The Anonymous Widower

I’m Glad I’m Getting Pfizer As My Booster

In Hay Fever, Coeliac Disease And The AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine, I summarised the battle going on in my body over the last few months, between hat fever and the AstraZeneca vaccine.

I wonder what my strong immune system will make of the Pfizer vaccine. I must admit, I’m tempted to just continue with my gluten-free diet and let my immune system sort out the squabble on its own!

September 15, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hay Fever, Coeliac Disease And The AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine

I am 73 and was diagnosed as a coeliac at 50.

I am fairly sure, I have suffered from hay fever all my life, but usually I can control it.

This year, it has been particularly bad and I asked my GP about it last night. He indicated it had been a bad year.

I then said that as being a coeliac I have a strong immune system and from what I have read, the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine also boosts the immune system.

I just wonder, if my coeliac disease and the vaccine are both attacking the hay fever and making me feel, so much worse than in any other year.

Certainly, all I want to do, is lie down!

I’m certainly so much worse than I was last year, when Covid-19 was the same, but I hadn’t been vaccinated.

The only time my eyes felt so bad was sometime around 2000, when they were so sore, I had to have an operation to remove polyps.

This could have been a few years after I went gluten-free, which would have boosted my immune system.

 

July 28, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , | 2 Comments

Rolls-Royce Seeks Private Funds To Power Nuclear Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

The article is based on this press release on the Rolls-Royce web site, which is entitled More Power And Updated Design Revealed As Nuclear Power Team Targets First Place In The Assessment Queue In Autumn 2021.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The consortium, led by Rolls-Royce, which is creating a compact nuclear power station known as a small modular reactor (SMR), has revealed its latest design and an increase in power as it completes its first phase on time and under budget.

It has also announced it is aiming to be the first design to be assessed by regulators in the second half of 2021 in the newly-opened assessment window, which will keep it on track to complete its first unit in the early 2030s and build up to 10 by 2035.

It would appear that they are following AstraZeneca’s example and building the relationships with the regulators early, so the process of regulation doesn’t delay entry into service.

An Updated Design

These two paragraphs describe the design changes.

As the power station’s design has adjusted and improved during this latest phase – with more than 200 major engineering decisions made during this latest phase – the team has optimised the configuration, efficiency and performance criteria of the entire power station , which has increased its expected power capacity, without additional cost, from 440 megawatts (MW) to 470MW.

The refreshed design features a faceted aesthetic roof; an earth embankment surrounding the power station to integrate with the surrounding landscape; and a more compact building footprint, thanks to successes optimising the use of floor space.

These changes appear to be positive ones.

Transformation To A Focussed Business

Rolls-Royce are transforming the current consortium to an as yet unnamed stand-alone business, as detailed in this paragraph from the press release.

With a focus on continuing its progress at pace, the UK SMR team is transitioning from being a collaborative consortium to a stand-alone business, which will deliver a UK fleet of power stations to become a low carbon energy bastion alongside renewables, while securing exports to make the power station a key part of the world’s decarbonisation toolkit.

Are Rolls-Royce aiming to repeat the success they’ve had with Merlins in World War II and large turbofan engines for airliners with small modular nuclear reactors that decarbonise the world? The strategy is certainly not going against the heritage of the company.

Use Of A Small Modular Nuclear Reactor

This paragraph from the press release outlines a few uses.

The power station’s compact size makes it suitable for a variety of applications, helping decarbonise entire energy systems. Each power station can supply enough reliable low carbon power for around one million* homes, or be used to power net zero hydrogen and synthetic aviation fuel manufacturing facilities, desalination plants or energy intensive industrial sites.

Their size would appear to increase the number of applications.

Hydrogen Production

I particularly like the idea of using an SMR to produce hydrogen for chemical feedstock or to make steel.

I indicated this in Will INEOS And Rolls-Royce Get Together Over Hydrogen Production?

I estimate that a 470 MW SMR would produce around 4,900 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The numbers certainly seem convenient.

Cost Of Energy And Capital Costs

Tom Samson, Chief Executive Officer of the UK SMR consortium is quoted as saying.

Nuclear power is central to tackling climate change, securing economic recovery and strengthening energy security. To do this it must be affordable, reliable and investable and the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings down its cost to be comparable with offshore wind at around £50 per megawatt-hour.

Hinckley Point C has a strike price of over £80 per megawatt-hour.

The release also gives a price of around £2.2 billion per unit dropping to £1.8 billion by the time five have been completed.

Benefits To The UK

The press release lists these benefits to the UK.

  • create 40,000 regional UK jobs by 2050
  • generate £52 billion of economic benefit
  • have 80% of the plant’s components sourced from the UK
  • target an additional £250 billion of exports – memoranda of understanding are already in place with Estonia, Turkey and the Czech Republic

The value of exports would indicate export sales of over a hundred reactors.

Lifetime

The press release indicates the following about the lifetime of the reactors.

  • The reactor will operate for at least 60 years.
  • The design, which will be finalised at the end of the regulatory assessment process, proposes that all used fuel will be stored on each site for the lifetime of the plant.

I would assume that Rolls-Royce are developing a philosophy for taking the SMRs apart at the end of their life.

Construction

This paragraph from the press release talks about the construction process.

The power station’s design cuts costs by using standard nuclear energy technology used in 400 reactors around the world, so no prototyping is required. The components for the power station are manufactured in modules in factories, before being transported to existing nuclear sites for rapid assembly inside a weatherproof canopy. This replicates factory conditions for precision activities and further cuts costs by avoiding weather disruptions. The whole sequence secures efficiency savings by using streamlined and standardised processes for manufacturing and assembly, with 90% of activities carried out in factory conditions, helping maintain extremely high quality. In addition, all spoil excavated will be reused on site to build the earth embankment, removing the need for it to taken off site, reducing road journeys that are both financially and environmentally costly.

I have talked to project managers, who have assembled factory-built railway stations and their experiences would back the Rolls-Royce method of construction.

My project management knowledge would also indicate, that the construction of an SMR could be much more predictable than most construction projects, if the factory-built modules are built to the specification.

Funding

According to the article in The Times, the consortium now seems to be in line for £215 million of Government funding, which will unlock £300 million of private funding.

Conclusion

It looks like this project will soon be starting to roll.

 

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , | 1 Comment

My INR Readings Before And After My Second AstraZeneca Jab

I am on long-term Warfarin after a serious stroke.

I also measure my own INR using a simple hand-held meter.

So with all the fuss about the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots, I thought I’d do an experiment around my second dose of the vaccine.

I maintained a constant Warin dose of 3.5 mg, which is the daily dose, I have agreed with my GP.

I maintained a reasonably constant diet. That is fairly easy if you’re coeliac and on a long-term gluten-free diet, as I am.

measured my INR every morning.

These are my results.

  • April 12th – 2.3
  • April 13th – 2.8
  • April 14th – 2.8
  • April 15th – 2.9
  • April 16th – 2.5
  • April 17th – 2.3
  • April 18th – 2.3
  • April 19th – 2.4 – 2nd Jab
  • April 20th – 2.2
  • April 21st – 2.2
  • April 22nd – 2.6
  • April 23rd – 2.5
  • April 24th – 2.4
  • April 25th – 2.7
  • April 26th – 3.0
  • April 27th – 2.7
  • April 28th – 2,5
  • April 29th – 3.0
  • April 30th – 3.1
  • May 1st – 2.9
  • May 2nd – No Data
  • May 3rd – 2.8

It would appear that the results have been less stable since the second jab.

I am a Control Engineer with a B. Eng. from Liverpool University and I’m not surprised at these results.

It’s just like the bounce you get when the wheel of your car hits a pothole.

I would suggest that more research needs to be done.

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blood Clot Risk Eight Times Higher From Covid Than AstraZeneca Vaccine, Study Finds

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Telegraph.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The risk of a rare brain clot from coronavirus is approximately eight times greater the risk presented by the AstraZeneca jab, a University of Oxford study has found.

The research, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, and compared blood clot rates among 500,000 coronavirus patients with data from the roll-out of 34 million vaccine doses across Europe.

I will certainly be having my second AstraZeneca jab next Monday.

This press release on the Astra-Zeneca web site is entitled Oxford Phase III trials interim analysis results published in The Lancet.

This is an extract.

In addition to the Oxford led programme, AstraZeneca is conducting a large study in the US and globally. In total, Oxford University and AstraZeneca expect to enrol more than 60,000 participants globally.

The Telegraph article also says this.

The incidence of rates for cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) – a rare blood clot on the brain – is 39 per million coronavirus patients, while it is five per million recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Note that five per million is 0.3 per 60,000.

Any participant, who got a blood clot in the AstraZeneca Phase III trial would have been a very unlucky person.

Those who say, that the AstraZeneca vaccine was rushed and that many more people should participated in the trials may have a point.

But countering that is my belief that data analysis has improved so much in the last twenty years that all the data on all the vaccines has been so thoroughly analysed by some of the best data analysts and analytic software, that most more common problems have been identified.

 

 

April 15, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 8 Comments

UK Medicines Watchdog ‘Considers Limiting Use Of Oxford-AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine In Young’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The medicines watchdog is considering restricting use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in younger people, it was reported last night.

Channel 4 News said sources had told it that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) could decide as soon as today after concerns about very rare cases of blood clots potentially linked to the vaccine.

I’m, no medic, but I do find, I got a different reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine to that of my friends.

But I am coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet and have therefore got a strong immune system.

I believe my immune system gave the vaccine and its carrier a bit of a kicking.

But then it did that four months ago, with a pneumococcal vaccine.

There is a peer-reviewed Danish study, which I wrote about in A Danish Study On Links Between Coeliac Disease And Blood Clots.

I just wonder if there is a link in there somewhere.

All those, who have suffered blood clots after having the AstraZeneca vaccine should at least be tested for coeliac disease.

 

April 6, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Have I Got Thrombophilia?

I was chatting on-line on The Times last night with a guy or even a girl, as their nick didn’t indicate gender.

I had said that a Danish study had shown that there were links between coeliac disease and blood clots. I wrote about this study in A Danish Study On Links Between Coeliac Disease And Blood Clots. Two of my on-line friends have since responded to that post with stories of coeliacs and blood-clots.

I got this reply from the person, I was chatting with.

There are some studies linking coeliac condition and the Factor V Leiden thrombophilia mutation. Several members of my family have (or had, since some have passed away) both conditions. I have the Factor V Leiden, as have both of my children. I do a lot of family history and have traced the Leiden mutation through triangulation of DNA matches and shared chromosome matches (via Family Tree DNA which goes into such detail) and I believe this is pointing to my Swedish ancestry.

I replied  and asked if the person had coeliac disease.

This was the reply.

I had some tests and a biopsy about 30 years ago to see if I had inherited the coeliac condition which had cut a swathe through my mother’s side of the family. It was negative, but I do suspect that I may have passed it on to my son. He’s not keen on getting tested although he did get a Leiden Factor V test and he is heterozygous for that. My mother, aunt, grandmother and cousins have coeliac and Leiden. Some have both and some have one or the other.

My mother was young enough to get proper advice, but my grandmother had a terrible time. She just literally faded away. Her treatment was eating raw liver and having injections of liver which left lumps under her skin. Awful.

I then looked up thrombophilia on Wikipedia. The picture of a red leg in the entry could have been of me, except that with me, It’s the other leg.

The NHS web site also gives useful information.

I need to see an expert urgently!

But at least, I’m already on the likely medication – Warfarin.

So it’s hopefully just a case of keep taking the tablets.

I must admit, I’m slightly annoyed with the medics. I have never been told, that there is a link between coeliac disease and blood clots, when evidence from the Danish peer-reviewed study and people I’ve met on-line clearly shows there is a link!

Given, all the arguments about the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots, more research needs to be done.

April 3, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Danish Study On Links Between Coeliac Disease And Blood Clots

I am a coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet.

I am worried that the covids might prey on people like me, so I am researching hard to find out the truth.

Note that in much of Europe, North America and Australasia, coeliacs are at least 1-in-100 of the population and could be higher.

This morning I found on the Internet, a peer-reviewed Danish study which was entitled

Coeliac Disease And Risk Of Venous Thromboembolism: A Nationwide Population-Based Case-Control Study

The nation in the study was Denmark.

This was the introductory paragraph.

Patients with coeliac disease (CD) may be at increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), i.e. deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and its complication pulmonary embolism (PE), because they are reported to have hyperhomocysteinaemia, low levels of K-vitamin-dependent anticoagulant proteins, and increased levels of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor.

One thing in this summary screams at me. The mention of vitamin-K!

Ten years ago, I had a serious stroke, that because of modern clot-busting drugs failed to kill me.

I am now on long-term Warfarin and know I have to eat a diet without Vitamin-K.

Given that in a nation like Germany with a population of eighty-three million, there could be nearly a million coeliacs, many of whom will be undiagnosed, this Danish study should be taken seriously, as it should be able to predict the number of clots down to coeliac disease in Germany. But I’m just an engineer and statistician and no medic. Although after the medical troubles of my family, I know a lot more medical knowledge than I did twenty years ago.

An article in The Times, also says that all but two who suffered clots after having the AstraZeneca vaccine were women.

It should be noted that the NHS states on its web site, that women are three times more likely to suffer coeliac disease than men.

I am absolutely certain, that more research needs to be done.

March 31, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Blood Clots In Young German Ladies After AstraZeneca Vaccine

There have been various reports that young ladies in Germany have suffered blood clots after having the AstraZeneca vaccine.

I am coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet.

The UK, Ireland and Italy are generally fairly good at identifying coeliacs, as they suffer from so many side effects, one of which is strokes.

I had a stroke and a cardiologist thought it could have been because I wasn’t diagnosed until fifty, so my diet damaged my heart muscle causing atrial fibrillation.

My father, who I now believe was coeliac, died of a series of strokes.

I do wonder, if Germany doesn’t look for coeliacs, as they should, partly because it is a Jewish disease in their minds. Certainly finding gluten-free food in Germany can sometimes be difficult.

It should also be noted that the NHS says that there are three times as many coeliacs who are female.

Conclusion

This adds to the circumstantial evidence that coeliac disease is the alligator in the swamp of Covid-19.

 

March 31, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blood Clots And Vaccines

I had a little bit of trouble with my Roche Coaguchek INR meter yesterday and had to phone Roche.

I indicated that I would soon be having my second AstraZeneca jab and measuring my INR before and after as a medical experiment.

I was then told that all vaccines can cause blood clots. That can’t be right?

But Roche should know!

March 26, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 5 Comments