Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cost overruns

I'm just collecting articles about cost overruns in preparation for new nuclear plants.

Blackberry Overtime

Some union is complaining that if their members get a Blackberry, then they'll be abused. I'm not laughing out loud at this, since I detect a 'low humour threshold' here. When I had my corporate Blackberry, I said I needed it for the next earthquake. In other words, when I actually felt an earthquake I would actually answer it! I found it very nice for sending sick notes!

In other words, people make their own worlds. What's the consequence of not answering the stupid thing? They'll take it away? I can understand the plight of the poor climber-weasels attuned to every emission of gas from the boss, but they love their life.

So next time the boss says: "Jones, here's a nice lovely Blackberry.", just take the stupid thing!

Wind whackers make you go crazy!

Yes, another nail in the coffin of those wind things! I make a special effort of finding the most bizarre articles about bird blenders. Yes, I know, blah, blah, that the modern ones spin fairly slowly....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Highlights April 2008 BSSA

I just got my thick copy of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. This time they have a big section on a hundred years after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Most of the work has been in precisely modeling the ground motion of the earthquake. There were a few seismometers working at the time, there were reports of seismic shaking, and there were some land surveys done before and after.

One paper confirmed that there was 'super shear' rupture, and this may now be considered 'common' for large earthquakes. This means that the rupture proceeds down the fault plane at a speed greater than the shear wave velocity. As I have mentioned before, there was no great reason for having a shear wave limit on the rupture velocity, since it all depends on the critical displacement (amount of motion before the strength drop).

Although the rupture along the fault plane is shear, and the far field seismic wave is shear, you can have a compressive wave whipping up one side of the fault, and a tension (P-wave) on the other side. This makes for shear along the fault, and the speed of the rupture approaches the P-wave velocity as the critical displacement goes down to zero.

It all means that there is greater seismic ground motion near the fault. As I have said, it's a lot worse for thrust faults, where you get hammered by this 'Fist of God'.

They also did a lot more on local soil amplification, but I always feel they haven't done enough on this.

There is also a great field mapping of the giant Pakistan earthquake.

Citizens for Bruce C

Ah, Bruce C! I remember all the geotechnical prep work we did for that at one time. You better get moving Port Hope! These Bruce people all all over it!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lake Ontario being drilled for a new nuclear plant

But this one is on the south side! Seems another US plant might go up. Bet they won't have a woosy discharge tunnel!

Earthquake insurance withdraws from Reno, Nevada

I didn't realize some of the stuff in this article. They stop selling earthquake insurance after an M4, and it's only for super-major damage! Of course, lots of Americans now have houses worth less than the mortgage, so it's probably best to walk away after an earthquake.

Teens treated like vermin

It had to happen. The teen-vermin repellent has started to infest Canada. Imported from one of the most rapidly declining countries in the world, everybody who deploys one thinks it's great!

What is wrong with this picture? Why are there mobs of teens with nothing better to do? What does it mean if every mall and convenience store starts installing these things?

I think these things are a sign of social decay. Teens that are herded around, turn to crime, or become soccer hooligans! Edmonton shall now become the Britain of Canada! Next thing they'll do is put in the world's worst airport!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saving Port Hope

I was a bit dismayed to read how mob rule was being used in Port Hope to shoot things down. It doesn't matter what was shot down, it was the manner in which is was done, which signals to everybody that there is no hope here. So, I salute their embrace of backwaterism, but here is how I would do it differently.

They can take this if they want, it's a gift...


PUT THE HOPE BACK IN PORT HOPE!

We wish to embrace the future! We are not content to be a backwater, letting the world go by! And so we have decided to be the NUCLEAR CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!

Ontario has a serious problem. The want to put a nuclear waste repository in a geological sieve, and they want to build a new nuclear plant on a postage stamp, squeezed between a touchy nuclear plant, and a giant blasting quarry. We say "FIE ON IT ALL!" We will fight on the beaches, etc, to wipe out these ridiculous plans!

We offer the only decent new nuclear site in Ontario: Wesleyville! Furthermore, we wish to make it a low level, and well as a high level nuclear waste repository! We know that any radiation hazard is infinitely teenier than the Uranium Hexafluoride we've got brewing!

Since we are hauling OPG's ass out of the fire, we will demand a price of lower electricity prices in our development zone. With that, we will secure a decent electric furnace forging plant that can rub Japanese faces in the dirt! As well, bring on the Google Server Farms!

Of course, it will follow that we have a university, theater, and a place to get decent coffee! Young people will flock to our city centre, and not just to get a cheap house to work in Toronto! (If we're really lucky we'll get gay people!) Let Bowmanville keep their polar-bear killing, coal-burning cement plant, we got clean (and rich) industries!

Unlike those 'other' nuclear sites, Wesleyville is "Fish Certified"! A pox on those other useless sites! Port Hope is NUMBER ONE!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Nuclear panel jobs are starting to get doled out

Yeah, they are starting the great 'Nuclear Panel Extravaganza'. This week's winner is John Luxat, formerly of OPG, and now at McMaster. John is a very bright guy, but any 'nuclear expert' is going to get smeared with the old 'pro-nuclear' tar brush. (I use to run into him lots at the big company!)

Where are those 'anti-nuclear' nuclear experts that the greenie weenies want? By definition, I don't think they exist. I would always sign up as a 'Devil's Advocate' or 'Chief Shit-Disturber', whenever they need such a role to appear 'fair'. Still, those 'Nuclear Plants are Bombs' people wouldn't be satisfied, since I do know some science!

Ask Granny for Canning Tips

I just liked that quote in this article. Perhaps we have to go seriously back to canning the fruit from the backyard. We used to do that heavily when the kids were small. Now we just freeze the raspberries, and never know what to do with them!

Time to go out and plant beans now.

Don't Blanket the Earth with Sulfur!

Uhh, who is serious suggesting this? Anyway, we shouldn't do it because of all the ozone-huggers. I suspect that this experiment will be conducted soon, when the next big volcano blows.

Birds are Dinosaurs!

I knew it! All those cute birdies are really nasty dinosaurs, waiting for their next kick at the can, when the continents converge.

So watch out all you wind turbines, the dinos are going crunch you up into matchsticks!

OPG smashed down

OPG got swatted by the good Luddites of Port Hope. Ok, I'll stop pushing Wesleyville as a good site for nuclear, because these guys are crazy! Next, they'll probably stop a Google server farm, because it attracts aliens! (Everybody knows that!)

Poor OPG, where are they going to train those bureaucrats with guns? I must admit, I find the idea a bit scary, but then I think about them carrying guns without any training at all! (Ouch, my foot!).

Earthquake Stress Shadow: Fool's Paradise or Lucky Break?

Looks like earthquake activity is heating up again. A funny thing happened in North America during the 1800's. There were a number of big earthquakes popping off, and then nothing. For most of our 'modern' period, we have had nothing.

That's because when a big earthquake shoots it's load, there is a stress shadow which can last more than a hundred years. Thus, earthquakes are suppressed over a rather large area around each expended fault zone. Now, I know most people with say " So? Enjoy the moment!", but it gets us worry-warts worried.

Perhaps this 'vacation' is coming to an end. Who knows?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Madrid has shot its load?

That's what these people think, and now put all the action on the Wabash. Apparently there is some seismic monitoring there, and larger earthquakes have been located there recently.

Personally, I don't think 'Old Lady Madrid' is totally finished, for the young turks to take over. She is the active mechanism, the side faults are only a side show! Perhaps they can work themselves up to a 6, but that's it. Of course, Chicago would be even more surprised with a 6 barking at its door!

Gas doubling soon

The plumber who came over to install my new efficient hot water heater (through this Livclean program I talked about earlier), liked his big ugly pick-up trucks. Now his gas was costing him hundreds of dollars per trip, and he was getting rid of it, and going for a new, slightly more efficient GM pick-up truck! I just said, "Uh-huh".

Like I've said, this is really going to kill the cottage resale market, and big ugly boats. Things are going to be a lot more quiet on the dock. We used to have this noisy huge motor boat on the lake that would go out once a day and cross the lake in 30 seconds, and then go back! I guess the gas got too expensive even last year, and I didn't see it anymore. This year, maybe even the seadoos will quiet down, and quench the lager-louts (since they all drive big pick-up trucks!).

I just ordered a barrel sauna from Leisure Living, and I'll be spending more peaceful time getting hot, and jumping into the lake.

OPG 'Firing on all Cylinders'

Yes, it's good to know that the big guy at OPG earns every cent of his pay. Still, there is pressure to lower the salary of his minions, to the point that we'll never get any anybody but long-term bureaucrats to lead the nuclear charge.

Unfortunately, these people will never do anything bold, like opening up the company, and the nuclear plant process. We'll just have more ducking and weaving, and hiding under the proverbial rock.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

NB tries to saddle AECL with the jobs thing

Nothing adds more to incompetence than having the local buyer insist on 'jobs' for their locals. This mucks up into a big job welfare scheme. For NB, it should be happy to have a running reactor (as if that is ever going to happen!). But no, AECL has to specifically open up jobs at the local flea market.

This is a big article stating the obvious, but somewhat interesting.

One laptop project implodes

This was a great idea, although a bit commie! They might have done better keeping it as a research project, and issuing fundamental principles, instead of just pushing a piece of hardware.

Nuclear incompetence

This article, or editorial has a great title, but doesn't say anything. If they had read my stuff, they would have had a bit more of a clue.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For anybody who wants to keep XP

I went though Vista hell, and I appreciate anybody who wants to stick with XP, but if you hook into wireless at the airport, you are screwed! If you want to keep XP, then get one of these, and take off all the useless virus scanning, which doesn't help anyway.

Voldie ready to gut Elections Canada

Oh, oh,
we've heard these rumblings
before! Voldie is 'losing confidence' in Elections Canada. So what about this 'independent' thing! Time to ax its head, and bring in a toadie! It may be illegal, but that hasn't stopped him before.

And regarding this article. Have you noticed it's becoming a big game with those giant 'pre' splash screens. They're hiding the 'close me' button more and more. It's getting tinier, and hidden in random corners. And everybody is doing it! Not the Fish! I pick pretty ads, and they don't bother anybody!

NaNuke of the North

This article is mostly about Alberta political sleaze, but it does give me a great title, and future name for the Brucie II.

Turkey in a nuclear race with Ontario

Turkey is trying to beat us, in getting a nuclear plant up. Their secret choosing party is ending in September! Of course, they have this tiny problem of HUGE MONSTROUS EARTHQUAKES, but nobody's perfect!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bruce Power Hires the Bag Man

Who can blame them?

Not much seismic monitoring in the Wabash Valley

Over the years, I have read a lot of papers about this seismic zone. It's a bit sad that the really big zone next door sucks in all the money. That's only for St. Louis and Memphis. What about Chicago? Don't they deserve their monitoring?

I have to laugh, because all the seismic monitoring in the States is a result of local concerns. Every tiny state university has a seismic monitoring network. That's why I probably can't get a single map of seismic coverage for that area. And if the pork does start to flow, it will probably be by state.

The Wabash is a branch fracture zone, and is greatly affected by what happens south of it. It's probably a factor of ten less active than New Madrid, but it can pop off some big earthquakes. The important thing is that it is closer to Chicago, which is woefully unprepared for earthquakes. I'm sure that they have the Mexico City 1 Hz buildings on 1 Hz soil (or 0.5 on 0.5), which will make for interesting times if they get an M 6 or 7 down there.

Gov't should get out of the fields

Food prices are soaring in the world, and the recent Economist blames gov't interference. Now is the time to do the decent thing, and withdraw from all this while the prices are high. Canadian farmers are planting more wheat this year, which is one of the most controlled crops. Let the fields be free!

Toronto housing market killed by repricing of risk

Everybody goes on and on about how the lower interest rates will prop up the housing market. Well, none of those lower Bank of Canada rates are doing anything to the cost of borrowing. As well, the banks may be shunning new buyers who generally stretch themselves out quite a bit to buy a new house.

The resale housing market is now dead, and I'm waiting for the condo crash, which should be delayed several months until people have to take possession. Many people put on 2 year deposits for a larger condo, assuming they would quickly sell their starter condo, once they had to take the new one.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

FEMA tries to bask in Chicago earthquake glory

I can't believe this! This earthquake has been such the talk of the town in Chicago. Even my sister from Chicago called me to say how all shook up she was! A lot of Chicago is built on pure swamp crap, so they had tremendous amplifications. I wonder what will happen if a real earthquake hit?

Anyway, after totally ignoring this fart of an earthquake, there must have so much political fuss that FEMA had to climb out from under its rock. Good for them! Glad to know they're on the job, in case this earthquake developed gangrene, or something!

Neat seismic retrofit

I collect these articles. Seismic retrofit is some of the more interesting work in the earthquake universe. In this case, they are strengthening a ratty old reservoir. As we know, San Francisco has to make an effort to maintain its water supply, when the earthquake hits.

Consumers pay for cost overruns

Well, duh! Who else is going to pay? The biggest illusion that Ontario is spinning is that they will be fully protected from cost overruns, by making the whole thing private. It's not going to happen, folks!

Nuclear projects can slip a billion over at the drop of a hat. Look at the Areva 'cheesy concrete' fiasco in Finland. Do you think private industry can absorb that? In this risk-averse climate of today, is anybody going to get into that?

Ontario would only want the AECL experiment if Ottawa backed the cost overruns. Who pays for that? Time to get off the good drugs, Mr. Ontario.

'Wake up call' articles on Chicago earthquake

I was waiting for articles like this! The Illinois earthquake is a 'wake up call'. Of course, if we had a felt earthquake in Toronto, I would also call it a 'wake up call'.

This earthquake happened in the fringe zone of the New Madrid system. Most likely these earthquakes are a result of stress disturbance from the main fault. In the same manner, most of our earthquakes in the lake are probably caused by the Hamilton fault, in the hanging wall.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Best of The Fish - July 2007

Cornwall Earthquake 1944

-I just like this one because it is my most likely scenario for Toronto. And oh what a mess that will be!

Good-bye AECL

-I wrote a few of these things, and I can't believe AECL is still around! Oh well, wrong as usual

Megathrust Ontario

-this was big article for me, good for going into the Bruce hearings.

Big Turtle

-lots of fun for me, gets me in the summer mood.

TVA Races for the Nuclear Bottom

When you're feeling gloomy about Pickering and exploding transformers, look no further than the TVA! They, too, tried to bring a reactor back from the dead, and are having trouble running it. Apparently the US NRC has placed on the bottom of the US. Are they the bottom of North America? Who knows?

Lexmark x9350 is not for Linux

Ok, I got the scanner and printer. I found out that the reason it's cheap is because it's discontinued. It hooks directly to Ethernet, but is uses a bizarre direct binary networking that only works with XP. They have no intention of going to Linux, and, in general, Lexmark is very Linux unfriendly.

Luckily, I still have an XP computer on the network. The advantage of networking is that I can have the scanner in the basement, and the XP computer can be upstairs. The software converts scans to pdf, so I can zoom them down to the Linux machines.

The automatic feed is tricky, but does work with photos. The scanner is very fast, compared to the old one.

To get something better would be to go up to a full pdf network scanner, and those things are very expensive. I'm keeping it.

ps. the document feeder really doesn't work for photos, but using 150 and the flatbed is pretty fast, and you can pile a lot of photos on the xp machine.

New Brunswick goes for AECL

They had a really big party for nuclear. NB is gung-ho for the ACR1000, and Ontario is super-secret. Like I've said, if we don't set up our own steel forging plant, we have to go down this road, as well.

I suppose that if I cut all this sniping, and went rah-rah for all these nuclear things, then maybe I could get on a panel? No, I think I actually started this blog so I could never get sucked back in...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pickering unit 7 still out

Yeah, I found some confirmation! It's like pulling teeth! A ground fault with the monster transformer isn't a little tingle, it probably left a hole 3 feet deep! Anyway, the fact that it's still out means the issue is big. Like I said, if they have to replace the transformer, it could take *forever*, since I don't think they have a replacement lying around, and this time they will have to address the sinking foundation. For Unit 5, they just jammed in some shims!

Thank god, Unit 8 is still out. Can't wait till they fire up that baby!

Tiny M4.6 US earthquake causes damage

This is so exciting! Finally, we get out first ENA earthquake since The Fish started!

This is just up the river from the big ugly jagged thing, know as the New Madrid seismic zone.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Duke as close-lipped as OPG

Here's another situation, where the cost of nuclear plants has zoomed through the roof, and nobody wants to talk about it. It's a commercial secret, blah, blah. Well, we take comfort that we aren't the only ones with a big dirty sack pulled over our heads...

Another earthquake plan for the US

A big NIST plan is open for public comments in the US. I'm not going to read it, since they always talk big and never do anything. If California wants to do anything, they have to open up another bond, and go deeper in debt. If the science has to be funded, it has to go through the pork market in Congress. I just hope they get some decent seismometers. Having one per state just isn't going to cut it.

As I have said before, my dream is that they decently instrument the big ENA seismic zones, and confirm my hypothesis, which is hanging by a thread with only one zone reporting in (Hamilton). You really have to get these smaller zones because the really big ones (New Madrid and Charlevoix) have too many complications.

My encryption public key

This is neato! With all this talk about email imposters, and the government snooping everywhere, I thought it was a good idea to look into encryption. I got Firegpg which can be used with gmail. You first create a public and private key. The public key you can put on your website, or email it to people. You keep the private key. Here's my public key:

-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)
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=d3FY
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

You put that into a file Harold_Asmis.asc and import it. Now I can sign all my emails, and you can verify it came from me. If you really want to up it up a notch, you encrypt the whole message with my public key and send it to me. Only I can decrypt it.

I think if more people start using this for garbage mail, then it provides a good cover, in case you need it for real (I'm thinking Corporate here!).

Getting a Linux scanner

My old scanner just packed it in. That's ok, because I picked it out of some corporate garbage years ago, and put in a new power supply. Linux is great for attaching old crap, but not so great for the new.

In fact, I found that simple scanners are a rare commodity. When I took a list of available scanners, and compared them to the Sane compatibility list -- no matches! I was screwed!

Then I thought, get a network scanner! They're like a thousand bucks! Especially since I've got a zillion old photos, and I wanted a document feeder.

But then came the Eureka! moment. I found these 'all-in-one' things on Costco.ca . The scanner comes mounted on a cheap ink-jet printer, but they subsidize these things to hook you on cartridges. I found a scanner with document feeder, and ethernet for $249! With a networked scanner, you don't have to worry about compatibility, they do pdf's that can be shipped to a storage location (I hope!), or else just taken off a web server. I'll let you know how it works out.

More doom and gloom for California

Amazing that the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake caused a financial panic in 1907. Were the event to repeat today, it would be ugly.

This is but one of the zillion articles created by the general statement that there is bound to be at least one big earthquake in California in the next 30 years. Ya think? This was so obvious that I'm surprised it created such a sensation.

AECL mucks TransCanada

Yes, poor old TC has had to cough up more bucks to cover AECL difficulties. This press release does a wonderful job of sugar coating everything, but anybody can read between the lines.

The steam generators are perfect, the turbines are fabulous, but the retubing is a mess. Of course, they have learned from their mistakes, yada, yada.

Houses evacuated for slope stability problem

That really sucks! You have brand new houses, and suddenly a huge crack opens up on the slope. Was the city that desperate for tax revenue? Would the whole place go in an earthquake?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New way to get rid of nuclear waste

The Nuclear Sludge Bar, is the latest attempt to get rid of nuclear waste, by feeding it to kids! It's a perfect ploy, since kids eat all sorts of unhealthy crap. There are difficulties, however, in covering that unique Plutonium aftertaste!

The Best of the Fish - June 2007

It looks nothing will come from the super-secret political schmoozing of choosing a new nuclear plant. And there's still a gap before the hilarious Bruce hearings start. So I'm preparing for cottage season, by issuing a Greatest Hits album. You always know that somebody is over the hill when they do this!

The Cliff

-relevant now because so much is super-secret

Jurassic Fish

-I still can't get over that fish!
-discussion about Wesleyville shows why the new nuclear plant should be there.

State of Stress

-I wanted to write about this, and there it was!
-amazing I can't remember anything

Fish Finders

-this reminds me on how they haven't done anything for the new Darlington build, they might be surprised.

Claptrap Society

-this is one of my all-time fav. articles
-it's as true as the day I wrote it, especially for the old company, where my old section is breaking up.

Swamp Gas

-I'm only mentioning this, because I got all these UFO people with this.

California attitude

I just love the Californian attitude towards earthquakes. They just say "Bring it on!". And I can't really blame them, since everybody is predicting some sort of dire event, just to get some money.

Get Thee to a Colonoscopy

I finally recovered from my colonoscopy , which really isn't all that bad. Everybody over 50 should get one. In Ontario, you can go to a clinic which charges $80 over standard OHIP, and you get far better service, as well as pretty pictures.

The day before, you've got to take laxative bombs, and on the morning you are starving, but that's standard for any procedure. They give you some very nice drugs, and soon it's all over.

The advantage of getting one is that they can snip nasty growths right away and check them in the lab. If you are all clean and shiny, you only need one every 5 years. It's the best way to practically totally prevent colon cancer.

Pickering Unit 7 still unheard from

When I worked near Pickering, the only way I knew what was working was by looking at the steam release by the reactor. Why don't they put this stuff on their rather useless web site? Is it a state secret? Commercial secret?

If anyone is cruising by the station, have a look at the steam and let us know if unit 7 is up. Otherwise I have to assume it is still down, and they are looking to buy a new main output transformer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Funny article on Yuk-yuk Mountain

This article pretty well summarizes my thoughts on the issue. They'll never put a speck of used fuel in there. And the way Canada is going at it, I doubt we'll have much success here, as well!

Still moving along on Alberta nuclear

The big Bruce guy was giving an entertaining show at Peace River. He sounds like a regular Obama, I wish I could attend! There appears to be the small issue of finding rock, it appears they may be locating on an aquifer, but that's a small detail.

Monday, April 14, 2008

More new reactors spring up

Another day, another reactor announcement. This time it's in Wales, and will be an AP1000. That means it will be even more impossible to get the required steel forgings.

Star comment on nuclear

This is a short business comment on the upcoming nuclear beauty contest. I agree that the main issue is a lack of transparency. Luckily the relationship with Ottawa is so bad, that we may not have so much pressure to take the AECL reactor.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

US nuclear plants a tad better than Pickering

US nuclear plants had a general 92% capacity factor. And perhaps they aren't doing things to sacrifice long-term performance (no names here!). Shows we really have to go for the US Westinghouse design for our next nuclear plants.

Nuclear hearings in the US

This sounds like fun. An attorney, a nuclear expert, and an environmental guy. All three walk into a bar.... no, kidding! At least the panel judges got to do a lot of talking, and attempted to clarify the points of the nutsies.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Use Wesleyville for power generation

This is just an editorial, but I agree 100%. Wesleyville is the place to put 4 new Westinghouse AP1000's, forged in Canada. Of course, this is the totally rational approach, and therefore it will not happen. Instead we'll put a twin ACR1000 on the crowded Darlington site, excavate a set of new tunnels for water, and then discover 'Quel Horreur!', that we don't have room for another one! That, and finding out that the ACR1000 has startup problems (Shocked, shocked!).

Mediatomb problems

As I've mentioned before, Mediatomb is the fantastic media streamer that works great with a PS3. With streaming, you don't have to worry about loading movies separately on your playing device, it just works!

The latest update to Mediatomb on Debian caused everything to go wacky. What a disappointment on movie night! Eventually, I had to go directly to the source (SVN) and compile it. Such is the life, when you are living on the edge!

Friday, April 11, 2008

AECL and CNSC get it on!

They have signed something to review the ACR1000. We must do all our part, rah, rah, for this Canadian technology.

Questions for the CNSC (who will ignore this, because they have to be nice):

-does the fueling machine have to be even worse for this larger design? Currently, at Darlington, it is the most horrible thing ever. Does this scale up?

-does this scale up the water flow throw the fuel bundles? Dear CNSC, have a look at the earlier problems with Darlington.

-does light water in the fuel bundles create a negative void ratio? Are we just going to dismiss the chance of steam voids?

Of course, you know this will be a closed process. We won't even have a chance to get at the huge documents that the US NRC has, for example.

28 year old seismic analysis error

I think this article is a bit funny. First of all, a 30 odd year old program is bound to be totally wrong in the first place. And, as I've said before, pipes are practically immune from earthquakes. So this probably means that all along, they were more correct than wrong!

Why can't Canada do nuclear steel forgings?

The only rational course for new nuclear in Ontario is to pick the Westinghouse AP1000. This would work, and be very safe. The only problem is that everybody and their dog want to build these things, and there's only one tired plant in Japan that does the forgings.

It would be cost-effective to slip a company such as this, a billion dollars to increase their forging capacity to 600 tons. Right now, they're only at 15 tons, which makes it quite a stretch! The great thing is that after Ontario, they can export to the world, and we get our money back!

Right now I paint a gloomy picture of future nuclear in Ontario, since I don't believe that the AECL design will actually work. If somebody asks me "OK, smart ass, what's your solution?", then I'm ready for them!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blog approaching earnings milestone!

Yes, I have ads. I just pick the cute ones. I know that the type of people who read my blog don't sign up for things (conversions). I certainly don't! Nevertheless, I am slowly creeping up to the grand milestone of my first 5 bucks!

It's so exciting! I was just at the doctor for my physical, and he asked me, while his finger was up my bum, whether I made any money on this. I could say "Yess", almost 5 bucks! (Next week I'm getting the telescope up there!)

Pickering Unit 7 still not up

Every week I'll check in to report on Unit 7. As in my earlier post, I expect that the main output transformer (MOT) had a big short. It's really good that it didn't actually catch on fire, because that's when the huge douser sprays start and all that ucky transformer gunk gets washed directly into the lake!

I'm not asking my buddies what actually happened, since I don't want to get them into trouble (would be a witchhunt!). Since OPG never wants to say anything, I have fun assuming the worse! If it is the MOT, then we'll only find out by the unit being out for a few months. Those are a bitch to change out, *if* they have a replacement, since Unit 5 MOT was changed just a while ago.

The only reason Unit 8 MOT hasn't crapped out this spring is because that unit has been down *forever*. That MOT holds a world record for being the most abused transformer ever - takes a beatin' and keeps on tickin'!

ps. It's lickin' dammit! I was tortured for half an hour, wondering why it didn't rhyme. It's from the old Timex commercials.

US towns try to extract their pound of flesh

The US nuclear plants are making a ton of money from the fed's lack of a nuclear waste repository. Because of a contract, the fed's have to pay the companies to store nuclear waste. Now the local towns want a slice of that pie!

It comes from the fact that the plants made a promise when they were starting, that they wouldn't store waste there. Now, all the Great Lakes are lined end-to-end with waste casks! The US won't get too far with a central location, because each state can put up quite a fight.

Of course, in Canada, we're just as badly off. They have to find a town who wants the waste! And for some reason, these happy towns are all on shit geology, which can be easily turned into good geology, by hard PR spinning!

CNSC now has to hold its nose on NRU

And close its eyes, and not say anything! Yes, they are back in the saddle again! The CNSC goes back to regulating the NRU, after a forced hiatus. With their new toadie in charge, I'm not expecting anything from them for a while, unless the NRU actually blows up. Then I would expect a very stern "Tut, tut".

High Canadian dollar does weird things

Stat Can reports a higher trade surplus. This is a bit weird with the Can dollar being so high. Maybe the Toronto housing market won't crash after all (ha, ha!). I think these stats are a bit slow, so the chickens might still come home to roost.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More kamikaze birds attack wind whackers

This was in Japan, where the birds first learned their technique. A large wind turbine snapped it's blades in high winds. Soon they will all go! Muhaha!

Nuclear sticks out like a sore thumb

I just had to look at their infrastructure site! This is totally composed of the best bureaucrats Ontario has to offer. They have no openings for jobs, so I just assume they moved people over from "Sub-prime Mortgage Investment Ontario". In this long list, you realize that it is all hospitals! And then there's nuclear! One wonders how they got stuck with that job!

Not that building hospitals doesn't require a lot of brains! After all, look at all the successful new hospitals we have! I wish them the best of luck, and they have a whole new group at OPG who will 'help' them.

Darn Phone Spam!

I just had one now! Being retired, I actually answer the phone once in a while. During the day, all you get is phone spam! When the callers were poor local schnooks, I would immediately give a very cheery sing-song "I'm not interested, goodbye". I felt sorry for them, they always seemed so pitiful!

In the past couple of years, the major players, such as annoying charities, have gone for automatic dialers. That means you hear clicks, suffer a delay, while you holler "Hello, Hello?". I always hung up after the second hello, and they never got through!

Then they got smarter with the answering machine, and automatically left messages. Finally, we have the fully automated recording that responds almost immediately.

I'm sorry schnooks! I can no longer tell immediately if it is human or not. I shall now have to assume that all phone spam is automated, so I will instantly hang up.

And it's no use, Mr. Michael Geist, to have this 'do not call' list! All the latest phone spam courses over the internet, and has phony company names. Try stopping that! Next thing will be web phones with spam control (like Gmail!), or verbal challenges.

ps. Toronto Star, you are the last people in the world to use real live local schnooks. Give it up!

Still pushing earthquake clouds

If you look really hard for something, you will find it! In this case, if you scour the entire earth for any 'unusual' cloud pattern, somewhat associated with an earthquake, then it's there! The key to success is to not have any hypothesis of what this cloud pattern will look like. Using physics is a no-no! In fact, it's best to have no hypothesis whatsoever!

In this case, they spotted an atmospheric wave over a fault in Iran. Guess what? Those faults are always associated with topography! Those are the big interior mountain thrust faults I've always talked about.

The most dangerous things

Seattle's Viaduct is one of the top 10 most dangerous infrastructure things in the US. I guess they didn't consider the Gardner Expressway!

The trouble is that these things are 'unfixable', in the sense that they are so vital to the city, that you can't take them down. Everybody just hopes for federal money when the earthquake collapses it! Somewhat like those paper-thin dams in Katrina country.

Scenario: Earthquake and Terrorist Plot

This is a bit much for an earthquake scenario, but what the hey! Sounds like they're going to have fun.

Hydro One forced to cough up documents

The modern age slowly impinges on the dinosaur hydro companies. Now h-1 has to cough up all the old documents. This is funny, because they most likely do not exist! You've got to realize that when we were suddenly forced to split up to all these companies, it was like the Americans leaving Viet Nam. Documents were stuffed into cardboard boxes and shipped out to whatever. Not many survived.

In fact, over the years, I have always called our document record centres the Roach Motel; docs check in, but they don't check out!

The funny thing about h-1 is that they are caught in a delicious catch-22 situation. They got enough lines, as is, for Bruce, but they don't have enough if Bruce actually gets a new reactor. Of course, they can't say that! And Bruce can't put in another reactor, if they have no lines!

Boiling water design tossed for Ontario

This is big news for Ontario. GE-Hitachi has withdrawn their horrible reactor design. It looks like decisions are being forced upon Ontario politicians, whether they like it or not!

This leaves only 3 designs: the unobtainable AP1000, the copy-cat Areva thing, and the unworkable ACR1000. Let the race begin!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Identities become a commodity

Although this article had the usual fluff expected from a snake-oil anti-virus vendor, there was this interesting tidbit. Apparently the price of a stolen identity isn't what it used to be. This means that either the market is flooded with them, or that you can't use them like you used to. In the earlier days, you could take a stolen identity to a sleazy loan broker, and then they would attach the bad credit (in a sleazy credit rating) to the real person. You would spend a lot of effort to clear your name!

Now, everybody expects the identity to be stolen, so it's not worth as much. And who's to know if that 'package' you bought has real names that haven't been used before? It's not as though these guys are honest!

A good review level earthquake for Salt Lake City

Somebody has been thinking over in Utah. They took a recent M6 earthquake, and placed it right in the city. This is a good scenario earthquake, since it points out some major flaws, and it isn't so big as to cause mass destruction.

For Toronto, the scenario earthquake is about the same, maybe M5.7. I would think the effects would be about the same, as well. Of course, we don't really think about these things...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Pickering transformer packs it in

Hey, I need my buds to tell me if this is the main output transformer on Pickering unit 7. You can never tell anything from the public announcements.

If it is, then I'm amazed it's Unit 7 in front of Unit 8. Those things are the saddest transformers on the planet! No transformers in the world have taken so much abuse! Unit 8 has sunk something like a foot and continues to sink at a good clip. It's tilted more than a foot at the top!

If it's not the MOT, then forget I said anything.

Jobs sues any apple

This is so cute! Jobs is suing New York (The Big Apple) for daring to use an apple logo. It apparently 'closely resembles' their logo. I mean, can you make any logo out of an apple that isn't close?

Of course, Jobs will go after apple juice next, and maybe all apple-related fruit! (including pineapples!)

Death by blogging

Yes, that's me! Working hard by the computer, suffering the endless stress of meeting deadlines. Constantly worried that somebody will beat me by a millisecond! Well, time to have a snooze.

Tilting at nuclear windmills

With this article you can see how difficult it is to break into the quasi-judgey panel hearings. Of course, this lady may be completely nuts, and is after the wrong technical things, but it doesn't matter. I would never want to enter this hell, I don't have the serotonin juice for it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Now Italians want to pop up a nuclear plant pronto

Sure we can *do* it! Do you get the impression that absolutely everyone thinks they can poop in a nuclear plant without any site work? As long as somebody thought about it a long time ago.

Env Ass documents impossible to get

Ok, I broke down and was going to skim through the Bruce documents on the sly, looking for a laugh. I did want to see the results of the deep holes at Bruce, and find out where they want to put a new nuclear plant.

Oh such fun! None of the links anywhere actually lead to documents! They've totally hidden them! No wonder, none of the newspapers have reported this, too much work! Now I've actually had to write to them, pleading for documents. So much for my cover!

PS. I'm wrong!

These are only the 'crap' documents of guidelines, etc. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

More info on Cascadia earthquakes

This article provides some more information on Cascadia earthquakes, which are totally fascinating. I think they are stretching the data too much when they say that a large Cascadia earthquake has generally preceded a large San Andreas. But it is interesting that they have found fairly frequent earthquakes on the southern portion of the subduction zone.

Oh well, now Californians can drop their earthquake insurance until there is a big one up in Oregon!

Hospital blames media for hacking

I love this! These guys left old computers in an open dumpster for weeks, and blames the media for hacking, when they discover they're full of private data.

They were going to a sleazy scrap dealer, who you know would destroy them in a secure manner.

Al Gore teaches Canadians

I saw this, but I'm not saying anything...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Penny stock man schlepping nuclear plant

I love this one! This is actually worse than the 'planning' for a plant in Alberta. This guy didn't get enough money, so he's moving his grandiose plans to another county! Maybe after, the music man will go over to the next county!

Friday, April 4, 2008

I'm not reading the Bruce documents

I've decided not to get sucked up into the wild world of env ass documents. It's a trap to get drawn into their world. A world where all the Canadian top scientists have to do paid contracts to keep afloat. A world where everything is guided and controlled. I know, I used to write for this.

I am sure that some brave soul will pick up the giant stack of paper and attempt to make a go of it. But can you contest the report of a consultant who has been paid millions? Can you go against the top lawyers in the country who will shred you, on what you said in 1991? Can you go against an effort that cost more than what Obama spends in a week?

Yes kiddies, now it gets dangerous. I might just attend a hearing, just to see how fast I fall asleep, but if it's all up at the Bruce, it's too far!

AECL Whimps out of Britain

AECL has withdrawn from the British race, to 'better focus' on the domestic market. Oh, yeah.... As if our, very political, politicians are going to say: "Look, they didn't have a chance in Britain, we better pick them!".

As I've said before, we have to go down this road to disaster, if we want to appear to be building a nuclear plant. AECL is the only player in the game, if we want a non-functioning nuclear plant this century!

Of course, we can always cross our fingers that we won't have a Maple disaster, or Darlington (near) disaster, and that everything works, hunkey dorey.

Moose Busters - Canadian Myths

I got my replacement 3M strips, and felt obligated to do another video. Since 3M didn't pay me anything, I decided to do it 'My Way'.


Bruce Deep Geology Thingie documents out

The Document Gods have gone completely nuts today! Here, I had just finished the posting about the Bruce new plant env. ass., when suddenly I saw this. Whoa, I said! Am I going nuts? Did I just write about the wrong thing? No, it's true, this is a completely different set of documents. This is the env ass for the Deep Geology Thingie!

As well, there is the document on how they intend to actually find panel members who don't have anything better to do. I feel sorry for them, but maybe they'll just stack with toadies, like the government science advisory panel, who just love to do these things. (although that gov't thing has never met).

I hate panel work. I was on the CSA panel for seismic standards, and nobody listened to my great ideas. Now it's bogged down.

So, all you kiddies, get to work and read this whole load of env-ass!

Bruce Nuclear Env. Ass. is out!

Yeah, the Bruce documents are out! I can't wait to waddle through them. Or maybe not. Perhaps they'll just depress me.

Other people may wish to start on them before I work up sufficient courage. Look for what they leave out, such as the French-cheesy rock. I remember I got ITER to drop the site, as soon as they found out about the rock. The documents will also probably tout the advantages of having an underground waste storage repository blasted out right underneath it.

Ten points to Gryffindor if anybody finds anything good!

US census can't handle computers

I put it down to the fact that the Bushites are eliminating science from the schools, and replacing it with dogma. How else can you explain this? Either they mucked up making these things, or they can't get any people to run them. This might go down as one of the biggest gov't computerization failures ever.

Toronto housing goes over the edge

I've just been following this because I live here. Also, I looked at all the houses being built, and all the condo-cranes, and I thought that this couldn't last. To top it off, some bank economist says that Ontario is going into recession, but housing will remain strong. Yeah? Tell me how housing will stay hot in a recession!

Now gas is going up to $1.50 a litre for cottage season. That's going to affect the hot cottage market for sure. I went through all this in the 80's, and here we are again!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The PZ Meyers effect - Readership Zooms Up!


Oh great God of the Blog, I sing your praises! I knew that I but had to lay an offering at your feet (my volcano story), that your smile would open up the Heavens' bounty! Oh but that it would keep up, with an actual reference, then would my life be dedicated forever to the Brotherhood of Blogdom!

*Note to self: PZ Meyers runs the blog Pharnoogie-noogie, (whatever that means!) and has become the Lightning Rod against the nasty Literalism-Extremists that love to occupy the American South, because nobody else wants to live there. They are the people who gave us GW Bush, and want to continue to give us Bush-clones by eliminating Science from schools. I was told a long time ago, that if I ever wanted to get anywhere with my blog, I would have to tweak his interest, or that of his fans. :)

ps. I sure hope the new guys like to click on ads!

Washington State to hold big earthquake drill

I love to collect articles that show other jurisdictions planning earthquake scenarios. It makes me feel good to see this. Some scenarios, though, are so horrific that they can't be practiced, like Hurricane Katrina, or a Tokyo earthquake. It's nice if you have a scenario that fails only 10% of lifelines, etc, so you can improve them.

Here in Ontario, no single government entity is powerful enough to do this. That is why Project NEUTRON will harass OPG and Bruce Nuclear in the coming nuclear hearings. Mainly the question will be:

How can you assure nuclear safety, and general safety for society, when the whole area around you will be running around like headless chickens? How can you get your people in? What about hospitals, and workers worried about their families?

Normally, in a hearing process, this sort of question will be thrown out as 'out of scope', which is why we are attacking the whole hearing process.

Since I currently have *nobody* interested in this, I shall endeavor to make it a fun as possible for me!

*check my search box for more on Project NEUTRON. And look for my booth selling t-shirts at the upcoming nuclear hearings!

Putting the squeeze on Tritium

We are constantly bathed in Radon and Tritium. During the open-air nuclear bomb tests of the 50's, we got a big dose that can still be measured in the soil. Still, it was nothing, compared to everybody smoking indoors!

*other tritium in the news

A nuclear plant oozes tritium through every pore. Those people who make tritium glow lights can't stop it from getting out the neighbour's carrots. Still, it's such a small dose of radioactivity, and immediately washes right through you.

As I've said before, we old men should be taking Tritium Tablets (* patent pending). It gives the body such a nice cleansing of radiation, perfect to kill any cancer cells lurking about. Who cares about babies? That's for those crazy old rich guys who go after the young chicks, and end up with baby-barf on their shoulder!

So, those towns trying to limit the allowable tritium dose to that generally achieved, are just trying to make a show. Much like carbon dioxide, we should recognize it as being not that great, and minimize output as best we can. We should not make movies about it, distort the science, and let people scare us.

Google starts cracking at the top

Google is now entering the middle phase of a former growth company. It's not a bad thing, since companies change with the general age of their employees. For a while, Google ran with the youngest set, not worrying about health care, or baby sitting. Now, they become more mature.

Microsoft did not handle these transitions well, and is now in terminal decline. Let's see what Google can do!

Interesting nuclear discussions

I just stumbled on this page, which I found interesting. It has some ideas on nuclear power. I especially like the concept of trying to get intelligent people to live transient lives, in the middle of nowhere. I think this will be one of the major problems of the upcoming nuclear expansion. We've already seen that the major nuclear steel forgings can only be done by a handful of dying Japanese in the middle of earthquake hell. What about nuclear-grade pipe welding? And we have read, there aren't any good concrete specialists left in Europe! As it says in the article, the French operate nuclear plants like the post office, and any problems are a national secret.

Tokyo crush predicted

A major earthquake in Tokyo would have the bizarre effect of causing panic crushes in the fleeing crowds. Too many people and narrow streets make a deadly combination. They didn't throw in the fact that a lot of buildings would drop glass plates, cutting like scythes through the crowd.

Teachers' pension fund in big doo-doo!

I'm just following this because I'm retired. I, of course, am sucking off the teat of the big Hydro fund, which I hope is doing ok. I took my early retirement, so no probs for me!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The end of Chrysler

I've always said it's the final nail in a techno-bureaucracy, when they outsource all the computer staff. This happened at the old company, and you can see it here. For a car company, the computer technology should be a wealth creator!

Nuclear meeting in Peterborough

Betcha I know where the meeting will be held in Toronto. In the farthest east corner, right by the Rouge River, in a little shack.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Scana does nuclear right

They've started to purchase the forgings and are on-time to get a nuclear plant working by 2016. Isn't that when we want a plant working? Ha, Ha!

Note that their stock is actually up on this news. They aren't relying on the French for their concrete!

New idea for Project NEUTRON

Ok, we wangle out new laptops for all participants, and turn them into a giant seismic network! Or better still, new laptops, and a decent internet seismometer that just hangs around the house.

This can only come from laughing at the pitiful hearing process itself, and getting some sunlight to shine in dark corners!

A use for nuclear waste?

Imagine taking those casks, currently stored in crappy buildings, and wrapping everything in this 'miracle' nano-blanket. Then we'd be getting as much power as crappy wind whackers. Of course, we're just dreaming here, but wouldn't it be nice?

Rumbling time for the Vancouver area

The island area is about to start its mysterious tremor episode. This is quite common and has been as good as Old Faithful in the last few years. Of course, don't rely on past performance here, you never know when things will change.

These are all small adjustments that set up for the eventual big one. This type of earthquake, when it happens, is a 'slow rumbler' and should not affect building on sound foundations. The big swoosh of water is another story!

Canada Pension Fund Invests in Wind Whackers

Now you know that a tornado is going to whip through all those wind farms! CPP is investing!

Google slaps Microsoft again

Google lays it on again, with their offline version of Google docs. This is probably good for those little Asus EEEPC's with Linux. Now you can synch as you cruise in an out of hotspots. I used to use docs in the corporate world, when I couldn't stand Word with virus checkers, so that even I could overtype the piece of crap!

OPG has $75K up for grabs!

Yes, kiddies, it has begun. The hearings have released their token sum of money for local people to get sucked up in the long boring process. This money always goes to lawyers for the local hiking club.

Project NEUTRON is looking for bigger sums, perhaps to put underwater seismometers in Lake Ontario! We reject these cozy hearings for lawyers, and want to open up things for the real world! After all, even China is being told to open up the internet for the Olympics!

New wireless bidders may take on the cartel

The new Canadian wireless auctions are an attempt to take on the cartel that controls 95% of Canadian spectrum. Of course, I'm not saying anything bad about these guys, he, he. You're wonderful! Let me keep my phone!

The new guys all have to be gazillionaires to play in this sandbox. Will they crack the 'gentlemen's club', or just join it?