Interesting Times

by BVAA Director, Rob Bartlett

‘May you live in interesting times’ is purported to be an ancient Chinese curse, or perhaps a proverb, depending upon who’s theories you subscribe to. Either way it generally means that quieter,
less chaotic times are generally more desirable.

In the space of a few short months we have seen a number of destabilising events across the globe. There was the most terrible earthquake and tsunami ever seen in Japan, to be followed by a horrendous situation with regard to the Fukushima nuclear power plant, re-graded as the maximum ‘7’ in terms of seriousness. Our thoughts are with all those affected and especially, at this time, with all those working bravely to resolve the situation.

Elsewhere across the Middle East and North Africa there are ongoing problems, described as the ‘Arab Spring’ by some, but however titled the situation will do much to make life uncertain for a while in the region’s oil and gas markets, even with a rising oil price.

And when oil prices rise, ‘new nuclear’ inevitably comes under the spotlight again. But with Fukushima now spreading new doubts, the situation is much changed, less certain, indeed ‘interesting’. The rising demand for energy remains however, and like it or not there are 450 nuclear power plants in existence across the globe. That ‘cat is already out of the bag’ to coin an English phrase.

Here in the UK we desperately need new nuclear, and we need it soon, before existing, outdated power plants go offline. We elect politicians to be our leaders – it’s now time for them to show true leadership on the issue, to trust our highly competent engineers with their modern, fail-safe designs, and to start the process of new build without delay.

This issue of Valve User includes a wide variety of articles from our many members – we hope you find it ‘interesting’ within the modern meaning!

We are delighted to report that a new ‘Valve User Forum’ has recently been launched via the business-orientated social networking site, Linked In. Such was the interest in this new forum, we recruited 250 members in the space of two weeks! A forum totally dedicated to users of valves and actuators is long overdue and we hope readers of the magazine will sign up to utilise this important industry resource.

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 17


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