Putin truth or Dare on Syria

V. Putin’s hoped in the NYT spurred on international and national dialogue about USA probable invasion of Syria. Max Fisher of the Washington Post takes the editorial line by line to fact check and analyzed it. Here is a brief excerpt to wet your curiosity with a link to Max Fisher’s complete analysis of Putin’s NYT op ed.

“Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.” Putin NYT

This is true, and a real dilemma for Obama, given that he is attempting to portray strikes against Syria as meant to uphold international law against the use of chemical weapons.

Still, you’ll be shocked to learn that Putin does not hold himself to the same standard he’s setting here for Obama. Putin’s Russia launched a war against Georgia just five short years ago. He would argue that the war was justified, but it certainly wasn’t approved by the United Nations Security Council. Max Fisher Washington Post

“No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.” Putin NYT

This is the section of the op-ed that’s drawing by far the most criticism. There is very little reason to believe that rebels carried out the attack but strong circumstantial evidence that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime. Max Fisher Washington Post

http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/09/12/vladimir-putins-new-york-times-op-ed-annotated-and-fact-checked/

Stream gauges in NY funded | News from North Country Public Radio

Thank you Senator Schumer! Excerpt from AP on NY water gauges.

“Senator Charles Schumer says 21 high-priority gauges will receive federal funding and not shut down as planned at the end of the month.

Of those 21, Schumer says that 15 will receive long-term funding. The remaining six have been funded through at least 2014.

Among those with long-term funding are gauges measuring stream flow into Lake Champlain,  on the Great Chazy River at Perry Mills, and the Little Ausable River near Valcour , both in Clinton County, and a gauge on Lake Champlain north of Whitehall, in Washington County.

Schumer says the importance of New York’s more than 200 stream and river gauges is more apparent in light of recent upstate flooding. But he stresses the new funding does not include all of New York’s high-priority gauges.”

http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/22700/20130909/schumer-helps-keep-stream-gauges-in-ny-funded

Sugar Loaf State Conservation area Creek | Grist

John Upton reports on Sugarloafs concrete creek. An excerpt from The Newcastle Herald: “Being a coal company, Switzerland-based Xstrata decided to keep its little accident a secret from the public. Nearly three months later, after the debacle was exposed by the Herald, the state government ordered a cleanup. But how do you remove hundreds of yards of grout from a creek? The company has until September to come up with a plan, but it won’t be easy.”

‘“I have no idea how it can be cleaned up,” said an unnamed worker involved in the restoration effort. “The problem is just too massive.”’

http://grist.org/news/coal-company-accidentally-turns-a-creek-into-concrete/#.UivpI96OIwY.twitter

Moses Saunders dam

Direct from the IJC: “Last updated more than 50 years ago, the plan for managing flow operations at the Moses Saunders dam at Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, NY has provided flood control benefits for upstream and downstream communities, more stable water levels for shipping, recreational boating and drinking water intakes, and dependable flows for hydropower production. However, the flow manangement practices have also degraded the environment of Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence River.

The International Joint Commission’s (IJC) proposal will restore more natural patterns of water-level fluctuation and improve conditions in wetlands and aquatic habitat for fish, birds and other animals in the coastal and nearshore zones of the lake and upper river. It will also continue to manage levels for shoreline communities and other interests on Lake Ontario by reducing the occurrence of high and low water levels to nearly the same degree as the 1950s plan. The proposal will provide for a small increase in the generation of clean hydroelectric power and maintains the current benefits for downstream communities and economic activities in Quebec. The proposal includes an adaptive management strategy which will be implemented over time to provide systematic monitoring and performance assessment, and help communities adapt to changing conditions.

The Lake Ontario –St. Lawrence River proposal for regulation includes five elementsis that are described in detail in accompanying pages: Order Criteria and Conditions; Regulation Plan; Deviations Directive; Board Directive; and Adaptive Management. 

The International Joint Commission may further revise the proposal, including the new regulation plan, based on comments received during the public review process, and will then seek the concurrence of the federal governments of Canada and the United States prior to implementation.”

Controversy continues between stakeholders. Go to IJC WEBSITE to down load Plan 2014.

http://www.ijc.org/en_/losl/Proposal

Moses Saunders dam

Direct from the IJC: “Last updated more than 50 years ago, the plan for managing flow operations at the Moses Saunders dam at Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, NY has provided flood control benefits for upstream and downstream communities, more stable water levels for shipping, recreational boating and drinking water intakes, and dependable flows for hydropower production. However, the flow manangement practices have also degraded the environment of Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence River.

The International Joint Commission’s (IJC) proposal will restore more natural patterns of water-level fluctuation and improve conditions in wetlands and aquatic habitat for fish, birds and other animals in the coastal and nearshore zones of the lake and upper river. It will also continue to manage levels for shoreline communities and other interests on Lake Ontario by reducing the occurrence of high and low water levels to nearly the same degree as the 1950s plan. The proposal will provide for a small increase in the generation of clean hydroelectric power and maintains the current benefits for downstream communities and economic activities in Quebec. The proposal includes an adaptive management strategy which will be implemented over time to provide systematic monitoring and performance assessment, and help communities adapt to changing conditions.

The Lake Ontario –St. Lawrence River proposal for regulation includes five elementsis that are described in detail in accompanying pages: Order Criteria and Conditions; Regulation Plan; Deviations Directive; Board Directive; and Adaptive Management. 

The International Joint Commission may further revise the proposal, including the new regulation plan, based on comments received during the public review process, and will then seek the concurrence of the federal governments of Canada and the United States prior to implementation.”

Controversy continues between stakeholders. Go to IJC WEBSITE to down load Plan 2014.

http://www.ijc.org/en_/losl/Proposal

Old nuclear reactors seen as growth opportunity | Idahostatesman.com

An article “Old nuclear reactors seen as growth opportunity” in the Idahostatesman.com describes the decommissioning process of a civilian nuclear plant. Decommissioning is referred to as ‘razing’. Here is an excerpt from article:

“Razing a plant is tricky business. Radiation can seep into the concrete, pipes and metal of plant structures, and workers must be able to break down the units without exposing themselves, or the public, to contamination. Plants often sit idle for decades before being torn down, to let radioactive material decay.

“The whole objective of decontamination is to get the dose levels as low as possible so you can do the dismantlement work,” Christine King, director of nuclear fuels and chemistry at the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., said in a phone interview.

During a reactor decommissioning, the plant operator transfers radioactive fuel rods to cooling pools and, ultimately, to so-called dry casks for storage. Workers clean contaminated surfaces by sandblasting, chemical sprays and hydrolasing, a process that involves high-pressure water blasts, according to King.

“You do get to a point that you need someone to come in that has the equipment and the technology to actually dismantle the components,” she said. “That typically is hired out.”

New Orleans-based Entergy hasn’t determined the schedule or the cost for taking apart the Vermont Yankee reactor, though the company plans to let it sit long enough to let radiation decay, according to plant spokesman Rob Williams.

“The complete decommissioning process is likely to take decades,” he said in an e-mail.

When such work begins at a plant, it can create business for companies including EnergySolutions Inc. of Salt Lake City and Waste Control Specialists LLC of Dallas, both closely held, and Idaho’s US Ecology Inc. The companies dispose of low-level radioactive waste, including components and buildings at nuclear power plants.

The work doesn’t include removing the 65,000 tons of radioactive fuel that are now stored at about 75 operating and closed reactor sites across the country. The fuel will probably remain until lawmakers establish a plan for temporary or permanent disposal.

House Republicans have said the U.S. should resume its work on the Yucca Mountain repository, a move that President Obama’s administration and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., oppose.”

To read more go to:

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/09/06/2744783/old-nuclear-reactors-seen-as-growth.html