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TVA loses all power transmission lines ... Browns Ferry Nuclear plant forced into emergency shutdown
Times Free Press ^ | April 28, 2011 | Pam Sohn

Posted on 04/28/2011 10:16:33 AM PDT by CedarDave

Wednesday’s storms took out all of TVA’s electric power transmission lines in Mississippi and North Alabama, and forced Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant unto diesel backup power and into emergency and automatic cold shutdown.

Bill McCollum, the chief operating officer of Tennessee Valley Authority, said it may be weeks before power can be restored to all of the 300,000 customers whose power is supplied by the federal utility.

“With the level of damage we have, it will be — we hope it will be days until we get most of the customers back on, but it will be weeks before we’ve fully repaired all of the damage,” he said.

McCollum said the reactors, now being cooled by backup diesel power, are safe.

He said the spent fuel pools also are being cooled by backup diesel power and are safe.

The transmission lines are the monster power lines that carry electricity from TVA power plants to power distributors such as EPB and Huntsville Utilities.

(Excerpt) Read more at timesfreepress.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Alabama; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: brownsferry; brownsferrynuclear; nuclear; nuclearpower
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Full title of thread:
TVA loses all power transmission lines in Alabama and Mississippi, Browns Ferry Nuclear plant forced into emergency shutdown

I take it they will have plenty of diesel fuel. Sounds similar to Japan without the Tsumani.
1 posted on 04/28/2011 10:16:42 AM PDT by CedarDave
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To: CedarDave

Don’t worry, I hear homeland security is on the scene and they will take care of everything... lol


2 posted on 04/28/2011 10:20:11 AM PDT by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: DonaldC

Oh, that makes me feel so much safer.....NOT!!! Picturing the keystone cops.


3 posted on 04/28/2011 10:25:09 AM PDT by MsLady (Be the kind of woman that when you get up in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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To: CedarDave

So what happens when an F5 tornado hits the backup generators?


4 posted on 04/28/2011 10:31:27 AM PDT by FReepaholic (Land of the free my @$$)
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To: FReepaholic
So what happens when an F5 tornado hits the backup generators?

Same as Japan, pump in seawater!!

Not-so-funny humor aside, I presume they would use fresh water that is available adjacent to the plant. Hopefully the generators are in tornado-proof enclosures.

5 posted on 04/28/2011 10:36:12 AM PDT by CedarDave (Obama's energy policy: Take unicorn poop and turn it into renewable energy.)
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To: FReepaholic

They probably still have the hand pumps around from the last time it nearly melted down. That is what saved the region when they had a control room fire in the 70’s.


6 posted on 04/28/2011 10:38:01 AM PDT by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: DonaldC

“control room fire in the 70’s.”

You mean the one from the use of candles in the control cable spaces?


7 posted on 04/28/2011 10:45:38 AM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (Oligarchy...never vote for the Ivy League candidate.)
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To: A Strict Constructionist

I have family in Huntsville, From what I’m told its a ghost town. No power, no stores open. Huntsville Hospital has cancelled all surgeries.

To top it all off I now hear about Browns Ferry shutting down. Praying all is resolved quickly


8 posted on 04/28/2011 10:54:16 AM PDT by Nashvegas (What do you get if you offer a liberal a penny for their thoughts? Change)
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To: FReepaholic

The diesels are housed within the concrete reactor building. While they could, perhaps be vulnerable to flooding, not so much for a tornado. The reactor building IS the tornado shelter at most plants and would be quite safe, thank you.


9 posted on 04/28/2011 10:54:54 AM PDT by RoadGumby (For God so loved the world)
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To: CedarDave
Following last weeks devastating storm from Oklama across the south , with 45 deaths, our POTUS made NO response. He went golfing - and then off to a big campaign fund raiser.

Will he respond this time? - Maybe this = with 300+ and climbing deaths, it will require TWO rounds of golf?

I remember in disasters like this, Bush would be boots on the ground, looking at the damage, listening, comforting and hugging survivors - handing our water.

He CARED about our country and about Americans/

10 posted on 04/28/2011 11:00:30 AM PDT by maine-iac7 ("We stand together or we fall apart" mt)
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To: maine-iac7
I remember in disasters like this, Bush would be boots on the ground, looking at the damage, listening, comforting and hugging survivors - handing our water.

Except for when he flew over the Katrina damage looking out the window.

He CARED about our country and about Americans/

He cared about people people in his own social class, members of the military, illegal aliens, Iraqis and Ugandans. The rest of us got screwed.

11 posted on 04/28/2011 11:12:56 AM PDT by Moonman62 (If gullible, uneducated and uncivilized people didn't exist, politicians would create them.)
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To: Nashvegas

I agree. I was in Tuscaloosa in the 70’s when the same area was hit with a small tornado. I chased the things while in Tuscaloosa for the NWS,Ham Radio operator, the closest we had to this one was when a small town N. of Tuscaloosa was wiped out. The only humorous one, no loss of life or major property damage, was when the NWS radar in Centerville, Al was taken out by a direct hit and the radar operators continued to operate until the tower went down. We all thought they were nuts for not running for the shelter. Luckily they only lost the tower.

My daughters father-in-law lives outside Muscle Shoals, I guess I’d better call the son-in-law and check on him. I was focused on Tuscaloosa and didn’t think about that area until this report.

Prayers are definitely in order for all of the victims.


12 posted on 04/28/2011 11:35:25 AM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (Oligarchy...never vote for the Ivy League candidate.)
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To: Nashvegas

What do you here about power being restored there in Huntsville? You didn’t get hit badly, did you?


13 posted on 04/28/2011 12:12:04 PM PDT by CedarDave (Obama's energy policy: Take unicorn poop and turn it into renewable energy.)
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To: CedarDave

“What do you here about power being restored there in Huntsville?”

Per the presser just on WHNT, It will take TVA 5-7 days to get the transmission lines back up, and another 48 hours after that to begin restoring local power.

Huntsville Utilities guy on WHNT right NOW, saying it may be one to two WEEKS.

They MAY be able to get some power by Monday, but it won’t be enough for anything more than the water system and hospitals.


14 posted on 04/28/2011 12:27:38 PM PDT by tcrlaf (You can only lead a lib to the Truth, you can't make it think...)
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To: CedarDave

The article is not entirely true - there is one 161 kV transmission line in service providing an off-site power source. However, since it is the only source, they’re running 7 of the 8 diesels on site to supply most of the plant’s needs. The 8th diesel was out for maintenance at the time of the tornado outbreak and is expected to be brought on line today. There was a 15 minute period when all off-site sources were out, but one line was restored at that time.

As of this morning, TVA had some 77 major transmission lines out of service, mostly concentrated in Alabama, southern Mississippi, and eastern Tennessee. They estimated the number of customers without power that are supplied by TVA’s distributors to be around 322,000 this AM, based on figures given to TVA by the various power distribution entities in TVA’s territory.


15 posted on 04/28/2011 12:29:55 PM PDT by meyer (We will not sit down and shut up.)
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To: Moonman62
Except for when he flew over the Katrina damage looking out the window.

That is just baloney and the worst cheap shot imaniginable. Where was he supposed to land when LA was under total emergency? He was told to stay out at that moment by the Governor. He came back in short order.

My husband made a trip to N.O. in October to rescue a flooded company and bring the work north. The town was still mostly shut down. The company he visited had no electricity, no fresh water, no telephones, no workforce, no AC, water was still standing in the warehouse, and mold was climbing up the walls.

Through miscommunication via our travel agent, he thought he had a reservation at a hotel on Canal Street. When he got out of the cab, he and his friend were stopped by Feds with AK 47s and told he couldn't stay there because the entire hotel had been taken over by FEMA and cadaver dogs. After negotiations he and his friend were allowed to stay, with stringent rules placed upon them. This was 6 weeks after the storm.

My point is that 2 days after the winds calmed, LA did NOT need a Presidential visit and all the security that goes with it.

He cared about people people in his own social class, members of the military, illegal aliens, Iraqis and Ugandans. The rest of us got screwed.

That is just bovine excrement and unworthy. I've met former President Bush on several occasions, as well as his wife. They are 2 of the most gracious and down to earth people you would ever want to meet. I am nobody, yet they treated me as somebody. You are just plain off base here.

Disagree with the man's policies, if you must, but don't disgrace this forum by telling lies about him. You sound like Daily Kos or DU.

16 posted on 04/28/2011 1:05:34 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Moonman62

President Bush in Biloxi after Katrina.

You are full of it.

17 posted on 04/28/2011 1:10:10 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: afraidfortherepublic; Moonman62

Re your post to Moonman62, araidfortherepublic, can I adopt you? I’m too old to propose, so adoption would have to do.

Moonman62, your post was a replica of your tag line.


18 posted on 04/28/2011 1:31:43 PM PDT by kitkat ( I sure HOPE that it's time for a CHANGE from Obama.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Your response to moonman62 was a work of art. Thank you for saying everything I was thinking.

Moonmn62, your tagline describes yourself perfectly.


19 posted on 04/28/2011 1:40:39 PM PDT by kitkat ( I sure HOPE that it's time for a CHANGE from Obama.)
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To: CedarDave

Dang. That is two US Nuclear Plants losing external power due to Tornado damage in one month. Guess we have to hope no plant takes a direct hit knocking out the generators.


20 posted on 04/28/2011 3:33:11 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: Nashvegas

Spent a couple years as a kid in Huntsville. Nice place.


21 posted on 04/28/2011 3:35:07 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: RoadGumby
The diesels are housed within the concrete reactor building.

So how do they vent the gases ? Thought you were not supposed to run gas or diesel generators inside a building.

22 posted on 04/28/2011 3:39:20 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: FReepaholic

The short answer is nothing. Been there, saw that.


23 posted on 04/28/2011 5:24:08 PM PDT by meatloaf
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To: justa-hairyape

“Guess we have to hope no plant takes a direct hit knocking out the generators.”

Sorry to disappoint you, but the diesel generators are in tornado proof concrete buildings. That’s a requirement in the United States. The fuel tanks are also protected.


24 posted on 04/28/2011 5:29:23 PM PDT by meatloaf
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To: justa-hairyape

They have a protected intake system. Venting the exhaust isn’t a big deal.


25 posted on 04/28/2011 5:31:30 PM PDT by meatloaf
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To: CedarDave

Ouch...friend who lives there claimed she’d been told 4 days, I think she’s going to be verrrrrry annoyed someone fudged by that much.


26 posted on 04/28/2011 5:34:13 PM PDT by Fire_on_High (Stupid should hurt.)
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To: meatloaf
Sorry to disappoint you,...

Making inquiries about nuclear power plant safety means you want destruction ? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

27 posted on 04/28/2011 6:06:23 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: meatloaf
They have a protected intake system. Venting the exhaust isn’t a big deal.

And the Japanese thought their nuclear plants would survive a direct Tsunami hit with no problems.

28 posted on 04/28/2011 6:14:27 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: justa-hairyape

Based on the design criteria they had at the time, yes, they were designed for a tsunami. They weren’t designed to hold or withstand a tsunami of the size they just saw - the likes of which hasn’t been seen for at least 100 years, and closer to 600 years if some accounts are accurate.

There were lots of people who didn’t believe the old signs. There were rocks with inscriptions chiseled into them in some of the worst hit prefectures that said “Do not build homes past this point.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/world/asia/21stones.html

Plenty of homes, farms and businesses were built below stones warning of past disasters. Ironically enough, this tsunami came within only a few hundred feet of that rock again. Seems like the folks centuries ago had a clue. The problem today is that scientists and engineers put HUGE bias on recently developed data. They want everything quantified out to the third decimal point. You can see this “bias of recent data” in the AGW debate writ large, as well as economic modeling, etc. It isn’t just one field. There’s a huge bias for recently developed and recorded data in most all fields of study with quantification of data.

Now, as to “they should have designed X.”

Most people who aren’t engineers have NO idea what it takes to hold back a wall of water such as they just took in this tsunami. Zippo. “Just build a wall to hold the sea out...”

Yea, right. Here’s a little engineering tip: It takes one level of construction to hold back a wall of calm water, such as a dam.

It takes quite another level of construction to hold back a surge of water such as this tsunami.

Let me just put this out there: The Japanese could have saved a total of three lives by putting up a huge concrete wall around those plants. They could have saved 20K+ people’s lives by following the warning carved on some rocks. Where should they have put their efforts? Millions of tons of concrete and rebar.... or saying “Let’s think about this a second... get me the surveyors and their instruments and let’s figure out how far the water would come inland if a wave X meters high came in on us...? The areas surrounding the nuclear plants never thought about the consequences of a wave the height of which the plants were designed to withstand. ie, if the wall of water had been within the plants’ design parameters, probably at least 5K people would still be dead. Who failed here? Not the engineers who designed the plants. They planned for a tsunami. They didin’t plan for *this* tsunami. The surrounding areas? They didn’t plan for even a tsunami of the height the nuke plant engineers planned for. Who is incompetent again?

I’d remind you that it is only recently (within the last 10 years) that scientists finally believed mariners and their accounts of “rogue waves” far out at sea - waves 60+ feet tall that come “out of nowhere” that can (and sometimes do) literally flip a ship over. Never mind just sinking it. Take a seaworthy vessel, crewed and captained by competent men, roll it upside down or break the keel and just sink it in a minute.

All the terribly smart PhD’s in the world thought that this was another mariner’s tall tale... and finally video evidence, coupled with the huge increase in computational power, synthetic apature radar and sea monitoring networks made the terribly smart, but non-sea-faring scientists say “Golly, guess the sea dogs were not just telling us landlubbers a bunch of tall stories....”


29 posted on 04/29/2011 1:16:04 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave

Some are saying that a couple of these Tornadoes may have been the strongest we have ever seen here in modern times. If so, then our nuclear plants were not built to withstand them.


30 posted on 04/29/2011 1:26:14 AM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: justa-hairyape

OK, you could have a point there. We have, in recent times, been able to generate a lot more data on twisters than we’ve had to make designs from in the past.

Again, there’s a bias for data that we have recently. We’ve certainly had some ferocious twisters in the past, but we didn’t have the level of analysis on the results of those storms we have today.


31 posted on 04/29/2011 1:38:20 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: justa-hairyape

I would add, however, of all the threats a plant operator has to design for, flooding is the worst. You could have a twister make a mess of the switchyard and infrastructure at a plant and be able to get back to some semblance of normal operation much faster than with flooding.

With a tsunami, you not only have flooding, you have vast, vast quantities of wreckage pushed inland into areas people never thought to protect. Just getting new equipment into Fukushima was no doubt a week-long process. Take a look at more of the pictures of the mountains of stuff piled up along the roadways there. All that had to be moved out of the way before you could get heavy equipment into the coast.

With a twister, that level of damage is fairly localized, and there’s not a huge amount of water left laying around to complicate things.


32 posted on 04/29/2011 1:41:54 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave
I saw some line trucks rolling south on I-75 in Knoxville early this afternoon headed toward Bama. TVA has their construction crews and equipment all over the region including Knoxville where TVA headquarters is.

Browns Ferry going into an emergency like Japan isn't impossible I suppose but with all the available assets highly unlikely. They can truck in generators and even Chill Water coiling systems on tractor trailer flatbeds if needed. Getting the transmission lines back up won't take near as long as rebuilding several thousand miles of the power grid and that is the local utilities job.

Browns Ferry IIRC sits on the lake so there's plenty of usable water if needed and the lakes right now from the Tennessee River headwaters on down are flowing.

The last real crisis to hit TVA's reactors was a few years back if I remember right they had to shut a few down due to the water temps on the lakes caused by a severe drought. That's not an issue now though.

33 posted on 04/29/2011 2:14:50 AM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: cva66snipe

There’s also an issue which I’m coming to appreciate more and more is the reason why we wouldn’t have the same issues:

I was familiar with Japanese culture before, but I had no appreciation for how their culture would prevail in the face of an emergency that required rapid, out-of-the-box, cross-hierarchy thinking and action.

Even in the face of life threatening emergent issues, their cultural tendencies remained in place, to their detriment I now believe.

Here in the US, if it becomes clear that the higher-ups really don’t care or know what is going on, we have a culture of “Screw it. We’re going to FIX this situation, and the higher-ups and go pound sand.” Americans just don’t put up with the idea that we’re supposed to obey someone just because of their lineage, position, etc. They’d better evidence some competence, or they’re going to first get an earful, then they’ll be overridden, then they’ll be replaced, forced out of the way or ultimately ignored.

Look at how things happened during Katrina. Blanco was effectively done at the end of the first week of non-response. People were taking action on their own pretty quickly a week into the flooding, even tho their fearless governor was catatonic from all reports.

Not so in Japan. We’re a month in, and both the political leadership and TEPCO management are still seeming to be out of the loop.


34 posted on 04/29/2011 2:27:54 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave
Getting a little off topic here but you can see what Tsunami water damage did to Fukushima at the video link below. All in Japanese, but the video images are interesting from a damage point of view. And the only twister I ever saw in person was on Lake Michigan headed toward the Michigan coastline. Something to think about none-the-less.

Fukushima Ground Video

35 posted on 04/29/2011 2:32:04 AM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: cva66snipe
Units #3 and #2 have achieved cold shutdown. Unit #1 is still being cooled down.

Storm Damage In TVA Service Territory

36 posted on 04/29/2011 2:50:40 AM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: NVDave
There are too many nuclear experts watching things in this region for too much incompetence to go unnoticed as far as the reactors go. Most of the scientist come up the ranks trough the National Lab in Oak Ridge or the reactor operators through the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program. Hiding a pending disaster would be difficult if not impossible.

TVA and the utilities have had long standing protocols about handling natural disaster responses. Usually utilities had crews on the road to help another stricken region within 24 hours. Even Ma Bell for that matter had pretty much the same policy. Ma Bell will be the one hurting in the long run because AT&T has laid off about three fourths of the crew it had just two decades ago.

In Katrina the first thing should have happened was some politicians relieved of duty from mayor to governor. Most people responding to disasters know their jobs and sometimes it's best just to stay out of their way. The true testimony to stupidity was the full school bus parking lot picture in New Orleans. The governor had the legal authority to say use them to move people as likely did the mayor. No one should have died from Katrina except possibly emergency service members who had to stay behind.

With all the destruction in the states hit this week the system worked. By that I mean the word {warnings} got out and most people listened. But you can't hide from a mile wide killer tornado though. If they hadn't got the word out the death toll would have been in the thousands.

Looks like McGraw Eddison is going to have some huge short term profits coming it's way too. I used to haul their transformers out of southeastern Texas and Mississippi plants to points north at a trucking company I once worked for.

37 posted on 04/29/2011 3:14:22 AM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: justa-hairyape

Thanks for the info.


38 posted on 04/29/2011 3:16:11 AM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Moonman62

Monman62: Troll

Moonbat sounds more like it


39 posted on 04/29/2011 3:24:10 AM PDT by Mr. K (this administration is WEARING OUT MY CAPSLOCK KEY~!! [Palin/Bachman 2012])
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To: justa-hairyape

Given the level of wave damage in that video, I’d have to say the power plant operators have done pretty well thus far. They took a pretty heavy hit, square in the face.

The green stuff they’re spraying on the embankment appears to be a binding agent, probably used to trap hot particles in place on the ground until they can get to long term cleanup.


40 posted on 04/29/2011 4:09:08 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: maine-iac7
Will he respond this time? - Maybe this = with 300+ and climbing deaths, it will require TWO rounds of golf?

Zero ignored previous natural disasters in the south. Now that he is in campaign mode, and running for re-election; he visits Alabama.

An expression of concern that is as fake as his second birth certificate.

...and FU, Mr. Beck.

41 posted on 04/29/2011 4:22:59 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Moonman62
“The rest of us got screwed.”

So how exactly did “the rest of us” get “screwed”?

I had to check my browser address to make sure it didn't read www.DemocraticUnderground.com when I read your post.

42 posted on 04/29/2011 4:31:47 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Yes We Can, have smaller government)
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To: MsLady

Ignorance is bliss


43 posted on 04/29/2011 4:35:56 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: Moonman62

Sour grapes make your mouth pucker.

Outright lies kill your soul.


44 posted on 04/29/2011 4:42:58 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: bert

Yep, stick your head in the sand and maybe all the bad things will go away and the unicorns and glitter will come out to play...ha, I’m a poet and don’t know it.


45 posted on 04/29/2011 4:54:54 AM PDT by MsLady (Be the kind of woman that when you get up in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, she's UP !!")
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: Moonman62
“nothing substantive to say but personal attacks,”

Funny thing to read and see the picture you posted!!

I guess reasoned, thoughtful dialogue isn't your cup of tea? And you haven't backed up your knee jerk attack on GWB with anything substantial.

I am listening to Ronald Reagan's diaries right now on CD.
He had to put up with the same garbage from his critics.
As will Sarah Palin.

47 posted on 04/29/2011 7:42:57 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Yes We Can, have smaller government)
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To: HereInTheHeartland

I’m a Reaganite and I like Palin. None of the Bushes deserve to be mentioned in the same breath. The biggest mistake Reagan ever made was to select a Bush as his vice president.


48 posted on 04/29/2011 10:56:09 AM PDT by Moonman62 (If gullible, uneducated and uncivilized people didn't exist, politicians would create them.)
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To: Moonman62

Bush was as good as anyone we had who could win. It’s a very imperfect world out there.
There are some very good candidates who could do great things if we could get them in office.. Congressman Steve King from my state for example.

But I would probably not support a candidate like that as he would not be electable on a national stage.

Listening to the Reagan diaries mad me realize that he had a lot of critics on the right and the left.
I’ll bet if FR was around then; we would have had posters ripping into Reagan as a RINO.


49 posted on 04/29/2011 11:08:36 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Yes We Can, have smaller government)
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To: NVDave
Some of the simulations I have run recently with revised information on tornado wind speeds indicates that the stresses are probably less than those that the initial design calculations assumed, so we have likely over-engineered containment strength for likely wind loads.

Keep in mind we also have better modeling tools available to us than even those from five years ago. Some of the more detailed modeling shows stress distribution is more efficient than originally calculated. Also, we are better able to model the small-scale wind flows around the containment shell which leads to complex but understandable pressure distributions over the entire structural surface.

Bottom line is, I don't think containment integrity is going to be the driving factor in any post-Fukushima regulatory ratcheting. It is most likely going to focus on remediation of unexpected loss of emergency AC.

50 posted on 04/29/2011 11:18:01 AM PDT by chimera
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