Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

UC09: page 1

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

• UNDERCURRENTS, the magazine of radical science and alternative technology [ISSN 0306 2392], was published from London, England, from 1973 to 1984 [No. 60]. This text version has been created in 2006-8 by me, Chris [Hutton-]Squire [a member of the nowdissolved Undercurrents Collective], by OCRing scanned images of a print copy; the text has been spell-checked but it has NOT been checked against the original. Health & Safety Warning: The practical, technical and scientific information herein [though believed to be accurate at the time of publication] may now be out of date. CAVEAT LECTOR! The many stories that Undercurrents told will interest students of a period that is both too distant and too recent to be adequately documented on the Web. The moral, philosophical, social, economic and political opinions herein remain, in my opinion, pertinent to the much more severe problems we now face. Readers who wish correspond on any matters arising are invited to contact me via: chris[at]cjsquire.plus.com This pdf version is formatted in 15 pt Optima throughout, so as to be easily readable on screen; it runs to 133 pages [the print versions were 48 - 56 pp.]: readers wishing to print it out to read are recommended to use the text version and to reformat it. The many pictures that embellished the print version are sadly not included here. There no restrictions on the use of this material but please credit individual authors where credit is due: they are mostly still with us. Page numbers below are for this pdf version. The beginning of each section or article is indicated thus:

Undercurrents number 9 January-February 1975
EDDIES: Heathrow - Was There a Nuclear Threat? 5 Eddie Currents De-Bunking the Bunkers Bariloche: Limits to Growth, Latin Style 12 Gusher's Friggin' on the Rig 22 Letters 24 Undercurrents/LID Product Review: solar collector 32 Nature et progres: report and pictures 36 NUCLEAR POWER: Special Feature 44 Hudson Report: reflections 87 Home Food Production: can it slash Britain's import bill? 94 REVIEWS: Offensive Missiles/ We shall not be MIRVed/ Race & IQ/ Value Today/ Limits of the City/Makin' It/ Fields, Factories &Workshops 106
UC09: page 2

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

''Wot's this ?", you may well be thinking. "Advertising? In Undercurrents?" You may well feel we owe you an explanation. Here it is. Until recently, we've rejected display advertising because we felt that anything worth saying to our readers could be said in a small ad. We also felt we didn't want to give a platform in our magazine to organisations we either disapproved of or were indifferent to, just because they could pay for space. And we didn't want to become dependent on advertising revenue to the extent that it might affect our ability to publish if it were withdrawn. What's more, we didn't want to run the risk of being accused (however unfairly) of tailoring our editorial policy to suit our advertising market. What we hadn't envisaged was a situation where we might want to give more than small-ad space to announcements of products or services which the majority of our readers would be keenly interested in. But this, with the emergence of dozens of "AT" products on the market over the past year, is exactly what's happened. If our readers, and our potential readers, can't read about such products and services in UNDERCURRENTS, then they will find another magazine which gives them the information they want without setting it in the radical social and political context which, we believe, is vital if "alternative technology" is ever to help build a better society. Of course, we still won't allow advertisers to take up valuable space in the magazine unless we feel they have something interesting to say, and we'll refuse to accept any ads which we feel are misleading, or are a waste of space. As a deterrent, we'll be charging more per column inch as space increases, not less' ( most magazines do the opposite). And we've set an upper limit of one page per ad. Moreover, we're moving on to the offensive in tackling the proliferation of A T hardware by starting a Product Reviews section. In each issue, we'll analyse a particular product in detail, pointing out its disadvantages, its advantages, and the value for money it represents. We also hope to probe the methods and motives of the companies producing these various devices. In each issue there will also be a directory section giving names and addresses of manufacturers, and eventually, a brief "potted" review of their products. And for those who prefer to roll their own instead of buying off-the-shelf devices, we'll have a regular DIY Project section. To avoid becoming dependent on ad. revenue, we will set the cover price so that it pays completely for at least 48 pages of editorial
UC09: page 3

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

content in each issue. If there are more than 4 pages of advertising in any issue, we will add a total of eight pages to the magazine's size. So advertising, while not subsidising the basic magazine, will help to make it bigger (assuming we get any, of course). We also undertake to investigate any complaints from readers who feel they have been misled by any ad. in Undercurrents and, if the complaint is justified, to have the advertisement corrected or withdrawn. Undercurrents is designed and edited by Sally and Godfrey Boyle. Pat Coyne edited the Nuclear Power section. Tony Durham and Martin Ince handled the reviews, and Martin Ince and Barbara Kern put the ads ( and who knows what else) together. Peter Harper sez he's going to Australia but nobody believes it yet, and Chris Hutton Squire says he's going to get us organised but nobody believes that either. Jenny and Janet did some of the setting, the rest being hacked out on the UC Executive. Richard Elen produced sounds and drew nice pictures. Brian Dax screened the Pics, and Brian Ford helped with the subs. Thanks to Nigel and Mary and the Finchley Road folk for handling the letters and answering the phone. We owe our continuing existence to a very large number of people: they include Graham Andrews, Charlie Clutterbuck, Duncan Campbell, Oliver Caldecott, Sooty Eleftheriou, Gerry Foley, Dave Elliott, Lyn Gambles, David Gardiner, Herbie Girardet, Ian Hogan, Cliff Harper, Roger Hall, Satish Kumar, John Prudhoe, Kit Pedler, Lois & Suki Pryce, Ted Poulter, Pat Pringle, Chris Ryan, Pat Rivers, Ant Stoll, Liz Short, Peter Sommer, Dieter Pevsner, Pete Stellon, Stefan Watsisname, the Terrible Taylor Brothers, Ray Shannon, John Shore John Wood, Geoff Watts, and all the other people we've forgotten to mention. Undercurrents is published every two months (well, almost) by Undercurrents Limited, a democratic, non-profit company, without share capital and Limited by Guarantee. Telephone 01 794 2750. Printed by Graham Andrews Web Offset, Reading. If you're interested in helping on Undercurrents in any way, you might like to come along to one of our weekly meetings. Space is limited, but ring 01 794 2750 for details of when the meetings are held, and where. (Applications from members of the Special Branch should be in writing). Give us notice, and you'll be welcome to come and meet the odd bunch who run the show at the moment: but be warned, you may find yourself landed with some work to do.
UC09: page 4

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

EDDIES: Heathrow - Was There a Nuclear Threat? 1 WHEN TROOPS and tanks were sent into Heathrow Airport in the second week of January 1974, it was quickly clear that, whatever the truth was, the government wasn't It telling it. The official line was that "terrorists may try to mount an anti':";aircraft attack with missiles. Troops and police are attempting to cover areas over which aircraft pass low as they take off and land •.. "(Times, Jan 7th). The threat was almost universally assumed to come from Arab terrorists, such as the group arrested in Rome in September 1973. The terrorists possessed the SAM-7 Russian,surface-to-air missile, it was said. And according to the same Times report and others, the SAM -7 had a height range of 3000 feet and a radius of 3 miles, homing on ITa SOurCE of heat, such as an aircraft exhaust". That any newspaper could publish these two facts simultaneously without comment is astonishing. Commercial airlIners frequently pass over central London at heights lower than 3000 feet, and on westbound approaches to Heathrow will almost certainly fly over West London at less than 2500 feet. Indeed, airliners on short haul 'routes or hops such as Heathrow /Orly, frequently do not rise above 5000 feet at all. An Arab terrorist armed with a shoulder-fired missile needs only to sit on his patio in Richmond and listen to Air Traffic Control on his VHF radio in order to pick off, say, the EI A flight incoming from Tel Aviv. But the 400 troops and police confined themselves to setting up checkpoints for one mile round Heathrow, plus "patrols as far as Windsor and Eton in the West, and as tar as t.;Chiswick in the East"{Daily Telegraph, Jan 7th). An occasional salty up the A4 to the Chiswick flyover is unlikely to have deterred the hypothetical terrorist, who might have been anywhere in the neighbouring 50 square miles. Whatever the troops went in for, it wasn't to protect airliners against SAM attack. A further discrepancy in the official story was the use of Scorpion light tanks and Saracen, Saladin, and Ferret armoured cars by the troops. The use of a tank gun in a built up area is inconceivable; it could not have been fired without causing immense damage even to a deserted airport. Even the light guns on some armoured cars would be unusable. There was
UC09: page 5

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

an official explanation for the tanks; the Army had to use "whatever. vehicles were available for transport and communications at ;short notice ..•• "(Daily Telegraph, Jan 8th). This explanation was nonsense. There are five infantry battalions (of 400 men) stationed in and around London, anyone of which could have been posted to Heathrow. In fact, the government sent in the Blues and Royals, an armoured regiment who are equipped with tanks and armoured cars. They had come from Windsor Barracks, where at least 400 troops of the Grenadier Guards were available, together with some 30 to 40 trucks and land--rovers. Both the units sent (the Blues and Royals and the Irish Guards) also have sufficient normal transport available (again about 30 trucks and land-rovers) for 'transport and communication I purposes. As a last resort, the Cavalry Headquarters, Hounslow would have had plenty of transport, just 6 miles away from Heathrow. So the use of tanks and armoured cars was a deliberate part of the Government strategy. As the siege of H~Heathrow continued, some details leaked out. Reports on January 10th, both here and in Europe, said that "it was triggered by the discovery, over Christmas, that a number of NA TO missiles and other weapons had been stolen from a Belgian Army base, apparently the one at Duren, near Cologne. II (Guardian, Jan loth) "There was no evidence, " the report continued, "that SAM-7Is had been smuggled into Europe as a number of reports have suggested." This somewhat open -ended story from Richard Norton-Taylor and David Fairhall went on to point out the discrepancies in Home Secretary Robert Carr's statement on January 7th. The reports, which came from both NATO and Belgian sources, were unclear as to exactly what weapons had been stolen. Although theY Belgian Army itself possesses no nuclear weapons, it administers the Duren depot (which is in fact inside the German border) on behalf of NA TO. This depot is one of a network west of the River Rhine, which" includes Machrihanish and Glen Douglas in Scotland, and Alconbury, Chepstow, and Burtonwood in England. The depots arc administered by different armies on behalf of NATO. Like the British depots maintained by the UK and the US. Duren is . likely to hold nuclear munitions for use by
UC09: page 6

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

tactical forces. And these could include Honest John atomic shells. Meanwhile, the official line changed, to become the threat of an American Redeye antiaircraft missile in the hands of an unspecified terrorist group. This, once again, was nonsense - an attempt to cover up whatever the truth of the leak was. The Redeye missile is an exact equivalent of the SAI\1-7, heat-seeking, and with a range of 3000 feet or so. Like its Soviet brother it is portable and is fired from the shoulder. There is little doubt that whatever did go on at Duren that Christmas night led directly to the Heathrow manouevres, .. eleven days later, Precautions began immediately: ":Most major European Airports were put under heavy guard on Boxing Day." (Sunday Times, Jan 13th), And more than airports were involved: according to various reports, military guards were immediately deployed along the Belgian/Dutch and Belgian/ German frontier. The French Anti-Commando Brigade (CRS) was mobilised and on alert. A report in Canada (see Times, Jan 7th) said that Britain's Air Defence system was alerted on January 4th, due to fears of an (airborne) rocket attack. For some reason, the alert was stepped up during and after the first week in January. Troops moved into Heathrow airport on January 5th. On January 13th, the Sunday Times reported that armoured cars were patrolling all major German airports, and that heavy military guard had been placed on refineries, petrol barges, and depots. The Dutch Army patrolled its Belgian border from January 9th. Brussels airport was heavily guarded, as were major air\ports in Denmark, the N Netherlands, France and Italy. Whoever took the NATO weapons was still around and active two weeks later. It also seems likely that a careful plot to infiltrate NATO had been worked out. A report from SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe) spoke of a Duren employee who "revealed the theft (and) refused to talk any more and to give details which could help investigators." (Daily Telegraph, Jan 10th). Nothing more was ever heard of this person, whom another report implied to be a conscripted Belgian Officer.
UC09: page 7

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

THE TRUTH? Certainly, the official line on the Heathrow manouevres was greeted with derision, if not in the national press, at least in many other magazines. The story didn't, couldn't fit. A popular alternative was to view it as a rehearsal for the British Army 'coming back home', to practice counterinsurgency on the mainland - or as a preparation for the military coup on which Lord Chalfont and others were luridly speculating at the time. This story just doesn't fit either; far too many things were going on, extending far out of the reach of any British Military control, for the coup rehearsal theory to be plausible. There is some evidence, indeed, that this line of thought may have been encouraged as a cover-up by the Home Office. In mid January, Army Ferret scout cars and others followed a Workers Revolutionary Party demonstration through central London, apparently by coincidence. With the blitz of Private Army stories hitting Britain during the summer, these and all such events have - to the Left especially - become part of preparations for a 'fascist takeover I. But could the take)over story have been planted on ;he Left? -R was certainly unlikely as far as those Heathrow manoeuvres were concerned. (Although the 'continuing exercises' may be a different story. ::>Once you're on to a good thing •. . . . ) With the little information that !:has leaked out of Belgium and NATO, it is possible to reconstruct the events and lay a whole new interpretation on. them, however • A terrorist group infiltrated the Belgian Army, culminating in the theft of some weapon or weapons from the Duren base early on Boxing Day. The theft was discovered some five hours later, by which time the group would have had time to travel to parts of Germany, Belgium, the~ Netherlands, or possibly France. By the time a watch was put on ports and borders, they might well have had time to get rather further afield. The weapon or weapons stolen could have been the atomic shells used in the Honest John gun, which is standard NATO equipment. THE PEOPLE'S BOMB ? If it became known that a terrorist group possessed an atomic weapon,
UC09: page 8

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

the group would have unique power. Even if they had stolen it and then just buried it in a field, or merely sent an envelope of weapons-grade plutonium to the UN, they would h;~p. to be taken very seriously. The political tactics of a 'People's bomb' have been considered elsewhere. (See "Towards a People's Bomb" by Pat Coyne in Undercurrents No.2). The ,more practical aspects of revolutionary atomic warfare might work like this. It is necessary to select a target which is vital to the 'enemy' country's economy and will therefore be a real threat. It would also seem inappropriate to attack a city, however easy, since the urban population may well be that which you wish to win over. But an airport is an ideal target on two grounds:(1) It represents an immense amount of capital accumulation, both in terms of hardware and in terms of trading importance. (2) The entire transport system around a major airport is geared: to very fast movement of large numbers of people. It follows, therefore, that an airport's hinterland is the largest area of most-easily-evacuated population\. The intensification of activity around mid January suggests that the group had surfaced with a threat to a major European airport. Although threats from the usual Arab terrorist/European anarchist/IRA groups are normally published, in order to win so-called 'moderates' to the government's side, on this , occasion nothing was heard ex ... except vague references. Yet manifestly, a serious threat had been made to Western Europe, in harder terms than "intelligence reports". Of course we don't mow what weapons they took, or where they took them. But one guide is the extraordinary deployment of tanks a short distance from Heathrow. It might well be that, given a group determined to get within a mile of Heathrow in a heavy truck, tanks alone could have stopped them. It would have been safe to shoot, as the population would have been evacuated. It would be almost impossible to set off the nuclear warhead as the result 01 a conventional explosion by a tank shell: each subcritical mass; has to come together at the right place at the right time and
UC09: page 9

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

speech Also, the neutron reflector around it must be intact. The Heathrow military deployment would be appropriate to the small but definite possibility of an atomic attack by terrorists. But nothing happened. The precautions all over Europe. petered out a few weeks later, while Britain was in the throes of a three day week, the miners strike, general election and other Heath-mania. Since no bomb went off, no airliner was attack , and no radical demands were quietly met by any European Government (to our knowledge) we must assume that they failed . Since the terrorists' accompliCE inside the Duren base was caught it is possible that he broke down under psychological torture by NA TO, and may have assisted. in their capture a few weeks later though no-one, apparent' , was brought to trial. But then it would have been impossible~ to try them without exposing the truth about the atom bomb. theft; and to do so would be politically inexpedient. Very inexpedient. Ephemeral figures, quietly shot, their bodies burned they never existed. Was this the end of the European Freedom Fighters, and their Peoples' Bomb? Duncan Campbell eddie currents Your Country's Scientists Need YOU: MISSED THE war? Well, now's your chance to do. your bit to help a 'vital programme of medical tests'. The Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down desperately needs guinea pigs to test its latest lethal lachrymators (tear gases to you and me). Those who volunteer, in reply to massive advertising in certain government publications, will be paid £15 to £30 a week. depending on the 'amount of work' (perhaps £30 is what you get for posthumous work?). 18 volunteers are needed for each of the 21 test periods over the next year. You need not be a 'superman', but must be 'well motivated' (after all, we can't have any anarchists getting practice running through CR gas clouds, can we?). Our nation's Chemical Warfare Establishment, to give it an honest title, stresses the recreational and sports facilities at Porton Down. Not to mention 'the large range area on which some outdoor trials are conducted which offers plenty of rambling opportunities in unspoilt countryside'. Perhaps they are referring to the
UC09: page 10

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

7000 acres of the beautiful Wiltshire Downs which were closed off and sealed up in order to create this establishment. Bookings are being taken . now, so just send along your form 838/74. Regretfully, only children over the age of 18 may accompany you. And, as you ramble over the 'unspoilt countryside I. spare a thought for the three villages - Porton. Gomeldon, and Idmiston which have already been delivered the kiss of death. And for the people of Northern Ireland, whose country is the real 'testing ground I for the weaponry of Porton Down. There’s a bomb in my sewage MEET conservationist David R. Safrany. He describes himself as an admirer of the California coast. which he rides along on a motorcycle and flies over in an aeroplane that he pilots himself. Naturally he is concerned about future energy supplies. In Scientific American (October 1974) he proposes a wonderful scheme for converting organic waste into valuable fertilizer. Now don't leap to conclusions. Dr Safrany hasn't invented an improved compost heap. Rather, he proposes that the waste should be pumped into an underground cavity and blown up with a thermonuclear bomb. The waste would be almost 100% converted into carbon monoxide and hydrogen: and the hydrogen could be combined with atmospheric nitrogen to yield (after a radiological wash and brush-up) nitrogenous fertilizer. Of course organic waste, as usually understood. isn't a bad fertilizer itself and frankly we're astonished that Dr Safrany didn't spot the short cut: forget about underground cavities, carry out the explosion at ground level and you can instantly plaster the fields with shit for ten miles. Un-plugging the operators MASSIVE INCREASES In the area of the globe which can be dialed from Britain's telephones were announced shortly before Christmas. Subscribers in many parts of the country can now dial directly to South
UC09: page 11

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Israel - though charges are as high as a pound a minute for the more distant areas. This move reduces still further the amount of work done at the various international switchboards and, conveniently, reduces the Post Office's vulnerability to industrial action taken by its telephone operators in search of better working conditions. This summer, telephonists at the London International exchanges staged a go-slow in support of wage demands which were never fully met. They "Blacked' the other international exchanges, particularly the one at Brighton which had refused to go-slow. But subscribers at Brighton were soon able to dial the calls for themselves, since, by a curious coincidence. the ISD (International Subscriber Dialing) facilities were brought into service in their area at that very time. As a local PO spokesman smugly commented: "Any blacklist would no longer be relevant." A go-slow or cut-back over the Christmas period could have been crippling, because of the vast amount of overtime and holiday-time working necessary to maintain services. But ISO was ready and waiting to bypass any stroppy operators. And coincidence it isn't. DE-BUNKING THE BUNKERS UNDERCURRENTS~NTS HAS received further material from Anarchists Anonymous, a secretive London (?) group whose pamphlet 'London - The Other Underground' was featured in Undercurrents 8. The group have produced a detailed map which shows in full the underground shelter tunnels and surface structures they claim to have identified. But how reliable is all this tunnel information? Undercurrents now takes a hard look at the evidence. IN 1963, a pamphlet was distributed by Spies for Peace describing in full and disturbing detail the Regional Seats of Government - the secret, dispersed bunkers from which wartime Britain will be ruled. These still exist, ,and are still supposedly 'secret', But the eND movement which gave birth to the Spies has lost its momentum: research into, ~d publicity about, such naked symbols of authoritarian rule has become fragmented
UC09: page 12

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

and uncertain. Anarchists Anonymous have tried to stem this tide of indifference by bringing together some of the published data and adding their own knowledge and experience of the London Transport Underground. But paranoid rum our still abounds; if all of it were believed, one could get on the Queen's private-underground motorway at Heathrow, stop for tea on the Victoria line below Buck House, and not hit daylight till one arrived at the P 0 tower restaurant; or hop on an electricar and travel all the way from Epping Forest to Croydon by private tunnel. It can't all be true. MYTHS Much of the Anarchists Anonymous information is clearly taken from the first-ever book on the subject, Peter I Laurie's Beneath The City Streets . Laurie attempted to discover the locations of the possible tunnels by starting from known deep-level (i. e. 100 feet or more down) tunnels carrying Post Office telephone cables. Some of these had been built in World War 1I -, and were much extended later. He assumed that their designation as 'cable tunnels' was far less than the truth, and concluded that they were in fact part of a large network of tunnels interconnecting government buildings in London. This theory was backed up by a careful analysis of the London telephone system, which attempted to link various buildings in certain telephone 'sectors' which had to be connected by a 'cable' tunnel. But this theory of the telephone system was incorrect, as he later explained (see Undercurrents 7). Yet the AA pamphlets have repeated much of this information without giving references or authority. So close to Laurie's are their maps and lists, in some cases, that his book must be the main source. And although there is strong evidence for a score or more of specific, deep installations, there is only one known certain reference to a network of interlinking tunnels - other than those genuinely carrying telephone cables, water, sewage, trains, or mail. It comes from none other than Winston Churchill,- who says in The Second World War that "several' buildings were connected. He also says that there are less than a dozen so connected. So,much of the network that Anarchists Anonymous have copied from
UC09: page 13

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Laurie could be more myth than reality. MONSTROSITIES But there are undoubtedly a considerable number of specific underground sites which hide the apparatus vital to controlling the country from public sight. These~ include the seven deep shelters built in World War II, all of which are still kept in working order, with services and . communications laid on. They include a considerable number of telecommunications centres, such as: Kingsway trunk telephone exchange - buried almost 200' under High Holborn, is a major long distance exchange. It also contains an entire and unused 10,000 line exchange which in an emergency would be the only working exchange in London. All other phones would go dead. (See the Post Office's Courier magazine, 1972) Whitehall (1Sb on map) military equivalent of Kingsway, connects inter alia with the Pentagon, and major British and German bases according to the P 0 Circuits Index. Q is a secret Post Office code denoting Ministry of Defence connections. It is 150' under Whitehall. Horseferry Tandem (see Plessey's glossy technical journal, Systems Technology, Nos 15 and 17) is located in the Rotundas, massive concrete cylinders which form the foundations of the Marsham St government offices. It is the nucleus of normal government communications in London, e.g. all calls to the Palace of Westminster go through this exchange. Defence Message Switching Centre (See Systems Technology) (15a on map) beneath Trafalgar sq. is the central communications control for NATO and the military forces. Another small telecommunication unit lies some way below the Post Office Tower, and is known as Mercury. There are substantial underground workings extending from Centre Point to Euston, touching Goodge St station and the P 0 tower. A further telecommunications centre is now under construction well below St Paul's cathedral, under cover of the building of the Fleet Line. Several other underground workings exist. As shown on the map, the Post Office has both a network of cable tunnels and its :>own electric tube railway system connecting most of the major railway stations and sorting offices. But this system does not approach any of the interesting sites,
UC09: page 14

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

except Centre Point. There are, however, plenty Df old station sites which are no longer used, and new workings whose current purpose is not entirely known. They include the former Down St station; the Goodge St deep shelter and its interconnections with sites in the Tottenham Court Rd area; one section of the Holborn Aldwych Piccadilly Line extension, and so on .... A fascinating addition to the litany of stories is the alleged unopened Bakerloo Line extension to Camberwell. What function this serves is not made ~lear by the AA pamphlet, although it may throw an inter~sting light on government machinations. The building of ;;such an extension was discussed, and rejected, some years ago. Perhaps like some sections of the Victoria Line and the Fleet Line, it had already been built. And there's more - rang-ing- from simple underground car parks in Whitehall, to rather more covert parks, like the military vehicle park beneath Hyde Park connected to Knightsbridge barracks. The difficulty about all these theories is that there's no apparent need for many of the extensive London tunnels suggested. In either role - nuclear wartime or counter-civilian operations - guns and tanks can defend such few buildings as need to operate in an emergency situation. The London tunnels would not survive a nuclear attack - this has been obvious from the mid 50's. The really important control points need to be well protected and dispersed - which they are already, away from London. The now well-known network of Regional Controls, (as the Regional Seats of Government are now called), are specifically designed for so-called Civil Defence purposes and none of them is in London. The bureaucrats would administer from there, not from some disused extension of the Bakerloo Line. We are all seduced by the word 'Underground'. It takes you back, excitingly, to school-kid days, and men from Mars, and all that. But the task of emergency counter-revolutionary action does not require underground installations. In Belfast, the army does not live in concealed underground lairs. It operates from buildings and bases right
UC09: page 15

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

in the middle of the trouble area. Nor is its control concealed in any way. There are enough troops to protect it. Enough of tunnels and military takeovers. The silly season is over. What would be nice e to get next from Anarchists Anonymous would be some careful details of some of the subterranean installations they are sure about - and the entrances and exits, please: I'd really like to go down and pick some mushrooms. For starters, how about the map of Kingsway overpage ( courtesy of PO Courier), spiced with a few pictures of our own .. Redeye Latin America: no Limits to “Growth with Justice”? IF LAND were socialised, wealth redistributed and the economy perfectly planned, Latin America could meet the basic needs of its people in about thirty years time. This is the conclusion of a group at the Fondacion Barilache in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which has constructed a unique forward-looking computer model of the world economy. The study holds out hope for the rest of the Third World, too. But the same basic level will take longer to reach - perhaps two generations for Africa and three for Asia. The group's Technical Report will be published in February. It could, and should, create a stir as big as Kahn and Wiener's The Year 2000 did in 1967, and the Meadows's Limits to Growth did in 1972. Kahn seized the world's imagination with technological pipe-dreams. Then Meadows smashed the dream with warnings of ecological catastrophe. But now, if Bariloche can grab the public imagination in the same way, it is time for (qualified) hope again. This time perhaps we shall be able to see the shades of grey we ignored when we labeled Kahn as an optimist (neglecting his scenarios of nuclear war) and Meadows a pessimist (discounting his hopes for a state of global equilibrium.) It was the Limits to Growth study, carried out at MIT for the Chili of Rome, that indissolubly linked computers with Future studies in the public mind. The message that natural resources have well-defined limits, and that when we reach these limits catastrophe will ensue, still moulds many peoples' thinking even though the original study has now been
UC09: page 16

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

criticized on almost every item both of its method and its data. But very few people outside futurological circles remember even the most thorough of the critiques, which was produced by the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University. For the Barilache group (who have worked closely with Sussex, incidentally), the starting point is still The Limits to Growth. Already in 1972, the voices of Third World countries like Brazil were heard at the UN's Stockholm conference attacking the suggestion that growth should be halted. They suspected that the so-called "ecological" arguments were simply an excuse for keeping the rich countries rich and the poor countries poor. But that's about all that Bariloche and the Brazilian government have in common. Barilache wants "growth with justice", while the Brazilian ruling class is quite happy with a nice expanding "GNP and doesn't mind the squalor and brutality it conceals. Obviously, there is no point in expressing a belief in growth if no resources exist to support that growth. Readers are bound to sit up in their chairs when they get to the "nonrenewable and energy resources" sector of the Bariloche model, for its three basic assumptions are that minerals won't run out in the foreseeable future, that the cost of exploiting them will remain essentially constant, and that the cost of energy will stay constant or even drop in the fairly near future. For any good environmentalist, brought up to believe that by 1985 our richest remaining source of mercury will b~ 'canned: tuna, these are startling assumptions. But ,3, behind them is a detailed analysis of what a "resource" really is, in both geological and political terms. The conclusion is that in most cases ''known reserves" can be multiplied by a factor of 10 or 20, due to the combined effects of new discoveries of mineral deposits, mining of the sea bed and the deeper levels of the earth', crust, and exploitation of known low-grade deposits - either with new technology or else with existing technology and increased production costs. Of course, Limits to Growth considered most or all of these possibilities and yet reached the opposite- conclusion that a mineral resource crisis would be upon us soon. I suspect the main difference between MIT and Bariloche may be in their respective attitudes to the substitution of one material for another. Bariloche is
UC09: page 17

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

optimistic, pointing out that the structural metals iron and aluminium are essentially limitless, that aluminium can replace copper in electrical engineering, and that other substitutions can be made in the chemical industry. Photography, for example, is possible without silver. It stands to reason that substitution will be easy in the industries of the Third World which will, under the assumptions of the model, be addressed to the satisfaction of simple human needs. On the other hand the technologically-exotic industries of North America, from which MIT got their figures, would certainly be hit hard by shortages of rare elements with specialised uses. Thus there may well be tight limits on certain kinds of groWth. As petrol heads for £1 a gallon, the Barilache assumption of steady or falling energy prices seems to conflict with reality. True, the so-called energy crisis II is merely a price crisis; but surely even a price crisis can be a severe obstacle to growth? Barilache's answer is that soon the price of energy) will be set not by oil but by nuclear power. By the year 2000 they expect about half the world's electricity to be nuclear. Unfortunately there is very little foundation for this optimism Elsewhere in this issue of Undercurrents is presented some of the evidence that all the hoary promises of cheap nuclear energy are false. It would be very interesting to see how the Bariloche computer model would be affected by alternative assumptions about the future of world energy supplies: for example. if nuclear programmes were halted and if the resources released were invested in sun, wind and water power. Perhaps it is unfair to concentrate on a few tiny areas of the big system model, but it does seem worth mentioning two further assumptions which are at the least questionable. One concerns urbanization. statistics for many countries show that the more the population concentrates in the towns, the greater the improvement in various statistics such as literacy or life expectancy. The structure of the Bariloche model seems to imply that urbanization is the cause of these improvements, which of course is not necessarily so at all. It could be that urbanization, increasing literacy, greater life expectancy and so on are all merely symptoms of a certain type of economic growth, perhaps a rather imbalanced one. Very few countries have taken effective ~steps to oppose the flow to the cities, so the statistics simply don't show the possibility of progress without . urbanization. Admittedly the Bariloche definition of urbanization seems
UC09: page 18

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

to be a fairly broad one, which would even include the coming together of a group of isolated farmers into a village-size cooperative. But can this really be regarded as part of the same process as the sprawling shanty towns and the traffic-strangled city centres? Similar logic seems to have influenced the Bariloche attitude to chemical fertilisers. No country has even tried to expand its agricultural production without them, so inevitably the statistics show a whacking great correlation between fertilizer use and agricultural production. But is this a reason for giving fertilizer production absolute priority in agricultural investment, as the computer model does? It would have been nice to see at least an attempt to answer the question: can compost feed the world? The apparently "tough" attitude to ecology reflects a feeling which is, from a Third World point of view, quite justified: the catastrophe is now, and the worst pollution is the squalor and poverty of everyday life. Compared with this, the risks of nuclear accidents or over-use of fertilizers must seem remote. In any case, the 'world model was not designed to prove points about energy policy or agricultural techniques. The overriding objective has been to show that poverty can be vanquished, if socialism is taken as a precondition. The authors of the Bariloche report are quite frank about its being a political manifesto. Reactionaries will of course put it down as "unrealistic ". But their own efforts at futurology will remain tarred by the same brush. The Limits to Growth study itself was presented as non-political, and yet it deliberately excludes consideration of the distribution of wealth within any country. If Bariloche achieves nothing else, it will at least demonstrate that every scenario of the future contains ideological assumptions, hidden or explicit. A public which grasps this message will be better placed to start creating its own future. Tony Durham In A LOW-ENERGY Society-But How?" That's the title of a new pamphlet produced by one of Sweden's main environmental groups. It begins with a general discussion of recent energy debates and states the basic arguments against high energy usage - environmental disruption, global inequalities, over-dependence on external sources of supply, and
UC09: page 19

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

so on-and relates them to other problems of contemporary industrial societies. It then discusses various stages in the transition to a low-energy society: stage one stays within the market framework; stage two moves beyond it towards production for use rather than market demand. The pamphlet goes on to examine the relations between capitalist growth and the development of high-energy societies, and deals with some common misconceptions about a low energy society. stage three of the transition is then outlined: :this entails a decentralised social structure, and permits total independence of fossil and nuclear fuels. The Chinese example is then considered, and the booklet ends with a critique of nonpolitical environmentalism and a call for activists to join the struggle. ~ An English translation is being prepared, but copies in Swedish are now available from Per Janse. Vikingsgatan 10, Stockholm 11342. Price £1. 00. IT'S THE A.T. SHOW! A NEW OPEN UNIVERSITY Course called "Man-made Futures: Design and Technology" and dealing with technological change and its relation to social change. begins in February. The Course will centre on nine self study books, eleven TV programmes and eight radio programmes. The books will cover topics like "Technology and Society", "Policy and Participation", and "Design and Technology", backed by a set of three so-called "Future Access Files" on the future of Shelter, Food and Work. Among the TV programmes to be screened is one on the BRAD Community at Eithin-y-Gaer (April 13). Programmes on the future of Shelter. Food and Work will be shown on March 16, May 4 and June 15 respectively. Programmes will be broadcast on BBC2 at 9.20 am on Sunday mornings, just to make sure that only the dedicated are watching. Should be worth the effort, though: as the OU blurb puts it; "An assumption underlying the course is that, in Western society, we are
UC09: page 20

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

now at a major decision point: whether to go on struggling with the problems generated by adherence to advanced technologies and a growth economy, or to turn to radically new set of problems and possibilities associated with the social and technological implications of a finite world. "These new problems suggest that we may have to design new kinds of life support systems - and new ways of living with them. The course assists students to learn of alternative technologies being suggested and experimented with, and to develop their own versions of a preferable direction for future technological change. Graham Caine of the Street Farmers ponders the question ''What's Science Doing for you ?" - the main topic discussed during the recent 'Alternative Technology Event' at the Lee Green community centre in South-East London;h Graham gave a talk and slide show about the history, building and ideology behind his Street Farm House, then Charlie Clutterbuck of BSSRS talked about health hazards in factories. Charlie Chaplin IS classic Modern Times was screened, its sad-funny portrait of the little man's struggle to survive during the Depression and his permanent battle against machines and authority reflecting all-taoaccurately our present crises. The packed meeting ended with a wide-ranging discussion on radical and ecological politics, followed by much drinking and singing of folk song~

UC09: page 21

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Rolling Along on the Crest of a Computer: FRIGGIN' ON THE -RIGS THE INSTITUTE of Civil Engineers' recent report Offshore structures provides a timely insight into the dangers of extract ing minerals from miles below stormy seas. It also articulates neatly the values necessary to formulate codes of practice firm enough for there not to be an unseemly carnage but elastic enough for oil company profits to remain astronomical. First, of course. the platform has got to be designed. For that, you have to guess at the worst storm it'll have to survive. Here the usual standard is the "100 year design wave ", by definition exceeded only once per average century. It's about 30m. high over most of the North Sea. But, I hear you quibble. a century of data on wave heights doesn't exist for the North Sea. Never fear, gentle reader, for the miracle of the electric computer comes to the rescue, extrapolating the design wave from a mere year 's wav~ statistics-usually, it's some, small comfort to note, taken from at least the right general part of the Sea. As the report discreetly phrases it: "very often there is an extreme shortage of both input data and confirmatory evidence." There's no way, of course', of knowing whether the year you choose is typical (and there have been some good years for weather in NW Europe lately) but don't let that trouble you - the whole procedure is without any sound, or unsound, oceanographic basis anyway_ But say, with 50 platforms expected to be operating in the North Sea in ten years, each sitting on its field for a decade or thereabouts, we can look for more than one to meet a wave well over design height. Bad news, too, for the brave lads on the exploration rigs; the deck height here is rarely much over 30m and sometimes less, so they can expect a soaking at best if a wave approaching design height comes by. But don't fret.
UC09: page 22

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

there's not often more than a dozen of them(rigs, that is) active in the N Sea at once, and some of them migrate South for the Winter. Despite climate deterioration being the stuff of Nigel Calder Science Specials, Polar Bears moving South (and PengUins North, for all Gusher knows) and Snow Blitzes expected hourly at the Shell Centre, we've so far looked in vain for news of heavier or more durable platforms being commissioned - but maybe it'll happen if the cold increases the demand for petroleum and therefore the Companies I profit margins. When the design work is complete the delicate tracery of steel and concrete is crafted together in some unspoilt Sea-Loch lucky enough to have escaped the grasping National Trust for Scotland and all the other backward-looking countryside freaks. Next the great day dawns and she I s towed out to the spot, plus or min~s 20 metres (courtesy of Decca Navigation). However, it's not all safe even now, as Offshore Structures makes clear. Apparently there are two types of risk, economic and social. stripped of euphemism, the first costs you money and the latter costs you your good hame - though try asking your friendly oil-man how the latter manifests itself if not economically , and see what he says. However, the black risk clouds have a silver lining. Unlike a factory, an oilfield cannot produce more than a fixed amount of goods the capacity of the fieldand you approach the maximum better if you extract slowly. So a few time-wasting accidents (anything from tool-pushers getting toes crushed by casing, to wholesale sinkings) may not involve too much lossindeed, "if fuel prices are increasing significantly faster than inflation. this may even be a net gain. " Nice to hear, too, that the 'social' class of accident is not taken lightly. "On the most mercenary level. the loss of life, the ecological damage and so on "(whatever that means) "have an indirect cost which the owners and operators must pay. In practice, their responsibility goes much further, since it is in the long-term interests of the whole off-shore operation that it is not seen to be hazardous. " So whatever safety
UC09: page 23

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

measures are taken, they will be due not to benevolence, not to organisation among the ununionised men, but because of the need to keep the Great British Public easy of conscience as they zoom off for their Sunday jaunt. Gusher • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Letters Tut, tut, Nigel: Dear Undercurrents, So Nigel G. Turner (Undercurrents 8, p.6) thinks Radical Science Journal and Science for People are "aseptically academic"? Fine, ' Nigel: "aseptic - preventing putrefaction" (Shorter Oxford Dictionary). Fine. We'll take the complement modestly. I suppose he did actually read the review <Sf the BSSRS booklet? And 'the 'articles in the same Undercurrents on "above and below the city streets"? And the article in Undercurrents 8. "The Other Underground"? Not to mention all the tasty morsels of information about 'them' looking at, listening to and informing themselves about 'us'. Of course, I know it's deviant empiricism. but wouldn't you say, Nigel, that all this means something? Who is 'them' and who is 'us'? Why, them is nothing but that dear old, untrusty, ruling class. Us? That's you and me, friend. And the teeming millions who build all those tunnels, shelters, microwave towers, and tanks. Now, I don't find this an entirely satisfactory state of affairs. Do you? No? Well, what shall we do about it? First, no self-delusions. In order to change, we must struggle; How? None of your five will do. Can you see it - "~hock :... microwave towers shaken by Consciousness 111!!" or, "Natural Lifestyles cause Massive Tunnel Subsidence! '''? It is time we learned that 'they' have the power, they define the problem, not us. Not yet, that is. One day we shall, but until then we have to organise to fight them in their citadels of power. Those of us who fight as socialists do ,so, not as advocates of Soviet authoritarianism, or any of the other versions of 'socialism' available in the supermarket of political doctrines. Nigel picks up many of the reasons
UC09: page 24

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

that these 'Socialisms' aren't socialism. I'd quarrel with his "China persecutes racial and religious minorities" and throw in a few more reasons. Then I'd try to distinguish between between symptoms and causes. And then I'd look at the causes and try some logic. My answer would be that what passes for 'socialism', isn't. It's capitalism of a sort. What's more, all attempts to build an island of socialism in a sea of capitalism are doomed. To equate Marxism with Socialism is silly. I would have to use Marxism' for my logic, to analyse 'socialism', so they can't really be the same. Theoretical bullshitting? Your evasion of thought is cowardly. My analysis is not just theoretical. It involves political action too. But it is not frightened Of a bit of good old brainwork. If he would only look at his own letter, Nigel would see that his analysis of 'socialist' and , 'Capitalist', wit" much of which I would agree, relies precisely on the 'material' level, which he later derides from the lofty heights of the Fourth World. ,I want a world which "places a much higher premium on animate rather than inanimate" objects, too, Nigel. And other things, such as physical comfort and food for all ,an end to alienating and unhealthy work, an end to authoritarianism and social hierarchies, and the fullest development and freedom of the individual. All individuals, not just cosy little me. By all means criticise "meaningless jargon". R.S.J. aims to annihilate it, even if our efforts haven't been too successful yet. Wait for the next one. It should be better. But behind some of that 'jargon', if only we can get at it,are real ideas, real power, and some hope that we can actually achieve, rather than just dream about, the world we want. Struggling classically, John Goodman Turn Again, Turner Dear Undercurrents. Unfortunately, Nigel Turner's assumptions are outrageous- not in their simplicity, but in their tacit acceptance of the present day mass media/conventional wisdom definition of Socialism.
UC09: page 25

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Plainly, he has learnt his political economy from "Consciousness Two" or the First World, and has naively 1 accepted what they had to offer. Russia is no more than capitalism ' in the hands 'Of a small bureaucratic elite-state capitalism; it is further away from Lenin's ,socialism (and any other socialist's for that matter) now than it has,ever been Socialist doctrine and analysis has never been less bankrupt than it is now; and has certainly never, been more necessary. I agree that it should not be presented "aseptically" or "academically", but these criticisms are hardly a rational basis from which to dismiss socialism with the flick of a pen. The relevance of socialist thinking to say, AT, is that we should be doing all in our power to prevent it becoming the prerogative of of a small elite which uses its new found knowledge to put others at an economic disadvantage":' how else can WI! decentralise? The whole of capitalism tends to larger and 'larger units of production true decentralisation of production would, under democratic control, destroy it. Yours sincerely, etc; fraternally whatever! Richard Armitage, 175 A Kentish Town Road London NW1 8PD. Wooly thinking on Shetlands Dear Undercurrents, Gusher's "Frigging on the Rigs" article in the last issue, suggesting that panicking English politicians are buttering up the Shetlanders so that they can rescue them from the 'nasty Nats' and ensure their own oil supply in the eVent of Scotland Voting for independence, displays a lack of comprehension of Scottish politics. I don't think this is Gusher's miscomprehension, but rather that of the miscreants he he is accusing. But it is worth straightening out all the same. Firstly, it is not 'almost certain' that the Shetlanders would vote against the Nationalists. Until the last election the S.N.P. never fielded a candidate in Orkney and Shetland as a matter of policy because Jo Grimond constantly maintained that he was a pro-independent. On this
UC09: page 26

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

platform , he consistently came to Westminster with a thumping majority. But, despite his separatist stance, the Nationalist candidate at the election picked up 3000 votes at the first time of asking. Altogether, hardly an anti-independent electorate~, Secondly, if Scotland ever gained independence, the Northern Isles would obviously be part of that independence, even if they did not return a Nationalist M.P. themselves. If this were the case, and a subsequent referendum taken to determine their position, it is by no means certain ,that they would opt for an independent Orkney and Shetland. Presumably, the voters who were against an independent Scotland, or a larger percentage of them,faced with the choice of union with Scotland or total independence, would then opt for the leastdevolutionary possibility - to remain with Scotland. Further, if the Isles ever did go it alone, it would be a fierce independence and unlikely to give any favours to English statesmen on shopping trips for oil. Remember, these islanders have been paying a massive transport surcharge on everything they import, and, even more unfairly, everything they export. Cattle have recently been shot and buried on the islands because the mainland prices wouldn't have covered the shipping costs. They have paid dearly for oil. If they have some to sell they are not likely to forget that. And whatever their constitutional position, I see no hope for bargains for the English. The Shetlanders will accept whatever suits them, but in their acceptance is no implicit promise for the future. Sincerely, Ian Baird, 243 Midstocket Road, Aberdeen, Scotland. Frog Gas Dear Undercurrents, Thought you might like to hear about some of my findings regarding running cars on gas, in France. I converted both my Land Rover . and \Viva as you described in Undercurrents No.6. 1 . No need to stick to a small engined car - the 2.2 Land Rover Goes great on propane, but needs
UC09: page 27

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

a 1/4" dia. injector and correspondingly larger supply tubes. Both these cars have semi-automatic chokes, and these can be kept pulled out (shut) all the time. They open automatically as the venturi flow increases. 2. Butane is useless, even in hot weather. Its vapour pressure soon drops so low (due to evaporation in the cylinder that the engine can't draw off fuel. With propane, 'however, gas still comes off o.k. even with thick ice all over the bottle. 3. In France I discovered that both butane and propane bottles have threads identical to our butane bottles; I had an adapter brazed onto my propane regulator. Further the French gas bottles are already fitted with their own built-in hose-anti-burst valves, so you have to use propane. With butane, the high gas flow rate (at "low" pressures) inside the bottle causes the valve to operate, and you stop deed' 4. Gas is a lot cheaper in France than at home, but you need to depOSit about £7 against the bottle_ This is redeemable on return of the empty to any depot in the" same supply area (better check the extent of this!), provided you can produce an official gas company receipt for your original cylinder. (I couldn't I've now got the most useless souvenir anyone ever brought back from abroad 11 5. Gas is much more readily available ,n France than here. The smaller the town, the better the supplY, .. !t seems. D.B., , Chester. Bunkered Bureaucrats Beware Dear Undercurrents, I feel that the following may be of interest to readers. 1. There is a tunnel, as you are aware, under the Thames, running north from the Rampart and L.S.P. V. exchanges. supposedly for telephone cables. But did you know that there is an Eastward tunnel from this, possibly with a rail line. going to Woolwich arsenal. This is pretty common knowledge amongst many people {i.e. P.O. Tech's) at L.S.P.V .. 2. Professor Brown of the Physics Dept. at Canterbury is developing a type of acoustic holography. by which he hopes to be able to draw 30 maps of tunnels under the Earths surface. Very useful for locating old and forgotten mine\ shafts.
UC09: page 28

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

thus preventing repeats of that very nasty mining accident a few years ago. The technique could also be used, of course, for detecting underground bunkers though the project is in a very. early stage of development. I'd rather not give you my name and address. Dinorwic- a mess? Dear Undercurrents. I have just received your issue No. 6, which is the first copy of your magazine that I have seen, and I would like to make some comments on it. First, in the article "A drop 0' the black stuff ," you talk about the "production" of gas, and by implication of other fossil fuels. We don't prOduce the stuff: at any rate not in the sense in which we produce wheat: we extract and burn it - this is destruction, not production, and by the misuse of words you imply, however unintentionally, that there is some virtue in the using up of natural resources. I n fact, of course, every ton of fossil fuel that we burn is one ton less for our children and grandchildren to use. Secondly, I disagree with much of your article about Dinorwic. The object of a pumped storage installation is to improve the efficiency of existing thermal power stations and to reduce the need for new ones. That is to say the alternative is to build either another steam turbine station, probably occupying irreplaceable farm land on a valuable coastal or river bank site, or a gas turbine station burning expensively refined oil. Against that, high level hydro electric reservoirs usually occupy sites of no value for any other purpose and for the few people who ever visit these rather desolate places they add an interesting and often beautiful feature to the landscape. As for the lower reservoir, the whole area round the abandoned Dinorwic slate quarries is a mess, in which almost any change would be an improvement. If anyone doubts this I suggest that he goes to look first at Dinorwic and second at the existing pumped storage installation at Cruachan in Argyllshire. I have no connection whatever with the C.E.G.B" but I will be pleased to accept any junkets that they may care to throw at me.
UC09: page 29

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Thirdly, your article "water running wild" seems to me to put too much emphaSis on water wheels and not enough on:turbines. I know of three do-it-yourself hydro electric schemes, including one {not yet finished) built by myself, and they all use turbines. A small water turbine is probably easier to build than a windmill, which is, after all, itself a kind of turbine. On the other hand, a water wheel for a 30 ft. head has to be 30 ft. in diameter hardly the kind of thing one can build in one's garage. The main problem with water power is that every site is different from every other, so that each installation has to be designed from scratch: this requires at least some knowledge of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, and you need to spend a good deal of time pushing a slide rule be~ore starting to dig. P,W. Agnew, Engineering Department, Glasgow University, Glasgow G12 6QQ. Help Stamp Out Harmonics Dear Undercurrents, Your recent article on communications, included a circuit for a VHF transmitter. This circuit apparently relies for its action on the production of a grossly distorted sine wave at radio frequency, thus producing a large number of harmonics, some of which fortuitously spread into the VHF broadcasting band, This approach introduces one or two problems_ First it is grossly inefficient (less than 1 %l, and second it provides a very messy A F signal spreading all over the place - hardly conducive to clandestine operations or to maintaining that small amount of respect community stations have. The circuit I enclose hopefully remedies some of these problems. The first problem arises because the cut-off frequency of the BFY51 is very low (typically less than 60 MHz and hence the signal is produced at a low frequency and multiplied up. The exact details of the action are similar to a multi-vibrator but rather more complex, and being due largely to stray capacitance, this means a signal with many peaks. The present system uses a conventional oscillator PA such as may be found more usually in low frequency transmitters, together with a VHF transistor, the 2N2219, which has a power capability (with heat sink of
UC09: page 30

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

about 1 watt at 200MHz. The feedback in the circuit is provided by C5, and as one can see from the low value, the gain of this particular transistor type must be high. Biasing is provided by A3 and R4, and AF decoupling by C3 and C4. Frequency is determined by L1 and VC1. The coil L 1 consists of six turns of 20 swg tinned copper wound on a %" dia former which is then removed, and tapped 1'h turns from the. HT end. Audio is fed to the base of TA2 by C2, from a high gain transistor (BC109) which is connected in the common emitter mode. TAl has a resistor A 1 to provide negative feedback, and thus control distortion. As TAl and its associated components provide a high gain,modulation may be applied direct to SKl from a dynamic microphone. If an outPut is to be taken from an amplifier (e.g. the speaker terminals or monitor circuit of a tape recorder) it will be necessary to provide some degree of attenuation, a suitable circuit is given in fig (iii. TA2 must be provided with a fairly large heat sink. Utilising a vertically polarised 1/2 wave dipole a range of about five miles has been obtained with the antenna at about 20 ft in open country. This circuit is the result of attempts to produce an extremely simple and cheap transmitter, and some five prototypes have been built. The best method of construction has been found to be using glass fibre printed circuit board, and a template for a suitable board for the AF and pre-amp stages is included. The Power Supply Unit is best built on a separate chassis to reduce mains hum, and as its size will depend largely upon the components used, this is left up to the individual constructor. The circuit ;s to be included in a book to be published later . A Practical CommunitY Radio Station', by the author. Yours, SJ Cook The Bungalow, Walton Firs, Burwood Pk, Cobham,

UC09: page 31

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Undercurrents/LID Product Review: solar collector 11 DOWN AMONG the naughty knicker small ads in national newspapers, they've started advertising information on solar collectors and windmills. Companies manufacturing methane generators, windmills and solar collectors (at least eight types of solar collectors are on offer in Britain) seem to be surfacing all-over the place. The world's most highly funded solar research institution goes by the acronym NASA; Pilkington's glass company is researching (with others) the thermal performances of buildings designed for maximum solar gain; and "Alternative technology" is becoming an everyday phrase. To few of its new users will it mean A T for an alternative society. It will merely mean A T for the existing society . But what now is the position of those who until recently have considered AT to be their own - a home made technology, powering decentralized democratic communities living symbiotically with nature? Well, let's start a little way back. Until recently, the cost of, say, an off-the-shelf aerogenerator was considerably more than any likely saving in running costs (in any but unusually isolated locations) during its lifetime. The only way-an aerogenerator could be made in a reasonably cost-effective way was to re-use discarded fragments of consumer junk (such as bits of motor cars), and in effect to obtain materials and energy-of manufacture subsidy from the profligate society. You could then put the bits together ingeniously, in your spare time, and cut out the cost of labour. But this extensive spare time is also a direct result of living in an energy-rich society. This is just one way of demonstrating the alternativist 's symbiotic relationship with industrialism. Here's another. Consider the ephemeral, mythical "autonomous, " or "eco" house. (Ho: Ho:) Spend a thousand pounds or so on AT gadgets, and any house can be about 60% self-sufficient in energy. Spend more, say three thousand, on heat pumps and windmills, and you may achieve 80% autonomy. The last 20% will be hardest and costliest of all to achieve. But if
UC09: page 32

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

you ever got there, you'd have a house crammed with copper pipes, plastic insulation, phosphor-bronze bearings goods manufactured to tolerances of a few hundredths of a centimetre. Your "autonomous house" would be totally dependent on service engineers, spares and technological society at large. And would have required much more than its global fair-share of scarce materials. So a demonstrable symbiosis exists between alternativists and industrial society (they take our ideas, we take their goods) and at best we as alternativists aspire to a kind of harmony with nature, also symbiotic. So (as a hopeful thesis) merely by being around we may be helping to spread understanding of the essential unity of man and his environment. And far from standing back and sulking as our sacred phrases are made commonplace, we should be actively looking to find those points where application of our ideas can have maximum effect. And that, dear reader, is what this slot will be about. THIS YEAR 1975 is going to be interesting. Dearer fossil fuels have made viable all sorts of hitherto freakish alternatives. But amazingly, the instabilities of the system have grown faster even than the Ecologist's editors foresaw, to the point where all economic and manufacturing activity, even of alternative devices like windmills, is highly insecure. So ordinary folk, with perhaps enforced leisure, are likely to be thrown back on their own resources, producing allotment food for instance, or tinkering with rear--differential windmills. Its already happening; those small ads are evincing enormous response from enthusiastic D-I-Yers. Issue-by-issue in Undercurrents from now on we will be examining this new 'alternative technology' which has become much more widespread and ideologically diffuse. We'll have three sections: PRODUCTS REVIEW We have been watching the emergence of commercial organisations selling' A T' hardware information for some time now. Even among the honest operators we detect a deal of bandwagon hopping and opportunism. We will be testing the products, and examining the organisations and processes which produce them, and if we can help singe a few sticky fingers, so much the better.
UC09: page 33

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

DIY A good way to expose a rip-off is to demonstrate a cheaper, better alternative .. So each issue we'll be including a DIY instructional poster for a simple project, and if you carry out the whole programme, you'll find your household a fair bit closer to self-sufficiency_ by the year's end. LISTINGS As a matter of editorial policy, each issue of Undercurrents will carry a list of manufacturers of products, eventually with 'thumbnail' reviews, as a reader service. In advance of our main-body of reviews, here's a couple of contrasting organisations, which in their own-ways have chosen to adopt high prOfiles. STELLAR HEAT Stellar Heat Systems Ltd., 113 Stokes Croft, Bristol. Booklet & advice £1. 75. Six months ago, Mr. F G McDonnell was turned on to solar energy by a Sunday Times article. Since then, he says, he's done more to publicise solar energy in this country than the only long-term manufacturer of solar panels has in 15 years. You may have seen his ads. The 12-cm double column spot in the Sunday Times costs him £380 a throw, and advertises a booklet plus free information service for £1. 75. He's sold 6,000· of these DIY booklets, and had six complaints which kinda indicates an . ignorant public. He showed me the file, • each complainer refunded and the ~ receiver of a finely turned phrase or ;~ two. While I was with him, several of ~his clients phoned up with little practical points, and received considered advice. A modest four-person team runs the business, and McDonnell expects to lose money for up to another six months. After which time he expects to make money with a purpose-made aluminium collector, the blueprints for which he showed me. Currently he is making and selling a small batch of collectors to the same D-I-Y-type specification as his book(let) contains. And there's the rub. Stellar's expertise is in mail-order. But the technical expertise is embryonic, and the collector design is severely misconceived. The collectors are loosely cribbed from Mr. Blanco's Solar Heat Ltd. collectors, which themselves are sturdy, slow response collectors, ideal for his African export market, but less efficient here. (More later.) But McD's collectors have a longer water-route, and are to be connected,
UC09: page 34

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

according to his diagrams, in series. (This is 'equally true of his proposed new design ) Now the only sensible way to connect collectors of this design is in parallel (to continue the electric battery analogy.) Water taking a long route may reach a higher temperature than if it remained in the collector for a shorter period. But as the temperature of the water rises, efficiency of heat transfer drops, and so series-connected collectors will collect less heat than if they were parallel connected. In either case, theoretical limitations will keep actUal temperatures achieved through most of the year well short of that needed for a hot bath. No mention is made of the fact that solar water heating in Britain gives 6-8 months of the year pre-heating, and invariably needs backup by another heating system. Stellar's claim to provide "FREE hot water almost AI.L YEAR ROUND" is hyperbole bordering on dishonesty, though ignorance of the facts and genuine enthusiasm would be more charitable explanations. Still, they are in it for he money .•... Hmm. Anyway, the equipment isn't free, and the water will extremely rarely be hot. Even lightweight, quick-response collectors designed for our climate specifically (of which more next issue), don't give hot water, but do provide useful amounts of heat, locked up in lukewarm water. There are various other blunders in the booklet, not least being the method of fixing the collectors, which allows them to flap in the suction generated by all lee-side roofs. However, Stellar promises to get out a correction sheet, and include it free with the booklet. But I was unable to make the point about heattransfer clear- to McD. I hope they get an engineer's advice before they tool up for the new panel. I'd like to see them going to the roof, not the wall. .•.. BRAD Biotechnic Research & Development, Eithin-y-Gaer, Churchstoke, Montgomery. Solar Roof Plan 25p + sae, New Scientist reprint 'Sun on the Roof', lOp + sae. Here's an altogether more altruistic outfit. So well known, there's not much left to say. The famous solar roof, long awaited, built, now described, for only 35p + sae. Hard-facts, obtained at great expense and painstaking effort. Worth double. (Send double!) We're hoping to print BRAD'S complete solar roof plans in a future issue
UC09: page 35

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

of Undercurrents. but the BRAD folk have asked us not to do so yet because they're very poor and need all the 35ps they can get! Meanwhile, as an appetite-whetter, here is the circuit for the electronic "black box" which controls the water flow to the roof, designed by John Wood and applicable to most types of solar water heating installation. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Nature et progres: report and pictures 13 If a conference on organic farming and a sale of wholesome products were held in England, would 20,000 people turn up? In France they did. It was the tenth International Congress of the organisation Nature et Progres, held in Paris on 15-17 November. Tony Durham and Sotires Eleftheriou zoomed across the Channel in the Undercurrents executive airship to cover the event. WITH ITS brown tinted-glass tower, the new Centre International de Paris looks like a shiny, ~leather-covered Centre Point. Its lower floors are a conference centre with every technological trimming. Digital clocks and TV cameras peep out of the walls Electric doors jerk open nervily if you make a move at them. A place for clockwork men with lightweight suits, black attache cases and nylon hair. But this weekend a different species has taken over. Peasant farmers in patched jackets and open-neck shirts trudge the carpeted corridors. Women in handmade sweaters and long skirts plug their headphones into the simultaneous translation. Young people in T-shirts, smocks and jeans picnic on the floor of the airport-size front concourse: whole-meal loaves and bottles of apple-juice emerge from their baskets. Manure is the common factor. A thousand of the 6000 members of Nature et Progres have farms that are run without chemical fertilizer and with little or no chemical pesticide. others will have worked weekends or holidays on organic farms, and some are simply interested in ecology, wholesome food, or autonomous living. Apparently a non-political organisation, its members nevertheless burst into applause when speakers call for redistribution of wealth or condemn ~'technocratic dictatorship. " Of all the "soft" technologies, organic agriculture seems to have the strongest call on the French people. A large persisting rural population, and a deep national concern with the quality of food, may help to explain this. We heard that 10,000 people turned up on the Saturday,
UC09: page 36

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

either to attend the congress itself or to buy natural foods, craft products, medicines and cosmetics at the exhibition. Le Monde put the total attendance over the three days at 20,000. Conference sessions on different subjects went on in up to four rooms simultaneously. Many of them were about practical or theoretical aspects of organic farming. Other subjects were alternative medicine, pollution, biodynamic agriculture, the dangers of modern foods, recycling, forestry and alternative energy cycles. We can give you only a taste of it all: our report will concentrate on the big plenary session on nuclear energy. The rest you'll eventually be able to get in the form of a book from Nature et Progres (address below.) Meanwhile in other parts of the building ecological films were shown almost nonstop and a wide range of books was on sale. In yet another room was the Ecology Workshop, a small but exciting exhibition of ecohouses, and equipment for home-made energy. Model of a solar bungalow designed by architect Jacques Michel. The house, which has been lived in for 3 years, traps an estimated 10,000 kWh of solar heat a year. Heat is stored in vertical, slab-shaped water tanks, positioned behind glass windows Motorized blinds control the input and output of radiant heat, and the air in the house is warmed as it circulates round the tanks. In other projects Michel has used thick concrete walls, black-painted and faced with glass, to absorb and store heat. He says this system is as cheap to build into a house as ordinary central heating. Michel (above) was criticized for using glass and concrete, "dead" materials. And someone pointed out that his use of electricity for supplementary heating in solar houses is wasteful. If the house uses roughly 30% electricity and 70% solar heat, the solar heat gained is about the same in quantity as the waste heat which went up the powerstation chimney to generate that electricity. One could save fossil fuel equally well by heating the house directly with oil alone. Never mind. It's the thought that counts. One of GEME 's eco-houses. This one is still just a model. Another, at Chevreuse, is already being built. This group of architects says: "we shall try to build a house which in its form and capabilities takes account of the quality of Space and Matter at the site, of soft technology and energy autonomy, of symbolism and of that level of consciousness which has been monstrously annihilated in present-day
UC09: page 37

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

architectural production. It Lawrence Hills of Britain IS Henry Double\f00 day Research Association (seated): "I have heard that during the war there were 3000 methane generators in France. There are three now. " Hills I talk on methane was extremely practical and well illustrated with slides. Wild applause followed. Hills is currently investigating a new breed of 'cellulosebreaking'" bacteria from America. They could convert the paper content of urban garbage into useful energy. But the risk is that if they take too much energy out of organic wastes, there won't be enough left in the residue for it to make good compost. Good compost should be an energy source for soil bacteria and for earth worms. A big Aerowatt wind generator dominated the Workshop. J.M. Noel, of the Aerowatt company, proposed that a household should be prepared to invest £2000-odd in wind generating equipment to supply a sizable chunk of its energy needs. Someone objected that in that case we should develop different needs! Businessman Noel trod on more toes when he praised mass production for its "economies", and when he sidestepped a challenge from the audience to hand over his trade secrets to do-ityourselfers. I Wholesome nosh from stalls like these kept' body and soul together for many of us at the conference. The alternatives were a production-line university canteen, or sit-down lunches (organically produced) at 25F (£2.2 a time. Starting 9 a.m. Sunday morning, a crowd of 4000 packed the big hall to hear the case against nuclear power stations. Arthur Tamplin: "The industrialized nations of the world must rapidly move towards a steady state economy. !I In 1963 the US Atomic Energy Commission asked Dr Tamplin and Dr John Gofman to investigate the potential dangers of so-called "peaceful uses of the atom". When Tamplin and Gofman reported that radiation is twenty times as dangerous to people as had previously been thought, the AEC didn’t want to know. But public pressure has now slowed US nuclear power development to a crawl. Prof. P. Weish (Austria) : a stern look at nuclear "safety standards. These calculations do not correspond to realities but merely to illusions and desires on the part of the technocrats. " And about plutonium: "Even the
UC09: page 38

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

best safeguards cannot in the end prevent the setting up of a black market. Prof. Th Monad (below, right) "Imagine alcoholism was multiplied by ten in France. This would be counted as a positive figure in the GNP.! Bjorn Gillberg (below, left),described as the Swedish Ralph Nader or the Swedish Barry Commoner. His organisation, Environment Forum, is currently fighting the government's nuclear power plans in the courts. "It is no longer only a fight against nuclear power. It is a fight for democracy. It is a fight against technocratic dictatorship. Konradin Kreuzer, of the Forum for Responsible Application of Science, Basel, Switzerland, put in a word for workers within the nuclear industry. In his country "irradiation of staff is constant and perm\f00 anent and goes. up to the limit imposed by law .... and this limit (i. e. 5 rem/year) is now questioned by radio-biologists. " Nobuo Mlatsuoka (below, left) says that Japan plans 60 million kilowatts of nuclear generating capacity. Japanese anti-nuclear feelings, strong since Hiroshima, have been stirred by the accident on the nuclear ship Mutsu and by the action of US forces in storing nuclear weapons on Japanese territory. Prof Philippe Lebreton (below, right) pointed out that two thirds of France's nuclear stations will be on the coast, discharging warm water into the sea. "Thermal pollution adds to other forms of pollution and catalyses them " he said. Just one of his long list of examples: the warmer the water, the more effectively are pollutants (lead, mercury, cadmium, ruthenium, carcinogenic hydrocarbons) concentrated through food chains. Ingenious T-shaped garden fork. You dig it in obliquely, then loosen the soil with a twisting action. The long handle-bar gives you lots of leverage. I tried it. It really does need less energy. The world's first potato computer. (No jokes about silicon chips, please.) The Biomatic cooker gives your vegetables a quick soak in boiling water, to wash off those nasty pesticides and things, and then automatically hoists them clear of the water for a final swelter in steam. The operation is timed by the softening of a potato. Computer (ordinateur) is the word
UC09: page 39

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

they use in the brochure, and so shall we ... The hardware costs about £40, the software 4p a lb. Max. Crouau (right) says chemical fertilisers are unnecessary. Nitrogen and phosphorus can be got from compost and urban waste. Potassium is naturally carried from the sea and falls in the rain; more can be added to soil in the form of rock powder. It must be the right kind of rock, and it must be ground to the texture of flour. It can then be sprayed onto the soil as a slurry. Crouau describes it as a soil improver rather than a fertiliser. The main problem is silicosis. North African and Turkish workers work unprotected in the French mines. After three or four years when their lungs are full of dust, the workers are replaced. Jean-Claude Mainaud (left) opposes factory farming, but thinks animals have an import\f00 and role in organic agriculture. By digest\f00 ing vegetable matter they can accelerate the cycle of humus formation and nitrogen fixation. According to Mainaud, stock\f00 breeders who change to organic methods will experience an immediate improvement in the health of their animals. He dislikes commercial vaccines and artificial feeds, and treats his own stock with homoeopathic remedies. Fiches ecologiques are duplicated on A4 paper. Some are single sheets, some consist of several sheets stapled together. The material is lifted fairly uncritically from other sources, some of them undoubtedly good. Daniel Fargeas started doing them in 1973, and he's covered an amazing range of subjects. There arc 40 leaflets on agriculture, gardening, pests, and on going back to the land; 23 on wind energy, solar energy and methane; 22 which list suppliers of organic produce in France; 47 on self\f00 help medicine (pretty weird, some of 'em); and a growing number of leaflets which simply list names and addresses of organic farmers and other interesting people. The shock is the price: 21" (18p) per leaflet. If you don It like it, do your own research. Catalogue is free but you should probably send an international reply coupon for post\f00 age. A kind of "women's page", Fiches Pedagogiques,is published by Christine Dony. ADDRESSES IN FRANCE Organisations Nature et Progres,
UC09: page 40

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

(The European Association for Organic Agriculture and Health), 3 Chemin de la Bergerie, 91700 Sainte Genevieve des Bois. Tel: Paris 595 3072 or 595 4740. (Organic farmers who read French will fin their magazine Nature et Progres interest ing. See below. They also have a good list of books, available by mail order.) Amis de la Terre, 15 rue du Commerce, 75015 Paris. (French Friends of the Earth.) Association Europeenne pour l'Equilibre Ecologique. French representative is: M. Charles Goillot, I30is des Cent Arpents, Rue de la Fontaine, 78640 Neaupllle-le-Chateau. (A rather respectable-sounding pressure group. Apparently hasn't yet spread to Britain.) Association Culturelle E.R. Papon, 1 rue des Basses Boulangeres, 77850 Hericy. Les Droits du Pieton, 78 rue de I 'Universite, 75007 Paris. (Pedestrian rights and anti-car group. Fine output of leaflets and stickers.) Groupe d'Etudes de la Maison Ecologique, (GEME), C/o E.S.A., 251 boulevard RaspaiI, Paris 75014. Societe Helibat, 45210 Fontenay sur Loing. (Solar home heating, with water tanks for heat storage.) Jacques Michel (architecte), 14 rue des Poissonniers, 92204 Nouilly sur Seine. Wind Societe Aerowatt, 37 rue Chanzy, 75011 Paris. Tel: 700 3578 Yves Boulay has done some aerodynamic designs for aerogenerators. I seem to have two addresses for him.
UC09: page 41

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

1 route de Gallarden/4 allee des Acacias, 92310 Sevres. Charcoal Frederic Labrusse, Maisons en Champagne, 51300 Vitry le Francois. (Practising charcoal-burner, and currently making a film about local crafts.) Battery-powered cultivators Polyculteur Electrique Autonome, Centre d 'Etudes pour le Developpement at la Reussite des Entreprises, 31 Montesquieu Volvestre. Sun Power Societe Generale Heliothermique, Z.1. St. Pierre du Mont, 40000 Mont de Marsan. (Solar water heaters .. ) Publications Fiches Ecologiques, Village de Vingrau, 66600 Rivesaltes. Fiches Pedagogiques, 14 rue de la Poste, Village de Vingrau, 66600 Rivesaltes. La Gueule Ouverte. Weekly. A good angry mag which spells out the political significance of the environmental scandals and horrors it reports. Editions du Square, 10 rue de Trois Portes, 75005 Paris. Tel: 633 2734 Nature et Progres Quarterly, & 7.50F plus postage. Annual subscription 45F. See above for address. Pollution Non Quarterly, 3F. Perspective something like Friends of the Earth. 12 rue du Grand-Clos, 45200 Montargis. Le Sauvage. Quarterly, 10F. 6 issues for 48F (franc 20) or GOF (abroad including UK).. Ecological offshoot of left wing magazine Nouvel Observateur, From now on each issue will be on a specific theme and
UC09: page 42

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

will. they say, constitute a reference file, running to 128 pages. 11 rue d'Aboukir, 75081 Paris Cedex 02, Survivre et vivre. Monthly, 3.50F. At the "political" end of the environment movement. 6 rue Chappe, 75018 Paris. 13

UC09: page 43

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

• • • • • • • • • • • • NUCLEAR POWER: 16 Page Special Feature 17-32

Why the NUCLEAR POWER PROGRAMME MUST be STOPPED ANY FUEL which has pretensions to supplying a major portion of the world;s energy requirements ought to meet certain basic criteria: • It should be in assured supply. • It should be reasonably cheap and easy to exploit. .It ought to be widely available and not limited by political or geographical factors. • It should be capable of being easily scaled up or down to allow for differing requirements and states of technological development • It should provide substantial net energy yield after allowance for all necessary energy investment . • It should be safe in operation • It should have minimum environmental impact and produce a minimum of dangerous or undesirable by-products. It is not unfair to say that nuclear power meets none of these conditions completely and on several it fails miserably. Lack of proven uranium resources, low investment in exploration and mining, coupled with financial difficulties and shortage of enrichment and reprocessing plant capacity are likely to lead to a severe fuel shortage in the early nineteen eighties - well before the oil is due to run out. Despite all claims and with fossil fuels increasing rapidly in price, nuclear power is still expensive, 20% more than modern coal fired power stations and nuclear capital costs are rising faster than conventional. Several utilities in the US have come close to bankruptcy through trying to go nuclear and many more are cutting their losses and suspending or abandoning nuclear plant and returning to fossil fuels. Like oil the world's major uranium reserves are concentrated in a few areas, most of them not likely, for one reason or another, to be large consumers in the near future. Once again the world may be divided into energy haves and have-nots. Furthermore nuclear power is a rich country's technology. It presupposes a well developed electricity distribution network and a large industrial infra-structure. The few efforts to sell nuclear plants to
UC09: page 44

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

third world countries have been largely for propaganda and prestige, totally unrelated to the developing country's needs. On perhaps the most fundamental criterion of all, that of a substantial net yield of energy, the question is still open. It seems possible that, with any of the planned national nuclear programmes, a large fraction of the output, and in some cases all of it, will have to be reinvested to maintain the rate of growth. Over the operational safety of reactors and the storage and disposal of spent fuel, the question marks loom very large indeed. Discussion of the possibility of a 'loss of coolant accident' in Light Water Reactors and the subsequent release of a large fraction of the fission product inventory equivalent to the fallout from several thousand atom bombs - is a considerable literature in itself. Despite the recently published Rasmussen report (which equated the chances of dying in a nuclear accident with those of being killed by a falling meteorite), the question cannot be considered in any way resolved. Doubts about Rasmussen's methods and the disturbingly frequent occurrence of basic component failures, to say nothing of violations of safety regulations, have done nothing to allay the suspicions which already existed. Surreal is the word which comes to mind when discussing the storage and disposal of the spent fuel. On any reckoning even the fission products will have to be stored for upwards of a thousand years before they can be considered safe. What plans the various atomic energy agencies have to keep the actinides out of harms way, especially Americium which remains dangerous for ten million years, have not yet been revealed. The fact that no way, even in principle, has been found to dispose of these wastes has not prevented the planned huge increase in reactor numbers. The problem will be left for posterity while we consume the kilowatts. Low level radiation, from accidental and planned releases and from contaminated cooling water, could cause thousands of cancers a year and perhaps induce genetic disorders. Plutonium, a byproduct of any reactor, is a ,;Unique hazard. It is one of the most toxic substances known and a few kilogrammes can be used to make a bomb. Proliferation of nuclear weapons through the spread of commercial reactors throughout the world is almost certain. The chances of other, non-governmental, hands on the bomb must be regarded as highly likely.
UC09: page 45

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

The impetus behind the nuclear programme is a combination of technological history and commercial self-interest. The desire to replace one thermal source with another and thus preserve our centralised, energy profligate, form of industrialism; a desire fostered by an industry overweening in its ambition and skilled in its lobbying. Even given the major premise of the nuclear lobby, that fossil fuels are nearing exhaustion - itself questionable - any rational appraisal of the situation would demand a review of the alternatives. This has simply not been done - at least not in the sense that equal and unbiassed consideration has been given to all possibilities. Instead any possible alternative is branded automatically, and not just by advocates,of nuclear power, as impractical able. When one source, solar power is a good example, is available in abundance, has been used by man in one form or another for centuries, is cheap and easy to exploit and will be around for at least as long as humanity, and the other depends on the extraction of a rare metal. and its isotopic enrichment in perhaps the most difficult and expensive process yet developed, is attended by all sorts of dangers, all of them serious and some of them hardly understood, an~ could lead ultimately to the destruction of the world, it is difficult to follow the logic of those who deem the first impracticable and the second the energy source which will save mankind. Only a tiny fraction of the money, talent, intellectual effort and political will which has been invested in nuclear power has been devoted to other possible sources. Little thought has been given to possible energy savings, (except when oil politics intervenes) the scope for which is much greater than is generally realised. Almost no thought at all has been given to the question of whether electricity, centrally generated and distributed, is the best way of doing things or whether a less centralised system, perhaps pluralistic in its sources, might be more human and efficient. Time is running out in the nuclear debate. Within five years the situation may be beyond redemption. Sanity - and self preservation - dictate at least three minimum demands: • A moratorium on construction until doubts about the operational safety of reactors, waste storage and low level radiation have been settled unequivocally . • An absolutely secure method of storing plutonium must be found,
UC09: page 46

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

otherwise reprocessing should be abandoned. No nation refusing to sign the non-proliferation treaty should be given technical assistance. • All potential alternative sources of energy and ways of organising consumption and distribution must be very carefully examined. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • CONTRARY to the many myths propagated by .. pathetically sycophantic and abysmally ignorant press, Nuclear power is at least in principle the simplest method of generating power ever devised. In contrast to the highly complex chemical and physical reactions which distinguish that other thermodynamic catastrophe much favoured by modern man in his search for power the quasi-instantaneous reduction of long chain hydrocarbons to Carbon Dioxide and water a nuclear reactor is just a heat source in a bucket of water. The source of this heat is a controlled chain reaction involving the break up or fission of the nuclei of certain radioactive heavy elements, most commonly Uranium but sometimes plutonium or Thorium. This fission is caused by a neutron, a particle which weighs about the same as the lightest atom, Hydrogen, but which has no electrical charge. The neutron hits the nucleus causing it to split like a dumbbell into two large fragments, plus several neutrons which are then free to fission other atoms in the vicinity. If there is enough fissile material present, the reaction becomes self-sustaining and the reactor is then said to be 'critical'. A certain amount of energy is released in this fission process, which appears as heat and is used to raise the steam and drive the turbines of the power station. Virtually all the power stations in use today involve the fission of Uranium 235, a rather rare isotope occurring in about 7 in every 1000 atoms of natural uranium. (nearly all the rest is U2381. The fission is caused by slow or 'thermal' neutrons. The neutrons which are produced, or 'born', when the U235 nucleus splits up are fast and are virtually useless for fissioning further U235 nuclei, so some means has to-be found of . slowing them down or 'moderating' them if the chain reaction is to be kept going. This is achieved by making the neutron lose energy in collisions with light atoms of a moderator. a substance which surrounds the Uranium in the reactor. The moderators used in nearly all commercial reactors are either graphite, or light (normal) water, or heavy water (in which the hydrogen
UC09: page 47

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

has been replaced by its isotope deuterium). A typical reactor comprises a lattice of rods or cans of uranium clad in metal, often Aluminium but sometimes a more exotic material-like zirconium. Between the rods is the moderator, If the moderator is a liquid it also carries the heat away from the pile, and in fact will be continuously pumped in a cycle ~~ through the reactor and into the steam generator. If however, the moderator is graphite, which is a solid, (it's the stuff in pencil-leads), then the heat is transferred by pumping an inert gas round the reactOr. The power level is controlled by inserting or withdraw ing rods made from cadmium, a metal which absorbs neutrons very strongly Enrichment Since U235 is only a very small fraction of naturally occurring uranium it is possible to boost the efficiency, and power output, of a reactor by enriching the uranium, i.e. increasing the proportion of U235. The only large scale enrichment process currently being used gaseous diffusion in which Uranium hexafluoride UF6, a gas, is pumped through a porous membrane. The U235 atoms diffuse through very slightly faster and so the marginallY enriched UF6 which appears on the other side is pumped through another membrane and so on through thousands of stages until the desired degree of enrichment is reached. It is possible to obtain 98% or more U235, for bombs, but commercial reactors generally operate with about 2·6% enrichment. The diffusion process, high technology in extremis, is economic only in very large units which have the electricity requirements of a large city. For this reason everybody (except the French who appear to mainline high technology), is looking for other means of enrichment. Among those in the know the most promising alternative is the centrifuge process, involving linking up a chain of large, extremely fast centrifuges to form a cascade. Reprocessing After a while the build up of fission by-products starts interfering with the reaction, so the reactor has to be shut down and
UC09: page 48

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

the rods removed for reprocessing. They are stored for a couple of months to allow them to cool down and then dissolved in nitric acid and the Uranium is separated chemically from the by-productS. These by-products fall in to twO distinct groupS. ·i' 1) The 'daughter nuclei' produced by the fissioning of U235. There are a large number, of them, all highly radioactive, with half lives ranging from a few microseconds to a hundred years or more, At present they are stored in liquid form in tanks, awaiting ultimate disposal. Trouble is that although proposals have ranged from burying it in salt domes to shooting the stuff into space nobody has come up with a disposal solution which can be regarded as really safe. Meanwhile, even storage in the tanks must be regarded with suspicion. Over 2 million litres of highly toxic waste has leaked away from tanks in the USA. Another problem is protecting the material over the time-scale involved. Although most of the radioactivity will have died down in a few hundred years one particular decay chain remains dangerouS for ten million years. 2) The plutonium, produced by the absorption of a neutron by a U238 nucleus. This is a fissile material and is stored for ultimate use in either the breeder reactor (about which more later) or as the fuel in a conventional type of reactor. So far the breeder is not a commercial proposition (and may never be) and no decision has been made on recycling plutonium. So the stocks build up, causing speculation as to when somebody will get his hands on enough to make a bomb. (More about that later too.) This is referred to among technical people as plutonium 'diversion', As might be imagined there are a large number of possible combinations of fissile materials, moderators and coolants. In fact over a hundred different types of reactor have been designed. Only a few of these have proved commercial. The most important are: The-Light Water Reactor: (LWR) Far and away the most numerous, more than 80% of the world total. American designed and therefore ideologically suspect.
UC09: page 49

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

LWR's are so called because they use ordinary or 'light' water as both coolant and moderator, with enriched Uranium fuel. There are two types: the pressurised water reactor (PWR) pumps the water through a heat exchanger and raises steam in a secondary circuit to drive the turbine generator set, The Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) boils the water directly in the reactor core to produce the steam which is then piped to the turbines. Both types of reactor are encased in a pressure vessel, made from steel 6in. or more thick, capable of withstanding the operating pressures of several thousand pOunds to the square inch. This makes them prone, say their critics, to Loss of Coolant accidents (LOCA) caused by a crack appearing in the pressure vessel. This in turn could cause the 'China syndrome' catastrophic melt down of the core and the dispersal of tons of radioactive material with disastrous consequences. Not so! says Professor Norman Rasmussen from MIT who claims to have made a study of the problem. The damage won't be as bad as all that, and anyway it will only happen once every ten million years or so. The chance of being killed in a nuclear accident is less than being hit by a meteorite. Your analysis is suspect! retort the critics. Meanwhile the debate rages on. Utilities in America are forced to build extra safe guards into their nuclear power stations causing delays and rising costs and the British Government reject LWR's mainly because of doubts about safety. The Magnox reactor. The oldest British type, now being regarded increasingly nostalgically by the establishment because it did at least produce some power. Uses natural uranium clad in magnesium alloy, a graphite moderator and carbon dioxide as coolant. Produces some of the cheapest electricity ever, claim Magnox's proponents. Maybe. But they were built in the days when capital costs didn't accelerate like a roller coaster and have been fueled so far with cheap uranium, of which they use a great deal. The Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) Never mentioned in polite company. Now being referred to as the Retarded Gas Cooled Reactor (RGR) on account of the several years delay in getting any of the five plants into commission.
UC09: page 50

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Delays due to everything from design errors to simple balls-ups. Operates on same basic principle as Magnox but uses enriched Uranium in dioxide form (U021. The Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR) Adopted by the CEGB after the AGR debacle and after they were refused permission to build LWR's. Uses enriched Uranium and heavy water as moderator. Decision widely regarded as a farce but may be beneficial in the long run, since it has slowed the UK nuclear programme to a crawl compared with those of other advanced countries which means that there may be some net energy gain and the safety and storage problems are that much less. The CANDU Reactor (Canadian, deuterium moderated, natural uranium reactor). Had a hard time commercially over the last few years due to US predominance but now seems to be winning friends and influencing nuclear people because of its reliability, absence of reprocessing requirement, and good safety record. The Indians used one, provided by Canada, to make their bomb. The FaSt Breeder Reactor (FBR) Completely different in operation from all the others. Uses a Plutonium core cooled by liquid sodium, surrounded by a jacket of Uranium. The core is the power\f00 producing part and neutrons escaping from the core are absorbed by U238 nuclei, becoming U239 and then decaying to PU239. Thus the reactor produces or 'breeds' fuel as it operates. Properly designed, say breeder fans, the FBR can produce more fuel than it burns and therefore extends the usefulness of nuclear power almost indefinitely. Balls,say the critics. The breeding ratios now envisaged will mean that an FBR will take anything up to 40 years to produce enough plutonium to fuel itself, far too long to have any impact on fuel needs. Besides the breeders are much more expensive and potentially much more dangerous than conventional burner reactors. The breeder debate is every bit as fierce as the LWR safety dispute. Pat Coyne

UC09: page 51

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

KILLER WATTS The Perils of Poisoned Power Complete THIRTY YEARS after Hiroshima, safety still remains the most emotive issue in the nuclear debate. Critics have continually pointed out the human and technological shortcomings of the nuclear industry in many cases forcing it back on the defensive and opening up whole new areas to scrutiny. There are three principal areas of concern. Operational hazards of reactors Problems of waste storage and disposal Hazards of low level radiation Operationally the debate has centred on the American Light Water Reactors and the possibility of 'loss of Coolant Accident' (LOCAl. The LWR comes in for attention both because of the degree to which information is made available in the US and the consequent activity of critical groups and because the LWR is far and away the most common reactor type, both in the US and worldwide. To understand the possible significance of a reactor accident it is necessary to appreciate what might happen if its con\f10 tents were released. A 1000 Megawatt (electric) LWR, a fairly average size as these things go, contains about 72 million curies of radioactive Iodine 131 (much less than 1 curie can be fatal), sufficient to contaminate the atmosphere to a height of 6 miles over an area the size of the United States to twice the maximum permissible concentration. The consequences of an uncontrolled loss of coolant accident in a large LWR, in which the activity of all the fission products might be more than ten thousand million curies, could produce a disaster area, according to a 1965 USAEC paper, of 10,000 square kilometres and be fatal to people living several hundred kilometres down-wind of the plant. Because of this huge potential for disaster nuclear power plants are built with extensive back-up safety systems designed to minimise the consequences (If any malfunction. With the stakes so high the nuclear industry has had to go to extraordinary lengths to prove and improve the safety of its systems. There
UC09: page 52

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

is little doubt that safety and engineering standards are higher than in any other field comparable but the question has to be are they safe enough? or indeed can they ever be safe? Sceptics point to the operating experience of LWRs in which component failures,operator errors, design and construction faults and violations of licensing requirements have occurred disturbingly often. Recent failures include cracks in feed-water pipes in three Boiling Water Reactors which resulted in the shut down of all 21 US BWRs while inspection was carried out. The pipes concerned were reportedly manufactured to the same quality as the primary coolant pipes whose failure could lead to a LOCA. Perhaps even more disturbing is the evidence of human failure, or carelessness. I n a paper given in 1973 at a reactor safety conference in Vienna PA Morris and RH Engelken report that 'A large number of violations of license requirements and AEC regulations have been identified'. Approximately 75 violations were discovered at only seven plants, although no deliberate effort was made to look for infringements, and at three of these the reactor safety mechanisms were altered to operate at higher danger levels than laid down by the USAEC. Similarly the USAEC is itself proposing to assess civil penalties against several utilities, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, because reactors were left unattended while operators fetched a cup of coffee or the like a violation considered to be 'of major significance'. Apparent malfunctions are not the only cause of doubt about LWR safety. Critics have pointed out what they consider methodological flaws in the way the industry analyses its systems deliberate underestimation, or in some cases refusal to recognise possible risks, Risks ignored included the possible catastrophic failure of a steel pressure vessel, widely considered to be 'incredible' despite extensive British and West German data to show that failures might be expected two or three times in ten thousand reactor-years. It is hardly reassuring to hear a senior USAEC official saythat 'No design was available which could withstand the consequences of pressure vessel failure so it was decided to take the risk'. Naturally, with these sort of risks involved and with the peculiar propensity of things nuclear to alarm the public, the USAEC have been anxious to allay public fears. Two major reports have been commissioned on the consequences of a nuclear accident. The first of these, performed by Brookhaven National Laboratory, published in 1957 and known as
UC09: page 53

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

WASH-740, was hardly reassuring, It predicted a peak value of 3400 acute (i.e. immediate) deaths from an accident to a 500 MW (thermal) reactor and 43,000 cases of acute illness, but assigned no probability to such an occurrence. Partly to counteract what Nuclear Engineering International, the house journal of the industry, called 'the repeated reference of opposition groups to WASH-740' (hardly surprising) the USAEC commissioned a second report WASH-1400, this time under Professor Norman Rasmussen of MIT. In this very substantial document, 248 pages for the main report and ten appendices totaling 2814 pages, Rasmussen concludes that WASH-740 presented a very pessimistic picture and that the risk of being killed in a nuclear accident was two to three orders of magnitude less than that from any other man-made accident and comparable with the risk of being struck by a crashing meteorite. With 100 operational reactors it was estimated that a core melt-down would occur about once every 170 years but this accident was likely to result in no fatalities at ail. A really serious accident, with more than a thousand fatalities, might happen once in a million years. The Rasmussen report was published at the end of 1974 there has not been time for any interested group to prepare the sort of critique such a study deserves. Nevertheless a number of points have been raised which tend to cast some doubt on its conclusions. Rasmussen's main analytical techniques were 'risk analysis', the assigning of probabilities to various occurrences and the construction of 'fault trees' which define the dependencies between the various reactor systems. From these he was able to calculate the consequences of a large number of different types of accident, However the risk in risk analysis, as several critics have pointed out, is that you may not take into account all the risks. Nor is there any assurance that the events considered obey the laws of probability. Doubts about the applicability of risk analysis have even been raised within the USAEC itself. A Task Force, reporting on approximately 850 abnormal occurrences in 30 LWRs between 1st January 1972 and 31st May,·1973 which 'raised a serious question regard\f10 ing the review and inspection practices both on the part of the
UC09: page 54

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

nuclear industry and the AEC', also concluded that 'It is difficult at this time to assign a high degree of confidence to quantification of the level of risk associated with nuclear reactors'. In Britain the Director of the UKAEA's Safety and Reliability Directorate, F R Farmer, appears to take a more pragmatic view of the question, and cast doubts on some of the more exaggerated safety claims, 'In my view it is hard to show a failure rate in the rate in the range 1/1,000,000 to 1/10,000,000 with reasonable confidence. We need to take into account errors in installation or maintenance since systems are sometimes not as good as they were originally thought to be'. Ultimately, it may be the human being who is the key to the whole safety de\f10 bate. No amount of risk analysis can take into account the mechanic who forgets to tighten a vital bolt, the technician who miss-sets a safety device, the welder who heat-stresses a join, the operator who leaves his control board untended while he fetches a cup of coffee. The dispute is intensifying (from p20): between those who consider engineering problems and those who see people as the dominant element in nuclear safety_ The whole question may turn out to be not technical but rather, as Amory Lovins puts it 'a conflict of incompatible paradigms'. After a few years of operation enough of the U235 has burned up for the reactor to require refueling. After shut-down the spent fuel has to be r,removed, allowed to cool and then re- processed to separate the actinides, mostly uranium and plutonium, from the highly radioactive fission products. Once reprocessing is over the problems really begin. The hot, acid, highly radioactive waste has to be stored, disposed of or somehow rendered safe. Nobody has yet come up with a disposal solution which can be regarded as satisfactory. Present policy in most
UC09: page 55

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

countries is to store the wastes in liquid or in tanks close to the reprocessing plant. However the time-scale involved if the waste is to be stored until it is safe must make even the most sanguine enthusiast for nuclear power think twice. The main long-lived fission products must be stored at least a thousand years, longer in the case of Iodine 129, Caesium 135 and several other isotopes. For the plutonium, most of which is still present in hazardous quantities in the wastes, the period is much,much longer. It cannot be considered safe for a period much less than about ten half∑lives of Pu 239 about 250,000 years. In the case of another actinide decay chain, Americium 241 Neptunium 237, the period is longer still. According to FK Pitman of the USAEC this hazard 'does not decrease significantly in more than ten million years' . Taken literally the problem is of course insoluble which is why the industry tends to ignore any but the shortest of short term considerations. Instead it stores the wastes as they accumulate, apparently hoping that some process, possibly magical, will be developed to take them off its hands. Storage, however, is not without its hazards. Over two million litres of highly radioactive wastes have leaked away from allegedly safe tanks, most of them the property of the US military. A case in point was Tank 106T at the Hanford Reprocessing plant in Washington state where 115,000 gallons of high . level waste leaked away between 20th April and 8th June, -' 973 despite the fact that the tank was monitored every day and was known to be leaking, a fact confirmed by high radiation levels in a nearby dry well. It was only after an emergency meeting in June that the operating company, Atlantic Richfield, stopped putting more waste into the tank. Tank 106T was of a single skin mild steel construction and dated from the late forties. Modern tanks are stainless steel, double skinned, and unquestionably much safer, with a design life of several decades. This would still leave posterity the task of transferring the waste into new tanks every so often, a duty it may be less than enthusiastic about assuming, and in an attempt to relieve the burden the industry is now concentrating
UC09: page 56

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

its efforts on the solidification, or vitrification, of the wastes. At present the process is more of a hope than a practical reality a phenomenon not unknown in the industry but the aim is to combine the waste with borosilicate glass to form a solid, making containment problems that much easier. Whether or not it will ever be practical to solidify the waste immediately it comes out of the reprocessing plant is not yet clear. If not it will still be necessary to store large quantities of liquid waste. Nor is it clear if the glass will be stable over the very long periods required, or if the heat and radiation produced by the fission products could cause physical or chemical changes. Salt formation storage All methods of ultimate disposal at the wastes so far suggested have been rejected as being either impractical, unsafe or too expensive and more often than not all three. Schemes have ranged from disposal in salt domes in the earth's crust (unsafe) through hot packs which would melt their way through the antarctic ice (unsafe and politically impOSSible) to a favourite of the ecologically minded sci-fi fan, shooting the stuff into space (apart from cost it would pose impossible containment problems in case of accident). So for the present and for the foreseeable future (and clear into the unforeseeable future as well) nuclear wastes will have to be guarded by the various national atomic energy authorities or private companies deputed by them institutions unlikely to last decades let alone the millennia required. Wastes will have to be stored for geological periods in conditions of total security. This demands a degree of perfection in men and equipment which is historically unparalleled and far in excess of anything the nuclear industry has been able to achieve. Indeed, even the earth may not be capable of that sort of constancy. A committee of the National Academy of Sciences reported to the USAC in 1965 that none of its disposal installations were in satisfactory geological positions. The area around the Hanford plant, for example, had apparently been under water at least four times in the last 40,000 years, the last time about 14,000 years ago. Radiation
UC09: page 57

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Low level radiation, the result of both planned and accidental releases, representing the most insidious danger from the' nuclear programme, That some release of radioactivity is inevitable is accepted by all concerned. Leakages and accidents occur in the best regulated systems and in addition reprocessing plants routinely dispose of large quantities of low level waste by pumping it into the ground or a convenient body of water. What is a subject of very considerable argument is the harm that this radioactivity can cause. Chief catalyst of the debate has been the publication of a report prepared for the US Atomic Energy Commission by John Gofman and Arthur Tamplin in which they predicted that if the radioactivity produced by the nuclear power programme reached the guidelines allowed by the Federal Radiation Council (FRC) of 0.17 rads per year, (a rad is a measure of radiation dosage), it would lead to 32,000 deaths from cancer and leukaemia in the US. Not surprisingly this hit the USAEC and other nuclear enthusiasts like a bombshell. The first reaction was disbelief followed by assertions that the nuclear programme would in any case lead to radiations less than one thousandth of the F RC level an assertion which contrasted strangely with a continued refusal to lower the level. This double think reached some sort of nadir with the statement of US assistant Health secretary Roger Egberg in a Congressional hearing. 'We continue to advocate the basic premise that the FRC guide must not be construed as an allowed dose which could result in every person in the United States being eventually exposed up to the present level'. In other words what is 'allowed' is not what the F RC lays down as a guide. Permissible limits also ignore the effect of biological concentration. Caesium 137 from a power plant can be deposited on grass, eaten by cows and then drunk by human beings, becoming progressively " more concentrated in the process. If the maximum permissible concentration (MPC) for Caesium 137 in the air were maintained for one year in those circumstances, then the dose received from the milk would be 15,000 times more than

UC09: page 58

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

THE BREEDER : FAST AND DEADLY by Tony Durham PLUTONIUM WILL BE the oil of the 1990's, the fuel on which the West will then depend for its continued economic growth. This conclusion is forced on anyone who will draw an upward-bending curve for gross national product and parallel it with a similar curve for energy consumption. Fossil fuels cannot meet the demand, the argument runs, nor can 'alternative' sources of power such as sun or wind. Controlled nuclear fusion is still just a gleam in a physicist!) eye. The 'energy gap' can only be plugged in one way: by nuclear fission power stations. If nuclear power stations of existing types are built at the 'necessary' rate, the resulting demand for uranium will send prices skyward. The solution we are offered is a new type of react,.r, which can get about a hundred times.$ more energy out of a given amount of uranium. This is the fast breeder reactor (FBR). While it burns uranium, it 'breeds' another nuclear fuel, plutonium 239. On this rest the nuclear industry's hopes. However, the bold graphs of soaring energy production conceal the numerous problems which still surround the breeder. The reactor itself may be liable to certain types of accident which are inconceivable in an ordinary 'thermal' reactor. At the worst this might include a nuclear explosion. Then there are the risks associated with plutonium. Plutonium is a man-made element, the raw material of atomic bombs. It is exceedingly toxic: minute quantities are very effective in inducing cancer. If plutonium is stored and transported in power station quantities, deliberate theft and accidental pollution will be hard to prevent. Even the economics of breeder reactors are in doubt. Their performance must improve considerably before they can breed plutonium at a useful rate. ... Main article: The design of breeder reactors is different because the physics are different. The crucial process is the absorption of neutrons by atoms of uranium of atomic weight 238. The U238 is converted into fissionable plutonium 239. For this purpose the neutrons have to be moving fast, otherwise the U238 nuclei will not absorb them. The high power densities of fast reactors, of the order of 350 to 450 kW per litre, demand efficient cooling. Water is useless because it slows down neutrons too much. Current practice favours the metal sodium, which melts just below the boiling point of water.
UC09: page 59

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

One measure of the reactor's performance is the 'conversion ratio', the number of atoms of potential nuclear fuel it generates for each atom consumed. Conversion ratios are never large numbers. The fission of a U235 (or Pu239) nucleus usually produces two or three neutrons. One of these is needed to carryon the chain reaction, leaving one or two neutrons available for breeding. Prototype reactors have achieved conversion ratios of around 1.1 which is to say that they scarcely breed at all. The first commercial breeders are expected to achieve a ratio of 1.2. The practical significance of the conversion ratio is simple. If the ratio is too low, the reactor may take very many years to produce enough fuel to start another reactor of the same size. If the first commercial breeders perform no better than the prototypes, the 'doubling time' would be 20 to 30 years. This is close to the useful lifetime of the reactor itself. It is certainly too long for the breeder to have much impact on the world energy problem. To reduce doubling time to ten years means boosting the conversion ratio,-to 1.4. This is impossible with present-day fuels based on uranium oxide or mixed uranium and plutonium oxides. Fast reactors will only begin to breed to a useful extent when new carbide fuels are introduced. But the technological problems of carbide-fueled reactors have been very little investigated. No-one can honestly say when, if ever, commercial breeders will be running on carbide fuel, and the conversion figure of 1.4 is only a hopeful estimate. Thus it is still uncertain whether breeder reactors can repay their capital cost, which is higher than that of thermal reactors. Even if their performance reaches expectation, no economic advantage will accrue until the price of uranium rises well above its present level of $8/lb. It may be that some governments have opted for the breeder less for economic than for strategic reasons. Even if uranium remains cheap, most countries would like to reduce the amount they need to import. The public can provide the,cost of this supposed 'benefit'. The public may also be asked to accept certain risks. Many of the safety problems of fast reactors are similar to those of thermal reactors. But further, specific problems are created by the compact core design, the high power density, and the liquid sodium cooling system. A thermal reactor can never become a bomb. Its fuel is too dilute to form a 'prompt critical' arrangement of fissile material even in the worst possible accident. The fuel of a fast reactor, however, could in principle
UC09: page 60

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

be rearranged in a geometry capable of supporting an explosive chain reaction. Much research has been devoted to proving that in practice this will not happen. Various scenarios have been investigated. Start of p. 22: A blockage in the cooling channels, sodium boils, a fuel pin overheats and melts, molten sodium meets molten uranium oxide, chemical explosion, further fuel pins bend, break or melt, scram rods won't drop into the mess, core rearranges into prompt critical geometry. . . and so on. Not unnaturally, computer simulations were tried before real-life experiments. Simulations carried out at Argonne National Laboratory, USA, in 1971, and later at Karlsruhe in W Germany and Cadarache in France, have produced reassuring results. Stated very simply, it seems that the simulated fast reactor blows itself gently apart before it can become a simulated Hiroshima. These results are highly regarded in the industry, and last spring the latest Franco-German feasibility study was sold to Japanese buyers for one million francs. Numerous tests have been carried out with models and with real fuel pins and sub-assemblies outside the reactor. But at some point the need arises to see what happens in a real reactor. In Europe the French CABRI reactor was chosen, because German licensing authorities would not allow the experiment to take place on their own soil. The idea is to see what happens when the coolant pumps are stopped, all the control rods are pulled out, and one fuel pin is deliberately blown up. The whole programme of thirty experiments in 1976-80 will cost about ú10 million. The results will II of course come too late to affect Britain's PFR and France's Phenix. They will also be too late for any alterations in the design of W Germany's SN R-300 demonstration reactor. The experiments are intended to provide an argument for relaxing safety standards (and saving money) on future commercial fast reactors. Sodium is not an easy material to handle. The possibility of an explosive reaction between liquid sodium and molten nuclear fuel has already been mentioned. Sodium also explodes on contact with water, and burns furiously in air. As one engineer put it 'we have a sodium fire every once in a while, but so far it has not been catastrophic: 200 kg of sodium was lost in a fire at the Shevchenko prototype fast reactor in the USSR. It happened because of a leak in a steam generator, allowing sodium,and water to meet. This possibility is so commonplace that all liquid metal cooled power reactors
UC09: page 61

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

use two separate loops of sodium plumbing: one passes through the core, and acquires fierce radioactivity; the other loop, which serves the steam generators, is supposed to stay relatively 'clean'. All these systems are duplicated so that a single failure should not be disastrous. However if a multiple failure leads to 'loss of coolant', the core has to look after itself. No genuine emergency core cooling system is provided for sodium cooled reactors. (Such a system is mandatory in the US for water-cooled reactors). , Plutonium 239 has a half-life of 24,000 years. On the time-scale of human activities, it is long-lived. To human tissues or to a Geiger counter, however, it is strongly radioactive. Unlike uranium 235 or 238, it is not safe to handle. Even conservative estimates make it one of the most toxic substances known. Inside the body it tends to concentrate in the bones, leading to possible bone cancer. It may also collect in the liver, Reports in the Guardian have also suggested that there is an unusually high incidence of leukaemia in British plutonium workers. Seven cases have occurred, with five deaths, in a group of which only one case was to be expected. Plutonium dust is also dangerous if inhaled. According to Tamplin and Cochran, official limits for/inhaled plutonium have been set 100,000 times too high. The standards are based on the assumption that radiation from a plutonium particle is spread over the whole lung. Tamplin and Cochran, on the other hand, believe that a 'hot' particle can lodge in one place for about a year and deliver an enormous dose of radiation to a small volume of lung. On their theory, one single particle a thousandth of a millimetre across would give a .J>person a one-in-2000 chance of lung cancer. Inhaling a few thousand particles would raise the chance to near certainty. A couple of kilos of plutonium could, in principle, wipe out everybody in the world. Breeder reactors may have made several thousand tons by the end of the century. Despite the known dangers, plutonium is guarded, in 'the words of George F Will, 'no more rigorously than currency'. In fact plutonium accounting at nuclear plants is a good deal looser than money accounting. The accuracy which can be achieved is about 1 %, according to an official American report. However one safeguards expert said that only 3-5% accuracy can be expected over the whole fuel cycle. To improve on this would be very costly. Some plutonium at a reprocessing plant always ends up in insoluble solid waste. This waste may be inhomogeneous, and its plutonium content must be estimated by analysis of small and not necessarily representative samples.
UC09: page 62

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Even if analytical techniques were perfect, human error could creep in readily, or records could be deliberately cooked in innumerable ways. On January 7th, America's Atomic Energy Commission said that it had discovered three occasions on which AEC rules had been broken at the Kerr-McGee Corporation's reprocessing plant in Oklahoma. On one occasion there was 'too much radioactive material in one place', the implication being that a little more might have made a critical mass of plutonium. If that had happened an explosion would have been unlikely, but workers might have received a very nasty dose of neutrons. There is still some 'material unaccounted for' at the plant, though the AEC has not confirmed the union's allegation that between twenty and thirty kilograms of plutonium, enough for several bombs, went missing on one occasion. The Kerr-McGee plant is by no means the only one in the USA with hairraising stories on its record. But it attracted unusual attention when a technician, Karen Silkwood, died in a car crash while on her way to meet journalists and union officials. She had complained that conditions at the plant were unsafe, and plutonium was found in her body and urine. Her union suspects that the crash was not accidental. If there are already such opportunities for plutonium to escape, and perhaps reach the hands of organised crime or terrorist groups, then how much greater will the risk be when hundreds of kilograms are traveling from breeder reactor to reprocessing plant and from there to thermal reactors all over the country? A few weeks ago near Preston in Lancashire a lorry driver slammed his brakes on and five hundredweight drum slid forward, smashed through the cab and fell on the road. Radioactive material spilled out of it over the roadway. Fortunately it was only uranium.

UC09: page 63

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

End of the American Dream by Colin Sweet WILL THE world Go nuclear by the end of the century? Until recently the Atomic Energy Commission and all the energy chiefs in Washington were quite sure that the answer was Yes. They were sure, because America would Iead the way, with mass produced hardware. It would back this up by supplying. about 60% of the world's (excluding the USSR's) demand for nuclear fuels - ‘all of which would be highly profitable. I multi-billion dollar business' shouted Representative Craig Homer to the Joint Commission on Atomic Energy last year ‘and the US ,ought to have as near to all of it as possible'. The governments of the remainder of the advanced industrial countries are following the same order of targeting for nuclear power as the Americans except for odd cases like Norway, where the surveyors for the first two nuclear plants were chased off the site by opponents of nuclear power, and never came back. The total of the world's nuclear by the year 2000 is projected to be around 2,000,000 Mw (2,000 Gigawatts) half of which would be in the USA. This kind of nuclear growth would involve immense changes. Whether it is desirable or not is a serious question that is nonetheless important because the . politicians have pre-empted it. ,But the more practical question is:. is it possible? Our societies are not yet capable of dealing with the problems and the possible dangers that nuclear power of this magnitude requires. Not only would it mean nuclear power stations in large numbers,with attendant safety and health problems for the workers in the stations and the people living nearby, but it >would. require methods of political control and finance which at present appear to be beyond our capability. It is highly significant that before nine people (out of ten have ,even begun to think at all about what a nuclear future Would mean, the governments (including our own)have in principle already decided that nuclear power will be dominant before the end of the century. They have willed the end, but can ., they Will :the: means? When one examines .t; hOw the pOlicy decisions are arrived at, f} there is a $strong,suspicion that the people .,. who do the arriving don't really know where they have got to or how they arrived there. The decisionmaking process as it works at present is the beSt evidence for my contention that our society is neither capable nor competent yet to
UC09: page 64

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

commit itself to a nuclear future. One could, of course, illustrate this from British experience, but it is more interesting$to to look at what is happening In America right now. The United States' Nuclear Dream Today the US has 29 Gw of nuclear generated electricity on supply from 40 nuclear power stations. By the year 2,000, the middle range forecast is for 1,000 Gw approximately. It would be supplied by something like 1 , 500 stations generating 60% of US needs. The size of the US programme, plus contracted obligations to supply foreign reactors and ;the desire to take the bulk of the exPanding. world market,means that there is a tremendous strain developing on the US fuel supply industry. At, present the US has three plants. The Oak Ridge plant, the oldest and largest in the world, consumeS as much power as a fair sized industrial town. To satisfy the planners in Washington, the US will need fifteen more of these plants. As each will need three nuclear power $stations of 1000 Mw each to supply them, this means building 45 nuclear stations, just to make the fuel to supply nuclear enrichment plants. The total cost of this expansion programme, plus the cost of mining and milling the uranium ore, will be S60-70 billion. With the oil crisis seeming to provide an ideal boost to the nuclear programme, 1973 saw the first phase of the programme proceeding right on line. By " March 1974, a total of 180 reactors were working, committed, or under construction. By June of that year, 200 Gw was secured, and with its overseas customers added, the AEG had signed contracts for servicing 320 Gw of nuclear power. But within three months the programme was in deep trouble. In the US, 80% of the power supply Is provided by private companies (or investor()r-owned utilities as they prefer to be called These utilities are sensitive bodies. They know what a profit and loss account looks like, and they can sense when losses arE likely to arise. They began to unscramble many of the contracts they had got into, and in cases where they had gone a long way on construction, they froze a considerable number of the sites. A survey of 42 utilities showed that they had cancelled or deferred 112 new plants, of which 65 were nuclear and 57 were fossil-fueled. The 60 nuclear plants accounted for a total of 69,354 Mw(&5.39w) of the nuclear programme. It was: intended that by 1980 new nuclear plant construction would have been ahead of fossil plants. Now it is clear that the reverse will be the case. The total estimated nuclear capacity that has
UC09: page 65

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

been stopped - wholly, or partially- is now estimated at over 80Gw. The reasons for this failure are complex;but it will be instructive to try and summarise them. 1:. The capital cost of nuclear technology. The complexity of nuclear technology is not always understood. Westing,house and GE have encouraged the idea" that economies of scale would arise "from massproduced reactors. In fact the problems have increased and the real costs have mounted. It should also . be under,stood that the capital cost is a function of time. This has three components: a) The 'lead time' of nuclear plants appears to be getting longer. It is now 9- years. The main reason is the pressure: of environmental forces. The utility has calculated that the licensing paperwork takes 127 man years of work. A utility may have a negative cash flow for fifteen Years on a new plant. the cumulative effects are obvious. If utilities bring 30,000 Mw on line each year this 'could mean a constant commitment of 300,000 Mw (assuming a ten year lead time). b) Escalation of capital costs over time. These have been increasing by $75·100 per Kw annually. Half of this is accounted for as high interest costs. These increases alone would add $20-30 billion a year to the total programme. c) Load factors (i.e. the percentage of capacity power that the station actually sells) are declining. As capital cost over time is a function of the load factor the burden of cost goes up as the load factor comes down. The industry is now in something of a cleft stick. Every spokesman for nuclear power has been saying that it is the cheapest form of power and getting cheaper (relatively) and so it has been difficult for the industry to obtain very much in the way of new state subsidies to meet the rapidly-rising (hidden) real costs. 2. The second reason lies in the capital structure of the US power
UC09: page 66

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

companies. This, in turn, throws a window of light on general condition of American capitalism. In the past the utilities' connection with two great interests-oil and banking - has been to their advantage. Now the reverse is the case. These institutional shareholders have recently been pulling out their equity on a major scale from the local power companies. However they have kept their stakes in the big nuclear engineering corporations, as the following table shows: It is interesting that the three major companies, rivals in the nuclear industry or seemingly so, have. almost identical shareholders at the top of their shareholding list. The capital structure of the companies show a high debt ratio. The power companies in many cases are in an even more parlous condition, crippled by indebtedness. They have fallen from being amongst the most secure of investments to their present low position in a short period of time. They underestimated the capital requirements of nuclear technology, and they committed themselves to work beyond their capacity. At the same time, the growth rate began to fall, and with it the demand for energy, at the same time as inflation escalated prices. They suffered from a disease known as 'revenue erosion~. They sought to resolve their dilemma by raising their rates, but many companies found themselves up against community opposition in the courts, and other forms of pressure exerted through bodies like the Power Service Commissions that have to sanction all tariff increases. The utilities, as regulated companies, cannot cover their construction outlays from current earnings. They therefore set these outlays against the interest payable on the capital with an accounting item called' Allowance for Funds During Construction'. This income being non-cash, meant that their cash flow suffered. It also reduced their capacity to borrow through the bond market because of the high level of the Allowance for Funds during construction. The latter exceeded the amount of non-operating income allowable for 'coverage', (the ratio of earnings to fixed assets). The result is that the utility resorts to various forms of indebtedness. Georgia Power, for example, has currently a debt of about S250 million
UC09: page 67

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

and this ties it closely to the banks. Increasing short term debt reduces the value of the equity stock; it is also inflationary. If the company can manage to float another issue of stock, this has the effect of diluting the stock - i.e. reducing the dividend, unless the company can grow very rapidly and increases its sales and the value of its assets. The US Utilities are now in a hell of a mess. Which is why they have been cancelling plant and lobbying for tax concessions in Washington. They have recently persuaded Congress to allow them to raise money through tax free bonds, specifically to meet the environmental costs on their power operations! The situation Was highlighted by Dr John Sawhill, head of the Federal Energy Agency (recently sacked by Ford for being too outspoken): 'The electrical utility industry is confronted with critical financial problems. Companies have experienced.. debilitating erosion of revenue due to reduced consumer demand,lack of timely and adequate rate relief , soaring operating costs, depressed stock prices and record interest rate on debt offerings. As of r June of this year stocks of 93 electrical utilities averaged 76% of book value. Since offerings of additional common stock will mean further dilution of earnings per share, such equity issues are unattractive to investors ... This financial distress arises at a time when their need for funds for expansion of generating capacity - even with the slowdown in demand growth - has never been greater. Thus it is clear the companies are caught in a vicious circle of declining capital value and increasing debt. From such a position it seems impossible for them to reach out and organise the vast expansion of the energy industry which the US says it needs and . " which would be headed by nuclear power. It is questionable whether private US capital really,wants to come into the nuclear field. The risk element is too great. Bank and big institutional capital has been pulling out, Who,then,, will provide the enormous sum of 700 billion dollars for the US reactor programme ? Like the thermal reactor programme, the fast breeder, and still more the enrichment industry, is in trouble. But they are both in government hands after much euphoria about getting In, the big private fish have moved away after sampling the bait. The fast breeder at Clinch River is going to cost not the $699 million dollars estimated in 1972, but $1,736 million, which is the AEC's new estimate. So far, S2 billion have been spent on Research and Development for the LMFBR. Last 2 paras of p. 24 are MISSING.
UC09: page 68

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

PUBLIC RESISTANCE has slowed the . American nuclear programme to a crawl. Ralph Nader, and a number of disaffected nuclear scientists, have all helped. But as this rapid and incomplete survey shows, the people of Europe and Japan, too, are beginning to wonder whether they want the nuclear power stations their governments have wished on them. So how much longer will we in Britain go on swallowing our nuclear medicine without a murmur? SWITZERLAND Opposition to. nuclear power stations has been mainly of the 'please put it somewhere else' variety. But a lonely crusade is waged by Konradin Kreuzer and the Forum for Responsible Application of Science. Forum fUr verantwortbare Anwendung der Wissenschaft (Basel). 4113 Fluh, SWitzerland. Phone (061) 75 22 72. JAPAN Memories of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Lucky Dragon are still fresh, and anything nuclear. issue. When the nuclear ship Mutsu sprang a radioactive leak< in September: 400G fishermen prevented its return tQ its home port. One of the most active organizations against nuclear power, and pollution generally, is the Jishu Koza ('independent forum') Citizens' Movement, led by Jun Ui and Nobuo Matsuoka. Jishu Koza, c/o Jun 01, Faculty of Urban Engineering, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-I<u, Tokyo, Japan. Phone: 03-812-2111 ext 7411. SWEDEN local groups fought Sweden's first two power reactors, and lost. There is now a national campaign to prevent any more being built. Bjorn Gillberg's Miljocentrum (Environment Centre ), an influential national organisation,with 100 local groups, has fought the issue all the way up the courts, only to have its final appeal thrown out. A Gallup poll found that 60% of Swedes were against nuclear power, and 81% were prepared to their energy consumption. Probably still more have turned against nuclear power after the recent discovery of three faulty pumps ()n the Ringhals I reactor. . . Miljocentrum, Ullsaxvagen 14, S-752 48 Uppsala, Sweden. Phone 018-300000. HOLLAND Holland, Belgium and West Germany are partners in the plan to build a 300 MW breeder poWer station at Kalkar, in Germany but only 20 km from the Dutch border. The Dutch government put a 3% tax on electricity to pay for it. The Stop Kalkar movement has mobilised citizens against the project. Several thousand people now refuse to pay the tax, and risk having their electricity cutoff . 10,000 , Dutch. people went to Kalkar for a protest meeting on 2B September 1974. . Many people in the Stop Kalkar movement also want Holland's two operating nuclear plants,
UC09: page 69

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

at Dodewaard and Borssele; to be closed down. In a recent public opinion poll. con ducted on behalf of the electricity comPanies and subsequently leaked, 62% of those questioned considered that technology has not advanced sufficiently to let politicians decide on building nuclear power plants. . Stroomgroep$top Kalkar, Herengracht 109. Amsterdam. Phone 020-226242. Aktie Strohalm, Oudegracht 36, Utrecht. Phone 030-314314. . FRANCE Perhaps the main reason the French government 'needs' a nuclear industry is to provide it with weapons like these tested at Mururoa last year. So in France, pacifists and environmental groups line up together against the government's plans to have 55 reactors under construction by 1980. ,Maps shOwing where the fallout would go if any of the reactors blew up have been distributed by: le Comite AntiNucliaire de Paris, 15 rue du Commerce, 75015 Paris. (Same address as Amis de la Terre). Issue number 5 of Pollution Non (see page 16 for address) was a detailed and heavy attack on nuclear r. And an amazing range of literature on- nuclear subjects, mostly in French, is distributed by: J. Pignero, 12 rue des Noyers, Crisenoy, 77390 Verneui l'Etang. • • • • • • A snake eating its tail • • • • • • • • • •

CONVENTIONAL TECHNOLOGICAL wisdom has as its centre piece the idea of nuclear power as a cheap, clean, virtually inexhaustible source of energy, the fuel which Will free the west from the domination of the oil Sheikhs. It must come as a considerable shock to the faithful that, far from freeing us from the oil yoke, nuclear power is likely to extend the period of dependence on fossil fuel - and some national nuclear programmes may never produce more energy than they , consume. This apparent paradox, where a plant which is obviously producing (i.e., electricity is coming out the business end) can in fact be a net consumer of energy for a large part, if not all, of its lifetime, has emerged from energy analyses of nuclear power, notably those carried out by Peter Chapman and John Price of-the Open University and arises for two principal reasons. Firstly very considerable amounts of energy have to be expended to build the plant, to mine, purify and enrich the uranium and to provide the other necessary materials such as heavy water for certain types of reactor. Secondly, and as it turns out more importantly, in the current situation the reactor cannot be considered in isolation but must be seen as part of a programme, which is growing very rapidly.
UC09: page 70

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Some of the reactor output has to be invested in the building and fueling of future plants and the proportion Which must be invested dependscritically as it turns out - on the rate of growth,f the nuclear programme. In the British case, with the number of reactors planned to double every 4.3 years - slow by the standards of some other countries - analysis of the energy flows involved shows that even Using high grade. uranium ores only about a quarter to a half the energy which is supposed to be produced will be available for general consumption. The rest will have to be reinvested. to sustain the rate of growth of reactor construction. This means that either two to four times as much capacity must be built as expected or else the electricity generated will be two to four times#Jt as expensive. For the current US and french programmes, which envisage doubling reactor numbers every 2.5 and 2 years respectively, energy analysis leads to the apparently absurd conclusion that all the energy they produce - and more - must be reinvested. In . other words these reactors will receive a Continuing energy subsidy from fossil fuels. If Price and his cohorts are right - a point much contested by some (see Wright& Syrett, Energy Analysis of Nuclear Power, New Scientist 9/1/75) then they have raised very serious doubts about the whole raison d'etre of the nuclear programme. It has become an article of faith,almost an ideology in tome quarters, that nuclear power is the only source capable of meeting the demands of the next few decades. Now the task of building the plants in the time required may turn out to be truly Sisyphean. like a snake eating its own tail the nuclear programme could consume the energy it produces. It may be, as has been claimed, that in the long run nuclear power comes into very favourable energy balance,but that is hardly the point. By 'long term' is meant the muchheralded slowdown to a zero growth situation, but in the industrialised world the emphasis is on tile relatively short term replacement of one energy source by another, while exponential growth is expected to continue. The impetus, at lea in the West political and financial- to adopt an energy source more easily controlled and less of a burden on the balance of payments - the exact opposite of the likely effects of current nuclear programmes. Of course these initial attempts to analyse the whole nuclear energy picture are rather crude and likely to be modified. But. proponents of nuclear power unlikely to find much comfort in Price's initial assumptions, which are conservative, giving nuclear power the benefit of the doubt on any questionable points. The grade of uranium assumed
UC09: page 71

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

(0.3%) is higher than that typically mined today which means unrealistically low estimates for mining and process energy consumption Energies associated with decommissioning obsolete reactors and trans. , porting, treating, storing and disposal of low and medium level radioactive wastes have been neglected, as have those with high level wastes where the storage method is still speculative and may well involve considerable energy usage. The value assumed for construction time, 5 years, is considerably shorter than those actually experienced in\()most countries - giving rise to ;optimistic predictions for the dynamic energy yield of a growth programme. Indeed in many eases construction and delay times seem actually to be increasing. All reactors have been assumed to operate throughout their lifetimes at full design rating. In practice plants in many countries have had to be derated due to corrosion and other problems. The assumed lifetime average capacity, factor of 62% (Ie the reactor produces over its lifetime at an average rate of 62% of its maximum capacity) may be an overestimate. Recent USAEC data suggests that the true figure may be nearer 50% because aging problems, (metal fatigue, corrosion, dirt accumulation etc) appear earlier and are more serious than was first thought. Two principal lessons for any future energy policy result from these analyses. Firstly doubling times of a few years, four or less, are probably not sustainable with nuclear power if it is expected to . produce a substantial net yield of energy. This ultra-rapid growth is the result of attempting simultaneously to meet a . rapid growth in demand and substitute for traditional fuels. Nuclear power could do perhaps one or the other, it cannot do both. The best that can be said for it in the present situation is that by consuming 1-2 kWh of fossil fuel energy for every kWh it produces, compared to the 4 kWh of fuel which a conventional oil or coal powered station consumed to produce a kWh of electricity. a nuclear power station can help to stretch fossil fuel resources by two to four times. In other words it is a rather more efficient way of : burning oil or coal than Battersea power station,- which is a long way from the role of saviour of technological civilisation as we know it in which it had been cast by some of its proponents. A second policy lesson may be gained " from looking at possible energy yields if the rapid growth programmes are slowed down or halted, which
UC09: page 72

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

on present forecasts, is unlikely to be before the end of the century. (A further irony of the situation may then be that, with plants having to reinvest a much smaller fraction of their output, a much greater proportion will be available for general consumption at a time when demand growth has halted. The result is likely to be a huge energy glut or a rapid decommissioning of plant.) What fraction of the energy initially expended on the programme is recovered wiII depend on the way the slowdown occurs, but, in general the time taken to recover energy deficits resulting from a too rapid initial growth are very long and may exceed the lifetime of the plant: In Price's words 'It is less painful in the long run (and a more efficient use of national resources) to stop the programme and redirect its resources in a more rewarding direction than merely to slow the programme down in the hope recouping losses incurred so far'. start of p. 27: Pandora opens the box "It is, my judgement that the odds are around one in three that a nuclear weapon will be used in a conflict situation before the year 1984; and that the chances are greater than 50-50 for - nuclear war to occur in the next twenty-six years of this century. " Thus Bernard Feld, Professor of-Physics at MIT and Secretary-general of the Pugwash Conferences on science and world affairs. The reasons adduced by Feld for this, catastrophic conclusion are: the cynical manoeuvrings of the nuclear powers under the guise of arms control; the , emergence of what appears to be a cabal of military nuclear hardliners on both sides, held together by their identity of interest in the continuation of the arms race, who frustrate and subvert; every international arrangement - and crisis to their own ends; and the apparent willingness of the technologically advanced world to introduce nuclear power into the third world in return for raw materials and political influence. ,To these must be added the possibility that non-national groups will get hold of it nuclear weapon - the terrorist or 'peoples' bomb’. While not wishing to minimise the dangers of the arms race or the triggerhappy mentality of the military, it would seem that the real motives behind the super powers' investment in nuclear, weapons are more complex than a desire, simply to vaporise the enemy and .!:his . works and pomps. The ,,",much more likely reason for Feld being right in his
UC09: page 73

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

prediction Is the spread of what is now a cliche which will haunt the world, or what is left of it, over the next twenty years: 'The peaceful use of atomic energy'. Implicit in this idea is the belief that the harmful consequences of any process can be suppressed-as though gelignite could be reserved for quarrying or electronics for hi-fi, a notion as risible as it is dangerous. The inevitable byproduct of nuclear pOwer, the production of Plutonium 239, a fissile material, chemically separable from the rest of the fission products, has been used, and will be again, to make a bomb. To get some idea of the scale of the problem, consider first the average nuclear power station with an electrical output of 1000 megawatts. In a year this reactor will Produce about 500 kg of Plutonium which as we shall see later is enough for between one-fifth and a hundred bombs. Projecting the likely growth in nuclear generating capacity using figures provided from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the growth in possible bomb production, capacity of the world is shown in the table below (3). Most of this plutonium will be separated and refined in plants operated under strict supervision by the major powers, most notably in the United States. Nevertheless the possibility of some of it being 'diverted' is very real. Even in the most strictly supervised..plants there is a MUF factor Material Unaccounted For - of nearly one per cent. This does not mean necessarily that the plutonium is missing, it merely reflects the degree of uncertainty in how much actually went in to the separation plant in the first place. But it also means that if an " amount of plutonium less than the MUF factor were removed from the plant the theft could not be detected. By the year 2000, even allowing for improvements in saying techniques the world MUF factor may be the equivalent of 5 tons of plutonium annually, enough for 500 or more bombs. At the international level the signs are that we are on the very point of a large increase in the number of nuclear powers, sparked off partly by the Indian test explosion which used plutonium provided by Canadian-& supplied reactors. Professor Ephraim Kauir, President of Israel has been quoted as saying that his country had-the capability of making nuclear weapons using plutonium from a research reactor at Dimona in the Negev, and there have been persistent rumours that the Israelis have already made several bombs. President Ali Bhutto has gone on record as, saying that Pakistan
UC09: page 74

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

must look closely at the possibility of aCQuiring nuclear weapons following the Indian test. The Shah of Iran attends to carry his nation with nuclear weapons 'if the small nations equip themselves with such armaments'. The recent agreement allowing Egypt . and Israel to obtain reactors from the US; Iran to buy Canadian, American and French reactors, and to have uranium enriched in the US; South Africa to buy French reactors; Argentina to obtain knowhow from India and Japan to obtain uranium ore from Niger and take advantage of French enrichment facilities, all violate the terms of the 1970 nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty which forbids the provision of fissile material to countries refusing to put their nuclear programmes under international Inspection and safegUards. Table II shows the countries with a present or planned commercial nuclear power programme and their potential bomb making capacity. start of p. 28 Country Date of 1st operational reactor No of reactors planned Approx capacity (bombs /year): Argentina 1973 60 2 Austria 1976 40 1 Bangladesh - 10 1 Belgium 1966 80 4 Brazil 1976 35 1 BuIgaria 1974 80 4 Canada 1962 400 25 Czechoslovakia 1971 90 5 Denmark - 50 1 Finland 1916 - 80 3 Germany (Fed) . 1962 100 29 Germany (Dem) 1966 80 6 Hungary 1980 50 2 India 1969 70 7 Iran - 250 5 Ireland 1980 30 1 Israel 1982 50 1
UC09: page 75

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Italy 1964 250 9 Japan 196 950 32 Korea 1975 - 60 2 Luxembourg - 60 1 MexicO. 1977 60 2 Netherlands 1969 30 Norway 1959 35 2 Pakistan 1972 . 10 1 Philippines 1982. 60 2 Poland - 20 1 South Africa 1982 100 2 Spain 1969 960 20 Sweden 1964. 360 12 Switzerland 1968 250 9 Taiwan 1976 150 4 Thailand 1980 30 l Yugoslavia 1980 40 1 Table II: The potential bomb making capacity of the world's reactor programme. Nor is there any security in the argument sometimes advanced that nuclear , power stations are so complex that small countries could not run them without help and that any attempt to . divert spent fuel rods would result in the supplier of the station cutting off all further aid. South Africa, 8 country not technologically of the first rank, appears to have solved, with some West German assistance, the most difficult technical feat in the nuclear business. the Isotopic enrichment of uranium and is reported to be building a plant at Valindaba near Pretoria operating apparently on a technique not yet developed on a large scale anywhere else in the World. the Becker nozzle. If the South Africans can do it then almost all of the countries on the .. list could do likewise and also build a plutonium separation plant to enable them to run a nuclear programme without outside aid. The possibility of amounts of plutonium sufficient to make a bomb ; falling into the hands of groups or I . individuals must be regarded as strong. :. Amory Lovins (4) consider a roll-call of possible
UC09: page 76

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

nuclear thieves would include ‘terrorists, lunatics, criminal syndicates and speculators - a diverse range with some strong transnational connections'. As he Points out, safeguards far more thorough than those currently enforced for fissionable isotopes have failed to prevent aircraft hijackings, bank robberies and the black market in heroin The task of protecting the world's growing inventory of plutonium will become so difficult that in the opinion of more than one Prominent expert in the field if may become impossible to prevent the theft of strategic materials by sufficiently determined groups whose motives are subversive or economic. What possible reasons would such a group have for using a bomb? And could they actually construct device which would Work? To take the first question, the answers could range from a simple martyr complex to a more sophisticated analysis of the political role of nuclear weapons ...what might be called the 'dialectiCs of nuclear power'. An-outline of such an analysis might run like this:A much evInced irony of our time is that the world has been saved from war by weapons which, if used, would destroy it. Nuclear weapons, so some panglossians argue, are an unfortunate necessity because man cannot be entrusted to-live in peace (unless a pistol (several orders of magnitude larger than that necessary to kill him) is held at his head. What this argument misses is that what has been preserved is not so much peace as the status quo. Wars between powers super and not so super have been fomented across the globe whenever and wherever it suited their interests. What has remained constant is the condominium of the super-powers, and the elites who control them. It is this identification with a certain class of people which essentially distinguishes nuclear from all other weapons It is the only weapon which is the exclusive prerogative of ruling eIites and only a few such elites at that. Its usefulness lies not so much in its destructive potential as in the fear it inspires - not only in the enemy. The bomb is used as a means of disciplining populations. War, as is well known, is ideal for national unity and the next best thing is putative extinction - the cold war. Using postures, threats, lies and cajolery,. each elite has convinced its respective masses of the destructive intentions of the "enemy" and that their only recourse is to ally themselves with the creator and wielder of their only defence - the bomb. Meanwhile the rulers$ tJJ!;tacitly agree among themselves the positions each will be allowed to adopt. Witness Bernard Feld's 'cabal' in which "the hawks of
UC09: page 77

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

the world have learned how to reinforce each other and to divide the opposition, so as to convert every international arrangement, as well as each international crisis, Into an internal victory for their own approach': Witness too the recent Ford Brezhnev agreement at Vladivostock on arms 'limitation' which is no limitation at all, but an endOrsement of the ambitions of the military on both sides. . . Neither side has a real interest in 'detente' since It would inevitably mean\ a greater concentration on internal affairs and the class tensions produced. What the bomb has given each set of rulers is a monumental diversion in the class struggle. What it has prevented is not so much war as revoIution. If one accepts this line of argument that the bomb has become, however obliquely, a weapon in the class war then it becomes possible that a revolutionary might consider turning the weapons of the ruling class back on itself. Quite how, and in what specific circumstances, it could be used is more difficult to visualise. The use of nuclear weapons in urban guerilla warfare has not been given much attention by theorists. Brig Kitson has yet to bring out High Intensity Operations ; but it is possible to imagine a situation, in a General Strike or civil disturbance with the authorities at full stretch, where the threat to use a bomb could mean the panic evacuation of a city and the possibility of the situation getting completely out of control. : Another -possible use could be in occupied territory against massive military targets. Hand in hand with the possible military advantages of the bomb would be the indisputable psychological and political boost its possession gives. Another factor to be considered is the method of 'use' of the bomb, which in practice would mean threatening to use it since setting it off is likely to be counterproductive. The technique would be : technologically advanced blackmail and since the threat's the thing it is not really necessary to be in possession of a bomb, just to be convincing. This Would mean manifestly obtaining some plutonium-but very little more. The question of construction of a workable device can only finally be answered when someone makes one and sets it off. Nevertheless it is instructive to see what could be achieved by relying on information freely available. What follows is in no sense a blueprint for an atom bomb. It represents merely the fruits of a few hours browsing in a good library. What it indicates is that most, if not all. the information needed to make a bomb can be found easily by anybody who knows where to look . .

UC09: page 78

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

New Toys for Terrorists The Backyard A-Bomb PLUTONIUM METAL (Pu) exists in five allotropic forms with densities ranging from 15.92 (delta) to 19.82 (alpha) gm/ cc. At room temperature the alpha form is stable. Pure plutonium is only mildly radioactive (0.96 Ci/gm) but is one of the most toxic substances known. Like radium it tends to settle in the bone and is discharged only very slowly. Quantities of the order of one microgram can cause leukaemia and death. It oxidizes rapidly in air, especially if water vapour is present. It should therefore be handled in a glove box under an inert atmosphere such as Argon. Plutonium health hazards and the problems of glove-box design have been discussed in detail at a symposium held at AERE, Harwell.5 The chemistry and physical properties of plutonium are very well known, much better indeed than many non-radioactive and much commoner elements. The Reactor Handbook 6 gives all the details necessary f or purification. Alpha Pu is a brittle material and not readily fabricable except by machining. On the other hand the delta form has much better ductility and formability, and the addition of small amounts of such elements as Aluminium (AI), Silicon (Si), and Zinc (Zn), and some of the rare earths can result in delta stabilisation at room temperatures. Plutonium can also be moulded, copper moulds giving the best results. Machining is the usual method for fabricating the metal to precise shapes at room temperatures. Alpha Pu machines like grey cast iron. Overheating must be avoided for precision work with the unalloyed metal because of its high temperature expansion coefficient, low thermal conductivity and low phase transition temperature. Carbide or high speed tools, ground to zero rake angle, arc used for machining. reeds and speeds are given in The Reactor Handbook. Criticality The principle of an atomic bomb is extremely simple. All that is necessary is to assemble a quantity of fissile material greater than the socalled 'critical mass' and a divergent neutron chain reaction occurs. In
UC09: page 79

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

other words it explodes. The critical mass depends on the element, its isotopic constitution and the geometry or shape of the assembled matter. It is one of the myths of popular science, believed especially by the media but also by many scientists, that the critical masses of fissile materials arc one of the most closely guarded secrets of the state. In fact they are nothing of the sort and are freely available to anyone who knows where to look. In Vol. XIV of the Proceedings of the Geneva Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy 2, Ackroyd and McCullen 7 give what they describe as a 'tantalisingly simple' variational method of calculating critical size and mass. Alongside their calculated values they give the experimental results for a variety of spherical and cylindrical arrangements. In the same volume Hanson 8 describes the influence of shape on critical size and shows how cylindrical values can be derived from the spherical results by using a simple Bessel equation. Hanson also gives experimental critical mass data for certain fast neutron assemblies and these arc in agreement with Ackroyd and McCullen. for spherical configurations, a geometry which minimises critical mass, the values for Pu 239 arc: Bare sphere reflector reflector 16.2 kg Sphere with infinite water 8.0 kg 5.79 kg Sphere with thick uranium from which the important effect of a neutron reflector surrounding the plutonium can be easily seen. One further point to note is that isotopic composition can affect critical mass and this composition is dependent on the type of reactor and the irradiation time of the elements in which the plutonium was made. The Pu 239 content runs from 95% plus in a fast breeder (none yet operational) through about 85% in a British Magnox type reactor down to perhaps 70% in an American light water reactor. The actual critical mass
UC09: page 80

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

of the sample will therefore have to be determined by experiment. Techniques for doing this are well known and documented. One further complication can be caused by a high proportion of Pu 240, due to the high spontaneous fission rate of this isotope. This means that there is likely to be relatively high neutron flux in the sample and it has been suggested that this would make plutonium obtained from a commercial reactor useless for making a bomb because these neutrons would initiate the chain reaction before the masses were properly assembled. Certainly, weaponsgrade plutonium contains a very high proportion of Pu 239 so there could be something in this objection. However other authorities have suggested that the presence of a high neutron flux in. a sub-critical sample would simply make the whole thing less predictable, requiring considerably more skill in its assembly. Construction There is at least one unclassified guide for the DIY bomb merchant, the 'Los Alamos primer', notes from a series of lectures given by R Serber in April 1943 as an 'indoctrination course' in connection with the starting up of the Los Alamos project which led to the first atom bomb. Although prehistoric as far as the military is concerned, and written at a time when many of the basic parameters had not been determined, it is a simple and still relevant introduction. There appear to be at least three ways that it is possible, in principle, to construct a device. The first is what might be called the classical method, the bringing together of two or more sub-critical masses to form a supercritical piece. The second is to assemble a mass which, when bare, is less than critical but becomes critical if reflectors are put round it. Thirdly there is the possibility of constructing a device which contains a substance which absorbs neutrons and which goes supercritical if the absorber is removed. This last idea has actually been patented by a frenchman, M Alexandre Edgar Pozwolski, under the title 'Procede pour fabriquer des bombes atomiques.' Quite how M Pazwolski ever envisaged licensing his patent, or how he could prove if it had ever been infringed, I have no idea. For an efficient- explosion there appears to be two principal problems: firstly, to assemble the pieces in such a way that there is no premature,
UC09: page 81

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

low powered explosion which blows the pieces apart-before they have mated properly; and secondly, to contain the assembly for a time long enough to ensure that the whole mass participates in the chain reaction and that localised hot spots do not arise and again blow the mass apart prematurely. Ideally the mass should be assembled instantaneously and the chain reaction then allowed to proceed. Since this cannot happen we will have to make a compromise and say that the pieces will have to be assembled before the reaction has developed enough power to blow them apart again. Taking a value of 1 lb. of high explosive as being equivalent to 7.4 x 101 fissions, this would mean that they should be together before about 1016 fissions have occurred, i.e. before more than a few ounces of high explosive equivalent have been liberated. A burst of neutrons to initiate the chain reaction as soon as the pieces are 30 brought together can be provided by coating the surface of one with radium and the other with beryllium. The behaviour of the neutron flux under these conditions is somewhat complex and again there is no published data relating to the specific case of a bomb. However there are a number of papers which deal with a closely related topic, super prompt critical 'excursions' or accidents in fast reactors. A bomb can be looked upon as a limiting case of a fast reactor. The reactor itself, as well as containing fissile material also contains coolant and the various channels to carry it and t is more open structure helps to reduce ,the force of any explosion which arises . The seminal paper, if that is the right word, on this subject appears to be Bethe and Tait's 'An estimate of the order of magnitude of an explosion when the core of a fast. reactor collapses'. This method according to Okrent and Hummel, is an analytical (or semi-analytical)
UC09: page 82

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

method of calculating the energy produced during a severe accident that is terminated by the disassembly of the reactor core under the pressure generated in the fissioning materials' which is a roundabout way of talking about a bomb. In simple terms, according to this analysis, the total energy liberated is determined by the amount the mass exceeds critical, which might have been expected, and also by the speed at which the masses are brought together. Jankus gives details of a numerical programme for a spherically symmetric super-prompt critical system which computes the variation in time and space of the specific energy, temperature, density and velocity. This takes into account several factors ignored in the Bethe-Tait method. When the excess energy curves are computed they turn out to have roughly the same shape as those given by Bethe-Tait although the detailed dependence on the various parameters is somewhat different. The point of mentioning these papers is simply to say that they exist and that in principle they can be extrapolated to the much higher regions of neutron flux density in which we are interested. I have not attempted todo so here because apart from anything else it needs a lot of work and access to a computer. However nothing much beyond application and a grasp of the mathematics is required to write a programme which iscapable of giving quite a reasonable picture of the neutron flux development of an atomic bomb. The exact size and shape of the device would have to be determined from the results of an analysis along the lines of Bethe- Tait or J Jankus. It may be that the inherent neutron flux of the plutonium demands extreme sophistication of construction, something along the lines of the 'explOSive lens' first used in the Hiroshima bomb, in which several segments of plutonium were imploded into a supercritical mass. Alternatively it is . possible that a working device could be made by using techniques similar to the few Simple methods suggested below. The idea of imploding reflectors onto a 'bare mass is rejected because of the possibility of criticality before the reflectors have made contact Cylindrical geometry should be used because precision fabrication of cylinders is much easier than for spheres.
UC09: page 83

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Critical assembly should be effected by firing the core into a hollow cylinder. This arrangement is chosen because (a) it minimises the surface area which each section presents to the other before contact and therefore produces a sharply peaked criticality. (b) When criticality is reached, with the core largely inserted, there is a minimum of opposition to the initial motion of the core. The plutonium is surrounded with uranium which acts both as a neutron reflector. lowering the critical mass, and also as a tamper. helping to constrain the explosion in the initial stages. The uranium is wrapped in cadmium, followed by a layer of solid hydrocarbon l5 cm or so thick followed by another cadmium skin and then an outer casing of steel. The hydrocarbon layer is to thermalise escaping neutrons and the double cadmium layer then absorbs them, preventing them from escaping altogether or being reflected back into the plutonium and causing an unwanted high neutron flux. The time of assembly is a very important parameter in the neutron flux calculations and a detailed knowledge of explosives is necessary to determine this time. This is fairly freely available, Cook's The science of high explosives 14, for instance, gives a great deal of information not just on explosives themselves but also on the behaviour of materials under explosive stress, again something which needs detailed study if a device is to be successfully constructed. From a knowledge of the masses and dimensions involved and the pressures produced by high explosive it would appear that the masses cannot be brought together in much less than half a millisecond. The longer the barrel down which the core is fired the greater its speed. In order to prevent any gas pressure problems the barrel in front of the core should be evacuated. Pat Coyne 1. Feld, Prof Bernard. "Doves of the World, Unite:" New Scientist. December 26, 1974.
UC09: page 84

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

2. Proceedings of the Geneva Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. 3. Feld. Bernard. "Nuclear Energy- Fact vs Myth". Paper given at the 24th Pugwash Conference, Baden, Austria, August 28 to Sept 2, 1974. 4. Lovins, Amory B. Nuclear Power: Technical Bases for Ethical Concern. Friends of the Earth, 9 Poland St. , London WIV 3DG, 1974. 6. The Reactor Handbook. Vol. 3. Interscience. New York, 1961. 7. Ackroyd & Mc Mullen. Albedo Methods. Proc. Gen. Conf.. P/16 UK. 8. Handson. Properties of Elementary Fast Neutron Assemblies. Ibid. P/ 592 USA. 9. Pozwolski, E. Patent Procede Pour Fabriquer des Bombes Atomiques. IV 953-258 No 1.376 048, 1963. 10. Stratton, Colvin &. Lazarus. Analysis of Prompt Excursions in Simple Systems and Idealised Fast Breeders. Proc. Gen. Conf, P/431 USA. 11. Bethe, H.AH & Talt, J.H. An Estimate of the Order of Magnitude of the Explosion when the Core of a Fast Reactor Collapses. US/UK Reactor Hazards Meeting, RHM (56)/ 113. Apr 11 1956. 12. Okrent & Hummel. Reactivity Coefficients in Large Fast Power Reactors. 13. Jankus, V. Z. A Theoretical study of Destructive Nuclear Bursts In Fast Power Reactors. 14. Cook, M.A. The Science of High Explosives. Rheinhold, New York, 1958. UNDERCURRENTS WHY WE ARE PUBLISHING THIS ARTICLE We are aware that by publishing what might appear to be advice on the construction of a nuclear bomb, it could be said that we are condoning its use by terrorists, or even that we could put the idea into the mind of someone who would otherwise never have thought of it. Although we recognise that this criticism is well motivated, we cannot accept that it is valid, for the following reasons: This is NOT a blueprint. It is not possible to construct a Device simply by reading this article. Any group suffiCiently well organised and capable of obtaining enough plutonium would need no advice from us on where to go for information. Undercurrents is totally opposed to the use of atomic weapons by anyone and for any reason. The real villain is the nuclear power programme and
UC09: page 85

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

the consequent rapidly growing stockpiles of plutonium which make it inevitable that sooner or later such a weapon will II be used.

UC09: page 86

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

• • • • • • • • • • • • • KAHNSCIOUSNESS TWO : Hudson Report reflections

The Hudson Institute, having nailed its colours firmly to the mast of "Herman Kahnsciousness" and the ideology of growthmaniac industrial technocracy, may be beginning to prise them off again. In Hudson Europe's latest dire prognosis of Britain's future, there is a dismissive but more-than-usually-sympathetic consideration of the implications of a zero-growth economy and of technological civilisation. Peter Sommer has been finding in some of these ruminations a salutary antidote to some of our more escapist A T fantasies. MOST OF the stimulus to radicalism in Alternative Technology has come from a profound belief that a crisis is on its way- an ecological crash resulting in global pollution and scarcity of basic natural resources. 'Survival', in the various scenarios and techniques we have discussed, has always been seen in these terms the political critiques of 'big' technology merely confirming what one had decided to do already. But the environmental crisis is usually projected as becoming increasingly critical over a twenty-year span. I don't think there can be any doubt now that a much more immediate crisis is about to happen the collapse of many of the institutions that make up consensus politics in the UK and on a world scale. And before that feeling of smug satisfaction even has a chance to pass from your cortex to your facial muscles to form a knowing grin - try and work out just some of the scenarios for how the collapse will take place .... These doomy thoughts are prompted by the Hudson Institute's recent detailed forecast about the future of Britain and by the reception it got. The Hudson Institutes are easy to hate. Their claim 'to have no official political or ideological doctrine' and to be 'independent organisations whose sole commitments are to intellectual seriousness and the public interest' indicates at best the objective-social-scientist-as-God syndrome and at worst the front of a propaganda hothouse with espionage as a sideline. They speak of "intervening" in
UC09: page 87

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

British affairs rather like Captain Kirk would in one of his logs in Startrek. No wonder the criticisms that appeared of their report on the UK either concentrated on their efficiency as futurologists or were utterly dismissive of their sets of assumptions. I think these reactions miss the general message that Hudson was trying to put across. Their comparison of various statistics may indeed be suspect though not importantly so. It may well be the case that t they are really super-journalists rather than serious academics but so what? It is also undoubtedly true that their suggested solutions are either trivial (abolition of the hereditary peerage) or silly (the rapid development of a managerial elite along French lines, which is a process that could not take place on a more rapid time-scale than the crisis it is supposed to avert). The most interesting parts are those where Hudson Europe is trying to meet attacks of the n0- or low- growth schools. A few years ago the Institute made their prophecies about national fortunes largely in terms of growth and Gross National Product but at the same time as their criticisms of Britain have sharpened, they themselves have been re-examining their position as the arch-apostles of growth. The result of their deliberations appears in sporadic paragraphs. For example: an apology for using figures to indicate standards of living. " We have used the tools that are available. The indices of GNP and GNPper-capita tell us something we would not otherwise know in a tangible or numerical fashion .... "On the other hand, the GNP rates are not statements about human happiness or fulfilment. Life is made neither of bread alone nor of economic product. GNP rates can only indicate whether
UC09: page 88

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

a great many people are eating well or eating badly in a society. But we are not so far from the Great Depression of the 1930's,or so invulnerable to its repetition, that we can afford to redefine 'quality of life' with too cavalier a disregard for its economic component."~ The institute then goes on to produce other criteria for measuring quality of life - longevity. dwellings completed. number of doctors per 1000 of population, number of cars, and number of telephones per capita. And again on growth: "The 'zero growth' remedy to the problem of too world in general and Britain in particular also seems irrelevant, if only because it proposes an impossible solution. The Western world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has been dominated by two great reforming visions; first a popular sharing out of the wealth of society, and second a popular sharing out of political power .... But if the wealth of the world as a whole or of any particular society were fixed, its complete redistribution would only have negligible benefits for the mass of people. The argument for redistributing the wealth of the rich has been largely social and moral; not economic .. liThe political implications of zero growth are therefore revolutionary-or counter revolutionary. If wealth is fixed, then either the fixed quantity will be redistributed ( and this is most unlikely to be a peaceful process even within nations and almost unimaginable as between the industrial nations and the Third World) or else the present inequalities of wealth will be maintained, and that implies national and international repression .... The implications of zero growth, taken seriously, are of a profound and enduring struggle." And again (now watch for it): ''of course no such implications were intended .... Faced with the dismay which even the current economic problems have provoked one might ask what people thought zero growth would really be like. The answer is that the critics of growth in fact usually have been critics of the social order and of the aesthetics of growth .... Distrusting the values of the consumer market place, the tastelessness of much urban and suburban housing, the
UC09: page 89

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

triviality of much that is manufactured. the amorality of much advertising, they are disturbed by the impact urbanisation and industrialisation have had on society and the community. Very often they have been open or secret conservationists, even elitists, ... They have sometimes deserved the furious response of the Marxists, who say that zero growth is a ruling-class ideology determined to protect the upper class (including academics and the professional bourgeoisie as well as the traditional capitalist elites) at the expense of perpetual austerity for the working man and his family .... It seems to us that people in industrial societies like Britain are not really troubled today became they are too rich, or because they are unwilling to admit that they cannot go on indefinitely getting richer .. They are troubled by certain social, emotional, and moral costs of a highly bureaucratised and technologically-orientated society, ,and by the values of industrialism. In the British case, they are troubled by the conflict between the harsher realities of modern industrialism and a certain persistent English dream of countryside and rural innocence that has both an aristocratic and popular currency. Britons are not very often ambivalent about the utility of wealth itself. (my emphasis) "The zero growth argument can be called a disguised ideology of privilege, or a form of romantic reaction, or a utopianism expressed in the language of the computer. It is necessary to say these things, but it is also necessary to acknowledge that the argument expresses a persistent anxiety of a peculiarly modern kind. This anxiety might be interpreted as the secular formulation of the much older debate between materialism and non-materialist value systems The simplest form of the question being asked is, 'Isn't there more to life than this?'. The simplest answer, of course, is 'yes' .... "In this perspective the question of economic growth merely touches upon one element in a technological society which steadily works to He aggrandisement of every aspect of its collective power. Ellul seems to us to make a far more penetrating analysis than the liberal critics of growth (or tie contemporary Marxists UC09: page 90

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

who in any event are no enemies of economic growth). What reply can be made to his assertion that Western society has become a value-free, totalitarian social machine, dominated by technique and the aggrandisement of power? It must simply be said that Britain, like the other Western European and North American industrial states, has made a certain historical choice, and irrevocable consequences have followed. Britain's industrialism is not to be undone. The age of technology derives directly and necessarily from the age of science and rationalism, Britain's noontime years. "Britain's possibilities today thus are not unlimited .... Modern man is also divided man; the modern mind is divided in tension. Again and again there are attempts to resolve the tension through a simple choice between land and machine, individual relationships and collective relationships, total (and implicitly totalitarian) materialism, and the rejection of too world itself along with rationalism and technique. Each of these simple choices has failed. Yet this does not seem to us a warrant for absolute pessimism. To accept such pessimism is to deny that history continues to be a process. It is to believe that we are at the terminal point of history. . It seems to us that the problem growth poses is a problem we already know too well, but resist acknowledging .... For what has always set Western (and British) civilisation apart has been its exploitative attitude towards the material world .... This has made us what we are. Our persistent anxiety over where our civilisation will lead us in future is justified. The Western world and Britain no less, is historically a civilisation estranged from the' 'natural order', a technological civilisation. . the West is a society which has always furiously expanded, making tools and machines, seeking practical knowledge and wealth ... Britain is a 'growth society' by culture; it is also a Faustian society. Being what it is, it is rightly apprehensive
UC09: page 91

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Over the use it makes of technolOgical power and the price it must pay for its civilisation. But conversely, Britain, in its wealth, has lain at the centre of a not inconsiderable Western humane civilisation as well." I don't think that anyone has so far commented on that part of the Hudson report. They go on to say: ''Britain is a country of 56 million people living on a crowded and poor island, in no sense self-sufficient even in manufactured goods. There is no possibility of supporting Britain's population except through the mechanism of modern industrial society; the options of retreat into a rural, stable-state society or zerogrowth economy are sentimentalities. The result of such-an effort would be widespread economic distress, and if the process were carried far enough, actual physical distress and finally hunger .... , "The ultimate answer that must be given to those who say that economic decline does not matter. or that growth is too costly in its effect upon the environment, is to observe what decline already means in too many parts of Britain today. Not only is the physical environment polluted; but humanity is degraded. The real pollution is that which is caused by poverty and archaic industries." The rest of the Report is worth reading because of the support it gives to these philosophic ruminations. I find it curious and alarming that these 1',11 comments have attracted little attention. The Hudson team's solution is to find a bright efficient managerial elite with the proper regard for human values who will steer Britain back into rapid growth. It is easy to be cynical about the possibilities of such an elite coming into being in time, or for that matter at all. But such an outcome is rather easier to envisage than that of t ephemeral AT Utopia which involves a technological development arising for communities living close to the land. Both solutions could fail, however, because of the time scale involved: 'survival may not be an iSSUE for the long-term future, and any prop solutions -- whether from the Hudson Institute or the alternative
UC09: page 92

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

technologist! need at least to face up to it. It may shortly not be possible either to create new managerial elites or to 'cop out' into the countryside to the rural commune from where you will issue technological data on the reform of our lifestyles. For the institutions of our society may soon be crumbling because people in general will not accept any of the necessary forms of change in lifestyle in time. And survival could soon be a matter of dodging the bombs thrown to and fro between repressors and repressed. What we need is new models, not only of sOciety (hierarchical ones are obviously not enough) but also models of change. I dislike Hudson's proposed attempt to create new elites, but I don 't think it is good enough to hide away in the countryside with a holier-than-thou technological self-sufficiency trip as an excuse either. Not any longer. AT needs for instance to come much more into the cities and, if it has any strength start to explain itself much more noisily. Perhaps we have spent too much time designing windmills and not enough in designing the people's computer and the people's radio station. The United Kingdom In 1980. The Hudson Europe Report. Associated Business Programmes, 197'

UC09: page 93

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

All Hands To The Spade: Home-Grown Food Can Make a Major Contribution to Britain's Food Production says Patricia Pringle IT MIGHT, at first sight, seem unlikely that gardens and allotments could contribute by any significant amount to Britain's food supplies when compared with the output of the agriculture industry. But it is estimated that the produce of gardens, allotments and similar plots of ground totaled 10 per cent of all food produced in this country during the Second World War. as a result of the 'Dig for Victory' campaign. In 1939, before the campaign. there were 100,000 acres of land devoted to allotments in England and Wales. Unproductive land was then requisitioned for wartime food production, and 40,000 acres of parks, football grounds and similar spaces were converted to allotments, forming a total of 140,000 acres being 'dug for Britain'. By 1967, however, this area had dwindled far below the pre-War level and was only 66,000 acres, comprising 40,000 acres of urban allotments and 26,000 acres of rural allotments. Allowing for the percentage of allotments which are vacant, 54,000 acres of land were being cultivated in 1967.2 But it would not be correct to think that a high rate of food production from domestic sources could only be achieved by re-requisitioning public land, for a great part of wartime food production came from private gardens. The relative contribution of garden produce as com\pared with allotment produce is not known, but considering the acreage of private gardens, the contribution was probably large, since even with requisitioned land the amount of land devoted to allotments must have been much less than the amount of land devoted to private gardens. The area of private gardens at the time has not been recorded, but the present day area of private gardens is estimated as 620,000 acres in England and Wales,3 that is, more than nine times the amount of land at present used as allotments. What is the output of this land? In 1951 a study was made into garden use in more than 600 gardens in
UC09: page 94

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

suburban areas of London, of varying densities and housing types. It was found that on average 66% of the house-plot was potentially cultivable, and that 14% of the average house-plot was actually used for growing fruit and vegetables. Assuming that the findings of the study are still valid, this means that about 132,000 acres of private gardens are devoted to food production. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food compiles every year a survey of national food consumption and expenditure. The information is provided from thousands of households, each of which keeps a log-book for one week, recording the description, quality and cost of all food which enters the household during the week - excluding confectionary and alcohol, and any food bought for consumption outside the home. According to this Survey, the value of garden and allotment produce was 5p per person per week in 1970, the latest year for which this figure has been published. This figure I consider to be a reliable indication of the value of 'free' food, since it correlates with similar estimates for other years, taking price rises into account. This means that the total value of 'free' food produced in England and Wales in 1970 was around £114 million.' In their paper 'The Garden Controversy' Best and Ward suggested that the financial output per acre of land intensively cultivated for home food production was higher than the output per acre from good quality farm land, and that this output was so much greater that even though only 14% of the land was being cultivated when farm land was taken for housing, the output per house-plot acre was at least equivalent to the output per acre of the farmland replaced. At that time, 1956, the figures were £42 per house-plot acre, compared with £45 per acre for better-than-average farmland (gross output at farm-gate prices). The authors stated that development usually took place on the best farmland. The value per acre of the produce of average farmland was £36. My own
UC09: page 95

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

calculations show that this argument still holds with 1970 prices. The very high productivity of allotment type holdings explains why home food production made such a contribution to war-time food production. Can such a contribution be made again? The report of the Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Allotments published in 1969 suggested that there would be no significant financial value to the country in increasing the area of land devoted to allotments. The committee stated that the annual import bill for fresh vegetables in 1966, the year of study, was £43 million, of which £22 million represented vegetables which could not be grown in this country as they were imported out of season. The report suggested that the potential for import saving was therefore £21 million, and that this saving would not justify increasing the area of allotments when the land could be used more profitably in other ways. 7 The evidence on which this conclusion is based is open to criticism. Firstly, the import bill for fresh vegetables in 1966 was £54.7 million, according to the Economic Development Committee for the Agricultural Industry. 8 The extra £11 million is in respect of imports of peas and beans, officially considered as part of the arable sector and not the horticultural sector to which, presumably, the £43 million pounds quoted by the Committee of Inquiry refers. Furthermore, the import bill for fresh fruit was £114.1 million. Considering both fruit and vegetables, £44.9 million was for imports which could be grown in this country, i.e. not tropical produce or out of season produce. This comprises £27.8 million for fruit. The potential saving therefore is twice that stated by the Committee of Inquiry, since fruit could be produced as well as vegetables. Secondly, the value of imported processed fruit and vegetables has not been taken into account. Leaving aside imports of processed tropical foods,' we imported £36.3 million pounds worth of frozen, dried, canned, pulped and pickled food in 1966.9 So the direct potential saving
UC09: page 96

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

of £44.9 million on fresh foods is supplemented by possible indirect savings on processed foods. The implications of the latter saving are discussed later. Thirdly, but not of importance in this context, I consider that the Committee of Inquiry were mistaken in their calculations of the value of the produce of allotments in England and Wales, which they estimate to be £12.6 million. This figure does not take into account the value of rural allotments which make up 40% of the total area of allotments, nor does the figure of £420 per acre (19661 which they use to estimate the value of allotment produce agree with any other estimates for this figure for example those estimated by the National Gardens a~_d Allotments Society, 1966 (£700), 10 by the Research Division of the Ministry of Housing and Local, Government, 1951 (£420),11 or by myself, 1970 (£670).12 I do not suggest however that the area of allotments should be increased, or that public land should be re-requisitioned. I suggest instead that a campaign to encourage people to grow more food in their own gardens could achieve a very considerable import-saving, and have other important repercussions on the British food demand. If we accept the above figure of £114 million worth of 'free' food produced from 132,000 acres of private garden and 54,000 acres of allotments, we can say that £81 million pounds worth of food was produced from British gardens in 1970. This, remember, is the produce of 14% of the house plot area, If people were encouraged to increase the percentage of their garden which they devote to vegetables, fruit and small-livestock, then the value of domestic food production would rise correspondingly. Since 66% of the house-plot is available for cultivation (Le. is not under buildings, sheds, paths etc) then this expansion is quite feasible. An expansion of domestic food production would have other indirect advantages. It has been shown that British agriculture is inefficient in terms of energy. We put a great deal of energy into machinery, fuel, fertilisers, insecticides, weed-killers, processing and distribution, and we get back comparatively little. Gerald leach 13 suggests that UK farming has a total input/output ratio of
UC09: page 97

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

0.2, that is, the energy contained in the food produced is only one-fifth of the energy input. In the private garden or allotment, much of this energy is replaced by human energy, so the food produced is even more valuable, since it has needed much less fuel to make. In addition, the garden makes a positive contribution not only by replacing purchased food but also by providing an alternative diet; for example, growing one's own carrots instead of buying them represents a direct replacement, but eating home grown plums instead of imported peaches represents an alternative diet which helps to make the country more nearly self-sufficient. Home grown peas replace not only purchased fresh peas, but also purchased canned or frozen peas. (Canned and frozen peas and beans accounted for 27% of the annual expenditure on vegetables other than potatoes in 1970). In our own household we estimate that the garden provides us with food worth about £1 per week at shop prices, but cuts the weekly food bill by about £2, since we adapt our diet to make the most of vegetable dishes. This, I suspect, was the case during the war; gardens were producing 10% of the nation's food because the diet contained more vegetable dishes. By preserving one's own food one can make even greater savings, provided that one accepts a slightly different diet. For example, 'home-bottled black-currants car replace imported oranges (and provide more vitamin C per ounce). Changes in diet could therefore increase the potential saving by replacing tropical foods with home-grown alternatives, by replacing processed foods with fresh, and by replacing purchased processed foods with homeprocessed foods. Vegetables are among the major 'protective' foods, providing vitamins and minerals. If they made up a greater proportion of the average diet than they do today, we might well find that the nutritional value of the average diet would be higher and the carbohydrate content lower, which would be good for the nation's health. Best and Ward found that the proportion of the garden cultivated for food
UC09: page 98

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

increased as the size of the garden increased. If a garden is too small, it is unlikely to be used for growing any vegetables at all. Between 14-8 houses to the acre seems to be the density where this proportion increases most sharply. The potential value of garden produce also suggests that unconventional forms of gardening might have a positive contribution to make growing food on the roof, for example, or Table III Amount of Nutrients per month provided by 10 square feet of ground under different vegetable crops training fruit trees against $suitable walls or making hedges of bush fruit. If people are to be encouraged to preserve food, then houses should have sufficient storage space for boxes of potatoes, tea chests full of root crops stored in peat, trays of apples, bottles of tomatoes and black-currants and so on. But how should the expansion of the food-producing area of gardens be achieved? The most obvious way would be to encourage those who at present grow no food at all in their gardens to cultivate some proportion. Vegetables are grown in 44% of gardens and fruit in 34%,14 SO there is plenty of scope for expansion. Rising food prices will probably provide as much encouragement as any public campaign could, but information such as that contained in the wartime 'Dig for Victory' leaflets could be useful, with planting hints and suggested layouts. r suggest a also that housing densities should not be so high as to discourage food production, and that if high densities are unavoidable then provision should be made in the design of the house to encourage food production in available areas, such as rooftops and walls. How to grow the most food in the least space. If one has a piece of land which could grow a few vegetables, what is the best crop to grow there to provide the most value? In Part I the discussion was in terms of financial values. When the food is no longer being purchased but is 'free' it becomes more important to think of nutritional values. The accompanying charts provide an estimate of vegetable 'efficiency'.
UC09: page 99

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Table I gives the nutritional value per ounce of various vegetables. Vegetables contribute to all nutritional requirements except Vitamin 0, but their most important contributions are to the body's requirements of Vitamin A, Vitamin e, iron and sometimes calcium. Potatoes are important as a calorie supplier. The green vegetables in particular contribute to the more disputed vitamins, Vitamin K and pantothenic acid. These nutritional values are not meant to be absolutely correct; foods contain slightly different nutrients depending on how fresh they are, what time of day they were picked, and how they were grown. The values in Table I are mostly derived from McCance and Widdowson the standard source. It is known that the variety of the plant grown affects the nutritional qualities, sometimes very significantly; for example, a Ribston Pippin apple contains 30.60 mg of Vitamin e per 100 grams, while Golden Delicious contains only 8.20 mg. This sort of information is hard to come by, as little work has been done in this area. Organic gardeners insist that their produce has higher nutritional value than chemically fertilised produce. This may well be true, since it has been shown that although fertilisers boost the yields )f potatoes, for example, the water ;content of the potatoes is much higher. Table II gives some suggested yields :or a 10 foot row, and for 10 square :feet of the plant, which takes into account the distance between the rows. t also gives some cultivation details, and recommends how to store the plant for winter, by methods other than freezing. Food can be bottled without special jars if Porosan preserving skin or similar is used to seal the jar. Table 111 shows the amount of nutrients per month provided by ten ,square feet of ground under different :crops. The time taken to grow obviously is a factor in the 'efficiency' of nutrient production. Please note that this chart indicates which vegetables give the best nutritional value in terms of the area of ground that they occupy and the length of time that they take~e up that ground. This does not mean that the winning vegetables are the most nutritious. For example, ounce for ounce, brussels sprouts are superior to cabbage in many respects (protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C) but they are not as productive for a small area, since the same area of ground would produce more nutrients if
UC09: page 100

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

planted with cabbage. Many of the plants, which are harvested through the winter are the sort of plants which spend the first few months on their lives in a seed or nursery bed, therefore they are not taking up the full area for the full period of time. If these crops are planted out finally in ground which has first produced an early crop of, say, potatoes or broad beans, then they would be more efficient users of the ground. Since most of these plants (kale, broccoli, leeks, brussels sprouts, winter cabbage) are planted out finally in June or July, then their period of growth could be shortened by 2·3 months for the purposes of the chart, provided that the ground they move into has not been lying idle until then; so their nutrients per unit area per month would be higher. Very efficient and hard working gardeners plant out these long-term crops in two stages. First, seed is sown in a seed bed, then the seedlings are planted out at half the final spacing in a waiting bed, then planted out at the final full spacing in September - which makes for a little more space. But it does mean more work. Another way to increase the nutrients per area is to 'inter-crop' that is, to grow a small crop between a widely spaced crop; or to 'catch crop' that is, to grow a quick crop between slower plants, which is harvested before the main crop needs the room. Inter-cropping and catch-cropping theoretically double or triple the produce of the garden, but the tighter the planting the more work there is, so if one does not keep the garden well cultivated,plants get overcrowded and yields drop off. Trying to squeeze in too much means that it is difficult to get access to the rows and so plants are not thinned or hoed when they need it, or else they are damaged by trampling. Keeping this in mind, the chart can be used to work out good combinations. No allowance has been made for waste, peelings and parings, since different people reject different parts of the crop; some people eat pea pods and turnip greens and some do not. The yields quoted come from a variety of sources and are on the low side rather than the high. They should not be taken as anything more than guidelines.
UC09: page 101

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Table IV shows the most productive vegetables per 10 square feet per month. The most important factors are the yields of Vitamins A and C and of iron and calcium. The plants which I consider to be the best bargains for small gardens are: Summer: Turnip, spinach, chard, cabbage, beet-root, carrots, broad beans. Winter: Kale, chard, spinach, cabbage, turnip, parsnip. For storing: Potato. broad beans, carrot, onions, parsnip. But if turnip greens are not eaten, the turnip is not nearly so efficient. And if one is not particularly fond of some of the winning vegetables it would be silly to grow them; although one could get the most nutrients if the entire garden was planted with turnips or kale, if they are not eaten there is not much point in the exercise. It is better tO,grow small amounts of the efficient vegetables; most gardeners grow too much and have to give half their lettuces and runner beans away, instead of growing just enough of a wide range of crops to last all year~ Table V shows the average British person's consumption of fruit and vegetables. Table VI makes a calculation of the area needed to supply his needs in vegetables, and points out that the area would produce much more food if eating patterns were changed slightly, and more fresh winter food was eaten. . Finally, how can one increase the effective growing area when space is limited? Inter-cropping, so that the ground is never empty, is the basic method. I have also been experimenting with 'vertical gardening', using special containers so that the plants stack up on top of each other. One technique is to use pipes, with slits cut in the sides and pulled out to make pockets, on the principle of the strawberry pot. This system has been used successfully for tomatoes and cucumbers in greenhouses;17. I have been using sections of 4-inch diameter plastic drainpipe, wIth the pockets cut by a saw and pulled out when the pipe was heated. Lettuces grow very well, cabbages and cauliflowers hearted up but were a bit small, probably because the
UC09: page 102

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

pipe was too small. But plastic pipe is expensive. I have also tried making a flat wooden panel, about five inches deep, four feet by eight feet, filled with earth held by chicken wire. A layer of straw under the wire stops the soil from falling out until it settles in. This is in a greenhouse, and is growing 32 square feet of alpine strawberries in a previously unusable space. The Japanese grow strawberries on specially sloping sites, at about 62° to the horizontal, which receive maximum insolation at that latitude (37.8 J/mm2/day compared with 15.8 J/mm2 day on horizontal ground at mid-winter) and it seems reasonable that some plants might yield very well in a vertical site. Shallow rooting plants such as lettuce and strawberries are probably best adapted. The vertical panel outside would possibly be washed out by rain, although I have grown successful panels of grass, which stood up to outdoor conditions once the roots were binding the soil well. These sort of things are interesting, but more like hydroponics than natural growth. I suspect the soil would need to be changed too frequently to make built-in wall panels much use. A more stable way to use wall space is to plant cordon fruit trees, which if properly orientated will have a cosy microclimate. Brambles make good windbreaks, and runner beans become efficient vegetables if they are growing up fences around the edge of the plot. ';11 References:~ 1. Hansard, 15th March 1944, quoted in the Report of the Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Allotments, HMSO, London. 2. Figures derived from the .l?report of the Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Allotments;The area of allotments under cultivation was worked out as follows: Area of urban allotments (acres) 40,000 Less 20% vacant .• 8,000 Total urban allotments 32,000 Area of rural allotments 26.000 Less 15.1% vacant approx. 4.000 Total rural allotments . . .. 22,000
UC09: page 103

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Total area of allotments under cultivation in England and Wales approx. 54,000 3. J. Allen Patmore, Land and Leisure in England and Wales, 1970. 4. The study was made by the Agricultural Land Service Research Group of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The report was not published but the results are summarised in The Garden Controversy. Best and Ward, Department of Agricultural Economics, Wye College, 1956. 5. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food~ Household Food Consumption and Expenditure. 1970 and 1971. A Report of the National Food Survey Committee, HMSO, London. 1973. 6. Output per house - plot acre at 14 houses to the acre is £94.70 (see note 12). Gross yield per acre of tillage, 1969/70 was £71. plus 25% for better than - average land is £88 (calculated from figures supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture. 7. Report of the Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Allotments. 8. Economic Development Committee for the Agricultural Industry, Agriculture's Import Saving;.: Role, HMSO. 1968. 9, EDC for Agriculture, op. cit. 10. Quoted in the Report of the Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Allotments. 11. Quoted in Best and Ward. op. cit. 12. I have worked out the output per acre of allotments and gardens cultivated for food in two ways. i. The value of free food per person per week in 1970 was 5.0 pence. according to the National Food Survey Committees. The population of England and Wales is roughly 44 million, so the value of free food consumed in 1970 was roughly £114 million. The area of land cultivated for this free food was 132,000 acres of private garden and 56,000 acres of allotments, 186,000 acres in all, so the output per acre appears to be £614. ii. Using the method in Appendix II of The Garden Controversy, with 1970 figures: Consumption of free food per person per week. . Sp
UC09: page 104

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Average size of household is 3.11 persons Therefore, consumption per household per week 15.55p Reduce by one third to allow for allotment produce 10.40p Proportion of houses with gardens is 80%* Therefore, output for houses with garden per week 13.0Op Therefore, output per house with garden per year . £6.76 At average density of 14 houses to the acre, output per house - plot cultivated \' . . . . . . . . . £94.70 Proportion of average house-plot cultivated for fruit and vegetables is 14% Therefore output per cultivated acre per year is approximately £676 * Patmore, Land and Leisure in Britain. Some of the difference between the two figures arises because an unknown proportion of allotments is used for nonfood crops. 13. Leach, G. The Energy Costs of Food Production. paper presented at the Royal Institution, London 20/2"i September 1973 as part of the Man/Food Equation Symposium. 14. Hessayon, O. G. Be Your Own Gardening Expert, Pan Britannica Industries, 1971. 15. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Manual of Nutrition. HMSO, London, 1970. 16. Schuphan, Nutritional Values in Crops and Plants~ Faber and Faber, 1965. 17. New Scientist, October 18th 1973. p. 187. 18. J. M. Caborn Microclimates, Endeavour, January 1973 The yields, analyses of Tables I, II, and III are based on: Best and Ward, The Garden Controversy L. D. Hills, Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables, Faber and Faber. London, 1971 V. H. Mottram, Human Nutrition. Edward Arnold. 1963. W. G. Smith, Gardening for Food. Charles Scriber's Sons. New York,
UC09: page 105

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

1972. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Manual of Nutrition, HMSO, 1970 /home Preservation of Fruit and Vegetable$. HMSO. Table I Nutritional Composition of Vegetables per ounce Table II Times for Planting and Harvesting, methods of storing and suggested yields Table IV Most Productive Vegetables (Le. Highest Production of Nutrients Per 10 square feet per Month) Table V British National Averages for Expenditure on Fruit and Vegetables in 1970. (Calculated from Household Food Consumption and Expenditure /970 and J 97/.) Table VI A calculation for the area needed to supply one person with the average British consumption of vegetables for a year. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • REVIEWS: Offensive Missiles/ We shall not be MIRVed/ Race & IQ/ Value Today/ Limits of the City/Makin' It/ Fields, Factories &Workshops The UNSPEAKABLE in Pursuit of the UNTHINKABLE Offensive Missiles Stockholm paper 5. By Professor Kosta Tsipsis for SIPRI. (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) Sveavagen 166. 8113 - 46 Stockholm Sweden. pp. 33. We Shall Not Be Mirved By Maurice Herson and Dan Smith of CND, 14 Grays Inn Road, London WC1. 15 separate Fact-sheets. 25 + postage. THE SIPRI pamphlet, Offensive Missiles (i. e. Inter-Continental Nuclear Missiles) aims at exposing the deception of recent US proposals. Written in August 1974, it reveals thE real intentions behind US Defence Secretary Schlesinger's war-call in February. Schlesinger wanted greater accuracy for the existing US missiles and revealed the new US strategy, which involves re-targeting away from Soviet cities and to missile silos - implying the possibility of the US making a 'first strike' as it is termed in jargon. If the US planners really believe in this possibility, it may be the most dangerous arms race development yet. Missile accuracy is the crucial point in such a strategy, as the pamphlet precisely explain A central section on missile physics shows bow the
UC09: page 106

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

probability of destruction of an enemy silo goes up as (accuracy) 2 but only as (warhead size)2/3 and the Americans are utterly in the lead in accuracy. This crucial measure may soon revolutionise the world nuclear 'balance' - yet the SALT agreement never mentioned it . The best thing about nuclear weapons, in one way, is the chance that they'll never work. One reason is the disruptive effects of a previous nuclear explosion~ on the same target, which prevent a second attack for some time after - while the attacker may himself be attacked , or the enemy missile launched. A high probability of success in one shot is absolutely vital, and, as yet, neither side's missiles have this property. SrPRI claims the deterrence concept to be valid while this situation lasts. But Schlesinger's new plans could provide tiE US with sufficient 'lethality' to be over 96% certain of destroying the Soviet land-based missile force, by about 1976-78. But SIPRI points out, 'such staggering lethality does not offer any practical superiority It is foolish, delusory. Enough submarine launched ICBMs would remain to 'reduce either country to rubble' -the basic deterrence concept of 'Mutually Assured Destruction' (MAD ~) would still hold. The recent SALT talks have been a fallacious deception, providing scope for as much increase in numerical strength as both sides wish - while making no restriction on accuracy. Ultimately, the Soviets will reach equality with the US in numbers of MIRV (independently targeted warheads), and maybe in the 1990s will reach the final limits of accuracy together with the US. What the SIPRI analysis shows is how the new programmes will in fact avoid the conclusion on any substantive arms limitation agreements for the next twenty years. ' I dispute, however, SIPRl's assumption of 'invulnerability' for Soviet submarines. 5. Long range acoustic detectors span the oceans listening for the nuclear subs passing . over. These, and the many 'hunter-killer' submarines, could enable destruction of man: missile subs. Were it not for the 'rogue' submarines which escape detection, the US
UC09: page 107

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

might well feel able to destroy the Soviet Forces completely. Th The aggressive political posture adopted by the US in the wake of such thinking could generate a stream of 'Cuba' incidents and an end to deterrence - for ever. A permanent end to nuclear weapons has of course been CND's cause for 16 years. The title of this pamphlet misleads a little for the sake of the pun, since the leaflet provides a factual background to and history of nuclear weapons, and of the CND's own campaigns. It is designed to satisfy 'a constant stream of requests for information on the campaign and on nuclear weapons. 'Various different sheets describe the construction and physics of Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, and their effects on houses and people. Sections on Polaris, NA TO, and British Defence expenditure lead to a consideration of the concepts of deterrence, and the string of worthless treaties. A hideous quotation from Britain's 1961 Foreign Secretary, Douglas\Home; "The British people are prepared if necessary to be blown to Atomic dust" introduces a very brief criticism of popular arguments on British Nuclear Policy. A serious and successful attempt is made to avoid the use of the mystifying jargon of the nuclear strategists, although the odd phrase does creep through. Unfortunately, a couple of contradictions have crept in; blast waves crash through successive pages at 100 mph and 2000 mph, for instance. On the whole, however, it does a good job of setting out in a clear and concise way the important points of information needed for a successful nuclear disarmament campaign. A list of films, with distributors, as well as lists of books and pamphlets, provides useful information for meeting organisers. A flexible format has been used, perhaps to allow easy continuous revision and updating. A larger version, with details of SA L T and Schlesinger proposals, and the implications of the Indian * and Israeli stockpiles, could be a useful first revision. It might also be informative to include some analysis of the social structures, the US military-industrial system, for example, which have brought this
UC09: page 108

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

situation about. But then, CND has faced dilemma over the extent of appropriate radicalism, from its inception. Duncan Campbell * CND do publish a separate pamphlet After the Indian Bomb', also by Dan Smith. lOp. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • "The American Ruling Class ... is attempting to build another eugenics movement .. " Give a Dog a Low IQ .... Racism, fQ and the Class Society. An American Progressive Labour Party. Pamphlet reprinted jointly by the Campaign on Racism, IQ and the Class Society, and Humpty Dumpty. 68 pages & appendices Price 40p, from CRIQS c/o BSSRS, 9 Poland St, London WI V 3DG, or Humpty Dumpty, 28 Redbourne Ave, London N3 2BS. WITH THE amount of literature on the race and IQ controversy increasing rapidly, a short pamphlet on the subject is welcomed. The emotive language of this booklet will probably cause some academics to disregard it but this is a pity as-the authors make many valid points in their shredding of the arguments of Jensen and his cronies. The pamphlet was originally directed at American readers. It is mainly the work of American scientists, and the American political consequences of the work are emphasised. This inevitably makes the pamphlet less valuable for British readers, and perhaps a little alteration, such as more on the work of Eysenck and more on British consequences of the controversy, would have improved it. The book begins with a review of some of the more bland statements by scientists and politicians on the subject over past years. It argues that the American ruling class, through the government and media, is attempting to build another eugenics movement like that of 1915-1 925, when there was a campaign to increase racism for political reasons. The review goes on to show how eventually this type of eugenics can lead to situations
UC09: page 109

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

such as that in Nazi Germany where the policy of exterminating people like Jews and Slavs revealed the full logic of racist hereditarianism. The main issue of the controversy is whether, on average, blacks have lower intelligence than whites. further, that the reason for this lower intelligence is genetic and not a result of environmental factors. The pamphlet sets out well the way the argument from lQ scores to genetic inferiority has been made by Jensen et a!. Firstly, Jensen and his supporters say, lQ tests measure something real and significant. Secondly, compensatory education programmes which try to eliminate environmental differences have failed to eliminate IQ differences. So there must be another reason for the IQ differences. Thirdly, this explanation is to be found in the high heritability of IQ - 0.8 according to Jensen meaning that about 80% of the differences between individuals are genetic in origin. Fourthly, Jensen et al claim that racial differences are also inherited, although even they have not claimed to have proved this absolutely. The book goes on to disprove all these points, at least to this reviewer's satisfaction. The book's sections entitled 'Lie I', 'Lie 2', 'Lie 3', and 'Lie 4' refer to the points above: Lie I is that IQ equals intelligence and deserves further comment. In this section the Stanford-Binet and Weschler intelligence tests are shown to be biased towards white, middle-class children. They measure not intelligence, but. rather ability to do well at school and acceptance of middle-class social values. This is the best part of the pamphlet: it is the easiest for the layman to understand. However, the newer 'factor analysis' methods of measuring components of intelligence are omitted. These give individuals a test profile rather than a number and one would think that the authors would have been in favour of these in that they do not allow direct comparison of people or races. Other subjects which could have been
UC09: page 110

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

discussed more fully are the effects on results of the colour of the tester and the testing environment in general. The pamphlet then discusses compensatory education and the heritability of IQ. It is pointed out that Jensen's arguments on this subject appear to be his best, as they are full of complicated statistics and mathematics which are very difficult to understand. The pamphlet shows how meaningless the arguments are by describing the pitfalls of twin and kinship studies. The last section shows how heritability is misused to 'prove' that black/white differences are genetic. The book ends by calling for a campaign to combat racism. Appropriately it is reprinted in the UK by just such a campaign. Hilary Madge SAY: 'I am going to read a short paragraph. 'When 1 have finished you are to repeat as much of it as you can. Yo~ don't need to remember the exact words, but listen carefully so that you can tell me everything it says.' Then read the following passage: 'Tests such as we are now making are. of value both for the advancement of science and for the information of the person who is tested. It is important for science to learn how people differ and on what factors these differences depend. If we can separate the influence of heredity from the influence of environment we may be able to apply our knowledge so as to guide human development. "Ie may thus in some cases correct defects and develop abilities which we might otherwise neglect.' Sample Answer:- 'Tests such as we are now making are for the benefit of the people taking them and for science. We can separate the heredity from the environment and see how much people differ. ' The questions and answers shown above are from a copy of the StanfordBinet Intelligence Test, supposedly available only to psychologists and school medical officers. The copies, from an anonymous source (not a million miles away from CRIQS? )are being distributed ''to familiarise as many people as possible with the answers" and to " destroy a powerful tool for controlling and labeling people ". (Don 't ask us where to get a
UC09: page 111

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

copy: we don 't even know where ours came from). Value Today, 25p monthly 80 pp. Issues 1,2 and 3. New Perspective Publishing Ltd. 'BEAT INFLATION -live more on less' is the brave motto of this new consumer magazine,launched in November. Never mind what 'living more' may be: one thing is quite certain ~ most of us are going to have to make do with less, certainly for a year or two and probably for ever. So there's room for a magazine devoted to jumble sales and home brewing and vegetable gardening, isn't there? Well maybe. The trouble is that to keep the cover price down you need to carry ads, and that means consumer ads (20 pages out of 80). The contradiction between these ads and the expressed aim of the magazine sets up a tension that has not been and cannot be resolved. The advertisement department work in different offices to the editorial staff and have no contact with them. In the present circumstances they have done well to sell the space they have, presumably by offering large discounts. No doubt the editor would deny that his choice of articles in the first three issues has been in any way influenced by the need to attract advertisers but if he knows his job this must be his main concern. Now advertisers are not much interested in people who live within their means. If we all lived within our means there would be a slump. The function of advertising is to keep the wheels of industry turning by stimulating the free spenders. To be viable, Value Today has to attract the spenders as well as the canny folk. Which means articles on luxury spending of a kind that most of us would never consider, least of all with a recession coming on. So the January issue takes six pages to tell us that mail-order art prints are a rip off if you buy them as investments. The article' is amusing and well researched but is there anyone not wet behind
UC09: page 112

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

the ears who didn't think they were a rip-off? The essential message can be, and is, summed up in 60 words at the beginning of the article. The rest is so much journalistic polyfilla, something to put between the ads. It has no place in a magazine that seriously tries to be useful. I have equally little time for the articles on stamp and coin collecting and the art market: they seem to me pernicious in that they encourage the belief that the best way to weather out the storm ahead is by aping the rich rather than by working out a life-style of one's own; irrelevant, because most people in this~~country have no spare cash anyway; and misleading because they assume the future will be like the past and in particular that inflation will continue unchecked. Maybe it will, but not necessarily: the main impulse behind the present inflation is the expectation that it will continue. That expectation could be disappointed if our Arab creditors lose patience and put the receivers in to force us to put our affairs in order. Already the foolish purchasers of luxury homes in London at the height of the 1972 boom are sitting on losses of 30-40%. So are the City institutions who bought into farmland in 1973. Everybody knows what's happened to the stock market. Where will be bubble burst next, I wonder? ,/ The practical articles, with one exception, are much better. In particular, Value Today's gardening 'consultant' (and more of that in a moment), Roy Hay, seems to know what he's about. The January issue features a pull out vegetable gardening calendar that is pleasingly direct and to the point. (January: 'Dig vacant spaces'). The technical information is readily available of course. The main function of articles like this is to be a stimulus and a reassurance to those-who have never grown anything and have no-one to advise them. Other articles, of varying quality, deal with subjects from economical cooking and home brewing to how to handle the bureaucracy and how to get the most of the Welfare State (which gibes, one may think, with magazine's commitment to selfsufficiency and individual initiative). The exception that I mentioned was a piece on bread-making by Susan Campbell in the December issue that completely misrepresents the current controversy about the merits of whole-meal bread. To say the least, this shows a curious indifference to the likely prejudices of the
UC09: page 113

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

readers. It is also sloppily researched: organically grown whole-meal flour is available as cheaply as chemically grown flour (from Ceres Foodstore, 229 Portobello Road, London W12). And the bread it makes is delicious. Like Which, Value Today often seems curiously ill-informed when it writes on subjects one has particular knowledge of. The magazine does include a number of general-interest articles, and these I liked: a piece about co-operative buying groups, an interview with a 'domestic alchemist', accounts of the lives of successful 'escapers' who have stepped off the treadmill and survived, a day in the life of a totter, and so on. Not to mention some alternative sources of energy, windmills and so on, some of it cribbed from Undercurrents. Value Today has all the advantages we lack: a well-heeled publisher (Richard Holmes who launched the phenomenally-successful Psychology Today and Man Myth and Magic in the US); a full-time editorial staff of 9; and distribution by Smith's to every corner of the land. The trouble is, it needs a circulation of 150,000 or so to be viable. (We only need 8,000). But what it lacks, in my opinion, is more important. Flicking through these three issues, there is no sign of any moral commitment to the paper. What the Value Today staff lack is an ideology, some reason for putting out the paper at all. Our problem today is more moral than economic. We are living at an awkward corner in world history, to get round it we need something more than technical advice. VERDICT. Value Today is poor value for most Undercurrents readers. Ask your library to subscribe to it and read it there; Chris Hutton Squire The cheapest-and probably the most cost-effective-thing you can do is to cut out draughts. The most 'expensive way is to fit double (or triple) glazing. This cuts fuel bills by only 10 per cent for an outlay of hundreds of pounds, but it does have other advantages that may
UC09: page 114

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

l make it well worthwhile. Double-glazing is the most expensive item on the list, and shows the least benefit in relation to cost. But there are many people who consider it one of the best investments they have made. The reasons are complicated but interesting. MADE IT! Makin; It: A Guide to Some Working Alternatives. Nigel G. Turner, Paper Tiger Publications, The Loft, The Manor House, River Lane, Petersham, Surrey TW10, 134 pp; 75p. MAYBE PEOPLE are having a go at poor old Nigel elsewhere in this issue but I will not be deterred from writing a Nice Re\view of his book Makin' It. It's a survey/manual of alternative enterprises and institutions, covering Industrial Common-Ownership. Publishing (the book itself is a fine example of alternative publishing), Cinema, Switchboards, Free Schools, Organic husbandry, Food coops, Shops, Record companies. Among the "case studies" he looks at are Trylon, Alternative London, Bath Arts Workshop, BIT, Soil Association, Henry Doubleday Research Association, Community Supplies and Tangent Records. Each section is in three parts: a general introduction; a description of the starting up and day-to-day running of at least two functioning projects; and a "practical section" giving details of how to do it yourself including useful references and contact addresses. It's very thoroughly and competently done. Of the twenty three projects described he visited twenty one in person. Under such circumstances it's often very hard to be critical, and considering that his aim is to turn people on to the possibilities of actually getting some real alternatives on the road (just think of it!) there has probably been a fair amount of unconscious censorship of the seamier aspects of the projects chosen. The selection itself reflects some of the inherent limitations of these kinds of alternative: They are basically limited to the tertiary (services) sector, with occasional outposts in manufacturing and food production. Not really strong enough medicine for the fundamental transformation he would agree is necessary, but an essential part of our overall strategy nevertheless. Nigel, you Made It.
UC09: page 115

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Homespun Paraffin The Mother Earth News Hand book of Homemade Power Bantam 374 pp 60p. IF YOU DON'T MIND the determinedly folksy style favoured by Mother Earth News then this is a book to buy. It is divided into five sections, Wood, Water, Wind, Sun and Methane, of approximately equal length. Each consists of short articles and interviews most of which have appeared already in Mother Earth News. The emphasis is on the practical: 'How To Build - And Use! - A Solar Water Heater'; " built a wind-charger for 5400!' There is a 14-page bibliography listing 300 publications and suppliers. At 60p (the price of 2 gallons of paraffin) the book is 30% cheaper here than in the States, which can't be bad. There is snow on Snowdon as I write and we face the prospect of the bleakest winter since 1962/63. Looks like we'll need all the home-made power we can get: truly this book'" is a practical tract for the times. Chris Hutton-Squire TERRIBLE TO CONTEMPLATE THREE NEW books about the future, none of which it's possible to raise much enthusiasm for. Much the strongest of the three, though, is ManMade Futures (Hutchinson/Open University, 365 pp,: £2.75), a set of 38 articles by everyone from Benn To Bookchin on aspects of technological change and innovation, forecasting, design problems - and the political aspects. Man-Made Futures will _ '\ doubtless be useful to anyone involved in, well, that sort of thing. Human Futures- Needs, Societies, Technologies, 181pp for £5.50 from IPC Science and Technology Press Ltd, 32 High St., Guildford, Surrey, is a set of nine papers from a Conference on Futures Research held in Rome in September 1973. It's an impossibly - academic mixture of stuff ranging from Mumford's Technics and Human Culture to Cole and Sinclair's Computer Models for World Problems and Policy Formation. For the University Librarian in your life. Meanwhile at the other end of the market lurks, Roberto Vacca's The Coming Dark Age (50p for 176pp from Panther.) Doom is apparently upon us, and Vacca gives hearty of the details - 450 million dead, with the crisis somewhere between 1985 and 1995, due to synergistic collapse of the life-support systems of the cities ~ but produces no solid evidence. The book is also very dated, (it predicts vast increases in
UC09: page 116

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

numbers of cars, for instance)and has no political sense - is the third world really underdeveloped because of bad management? Nice cover, though. Martin Ince MEGAFLOPOLIS The Limits Of The City by Murray Bookchin. Harper & Row, $2.75. I EXPECTED Murray Bookchin's new book to warrant a long review. It doesn't, not because it is bad, but because it is good, and there is little to say except that it is essential reading, On the surface there is little to distinguish it from a whole host of recent books lamenting the breakdown of the city. Bookchin has the usual amount of wailing invective describing how the functions of the City have broken down, and he does this much better than Oscar Newman (Defensible Space)or Thomas Blair (The International Urban Crisis). But Bookchin's talent has always been to set himself aside from the current immediate problem and show its historic genesis in direct, simple, but not oversimplified terms. The most valuable sections of his book, the second two chapters, are in effect a rewriting of the story of the growth of cities carried out in an almost schoolbook like aphoristic style. Obviously one immediately thinks of Lewis Mumford's gigantic tomes and, from memory, Bookchin has borrowed rather more there than he actually acknowledges. But the triumph of the book is that it is not trapped in the notion of the ideal of limitless 'progress' into which most analyses of the city fall. The city, ever since the heavier aspects of the industrial revolution, didn't work, and never could, and those who claim that the breakdown of cities is a recent event (say of the last decade) have it all wrong. The city fails, not because of a series of small breakdowns, but because everything in the late bourgeois city is based on a cash nexus. The price of heavy capitalism has been that all other measures of value have disappeared - and the feeling of social community in more 'primitive' groupings of people, which was a real help and aid has been replaced by the artificiality of a 'social contract'- Bookchin's phrase, not mine, and not the Labour Government's either. Bookchin sees some future in the love generation revolt of the late '60s
UC09: page 117

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

and here returns to some of the theme's in Post _ Scarcity Anarchism. At the moment I'm not too sure that he isn't a mite too utopian. However, sensible utopian writing is what we need now. Orthodox religions make no apologies for using devotional and inspirational writings. straight scientists are too reductionist and materialist to allow for such things in their cosmology, but alternative technologists, less hopeful that 'pure science' will get us out' of our mess, need a modest and realistic utopia-builder. Thank Y0!l Murray Bookchin. Peter Sommer. Kropotkin. thou should'st be living at this hour Fields, factories and Workshops Tomorrow, by Peter Kropotkin, introduced and edited by Colin Ward. George Allen and Unwin. £ 1. 95. IT IS generally true that the socialist movement in the west ignores questions of agricultural organisation and food production. True, an article will appear from time to time in one of the left newspapers about the wages and conditions of agricultural workers; perhaps once a year a commentator will note the "" increasing tendency to monopoly ownership of land, or the investment in woodland or agricultural acreage as a hedge against inflation by finance capital; or an event like the Rome Food Conference will draw attention to the inherent contradictions in the world food supply. But socialists in general behave as though the industrialised working class holds the answer to everything. It is a precondition of capitalist organisation that labour should leave the land and flock to the cities to run the factories and services of the modern economy. Dispossession of the peasantry - whether by the development of industrial capitalism as in the west, or enforced collectivisation and villagisation t as in the Soviet Union or Borne African Socialist states - coupled with the increased mechanization of agricultural production, are prerequisites for
UC09: page 118

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

the development of industrial capitalism. Writing in a series of articles in 1888 to 1890, Kropotkin, the anarchist philosopher, started to deal with the central questions of agricultural production in the new society. His articles, together with a great mass of statistical material to back up his main points, were then collected together as a book and issued in 1899. Several cheap editions were out out until the early part of the twentieth century and then, although the ideas he argues became Dart of main stream anarchist thought, the book itself became very hard to get hold of. George Allen & Unwin have now reissued Kropotkin's classic, shorn of much of the early statistics and in a more readable form. Ward links the chapters with a careful selection of contemporary material most of which would be familiar to Undercurrents readers - and provides a commentary to replace the early data. Kropotkin's thesis, broadly stated, is to break down the contradiction between the city and the country, by the reorganization of agricultural and industrial production on the basis of smaller units producing much of what they need in both spheres. Thus we see an early model for the Chinese commune or . the early stage of Tanzanian development. with a local or regional unit becoming responsible for its own food production and also for much of its own industrial production in its own workshops and small factories. Workers, acting collectively, would spend some of their year in the fields,
UC09: page 119

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

and some of it in the workshops. The alienation of labour implicit in the huge factory organisation of the modern economy would disappear with the workers" control over their own labour. In the field, the contemporary trend towards bigger and bigger agricultural machinery, the increasing 'factoryfication' of the land and an that means in terms of ecological damage, would go. In its place, human size units would organise collectively for the common good. As a model of organisation for the future society. there is a lot to be said for it; it's a starting point in a very contemporary debate. The benefits of industrial civilisation are there for all to see, but so also are the terrible disasters it brings with it. But what the book fails to do is to deal with the question of national and international organisation .. Geographically and climatically, some regions of the world are inevitably better placed to produce some items than others Industrial production is sometimes better organised on a large scale than a small one. Future exploration of the universe, for example, let alone better use of the world's resources, demands a form of international organisation - not, as at present, a system of warring national and multinational capital interests, but instead a genuine- for-m of ~r::grassroots-responsible socialism with an international perspective. These are questions Kropotkin hardly deals with, and the roots of that failure lie not with the period in which he was writing, but in the limitations of anarchist philosophy. As a starting point in the debate, the book is fine and well worth reading. As an introduction to ideas that the mainstream western socialist hardly ever contemplates, the book is first class. As a political goad to the current mass desertion of the middle class to the country, again, it's excellent material. Its limitations lie both in the period in which it had its genesis, and also in the philosophy of its author and popularizers. David A Clark

UC09: page 120

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

WATCH THIS SPACE! SPACE IN UNDERCURRENTS get proportionately more expensive the more you use it. These are our rates: Small ads: 2p per word, 150 words maximum ( except h special cases). Display ads: Full page 11"x 7"~'·} -(5U.OO (1 page,max~ Half page (11 "x 3~" or 7!"x 5~") - £24.00 Quarter Page (52"x 3~") - £11. 00 Eighth Page (5 1/2"x 1 1/4"~" or 2~"x 3~") -£5. ')0 All advertisements (including display ads) must be paid for in advance. (though free ads may be available:try us HARDWARE THINKING OF BEEKEEPING All equipment. Send for list. Honey Producers, 66, High Street, :i\.Malmesbury, Wilts. BRAD'S SOLAR ROOF PLAN. Complete do-it-yourself info (drawings. costings, suppliers. snags, plumbing, even the electronic control circuitry) for the elegant canopy that made the New Scientist cover story of September 19t~ 1974. 8 months hot water (126 F, 52 C) for Ip/day; we've had over 21 kilowatts from our 60 sq.. roof. And at £8/sq.m., it's cheaper than tiles. No rip-off. 25p plus SAE from BRAD, Church-stoke. l\Montgomery, Wales. (Any surplus, we promise, goes to Fund further A T research. ) HEDGEHOG HAND CARDING and Spinning Equipment -made to order for beginners and professionals. hand-carders, Drum carders, ~and Canadian Indian Spinners. I try to keep prices low. SAE enquiries welcomed. T.J. Will-cox, Wheatcroft, Itching-field, Horsham, Sussex. COURSES MIDDLESEX POLYTECHNIC BSc and BSc Honours in Society and Technology. This four-year sandwich course offers you the opportunity to study the natural and social sciences and their interdependence. You can enter with A-levels in any two subjects. The course provides an understanding of the complex relationships between science and technology, enabling you not only to understand your own place in contemporary society, but to work responsibly with the benefits technology can bring. Write or telephone for further details and an application form to:
UC09: page 121

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

The Admissions Office, PO Box 40, Middlesex Polytechnic, Queensway, Enfield, Middx, EN3 4SF. Phone 01 805 0892. EVENTS THE WREKIN TRUST. A week-end conference at Hawkwood College, Stroud, Glos., Friday, Feb 28th to . Sunday. March 2nd, on "Economics and the Living Spirit. " A discussion of the present economic crisis as a time of opportunity for reevaluation. Applications to Sir George Trevelyan, the Wrekin Trust. I, Shrewsbury Rd., Bomere Heath. Salop. Fee. £13.00. BOOKS & ~MAGAZINES UP AGAINST THE LAW. Issue No 8 now available from all disreputable news-agents. bookshops and UPAL office, 66, York Way, London N1. Contributions welcome for next issue. More bent apples, sagas of corruption, bent wigs, and naughty tales about the legal gravy train. And in spite of the Law, radical legal advice continues to be published -- all the vital little tips your lawyer won't tell you. UPAL: essential reading for all those who want an alternative diet to Z-Cars and Softly-Softly. £2.50 per annum, special rate for lawyers and professionals, £6.00. INDEPENDENT LABOUR PARTY. Now is the time to try "Socialist Leader", our fortnightly journal. 26 King Street Chambers, Leeds L Price 3p, annual subscription, £L50p_ BREAD. Does modern technological bread damage your health? Read the Technology Assessment Consumerism Centre's new report: additives;fibres; structure of the industry; what the government should do; is whole-meal better than white? £ 1.25 from PO Box 6, Kettering, Northants or 6, Calcott Sf ., London W8. GROUPS BSSRS, 9 Poland Street, London WI V 3DG. organises radical work-on all aspects of science and technology. including occupational health, military science, unionizing scientists. and more. Membership is £3 per year, £1 for students and claimants. Latest Science for People magazine, No 28. is
UC09: page 122

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

now out. Articles on fighting pollution at work. The New Technology of repression: lessons from Ulster, is only 45p by post while stocks last. ETCETERA LEARN AND USE ESPERANTO for your international contacts! The right to use r one's own language is a fundamental right of each people. However, many governments use suppression of language and cultural terrain as a tool for ethnocide and as a subconscious structure to support suppression in other ways. The use between nations and ethnic groups of a language which belongs to none of those nations, so cannot cannot be a vehicle of the imperialist states, 1. e. Esperanto, is a logical consequence for those who want to make the world a better place. Communication yes~ Linguistic Imperialism no! Write JEB (Young Esperantists) 140 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 4UF. COMMUNITIES PEOPLE WITH CAPITAL/ INCOME needed for BRAD community to replace departed members. Intel 1) communal living; 2) alternative technology and farming. Rewards: happy living or. established self-sufficient 40 acre Welsh hill farm. Write fully to: Within-Y-( Church Stoke. Montgomeryshire. (lRS/'NIC FARMING CO?~'MUNITY, aiming self sufficiency, now able take few new members. Write Barn Hill, Brickier, Monmouthshire (Tintern 3 ~£!:!! HA VE YOU got good ideas AT projects and the qualifications and ability to carry them out? A University research student-ship may be available to help you. Writ "Studentship" c/o UNDERCURRENTS. lJA VE YOU PAID YOUR CL TAX?CLAP, the community for Alternative Projects, is tax of up to 4% of your gross. income -- minimum. £ 1 every
UC09: page 123

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

two months -- and up to 100 of your unearned income, inheritance, windfalls, et at If you have any kind of income. please do not avoid paying this alternative tax. How else are we going to build up and sustain a network of alternative structures for the sane transformation of society? Send 14~p in stamp for the CLA P Handbook, which is a good read in its own right -- if you wish, you the choose which of the projects described to support. Or. DOES YOUR PROJECT NEED MONEY?If it's communitybased, imaginative. evolutionary or whatever, send for details now of how to apply. Deadline for the next two payouts : February 17 and April 17. 1975. Last payout was c over £4,000 CLAP. /0 BIT Information" & Help Service. 146 Great Western Road, London Wl1. Telephone 01 229 8219. BOOKSHOPS. NEWS FROM NOWHERE is Liverpool's best bookshop. At 48 Manchester St .• Liverpool 1, near the Tunnel entrance. Books, mags, etc., on Politics, History, Education, Science, Environment. women's' topics and lots more. Phone 0512272514. Closed Sundays FREEDOM: AN ALTERNATIVE TO MARXIST-LENINISM comments on social, political & industrial events; reviews books & articles~~. 5p. Subscription £ 4 per year (trial 3-months £ I). 84B White-chapel High St. london E. i. tel, 01-247-9249.

UC09: page 124

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

UNDERCURRENTS NEEDS AN ACCOUNTANT who combines sympathy with our aims with a fingertip familiarity with the Companies Acts and the requirements of the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise. We'd like him/her to sort out our accounts and convince the taxmen, when the time comes, that we really are non-profit making. We can It afford to pay the kinds of fees that accountants are accustomed to: in fact, no accountant in his right mind would take the job. If you fit this description, just write to UNDERCURRENTS,NTS 275 Finchley Road, London NW3 Another professional person we need is a~, preferably someone interested in, and familiar with, the structure of common ownership companies, to weed out some anomalies in our Memorandum ::and Articles of Association, and to give us general advice on how to stay out of prison. RESURGENCE a journal of the Fourth World. Articles on the technology of liberation. small, simple, alternative, ecological and organic life style. Regular columns by E. F . Schemata and Geoffrey Ashe. Sub £2.50 per year. Cheques payable to Resurgence, 275 Kings Road, Kingston, Surrey, England. 'sanity voice of CND Bi-monthly 10p 14 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1 IT’S What living under the threat of thermonuclear destruction is all "';-, ...... +-. _ .11 WILDCAT WILDCAT is published monthly at 15p and includes a four-page supplement available at cost price to other libertarian groups, News, Reviews notes, argument, plus WILDCAT information.
UC09: page 125

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Already Published:

Future issues No G (February): Abortion and

No 1: Give this to a soldier No 5 (January 1975): Transport No 2: Refuse to vote- organise Contraception

No 3; Ron Bailey on -squatting tactics No 7 (March): Prisons. No 4: Autonomous assemblies of Italy WIL~CAT is produced entirely by voluntary labour and depends on support subscriptions and donations to meet its costs. Subscriptions: £2.50 a year. Support subscriptions (recommended rate): 5'% of annual income Subscribe-- from No 1: all back issues in stock at 15p. WILDCAT. Box 999, 197 Kings Cross Road, London WCl RADICAL SCIENCE JOURNAL SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE No. 2/3 DECEMBER 1974 GARY WERSKEY Making Socialists of Scientists" An extended paper on the scientists'. movement of the 1930 IS, and a discussion of the influential essay 'The Radicalization of Science', by Hilary and Steven Rose. ALFRED SOHN-RETHEL "Science as Alienated Consciousness" The concept of inertial -motion as an exemplar for the thesis that all scientific ideas reflect social relations. SHEILA YOUNG "The Politics of Abortion" Abortion under the NHS as a case of the structural oppression of women by the medical profession. DAVID DICKSON "Science and Society: The BAAS Con-Trick" The implications of incorporating radical ideas into the mainstream curricula of science and technology. BRIAN HURWITZ An essay review of Brian Easlea's Liberation and the Aims of Science • Reviews of: Jargon Harems Knowledge and Human Interests David Layton Science for the People University of Sussex Clence 0 ley research m
UC09: page 126

.

P 1· R h U ·t Thinking About the Future: A

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

Critique of The Limits to Growth This double issue GOp. Annual subscription (3 issues) £1.40, p>post paid. All correspondence to 9 Poland Street, London W.l. LOW IMPACT TECHNOLOGY LTD has moved to London and been re-organised as CONSERVATION TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY LTD We offer-Solar panels (glazed and unglazed) - wind generators-small experimental and large modularised methane digesters - Solardome geodesic greenhouses - fireless cookers - solar powered mini motors (educational toy) heat pipes. -Design and consultancy services, with site evaluations at RIBA rates, for household, agricultural, horticultural, commercial or industrial installations of the above products. -Design and consultancy services for energy management and conservation. - A range of publications on various aspects of alternative energy sources and self-sufficiency. . -We are shortly forming a subscription association which will provide a quarterly newsletter of up-to-date developments and offer members discounts on all our products .. Please write in for further information on anything that interests you. ,CIT ,Conservation Tools & Technology Formerly Low Impact Technology Ltd 4 Lonsdale Road. London SW13

UC09: page 127

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

• • • • • • NOW, THE BAD NEWS

SORRY, FOLKS, but,the price of Undercurrents is just gonna have to go up from the next issue (No 10) , Postage rates are increasing on March 17th by about 2p (40% of what we now pay) on UK copies, and by no less than 100% on overseas copies sent at printed paper rate, We just can't stand increases like that, coupled with the soaring costs of everything else, without doing something about it. So Undercurrents 10 will cost you 45p from bookshops and news-agents, and subscriptions taken out from No 10 onwards will go up to £2,50 for six issues (by second class! surface mail, anywhere), We will also, in an unashamed move to subsidise bookshop and newsstand sales, be putting up the cost of back numbers to 50p ( including postage), Full details of the new rates, including airmail prices, will be in the next issue, It may be some consolation to hear that we're also increasing the size of the magazine to 60-pages, which we hope will be the normal size of issue from now on, The next issue will also be a special "joint issue" with Resurgence magazine. It will still have all the regular Undercurrents features (Eddies, Reviews, DIY, Products Reviews, A T Directory and so on) but in the remaining pages we will be jointly examining some of the many different strands that seem to be coming together to make up a "movement towards a new and better society -- land reform, alternative energy sources, AT, workers' control, alternative medicine, meditation, and so on, and so on. It'll be good: don't miss it: -----~------WHY NOT SEll UNDERCURRENTS? We don't expect anyone to do it 'just for the money', but we don't see why you should do it for nothing, either. Selling magazines requires a certain amount of time and effort, and we think such efforts should be rewarded at rates comparable to those which prevail in the distribution
UC09: page 128

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

trade. So we're offering you a discount of 40 per cent if you order more than 10 copies from us. After we've paid the cost of posting them to you; we're hoping to get about the same nett amount back as we would have got from a straight distributor. But if you don't feel like being a s~salesperson , why not just take a fey copies round to your local news \agent or bookshop? They'll ask for a 25 to 33 per cent discount, usual\ally, and they won't pay you until they've sold the copies, but the few coppers you'll make on the deal will at least pay for you; bus fare. I enclose a cheque/postal order for £ .... in payment for . ~- .. copies of Undercurrents Number .... at 21p a copy. (Minimum order. 10 copies). I understand that Undercurrents will buy back any copies which I return in good condition at 21 p per copy. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • See what you've been missing BACK issues of Undercurrents numbers 1. 2. 3,4 and 5 are now sold out. But we're hoping to reprint numbers 1,2,:1 & 4, along with early issues of Eddies (which used to be mailed out separately to subscribers only) in the form of a book. We can't do it for another few months. though, because all the capital we can get is needed just to keen current issues coming out. and we can't afford to tie up money in re-printing hack issues which may take years to nay for themselves. We'll be announcing when the book is ready. i\meanwhile\e, to order any of the following issues. just fill in tho form on page '18. * Undercurrents 6 . Heat Pumps- how they work and what they can do. Organic Living Experiment- part 1. Do We Need An Alternative Electronics Industry? Two DIY Wind Generator designs from France. Peter Harper's New, Improved Alternative Technology Guide. Running Your Car On Gas - complete DIY Instructions. Petrol Stinks- how petrol pollutes, how gas is cleaner. V-later Running Wild - a guide to home-built water power plant. What's Left of Alternative Technology- part 2 of Peter Harper's evolving l\movement
UC09: page 129

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

strategy. Alternative ways of looking at Cancer Research - is stress the cause? An AgitKrop Communique manifesto from the militant naturalists. Science Fiction Review. The Dark Side of the Mind - Stan Gooch's Total Man reviewed by Colin Wilson. Plus Reviews: The Secret Life of Plants; Shelter; Phenomenon; Survival Scrapbook on Energy: How It Works. And Eddies: The Diggers & the People Party; Irish Sea Gas Strikes; Dinorwic is Flooded for the CEGB: BRAD Community Progress Report; Radial House proposal; Cuban Science. Undercurrents 7. Special Issue on Communications. The Snoopers and the Peepers - how phone calls are tapped, who does it, and how it can be detected: how letters are intercepted by the Post Office, and countermeasures. * Confessions of a Phone Phreak - a guide to the National and International Phone System. Beneath the Official Secrets Act tunnels,bunkers and microwave towers protect the Government's communications in wartime or revolution. Cameras Above the Streets mushrooming TV surveillance of London. The People's Radio Primer: a practical guide to liberated communications. Ham Radio and TV - lowcost, low-energy communications for a decentralised world. Cable TV just one more step in the concentration of ownership of media for profit. AT In the Shade - Part 3 of Peter Harper's philosophical Odyssey . Behaviour 1\modification a chilling new penal technique: and Science Fiction- prizewinning story chosen by l' .... Michael Moorcock. Plus Reviews: The New Technology of Repression; Alternative Technology & the Politics of Technical Change; The Oil Fix: Appropriate Technology Projects. And Eddies: Did a runaway missile shoot down an airliner? The National Centre for Development of Alternative Technology' Comtek 74: and more .. * Undercurrents 8 Organic Living Experiment, part 2 . Sward Gardening 10t the worms do the work. The Other London Underground - hideaways for the bureaucrats beneath the city streets. Opening Up the Airwaves community radio. Building with rammed earth - how to use free local materials in construction. Complete French multi-blade windmill design with tower construction details. Wind generator theory - design details in
UC09: page 130

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

a nutshell. Breaking the Hermetic Seal does technology need transcendence? COl\;lTEK Festival - complete report & pictures. DIY Exhibition - picture story. BRAD Community photo report. Duke of Edinburgh visits National Centre for AT - interview with the man behind the Centre. Plus Eddies: Pirate Radio, Celtic Oil Capers, "Eddies social Paranoia corner & other titbits And Reviews: An Index of Possibilities ; British Bread; Hazards of Work; Private Future ;\~manual [or Revolutionaries.'. Leaders; The Private Future: Scandinavian magazines. And: an expose of Undercurrents finances~
UNDERCURRENTS ~:~ISTS LONDON Houseman's Bookshop. 5 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross. N.l. Grass Roots 61 Goldborne Rd. W11 Seed Bookshop Portobello Rd. Wl1 Compendium 240 Camden High Street. NWl Haelan Centre 39 Park Rd, Crouch End. NB Sunflower Friends Portobello Rd, W11 Paperback Centre. 28 Charlotte St, W1. BSSRS 9 Poland St. W1 Friends of the Earth 9 Poland St, W1. Moonfleet 39 Clapham Pk Rd. SW4 Village Bookshop. Regent St, WC1 Architectural Association bookshop, 36 Bedford Square. WCl Freedom Bookshop 84b Whitechapel High St. El Mandarin BOOks New CoII~e Pde. NW3 Robinson & Watkins Cecil Court 19·21 (off Charing Cross Rd) London WC2 Rising Free 197 King's Cross Rd, WC1. CAMBRIDGE Dillons Cambridge Bookshop 21 Silver St Cokaygne Bookshop

UC09: page 131

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975
1 Jesus Terrace New SQUd'C Ariuna Whole-foods 12. Mil! Rd. OXFORD EOA Books 34 Cowley Ad. Maxwell_ 9-10 S, Clements MANCHESTER Orbit Book Whille St Manchester 4. Percivals Peter House Oxford Street. M1 Wheeler's. 36 Ann Street. M_2 Grass Roots Bookshop 178 Oxford Rd, M.13 Bookflair Mount St. M.2 EDINBURGH Better Books 11 Forrest Rd. EHl BIRMINGHAM Tapetus Bookshop 201 Corporation SI. Prometheus Books 134 Alcester Road. Mn5~lev. B13 Birmingham Peace Centre 18. Moor St, Ringway. 632 Bookshop 632 Bristol Rd, Selly Oak B29 BATH Searights Bookshop Ltd 9 New Bond St Place, B1 Bath Community Work$hop la The Paragon. 81 GLASGOW John Smith & Son 89 Otago SI. G 1 W2 A,F & J Ba,rotl 17B Byres Rd, G.12 LEICESTER Black Flag Books 1 Wilne St. Leicester University Bookshop University Rd. BRIGHTON Symposium 12 Market St. BNl Public House Bookshop 21 Little Preston Street CARDIFF One 0 Eight 108 Salisbury Rd, Cathays. Cardiff The Miskin St Bookshop 19 Miskin St,

UC09: page 132

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975
Cathays. Cardiff. BoOkShop The Fourth Idea. 14 Southgate BRADFORD 1 Chris Pitts 27 St Thomas' Hill CANTERBURY. Kent Bogus 21 Princes Avenue HULL, E. Yorks OUt of Time Hyde Park House King X Road King X. HALIFAX News From Nowhere 9 Sefton Drive LIVERPOOL 8 John Sheridan 19 Anlaby Rd HULL Books & Things 9 Oswald St LANCASTER The Other Branch 7 Regent Place LEAMINGTON SPA, Warwicks Bri5lOw$ 4 Bride\Ne1t Alley NORWICH, NorfOlk Mushroom 261 Arkwright St NOTTINGHAM Dave Taylor 8 The Crescent PURBROOK Hem Spice Island Osborne Rd SOUTHSEA. Hants John Smith & Son Stirling University Bookshop STIRLING Rare & Racey 166 DevonShire St SHEFFIELD Conservation Books 28 Bearwood Ad WOKINGHAM. Berkshire Posse Mount Farm Escrick YORK EIRE Rea's Bookshop St Stephens Green Dublin Eblana Bookshop Grafton Street Dublin An up-dated and extended version of this list will appear' ill our next issue. Printed by Prestagate Ltd. 0734-583958

UC09: page 133

Undercurrents 9: Jan-Feb 1975

UC09: page 134

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful