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Comment: Re:the OTHER application of this... (Score 1) 62

by popeyethesailorman (#35774206) Attached to: An Autonomous Sailing Robot To Clean Up Oil Spills

... articulating hull to deal with drag of a long tail

The articulating hull is to assist with tacking (Moving the rudder forward is how they dealt with the drag of a long tow-load).

Why not gybe instead of tacking? I suspect that would risk entanglement with the long tail.

Comment: Re:Mine it. (Score 1) 500

by popeyethesailorman (#35692144) Attached to: Nuclear Risk Expert: Fukushima Fuel May Be Leaking

remove the fuel, and separate it enough physically that the reaction 'stops'.

The neutron chain reaction has already stopped. Problem is, so many other isotopes with short half-lives built up over the years of operation, they are now spontaneously decaying, dumping heat. THATS the heat that needs to be removed to prevent melting of zirconium cladding. When it does, redox reaction with water generated the hydrogen gas which exploded.

Comment: Re:Why people are afraid (Score 1) 580

by popeyethesailorman (#35517734) Attached to: US Alarmed Over Japan's Nuclear Crisis

It is amusing to see the comments here which excuse the problem at the Japanese nuclear plant because the earthquake was really big. You see to many people who don't have an automatic fear of anything nuclear, there remains the problem of the people running it. The technology might be safe but when those in charge aren't doing their jobs then there is basis for distrust.

1. The earthquake was big: It's Japan. You can't not expect a big earthquake. Everything has to be ready for it.

2. The tsunami unexpectedly washed out the generators: see point 1.

3. It was an old plant, the new ones are safer: if this one wasn't safe then why was it running?

The point to me is not that nuclear power is unsafe, but rather that unacceptable risks were taken in this case. Does the same problem exist are other sites in other countries? I have no idea (and I bet the armchair Slashdot crowd doesn't know either), but there is a serious lack of trust right now over how that risk is being evaluated.

None of this excuses the sensationalism in the media or the fools in the US who are buying anti-radiation tonic in preparation, or even the foreigners who are fleeing the entire country of Japan over the threat of 'meltdown'.

PS. What if all six reactors had been working?

Safe nuclear power is incompatible with Private industry - they must cut corners to maximize shareholder returns. That’s why Congress (foolishly) passed the Price-Anderson Act.

The Navy has never experienced a core melt-down (that we know of) despite operating many nuclear-powered subs and aircraft carriers – but they don't have the competitive pressure to maximize profits.

Comment: Re:I'd be open to it, but good luck with everyone (Score 1) 430

by popeyethesailorman (#35502738) Attached to: Robert X Cringely Predicts More Mininuke Plants
You're taking the long view. When private businesses needs to make this quarter's targets - corners will be cut. Core clean-ups and oil-spill disasters are far-off - after management has collected their bonuses and retired. Too big to fail is too big to exist. France may just have been lucky so far - time will tell. My point is that when there's a profit motive, safety often takes a back-seat to expediency. That's not saying the Navy won't ever have an accident (they do have to perform more dangerous opertations) - just that it's less likely without the pressure to make a profit.

Comment: Re:Cognitive dissonance (Score 1) 430

by popeyethesailorman (#35500232) Attached to: Robert X Cringely Predicts More Mininuke Plants

My reading: older, better known reactor designs are safer.

My reading: reactors built by capitalist corporations who face massive financial loss when something goes wrong are safer than reactors built by communist dictatorships to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.

My reading: safe nuclear power is incompatible with Private industry - they must cut corners to maximize shareholder returns. That’s why Congress (foolishly) passed the Price-Anderson Act

Meanwhile, the Navy has never experienced a core melt-down (that we know of) despite operating fleets of nuclear-powered subs and aircraft carriers – they don't have the competitive pressure to maximize profits.

Comment: Re:I'd be open to it, but good luck with everyone (Score 1) 430

by popeyethesailorman (#35500170) Attached to: Robert X Cringely Predicts More Mininuke Plants
Safe nuclear power is incompatible with Private industry - they must cut corners to maximize shareholder returns. That’s why Congress (foolishly) passed the Price-Anderson Act. "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price–Anderson_Nuclear_Industries_Indemnity_Act" The Navy has never experienced a core melt-down (that we know of) despite operating fleets of nuclear-powered subs and aircraft carriers – they don't have the competitive pressure to maximize profits.

Comment: Re:I'm going to quote an old robot saying (Score 1) 433

by popeyethesailorman (#35490894) Attached to: Blogger Fined $60K For Telling the Truth

It's quite illegal in jurisdictions I'm familiar with for a juror in the jury room to say and then follow through by voting on a statement like "I don't care what the law says, I'm not convicting this guy even if he is guilty" while it is perfectly legal for the same juror to keep his trap shut and just vote "not guilty."

You didn't say where these jurisdictions are located, but I don't believe you are correct, at least in the USA - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification#United_States Also, from http://www.fija.org/docs/JG_If_you_are_called_for_Jury_Duty.pdf "You can't be punished for voting according to your conscience. Judges (and other jurors) often pressure hold-out jurors into abandoning their true feelings and voting with the majority "

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

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