Friday, August 22, 2008

Bees Descend Upon a Nuclear Plant in Britain

Here's something you don't ever read about:

Nuclear sites are often havens for wildlife, but Britain's Sellafield proved too popular recently when a swarm of 40,000 bees descended on its Waste Encapsulation Plant. The main entrance near where the bees had gathered was immediately closed, and pest control specialists were summoned to neutralise the insect threat. However, the tiny creatures were saved from doom by the quick thinking of Tony Calvin, manufacturing manager at the neighbouring Magnox Encapsulation Plant. An amateur bee-keeper for ten years, Calvin raced home to fetch his specialised equipment before tempting the swarm to a new hive and moving them to a more becoming environment.

2 comments:

Matthew66 said...

Bees love making hives in inconvenient places for humans. I knew a church in Melbourne, Australia that would get bees in its very tall hollow and unused bellfry. One time they decided to fumigate the tower, which killed all the bees. Unfortunately, they could not extract the honey or wax structures, so as soon as the poison broke down, a new swarm of bees took up residence. Designing buildings to avoid this issue, and the issue of undersirable wildlife generally, is now necessary in most parts of the world.

enochthered said...

I don't think the electricity bill from experimenting with these things will ever be too astonishingly high, but deuterium, even in 50 L cylinders, is never cheap.

Of course, although they don't generate net energy output, inertial electrostatic confinement "reactors" fusing deuterium (and tritium, for the really high end stuff) are indeed useful, as small, portable neutron generators, for thermal neutron analysis, explosives detection and things like that, that you can just switch off, which you can't do with a radioactive source.

They make for one hell of a science fair project, too.