Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Bates Motel of energy ideas

Up until the disaster in Japan of the GE built reactor, the US nuclear industry was all but dead.  I work in heavy industry, and I can tell you the capacity to make large components for new plants in the US is almost nil.  If  more are built, much of the large forgings and machining must come from Japan, China, Germany, France, Italy, US content will be small on the big ticket items.    But the real reason it was stalled was money.  No one can be sure what it costs to build a new plant here, no bank or company wants to risk the billions and spend 5 to 8 years making it.  These things are hugh and the giant components of exotic materials are very long lead items.  The pay back is long.  And alternative energies and dirty coal make the return on investment over this very long build cycle very unappealing.  Thus, the lobbyist and the Congress they own will spend tax money to partially fund it and then give it to industry so that they may profit.  At the moment we have the proof of the folly of it, it seems the clowns have the loudest voice, and the industry has another chance to do us harm.  Capitalism?

Above are containers of nuclear waste.  No solution exists in the US to dispose of it, none.  This crap is hot for the next 5,000 generations.   So, why should we not be afraid?

Here is the media/industry/political story.  Don't worry, (a) the event in Japan is 1 in 500 years, (b) most reactors are not the type that failed.  Story (a) is for people who failed math.  Probability estimates the chance of happening, it offers no insurance of the frequency, it could happen again tonight.  Story (b) is suppose to be good news, but your "bullshit" detector should be shrieking like a guest in the Bates Motel shower.   If we look at Three Mile Island, that was a different reactor and it failed in a way that had never occurred.  Chernobyl was another kind of reactor, and it failed under conditions and events that had not happened before.  The Japanese reactor was different from the other two, and it failed in a new way.  So, we wait for the 4th failure, with a different design, and under circumstances  unforeseen.   A nuclear energy generation plant is one of the most complex machines made, with chains of redundant devices, chains of mechanical and electrical components, chains of monitoring devices, layers of human operators.  While this may sound reassuring it should be the opposite, this machine, every machine, without knowledge or intent is testing every possible combination of events and hazards every minute of it's service life, and without fail it will fail, it will find the weakest link in the chain and break it.  In short, engineers joke about complex machines as having too many potential points of failure, too many tent poles, break one and the whole thing falls in on you.
Obama, and the Congress, and the bankers, should find something else to do and forget this source of energy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Please, pay your taxes, bet you didn't know I get part of them?

Ok, like this is funny as hell.  See, I own a farm.  We raise grain.  80 years ago in the US the Congress and Senate decided farmers needed welfare because some years grain prices fell below their production cost.  Now, the last few years it has been so sweet, grain prices are wildly high.  Any farmer not making money now is an idiot.
Along comes the Republican party, they want the farmers votes, and they want to chop the legs out from under every charitable support system for the poor.  How can they do both?  Here's the funny as hell part!  Oh this is bloody cool.  Continue the welfare price supports, and, cut food stamps given to the poorest among us.  Is that a stroke of genius or what?
Please please continue to pay your taxes, some of which were transfered to me a few weeks ago, loved it, while grain prices continue to find new highs.  Screw the poor, screw you, send money.  Oh yea, in the past I begged you to drink and eat anything and everything that had highfructose corn syrup in it, the shit is flat out posion, get fat and die young is the message, oh, I digress, OK, not planting corn this spring, soybeans, so that goes into all kinds of things, but not as harmful as corn, which when fed to cattle causes stomach trouble, and used as fuel that's a hoot as it takes a gallon of petrol to make about a gallon of ethanol which delivers fewer btu's to your car engine meaning less power per gallon.
It's all too funny don't you think?

Animals do not go to the circus, they are kidnapped to it.

This is not nice to watch, I think you will get the idea in a few seconds, that may be enough.
You may have the idea PETA makes complaints about the welfare of chicken eggs, but they do more than that, and much of it is important.  There are also video's of US circus's and wild life farms/drive through zoos behaving as badly, in fact one is much much worse, dragging an elephant down by chains and beating it with metal bars, it seems impossible it's legs weren't broken.
Do not take your children to the circus.  Tell them the truth, that wild animals are different from domestic animals such as dogs, they do not know how to do tricks, and it is a rare case that they learn it without beatings and cruelty, and standing on one leg or even two is unnatural and damages their muscles and bones as does living a life chained on concrete.  Kids can understand that, your not robbing them of their childhood by being honest.  No animal ever wanted to be in a circus.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

University stories, Birds: Chance to kill, Killer’s chances, Killed by chance.

1) Organic Chicken was shown by the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety to be your best chance to live through a dining experience.  38.8% of factory farm chickens have salmonella.  5% of organic chickens have salmonella.  39.7% of the salmonella in factory farm chickens was resistant to six antibiotics.  None of the salmonella in organic birds showed antibiotic resistance.
2) DNA evidence is being destroyed.  According to Washburn Law University, only about half the states have laws protecting DNA evidence, and often if purposely destroyed there is no penalty for the violation.  Washburn discovered some prosecutors and police department’s have moved to destroy evidence on some questionable convections.
3) My (Kansas) KU Jayhawks got Cinderella’d by VCU.  I hated that, but if the other team shows up making most of their contested 3 pointers, there’s not much you can do.     Amazingly, KU had the worst game of it’s year in a number of stats, lowest percent of shooting, rebounding, freethrows, a number of players had the lowest scoring game of the year, a number of them had record turnovers of the year, one had 4 fouls in 6 minutes of play, a team speed record, yet still they lost by only 8 points.   (Missouri coach slot is open, VCU plays like Missouri, 40 minutes of chaos, Missouri calls it the fastest 40 minutes in basketball, I look for them to bid on him.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Road Trip

Sorry I didn't get back to some of your recent comments.  But...........road trip.  Keep your cats off the bridges.  Hear that Pops.  Going to TX for a few days.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

They can't call them freedom fries this time, comrade fries maybe.

Went to a meeting of business types a few days back.  I am always dismayed by the callous attitudes some display, but this one was amazing.  This group is mostly in favor of dictators as friends.  They are puzzled that our oil supplier pals in the middle east don’t get out there and shoot their opponents.  “Mow the bastards down” is a popular phrase.  When I said Arabic people are tired of being cheated and abused by mafia style governments my pals jump to a line of “oh well I guess you want higher gas prices” and a sweep it under the rug assessment of “hey those people have it pretty good, don’t let the news fool you”.   Well I ask them what does your religious or moral self say about this, shall we prop up abusive and immoral dictators so we can set at Starbucks drive up with cheap gas and to hell with those brown people?  One of the many I spoke to decided we should not.  He too is now on the list of suspects.  

Selectivity is a strange mechanism.  We hate Muslims, and dictators, but we love oil, and Muslim dictators with oil.   We don’t want revolution in oil producing states because it will disturb the oil market, but we want revolution in Iran which will disturb the oil market.   First Russia didn’t want Libya bombed, then agreed in the UN Security Council, then flip-flopped again. On Egypt the GOP didn’t want regime change, but as soon as Libya hit the fan they wanted to bomb and promote regime change, until Obama bombed it, and they promptly joined hands with the Russians against people fighting the brutal dictator behind the PanAm 747 bombing.   As usual we see the French on the opposite side of the GOP, the French will intervene to save a city from being shelled while the GOP will consider removing French Fries from the Senate and House cafeteria, again.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Please fix your sites. I can't even go see some of you.

Hey!  Dummy up!  I have 10 icons of followers.  The following do not get me to your site.
Skinny Guy,    kjmack,      bmcohen2780,   and  Joram Echeles.  Clicking on these only leads me to a white page where nothing clickable delivers me to the intended site.
I wish I could tell you how to fix this, but so far as I know Sherry is the expert and maybe she could "splain you" if you ask, you can click on her icon (the kitty) and it will lead you to her white page and you click on the "Link" and in you go.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Even those who deny global warming found the evidence true.

A climate study at Berkeley alarmingly was packed by the funding source at Carnaghi Institute with a number of Koch and the GOP’s climate denier pseudo scientist as project researchers. Amazingly when they looked at the data, they were convinced of the opposite the expected.  I am confident it was not what the fossil fuel industry thought they were buying.  Yes, it concludes.  Yes, “we are seeing substantial global warming”.  The dominant term is, “substantial”. 

The study looked at the voluminous temperature records of NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU (in Europe). The study set out checking for mistakes and inconsistencies of each and how they meshed as a body of work, they concluded the measured evidence is valid, and the data in each are in agreement.  This study looked only at land temperatures.  The far greater rise in temperature is the planet’s lakes and oceans.  Had both land and water masses been examined as a whole, the outcome would be even stronger.  It also looked at possible contributors such as volcano, earth orbit, solar flare etc. and found these were not responsible.

As a grain grower I can assure you (and this data is available in most county agriculture extension office) soil temperatures are higher than 40 years ago.  Harvest of wheat in central Kansas went from July 4 to early/mid June in this period.  While a few climate change deniers concede some warming they do not understand agriculture and often ramble on of some flippant imagined advantages of warming. However, Russia demonstrated last year temperatures 17°f above normal cut their corn output by about 75%.  The word for this happening a few years in quick succession is famine.

I know, some of you would like me to know it’s been cold at your house and NASA is to stupid to know your pipes froze. Well, global warming means the whole globe, and I am sure they tracked the air mass that iced the step that led to the fall that threatened your coccyx.   Fixed stations and satellites gather thousands of samples every day from pole to pole.  Adding in your problems, yea it still got warmer.
Cross posted by The Yellow Fringe & Killer Puffin alliance for death after life.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Toadie approaching

For the Blogstream refugees, Toadie left me a note elsewhere, he is on his way to blogger, may be a while but he'll get here.  He apparently is refurbishing a defunct blog.

Sustainable Energy Sources Survived, Still Working

      Throughout the Japanese earthquake zone Wind Energy Turbines survived, PV Solar panels survived, solar water heaters survived.
       At the instant the earth shook, a number of the nuclear plants went off line and must be inspected before they will return, and one was utterly destroyed and will cause Japan a great deal of trouble and money for some weeks or longer.
       In the area are some wind energy turbines.  All survived, connections were lost to a small percent of them but was restored right away.  PV Solar in the area is small but all survived that were out of the flood zone.  Solar water heaters are on many private homes, and survived outside the flood zone.  Japanese utilities are asking these green sources to provide as much energy as they possibly can now, a change, as in the US these sources are often kept off line by the dominant utility providers who see them as competitors to their coal and nuclear investments. 
       At sea, near the disaster area are a number of Wind Energy Turbines.  These too were unharmed and are generating electricity.  If you are not aware of Tsunami characteristics, at sea the wave and swell is very small, it poses no danger to ships or structures. Only as the wave nears land, in shallow water, does it rise up and become a danger.
       Diverse Survivable Energy Sources, which have a low failure impact, when dispersed, provide the best defense against disaster.  A disconnected cable at a windmill does not require evacuation of whole towns, a broken PV panel needs no fleet of fire trucks and helicopters to bomb it with water.   The total cost of energy is all the more economical when we consider that calamities are made worse without Reliable and Survivable Energy Sources.
     Cross posted by The Yellow Fringe & Killer Puffin alliance of free range sots.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

All together my neighbors only get 501,000 gallons per mile

The arterial semi-major street nearest my house has a traffic count of 30,000 vehicles per day 7 day average for this mile section.  This number is approximately 4 years old, as are the next figures used.  The US national fleet fuel consumption average was 24 mile per gallon for passenger car, 17 mpg for light trucks. In these 4 years the traffic has increased, and the fleet mpg has improved, but I will use these numbers, and to be charitable, after all this is junk science, will use the 24 mpg only.  Additionally, about 1/2 of the vehicles are stopped at the red light, one of the two at either end of this one mile stretch, lets assume on average those cars stand 2 minutes at idle, For new cars 1/4 gallon per hour use is normal at idle.  Today my fuel per gallon is $3.40.

The results ignoring pollution and mashed kitties:
1,250 gallon at $4,250 each day for one mile.
Plus the idle time going nowhere at the lights gives you,
501,875 gallons at $1,706,375 per year just for this one flippen mile.
All that cash electrically bounced in a microsecond to Plutocrats and Dictators who by the way think it’s funny as hell that you pay taxes.  This cash mined from your local economy, it will not come back!

Lesson: If you live in a city that has public transport use it, and save yourself up to $8,000 a year, if not, walk or bike, still not possible, air up your tires and learn hypermiler driving tricks, they will drive your kids stark raving mad while you reduce your money losses to oily dickheads that throw out food better than your family eats.

Cross posted by the Yellow Fringe & Killer Puffin alliance for sedated reasoning

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Anthropocene Blunder

As soon as they began to explain the situation of the exploding, and at least as of a few hours ago, the now abandoned Japenese nuclear Power Plant, it made sense, and I wondered why I had never thought of it before.  It was intuitive. 
Nuclear energy reactors/power generators cannot be left without human supervision, and they cannot be “turned off” in a short time period.
Hugh nuclear fuel rods, which generate heat by their nature of being radioactive, are packed by the hundreds into a grid and hang in a pool of water, control rods run interference between them slowing or regulating the amount of heat they create, along with the flow and volume of water pumped over them.  The water boils into steam to generate electrical energy. 
If a disturbance occurs, redundant systems are to maintain the plants safety through a proper temperature of the fuel rods in their bath. These did not work, and Japan faces a growing catastrophe.  
The problem is this: the fuel rods require a regulated flow of water so long as they remain in this grid, they are less dangerous and easier to manage if they can be separated, but this takes a few weeks to pull them one at a time from the bath and properly handle and store them.  Even stored they still require a water bath but it can be managed somewhat easier.  However we see here that one reactor was being reworked and its rods had been stored yet with the failure of power within the system, now even those rods have reached such a temperature as to ignite yet another radioactive fire.
From this we learn what we should have known from the start.  Without constant  supervision these plants will burn up and spread their atomic poisons.  A number of paths could lead to an unattended plant, pandemic among the plant workers, civil insurrection, a natural or man made disaster.  This isn’t a car overheating, a TV too loud….the last guy out of the room can’t just turn the thing off.  It has an atomic imperative to react, and it will.  
What do we hear form the industry and the PM’s and Senators pushing to the microphone?  All good news, don’t worry, not so bad, this could never happen anywhere else.   Should we be building machines that cannot be shut off for weeks, which can destroy a region?

Cross posted by: the Yellow Fringe & Killer Puffin alliance for chaos

Monday, March 14, 2011

Exemplary being

GE and the nuke plant multi layered safety plan

GE maker of the nuke plant in Japan damaged by the earthquake, and about 1/2 of the nuke plants in the US appears to be taking a very casual approach to this event.  They speak of it very relaxed.  Not too much to worry anyone.  First if something goes wrong the system shuts off and the pumps cool the reaction unit.  If the power fails back up generators run, they failed so the next level is battery back up to run the pumps.  They lasted less than 8 hours, the next level is the building blows up, that worked perfectly.  Now, nothing much to be excited about, the main vessel is in tact.  I really wonder why the first two backups are needed.  Save money, just go immediately to the exploding building next time.