Should UK have a Darwin Award ?

#1
After the Japanese Tsunami then Energy Minister Chris Huhne ordered inquiry and report by Dr Weightman Head of Nuclear Inspectorate. To report and make recommendations for UK nuclear safety and security.

I would emphasise the responsibility shouldered by Dr Weightman like this. If he gets it wrong the UK might have to be evacuated for centuries on nuclear set aside.

My contribution to this was to copy to Dr Weightman, by invitation, a report I had written some years before.


A backup generator system is electronically controlled. To detect mains failures and to control switching to supply emergency circuitry. And to auto start and run the diesel genny.

They are vital in roles like hospitals, research facilities (like Porton Down to maintain containments of nasty biologicals etc) and for nuclear emergency shut downs.

So how is the control electronics made ?

It emerges from the factory on a system bearing a BSI kitemark. But the fact is BSI (like any other quality regime) does not apply to the factory supply chain.

In this case the company sub contracts its electronics assembly to a small company on a nearby industrial estate. They are not a quality accredited company.

But once a week a blonde lady arrives there in a Range Rover and collects boxes of assembly outwork to distribute to homeworkers (With names like Minnie Mouse and Margaret Thatcher) who earn about 50 pence an hour to top up or "Fiddle" their benefits.

The assembly is not in a static protected environment. But having said that the benefits fiddler stage is the most reliable stage of electronics assembly on its way to protect the existence of the Realm.

It then passes into the factory and is assembled there by a disaffected workforce grubbing along at National Minimum wage level of existence.

The IEE reported that 93% of managers in our electrical industry are unqualified. This company exceeds the trend by having 100% unqualified managers.

The directors concern themselves only with protecting market share.

The politicians too because as UK companies are sued in overseas courts they too see a need to protect market share from further revelations of UK companies falling short of standards and falsifying test records.

As happened with our torpedoes (See Belgrano Falklands having to be attacked by torps designed first in 1923)



I don't suppose the dole fiddlers of Thanet who were making fifty pence an hour will be given any medals for being the least sorry link in the chain.


But they appear to have voted UKIP this week. Perhaps recognising the need to get back to what used to be called British Standards ?
 
#2
I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent bloke. I can solve a puzzle as well as the next man.

I'm finding myself a bit stumped though - what's your point exactly?
 
#4
#6
After the Japanese Tsunami then Energy Minister Chris Huhne ordered inquiry and report by Dr Weightman Head of Nuclear Inspectorate. To report and make recommendations for UK nuclear safety and security.
If I was in charge of the Ministry of Really Important Things, then ArRSe is where I'd come for help with my homework.

Have a medal
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#7
I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent bloke. I can solve a puzzle as well as the next man.

I'm finding myself a bit stumped though - what's your point exactly?
He has no point, he is infact pointless.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#8
I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent bloke. I can solve a puzzle as well as the next man.

I'm finding myself a bit stumped though - what's your point exactly?
FFS, Zero, it's BounceBanana, nothing he posts makes sense or has a point!!
 
#13
I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent bloke. I can solve a puzzle as well as the next man.

I'm finding myself a bit stumped though - what's your point exactly?
Thank **** for that I thought I was going mental.
 
#15
It made sense to me. Does that make me odd?

How relevant BB's report from "some years before", on the reliability of control electronics, is something we'll never know.

I had a job once that involved updating the schedules for power-supplies from emergency generators for a very big company. very tedious it was, revised every month. Someone noticed the generators had very few hours on the clock which didn't correllate with the maintenance records, so they fired them up. Well, tried to; they were all seized.

I think the issue with the Japanese emergency cooling systems and stand-by generators was that they didn't perform very well when submerged in salt water, rather than the reliability of the electronic controllers.

How could you construct a fail-safe cooling system? Gravity feed open-circuit from hill-top reservoirs, via aqueducts or pipelines? Closed circuit, pumps driven by turbines powered by hill-top reservoirs? Digital programmable pneumatic logic controllers?

I haven't got the foggiest.
 
#17
Although BB understands the quality control issues of electronic components used the control systems of the back up generators for nuclear facilities, he does not understand the concept of the Darwin Awards.

As nobody has removed themselves from the gene pool by means of their own stupidity, the answer is “No, the UK should not have its own Darwin Award”.
 
#18
Although BB understands the quality control issues of electronic components used the control systems of the back up generators for nuclear facilities, he does not understand the concept of the Darwin Awards.

As nobody has removed themselves from the gene pool by means of their own stupidity, the answer is “No, the UK should not have its own Darwin Award”.
Or maybe we should rephrase the question along the lines of; "Would the UK qualify for a national Darwin award, in the event of a large proportion of the population being removed by a cooling system that didn't, due to a controller supplied by the lowest bidder ( assuming there was someone left to award the award)?"

Personally, I think the answer should be an emphatic "Yes!" However, the assembley of controllers by sub-minimum wage fraudsters and dullards is relatively sound, compared to the number of RTGs left lying around by the former-USSR or lobbed into space by NASA atop one of their multi-stage fireworks. I suspect the answer to the quest for a failsafe cooling system will involve more, bigger RTGs.

Besides which, the controllers BB describes are merely one part of the control chain; the weakest link is ( I will guarantee) the installation and maintenance contractors' staff, managers and operatives. They don't recruit those who command the highest wages.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
I cant work out what point he is trying to make however considering we have just agreed to pay the japofrench consortium 14bn for a new reactor - just how much did gordon get selling the japs westinghouse?
 
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