Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weekly summary - May 29, 2010

Cottage - hot dry weather, couldn't go this weekend - darn! Looks like a drought, which will burn the blueberries.

Geology - South and Central America volcanoes, most likely just pretty fireworks. People are talking that the bigger, more pronounceable volcano in Iceland may be ready to blow, but I think they are just talking through their hats. That oil well is something!

Global - Global Goring is coming under increasing attack. These climate guys are just short-term, straight-line chart extrapolators. Try to do that with the stock market! Their physics for CO2 is all poof, and the only hard-core physics we have is that the Sun is starting to fade. I hope this summer is still good!

Niagara Tunnel - These guys are tighter than North Korea! No more progress reports. They only like to report the good news anyway. One must assume that things are not happy in tunnel-land. On the other hand, the contractors are making out like bandits, with them getting whatever they are asking for. We are going to get a gold-plated, failing tunnel!

Earthquakes - nothing big,.

Volcano in Ecuador


It is one of the world's geologic wonders to fly to Quito, Ecuador. The place is ringed by a large number of volcanoes, and the jet has to do a tight spiral and a rapid dive. It's scary as Hell! But I think most of these volcanoes have been little fuzz bubblers, like the picture.

Cracks in the Global Warming Edifice


“One of the reasons people like myself are willing to put our heads above the parapet is that our careers are not at risk from being labelled a denier or flat-Earther because we say the science is not settled. The bullying of people into silence has unfortunately been effective.”

No comment, because then I would be bullied. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pt. Lepreau and the zillionth tiny delay


Delayed again by a little bit. Haven't heard much from the NRU, it should be getting another tiny delay soon. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Secure your wireless router


Yeah, this is like the Darwin awards without people dying! This follows on the big Google fiasco where they were held responsible for people leaving their connections wide open. What dolts! Don't those crazy Germans realize there could have been something much worse than the Google car? :)

Nuclear hearings go on and on, like American Idol


No purpose, totally boring. That's why Simon is leaving. And then we have these hearings..... ten times worse!

But at the end of it, old OPG will have a blanket license they can store for 10-20 years, and put anything they want on the site. Boring pays for them!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cottage country low water year


It hasn't hit my lake yet, but it's a feeder to the Trent Canal, and I expect it to go quite low this year. The hydroelectric stations just aren't going to put out much this year.

Monday, May 24, 2010

OPG makes small change, ignores tunnel


The profit and loss of OPG is plus or minus a few tens of millions. Meanwhile, the Niagara Tunnel leaks hundreds of millions per quarter in expected final costs. But all this goes off the books.

So, I gave those tunnel people the usual two weeks to report something, and all they did was blather about this phony financial statement. Has something else happened to the tunnel? They are as secretive as North Korea!

Oh well, it's a nice summer. Did you read where all those solar satellites are measuring diminished solar flux? Looks like future misery for the cottage crowd!

Great Holiday Weekend at Cottage

This weekend (Victoria Day) used to be the traditional opening weekend. We would always expect it to be cold, and packed with blackflies. But thanks to Global Warming, this weekend was as hot as July was a couple of years ago. No bugs, and we even went swimming! Of course, the last two years were cold and rainy, so maybe it isn't a straight line for warming, but this summer feels good. It looks like it could be one of our El Nino hot and sunny summers! Might even be a drought, which kills everything in the back woods, but clears out the bush for next years blueberries.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wind turbines healthy as a sprig of broccoli


No evidence seen by this servant of the Ontario Government. I do wonder if you took an airport-living city dweller out to a wind farm, whether they would notice anything. Is it just the country people who suffer from infrasound? I do think some research is necessary, but there isn't any group who would pay for it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ottawa Tunnel starts the sound bites


Yeah! They have a director who doesn't know what he's talking about! This is following the Niagara Tunnel script exactly. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Geothermal Energy - The next Ontario dream


Canada could technically meet all its electricity needs and dramatically lower greenhouse-gas emissions if it moved aggressively to develop enhanced geothermal power projects, according to the first comprehensive assessment of the country’s deep geothermal resources.

Wind energy is dying, a victim of infra-sound pollution. All those farmers getting angry, and soon they'll be throwing dead cows a Queen's Park!

So what are the politicians going to do? They are addicted to picking technological 'winners', so the next 7 billion dollars will be thrown at geothermal energy, even though most of the world is giving up on it. This is 'hot' rock energy, not the backyard heat-pump devices.

Now, if they drill deep anywhere in Ontario, and inject water, I can guarantee an earthquake. As we know from the Niagara Tunnel, all our rock is at the 'limit state' for horizontal stress. The tiniest disturbance causes it to fail. That is why they have abandoned plans for the waste repository at Bruce (my conclusion from the lack of information!).

Of course, they could inject water into the fault zones of British Columbia. That would be fun!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ottawa Tunnel - Strong Business Case


Yeah, they have made a business case with their phony cost figures, and it will be full steam ahead! I need lots of new underground excavations to keep me busy. Each disaster has only a very limited amount of things you can talk about.....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Landslide: Mama, Don't Map the Hazards!


A: In the 1970s, there was an effort to map geohazards in Quebec. Seismic risks, flood plains and areas prone to rock falls, erosion and landslides were all being put on a map. But that provincial government initiative was abandoned. The instrumentation required to monitor all these hazards was too great. In addition, when you start putting georisks on a map, property values are affected.

Actually, the physics is all wrong here, but I like the statement that you can't do anything because of property values.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ontario Hydro Debt Permanently Stranded


The Niagara Tunnel will end up being a few billion over target. In this article, we now find that this is nothing to the slush fund that has been secretly infusing the old company. Whew! My pension is secure! Ontario Hydro is Greece with the rescue package permanently in place!

I was there when all this was arranged! The top guy in nuclear took a fancy to me, and they all smiled like the canary-cat when all their debts vanished. Then the Americans showed up, and we lost infinitely more money.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quebec Landslide - 2


Just wanted to throw in this picture which shows the typical flow patterns of a Leda Clay slope failure. They couldn't get to the house because everything was muck. I think they are deliberately obscuring things by calling this a 'sinkhole', and they are bringing in psychologists to 'soothe' the people living on these death traps. This stuff is everywhere, and people living on it should laugh at the worries of somebody living on the slopes of an active volcano!

Leda Clay Landslide


These are historically very common, but we just haven't had any recently. I started the Wikipedia article on it. If Montreal has it's big earthquake, there will be a lot of this all at once.

It is most fun to have a cut piece of it, and then start banging your hand. In a minute, the whole thing turns to ooze.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Canada failing with technology


Canada's Industry Minister admits we are "just not good enough" compared to the rest of the world when using technology.

Tony Clement announced Monday that we need to re-examine the way we approach technology. He released a plan to improve our "digital economy," or technology's impact on how we work.

I actually read through that discussion paper, and found it somewhat depressing. It seemed to be a justification of the CRTC and Draconian Copyright Legislation.

It felt very Canadianish to me.

Right now I am immersed with relatives trying to find jobs as engineers. They all took the step of working for a co-op year as a Bureaucratic Engineer (in-house corporate engineer). One asked around all the other engineers and asked if this was good to get into. To a man, they all had a Dilbert Hull Breach, and said 'Run Away'. 'Get into Management'. 'Do something else!'

I can see why. One had the most tedious job of checking quality control for military aircraft systems. Now, we all know this stuff was made in the 80's and has never been changed since! They use discrete diodes that nobody makes anymore, except a few artisan shops. But the bureaucratic layers are so thick, that no change can be made! Same for nuclear plants! The theory is to stick with the 'tried and true'.

In order to do this, they have very tight specs on their diodes, but nobody can have tight tolerances in small batches. Also, the job is so mind-numbing that all the brains have left, and everybody is asleep! So guess what happens?

That's right! People do the natural thing and start to diddle the paperwork. Let's get some cheap Mongolian diodes, and 'relabel' them. They have a 25% tolerance, but we'll call it 5%. We call these 'counterfeit parts', and some very big companies have been involved. The US military is infested with this, and this poor engineer's job was to check all the paperwork to find these parts. Yuck!

But I digress. The big problem is that bureaucracy penetrates too far down to the technical level. Do you think that e-health will ever work? Is anybody going to bother the phone cartel? Is the Niagara Tunnel a happy thing?

All the smart engineers are becoming lawyers or management consultants. Who wants to be a Bureaucratic Engineer?

Roundup Back in Ontario

We suffered under the McGinty Putsch of anything that kills anything. That meant all the good sprays were gone! Weeds sprang up all over the driveway, my fruit trees nearly all died.

Most missed was my Roundup, which I thought strange. It's just a simple enzyme which clogs up plant circulation in 7 days. The soil bacteria find it yummy. It's just that you have to make sure it never reaches open water, and you probably shouldn't swallow it. But, it is involved with Genetically Modified crops, and is the enemy of the greeny-weenies.

Now, it's back at Walmart, and nobody knows about it! According to my friend, the suburbanites are still organizing smuggling runs from the States. And the nasty guy at Rona (whom I hate with a passion!) sneered and said I'll never see it for the rest of my life! Pooh on him!

In the meantime, I had made my own solution of vinegar and tsp (a detergent). This is devastating on dandelions (which are resistant to pure Roundup), but ineffective on some other weeds, like that creeping Charlie, or whatever it is.

I now add a tablespoon of Roundup to the spray bottle. This immediately stops growth, but you have to put on a few thin layers to finally kill the weeds. The grass can still recover, since the broadleaf plants suck up more of it.

For the fruit trees, I mixed up some organic copper or sulfur, which is legal, and then I put in a slug of Home Defense, which is for the house, but is the same stuff as I used to put on the fruit trees. Don't tell anybody!!! But, man, it works!

Top secret! :)

Niagara Tunnel - May Report

May 2nd 2010 -

The TBM is at 6,882 meters (22,578.4 feet). The TBM has been shutdown for scheduled maintenance and to allow for the launch of the arch forms into the tunnel. On May 11th, the widening of the new air vent shaft will begin.

Well, the fire didn't slow them a bit! They are having lots of fun zooming through the cap rock at a tremendous speed. No word on how well they are doing with the splatching of the overbreak, but something is going on, since it looks like they will start slipforming the final liner. If they use the nuclear waste funds to pay for this, then we are golden. :)

Finnish Nuclear Waste Repository


This looks pretty good. Nice blasting technique, probably on time, on budget.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Boiling Water Reactor Dumped


HOUSTON, May 7 (Reuters) - Dominion Resources Inc's (D.N) has selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industry's (6502.T) Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (APWR) technology for its proposed new nuclear power plant in Virginia, the company said on Friday.

Dominion launched a competitive bidding process last fall to find an engineering and construction partner after failing to negotiate a contract with General Electric Co (GE.N)/Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) to build the company's advanced nuclear design, the 1,550 MW Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR).

This is actually significant news. Boiling water is the stupidest design ever! However, this blows a hole in the use of standard designs, and sets back 'first dirt' for a US nuclear plant. Sometimes I wonder if they will ever do it ....

Darlington Nuclear Parties


The Joint Review Panel initiated a public review and comment period on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Licence to Prepare a Site (LTPS) application in November 2009. The end date of the comment period, which was originally scheduled for May 2010, will now be extended as a result of the Panel's requests for additional information from Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Most amazing. I think all the protesters should go and celebrate the fact that this thing will never be built. Have fun!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nuclear boilers go to Sweden


Lots of heat exchangers going to Sweden. The technology is neat. Only the tiniest surface layer of the steel might have some contamination. They must have a way to sandblast off this layer so that the rest of the steel is clean. That's the great thing about radiation, you can always tell to the atom if you got all of it. Try that with cadmium!

Most important about this article is that it would have been the perfect time to mention something about the underground waste repository being planned. The radioactive filings would go into this. But no! Not a peep! It is my theory that they are so shocked by the Niagara Oil Spill Tunnel that they have effectively shelved the whole thing! Too bad, would have been fun.... :)

Nobody has to pay for Niagara Tunnel


The Ontario government has taken the highly unusual step of ordering the province's Crown-owned electricity utilities to cancel their requests for hydro rate increases, amid worries of a consumer backlash over soaring power costs.

Whew! With the tunnel costing more than the oil spill, I thought we'd have to pay for it with electricity hikes. Especially with the wind and solar electricity coming in at 10 times the nuclear cost.

But no! We don't have to pay a cent! Thank goodness! :)

ps. tunnel doesn't look like it's recovered yet from it's oil explosion and fire.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Misc. May 6, 2010

Went to Chicago for the weekend. My birthday falls on the same day as my sister's, but a few years apart. This was great, and I changed to American bucks just before Greece started to burn! See my perfectly normal kids? I'm taking the picture.

Cindy the wonder dog is at the vets taking out an eyelid lump. Wow, you feel like an American without health insurance when you have an old dog!

Nothing new on the writing front. AECL wallows in hopelessness, the Niagara tunnel hasn't started up yet (maybe?). God knows how long this fire will delay them! Maybe they got oil all over the shotcrete, and they can't plaster more layers until it's cleaned? Who knows?