Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fun with Geology - AECL ACR1000

I'm back for a week, into broadband-land. You can't do a blog on dial-up!

Since everything nuclear is bottled up, tighter than the lid on Cheez-wiz, I'll make something up! Today's boring story is a recipe for doing a really slack seismic job for Darlington.

I'm now convinced that they will go for the ACR-1000, because of the Ontario jobs, and it's super-advanced design that can jam all those mega-watts on a postage stamp. As we all know, super-advanced AECL technology is super-cool, and Maple-icious!

The ACR-1000 has the advantage that it's not even designed yet, and thus has no level of 'seismic certification' as practiced by those crazy Americans. This makes it quite easy to do the old seismic shell game.

So basically, the environmental assessment (as reviewed by the Mayor of the local town), will gloss over the geology and seismicity, since the plant has no effect on the billion year old rock environment. However, they will dig up some old studies, just to pad the document some more. The mayor will love it!

The geology and seismicity will be chopped short by the statement "We have no clue what type of plant is going up, so we're giving up on the details."

OPG and geology remind me of this story told to me lately by a water polo mom. She had recently lost her husband, so I asked whether her many kids were really chipping in with the housework. She rolled her eyes and said "Ya think?". She then told me how she had water polo girls staying over and phoned her son:

"You've got to vacuum, we have company."
"I don't wanna vacuum, I'll do something else."
"Then pick up the dog poops."
"I'll vacuum."

So OPG is the kid who says "I don't wanna do geology." But nobody's telling them to pick up the dog poops, instead. So I don't really blame them.

Now, to continue this article, they won't do much seismicity in the env. ass., and slough it off for later. But later, they invariably say the seismic was covered in the ass. They assume nobody reads anything, which is a good assumption.

Meanwhile, AECL comes in saying that their gee-whiz, flying car technology, is good for any type of earthquake, and nobody says boo. It all makes for the 'perfect storm' of inactivity.

But we all know in the earthquake-biz, it's what you don't know that you don't know, that kills you. Every significant earthquake comes up with surprises. As Japan has shown, it's all the minor components that cause problems in an earthquake, and if there are enough of them going tits up, then you get radioactive release. Of course, it then helps (not!), if you give the impression that you don't know what the hell is going on!

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