Thursday, September 28, 2017

Went Shooting On A Sunny DAy

  Fall is passing fast here. Snow expected in twenty days or so. I took advantage of this nice day to shoot 100 rounds of 223 ammo I did not want. It was fun and I did not do too bad at 100 yards with iron sights.
$ 350 AR-15 and cheap Russian spotting scope. I am a tightwad.

Not great, but not bad 
 That group got me called a showoff by two hunters sighting in their 338 Magnums. It was two clips shot as fast as I could sight in target at 100 yards with iron sights. I like the low recoil of a 223.

Kathy has been raking leaves. It is a lost cause.

  I think one more mowing and I will be done for the season. Then it is wash up the mower and drain the gas and change the oil to pack away for the Winter.

Getting close to that time of year

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Verizon Enforced 15Gig Limit on Unlimited Data

1153 pages to read the next few days

  Now that this book has been made into a blockbuster movie, I must read it and conjure up the story in my mind and enjoy that. later on, I will be able to watch the movie and see what they did with the story. 
 I never watched the original movie either, so other than knowing it is a creature from outer space that feeds on humans and then hibernates for 30 years, I know nothing. 

  Good thing I have it as my Youtube video watching is over as are my Amazon movies. Since I got this phone I have been happy with it as a hot spot for 106 to 112 Gig a month. Now at 96 Gig used and they sent text and email to tell me I have been restricted to 600KB for the rest of my billing cycle. I now only get 15 Gig of high-speed data each cycle.They have never done this before. Each month my high-speed internet showed as unused and lost at the new cycle. So either they changed something or I did something different that caught their attention. This really blows.

Update: After two chat sessions I am aware of 'The New Unlimited' 600kbps and 4th class traffic. That means no youtube videos or even logging into my bank. I can still look up things and access this blog, but not much more. I have 13 days of this before another 15Gig tease. As I said before This Blows.

  Kathy has been away at camp for 48 hours and so far I have stayed out of trouble. Must keep it together for a few more hours.

 Below is a chart for viewing the Space Station from Cocoa Beach Florida. Go to NASA.Gov and sign up for the auto emails of when the station will be visible from your area. Kinda nice on a clear night to watch it pass over.

Update 9-27-17: Kathy is home and doing more volunteer things. I have been reading about that clown Pennywise and he has killed 3 so far by sucking the life force out of them. In other words, I have finished the first chapter.

 The old minivan has new tires now. With all this rain it was getting scary to drive on almost slick tires. So after paying $420, I have new Michelin all-season tires.

 My Solar binoculars came in the mail and my neighbor helped me find the Sun. They work great for looking at sunspots and waves on the surface if I can locate the Sun. They are well made but 10x 25mm makes it hard to get on target. They were free to me as Amazon gave me money back for Solar Viewers I had purchased and used for the eclipse.

 Living with limited internet reminds me of the 56k dial-up days. I can read blogs but not see pictures and I can't make a new post, but can edit this one. So that is how I spent one sunny day and several rainy ones. 

DateVisibleMax HeightAppearsDisappearsShare Event
Thu Sep 21, 5:10 AM1 min16°15° above NNE15° above NE  
Thu Sep 21, 6:44 AM5 min30°11° above WNW11° above S  
Fri Sep 22, 5:54 AM4 min78°48° above NW10° above SE  
Fri Sep 22, 8:50 PM2 min40°11° above SW40° above SW  
Sat Sep 23, 5:05 AM< 1 min13°13° above ESE11° above ESE  
Sat Sep 23, 6:38 AM< 1 min10°10° above WSW10° above SW  
Sat Sep 23, 7:58 PM5 min31°10° above SSW15° above ENE  
Sun Sep 24, 8:44 PM2 min30°25° above WNW21° above N  
Mon Sep 25, 7:50 PM6 min72°11° above SW12° above NE  
Tue Sep 26, 8:36 PM2 min12°12° above NW10° above N  
Wed Sep 27, 7:44 PM3 min23°23° above NW11° above NNE  
Fri Sep 29, 7:37 PM< 1 min10°10° above NW10° above NNW

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Enjoyed A Seward Get Away

  We had made cheap reservations in Seward Alaska for three nights this week. The weather did us fairly well, two beautiful sunny days and one overcast with sprinkles. The overcast day was spent inside the Sealife Center. That is where my GoPro died. It would not turn on at all, yet after a few minutes in my pocket, it got so hot I had to remove it and bounce it in my hand to hold it. I thought this baby was going up in flames. I took it back to the cabin and left it outside in an ashtray as it was still smoking hot. This morning it was cool and dead, so I brought it home with us. After having internet I contacted GoPro Tech Support and the guy acted like this was an everyday event. He talked me through a reset and had me put it on charge and tell him lights flashing. It appears to be working again, but my trust is a bit shakey. They created a trouble ticket and I am to use it a few days and see if it does it again. It is charged and appears to record and is staying cool. I will empty the memory chip for safe keeping and store it on a metal hot plate tonight. Me and electronics.

  Most places we like to eat are closed for the season now. We were shocked to see the Seward Brewery was closed until Spring. 

Two sad people in the reflection

The good Chinese restaurant went out of business and the building is for sale. The so-so/crappy one is the only game in town now and has the business, just not ours. 

Squid and cod chunks trying to ween 3 month old Walrus off milk

 We walked a lot and enjoyed the sunny days. Not many campers there now, most are locals from Anchorage. A ship was in on the first sunny day and the town was overrun with sightseers and I thought perhaps too many shops closed too soon. 

Milk was what he wanted and he gets it every three hours, perhaps that is why he weighs 200 pounds now

  Verizon does not have 4G service there, just phone calls and texts. The cabin did not have internet, so I was glad I had a collection of movies on my laptop for the rainy day.

He is upset the human climbed the ladder and left him alone, they are also trying to wean him of people
 Pics through rained on window took with a cell phone.

A sunny day in Seward is hard to beat

  We mostly cooked in our cabin but did have a pizza for the trip back home today. The pizza place closed for the season yesterday, so we had one from a place that had just got an automatic pizza maker. That is a device I could use as my new hobby. I was impressed with the quality of the thin crust mushroom and olive pizza. One of those in an old mail truck with a generator to power it and I could cruise the hood around dinner time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Our Little Cabana Is OK

  We got a call from our neighbor who was allowed back on the island today. From an outside walk around she saw no damage on roof, windows, and walls. 

 We got electricity today as was confirmed by a call from FPL the power company and our neighbor. Water will be restored hopefully by Monday, per a call from the utility. Our neighbor said there were many townhomes damaged ( siding and shingles missing ) and the tree I despise bit the dust. That tree being gone is great news, it has left its leaves on my car for the last time.

  She went inside her house and everything was fine so she thinks our Cabana next door is the same. She and her friend will not stay on the island yet as it would not be fun with no water. It was just a RECON visit.

Anchorage news says 27 murders in town so far in 2017 as compared with 34 murders total in 2016. We are not a big city, this is amazing. None in our hood yet.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Linemen Have A Big Job

Having Rainbow Hopes For Our Cabana

  Our island home in Brevard County has been in the news a lot today. Being 14 feet above sea level does make flooding a possibility. The island has been evacuated since last Tuesday and I hope everyone left. Disney World should get the last of the high winds and is reporting gusts of 90 MPH now. By the top of the hour, it should be past the park. After the storm passes, power company Linemen will have a massive job on their hands. Thousands of trees will have blown down power lines and poles. It takes a lot of coordinated work as power must be isolated from lines being worked on and load sharing as lines are fixed. my hat off to them.
  Update: 6.53 million electric customers without power. Major infrastructure damage to be fixed 1st.
Brevard County lost water pressure and system compromised, so water boil required. Big problem is sewage lift stations lost power, so when people in high buildings flush toilets it goes into peoples homes, very bad and they are asking people not to flush. Perhaps it is best the fresh water failed as they can't get rid of sewage. 
Glad I am not there. 

UPDATE 9-29-17: 12 million gallons of raw sewage released into river. Brevard County is still having storm related problems. The sewage system for the local area was overcome with storm runoff and not able to recover. 
Glad I am not there again. 

  It was a sunny nice day for driving Kathy and her friend from Hawaii to see sights in Anchorage. After we dropped her off it was raining in our hood.  It was a fun day with a happy natured fun person.

  We had a classical music concert on Friday and really enjoyed it. It was a good change from staying inside on rainy days. We had another concert today and enjoyed it also.

Brenda enjoyed her day with us.
They both enjoyed their time together
She even had a good moose sighting

Sunday, September 3, 2017

EBR-1 Dos

  I have decided to update this post and the other two with information I am getting from declassified Argonne National Labs documents. It is a slow go, but I hope to have a very accurate and detailed description in a few months or years. Check back if you have an interest in the EBR site. I am doing it for myself, but anyone can enjoy facts as they are found.

  This is the basement of EBR-1. This door blocks radiation and access to the room below the reactor pressure vessel. The vessel was hanging from the thick floor above with enough space around it for the reflector cup. Beyond that was a thick blanket of pure graphite as a moderator and then a wall of replaceable cast iron plates for neutron detection. 

This room contains a lifting table on which the reflecting cup was placed. The table was mounted on a hefty hydraulic cylinder which could lift up to the bottom of the vessel. 

Original design, safety and control rods found useless as was the center plug

  This room is quite complex, but with no light and 2-foot thick window, I did not get a pic. There are two other rooms connected to it with thick electric moved doors between them. A rolling electric hoist could move from room to room through those doors. Once the reactor was critical no one could enter this room. The reflector cup was about 3 feet in diameter and 3 feet tall ( 37 7/8 " X 27" )with 6.5" thick walls made from small yet heavy (87.75 lb ) blocks of natural U-238.

  This is a Fast Neutron Reactor and was not controlled like a slow neutron reactor is with neutron capturing rods. This reactor relies on a neutron source and a reflector to effectively create critical mass. It is safer as if the core is left alone it will quit and cool down. That is a genius design as it makes it 100% safe and vastly reduces waste products. So the cup must surround the core for it to be critical, that is why the cup is on top of a hydraulic jack, release the pressure and the ten-ton cup assembly will glide quickly to the floor. That is how the SCRAM is so simple and foolproof. The hydraulic pressure was held by 'normally open' electric valves, so any loss of electric power would SCRAM the reactor.
Turntable in cup repair room

   Slowly the cup itself would turn into Pu 239 and Pu 240. The isotope 240 is radioactive with a short half life, if enough collects it could go critical on it's own.  The U-238 blocks were encased inside a 020 thick stainless steel case to prevent oxidation. 

It was later discovered that breeding only happened in the 1st inch of the reflector cup. This was somewhat of a mystery to the scientists.
It should be clear why the reflector was made of blocks and two rooms were built to replace all the U-238 in the cup on a regular basis.

  The cup repair room is quite interesting and still somewhat of a mystery to me how they moved the heavy cup between rooms. We met a worker from the day on our first visit, but he did not know how it was done as he worked the top side of the reactor. This time we got no help. A good reason to return for more looking, pictures and thinking. There are rolling hoists with electric slip wires and it appears they could travel through the door. It is the how it was done that puzzles us.

  The transport hoist was controlled by this panel in an area safe from radiation.

  So now it is time to move on to reactor cooling or heat recovery. We know NAK the heavy corrosive liquid metal was fed into the core at the bottom in a low temp state (250 degrees C ) and rose inside the core to exit the top very hot (350 degrees C ) cooling the core. The hot NAK flowed to a heat exchanger where the heat transferred to NAK loop 2, This was done to allow only a small amount of NAK to be in contact with the reactor pressure vessel and fuel core. After the exchange of heat, the NAK went into a receiver tank before being pumped by magnetism back into the gravity flow tank above and behind the top of the reactor.

  Now that we have left the reactor and all radiation behind, NAK loop 2 is just as hot and travels to an NAK to H2o Steam Super Heater then to an NAK to H2o Steam Boiler and then to an NAK to H2o Feed Water Economizer.

Economizer warms feed water

  This flow removes heat from the NAK loop 2 and now it is at it's coolest point. 
Mud Tank and vertical boiler tubes The Steam Drum is on top
This turns the feed water into wet steam

   It now flows downhill into the receiving tank and from there is magnetically pumped back to the heat exchanger to get hot again. There is a drain tank just like the primary system has that will hold the entire amount of NAK in the system, they are both located in pits below the basement level.
Super Heater makes dry steam

  Now that we have left the NAK behind we have dry superheated steam. ( 550 degrees at 400 psi .)It can take two paths, one is through a steam turbine to make mechanical energy or the other is directly into a condenser to become feed water again. That brings me to feed water. It is special stuff, super pure and clean, no minerals etc to scale up a boiler or destroy a turbine. Condensor water is just plain drinking water and makes a loop outside to fan cooling radiators and is pumped back nice and cool to the condenser. 
Condensor instantly turns steam into feed water

  As the steam came to the turbine it was throttled to allow a slow start and then maintain a constant speed of the turbine. Anyone who knows more about this 1930s/1940's single pass steam turbine please leave a comment. 
Steam Turbine Governor end and feed pipes
Closeup of speed control

  This turns the dry steam into a rotational mechanical energy. The shaft of the turbine spins very fast and then enters a gear speed reduction unit built by Murray. The output from the Murray unit is 1200 RPM. The Generator connects to the 1200 RPM shaft and is rated at 300KW. It has a DC voltage exciter on the end of the shaft.

  The small electric motor drives an oil pump that lubricates the gear speed reduction unit.

  The much cooler wet steam exited the turbine through the bottom and went into the condenser under the floor to be made back into feed water again.

  So now you know this is the first place on Earth that splitting atoms created electrical energy and powered the first town in the USA, ARCO Idaho.
ARCO was powered in 1954 from Borax III.  

 There is a story with that also, told to us a few years back by a volunteer at this site. He had worked as an electrician during that time on this site. As I recall it somewhat like the space program, they got a man in space and told the President and then he said we are going to the Moon. 
 These guys were rushed and got 4 light bulbs powered by the exciter output. That got to the President and he went to make a world announcement that they had powered up a town.
 They had to pay dearly to have the wires and poles etc run to the closest town ASAP and that is how ARCO got the first atomic power. Pure Politics.

  Now, this was not the first reactor by a long shot. The USA had at least 8 in weapons production and Russia had them and England and back in the day, Germany did have one. They were all slow neutron reactors as are all USA power plants, most being Westinghouse AP-1000 units. 
Control Room
Info on museum:

 EBR II was a self-contained fuel recycling plant. A neat concept that worked. Once loaded with weapons grade Pu-239 and a blanket of depleted U-238. It could run for years and years with no possibility of blowing up or melting down. The waste from it was minimal. It really was the perfect power answer, but two things killed it. Westinghouse lobbyists and the question, who could be trusted with a power plant that ran on and produced more weapons grade Plutonium. We could have had almost free electricity for hundreds of years.
 Someone in France thought it was a good idea and they have been selling slightly enriched fuel for slow neutron reactors around the world for many years. Just like drug dealers, they cut their Pu-239 with U-238. MOX made at Tricastin.
 Russia has had a BN-600 and BN-800 Fast Neutron Sodium cooled Breeder reactors running for 30 years now. Kinda a copy of EBR-II. 

  Note: A good tour from a Technician who worked this site. 

EBR 1 Haroldsen Tour   on Youtube