Ukraine’s nuclear power base quickly returning to capacity

All nuclear power plants that are located in the government-controlled territory of Ukraine are already connected to the power system. In 1-2 days it will be possible to return to scheduled power outages instead of emergency ones.

“Now the energy system is fully integrated, all regions are connected. It is again connected to the energy system of the European Union… All three nuclear power plants located in the unoccupied territory are working… In 1-2 days, they will reach their normal planned capacity, and we expect that it will be possible to return to scheduled power outages instead of emergency ones,” Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, CEO of Ukrenergo national energy company, said during the nationwide telethon on Thursday evening.

As a result of the November 23 attack, Ukraine lost a significant part of electricity generation at various types of power plants: nuclear, thermal, and hydroelectric, he noted.

I tend to take note of incidents like this in wartime. Mostly because most educated nations in the broad West/East ensemble rely much more on nuclear power generation of electricity than the “advanced” USA. We’re at 20%. Nations like France [for example] are up to 70%.

Everything we’re told we should worry about have been dealt with generations ago…elsewhere…satisfactorily.

Tesla’s Supercharger Network is a head start over ALL Competition

We know about the cars, rocket ships, and tunnels; Ludicrous, Twitter, and Grimes. But for all of Musk’s achievements, including putting Tesla on track to sell 1.4 million EVs globally in 2022, his most underrated breakthrough may be Tesla’s biggest modern edge: the Supercharger network.

“Without the Supercharger network, we wouldn’t be talking about Tesla today,” says Dan Ives, a Wall Street tech analyst and regular television commentator on Tesla and EVs. “It was the core DNA of their success, along with innovation and engineering. Now it’s the linchpin of their brand and their competitive moat against other automakers.”

Along with Tesla’s wizardly innovations in batteries, software, and controls, the sleek Superchargers pushed free DC electricity into the groundbreaking sedans at unheard-of speeds, courtesy of 90 kW of charging power.

“We knew we could charge at faster rates than had ever been done,” says Ali Javidan, a former Tesla engineer who led prototype R&D. “We knew road trips were a big deal, not just because of the family fantasy, but because that’s a decision-maker in car buying. So we started choosing our favorite corridors and putting in Superchargers.”

And that’s the difference that makes all the difference…between Tesla and their competition. Even though I’m an ancient retiree, that network will make a significant difference in whatever choices my wife and I will consider if and when we decide to move on from our hybrid Ford Maverick. [Which ain’t soon likely. This critter performs better than expected in ALL categories. AND generates her own electricity.]

Here’s what the whole critter looked like

Reportedly the first stage of Long March 2D expendable launch system rockets are 27.91 meters (91.57 ft) long and their second stages are 10.9 meters in length.

The piece of a first stage of this rocket that was photographed after it crashed into a Chinese field earlier this week is described as sticking ‘some 20 to 30 feet’ out of some freshly tilled soil.

A record of unexplained “radiation storms” over the last 100 centuries

When high-energy radiation strikes the upper atmosphere it turns nitrogen atoms into radioactive carbon-14, or radiocarbon. The radiocarbon then filters through the air and the oceans, into sediments and bogs, into you and me, into animals and plants—including hardwoods with their yearly tree rings.

To archaeologists, radiocarbon is a godsend. After it is created, carbon-14 slowly and steadily decays back into nitrogen—which means it can be used as a clock to measure the age of organic samples, in what is called radiocarbon dating.

To astronomers, this is equally valuable. Tree rings give a year-by-year record of high-energy particles called “cosmic rays” going back millennia.

But tree rings also record events we cannot presently explain. In 2012, Japanese physicist Fusa Miyake discovered a spike in the radiocarbon content of tree rings from 774 AD. It was so big that several ordinary years’ worth of cosmic rays must have arrived all at once.

As more teams have joined the search, tree ring evidence has been uncovered of further “Miyake events”: from 993 AD and 663 BC, and prehistoric events in 5259 BC, 5410 BC, and 7176 BC…

If an event like this occurred today, it would devastate power grids, telecommunications and satellites. If these occur randomly, around once every thousand years, that is a 1% chance per decade—a serious risk.

“Doomed. We’re all doomed, I say. Doomed.”

Possible new record – for the birds!

Bar-tailed Godwits resting on the beach in Tasmania

A young bar-tailed godwit appears to have set a non-stop distance record for migratory birds by flying at least 13,560 kilometers (8,435 miles) from Alaska to the Australian state of Tasmania, a bird expert said Friday.

The bird was tagged as a hatchling in Alaska during the Northern Hemisphere summer with a tracking GPS chip and tiny solar panel that enabled an international research team to follow its first annual migration across the Pacific Ocean, Birdlife Tasmania convenor Eric Woehler said. Because the bird was so young, its gender wasn’t known…

Aged about five months, it left southwest Alaska at the Yuko-Kuskokwim Delta on Oct. 13 and touched down 11 days later at Ansons Bay on the island of Tasmania’s northeastern tip on Oct. 24, according to data from Germany’s Max Plank Institute for Ornithology. The research has yet to be published or peer reviewed…

“Whether this is an accident, whether this bird got lost or whether this is part of a normal pattern of migration for the species, we still don’t know,” said Woehler, who is part of the research project.

The track of this flight is over a thousand miles longer than the existing record. The little critter lost half it’s body weight on the journey.

Western Wildfires

In late July of 2018, massive wildfires blazed across Northern California. At the same time in Colorado, weather alerts went out warning of heavy thunderstorms and baseball-sized hail.

The two disasters were separated by a thousand miles, but scientists are now finding they’re connected.

The massive clouds of smoke and heat that rise out of Western wildfires are having far-reaching effects across the country, even beyond hazy skies. That summer, the smoke blew to the Central U.S., where it ran headlong into summertime thunderstorms that were already forming.

The collision made those storms even more extreme, boosting the rainfall and hail by more than 30 percent, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Scientists are showing that things are really connected to each other,” says Danielle Touma, a postdoctoral researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who was not involved in the study. “And we can’t just think about where we live, but we have to think about what’s happening in other parts of the world.”

Mother Nature often is more of dialectician than your local Weatherman. Fortunately, the folks doing the analysis are still closer to science – than the popular publication side of the process.

Giant floating solar electric flowers

More than 92,000 solar panels in the shape of plum blossoms, floating on the surface of a reservoir in South Korea, offer a vision of how land-scarce developed nations can overcome local resistance to giant renewable-energy projects.

The 17 giant flowers on the 12-mile-long reservoir in the southern county of Hapcheon are able to generate 41 megawatts, enough to power 20,000 homes, according to Hanwha Solutions Corp., which built the plant…

It’s one of the biggest floating solar plants in the world, and it’s in a nation that has been a laggard in adopting renewable energy, even though South Korea’s industrialized economy relies heavily on imported fossil fuels…

At a commissioning ceremony for the plant in November, South Korea’s President Moon-Jae in said floating solar can help the nation reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 with the potential to add 9.4 gigawatts, or the equivalent of nine nuclear reactors.

It’s a shame the official religion of the US government forbids doing anything smart and truly useful. Otherwise, we might try something like this. Eh?

Ohio will be Honda’s American EV hub

With the Honda Prologue on the way, the Japanese automaker is finally serious about getting into the EV game. But the recently revealed electric crossover is just the start—Honda will need a plant for EVs and batteries here in the US soon, as it sketches out the rest of its lineup set to arrive after 2025.

This week the automaker revealed just where its EV center will be based, with several sites in Ohio slated to become Honda’s electric hub.

Honda indicated that it will spend $700 million to re-tool its Marysville Auto Plant (MAP), East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP), and Anna Engine Plant (AEP) for EV production, slated to start in 2026. The automaker also plans to invest $3.5 billion in a joint venture with LG Energy Solution…to build a plant for battery module production in Ohio as well.

The vehicles that will be produced in Ohio will sit on Honda’s own e:Architecture, rather than GM’s Ultium platform that will underpin the upcoming Prologue…”Honda is proud of our history in Ohio, where our US manufacturing operations began more than four decades ago. Now, as we expand Honda’s partnership with Ohio, we are investing in a workforce that will create the power source for our future Honda and Acura electric vehicles,” said Bob Nelson, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Way cool! Impulsively chose this article from the many EV pages online. An industry moving into the future faster than our politicians.

I’ve never owned a Honda though I had a few Acuras starting from Year One of that project. We’ve settled back down into (mostly) American iron with my ancient Dodge Ram pickup which stopped recording distance at about 250,000 miles. And my wife’s shiny brand new Ford Maverick Hybrid pickup.

Finally learned to get my butt out of the way when she backs out of the garage in electric silence.

Human Composting to be Legal in California

The only way I’d choose to come back from death

In a few years, people in California will have a new choice for what to do with their loved ones’ bodies after death: put them in their garden.

…Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that makes human composting legal in the state beginning in 2027. The bill, AB-351, makes California the fifth state to allow human composting since it was first legalized in Washington in 2019 (Oregon, Colorado, and Vermont are the other places where you can make yourself into mulch).

“AB 351 will provide an additional option for California residents that is more environmentally-friendly and gives them another choice for burial,” Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, who sponsored the bill, said in a release. “With climate change and sea-level rise as very real threats to our environment, this is an alternative method of final disposition that won’t contribute emissions into our atmosphere.”

Human beings cause more than enough trouble while we’re alive, but the practices we’ve developed to handle our bodies after death are also pretty bad for the environment. Burying a dead body takes about three gallons of embalming liquid per corpse—stuff like formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol—and about 5.3 million gallons total gets buried with bodies each year. Meanwhile, cremation creates more than 500 pounds (227 kilograms) of carbon dioxide from the burning process of just one body, and the burning itself uses up the energy equivalent of two tanks of gasoline. In the U.S., cremation creates roughly 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

C’mon, folks. Get onboard with a future appropriate to common sense disposition of what remains after you shuffle off this mortal coil. If you’ve dedicated a chunk of your life to doing good…consider keeping it up after you’re dead and gone.