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Secret UK Uranium Components Plant Closed Over Safety Fears

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the duct-tape-and-wire dept.

The Military 101

Lasrick writes "The Guardian has an exclusive story regarding a secret uranium-enriching plant in the UK that was closed due to safety fears. From the article: 'A top-secret plant at Aldermaston that makes enriched uranium components for Britain's nuclear warheads and fuel for the Royal Navy's submarines has been shut down because corrosion has been discovered in its 'structural steelwork', the Guardian can reveal. The closure has been endorsed by safety regulators who feared the building did not conform to the appropriate standards. The nuclear safety watchdog demands that such critical buildings are capable of withstanding 'extreme weather and seismic events,' and the plant at Aldermaston failed this test. It has set a deadline of the end of the year for the problems to be fixed.'"

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101 comments

"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (4, Informative)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689125)

The AWE plant at Aldermaston is well signed from the road, and its website [awe.co.uk] seems at least reasonably open about what it does:

Our role at AWE is to manufacture and sustain the warheads for the Trident system ... Our work at AWE covers the entire life cycle of nuclear warheads; from initial concept, assessment and design, through to component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, and finally decommissioning and disposal.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689169)

Somebody in the Guardian comments pointed out that it's even listed in the (slightly comical) Wiki entry for the area:

5 Economy

        5.1 Agriculture
        5.2 Pubs and brewing
        5.3 Cricket bats
        5.4 Pottery
        5.5 Atomic Weapons Establishment
        5.6 Other businesses

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (3, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689217)

NOW where will I get my uranium-enriched cricket bats?!

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

chthon (580889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689357)

Encrust Finished Goods with Uranium

Quantity: Inf

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

Creepy (93888) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693205)

The entire bat, or just the core? In any case, the mass of uranium is not far below gold, so it'd be one heavy bat. Enriched uranium pottery may be the better choice.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (3, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689327)

This reminds me of someone I know who is a former officer on nuclear submarines and now works in IT. His CV on Linkedin includes "strategic nuclear deterrence". I've speculated that he's hoping for a job offer from Iran.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689949)

Hey come on, if /you/ could put that on your CV, you would!

what's the problem? (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about a year and a half ago | (#42698861)

it seems like military experience should be mentioned on a resume/CV (if you actually have it, of course. :P)

cheers! and wiki link :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42690045)

Thanks, reading the article on Aldermaston [wikipedia.org] definitely made my day. Indeed, very fine understated British humour methinks, that section on "Economy" ;-)

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (4, Informative)

mekkab (133181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689221)

No. It's probably "secret" as in "you don't have the clearance to enter the building and there are armed guards."

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689325)

That's not secret that's just high security.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

ZiakII (829432) | about a year and a half ago | (#42691295)

That's not secret that's just high security.

Look at the NATO classifications [wikipedia.org] if you need to understand what secret is.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42691905)

Yes, because of course NATO defines all of our words now.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693625)

The NATO Classification Guide is used to define data classification. Secret might mean one thing to the common man, but in regards to basically everything government and military related, it has a completely different meaning, and is a method for isolating certain data/information from other data, as well as preventing the unauthorized release of said data.

No , secret as in "its nuclear , its bad" (-1, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689377)

Anything the government of the day does wrt defense that the bien pensant liberal left bed wetters at The Guardian don't agree with automatically has a "secret" label slapped on it to give it that slightly edgy X-Files feel to make all their baby boomer social worker / meeja luvvie readers get all self righteous.

Re:No , secret as in "its nuclear , its bad" (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689515)

I'm not sure what's worse, that you feel the need to specify that it's the "liberal left" who you spend your time slagging off on internet comments threads (as opposed to...?), or that you think the media industry is largely stocked with baby boomers, a generation that is currently either retired or getting ready to do so. If you're going to go off on one at least make your pejoratives self-consistent.

Re:No , secret as in "its nuclear , its bad" (1)

mekkab (133181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689701)

side note: the baby boomers are not retiring fast enough; the "bathtub" curve of workers for available slots from retirees(since Gen X is ~ half the size of the Baby Boomers) hasn't yet materialized. My take is that due to poor retirement finances, people can't afford to retire!

/I've been waiting for Executive Vice President positions to be handed to me simply due to retirement... I'm still waiting, btw.

Re:No , secret as in "its nuclear , its bad" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689883)

Off topic, sorry... No offense, but that doesn't take rocket science... watch the "can we afford to retire" ads for various financial institutions or ask someone in that age bracket. In the U.S. the only thing getting any of them to "retire" is that they want to claim Social Security before the money they paid in gets re-purposed as taxes to pay the national debt (this whole "social entitlement" claim looks kinda iffy since when I look at my paycheck I see separate line items for fica and federal taxes).

Re:No , secret as in "its nuclear , its bad" (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693683)

It's a double-edged sword...we need the Boomers to retire to open up the senior level positions that we all want, but at the same time, as they retire, a huge number of people will leave the group that currently pays Social Security and Medicare. This basically means that there will be less of us supporting more of them. I recall that when Social Security and all these other safety nets were proposed, it was designed to have three workers supporting one retiree. Now, with medical expenses ballooning, it's more like one to one. At a certain point in time (soon) the situation is going to collapse, and it won't be pretty.

Re:No , secret as in "its nuclear , its bad" (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about a year and a half ago | (#42706153)

At a certain point in time (soon) the situation is going to collapse, and it won't be pretty.

Yeah, and since they're retired and smell like mothballs eating them is probably out of the question.

Re:No , secret as in "its nuclear , its bad" (0)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689811)

"that you feel the need to specify that it's the "liberal left""

You're obviously not aware of the politics of The Guardian are you. Its the liberal left bible.

"(as opposed to...?),"

People who can think for themselves and don't blindly follow some out of date right-on ideology.

"you think the media industry is largely stocked with baby boomers,"

Get some glasses, you missed the slash.

"If you're going to go off on one at least make your pejoratives self-consistent."

If you're going to post an indignant reply at least get your facts straight first.

Re:No , secret as in "its nuclear , its bad" (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689839)

Viol8 is a bit of a prat, but honestly the Grauniad is really whiny.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689421)

My English blows, but I thought what you're saying can be summarized by "secured", "guarded", "militarized".
What you say there can be applied to any bank's vault, does it make that vault "secret"?

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689573)

Banks in the UK are not permitted to hire armed guards. But yes, otherwise your point is well made.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42691259)

Armed with a Pepper Spray, at least?

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42691953)

No, in England, pepper spray is what you put on British food to make it taste better.

(The real weapon would be a pot pie). /// sorry, I know, another British Cooking Rant. I blame it on the PTSD. ///

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (3, Interesting)

mekkab (133181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689743)

my apologies for assuming you knew what I meant by "secret" and "top secret". When information (be it technology, strategy, etc) is deemed to be of a sensitive nature, it is considered classified. And there are levels of classification; Proprietary (usually this has nothing to do with national security, but it's sensitive information for a business. If you knew Apple Computer was going to by company Foo before the public announcement, that would be proprietary information that a competitor would love to know), "Secret" and "Top Secret" (these levels pertaining to national security).

So while a bank's vault is secured, what it contains is not sensitive information (it's money, it's bearer bonds, gold perhaps...). You can know what is in there and it doesn't compromise the nation.

Where-as if you know some specific technical detail about uranium enrichment, you could sell that to another foreign nation, and THAT would compromise national security.

I hope this makes some sense!

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#42690023)

Nope, but the contents of the safety deposit boxes inside it certainly are. The USSR had "secret cities" in plain site, area 51 is on the tourist map.... In other words the meaning is clear, the debate is about semantics.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42695623)

I'm not trying to argue with you, but just wanted to point out that up until some time ago, the US refused to acknowledge that Area 51 even existed even though pretty much everyone had a rough idea, based on observations, what was going on there.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (4, Funny)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689721)

No it's probably secret as in:
Government: "MI6 does not exist"
Everyone else: "Yes it does, it's in that big building with MI6 written on it"
Government: "No, MI6 does not exist".
Everyone else: "But you just responded to this question using the e-mail address: queries@MI6.gov.uk"
Government: "ok, so MI6 does exist"
Everyone else: "We already know"

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (3, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689823)

Everybody else: plus, you left a laptop labelled "Property of MI6. Do not loose!" on the 7:15 to Waterloo. Again.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (3, Informative)

dave420 (699308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42690465)

It's actually called SIS, not MI6.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689801)

Also, it's exempt from FOI requests and journalists can be refused access.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

Bowdie (11884) | about a year and a half ago | (#42690367)

I live around the corner from GCHQ in Cheltenham. It has signs on it saying something like "This is a secret building under the official secrets act, and photography of it is forbidden."

And there's one of those signs every couple of meters. I can't remember the actual wording, because well - I can't photograph it.

Mind you, both bing and google earth have wonderful close ups of this totally secret building.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

Tim99 (984437) | about a year and a half ago | (#42691335)

I worked in an MOD secret establishment 40 years ago that had a sign on the perimeter fence "Trespassers will be transported". I think transportation to the Colonies finished in about 1868; but we still did not have many intruders because of the armed guards, dogs, and barbed wire.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689223)

A well signposted nuclear facility in the UK? It wouldn't be the first time: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00679/nuclear_679838n.jpg

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

hairykrishna (740240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689259)

I think they mean the enrichment plant was secret. Not the whole site.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

s7uar7 (746699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689367)

The plant itself isn't secret but I'm not sure that publicising that it has structural problems is necessarily a good idea.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (2)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689417)

Given that the problems are planned to be fixed within months in this highly regulated sector where everything takes longer, the problem isn't as bad as the nuclear boogey man crowd are trying to make it appear to be.

Re:"Hazardous" as in "menace to public health"? (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42691717)

If the irradiated parts of the building weren't designed to be easily removed and replaced then they're doing it wrong. That shit is hard on the molecules.

Re:"Hazardous" as in "menace to public health"? (1)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702111)

You're mistaken on two levels: first off the problem is not in "the irradiated parts" & secondly those parts are generally massive enough to make "easy" replacement difficult.

The problem is in certifying that the building is solid enough to withstand a major seismic event or something similar, not anything to do with radiation. Reinforcing the rusted girders will be sufficient.

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692631)

Well, of course. It's just down the street from the secret nuclear bunker. [typepad.com]

Re:"Secret" as in "well signposted"? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693527)

I believe the residents of the area hope the work excludes 1 part of the 'life cycle' of a nuclear warhead...the detonation phase.

Sensationalist much? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689129)

So it's the actual *building* that is unsafe, and not the plant as such.
Why not just build a new building and move everything over? Or, maybe just reinforce the old one until it meets sufficient safety standards?

Nothing to see here (3, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689135)

Sounds like the system is working as it is supposed to. Inspectors found problem, problem will be rectified.

Now had they not found anything, and it fell apart like that bridge a few years back, then that's news.

The facility doesn't sound terribly 'secret', not any more at least...

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689379)

That is funny reasoning. There are several different types of maintenance actions and among these are protective and corrective maintenance. Protective maintenance is supposed to find errors so they can be fixed during normal downtimes. Corrective maintenance means that something broke and you had to fix it imminently. If you find yourself in corrective maintenance, then your other maintenance programs (other than maintenance designed to detect corrective maintenance) failed. Nobody wants to have a forced outage. Forced outages cost a shitload of money. So if you find yourself in one it is almost always due to some systematic failure in the way you maintain or operate your plant.

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689403)

Slashdot seems to succumb to these shrill stories more and more now.

"Oh fucking no! (insert distorted descriptions more fitting on the back cover of a UFO book)! Ain't that just awful gais?"

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689789)

Replacing structural steel within one year sounds like a potentially tall order. But I suppose where there's a will, there's a way.

Top secret? (1)

aglider (2435074) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689157)

A top-secret plant at Aldermaston

An uranium enriching plant is not something you can hide very easily, once you know where it is localed (more or less).
I mean, unless you aim to enrich a few grams a year ...

Re:Top secret? (2)

hairykrishna (740240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689253)

The AWE site at Aldermaston is enormous. It's an old airfield stuffed with big, nondescript buildings. Unless you're working on site you won't get within about half a mile of any of the 'interesting' ones and even when on site you won't know what's in most of them unless directly working there. I can well believe that they have a hidden enrichment plant.

Re:Top secret? (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689305)

It's a simple rule: the interesting buildings have a few windows, the *really* interesting ones have no windows at all. The latter tend to be surrounded by the former or otherwise obscured.

Re:Top secret? (1)

nojayuk (567177) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694231)

As I signed Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act I can't tell you about the buildings with no windows I may or may not have worked in at AWE, that is back when it was called AWRE and only did research and development, not including the work needed to build and maintain nuclear weapons which was done elsewhere. However the more secret parts of the site were housed in typical office buildings with windows.

As for AWE being "secret", the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) used to hold annual protest marches to the site -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldermaston_Marches [wikipedia.org]

The Ordnance Survey maps of the area did show the site as an anonymous blank area with little or no detail; Google shows the layout of the plant but details are fuzzed and there's no Streetview. The old bomber runway (AWRE was built on a WWII airfield site) can still be seen though. It's still, as far as I know, prohibited airspace for light aircraft, gliders etc.

Re:Top secret? (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#42696633)

I'll see your fuzzy detail from Google and raise you erased buildings; the car parks to north and south are shown but the building I may or may not have worked in is a badly 'shopped grassy knoll...

Re:Top secret? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42694173)

An uranium enriching plant is not something you can hide very easily, once you know where it is localed (more or less).

If you know where it is, it's not exactly hidden, now is it?

Wikipedia - Aldermaston (1)

Zemran (3101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689161)

"The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), for which Aldermaston has become known,[103] is less than 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the village. "

Very well kept secret...

Title inaccurate. (3, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689201)

FormerlySecret UK Uranium Components Plant Closed Over Safety Fears

This is not the same Secret Nuclear Bunker which is signposted nearby Brentwood. That is a totally separate formerly secret nuclear site.

Re:Title inaccurate. (2)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689297)

I do love that the signs say "Secret Nuclear Bunker" on that particular one. I used to laugh every time I drove past on my way to work.

Why not just "Nuclear Bunker", or "Former Nuclear Bunker", as it's still only a tourist-attraction signpost anyway. Secret Nuclear Bunker just makes you laugh.

Unless that's the point - now we discussed it at least twice and people will think "Oh, I'll go and find that"...

Re:Title inaccurate. (2)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689387)

Unless that's the point - now we discussed it at least twice and people will think "Oh, I'll go and find that"...

I've no idea as to the authenticity of much of the contents, but the whole place is filled with faintly creepy signs. The near-total absence of staff, the honesty-boxes for any kind of payment and the (non-functional?) security cameras all over the place, it's all very much in keeping with the creepily humorous 'Secret Nuclear Bunker' name. At least, I assume it's meant to be funny.

(I took loads of photos there [slashdot.org] a bit over a year ago. I didn't pay the £5 photography fee; I was kind of glad to get out of the place. And I'm someone who explores dodgy [flickr.com] forgotten [flickr.com] locations [flickr.com] for fun...)

Re:Title inaccurate. (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689389)

The signpost is funny but the site itself is very interesting to visit if you're a techie. They've got a working telephone exchange down there and a lot of old computers to play about it amongst other things. Its no longer owned or run by the govt btw, a family now runs it as a tourist attraction. The only not so good thing is the cafe so bring your own drinks unless you like watery coffee and stale buns.

Re:Title inaccurate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42690299)

Secret Nuclear Bunker just makes you laugh

Which is exactly the point.

Re:Title inaccurate. (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692495)

Why not just "Nuclear Bunker", or "Former Nuclear Bunker"

Because it's supposed to be secret?

STUPID COMMIE UKRAINES !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689205)

And what are they doing?

Live in UK?

Big Deal (2, Insightful)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689209)

Somebody get an Architect we need a new building.

Re:Big Deal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689395)

Architects don't know shit about structural work, they are only capable of trying to make things look pretty.

Re:Big Deal (1)

dj245 (732906) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689465)

Somebody get an Architect we need a new building.

Is this supposed to be funny? Architects do not design industrial buildings housing process equipment. Not for the last 60 years at least. [wikipedia.org] . Architects design silly floor plans and building outlines. Engineers are the ones who turn that pile into something that can be actually be built. We skip the architect in industrial buildings and generally wrap the building around the equipment and integrate the heavier machinery foundations.

Re:Big Deal (1)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692737)

See, if you'd used an architect the building wouldn't be fucking collapsing.

Re:Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42695089)

See, if you'd used an architect the building wouldn't be fucking collapsing.

You're absolutely right. If an architect had been involved, the building would be styled after an abstract version of the Bohr model of the atom. Vertically, of course.

Furthermore, the electrons would have been constantly revolving.

The architect wouldn't have cared that this required the building's structure to be made of titanium to support all the forces, or that the weird angles constantly caused leaks or dangerous ice shards that fall onto pedestrian entryways. Or the fact that the building cost a fortune to heat and cool compared to other such buildings. The minor modifications made to the plan in order to make the building even remotely feasible also would have caused much handwringing from the architect about "compromised vision".

So, you see, you're *right*: had an architect been involved, the building would have probably collapsed already.

Scam! The truth is out. (2)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689303)

I read this -- it is a scam. They have not really closed the plant, they just erected some sort of social barrier to prevent humans from entering it to do whatever it is humans do there. The plant is presently doing what plants do when humans are not present, openly so. Everything is working as it should, as might be expected. Under this circumstance of the plant being unpopulated by humans, I mean.

I see this shoddiness everywhere these days. Absurd claims that something is closed when you could shove a stick right into it, or reach your arm right into it. If maths were done this way birds would fly backwards and farmers would be forced to grow smaller potatoes.

Now if they built a Sarcophagus around it then it would truly be closed. They may as well for it sounds like a dreary place of corroded steel and despite the excitement of it being somehow 'nuclear' there there is nothing interesting to see, no "Elephant's Foot" of molten corium or such-like.

Oh dear. It seems things are wearing out as fast as we are growing up.

Re:Scam! The truth is out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689405)

Now if they built a Sarcophagus around it then it would truly be closed.

Unless the brits somehow know how to open a sarcophagus...

Re:Scam! The truth is out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689481)

> if they built a Sarcophagus around it then it would truly be closed

Not so. There are gaps in Chernobyl's sarcophagus large enough to drive a car through. Hence the New Safe Confinement project.

Re:Scam! The truth is out. (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689645)

A bit over-literal, perhaps?

Nuclear Fear Mongering (5, Insightful)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689319)

This is an example of the social headwinds nuclear engineering (actually any engineering) faces all the time. Engineers identify a problem, usually during routine inspections (inspections that take place in order to find any problems!), and take an action such as shutting down in a controlled manner to remedy the problem. The tabloid title of the summary of the event invariably reads "Nuclear Plant X Forced to Shut Down Due to Safety Fears" and is followed by an article which lists the last N times the plant had to shut down, possibly followed by a comment about TMI/Chernobyl/Fukushima just to keep the drama up. Yes, accidents happen, but the fact that many problems are identified, investigated, and remedied as part of a engineered safety response program seems lost on the public. The battery problems on the Boeing 787 are another similar example - correct actions are being taken to remedy a problem, but journalists are branding the Dreamliner as a potentially unsafe lemon.

Re:Nuclear Fear Mongering (0)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42690317)

The press response, like the engineering response, is in direct proportion to the consequences of failure. The plant was shut down, and as you say that was the right course of action, because failure would have significant negative consequences. The Dreamliner fleet was grounded, and as you say that was the right course of action, because it is potentially unsafe.

The more important question (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689331)

Is it possible that these warheads can reach the USA?

Re:The more important question (2)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689347)

Is it possible that these warheads can reach the USA?

Maybe. We'll have to strike pre-emptively.

Re:The more important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689355)

Perhaps. But they can certainly reach the rest of Europe.

Re:The more important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689391)

Yes, of course, on American-built Trident II (D5) missiles, but from one of four UK built "Vanguard" class subs.

But why is that relevant (other than the DPRK stuff)?

Re:The more important question (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689461)

No need to invade to negate the threat. While we might also have off-shore oil fields it has been said by some that Britain is the 51st state of the USA.

Re:The more important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689531)

Probably still beats being a client state of the Great Socialist European Alliance under German leadership.

Re:The more important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689631)

It sure is nice for us in the US to have a client state of our own as a (more or less) respected member of the EU, too.

No cutting in line! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42690173)

Everyone knows the 51st state is Canada. You get in line behind Puerto Rico and Guam.

Re:The more important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42693497)

So far the USA is the only NATO country that has provided warheads for nuclear sharing [wikipedia.org] . But I suppose that if your government asks nicely the British may share theirs with the USA.

wait a minute... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689431)

Countries are blocking Iran and North Korea from trying to create weaponsgrade uranium/plutonium, but the UK, the US and some other countries are still producing it themselves... who are they to judge Iran and NK for trying to do the same... (Not that I like them to have it, but hee, if you say to someoneelse "you're not allowed to create something" then you aren't allow it yourself IMHO, otherwise it's just a big hypocritic fingerpointing)...

Re:wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42689565)

who are they to judge Iran and NK for trying to do the same

"They" are the people who keep you well fed, wealthy, and safe. "They" are also the people with the bigger and more powerful militaries, in part because "they" manage to keep their citizens well fed, wealthy, and safe. And "they" don't really care whether you think it's fair.

Re:wait a minute... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689905)

who are they to judge Iran and NK for trying to do the same...

Who are they to judge? the ones with the biggest stick, that's who. Hnestly, I think it happens to be better this way. Governments do this all the time, and generally it's considered OK (e.g. my neighbour almost certainly does not have a Bofors AA autocannon). Why wuld such things not be OK on a larger scale.

The big problem though is that balistic missiles and nuclear bombs are mid 1940-s tech.

And once you have them you can suddenly bargain much more effectively, which makes them very desirable.

Re:wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42694265)

Countries are blocking Iran and North Korea from trying to create weaponsgrade uranium/plutonium, but the UK, the US and some other countries are still producing it themselves... who are they to judge Iran and NK for trying to do the same...

The U.S. isn't morally judging other countries' "right" to nuclear weapons based on some concept of fairness. Fairness has nothing to do with it. National security does. It's not "hypocrisy" to deny your enemies weapons that you happen to have.

Demand (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689483)

The nuclear safety watchdog demands that such critical buildings are capable of

I demand that people who write articles in newspapers be capable of writing proper English before getting their degree in journalism, let alone being hired by said newspapers.

Re:Demand (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689583)

be capable of writing proper English before getting their degree in journalism, let alone being hired by said newspapers.

I believe these should be the same tense. Maybe you could get in on that English class to which those journalists are going to go to meet your demands.

Re:Demand (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42690417)

Yeah, because it works if you make the front half "They should being capable of writing proper English" or the back half "before be hired by said newspapers".

Re:Demand (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42696095)

Try reading that again. And maybe one more time for comprehension. The way I'm suggesting it read is, "I demand that people who write articles in newspapers be capable of writing proper English before getting their degree in journalism, let alone be hired by said newspapers."

I don't know where the hell you came up with "before be hired".

Re:Demand (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689629)

What's wrong with that? Looks correct to me. Unless you're referring to the indicative "are" rather than subjunctive "be" - but that's an American requirement. The subjunctive is pretty much dead in British English.

Re:Demand (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#42690969)

In BE, it ought to be "The nuclear safety watchdog demands that such critical buildings should be capable of..." Regardless of whether it's BE or AE, using the indicative is just wrong in that sentence - or sloppy, more likely.

Re:Demand (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42690365)

The convention varies. In some dialects of English it's conventional to refer to collectives like organisations in the plural while in others it's conventional to refer to them in the singular.

Irony (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42689563)

"Oil & Gas Frackquake Threat Closes Nuke Weapons Plant"

Evden Oturarak Para Kazanmak (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42690273)

This is an example of the social headwinds nuclear engineering (actually any engineering) faces all the time. Engineers identify a problem, usually during routine inspections (inspections that take place in order to find any problems!), and take an action such as shutting down in a controlled manner to remedy the problem. The tabloid title of the summary of the event invariably reads "Nuclear Plant X Forced to Shut Down Due to Safety Fears" and is followed by an article which lists the last N times the plant had to shut down, possibly followed by a comment about TMI/Chernobyl/Fukushima just to keep the drama up. Yes, accidents happen, but the fact that many problems are identified, investigated, and remedied as part of a engineered safety response program seems lost on the public. The battery problems on the Boeing 787 are another similar example - correct actions are being taken to remedy a problem, but journalists are branding the Dreamliner as a potentially unsafe lemon.

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www.parakazanmakicinanketdoldur.blogspot.com

Ironically , a beef farm closed too (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | about a year and a half ago | (#42690311)

ironically a beef farm nearby also shut down as the mutated cows that have horse dna can't be made easy no more.

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