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From: Tom Clarke4/18/2011 5:39:18 AM
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Hydrocarbons Could Form Deep In the Earth From Methane, Not Animal Remains

Study lends credence to abiogenic petroleum theory, which means there may be more oil in our future than we thought

By Rebecca Boyle Posted 04.15.2011 at 12:56 pm

A new study demonstrates how high hydrocarbons could be formed from methane deep within the Earth, aside from the compression and heating of ancient animal remains over the eons. Fused-methane oil would be far less common than your typical petroleum, of course, but the study shows abiogenic hydrocarbons could conceivably occur in some of the planet’s high-pressure and high-temperature zones.

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used supercomputers to simulate what would happen to carbon and hydrogen atoms buried 40 to 95 miles beneath the Earth’s crust, where they would be subjected to prodigious pressures and temperatures.

They found at temperatures greater than 2,240 degrees F and pressures 50,000 times greater than those at the Earth’s surface, methane molecules can fuse to form hydrocarbons with multiple carbon atoms. Interactions with metal or carbon sped up the fusion process, the researchers said. These conditions are present about 70 miles down, according to an LLNL news release.

Methane, CH4, has one carbon and four hydrogen atoms; high hydrocarbons, like propane and butane, have more carbon atoms.

About 99 percent of all the hydrocarbons in oil and natural gas are derived from the compressed, heated remains of ancient living organisms like zooplankton and algae. These critters were buried under layers of sediments five to 10 miles beneath the surface of the Earth.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, some scientists believed hydrocarbons could form from abiogenic (non-biological) processes, too. The existence of methane on several solar system bodies shows hydrocarbons can exist without organic ingredients. But the theory fell out of favor, in part because no one ever found any abiogenic oil deposits.

The LLNL researchers don’t claim to know where such deposits would be, nor did they examine whether or how such deep deposits could ever migrate higher into the mantle where they could be retrieved. But the researchers say abiogenic hydrocarbons are technically possible in some settings like rifts or subduction zones, according to Giulia Galli, a professor at UC-Davis and senior author on the study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We don't say that higher hydrocarbons actually occur under the realistic 'dirty' Earth mantle conditions, but we say that the pressures and temperatures alone are right for it to happen,” she said.

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From: Brumar894/18/2011 7:28:41 AM
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The Writing On The (Great) Wall

By John Droz, Jr.
It should be no surprise that there are other large countries who don't like the fact that the U.S. is the world's dominant power -- and they would like to take over our position.

Since we are aware of this friction, we tend to think that our biggest threat is from some other country's military. But clearly a direct war would be foolhardy, as there would be no winner from such a conflict.

Our opponents are well aware of this, and have embarked on another scheme. The reality is that we are already under a full assault, but very few are paying attention. Think about it: what would be their best strategy to dethrone us?

A very powerful game plan would consist of a two-part strategy:

1) bankrupting the US; and

2) getting the US to voluntarily slow down its rate of industrialization, giving an opponent the time to overtake us.

Is the (CFL) light bulb going on?

By any financial measure we are in extremely dire circumstances. Unfunded liabilities are in the trillions of dollars. Additionally our society has evolved away from being producers of hard products to providers of soft services. Essentially all levels of public sector employment (government) are at record highs.

Periodically someone gets arrested for promoting a Ponzi scheme, but a critical look would conclude that a lot of how our government works seems disturbingly similar to such charades. For instance, how long can we continue to just print colored water-marked paper to cover our debts? How long can one branch of the government keep writing IOUs to another branch?

A direct consequence of our past success is that we are evolving into a more pampered entitlement society, focused on short term thinking. Delayed gratification is as common a concept as is darning socks. We want it, and want it now!

A corollary to this is that few people really work for rewards anymore. Just showing up and going through the motions for a piddling 20 years now entitles many government employees to lifelong pensions at 80% pay (with medical benefits, of course).

Where did all these materialistic ideas and values come from? Read our history. The US was founded by people with strong religious beliefs. Our competitors are promoting communism and socialism. Which direction are we going now?

"Wait!" some might object. "I don't see any advertisements (on TV, billboards, etc.) for communism and socialism, so how is this being promoted?"

If you really want the answer, look no further than our education system. There are experts who believe that our system is deliberately dumbing us down. The details of that are too long for this overview article, but the answer is there. Amazingly, the undermining of our education system has only taken some 40± years, partly due to a UNESCO-inspired curriculum and reform measures that are replacing excellence with functionality.

"All right," you might say, "it's undeniable that we're in a financial mess, but how can our opponents actually get us, the world leader in developing innovative solutions to numerous issues, to go backwards?"

Hard as it may be to believe, our education system is doing exactly that. Let's look at a prime example: energy -- because plentiful, reliable, affordable energy is the cornerstone for the U.S.'s success as an industrialized society. Put another way, a fundamental difference between developed and third world countries is the latter's lack of reliable and affordable energy (especially electricity).

Today our education system is aggressively promoting all things "renewable." Most citizens will probably say: "So, what's the matter with that?"

Exactly. The fact that this appears to be a reasonable path to take, is indisputable evidence as to how far this regressive propaganda has become embedded into our thinking. The invasion has already taken place and our defenses have been breached!

The reality is that this focus on "renewable" energy is completely devoid of a scientific basis. We have been so successfully indoctrinated that many of us now believe that a wide scale adapting of a fifteenth century technology (wind energy) is a necessary and progressive way forward!

Even the promoters acknowledge wind's limitations (cost, reliability, transmission, etc., etc.), but their answer is always the same: spend more money, as the solution is just over the horizon. (In this light, please reconsider point #1.)

Getting the Big Picture here is critically important, so I'm not going to get into the details, as too many readers' eyes will probably just glaze over.

In simplified terms, every billion dollars the U.S. spends on wind energy development: increases our national debt; is money borrowed from China (our main competitor); and is squandering time, dollars, and effort, the effect of which is putting the brakes on our national progress forward.

So, back to the beginning. The forces that want world domination, have now:

1) led the U.S. to put itself on the brink of bankruptcy; and

2) gotten the US to voluntarily slow down on its industrialization.

So, are we going to fight this insidious and persistent assault on our country, or will we dispute the obvious, throw in the towel, and accept internment (with a promised posh pension, of course)?

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To: Eric who wrote (26092)4/18/2011 2:32:27 PM
From: longnshort
   of 80921
General Motors Scheduled To Investigate Chevrolet Volt's Role in Fire At Barkhamsted Home

The Hartford Courant
2:16 p.m. EDT, April 18, 2011

A fire apparently reignited inside the battery of a new Chevrolet Volt car early Monday, less than five days after the Volt, an electric hybrid, was involved in a blaze that destroyed a Barkhamsted garage where it had been plugged in for recharging.

Local authorities have been investigating whether Thursday's blaze was sparked by the Volt, but had not yet determined a cause when the fire rekindled.

"The rekindle this morning really adds to the mystery," Barkhamsted Fire Marshal Bill Baldwin said today.

Representatives from General Motors, the vehicle's manufacturer plan, are scheduled to arrive in Barkhamsted this evening to examine the car, Baldwin said.

[Sample Our Free Connecticut Business Midday Newsletter]

The hybrid electric car was not plugged in this morning when the fire rekindled, Baldwin said.

The first fire, which occurred last Thursday about 5 a.m., destroyed the attached garage, the Chevrolet Volt and a Suzuki vehicle that had been converted so that it too ran on electricity. The homeowners had apparently plugged both vehicles in for recharging when Thursday's fire broke out.

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From: russet4/18/2011 7:38:28 PM
1 Recommendation   of 80921
Anyone else notice how these peer reviewed NOAA twits seem to think the world began when they started temperature readings in 1880 with crappy, easily uncalibrated thermometers before the airports and cities sprang up around them to create the monster heat effect the current thermometers now measure?

As far as religions go, the Bible looks back a few millennia more to record history before predicting the end of the world.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (26095)4/19/2011 12:31:49 AM
2 Recommendations   of 80921
Global warming must be true, Charles Manson believes in it.

Killer breaks 20-year silence on 40th anniversary of gruesome Sharon Tate murders

Last updated at 12:25 AM on 19th April 2011

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From: Brumar894/19/2011 6:12:24 PM
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US Greenhouse gas emissions drop to lowest level in 15 years

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From: Brumar894/20/2011 1:23:08 PM
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Ted Danson: 'We Shouldn't Just Close Some Coasts to Oil Drilling - We Should Close Them All'

Read more:

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (26100)4/20/2011 2:13:42 PM
From: longnshort
1 Recommendation   of 80921

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From: Eric4/20/2011 7:06:42 PM
   of 80921
Tepco Must End ‘Whack-a-Mole,’ Cover Fukushima Reactors as Typhoons Loom

Tokyo Electric Power Co. must speed up plans to cover reactors at its crippled nuclear plant and drain tainted water to prevent more radiation leaks as Japan’s cyclone season approaches, engineering professors said.

In 2004, eight cyclones passed over or skirted Japan’s Tohoku region, where the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station is spewing radiation after an earthquake and tsunami on March 11. The earliest was in May that year, according to Japan’s weather agency data. The eyes of two storms passed within 300 kilometers of Tohoku last year, the data show.

Last month’s disaster wrecked the plant’s cooling systems, triggering the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. The roofs of three buildings were damaged in blasts as water inside reactor cores and spent-fuel ponds boiled away. The utility known as Tepco plans to install temporary covers within nine months, and concrete ceilings over the “medium term.”

“The buildings should be covered at least before the typhoon season is in full swing by late July,” said Tadashi Narabayashi, a professor of nuclear engineering at Hokkaido University. “Tepco’s actions are like a game of Whack-a-Mole because the company keeps reacting after the event.”

Tepco said on April 17 it will start erecting temporary covers for the damaged building within three months provided radiation falls to levels at which workers can begin construction. The work is expected to be completed in the next three to six months, according to the action plan, which lists the “possibility of the cover being damaged by a big typhoon” as a risk.

‘Quite Possible’

The Japan Meteorological Agency doesn’t make forecasts for how many tropical storms or typhoons are expected to approach Japan, Hajime Takayama, a weather forecaster at the bureau, said by telephone.

“It’s quite possible for a typhoon to hit the Tohoku region while maintaining its strength, although most tend to make landfall in the south,” Takayama said.

The temporary covers are the only measures planned at the moment to protect against typhoons, Takeo Iwamoto, a Tepco spokesman, said by phone. The company may install them faster than the plan announced on April 17, he said.

The Fukushima plant, 220 kilometers (137 miles) north of Tokyo, has six reactors, three of which were shut for maintenance when the earthquake and tsunami struck, leaving almost 28,000 people dead or missing.

Reactor buildings weakened by explosions may suffer further damage if a typhoon hits them, while strong winds and rain could scatter radioactive materials and water, said Hironobu Unesaki, a nuclear engineering professor at Kyoto University.

Pouring Water

Tepco has been pouring millions of liters of water to cool the reactors and spent fuel after the accident, which has flooded basements and trenches near the buildings that house them. Some highly contaminated water leaked into the sea and the utility has dumped less toxic fluids into the ocean.

“Heavy rain may cause radioactive materials to soak further into the ground and enter the water table," Unesaki said. ‘‘This could affect drinking water.’’

Tepco started pumping contaminated water out of trenches near one of the reactor buildings that were damaged by the blasts, Junichi Matsumoto, a Tepco general manager, said April 19. The company aims to move 10 million liters (2.6 million gallons) of the contaminated water to a storage unit and expects to complete the transfer in 26 days.

‘‘It will be too late to start preparations once a typhoon approaches,’’ said Narabayashi of Hokkaido University. ‘‘It’s a basic risk principle that you proactively take measures against circumstances that are predictable.’’

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From: Eric4/21/2011 10:22:19 AM
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U.S. Engineers Cite Lengthy Cleanup in Japan

Veterans of the Three Mile Island cleanup said that a much larger task faced the Japanese engineers who are trying contain and secure the damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors. And Three Mile Island took 14 years.

Lake Barrett, the senior Nuclear Regulatory Commission engineer at Three Mile Island during the early phases of the cleanup said by comparison, “it was a walk in the park compared to what they’ve got.”

The Fukushima Daiichi reactors are similar to those in Pennsylvania — “the cores are probably really similar, partially melted,” Mr. Barrett said — but engineers pointed out several key differences in the aftermath of the accidents. In Japan, four separate reactors are damaged, and fixing each one is complicated by the presence of its leaking neighbors. It will also require a major infusion of equipment to replace parts far from the reactor’s core, like pumps and switchgear that were destroyed by the tsunami.

In the short term, weather is a factor: according to engineers who managed the American cleanup, which ran from 1979 to 1993, Tokyo Electric Power has only a few weeks to patch up the three smashed secondary containments before the coming rainy season, when downpours could wash more contamination into the environment. And the company will have to carefully watch that the number of workers with the necessary skills do not burn out under the size of the task, or absorb so much radiation that they have to quit.

Still, Mr. Barrett and others say that the mess at Fukushima Daiichi can be contained, cleaned up and even securely wrapped up for long-term disposal. The plant may benefit from past experience, because it is the second major accident worldwide in a big water-cooled reactor, they say.

The first task, they agree, is to fill the reactors and the spent fuel pool with water that can be pumped out again, cooled and then returned to the reactors. That would sharply reduce the possibility of generating new hydrogen and new explosions, and would go a long way toward declaring that the plants were stable, a point that the N.R.C. observed recently that Fukushima Daiichi had not reached.

Right now the reactors are in “feed and bleed” mode, adding clean water and cooling the fuel by letting that water boil off or dribble out, but such bleeding allows radiation leakage. “Whatever you bleed is letting cesium out,” said Mr. Barrett, referring to the radioactive isotope. Cooling with recirculating water could end releases of radioactive materials, but will require new pumps and possibly new piping, experts said.

Before that new equipment can be installed, engineers will have to clean up the water in the basements of the reactor buildings, the turbine buildings and other structures. At Three Mile Island, water in the reactor building and the primary auxiliary building gave radiation doses as high as 1,000 rem an hour, said Ronald L. Freemerman, a Bechtel engineer who was the project manager of the cleanup. That meant a worker would hit the N.R.C.’s annual limit in about a minute. The water can be pumped through filters that will strain out the radioactive elements.

Engineers from Three Mile Island laid out the three next steps:

First, decontaminate the walls and floors, to hold down the potential radiation dose. “They have to economize on how they expose these people,” Mr. Freemerman said, or the company will run out of trained workers.

Second, rebuild the secondary containments of units 1, 2 and 4, and fix or replace the heavy cranes just beneath their ceilings. That would allow workers to defuel the reactor. That step alone took five years at Three Mile Island, where no buildings had to be rebuilt.

Third, peek inside the reactor vessel and figure out what tools will be needed to remove the wrecked fuel in the core. Three Mile Island was a surprise, Mr. Freemerman said, because so much of the core had melted and flowed beneath a support made of five plates of thick steel. Another veteran of the cleanup, Michael McGough, said only then did they realize they would need new remote-controlled tools to cut through the metal, to get to the material below.

Mr. McGough’s technicians worked from a trailer outside the containment vessel, manipulating a cutting tool that was operating under about 40 feet of water. They also used long-handled picks and scoops to break apart the fused mass of ceramic fuel pellets and metal. “Basically we dug our way down through that debris until we got everything removed,” Mr. McGough said.

At Three Mile Island, technicians then painstakingly loaded debris into shielded casks, under water to shield themselves from radiation, and then brought the casks to the surface. Eventually about 150 tons of radioactive rubble was shipped to an Energy Department laboratory in Idaho Springs, Idaho, where it still sits, waiting, as all used American fuel does, for a final resting place.

Japan may have another option if the wrecked core isn’t too thoroughly mixed with other materials. It already has a reprocessing plant, where old fuel is chopped up, dissolved in acid, and then sorted, with its plutonium being removed, and the uranium sorted out for possible re-use. But that process is likely years away.

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