Sunday, May 31, 2009

Opaque Leading the Opaque

Press Release

For those of you with great faith in opaque government organizations, be pleased that the CNSC is getting a secret review from the IAEA. I wish I could get in on this stuff, but you have to be a quiet PhD who gets along with everybody. Not me! And I only have my Masters.

I remember that we had tons of these reviews, for a while, at my fictional old company (soon to be in my fictional novel!). They would swoop in, get interviews of all of us bitching, and swoop out. Of course, who was paying them?

*Yuck, this is nasty.

SRL: Toronto Top Five on the Quake Parade

The SRL is in, and if I am in a good mood, I'll do some papers. This was a paper on Quebec (who cares?), but it had this chart. If you add in the fact that Toronto does absolutely nothing for earthquakes, then we are really up there. Each little speck of mitigation reduces the seismic risk. A stitch in time, save nine!

There was also this cute map of Quebec soils and earthquake damage.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

AECL Eulogy


This says it all. With yesterday's 15 cents, I'm becoming very non-controversial.

Vancouver Toughens Up for an Earthquake


This is a nice article about what they are doing with the infrastructure. I can't see anything wrong with what they are doing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

More earthquake drilling


Wow, now they're using a CAT scan to look at the core!

Why does this not thrill me?

Fault Stress boring story Part II Subduction Zone

And somebody was asking me about the Darlington power track which is in this archive.

Anyway, let them blow a few billion on fault drilling. It's just as good as the Niagara Exploration Tunnel.

NRU is Dead


They just don't realize it yet. Basically we have an aluminum vessel which was rated for 15 years, being stretched to almost 40. Aluminum is wonderful stuff, but when you get the erosion-corrosion, it turns horrible. Most likely there are a thousand other cracks and pits just ready to let go.

However, I just love what my favourite minister has done! She pulled the rabbit out of the hat, and started the sale of AECL, which has been on the back burner for umpteen years. Why now? Do you hear anybody talking about the NRU? Nope. This is better than hiding at Canadian Tire!

And it turns out they are only going to sell the Candu portion to GE, and not give the Maples to France. Well, I look forward to more attention-monopolizing announcements.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ehealth - The Rise of the Professional Scapegoat


I said before that self-similar organizations can't make anything work, and this goes especially for electronic health care. So what if you are well-connected and there's a job opening? You know it's doomed and soon you will be a scapegoat for expenses, consultants, non-tendered contracts, etc. What to do?

Live it up! Pile on the expenses! Treat your buddies! When you go, go with style!

Google Wave For Me


In my new imaginary nuclear waste company, located in Waterloo, and funded by the Basilly man himself, this is the new wave! The problem with companies now is that they are terrified of electronic communication, since it can be raised in court. We have gone back to the stone age with private political channels, and excessive verbalizing. Nothing can get done! Add in the union crap and the company goes straight to self-similar hell.

Turn this all around! Any communication can be used by lawyers to destroy bright people, so just make it all public! All archives will be in public space! You don't have any privacy in companies anyway. Do you think the lawyers will be able to go through all that shit?

I always found that when you were dealing with idiots was to go with information overload. "Oh yes sir, it's all there sir, three bags full, sir".

But I'm just talking about my nuclear repository company. We want to make it a place to take the kiddies! Shiny floors and a rock mechanics museum. Various fossil beds exposed! Deep seismic measurements! A neutrino lab thrown in! And every single bit of communication open (except income tax!). At least everything that could get into the hands of lawyers.

The alternative is what we are currently getting. Super-secret political backstabbing trying to dig something. Ha!

Niagara Tunnel Roof Flattens

I am such a ninny! I was speculating the roof would become square, and it was in the pictures all the time! They are putting in steel sets pinned to the sandstone. They should do some stress overcoring at the same time! Will they maintain a constant circular lining, or cling to the walls? The concrete lining issues could fill a book!

I was also wonder what the TBM head would do when it hits the abrasive sandstone. Looking at this picture, this is totally a shale machine, not for hard rock. A machine for the sandstone would have bigger disks and larger openings. If the sandstone breaks into round boulders, then it's a lot of steel grinding out!

Very Ordinary Earthquake Strikes Caribbean

Not much interesting about this earthquake. Well offshore, with very low PGV's on land. This is the map of historical seismicity, and you can see the area is very hot.

AECL Finally on the Block


My God, how many posts have I written about AECL being sold? And now they say it's official!

I'm pretty sure there was a big game of chicken between Ontario and the Feds. Ontario saying "We'll choose them if you throw in a few billion." and Harper saying "Choose them so we can make a few extra billion in the sale." Neither flinched.

Now, there won't be any nuclear plant in Ontario, so the Feds have given up. They'll be lucky to give it away! As I said before, they should give it to Areva, so they can ship the Maples to France. Since everything nuclear is a state secret over there, they can fire up the reactors no problem. We'll just ignore their little stability problem....

Can I write anything 'not nasty' about this? I think the country will be better off by releasing talent that was obviously tied up in a hopeless self-similar organization. And I hope I get more clicks than yesterday's big fat zero....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chalk River Shutdown Confirmed


There's a hole in the bucket, dear Lisa, dear Lisa.....

Best Isotope Quote


Yesterday, Raitt disagreed with the analysis because in 2007 the nuclear watchdog wanted to keep the reactor closed against the wishes of AECL.

I think Lisa should do the Lunn and go into hiding. (Crap! Am I being nasty again?)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Keen Wind Blows


Yeah! Nothing better than an independent voice getting her revenge! "Isotopes? What isotopes?" is now the official government policy.

I just threw up that picture, because you can see those 50's buildings that couldn't be worse for seismic if you tried. Brick buildings without a speck of shear strength. Remember this picture!

Stop the Coming Ontario Lost Decade

Oh, I've just got to write something hopeful! Since reality has failed me, this will be rather wacky.

Ontario is in danger of falling into a Japan-style lost decade (maybe add an 's' for Japan). That's when social mental depression and economic depression proceed in lock-step. Right now it's not looking good for Ontario, where the lawyers have destroyed everything, all infrastructure activity is in the hands of incompetent power-people, and people don't care. In fact, right now, the greenies are celebrating that we have descended so far, that in consequence we'll never need a new nuclear station. Soon, the other 'non-economic types' will be demanding more money for the new poor that get shaken out of the dying 'Standard of Living' tree. And higher taxes, and more poor, and ....

So, I've been watching all these Hollywood movies where the star is a guy with untreated mental depression. Nobody gives him a damn pill! No, he's got to snap himself out of it, which he does in the movie -- happy, happy! In real life, we need the pill.

Thus, I propose the pill for Ontario: My good buddy Jim Basilly should just say "Enough of this crap! I'm putting in a nuclear repository myself!" Think of the international brownie points we would earn by solving this problem! And it will be right in Cambridge-Waterloo! Perfect geology!

All those people making cars there will realize that they are in trouble if Ontario goes Japan. Basilly can bring them over by calling the new hockey team, the Ontario Nukes! He will fund a centre of "All-Round General Excellence" which will find all the bright people to put in an ultra-modern facility (I'll go to their parties!). Everything would be on blogs.

Billions would pour in from the rest of the world for our expertise and designs. We would laugh at the French and Americans! This anti-depression pill would pull us all back up into the world leagues, and we would prosper again. And one day Basilly would build a nuclear plant....

Monday, May 25, 2009

French Rub Salt in the Wound


Ah, les pauvre Canadians! We are much smarter and can help you!

Do I feel insulted by this? No. Can the French dig us out of this radioactive hole? No. Why do they appear to be much smarter than us? Because they cover up all their mistakes.

But, quel idea! Why don't we sell AECL to the French for a buck? It would be like the Simpson's episode where the Germans buy the nuclear plant. It would be magnifique!

Niagara Tunnel Skids Under the Sandstone


This is really neat from a rock mechanics viewpoint! The TBM is inching up to the Whirlpool Sandstone, and the rock underneath is still being ground to ratshit. They really need a scale for this photo, but I take it that the overbreak is now under 2 m, but it may be a higher volume, since it would tend to spread out more. The speed is now getting up a bit.

Now, we know from the old tunnels that the sandstone is a really good roof, if you leave it flat and undisturbed. But they are going to chew a circular cross-section halfway into it. What will that stress concentration do? Will the sandstone explode? What if they broke right through it? Would the convergence ever settle?

I don't think they'll ever write the book on this, since everybody is going to hunker down under the Cloak of Stupidity, in order to protect themselves. Still, it is interesting...


As the tunnel approaches the sandstone, the overbreak may decrease in height, but increase in volume, due to the general tendency to form a flat roof.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Evolution of Wilful Stupidity

The three monkeys have been with us forever. Why have we evolved into a new era, where this has become institutionalized and perfected for Canada? The ultimate result is that no project will ever again be considered a success.

It all starts with fractals. If you look up fractal on my site, you will see that I'm obsessed with the concept. A fractal is self-similar, just like most geology and earthquake fault mechanics. It is a complex construction based on simple rules, and behaves 'identically' on all scales.

My original gift to the Inter-sphere is that this applies to human societies, as well. We all have the common desires of income, security, and family.

These basic 'forces' result in the classic org chart, which is a fractal. You can see the smallest organization resembles the large.

Now, we've all lived with this since the Roman Conquest. What has made them go poisonous now? Or rather what has stopped them becoming totally self-similar in the past? The answer is Exceptional People. Very bright people have always blown the org chart, and got things done. What has happened to these people?

Basically, the lawyers have eaten them. The safest, most secure way to survive The Chart, is to don the Cloak of Stupidity. The lawyers can't get you then. We know from the Rooney Hearings that this is a perfect defense, if people really believe you are stupid. The ones that get hammered are the bright ones, who can't pull this off, like Martha Stew, or Warren Buff.

Being self-similar, everyone puts on the Cloak of Stupidity. They don't ask obvious questions, don't hear anything, and don't dig. In fact, they set up the organization so that no bad news can travel upwards. Because of self-similarity, the whole organization will get religion about sinking a tunnel, and they will not hear any dissent, so that they can state with a clear conscience that "I never heard nothing!". You'll notice that the only accusation in these hearings is that "You knew, and never did anything." They never say "You stupid idiot!".

And so I am condemned to always write 'nasty' things. Why me? :)

Worm Fossil

Look at what I just found! A happy little 5-700 my worm, with mouthparts (I think) all around.

Little Interest in Nuclear Waste


Now that a hunk of my sad predictions have come true, time to go on for some more. Of all the comments on my blog, the one that stung the most came from a family member who said I was 'nasty'. He's an old retired engineer, who was thoroughly buried into the self-similar old boys club, and never poked his head out. The concept of 'nasty' is probably responsible for my periodic breakdowns. You never hear of any other Canadian engineer being 'nasty', unless they can be quoted anonymously, for fear of being whacked on the pee-pee.

  1. So, after the Niagara Tunnel hits $3 billion, they will start on the Bruce deep disposal excavation. This will be worse than Niagara, since they are all the same people.
  2. Bruce will never build their ridiculous plants on seismic hotspots with no water. Nevertheless, my Nanticoke buddies will continue to be terrified. :)
  3. The Darlington nuclear plants will never get built by the current government. They won't be able to recover from 'Niagara Terror' until the economy heats up again, the old nuclear plants fail, and we can't run our electric cars.
That's it. I'm looking for all my pennies now.

Nuclear Plant Delayed -- Again ....


Oh well, what the heck, I've opened up again, at half speed. I'll just live with no more wine money, since I recently blew some at Vintages. I've opened comments again.

To sum up while I was gone, all my chickens have come home to roost. Chalk River has finally rusted through, and is no longer an earthquake risk. The Niagara Tunnel starts its tortuous climb in total cost. And the nuclear plant is delayed because they can't serve it on a Politically Perfect Plate.

People are quite angry about the Niagara Tunnel on the Star, but they've never read my blog. Good, I hate anger! They got some Terrified Engineers to mutter about the NRU, but they all said they were afraid of losing their jobs. That's the trouble with Canada, all the technical people are buried in Self Similar organizations, and cannot speak out.

It's funny that in all those comments on the Star or Globe, nobody cares about facts, or a third-party technical opinion. I guess that's the thing about the Internet, everybody wants to vent and demand rolling heads.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Niagara Tunnel Boiled Frog


I'm still crushed and closed, but I had to put this out. These poor people are slowly edging their way to $3 B and 5 years late, which is what I estimate. The 1.6 billion is probably the figure right now, with 2B needed to save the machine. When they start grinding the sandstone, 0.2 B will go to the machine disintegrating right in front of their eyes.

An extra 2 years is added to waiting for the rock to stop rapidly converging, since they'd be nuts to pour into that. One year for patching the massive overbreak before they slip-form the lining.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2 Isotope Reactors Down


I think the world became too dependent on the flaky byproduct of aging research reactors.

I'm hanging up my mouse for now, withdrawing from the news, and going into internet rehab. This last week my ad revenue has been skidding at zero, so I wonder why I do this. Surely it's not healthy! I don't think there's going to be any more earthquake and nuclear news anyhow.

As I was watching the men digging for the patio, and laying in the foundations for the pergola, my old geotechnical instincts were aroused. Here I am, fully retired, and not a speck of my knowledge for useful purposes. And since I don't think much of all those people dealing with nuclear issues and earthquakes, I'll never be able to handle the stomach acid of doing anything useful. So, it's reading on my e-reader in the backyard.

In my absence, please believe everything they tell you. :)

Canada in Deflation


This is just an excuse to put up another picture I took today. But, right now I'm taking advantage of the tax credit and getting the patio extended. The men are digging as we speak. Actually, the tax credit is so low that it doesn't make any difference, and this probably applies to all the stimulus measures.

When we are in deflation, everybody just hangs around and waits until prices get cheaper. Not good for the economy. So it's a great time to buy a house, but it is now a depreciating asset, and people are worried about their jobs. So, we might as well build a loser nuclear station, since this is a great stimulus in a zone of about 10 km.

And I really hope that Port Hope and Kitchener are softened up about having a nuclear storage facility. These are my prime locations.

Golden Eagle Snuffed by Wind Farm


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tired NRU is a Catastrophe


Here it comes! Remember you read it here first! I said the doctor whiners would come out shooting, and here they are. "This is a catastrophe for my!"

Why is it that they are so powerful that they want to defy physics, and demand that the government do the equivalent of pushing on a rope? Oh, we are going to have a pandemic! Let's cut money to the poor, and give it all to us!

I'm only jealous as an earthquake whiner (or winer, for me). Earthquake whiners never get any attention. Big Earthquake is Coming! Give me money! Ha, Ha. Does that get anywhere? The NRU will explode the moment an earthquake touches it! Who cares? The doctors win.

We earthquake whiners never win. We only get to say "I told you so!", and then people throw things at us. And so we raise a glass to doctor whiners, and watch them try to make pigs fly!

More on the Isotope Rust Bucket


I think I've said everything I can say on this. I'm sure they'll get it patched up and running again, but I'm also sure that the breakdowns will come more and more often.

Seismic Capacity and the Chalk River Glass Jaw

Such a delicate flower! ..... Actually, I just took this picture on my fox walk, and wanted to show it off.

But I digress.... Seismic capacity is defined as the amount of 'hit' that a structure can take. We use it all the time in seismic margin assessments. I prefer to define it in terms of Peak Ground Velocity (PGV), which has a very strong world-wide correlation with damage.

A 'Glass Jaw' is what we call a boxer who can't take a hit.

When we had two earthquakes near Pickering, I discovered that people were quite sensitive to PGV on rock of 1 mm/sec. Actually, nobody on rock felt them, it was only people in rickety buildings on swamp. Using a conservative value for amplification of a factor of 10, that gives us about 1 cm/s to scare the bejeebies out of people.

Now, from Taiwan experience, it takes about 50 cm/s to structurally damage housing in Taiwan, which I take to be about the lowest level for structures. This is also the level where you find it difficult to stand up. An enterprising student could take an accelerometer on to the subway! From local experience with the Cleveland earthquake, I estimate 10-20 cm/s to tear the shit out of shopping malls, crack all your drywall, and knock things off shelves.

Japanese reactors get damaged at the very high level of 200 cm/s (2 m/s).

Where does the disintegrating Chalk River fit into this? If any structure is in a state of decay, these seismic capacities zoom down to the floor, sort of like stock values. Housing that has settlement distress is very low, as well as sunken transformers at Pickering! You can tell the degree of decay by looking at the response to very low disturbances.

Now the NRU was exposed to a trifling power disturbance. Nevertheless, this must put in a good shudder at about 1 cm/s as the pumps seize up. The emergency cooling, scramming, etc, must put in an equivalent of 10 cm/s. Did the reactor just shrug this hit off like Tyson? Noooo! It was damaged. Thus, I put the seismic capacity at a ridiculously low value of 10-20 cm/s.

That pretty well means an M5 in the area will create Hell on Earth. And these are a dime a dozen for that zone. Anything bigger will split the tub and expose all the hot fuel bundles. Although this has very low fuel inventory, nothing like Chernobyl, I am sure things will get contaminated a few km, and the river will give free dental x-rays.

NRU Falls Apart


Ok, cue in the whining doctors, NRU has another hole in the rusty bucket! Time to get out the duct tape, and the candle wax!

And you wonder how well they will do in an earthquake? On one of the hottest seismic zones on this side of the continent?

Hot Uranium


Ok, people are assuming that all these new nuclear plants can be built. That somehow sufficient brainpower will be found. Assuming all that (probably good in China!), then there will be a big demand for uranium.

So, all you unemployed geologists, switch over to uranium!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Long Beach Awakens


Los Angeles has more to fear from these 'internal' quakes than the 'Big One' along the San Andreas. Although these faults are thought to be limited to M7.4, they are shallow, and right under the main population. I expect that they would go 'super' and put out a powerful PGV, perhaps even the legendary 'fling'.

A true velocity pulse fling would resemble the motions leading up to the crack of the whip. In that action, there is a low frequency pulse started, followed by a high frequency 'whip'. All these pulses combine at the tip to allow it to go supersonic. For an earthquake, the 'whip crack' is at the top of buildings, or even the top of the soil basin.

As well, with these earthquakes, we have the magical standing waves. These are waves that one can 'see' moving across the soil basin. Where they combine positively, all buildings are destroyed. Now, for years, witnesses to these waves were called delusional, since true seismic waves travel at a tremendous speed, which cannot be seen by the human eye. But these are not true seismic waves, they are a superposition of thousands of waves bouncing back and forth in the basin. At the surface, they can either appear stationary, as in a vibrating bowl of jello, or they can slowly migrate as the frequencies shift. Witnesses have noted paths of destruction, as these apparent waves passed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shoddy Franco-Finnish Reactor May be Stopped


Well, this may not go down as the happiest nuclear story. Fresh off the cheesy concrete scandal, there have been other stories of using Yugo parts. Looks like their automated control systems make people jittery.

This is entirely new design, and I would expect it to have serious problems. We would never do that! Oh Wait!! Yes, we would!

Year of the Mutant Blackflies

Saturday drove up to the cottage. Left-over stringers of thunderstorms kept hitting us, but it was mild. Stopped at our lovely little bakery in Woodville, on the way to Apsley. The lady told us about a fine young family going camping for the first time at Silent Lake, and they had no concept of blackflies! Lambs to the slaughter! The lady tried to tell them to get stuff, but I wonder if that sunk in.

The rain just stopped as we loaded the boat, so no blackflies. They came as we carried stuff up to the cottage. Thwack! Thwack! These things hurt as they hit you. I looked at them up at the cottage, and they were big and juicy this year. In fact, the biggest I have ever seen. They were mutant blackflies! Aaaaahhh!

Full bug suits! I had to put in the pump, and they were hitting us. First I do the nasty job of attaching the foot valve, and dumping it in the lake. Clouds of them! Then we have to carry up buckets of water to prime the system. The screen doors were getting black with them!

I fired up two Off Lamps to smoke them out. They were penetrating into the cottage! Most of the time blackflies know they are trapped inside, and stick to the windows. Not this time! I brought one of those poisonous smoking lamps inside. Who cares about cancer?

Now we started juicing up the water system. After a while, the sound of someone pissing under the deck. Oh CRAP! One of the pipes froze and blew a copper elbow. I'll never do copper again! So now I had to go under the cottage, and replace an elbow. I couldn't see much because we had to set up a wind screen, and the pipe was full of water. Blah! And the blackflies! I've never seen blackflies that could bite through socks saturated in bug spray, but these ones could do it! Pipe fixed after a few solder burns.

Then it became cold. There's going to be frost!! The blackflies will die! Yeah!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Learn to Love the ACR-1000

There it is, in all it's imagined glory. I wrote a bit about it in my series on the contenders, but now we forget all the rest.

I'm going to dig further. I'm very interested in the fuel channel water flow, and the fueling machine. I know they didn't learn a thing from these disasters at Darlington, and I'm pretty sure they are jacking up the old specs to get the tremendous power densities (on footprint) that they are promising.

All these things are difficult to find because they haven't done anything! But now they have to. Of course the other thing will be seismic, but that one would be even more difficult to ferret out from public sources.

Ontario Chooses AECL (but not yet)


So, as I said earlier, from my deep throat source, the fix is in for Maple-icious AECL. I also said they wouldn't make the June 19 deadline, but here they are!

But wait! I said they couldn't come up with a Politically Perfect (PP) deal, so they would postpone. And now, although the vendor is chosen, they are working to make it PP. That would be done by sucking in Ottawa to cover the inevitable massive overruns.

And why are the overruns going to be massive? Because it's never been built! This follows Harold's Rule of New Engineering, which says you can get away with 10% new technology without doubling costs, but every percent above that has an exponential effect.

And as I have said in my previous explanation of the ACR-1000 technology, this whole reactor is Twilight Zone with regard to physics. If I was a cynic, I'd say it could never work, but you know I'm a sweetheart!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We Daydreamers Rock!


A more playful attitude, and some daydreaming helps solve complex problems. That's how I found myself today trying to lift up the hot tray of cookies I just baked, and put them back in the oven, instead of the new batch. Ouch! I also run into things a lot.

Be that as it may, daydreaming now joins snoozing as a good thing at work. Snoozing and daydreaming were my forte!

Opening the Cottage

I got a good clickage today, so I'm happy. And today boys and girls, we learn what is going to be done to open a Canadian cottage. I'm writing in advance because you never know...

This is the marina webcam, taken today. The first thing you want to know is that the ice is out. My cottage is way in the distance, and there is no road. The geology behind my place looks like somebody raked solid granite (gneiss) with a comb. No road is possible, and it's quite a challenging hike!

And you notice the dark and fuzzy look of the photo. That isn't the weather, IT'S BLACKFLIES! Clouds and clouds of them. The plague only ends with the dragonflies come out, and gobble them all up.

So we jump into the boat, holding our breaths so we don't suck them down our lungs and we zoom over to the cottage. Then we run up and get our blackfly nets. Why I never remember to pre-load them in the fall in the boat, I'll never know. Must be a mental block.

The inside of the cottage will have a glorious carpet of dead blackflies. This is the weekend that I start the pump, which requres the kids to bring up buckets of water for the prime. It's a jet pump at the top, so both tubes need to be filled before the pump starts. When they're finally gone, I'll use my electric sump pump to prime, but don't tell them!

To install the pump foot valve, I may have to touch the water. It is still as close to freezing as you can get without walking on it! Deadly pain to all those who touch it!

If anything interesting happens, I'll write after, if I survive.

Google News Crashes

I can't believe it! I'm a total news addict, and they've cut off my my flow of the good juice!

Google's had a lot of things going wrong lately. I wonder if they finally ran into a scaling problem, since they are way ahead of anybody now. Sooner or later there's a big cliff to fall over.

In all my studies and designs of computer systems, I have always been aware of scaling cliffs. It's so much easier if you are following someone who's been there. That's why, with these health care systems, I've always identified the scaling cliff, and they've always gone right over.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CNSC and AECL Happy Happy


I'm feeling rather blah, so I report this as a happy thing. The CNSC got all ripped apart for not doing this sort of thing before, so now they're in the groove. And I like the part about them ready to contract out all their expertise. That's the ticket!

Niagara Tunnel and Sandstone


Yeah, they're releasing information again! Must have been my complaints. :) Or they just could've put in another update regardless.

Although the script says the overbreak has reduced, it's still at about 3 metres, which is a lot. And I'm fascinated why they hovered just under the sandstone, rather than going up and watch the cutters getting instantly ground out. All in all, very interesting.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Grouchy Geologist Nixes Bruce Alberta Nuke


Yeah for grouchy geologists! The cherished Bruce site is one of the worst places in the world (Alberta is the world to Albertans) to put a nuclear plant. The opposition actually hired a consultant! Still, we know from Nanticoke, and the Bruce holey waste disposal, that bad geology will never stop them.

Uganda Dan

Dan's blog

He's finally producing, and can fill in a gap when I'm too depressed about clickage to write. I souped up his original Eeepc with Linux, and now he's a computer god over there. We had wanted to push the XO laptop there, but I think it's hopeless right now, what with the recession, and M$ controlling everything.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Yukkie Mountain Story


This is a very nice background story on Yucca Mt. As it is, 161 million US-ers live within 5 miles of stored high-level nuclear waste. Every senator since Day One has fought to keep it out of their state. The only way to resolve it is to find the weakest senators and beat them with a stick. How strong is North Dakota? Problem is that maybe next year some old guys die off and that state is strong again. Bye-bye site!

Toronto Fox Bark

I did it! I finally recorded the local fox barking. Seeing that the cottage opening is next week, our local fox has taken on the task of getting Cindy the Wonder Dog all fit again for summer. She usually becomes a bit of a porker over the winter, what with all the women sneaking her snacks. But now when we go for a walk in the valley, the fox starts barking to get Cindy to chase her. Cindy wouldn't even know the fox was there without the bark!

So the fox trundles away, and Cindy trundles after her, but not for long. This time the fox was really barking a lot to try to get her back, and this is the recording.

So, next time you hear that horrible screech, you'll know what it is.

Noisy Wind Farms


I don't know if I can joke about these things anymore. All the opposition is getting a bit crazy and too political. That's what happens when there isn't a speck of scientific information, and the politicos will have to learn it cuts both ways.

If you took a country person into the city, they can't sleep because of the background noise field. The same with a city person in the country. They can't sleep because it is too quiet. Do the windmills go beyond that? Do the infrasonics interact with basic biological mechanisms? Most likely, since I am sure there is some ancient mechanism to detect a herd of thundering buffalo heading for your village. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nuclear Waste and the Ice Age

I've noticed there's a big bru-ha-ha over where the deep used fuel repository will be. The pushers are saying: "No, no, we won't offend anybody.". New Brunswick is tearing itself apart, on whether it's a nuclear province or not. They probably want to do the 'Los Vegas', take all the cream, and none of the responsibility. Some people seem to be more reasonable.

But is any site really available in NB? Although everybody is calling me a failure, I will stick to the rational approach, and assume that something has to be physically possible, in order to be built. Of course, in Canada, we have the Niagara Tunnel Fiasco to prove me wrong on that. The political power people will try anything once, or maybe twice.... or more than that.

Nearly all of Canada has been glaciated many times in the past. A lot of areas have been scraped right down to the bone, by which I mean the basement granites. I emphasize once again, that no repository can be built in these zones, even though they are probably better than the swiss cheese rock they want to use at Bruce.

I did a study on the terrible things that happen to rock when an ice front either advances or retreats. If it's just standing there, nothing happens. During a sharp advance, there is an ice front, which causes shear loading on the rock. Behind the ice front the water may be liquid at the bottom and ice injected into the rock at high pressure.

The combination of the two create horizontal fracture zones, that are quite open, and carry enough water for a river. These things go down to about a kilometre in depth, and are not nice places to keep high level waste. You could try to seal them with grout, but that would be a useless effort.

Of course, I don't know why I mention these things. They can be denied on the political podium, and every small town deserves its chance for economic prosperity. But it's something for the rest of us to look out for.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sarritor to kill Dandelions


This is a cute bit of science. Every weekend I get this 20 pound lump of flyers, and today I noticed all the 'green lawn' ads. They are touting Sarritor as the be-all and end-all of lawn weeds. Sounds too good to be true, so I investigated.

This is a brand new product, discovered at McGill. It's fungus which selectively feeds on dandelions, and nothing else. It's no good for all those other things killing your lawn. I'd go out to buy some, but all the available product has been snatched up by the lawn care companies.

Doesn't sound that great, unless you have a heavy infestation of dandelions. Maybe when they have lots of product next year, it will be interesting to try out.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Obama to spend $197 mil next year in futile search


So the search is on for the next 'Nuclear Wasteland", in Reid's words. How are they going to spend this money? I'm fascinated. I don't think you could do an science with it, because there is no target. Perhaps it could be spent in giant "Waste is Good" carnivals touring the country. There would be all sorts of exciting rides. The big 'Electron Orbit' ferris wheel, the whirly plutonium separator, and 'Shoot the Isotope with a Proton'.

Green Roofs and Earthquakes


When is green not so green? When it makes a roof much heavier in earthquake country. And Toronto is truly earthquake country, as the new hazard maps show.

What's the best way to build for earthquakes? Light and strong roofs! None of that heavy clay tile crap -- sheer suicide! In fact, reinforced paper houses are the best for severe zones. They flex, and have virtually no mass, like a tent. When the earthquake hits, mass is your enemy!

So, if we want a nice green roof, we have to make the whole structure heavier and stronger. That sucks up a lot of building materials, like concrete, which are definitely not green to make. Why not put a windmill on top, which will need even more mass? I am sure the plants on the roof will never compensate for all the pollution that has to go into building it.

Of course, we could just ignore the earthquake situation, and pile on roof mass without greatly increasing lateral support. Sort of like Chinese schools....

Japan Earthquake Reactor To Start


Well, this has been a curious tale. The plant was knocked out by a super-quake of unknown peak velocity, and now it comes back. The story is in how long it was out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nanticoke Nuclear Takes Off To Sing

Press release

And here I thought it would never happen. A nuclear plant without water, and on the main fault express rail tracks between the Hamilton and Cleveland earthquake hotspots.

This should be more fun than Bruce! How are they totally going to avoid geology? Can they do it? Do they find all those high-money, high-power guys to put the geology through the power wash? I wish I knew.

As it now stands on Canadian Hearing Idol:

Nuclear Waste in a Karst Zone

Nuclear Plant in a Swamp

Nuclear Plant of Undefined Specs on a Postage Stamp

Nuclear Plant on Frozen Lake Beside a Seismic Zone

Nuclear Plant on Active Rocky Mountain Front

Who will win? I'm looking forward to a good show.

Life Comes Back to the Valley

Ok, as a homeowner I hate all this banning pesticides crap! The lawns are all being taken over by creeping charlie or catnip or something and the grass is going extinct. I'm starting to put in a lot more interlocking brick.

But, down in the valleys something interesting is happening. This spring the valleys were overrun with Garter Snakes. Some people may think this is bad, but they are feeding on something. In the previous 18 years I had rarely seen a snake, now they are all over the place.

Before, the little valley just had squirrels and urban birds. Now, I'm seeing ones I've never seen before, and I'll have to get out the book.

Now, listen to this video

Do you hear that beautiful sound? That has never, ever happened before. I'm pretty sure those are tree frogs, and I have some at the cottage.

Plus, there are all the foxes that play with Cindy, but we've had those before.

On the way back I saw a guy spraying 24-D on his lawn right in the open! He'll be shot! Now that the city bylaw enforcers aren't doing this any more, is it up to the provincial game wardens?

Push On For ACR-1000

Press Release

Here's one organization that believes Ontario is capable of making the big political decision by the end of June. So, they are all ready to deliver the Maple-ish ACR-1000 when the call is given. Bully for them!

Nuclear Waste People Still After That Elusive Community


And the waste people have lots of money to chase after their elusive dream. I want the waste repository right in the heart of the old car industry. Think of the jobs! And any danger to people will be one zillionth that of a pig farm!

But enough of my dreaming, since it is my observation that good geology results in smug prosperity, and desperate communities are always on evil faults.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pigs Killing Us All


Ok, you can't get Pig Flu from a slice of ham. By this reasoning, the swiney producers want us to stop calling it Swine Flu, because it gives giant pig farming a bad name, and they might not be able to get as stuffed with subsidies.

Still, I think Swine Flu is the tip of the iceberg on all the bad things that current pig practices do to us. Think of 100 million people shitting in the Great Lakes! It's time those pigs got some sewage treatment! You don't think a little bit of flu gets out with all this shit?

Anyway, this is too political. I just got started on this because of their 'Holier than thou' attitude on swine flu. :)

Geology and Global Warming


Now that Pig Flu is proving to be a washout, it's back to Global Warming and imminent disaster. I think we humans always need something like this, and the media will certainly fill the need!

Ian Pilmer is hilarious, but this article is a more reasoned approach. Geology tells us that sea level is always going up and down, so we could say that we are foolish being so sensitive to a tiny rise. Who put those big cities on the coast anyway?

I still think it's a toss-up whether we bake or freeze in the next 20 years, but sea level could rise at any time regardless. So for now, we can engage in our Therapeutic Panic by screaming - "AHHH! SEA LEVEL IS GOING UP BY AN INCH, WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!"

Blue Ribbons Spotted in Canada


I didn't think we had talking Blue Ribbons here in Canada, just in the States. Anyway, nobody listens to them on both sides of the border.

I don't think they touch on the heart of the matter, since they feed off the same trough of political self-similarity. They will rake in their money and yell at people to perform, just like the bosses at the old company. A good business to be into, much better than my work of standing on a virtual street corner for no ad clicks!

Disney Doesn't Like Us


Just a little article on Disney's War on Canada. I really think we have to throw our Mickey Mouse Ears back at them! I think the only way to satisfy their blood-lust is to throw more teenagers in jail, but we won't.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Politicians Will Solve Transmission and Nuclear Waste


You've got to read this! No more than six ribbons from any party! Try to make the transmission line go straight through the balkanized states! Give priority in the lines for 'green' electricity, by letting it go faster!

The most pressing concern: what to do with spent nuclear fuel now that the Obama administration has all but canceled the deep geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev. Senators worry that the lack of a strategy for nuclear waste will dampen utilities' enthusiasm to build the 26 reactors whose applications are currently being reviewed at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

'Dampen'? Blood right! Any new nuclear plant now has to admit they will line the river with Obama Barrels of nuclear waste for all eternity!

That, Which Cannot Be Named


Here's a nice pleasant article about a house which has been prepped for emergencies. They do a little crappy stuff here and there, but most of the work is anchoring for earthquakes!

And yet, do they mention a bloody earthquake? Noooo! Watch out for snow, or ice, or whatnot. What has compelled these people to brace for earthquakes, and yet never mention the possibility? I think somebody from the government got to them. They revealed their plans, and some uppity-shot said: "OMG, Don't mention the e-word!" "If you mention earthquakes, the pork producers will never again have a convention here. We'll just ignore that little bit."

And so a house is all braced for earthquakes, without nary a mention of the reason.

Webcast Bruce Technical Meeting


This might be interesting to some. Bruce doesn't have to make a decision yet on what reactor model they will use, and they won't until Ontario decides, which it won't. So for now, we have meetings where all technologies are put out to trot.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Porky Pig Flu


This is getting my "Irony Award" for the day. All those pig people trying to call this flu something other than Baconator Flu, and then the pigs catch it! What are we going to call this flu that the pigs get? Alberta Flu?

New York Once Awash


A very interesting article about a tsunami that hit New York City in 300 BC. Most likely it was due to an underwater landslide, but there is interesting speculation about other causes.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Nuclear Plants Delayed


I fear this is the start of an epidemic, and will spread faster than pork chop flu. Suddenly nobody wants to stick their neck out. You'll probably see this with Ontario on June 19.

Isostatic Uplift Drains Lake Huron


Lake Huron has extremely flat shores. There are places where you can walk a long way out, and still be up to your waist. Thus, a small change in water level has massive effects on the shoreline. Lately its been very bad.

When your boat now has to be anchored a mile away, people look to someone to blame. They claim that the US army dredged the St. Clair River in the 60's, yada, yada. Now, Lakes Erie and Ontario have increased their levels.

Part of this can be explained by long-term rain levels, but a part is the good old ice age.

You can see here that the winner lakes have their outlets more to the north than their inlets. That results in a water rise. On the other hand, Lake Huron is tipping its water out. It's a small effect, but in a shallow basin, things magnify.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Australia Does the Yucca Dance


It must be absolutely irresistible for a politician to scrap an existing plan for a nuclear waste dump. With one photographic sweep of the hand he is guaranteed to garner a handful of votes. I fear this will go on ad infinitum.

So, what if the next bunch of blue ribbons picks North Dakota? Well, we'll cancel that at the next election! Then we'll just gather more ribbons to make another choice. We can't diss nuclear, no sirree, that'll cost votes!

So, Australia and the US are in a contest on who will be able to cancel the most sites. Maybe other countries will join?

OPG Has New President!


A nuclear operations guy. I can't imagine him doing much talking with people, since he is of the unimaginative type I fought with most of my life. Still, happy, happy on the new job!

Bird Killing Wind Farms


This wind farm, along a bird migration route, will, from the goodness of its heart, turn off the turbines when it is making the most money, even when nobody is looking. Wow!

I'm amazed at the stats here. Some wind farms absolutely love birds of prey! What does that mean to all the rodents? Does the coyote population increase?

I wonder if there is an exponential effect like closing off a hose, when they put in more and more wind farms, and there's no easy way around?