(photo by Jason Hickey)
A spokesman for Southern California Edison, the operator of the San Onofre nuclear power generating station (between LA and San Diego, the big white dome-shaped thing off I-5) was trying to calm fearful Southern California residents today when he explained that the 84-acre generating station was built to withstand a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. He also told local media that a 25-foot-high "tsunami wall" of reinforced concrete stood between the plant and the immediately adjacent Pacific ocean.
Well, that's nice. But this Southern California resident remains concerned: the earthquake that devastated Japan last Friday, throwing various nuclear power plants into crisis and sparking worldwide fears of a major nuke accident, was a 9.0 "great quake." And the tsunami that soon followed? That was 33 feet high.
When the plant was built 42 years ago (42 years! That's forever in design-years!), scientists predicted a 6.5 quake could strike the plant. The designers of the San Onofre plant built with a higher threshold in mind. But man, not high enough, for my money. There's a geological fault just 5 miles offshore, and good odds we'll be hit by a "great quake" of our own, sooner or later.
For context: those documents from TEPCO, operator of the stricken Fukushima plant in Japan, that were obtained by reporters at the Wall Street Journal? They show that engineers tested the Fukushima plant to withstand a quake up to magnitude 7.9.
Los Angeles Times article here.
“We Are NASA” thrills me more than any science fiction movie trailer, and it’s real.
OK, it’s not quite Dr. Crusher’s dermal regenerator (seen above), but Arizona State University researchers have demonstrated a laser system for sealing wounds. The system involves a sealing paste — made from silk protein mixed with gold nanorods — that bonds with skin when heated with a laser. From IEEE Spectrum: To use a laser […]
There’s scientific truth to the saying that you never forget how to ride a bike. Even if you can’t remember phone numbers, birthdays, or where the hell you parked your car, it’s likely that even if you haven’t been on a bicycle in decades, you can climb on and ride away just fine. Why? Neuropsychologist […]
The key to learning any new language is feedback. When you’re immersed in conversation, it’s easy to pick up key phrases and pronunciation, but not all of us have the means to jet off to Spain, France or wherever we can learn to speak like a local. The next best thing: The Mondly app. Mondly […]
Got a gadget-minded geek on your holiday list this year? Don’t wait for Black Friday. The prices are already dropping on some quality tech toys, and we’ve got a roundup of some of our favorites. Force Flyers DIY Building Block Drone MSRP: $49.99 | Normally: $42.99 | Price Drop: $39.99 (20% Off) Compatible with everybody’s […]
Ever wondered what it takes to make the transition from amateur photography to a full career? If you answered “a better camera,” you’re half right. Before you get the equipment, get the know-how to use it with the Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course & Certification. Taught by experienced pros, this course is geared towards shutterbugs […]