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TEPCO Delays Replacing Tainted Water Tanks

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Tokyo, Sept. 28 (Jiji Press)–Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> has effectively given up replacing tainted water storage tanks at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station with safer ones at an early date, it was learned Wednesday.


It is believed to be the first time that the power firm has abandoned a deadline in its decommissioning work timetable, revised in June last year.


TEPCO now expects to finish the work in June 2018 at the earliest, according to documents submitted to a panel of the Nuclear Regulation Authority.


TEPCO initially planned to finish replacing the storage tanks with welded low-leakage ones early in the current business year through March 2017.


TEPCO remains unable to stop increases in the amount of radioactive water. The amount of contaminated water stored in the current tanks with a higher risk of leakage stood above 110,000 tons as of Thursday.

http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2016092800865

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Meet the nuclear cattle of Fukushima

(CNN)Some families have at least one relative who’s either odd or eccentric. Others boast family members of a more unusual kind.

That’s what one filmmaker discovered in 2011 when he heard of a group of former farmers in Fukushima‘s nuclear exclusion zone, fighting to keep their radiation-affected cows alive, though they brought them no profit.

“The farmers think of these cows as family. They know that these cows can’t be sold, but they don’t want to kill them just because they’re not worth anything,” Tamotsu Matsubara, who made a film called ‘Nuclear Cattle’ (Hibaku Ushi) on their plight, told CNN.

It costs around 2,000 dollars to maintain each cow for a year. The farmers featured in Matsubara’s film are among those who refused to obey the Japanese government’s initial requests to euthanize cows in the exclusion zone.

“[These farmers] really want them to serve a greater purpose for humans and for science,” explained Matsubara.

Nuclear Cattle

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On March 11 2011, a 15-meter tsunami triggered by a 8.9-magnitude earthquake, disabled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, causing a nuclear accident.

Residents within a 20 km radius of the facility were forced to evacuate their homes and leave behind their livelihoods and possessions.

Before leaving, some farmers released their cows so they could roam free and survive in the nuclear fallout-affected area. 1,400, however, died from starvation, while the government euthanized 1,500 more.

Since 2011, Matsubara has documented both the relationship six farmers have with their surviving herds as well as an ongoing study examining the effects radiation has on large mammals.

A greater scientific purpose

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A cow from within Fukushima’s 20 km exclusion zone with an abnormal white spot outbreak.

The farmers — who return two or three times a week to their former farms — initially kept their cows alive just out of love. But since 2013, Keiji Okada, an animal science expert at Iwate University, has been carrying out tests on them.

Okada established the Society for Animal Refugee & Environment post-Nuclear Disaster, a non-profit with researchers from Kitazato, Tohoku and Tokyo university. The researchers are funded through their universities, and say their project is the first to look into the effects of radiation on large animals.

“Large mammals are different to bugs and small birds, the genes affected by radiation exposure can repair more easily that it’s hard to see the effects of radiation,” Okada, told CNN.

“We really need to know what levels of radiation have a dangerous effect on large mammals and what levels don’t,” he added.

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A mountain of black bags filled with contaminated soil sits piled on a roadside in Tomioka, Fukushima. A massive national project to remove topsoil and vegetation contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster will produce at least 22 million square meters of radioactive waste.

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Colossal quantities of contaminated material have been collected from the Fukushima site and surrounding area. What will be done to dispose them still remains to be seen.

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One of hundreds of temporary storage sites for contaminated material.

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A giant, 780-meter sea wall under construction near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is designed to prevent contaminated water on the site from seeping into the ocean

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Tetrapods piled up at Udedo port in Namie, Fukushima, waiting to be used for a 7 meter high, 3 kilometer long breakwater along the coast line.

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Prior to the wall’s construction, radioactive water and materials readily seeped into the ocean, threatening local fishing stocks and causing potentially irreversible damage to the sea floor.

 

So far, the cows living within the exclusion zone haven’t shown signs of leukemia or cancer — two diseases usually associated with high levels of radiation exposure. Some, however, have white spots on their hides. Their human minders suspect that these are the side-effects of radiation exposure.

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Keiji Okada, associate professor of veterinary medicine and agriculture at Iwate University, examines a cow at Ikeda Ranch in Okuma town, 5 kilometers (3 miles) west of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

As Japan continues to confront its nuclear past, present and future, Okada said his group’s study would keep the country prepared in the event of another disaster.

“We need to know what levels of radiation are safe and dangerous for large mammals, and have that data ready so that the euthanization of livestock can be kept to the minimum,” added Okada.

The ‘cows of hope’

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Elderly farmers feeds their radiation-affected cows in the exclusion zone.

Since 2011, the Japanese government has taken measures to decontaminate radiation-affected zones within Fukushima by stripping surface soil from contaminated zones and by cleansing asphalt roads and playgrounds.

Evacuation notices have also lifted on some towns in Fukushima. Taichi Goto, a spokesperson from the Ministry of the Environment’s Office for Decontamination told CNN that Namie, a town currently in the exclusion zone, was scheduled to be decontaminated by March 2017. Yet critics point that the state’s measures still aren’t enough.

Matsubara acknowledged the government’s decontamination work but asserted that it was impossible for them to clear the mountainous areas west of the exclusion zone.

While some farmers have slowly started to rebuild their lives by starting new businesses in decontaminated areas in Fukushima, the campaign to keep alive irradiated cows within the exclusion zone continues.

“These cows are the witnesses of the nuclear accident,” Masami Yoshikawa, who lives in Namie town in the heart of the exclusion zone, states in Nuclear Cattle.

“They’re the cows of hope.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/09/27/asia/japan-fukushima-nuclear-cows/index.html

 

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima ice wall failing to deliver on promise

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This Feb. 9 photo shows the crippled No. 3 unit of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

TOKYO — Six months since the work began, the “ice wall” has failed to produce its intended results as groundwater continues to flow in and out of damaged facilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

An encircling wall of frozen soil, created by pumping a subzero coolant through underground pipes, is getting closer to completion, the Japanese government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings reported Tuesday at a meeting of experts convened by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The ocean-facing side of the wall is nearly finished, though gaps remain on the inland side, officials reported. Some of the expert panelists questioned the basis for determining such progress.

Groundwater runs down from the highland and seeps into the damaged reactor buildings, where it becomes tainted with radioactive material before flowing out into the ocean. The frozen wall has been built to stop this flow. But the problem was exacerbated by heavy rains starting around mid-August, as northern Japan was swept by multiple typhoons. This resulted in massive amounts of groundwater rushing into plant buildings, making it difficult to assess the wall’s effectiveness.

The operator, Tepco, thinks the inflows are concentrated at seven unfrozen sections on the inland side. Kunio Watanabe, an associate professor of environmental science at Mie University, blames the utility for having “fallen behind in its responses to address problems” at the Fukushima plant.

“If dealing with the contaminated water takes too long,” warns Masashi Kamon, professor emeritus at Kyoto University, “the entire decommissioning process may be set back.”

More than five and a half years have gone by since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that crippled Fukushima Daiichi.

The government and Tepco hope to complete the wall soon. But some outside experts at a meeting held by Japan’s nuclear regulator last month declared the effort a failure.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Japan-Update/Fukushima-ice-wall-failing-to-deliver-on-promise/

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | 1 Comment

Ukraine joining the renewable energy revolution

Solar on the steppe: Ukraine embraces renewables revolution  Former Soviet nation bids for independence from Russian fossil fuels. Nature Quirin Schiermeier 28 September 2016 Wind and solar power are wallflowers in oil- and gas-rich Russia. Not so in neighbouring Ukraine. With fears about Russian hegemony at a peak, the former Soviet republic is ready to join the renewables revolution.

“Energy independence has become a matter of national security for Ukraine,” says Sergiy Savchuk, head of the state agency on energy efficiency and energy saving in Kiev. “That’s why renewable-energy development is now a priority issue for the Ukrainian government.”

In July, Ukrainian environment minister Ostap Semerak unveiled plans to build a large solar power plant and a biogas facility in the wasteland around the former Chernobyl reactor.

The announcement came just two weeks after parliament reopened the state-owned exclusion zone around the shuttered nuclear site to development for business and science.

The Chernobyl energy project will cost around US$1.1 billion, a sum that means substantial foreign investment is required. It is part of Ukraine’s broader ambition to step up renewable-energy capacity. According to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan adopted in 2014, the government aims to almost triple capacity for electricity production, transport and heating by 2020 — from its current level of around 9.3 gigawatts to more than 26 gigawatts. Renewables would then supply about 11% of all energy consumed in Ukraine……..

Ukraine has significant untapped renewable-energy potential, finds a 2015 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — enough to support the 2014 plan. The largest country to lie entirely within Europe (Turkey and Russia are mostly in Asia), it gets more sunshine than Germany, where photo-voltaic solar power now exceeds 40 gigawatts.

Ukraine also has good grid infrastructure, including high-voltage transmission lines between Chernobyl and Kiev, says Dolf Gielen, director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Center in Bonn, Germany…… http://www.nature.com/news/solar-on-the-steppe-ukraine-embraces-renewables-revolution-1.20690

September 29, 2016 Posted by | renewable, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Finland utility taking legal action against nuclear company AREVA

legal actionFinnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said today that it has started legal action against the same company which is supplying two nuclear reactors to Hinkley Point C. City A.M. Jessica Morris, 29 Sep 16 

It’s taking Areva to court over delays at Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in Finland. The project, which was supposed to showcase EDF and its engineering partner Areva’s EPR technology, has been plagued by disputes, budget overuns and delays

A TVO spokesman told Reuters that it had not received assurances from plant supplier Areva that the Olkiluoto project would have the necessary resources to be ready to begin power production by 2018 as planned.

“We have asked for this several times but have not received the necessary assurances,” said Pasi Tuohimaa, spokesman for TVO, adding that the case was filed in a French commercial court…….http://www.cityam.com/250284/finnish-firm-takes-hinkley-point-c-nuclear-reactor-maker

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Finland, Legal | Leave a comment

Dutch climate plan includes shutdown of new coal-fired plants

fossil-fuel-industryAmbitious Dutch climate plan includes shutdown of new coal-fired plants, CBC radio AS It Happaens  29 Sep 16  The Netherlands has voted to adopt some of Europe’s most drastic measures to cut carbon emissions.

In a close vote last week, the Dutch parliament pledged a 55 per cent cut in cut C02 by 2030. That would include a shutdown of the country’s five remaining coal power plants, including three that opened just last year.

“Even if it feels a bit weird to close down literally brand new coal-fired power plants, all alternative measures are far more expensive.”– Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch politician

Stientje van Veldhoven, a Dutch politician with the Democrats 66 party, spoke to As It Happens host Carol Off. Van Veldhoven was in Paris last year during negotiations for an international deal on goals to mitigate climate change. She voted to support the plan……..http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-wednesday-edition-1.3782437/ambitious-dutch-climate-plan-includes-shutdown-of-new-coal-fired-plants-1.3782537

September 29, 2016 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Complexity of climate effects on Antarctic’s sea ice

Record high to record low: what on earth is happening to Antarctica’s sea ice? https://theconversation.com/record-high-to-record-low-what-on-earth-is-happening-to-antarcticas-sea-ice-66114September 29, 2016 2016 continues to be a momentous year for Australia’s climate, on track to be the new hottest year on record.

To our south, Antarctica has also just broken a new climate record, with record low winter sea ice. After a peak of 18.5 million square kilometres in late August, sea ice began retreating about a month ahead of schedule and has been setting daily low records through most of September.

It may not seem unusual in a warming world to hear that Antarctica’s sea ice – the ice that forms each winter as the surface layer of the ocean freezes – is reducing. But this year’s record low comes hot on the heels ofrecord high sea ice just two years ago. Overall, Antarctica’s sea ice has been growing, not shrinking.

So how should we interpret this apparent backflip? In our paper published today in Nature Climate Change we review the latest science on Antarctica’s climate, and why it seems so confusing.

Antarctic surprises

First up, Antarctic climate records are seriously short.

The International Geophysical Year in 1957/58 marked the start of many sustained scientific efforts in Antarctica, including regular weather readings at research bases. These bases are mostly found on the more accessible parts of Antarctica’s coast, and so the network – while incredibly valuable – leaves vast areas of the continent and surrounding oceans without any data.

In the end, it took the arrival of satellite monitoring in the 1979 to deliver surface climate information covering all of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. What scientists have observed since has been surprising.

Overall, Antarctica’s sea ice zone has expanded. This is most notable in the Ross Sea, and has brought increasing challenges for ship-based access to Antarctica’s coastal research stations. Even with the record low in Antarctic sea ice this year, the overall trend since 1979 is still towards sea ice expansion.

The surface ocean around Antarctica has also mostly been cooling. This cooling masks a much more ominous change deeper down in the ocean, particularly near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Totten glacier in East Antarctica. In these regions, worrying rates of subsurface ocean warming have been detected up against the base of ice sheets. There are real fears that subsurface melting could destabilise ice sheets, accelerating future global sea level rise.

In the atmosphere we see that some parts of the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica are experiencing rapid warming, despite average Antarctic temperatures not changing that much yet.

In a rapidly warming world these Antarctic climate trends are – at face value – counterintuitive. They also go against many of our climate model simulations, which, for example, predict that Antarctica’s sea ice should be in decline.

Winds of change

The problem we face in Antarctica is that the climate varies hugely from year to year, as typified by the enormous swing in Antarctica sea ice over the past two years.

This means 37 years of Antarctic surface measurements are simply not enough to detect the signal of human-caused climate change. Climate models tell us we may need to monitor Antarctica closely until 2100 before we can confidently identify the expected long-term decline of Antarctica’s sea ice.

In short, Antarctica’s climate remains a puzzle, and we are currently trying to see the picture with most of the pieces still missing.

But one piece of the puzzle is clear. Across all lines of evidence a picture of dramatically changing Southern Ocean westerly winds has emerged. Rising greenhouse gases and ozone depletion are forcing the westerlies closer to Antarctica, and robbing southern parts of Australia of vital winter rain.

The changing westerlies may also help explain the seemingly unusual changes happening elsewhere in Antarctica.

The expansion of sea ice, particularly in the Ross Sea, may be due to the strengthened westerlies pushing colder Antarctic surface water northwards. And stronger westerlies may isolate Antarctica from the warmer subtropics, inhibiting continent-scale warming. These plausible explanations remain difficult to prove with the records currently available to scientists.

Australia’s unique climate position

The combination of Antarctica’s dynamic climate system, its short observational records, and its potential to cause costly heatwaves, drought and sea-level rise in Australia, mean that we can’t afford to stifle fundamental research in our own backyard.

Our efforts to better understand, measure and predict Antarctic climate were threatened this year by funding cuts to Australia’s iconic climate research facilities at the CSIRO. CSIRO has provided the backbone of Australia’s Southern Ocean measurements. As our new paper shows, the job is far from done.

A recent move to close Macquarie Island research station to year-round personnel would also have seriously impacted the continuity of weather observations in a region where our records are still far too short. Thankfully, this decision has since been reversed.

But it isn’t all bad news. In 2016, the federal government announced new long-term funding in Antarctic logistics, arresting the persistent decline in funding of Antarctic and Southern Ocean research.

The nearly A$2 billion in new investment includes a new Australian icebreaking ship to replace the ageing Aurora Australis. This will bring a greater capacity for Southern Ocean research and the capability to push further into Antarctica’s sea ice zone.

Whatever the long-term trends in sea ice hold it is certain that the large year-to-year swings of Antarctica’s climate will continue to make this a challenging but critical environment for research.

September 29, 2016 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, climate change | Leave a comment

New Report Reveals: Sizewell B and 27 other EDF nuclear plants ‘at risk of catastrophic failure’

And the UK is just about to sign up for more of these cancer (and other radiation linked disease) factories!

The Ecologist writes:

Sizewell B and 27 other EDF nuclear plants ‘at risk of catastrophic failure’

Oliver Tickell

29th September 2016

A new report finds that 28 nuclear reactors, 18 of them EDF plants in France and one at Sizewell in the UK, are at risk of failure ‘including core meltdown’ due to flaws in safety-critical components in reactor vessels and steam generators, writes Oliver Tickell. The news comes as EDF credit is downgraded due to a growing cash flow crisis and its decision to press on with Hinkley C.

As a result of AREVA’s failures, a significant share of the French nuclear reactor fleet is at increased risk of severe radiological accident, including fuel core meltdown. However, there is no simple or quick fix to this problem.

A new

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September 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 29 Energy News

geoharvey

Science and Technology:

¶ The findings of a twenty year-long research project shows that golden eagles in proximity to the Beinn an Tuirc windfarm in Scotland are thriving. The wind farm has long-term resident birds successfully raising chicks, throwing a spanner in the works for anyone who claims wind farms and wind turbines are inherently dangerous to birds. [CleanTechnica]

Golden Eagle (Photo by Martin Mecnarowski, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons) Golden Eagle (Photo by Martin Mecnarowski, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ The price of oil surged and slipped back in trading as traders questioned whether the output cut agreed by Opec would be binding. Prices had jumped by 6% on Wednesday’s news that Opec had voted for the first production cut in eight years. Oil ministers said full details of the agreement would be finalized in November. [BBC]

¶ Ontario’s renewable energy industry will continue growing despite the suspension of plans for another round of…

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September 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The World Just Hit This Disturbing Climate Change Metric #auspol 

jpratt27

Cities like Miami (pictured) will now have access to real-time climate change data thanks to a new website powered by the White House.Photograph by Joe Raedle—Getty Images

It’s a quiet turning point against the backdrop of U.S. politics.

Earth has seemingly passed a worrisome threshold for the changing climate this week, according to scientists.
The last week in September is often the time of the year when the planet’s carbon emissions are at their lowest as summer turns to fall and plants and leaves start to decay, releasing carbon. However, this year the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere this week has remained above 400 parts per million, reports Climate Central.
That means that even with the fluctuating of the seasons, which pushes the levels of carbon emissions up and down, the planet is likely now officially at 400 parts per million for the foreseeable future. While that could…

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September 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uranium, Lead, DU Toxicity

Mining Awareness +

Americans had better be watching the Flint Michigan water situation and those US Congress members who have been trying to further postpone help. It is clear that when a Chernobyl or Fukushima-like nuclear accident or other radiological emergency happens, which is too serious for the US government to hide, Americans are on their own. If there were any doubt, the US EPA just imposed a PAGs which sets aside the Clean Water Act in the event of a nuclear emergency. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/usepa-gina-mccarthy-issues-confusing-misleading-simplistic-radiation-in-water-pag-after-accusing-michigan-of-that-for-flint-comment-deadline-monday-11-59-pm The US FDA doesn’t check food for radiation unless it is suspected as having 15 times more radiation than that which is acceptable in Japan.
bubbles in water
In the case of Flint, treated Flint River water should be safer than water from Lake Huron. Bruce Nuclear Power Station has 8 CANDU Nuclear Reactors which discharge radioactive materials, in particular high levels of tritium, into Lake Huron. The turnover of Lake Huron…

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September 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“We are Suffocating from Smoke” — For Russia, Climate Change is Already Producing Fires that are Too Big to Fight

robertscribbler

“For one month we are suffocating from the smoke. The weather is hot, and there is a strong smell of burning…” — Residents of Bratsk, northwest of Lake Baikal, in a petition to Vladimir Putin pleading him to fight the fires now raging there.

*****

Let’s take a snapshot of the current moment from the climate change perspective: This year, global temperatures will probably hit between 1.2 and 1.25 degrees Celsius hotter than 1880s averages. This new heat, in a range likely not seen for 115,000 years, is catapulting us into dangerous new climate states. We’re starting to see the hard changes happen. Weather is growing more extreme, wildfires are worsening, the seas are rising, the glaciers are melting, and ocean health is declining. Threats of destabilization and disruption are ramping up. But compared to what we will see in the future if the world continues to warm, if we…

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September 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Can Nuclear Apologists from Academia, Media, Etc., Sleep At Night? PM Trudeau and the Uranium Cartel; Jay Cullen and Justin Trudeau at McGill

Mining Awareness +

Nuclear Power Nuclear War Everyday JFK quote
Dana Durnford Donate buttom
How Can Nuclear Scientist Academics Media Apologists Sleep At Night?
Oct. 18, 2014, by Dana Durnford

What is the use of nuclear technology if all it does is destroy everything it touches? Why have it on the planet when we can not build anything to contain it! The Nobel gases will detonate it if not released. Everything on nuclear waste sites is vented into your community, all of the time. Or worst, criminally dumped into the ground like Hanford 450 billion gallons in the 50s and 60s. Right now they have right now 41 miles of open pits full of nuclear waste they couldn’t deal with leaching constantly into the water tables and environment is unimaginable when they decry terrorist releasing the same amounts into communities.  Nuclear money and destruction of everything is allowed – hell it’s encouraged- while descending narratives decrying the discrepancy are not considered or afforded a…

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September 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 28 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “China: Six little known facts about the country’s solar and wind boom” • China is installing one wind turbine an hour. This year is likely to be the third in a row in which its use of coal declined. About 370,000 people died from air pollution in 2013. Possibly we all knew those things, but here are a few more items worth knowing. [RenewEconomy]

A 100 kW stand-alone PV plant at 14,500 feet in the Himalaya powers a clinic, a school, and 347 houses, for about five hours each day. A 100-kW stand-alone PV plant at 14,500 feet in the Himalaya
powers a clinic, a school, and 347 houses, for five hours daily.

¶ “AWEA: Clean Power Plan stands on firm legal ground, would continue trend of clean energy cutting carbon pollution reliably and cost-effectively” • As the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit hears oral arguments today about the merits of the Clean Power Plan, the American Wind Energy Association published its position. [AltEnergyMag]

Science and Technology:

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September 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From Maryland to the Caribbean to Asia, Record-Hot Ocean Waters Give Extreme Weather Potentials a Big Boost

robertscribbler

The forecasts began coming in this morning: Heavy rainfall expected over the next two days. Possible flash flooding. Turn around, don’t drown.

These advisories buzzed up from local news media for the DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia metro areas as a crazy, wavy Jet Stream spawned an upper-level low that’s predicted to gorge on an insane amount of moisture spewing up off the record-hot Atlantic Ocean.

Forecast GFS model guidance shows an upper-level low-pressure system situated over the Great Lakes region in association with a big trough dipping down from the Arctic. Over the next 24 to 48 hours, the low is expected to shift south and east. Becoming cut off from the upper-level flow, the low is then predicted to set up a persistent rainfall pattern over DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

noaa-extreme-rainfall-dc-metro-area

(NOAA’s precipitation forecast model shows extreme rainfall predicted for the DC area over the next seven days. Note…

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September 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment