The Birmingham Brief

The Birmingham Brief - intelligent thought on policy issues.

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Friday 18th March 2011

What future for the nuclear industry?

What future for the nuclear industry?
Description
The tragic events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant constitute the worst nuclear disaster in more than two decades. Whilst the human cost is of paramount importance and rightly dominates the headlines there will also be significant implications for the future of the world wide nuclear industry, which suffered a 20 year decline after the partial core meltdown at Three Mile Island and the disaster at Chernobyl. Both events reinforced the negative public perception toward nuclear power that had emerged over the course of the 1970s.
Date:
Friday 18th March 2011
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Wednesday 17th November 2010

A new discovery in the fight against cholera

Description
Few can have been unaffected by the disturbing scenes following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January. More than one million displaced survivors are now housed in camps around the capital, Port-au-Prince, with squalid sanitation facilities and little access to clean drinking water. Poor sanitation is known to give rise to disease and so it is unsurprising that, at the time of writing, there are more than 2,600 known cases of cholera in Haiti, with more than 250 people having lost their lives.
Date:
Wednesday 17th November 2010
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research

Development of analytical instruments to detect explosives

Development of analytical instruments to detect explosives
Description
The recent terror plot to transport printers containing the explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, from Yemen to Chicago synagogues has once again focused attention on the need to detect explosives reliably and in real-time. PETN is the same explosive that the so-called 'shoe-bomber' tried to set off on an American Airlines jet to Miami in 2001.
Date:
Wednesday 17th November 2010
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research, Social Sciences

How should we keep the lights on?

Description
This was the question at a debate at the University of Birmingham last week held as part of the British Science Festival. Around one-fifth of the power stations in Great Britain will close within five years as air pollution rules get tougher, and most of our nuclear stations will reach the end of their expected lifetimes soon after 2020.
Date:
Wednesday 17th November 2010
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research
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