BBC Radio

Science in Action: Fusion steel

Flora reported from the UK Atomic Energy Authority in Culham, near Oxford—visiting a 200-year-old iron forge on the way!

One of the properties of iron and steel that have made than so good for building materials is that they are pliable at temperatures much lower than their melting point—making them easy to mould and work. But this property makes them fail at very high temperatures—this is what happened during the fires at the World Trade Centre.

Scientists working at the UK’s Atomic Energy Authority are hoping to develop a super-strong steel to withstand the million degree temperatures of their fusion reactors. But first they have to find out why steel goes weak when it gets hot—it’s all to do with magnetism.

Flora Graham reports.


Health Check: Chronic Daily Headache

Flora reported on CDH for Health Check, and her interview with Dr Peter Goadsby was used for a Factfile segment on the same programme.

Headaches are common, but if someone’s symptoms persist for more than fifteen days a month, then they are said to be suffering from a condition called chronic daily headache.

Melanie Carpigo has headaches almost all the time ever since she had a benign tumour removed from the base of her brain five years ago.

She has to take so many painkillers that when she became pregnant there was a risk that her baby might be born with a dependency on drugs.

Luckily the baby was fine, but the headaches are still going on.

She talks to Flora Graham about living with chronic daily headaches.