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Nuclear Waste; Exoplanets; BBC time and pips, Synthetic Biology Olympics

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 24 October 2013

Britain's legacy of nuclear waste dates back 60 plus years and a long term solution to deal with it hasn't yet been found. After this week's announcement that the UK will have a new nuclear power station, Hinkley C in Somerset, Dr Adam Rutherford asks Professor Sue Ion, former Director of Technology at British Nuclear Fuels and Chair of the European Commission's Science and Technology Committee, Euratom, how much extra waste this new plant will add to the radioactive stockpile.

Eighteen years ago the first planet outside of our solar system was discovered, "51 Pegasi b". This week the tally of exoplanets passed one thousand, and as astronomer Dr Stuart Clark tells Adam, an earth twin isn't part of the planetary list.....yet.

Show Us Your Instrument: Public Astronomer Dr Marek Kukula introduces the original Six Pip Masterclock at the Greenwich Observatory. This clock was used in the 1920s to send the time signals down a telephone line to the BBC, for transmission to the whole country over the radio. That's not the case now, and Adam goes down into the basement of Broadcasting House in London in search of the atomic clock that's now used to generate the Greenwich Time Signal and the famous BBC pips.

iGEM is a global biology competition that allows students to build their own organisms. The UK has two teams going to the grand final next week. Adam goes to meet the team from Imperial College London, who have made a bacterium which produces plastic.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

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