Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Good Rant Requires A Fact Or Three

Sorry, but just no.
Here’s a classic case of media slant:
Had They Bet On Nuclear, Not Renewables, Germany & California Would Already Have 100% Clean Power
This is what we non-journalists call “complete bullshit”.  In the first place, neither Germany or California “bet” on anything.  Germany closed all their nukes in a panicked reaction to the Fukishima disaster in Japan, and California deliberately closed their existing nukes and prevented new ones from being built because Californians are a bunch of fucking Green morons (as, by the way, are the Krauts).  There was no “gamble”, because everybody already knew that Green “technology” would be totally incapable of completely filling anybody’s power needs except maybe for the average sub-Saharan African country north of the Limpopo River.  For Germany and California?  Not even close.  And when even Al Gore is calling California foolish…

Natzsofast, Guido. While the origin of the headline slant may be exactly as described, this is what we sane people call it when kneejerk rant is faster than neurological processing speed. This is a classic case of letting your prejudices write your article before engaging your common sense, let alone 30 seconds of research.

Japan got into trouble with nukes (reactors, not the matching bookened gifts from Paul Tibbets, Curtis Lemay & Co.) because of...why, cupcakes?

Oh, right, that little 9.0 earthquake on a faultline right off the coast made a wee little tsunami thingie.

Maybe some of you read about it; I think it was in most of the papers.

Fortunately, there are no such seismic problems anywhere in California.
Oh wait, turns out there are.
Just a wee bit.

For the benefit of those who flunked or skipped basic geography and geology, California has a coastal mountain range running the entire length of the state, and the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range well inland of that, because the Pacific Ocean Plate is grinding against the North American Plate, to the point that the highest mountains in the Lower 48 of North America, i.e. not including Alaska, are not the piddly-ass Rockies, but Mt. Whitney and the Sierra Nevadas. (Sorry, Coloradoans, but facts and reality are harsh. If it makes you feel better, the Rockies are probably prettier.)

There are a bit fewer faultlines in NE California, because Mt. Shasta and surrounds are only fucking dormant volcanos!

"Dormant"? Here's how geologists define that term.
Mt. St. Helens ring any bells??

"Dormant" volcano, Oregonian version. Note the missing real estate.

Because when they speak of dormancy, they're expressing it in terms of geological time, which makes dog years shorter than the teenage years of fruit flies.

Now look, I know how tempting it is to bash our succession of Califrutopian moonbat leaders, and the Birkenstock-wearing tofu-slurping soyboi minions from West Hollyweird and San Franshitsco who elect them, even though 75% of them are actually the expat cousins of your own toothless, banjo-playing kinfolk in Bugfuck and Pigknuckle, transplanted here so they can pick a gender and save the whales. If you want to bash them, go ahead on. Take a number. The line just on this blog, is four miles in length, and 50 persons abreast.

Look, I've even got quite a sense of humor when it comes to bashing TPTB here in Califrutopia (as that name itself should suggest). But if you have an IQ higher than fungus, and two neurons to rub together, we should probably be able to agree without too much difficulty that the last goddam place to put more nuclear plants is next to an ocean, in a state with 100-something active faults (and that's just the ones we know about, now), all overdue for a huge seismic relocation event, and most in exactly the coastal zone such plants would be built upon, and half a dozen "dormant" volcanos in the vicinity of most larger rivers and water supplies. The best place to put California's nuclear plants would be in eastern Arizona, or Utah, or Texas, or maybe Kansas. Give a holler when they're interested in that. Last I looked, we can't even get Nevadans to agree that their desert mines are the best place for nuclear waste, even when they are.

And let's remember that the entire nuclear industry was touting the near impossibility of a nuclear plant malfunction ("a one in a BILLION likelihood"), and the safety of the industry,

President Peanut Brain's photo op did more for nuclear power in the Western
world than the Hindenburg crash did for airship travel.
right up until the evening news had shots of POTUS wading around in hazmat boot covers inside Three Mile Island, the same month that The China Syndrome opened. So you can thank Metropolitan Edison not just for a nuclear power debacle, but also for reviving middle-aged Hanoi Jane Fonda's flagging movie career. Thanks a pantload, guys.

Thus attempting to pin the anti-nuclear power urge purely on deranged Greenophilia is flatly silly, and descending into Fred Reed territory, and last I looked, you had to move to Mexico, sell your soul, and lose your mind to do that on a blog. Best not undertaken.

California does have solar energy in abundance. Not, nota bene, as a primary source, nor ever could be, but taken advantage of properly, it would make enough of a difference in total use to both cut demand on the deliberately antiquated grid, making mandatory brownouts unnecessary, and oh, BTW, make the average person with a wee bit of foresight and a few spare bucks completely independent of both random seismic events and the whims of the morons in Sacramento.

It's not good because it's cheaper (which it absolutely isn't) it's better because it's priceless when the grid falters or fails.  

We've also had morons in charge hereabouts who halted all offshore drilling since the series of spills in the late 1960s ruined miles of beaches. Goddamned tree-hugging hippies.

That can be fixed with a few penstrokes (and will, someday, when people get desperate enough). Because people aren't going to freeze, or sweat their jingly bits, or pass up literal billions of dollars just sitting there a couple of miles off the coast, especially if it mainly pisses off Barbra Streisand and her ilk.

And BTW, the San Onofre nuclear plant was shuttered, not because of "green" concerns, but rather because of critical parts failures, and the revelation that the whole thing was waiting for one jiggle to shatter miles of obsolescent and about-to-fracture piping, and the cost to replace/repair it would have bankrupted Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. Just the thing you want, in a plant next to millions of people, and $M homes, right next to an ocean, and a key military base, is a nuke plant with pipes made of glass. Or just old, rusted, and ready to shatter, spewing nuclear contamination into the atmosphere and offshore.
As Casey Stengel used to say, "you could look it up".

So if we're going to stick to actual common sense energy policy, let's try it from that tack, and save the kneejerks for when the doctor is doing your annual physical.

Just a humble suggestion.


Anonymous said...

A Japanese nuke plant got in trouble because of a badly designed and placed diesel back-up generator. I'll wager far more civilian workers have died maintaining windmills than civilian employees at nuclear plants in the U.S. and Japan.

Aesop said...

@Anonymous Keyboard Commando
A Japanese nuke plant got in trouble because the fucktards built one twenty feet from the beach next to a massive tectonic fault predictably capable of a 9.0 earthquake.

I have no brief for defending the giant bird dicers, but the problem with nuclear plants, isn't how inherently unsafe they aren't for the everyday maintenance workers, it's the risk they pose to the 2-3M people downwind when human-built contraptions fuck up spectacularly. Like they always will.

You evidently were sick that day in class when they covered this in Common Sense 101. Or you're a Common Core grad. I can't tell.

Your asinine and predictably anonymous argument is akin to pointing out how safe the Titanic was for dockworkers at the Belfast shipyards, which while relatively true, is absolutely pointless and clueless. Not least of all to the passengers and crew on the maiden voyage, and their families.


You mistake yourself if you think I'm anti-nuclear power; I'm not.
The French do them wonderfully, by all accounts.
They also aren't built in the Grand Central Station of earthquakes, and would not do nearly so well with them in, for example, Greece or Turkey.

And the US Navy's nuclear safety record is nothing short of exemplary.
The Soviet Navy's, not so much.

But I'm hopelessly and incorrigibly anti-fucktard.

Building nuclear power plants on or near active faultlines is fucktardedly asinine to the highest order.

Now get off the internet and back to work, Homer, before Mr. Burns releases the hounds on you.

Anonymous said...

Well played, brother. Your points are well taken.
The USN and our Brit counterparts are the only folks I completely trust operating reactors and given the "leadeship" of the former lately I might become less trusting.
I'm big fan of solar and even wind when they're on my property, delivering to me. Killing birds by the assload on the flyways is a different matter.
Boat Guy

Johnny Ducati said...

I grew up thinking our little towns would be powered by Nimitz Class reactors and we'd be driving jet cars. But we've probably already destroyed the human capital needed to discover the next big energy innovation. I'm still waiting for some smart guy to invent the flux capacitor.

kydrty1 said... OT but didn't know if you were aware of this yet,I appreciate your knowledge and warnings on this.TY.

Aesop said...

The Ebola outbreak isn't worse in DRC, it's just that population of DRC is even stupider than that of West Africa.

Which is saying something.

And predictably, the stupid is outpacing the ability to vaccinate around the epidemic, and it's now beginning to do in DRC, even with a vaccine, what it did in WAfrica without one: go...well,...viral.

WAfrica exploded, because no one outside the Hot Zone wanted to notice the obvious.
So, here we are in 2019, SSDD.


Peter B said...

It seems that Japan has been literate for longer than California and has been keeping records of how far inland tsunamis could go. For centuries.

Who knew? Apparently not Tokyo Electric's Fukushima project managers.

"Building nuclear power plants on or near active faultlines is fucktardedly asinine to the highest order. "

Word. And they keep finding new faultlines, too. I'm waiting for them to name one of them "Not My."

Ned2 said...

OT, but this looks exciting....

tweell said...

We in Arizona already supply much of your power, Aesop. The Palo Verde nuclear power plant is 25% owned by California power companies, and sends more than that over. There's a bunch of nice new natural gas power plants that send all the electricity they make to CA as well. It's at the point where we had to stop any more plant construction for lack of cooling water (the nuke plant uses sewage from Phoenix). There's some water available up Flagstaff way, but that's in Arizona's dormant volcano field.

A large part of the problem is that Fukushima, like San Onofre, was built in the 60's. Fukushima also used the boiling water reactors so beloved by the Russkies, and scraped off 25 meters of the bluff it was built on so that their cooling pumps could be smaller and cheaper. I'd also agree that the primary loop piping after 40+ years of neutron imbrittlement is like glass. It's one of the reasons why the Navy decommissioned the Enterprise.

Modern reactor designs are much better than what they had then. We know a lot more, and are honestly more safety oriented. A helium gas pebble bed reactor or a thorium molten salt reactor are much less dangerous than the standard petroleum based power plant. Rickover had some plans and even a test reactor or two made, but was retired before he could see them through. The Navy's reactor program has been basically frozen since then.

So, betting on nuclear then could have had major issues. Betting on nuclear now would be a much safer bet. Of course, there are two chances of that in Kalifornia - slim and fat. Oh, and I'm a retired Navy reactor operator, so I actually do know of what I speak.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being flamed. The Cascade volcanic chain isn't considered dormant. It is considered ACTIVE, as all of the volcanos in the cascades have erupted at least once in the last few thousand years and ALL of them have full or filling magma chambers. Further the western US sets on top of the largest magma plume on earth. At any time any one of the western volcanos can fill its tank and blow. There are Volcanos east of the Mississippi for anyone that didn't know. The last one erupted a cinder cone in Va. about 10000 years ago. Not even a tick on earths clock.

MMinLamesa said...

1) CO has the highest average elevation
2) CO has 88 out of the 200 highest summits(CA has 22)
3) NV has the most distinct mountain ranges
4) AK is the most mountainous in terms of total sq. mileage~700,000(almost the entire state). CA is second, 150,000 sq miles. CO is third, 110,000
5) HI is the highest percent mountainous-100%

So how do you figure CA?

Anonymous said...

MMinLamesa, You forgot to mention that CA has 12 14ers while CO has 53. I will concede that CA has one that is higher but that is quickly dwarfed my the sheer number of CO peaks.


MMinLamesa said...

Eric-true, didn't mention the 14ers, many of which I've done. In fact, Quandary was usually the first one we did every season. Rated as "difficult" it's not much more than a loooong walkup. For many years living there, I'd get 3 or 4 14ers a season.

Fuck, now let me tell you about horizon to horizon cotton fields here in w Texas...right after I tell you what it's like on top of a 14er and doing a 360...

Aesop said...

1) CO has the highest average elevation Being a smaller state, 1000 miles from the ocean, color me unshocked. What are called hills in either state dwarf what are called mountains in most of the rest of the continental US.
2) CO has 88 out of the 200 highest summits(CA has 22) "200 highest" is an arbitrary stopping point. If I pointed CA has the highest summit in the Lower 48, and stopped at *1*, you'd cry "Foul!" as well. So, what about the top 500? Or top 1000?
3) NV has the most distinct mountain ranges Define "distinct". Death Valley at -282' to Mt. Whitney at +14,505 sounds pretty distinct to me. Much like the transition from the Great Plains to the Rockies.
4) AK is the most mountainous in terms of total sq. mileage~700,000(almost the entire state). CA is second, 150,000 sq miles. CO is third, 110,000 Read the post again. Not being part of the lower 48, AK is disqualified from what I posted.
That leaves CA more mountainous than CO.
5) HI is the highest percent mountainous-100% Disqualified. See #4.

Stealth Spaniel said...

I always feel better when I hear you thrashing someone in an ER exam room for not changing their Depends more often. ☺️ For those of us in Kommiefornia who have survived several earthquakes-especially the last wiggle in '94-I am very happy we don't have nuke plants. I think nuke power is great, my dad was a nuke engineer, but nukes are like the crazy uncle at the wedding. Everything has to work together 99.9% perfectly, the best men need to make sure Nutty Uncle has just the right amount of liquid, and those best men cannot be the 60IQ idiots we are currently importing.

MMinLamesa said...

Frankly getting into a pissing contest over the most mountainous state ain't happening but(yeah but)disqualifying CO because it's 1,000 miles inland when right next door are a couple of the flattest frigging states in the union is arbitrary. And in fact, east of Denver is where that flatness starts. So when CO comes in with the highest average elevation, that's taking into account that over 1/2 the state has nary a mountain and the elevation quickly drops. So imagine what the western half looks like.

As for size also being a disqualifying factor, seems like tiny WV was mountains everywhere when I've traveled through it.

Both CA & CO(western) are gorgeous. The Sierras east of Sacramento are as beautiful an area as just about anywhere. And if you've never had a chance to explore the Snake River Canyon wilderness area in ID, holy cow, those are also gorgeous mountains.

Aesop said...

*I* wasn't getting into a pissing contest.;)
And I didn't disqualify CO.
I know where CO is, and what's next door; the point is, at no point is any of it anywhere near sea level. So of course it's going to have a higher average elevation.
Especially compared to a state with 700 miles of sea-level coastline, and a substantial area sitting below sea level.
CO's lowest point is +3315'.
CA's is -282.
So of course CO will have a higher average elevation.
Meanwhile, Fresno and Bakersfield sit at about +400', and the Sierras rise to Whitney's summit, and without the 3000' boost CO's Rockies start with.

Thus, Highest mountain range in the Lower 48: Sierra Nevada.

Plate tectonics FTW.

And yes, both ranges are gorgeous country.
(Well, except for a few dozen sq. miles around Pickel Meadows, CA. In winter. Ask me how I know.)

The point being made was that CA's mountains are there because the state is and will be seismically active, functionally forever, which makes it a poor choice for locating nuclear reactors.
Which is common sense, and not deranged Green-mania, which was the erroneous assertion.
(Germany, however, is on their own there.)

And as it's so rare, any time TPTB in this verrückt state show so much as the merest wisp of common sense, I'd rather pat them on the head for it, in hopes that they might start a trend long absent from most of what goes on in Excremento, Califrutopia.
It's a longshot, but every little bit helps.

Anonymous said...

Read recently (via the Woodpile) that it looks like another large San Andreas type fault is setting up between the Salton Sea and Reno NV. The good scientists (yes, Sheldon, geologists are scientists) are working diligently to understand these developments.