Friday, May 30, 2014

The Nationwide Abuse of a Person Who is Mentally Ill

"neurologists have deemed Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling to be mentally incapacitated, two sources with detailed knowledge of the situation told CNN on Friday."
When I heard them recordings, they were ugly...but I thought this was an eighty year old guy. I wondered why aren't we treating him with a little care based on his age. This wasn’t a man at the top of his game and certainly that young woman was taking advantage of an elderly man. Why aren’t we ignoring his rough spots, as everyone in your family would tend to do if he was your relative? And his ex-wife/partner was saying he has dementia. The warning signs were all there.
So was CNN and all the media...the NBA...pumping ratings by showcasing this elderly mentally incapacitated man?
Certainly looks like to me this was a symptom of dementia and being elderly....
So I think this who deal is about a out of control media who is only out for ratings and disconnected from morality...
Is this ahead of us with our aging boomer population for the next twenty years...where they will humiliate the elderly with declining minds for sport and entertainment... 



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Are We Underestimating America's Fracking Boom?

Entergy is bragging about all the work they got in LA.

Are We Underestimating America's Fracking Boom?
Check Out Sasol's Energy Complex in Lake Charles, La.

Start with exotic Nazi technology, take a detour with South African apartheidists, and add a bit role for Iranian imams. What you have is—what else? —one of the most improbable and important American business stories of the past decade.

It's the tale of a company called

Sasol, SOL.JO +1.04% the former South African state oil company, which is embarking on what could be the single-largest foreign investment project in U.S. history.

Sasol is building a 3,034-acre energy complex near a bayou in Lake Charles, La. Tapping into cheap, fracked natural gas as well as the pipeline and shipping infrastructure along the Gulf Coast, Sasol plans to spend as much as $21 billion there.

It is expensive, elaborate and dirty work. Sasol plans to reduce, or "crack," the gas into ethylene, a raw chemical used in plastics, paints and food packaging. It also plans to convert the gas into high-quality diesel and other fuels, using a process once advanced by Nazi scientists to power Panzer tanks. The state of Louisiana is even kicking in $2 billion of incentives to make it happen.

Sasol CEO David Constable watched Big Board trading last month. Bloomberg News

This is engineering on a scale so large that it requires closing 26 public roads, buying out 883 public-property lots, and hiring 7,000 workers at peak construction. Some 100 additional trucks will be on the road each day once the complex is completed. Entrepreneurs have already begun construction of a "man camp" to house 4,000 temporary workers streaming into Lake Charles for this and other projects.

In that way, Sasol is a metaphor for what we don't yet understand about America's gas boom. Most know what fracking has meant for oil and gas prices. But because much of the work hasn't started yet, few appreciate the true extent of the industrialization that's about to begin.

So let's put it this way: We are building a Qatar on the Bayou. From whole cloth, companies are laying new cities of fertilizer plants, boron manufacturers, methanol terminals, polymer plants, ammonia factories and paper-finishing facilities. In computer renderings, the Sasol site looks like a fearsome, steel-fitted Angkor Wat.

In all, some 66 industrial projects—worth some $90 billion—will be breaking ground over the next five years in Louisiana, according to the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance. Tens of billions of other new investments could be coming, says Louisiana's economic development secretary, Stephen Moret. How many projects will actually get built remains to be seen.

The Game

Assuming that most will, you realize we are still probably underestimating the positive impact of the gas boom on both local and national economies. The entire GDP of the state of Louisiana is about $250 billion annually.

"As an economist, I can only say,‘'Wow. Holy Cow,'" said Loren Scott, a Louisiana economist who has studied the state for 40 years. "We typically measured expansion in terms of hundreds of millions of dollars. Something like that makes your eyes bug out." He expects, for instance, that once 10-year tax-abatement deals expire, schools boards will "find themselves with a bonanza."

Similarly, we probably underestimate the deepening shortage of skilled laborers needed to design, weld and operate these mechanical beasts. Wages are already pushing higher, which could delay or even squelch some projects.

So, too, do we not understand the environmental effects of this building binge. The Sasol plant alone is expected to emit 85 times the state's "threshold" rate of benzene each year. It will also produce massive streams of carbon dioxide and treated water. And it is just one new facility of many. "I don't want to wear a gas mask to go to bed at night if this plant is coming in," said Rufus Victorian, a pipe fitter, at a 4½-hour public hearing on the plant in March.

Amid the coming boom, Sasol's vision is especially audacious. The history of gas-to-liquid plants is mixed, prone to cost overruns and technology snafus. Should gas prices rise, or oil prices fall, they can quickly become huge money losers. Right now, the arbitrage is in Sasol's favor. Oil trades at around 24 times the price of natural gas. In 2007, by comparison, it was around seven times. Sasol needs the ratio to be at least 16 to make money.

Historically, Sasol did a lot of its work converting coal to fuel, a necessity during the apartheid era in South Africa when oil supplies were constrained by a trade embargo. The company still carries an outsider's edge, going wherever the best deals may be. That has taken it to Qatar, as well as Iran, Uzbekistan and Nigeria.

U.S. sanctions forced Sasol to leave Iran, where it purchased crude oil for a South African refinery and invested in a chemical venture with a state-backed company.

Iranian imams do not make the best bedfellows—which is partly why Sasol Chief Executive David Constable appreciates doing business in America. "If you're going to build a plant, from a logistics standpoint…it is No. 1 in the world," said Mr. Constable in an interview. Access to cheap gas, customers, capital, rule of law and ease of building "ticks all the boxes very nicely. It couldn't have happened to a better country."

Louisiana's waterways are a huge plus, making it easy for Sasol to ship its products via barge. They also make it easier to deliver the four 2,000-ton chemical reactors needed for the plants. The docks are just 1½ miles from the Sasol site.

Then there are the gas pipelines, which make it easy to pull in gas from the shale fields of Texas.

"That's why it's so much more difficult for a China or Europe to jump into shale gas in a big way. If you look at the natural-gas pipelines around the country, it's like a spider web," Mr. Constable said.

There's much more toil for both Sasol and the country at large. The environmental costs cannot be overlooked.

But in the grand veneers of politics, there is much to work with here. You can almost hear President Obama announcing his begrudging approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline with a line that goes something like this:

"Friends, we are taking dollars out of Iran's pockets and putting them into our own. The energy century is going to reindustrialize America, and if we do it right, this is going to be bigger than we even know."

Banned by Linkedin Nuclear Safety Group for caring about the safety of our nation

June 1


That is just great. Now i am going to have to look up another difficult word in a dictionary (divagate).  I spend half my time here looking up new words. Just because I am stupider than you, it shouldn’t give you the right to hold me up to higher standards than all the rest of you smarter people.  This is the bane of existence to the poor and disenfranchised all over the world.
I never really you understood why educated people have a penchant to put issues in any old artificial category or order. I am sorry I just don’t get it. You’d rather debate what category to put an issue in, than fix it or acknowledge it is a problem.
A person here brought up environmental issues with coal and many and many other issues unrelated to the category at hand. Some even admitted than their entries really aren’t related to the title. We all draw outside the lines here at one time or another.  I do respect your enforcement of order on this discussion site and have great respect, more than you than you realize with a central authority or even in government. Certainly I don’t think many people respect their government here, and the antis are worse than you!
Yes, I do have less education than you and have difficulty with writing...why do you openly have to humiliate me over it.
In the whistleblower businesses we call this rules-ies. It when a person has a disagreement over a safety or corruption issue...then management holds the troublemaker to a different set of standard or rules enforcement then their friends. If you aren’t in my group, then we will hold accountable to a different set of rules. If I am a national regulator and worst my vaulted rules and policies... but I can subvert the reputation of a regulator...undermine government itself... by protecting the agency and a troubled plant through the selective releasing of information at a public annual public meeting. Many times the game of rule-sies leads to both sides tattling to higher manager or the regulator over any perception of rules violations. It is a war of the rules. ..the first causality in war is truth.
What I find so despicable here is the anonymous managers assuming they understand what my comment meant (in my head) without a chance to explain.  This is so very cowardly. So you have anonymous managers and unknown infractions...or secret infractions. These are all ingredients of the McCarthy era, Guantanamo Bay or the Ceausescu era. It is a rule or law is applied one way for your friends, then another way for someone who sees the world differently than you.
I won’t even go there in you game of painting me as a fallacy haven’t even had the courage to identify my fallacy making.  I think it was unprofessional to paint me with the word rant. If I called you or one of your managers as ranting, I’d be banned for life. I wonder what kind of environment it be if you had anti-nuclear many of you pro nuke guys would be moderated.
I was at the last Vermont Yankee annual ( 2013) conduct of plant operations meeting  with the NRC last week. We put on a pretty sophisticated presentation to the NRC. They wanted public feedback and we gave it to them. My job was to talk about the problems with their new diesel is the last ditch power source to the plant. Course it is my diesel generator...I forced them to get it. I talked about regional infrastructure problems to the top NRC’s regional administrator. The Millstone recent LOOP, Pilgrims issue with their switchyards and their repetitive LOOPs, and the whole thing not designed for the climate. As far as Dave C, don’t forget about Millstone’s power excursion accident in late 2011 and another special inspection of this year over the repetitive failures of the turbine feed pump. These guys are sicker than the NRC makes them out to be. Overt capture behavior!
So the NRC is playing rules-ies here in the annual meeting. It is the selective release of information saying its one kind of meeting and then doing another kind of meeting...they didn’t want to get the violations into the newspaper. Basically, everyone is given 3 minutes to speak or ask questions...hardly enough to even get a response. It is common knowledge the NRC security guy with the microphone gives 2 minutes to some people and 6 minutes or more to other people.  If we can’t trust the NRC not to play rules-ies, the selective release of information to make a plant look better than they be ethical and moral...why would you expect the owners on managers on linkedin to play fair and be moral? Our whole political system was invented to prevent the tyranny  of the majority over the minority. This is a huge symptom of the NRC being captured. This below story was carried all over the state. 
“We feel the public was shortchanged by NRC's shifting the emphasis of the meeting to general information on decommissioning at the expense of focused discussion about significant deficiencies in management and operations at Entergy Vermont Yankee," said Clay Turnbull, a trustee and spokesman with the nuclear watchdog group New England Coalition.
Turnbull, who attended the meeting, said in an email, "Nowhere in print, on a screen or verbally did NRC present the ten violations of 2013 to the public. The violations repeatedly point to management making poor decisions, poor project planning, and cutting costs at the expense of safety."
I afraid my reputation will be sullied if I continue to participating in such an unfair and unjust site. If the moderation ever clears, I’ll still have the sword of Damocles hanging over my head within a secretive Ceausescu era star camber. I will never be completely free to express my thoughts and concerns. I do think the atmosphere has been permanently changed over these events. I am going to miss this place and the awfully smart people I’d seen here. I honestly don’t know what you could say to make me stay and you never rescinded the moderation.
I had 759 visits to my Palisades RCP problem.

...Romania saw one of the biggest increases in household electricity and gas prices between 2012 and 2013, figures from Eurostat

Although its average household electricity price per 100kwh is technically one Europe’s lowest at EUR 12.8, Romania saw one of the steepest price increases between the second half of 2012 and the second half of last year, with a 16.8 percent rise. This is compared to a 4.4 percent increase between 2011 and 2012.

After Germany (21.7 percent) and Greece (19.7 percent), the 2012-2013 jump was the biggest hike in Europe.

Although it appears low, when expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS), it can be seen that, relative to the cost of other goods and services, Romania’s electricity prices are among the highest with a PPS of 25.9

Hmm, the energy markets and dependance on Russia?
Energy in Romania describes energy and electricity production, consumption and import in Romania.
Romania has significant oil and gas reserves, substantial coal deposits and it has substantial hydroelectric power installed. However, Romania imports oil and gas from Russia and other countries. To ease this dependency Romania seeks to use nuclear power as an alternative to electricity generation. So far, the country has two nuclear reactors, located at Cernavodă, accounting for about 18-20% of the country's electricity production, with the second one online in 2007. Nuclear waste is stored on site at reprocessing facilities.
Electric power in Romania is dominated by government enterprises, although privately operated coal mines and oil refineries also existed. Accordingly, Romania placed an increasingly heavy emphasis on developing nuclear power generation. Electric power was provided by the Romanian Electric Power Corporation (CONEL). Energy used in electric power generation consisted primarily of nuclear, coal, oil, and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Of the electricity generated in 2007, 13.1 percent came from nuclear plants then in operation, 41.69 percent from thermal plants (oil and coal), and 25.8 percent from hydroelectric sites.[1] It was predicted in 2007 that the generation structure by the year 2010 would be 10.2 percent hydroelectric, 12.2 percent oil, 22.9 percent coal, 10.2 percent LNG, and 44.5 percent nuclear.
So a government owned nuclear utility with two Candu units...overseen by government employees...embedded in a nascent energy market.
...May 14: Nuclearelectrica is a state-ownedcompany, its shares being held by the Ministry of Economy andCommerce, which has as main objective power generation with the only nuclear power plant in Romania. 
...Romanian power producer Nuclearelectrica posts 30% lower profit for first quarter
Romanian energy producer Nuclearelectrica (BVB ticker: SNN), which operates Romania’s only nuclear power plant at Cernavoda, posted a net profit of RON 102 million (EUR 23 million) for the first quarter of 2014, 30 percent lower compared to the same period last year.
The company’s electricity sales were down 11 percent, to RON 433 million (EUR 97 million), although the amount of energy sold was unchanged compared to the first three months in 2013 at 2.8 TWh. However, energy sales prices on the free market were 13 percent lower this year.
Nuclearelectrica’s operational profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined by 28 percent due to lower revenues. It was also impacted by the tax on special constructions introduced by the Romanian government at the beginning of this year, which increased the company’s expenses with taxes and fees by RON 22 million (EUR 4.94 million) in the first quarter.
Nuclearelectrica has been listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) since September 2013 and has a market capitalization of RON 2.36 billion (EUR 530 million). The company is 81 percent owned by the state while investment fund Fondul Proprietatea holds a 9.7 percent stake.
Nuclearelectrica’s share price lost 12.9 percent on Wednesday, May 14, on the ex-dividend day. The company pays a gross dividend of RON 1.21 per share which is 12.6 percent of the price at which the shares traded the day before.

Why are my posts going through moderation in all of my groups?

Last Reviewed: 04/02/2014
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Doctor Tronea to me: 
"Mike Mulligan, I am not the only manager of this forum, but I am surely not the one who put you on moderation. Your posts may be moderated also because a manager in other forums that these I run blocked you for some reason. For your information, this happened to other members of this forum and I have checked and the settings for their posts are the default ones, which means that comments in existing threads are not moderated, but opening new threads is. This may be a linkedin bug, I don't know.

You frequently use the threads on this forum to rant about issues unrelated to the respective discussion, i.e. you use to divagate, and yet I have not done anything against this except for reminding you from time to time to either stick with the topic or to open a separate discussion on whatever you want, as long as it is relevant for nuclear safety.

Don't you realize that if I wanted to ban you I would have done it? As long as I continue to consider that some of the issues you bring up in the discussions are worth of noting and exceed the discomfort you cause with your divagations, you are as welcome to this forum as anybody else.

As for human freedom in Romania, what is the relevance?! If I would be a tyrant, would that necessarily make me representative of the whole country and every body else similar to myself? 
This is for you and for everybody else and it is an unwritten rule of this forum: I may tolerate occasional personal attacks, within certain limits, but I will not tolerate fallacies used in arguments and misleading information posted for the purpose of manipulation. With this being said, I would appreciate if you would tone down your posts a bit in terms of language, so that you don't provoke the "pro-nuke guys" to gang up on you.

I apologize to the others for this digression in a thread about regulatory capture. Please continue on the subject.
Believe me, they don't do this because you are laughing stock...they do this beause they fear and know you are right.

I read the announcement as one extremist pro-nuker could flag me into moderation. 
“one of your recent contributions was marked as spam or flagged for not being relevant

Yep...the the extremist pro nukies ganged up on me and got me kicked off. I won't participate being moderated.  

Note: It sure looks like Madalina has shifted me to a approving comment mode or worst. Or it could be issues with my computer or with Linkedin itself slowing down. But this has been going on for days so I find that unlikely.

Your group posting status

Your posts across groups are being moderated temporarily because one of your recent contributions was marked as spam or flagged for not being relevant. Learn more.

She is the owner of the Linkedin site: Dr Madalina Tronea. Isn't 'Madalina' a pretty first name.  

She is a expert in nuclear technology...not on public involvement in the nuclear industry, public acceptance and participation of the technology.  
She is the head or a safety advisor to Romania’s NRC or something.

Being in a tiny country with only two troublesome reactor designs...I think she has big troubles with being too controversial.  

A CANDU heavy water reactor...
Romania currently has 1,400 MW of nuclear power capacity by means of one active nuclear power plant with 2 reactors, which constitutes around 18% of the national power generation capacity of the country. This makes Romania the 23rd largest user of nuclear power in the world.

April 2004 – Present (10 years 2 months)

-Review and assessment of licensing submissions and of the documentations submitted periodically by the licensees for regulatory approval
-Review and assessment of the integrated management manual (former quality management manual) of the licensee;
-Inspections and audits of licensee’s arrangements under the integrated management system, including aspects related to: decision-making process on matters important to safety, use of operating experience and of probabilistic safety assessments for improving procedures and practices, training programmes for the personnel with duties important to safety, management of organisational changes, the development of the processes of the management system
-Examinations (theoretical and practical - on the full-scope simulator) of control room operators, shift supervisors in view of licensing or licence renewal;
-Elaboration of nuclear safety regulations (in the areas of siting, design, operation) and management of the consultation process with the stakeholders prior to formally issuing the new regulations;
-Participation in the periodic licensing meetings and in the integrated inspections held on the occasion of major licensing milestones during the commissioning and operation phases of a nuclear power plant;
-Involvement in international activities: review meetings under the Convention on Nuclear Safety, technical meetings and workshops organised by the IAEA, meetings of the Working Party on Atomic Questions (WPAQ) of the Council of the European Union, meetings of WENRA members and the work of the RHWG, work on the development of topical question sets (regulation of nuclear installations) to be used in the IAEA Self-Assessment Tool to aid in the preparation of IRRS (Integrated Regulatory Review Service) missions


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Uh-Oh-Exelon power plants in jeopardy

Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC)’s Nuclear Plants Don’t Secure Contracts

Dallas, Texas 05/28/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Three different nuclear plants that are owned by Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC), the Chicago-based company, have been unsuccessful in securing contracts at the key auction that was last week, which decides exactly which of the power plants will provide power to its electrical grid. The company’s Byron & Quad Cities plants located in Illinois & the Oyster Creek plant located in New Jersey had been priced-out of the auction by the competing power providers, said EXC last week. This jeopardizes the future of these assets.
The State’s decision
Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) relies very heavily on the revenue from this capacity-auction to prop-up the nuclear plants & had been anticipating results of the annual bidding-war as it also decides the fate of many plants that the company has not been able to operate profitably. UBS Investment Research’s executive director for the U.S. electric utilities, Julien Dumoulin-Smith said that the reality is now that it’s up to the state to finally choose what they wish to do. It is very clear that they are out of the money. It is now up to the state to take the decision about whether they now want to keep the assets running /not.
Nuclear power friendly policies
With many of EXC’s 6 nuclear plants within the state now on the bubble, many rumors had been doing the rounds in Springfield that the company would now ask the state for a kind of a bailout. Chris Crane, the company’s chief executive officer said that Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) is not now seeking any legislative fix but the House Resolution had surfaced last week, which had been sponsored by Michael Madigan, , the House Speaker. This urges the United States EPA, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as the electric grid-operators, to now adopt the policies that are very friendly to nuclear power.

Auction results place Exelon power plants in jeopardy

Three nuclear plants owned by Chicago-based Exelon Corp. failed to secure contracts to provide power to the electrical grid at an annual auction held last week.
Exelon’s Byron and Quad Cities plants in Illinois were priced out of the auction by competing power providers, the company said Tuesday, placing the future of those assets in question. Its Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey, which is slated to close in 2019, also didn’t clear the auction.
The company relies heavily on revenue from the so-called capacity auction to prop up its nuclear plants and was anticipating the results of the annual bidding war as it decides the fate of several plants the company has had a difficult time operating profitably.
As previously reported, Exelon has been threatening to close its struggling nuclear plants in the wake of less expensive electricity produced by wind generators and cheap natural gas.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan wants to help keep those plants open. They are among the top employers in the towns and counties in which they operate. A resolution sponsored by Madigan was introduced to the House last Friday urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the electric grid operators, to adopt policies that are "friendly" to nuclear power. Translation: enact a new rule to curb carbon emissions, which would be a boon to Exelon because its nuclear plants do not release greenhouse gases.
“The fact that three of Exelon’s nuclear plants didn’t clear in the auction is the clearest evidence yet that reforms are needed to ensure we have an adequate amount of clean generation resources in the future,” said Paul Adams, a spokesman for Exelon. “Byron, Quad Cities and Oyster Creek have been the workhorses of Illinois’ and New Jersey’s electric grid for decades and are significant contributors to their state and local economies.”
With several of Exelon’s six nuclear plants in the state on the bubble, rumors had surfaced in Springfield that Exelon would ask the state for a bailout. But Exelon CEO Chris Crane said the company is not seeking a legislative fix.
“The reality is now it’s up to the state to choose what they want to do. Clearly they’re out of the money. It’s up to the state to decide if they want to keep these assets running or not,” said Julien Dumoulin-Smith, executive director for U.S. electric utilities for UBS Investment Research.
The resolution also asks three state regulatory bodies to prepare reports that would be beneficial to Exelon’s lobbying efforts if it pushes legislation in the future.
Among them: An Illinois EPA report that explains the “societal cost” of increased greenhouse gas emission in the state if nuclear plants close and a report from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity that look at job losses that would come from closing those plants.
Power providers who bid in to the auction -- which helps provide power to 61 million people in the Chicago area and states to the east -- agree to provide power to the electrical grid three years out in exchange for kind of reservation fee that is provided by the electrical grid through consumer electricity bills.
In the past, such payments have boosted Exelon's revenue by $1 to $8 per megawatt-hour, depending on the year.
Power providers who made the cut in this year’s auction will get $120 per megawatt day in 2017 and 2018 for agreeing to be available to the electrical grid. That’s up from $59.37 at last year’s auction when Exelon suffered a hit to its stock after the low capacity revenue was announced.
Clinton's capacity payments last year in an auction that serves the Midwest power grid were just pennies. And a Tribune analysis of power prices that Exelon’s plants take on the market indicates that Clinton plant is the company’s least profitable plant.
Exelon’s investors didn’t blink at the news. The stock was up about 4 percent at midday.
“I think the market was already discounting these plants,” said Travis Miller, director of utilities research at Chicago-based Morningstar. “Management has been forthright about the economic challenges its nuclear fleet faces.”
Miller said investors don’t appear to be counting on the idea that the plants will shut down. Exelon has several options to keep them running, including bidding them into incremental auctions and even taking them out of commission for the single year in which they weren’t chosen to provide power to the grid. If anything, the news is helpful to Exelon as it bids to have carbon rules implemented that will reward it for the fact that its plants don’t emit greenhouse gases.
Exelon repeated that argument Tuesday.
“As proven during the record cold temperatures this winter, nuclear plants are an incredibly reliable generation source, typically producing power 24/7 regardless of weather,” Adams said. “And they do so without producing emissions, which makes them an indispensable resource if we are to meet upcoming greenhouse gas reduction requirements. Yet as these auction results demonstrate, the market does not sufficiently recognize the significant value that nuclear plants provide in terms of reliability and environmental benefits.”

Saturday, May 24, 2014

No new Hinsdale Bridges...I've be dead before a new one gets built!

Negotiators agree on 10-year highway plan

CONCORD — Without discussion, House and Senate negotiators reached a tentative agreement Friday on the state’s $3 billion 10-year highway improvement plan containing three key projects for the state: the Interstate 93 expansion between Salem and Manchester, rebuilding the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge and expanding a section of Route 101 in Bedford.
House Bill 2014 is intended to work with a 4.2-cent gas tax increase signed into law this week by Gov. Maggie Hassan. It’s the first increase in the gas tax in New Hampshire since 1991.

The bill’s prime sponsor, House Public Works and Highways Committee Chair Rep. David Campbell, D-Nashua, said the plan is heavy on maintenance and preservation of the current infrastructure and light on new projects.

At Friday’s meeting between Senate and House negotiators, there was no discussion as the two sides reached agreement on 17 bills including the 10-year highway plan.

The $15.6 million project to widen Route 101 for two miles from Route 114 and Boynton Street intersection has been a top priority for the area but until this year has not been a priority in the 10-year plan.

State highway officials say that section of Route 101 is way over capacity and the scene of more than 500 accidents in the last 10 years. Campbell has called it the most dangerous section of road in the state.
Under the 10-year plan, half of the $32 million generated by the gas tax increase beginning July 1 would be used beginning in 2017 to repay $200 million in bonds to complete the I-93 expansion from Salem to Manchester.
Without the additional money, work would have stopped on the project in late 2016 and the state may have had to renew environmental permits that would expire before the work could be completed.

The plan also addresses replacing the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge in Portsmouth, which is the state’s No. 1 red-listed bridge. The bridge needs to be replaced and the shipping lane widened to accommodate the next generation of freight tankers carrying oil, propone, salt and other products into Portsmouth Harbor.

Maine and New Hampshire will split the cost of the $160 million project that also includes replacing the railroad trestle that carries nuclear waste out of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Under the plan, the state would issue Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles or GARVEE bonds to pay for its share of the work on the bridge, and use about $50 million in federal grant money earmarked for the bridge to continue work on the I-93 expansion and $8 million of the federal money for widening Route 101 in Bedford.

There are a number of turnpike projects in the plan that cannot be funded without a toll increase, which is not being proposed, including expanding I-93 from Bow through Concord and Interstate 293 through the Millyard.
Among the unfunded projects would be eliminating the Merrimack ramp tolls on the F.E. Everett Turnpike when the Bedford toll plaza moves south of the Manchester airport access road, which is also unfunded.
The Exit 12 toll ramp will be eliminated in about two months, costing about $650,000 to remove. The ramp toll elimination was in the gas tax legislation signed by Hassan on Tuesday.

The 10-year plan takes $1.2 million a year earmarked for guard rail replacement and uses it for secondary road rehabilitation projects, and redirects $1.1 million for turnpike exit renumbering to paving projects on rural roads.

The Senate made some technical changes the House needed to approve before the bill becomes law.

The House and Senate will vote on the conference committee report next week

Friday, May 16, 2014

Westinghouse RCP

A 4000hp motor???

(DelawareOnline) Eight thumb-sized, broken bolt-heads have sidetracked PSEG Nuclear's plans

for restarting its Salem Unit 2 nuclear reactor, as investigators work to find the breakaway spots and reasons for failure.
Discovery of the broken reactor coolant pump parts during a routine refueling outage prompted
Company spokesman Joe Delmar said Wednesday afternoon that PSEG was being conservative in delaying its restart to allow "additional internal inspections of the coolant pumps and make any repairs as needed." the company to extend the shutdown, which began April 14. It was the latest in a string of problems at the Salem/Hope Creek nuclear complex.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan said the bolt tops, each about an inch in diameter and 3 inches long, are likely from the area of one of four reactor coolant pump's impeller vanes, or blades.
Investigators consider "stress-corrosion cracking," – a kind of failure that occurs in some types of metals exposed to particular types of stress, temperature and corrosive conditions – as one of the potential causes for the breaks, Sheehan said.
"The concern is that if bolts holding the turning vane failed, the vane could drop and impact the rotating pump internals," Sheehan said.

According to this information release, the turning vane diffuser is the problem. There are bolts that secure the turning vane diffuser to the upper flange also hold the thermal barrier can assembly in place. The issue could end up being equal to a locked rotor accident, which has never happened. A locked rotor accident challanges the peak clad temperatures more than any one accident.
Flywheels on these 7-8K HP pumps are about the same weight as a heavy duty pickup, about 8K lbs. Not much can challange the costdown of these pumps, except a locked rotor. The lower radial bearing has been know to fail (ancient history), and the motor has enough power not phase it.
This is a very isolated issue, based on manufacture date and material used.


 Byron Jackson, CE

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hinsdale Sectectmen see the light: Hinsdale Bridges.

Tappan Zee bridge: ( 58 year old) Construction started in March 1952 and the bridge opened for traffic on December 15, 1955, along with a 27-mile (43 km) long section of the New York State Thruway from Suffern to Yonkers.[15][16] New York State Governor W. Averell Harriman signed a bill on February 28, 1956, to name the structure officially the Tappan Zee Bridge. 

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — President Obama came to this Westchester County village on Wednesday to use the three-mile-long Tappan Zee Bridge as a backdrop to pressure Republicans in Congress to support infrastructure spending.
The White House argues that unless the president’s new $302 billion, four-year transportation program is passed, current transportation funding will run out later this year, endangering 112,000 highway, port and bridge projects, 5,600 transit projects and nearly 700,000 jobs....
I got s tremendous amount of heat with my wife, daughter, son and grandchildren over my activities at the bridge. There were rumors of divorcing me again. The theme was mike, you are acting like you are nuts. I afraid people will think I am nuts with staying married to you. I didn’t think my family seen the big picture with what I was doing. I got a really lot of shit from my family. I got a lot of shit from the people pass by me near the bridge.
Circa the summer of 2013, I knew all the selectmen were getting a tremendous pressure about the crazy halo man at the bridge. My activities were designed to do exactly than. I gave two presentations to them...the last one being the most contentious. I wish the final one could have been friendlier.

Clock ticks on bridges linking Brattleboro, Hinsdale 
Local, state officials seek to get deteriorating spans onto 10-year plan

I was talking to my lawyer in the winter. I asked him to talk with all the selectmen and the NHDOT officials. He told me he had investigators calling the selectman. The town official either didn’t take the call or could never say anything positive about bridge nut in a court. I was smart enough to know there is more than one objective in a court case.  I was using a form of power or influence...I knew by just getting the investigators to pester them I might be able to influence or manipulate them independent of a court case. I knew they are would be worried about how big this thing could get. They all knew and I told them I am a folk hero or heading to be one...100,000s of people seen my antics at the bridge. I am making a clear image on all of their minds.
I hammer the selectman over and over again last summer, you got to do something more than just sitting there. You got to write letters or complaints to the NHDOT or the governor. Talk to media.  

You tell me, did my lawyers activities precipitate this selectman’s letter.   

May 9, 2014: I'll leave you with one final thought. If you can’t trust the state (NHDOT) to do the right thing (replace and re-nail the boards) in the heat of my activities surrounding last July 31, 2013, how can you trust the state to do the right thing and make accurate bridge inspections (Hinsdale) during the intense political heat surrounding the NHDOT budgets?

By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff
HINSDALE — Now that a project to replace the two bridges connecting Hinsdale to Brattleboro is back on the table, Hinsdale selectmen want to make sure it stays there.
And that has prompted the board to request the N.H. Department of Transportation increase inspections of the nearly 95-year-old structures.
Late last month, the board sent a letter to the state agency asking it to more frequently inspect the 1920 Pennsylvania truss bridges, one of which connects Hinsdale to Hinsdale Island, and the other, Hinsdale Island to Brattleboro.
Board members made the request because they want to be sure the bridges aren’t deteriorating any further, and that the project to replace them is kept on the N.H. Department of Transportation’s 10-year transportation improvement plan, Town Administrator Jill E. Collins said Wednesday.
The Hinsdale bridge replacement project had been part of the transportation improvement plan since fiscal year 1994, but was bumped from the 2013-22 plan because of lack of funding.
The new draft plan, which covers 2015-24 and includes the Hinsdale bridge, was approved by the N.H. House in March, and is awaiting approval from the N.H. Senate.
According to the plan, one bridge would replace the two spans. The single-span bridge would be to the south of the existing ones, and be built in 2021-22. The project is estimated to cost $45.7 million.
By then, the bridges, which were last rehabilitated in 1988 and are considered functionally obsolete, will be 101 years old.
Functionally obsolete means the bridges are outdated, don’t meet current design standards, are narrow and have height and weight restrictions.
In comparison, the Memorial Bridge, which carried Route 1 over the Piscataqua River connecting Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, was 89 years old and when it was taken out of service in 2012 to be replaced.
Closer to home, the bridge carrying Route 9 from West Chesterfield to Brattleboro over the Connecticut River was 66 years old when it was closed to motor vehicle traffic in 2003 following the opening of a new bridge next to it.
The bridges connecting Hinsdale and Brattleboro are called the Charles Dana and Anna Hunt Marsh bridges, and efforts to replace or rebuild them have been on-again, off-again since the early 1970s.
They’re inspected by state Department of Transportation officials on a two-year cycle, which is standard for all state- and municipal-owned bridges, Mark W. Richardson, administrator for the state agency’s bridge design bureau, said Tuesday.
His office received a letter from the Hinsdale selectmen, and is preparing a formal response, he said.
“There is much to consider regarding this request, most importantly is the safety of the traveling public,” he said.
They also have to evaluate whether the bridge maintenance crew has the resources to commit to the additional inspections, he said.
The Hinsdale bridges are ranked in fair condition, which is a five out of nine on the system used by the state agency, but are one step away from being added to the state’s red list.
A bridge makes the red list when one or more of its major structural elements has an inspection ranking of four or less, Richardson said.
That ranking means the bridge’s deck or another structural element is in poor condition with advanced section loss, deterioration, spalling or scour, he said.
Spalling is when small sections separate from the main body of a girder, deck or pier because of deterioration in the concrete, he said.
“Spalling usually does’t require a load reduction or posting, but it does indicate that the concrete ... is deteriorating, which can be a real safety concern if traffic travels under the bridge,” he said.
A bridge getting a ranking of three means that parts of it could fail, and a bridge could be closed when it reaches a ranking of two, he said.
State red-list bridges are inspected twice a year, while municipal red-list bridges are inspected once a year, he said.
“We are well aware of the attention that (Hinsdale-Brattleboro) bridges have received and strive to ensure that they are in such a condition that they can remain open for public use,” he said.
Even if his office determines it can handle more frequent inspections of the Hinsdale-Brattleboro bridges, that won’t translate into a shorter wait time on the state’s improvement plan, he said.
Meghan Foley can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436, or Follow her on Twitter @MFoleyKS.