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Comment: Re:It's getting hotter still! (Score 4, Insightful) 602

by careysub (#47911457) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Somehow a quite conservatively formulated claim (subjunctive mode, "some models, 75% chance, 5-7 years, during some month of the summer") magically morphed into the strong claim "Al Gore said in 5 years time the Arctic will be completely ice free".

And two years ago the summer arctic ice cover dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, only 1/3 of the average cover from 1981-2010, which is a divergence of more than three standard deviations, with all of the ice coverages since 2010 being far below that long term average.

It is pitiful how the existence of random variation superimposed over a very strong long term trend seems to succor the fantasies of denialists.

Comment: Re:Precident has been set (Score 1) 213

by careysub (#47910943) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

The other theories of formation (volcanism, subsidence, etc.) had been discredited by the late 1920s, leaving the meteor impact theory the only one left standing. And there was a lot of good evidence supporting it (finely pulverized rock under the crater floor, the meteoric iron under the crater found by drilling, etc.). There was no controversy about the crater's origin, had been none for decades, when Shoemaker found the polymorphs. I know, because I read the original published literature - from the teens, twenties and thirties, Shoemaker's paper on Meteor Crater, AZ, his subsequent paper where he showed that the Ries Basin was an impact feature due to the polymorph presence (this was the first real case where it was crucial in making the determination), and also Shoemaker's obit in Science, which does not assert that he proved the nature of Meteor Crater.

Your geology department field trip may have been passing along a "good story" rather than a critical examination of the literature.

Comment: Re:Precident has been set (Score 1) 213

by careysub (#47894981) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

Barringer Crater was a pre-existing landform that wasn't even confirmed to be of extraterrestrial origin until Shoemaker's 1960-ish PhD thesis. Granted, there was suspicion that it was from a meteorite impact, but the theories up until Shoemaker's were all incorrect.

Come again? The theory that it was a meteor impact was actually incorrect until Shoemaker found high-pressure quartz polymorphs? The preponderance of evidence supported it being a meteor impact decades before that, there were no other plausible explanations for the formation that fit the evidence. The discovery of the polymorphs coesite and stishovite provided a unique unambiguous indicator, but in no way was required to demonstrate that the meteor crater explanation was correct. The real significance of the polymorph discovery was to provide reliable indicators for other formations of uncertain origin. The original Shoemaker paper (Science, Vol. 132, p. 220, 1960) makes no claim that it "proved" that Meteor Crater was a meteor crater, the paper assumes that as a known fact.

Comment: Re:In other words....Don't look like a drug traffi (Score 1) 462

by careysub (#47885283) Attached to: CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

Like I said to another poster. This unlawful seizure has only happened in a handful of cases over the last decade, and those where corrected by the courts, property returned and officers involved appropriately disciplined.

...

Can you point us to support for this claim, somewhere? I'm sure you wouldn't just be making this up.

Thanks.

Comment: Re:Seems reasonable (Score 4, Insightful) 462

by careysub (#47885183) Attached to: CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

The Drug War kleptocracy, like the National Security State, and the Plutocracy we live in has been nurtured by both Republicans and Democrats for decades, nay, generations now. Neither party has opposed these trends. It is wrong to say that they are both alike, but in these essential areas of freedom and democracy, they have both been happy to be on the take, and to wield ill-gotten power.

Comment: Re:It's mostly a USA problem (Score 1) 200

by careysub (#47825987) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

Can't cite an actual clause in the treaty "flat out saying" this can you?

The NNPT flat out gives unlimited permission for activities supporting peaceful nuclear energy - which includes reprocessing:

Article IV
1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination

Comment: Re:It's mostly a USA problem (Score 1) 200

by careysub (#47825889) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

Well seeing as the US government took a huge amount of money from the nuclear generators over the years to fund a waste storage repository (which they are being sued over because of their utter failure to hold up their end of the deal) perhaps they could use that to pay for reprocessing? The electricity producers (and in turn, therefore, consumers) have already paid for it, taxpayers don't need to be involved.

Perhaps those funds could be used for that purpose. But what about the burner reactors to consume the separated actinides? Simply putting the actinides in a smaller pile forever accomplishes nothing.

Comment: Re:It's mostly a USA problem (Score 1) 200

by careysub (#47825829) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

Yes, do see the AREVA plant. It was built in 1976 by the French government, and its operation was "privatized" by spinning it off into AREVA, which is majority owned by the French government (and alien concept to many Americans), and which provides the funds for the plant's operation. Thus the plant is still owned by the French government.

AREVA is simply a different way for the French government to manage its plant. Consider that the Los Alamos National Laboratory is actually operated by a private limited liability company: Los Alamos National Security, LLC formed by the University of California, Bechtel, Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services, and URS Energy and Construction. Does this make LANL a commercial venture? Hardly. This is no way AREVA is a commercial venture.

Show me a plant built by private funds. You can't.

Comment: Re:It's mostly a USA problem (Score 1) 200

by careysub (#47823275) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

It's mostly a United States problem that waste isn't reprocessed. This is now and has been done on an industrial scale in Europe and the U.K. for several decades. For some reason the United States, under the guise of non-proliferation, will not permit reprocessing of spent commercial nuclear reactor fuel.

Nonsense. Any company that wants to open a fuel reprocessing plant can do so, they just need to apply for a license and be willing to pay the bills.

Perhaps you mean that the U.S. government has decided not to run a fuel reprocessing plant at tax payer expense that produces fuel that no one will take unless paid upfront, and few can use anyway? There are no commercial fuel reprocessing plants anywhere in the world because they cannot make money, only spend it.

Having sufficient reactors under construction that could actually consume the reprocessed fuel stream seems to be an essential ingredient here, otherwise you are simply putting plutonium (and cousins) in a smaller pile. The first pile wasn't all that large to begin with. Little is accomplished by separating the actinides until you are ready to burn them.

Comment: Re:Already commented on this elsewhere (Score 2) 200

by careysub (#47823231) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

The area is periodically inundated by tsunamis.

That's not what "flood plain" means. A flood plain is an area frequently inundated by a river. Else everything under about 1000 meters is technically flood plain (from nearby several km asteroid impacts).

Fukushima Daiichi is actually on a flood plain though. It is on an extended coastal sea-level estuarial marsh plain deposited by a series of rivers coming down from the mountains. BTW - there is no "frequent" required. Flood plain maps mark 100 year and 1000 year flood boundaries, something on the 1000 year boundary is still on the flood plain, even though that part floods rarely.

Comment: Re:Already commented on this elsewhere (Score 5, Informative) 200

by careysub (#47823225) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

but it does seem like important stuff in a flood plain

Fukushima wasn't in a flood plain.

Yes it is. Take a look at this US Army topo map (the latitude is (37.427 degrees, its on the coast). It is on an extended flood plain stretching along the coast, created by several rivers (Takase, Maeda, Kuma. Tomioka, etc.) . The whole area is a sea-level marsh consisting of soil deposited by these rivers at flood.

The problem wasn't glaring except in hindsight.

Because, you know, no one had ever seen a tsunami in Japan before. Oh wait, tsunami is a Japanese word. That doesn't seem quite right, does it?

Japan had fifteen of them since 1900, before Tohoku (the slightly dated linked list misses the 2007 Niigata tsunami).

Comment: Re:Already commented on this elsewhere (Score 1) 200

by careysub (#47823105) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

I agree with your first statement, and I agree that Fukushima should have been prepared for that size of tsunami, but seriously.

The last one was 300 years ago. They were due.

THAT'S NOT HOW STORM FREQUENCY WORKS

Seismic zones do however show patterns of periodicity of varying degrees of regularity. There is an underlying physical mechanism accumulating stress, and faulting must be triggered within a finite time limit given the finite strength of the fault zone (but may trigger sooner). Chances of a great earthquake absolutely do increase with time, dropping to minimal only after each major event.

Comment: Re:Already commented on this elsewhere (Score 1) 200

by careysub (#47823087) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

The Hitachi press release contains absolutely no information about what might be new, unusual, or effective about their approach. They mention an undescribed new fuel core in passing, that's it. It would have been helpful if they had included something to give the sense that it is not pure hype.

Comment: Re:It's amazing (Score 1) 199

by careysub (#47819801) Attached to: First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

Oh Anonymous Coward, you seem as reading challenged as your are name-challenged. The OP pointed out that the political right never opposed slavery, he said nothing of "the Republican Party" (really, he didn't - have a look).

The fact is original Grand Old Party was the Liberal, leftist party of the day. The fact that it became the party of the right-wing and plutocrats later, as you say, "in no way changes history".

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