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Comments made by jerrymack333

Blackout Leaves Us Still Vulnerable

People worry excessively about the San Onofre nuclear power plant, and it was not helped when one of the official spokesmen said that San Onofre shut itself down "to protect the reactor." That was in incorrect statement. The reactor was never in the least threatened by the this power outage event. Let me explain about power plants: a nuclear and a coal/oil/gas-powered plant have many things in common, but the most important similarity is that one part of the plant is a heat-generating source (whatever that heat source may be) and the other part is the turbines and generators. The heat makes steam which is then sent over to the turbines which spin up to turn the generators that drive the electricity out into the grid. In any power plant, if the load becomes too great, that is, too much power being pulled from the plant, which threatens the safety of the generators, then they disconnect themselves. It makes no difference what the source of the original heat that created the steam is, whether it is the controlled fission of uranium molecules, or the combining of oxygen with the carbon of the coal (called burning). So the San Onofre Nuclear plant was in no different a position than any other power plant during this event. The reactor was not being threatened; it did not need protection from this event.

September 9, 2011 at 1:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Roundtable: I-5 Widening Option Chosen

A number of years ago I was involved in an unfunded project to build an overhead rail type public transportation system that we called SkyShuttle. Our system was unique in that the cars hung suspended from a pair of rails that were supported by a catenary cable suspension system, much like the Golden Gate bridge. The important aspect of this system was that rather than requiring support columns every 25 feet as does a monorail, our system only needs support every 200 feet, or more in some cases such as crossing a river. When no SkyShuttle cars are passing by, there was a minimum of overhead clutter to be seen. This system would work beautifully running down through Mission Valley between the I8 traffic lanes. We did present this system to the appropriate people at San Diego City Hall, but they were more interested at the time in the current ground rail system which is now implemented all over the city. SkyShuttle could still present a usable addition to the San Diego transportation problem.

July 8, 2011 at 12:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )