Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mini-Ark - Japan's answer to the next tsunami. A small Japanese company has developed a modern, miniature version of Noah's Ark in case Japan is hit by another massive earthquake and tsunami. It is a floating capsule that looks like a huge tennis ball. Japan's Cosmo Power says its "Noah" shelter is made of enhanced fibreglass that can save users from disasters like the one on March 11 that devasted Japan's northern coast, leaving nearly 20,000 people dead or missing. The 300,000 yen ($4000) capsule can hold four adults, and has survived many crash tests. It has a small lookout window and breathing holes on top. It can also be used as a toy house for children. The company has already delivered two capsules and has orders for 600 more.

**When I do good, I feel good.
When I do bad, I feel bad.
That’s my religion.**
Abraham Lincoln

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
10/1//11 -
CANARY ISLANDS - (27 total) 1.8, 2.5, 2.5, 2.5, 3.3, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 2.6, 2.8, 3.0, 3.0, 3.4, 2.6, 2.8, 3.0, 2.5, 2.8, 3.2, 3.3, 3.6, 2.8, 2.8, 3.3, 3.5, 2.7, 2.5

9/30/11 -
CANARY ISLANDS - (17 total) 2.5, 2.5, 3.3, 2.6, 2.6, 2.5, 3.2, 2.6, 3.0, 2.5, 2.5, 3.1, 2.5, 3.1, 2.6, 2.9, 2.9

Japan on Friday lifted evacuation advisories for five areas near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant as it looks to convince tens of thousands of residents that it is safe to return home. Japan continues to maintain a 20-kilometre (12-mile) no-go zone around the facility.

Reactors could fail during an earthquake, maker says - GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy said 35 reactors it built for utilities from New York to Washington may not shut down properly during an earthquake. The likelihood of failure is "low," the company said in an advisory to customers on customers on additional actions to take.
GE Hitachi is recommending testing to determine what level of friction would prevent control rods from fully inserting into the reactor core during an earthquake. "There is no discussion of a recall of any control rods at this point. The focus is on testing as evaluations continue on whether any modifications are necessary." The issue is contained in a series of reports to the federal agency dating to December 2010. The affected plants don't include Dominion Resources Inc.'s North Anna in Virginia, which remains shut because of a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered 11 miles away on Aug. 23.
The issue is a "low probability event" that became known to the company several months before the March earthquake and radiation leaks at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. "We are only aware of a small percentage of plants that have exhibited signs of measureable control-blade-to-channel friction and on a relatively few number of control blades." GE Hitachi's testing program is adequate because it forces owners to replace defective control rods when reactors are shut down for refueling instead of continuing the tests. "Lots of things have to line up to produce the bad outcome. Not all GE control rods have this problem, so owners are replacing them sooner." The shutdown "capability is expected to be affected due to the added seismic loads at low reactor pressures" in the boiling-water-reactor plants. More testing is needed to determine how much friction is produced by "seismic loads." The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is evaluating whether GE Hitachi's emphasis on testing is appropriate and if additional steps are required to ensure plant safety.
"There are still other changes to come in response to the issue. I don't know off-hand what level of seismic activity could pose a problem." On a wider level, the NRC plans to issue a letter to all 104 U.S. plants by year's end requesting a response to the agency's new seismic risk modeling and data.
Plants that may be affected by the control rod issue include First Energy Corp.'s Perry, Ohio, plant on Lake Erie, about 120 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, and Exelon Corp.'s Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey, Exelon's Clinton, Dresden, LaSalle, and Quad Cities plants in Illinois as well as Limerick and Peach Bottom in Eastern Pennsylvania. Also on the list are New Orleans-based Entergy Corp.'s FitzPatrick in New York, Vermont Yankee in Vermont, Pilgrim in Massachusetts, Grand Gulf in Mississippi, and the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry in Alabama and River Bend in Louisiana. Elsewhere are Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.'s Hope Creek in New Jersey, Constellation Nuclear Energy Group LLC's Nine Mile Point in New York, and DTE Energy's Fermi 2 in Michigan. The South includes Progress Energy Inc.'s Brunswick in North Carolina and Southern Co.'s Hatch in Georgia. Further west are NextEra Energy Inc.'s Duane Arnold in Iowa, Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper in Nebraska, Xcel Energy Inc.'s Monticello in Minnesota and Energy Northwest's Columbia in Washington. Some plants have more than one reactor.

Haiti still needs world's help - The United Nations aid chief called for continued humanitarian assistance to Haiti on Thursday, stressing the crisis in a country still reeling from last year's monster earthquake. 600,000 people still living in camps have urgent needs for basic food, water, sanitation and housing services.


Etna - The volcano experienced its 15th paroxysm on September 28 and there are some great images and video for the eruption. This eruption was different in a number of ways: (1) the time since the last paroxysm was shorter than expected; (2) it was shorter and more explosive than previous paroxysms and (3) it produced lava from multiple vents in the Southeast Cone. All in all, the 15th paroxysm seemed to break the rules. The eruption produced some impressive fire fountains and lava flows. (photos, video and links to webcams)

Costa Rica's Rincon de la Vieja Volcano Awakens - Dormant for more than a decade, the Rincon de la Vieja volcano surprised area residents and tourists with its a phreatic eruption August 19 and then again on September 16 and 22. The volcano is located in the northern sector of the country Buenos Aires de Aguas Clara de Upala, in the province of Alajuela. On Saturday, September 17, a day after the eruption of water and sediment, some fish were found dead in the river Penjamo. Investigators this week found more evidence of material spewed by the colossus in the streams and ditches in the area. Some sediment has made it 18 kilometres upstream in the local rivers. Also being investigated is whether the walls of the volcano have some movement.
Most phreatic eruptions are concentrated in the centre of the lagoon that borders the walls that are 75 metres high. The eruption of November 1995 was one of the most intense. And although the current eruptions are nothing compared, area residents are taking precautions. After a meeting with experts they took the decision to revive the local emergency committee. For now, tourist visits to the crater have been suspended and guides are required to visit other parts of the national park. Authorities recommend people living in the foothills of the Rincon de la Vieja be aware of the water level in the rivers.

In the Atlantic -
-Category 4 Hurricane Ophelia was located about 140 mi.(220 km) E of Bermuda. Gradual weakening should begin today, with rapid weakening likely by late today. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland.

-Tropical storm Philippe was located about 1070 mi (1720 km) ESE of Bermuda.

In the Pacific -
-Typhoon 22w (Nalgae) was located approximately 700 nm east-southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam.

Typhoon Nalgae batters flood-hit Philippines packing gusts up to 195km/h and threatening victims still trapped by floods. Typhoons Nesat and Nalgae have brought a double dose of rain and floods. The second typhoon to hit the Philippines in less than a week has been battering northern areas, with ferocious winds and heavy rain. At least one person died as Typhoon Nalgae hit regions still waterlogged by the earlier storm Nesat, and officials warned of flash floods and landslides. Nalgae crossed the main island Luzon, but weakened as it headed west toward the South China Sea. Nalgae,was forecast to be a weakened category-1 typhoon as it moves toward China's Hainan Island on Monday.
The Philippines suffers frequent typhoons, about 20 a year. Nalgae made landfall in the eastern province of Isabela on Saturday. At it strongest it was packing winds of up to 195km/h (121mph). It is now expected to gather strength again over the sea as it moves towards China's Hainan island and Vietnam. Heavy wind and rain is expected in the Philippines for another 48 hours. In Isabela, power supplies were switched off as winds toppled trees and blew off roofs. In Luna township, a bus carrying 30 people turned over in a rice field but no-one was hurt.
The storm is taking much the same route as Typhoon Nesat which hit the country on Tuesday leaving at least 52 people dead and thousands homeless. Tens of thousands of residents have moved into evacuation centres or the homes of relatives or friends, but many areas are still heavily flooded from the earlier storm. With more heavy rains expected, officials fear that floods resulting from the second hurricane will compound the misery of more than a million people still trapped after the first. Several towns remain submerged, and many residents are still on rooftops awaiting rescue from the first storm. "I hope the [Nesat] floods will wash out to Manila Bay before the [Nalgae] runoff hits the area. If the latter catches up to the former, there won't be any rooftops left to see above the floodwaters." Marooned flood victims were often reluctant to leave for fear their homes would be looted. "When we send out rescue teams to help them, they ask for food instead."

Nesat was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday as it moved west into northern Vietnam, where flood warnings were issued and 20,000 people evacuated. Nesat previously battered southern China with gale force winds and torrential rain.


Asia: Extreme Weather - In the last four months, prolonged monsoon flooding, typhoon and storms across Southeast Asia, China, Japan and South Asia has left more than 600 people dead or missing. In India alone, the damage is estimated to be worth $1 billion, with the worst-hit state of Orissa accounting for $726 million. Several studies suggest an intensification of the Asian summer monsoon rainfall with increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, the state-run Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said. Still, it is not clear that this is entirely because of climate change, especially in India.

THAILAND deployed about 10,000 soldiers on Friday to help victims of floods that have killed 188 people and left vast swathes of the country under water. Backed by 500 military vehicles and more than 100 boats equipped with loud speakers and flashlights, the troops will patrol flood-stricken areas to ensure people's safety.

Cambodian flood toll tops 100 - More than 100 Cambodians, nearly half of them children, have died in THE COUNTRY'S WORST FLOODING IN A DECADE. Heavy rainfall, which has also caused the Mekong river to overflow, has killed at least 105 people, including 47 children, since mid-August.


RECORD-BREAKING Britain Hotter Than Mexico. Sun worshippers have been basking in more record-breaking weather - as Britain felt its HOTTEST END OF SEPTEMBER IN MORE THAN 100 YEARS.


-True Leaf Farms is expanding its voluntary recall of romaine to include chopped or shredded romaine because of the potential of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The initial recalled product was shipped between September 12 and 13 to a retail food service distributor in Oregon who further distributed it to at least two additional states, Washington and Idaho.