Thursday, September 30, 2010

Darlington Nuclear Plant -- The Cost Clairvoyant


Gibbons pointed out Ontario has a bad history of cost overruns concerning nuclear projects. He figures the actual cost of the rebuild could be between $21 billion to $35 billion.

Ted Gruetzner, manager of the power company’s media relations, said the OPG disputes Gibbons’ numbers, adding they are preparing a detailed analysis to figure out the projects future price.

“Gibbons is being a clairvoyant on costs,” Gruetzner said.

I just love this 'War of the Sound Bites'.  I think it's a bit rich, considering that we'll never know the full cost of the Niagara Tunnel 'for commercial reasons'.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Danger of Steam Generators


The Great Lakes United Task Force on Nuclear Power and Green Energy says the public has been misinformed on the dangers of the steam generators.

Horribly dangerous things -- drop one on your toe and it really hurts!  Anyway, the big hearings start today, should be exciting times!  :)

Nuclear Waste Underground Disposal - Primer - 5

The Properties of Rock  -- Living Rock is a Dynamic Thing.  If you look at a piece of rock, you must think of all the huge dynamic forces that brought it in front of you, and all the tremendous forces that are still acting on it.  Miners know that the rock is dynamic.  Nevertheless, the general consensus by those in power, is to ignore the properties of the rock.  You cannot find a piece of open granite that is not riddled with fractures, and leaking like a sieve.

-look up earlier Geofish articles on rock mechanics

The Open Channel Flow in exposed granite is ideal for transporting radionuclides.  There is some hope that they might get adsorbed onto the channel walls, but who knows?  The countries that feel they actually have to do something (other than dream), have now given up on finding non-leaky rock.  They now spin a story of 'perfect containers' that don't need rock for containment.  These containers require one to pour the Copper resources of the world into a shallow grave.

The big problem here is that there is no 'absolute' standard, and there is no hard science behind this.  Thus, we do not know the effect of small modifications.  We can see that in the future they'll be saying things like:

Why do we need so much copper?  Why do we need to go so deep in the rock?  Let's go for leakier rock!

-look up Titanic

And now we go full circle, back to idealism, since there will not be a good solution with the current generation.  The People in Power get paid if things work or they don't.  You, the new generation, with laptops on your desk, must never give up on Civilization, and the improvement of our lives through new technology.  We need a 'Gold Standard' for disposal, and hard science.  We must not give in to political expediency.

I won't be around when we have to figure this out.  I'm sure we'll go through many disasters until then.  But the standard should be 'Diffusion Only'.  That is, if the nasty atoms must try to escape, they must work their way through solid rock.  In 10,000 years, they will only make it a few centimetres!  This can be done by letting real Rock Mechanics people find dry granite.  The excavation should be a tourist site and research centre.  We should plan for it to be open forever, and use the excess heat to ventilate it, and perhaps provide power.  If, by chance there is nuclear war, the moon splits in half, or aliens vaporize us --- To Hell With It!

End of Series

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nuclear Waste Underground Disposal - Primer - 4

Since Nature has done such a wonderful job in locking up nuclear contamination, it became a romantic notion for us to to do the same.  "Oh, that we should lock up the Demons of Man, deep within the ground, so that we too, shall be as one with the Gods!"  This gave rise to all sorts of romantic fantasies, massive tomes, and fancy PowerPoint slides!

-look up Canadian Nuclear Waste Management, Yucca Mountain, romanticism.

The idea was basically -- dig a big hole in the rock, throw in the waste, seal it up and Good-bye, Charlie!  Of course, they had to present a wonderful picture of finding a piece of jewel-like solid rock, and a way to plug it back up, as good as the rock.  Since they had such a great vision of their crystal vault, it was nothing for them to make up stories on how long it should be locked away.  Millions of years?  Pah!  It should be kept so that a collapsed society of Bronze Age, sword and sorcery people, should not actually dig it up and eat it.  These people would be exactly like our ancestors in every way (except for the magic).  Of course, let us leave aside the fact that for the total collapse of civilization, these people must have been exposed to radiation that would rot your socks, and that the humanoids have probably evolved from raccoons!

-look up H.G. Wells - The Time Machine

But really, to keep things rational, and within known scientific thought, we should just think of keeping it out of Civilization's hair for 10,000 years.  Everything else is La-La Land!  The problem with indulging in fantasies is that there is no resolution, and we just pile up the waste on the shores of rivers.  -- Oh, wait!  That's already happening!

Oh, that Life be so simple!  The scientific reality is that nothing can live up to these stories, spun by scientists looking for a job.  Your project is then to discuss the properties of rock, and the adsorption properties of radioactive isotopes.  If our goal is to be reached, then the disposal must be in rock, and the waste must become the equivalent of rock.  It's the only thing we know!

This is becoming quite a mouthful!  Really, all you eager laptop students can break up the project by each post.  :)

Nuclear Waste Underground Disposal - Primer - 3

Nuclear waste disposal is difficult because of the nature of the beast.  This isn't a complex molecule(s), like oil, which can be digested by bacteria, we have single atoms which are Nature's Time Bombs.  Thus, they can be very mobile in natural systems, until such time that they decide to decay into daughter products.  During this process, the can emit high-energy particles, or various forms of radiation.  It is called ionizing radiation because when it zooms through a living system, it damages complex molecules.  It takes it's path, causes it's damage, and vanishes.  Sometimes the daughter products are still radioactive, and can blow up again.

For most radionuclides potential damage is confined to a very small zone in living systems.  We live with protein and DNA damage all the time, the body recognizes and eliminates the damage.  We old men can take a lot of radiation, and it's probably good for us, up to some point, knocking out potential cancer.  It can be dangerous in situations where the body cannot recognize the damage, such as the moment of conception for young women, or rapid growth with youngsters.  And, of course, the poison is in the dose, so that a lot of it is going to fill you with toxic free radicals, and you will succumb to radiation sickness.  If the particle decays outside your body, in most cases the ionizing particles or radiation cannot penetrate your skin. You do not become radioactive with exposure to radiation.  When you have your chest xray, you take the damage, and 'Suck it up, Princess'.

-look up radiation sickness, radioactive decay, medical isotopes.

The slippery nature of these radioactive atoms provides a challenge for confinement.  Luckily, the biggest, nastiest atoms are slow and awkward, and get stuck in anything.  We just have to stop people from eating, drinking or breathing them.  You don't want a speck of Plutonium stuck in your gut!

Over the billions of years of the Earth's geological existence, it has been exposed to more loose radioactive contamination that than we puny humans could ever achieve.  Radioactivity drives the Earth, without it we'd be a dusty speck.  Fortunately, all the nasty radioactive isotopes are promiscuous, in that they'll bond with anything.  Thus, we have it all locked up in rock.  We don't eat rock.

-look up adsorption, sediments, oceanic black smokers.

Nuclear Waste Underground Disposal - Primer - 2

The second term to define is 'Disposal'.  In normal terms of human waste, this means stashing it somewhere, until it can turn into a nice compost, and feed a forest.  It might have heavy metals, bacteria and such, but the trees can take care of it.  For radioactive materials, it is the same principle -- stash it away until the next exposure to humans isn't any worse than the million other things that vex us.  Those who have extreme views spread that to mean until every atom of hot Plutonium turns into lead, which isn't that great a thing.  The rational view is to wait until the waste decays down to the level natural uranium ore, and cosmic rays.  We humanoids have been exposed to radiation for 7 million years, and have evolved ways to deal with it.

-look up effects of radiation,  look up natural sources, look up radiation release by burning coal.

As with all new things, the history of radiation disposal has many horror stories.  The first was Radium, which allowed you to see your watch at night.  This was eaten by the dial makers, and thrown out in the back ditch.  It had dire consequences.

-look up Radium contamination.

Enough people got sick that we knew we had a problem.  Then came the second thing about radioactivity -- it is so easy to detect, down to the smallest amounts.  Try that with lead!  By these sensitive detection methods, we found that all the radioactive material that we dumped in the back woods was coming back at us!  The radionuclides loved to travel in the groundwater, animals dug it up and pooped radioactivity everywhere.

-look up Hanford, radioactive groundwater plumes, Geiger Counter,  glowing bunnies.

And remember, we are confining ourselves to Radioactive Waste, not contamination, such as with atomic bombs.  Contamination is something that has to be cleaned up, disposal is what to do with it after it is cleaned up.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nuclear Waste Underground Disposal - Primer - 1

My new mission is to stop being catty about all those losers out there, and focus on projects for bright students with connected laptops on their desk.  I'm talking Kenya or Peru here, not the loser Developed World, with those powerful unions and bureaucracies.

This series will outline various projects where one can assemble internet sources, not just Wikipedia.  (As an aside, just steal their ideas and go to the sources, never quote it!!)  I will attempt to dig up sources, and you can proceed as if you were actually writing something for Wikipedia.

This issue is quite relevant and will become more so in a tiny place called Ontario, Canada, once the main nuclear utility gets its thumb out, and proceeds with the underground nuclear waste disposal at Bruce, now probably purposely delayed for a couple of years.

Perhaps the most difficult start to this project is to actually define Nuclear Waste.  It is a term that has now been spread thin like too little butter on toast, to quote a hobbit.  You can be sure that the original intention of the term was "Nuclear", as in radioactive material which is dangerous to humans, and "Waste" which means deliberately thrown out.  Now I've seen the term used for minor tritium releases, and thin contamination on steel.  Nevertheless, it is a 'hot button' term, which gets people all roused up, and defies rational discussion.  You should always mention this in your report.

(ps.  I tend to do these in little spurts.  It is your first job to assemble them.)  :)

Hiking the Back Woods

So, you only go to the cottage in the fall to either chop wood, or go on a hike.  We decided to do the hike thing, 2 humans and Cindy the Wonderdog.  This area is solid granitic gneiss, gouged out by faults, so that there are lots of really deep narrow valleys, and beaver ponds.  The narrow valleys are micro-climates and have trees you never see elsewhere.  As well, we pick the wild mushrooms that are easy to identify (not white ones!).  Use of a GPS is obligatory!

We're walking along, and we hit Bear Poop Heaven!  These are not tiny things, but looked like pumpernickels.  There were so many and all fresh.  I was looking around, because I know the dog would act like they don't exist.  Anyway, what the heck were they eating?  But at least they're happy, and won't come down to the cottages.  At times like this, I certainly don't mind a little bear hunting, just to keep them on their toes.  They were bloody huge!  :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Twitter to be Earthquake Saturated Today


If you see a message on Twitter or Facebook Friday that says that the Coronado Bridge has broken in half or that Scripps Hospital has collapsed, don’t believe it.

It’s a test. Just a test.

Put your Google Realtime on 'earthquake' today and see what happens!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tabulated New Zealand Earthquake Strong Ground Motions


This is absolutely fantastic!  It shows the PGV and site class.  1 is solid rock, 4 is swamp.  This is a table of all the available accelerometers.  Nothing near the epicenter on firm ground, the nearest is at 84 km and gives 4 cm/s.  Something on swamp near the quake gives 40cm/s!  The nearest rock is 500 km away.

It's sad we won't learn too much about this quake.  For that you need accelerometers on rock quite close.  Then you can see how the rupture went, and if there was anything unusual, which I suspect.

For students, the main advice here is to be sure of your site when you plunk down an accelerometer.  It is best to do a noise survey, or note local drilling results (n-values).  The site classification from 1 to 4 is rather crude, but better than a kick in the head.  Try very hard to locate on something solid.  It can really pay off!

Bruce Nuclear and the Three Hour Tour


Bruce Power says it is ready to answer questions in Ottawa next week at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission hearing into its plan to ship radioactive waste on the Great Lakes. Two days have been set aside to hear questions and arguments about the plan to ship 16 decommissioned steam generators to Sweden for recycling. Bruce Power spokesman John Peevers says the proposal has to be put into perspective. He says there are about four grams of radioactive material in each of the 16 generators. He urges residents to listen to the experts, and not be swayed by opponents of nuclear power. The hearing is set for September 28th and 29th. A number of opponents also plan on attending the hearing.

So, I think of Gilligan, when I'm reading all this.  Ok class, time for another project in critical thinking.  This seems like a minor matter, the amount of radioactivity being shipped is less than a standard nuclear hospital cobalt device, which are always flung into metal scrap heaps.  And this bit of radioactivity is buried in tons of sealed steel, and is so tightly bound, and couldn't get you even if you were a Transformer and ate metal!

As well, no ocean-going vessel can possibly sink in the Great Lakes, where these huge lake freighters travel, which wouldn't last 5 minutes in the open ocean without cracking in two!

So why the big deal?  As the note says, nobody listens to the experts anymore.  What has happened?  This is true throughout the connected world.  When is the last time an expert hit you with some message?  Did you believe them?  Can you list political forces that might sway expert opinion?  What has happened in Canada with government expert advisors?  Is this a good thing?

I hope you come up with a very good report on this tendency.  :)

Amazing Iphone4 Story

This happened to some relative of mine, whom I can't mention, because he thinks a lot of himself.  :)   Anyway, he got an unlocked iphone4, and got Rogers to give the unadvertised big data plan for $30 a month.  These things are small, dense, and totally glass enclosed.  A cool guy just leaves it in his side pants pocket.  But they are wriggly, slippery fish!

So, off he went to the golf course with buddies.  Can't pack it away because it has the golf gps app!  Leave it in the side pocket and drive a golf cart!  Needless to say, they did one of the last runs before nightfall, and it jumped.  Couldn't do anything with it because it was low on batteries and turned off.

It was returned 2 days later!  Thank God Mondays and Tuesdays have the old retired guys!   But it was in perfect condition, and I can't believe it was outside in the dew overnight.  Perhaps it was, but I think somebody picked it up right after them, and it took a day or two for all the caddies to play with it.  It was protected by a pass code.   It would be more of a story if it was dropped in our lake and survived!

Another 'KIll Off' Claim


Catastrophic volcanic eruptions in Europe may have culled Neanderthals to the point where they couldn't bounce back, according to a controversial new theory.

Modern humans, though, squeaked by, thanks to fallback populations in Africa and Asia, researchers say.

Ok, kiddies, this makes a good science project.  You, with the laptops at your desk, are much better off than students in Ontario, who are jammed in a big classroom, and have to listen to some guy drone on.

So, what do we do with this?  At face value, it is like dozens of other claims:  Dinosaurs killed off, Clovis Man killed off, etc.  Yet, for each case, we find that these people or animals were in big trouble before the event.  This was due to either evolutionary competition, or climate change.  If any of these groups were strong before the event, the few survivors would breed at a ferocious rate, and repopulate almost instantly in geological time space.  No event kills absolutely every last bit of DNA!

So, all these claims must be examined closely.  That is your job!   Good luck!  :)

Earthquake Things

Well, I'm back.  This episode was shorter than usual.  I'm taking 3000 units a day of vitamin D, and this seems to help with the seasonal aspect.

I was also sad that my Google appeal has been denied, and I'm banned for life from their sleazy advertising.  I'm sure none of these ads want to be on my site, where I can't help making fun of them.  Oh, well, I need another justification to keep writing over the harsh winter.  Perhaps you kiddies with the one laptop per child could write and say how the Fish has changed your life, and you want to become an earthquake scientist!

On New Zealand, even though I overreacted to their smugness, I saw an article that quotes engineers as saying the earthquake did not really test the building code, and more research is needed.  They are passing laws that still give the old brick buildings another 15 years, and even that will cost over a billion dollars.

Anyway, my big fun this week was getting the new Bell Fibe, which gives me 25 mb download, and 7 upload.  It's fast!  They still have a low total of 75 gb per month, which I think is a big scam to protect their own IPTV (run by MS, blah!).  That was a lot of work by the technician, who spent an hour in the house, cleaning and testing the lines.  This is a higher frequency DSL which connects to a box (in my case) 270 m away, and that has a fiber card.  The line tested to a maximum of 60 mb download.  And the techies are being trained for fiber to the house, which will probably go along the hydro poles, since they don't want to dig again.

With this internet speed, I have cancelled my Bell satellite, which saves me a lot of money.  I'm still getting my stuff the Linux way, since this is compressed.  I have a feeling that something like Netflix would have gross uncompressed stuff that would instantly fill the download limit.  I'm sure Bell IPTV gets rid of this limit for them.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Fish Rolling Down

To all my many new readers. If you follow my archives, you will find many times that I wished to throw everything away, and commit blogicide. You might be aware from my biography that I am an intellectual depressive, who was treated brutally by the old company in my last few years. As well, I have an element of sun awareness with my depression. As the fall comes, I struggle more often. In general, I'm doing quite well on a little bit of Cipralex, and Trazodone, which keeps up my Serotonin to survival level.

This summer was very nice and sunny, and I've done fantastic. My Ontario earthquake whapped us in July, and I got thousands of hits a day. It has kept up at an amazing 500 hits per day average. Now, as my great Norwegian fans would know, I feel the sun going away.

So, this is my first attempt of the season at blogicide. I intend to give it up, and watch all the hits dwindle down to nothing, which will help me tremendously with my pathetic wallowing. Good-bye.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Norway Loves Me!

Look at those stats for the week! NZ hates me, I know that, but look at Norway! No earthquakes there! Maybe it's the rock mechanics, since they do lovely work there. I always think Canada and Norway are the same, and those brutal, full body contact curling competitions! So good for you Norway, even though you don't comment much....

Google video chat and Debian amd64

Yeah, it finally works! Couldn't use the webcam for a long time, because of some Debian bug, but now I can video chat! Isn't that scary?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Surprise - Greenpeace report nixes buried nuclear waste


There is actually a 67 page report here! I can't actually read it, since it does something to my eyes, but this what I pay Greenpeace to do! If I actually paid them anything.

Of course, most governments, including Canada, are totally mucking this all up. Maybe there is something in the report. I sure didn't write it! Maybe a muzzled scientist should read it. But then he wouldn't say anything, would he? Yuk Yuk!!!

South Africa Does the AECL


A decade and more than R9-billion after starting, the government on Thursday pronounced South Africa's attempts to research and build a pebble bed nuclear reactor officially dead.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan told MPs that after "careful consideration", government was pulling the plug on its Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) project.

THE PEBBLE REACTOR IS DEAD! Another country has realized the futility of creating their own Avro Arrow reactor. Sure the technology is superior, but it's too expensive and nobody wants it.

What is Ontario going to do? That was their second choice after AECL..... :) (that's a joke, son!)

English Earthquake Guy Not Muzzled Yet


According to historical records, the country is due to be hit by an earthquake of magnitude of around six which could send chimneys and statues crashing to the ground and knock out key utilities.
Dr Roger Musson, of the British Geological Survey, is basing his prediction on historical records that show the repetition of a quake emanating from the Dover Straits in the English Channel.

That can't last! Imagine, an earthquake scientist without a golden muzzle that lets him go to Palm Springs! Perhaps these British guys don't go anywhere...

I remember the good old days, 20 years ago, when we all conversed on 'alt.earthquakes', on the old Usenet. Dr. Musson was there, along with others. Now we just have muzzling.

Yeah Canada and the Warming Cycle


"In many ways, the stresses that will be very apparent in other parts of the world by 2050 -- like coastal inundation, water scarcity, heat waves and violent cities -- will be easing or unapparent in northern places," Smith states. "The cities that are rising in these NORC countries are amazingly globalized, livable and peaceful."

I don't believe that our sinusoidal climate curves have suddenly become exponential, as those other guys. Still, this is great news for us, except for the fire ants. I just want nice summers for the cottage! But like all Canadians, I know we'll have to pay for the good weather.... :)

US Nuclear Waste to be stored at sites --- forever?


The agency also asserted that "sufficient repository capacity will be available when necessary, but emphasized that the decision does "not signal an endorsement of indefinite storage of spent fuel at reactor sites" while regulators consider the fate of Yucca Mountain in Nevada, a proposed national repository for the waste.

You know when they specifically say that, you're in trouble! I just don't think these containers are very transportable, especially after 60 years. So, they will have to open them, and move the crumbly waste to a transport container. Will anybody do that? Much easier to keep extending the time, until containers start crumbling into the rivers.

Buffalo Will Attempt Volcano Plane Stopping


Until now, though, there has been no effective way to simulate full-scale volcanic eruptions.

Now I know where my movie people went! They shuffled off to Buffalo, where they promise to blow things up, and shoot out plane-stopping volcanic ash. I would never do that. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Zealand Earthquake - Interior Damage


"I cannot understand why a new council building is put out of action by an earthquake and an art gallery, surrounded by glass is used as the Civil Defence headquarters," Anderton said.

Ok, kiddies, this earthquake may tell us to pay more attention to interior damage! I really think a building should remain functional at 10 cm/s PGV. The building codes pay no attention to this, since they are just interested in preventing collapse, and allowing a safe exit. Every time I go to the cottage, I watch this office building going up. It hasn't go a shred of shear stiffness! The steel looks like a house of cards! I'm blaming 'limit state' design on this, since the old methods always forced a shear wall. This building will never collapse, but the inside will be thrown up against the wall! I shudder to think what the fundamental frequency is, with the building fully loaded. Oh well, we'll find out about this in the next earthquake!

Paris Hilton and Earthquakes


The 20th annual meeting of the Southern California Earthquake Center, which runs through Wednesday at the Hilton Palm Springs, highlighted a recently completed simulation of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake that causes a north-to-south, "wall-to-wall" rupture of the southern San Andreas Fault.

What a glorious meeting for muzzled earthquake scientists! Perhaps they met the lady herself? Meanwhile, I had my earthquake conference with the dog, at the cottage. It was cold.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Artsies Against Engineers


Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence has long linked engineering and terrorism. Eight of the 25 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks studied engineering, including leader Mohamed Atta, an architectural engineer. Closer to home, one of the three Ottawa Muslims recently accused of plotting terrorism was an engineering student.

Since I'm just about to zoom off into the wilderness, there's no comment on this 'engineers are scum' article, written by a la-dee-la arts major. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Canadian Gov't Scientists Muzzled


The Harper government has tightened the muzzle on federal scientists, going so far as to control when and what they can say about floods at the end of the last ice age.

Well, the road is now clear for me to totally dominate the blog-waves! MUHAHA! I'm sure this has happened to every other scientist in the world. Now, it's only me! No wonder I always show up at the top of the earthquake blogs!

Did you see anybody else discussing New Zealand? No, I had total freedom to make an ass of myself (even though I always think I'm right for the minute). Since they are all muzzled, I can make endless fun of them, calling them stogy bureaucrats, etc, etc.

So, bring on the next volcano or earthquake. I'm waiting! :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Zealand Earthquake Apologies

Ah com'on! I really love you guys! There's nothing in this that Canada wouldn't do worse. I'm wearing my New Zealand t-shirt right now, and I really sympathize with people who lost their homes.

I was reacting mainly to the fact that this was the exact scenario for Toronto, and that youse guys were a bit too smug on the building code, and the 'vs. Haiti' thing. In reality, this earthquake didn't test the building codes.

Everything was unusual about this earthquake. It had a high magnitude, but low aftershocks, and the only real damage it did was to unsecured brick facades, which peel off at very low PGV's. That set me off!

Since I had no information on local ground conditions, I made my own assumptions. I think now you have a very soft shallow layer, and that any modern building would go through this with the foundation.

Regarding the insurance, I think the bureaucratic situation is such that you could insure a card house on jello, and slough it off to the Swiss. Perhaps this is brilliant? But I think it allows extremely weak situations to exist. Like people on a flood plain, you are now able to slap together your houses, and wait for the next earthquake.

Scientifically, I think they will find that this was a complex, segmented earthquake. It stills goes in my books as an "all hat no cattle" earthquake, in that the ground motions are very low for the magnitude. People should not immediately associate magnitude with PGV.

Friday, September 10, 2010

British Police Have Fantastic Earthquake Party!


Officers from four British forces participated in the £826,000 exercise that simulated the consequences from a tremor measuring eight on the Richter scale hitting the country – something that has never happened and probably never will.

Oh, the press are such wet blankets! I would have loved to be in on that party! And they didn't even have to pay for it! I wonder who they got to make up all the scenarios. Probably just did it themselves, following Hollywood guidelines....

New Zealand Ineffective in Stopping Soup Development


Developers built on land that could turn into murky soup after an earthquake, despite legal opposition from the local council, says the Mayor of Christchurch.

I am rolling in jollies making fun of New Zealand! That's because I know those sweethearts wouldn't order a death sentence! Ok, this one might be questionable, since I know that California allows development in sag ponds. Still, these guys got insurance for this crap! :)

Earthquake Re-insurers Get Hosed by New Zealand


Oh, those sneaky Kiwis! They offloaded the 2.5 billion of insurance claims to the clueless Swiss! This is just like the American mortgage thing. Who would know they were insuring garbage buildings on garbage soil?

In other news, they hit a maximum aftershock of 5.1 which did some damage. If this really is a sheep M5.5 in an M7.0 wolf's clothing, we aren't going expect much bigger. These aftershocks may even exceed the main shock PGV in some places.

Also, they are passing emergency legislation that will allow homeowners to slap up some shoddy repairs right away. This is like building right away in a notorious flood plain. Yeah for government! :)

ps. no offence intended to the whining 'victims'. I realize all your money depends on pumping up this earthquake. Please just ignore me, everybody else does!

Humorous Attempt at a Seismic Workshop


The workshop was intended to be a crash course about earthquakes, how they are measured and how nuclear power plants are designed to withstand them.
However, questions and comments from the audience frequently veered into familiar controversies, such as license renewal, recurring safety problems at the plant and the need for more renewable energy in the state.

I'm not going to be outrageous here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Corpse Hangs On


Obviously, he is being very clever and referring to Schroedinger's Cat. Is the cat alive or dead? Who cares? It's stuck in a stupid box!

So is the hope for the nuclear industry in this country. If they don't seize the horn by the balls, and do what I say about Port Hope, we are all in for a Canadian Nuclear Winter. Really, do you expect OPG, the Drone Capital of the World, to get us out of this mess? :)

Video Blog - New Zealand Earthquake

Oh, I am having so much fun playing with Google Video Chat! All our kids have it now at university, so we can talk to them for free. They can call us with the calling feature for free. I bought a new Logitech Pro 9000, for my Linux computer, but Debian 64 bit has a nasty bug, and with 64 bit Flash being killed, I don't see any hope. I hooked it on the very old XP computer, and it works very well.

But I digress. This got me back into video, and the thought of how horrible I am on camera! No wonder those tv people didn't want me! I need a vocal coach! :) But since I don't have a hope in hell to get on regular tv, I am doing video blogs. Even if I were a perfect announcer, I would never get on tv, since the producers always go to the top of the Academic Old Boys Club, and I think these guys are not on this planet! :) Anyway, I do these to try to improve. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll have our earthquake, and I can gloat! :)

New Zealand - World's Most Grossly Overrated Earthquake


As outlined in the previous article, I cannot conceive what bizarre geology allowed this to be an M7.0! It must have put out a lot of low-frequency energy. In terms of ground motion, I call this an M5.5. There is no way you can compare it to Haiti, where the 'Fist of God' must have hit them at 1 m/s. Too bad we'll never know because Haiti was too poor for seismic instruments.

So, forget all this crap about 'Superior Building Codes'! This was not a test, in the event of a real earthquake there would have been lots of deaths, since these were the absolutely worst buildings on the worst soil.

So, shame to New Zealand for allowing this situation to exist! You got off lucky with an earthquake which wouldn't have rated much news in California, since all the garbage buildings have been knocked down a long time ago! I can't really throw stones, since cities like Toronto are far worse off, but it doesn't take a chicken to judge an egg!

New Zealand Earthquake Report


Yahoo! An incredible report has been released almost instantly. I never expect this!!!

Strong ground motion was very weak, shows the whole area is contaminated with extremely 'shitay' soil! Here the PGV only hits 10 cm/s before the soil gives out. The fault only slipped 200 cm at the source! If you could find firm ground in that area, you would have slept through this earthquake, with firm ground PGV probably at 1-2 cm/s. No wonder nothing collapsed, since you need 30-50 cm/s PGV to break a bearing frame. Leads me to suspect that the 'fault' they traced is soil slip. Need some drilling here!

ps. I now have to call this the Canterbury earthquake, which isn't even on this map! Makes me think that when we have our big Toronto earthquake, we'll have to call it the Ancaster Earthquake!

USNRC thinking of reviewing seismic


The area around Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station has recently shown a slight increase in seismic activity, according to updated data analyzed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The federal agency, using data from both the U.S. Geological Survey and the Electric Power Research Institute, will run additional analysis to determine if 30 plants across the nation should make improvements to address the seismic risks, said Neil Sheehan, an NRC spokesman.

Wow, this is the first sign of seismic review in 30 years! All those nuclear guys decided that we know all there is to know, and closed down any earthquake science in ENA in those old days. That's why the monitoring is so miserable and balkanized. Well, I hope this comes to something....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Battle of the review panels


Just to keep you in the loop, the new nuclear plant is now way ahead of the underground waste review.

Lots of old brick schools on swamps


There are no rules requiring independent school operators to conduct seismic assessments of their buildings and no central registry -- such as the one that exists for public schools -- identifying buildings that may be at risk in the event of an earthquake. Moreover, there are no provincial funds available for independent schools that need such upgrades.

So, the New Zealand (Christchurch) earthquake has taught us a thing or two about old brick buildings on swamps. Did you notice how they are trying to change the name of the earthquake to something horribly remote and generic? Nobody wants to be saddled with the name of an earthquake!

That is the real reason why they won't even mention the possibility of an earthquake in Toronto, or most major cities. The implications are enormous! But poor BC has had its head dragged out of the sand, and look at all the trouble! Montreal and Toronto just go la, la, la....

Volcano starts down the long road


Mount Sinabung's first eruption last week caught many scientists off guard. With more than 129 active volcanoes to watch in this vast archipelago, local vulcanologists had failed to monitor the long-quiet mountain for rising magma, slight uplifts in land and other signs of seismic activity.

This exemplifies my conflict with the standard volcanologists, and is what got me kicked out of show business! :)

These guys went into a 'philosophical' branch of science because they can't do math! So, what exactly is happening here? The big question is the 'path to blowout'. Does it continue to get worse? What is it capable of?
It's my general thought that although the mountain itself is swelling, the surrounding region is sinking, as the rock collapses and pushes up the magma. The size of the 'feeder' region would indicate how bad this is going to get. Unfortunately, they will never do a standard SAR, or have surrounding GPS monitors. Their general model implies that everything is swelling.

So, we shall see and be 'surprised' once again!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Don't trust those scientists, trust blogs!


OTTAWA -- A newly released American study suggests the public often rejects the opinions of scientific experts.

The public tends not to trust scientists, says research from California - but there's a twist. People are mainly reluctant to believe good news, it turns out - such as the message that a flu vaccine is safe. But the public is more likely to trust the researchers who frighten with bad news.

I always give bad news!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Time for a Linux re-install

I do all my work with 2 Linux machines, one does the blog work, and the other takes care of multimedia. After 2 years of running Debian unstable, I was finally starting to screw it up. All sorts of weird things, especially with the new boot loader - grub. These are things you just can't fix anymore.

So, I bit the bullet, backed up everything to a spare hard disk, and used the latest Debian installer. It worked great! All my custom programs had to be re-compiled, but that was a good thing, as well.

I would recommend a 2 year cycle for everybody!

When to give up on history - New Zealand Earthquake


"THIS is the greatest disaster New Zealand has ever seen," Agriculture Minister David Carter told The Australian yesterday.

I think the biggest lesson here will be what to do with historic brick buildings on swamps. This might stiffen the resolve to tear them down, or lift them on to screw piles. I am constantly amazed that nobody got killed.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Zealand = Toronto Earthquake Scenario

As usual, I'm not saying we're going to have a big earthquake right under Hamilton. Our authorities make no mention of this! All I'm saying is that the NZ earthquake is the ideal scenario for our M7 (which can't exist).

Looks like a solid rock earthquake, with perhaps 3 earthquakes of slightly less than M7 (M6.5?). Not a speck of damage on firm foundations. Most of the brick damage looks like the brick parapets dragged the brick facing off. All the parapets should be removed in Toronto and NZ!

Lots of soft ground damage with a lot of liquefaction. I'd love to see the accelerometer data, but I have little hope that they instrumented the place. Like I said, I'd guess a firm-ground PGV of 10-20 cm/s, with a max of 100 cm/s on the swamps. I wonder if they used piles for the modern buildings??

Amazing New Zealand Earthquake


Nobody was out on the street, so nobody got kabonked by the bricks! I guess they roll up the sidewalks at night! :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Zealand Earthquake - Fun Facts

Well, here we are again at the start of a new earthquake! Can't tell much about it, but it's on land, and it's shallow, much the same as Haiti. But here's where we get a chance to check the importance of building codes. NZ has strict building codes, well enforced. If I expect a weakness it will be like Chile, which was high-velocity fling on soft ground. The codes are terrible on this!

This is a subduction zone, but I would guess this is a shallow thrust earthquake, like Haiti. But this time we should actually get some PGV readings! If it is a shallow thrust, then it is most likely a 'super' earthquake, or 'Fist of God', as I like to call them. That means you get a high velocity pulse running up the fault. No building stands when that bursts out, but luckily it is usually a small zone. Well, we'll see.