Quotes of the day

posted at 8:01 pm on October 31, 2014 by Allahpundit

A Maine judge on Friday ruled in favor of a nurse who defied a quarantine in a tense standoff with state authorities, saying local health officials failed to prove the need for a stricter order enforcing an Ebola quarantine.

District Court Chief Judge Charles LaVerdiere ordered nurse Kaci Hickox, who recently returned to the United States after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, to submit to “direct active monitoring,” coordinate travel with public health officials and immediately notify health authorities should symptoms appear…

Her attorney, Norman Siegel, called the decision a victory.

“She won,” he said. “She is not quarantined. She can go out in the public. … (The judge) got the understanding of what liberty is about and how the government can’t restrict your liberty unless there is compelling justification.”

***

Go Kaci Hickox. Ride your bike. Take walks. Order pizza. Talk to reporters. Behave the same as any healthy, free, liberty-loving U.S. citizen should behave. And, by all means, follow the same procedures that U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and others who have traveled to West Africa are following.

But, by no means, should Hickox submit to the ridiculous, fear-based policymaking on Ebola being concocted by state governors running for re-election. If those governors spent half their fear-mongering time trying to educate the public on the actual science behind Ebola, we’d all be better off. Instead, they are feeding the kinds of hysteria that has led to recent survey results showing that large numbers of Americans believe they or their family members will be infected by Ebola…

A three-feet exclusion zone around a non-symptomatic person accomplishes absolutely nothing other than to feed the myth that a non-symptomatic person can somehow infect others through the air. (But I guess it’s better than the 3,000-mile exclusion zone that a school in Mississippi effectively declared when it ordered a principal to stay home because he had traveled to Zambia.)

I hope that Hickox challenges the 24-hour court order and, when it expires, kisses her boyfriend and shakes hands with well-wishers and behaves normally unless and until symptoms compel her to do otherwise. Her acts of defiance, in the name of science, are doing far more to educate the public about Ebola myths than a group of governors whose primary concern isn’t public safety but fear-mongering for the sake of winning votes on Tuesday.

***

The White House said on Thursday that it did not support the decision by a nurse in Maine to flout the voluntary quarantine imposed upon her by state authorities concerned about her exposure to Ebola.

A spokesman for Barack Obama said that it was up to states to set their own public health rules, although he believed they should be guided by science…

Asked whether that meant the administration believed Maine was not following the science, Earnest told the Guardian he was not in a position to judge.

But he said officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had been in touch with the state to stress the importance of following scientific guidance when setting quarantine policy and “risk assessments should guide the degree to which the health of an individual” poses a risk.

***

Given the lack of case history, it is very, very difficult to predict whether Hickox or the state would prevail. One factor that may override all other considerations is that local judges are typically hesitant to overrule local officials in the heat of the moment on matters of public safety. “The science is pretty clear, but we need to understand the atmosphere in which this is unfolding,” says Parmet. “It’s a lot easier for them to look at it afterward and say this was a mistake.”

A decision by the Maine court won’t end the national debate. It would, however, give momentum to the winning side. If a judge were to decide that Maine doesn’t have the legal authority to quarantine Hickox, medical workers who face similar restrictions in the future will be that much more likely to challenge those measures in court. Likewise, if the court sides with the state, those workers might be less likely to fight. “The only prediction I can make now,” says Parmet,” is that there will be a lot more litigation and a lot more chaos in the weeks to come.”

***

A CBS News poll released Wednesday showed a whopping 80 percent of Americans believe that some kind of quarantine is warranted for U.S. citizens traveling from West Africa back to the United States. I would argue that number is probably a little bit inflated — CBS didn’t mention that such quarantines last 21 days or where they would take place — but it’s pretty clear the vast majority of Americans are on-board with a whatever-it-takes approach to containing the spread of the disease.

Another case in point is the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, which shows 70 percent of Americans want some kind of travel restrictions when it comes to people traveling to the United States from West Africa…

For Hickox, it’s not yet a chorus of criticism, but it’s picking up, particularly in the conservative blogosphere. And given the very real fear in the American public and the overwhelming support for the kind of quarantine that Hickox is flouting, she’s turning into the face of a cause that very few Americans believe in.

***

Governor Chris Christie explained to local reporters that he was confident with his quarantine policy to combat Ebola in spite of pressure from the Obama administration, explaining that his policy was based on “common sense.”

“If you’ve been a healthcare worker who’s been directly exposed to the virus, active virus, and you come back to the U.S. you should quarantine for 21 days,” he said simply…

“I don’t know when the White House is going to get around to admitting that and not giving us seven minute lectures from the South Lawn, and just get to work,” he said.

***

For individuals who in their service abroad exemplified Americans’ generosity of spirit, Hickox and Spencer have demonstrated a shocking lack of it since returning back home. Strictly monitored house quarantine — de facto house arrest — is undoubtedly an abrogation of civil liberties. But 21 days of it — lavishly state-funded — to be followed by perfect liberty assuming no problems, seems like a minimal sacrifice to ask of those who put themselves voluntarily in danger. When it comes to a disease that liquefies your internal organs and pushes blood out your eyeballs, “Better safe than sorry” would seem a dictum to which everyone could agree.

So why Hickox’s dissent? There is, first, her insistence on her own wellness: “I remain appalled by these home quarantine policies that have been forced upon me even though I am in perfectly good health and am feeling strong.” That is reassuring — until she suddenly stops feeling strong and is diagnosed with Ebola. The medical consensus is that a person is likely to be free from the threat of an Ebola onset 21 days after being in contact with the virus. Hickox’s six healthy days since leaving Sierra Leone are encouraging, but it’s a long while until she is out of the woods.

Second, she has said that she will “self-monitor” and report to the hospital if she believes herself symptomatic. But that claim is far from credible — first, because of Spencer’s example, and second, because of her demonstrated disdain for the state’s medical protocols. Does she really expect public-health officials to believe that, if she starts to feel weak and achy, she will immediately submit to their aggressive orders — like, you know, quarantine not in her own living room?

It is a peculiar and repulsive sense of entitlement that is on display in Fort Kent.

***

Yes, people overrate the danger of major Ebola contagion in this country. But when scientists talk about symptomatic patients, how symptomatic do they have to be? Not all patients get a fever, so what if they’re just feeling fatigued — which could be brushed off as a natural consequence of the psychologically and physically stressful work of caring for frightened, dying and truly contagious people — or a little off? Would they all adhere strictly to rules about staying home at that point and immediately calling authorities? Another issue that has to be taken into account is the tracking and cleaning that’s performed on all the places they’ve been for the 24 hours before they noticed symptoms. There are times when the impact on the many outweighs the impact on the one…

[H]aving gone there, health workers might return to protocols they find ridiculous in the much healthier and wealthier United States. Confronted with a novel situation, the country has been reacting bumpily to the business of protecting the public without giving in to unwarranted anxiety. In the absence of a coherent strategy at home, though, returned volunteers cannot make up individual quarantine protocols. Many health experts have expressed concern that overly harsh quarantine rules might discourage people from service in Africa. But a public backlash here could also be dangerous to the fight against Ebola. People are increasingly cynical about the assurances of federal health officials who have not shown that they’re on top of the situation at home.

***

The people who are trying to say stop worrying about Ebola in New York, stop worrying about Ebola at Newark airport, what they’re trying to do is lose the teachable moment. If they succeed in getting people to stop worrying, they will regret it, because there’s a lot to worry about it.

Calming us down shouldn’t be a goal. It would be different if people were panicking in the street.

But the evidence doesn’t say that people are unreasonably, dangerously upset. They’re sometimes worried about the right things more than the experts are. I think it’s reasonable that when people read that the CDC and WHO say Ebola is characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms to think, doesn’t that mean you could be fine at 10 o’clock and vomiting in the subway at noon? Then I think you should stay home. What’s irrational about that?

So what you’ve got are people who are climbing the learning curve, and in some cases learning more quickly than officials — learning that you probably can’t get it from someone who doesn’t have symptoms, but also leaning that the people who told you that have made some mistakes.

***

No one should be surprised that ordinary Americans are more inclined to press their elected officials for greater restrictions on people who travel to and from West Africa (and other areas of the world where Ebola is rampaging) than are healthcare officials. Accordingly, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed (somewhat flexible) 21-day quarantines for all travelers from West Africa re-entering the country through their states’ airports, with Christie telling the New York Times, “We are no longer relying on C.D.C. standards.”

American healthcare officials have sought to calm fears of Ebola with maybe the best of intentions. Officials have been right on target when noting that Ebola less is contagious than other diseases. However, by straining “scientific facts,” and failing to acknowledge what they don’t know about Ebola, and what cannot be known, they could have had the exact opposite effect and put Americans at greater risk—and lost credibility exactly when that virtue was most needed.

Healthcare and infectious disease experts should not expect ordinary Americans to understand the details of Ebola science. Instead, they should recognize that ordinary Americans will, for the most part, tend to evaluate the consistency in official pronouncements and deeds, which can make healthcare officials and scientists their own worst enemies on Ebola policy. In short, any Ebola “hysteria” should not be seen solely as the fault of “others,” meaning politicians and media. The country’s officials and experts must accept their own share of responsibility for “overreactions.” They have inadvertently squandered many Americans’ trust through semi-transparent gaps between rhetoric and deeds.

***

The only argument against a quarantine that makes sense is that the decision might dissuade U.S. health workers from going to West Africa. It can easily be answered. Pass a law to pay everyone’s full salary while they’re quarantined. Make it a free vacation. Get them every kind of benefit and service possible for those three weeks. And then when they’re well, thank them publicly. Have them in the balcony at the next State of the Union!…

It must be noted that all this—the quarantine argument, the travel ban—is another expression of the deep, tearing distance between America’s professional and political elites, who operate as if they are estranged from common sense, and normal people, who are becoming more estranged from the elites, their oblivious and politicized masters.

That distance has been growing all my adult life, but the Ebola argument has brought it into sharper relief. The elites should start twigging onto it. They are no longer immediately respected, their guidance is not reflexively taken. They seem more immersed in political thinking—what is the ideologically enlightened position to take, where’s the boss on it?—than in protecting public health…

All this will be part of the story on Tuesday, in the elections. It is hard to believe you can patronize people, and play them, and they will not, first chance they get, sharply rebuke you.

***


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Comments

Comment pages: 1 6 7 8

you guys are much deeper thinkers than I..
this is an entirely different style of reading..
slower I would imagine.. passages that force the reader to
stop and think..
engineering reading is.. facts and short sentence fragments..

the density of aluminum is .098… period..
not much to think about there..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

engineering reading is.. facts and short sentence fragments..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

:-) I can see you’ve never dealt with the NRC.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

I sill remember all those years ago reading The Illustrated Man short stories by Bradbury.

HonestLib on November 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

nope..
the DOD DARPA NASA..
yes they can be wordy..
but I am a designer..
I am just concerned with making things work..
we don’t publish “papers”.. we make drawings..
and I hate the endless meetings and long winded reports..
and wearing a collar and tie is right out..!!
I have been very lucky to sit in some really cool chairs,
and see/design some really cool bits..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

engineering reading is.. facts and short sentence fragments..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Not always.

Here’s a link to the controlling document for operation of a Westinghouse PWR. As a licensed senior reactor operator serving as a shift supervisor I had to be intimately familiar with this entire document with large sections committed to memory. I also had to be able to identify anything covered by the document and to find and interpret all sections that fit the component and scenario and to comply with the most limiting condition. A large part of my (and every other SRO in the industry) training and study was devoted to this document.

Bear in mind that the link is only for volume 1 of the set of 2 plus the bases. Don’t even get me started on the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR). I used to gag and choke on that thing.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

I sill remember all those years ago reading The Illustrated Man short stories by Bradbury.

HonestLib on November 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM

I was never a big fan of Bradbury. I read him and liked him but he just never resonated with me the way some of the others did. Have you ever read “The Weapon Shops of Isher” by Van Vogt?

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:42 PM

and wearing a collar and tie is right out..!!

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Hahahah, My first day of retirement I chucked all my ties into the trash!

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

you were an engineer I would guess..??
I have seen hundreds of such documents..
but a designer isn’t really concerned with the
long winded text..
take the last time I was at JPL in Pasadena.. the Curiosity Rover
I drew on the SaSPah unit..
Sample acquisition and product handling..
soil samples from the surface of mars..
there are hundreds of thousands of words written
in documents, like the one you posted, on the topic..
not my concern…
how to make a machine that will Drill/Crush/deliver the
samples to the onboard Sam module.. and other units..
what’s a Martian rock crusher look like??
how do you pick up Martian dust..?
sift and deliver measured samples..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Hahahah, My first day of retirement I chucked all my ties into the trash!

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM

laffs..
I always tell them that wearing a tie is not going to add
any IQ points to my head..
creation/innovation/designs requires comfortable breathing..
I own maybe 2 ties… and they are lonely.. very lonely..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 12:51 PM

I was never a big fan of Bradbury. I read him and liked him but he just never resonated with me the way some of the others did. Have you ever read “The Weapon Shops of Isher” by Van Vogt?

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Somehow missed that one. Just read a summary of the book and I will pick up a copy today as it sounds cool. Usually I read fiction along the lines of RIP Vince Flynn and such, but currently I am reading the book about Keith Richards called Life. It was a gift and I am giving it a go. I also just read Killing Patton…..easy and nice read.

I remember being so excited to order paper-back books by mail and waiting for them to be delivered. Back then books were expensive and not many folks I knew read books for fun.

HonestLib on November 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM

HonestLib on November 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM

we used to have a thing in school back when I was young,
and you could order paperbacks and they were delivered to
the school.. I cant remember what they called it,,
but that was a great way to get books, fast, often..
I read a lot more fiction back then…

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM
you were an engineer I would guess..??

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 12:48 PM

No, not an engineer. I was a nuclear operator. We had to have a heavy engineering, science and math background but no degree required. Navy nuke power school gave me most of that background and advanced training and experience rounded it out. Our operator training program at the Utility took about 5 years from entry level to licensing. The license class alone was 14 months of classroom and simulator. It’s not for the faint hearted. We had a PhD. dept head from UVA hire in as a training supervisor who transitioned into our STA (Shift Technical Advisor) program. He decided to make a run and go for his SRO license. He later confided that he’d rather go for another PhD. than license again. He did make it and went on to become the site VP of Susquehanna nuclear plant. Engineers who want to advance to senior positions within the nuclear side of our organization were required to go the licensing route. Not all who tried made it. I had one PhD. on my shift as the STA who just could not grasp the concept of “Operability”. Simple word complex idea. Defined as “Capable of performing it’s intended function”. He never seemed to come to grips with making that determination. Did a lot of hand wringing. I finally had to have him replaced. Did it in a way that wouldn’t hurt his career though. He wasn’t a bad guy just not suited for operations. I think he’s retired now too.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:11 PM

I also just read Killing Patton…..easy and nice read.

HonestLib on November 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Been toying with reading that. Just haven’t got around to it yet. Sounds like something I’d enjoy. I’m on again off again right now reading The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich in parallel with Mein Kampf. Talk about a slow difficult read. Rise and Fall not too bad but the other…jeebus!

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:11

the Curiosity Rover is nuke powered..
they don’t like to talk about it much..
launching fissile material to space would have the peaceniks screaming..
I have no idea what makes it tick..
but I do know the cooling and mounting hardware very well..
it was the last assembled item.. just before launch..
the Rocket was on the launch pad.. upright..
night before the launch.. and then the motor was added..
The Mars Science Laboratory rover carries a radioisotope power system that generates electricity from the heat of plutonium’s radioactive decay.
you can see it in the rear of the Rover here
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=6032
and here
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=4845
it’s the tilted up bit at the back..
you clearly know more about what it does than I..
the older Rovers were all solar powered..
no where near enough watts…

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 1:30 PM

the Curiosity Rover is nuke powered..
they don’t like to talk about it much..
launching fissile material to space would have the peaceniks screaming..
I have no idea what makes it tick..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 1:30 PM

It’s just a thermocouple using pu-238 as a decay heat source. I don’t think Pu-238 is fissile though. It decays by alpha emission without any other significant radiation emissions. We don’t make it anymore. We buy it all from the Russians. You can get about a half a watt thermal from every gram. Electrical generation would depend on thermocouple efficiency.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:45 PM

see.. I knew you knew way more about what makes it tick that I do..
I was more concerned on mounting the thing
and cooling it.. you can see the coolant lines/shields
in those pictures..
the top deck of the Rover also has cooling running between sandwiched alum plates..
I also worked on the Thermal studies..so I know those bits..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 1:52 PM

I do believe that motor came from a American university..

and why we talk to the Russians about any of this
is silly… crazy silly…

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Natural circulation liquid cooling or something else? What kind of temperature control does it use?

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:55 PM

and why we talk to the Russians about any of this
is silly… crazy silly…

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM

You DO NOT want to get me started on the Russians! As far as I’m concerned there’s only one way to look at a Russian and that’s through the sights of a weapons system.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:57 PM

I do believe that motor came from a American university..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Sorry I was talking about the plutonium specifically. We stopped manufacturing it back in the 80s. I read somewhere that we’re tooling up to begin manufacture of it again though. It’ll be a while before we’re producing it again.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:59 PM

You DO NOT want to get me started on the Russians! As far as I’m concerned there’s only one way to look at a Russian and that’s through the sights of a weapons system.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:57 PM

all true..
but while Vlad is flexing his shirtless muscles..
its the Chicoms I would keep an eye on..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I should have paid more attention on the motor
so I could talk more intelligently about it..
they called it a MMRTG unit
what ever that means.

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:06 PM

ahh .. I found a old design review on it..
MMRTG is supplied by Pratt & Whitney..
2000W thermal dissipation
100-110 W electrical output
and it weighs 45kg

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

what ever that means.

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator. Fancy way of saying nuclear thermocouple.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

2000 Watts is a roof size solar panel..20 100W panels..
the Rover has many instruments and cameras and antennas
so I think they have to have at least 2000 Watts

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator. Fancy way of saying nuclear thermocouple.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I am learning more about this think here today
than I did when I worked there…
thank you for sharing your knowledge..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:16 PM

this think thing here

sorry

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:17 PM

2000 Watts is a roof size solar panel..20 100W panels..
the Rover has many instruments and cameras and antennas
so I think they have to have at least 2000 Watts

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

The MMRTG holds 5kg of Pu-238 or 5000 grams. At .5Wt per gram then it would produce 2500 watts thermal. Probably not going to get 2000watts electric out of that. But all this is speculation. Obviously it generates sufficient electricity to run the equipment and will do so for a long time.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:22 PM

here is a good clear picture of the beast..

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/images/PIA17939_sol539-ncam-full.jpg

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:23 PM

the JPL website says 1 mars year.. ‘or more’

“This power source gives the mission an operating lifespan on Mars’ surface of at least a full Martian year (687 Earth days) or more”

so it will run out someday? like zero??
or will it slowly degrade?
what happened to the 5000 grams?
will it be just dead material then?

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Plutonium-238 (also known as Pu-238 or 238 Pu) is a radioactive isotope of plutonium that has a half-life of 87.7 years

what happened to the other 86.7 years???

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:29 PM

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Cool picture, especially the tracks behind the vehicle. Can’t tell much about the workings from the pic though. I know generally how it works, like any thermocouple. Specifically though I’d need to see the spec sheets for it. The Navy first launched one of these things into orbit back in the 60s. The program was labeled SNAP, Systems Nuclear Auxiliary Power. This one seems to be a much more efficient and usable design. What you’d expect after years of research and refinement.

Off on another note. It’s really a shame how we’ve allowed our space programs to deteriorate. Can’t blame all of it on Obama either, although he’s responsible for a large part. Sad really.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:33 PM

It’s really a shame how we’ve allowed our space programs to deteriorate. Can’t blame all of it on Obama either, although he’s responsible for a large part. Sad really.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:33 PM

agreed..
Barry did pull funding for the muzzy outreach program..
I have friends that saw reductions in scope and budget
because of it..
if I were at the Resolute Desk
I would fund it properly..

about the tracks..
the pattern in the wheels spells out JPL in Morris code..
the first machining’s of the wheels actually had the letters JPL..
then NASA threw a small fit and said get rid of that..
so clever engineers came up with a new tread design..
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16111.html

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:45 PM

so it will run out someday? like zero??
or will it slowly degrade?
what happened to the 5000 grams?
will it be just dead material then?

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Short answer is yes. It decays to another element. In this case Uranium 234, which is also radioactive and will decay. It finally all ends up as stable Pb-206. Typical rule of thumb is that after 5 half lives the original material is all gone. There is a logarithmic decay equation that describes radioactive decay exactly. Been a long time since I had to use that though.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:47 PM

machined out of solid billets of 6061t6 aluminum..
it takes a fork lift to put it on the CNC machine
after machining you can pick one up with your pinky..

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/msl20120829f.html

they are also developing failure holes as the surface is degrading the aluminum..
I am sure the next set will be more robust..
but this set of wheels was all about the launch weight..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:47 PM

so basically we are polluting the surface??
hmm..
we should have sent a huge oxygen generator and a few cactus seeds..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:52 PM

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Cool, I love engineers, well except when I’m hating them :-). Engineers are so much better than so called scientists. They deal in real time with real problems and solutions. Scientists play around with theory and don’t seem to have a grasp on reality. I’ve always said that an engineer is a scientist that knows what a wrench is and understands how to use it.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I love engineers, well except when I’m hating them :-).

both Engineers and Scientists play with theory and powerpoint too much..
and I am left with actually making bits that work..
I guess we all have our station in life..

were you on any nuke subs??
I designed a fluid floating magnetic periscope mirror for one once..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:00 PM

you can make ANYTHING work in powerpoint..
add some nice colors and a few words..
reality isn’t always so easy..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Here’s a short video of “My office”, sort of back when I worked. It was actually shot in the simulator but it’s an exact replica of the control room. What you see is what I saw during a plant trip. The guy in the blue shirt is a good friend of mine. He’s now head of engineering at the plant. One of the most brilliant engineers I’ve ever met and an all around nice guy. The guy in the white shirt is another friend of mine from training. Reactor operator, senior operator, training supervisor.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 3:09 PM

were you on any nuke subs??
I designed a fluid floating magnetic periscope mirror for one once..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:00 PM

No, I was surface. Lots of friends were subs though.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 3:09 PM

wow Oldnuke.. that is big time power stuff there..
1.79 gigawatts of power..
its a shame we haven’t built any nuke plants in over 30 years..
surely ideas/designs/and safety is far superior today..
darn greenies..
what do they think their cell phones and electric cars
are plugged into… excitable unicorns??
large hamster mills..
someone else here at HA builds nuke plants.. (cant remember who)
but he is full time in China building several units yearly..

very impressive sir…
glad someone steady was at the controls..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:18 PM

I read something somewhere that China is opening a new
coal plant every week and a new nuke plant every month or so.
we can sign all the AlGore clean air acts we want..
the Chicoms are burning 10 times the coal we are..
we are held hostage by the greenies..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:23 PM

large solar plants are frying more birds than KFC
and wind mills just knock em out of the skys..

and for less than 2% of the grid???

we would need 60 times the amount of both
to ever be close to the needs of the country..
so instead of 500 windmills in a California wind farm
put in 30,000…
ohh yeahh that’ll look nice..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM

very impressive sir…
glad someone steady was at the controls..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:18 PM

To be honest seeing that for real would be somewhat unusual. Believe it or not we have operators that have never seen an actual reactor trip. Back in the early days of operation they were common but over the years we refined procedures and improved reliability to the point that they don’t happen often. All the operators get plenty of practice though through the simulator. It is eerily similar to the real thing. Can’t really tell the difference. That 1.79Gw is a little outdated. The two plants have had several core uprates and I think they are now a little over 1000Mwe each. They pump that out 24/7 for 18 months. Then they’re taken off line for about 30 days to refuel and do maintenance. The goal is to stay on line the entire 18 month cycle. Doesn’t happen all the time there are always failures and trips but they do a good job of limiting those.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 3:29 PM

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Well this has been fun but I’ve got to go take a nap now. I’m sure we’ll be talking again. Thanks for the interesting afternoon and all the cool pics.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 3:29 PM

I cannot even imagine what you all would go thru
when the lights stared blinking and the horns going off..
but like you said… it is almost a thing of the past..
we could and should build new plants..

Canada does..
the dangle lines across the border and ask us
how many watts do you want..??
they have many all along the border..
we are just too chicken’bleep’ to get back in that game..

Canada is the number one importer of raw power to the US..
and number one in oil imports
and number one in natural gas imports
and number one in raw lumber imports..

we just listen to AlGore and cower in the corner..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM

here too..
I have really enjoyed your knowledge
thanks for sharing some of it with me…
enjoy the nap.. cheers..

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:43 PM

going2mars on November 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Well this has been fun but I’ve got to go take a nap now. I’m sure we’ll be talking again. Thanks for the interesting afternoon and all the cool pics.

Oldnuke on November 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Well, after that discussion I can only add…..if you guys ever need to know how to beat a paternity/DNA test; or how to pick up chicks at a funeral; or how to dump the current wife for her hot sister and not upset the in-laws…..just let me know.

Other than that, I ain’t gots nutten.

HonestLib on November 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

That’s right Hickox. Do what you damn please. But if you have Ebola, and ONE person you come in contact with catches it from you and dies, I want to see your sorry ass prosecuted for murder. Because your rights end at my nose.

Skywatcher44 on November 1, 2014 at 6:22 PM

I can’t believe how selfish these doctors/nurses are that come back from helping in West Africa.

For goodness sakes, please lock YOURSELF down in your HOUSE for 3 weeks.

PLEASE.

mmcnamer1 on November 1, 2014 at 6:49 PM

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