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Comment Budget and Timelines (Score 5, Informative) 342

Disclaimer: Until recently, I was in the business of building nuclear plants.

When I say that over-regulation, discord between the NRC and ASME, NIMBY trolls, and congressional oversight cause cost and lead time issues, I don't mean that energy companies are trying to bypass safety regulations to accelerate building - there are literally too many people who don't know enough about nuclear plants in decision-making positions.

Here's a true story.

WEC is the prime contractor constructing Summer and Vogtle. After farming out subs to various entities, with defined scopes of work, timelines required to design / install / test / etc - the entire gamut of a multi-billion dollar began. In 2012, during one of the ASME conferences, the ASME committee changed the definition of SA316 forged steel. I won't bore you with the details, but the change they implemented into ASME standards changed the dimensions that SA 316 bar stock could be forged into (for fear that too large of a bar would create structural weakness in the center) - whereas the primary use of 316SS within the context of ASME Section 7 is for creating safety valve bonnets - in this case, for the valves in containment. A bonnet is cored out - hollowed out - leaving no internal metal in the 4" center radius ASME flagged.

However, ASME is responsible to no one. Their decision was decried and appealed by the entire nuclear industry, but ASME answers to no one, and the NRC has no input into ASME standards. Since Summer and Vogtle required congressional approval to build, including design approval - ASME changing the definition of 316SS required a design change in the plans for the nuclear plants, which in turn required congressional approval.

1. Tens of millions in material got scrapped.
2. Tens of hundreds of millions in labor hours between prime and sub-suppliers were wasted - design, engineering, procurement, project management...

And this is ONE tiny decision made by ONE body with regulatory oversight amidst dozens of stakeholders making decisions and changing scopes - not least of which are political bodies. I have dozens of stories just like it.

Comment Re:we're all scientists (Score -1) 634

Bill Nye doesn't report what the climate scientists say. Bill Nye is a fraud.

He and Al Gore fake an experiment:
Now he's pushing GMOs:

There's a litany. I have no opinion on climate change, except my belief that everyone should stop arguing with each other and fucking do something about it, or STFU. I don't know who Carl Sagan is, or Mann(?) and have no agenda here - except that people without a field of study, or a PhD, or demonstrable knowledge and use of the scientific method should not be called scientists.

Bill Nye is not, nor has even been a scientist, a reputable source of anything, or more than an entertainer and actor. This is like assuming Arnold Swartzeneggar is an expert gunsmith because he's seen using so many in movies.

Comment Re:Screw San Fran (Score 1) 653

As a non-republican conservative, I read these with interest. There are two sides to every story - and prior to reading these, I knew neither side. Now I know one, but am curious about the other. I hope you understand that with credentials like, "Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English. Follow him on Twitter at @PaulHRosenberg" - these articles paint a venomous picture of conservatives. If a governor has failed - and managed to do so on such a massive scale that he has single-handedly bankrupted a state, overthrown its' courts, and closed its schools (as explained in these articles) - then lambast and castrate him.

But I'd prefer to read something with less of a poignant agenda.

Comment Clickbait Headlines (Score 1) 252

Summarizing the ACTUAL news as reported:

-One single person reported that they fired off a resume to a potential employer with the mic drop button.
-They then reported that they were mortified, and instantly assumed Google cost them the job.
-They didn't bother to resend their resume with an explanation of the Mic Drop feature.
-They assumed that they were going to GET the job, despite as they described, "It being the first person willing to look at my resume and interview me in months."

So news as actually happening:
-A few people are terrible at e-mails and shouldn't be using it.
-A pretentious unemployed person blames Google for their own poor decision making skills.

Comment Re:To be fair... (Score 1) 139

Well, when I buy a used car...I take it to a mechanic and have them do a full inspection on it. They'll tell me if it has problems. When I buy a house, I hire a building inspector to do a full on inspection of everything.

It's safe to assume that anyone selling you something has a vested interest in not revealing any flaws or downsides with their product or service. I get that Comcast said service could be provided to his place, but he should have looked into whether wiring and fiber had been deployed there, or what the plan was to get it - ESPECIALLY if he's a cloud-based company (which he is) that relies on the cloud 24/7 (which he does), who's business plan relies on people using the internet (which it does).

Comment Re:Should have satellite internet; not very smart (Score 1) 139

He also could have cobbling together a few lines (DSL, 4G LTE) with a multi-WAN router would have helped solve the startup's internet problem. Probably add Google's Wifi network available at their site and they could have had another WAN. Another option would have been sluggish T-1 line with SLA. None of these are ideal, but there are solutions that are cheaper than $1000/month for 100/100 fiber service.

Could have asked his neighbors. Could have gotten something in writing. Could have....demonstrated competency when choosing a location to host your business. Or if you didn't know what to look for, gotten help. Assuming he's funding his startup with VC money, they definitely would have given advice or consultation on cost outlays - especially one as big as a lease/location.

Comment To be fair... (Score 4, Insightful) 139

Not that I'm making excuses for the most loathed company in the United States, but California is the most backwards state in the Union when it comes to building and permitting, and it is not only plausible, but quite likely that they actually *were* stuck in the permitting queue that they claimed.

Lesson to business owners: There are some critical questions you should have answered before you purchase or lease a building if you aren't constructing it yourself.
-Does it have utilities?
-Does it have a parking lot?
-Does it have deployed fiber or wiring for internet and phone service?
-Do the doors have locks?
-What are the zoning laws around you?

And a dozen more. C'mon.

Comment Re:*rolls eyes* (Score 2) 120

Not to mention FTFA:

The growing took place in a greenhouse with consistent temperature, humidity and light conditions, and under earth atmosphere. "This is because we expect that first crop growth on Mars and moon will take place in underground rooms to protect the plants from the hostile environment including cosmic radiation," says team member Dr. Wieger Wamelink.

And no, the harvested crops weren't eaten. The soils contained heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury, and there were concerns that these could be taken up by the plants.

Comment *rolls eyes* (Score 2, Interesting) 120

Now we know how to grow food on Mars!

Step 1: Be on Earth, with Earth Gravity.
Step 2: Grow your food in an oxygenated, normal earth atmosphere.
Step 3: Build a big warehouse, climate controlled, not subjected to martian weather or extremes.
Step 4: Use desert soil.
Step 5: When all of that fails, add fresh compost and grass, with plenty of water.

I'm not sure how any of this works as "simulated" lunar and martian soil. If they had taken inert soil, or diatomaceous earth ( would have been a start.

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