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Tell the world to stop blaming your home air conditioner for peak power spikes

Guest post by TonyfromOz (Anton Lang)

The Peak Power story is that spikes in electricity occur 6 to 10 days a year and we need to cut back on the power we use at home to ease spikes. In Australia, the spikes are on the hottest days of summer, and commentators tut-tut and blame the profusion of air conditioning in our homes. Their story goes that there is no point in building more power stations because the spikes are short lived.  [See  Western Power,  Reneweconomy, The Queensland government, and Urban Ecology for examples of people making out  residential air conditioners are to blame. That last link has this hysterical quote "The big mistake was putting air-conditioning in cars." If people were not used to being cool in their vehicles, they would not demand it in their homes. (Tony O'Dwyer, National Economics)". Never let the riff raff use the industrial magic tools eh? Keep the air conditioners for the elite academics, pollies and white collar office workers! -- Jo]

But here’s the kicker. There’s one day of the year when more people are at home than any other day, so if home air-conditioners were the problem, then Christmas Day should be a peak electrical headache. Instead, it’s the lowest electrical consumption day of the year. It’s not just the lowest, but far and away the lowest, and not just this year, but every year that power records have been kept.

 

Power consumption on the Eastern Australia electrical grid on the Christmas Day compared to the Wednesday the week before.


A half a dozen days a year the Summer Power generation in Australia does indeed spike, and demand is sometimes as high as 32,000 to 35,000MW. But the load curves of power use tell us that homes are not the problem. The load curves are always lower over the weekend, and especially on Sundays. Peak power spikes just don’t seem to happen on the weekend. While some workplaces are open on a Sunday, there is only one day a year when almost every workplace is shut–Christmas. Nearly everyone in the country is at home, possibly with the air-con on all day. Arguably there is more cooking than usual, and the fridges get worked pretty hard as well.

The graph above shows two Load Curves. The top line is a normal working day, Wednesday 18th December 2013.  The red line below that is the power consumption for Christmas Day 2013 — which looks closer to a typical Winter load curve with a small peak in the morning, then a slight dip and a further small rise again in the late afternoon. On a normal work/school day residential power consumption has a two peaks a day, one in the AM and one in the PM when everyone gets back home.

Compare the two points where both curves dip to their least power consumption. The lowest electricity use on a normal work day minimum is still at least 17,500MW, while on Christmas Day it’s down to 15,500MW.

The peak electricity use on the work day shown is 27,500MW, and the peak for Christmas Day is 19,500MW. The average for the work day is around 22,000 MW, and for Christmas Day around 17,000. Usually, a normal working/school weekday the peak is closer to 30,000MW with the average around 25,000MW. Schools are closed in Australia from mid December to the end of January (many schools have closed before the 18th December).

This Christmas Day load curve can be used as a good indicator of residential power consumption. See how the gap between the dip point around 4AM and the peak for that day is barely 4000MW. On one of the record Peak Power days, the gap between the dip point and the peak is sometimes as high as 14,000MW–with most people at work.

That maximum extra residential consumption for the day of 4,000MW tells us that residential consumption is not the largest contributor on Peak Power days, and that home air conditioning should not shoulder the blame for spikes.

Solar is not the answer

Perhaps rooftop solar power might contribute to lower power consumption? There is currently around 1.8GW in Nameplate Capacity for rooftop solar power. Across this one Christmas Day, those panels will generate around 500MW only during the daylight hours for that Christmas Day. Because all of those homes are actually consuming power during the day, then virtually all of that solar generated power is being consumed by the residence on that day, with very little being fed back to the grids. Even adding that 500MW from rooftop solar generation to the peak power consumption, Christmas Day consumption is still considerably lower than for any other day of the year.

[Sure solar power is blunting the peak slightly, but is the cost worth it? We could have generated all that peak electricity (and more) by building another gas fired plant and then spent the money we saved on a beach holidays for everyone instead... Shall we vote on that? - Jo]

Residential power consumption here in Australia is only 20% of all power usage, and the Christmas Day load curve shows that residential power cannot be the cause of huge power consumption on days when those peaks rise considerably.

Reading this probably raises more questions. Rather than answer them all here, I’ll answer in the comments. I just know what that first question will be.

[Jo notes that the evil destroyer of the "climate" (if CO2 mattered) appears to be nothing less than industrial production. In other words, to produce less CO2 we have to stop the factories, offices, shops, schools and hospitals, and the trains and trucks. It really is  about quality of life. Shall we switch it "off"? -  Jo]

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237 comments to Tell the world to stop blaming your home air conditioner for peak power spikes

  • #

    The obvious first question this Post raises is, okay then, on those days of Peak Power consumption, where is all that power being used?

    I probably can be put down to air conditioning, but it is air conditioning that cannot be turned off and in fact, air conditioning that no one would dare shut down.

    Look at the skyline of any of the huge capital cities, any city, any town in fact, any place which has buildings taller than two/three stories, and even most ground level shops as well. They are all air conditioned. However, calling them just air conditioners is incorrect, as, in the case of those taller buildings, these huge units on the roof supply circulated breathing air into those buildings. It’s not like you can just walk to the window on any floor of those tall buildings and just open the window. You can’t. The air inside each of those buildings has to be brought in from the outside and circulated throughout that building, constantly removing the stale air, and replacing it with fresh new air. True it is conditioned, but the temperature setting is kept virtually the same year round, so it feels cooler in Summer, and warmer in Winter.

    On those days of extra high power consumption, they are mainly stinking hot days. The ambient temperature inside the building rises as all that glass on those buildings just lets in the heat. Now, those high power consumption (huge) compressors on all those buildings have to work overtime to keep the inside temperature at the required setting, something that they don’t have to do in the cooler and colder Months of the year.

    Now you can see how power consumption spikes, and in fact spikes considerably on some days.

    The same applies for schools. These days nearly every classroom is air conditioned. They also would be working overtime on those days of peak consumption.

    Look at any Load Curve for those days of large consumption. That peak power usage is usually reached at around 1PM. Everyone is at work or school, not at home using their household air conditioning units. That Peak then lasts for anything up to 5 hours, and only begins to drop slightly, after Sunset.

    So then, can we reduce those peaks?

    Look again at those skylines. On those days of those huge peaks, perhaps only 6 to 10 days a year, the extra consumption could be as high as 33,000MW, which is perhaps 5,000MW higher than an average day peak. That’s a full one third higher when referenced to the Base Load total. So now, looking at that skyline in any city or town, select one tall building in three. It’s no use just sending the people home. You have to turn off the power to that building, and completely remove it off the grid.

    Impossible. Do that, and the building cannot be occupied for days after the power gets turned back on, and the air inside the building returns to normal breathable air.

    Pick one hospital in three to totally shut down. Walk down any street in any town or city. Shut off one shop in three. Close down one school in three, not just send the children home, but turn it all off completely. Shut down one shopping mall in three, one Coles in three, one Woolies in three, and on and on and on.

    Can you see now how these things will NEVER be done. No one in their right mind would even consider it, let alone any government, be it Local, State, or Federal.

    Perhaps the introduction of Smart Meters might help here.

    Wrong.

    Isolating just the air conditioners in even one quarter of the homes, if they even have that many Smart meters installed, will amount to a saving of virtually nothing. Isolate one quarter of ALL Australian homes, and that’s blacking out one quarter of the total residences in Australia will still only save perhaps 1,000MW at the most, nothing when you need to be finding 5,000MW of power.

    No, none of those things will happen, and in fact none of them CAN actually happen. The cost would be astronomical.

    What is actually needed is to have the power plants enough to actually cover the power that is being demanded.

    Tony.


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    • #
      Gamecock

      Mr. Tony, in the U.S., larger electricity consumers are charged for their capacity to consume. It is not Nameplate Capacity, rather actual peak usage during the previous year. My corporation paid tens of millions a year in demand charges. Ostensibly, they pay for the utilities’ fixed cost associated with the excess capacity.

      I have advocated for years that these demand charges be pushed down to residential users as well as smaller business users. As peak usage does raise cost beyond the variable cost of fuel, it makes sense for customers to pay for the cost.

      If this were done, everyone would be left with the simple business decision to pay attention to their peak usage, and cut as practical for THEIR situation. I can tell you from experience that MOST will not change their usage. But at least they will pay the price for their peak.


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      • #
        Jon

        “peak usage” is an old socialist lookalike we had in Norway in the 50s, 60s and 70s. If we used more than a Marxist political decided preeset household energy value per month, we really had to pay.
        It’s back?


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        • #
          Gamecock

          Fixed cost for power companies is real.


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          • #
            Greg Cavanagh

            I don’t think I understand what you’re saying Gamecock. The power stations are always running in excess of demand because the power fluctuates. They charge a percentage of running costs surely? So everybody currently pays their part of all associated running costs plus tax.

            I don’t understand what you’re meaning when you talk about peak usage costs. As though it suddenly costs more to run a power station at peak usage times?


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            • #
              Gamecock

              Power utilities are required by law to have adequate capacity to meet the demands of their customers. Peak consumption may occur on August 13, yet the utility must maintain that capacity all year. There is fixed cost associated with the capacity. The cost of the building, the equipment, etc.

              The generation of electricity results in variable cost, i.e., the consumption of fuel to run the generators.

              If the utilities could somehow cut off the peak, they’d save a fortune. The consumers of electricity ARE paying that fortune. Big consumers more directly.

              In the U.S., residential and small business customers pay only for the electricity, on a per kWh basis. Big customers also pay for their peak capacity to consume. What I’m suggesting is that all customers pay for their peak capacity to consume, because the utility has real fixed costs because of it. Is that already being done there?


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              • #
                Ray B

                gamecock, isn’t it safe to assume that the price of electricity in $/Kw hr is set so that the electricity companies can make a profit? If so, then we are all being charged for their fixed costs, however much we consume individually.


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              • #
                Gamecock

                Yes, Ray. But without the direct incentive of paying demand charges, consumers jack up the cost.

                The absolute best way to distribute energy cost is by usage. People should have to pay for the fixed cost they incur as well as the variable cost.


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      • #

        - – - – - – - – - – - –
        Gamecock December 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm · Reply
        Mr. Tony, in the U.S., larger electricity consumers are charged for their capacity to consume.
        - – - – - – - – - – - –

        I don’t know why I think this is wrong, but, gross users of electric power actually pay *lower* wholesale rates, and also on account of the fact that they agree to be part of the ‘load’ which can be managed (or shed, reduced IOW) in the case of a shortage of generation on the supply side (which can happen in the case of the loss of generation coupled with high loads occurring at unexpected times, as Texas saw a few years back owing to an unusually ‘cold’, cold front that moved through; turns out some generation plants could not take the cold wx without having issues arise!)

        Wholesale users also don’t require the customer support/billing infrastructure (like front office and personnel, check and CC handling capabilities) that’s required to cater and handle home electrical consumers.


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    • #
      Bruce

      #1 thing to remember about summer air conditioning.

      All the expelled air is hot and moist. Which means the intake air is hotter and moister. Vicious circle.

      A study for Paris recommends central air condition system pumping cold water from Seine.

      “Air conditioning (A/C) is a key parameter for health problems in case
      of heat waves since, on one hand, it reduces mortality but, on the other hand, depending on the heat management,
      it can increase street temperature therefore increasing the air cooling demand.”

      A/C units can increase outside temperature.

      “In Tokyo, the heat resulting from air conditioners usage increased
      the air temperature by 1–2 C or more on weekdays, in the office
      district”

      http://www.cnrm-game.meteo.fr/IMG/pdf/tremeac_eatl_2012.pdf


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      • #
        Mark D.

        Bruce, the amount of heating in a metro area should be predictable simply by looking at the electrical consumption in said area. The heat inside the building is either solar, in which case it would have been “outside” if there weren’t buildings, or it was generated by the use of electrically powered equipment (perhaps a small amount due to cooking with fuels). Air conditioners are pretty efficient but the losses and added heat would be a percentage of the electricity consumed.

        Little of the more concentrated heat outside is the fault of the added energy used to run the air conditioners only that part related to efficiency. The heat exchanged to the outside (making it warmer) is the result of compacting more activity into the metro area.

        I’m not sure I agree with the notion that it increases humidity locally either. That humidity was there already and the condensate from many AC units in commercial settings are drained to sewers.


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        • #
          Bruce

          The humidity wasn’t there. Every human that comes into the metro area perspires and respires. All that water vapor occurs from humans consuming liquids/food and then sweating it away into the buildings. The A/C units work hard to remove that humidity from the building into the outside air.

          “Maximum sweat rates of an adult can be up to 2-4 liters per hour”


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          • #
            Mark D.

            Bruce, are you playing both sides of the argument? Why would an adult sweat at the maximum rate in an air conditioned office?

            You ignored the part where these AC units drain their condensate to sewers.


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          • #
            Rohan

            “Maximum sweat rates of an adult can be up to 2-4 liters per hour”

            Wow, who’d have thought the average exec in the CBD worked so hard at their desks, that they added 2-4kg H2O per hour from sweat! They must apply industrial strength BO killer hourly at that rate…

            So if you could be bothered to do the calculations on the increase of RH in the CBD of your city due to excessive executive perspiration, I’d hazard an educated guess that the RH wouldn’t rise by any appreciable amount that could be measured.

            Kind of like the amount of global warming that would be reduced by applying an ETS on carbon dioxide.


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      • #
        Ray B

        Bruce, hot, moist air expelled from a/c units will rise due to known physical laws. I suspect the extra temperatures in the Tokyo office district were more to do with solar energy reflected from office windows & especially the huge amount of solar energy stored overnight in all those concrete towers. The original green environment bulldozed to make way for the city was much cooler due to its lower heat capacity.


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        • #
          Bruce

          It might rise eventually. But it is continually replenished ruing the day thanks to those A/C units. A/C units take power generated elsewhere and turn most of it to heat in the core of the city while millions of people commute to the center of cities and drink liquids and sweat it away into buildings.

          Remember, #1 green house gas is water vapor.


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    • #
      Ian

      TonyfromOz . Good piece and many thanks for that. Increased water consumption (at least in Perth) is also laid (un)fairly and squarely at the door of the domestic consumer. We are forever being exhorted to use every avenue to save water, which in itself is no bad thing, with no mention of the fact that domestic consumption is only around 12% of total consumption. The focus on the domestic consumer in both power and water usage needs to be put in perspective not just by TonyfromOz but by government


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    • #
      Alex

      The first question I have is about the assumption that everyone is at home on Christmas day,
      but that is the one day of the year that people tend to congregate ie- going to mum and dads or the brothers or the cousins for Christmas lunch or dinner. Because of this congregating I think that home occupancy could easily be down to near half. This could be an explanation for the missing heat or more precisley missing heat control.


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      • #
        Ian

        If your contention is that the lack of a spike in power usage is due to a greater number of people congregating in single venues why does the shape of the “at home” graph resemble that of the “at work” graph? Wouldn’t that suggest your contention could be incorrect?


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        • #
          Alex

          Ian, the point I was trying to make is there are going to be a lot more vacant homes because people are out visiting so on a graph it would look like an at work day only with lower consumtion, just as the graph looks.


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          • #
            Anthony

            That’s what i thought as well. Most people are not at home on Christmas day, rather they are at family’s places or venues.
            Rather than 10 air cons operating, you only have one. Or rather than ten fridges getting a beating, there is only one.


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    • #
      RoHa

      One way we could both save electricity and benefit humanity would be to turn off all the piped music in supermarkets and shopping centres. At Chermside they even pipe the crap into the car park!


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    • #

      Well, I’m a little surprised that no one has really questioned the home air conditioning induced spikes that we are told are causing those alleged Peak Power Days.

      Let’s pretend that say across all Australia, there are around (and I’ll purposely ballpark a low figure) just 2 Million homes which have air conditioning units that will be turned on because of the heat

      Let’s pretend that the average is around 5KW units for the main living area aircon units.

      Let’s pretend that everyone gets home around 5 to 6 PM, and they all turn on their units around those two hours, usually, “God it’s hot in here. Turn on the air.”

      Those huge power consumers, the compressors, all come on immediately, and work solidly for quite a long time because they have to get the inside temperature down to the (Klixon) set Low temperature.

      So, here we 2 Million homes instantly sucking 5KW each out of the grid.

      There’s 10,000MW right there.

      Now, go to any load curve for any day of Summer, be it alleged Peak Power day, or any Summer day. Look at the load curve for that day, and there’s even one in the image at the top of the page, in this case the black curve at the top. The peak for that day was around 3PM while most people are still at work, as all the schools were out for the year.

      That peak is not 10,000MW higher than it was a little earlier.

      Not one load curve shows a spike at the 4PM to 6PM time frame, or even a gradual increase to the initial 10,000MW, an absolutely huge rise compared to what you are looking at on the load curve.

      On those Peak Power days, we’re talking of power up around 32,000MW and more, and even they show no huge spike of that magnitude, and on those days, the claim is that they are stinking hot and everyone is using their home aircon unit.

      In every case for Summer, the actual Peak occurs around 2PM in the day. It can stay at that level, but at around 6PM it starts to fall away.

      The Base Load, that dip point minimum is around 18,000MW. Add on just what I have shown above the 10,000MW ….. just from home aircon units alone, and that takes it up to 28,000MW, and that’s with no other consumption at all.

      See now how it’s a furphy of a scare campaign.

      Tony.


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    • #
      bananabender

      The logical solution is to introduce height limits of 20m/six stories on new buildings. There is no rational case for tall buildings in Australia. They are uneconomic, inefficient and create vertical congestion. Tall buildings are little more than monuments to ego.


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    • #
      Andrew McRae

      The Base Load, that dip point minimum is around 18,000MW.

      But, Tony, the requirement of Baseload Power production is a Myth, My ABC Science unit told me so.

      (Allow me to insert here a 50cent version of the traditional TonyfromOz counter-argument, which is essentially that: power must be produced into the grid at precisely the rate it is consumed from the grid, and since a constant minimum base line load demand exists even at 4am this implies a base load 24/7 reliable supply must also exist. See that was quick. Like I said it’s the 50cent version.)

      I’m sorry, I’m not trying to wind you up, but I really want to quote from “Dr David Mills” just for the sheer comedy value (my italics):

      It is logical that these technologies must compete with each other for the lowest price and best environmental outcome, but wind is already competitive against coal in much of the USA and is very low in emissions. An important outcome is that nuclear, geothermal, coal with sequestration and photovoltaic without storage have to compete against wind per kWh because they provide the same product — inflexible electricity output. This might be a real challenge for these technologies.

      If we really need to dump the baseload/peaking dichotomy and adopt his “new way of thinking”, I just have two questions for the good doctor. If the “flexible” plants are supposed to reduce their output to allow an unforeseen increase in the inflexible wind power to take over midday supply, doesn’t that mean that A) the “flexible” supply has to be capable of meeting ALL power needs when the inflexible supply is too low, and B) the inflexible supply can’t reliably provide the base load after the flexible solar storage has run out of steam?

      Nuclear and wind power “provide the same product” !!
      Hmmm, there’d be a few Greenpeace lieutenants that would disagree there.

      More astonishing was the doctor’s solemn declaration that “neither wind nor coal nor nuclear can follow the load without changing the technology and increasing the kWh cost.” He’s implying ordinary nuclear reactors cannot be used for peak demand. This stuck in my craw a bit so I had to check into it. Turns out, the French are doing the impossible, and doing zee impossible 7 days a week, sacre bleu! Yes PWRs can be used for peaking power as long as they are run in a set of 3 reactors or more, so that the fuel loading cycles can be staggered. Not impossible. Done every day of the week in France.
      That’s for PWRs which are the majority in the world and are an older design. All the BWRs can also be ramped up and down easily.
      There are other designs, some new, some quite old, which use a Fast Neutron design and can be very easily ramped up and down at high rates. The Russians have been using them in their nuclear powered submarines for 40 years. That is exactly the scenario I first thought of when told nuclear was only good for base load. A military submarine will need to go from all quiet to maximum thrust in less than a minute, so of course their reactor designs must be capable of ramping up to peak power quickly. Pretty obvious really.
      Obvious unless you’re a renewables investor perhaps.

      But again here is another point where you are just not following the government programme:

      Perhaps the introduction of Smart Meters might help here.
      Wrong.

      No no, Tony, it is you who is mistaken. It is not important how much difference it really makes, it’s only important that you are seeming to make a difference. You have to be seen to be doing your part.
      The reliable and objective ABC Science unit told us ‘Watched’ households use less energy:

      Schwartz and colleagues found that the households that were told they were being monitored used 2.7 per cent less electricity than the control group, which were unaware of any monitoring.

      So you see the smart meter will seem to make a difference, and that’s all that’s important.
      Seeming to do, not actually doing.


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    • #
      Frank

      The sensible thing to do would be to have separate charges for fixed and variable costs associated with power generation. The variable costs would vary with the number of kWh used. The fixed costs would depend on the customer’s usage on the days the power company announces a peak power alert – roughly the days the power company expects demand to exceed the top 25 days of demand over the last 5 years.


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    • #
      T.A.

      Hi Tony,

      If the peak demand is caused by the multistory buildings where air conditioning can’t be switched off, then why would the power usage be so much lower on Christmas Day? Surely if the air conditioning in multistory buildings can never be switched off, then the power graph should look much the same on Christmas Day?

      Given that Christmas happens in summer, it’s generally likely to be a hot day where all the effects you mentioned of sun shining through large glass windows should apply?


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  • #
    Popeye

    Tony – beat me to it mate (but only just) and that was my question.

    “What is actually needed is to have the power plants enough to actually cover the power that is being demanded.”

    Yep – and all new ones should must be nuclear. Let’s face it – NONE of the “so-called” renewables cut the mustard – we should be looking at developing world leading technologies such as LENR. Australia holds about 70% of the worlds Thorium and we are smart enough to pull of a wonderful “coup de grace” on the rest of the world if only we would put the same amount of money and effort into this as we do into renewables.

    Mitsubishi & Toyota are pushing heaps into LENR – they have both confirmed it’s viability.

    Makes me sad that we may miss the boat.

    Cheers,


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    • #
      Ian H

      Yep – and all new ones should must be nuclear.

      No need to mandate a technology. Just require them all to be economic and efficient.


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        I would say, just let a real free market determine what happens. I learned this lesson from Ronald Reagan. Before his first term began oil was in short supply — the second Arab oil embargo, don’tch know — the government was allocating gas here and there and there were long lines at gas stations and the price was sky high. The regulators were saying that deregulation as Reagan wanted it would be even more expensive than regulation was (believe it or not).

        Reagan was elected and with a huge margin of nearly 2:1 in the popular vote congress saw little choice but to go along with him. So regulation was ended and it didn’t cost anything because something was eliminated not replaced with something else. Suddenly the lines began to disappear, the price went down and there was enough gas to go around with a simple plan that let you buy gas on odd numbered days if your license plate number was odd and on even numbered days if your plate was an even number. Everyone knew what could be counted on and the problem, for all practical purposes, was solved. The Arab oil barons shortly relented because they really needed the the additional revenue to keep propping up their governments, their lavish lifestyles and their nanny states.

        Problem solved easily by admitting that there wasn’t much of a problem in the first place.

        I’ll stick my neck out and declare that the same strategy will work with electricity or any other utility or commodity anywhere, even Australia if it’s just allowed to operate instead of being strangled by regulation.

        Markets are free to work out what gets the job done. Regulators are only free to screw things up.

        What say you, Tony?


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      • #
        Manfred

        No need to mandate a technology. Just require them all to be economic and efficient.

        …and politically correct, which nuclear will not likely to be in NZ for example, and elsewhere – Australia – ?


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    • #

      Popeye (The sailor?) Do you think is worth all this?
      “three years after their deployment…..scores of her fellow crew members on the aircraft carrier and a half-dozen other support ships are battling cancers, thyroid disease, uterine bleeding and other ailments.”
      http://nypost.com/2013/12/22/70-navy-sailors-left-sickened-by-radiation-after-japan-rescue/

      “Not until four or five years after the accident”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wLRLwo2_f0

      “Fukushima the worst is coming”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me1ov9YoA1g


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        Mark D.

        Siliggy, from the news story:

        By the time the Reagan realized it was contaminated and tried to shift location, the radioactive plume had spread too far to be quickly outrun.

        “We have a multimillion-dollar radiation-detection system, but . . . it takes time to be set up and activated,” Cooper said.

        I’ve heard of military incompetence but really? Duh! we’re steaming towards a nuclear calamity and we didn’t take the time to set up the radiation detection systems???

        They should be suing their commanders.


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        • #

          Mark D. “on a humanitarian mission to Japan’s ravaged coast,”. When exactly were the commanders informed about the nuclear calamity? Were they informed at all?


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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            When exactly were the commanders informed about the nuclear calamity? Were they informed at all?

            You just asked the $64,000 question. And we don’t know the answer. But it could easily be that they did’t know in time to protect themselves.


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            Andrew McRae

            I’m not saying a jingoistic slogan can form any more than a glib response to your question, but the USMC has had the following slogan for a long time:
            First to go, last to know.

            Sailing into a radioactive plume seems like a major screwup, but… Given how clueless TEPCO still are about the FNPP Dai-ichi situation and how studiously ignorant the Japanese Government has been with TEPCO’s past misadventures, it is possible nobody even knew that much radioactivity was leaking. Probably it’s not that the message didn’t get through, there was no message.

            The core claim (pun not intended) of the sailors’ prosecution is this:

            “TEPCO pursued a policy to cause rescuers, including the plaintiffs, to rush into an unsafe area which was too close to the FNPP [Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant] that had been damaged. Relying upon the misrepresentations regarding health and safety made by TEPCO … the U.S. Navy was lulled into a false sense of security,” the complaint states.

            TEPCO have a history of nuclear incidents and covering up these incidents, the phrase “safety culture” is completely foreign to them.
            Yet even in June this year the academic nuclear experts in Japan do not understand how more radiation got released from reactor 2 even though reactor 2 never had an explosion. Bear in mind that this uncertainty remains despite 18 months of hindsight. It is going to be very difficult to prove a misrepresentation of safety was made, even an accidental oversight, on the day of the disaster when today nuclear experts still do not understand what happened in the reactors.

            The plaintiffs will need “inside information” via informants or the NSA about the radiation data from on-site automated monitoring equipment. Anything less would not prove culpable knowledge. The case is probably worthwhile simply for the document discovery process.


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              Roy Hogue

              From your, “First to go, last to know,” link, item 120:

              120) All the Marines who won the Congressional Medals of Honor. There are 293 in all.

              This is a bit of trivia to be sure… …unless you’re a Medal of Honor holder. You do not win a Medal of Honor. It’s not a contest. You are awarded that honor for actions in combat that are conspicuously (and usually way) above and the beyond the call of duty. The concept of winning such an honor is even repulsive to some.

              The majority of Medal of Honor recipients get it posthumously.

              If a Medal of Honor is worn, all military personnel present, even of superior rank will stand an salute upon recognizing it. Such is the respect for that honor.

              Another bit of trivia: It is illegal to sell a Medal of Honor. It’s something taken quite seriously. You can give your Medal of Honor to someone, pass it to your heirs, whatever you may want to do. But never sell it. No one who inherits it or to whom you may give it can sell it either.


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                bananabender

                The Medal of Honor has frequently been awarded for reasons unrelated to valour in combat. eg All the pallbearers at Abraham Lincoln’s funeral were awarded the MoH. Charles Lindbergh was awarded the MoH for his trans-Atlantic flight. Douglas McArthur was awarded the MoH for his leadership role in the defence of the Phillipines.


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                Roy Hogue

                bananabender,

                Thanks for that bit of information. I was not aware of any of those awards.


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        The percentage of those affected appear to be no more than in the general population. So, yes, we can build nuclear plants and stop having a coronary concerning radiation. Also, those rare earth metals used in so much technology are often found with radioactive materials. China has proven you can irradiate a large area and a number of individuals with poor manufacturing techniques. There goes wind and solar. Back to fossil fuels, hydro and geothermal.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        You are comparing obsolete technology, that was well past its planned decommissioning date*, with LENR, a totally different technology.

        * Decommissioning was objected to, by various lobby groups, because it would have meant transporting nuclear waste off site. In fact, most of the early radiation came from nuclear waste that was being permanently held onsite, in “temporary” storage facilities, because of the transportation ban. That early radiation prevented access to the actual reactor so that a manual emergency shutdown could be assessed, and the whole situation deteriorated from that point.


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        Roy Hogue

        Once the Fukushima plant was so badly damaged and its power cut off the die had been cast and this is the inevitable result.

        Mark, Incompetence in the military is no greater as far as I can see than it is in general. The tragedy for the sailors involved is all the more devastating because they have no right to financial compensation from the government for anything that happens to them while in uniform. And the VA, which should be there to at least provide every last bit of medical care and rehabilitation they may need is running a few strategic feathers short of a full duck.

        Sheri, Yes we can build nuclear without undue danger to anyone but only if we become disciplined enough to follow all the rules that have been learned over all the decades that nuclear plants have been in use. I would not fight a nuclear plant near me, provided I could be convinced that everyone involved will be deadly serious about the maintenance required to keep it safe. The Diablo Canyon plant in California has been running a long time without any significant incident so I know it can be done. What I worry about is the ability of future generations to maintain that discipline.


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          Roy–don’t you worry about the abilbity of future generations to maintain any discipline in any area? ;)


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            bobl

            Perhaps you need more faith in humanity.

            Thorium nuclear is not like uranium nuclear, also the logistics here are good, tectonically stable, a huge aquifer for water supply to inland nuclear plant, large relatively uninhabited areas. Lots of sunlight for solar backup for the plant, gas for additional backup. Also, in Australia it would be possible to build these plants underground, to better contain any release hazards. I say we should do it. Me, I’d pick up some Thorium shares in an instant.


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            Roy Hogue

            I’m glad you added the wry smile to that because, yes, I do worry about maintaining necessary discipline and in all important areas of individual and national life.

            ————————————————————————————-

            If you have some evidence that would show me that I can trust future generations…


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              I definately saw the need for the wry smile. There is simply not enough time or space for debating future generations and their competenance or lack thereof. I find it most beneficial to try and impart as much ability to think to these individuals and trust things will work out. I have no control over much of the future and I accept that. Civilizations rise and fall and there is no way to stop it. I guess I just figure worrying about is about it is pointless. If I can’t control it, I can’t.


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          Peter Miller

          One of the golden rules about building nuclear plants is not to build them above active fault zones and more especially not above subduction zones.

          So where was Fukishima built? On a subduction zone!!!

          If it had been built on the west coast, as opposed to the east coast, of Japan there would have been no problem – no subduction zone there.

          Has anyone been punished for this totally avoidable, Gorelike,stupidity?

          Stupid question.


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            Roy Hogue

            Peter,

            Unfortunately the whole west coast of California is one giant fault zone from below the Mexican border to at least as far north as San Francisco. Yet two nuclear plants have been built and have survived for decades without trouble. Maybe we were foolish and maybe we were lucky. Or maybe earthquake danger is overrated. I’ll let you decide. :-)


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              Ticking time bombs. Quakes will come sooner or later.


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                Most of life is a ticking time bomb with disaster just around the corner.


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                Mark D.

                Sheri, and all the other rascals, you have touched upon a reality of life which I might ponder, nay, wax philosophical about. Even though all living creatures balance precipitously on a pinhead, our individual lives could end at any moment and for a wide spectrum of reasons. Alas, as a whole specie, we humans are fairly durable yet our success in survival is the predominant reason some among us are convinced that we are causing Gaia to suffer. Odd isn’t it? The whole “too many humans” is fallacious argument against the truth of how life persists. Crazy to try and make sense of it or crazy for those “anti-human-success” people to have violated survival of the fittest principles…….


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                Roy Hogue

                Yes, life is very much a fatal disease. Best to enjoy it every day lest you miss out on the best things it has to offer.


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          Roy mentions the Diablo Canyon Facility at San Luis Obispo on the Ocean in California.

          It’s worthwhile looking at that plant with respect to the safety aspects, being constructed on the major earthquake fault line. It was built to withstand a mag 7.5 quake, and has already negotiated on of them without even the most minor of problems.

          I like the idea of Nuclear power generation, but even I’m sanguine enough to understand that they are a long long way off here in Oz.

          I’ve trawled through The Umpner Report from Nuclear Physicist Dr, Ziggy Switkowski, reading with interest what it has to say, and the foresight that would be needed to implement what is said in that report, provided the public is joined into the conversation, and there is political will, hence my belief that it is a long way off, if ever.

          I have a Post of my own on that at the following link, and it shows what a Gen 4 power plant might look like, an image from that Umpner Report.

          It also has some interesting information about that Diablo Canyon plant as well.

          Nuclear Electrical Power Generation – Why The Fuss? (Part 11)

          Some of that information was gleaned from a private site operated by a nice gentleman (Jim Zimmerlin) who has worked at that plant for more than 20 years.

          This is the link to his site, one that has some good information about the plant and also for the wonderful images as well.

          Tony.


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            Yonniestone

            Hi Tony, what is your opinion on Thorium type reactors?, their very mention here seems to create a heated debate which I believe ia a good thing.
            A while back you mentioned the old New York City localised coal fired power stations that were used, could Thorium reactors be used in a similar way in relation to size and safety?.


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              Frankly, I’ve done very little investigation into Thorium, in any method, for power generation, as it is still basically not far out of theoretical.

              What really interests me is something going on in South Africa, with PBMR, (Pebble Bed Modular Reactor) and this something that is really interesting.

              They are ‘walk away safe’.

              I have a wonderful article at my site written By Nuclear Physicist Dr. Kelvin Kemm Ph.D. at the following link.

              Nuclear Safety: Reactors that Can’t Melt Down

              This is actually encouraging.

              But hey, Coal fired power is making advances also, and is just as good for generating huge amounts of power.

              Tony.


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                Yonniestone

                Thanks Tony, from what we’ve seen of the benefits of extra CO2 in greening the planet, it seems like a catch 22 in having low emission energy production.


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            Roy Hogue

            Tony,

            I can’t begin to equal your depth of research and knowledge about power generation, much less nuclear generation. So if you think my concerns below are foolish, by all means let me know. And that goes for everyone else as well.

            First, I was once very much opposed to nuclear power plants. But being capable of learning and of doing some thinking for myself I have reversed my position. But one thing still bothers me and that’s the human element. Yes, we’re quite capable of doing the thing safely enough that I think the risk of the freeway driving I do all the time is far worse. But…

            Here’s my human element problem: And to start with, let’s almost dismiss Chernobyl completely from consideration because that plant was a screw up from the first concept right on through the construction and operation up to the second when it all blew up in their faces. We don’t need to repeat that mistake and I’m sure we won’t.

            I’ve been very interested in the safety aspect and did some in depth research into Three Mile Island as well as Chernobyl. After the Fukushima disaster I also did a lot of research. The one thing that stands out about every nuclear incident (Chernobyl included) is that the operators were more than willing to assume the best rather than the worst. At TMI it took literally years before anyone would admit even the possibility of a meltdown, yet there was a meltdown and there was plenty of evidence to support the suspicion of a meltdown. The way I see it, TMI avoided a Chernobyl type problem by sheer luck.

            It’s this human tendency to assume rather than dig in and look at all the evidence then make the conclusions that the situation really requires, even if those conclusions are unpleasant, that bothers me.

            If everything goes south at a conventional generating plant, even if it blows up, the thing is over in a short time and damage is limited to the plant itself and maybe a short radius around it. Then it’s over. You’re safe from further harm and you don’t carry radiation detectors around to see if you can safely go in and start picking up the pieces.

            If the nuclear plant suddenly goes south… …well, we see that under the best of circumstances the thing is not really over for quite a long time, 8 or 10 years at TMI. And it could have been much worse.

            The human factor bothers me a lot and not only in the case of nuclear plants by the way. I don’t know if the Metrolink 111 commuter train head on collision with a freight train a few years ago made news in Australia or elsewhere but 25 people were killed outright and many more injured, many disabled to some degree by the simple carelessness of a train crew, mostly the engineer. The Metrolink engineer was texting on his cell phone when the two trains hit. He had been so distracted that he ran a red signal that put him on the collision course with the other train. Each train was running at the speed limit, 40 MPH at that point, so bang, an 80 MPH collision.

            I have no doubt that the temptation to take the daily operation of a commuter train or the operation of a nuclear power plant for granted is there all the time. Have you ever been driving and suddenly realized you don’t remember the last X miles? I suspect many of you have and I know I have. My comment to Sheri above about needing to be convinced that everyone involved would be deadly serious about paying attention all the time, every time, is based on this one fear that I have.

            This is a human factors problem that exists everywhere, on the highway, in aviation and in nuclear plants. But the most serious problem, to me at least, is with the nuclear plant. Once the thing goes critical you cannot simply shut it off — a lot of mechanism must keep working to prevent a disaster. All up and down the coast and inland from Diablo Canyon for maybe 20 miles there are sirens intended to warn of a radiation hazard. They’ve never been used. If they ever go off for real, can you picture the panic as thousands of people from Pismo Beach to San Luisobispo try to hit the road headed away from the “danger”.

            Tony, this is the thing that bothers me. Yes we have the capability to do it safely. But will we do it safely, all the time, every time? And I don’t know the answer.


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              Roy:
              There are difficulties in assessing the actual risks. First, there is the oft repeated claim that ANY exposure to radiation is harmful. This seems to be mostly a scare tactic. Some exposure to radiation is impossible to avoid. Also, cancer increases have not been associated with these leaks, except by personal injury lawyers. Epidemiological studies don’t bear out any increase in cancers.

              Second, getting the actual facts on the “meltdown” is difficult. First, “meltdown” does not mean what most people think. There are degrees of “meltdown”. Chernobyl was obviously the worst case. In all other cases, there were very limited meltdowns that released some radiation. The media just uses “meltdown” for anything nuclear, it seems.

              Third, getting a clear number on how much radiation was released is nigh unto impossible also. No one wants to talk about this. However, I don’t think this is much different that a chemicals spill or a similar accident. Arsenic spilled into a water supply is just as deadly, and probably more so, than radiation. People fear radiation because they cannot see it and ignore all the other things they can’t see. (I read of a place in India where they drilled wells because the river water was contaminated. The wells had high levels of naturally occurring arsenic. Not an improvement.)

              Fourth, yes, we can certainly cause a lot of damage when we don’t pay attention to what we are doing. Technology only made that more apparent. TMI took a long time to disassemble and remove the core, etc, but the actual “leak” was minimal. I suspect an explosion at any power plant, if it occurred in a critical area, would shut down operations for a long period.

              Lastly, in reading on and studying the Chernobyl accident, the damage was extensive and frightening, but nature has rebounded. There are older women who live inside the radiation zone who are not suffering any ill effects. Sadly, because “no one lives there” is the official story, no one is studying why these women are not ill.

              Nuclear anything seems terrifying, but there are thousands of scenarios that can play out in one’s head as to things that can go wrong in life. I can come up with some far more frightening than a nuclear power plant meltdown (no, I won’t share). Maybe that’s why I just don’t fear these things.


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                Roy Hogue

                Sheri,

                First, “meltdown” does not mean what most people think. There are degrees of “meltdown”.

                No there are not. The term unambiguously means that at least some of the nuclear fuel got hot enough to melt. This is the nightmare scenario for any nuclear reactor and there’s no way around it. You can argue that TMI didn’t have a complete meltdown but it was a meltdown. That the hot molten fuel didn’t melt the bottom of the containment vessel and fall onto the floor doesn’t change this fact. The reactor was out of control for a period of time and the situation was complicated by a failed valve that didn’t indicate correctly in the control room. But it was out of control and they didn’t know what was going on. They did not know the water level was below the top of the core and hadn’t the sixth sense (or didn’t have the nerve?) to suspect it. They were lucky!

                I have no disagreement with the rest of what you say. But TMI had a meltdown.

                I could ask some questions about why the indication for the stuck valve failed when it was needed — what maintenance step was not done or was not called for at all that could have changed this part of the unfolding scenario? But it’s better to learn from the thing than to point fingers at the past.


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                Going to our “favorite” source (Wiki): Nuclear meltdown is an informal term for a severe nuclear reactor accident that results in core damage from overheating.
                There’s also this: http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull492/49202796668.pdf

                Technically, you are correct. Just as to say “a 25 car pile-up with fatalities is an interstate accident” and so is “one car hitting the guard rail is an interstate accident” is technically correct.


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                Roy Hogue

                I’ve been looking for the hard copy of the TMI postmortem I printed a number of years ago but I’ve not found it. It’s thorough and not at all complementary to the people on duty at the time or some of those who came in later to try to clean it up. It uses the word meltdown quite deliberately (Wiki may say what it pleases about that). I remember trying to go back to it later when nuclear safety was the subject again to look at another article it linked to but the original link was broken. The document was probably moved.

                Anyway, I have no objection to nuclear power plants. Diablo Canyon and numerous others show quite clearly that we can do it safely, safer than a drive on Southern California freeways. There will always be failures at power plants, no matter what kind, along with freeway collisions, bridges collapsing and all sorts of other things.

                I’m not sure that having a Richter Scale for nuclear incidents helps much. The earthquake Richter Scale is already very widely misunderstood because logarithms snow anyone who didn’t get beyond elementary algebra. We have a scale supposedly telling us about the terrorism threat level but I don’t feel any safer because of it.

                Technically, you are correct.

                I try to be. I probably owe you an apology for saying it though. :-)


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              Roy,

              the human nature aspect associated with the word nuclear will always exist whenever the phrase nuclear electrical power generation is used.

              There is really nothing that can be done to allay those concerns, (for anybody) other than (a) people thoroughly investigating it for themselves, provided that (b) the information is correct and unbiased.

              I can do little with respect to (a) and again very little about (b) other than direct you to some further information.

              Keep in mind here that the three accidents mostly referred to (TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima) have been with First Generation plants, although referring to Chernobyl as being similar to a First Gen plant is a real stretch. Since then, plants have evolved, and, arguably, newer Nuclear power plants would be the most regulated of all power plants with respect to virtually everything, safety foremost of all of them.

              I can direct you to two pieces of information, one a Post of my own, and the second a Post from Jack Spencer and Nick Loris.

              Nuclear Electrical Power Generation – Why The Fuss? (Part 10)

              Three Mile Island and Chernobyl: What Went Wrong And Why Today’s Reactors Are Safe

              As I said, human nature, when it comes to something like this, is something which is difficult to argue with, especially when the information (b) is coloured with a scare campaign.

              They cannot be called accidents, but the two largest things associated with the word nuclear, Hiroshima and Nagasaki will always colour any argument, but both of those cities are now large and thriving cities.

              Tony.


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        Popeye

        Siliggy,

        You really need to carry out some proper research for yourself.

        I could provide ALL the links to you but you’ll remember it better if you look it up yourself.

        LENR (LOW EMISSION nuclear reactor) – get used to it as it IS the power of the future. If warmists want to get rid of our dependence on oil/coal then this is the ONLY way.

        Come back to me once you’ve learned a bit more – I’m CERTAIN your opinion WILL change.

        Cheers,


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    bobl

    Agreed Popeye, Thorium reactors are the way to go, if you don’t like coal, and maybe later on even if you do like coal depending on the fuel costs. I would imagine they are a lot cheaper than uranium reactors to run.


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      I would imagine they [thorium] are a lot cheaper than uranium reactors to run.

      You have to develop one first for commercial production. The USA’s NRC (Nuclear ReductionRegulatory Commission) seems set against new types of reactors. Bureaucracies promote stasis.

      China and India have the most-supported programmes but they are government-supported. And development is in political whim, not necessarily the same way that research during development is pointing. And India is looking at thorium in a solid fuel cycle, substantially diminishing its advantage over uranium. The Czech-Australian consortium is progressing steadily but their nominally actinide gobbling reactor is only due for demo in 2016.

      Realistically; the earliest pilot production reactors based on a molten salts Th-U fuel cycle that makes it simpler and cheaper than conventional U-Pu, won’t be ready by 2020.

      Australia’s role is two-fold; researchers and engineers need to get in touch, up to speed and thinking about the very different type of reactor. Government needs to get out of the way; examine the regulatory framework and loosen the noose that’s strangling the potential for development of nuclear power in Australia.

      To become nuclear-savvy, Australia needs reactors generating electricity. Just about any Gen II+ or Gen IV will do nicely. Order by December 31st, and one could be humming somewhere in Australia by 2020. Melbourne has plenty of industrial wastelands waiting to be put to productive use.

      There is no rush for Australia to go nuclear. There is plenty of coal and ways of burning the coal to yield more electricity with actually harmful emissions well controlled.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Australia needs reactors generating electricity

        That is easy. You can buy an old Russian Nuclear Submarine, park it in a harbour somewhere, say close to an environmentalist’s beachside property, and pipe the electricity it produces ashore.

        You would probably need to pass it through a motor-generator converter to adjust for voltage and frequency, but we know how to do that.


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          Mark F

          This was the subject of an april fools submission to the local paper. Warmer water, tropical fish, scuba and snorkel tourism, and microwave beams to more distant power users, with faraday suits being issued to the eco freaks to pick up fricaseed carcasses of “collateral damage”, e.g., marbled murrelets or spotted owls. The FARO project – First of April Red October. Oh, have to be Russian subs, as the population here would freak if we used American ones. The second one here, in a less-busy harbor, was to become a permanent protest-object for those so oriented.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Not just an april fools joke.

          Some of the West African states were seriously investigating it, at one stage, with the blessing of, and some funding from, one of the UN agencies.

          The idea never proceeded because there were just too many technical problems, one of which, was the total lack of any power distribution system.


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    Peter Miller

    Another one to add to the long list of ‘climate science ‘ myths.

    Another problem, which alarmists like to ignore, is the hottest (and coldest) days are usually the result of high pressure systems, not well known for being associated with wind. So the hotter the temperature, the less likely the wind turbines will work in the way intended.

    Solar power may offset this problem a little, but the conclusion is obvious, you have a choice of: i) conventional power sources to deal with hot spells, or ii) lots of people dying from heat exhaustion.

    No prizes for guessing which of the two choices the average alarmist would choose.


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    scaper...

    I’ll just stick to my fire pit powered dynamo, thanks.


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    handjive

    Coal.

    * No fuel is as responsible for powering the economic growth that has pulled billions out of poverty in the past decades.

    * “Coal is abundant and geopolitically secure, and coal-fired plants are easily integrated into existing power systems.”

    *Reserves are similar in scale to oil and natural gas.
    But oil and gas, coal resources are broadly distributed around the world, providing consumers with a measure of energy security.

    * As a solid fuel with a fairly high energy density, coal is easy to transport and handle.

    * Coal power plants are simple and cheap to build, and produce a predictable and reliable flow of electricity on demand.

    * Coal is the second-most important source of primary energy, after oil, and consumption has been growing faster than for any other fossil fuel over the last decade.

    * Coal is playing the most important role in meeting escalating electricity demand in the fast-industrialising economies of China, India and across Southeast Asia.

    “There is no denying the controversial reality of coal,” Maria van der Hoeven, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), wrote in its annual report on the coal industry, published on Monday.

    Monday 16 December 2013, Paris: Launch of the Medium‐Term Coal Market Report 2013(pdf)

    “Before turning over the podium to Keisuke Sadamori (whose team produced today’s report), let me underscore three points.

    First, like it or not, coal is here to stay for a long time to come.” (Maria van der Hoeven)


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      PeterS

      Yes, and that’s one reason why Australia is not like Mexico, at least not yet. We export so much coal and will continue to do so for some time. How stupid are we if we suddenly decided to build nuclear power plants in preference to the much cheaper solution of coal fired ones? It would be almost as bad as the Greens policy of using only wind farms and solar. Let’s face it. The only reason why countries like US, Russia and China keep using nuclear is because it provides them with weapons grade material. So, unless we are also going to build our own nuclear weapons, which some say may not be such a bad idea, then there’s no point going down the far more expensive nuclear energy path. Thorium is just a brain dead idea unless it’s cheaper than coal. The only real option for us in the meantime is cheap coal. So, let’s get on with it. Any other solution will only increase our chances of becoming like Mexico. Things are bad enough as it is. We need cheap electricity. Otherwise our industries and businesses will continue to decline. Just imagine if electricity costs were say halved. It would be such a boost to our economy; far better than any interest rate cut. Simple, easy, effective and quick. Unfortunately even Abbott doesn’t see it.


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        Any other solution will only increase our chances of becoming like Mexico.

        or a lot of other places.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IkQlmAlTVo


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        handjive

        Legislation has grave implications

        IF The Greens have their way there will be no future growth in coal fired electricity generation in NSW — a move that would clearly have grave implications for the Lithgow district economy if ever it became a reality.

        “The new power stations would flood the state with cheap electricity and undermine the viability of renewable energy and energy efficiency,” he said.


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        Neville

        Thorium is just a brain dead idea unless it’s cheaper than coal

        Maybe, maybe not, PeterS. The difference is energy density. In the long run, thorium has way more energy than coal


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        ROM

        Best to take a look at Mexico before knocking it too much.
        It’s economy is starting to take off in a big way with a number of American companies now moving into Mexico as it’s laws and regulations on industry, commerce and labor are overhauled
        Maybe we are the ones getting left behind.


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          PeterS

          Yes I know Mexico is improving but clearly from a very very very low base. Even a dead cat bounces a little.

          As for thorium providing more energy than coal by weight, well of course that’s true but so what? What would the cost of supply to the end user be like? Look, it’s not rocket science. It’s simple economics. Whichever is cheaper is the right solution. I am a techo and I would love to see us go nuclear. In fact I would love to work at a nuclear power plant. But we have to be realistic about all this. It’s not a fun game. This is serious. Our economy is on the brink and we need all the stimuli we can muster. Cheaper electricity is essential, in fact mandatory. Otherwise, we might as well forget it and let this country go the way of Mexico.


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            PeterS

            I just like to add that I’m not against Thorium nuclear power plants per se. As long as they can provide cheaper electricity to the consumer (house and business) then let’s do it. Otherwise, if coal is still cheaper for the consumer then it’s a no-brainer; coal is still the answer. I am no expert and so can’t answer which is cheaper in the end.


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        bobl

        Not what was said, given that thorium is rather abundant compared to uranium, one would expect a thorium reactor may approach or better coal’s delivered cost at some point. There is nothing complicated about a nuclear reactor, in fact they are a whole lot less complicated than coal, though thorium does need a neutron source.

        I believe Thorium will be cheaper than coal, and Australia has the worlds largest known reserves, Australia would be nuts not to develop that market.


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    reformed warmist of logan

    Evening Jo,
    I hope you and all your erstwhile blog followers had a fantastic christmas day (with or without the evil a/c. on)!!!
    This is yet another great “wake up & smell the coffee” moment for Al Gore and all his acolytes!! (HOW MANY MORE DO THEY NEED BEFORE THEY REALISE THAT THEIR SOLAR-POWERED TRAIN HAS LONG LEFT THE STATION!!)
    Here’s the thing …
    If the mandarins in UK. think its such a smart thing to hold an auction to encourage industry to shut down next winter to avoid black-outs? … Why don’t we do exactly the same thing next summer, on all heavy power days.
    I.E. (warmists aren’t the sharpest tool in the cupboard so I may have to simplify it a tad more for them) All work-days in Oct., Nov., Feb., & Mar., the four months most affected by Tony’s excellent expose, when power usage is too great – usually over 30 degrees coincidentally! – company’s with an even or odd street address (alternate days) close between 12 & 4pm.
    (If its good enough for England to de-industrialize, maybe we should to!!)
    Kind regards,
    reformed warmist of Logan
    PS. I think its got about as much chance of flying as the Greens have of getting any more Senators elected this decade (that’s how long it will take them to realise the climate change meme is virtually extinct)!


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    I had no idea Australia’s electricity consumption was so low.

    One decent 5Gw nuclear reactor, costing around $10 billion, and Australia could cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by 25%, and eliminate power shortfalls.

    The fact our eco-lunes are persisting with “solar” and other ineffectual energy sources shows how little they really care about carbon emissions.


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      Only a hundred and twenty five billion to clean it up when it goes wrong.

      Did you take transmission loss over the vast distances into account. Multiple mini hydrodams would have less transmission loss and multiple other benefits like flood risk and drought risk reduction. Coal can pump them up again at night thus solving peak demand problems via storage.

      Are you following this?
      http://fukushima-diary.com/category/dnews/


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        Neville

        Hey Siligy,
        1. where the heck is Australia going to get “multiple mini hydrodams”??? We’re the bloody driest continent on the planet, in case you didn’t notice. Yes, the north has lots of water – from time to time. But what about the transmission losses getting the power south – and try getting a new dam approval past pretty much ANY Australian government, state OR federal!!
        2. Thorium (see #6 and 6.1 above) reactor power stations CAN be made quite small – google the research that’s going on right now (China, India, Russia, etc etc). They are non-weaponisable, scalable upwards and downwards to suit the service area size, and even ‘burn’ old spent uranium and plutonium fuel. AND the spent fuel from a thorium reactor has a half-life of mere decades, not thousands of years. (in fact, the ONLY reason uranium reactors were selected and pursued back in the fifties [and there WAS a working thorium power station running back then, too] is that the USA actually WANTED to have weaponisable nuclear material)


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          Neville
          1 We have tremendous floods too incase you did not notice.
          2 Small or big thorium reactors do no flood mitigation and store no water for drought times but hydrogen fuel cells are also small and produce water.
          3 Thorium can be used for weapons. A handy source for the do it yourselfer.

          Yes, the north has lots of water

          This great logical post by TonyFromOz is about PEAK DEMAND. So you have answered your own question about where. All you need to think about is when.


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            Siligy: Could you provide info on how a do-it-yourselfer can obtain material from a nuclear power plant?


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            Greg Cavanagh

            Floods are only significan’t because the country is so flat. Hardly condusive for mini-hydro dams.

            As for flooding, there are many other more appropriate answers to reducing flooding, at least along the East coast where the flood waters come off the range. In western towns like Emerald, it’s flat. Build you’re house on stumps like they did 50 years ago.


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            Wally

            Sliggy – got a bit of a problem with a lack of suitable hills and mountains in a lot of Oz, also. Eg population centres: Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melb. A hill of a couple of 100 feet is not really big enough for sensible hydro, and you need a decent water storage as well. And then get the water there.

            Perth: Lots of sand. Storing lots of water is hard.
            Adelaide: Water stored in the hills around Adelaide right now. Insufficient height and pip infrastruture to make decent power or to pump back up. No real sites left for new dams.
            Melb: much the same.
            Syd: much the same.

            These ideas might work in some parts of Queensland but its a bit hard to make them universal.


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        Mark D.

        After selecting a site that doesn’t have earthquakes or tsunamis, modern design nuclear power is very safe. High voltage DC transmission is economically practical out to 4000 miles. It would seem to me that Australia would do well with two maybe three nuclear power stations.

        Not that I have a problem with you burning coal.


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          “After selecting a site that doesn’t have earthquakes or tsunamis” or bushfires or floods or terrorists or vehicle accidents or technical problems or meteorite impacts or attacking enemies or who nows whatevver else WILL go wrong.


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            Greg Cavanagh

            You left out Space Aliens.

            Things will go wrong with any structure you build. Your solutioin for mini-hydro is not a better solution in that regard. (tsunamis, bushfires, floods, terrorists, vehicle accidents, technical problems, meteorite impacts, attacking enemies or who nows whatevver else.)


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            bobl

            Siliggy

            Exercise for you. Quantify all the deaths, positively attributed to nuclear accidents and compare with all accidents attributable to coal, gas and other hydrocarbon fuels come back and tell us which is the greater. I’d think there were more accidents from people falling of rooves dealing with solar panels than nuclear accidents have ever claimed.

            Yes, it’s unfortunate that the sailors were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but let’s get a grip, you can say the same for every solar installer that ever fell off a roof, every miner caught in a cave in, every person caught in a gas caused house fire, anyone ever killed in an automobile accident …. they are fossil fueled too or, on the wild life front, every bird that was ever torn up by a windmill or blinded by a concentrating solar farm…. they were all in the wrong place at the wrong time.

            It seems that a ship of sailors harmed by radiation is a travesty but 30,000 pensioners deliberately killed by fuel poverty due to deliberate green policy in the UK, well thats OK? The only issue with the ship was that the contamination was preventable but in fact wasn’t prevented, that’s the travesty, the inaction.


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              ROM

              Lets have a look at the deaths over the last few decades from renewable energy and then compare with the deaths from nuclear power generation ‘
              First up is hydro power ie Dams and etc; These are the major death events due to hydro dams and can all be checked in Wiki as most of them are well known

              1 / 1) Banqiao, Aug ’75, 200,000 + dead.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam

              Total Destruction of more than 8,000 MWe power.

              2) Vajont Dam, 2000 dead, March 1963, Vajont Italy

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajont_Dam

              3) Malpassat dam collapse, France, December 1959, 421 dead

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malpasset

              4) Kelly Barnes dam, November 6, 1977, 39 dead.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Barnes_Dam

              5) Val di Stava dam, July 19, 1985, 268 dead.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val_di_Stava_Dam_collapse

              6) Shakidor Dam 70 dead, February 2005, 1200 People washed out into Arabian Sea and rescued by the Pakistani military.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakidor_Dam

              7) Situ Gitung Dam, March 2009, 100 dead.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situ_Gintung

              About 200,000 dead from hydro power dam failures since 1963 or an average of [ including Banquiao and there will be more Banquiao's in the years to come with a massive dam building program in China and in many other developing nations ] some 4000 deaths per year.
              ______________________________________

              Deaths due to Solar and this is for the USA only and is only current to 2011

              Green deaths: The forgotten dangers of solar panels

              [quoted]
              In recent years, thousands of solar panels have been placed on Australian roofs, and millions installed around the world. But how safe are they?

              According to Safework Australia, each year about 30 Australians die in falls from a height, although the number of people involved in installing or maintaining solar panels is not broken down.

              Some falls involving people installing or maintaining solar panels are not reported as part of work-related statistics, and then there are people electrocuted when they come into contact with power lines.

              In California, where solar panels have been embraced enthusiastically, there has been a rash of deaths like this one, this one, and another three in quick succession. However, it is a worldwide phenomenon, so much so that statistics show roofing is more dangerous than coal mining.

              Because of our propensity to put panels on roofs, solar is in fact, far more dangerous than many forms of power generation, three times more dangerous than wind power and more than 10 times more dangerous than nuclear power, by comparison to the amount of power produced.

              This study puts it in perspective, using figures from the United States:

              The fifty actual deaths from roof installation accidents for 1.5 million roof installations is equal to the actual deaths experienced so far from Chernobyl. If all 80 million residential roofs in the USA had solar power installed then one would expect 9 times the annual roofing deaths of 300 people or 2700 people (roofers to die). This would generate about 240 TWh of power each year. (30% of the power generated from nuclear power in the USA). 90 people per year over an optimistic life of 30 years for the panels not including maintenance or any electrical shock incidents.

              There is an argument, however, that solar power may ultimately be safer than coal-fired generation because of the reduction in pollution. Ironically enough, however, solar power is far more dangerous than nuclear, even in a year when an accident like the disaster at Fukushima occurs.
              [end]
              ________________________________________
              The study referred to above which is only current to 2008;

              Deaths per TWh for all energy sources: Rooftop solar power is actually more dangerous than Chernobyl

              [ Sorry but Jo's site apparently doesn't allow clear formatting of lists and etc or follows the entered format exactly so you will have to look a bit more closely at this following list to make sense of it.]

              Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

              Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
              Coal – China 278
              Coal – USA 15
              Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
              Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
              Biofuel/Biomass 12
              Peat 12
              Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
              Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
              Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
              Hydro – world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
              Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

              This renewable energy caper is bloody dangerous compared to nuclear as well as being about the most inefficient way of generating power in any quantity [ other than very large hydro if it rains enough and that climate specialist who knows it all, Professor Flannery promised us it wouldn't rain again and etc etc. ] that could possibly be thought up by any green eco-nazi drongo. swallowe3d hook line and sinker by completely stupid and thoroughly gullible politicians who are intent on spending OPM in the most inefficient way that can be thought up by bureaucracy and other numerous troughers.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Siliggy,

        All of your arguments are post hoc.

        Yes, it was a tragedy, and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it should not have occurred.

        Yes, a lot of political mistakes were made in regard to Fukushima, see my comment at 2.2.3.

        Yes, the rigid command and accountability structure, common in Japanese companies, had a significant impact on how the crisis was allowed to develop.

        No, you won’t see any reference to my last two factors in the media, because they are not politically acceptable comments. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t true.

        So, society should learn from its mistakes, and should not try to keep an old technology operating, with a plaster-over-the-cracks mentality, when the rest of the world has moved on.

        I live in a country that does not have any nuclear power generation at all, but that doesn’t stop me from looking at, and assessing, the facts. And the facts are that, watt for watt, nuclear is one of the safest, and cheapest, forms of energy generation. It needs to be assessed on both a cost/benefit and risk/opportunity, basis, against all other forms of energy generation, available now, and probable in the future.


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          ROM

          Good reply Rereke.
          Nobody as in Nobody has ever had a body count on the numbers that were killed from exploding boilers, backflashs in boiler fires, mechanical failure in some very spectacular ways and all those other things that maimed and killed so many as humanity developed the steam power generation systems that now provide us with such cheap and reliable energy which in turn now provides our generations with a standard of living and an expectations in life that no king or Emperor ever in past history could expect to enjoy.
          When the great iron bridge, the Tay bridge across the firth of Forth in Scotland collapsed during a gale and some 70 plus lives were lost, did we stop building rail bridges.?
          No we learnt and went on to better bridge designs.
          When 3 of the De Havilland Comet jet airliners, the world’s first jet airliners and the pride of Britain in the 1950′s, disintegrated in mid air killing all on board did that stop the development of jet airliners?
          Just the opposite happened .
          For the first time a former unknown unknown in aviation was researched and changes in the designs of the fuselage to counter the metal fatigue from the cycling effects of presurisation and depressurising of the fuselage created by flying to altitude and then back on the ground was discovered.

          For every advance there is a cost, sometimes high.
          But if we stop advancing and stagnate then the cost will be the ultimate destruction and disappearance of most of humanity and a reversion to just another primitive society from which we have expended so much to escape from and create a modern civilisation that has in it’s power the ability to create a better life for all of humanity.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            When 3 of the De Havilland Comet jet airliners, the world’s first jet airliners and the pride of Britain in the 1950′s, disintegrated in mid air killing all on board did that stop the development of jet airliners?

            It didn’t stop the use of the DH Comet, either. They just renamed it to the Nimrod, and repurposed it for the RAF to use for Maritime Reconnaissance.


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              ROM

              The Comet 4 , revamped as you say as the Nimrod was a damn good airliner but it could not compete with the very new Boeing 707 which incorporated all the lessons the British had learn’t from the Comet crashes.
              The British had a very comprehensive and open inquiry into the crashes which I had the full report on from a number of issues of the UK’s aviation industry “Aeroplane” mag when I was still in my late teens.

              The fuselage failed when a fatigue crack developed in the corner of a small upper fuselage window and then propagated at incredible speed right through the fuselage leading to a splitting open of the fuselage and the destruction of the aircraft in mid air.
              Found by the british in a water tank fatigue cycling test on a full Comet aircraft fuselage and wing fatigue test unit which repeated the cyclic pressure changes and loadings on the fuselage and aircraft that it experienced in each flight.
              The initial fatigue failure in the corner of the small window was corroborated by the examination of the parts of the crashed Comets.
              One reason why until recently airliners only had small roundish windows with large radius corners and still do.

              The story goes that the DH chief engineer was getting extremely frustrated as after some weeks of continual cyclic testing of the fuselage in the water tank they could find no signs of metal fatigue with any part of the fuselage or the wings and tail which was also being cyclic fatigued tested as a part of the complete aircraft.
              Then one night at some ungodly hour in the morning, the Chief engineer got a very urgent phone call from a very agitated night supervisor of the fatigue tests to get himself over to the test rig and fast.
              When he got there, in the tank under the water was one Comet fuselage split open from end to end. They had their answer right there.

              The Americans got all that fuselage fatigue information and much more information for free and then beat the British around the heads with it.

              The other major problem with the Comet was the installation of the engines in the wings in a through spar set up, very nice looking but if you had an engine fire, not uncommon in the early jets, then you burn’t through the main wing spar structure and it was a then in that case, a kiss your’e ass and wave goodbye.


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                The English got back at the Americans a little later, and even though this is sometimes thought of as an urban myth, it did have some truth in it.

                The English were testing aircraft windscreens for birdstrike, to strengthen them so they could withstand relatively hard impacts, and a birdstrike on an aeroplane is a really major thing, especially through the cockpit windscreen, where the pilot might be killed if the screen did not withstand the strike from the bird, and while the bird is travelling at a relatively low speed, the aircraft speed is quite high, hence the huge impact.

                The English would fire chickens from a cannon structure into the windscreen at ever increasing speeds until they finally got it worked out.

                The Americans, ever willing to improve everything about aircraft construction got hold of the information and started to do the same thing.

                They had absolutely ZERO success, no matter what they did, because every time, the chicken smashed straight through the windscreen, indicating each time that the pilot would have been killed instantly upon the huge impact.

                They persevered for Months before finally sending off the information with film of what was happening, both at normal speed and at slow motion speed as well. They politely asked the British, and I think it may have actually been Rolls Royce’s aviation division, if they could indicate what sort of Plexiglass they were using, how many layers etc, and what thickness the screens were, and if they might assist them with any clues.

                The English sent back a three word reply.

                “Defrost the chicken!”

                Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

                Tony.

                Post Script. It was a pelican that brought down our first F111 (A8-133 on 29Sep77) at Evans Head when it smashed through the screen killing one aircrew, and the ejection exceeded the parameters at low level and all but inverted, and the other crewman was killed as well.


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                edwina

                The Americans owe a lot to the Brits. In WW1 the Brit’s were first off the mark in sonar detection for sub’s. In WW2 for lend lease they had to give West indian islands to USA, the secret to radar including its minituarisation, the plans for the RR engine in the Spitfire among other items. That engine was duplicated in the much vaunted Mustang but at the end of the war both were equal in all respects. And the Americans didn’t have a jet squadron like the Britt’s. The Brit’offered the RR engine to USA but were rebuffed so the USSR took it. USA found it being used in MIG jets against Mustangs. As an aside, not many Americans know that the creator of the V2, von Braun, designed the Saturn rocket for Apollo. They think an American like Goddard pioneered rocketry in USA.


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                ROM

                Edwina.
                Not many people at all realise today or know that it was the Brits who initially led the way in the development of the atomic bomb, not the Americans.
                The Brits had a cover organisation called Tube Alloy which was doing the initial work on the atomic bomb as they were listening in to the ongoing discussion between a number of interned european physicists who were then world leaders in untangling the atom and it’s role in matter and it’s potential if the energy in the atom could be released through some mechanism.

                When the Americans came into the war after Hitler foolishly declared war on the USA after the Japanese Pearl Harbor raid, the British knowing that they were already stretched to the far limits in resources and materials and men without having to develop a new and still unknown type of nuclear device from scratch gave the Americans all their technology as you have outlined above.

                In addition they gave them all the nuclear know how they had built up since the beginning of WW2 and so the yanks had a running start in the nuclear bomb technology plus direct access to those European nuclear researchers who all moved to the USA to build the bomb.

                In fact the nuclear researchers in 1942 had a hell of a job to convince the Americans that such a device could possibly be built.
                As most of them were refugees from Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich and it’s conquered territories that is where they envisaged the bomb being used to stop the apparently all conquering and seemingly unstoppable german armies from invading and conquering most of the then western world.
                Source for this; Robert Jungk’s book , my treasured and battered copy “Brighter than a Thousand Suns”


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                But then, it required Donald McClean, who was a Spy in the British Embassy, in Washington, to steal the secrets from the Americans, with the assistance of Klaus Fuch, in order to pass the details to the Russians, and so start the Cold War Arms race, that shaped Europe for a generation, and which ultimately gave birth to the Socialist Green movement, that gives us so much grief today, in the form of Climate Catastrophism.

                Seventy years, in one sentence.


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              Annie

              It didn’t stop the Comet being used as a passenger jet for quite a long time. My parents flew in one in the mid-60s from Singapore to UK and I flew in one flown by BEA between UK and Cyprus.


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          Rereke Whakaaro
          December 29, 2013 at 6:28 am · Reply
          Siliggy,

          All of your arguments are post hoc. Yes, it was a tragedy, and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight…”

          Really?
          Have a look my hunch at post 140 here on day 1.
          http://joannenova.com.au/2011/03/new-here-the-ten-second-guide-to-the-world-of-skeptics/


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            Andrew McRae

            Your post #140? That’s supposed to be some sort of counter-example to post-hoc argument? You’re kidding right?

            The very moment the tsunami was announced you could have lept into action and predicted in alarmist fashion that all the onshore nuclear power-plants would get wiped out or would explode and Japan would soon declare a nuclear emergency… but you didn’t. You didn’t predict it. You had to wait until AFTER the fact, post hoc, and then capitalise on one of these rare events to hype up anti-nuclear alarm.

            And having heard of the nuclear emergency, did you then predict that any reactors would explode? No. Because nobody predicted that.
            Did you predict that the #2 unit would melt down but #1 and #3 would not? No.
            Did you predict the extent of radioactivity release? No.
            Here was your precise and supremely prescient “hunch”:

            We will see how it goes!

            Well stop the freakin’ presses.

            So then how did it go.
            On the 3rd April 2011 it was confirmed that two, yes only TWO, people had died directly because of the nuclear accident, both of them power plant workers inside Dai-ichi trying to reduce the damage. By contrast 109 people allegedly died from the stress of living in temporary evacuation housing. Nearly 20,000 people died in the 2011 Japan flood. Who’s more dangerous, Mother Nature or nuclear power?

            The total number of people that have died from nuclear power plant accidents in all history according to official figures is less than 65 world wide and 50 of them were from the single accident of Chernobyl. By contrast, 54 coal miners died in a single accident in China on December 8 2005. The future premature deaths from radiation-induced diseases from Fukushima is estimated at around 4000, yet over 3000 coal miners died in China during 2008 alone. This is why, even after the Fukushima fiasco, nuclear remains the safest form of power generation ever developed.

            As one pundit put it: “surely the fact that the more modern Onagawa nuclear plant was twice as close to the quake epicentre and shut down as designed, without incident, counts for something.”


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              edwina

              I agree. The anti nuclear protesters whine on about the dangers but never the infinitely more dangers all around us. They remind me of hypochondriacs taking their temperature, heart rate and BP every hour on the hour to see if they are getting sick.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Siliggy,

            The point I was trying to make, was that all of the appropriate safeguards were put in place for a nuclear site of the type of the Daichi site. The catastrophe was caused by two factors:

            1. Spent fuel rods were being retained on site, because of a ban on their being transported away for disposal. These rods were permanently being held in pools filled with water, that was recirculated, and kept cool by electrical supply backup pumps that were outside of the main reactor building, so when the tsunami struck, it knocked out the generators, stopping the water circulation and cooling, allowing the spent fuel rods to heat the water in the pools, and eventually boil it off, exposing the rods (and the associated radiation) to the atmosphere;

            2. Because of the radiation level coming from the rods that had been held on site, contrary to the original station design, workers were not allowed to enter the building to manually shut the reactor down. The reactor itself, was not damaged by the tsunami, but was damaged once the water supply on site had been boiled off by the old fuel rods.

            Had those spent fuel rods not been on site, the reactor building would have been damaged and unusable, but there would have been no radiation leak.

            All of the damage and radiation leakage from Daichi, comes down to the Japanese green movement changing the rules of engagement, regarding its operation, once the site had been commissioned.


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      James (Aus.)

      Eric, what they care about are the rivers of cash flowing as Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) subsidies.

      The scam continues; it’s almost 2014 yet this outrage persists and one can only think there are vested interests who are prolonging the theft from Australians.

      Where is Greg Hunt? Why hasn’t he closed down the racket? Along with the other two weak links in the Coalition (yes, Turnbull and Macfarlane) he needs turfing out.


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    David, UK

    “The big mistake was putting air-conditioning in cars. If people were not used to being cool in their vehicles, they would not demand it in their homes.” (Tony O’Dwyer, National Economics)

    It’s like he’s fantasising he’s in the old USSR or something; I mean, who does he think made the “big mistake” of putting those aircons in cars? Surely not inventive free people catering to the wants and needs of other free individuals? In O’Dwyer’s world putting cinema theatres in the high street was a big mistake because it made people demand TV in their homes. (It should never have been allowed, I tells yer.) What a twisted plonker.

    Oh, and I suppose O’Dwyer never turns on his aircon, either in the car or at home.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      All Russian cars had air-conditioning. There were holes in the floor where the accelerator, clutch, and brake pedals came through, not to mention the doors not fitting properly.

      Just what you need in a Russian winter.


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        Annie

        That reminds me of the very first car in my family. It was a 1937 Flying Standard and came complete with a big toadstool on my side in the back AND a fresh air inlet in the floor (rust hole). When I complained about the draught my father drily told me to put my foot over it!


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          MeltemiAn

          That takes me back, when our kids were small Mr M and I had a Morris Oxford traveller with holes in the top of both front wings that made a rainbow when the roads were wet and the sun shone.


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  • #

    A part of the solution,of course is to make our buildings more energy efficient. In order to make this work in high rise office and residential buildings we need sophisticated technology and innovation and this requires energy and manufacturing – ‘sustainability’ works in the opposite direction, towards the stone age. As the people above have said – Thorium has to be the way to go. I am amazed that it is taking so long to get this going again since the technology was working in the 60s. As I understand it the Thorium reactor that the US got working then was made almost as a by product of the energy industry – no big deal – so why do we now have to make such a song and dance about this? Come the next glaciation we will really need this technology…


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    Yonniestone

    Once again TonyfromOz cuts through all the green MSM BS to deliver another stinging slap of reality.

    Tony’s posts should be compulsory reading for every brain dead, I’ve given up on any control in my life, bas%$#d out there.


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    Senex Bibax

    In Ontario, Canada, the province is “encouraging” households to sign up for the Peaksaver Plus program. This involves having a wifi-enabled “smart” thermostat installed and connected to the air conditioning and electric water heater in the house. The local utility can then “adjust” your electricity use during peak hours, noon to 7PM on summer weekdays. Not bloody likely!

    Warning! Mute sound and enable BS filter before visiting the following website:

    https://www.saveonenergy.ca/Consumer/Programs/PeaksaverPlus/Benefits—Environment.aspx


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    ROM

    I haven’t been very diligent in following the comments on Jo’s most recent postings as there are a couple of projects, Sparrow traps, Indian mynah traps and Blackbird traps, all money making i hope to supplement the pension and all underway in the work shop at the moment, so the following may have already been covered in past comments.
    As power production and use is the subject today this posting from Pierre Gosselin’s German NoTricksZone blog is probably very relevant to Tony’s posting above.
    You really do have to wonder at the naked stupidity of the German power wielding elite to fall so catastrophically for the renewable energy scam and it’s accompanying social and industrial debacle on the scale that they have.
    All to their nation’s great diminution as a global technological power.
    The German power wielding and political elite have persisted with their renewable energy scam programs even though the signs are clearly evident that they are destroying what was regarded only a few pre CAGW short years ago, as one of the most technologically advanced economies and nations in the world.
    And a nation that was led by politicians who seemingly rarely put a foot wrong.

    If ever there was any reason to doubt the ultimate stupidity and utter irrationalism of the move to the so called renewable energy as a nation’s main power generation system then this example from the world’s most dedicated and convinced nation on renewable energy being a fully functional and efficient replacement for fossil fuels for power generation in an technologically advanced, industrialised society, would be it.
    The following example of the total and complete irrationality of that belief as seen in the German context below must be the ultimate example.

    From the NoTricksZone blog

    To quote;

    RENEWABLES FIASCO: DOLDRUMS AND CLOUDS BRING GREEN ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION TO A HALT

    Germany’s wind and solar power production came to an almost complete standstill in early December. More than 23,000 wind turbines stood still. One million photovoltaic systems stopped work nearly completely. For a whole week coal, nuclear and gas power plants had to generate an estimated 95 percent of Germany’s electricity supply.
    [ Graph ]
    Over long periods of time wind and solar energy generate almost no power at all. After the storm “Xavier” died down, the doldrums and high fog set in. In the second week of December the generating curve for the share of wind power shows a very thin line. At the same time, solar panels produced minimal amounts of energy and that for just over two to three hours at noon. Conventional power plants (the large gray base in the graph above) had to carry the full load for power supply for almost the entire week. Such winter anticyclones are quite common and can last two weeks at times. The contribution of biomass and geothermal energy plants is so minimal that it can not be shown in this graphic scale. The currently available pumped storage could supply Germany four or five hours with power, but not for a whole week let alone two.
    &
    Wind turbines stand still for days

    Last week Germany’s wind and solar power production was consistently near to non-existent. More than 23,000 German wind turbines stood still for days. One million photovoltaic systems, subsidized by consumers to the tune of with 108 billion euros, .stopped work nearly complete and delivered a few kilowatt hours only very briefly during lunch. For the whole week unloved coal, nuclear and gas power plants had to generate an estimated 95 percent of Germany’s electricity supply.

    For the new Economic and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democratic Party, SPD) the unreliable contribution of renewable energy presents a dilemma: on the one hand, he may not want to be seen to slow down the green energy transition (Energiewende).

    On the other hand, it will not add anything to the German power supply if the green power expansion continues and when in the future 40,000 instead of the current 23,000 wind turbines stand still in the doldrums – or when two million instead of one million solar panels do not generate any electricity during the long winter darkness.
    [ end quote]


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      ROM

      An update as the whole so called renewable energy scene continues on it’s way to complete disintegration and I would expect a societal revulsion against all the corruption and scamming and personal and totally unneeded and avoidable suffering induced by this truly stupid and crazy green inspired belief that wind and solar alone can power a modern industrialised society.

      As they also say for those who have promoted and forced this grossly corrupt and unaffordable renewable energy onto our society, it will be remembered and for those involved it will stick to their reputations like the proverbial sxxt to a blanket for the rest of their lives.

      From and via the GWPF site;
      Asian Review

      China hands ‘death sentence’ to 75% of solar cell makers
      [quoted ]

      SHANGHAI — The Chinese government is pushing for a drastic shakeout of the country’s overcrowded solar cell industry, supporting only a quarter of players and practically telling the rest to get out of the business.

      The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced a list of 134 producers of silicon materials, solar panels and other components of photovoltaic systems as meeting certain conditions, as measured by 2012 production, capacity utilization and technical standards.

      In a sector said to have more than 500 companies, the ministry’s move means that three-quarters didn’t make the cut — including the core subsidiary of Suntech Power, which went bankrupt in March, and Jiangsu Shungfeng Photovoltaic Technology, Suntech’s startup rescuer.

      These firms will not be able to get credit lines from financial institutions and thus will have a tough time borrowing, according to industry insiders. They will also no longer be eligible for refunds of export tariffs, a huge blow to companies that depend on overseas business. On the home front, it will be difficult for them to participate in state-run utilities’ auctions, sharply curtailing their opportunities to win orders.

      “This will help eliminate the industry’s excess capacity,” says Jian Xie, chief operating officer of leading cell maker JA Solar. “The list will be reviewed every six to 12 months based on business development and technology standards.”

      China’s photovoltaic industry has been facing stiff headwinds since 2012 amid slowing demand in Europe, the world’s largest market. The country’s trade friction with the U.S. and Europe is not helping, either. Even Suntech, which became the world’s top solar cell producer at one point, saw its core subsidiary go under. Midsize businesses are staying afloat only because of support from local governments.
      [ end of quote]
      More>>


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    Gamecock

    You thorium illusion believers, tell me where a plant is running.


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      Neville

      Hi Gamecock,
      please see my post at #6.1.1.
      Cheers


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      Neville

      Sorry – typo – I meant 8.1.1


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        Gamecock

        Sir, your post #8.1.1 discusses theory, not actual production. The thorium theory is over 60 years old, but remains theory.

        “(in fact, the ONLY reason uranium reactors were selected and pursued back in the fifties [and there WAS a working thorium power station running back then, too] is that the USA actually WANTED to have weaponisable nuclear material)”

        Okay, now you are just a dingbat. Thorium is not fissionable.

        And there was no “working thorium power station running back then.” In government (U.S.) reactor experiments in the 50s and 60s, some thorium was converted to U-233, but the created U-233 did not contribute sufficiently to the reactor neutron flux to be of any value. The U-233 was isolated via separations. Only inline fission would be of any value.


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          Sweet Old Bob

          Oh, so running a thorium reactor for ~ five years in the early sixties was only theory?


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            Gamecock

            Sir, you have no clue what you are talking about.


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              Sweet Old Bob

              Google Oak Ridge National Labratory and MSRE. Note the hours ran and the span of years this covered.


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                Gamecock

                “It primarily used two fuels: first uranium-235 and later uranium-233. The latter 233UF4 was the result of breeding from thorium in other reactors. Since this was an engineering test, the large, expensive breeding blanket of thorium salt was omitted in favor of neutron measurements.”

                What part of “other reactors” do you not understand? No thorium to see here, folks.

                The other reactors were at Savannah River Plant, which I was talking about in my post #14.2.1. The U-233 was produced by bombarding thorium targets, then isolating the produced U-233 outside the reactors in the separations department. SRP produced about 600 kg over 15 years.

                Oak Ridge did NOT produce any uranium from thorium in the test. They didn’t even use thorium.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Thorium is not fissionable

          What about Fusible (if that is a word)

          I have seen a number of papers in the IEEE magazine that discuss experiments using fusion, all of which seem viable and worthy of further research. The most interesting for me, was a process that took nuclear waste, and converted it into another materials, none of which were radio active. Heat was produced as a byproduct, and where you have heat, you can generate electricity.

          I will see if I can find some references.


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          Neville

          Hi Gamecock,
          Please read closely – at no time did I suggest thorium is “fissionable’. What I said was that thorium reactor-based energy production was discontinued because the USA wanted fissionable materials for bombs, so they shut down the thorium reactor at Oak Ridge, and put all further research into U-Pu cycle reactors – specifically breeder reactors.
          And yes, please do read up on thorium-cycle reactors; I suggest you begin at Wikipedia – even as hit-and-miss as it is, the info is quite good in regard to thorium reactors, fuel cycle, history, relative ‘cleanliness’ in spent fuel, and so on. Try here for a start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power.
          Cheers!


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    G.Watkins

    Popeye I’d love to see the links to the viability of LENR. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors hold much promise but LWR are established and proved technology. But of course none of that will happen in Australia until the socialist-greens are exposed and purged from Aus. politics.
    Australia should be the richest country in the world – easily- but exporting ‘cheap’ primary produce in exchange for value added imports is not really sensible.


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    if you look for viability of LENR there are many events

    you can read that dialectic article
    http://www.lenrftw.net/home/are-low-energy-nuclear-reaction-devices-real
    as you can see in tha executive summary
    http://www.lenrnews.eu/lenr-summary-for-policy-makers/

    many companies like Toyota, Mitsubishi, ST Micro, National instruments , talke it as serious science, but Elforsk the research consortium of Swedish electric utilities, is clearly supporting the reality of LENr (after they tested it) as a possible energetic revolution
    http://www.elforsk.se/Global/Trycksaker%20och%20broschyrer/elforsk_perspektiv_nr2_2013.pdf#page=4

    for those who don’t yet know that wikipedia mainstream position is simply uninformed and based on misue of 4 rebutted papers in 1989, and absolute ignorance of later work, I advise the book
    “Excess heat” by Charles Beaudette. just the chapter 1 may be enough to underatnd the problem, but serious people will read all.
    It was published for ICCF9 (in tsignhua, China)
    http://iccf9.global.tsinghua.edu.cn/lenr%20home%20page/acrobat/BeaudetteCexcessheat.pdf
    but if you can (maybe after reading) one should buy it (on Amazon or alike).

    good reading…

    hope this helps.


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    Roy Hogue

    I hate to go off topic so much. But here’s the stark truth in contrast to the global warming party line. Icebreaker stalled in Arctic ice.


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      Yonniestone

      How’s that summer melt going then? and the best part is they are there to study climate change! :) LMFO

      Want to know about climate change boys? then look out your F%$@#&g porthole, tools.


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      Manfred

      Roy, I believe that this has the making of a modern day classic of controlled media reporting and interpretive bias in favour of damage control.

      Why the NSW Uni climate change weanies led by Professor of Climate Change Chris Turney of the University of New South Wales, a group including two desperate and hapless media sycophants (Guardian Newspaper) have still yet to become the laughing stock of the planet, particularly when laughter and merriment is a seasonal requirement, seems damning. One would expect the MSM to be flogging this story for all its hilarity and irony.

      The entertaining Prof. tweets on his web site 11 hrs ago (after the rescue attempt has been abandoned):

      Chris Turney @ProfChrisTurney
      Still waiting. #spiritofmawson Alok Jha https://vine.co/v/h9tqx3bWgVx


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    Chris F

    What needs to happen is for the electric companies to go back to their business model they used to have many years ago and which all businesses follow…increased production and lower end prices. It used to be around here (Quebec) that you were charged more for the first xxx Kwh than you were for any Kwh used after. In other words, it got cheaper the more you used. Can anyone tell me any other business that actively tries to get it’s customers to use less of their product?
    Governments need to get out of the way and stop the social engineering and let the electric companies give the paying customer what they want, cheap and plentiful power. This political manipulation of power is treasonous and needs to be dealt with severely and decisively to get back on the path to prosperity. This means demonizing the main blockage in our path…radical environmentalism. These groups are anti-human and want to take us back to the stone age and are a national security threat. They belong on all developed countries terrorism list and need to be marginalized and stripped of their multi-billion dollar assets.


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      Manfred

      I have often made a comment along similar lines. If, as is variously reported, that within a year or two some 30% of Glasgow will be ‘power impoverished’, when is it that the power companies appreciate that they are wedded to a policy that welds them to a market of diminishing returns, economic unsustainability and bankruptcy?

      The irony (if one can call it that) is that the sine qua non for environmental sustainability is economic sustainability.


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    Reed Coray

    Jo,
    Thanks for the discussion. I had never given the relationship between peak-power and home air conditioning any thought. I blindly accepted the premise that home air conditioners were a major contributor to peak electricity usage on hot days because, well I hate to admit, it but it superficially “made sense”. Like a lot of issues in the real world, “superficial doesn’t and shouldn’t cut it.” I’m beginning to see why many people have bought into the CAGW scare. With superficial terms like “greenhouse gas”, “back radiation”, “polar ice cap/polar bear disappearance”, etc., have the effect they do on the general public. This thread demonstrates one more reason why blogs like yours are so important. People who read them often stop and reflect: “I hadn’t thought of that before. Maybe this whole CO2-is-leading-to-the-end-of-the-world business is just so much snake oil.”


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      bobl

      Reed,
      A lot of science is counter intuitive, for example people see solar panels as an energy source because (simplisyically) the energy (sunlight) is free, but they are more like a primary battery, the amount of energy you put into making them is about the same as the useful energy you get out over its life, windmills maybe more so. The energy density of sunlight is woeful, averaged over 24 hours there’s only maybe 400 Watts per square meter incoming and we can only on average recover at best 20 percent of that 50 percent of the time. The hydrogen economy seems like a good idea superficially, until you look at containerisation, transportation logistics, and understand that burning hydrogen extracted from natural gas, consumes oxygen permanently from the atmosphere. Rather than increasing CO2 which plants return as O2 to the atmosphere the hydrogen economy wants to extract O2 permanently, just like the idiots promoting geosequestration of CO2 want to.

      Lot’s of things run counter to intuition, that’s why one needs to take a sceptical position on things.


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        Richard of NZ

        I would like to argue that all energy is free, what costs is the conversion into another, useful, form. Solar energy is free, but generally useless. The cost is in converting it into useful electricity. Coal energy is free, it just lies in the ground waiting for someone to pay for it to be extracted and converted into electricity. The same argument applies to all energy.

        p.s. I hope everyone had a merry (but not too merry) Christmas and wish them a happy new year.

        Richard


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  • #

    Just burn our superb Sydney Basin black coal in newer, more efficient plants till something even better comes along. By “something better” I do not mean “something we wish was better”. So don’t go littering the countryside with medieval piles of junk which can never compete with the potency and splendour of coal, and even be wary of helping Shell and Boone Pickens promote their gas. If we are going to innovate we should work hardest on improving and refining the most valuable assets we were born with. In our case, that’s coal.

    Sorry Shell. Go somewhere else and preach your green drivel (while trying to keep a straight face). We’ve got coal, the most of the best.


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    Reed Coray

    Ooops! I forgot. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy 2014.


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    Bob

    Peaks in power demand are part of the system. In any system there will be highs and lows, and electric power, natural gas, etc are no exception. These spikes are perfectly normal, but economically undesirable. In an electric system you have to design for the peak loads, whether they are there for an hour or a week.

    When I was in the industry in the 1970′s, I sold Motorola radio switches to utilities in the Southeastern US to help them defer the late afternoon peak loads caused by residential air conditioning units. The idea was to start turning off portions of the air conditioners as the load started to increase in the late afternoon. Keeping a section off for a while, and then rotating it on while another sector was turned off was the plan. There was supposedly a diversity effect across the system that decreased the amount of peak generation that was necessary.

    Of course, over time the air conditioners had to work hard to handle the heat load that had accumulated while they had been turned off. There was still revenue to the utility company.

    This method had been used for decades in some northern cities, like Detroit, to defer residential water heater load that presented a sharp daily peak as people returned home from work. It seemed to work.

    Note that electric utilities spend Million and millions of dollars to buy relatively inefficient diesel generators to serve those sharp peaks in power demand. However, these generators had to be ready to be put on line in a moment’s notice. After all, you don’t want an overload to dump thousands of customers just because of bad planning.


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    Roy Hogue

    As many of you know, when demand begins to exceed supply, there are two options, let the system fail and eat any damage that happens (which can be considerable and expensive) or shut down enough usage to keep the system safe. Since California lacks the wisdom to build new capacity the only viable solution is roving blackouts. The utilities assign the areas supplied from each substation a number and when something must be shut down they shut down the next area in numerical order for an hour at a time. At least this spreads the pain around and doesn’t require anyone to be without power for too long a period. On the other hand if you depend on medical equipment that needs to run regardless of power availability the pain is much more severe.

    It should be obvious to the state and the utilities that demand is going to continue to rise and at some point this blackout plan will not be enough help. So larger and larger areas are going to go dark and for a lot longer than an hour. One really should think ahead. After all, you may need a head for something someday. Unfortunately, foresight isn’t the strong suit of the Democrats in control of California, nor is it the strong suit of the electorate.

    I don’t intend to be intimidated by the demands to reduce power usage. So only two things will stop my air conditioning: blackout; or the price of electricity getting higher than I can withstand. I’m also not very politically correct because I have both a refrigerator and a freezer. They really don’t like that second box consuming their precious energy.

    Fortunately neither one has happened, yet…


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      Mike Borgelt

      Honda make some nice generators, Roy.


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        Roy Hogue

        Believe me, Mike, I’ve considered that long and hard. To do it safely and have enough capacity for a prolonged period is a bit pricey. And smaller generators couldn’t handle the load of the refrigerator, freezer and air conditioning. And even for the smaller generators, the hookup needs both county and Edison approval.

        I don’t know how it’s done in Australia where you have 240V. But here we use a split-phase system — two hot wires and a “neutral wire (a center tap on the transformer secondary) that’s grounded at the transformer and at your meter box. You get 240V between the two hot wires and that runs the A/C and electric cook stove if you have it (we don’t). Between either hot wire and neutral you get 120V but you really have two separate 120V systems 180 degrees out of phase with each other relative to that neutral wire, with the neutral wire carrying a current equal only to the difference between the currents in the two hot wires (nicely efficient as far as required wire size by the way). So hooking up a 120V generator system to that would mean having juice in only half the house. You’d need 240V generator with center tap to make the whole house work. The cost is all out of line with the current reality.

        Ground wires for things needing them are grounded to the household water pipe at some convenient point and are not a part of the actual power distribution system.

        All sorts of compromises are possible and I’m sure that more and more people will attempt them as time goes by. But kludges tend to be very dangerous when good rules are broken for the sake of expediency. I have a little too much experience with electrical equipment to take foolish chances. I’ve opened up the compressor housing several times to clean out accumulated debris. But I don’t rely on shutting off the circuit breakers, which are out of sight from the compressor. I remove the entire fuse block from the box on the wall next to the unit and I set it on my open tool box where I can see it. Then I know I’m safe to open the cover and expose the control relay.


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          bobl

          Roy, the garden variety of solution is the easiet, it consists of 3 long cords and a power strip. When the power goes off, unplug the fridges and the aircon, plug into generator. The fridge could just use a 60-100 amp hour UPS, most fridges are not more than about 300Watts and the newer super efficient ones can be as low as 150 W. You have low install cost with this manual system and can even plug the telly in.

          PS a gas BBQ is good for the meals


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            Roy Hogue

            Bob,

            The A/C compressor locked rotor current is specified as 131 amps. Although that only happens for a few milliseconds as the motor begins to turn. Being single phase with a run capacitor to get the second phase means as much as one cycle or more during which the current is very high before the motor can even begin to turn, 1/60 sec + (17 + ms) before the current begins to drop. The run current is about 21 amps but the fuses are 40 amp slow-blow type to withstand that start up jolt. No small generator is going to “like” that. Not to mention that the compressor wants 240V and everything else wants 120. So if I go for your suggestion it would be to simply keep the refrigerator and freezer running along with some lights if it’s dark to avoid having to patch into the house system.

            When you add the load of the condenser fan motor and the furnace air handler to the compressor it’s an impractical load for any small generator. The kWh meter reads out the instantaneous load and with A/C running we’re way over 4 kW.


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              bobl

              Alright, its a big aircon…. you didn’t say that, in that case I’d use a polyphase motor and a VfD, as just a small mod, though you’d still need about a 16 KW genset to start it. The vfd could work well to save you dollars too. Maybe a little portable unit for the blackouts


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                Roy Hogue

                Bob,

                Actually it’s somewhat over size for the house. But it was a bargain I couldn’t refuse and the extra capacity for heating and cooling is managed nicely by a very good thermostat — no heating overshoot or cooling undershoot. And it brings temperature back up or back down to where I want it faster than the “correct” capacity furnace and compressor would do it. The thermostat continuously measures how fast the house cools off and warms up and can anticipate when to shut off to prevent the over/undershoot problem.

                It’s a Honneywell model RTH7600D thermostat if anyone is interested. Someone finally learned to get it right. I’m not easily impressed but this one gets a 5 star rating from me.


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            Hasbeen

            It depends on the fridge.

            My 2.5KVA gen set tripped out trying to start my fridge freezer during our last 5 day power outage. It could just not handle the starting current required for the motors on the 2 compressors. It would start one, if I disconnected the other, but this was a long term failure. To work it required someone to change over about every 1.5 hours 24/7.

            I hope my new diesel 8KVA will do the job.

            At least having bought it, & wired it in, with a cutout system, I should have assured we will have no more long term outages for many years.


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          Mark D.

          Roy and others, consider the prime needs for survival against the comfort of all your current (bad pun) needs.

          Each load can be easily isolated (most already are at the breaker panel). Your fridge will probably start on 2 to 3Kva and maybe lower but you don’t necessarily NEED a fridge. The Fridge and especially a chest freezer will stay safely cold for longer than a typical power outage. If you are planning for longer survival preparation, don’t bother with the fridge. you’ll need water so if you have a well you need enough generator capacity to run the well pump. Not hardly a watt more than that. You will be able to use up most of the refrigerator food before it goes bad. The chest freezer will keep food wholesome for at least a week especially if you cover it with additional insulation during the outage.

          I’m of the opinion that at least, a small generator 1 to 3Kva (watts) is absolutely required these days along with some fuel to run it. Honda does indeed have some very good products and they are quiet which is a big plus.

          8Kva is more than enough to run a modern house BUT you’ll have other problems namely with envious neighbors should you be running that for a day or two. Not to mention the stored fuel requirements for a machine that consumes 60-80% more than you are taking out of it.

          I repeat: a generator only large enough to run what you really need. Water first and then heat for colder climes. All larger capacity quickly becomes unwieldy luxury.

          If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to offer suggestions for how to overcome inrush current problems with loads like freezers and refrigerators as well as simple ways to hookup generators to your home electrical system.


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            Roy Hogue

            Mark,

            I knew you’d have some sensible advice from your experience and was waiting for your comments. I would definitely like to see your additional tips and advice.

            On the other hand, in a city environment remaining self sufficient for more than a few days is a practical impossibility. You cannot store water for an indefinite siege, much less can you rely on getting it from the water company if the power is gone. Too many pumps are involved. And the end of your water supply is the end of your ability to stay where you are. And there may or may not be somewhere else to go in such a situation.


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            • #

              They make 55 gallon plastic drums for holding water. I have one of these in my kitchen (on wheels, with a cover over it) along with a hand pump to get the water out. I’m not sure how long 55 gallons lasts. If one just uses the water for toilets and drinking (or have separate containers for drinking water) it should last quite a while. Low flush toilets don’t take much water. I do have a well and a generator, but only use that for very long term outages.
              We have a list posted on the frig of what needs to be done in a power outage. That way we don’t have to try and remember exactly what needs done. Last outage, the power company kept popping the electricity off and on during the 13 hour outage. I did not remember that my external hard drive was plugged into a different outlet than the rest of the computer. I missed it and it ended up fried. I’m trying not to repeat that.
              There is a write up on my wind blog on what to do in power outages and how to prepare, if you want to check it out.


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                Roy Hogue

                Sheri,

                I can see from your comments and others that I have a very different and much better situation. We’ve never had an outage for more than half a day or so in all the years I’ve been an Edison customer (almost 45 years) and so far all of them have been because of maintenance or because some fool plowed down the power line that comes into the area along a major street. The polls are to close to the street and they seem to do it with great regularity.

                That’s really why I haven’t been moved to take further steps to obtain a generator or store food and water for that long siege.

                You live in a much harsher winter environment and if I read between the lines correctly you’re probably more isolated from potential help than I am.

                I can’t quite see my wife putting up with a 55 gallon drum full of water in her kitchen or anywhere else in the house. But my engineer’s brain says our 40 gallon water heater is a good reservoir for short term needs. All you have to do is drain some out and let it cool.

                I’m wondering continually whether I could hope to hold out for a long term and frankly, I don’t see how we could make it past a few weeks. If the A/C is off for an hour when it’s really hot then we’ll just be uncomfortable. But if the power is out for days or weeks then we’ll have trouble no matter what I do. In the end, you must at some point, simply take whatever is thrown at you. The really bad thing to lose in a city environment is the telephone, not the electricity. That’s the lifeline to help. And the phones go out along with the power every time as the 1994 Northridge quake proved beyond any doubt.

                I’ll check out your blog. And by the way, I suspect that 55 gallons will go faster than you think unless you’re used to getting along without all the water you want, when you want it. Think of camping in the desert; do a five or 10 mile hike in with only what you can carry, including H20.


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                Roy–I had not thought about the hot water heater. That would certainly work. I keep working on improving my list of ways to deal when help isn’t coming, and I will add that to my list.

                We are definitely more isolated. We live 10 miles outside of town (and always have–and I lived in the country in Iowa before moving to Wyoming). It is interesting that the people in the next development over take off for town if the power is off for more than 3 or 4 hours. My guess is they have no backup heat or water. I think that in areas where there are ice storms, even more and longer outages happen. Our major reason seems to be a failing of infrastructure, wild critters (a raccoon chewed through a line once and darken much of the area–only once, of course), and wind.

                I am uncertain how long we could hold out, but we figure at least a month. Having spent weekends in an off-the-grid cabin without running water, we are pretty good at dealing with very little water (we have a 55 gallon drum there, also) and no plumbing facilities. I will note that going without a shower for month is not appealing but we could clean up with water in a basin. We have sun and some water, we have a solar shower that is made for camping. We’ve gone a weekend with only a gallon or two of water. (Gave the dog gatorade to drink once when we forgot to bring any drinking water along!). When you are not using plumbing, water use drops off. In the desert, I can see the need for more water to avoid dehydration. Also, we drink soda most of the time, not water. That makes a difference. (We even made a 12 volt “swamp cooler” to keep cool with. It’s not ideal, but it would help if the power stayed off long.)

                We have cell phones for when the electricity goes off. I have a VOIP for a phone, so my phone goes with the electricity every time. If the cell phone towers were to go down, then it’s going to be ugly.


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                Roy Hogue

                Sheri,

                I don’t know if you’re still following this thread or not. But today I went to your blog (link through your name on each comment) and I didn’t find anything about “wind blog”. Maybe I should have looked longer but time has it’s limit.

                I’m still interested in your suggestions about power failure. H-e-l-p!-!

                Roy

                PS: Both you and Jo have a lot more — what shall I call it? self control maybe — about how you say what you say about the global warming industry. I definitely need to work on that because sometimes my blood boils and nothing will do but a direct punch back. I don’t know how you manage it.


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                I still follow most threads. It’s were the trolls hide! (My husband says the same thing about my patience and dealing with climate change. It a work in progress. It’s important and I try to do what I can.)

                These are the links:
                http://whynotwind.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/how-to-survive-in-a-clean-energy-dark-cold-world/
                http://whynotwind.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/keeping-warm-when-the-power-goes-out/

                The link is on the right side under My Writings. I have to start putting the links in my comments. My resolution for 2014!


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                Roy Hogue

                Thanks Sheri. I bookmarked both links for later reading. Glad I took one more pass over all this conversation because I found your response just a minute ago. Now off to look at the latest thread in what remains of my time…


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              Mark D.

              Roy, I think we could explore this more in the next unthreaded thread. To some degree I agree with the notion that you have limited options in a city environment but I don’t believe in doing nothing. For example, water can be bought cheaply at the grocery in one gal. jugs. 20 of these in rotation would go a long way without taking up too much room. Water in storage does deteriorate over time so the 55 gallon barrel has to be maintained (flushed, sanitized and re-filled) on a schedule. I have 55 gal full that is not for drinking but instead for washing and flushing. I have another empty 55 gal that I intend to fill upon any emergency situation. We are sited uniquely on a hill and the City has a large water tank at a higher elevation so I am pretty sure I’ll have some water flow many hours after something serious happens. The pumping stations all have diesel backup power too. Because of the same hill, we are assured of sewer function (too bad about the people at the bottom of the hill) :) .

              With regard to generators, I too am concerned about the safety aspect but then I’m qualified. That said, what I’m about to suggest may not conform to electrical codes and definitely creates potential hazards if done incorrectly. We are talking about emergency conditions and coping with other potential dangers to life and health that supersede codes. I’m demonstrating HOW one MIGHT do things. I am definitely not telling you TO do these things. You’ll have to make that decision on your own. If you prepare ahead things will be much simpler. Naturally, if money is no object to you, you’d hire a qualified electrician to set up your generator on a dual source main breaker specifically designed to break one connection before making the other. These devices and their installation are expensive and so are automatic starting generators. My solution below will work with less expensive portable generators of virtually any capacity so long as it is large enough to individually run the items you deem important during a power outage.

              To attach a generator to your house wiring you only need a “suicide extension cord” of sufficient current carrying capacity to match your generator AND a suitable existing permanently installed receptacle in your house to “back feed” power into the house breaker panel. This could be an existing clothes dryer or stove receptacle or, as in my case, a 50 Amp welder receptacle in my garage. If your generator provides 240V split phase the process is simpler. If it is a smaller single phase generator you can still use it but you’ll need to identify two separate receptacles (one on each phase or “leg”) and you will only be able to operate devices wired on the corresponding phase in the house. The “suicide cord” is called that because it has male plugs on both ends. It isn’t really unsafe because if you use it correctly it will not be energized when the ends are exposed. Optionally, a small circuit breaker box and matching breaker (matched to the generator capacity) could be wired in series in the suicide cord.

              To run equipment in the house on generator power:

              FIRST YOU MUST TOGGLE (DISCONNECT) THE HOUSE MAIN BREAKER TO OFF! The need to do this step with certainty cannot be understated. If you do not, at minimum you will overload your generator as it tries to power your entire neighborhood (it won’t succeed for very long) but the real concern is in endangering the lives of downstream electrical workers. After turning OFF the house main breaker, the wise and prepared person would have a lock-out device attached to the main breakers so that a padlock would prevent unintended main breaker activation. You can get lock-out tag-out devices at well stocked building stores or electrical supply wholesale outlets.

              Next, Turn off all other breakers for the branch circuits throughout the house

              Next, connect the suicide cord between the generator (not running) and the above described receptacle. Start the generator and then turn on only the branch circuit breakers as needed for survival. This might be the well pump or various refrigerator/freezers or to heat the house. Run only the items needed and always less load than the generators capacity.

              When mains power is restored (your neighbors lights come on) you must stop the generator and disconnect the suicide cord before turning on the main breaker in your house.


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                Mark D.–Good that you mention that the water has to be flushed and changed periodically. I only use the 55 gallon drum water for other than drinking. I have large, plastic water bottles that we fill at the grocery store for drinking. We usually have 10 to14 gallons available (We don’t drink our well water.) Before we started using the 55 gallon drum, I had 3 of the 5-gallon bottles like on water coolers and 6 or 7 gallon jugs. I kept them in separate areas where they fit easily. You do need to check them for leaks and then rinse, sanitize and refill periodically. Make sure you don’t leave the bottles where the sun can get to them or cover them if you do. Algae grows quite quickly with just a little sunlight. I used the non-drinkable water for watering plants, boiling for humidity (I hate regular humidifiers…..) and whatever else I could use non-potable water for. Sounds like you are ready for most emergenies. That’s great. People don’t often think ahead about what could happen.

                (Trust me when I say I will not be trying what you noted could be done in an emergency with a generator! I am basically terrified of working on house current (in spite of having helped wire my garage). I’m great with the DC setup we have in the cabin, but that “line” stuff can kill you!)


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                Roy Hogue

                Mark,

                What would, say a $500 – $800 budget get me that would be less tricky to get right than your suicide method — at least a manual cut-over switch into the main panel that would isolate me from the power company and allow my wife to understand it well enough that she could start the generator and switch it in to get lights, heating, refrigerator and freezer working? I would be willing to forego air conditioning which needs 240V but not heat which needs only 120. To be practical it would need to handle the split phase correctly. We have no main breaker. It’s all individual breakers and you have to shut them all off to kill all power to the house.

                All those things may be more load than an inexpensive generator can handle. But I’d like your opinion on capacity and cost if my trial budget is too small. And next Unthreaded Weekend is fine to continue this

                ————————————–

                Sheri,

                What kind of items are on your power failure check list?


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                Roy- Some are specific to my situation such as plugging in the well heat tape, putting heat in the well-house, the locations of my power sources and propane indoor heaters, and where the generator is. I also listed where the flashlights are (it’s surprisingly difficult to locate those things when the lights go out in spite of having them everywhere!). I note any appliances and electronic devices that need to be unplugged (as noted in 23.1.1.2.1). One thing my husband added was to set wind-up clocks if you have to get up for work. His alarm clock is electric and a backup battery doesn’t always backup long enough. The list is on my refrigerator door where it’s easy to find. I put the power company’s outage number on the bottom of the list in red numbering. If you have a small flashlight with a magnet, you can stick that next to the list on the frig.


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                Roy Hogue

                Sheri,

                About the finding the flashlights problem — you can get small emergency lights with rechargeable batteries. We have one in the bedroom and another in the living room. They can be set to come on when the power goes off and provide enough light that you can easily find something bigger. Or remove them from the wall and use them as a flashlight.

                And for flashlights get the LED type. They’ll run about 80% longer before depleting the batteries. I found conversion kits for my MAG Lights. Even the small 3 AAA cell jobs make quite a lot of useful light. I keep one on my nightstand.


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                Mark D.

                Roy, If you have no main breaker you have a problem. Unless your State has rules contrary to National Electrical Code, you must be able to shut off the power completely with no more than three breaker throws. In residential settings there is usually only one main breaker. Without a main breaker you would not be able to isolate your house without pulling the electric meter from it’s socket, definitely not a job for the meek and pulling the meter may cause you penalties or fines from your electrical supply. If there isn’t a disconnect (main) then my suicide cord can’t be made to work safely either.


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                Roy-I have tried the emergency lights, but they quickly fail to come on and need replacement (Needless to say, my electrical service is not premium and the constant voltage changes are hard on everything. My computer is on a “line conditioner” now rather than a UPS). It’s a great idea for people who can get them to work. I actually bought one for an elderly friend so she could navigate in a blackout. Glad you mentioned them!

                Most of my flashlights are LED. They now make a “shop light” about 4 1/2 inches long with 36 LED bulbs. You can blind people with it! It will light up most of a small room. Runs on 3 AAA batteries. I have not tested how long they last yet. We also changed our Mag lights over. (I have not tried the LED light bulbs yet. They are down to about $7.50 each on sale, but I’m waiting for lower. Not sure how LED on AC current compares to LED on DC. Mark D–any ideas?)


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                Mark D.

                Sheri, LEDS are the future of lighting. True they are expensive and likely to go lower. I’m holding out for a while too. Lighting is certainly important but maybe the lowest of needs when talking generators for emergency use. You only need one or maybe two lights on and almost any generator can keep them going. LED’s themselves are by nature DC devices the AC LED lamps work fine but they simply rectify the AC to DC internally. Yes the AC ones are very efficient too. Handy if you live in a warm climate because they give off very little heat. Here in the north woods we don’t mind the waste heat of incandescent bulbs except during the two days of summer we get.

                If you really afraid of AC power don’t play with it. On the other hand I’m quite sure you have the sense and smarts to be able to learn about it and work with it safely. If you like 12 volt DC power, you can successfully convert most of your house to run on it even have a battery bank with AC (line) and solar charging. Lighting and only small motor loads for DC and use AC for heavier loads. If you really want to whole hog you can replace your refrigeration appliances with RV versions that run on 12V, 120V and propane.

                Water is really essential and here is a link with a great deal of information. http://www.katadyn.com/fileadmin/user_upload/katadyn_products/Downloads/Water_Guide_EN.pdf (forget that there is plenty of green UNESCO propaganda included)
                Katadyn makes several good water filters and treatment chemicals. Check out the camping and backpacking sites to purchase. I have two backpack filter systems (I consider one to be required even for home disaster prep use). I also keep on hand several gallons of Clorox bleach (in rotation with the laundry because it loses potency on the shelf). I have read but not followed up on it yet that a commonly available dry powdered swimming pool water treatment chemical that is better and has a very long shelf life. Stored water in home prepared fashion may be very dangerous especially in warm places. There are long term chemical additives around but most don’t allow over one year of storage and can run $10 to $20 to treat 55 gallons. This site has lots of stuff for water and food storage: http://beprepared.com/water.html I’ve shopped with them and they do a good job.

                Roy, as a followup to your generator questions do you know anyone or have friends that know an electrician you could invite over? Alternatively you could ask a couple of area contractors to bid on a generator installation then when they come over to assess your installation ask them LOTS of questions. You aren’t obligated to buy anything just take advantage of their design ideas and knowledge. Generally costs go up based on the capacity of the generator. I would ask them to propose a whole house solution and a modest emergency version (including a cord connected temporary arrangement.) Please don’t mention my “suicide cord” method :)

                The main and bypass switch will need to be done by a professional electrician. These are installed right after the meter socket and the live power there is several hundred Amperes I don’t want anyone to be playing around that stuff! You might be able to get that work done within your $$$ budget. They should be able to install a special Generator receptacle socket at the same time and then you’ll have a spot to attach to. Of course, once you get a professional involved you’ll have inspections and fees to deal with too.

                A proposal for a whole house size solution would be probably 10 to 12 kW and run at least $6000 to $10,000 installed (which certainly is out of my range). My “cord” setup including a lightly used 5500watt semi-portable electric start gas generator was less than $600.00 total. At that capacity I can run anything (not necessarily everything at the same time) in the house (we use city gas for heat/ hot water cooking and clothes drying.)


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                Roy Hogue

                Mark,

                The house was first occupied in 1962. I suspect the electrical code was quite different then. Even when we moved in and before the first addition for A/C there were more than 3 breakers. I’m not sure the states are required to follow the national code but the whole state must go by whatever the dictate is from Sacramento.

                So it looks like I’m facing a replacement of the incoming electrical service box to get up to current code (there’s that bad pun again). After A/C and upgrades for better power service in the bathrooms and the office for running the computers there are a total of 13 breakers counting the double 50 amp for the A/C.

                This is beginning to look like a major project pain.

                I was once up to date on the California and local electrical codes but I’ve had no reason to follow the changes for a long time. The electricians who did the work didn’t seem to have any problem with the 13 breaker situation. If there was a slot the breaker went in.


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                Roy Hogue

                Roy, as a followup to your generator questions do you know anyone or have friends that know an electrician you could invite over? Alternatively you could ask a couple of area contractors to bid on a generator installation then when they come over to assess your installation ask them LOTS of questions. You aren’t obligated to buy anything just take advantage of their design ideas and knowledge. Generally costs go up based on the capacity of the generator. I would ask them to propose a whole house solution and a modest emergency version (including a cord connected temporary arrangement.) Please don’t mention my “suicide cord” method

                There’s no danger that I’ll mention anything like your “suicide” method.

                This is looking like something that I can’t even get into until a couple of other things are taken care of. But the idea of asking for estimates with lots of questions has crossed my mind. As I just said, I was once up to date on the applicable code but haven’t had the need to keep up with it. Once you understand electricity and its safe use then the codes aren’t very hard to master and remember because it’s all based on safety — at least it used to be but who knows how much it’s been influenced by politics anymore.


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                Roy Hogue

                Sheri,

                LEDs run on low voltage are relatively tough and reliable. Unfortunately those that run on higher voltage such as LED 120V lighting tend to fail often. Around here traffic signals have been replaced by multi-LED jobs and very soon after I began to see them with as much as about 10% of the LEDs out. My wife wants LED lighting for the kitchen but I’m still leery of them for reliability reasons.

                And then there’s this: I bought a 5 LED 3 AA cell job to keep in my glove compartment, strictly 4.5V (LED indicators on your computer would be 5V). Almost immediately one of the 5 quit one me. They still have a way to go for reliable lighting use. I think it’s the higher light output that isn’t quite perfected.


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                Mark D: Thanks for the information on the LEDs. I live in a cold climate and also like the heat put off by incandescent bulbs. The LEDs are so much more efficient, though.
                So far, we have stayed with AC at home, DC at the cabin. Neighbors out there had a propane frig. And I do now have a list of places to get DC and camping equipment!
                What we use for bleach is tablets that are designed to be put in a well to sanitize it (we use them for that, too). We just put one in a gallon of water to make bleach. We used to use the chlorine for pools. It worked fine, but whatever form you use (tablets or powder) you will want to store it outside the house. I have had more stuff rust from being in the same room as the tablets and powder. It didn’t seem to matter how tightly we packaged the tablets or powder.
                I will check out the link. Thanks.


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    edwina

    In TIME there is an article about how we now rely on rare earth elements for a lot of new technology. They have improved jet engines and devices we are using to read this. The cost and environmtal damage to mine them is high. China has 90% of these. One thing to note is that the wind farm generators use these in large quantities and unless more sources are found such green energy will be less economic.


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      bobl

      Rare earths aren’t particularly rare though, as I understand it they are reactive and spread in low concentration that makes them difficult to extract, but Australia has up to 30 % of the known world reserves of minable Rare earths which are practically unexploited. The problem though for miners is that green energy is a fad, no serious investor thinks that rare earths will remain a good bet any more, I put my money on coal and gas. Just look at the share prices, they give the picture.


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        ROM

        Rare Earths as it turns out aren’t very rare at all.
        It just depends on where you try to find them.

        The Japanese have been hard at it and have found not only immense amounts of energy producing methane hydrates as well as very large deposits of Rare Earth’s off their coasts.

        From the “Japanese Daily Press” [ JDP ]

        This first finding is in Japan itself

        New rare earth minerals discovered in Mie Prefecture

        Japan has to find a way to find a secure and stable supply of the minerals. The recent discovery of a possible rich source of minerals on the Pacific seabed would be of great benefit to Japanese manufacturers. Scientists believe the deposit has 6.8 million tons of rare earths, which will last Japan for the next 230 years and if properly extracted, will end the country’s reliance on China for these materials.

        Japan finds rare earth deposits in Pacific seabed

        Japanese researchers revealed on Thursday that they have discovered a possible rich source of rare earths on the Pacific seabed. The data they recovered suggests that the deposits could be 30 times better than China’s reserves, currently the source of 90% of the world’s supply of rare earths.

        The mud samples were taken from the seabed near Minamitori Island, around 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. The samples showed concentration amounts of the precious minerals 10 times from that collected of the coast of Hawaii. Rare earths are vital for high-tech consumer electronics and are used in manufacturing products like wind turbines and iPods. But Japanese manufacturers have been complaining that Beijing was restricting exports of the materials, especially as tensions with China have intensified due to the territorial row regarding a group of islands in the East China Sea.

        Japanese researchers find rare earth minerals in Jamaican mud

        And Etc!


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    “Never let the riff raff use the industrial magic tools eh? Keep the air conditioners for the elite academics, pollies and white collar office workers! — Jo]”.
    I just love that comment by Jo.
    What we need to do is build power generating plants big enough to cover the demand for electricity, using the money paid for power, and forget about blaming home air-conditioners in the interest of propping up of a failed, faked theory of Man-Made Global Warming which isn’t showing any warming at all.


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    handjive

    Feeling guilty about your carbon footprint?
    - Do you have procrastination issues?
    - Do you want buy prepaid carbon credits for your next vacation?
    - Are you monetarily challenged by the banking calamity?

    GOODSTUFF’S CARBON MARKETPLACE and EXCHANGE Is where you can exchange, sell, buy, barter or trade carbon credits.

    The aim is to make this the one stop pump and dump carbon offset exchange.

    But carbon credits and feel smug today!

    * Brought to you by the Church of Latter Day Climatologists
    (You just gotta ‘believe’ to be a climate scientist!)


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    pat

    coal is king. given our size & population density, not to mention the fact we export the CO2 emissions anyway (if that matters), there is no need for Australia to look further than coal.

    16 Dec: Maria van der Hoeven, IEA, Launch of the Medium‐Term Coal Market Report 2013:

    ***Over the next six years, additional coal production capacity of a half‐million tonnes per annum will be added worldwide … each day. That will be necessary to meet a worldwide demand increase of 2.3% per year on average until 2018.***
    http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/speeches/131206MCMR2013LaunchRemarks.pdf

    BBC disappeared its interview with Van Der Hoeven in which she repeated the above point. to this day, the BBC interview is not showing up online.

    a mere TWO major MSM outlets reported this astonishing fact, (search ‘maria van der hoeven 500,000 – or half-million – tonnes & click “news”‘) and one underestimated what she said by 365x:

    18 Dec: Wall St Journal: Rhiannon Hoyle: Iron-Ore and Coal Prices Go Separate Ways
    In a speech in Paris on Monday, she (Maria van der Hoeven) said as much as 500,000 tons of annual coal-production capacity could be added every day for the next six years unless mining companies opt for cutbacks.
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304403804579265292660082718

    19 Dec: Forbes: Ken Silverstein: Can Coal Feed The Global Energy Appetite In A Healthy Way?
    Through 2018, she (Maria van der Hoeven) says that worldwide coal production will increase by a 500,000 tons per year — a 2.3 percent yearly growth rate…
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2013/12/19/can-coal-feed-the-global-energy-appetite-in-a-healthy-way/

    Van Der Hoeven was actually making a case for the anti-coal CAGW crowd and they couldn’t bear to report it! how CAGW is that?

    as for post-2018, u can bet coal will still be king.


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      Read carefully what pat says here, and he’s mentioned it a couple of times now, but I just want to add some perspective on this:

      Over the next six years, additional coal production capacity of a half‐million tonnes per annum will be added worldwide … each day.

      That’s an extra half a million tonnes needed every day, just to feed the demand for coal for what will be new coal fired power plants.

      Now, half a million tonnes per day seems a lot, so here is where the perspective comes in.

      On average, a SINGLE large scale coal fired power plant will burn between 6 Million and 7.5 million tons of coal each year at normal operation. A typical large scale plant will have 4 units. While ever the unit is in operation, it is generating its maximum power. During the year, units are rotated through maintenance. Thus, the Capacity Factor for a coal fired plant comes into play, units closed down, and not delivering power. A typical Capacity Factor for a large scale plant in normal supply situation is around 85%, and those new USC plants in China are operating at around 93% CF.

      Let’s then take a normal average plant burning 6 million tons at a CF of 85%, and note here I’ve used the lower figures all round. So then, at 100% (if the plant could operate at this level) then consumption would be 7.06 Million tons of coal.

      So, translating that back to a single day, then, with all 4 units in full operation, the plant is burning 19,339 tons of coal, or one ton of coal every 4.46 seconds.

      That’s ONE TON of coal every 4.5 SECONDS.

      Now, some of you will have seen those huge coal trains hauling coal from the coalfields to the ports. 5 locomotives are hauling 100 hoppers, each carrying 100 tons. So each coal train is hauling 10,000 tons of coal.

      They’re huge things, if you’ve seen them in real life, and even on TV.

      Now, perspective.

      At normal operation, ONE coal fired plant needs 2 of those coal trains full of coal EACH DAY just to stay in operation.

      I live here in Rockhampton, and those coal trains pass through here, coming from the coal fields at Blackwater on their way to the port at Gladstone. Those huge coal trains pass through here at the rate of 25 a day, around one of them each hour ….. 365 days a year.

      So that’s a quarter million tons of coal a day, or 91.25 Million tons a year ….. enough coal to keep just 15 power plants running.

      So, where pat quotes the article above where they need to find an extra half million tons of coal per day, that equates to enough coal (extra) for just 30 new plants each year.

      So, while the numbers seem really huge, correct perspective shows that it is in fact not all that much.

      Now perhaps you can see why quite a few coal fired power plants are actually located near large scale coal mines with long term deposits.

      Coal fired power is here to stay, and for a very long time into the future, no matter what green followers say.

      Tony.


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    pat

    HuffPo, which shows up in general “results”, did mention the 2.3%, but doesn’t quantify it, which has greater impact:

    19 Dec: Huffington Post: William S. Becker: Econocide by Carbon
    First, “Like it or not, coal is here to stay for a long time to come.” The agency’s number-crunchers predict the global demand for coal will go up 2.3% each year between now and 2018…
    The purpose of disinvesting in coal is not to slow or suppress economic progress in the developing world; it’s to help all nations achieve and sustain prosperity in cleaner, more resource-efficient and less disastrous ways. Disinvestment is one part of what should be a several-part international action plan. We need to redirect investments in carbon fuels to low-carbon fuels. We need an international tax on carbon. We need to end fossil energy subsidies while creating better ways to end energy poverty. We need to leave two-thirds of the world’s proven fossil energy reserves in the ground, as a previous IEA report concluded.
    In short, we need to stop the coal train. We’re all on board and it’s hell-bent for disaster.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-s-becker/econocide-by-carbon_b_4475203.html

    did i mention the author is a CAGW govt shill?

    William S. Becker
    William Becker is the Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP) and a Senior Associate at Natural Capitalism Solutions in Colorado. PCAP was launched in 2007 to develop policy recommendations for presidential candidates and incumbents. It has issued 5 presidential “action plans” so far.
    Bill is a former senior official at the U.S. Department of Energy. He is a national expert and frequent speaker on sustainable community development. Among other roles, Bill is a member of the international Climate Change Task Force created and chaired by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-s-becker/

    the org at which he’s a Senior Associate is, of course, tax-exempt:

    Wikipedia: Hunter Lovins
    L. Hunter Lovins is an author and a promoter of sustainable development for over 30 years, is president of Natural Capitalism Solutions, a 501(c)3 non-profit in Longmont, Colorado and the Chief Insurgent of the Madrone Project…
    Named a “green business icon” by Newsweek, a millennium “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine, she has also received the Right Livelihood Award, the Leadership in Business Award and dozens of other honors…
    She was a commissioner in the State of the World Forum’s Commission on Globalization, co-chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev, Jane Goodall, George Soros and others…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Lovins


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    Robert of Ottawa

    Good comment Jo,

    Have you read Plato’s republic. The Guardians say, effectively, luxury for we but not for thee to whom we bestow our wisdom.


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    ROM

    I have posted on this previously and more than once.
    It is possible that we will bypass Thorium power generation reactor technology as well as newer forms of nuclear reactor technology if the Lockheed Martin “Skunkworks” Fusion Reactor proves to be a viable technology.

    Charles Chase of the Skunkworks has given about the only public expose of LM’s Fusion Reactor and the program for it’s development and production in the Google “Solve for X” forum back in early 2013.

    The video is well worth watching if you want to get a handle on what could be [ "could be"[ ? ] with a question mark ] the world’s next and probably future technology for generating an almost infinite amount of power for an almost infinite time into the future and would do so with almost no radio active costs at all except for some internal components of the reactor vessel which might take a few decades to cool their radio activity after they have seen out their useful years of power generation.

    The Skunkwork’s development program is for their Fusion Technology to be proven out by around 2017 and for production of transportable fusion reactor systems to be underway by the mid 2020′s .
    I don’t think that anybody can over emphasise the importance of this radical development in terms of future global energy supplies provided the LM Skunkworks can pull it off.

    As the Skunkworks [ registered name by the way ] is a “black” operation which does a lot of highly technical and secret research for the American military and security organisations it is not prone to releasing information on anything that it doesn’t have a damn good idea will work OK.
    So this public release of information may indicate that the Skunkworks fusion reactor configuration may already have achieved Beta ie; power in matched by power out.

    This is from ; Engineering.com
    The video of Charles Chase’s presentation to the “Solve for X” forum is to be found here as well as on many other sites on the web

    Nuclear Fusion in Five Years?

    And from Wiki , a short and further outline of some very basic properties of the Skunkworks fusion reactor technology.

    High beta fusion reactor

    And if you want to know a bit more about the Skunkworks in as much as they are prepared to reveal.

    Skunkworks


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    ROM

    Sighhhh!
    I’ll get it right one day ‘
    My post above at No. 30 should have gone in at 15 or 16.

    Serves me right for checking my sources before posting, an act which places the reviewed post way down at the bottom of the posts unless the “Reply” is clicked through again


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    pat

    O/T apologies.

    this video, less than a minute, has Nicky Phillips (Fairfax) being filmed on Christmas Day by Colin Cosier (Fairfax/ABC). they are on the Aurora Australis ice-breaker, not the Akademik Shokalskiy, which isn’t named in this video, but which the ice-breaker is off to rescue. Nicky says unfortunately they won’t get to wherever they planned to go to study ice cores, which is one of the main reasons she and Cosier have been in the Antarctic for 3 weeks:

    Christmas on an icebreaker (00:52)
    Nicky Phillips and Colin Cosier’s Christmas day in Antarctica changed from a planned flight to a deep field camp into a rescue voyage in the sea ice. Credits CAMERA/EDIT: Colin Cosier
    http://media.watoday.com.au/news/national-news/christmas-in-antarctica-5037954.html

    u will not find this bland AAP report (which is precisely how this story has been reported all along on Sky) on Fairfax homepages. :

    29 Dec: SMH: AAP: Steve Lillebuen: Anxious wait for ice-stranded ship rescue
    Stranded passengers onboard a ship wedged in Antarctic sea ice are hours away from knowing if a second rescue attempt will fail like the first one…
    A group of scientists, explorers and tourists has been stuck on the Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, about 1500 nautical miles south of Hobart, for the past five days.
    Two icebreakers have already given up on efforts to push through the thick and dangerous ice floes near Antarctica to try to free the trapped research vessel.
    A third icebreaker, Australia’s Aurora Australis, is on its way to the stranded ship and is due to arrive about 11pm (AEDT) on Sunday.
    It is the last ship in the area that will be able to help…
    Retired teacher Kayleen Lawson, of Brisbane, is onboard the stricken vessel after paying thousands to join the expedition as a tourist.
    “The frustration is not knowing when we’re getting out of here, when we’re going to go home,” Ms Lawson told News Corp during a satellite phone interview.
    “It was meant to be the trip of a lifetime, and it still is … but it’s turning out a little differently to what I expected…
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/anxious-wait-for-icestranded-ship-rescue-20131229-301ay.html

    u will not find this on Fairfax homepages either:

    29 Dec: Age: Nicky Phillips: Australian ice-breaker closes in on trapped Russian ship
    Aurora captain Murray Doyle said it was always possible the ice would be too thick for the Xue Long.
    ”We were always option B,” he said. ”We were always going to be sent on until the end.”
    Reports from the Chinese ice-breaker and the Akademik Shokalskiy say pack ice in the area is 10/10ths, which means the vessel is surrounded, and some ice floes are between three and four metres thick.
    The Aurora could comfortably slice through ice up to 1.35 metres thick, and crash through thicker slabs by reversing and ramming.
    But Mr Doyle was unsure how the ice-breaker would handle ice thicker than three metres. ”It’s not what we’re built for,” he said…
    The Aurora is due to arrive near the pack ice that surrounds the Shokalskiy about 10pm on Sunday. ”Then it’s up to the rescue co-ordination centre in Canberra and what they want us to do,” Mr Doyle said. ”They might want us to go in or just stand by and wait.”
    But it would be a waste of time trying to ram ice that was too thick. ”It’s like driving your car into a brick wall,” he said…
    Mr Doyle said he would be wary of driving too far into the pack ice in order to avoid the Aurora also getting trapped.
    During the past few days, the Shokalskiy was blasted by south-easterly winds, which applied more pressure to the pack ice around the ship. This would made the rescue operation harder still.
    ”But by the time we get there the weather could change,” Mr Doyle said. A westerly wind would ease the pressure on the ice and help break it up, he said.
    The Xue Long and French ice-breaker L’Astrolabe will remain in the area should the Shokalskiy’s crew and passengers need to be evacuated.
    http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/australian-icebreaker-closes-in-on-trapped-russian-ship-20131228-300pa.html

    i only found this latest Phillips’ report by clicking on this link on the Age homepage:

    29 Dec: VIDEO 51 secs: Age: Spirits high despite rescue snag in Antarctica
    http://media.theage.com.au/national/selections/spirits-high-despite-rescue-snag-in-antarctica-5040480.html


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    pat

    never forget the purpose of the Fairfax & Guardian’s Antarctic Expedition!!!

    6 Dec: SMH: Nicky Phillips: Fairfax Media trip to Antarctica to see the effects of climate change
    In Antarctica, the weather controls everything, and nothing is a certainty – projects get postponed, trips get cancelled, flights get delayed, boats get stuck in ice, people get injured.
    But global warming is an important story, and the trip will give Fairfax Media a rare opportunity to visit the continent most acutely affected by global warming. Antarctica is climate change ground zero. The data that scientists gather will play a crucial role in future climate models.
    We will be down south over Christmas, New Year’s and the station’s annual resupply, a huge logistical challenge…
    Colin Cosier:
    The highlight of our trip will be visiting the ice core drilling project at Aurora Basin North. Located “deep field”, about 550 kilometres inland from Casey, the site is about 2700 metres above sea level but the air pressure will make it feel more like 3000 metres…
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/blogs/66-degrees-south/fairfax-media-trip-to-antarctica-to-see-the-effects-of-climate-change-20131206-2ywfj.html

    15 Dec: Guardian Teacher Network: Emily Drabble: Antarctica – news and teaching resources round up
    The Guardian’s expedition to the Antarctic is a fantastic opportunity to investigate one of the last unexplored regions on Earth. Here are the teaching resources you need to do it in style
    The Antarctic is a unique place to monitor the health of our planet and the data collected from Mawson’s trip is some of the science community’s most precious, especially for those studying the extent of global warming. There are opportunities for you and your class to talk to scientists and journalists involved in the expedition, so do follow @alokjha, @loztopham, @GdnAntarctica and @guardianscience on Twitter…
    http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/dec/15/antarctica-teaching-resources

    did these media companies put up some of the $1.5m funding for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition?

    why is there nothing on this story on the ABC News homepage?
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/


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      MemoryVault

      why is there nothing on this story on the ABC News homepage?

      Because yet again the ABC are playing fast and furious with the truth.

      The original story about the research ship getting stuck in the ice was belatedly posted in the “justin” section early Saturday morning (Saturday 27/12/2013 7.04am), when it became obvious the story couldn’t be hidden any longer. I say “belatedly”, because there is a full, combined ABC/BBC film crew on board, complete with talking heads, camera operators and sound thechies. Plus there are reporters from both the Guardian, and Fairfax newspapers. So the whole drama could be being covered live.

      Since then, rather than post each new development as a “new” story – such as the failure of the Chinese icebreaker to reach them – the ABC has simply gone back and amended the original story, which now lies about two thirds of the way down the second page of the “justin” section.

      However, don’t bother going there if you want to find out any of the real facts. Just some of the things that remain unreported are:

      * – This is the largest and most expensive Antarctic expedition ever mounted by Australia.
      * – It is being funded almost entirely by the Australian Taxpayer, as is the rescue operation.
      * – There are no “tourists”. There is the ship’s crew, the ABC/BBC documentary crew, the Guardian and Fairfax Reporters, a bunch of mad climate scientists, and a whole heap teachers and PhD students who actually paid for passage so they could be unpaid “research assistants” to the mad scientists.
      * – By the time this little “Climate Change PR fiasco” is over, the cost to the Australian Taxpayers will run into several millions of dollars.
      * – By the time this PR farce is over, it will have totally ruined any REAL science being undertaken in Antarctica, being done by REAL scientists, in the 2013-2014 Antarctic season.

      .
      It is interesting to note that the alleged purpose of this little taxpayer-funded White Christmas jaunt was to study the effects of climate change since Mawson was there, 1911 to 1914. Well, when Mawson was there, he was able to get his wooden sailing ship to within 50 yards of the shore. He couldn’t get closer, not because of ice, but because the water was too shallow. Conversely, the purpose-built, steel construction, ice-strengthened research vessel is currently stuck 60 kilometres out to sea, which is as close as they could get to Mawson’s landing spot, on account of all the sea-ice.

      I wonder if any of the eco-loons on board noticed that minor change since Mawson’s time?

      .
      Still, despite the total farce of the situation, not to mention the enormous waste of funds and effort, you have to laugh. Here we have a full, professional ABC/BBC documentary film crew, PLUS reporters from the Guardian and Fairfax, caught in the middle of what would, in any other circumstances, be a Pulitzer Prize, Walkley Award winning real-life drama, and because of the politics of climate change, they can’t report it and it’s unlikely that a single second of footage will ever be seen by a member of the general public.

      Can you imagine the coverage if instead of being stuck in ice that isn’t supposed to be there, they were all in a small Victorian country town surrounded by bushfires?

      .
      In closing, a word from the Member for Goldman Sachs and Communications Minister on fraudulent mis-reporting by the ABC:

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      Followed by a comment from Christopher Pyne, Minister for Education, on the misappropriation of $1.5 million of taxpayer’s funds by the University of NSW, to partially finance this PR folly:

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      Plus, words from our “Environment Minister”, Greg Hunt, on the monumental folly of this “climate change” stunt:

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      And finally, a short speech by our Science Minister on the disruption this has all caused to REAL Antarctic research:

      Oh sorry, I forgot. We don’t HAVE a “Science Minister”.

      .
      Maybe, just maybe, if we had a “Science Minister”, instead of an “Environment Minister”, we would have less of this nonsense could go back to doing REAL science.


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        MemoryVault

        less of this nonsense AND WE could go back to doing REAL science.

        apologies


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        MemoryVault

        The ABC finally managed to do a new story.

        The only really interesting thing added is to finally admit that Andrew Luck-Baker, an award winning BBC science presenter, is aboard. No mention of an actual documentary crew though. Presumably we are meant to believe Andrew “just happened” to be aboard – maybe as a paying passenger.


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          Yonniestone

          I just caught the ABC 7.00 news while flicking channels and they did one of the most blatant skim over non-story cover ups ever on this ship stuck in ice, not even a hint of the words “Climate Change” occurred, but immediately after another story was aired on using some box filled with CO2 in polar waters to replicate the effects of climate change and ocean acidification is thrown in our faces.
          This is almost childish journalism/propaganda where if something goes against your hopes and lies you then act out and FIX it to your desired result.
          For the rest of my days I will never forgive or forget this type of deception peddled by the MSM.


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          Dave

          MV,

          Great summary of the farce by the “Don’t eat that yellow snow” Greenpiss group.

          What gets me is this report by The Guardian that said of MAWSON, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by climate scientist Chris Turney of the University of New South Wales:

          He was able to sail straight into the area but access has since been blocked by a 75-mile-long iceberg called B09B.

          Mawson I think was there in 1912 or so, now CO2 levels are higher, the icebergs have blocked all exploration since, and that’s the message this Prof Turkey is trying to get across to the public which is total bullshiit. He’s a liar of the 1st degree through omission. This B09B iceberg broke off in 2010 or there about. Like you said he had a wooden boat and got within 50 mt or so, and now they’re blaming pharquing icebergs???

          Here’s Mawsons camp back then.

          And here’s a report from January 2013 for the same area.

          You don’t have to have much common sense to realise that this area is not good to go into with a normal ship. Maybe that’e why they hired a Russian old liner a cheap rates off Putin. He probably thought:
          “These stupid TimloskFlankers are going to get stuck in the ice at Antarctica, so I’ll release their turkey mates from Siberia as a trade off”

          The medias will not report any of this.


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        Andrew McRae

        I see you have learned your lesson, MV.
        If you had tried to issue such an anti-Liberal Party roasting even as recently as a month ago you would have been howled out of the room and downvoted to Hades (or Queanbeyan, whichever is first) for having the cheek to insult The Chosen Ones and by association The Great Tonekiel al Abbottabad The Prophet.
        It is now 7 hours after your comment and it is nothing but green thumbs up.

        What do we need Roy Morgan’s phone surveys for when it is clear from the MV Thumb Index that the honeymoon period for the Fiberals is over.
        Whether the brief infatuation will be replaced by widespread discord and increased demands for reform or just another sad epidemic of full-on Stockholm Syndrome is yet to be seen.

        Yes, I know, I don’t even need to ask. If anyone needs me I’ll be hanging out on Djurgården.


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          Michael P

          I pretty much wrote off the whole thing when I saw Tim Flannery trying to report on the subject as he is not qualified to report on sea ice. If I want real information on the subject I’ll go to someone that actually knows what they are talking about.


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    pat

    29 Dec: Guardian: Alok Jha: Antarctic expedition: still icebound – what happens next is anyone’s guess
    Like explorer Douglas Mawson 100 years ago, Alok Jha and the expedition he joined face a long wait to be rescued
    Since then we have been stuck in pack ice. The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long has given up its attempt to rescue us as ice sheets continue to spread and thicken…
    We were only two nautical miles from the ocean before Christmas, but that distance has now swelled to around 20 nautical miles as the blizzards and winds have continued. If the joint efforts of the Aurora Australis and Xue Long don’t work, the only other option will be to evacuate the ship by air, though this would be the absolute worst case scenario…
    We – a group of scientists and paying members of the public acting as science assistants – plan to repeat many of Mawson’s scientific measurements in order to understand how this pristine landscape has changed over the past 100 years…
    We arrived at Commonwealth Bay more than a week ago, dropping anchor at the edge of a glistening sheet of fast ice – so called because it is stuck fast to the edge of the land mass of Antarctica. In front of us was an alien landscape of pure, flat white. The expedition’s scientists began their work. Marine ecologist Tracey Rogers took biopsies and fur from several Weddell seals, material that will help her build a picture of what these animals have been eating for the past few years. Changes in food would be a signal that the Antarctic environment is irrevocably changing. (pat – HUH?)…
    What happens to us now is anyone’s guess. If we hadn’t got stuck in ice last week, we would have visited Macquarie Island, an ecological jewel between Antarctica and New Zealand. There, scientists had ambitious plans to study penguin colonies and take geological samples to help reconstruct past climates. However, as we wait to be freed, it is probably a mistake to think about the future: because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my brief time in this desolate, still and intriguing continent, it is that, in Antarctica, you can’t make plans. Here you can only have intentions. And a lot of hope.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/antarctica-live/2013/dec/29/antarctica-expedition-ice-wait-rescue


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    Robber

    It’s my understanding that large industry power bills are largely based on their peak consumption, rather than total consumption, so that they have an incentive to do load shedding to keep their peak consumption as close to their average as possible. And that is what was envisaged with the installation of smart meters in homes and small businesses to encourage load balancing, but governments didn’t have the guts to implement the policy, so all we have ended up with is paying for smart meters in our bills that are in fact dumb.


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    Boadicea

    I know that this is off topic but can someone help me here.

    Just what are the rules defining academic conflicts of interest,
    and how is it supposed to work in practice.

    For example;

    1. A CRC in Australia has been set up and involves the use of public funds, and the leader arranges it so that his wife ( well qualified )is appointed to one of the senior jobs. Why isn’t this a conflict of interest.

    2. The CRC by definition has a joint involvement with several companies. Except that, one of which these is a company whereby majority ownership involves that of the leader and is wife. Why isn’t this then also conflict of interest.

    3. ARGC funds are applied to an authorised research project which then involves a spinoff company which includes the leading researcher, who is granted a large chunk, if not near majority, of the shares ….not in lieu of anything in particular. Why isn’t this a conflict of interest.

    I don’t have problem with academics deriving benefits and engaging in spinouts based on their work but what are the rules.?

    Most entrepreneurs take the full risk, and spend all their available funds developing a widget etc, but it seems to me that in the instances cited they are using public infrastructure ie universities, AND public funds, to derive benefits from outcomes that are by rights owned by the public, and the other partners in the CRC.


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      bobl

      Well

      1. isnt a conflict of interest if the wife was selected by a panel not including the husband.
      2 & 3 This is a conflict of interest, and could be a crime. My understanding is a similar centre in QLD was investigated by the CMC many years ago for just such an arrangement, and an alleged embezzlement of $400,000 through it. The setup sounds very dodgy, but may be ok if the conflicts are all declared, and participants do not obtain advantage, for example by drawing two salaries for the same work, or for example through insider trading. Oh and the contracted work has to be tendered properly, actually done and accounted for. If the related entities were competitively selected then it’s probably ok, though it’s very difficult to demonstate independence to an auditor in these cases.

      At a centre I ran back in the nineties, I wouldn’t allow such an entity to partner… If you allow this sort of double dipping, keeping the books squeeky clean enough to survive an enquiry is nigh on impossible, better not to go there at all.

      I can say, that if you have grant money to spend, university professors appear from every corner wanting to spend it, even if it has strings (usually matching industry funding), you don’t make a lot of friends among professors when as a mere manager you say, nope, you can’t just have free money, go find an industry partner. This will is what worries me about this one, it looks to me like university staff have set up a commercial entity to access funds that require industry participation.

      If you think the arrangement is corrupt then make a report to your states crime and misconduct commission and let them decide.


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    Peter Hume

    By the way everyone, just in case you hadn’t noticed, there is no way in the world all this crapola will cease to be funded until government funding of science and the ABC is ended.


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    pat

    some facts are emerging. finally we find out who the operators are:

    26 Dec: Voice of Russia: Crew repairing shell plating of ice-trapped Russian ship in Antarctic
    “The crew is waiting for the wind to change; the easterly wind, which is blowing now, prevents the ice from moving. There may be a clearing in the ice if the wind turns westerly and the ship will break free from the ice trap on its own,” a representative of the Far Eastern Hydrometeorological Research Institute (DVNIGMI), the owner of the ship, told Interfax on Thursday…
    *** The Australian Aurora Expeditions, which organizes Antarctic cruises, is the ship’s operator…
    It has accommodation set aside for those who join as members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Passages aboard the Shokalskiy and other polar explorers, can be booked through Expeditions Online, which is based in Tyreso, Sweden…
    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_26/Crew-repairing-shell-plating-of-ice-trapped-Russian-ship-in-Antarctic-4427/

    Aurora Expeditions
    2. Our small ships carry only 54 passengers, allowing you to have a truly intimate experience with nature…
    5. We are proud to be the first Australian member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).
    6. We are deeply committed to education and preservation of the environment, respectfully visiting these wilderness areas, creating lifelong ambassadors for their protection.
    7. We love what we do! We are dedicated to providing a ‘trip of lifetime’ whilst ensuring the safety and well being of our passengers, crew and expedition staff.
    http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/

    Aurora Expeditions: About Us
    Explorers Greg and Margaret Mortimer, veterans of almost three decades of Antarctic research, mountaineering and polar travel, founded Aurora Expeditions after working together on the Australian Bicentennial Antarctic Expedition, organised and led by Greg in 1988.
    Greg Mortimer OAM, originally trained as a geologist and was one of the first two Australians to climb Mt Everest, and the first Australian to climb K2, the world’s second highest mountain. Greg was also one of the first two Australians to climb Mt Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica. Greg has personally led over 80 voyages and Antarctica is his abiding passion…
    In 1992, Aurora Expeditions, named in honour of Sir Douglas Mawson’s ship, was born.
    Greg & Margaret’s aim was simple – to take small groups of travellers on voyages of discovery to regions that inspired them, thereby creating lifelong ambassadors for the preservation and protection of these sacred places…
    http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/about


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    pat

    the company that booked the “tourists” on board:

    25 Dec: ExpeditionsOnline: M/V Akademik Shokalskiy stuck in ice
    NOTE TO NEWS REPORTERS: Expeditions Online is NOT the operator for this vessel but is an independent polar booking agent for this vessel and many other expedition ships.
    http://expeditionsonline.com/more-information/news/mv-akademik-shokalskiy-stuck-ice/

    ExpeditionsOnline: Spirit of Mawson Expedition
    As a passenger you will be invited to act as a field assistant to help the scientists complete their ambitious programs. Your involvement will of course be voluntary and it may vary throughout the journey; dictated in part by the prevailing weather, conditions and some permit restrictions. It is an exciting concept that has not been tested in the Southern Ocean before…
    The cost for participating starts from US$ 15,150. Further details may be found here.
    http://expeditionsonline.com/more-information/news/join-spirit-mawson-expedition/


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    pat

    Guardian’s Alok Jha & BBC’s Andrew Luck-Baker in the news again, but never allowing a passenger to have their say!

    20 Dec: Guardian Antarctic Live: Alok Jha: Icebound Antarctic passengers face air rescue if ship cannot reach them soon
    Passengers aboard the Akademik Shokalskiy, the ship stuck in ice off the coast of Antarctica since Christmas Day, were told on Sunday morning they would have to be evacuated by air if icebreaker ships could not get to them within 48 hours.
    The Russian-operated ship has about 50 passengers – including scientists and paying members of the public – and 20 crew on board…
    “What we’re depending on is the extra grunt of the Aurora Australis,” said Greg Mortimer, co-leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), which has chartered the ship. “It’s a more traditional icebreaker hull, which is like a bathtub with a big engine inside it – it can push over the ice and lay down on top and work its way like that.”…
    Those on board the Shokalskiy will know within 12 hours of the arrival of the Aurora Australis whether the icebreaking mission is likely to be successful. Mortimer said the decision to evacuate would be in the hands of the captains of the icebreakers…
    “The pressure at this point in time is one of time – that artificial contrivance of, well, we must get out of this situation as quickly as we can. But we don’t have to, we’re OK.”
    That would change, he said, if an iceberg began moving towards the ship. The closest icebergs are several nautical miles away at present. If one came close, the Shokalskiy would have a day or two’s notice to carry out any necessary evacuation…
    The mood on board has remained calm, with expedition leaders regularly briefing the rest of the passengers about the various options to get them out of the ice.
    Mortimer, a veteran of Antarctica with more than 100 visits to the continent under his belt, said he was not surprised by the difficulty the Shokalskiy has faced this week.
    “The combination of elements is really unfortunate – a couple of blizzards and many, many days blowing in the wrong direction has piled heaps of trouble on our shoulders,” he said. “The power of the forces at work, that’s the constant reminder – how overwhelmingly powerful the natural forces are here. That’s the fearsome, gnarly-teeth side of Antarctica and its great beauty as well, its allure.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/antarctica-live/2013/dec/29/trapped-antarctic-passengers-air-evacuation

    29 Dec: Radio New Zealand: Helicopter flys over stranded ship
    A helicopter from the Chinese ice-breaker, Xue Long (Snow Dragon), has flown over the Russian research ship, Akademik Shokalskiy, which remains stuck in Antarctic sea ice.
    The helicopter did not land and it is thought the flight was a test run should it be needed to evacuate the 74 people onboard the research ship…
    The BBC’s Andrew Luck-Baker is onboard the Akademik Shokalskiy and says conditions have improved over the past few hours.
    “The pack ice seems to be opening up a little bit all the way around us, in fact there are big cracks appearing away towards the horizon, pools of water beginning to open up and we’re just wondering whether this is our lucky break.”…
    The BBC reports that although trapped for the moment, the scientists are continuing their experiments. They have been measuring temperature and salinity through cracks in the surrounding ice…
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/232119/helicopter-flys-over-stranded-ship


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      MemoryVault

      “What we’re depending on is the extra grunt of the Aurora Australis,” – Greg Mortimer, co-leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE)

      and

      “The more-powerful Aurora Australis, from the Federal Government’s Antarctic Division, is due to arrive later tonight for a second attempt to break through the ice”. ABC News.

      I guess if nothing else, you have to admire the sheer bravado of the BS. Comparison – Aurora Australis (AA) and Xue Long (XL).

      Length – AA = 95 feet, XL = 167 feet.
      Displacement – AA = 8,158 tons, XL = 21,000 tons.
      Total Engine Power – AA = 10,000 kW, XL = 13,200 kW.


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        You have to smile at the absolute irony here.

        They get stuck in the ice on a climate change mission of discovery to umm, save the planet, metaphorically speaking.

        And they now have to rely on fossil fuel to, er, set them free.

        Delicious, isn’t it?

        Tony.


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    michael hart

    It’s the modern equivalent of the Victorian-dad caricature who believed that bathing/showering in near freezing water was essential to prevent the downfall of Christianity.

    What, if any, are the legal requirements in Australia that the working environment be maintained in a certain range for office jobs?


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    janama

    I’m in a 32 floor apartment block in Dubai – we are now in winter so the temps are around 23C and drop to 18C at night but during the past summer the days were in the 40C+ range. 47C was common.
    Downstairs is a huge cooling unit that produces cold water which they pump throughout the building via insulated pipes – each apartment has a controlled fan system, when it’s on it blows air over the cool pipes and can cool a room in 15mins. With double glazing on all windows I was able to maintain a comfortable 24C throughout the hot summer.


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    Flat Earther

    All this talk about power generation is just so confusing. It makes me pine for the days that I remember so well before electricity was invented.

    To make a personal contribution to climate change, and to limit my carbon footprint, I have returned to living in the trees. It can be cooler there on hot days, but not much.

    I believe that I am now truly sustainable.

    Care to join me Sliggy?


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    Jarryd Beck

    Two comments:

    1. In Australia, we do pay a fixed rate. We pay about 70c per day just for the privilege of having electricity in our house.

    2. Has anyone compared the power usage to how hot the day was? I know that in Sydney this year, Christmas day was quite cold, and likely no-one ran their air conditioners all day.


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      For the sake of comparison, I have links to the image for every Christmas Day back to 2009, so that’s five Load Curves in all.

      Christmas Day 2009

      Christmas Day 2010

      Christmas Day 2011

      Christmas Day 2012

      Christmas Day 2013

      Note how similar they all are, and how consumption is so low, on these days barely managing a peak of 20,000MW, while a similar (normally hot) December day, that peak would be closer to almost 30,000MW.

      Now, also worth noting here is that in 2013, this year especially, there has been a huge increase in the number of homes with rooftop solar power. Compare that back to Christmas Day of 2009, when there were considerably less homes with rooftop solar power panels on them, by a quantum factor in fact.

      Note consumption for the same day in 2009, the peak is 21,000MW, while this year with all that rooftop solar, the peak is 20,000MW,and rooftop solar power would only make up around the 500MW I mentioned in the main article.

      Tony.


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    Mattb

    This is a pile of crap Tony.

    The issue is that on normal working days you have peak industrial and commercial uses that are making money for the economy, then everyone comes home to hot houses and wants them cool now which adds a spike to industrial and commercial uses, and to cater for the spike you need extra generating capacity, which as you bloody well know is expensive to pay off when it is only used for 10 days a year.

    Also when people are home all day they’ve had the aircon on all day so when it is 4pm they only need to draw power for the aircon to maintain 22C or whatever temp they like rather than ramp the temp down from 35C to 22C in 10 minutes.

    So I’m sorry but yes I’m sure there are hole syou could poke in arguments but this is not one. Apallingly written, which is unusual, with a terrible meaningless graph, and lapped up by the masses.


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  • #
    halfacow

    Wow, of all the stupids. This is complete nonsense.
    Some obviously false assumptions made;

    Temperature was the same for each day.
    Everyone stayed home on Christmas day.


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