Water, food, fuel -- how difficult is it to have a cache?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Stevewoods, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. Stevewoods

    Stevewoods Senior Member

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    Dealing with a wife in suburban Oregon, where a recent ice storm left her without power. She has city water, but how long could that last in a REAL emergency.

    I guess where I am going with this is that I feel for folks in Texas, etc. Somewhat. But, on the other hand, how long have public safety officials been telling folks to prepare for just such situations.

    Hey, wifey JUST moved to this place in Oregon a few months ago. BUT, one of the first things we did was make sure she had emergency supplies of water, food, battery pack.

    So, while wifey still has four or five more days of no power (which would make it 10-11 days), she will be O.K. Will she be super comfortable. Nope. Will she survive? Yep.

    People need to take responsibility. End of sermon. Well, a short addition....I am still at our house in Western Washington. While we have had some impressive winter weather, have not lost power or water. But, if power goes, I have food, water, etc.
     
  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Here in Washington State, very many county level entities have been pushing and preaching 72 hour preparedness, with all utilities and motorized transportation interrupted, since before Y2K. Many have since upped the ante to 7 day preparedness too, sometimes at levels that might even be confused with survivalists (but without the guns).

    It probably helps that we have frequent enough situations (windstorms, snow and ice storms, floods, wildfires, landslides, volcanic eruptions, avalanches, blocked highways, etc.) to various neighborhoods or communities that provide real world examples for why such preparedness is useful.

    Maybe Texas just doesn't have enough wingnut survivalists working in its local governments and public safey agencies? :rolleyes:
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    el paso winterized all of their power operations after the 2011 debacle, and they are not part of the texas power grid.
    it's a simple matter of decent government services vs every man for him or herself
     
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  4. kenmce

    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    I saw the Texas governor on TV. He tried hard to say it was because all the solar panels froze up and windmills don't work in snow, and if they'd just stayed with real power everything would have been fine. I expect he was paying off one of his constituents.

    The fact of the matter is that they've known about this for at least ten years now and the utilities didn't want to spend money to weatherize things, 'cause really, it works fine a lot of the time. As ye sow, so shall ye reap...
     
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  5. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    And if more people actually understood nuclear power, this would all be a moot point......................
     
  6. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I am using a different strategy, my grid electricity is backed up by a natural gas generator, backed up by solar panel fed batteries.
    So I am betting on never loosing electricity, so my pipes don't freeze and my meals don't thaw.
    If I lose natural gas I need to move up to the second floor, with electric heat. Ground floor is natural gas and a mini-split for one room where central HVAC can't keep up. (I don't think my 10 [email protected] PCs can actually keep the house warm, but they do resist freezing)
     
  7. Ronald Doles

    Ronald Doles Active Member

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    In the 70's, I built welding equipment for both the navy and commercial nuclear industry. I am not a welding engineer but I learned a lot about the physics of welding from welding engineers that I worked with in building that equipment.

    The concept of nuclear power seems promising except for two things.

    One is that our fleet of nuclear power plants are pretty old now. Most are working past their design life. We are aware of the fact that those reactors and pressure vessels have copper contamination in their weld seams. In the 60's and 70's, using rolls of copper clad welding wire for submerged arc welding was standard practice. When those reactors are in operation, that copper from the welding wire is bombarded with neutrons, it migrates into nodules causing weld embrittlement. Here is an article if you are interested in the details.
    Welding and Fabrication Innovations Mitigate Reactor Pressure Vessel Embrittlement in Nuclear Plant Construction (powermag.com)
    Inspections, usually x-rays, of weld seams cost money. Accessibility is a problem and the level of difficulty increases because the components are radioactive so plant operators do the minimum.

    Two is that after 70 years, we still don't have a permanent repository for all the nuclear waste and fuel rods from those power plants. We came close with the facility that was built in Yucca Flats Nevada near the nuclear test site. Harry Reid, the then senator from Nevada, was a strong proponent of creating that repository in his state. He got $10 billion in Federal funds to build it. Once it was near completion the people of Nevada decided that they didn't want it in their backyard so we now have a $10 billion dollar hole in the ground and no repository. All those spent fuel rods are just sitting in pools of water at those nuclear power plants.
     
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  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I understand that at least one Texas nuclear plant was knocked offline by the weather.
     
  9. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I grew up near the Satsop Nuclear Power Plant #5 by WPPSS, a financial boondoggle of monumental proportions: the second largest municipal bond default in US history.
    They managed to have two nuclear leaks despite never having any fuel rods delivered. They denuded the site in the fall and it rains 90 inches a year, so massive erosion occurred. They were inept on almost every topic and responsibility.

    So I do understand nuclear power, and hope it is never again left to enthusiasm, I would have liked expertise instead. I bet we have lost all that expertise again.
     
    #9 JimboPalmer, Feb 21, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Well the first thing should no longer be a problem with the new designs. That doesn't negate the potential of other issues arising, but that is a risk with many things. Sometimes it is the only way we learn.

    For the second, we could recycle those fuel rods for more fuel. Reducing the amount of uranium needed to be mined , or even moving away from it entirely to thorium, while reducing the amount of waste that actually needs to be stored. Other countries are moving in that direction.
     
  11. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    I'm not quite sure how that story correlates to:
    So I do understand nuclear power, and hope it is never again left to enthusiasm, I would have liked expertise instead. I bet we have lost all that expertise again.

    By understanding, I don't mean having lived near it, or read about it, or listened to the thousands of "stories" about it. I mean understanding it and being knowledgeable about it through more than just hearsay. I'm sure @ETC(SS) understands what I mean.
     
  12. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    If having your environment disrupted, your credit rating impacted, and (minor) exposure to radioactivity due to incompetence are not 'understanding' I am ignorant. But very, very, reluctant.
     
  13. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Yep, although I was a coner I still spent years of my life within a few hundred feet of that mystical magical simmering kettle.

    Yep.
    The poles went in the holes because they were 'sposed to. The freezing WX caused a sensor failure or some such mischief.
    Then?
    If I'm accurately informed they performed a normal reactor start-up and started doing the neutron dance again.

    I'm comfortable with the "science and data" when it comes to nucular power.
    My former employer has a pretty good safety record with them, and I'm thinking that few entities if any have used more of them.
     
    #13 ETC(SS), Feb 22, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  14. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    I agree with what you are saying about there is some responsibility for being prepared. In our country right now it is unpopular to have responsibility.
    Here is a tragic story about a child freezing to dearth in Texas. The parents reaction - sue the Electric Utility

    Family of 11-year-old boy who died in unheated Texas mobile home sues power companies for over $100 million

    Update - I don't want to seem unfeeling, I imagine the heartbreak they must be going through and will say a prayer for them and their child .
     
    #14 John321, Feb 22, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Haven't managed to find the suit itself yet. The report in the Chronicle suggests that one of the contentions in the suit will be that the family could have made different plans if the utility had accurately disclosed the power would be out for days rather than releasing statements about brief rolling outages.

    Will be interesting to see more details, and what a Texas jury will think about who should "have responsibility" for which parts of the story.
     
  17. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Dying of hypothermia indoors, in bed, seems highly unusual in the absence of medical issues or disability. Absent captivity, it is easy enough to go get additional blankets or clothing or move into the parent's bed for warmth. Or at least alert them that one is too cold.

    I now see that he was sharing a bed with a younger brother, for warmth.

    It seems that we should wait for additional details from the medical examiner.
     
  18. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    "At 0526 [CST] on 02/15/2021, Unit 1 automatically tripped due to low steam generator levels. The low steam generator levels were due to loss of Feedwater pumps 11 and 13 (cause unknown)."

    "Rowland said Feb. 16 the unit shut "due to cold weather-related issues in the plant's feedwater system.""

    ... more than 63 hours later:

    " STP Nuclear Operating Co.'s 1,312-MW South Texas Project-1, which automatically shut Feb. 15 amid bitter cold, connected to the grid at 9:07 pm CT Feb. 17 "and is currently ascending to 100% power," company spokeswoman Vicki Rowland said Feb. 18."
     
  19. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Y'all take me back decades I was in Boston airport for some reason and a pamphleteer asked me if "I believed in nuclear power". Obviously yes because El Sol is doing hydrogen fusion etc. However the question is better posed whether engineering and economizing will always keep the benefit/risk positive. Pamphleteer had no thoughts on that.

    In nuclear navies, large expenditures have developed systems that almost always succeed. In commercial power generation, more problems have come to light. Not always their direct fault, but always because somebody cheaped out on cost/benefit/risk.

    In another world where (other) renewable energy could not be found, nuke beats fossil burning easily, fully costed.

    But not in this world.
     
  20. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Cat litter.

    If I have made readers at all curious, search the subject.
     
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