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08 October, 2010

Red Sludge

We in the UK live in a country that is so tied up with health and safety rules that one council has pinned a notice to a conker tree warning people to beware of falling conkers. No really that's true, although as conkers fall at 9.81 m/s^2 its difficult to see how being aware of them falling will help you avoid being hit by one. Its a bit like the watch out for falling rocks road signs, useful only after you have been hit.

As is often the case I digress from the point of this entry. Spike Jones and his City Slickers may well have corrected the colour of the Danube from blue to green in the song but today a slick of another kind is turning it red.

The reason for this unscheduled colour change is the result of a country not having quite the same view of health and safety as the UK.
Hungary apparently have a manual about storing toxic sludge that goes something like this:-
1) Ensure that all sludge is stored in such a way that should a failure occur all content is released at once .
2) Ensure that the path of any release of toxic waste is directly into a populated area.
3) Ensure that there is direct access for the sludge into Europe's second longest river.
4) Ensure that failure is likely.

Its not rocket science and even I could have designed a reservoir that had fail safe built in but once more the environment suffers as the result of greed for the highest profit and the need for aluminium at the lowest price.

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