Monthly Archives: February 2015

Vocabulary of ice

I came across a link that provides some language for ice.

At first there is frazil ice, make up of crystals.   It can develop into slush flows, not unlike lava.

As there is more freezing, these can coalesce into pancake ice,

Border ice forms at the edge of the shore and grows toward the middle.  It is also known as  “fast” ice, because it is fastened to the shore.

If the fast ice breaks away from the shore, often from changes in the water level, it is plate ice.

With further cooling, there will be freeze up.

With more cooling, there will be sheet ice, covering the entire river.

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Computer model for thermal plumes in New England

I was recently made aware of this post  (hat tip to Larry and Karl)

Horizontal cooling towers: riverine ecosystem services and the fate of thermoelectric heat in the contemporary Northeast US.

It describes the impact of heat upon the rivers and oceans.   I was struck by Figure 2:

distribution of heat

The amount of energy that reaches the ocean from the Connecticut River, shown in dark blue, is comparable to the electrical output, although another graph said that the amount of heat lost to the river, light blue, could vary from 20% in the summer to 39% in the winter.

Figure 3 showed a map showing how extensive the thermal plume is:map

I did not see any mention of the impact of freezing and ice on the model.   Snow on a frozen river reflects most of the solar heat.    Once the river has changed from ice to water at the reactor,  the reflectivity of the surface of the river changes from an albedo of around 60, ice and snow,  to that of water, about 6.  Once the river has melted, the sunlight is absorbed rather than reflected, and more heat is added to the river.  We note this in the spring, when the snow finally melts, and the earth can get warmer faster when the earth is finally brown.   As the there was more melting, there is more area to absorb the heat, creating a positive feedback loop.     This effect would extend further how far the river was open before it froze again.  albedo

Light is reflected by fresh snow and absorbed by water.   Once the open water is formed, the sun will further warm the water.

 

US Navy knew that sailors on USS Reagan received dangerous radiation

The Navy knew that the sailors on the USS RONALD Reagan were exposed to significant radiation

nuclear-news

highly-recommendedDocuments Say Navy Knew Fukushima Dangerously Contaminated the USS Reagan http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/26/navy-knew-fukushima-contaminated-uss-reagan/Harvey Wasserman | February 26, 2014

A stunning new report indicates the U.S. Navy knew that sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its meltdowns and explosions nearly three years ago.

If true, the revelations cast new light on the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the sailors against Tokyo Electric Power. Many of the sailors are already suffering devastating health impacts, but are being stonewalled by Tepco and the Navy.
The Reagan had joined several other U.S. ships in Operation Tomodachi (“Friendship”) to aid victims of the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami. Photographic evidence and first-person testimony confirms that on March 12, 2011 the ship was within two miles of Fukushima Dai’ichi as the reactors there began to melt and explode.
In the midst of a snow storm, deck hands were enveloped…

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There is Ice on the Hudson River

There was a recent article in the New York Times about ice on the Hudson River.   The story was about the Coast Guard Ice breaker that cleared the ice.  The article discussed there is “fast” ice, that is fastened to the shore.     There is brash ice, made up of pieces of ice floating in the water. Brash Ice can be trapped  at check points to block the river.   There is plate ice, caused when the fast ice has broken from its fastener, the shore.   There is pancake ice, when the plate ice is shaped by running down the river and be ground by obstacles.  This will be a useful vocabulary for me in observing the river.

The article went on to say that there was ice across the river at Germantown, NY, about the same latitude as Springfield, MA, and across the river at West Point,  NY, about even with Middletown. The Captain of the boat reported  this is the worst that he has seen since 2004, suggesting that this has happened before.

The article suggests that the Hudson River regularly freezes as far south as places in Connecticut.

I have been blogging that there is much more freezing of the Connecticut River this year, and that in previous years the river has been largely open south of the reactor at Vernon.    My question for those who doubt  the impact of the reactor is: what has kept the Connecticut River open in past years, when there has been major freezing of the Hudson.    After all, the Hudson River is bigger and wider than the Connecticut.  It should be harder to freeze.

The NRC and God

I recently attended the NRC meeting in Brattleboro, VT.  I sat and listened.  I did not speak but this is what I would like to say.

I would like to start with a quote from Nietzsche.  God is Dead. Nietzsche warned that some people might make science and technology the new God.  It seems to me that you people, the NRC and the Entergy, do worship technology.  You seem to have  the same glazed faith that people used to have  about religion.   I hear all these power point presentations about the policies and procedures. There is this irrational faith that if one monitors all the sins of commission and omission everything will work out alright.

I am reminded of NFL.   There are all these rules and regulations that are supposed to make the game safe, and there are penalties for breaking the rules, and it is regulated, and everything is alright.   Deals are made.  Tax breaks are made for the teams    But it isn’t alright.   The players are destroyed with traumatic brain injury, and the culture of violence has an impact on them and their families.  The revenues promised never materialize.  But wait, We are all having a good time.    Let us not look at the mess that is being made.  After all, it is just a game,  You don’t have to watch.

And so, the NRC dance goes on, and experts fuss over policies and procedures.   And everyone says its ok.   But even after  the Marshall Islands, Mayak, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima we are being told that everything is alright.  The nuclear industry is not a game, and the stakes for getting it wrong are catastrophic.

There seems to be this stunning arrogance, that everything is under control.   Is there no understanding of hubris?

Where is your moral compass?   Cannot you tell right from wrong?   What will it take for you to decide that nuclear power is not the answer?   What are you willing to accept before you change your mind?