Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our booming economy ...

Just not in Wisconsin.
The office of North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue (D) announced today that Toshiba Nuclear will open a project management and engineering center in Charlotte; adding 194 jobs to Mecklenburg County. The jobs will pay average salaries of $122,037 a year.
I would imagine that Wisconsin was near the top of their list, but just missed out. But I would be wrong.
The company is the primary contractor for the construction of two nuclear reactors planned in Texas. The company initially considered sites there and in Northern Virginia, where it is based, for the new operation before cutting the list to Charlotte and Atlanta.

"Charlotte is becoming the place to be in the U.S. for nuclear engineers," Fuyuki Saito, chief executive of Toshiba America Nuclear Energy said in a statement. "The quality of the work force, quality of life and strong support we have received from state and local officials make Charlotte a perfect fit for out new center."
Strong support from state and local officials, I wonder what that means?

H/T - NEI Nuclear Notes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Almost heaven

The Calumet River Café.

Relax. Have some smoked shrimp and an Old Style. Life doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What could go wrong?

As seen on Instapundit:
California's biggest energy utility announced a deal Monday to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity from a startup company that plans to beam the power down to Earth from outer space, beginning in 2016.


Solaren would generate the power using solar panels in Earth orbit and convert it to radio-frequency transmissions that would be beamed down to a receiving station in Fresno, PG&E said. From there, the energy would be converted into electricity and fed into PG&E's power grid.


Solaren's chief executive officer, Gary Spirnak, said the project would be the first real-world application of space solar power, a technology that has been talked about for decades but never turned into reality.

"While a system of this scale and exact configuration has not been built, the underlying technology is very mature and is based on communications satellite technology," he said in a Q&A posted by PG&E. A study drawn up for the Pentagon came to a similar conclusion in 2007. However, that study also said the cost of satellite-beamed power would likely be significantly higher than market rates, at least at first.

Talk about your unintended consequences. This technology is being developed to reduce the use of carbon based electricity, but it will directly cause global warming. How can concentrating and converting solar energy, then sending it to the planet not cause warming?

Granted, the warming will be on a very small scale, but it will be warming nonetheless. And probably warm the earth more than the CO2 from producing the same electricity using coal.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Smoke Day Entertainment

What's a barbecue party without an Elvis tribute artist?

Nothing. That's what.

So if you see someone at my place on May 23 wearing a white leather sequined jumpsuit and a big belt buckle, it won't be me.

This year we've added Brian from The Suspicious Minds to our entertainment line-up.

I may have to hire professional security for crowd control this year.

Be afraid. Very afraid.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Oh, the humanity ...

The peregrine falcons are back at Kewaunee and it is not pretty. There is carnage everywhere, bird parts and bodies scattered all over the plant site. I witnessed an especially disturbing occurrence today, a seagull in the parking lot being left to bleed out and die. It appears that the falcons may be hunting for sport.