical!
You see, generating electricity using the tokamak fusion reactor will be an awful lot simpler and cheaper than a conventional fission nuclear station such as we have in the UK. These fission reactors are essentially replacement heat sources. Instead of a coal fired boiler, a nuclear reactor provides the heat source via a heat exchanger. Apart from this, nuclear power stations generate electricity in the same way as coal fired ones: steam turbines and alternators.
A tokamak fusion reactor however will not. You see the fusion energy source will be contained in a Star Trek sounding “magnetic containment field.” It will be impossible to construct a conventional heat exchanger to heat water to generate steam to power turbines to turn alternators. But there will be no need. Instead, a type of photovoltaic panel will be constructed outside the magnetic containment field which will capture the radiation directly and turn it there and then into electricity.
OK then, what is the problem? We hear you ask.
The problem is the frequency of the electromagnetic radiation. You see those uselessly impractical solar panels on the Editor’s roof use harmless sunlight. The panels around a tokamak fusion reactor however will use X Rays! The intensity of these X Rays will be gigantic. A tokamak fusion reactor is a radiation hazard!
And there you have it!
This is why Messrs. Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are keeping very quiet about the new technology!
But then, British Gazette Readers will NOT be surprised as they are unlikely to trust these fellows as far as they could throw them!