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Archive for November 28th, 2013

It All Happens in a Flash

Posted by feww on November 28, 2013

“Safety-related action” automatically shuts down South Korea’s nuclear reactor

The auto shutdown at the 587-megawatt Kori No. 1 reactor occurred on Thursday raising the tally of nuclear reactors closed to six and increasing the probability of power blackouts this winter, Reuters reported.

The reactor was commissioned in 1978, and had recently returned online after a 180-day overhaul, the report said.

South Korea’s peak demand could exceed 81,000 MW this winter, some 5,000 MW short of total supply capacity, according to industry data.

Of the other 5  nuclear reactors currently offline, three are shut due to fake safety certificates,  a fourth awaiting a license extension beyond its 30-year life span, and a fifth is shut down for maintenance until 2014.

The Kori Nuclear Power Plant is located in Gori, near Busan (metro population: 8.2 million), South Korea’s second largest metropolis after Seoul. It is owned and operated by Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, a subsidiary of KEPCO.

kori reactor unit 1
Kori Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1. Source: KNHP [
KHNP is a subsidiary of  Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), accounting for about 40% of South Korea’s electric power supply, both nuclear and hydro.

Fake Parts, Bogus Cetificates

South Korean nuclear regulators discovered about a thousand more fake parts supplied for their nuclear plants with bogus quality certificates in 2012.

  • In November 2012, eight companies were found to have submitted 60 fake  certificates that covered more than 7,000 parts mostly used in the two reactors that were reportedly shut.
  • S. Korean government is planning an additional 11 nuclear reactors, to add to its existing fleet of 23.
  • About 12,500 tons of nuclear waste filled more than 70 percent of the country’s  storage capacity at reactor sites, as of June 2012.

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Mass Evacuations Ordered as Cyclonic Storm LEHAR Approaches India

Posted by feww on November 28, 2013

UPDATE @ 13:00UTC – LEHAR has weakened to a tropical depression with winds of about 50km/h, bringing moderate rains as it made landfall near the city of Machilipatnam, officials said. NO significant damage expected.

Thousands in low-lying coastal areas evacuated as Cyclone LEHAR raced toward east India

LEHAR [“wave” in Hindi,] which was downgraded from its earlier classification as a “very severe” cyclone to cyclonic storm, was packing sustained winds of about 75km/h, gusting to about 95km/h, as of 02:30UTC on Thursday, November 28, 2013.

“We remain geared to evacuate around 250,000 people in seven districts as per our earlier plans,” said the  vice chairman of India’s disaster management agency on Wednesday. “The evacuation will begin later tonight or even early tomorrow morning in some places based on local conditions, including the beginning of rainfall.”

lehar wp 28nov2013
Cyclonic Storm LEHAR – Water Vapor [FIRE-EARTH Enhancement] Satellite image – recorded at 01:30UTC on November 28, 2013. Original Image Source: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

Earlier Image recorded at 05:30UTC on November 27, 2013.

lehar 27nov2013 0500utc
LEHAR – Water Vapor [FIRE-EARTH Enhancement] Satellite image – recorded at 05:30UTC on November 27, 2013.
Original Image Source: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

google logo of the day 2

LEHAR, the third significant storm to hit east India since October, is expected to cause more damage than Cyclone HELEN.

Cyclone HELEN struck the Andhra Pradesh coast last Friday, forcing thousands of evacuations, killing at least six people and causing significant  damage to crops.

In October, Cyclone PHAILIN destroyed or damaged more than 500,000 mud houses, killing dozens of people, ruining 1.3 million hectares of crops and leaving more than 12 million homeless.

IMD Bulletin No.: BOB07/2013/34 [Dated: 28-11-2013 @ 5;00 IST]

The cyclonic storm ‘LEHAR’ over westcentral Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestward with a speed of 15kmph during past six hrs and lay centred at 02:30 hours IST of today, the 28th November 2013 over the westcentral Bay of Bengal near latitude 15.0ºN and longitude 83.5ºE, about 280 km east-southeast of Machillipatnam and 250 km south-southeast of Kakinada. It would move west-northwestwards, weaken further and cross Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam as a deep depression around today, the 28th November afternoon.

This post will be updated throughout the day …

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Crop Disasters Declared for 28 Counties across 4 States

Posted by feww on November 28, 2013

Severe storms, excessive wind, rain and hail cause crop disaster in four states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 28 counties across four states as agricultural disaster areas in three separate disaster declarations.

Disaster Declaration No. 1

Montana: Glacier County, which includes the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, together with the counties of Flathead, Pondera, and  Toole have been declared crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by several severe storms and hail that occurred June 18 – September 30, 2013.

Disaster Declaration No. 2

USDA has designated a total of 17 counties in three states–Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin– as crop disaster disaster areas due to losses caused by excessive rainfall that occurred April 1 – August 5, 2013.

Those counties are

  • Iowa: Allamakee, Cerro Gordo,  Floyd, Bremer, Clayton, Hancock, Winnebago, Butler, Fayette, Howard, Winneshiek, Chickasaw, Franklin and Mitchell counties.
  • Minnesota: Houston County.
  • Wisconsin: Crawford and Vernon counties.

Disaster Declaration No. 3

USDA has also designated seven counties in Oregon as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive wind, rain, and hail that occurred August 25, 2013.

Those counties are: Jefferson, Crook, Linn, Wasco, Deschutes, Marion and Wheeler counties.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Nov. 27, 2013.

“Secretary Vilsack also reminds producers that Congress has not funded the five disaster assistance programs authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.These are SURE; the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP); the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). Production losses due to disasters occurring after Sept. 30, 2011, are not eligible for disaster program coverage,” said USDA.

Crop Disaster 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared 3,954 county-level agricultural disaster areas across 44 states, so far this year.

The crop disasters for year 2013 include losses and damages caused by

  • Flash flooding
  • Excessive rain, moisture, humidity
  • Severe Storms, thunderstorms
  • Ground Saturation
  • Standing Water
  • Hail
  • Wind, High Winds
  • Fire, Wildfire
  • Heat, Excessive heat
  • High Temp. (incl. low humidity)
  • Winter Storms, Ice Storms, Snow, Blizzard
  • Frost, FREEZE
  • Hurricanes, Typhoons, Tropical Storms
  • Tornadoes
  • Volcano
  • Mudslides, Debris Flows, Landslides
  • Heavy Surf
  • Ice Jams
  • Insects
  • Tidal Surges
  • Cold, wet weather
  • Cool/Cold, Below-normal Temperatures
  • Lightning
  • Disease

1. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

2. The total number of counties designated as agricultural disaster areas includes both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

3. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

4. A number of counties have been designated crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

5. The disaster designations were approved by USDA between January 9 and November 20, 2013.

Recent Federal and Agriculture Disaster Declarations

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Hundreds of Homes Evacuated after Ohio Railcar Leak

Posted by feww on November 28, 2013

Flammable liquid spill from derailed train forces mass evacuation

Hundreds of homes will remain evacuated in Willard, Ohio after a train derailment damaged a railcar that spilled flammable liquid, according to CSX Corp, AP reported.

The damaged car reportedly leaked more than 26,000 gallons of styrene monomer, a highly flammable chemical used to make plastic products.

Willard (population: 6,300) a small city in northern Ohio is located about 65 miles southwest of Cleveland.

CSX Corp owns the railroad company CSX Transportation that serves most of the U.S. East Coast.

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