Archive for the ‘Our World’ Category

Stories Of Our World

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

I have collected a variety of links and don’t really have anything to do with them, so I’ll just post them and let you figure it out.

All of them are in some way or other related to the state of our world now, no future fantasies are required to see the rapidly approaching future world.

Examining the Fiction of Safe, Clean Nuclear Power: Case Study

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Although I try to avoid verbatim repeats of people’s comment postings, this one is so clear and coherent that it really has to be preserved from the daily disappearing and endlessly scrolling comment threads appearing now daily at theOilDrum.

This is precisely the type of understanding the nuclear industry as a whole does not want people to have, and they try to keep these daily realities out of the media and public eye as much as possible in order to maintain the fiction of safe, clean power.

ransu on March 19, 2011 – 9:00am, Drumbeat discussion

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in this field. I work with metrology of physics standards.

If you ever walk into a nuclear power plant, you will see danger signs with either or both of these written on them:



Basically there are two kinds of exposure to radioactivity: the direct exposure to radiation where an external source emits EM energy in the form of particles or energy which hit your body – let us call it external. For example walking alongside the waste pool now exposed and without its blanket of water between you and the rods, would mostly likely give you a lethal dose.

In a nuclear power plant areas marker with DANGER! DOSE RATE are areas where you are close enough or unshielded from the reactor core, waste pool or primary circuit. You need to wear a dosimeter and the time you spend there is monitored and limited. This part of radioactivity is what we can directly measure in units called Sievert with portable counters and indicators and the one currently quoted all over the media.

However it is contamination which is in many ways is a far greater danger. In order to have radiation you need something that radiates – a decaying radioisotope. Normally all these isotopes remain safely in the reactor core – and the extremely pure circulating primary water holds almost no radioactive isotopes (except for some very short lived temporarily created by the intense core radiation). However over time, and if you have abnormalities, especially accidents, core radiation can change the surrounding materials into radioactive isotopes – which is why you choose all materials and fluids very carefully and control their purity – and keep everything absolutely clean around there!

Areas of a nuclear power plant with DANGER CONTAMINATION include areas for fission material handling and areas indirectly exposed to intense radiation – where there is a possibility that some radioactive particles have either escaped or formed around surfaces where you might touch them, carry them with you, even inhale them. In these areas you need to wear a protective suit, and everything you carry with you outside, including yourself, needs to go through decontamination – meaning lots of scrubbing. You don’t want to get stuck with even one of these nasty particles because they can enter your body and literally give you “the dose of your life”.

Current Status of Japanese Tsunami Earthquake Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Areas

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

In general I tend to ignore surface noise as we scrabble around the floor of the pit we’re digging for ourselves, but now and then an event of such magnitude occurs that it’s just not possible to at least follow it as it unfolds.

Please note that some of these links will go offline as the world’s attention drifts towards other things, I’ll try to keep them fairly up to date.

Video Feeds

News and Information Sources

Live / Current News Blogs

The following news sites have live blogs where you can find minute by minute updates:

Reports and Serious Analysis

Pro Industry News / Information Sources

Online Discussions and Analysis

As usual, is my go-to discussion and information source when it comes to energy related issues and problems.


A Drop of Sanity Re Healthcare Reform

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Now and then I come across a posting made by someone that is so perfect in terms of how it explains a problem I have to post the entire thing, with little further commentary. In general I’m not going get as much into specifics like this in the future, unless the points are exceptionally well and clearly stated, as this one is. RockyMtnGuy is a petroleum engineer from Canada, by the way.

This one is from Feb 8, 2011 Drumbeat

RockyMtnGuy on February 8, 2011 – 10:22am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

“I’ve lived in a few countries, and in every single one of them, I paid tax in order to have health care on demand.” [quoted from a posting above this one]

In most countries, health care is considered an entitlement. If you live there, you are entitled to health care, although how it is paid for varies considerably.

It is like paying for the roads in the US. The US built a very impressive Interstate highway system. If you lived there, not paying for it was not an option. It came out of your taxes, or out of user fees such as gasoline taxes. Nobody had to sign up for the right to drive on an Interstate highway, nor did they have the right to opt out of the system on the grounds the didn’t want to use it. Everyone in the US can use the Interstate highways “for free” because not paying for them was not an option.

In other developed countries, the medical insurance programs are funded much like the US Interstate highway system. Not paying for them is not an option.

The difficulty the US has is that many people do not want to or cannot afford to pay for medical services – the 45 million people who do not have medical insurance. The real difficulty is that these people might well die due to lack of services, so there are systems such as “Medicaid” which pays for families with low incomes, and “Medicare” for people who are aged 65 and over, all funded by the taxpayer.

In the US, the insurance companies get to “cherry pick” the low-risk population and pay for about half of the total costs, and the government gets stuck with the other half of the costs incurred by the high-risk welfare and elderly population. In other countries, “cherry picking” is not allowed.

Cherry picking – the activity of pursuing the most lucrative, advantageous, or profitable among various options and leaving the less attractive ones for others.


Interview with Robert Hirsch, “The Impending World Energy Mess”

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Whatever you do, don’t miss this recent long interview with Robert Hirsh. He is interviewed by Jim Puplava. You can listen to the stream or download the mp3.

Hirsh has just written a new book called, of course, The Impending World Energy Mess [amazon].

If you take the time to stop watching fantasy news, left or right, and read a few serious people, like Hirsh, you’ll soon find there is exactly zero room for optimism about our energy future. Once your realize this, you may start taking steps that actually correspond somewhat to the future that is coming. In other words, steps that lead away from an unsustainable present. What Hirsh presents are just boring objective facts, and solid, workman-like analysis.

Refreshing, of course, in the way someone talking about something that actually resembles reality when everyone else is trying to make up an alternate reality. This reality is now being admitted by among others, the US Military, the German Military, the British Government, and an ever expanding group of somewhat rational cities around the planet.

Hirsh was the main author of the US government sponsored ‘The Hirsh Report’, which about 5 years ago outlined what was coming.

He has just written a new book that analyzes where we are at now, which is tipping on the edge of the peak, which further means, we’re about to start on the downhill side.

He covers all the current fantasies, wind power, solar, etc, as well as the past oil production, current oil production, and anticipated future production, including the current plateau of production we’ve been on now for about 5 years. Exactly as Deffeyes predicted, and pretty close to what Hubbert predicted some decades ago.

I really like Hirsh because he’s so solid, so non-dramatic, and he’s basically just interested in reality, not making up fairytales about how everything will be just fine when the as of yet undiscovered new energy source saves the day.

And this doesn’t even talk about over-population.