One I don’t know the answer to:
Blast furnaces such as the one at Scunthorpe make steel from scratch and, once shut down, are more or less impossible to replace. Greener, less energy-intensive electric arc furnaces, of which the UK has four, can make steel by recycling scrap. At present, though, they do not achieve the quality levels that a blast furnace can, at least not without incurring great expense in removing impurities.
And the ability to make such high-grade steel domestically is crucial to a nation’s defence capability. Steel is used in aeroplanes, ships, guns, tanks – more or less everything the military uses. If Scunthorpe were to close, the UK would be left with one blast furnace, at Port Talbot in Wales, which does not make the same products.
They’re right about the difference between a blast and arc furnace. Sorta right about the quality – the big change in modern steel is how much closer an arc can now get to the quality of blast furnace steel.
But military steel? High quality? Not really sure about that at all. Anyone know?