Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest

Several news stories have been buried recently, most of them not uplifting.

In America Westinghouse Electric, one of the pioneering companies of the electrical revolution in the US and also one that drove the development of nuclear power from submarines to generating stations, has filed for bankruptcy*. The New York Times writes:

Westinghouse Electric Company, which helped drive the development of nuclear energy and the electric grid itself, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, casting a shadow over the global nuclear industry.
The filing comes as the company’s corporate parent, Toshiba of Japan, scrambles to stanch huge losses stemming from Westinghouse’s troubled nuclear construction projects in the American South. Now, the future of those projects, which once seemed to be on the leading edge of a renaissance for nuclear energy, is in doubt.
Westinghouse designs were once favoured by the Thatcher governments but only one power station using the Westinghouse SNUPPS system was commissioned, Sizewell B, which will be running until 2035. More to the point, Westinghouse's troubled owners Toshiba had pitched a Westinghouse design for the Moorside complex near Sellafield. The Lancashire Evening Post has the story.


The Guardian last week followed up its investigations into modern-day slavery in the former British protectorate. Qatar is the richest state per capita in the world. The recent announcement of a $6.28bn investment in the UK by Qataris may have contributed to the silence on the part of the rest of our media on the shady foundations on which so much of the state's infrastructure is built.

... and finally

A man in southern Sweden received an unusual surprise on Monday when postal workers somehow managed to confuse him with Vladimir Putin, delivering mail addressed to the Russian President through the Swede's mailbox. More here.

* Westinghouse Brake and Signal at Chippenham, stemming from George Westinghouse's other great invention, the railway air brake, was a separate company and has long since been swallowed by a series of conglomerates. It is now part of Siemens.

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