Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Earthquake in DC and Manhattan!

Okay, so you already know that. And you know how rare it is in that location. So did you stop to think that it could indeed be a terrorist act? No? Well, then you haven’t ever read about HAARP or Russian experiments to control natural forces. Isn’t it a little bit suspicious?

Oh, okay, maybe not…

On Monday night, a quake struck in Colorado, far from any cities. It registered as a 5.3 and was the largest to hit the state in over a century, but barely merited a headline. Or, indeed, a tweet.

  UK Guardian

But that’s only because Coloradans take themselves too seriously. I’ll bet there were indeed plenty of conversations in the houses of God.

New York’s a different story, and people there have learned to cope with humor. Somebody tweeted that Chris Christie must have jumped into the presidential race.

Somebody else tweeted that Obama wanted a 3.4, but the GOP wanted a 5.8, so he compromised at 5.8.

Really though, New Yorkers, don’t flee into the streets until the building starts to go down. I know it’s a natural reaction, but San Franciscans can tell you that those who know tell us the safer place to be in an earthquake is inside your high rise, because the chances of the windows blowing out are greater than those of the building collapsing, and out on the street, you will be ribboned by falling glass.

And here's what's really disconcerting, no doubt in yesterday's east coast scare: cell phones ceased to work.

I’m not going to poke fun, though, because I know how it feels, having lived in SF for some years. It’s a scary thing when the building you’re in starts rocking. Even scarier is when the ground you’re standing on starts rolling. So I don’t blame those DC White House evacuees for getting a little stressed.

Now imagine what it must be like for the children whose homes we bomb.

I’m not going to poke fun at the brilliant reasoning of the people in charge of the North Anna Power Station in Virginia, either. I’m just going to shake my head slowly and wonder how we’ve made it this far.

A nuclear power plant that was shut down after an earthquake struck central Virginia Tuesday had seismographs removed in 1990s due to budget cuts.

U.S. nuclear officials said that the North Anna Power Station, which has two nuclear reactors, had lost offsite power and was using diesel generators to maintain cooling operations after an 5.9 earthquake hit the region.

The North Anna plant, which was near the epicenter of Tuesday's quake, is reportedly located on a fault line.


According to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), the Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory (VTSO) removed all seismographs from around the plant in the 1990s due to budget cuts.

In February, Dominion Virginia Power confirmed its commitment to add a third reactor to the plant.

  Raw Story

The wisdom is practically blinding.

Of course, I don't know what good seismic sensors do you when an earthquake is centered in your back yard, but aren't there enough risks with nuclear power plants even apart from the possibility of an earthquake?

And another thing - am I being obtuse, or does it seem like having to have diesel powered backup kind of defeats the idea of using nuclear energy in lieu of petroleum?

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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