Final report issued on San Onofre Nuclear Plant – Edison not to blame, it was a Mitsubishi computer glitch

The final review of the radiation leak at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations (SONGS) has been completed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Among its findings are that Southern California Edison (SCE) responded appropriately to the issue, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a company based in Japan, is to blame. They found that Mitsubishi’s “faulty computer modeling” resulted in mismatched components that, after only a year, had worn down significantly.

The good news is that we caught this issue before a catastrophic problem occurred, hinting that the safety protocols from SCE were adequate. The bad news is that we were one computer glitch away from a national disaster.

The outcome of all this is uncertain. You can bet that SCE would like to restart SONGS to start making money again, and they can do so by completing the checklist in the NRC report. They have said publicly this will not be until at least September, probably longer, meanwhile the public is digesting this news and preparing a public hearing from the NRC.

Many are speculating that since the plant was not needed during the heavy-use summer days, maybe it is not needed at all. But, that ignores the fact that other power plants were operating above capacity to compensate. Either way something will need to change, whether it’s an acceptance of the restart of SONGS, a new plan to make normal the over-operation of natural gas plants, or some blended model that takes into account the renewable energy sources coming online in the next few years.

 

More on this…

NRC:

 

Continue reading Final report issued on San Onofre Nuclear Plant – Edison not to blame, it was a Mitsubishi computer glitch

Sea levels to rise 3 feet on the West Coast, according to new report

Sea levels off most of California are expected to rise by about three feet over the next century, according to projections released Friday by the National Research Council.

The study is arguably the most comprehensive report of its kind for the West Coast, and its conclusions fall into the range offered by other estimates in recent years. They reinforce predictions that coastal areas will face increased damage from storms and big waves — what the research council called one of the most visible effects of large-scale climatic changes.

“Following a few thousand years of relative stability, global sea level has been rising since the late 19th or early 20th century, when global temperatures began to increase,” said the peer-reviewed report, co-authored by Daniel Cayan, a research meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

“Sea-level rise will send reverberations throughout local and state economies.”

 

Keep readingReport: sea level rise will be about three feet

Continue reading Sea levels to rise 3 feet on the West Coast, according to new report

Apple turns over its inventory once every 5 days!

Apple turns over its inventory once every five days.

That’s part of why a new report from the technology research firm, Gartner, ranked Apple’s supply chain the best in the world. And it’s pretty amazing when you think about it. This is a company that sells hundreds of millions of hardware gadgets all over the world and yet it doesn’t actually need to stockpile its goods.

The only company on Gartner’s list of 25 companies that turns over its product faster is McDonald’s, which is not exactly in the electronics business. Dell and Samsung rank two and three in Apple’s category, turning over their inventory roughly once every 10 and 21 days respectively.

via – Wow! Apple turns over its inventory once every *5* days

Continue reading Apple turns over its inventory once every 5 days!

Myth = 100% of our energy cannot come form renewable sources

100% of Minnesota’s electricity generation needs can be met by wind and solar sources combined with improvements to the state’s electric grid system and energy efficiency policies, according to a report released today.

Renewable Minnesota: Aanalysis of a 100% renewable-energy based electricity system for Minnesota

Researched and written by Dr. Arjun Makhijani and Christina Mills of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) and Dr. M.V. Ramana of Princeton University.

Minnesota’s electricity sector currently accounts for over one third of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. State policy is to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.

“A significant change in electricity generation sources is clearly needed to achieve that goal,” Dr. Makhijani explained. “Fortunately, wind and solar can provide 100% of Minnesota’s electricity. These currently available technologies also offer significant job creation and economic development opportunities.”

 

From Energy Self-Reliant States:

The notion that solar and wind energy cannot be the mainstay of an electricity generation system because they are intermittent is incorrect…it is technically and economically feasible to meet the entire 2007 electricity demand of Xcel Energy [in Minnesota] using only renewable energy generation combined with storage technology and energy efficiency improvements.

The renewable energy mix would include approximately 13,000 megawatts of wind power and 4,600 megawatts of distributed solar PV…would pump more than $90 billion into the state’s economy and create 50,000 jobs.

With the combination of new renewable energy and significant energy efficiency, electricity rates rise slightly but Minnesota ratepayers are held relatively harmless.

The conventional notion of a “peak load” needs to be replaced in designing an electricity system with a high proportion of solar and wind energy…The crunch time may be during periods when the wind and solar supply are low relative to demand.

 

Thx to Don Burke

Most of us would probably survive a nuclear blast in Washington D.C.

It’s the most nightmarish scenario—a nuclear device being detonated in downtown Washington.

Whammo and good night, right?

For most of us, actually, that wouldn’t be the case, according to a recent study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The 120-page report, “Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism,” was released last November.

The FEMA report posits a detonation a few blocks from the White House. Everything within a half-mile radius would be reduced to rubble and be so irradiated as to make any rescue operations unfeasible. Between half a mile and one mile out, there would still be significant damage and heavy injuries, but the area would be approachable by emergency responders.

And further out, there would just be a lot of broken glass from windows shattered by the force of the explosion, but few, if any, injuries that would require medical attention. (Aside from those sustained by people running face first into their bursting windows when they try to look outside to see what is happening.)

So, good chance of injury, temporary blindness, destroyed hospitals and a massive fallout cloud—but more likely than not, you’d live. At least until the radiation settles in.

 

via DCist – **click for the full report and much more gruesome details**

 

Thx to Shevonne Polastre

 

// Photo – James Nash

A Poem: Signs the economy is picking up

Last week the bells were sounding alarm
The jobs report was down
Housing is still in a depression
The pundits are starting to talk double dip

But what about my report
Pennies on the ground
15x more pennies on the streets
I’m hauling in the copper

Strength in the economy?
Bums are now only taking silver
Drunks are letting loose their cents
Parents are telling children pennies are trash

How will you decide
Pennies on the ground
Fancy-pants wall street reports

A penny saved is a penny earned