Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Turning off for a while

I'm in another depressive low cycle with regard to the blog. Normally, every morning I go through a lot of special search terms on the news to find special articles. Now I'm finding nothing, or I'm uninspired.

On the nuclear front, I think things will get nasty, so that means I'll run, since I'm a coward. They will continue the waste thing, and the new nuclear without spending a cent on geology, and just running on phony soundbites ("Meets our expectations"). The 'panels' will be stuffed with toadies. They will use ancient arguments for the seismic issue. The CSA standards will be ridiculous.

So, I'm not combing the news from now on. Perhaps we'll have a nice big earthquake in our area, and I'll wake from the dead...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Free Garmin topo maps for Ontario

As I prepare for my tiny canoe trip, I found a way to get 1:50000 topo sheets on my Garmin 60cx! This is great! You can find the img maps on Mapcenter2, and you just download them on the Garmin, making that stupid file name change. And voila! Ready to canoe.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer time, not much going on

The sunshine is really good for us depressives. You should get 10 minutes of un-sunblocked sun every day, for sufficient Vitamin D.

Now that the government has made its big announcement, we expect to have them go to sleep for the next few months. I expect a few more earthquakes this summer, because of the Sumatra earthquake-triggering, but most of them will be remote.

Next week, I start fishing for the rock bass to clear them out around the dock, to make room for my largemouth bass pets. I'm actually going on a few canoe trips, which is amazing for an old guy!

I'm not getting broadband at the cottage, since it is horrendously expensive. Maybe by next year, they will be reasonable, so, for now, I won't be doing any blogging from the cottage, since it is a total nightmare at dial-up speeds!

Friday, June 20, 2008

BSSA: The Starbucks Earthquake

I like this paper, because it introduced me to the concept of 'slab dessication', which is the drying out of the subducting slab. And where does all that water go, people? That's right, straight out the volcanoes, the giant a-holes of the earth!

This picture is great!

The basic idea of the paper is that there is very little room for this type of interslab earthquake, so they are most likely confined to only M7, and deep. Therefore (to me), they are of little consequence.

This picture confirms the very unique conditions for this type of earthquake. That doesn't say anything about the big sucker that is yet to come, but that is more of a tsunami threat, and shouldn't bother reasonably engineered buildings.

Radioactive Waste-land

The hysteria continues to be pumped up, about the Bruce Deep Geology Thingie. Luckily, it's only the crazy Americans.

Even though this waste thing is the most craziest idea ever, and has every appearance of being a total fiasco, it's not going to leak much. Luckily for us, radioactive particles are darn hard to spread around (unless you have a nuclear air blast!). The lighter particles such as Carbon 14, and Tritium instantly dilute themselves, and the heavy particles such as plutonium just sink.

If I were to design the ultimate dirty dispersal medium, which would be C-14 bucky-balls enclosing a Strontium atom, I would have a tough time. I could pour it right into the pristine water of Lake Huron, and it would spread everywhere, but it would never make it through the St. Clair River. That's because the open sewers, chemical waste and Zebra Mussels would mop everything up, and put it in to the gunky loon shit of the bottom.

I once went in a tiny submarine (on my picture) in Lake Ontario, off the Humber River. The shit-snow was incredibly heavy, so that you could hardly see!

Most likely, the Bruce thing will just be an economic disaster, just like the Beck tunnel. The biggest environmental effect will be the tons of grout they have to inject, which is pure carbon into the air! But I'll bet this issue doesn't get into the hearings!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Incompetent Bureacracy Destroys a Person

I have just got to note this article, since it reminds me of the old company, although, in Canada, we aren't so trigger-happy. Seems, the always-stoned IT department (so it appeared to me!), gave this totally clueless management-type a laptop. Unfortunately, it was not the famous Etch-a-Sketch from Dilbert, but something infinitely more sinister.

Everybody knows, the stoned IT guys are the biggest downloaders of porn and scooper-pooper of viruses, but nobody can catch them! They gave this guy a loaded laptop, with tons of porn viruses, and no firewall. After a while, they took it back and shot him! At least in the States, he'll have fun suing!

BSSA: Direct generation of PGV

This paper gets a bit more complicated, but I can still follow it, since I did some of this fault slip modeling myself. Basically, you set up a fault plane with distributed stress near failure, and you use wave propagation computer code. Then you let is snap in one spot. If you are lucky it spreads into a big giant earthquake! I did it with discrete elements and some fundamental physics. I don't know if these guys are using some fancy integrated shortcuts.

Click on it to see something readable! Once you set up the model, you let it rip! Here are the distributed slips for their model.

You can see that some areas on the fault have slipped more than others, and this is realistic. The next step (on another paper) is not to assume a single planar fault, but assemble it from multiple planes. This gives a lower PGV along the fault, but about the same in the big soil basins.

Members can see the video on-line, but that seems like too much work for me! Here is a snapshot of the PGV shooting away from the fault and hitting the Los Angeles Basin. This is a directivity blast, which is much the same as my thrust 'Fist of God', but is a lateral pulse along a strike-slip fault.

You can see the PGV pulse zooms on past LA, but starts the whole valley shaking. It wouldn't be pleasant there! Finally, we see the maximum PGV's generated by this 'Big One'.

Remember, it takes 0.5 m/s to damage a house, about 2 m/s to collapse things, and 4 m/s for things thrown in the air! (along with total destruction!). Still, we only expect 10-20% of total building stock destruction, since many structures are strong, and on solid foundations.

I love papers like this, since they make reporting in PGA, or 'spectral acceleration', or 'response spectrum', a total farce! The decent structural analysis, with absorbing elements uses explicit code with direct velocity time histories. Nevertheless, expect the Nuclear Industry to continue to use acceleration, since they are all very old guys, and we must take pity on them. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Transparent as mud

Ontario has officially redefined the word 'transparent'.

"We truly have a fair and transparent process. All three of them appreciate that we are going to select the one that's best for the long-term interest of Ontario," he said.

He's not quite a Clinton in the word-mucking business, but he's getting there.

Monday, June 16, 2008

World record PGA recorded in Japan

Until now, the highest has been in California, at about 2g. Now we've got 4 g! Of course, I consider that meaningless, I'd much rather have the PGV!

For me, this confirms another 'super quake', or super-shear 'Fist of God', thrust rupture. Good thing most people were on rock! I suspect the PGV on rock is not that high, perhaps under 0.5 m/s. I still haven't found the PGV for the Japan nuclear plant earthquake, which I suspect is about 2 m/s.

The next papers from the BSSA will show that the modern scientific world (the part that I respect) has moved totally away from PGA and is using PGV. Only the old nuclear world clings to PGA!

Darlington's the one!

And our Nuclear Idol winner is Darlington! Can't say I'm surprised. I'm looking forward to next season!

ps. this provides a bit more weight towards getting the AECL thing, since the PR says there's room for 4 reactors at Darlington, and I know there's not enough room for 4 AP1000's.

Earthquake corruption in China

Now that things have settled a bit, people can look at this whole corruption thing. It's amazing that the Chinese have been so open about the earthquake, that they are having trouble nailing this one back down. At least they aren't being attacked for causing the earthquake in the first place! (Dam!) :) Or maybe it was the big Sumatra earthquake increasing the thrust load?

But to put these things into perspective, it's just as bad in the rest of the developing world. Everybody puts up a building that can hold a coat of shiny paint! The incentives are all in putting up the building cheaply, using coat-hanger steel, and cheesy concrete (like the French!). Very few countries have the civic infrastructure to combat this.

Here in Canada, as in northern Japan, we have snow loads to keep us honest. They rest of the world has only infrequent extreme loads. In the States, they just give up for tornadoes and hurricanes, their cheap houses can't stand up to anything! Wait until there is a New York earthquake, then you'll see some corruption!

More blah, blah, on nuclear

Boy, have they been retreading these articles on nuclear.... Blah, blah, it's the only choice. Yada yada, it's expensive. blah, blah, Darlington was expensive.

Come on Big Media! Don't you have anybody with talent, or has the internet bled you dry? Get into blogging! I'm making a good 10 cents a month with my blog!

BSSA June 2008

I got the big thick journal the other day. This is a really good one for me, filled with all the things I love: super shear rupture, stress disturbance, triggering, etc. I dislike the horrible complex calculations of ground motion, since I think they far beyond the true uncertainties.

I start with a great paper, which describes the world-wide stress disturbance of a giant earthquake. Anyone who has done discreet modeling with sliding blocks knows that perturbations go way farther than expected, because the whole thing is a non-linear mess! And so it is with the earth.

The basic hypothesis involves this fact and looks for seismicity changes following giant earthquakes. It found a significant effect, especially when you sort out areas that would become more unstable by the stress disturbance (some areas would become more stable).

They used past data to refine the method, but then did a brave thing. They have calculated the 'weather report' of earthquakes, disturbed by the giant M9 tsunami Sumatra quake.

There is a good chance that all these red areas will be lit up like Christmas trees in the next few years. I haven't really checked whether China and Japan fit this, since you have to look at this stupid map with a magnifying glass, and there are multiple mechanisms within each zone.

So if you're wondering if there are a lot more earthquakes recently, maybe you're right! And maybe the Toronto area got a good whump, so crazy Harold will finally be vindicated! Muhaha!

Regional armpits unite against Bruce thingie

Yes, a very interesting article. This follows the Cleveland objection. All these people who live along the St. Clair River are objecting. But the truth is, that a good dose of radioactivity could improve these places!

I just love the quotes!

Marie Wilson, spokeswoman for Ontario Power Generation, said there is little to worry about because the project is in an investigative stage and far from a final decision.

With that reasoning, you should never comment about it, even though the period for comments is closing.

"We had some excellent, excellent indications that the expectations for the rock properties are what we expected," she said. "There's a growing consensus among the geoscientific community that the repository site is very suitable."

Ha! They don't release those results, so the only people that are supportive, are those who get a lot of money! They never did say what they 'expected', so they can always move this target.

She would not speculate about what scientists could discover to derail the project.

There is nothing they could discover, which cannot be spinned, under the closed, expertly filtered system. Here's an imaginary example: "We have found that the massively fractured rock, provides a low-stress environment for our repository. The water is stagnant, since we have not put in a repository yet, which is a long time from now."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nuclear sound-bite of the year!

"A nuclear fuel bundle is the most lethal object on Earth," said Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, who suggests a Chernobyl-type disaster could as easily happen at Gentilly 2 as anywhere else. "As we all know, accidents will happen."

Cited article.

OMG! Who can win in a sound-bite war? That's why I stay out of them, these guys are way too good! Still, none of these guys have quoted me.....

UK NHS computer system going down the tubes

I just love to collect these articles! Seems there's always a big system in the toilet! I wish they'd say which company was doing it, since there is only one that is big enough to botch things on this scale. And yet they always get the work! But maybe they have a percentage of success that is greater than one, so they can continue to schmooze the politicians....

Japan's earthquake early warning system a loser!

Sure, there was no hope for any type of early warning system, since this looks again like one of my 'super quakes' with a punching rupture, right under peoples' feet. There was an observation that the ground motion in some areas was almost totally vertical. So much for the old '2/3 of horizontal' rule!

The good news is that modern buildings stood up very well. They probably had a decent rock foundation in this mountainous country. You can see the pictures of all the rock landslide damage. At least Japan usually has some decent seismic monitoring, and we'll learn something, if they decide to tell anybody anything. Unlike that last earthquake that hit the nuclear station!

But once again, I think these 'early warning systems' are a pipe-dream.

Chaiten volcano still packs a punch!

Wow, this is the Energizer Bunny of volcanoes! And it looks like it's ready to show the world, that it's not over until the fat lady sings!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Britain trying to find a nuclear waste site

Somehow I find this type of effort a bit hopeless. As I've said before, there are very few suitable locations, and very few willing communities. The probability of having the two come together is vanishingly small.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The problem with molecular sniffing

So, let's let's say the loading boy at the local store is really a mad bomber, who makes up stuff in his basement. And say you buy a can of shaving cream from that store. All shit breaks loose! Has the 'Security Bureaucracy' gone nuts?

Wind lab blown away!

If you have to define Delicious Irony, then use this example.

At least BC is thinking about seismic upgrades

Poor BC, they are being blamed for being too slow in upgrading the schools. The acknowledged the problem in 2005, and are behind, as is usual with these big projects. The recent China quake has unleashed more criticism.

Of course, nobody has looked at the problem here in the Golden Horseshoe, so there isn't one!

Bruce CEO starts working on his consession speech

Yes, old Bruce-ary is starting the concession process by first saying he doesn't care who wins. Will he then give whole-hearted support to Darlbama, or just the half-way thing?

He is probably working on the next campaign to get Nanticoke elected!

Nuclear plant funds kelp forest

For some reason, this California nuclear plant is a real bitch to the environment. I can't understand why the discharge is cloudy -- air bubbles? the salt-water is precipitating?

Anyway the article is neat.

Nuclear reactors are expensive

So says the Big Guy. As I've said before, I don't think they can ever get the cost estimate right.

On the other hand, the cost of having no power is also expensive.

Speaking of power, we've been having a lot of power failures lately in Toronto. It's getting to be a pain to reset everything!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The fix is in for Darlington, and then Nanticoke

Well, according to the Sun. They don't have any inkling on what technology choice will be made. It's all very hush-hush.

Nanticoke is, of course, a bad a site as Bruce. But don't tell anybody, since it's fun to see how they can justify things on horrible sites.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

High dam may have triggered massive China quake

I like this article, since it has all the elements to be rational, although I can't confirm the facts. This is one of those things that should be looked at in detail, such as was done with the infamous mud volcano.

The dam was quite high, and truthfully, these things can only knock off a maximum of an M6 in the local area, because of fractal considerations, and the fault dimensions. You would be stretching it to start an M7, because that requires about 30 km of disturbance.

But an M6 or 7 can tip the first domino, if everything else is ready to go! An M8 is just 30 M7's all strung together. I just know that I wouldn't want to be shooting off M6's in that powder keg!

Thus, as the man says, an M8 was inevitable for the area, but maybe not for another 100 years. A detailed look at the seismic records could confirm a non-linear increase in earthquake energy for the dam, but why do I think this isn't going to happen? They got enough problems with the shoddy school issue, and I think they are going to sit on this.

Personally, I'm happy with the statement that the dam triggered this massive quake, but who am I? And does it really matter?

Cottage prices starting to crack

High gas prices will drive cottage prices into a lower cycle. This happened during the great inflation of the late 70's and the minor recession of the early 90's. This past weekend I only saw one idiot in a giant cigarette boat zooming across the lake in 30 seconds! Then he followed the shore, which gave him a whole 3 minutes! (and $50 worth of gas!).

The article says that prices won't fall, but that depends on how many people are desperate to sell.

Simon gives edge to Darlington, in Nuclear Idol contest

At the end of the month, we should know who the winner is! Will it be the young kid, Bruce, with lots of teeny-bopper fans? Or will it be the more experienced Darlington, with its sultry tones of corporate backing?

They have yet to open the phone lines on this one. So far, the secretive judges want to keep this one all to themselves!

AECL to soar with the eagles!

From this article.

On my cottage road, which is about 8 km of gravel into a wild forest, is an apparent population surge of wild turkeys. These are magnificent birds, and are highly protected by the government. If you take out competition from hunting humans, these birds do quite well for themselves against the local predators, such as wolves. They can defend themselves, and can actually fly a short distance to low branches.

I drive a lot slower now, watching out for these stupid birds, which suddenly appear before you, without a care in the world!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Well blowout started the mud volcano

Well,,,, we finally know what started the big old mud volcano in Java. There was a very high spike of pressure, probably gas and water, that eroded out the drill stem, and the rest is history.

Although they had put in some sort of blowout preventer, it was not enough. The question is whether anything would have been enough, or perhaps they just should not have been drilling there. I can't see that anyone had foreseen something like this happening. As for the actual mud volcano, it has blown out like a giant zit, and is now cratering.

Greek earthquake

It is useful to compare the pictures from Greece, as opposed to those from China. The Chinese earthquake was a monster 'super quake', and the Greek earthquake was a thousand times smaller.

Greece is very interesting because of the tectonics. That whole area is a zone of thin crust, which is being pulled like toffee. That results in beautiful islands which are essentially normal faulted blocks, which have fallen into the earth. A Greek island typically has one very steep side, and one with a smooth slope, indicating a tilted block.

Earthquakes happen all the time in area, but the overall strain rate is much less than the Himalayas, meaning that for any given spot, it might be hundreds of years between quakes, and these quakes don't spread the damage very far, because of the thin crust. That is why everybody merrily makes their houses out of rubble! The beautiful island of Santorini is a disaster waiting to happen!

Note the perfect slope of the tilted blocks!

The thin crust also gives rise to civilization-busting volcanoes!

ps. scratch that comment of a tilted block in the picture! This is ancient volcano and caldera country. I wish I could go and check it out!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Putting up the Barrel Sauna

Here's my video of the whole thing! Boy, I could put up a second one real smooth!

Seismic retrofit from Hell

A very interesting story. Imagine not having the rights to do construction on the expressway from underneath! Must have been much cheaper at the time!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dragonflies arrive!

Been working at the cottage putting up my Barrel Sauna. Zillions of bugs, and it's difficult working in a space suit. Should have the video out soon! No broadband at the cottage yet, so my posts have gone down to nothing!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bruce wins the Democratic nomination!

Yes, they have 14,000 signed delegates, as opposed to Darlington, which has ZERO! That should clinch the nomination tonight, but, you know, that tough bitch Darlington never gives up.....

More tarring

I just love this whole AECL tarring thing, that I designed a t-shirt!

ps. I just thought somebody should sell this at the big nuclear party this week in Toronto!

AECL tarring rebutal

A rebuttal to the hilarious 'Don't tar me, bro!' comment by AECL. It mentions that the Maples were not 'cutting edge', but were designed as large production isotope factories. As such, the reliability standards would be a bit different.

Global leaf index

Another picture from Modis.

This is a fantastic image showing the amount of leaf cover in April. The tan means no leaves, and the dark green means extensive cover (several layers). North America probably doesn't have its leaves out yet. I was wondering about the area around Chaiten, but they don't have any data there.

Detroit wakes up to deep geology thingie

An article from Detroit mentioning the Bruce 'Leaky Cauldron' (yeah Potter!). I especially like the OPG response, citing the 'superior geology' that will stop all chance of leaks.

But anyway, you can locate near the lakes, or right under them, if you have a diffusion situation, which means extremely tight and impermeable rock.

ps. I was just thinking that when the Sir Adam Beck tunnel boring machine finally gets hopelessly stuck, the uncompleted tunnel would make a great nuclear waste disposal facility! Just backfill the tunnel with nuclear waste! That Queenston shale is very impermeable, even though it doesn't hold up, but the rock squeeze will just seal up the waste forever!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another phony 'earthquake excuse' bites the dust

There have been two disasters where poor innocent earthquakes have been blamed. One is the giant mud volcano, and another is the Crandall mine disaster. Now the earthquake thing is dismissed for the mine.

I hope this leaves things clear, to properly blame earthquakes, when they are 'at fault'!

Chaiten plume

Another great Modis picture of the ash plume. I would have expected the whole area to be white by now, but maybe the rain keeps washing things away. It will be interesting to see how Nature recovers from this. Once things settle, the ash is very fertile.

Bunk beds are death traps!

I just saw this article, and thought of the bunk beds we had for the boys when they were little, and the bunks we have at the cottage. I think it depends on how wild the kids are. It also says the dorm injuries are high, because college boys are idiots! I especially like the part that says the brain doesn't properly lay in risk/reward mechanisms until the age of 25.

Of course with all these things, you have to put in some perspective. If the kids are wild, are bunk beds the biggest threat? If the young males are idiots, do they get killed by bunk beds or motorcycles?

Mud volcano may collapse

Interesting news article, although I'm not generally fond of Science Daily. Seems that researchers confirm that the drilling pricked this bubble of mud, and that it will eventually collapse into a big hole.

Tarring AECL

A spirited defence of AECL, by the person who gets paid a lot to do it. Don't you think that the recent AECL troubles have a teeny-weeny impact on wondering whether the new reactor will work?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Teton dam failure

A great set of pictures showing the worst case scenario for those landslide lakes in China. They seems to be draining them successfully.

Chaiten update

Boy, you can't find much on this volcano, perhaps because it is still boringly shooting a zillion tons of ash into the air. But this picture has the caption that it is starting to pour out lava, which would be a change.