Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 9/28 - Squeezed and Stacked in Hong Kong, The Real Fukushima Danger

Saturday, September 28, 2013, 9:34 AM

Economy

A Guide to the New Exchanges for Health Insurance (jdargis)

The exchanges are likely to be most attractive to people who qualify for subsidized coverage. Individuals with low and moderate incomes may be eligible for a tax credit, which can be used right away, like a gift card, to reduce their monthly premiums. People with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage or charged more (this applies to most plans outside the exchanges, too). And all of the plans on the exchanges will be required to cover a list of essential services, from maternity care to mental health care.

Lady Thatcher and Tony Blair used 'hubristic language', research finds (Arthur Robey)

Hubris is commonly associated with a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence, accomplishments or capabilities. It is characterised by a pattern of exuberant self-confidence, recklessness and contempt for others, and is most particularly recognised in subjects holding positions of significant power.

“We Are Seeing An All-out Defense of the Status Quo” (Thomas C.)

My corporate career ended at age 50, leaving it in order to spend more time at home, and especially with my young son. I had been working very long hours and spending a significant amount of time away from home for too many years, and did not wish to lose any more of that precious gift of family. Calculations showed that given our savings, and naturally modest lifestyle, we could get by on what I could make from trading in markets and some other investments. And so this has been the way it has been for the past twelve years.

Have-Nots Squeezed and Stacked in Hong Kong (jdargis)

Hong Kong’s per-capita gross domestic product is higher than that of Italy, and not far short of those of Britain and France, according to World Bank figures. But for unskilled or semiskilled people like Mr. Ng, the city is a tough place to be, said Wong Hung, an associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong specializing in urban poverty and employment.

Take the Food Out of Food Stamps (jdargis)

In the grand scheme of things, this was not such a terrible bargain for liberals to strike. But if rural conservatives are going to default on their side of the bargain, urban liberals ought to do the same. Free poor people from the shackles of food stamps and let people buy what they want with their money.

Risky Repair of Fukushima Could Spill 15,000 Times the Radiation of Hiroshima, Create 85 Chernobyls (Bradford)

The 13m tsunami overwhelmed the plant’s seawall, which was only 10m high, quickly flooding the low-lying rooms in which the emergency generators were housed (The tsunami was photographed). The flooded diesel generators failed, cutting power to the critical pumps that must continuously circulate coolant water through a Generation II reactor for several days to keep it from melting down after shut down.

The Crisis at Fukushima's Unit 4 Demands a Global Take-Over (Bradford)

We already know that thousands of tons of heavily contaminated water are pouring through the Fukushima site, carrying a devil’s brew of long-lived poisonous isotopes into the Pacific. Tuna irradiated with fallout traceable to Fukushima have already been caught off the coast of California. We can expect far worse.

The Real Fukushima Danger (Bradford)

The radiation caused by the failure of the spent fuel pools in the event of another earthquake could reach the West Coast within days. That absolutely makes the safe containment and protection of this spent fuel a security issue for the United States.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 9/28/13

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

7 Comments

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
44% efficiency cells @ 290 suns.

 

Phys.org

How to interpret the graph:

Sunlight is concentrated 290 times and shone on the solar cell. (Higher concentrations of sunlight causes an electronic cascade effect. I seem to recall that the breakthrough to the cascade is 30 suns)

The cell is made up of not one but four p/n junctions. (A p/n junction is made up of the contact between a "positive" and a "negative" material. Think of the cell as a multi-layered sponge cake with five layers and four contacts.)

The four junctions are tuned to different frequencies. (They absorb, are sensitive to, different wavelength energies. This is why the four curves span different parts of the spectrum. (X axis).

Therefore more energy is harvested and hence the record of 44%.

Here is a graph from wiki showing the overall state of play.

More here

 

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Communists Agonize

Podomatic has a new offering of communist agony. Covers revolutions and the Climate Catastrophe. Pretty strange, twisted ego-dominated worldview, but right on the money about the ecology being the foundation of the economy.

Odd bedfellows indeed.

jdye51's picture
jdye51
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 157
Bradford?

I posted yesterday on the 3 articles on Fukushima and can't find it.

No one here seems to want to talk about Fukushima or at least I am not seeing any comments on the articles. I wonder why that is. Too difficult a topic? Don't think it's that much of a problem? PP members have shown a willingness to face uncomfortable information or they wouldn't be here. Why the silence over Fukushima, an ongoing disaster with enormous implications?

Bradford, feel free to PM or email me. Let's talk.

Joyce

debu's picture
debu
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 17 2009
Posts: 222
Report from Tokyo

Just back from a week in Tokyo.  I was not surprised really that normalcy bias reigns and mentioning Fukushima radiation concerns is considered bad form in polite company.  There are those who are worried (about food in particular) but they are very much in the minority and feel socially marginalized.

The media has been reporting the contaminated water problem more extensively than previously and Abe has come in for some criticism for assuring the IOC that the Fukushima accident is in hand and that there have not and will not be any public health consequences as a result of the ongoing situation.  Predictably, the IOC was satisfied and awarded Tokyo the 2020 summer Olympics, further encouraging the public to assume all is fine.  (Hard not to think  they won’t be held in Tokyo then, or perhaps anywhere.)  Feel-good boosterism is everywhere. Understandable perhaps given the bad run Japan has had recently but it does add to the air of unreality to the place.   

Residents of the area in the north east which suffered the brunt of the various effects of 3/11 are not pleased by Abe’s statements nor the money that will be spent on the Olympics despite the glacial pace of the recovery both at the Fukushima NPP and along the coast which was devastated by the tsunami.  In the south and west of the country the goings-on in Fukushima are largely an abstraction and paid little heed it seems.

The foregoing is impressionistic and anecdotal, of course, so I would be curious to hear the thoughts of others who are living in Japan or have visited recently.

It saddened me a bit to feel that I was glad that I no longer lived in Tokyo. The day-to-day cognitive dissonance would have become awfully wearing I suspect had I stayed.

jdye51's picture
jdye51
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 157
Debu

Thanks for your story of being in Tokyo and the denial there about the dangers from Fukushima. To me, it's just crazy to think Japan can host the Olympics in 2020. Japan is on the verge of financial collapse and Abe wants to spend more money they don't have to build things that they don't need?!

I am a little surprised that other than the areas directly affected, there is so little concern by the majority. Then again, people don't want to have to face the consequences of this disaster. We all just want to go about our daily lives and not have to think about it. Denial works until it doesn't.

Do you live in Japan? Where do you live? Do you have a way to measure the radioactivity in your area? Arnie Gunderson took random samples from Tokyo and had them analyzed. They were all what would be considered nuclear waste here. I suspect there has been more contamination than the government wants to acknowledge. Be glad you don't live there anymore! Even so, if the spent fuel pool goes, all of Japan may be in danger. Do you have a backup plan?

If you hear anything more, I hope you will pass it on here.

Joyce

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 367
Fukushima

FWIW: Fukushima is important, but I am far more worried about the state of our own nuclear plants. I see at least a few companies are coming to their senses with permanent shutdowns. Although they still represent huge risks since there in no long term solution to the spend fuel at these sites. Even if the reactors are dismantled the spent fuel remains, perhaps for decades.

In the event of a limited Nuclear War life would continue in the US, except for those damn Spent Fuel pools. A Typicall Nuclear war head (fissile only) contains a few kilograms of nuclear material. A SFP can contain hundreds of tons of high radioative material. The SFP are a much greater threat than the damage caused by a nuclear war.

 

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 367
Re: Solar cell efficiency

Efficiency isn't the most important aspect when price and durabillity is considered. GaAs is a very brittle material and I doubt it will last very long especially if running at 290x Solar power. Thats a lot a thermal cycling (ie every time a cloud passes over or day-night cycling).

I suspect the costs are much much higher than silicon based Solar cells since typically GaAS semiconductor devices are considerably much more expensive. Pollution would also be a concern since arsenic (used in GaAS semiconductors) is extremely toxic and can easily pollution drinking water as well enter the food chain (grains, vegitables and livestock).

In my opinion Solar will never be a game changer since it will always be very expensive and cannot provide 7/24/365 base load generation. In a industrialze\economic collapse it does have some use for an off-grid system (especially since it can generate power without noise), but it can never compete economically with existing base load plants (Thermal or Hydro). The best investment in Solar Tech would be developing low cost panels, even if the efficiency is poor. I rather buy 75 panels that cost me $5 each, produce 200W and last 20 years, than 15 panels that product 1KW but cost $1000 each and only last a few years.

 

 

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