Tag Archives: train

Vogtle nuclear reactor train wreck

Ever wondered what a nuclear reactor vessel looks like? Here’s one that’s literally a train wreck, on its way to Plant Vogtle on the Savannah River.

Rob Pavey wrote for the Augusta Chronicle 10 January 2013, Vogtle reactor vessel slips between Savannah, Burke County,

A 300-ton reactor vessel bound for Plant Vogtle was stranded briefly in south Georgia this week after a malfunction with the specially designed rail car moving the nuclear component from Savannah to Burke County. Workers examine a rail car that was transporting a 300-ton reactor vessel from the Port of Savannah to the Plant Vogtle nuclear site in Burke County. A misalignment between the cargo platform and the rail car caused the component to be returned to Savannah.

“The platform that contained the RV (reactor vessel) during transport became misaligned with the Schnabel railcar, so the railcar stopped immediately,” said Georgia Power Co. spokesman Mark Williams. “The platform and car were re-aligned the same day and safely returned to the port.”

The Schnabel railcar, which features extra axles that help distribute and support the weight of heavy objects, did not break, he said. Georgia Power would not divulge the location of the incident.

I wonder what the locals think. We’d ask them, if we knew where they were.

Well, that’s the only mishap so far, right?

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Debate: Georgia Public Service Comission candidates this afternoon on GBP

Rumor is that, like last weekend, the incumbents won't show up for this afternoon's Public Service Commission debates, this time on Georgia Public Television.

GPB does still list them as "invited", with this schedule for today, Sunday 22 July 2012:

Date and TimeDebateInvited Candidates
Sunday, July 22 at 4:30 pm Public Service Commission District 3 Republican Chuck Eaton and Matt Reid
Sunday, July 22 at 5 pm Public Service Commission, District 5 – Republican Pam Davidson and Stan Wise

If the incumbents don't bother to show up, how responsive to the people are they?

-jsq

Vogtle nuke overruns could be larger than entire Georgia state budget

Georgia Sierra Club Footnotes Issue #61 19 July 2012, Chances that Vogtle 3 & 4 Will be Built? 50%.

Already they are almost a billion dollars over and running behind schedule. People closely following this slow-motion train wreck doubt that the actual cost of Vogtle 3 and 4 will be less than $20 billion — and that is excluding capital costs, which ratepayers will be paying for the rest of their lives (like our house mortgages). To put that in perspective, the State of Georgia budget is about $20 billion annually.

The Public Service Commission has a third party monitor who helps them assess whether the project and associated costs are on track. Right now, Georgia Power is on the hook for $400 million in cost overruns. This fall will likely be a critical time for Georgia regulators to make a go/no-go decision. In the meantime, now is your chance to find out whether the two Public Service Commissioners who are up for election this year, Chuck Eaton and Stan Wise, deserve another term. Georgia Public Broadcasting will be hosting a debate which will air Sunday at 5pm. Click here for the broadcast, and don’t forget to vote on July 31st!

According to GPB, the PSC debate schedule for Sunday 22 July 2012 is:

Date and TimeDebateInvited Candidates
Sunday, July 22
at 4:30 pm
Public Service Commission
District 3 Republican
Chuck Eaton and Matt Reid
Sunday, July 22
at 5 pm
Public Service Commission,
District 5 – Republican
Pam Davidson and Stan Wise

Maybe, unlike for last weekend’s PSC debates, the incumbents will bother to show up. If they don’t, how responsive to the people are they?

-jsq

Why did old US 41 N increase from $8 M to $12 M? —John S. Quarterman @ SGRC 2011-09-19

I asked why the Old US 41 North widening project changed from $8 million on the unconstrained list to $12 million on the constrained list, an increase of $4 million or 50% when the description did not change? The answer indicates GDOT and local governments want to drive development north in the county, leaving pedestrians and bicyclists stranded yet having to pay.

Corey Hull responded:

Halfway through we received new cost estimates….

GDOT did the cost estimates, in cooperation with the local government that was responsible for that.

A state employee told me after the meeting that GDOT raised some estimates because it thought the local government, in this case the Lowndes County Commission and staff, didn’t put in enough to cover the project. I don’t know whether GDOT was figuring by Atlanta costs or not…. At least the cost didn’t go up further in the final project list; I just checked and it’s still $12 million.

Corey elaborated that some projects increased and some decreased. I asked him which ones did which. He said he’d have to go back and compare. Later he helped me produce a list of comparisons of costs of Lowndes County projects, which shows that one went down by 30% and three went up by 50% or more. One, RC11-000099 St. Augustine at Norman Intersection Improvements, went up by 131.5%.

That $12 million for widening less than 3 miles of one road is more than one item that was in the unconstrained list but cut from the constrained list: $7.5 million for a bus system, with three bus lines that would connect Wiregrass Tech, Five Points, Downtown, Moody, East Side, South Side, West Side, and the Mall. A bus system recommended by the Industrial Authority’s Community Assessment to aid in employee attendance, industry recruitment, and workforce.

You could probably even start up a substantial commuter rail system using existing freight line tracks for less than $12 million. Even though GDOT apparently only believes in roads and bridges, busses and trains are actually more cost-effective, especially for lower-income people. The same lower-income people who will be disproportionately taxed by T-SPLOST as a percentage of their income.

Instead, the description for the Old US 41 North project admits the county is driving Continue reading

County quantifies some infrastructure payback times @ LCC 2012 03 31

Water and sewer take decades for return on investment, and roads and bridges probably aren’t any better. That’s worth remembering whenever solar, busses, or trains come up.

David Rodock wrote for the VDT Sunday, Commission wraps up annual retreat: Utility payments, road projects and waste disposal discussed

The cost of one mile of construction for water takes 23 years for a return on the initial investment; sewer takes 21.3 years.

The VDT didn’t specify the similar return times for road paving or bridge construction, but it’s a safe bet they’re at least as long. The farther water or sewer lines or roads or bridges are from population centers, the more they cost both directly in installation and indirectly in trips for fire and sheriff vehicles, and especially school busses. The county commissioned a report on that several years ago, as Gretchen reminded them last year. In the particular rezoning case on Cat Creek they were discussing then (Nottinghil), they made a decision to table which seems to have caused the developer never to come back with that particular sprawl plan. I congratulated the Commissioners at that time, and I congratulate them again on not promoting sprawl.

Sprawl costs the county, payback takes years, and longer the farther out it goes. What if we did something different? More on that later.

-jsq

 

 

Transportation Plan Open House, MPO

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Metropolitan Planning Organization is holding an open house about its Long Range Transportation Plan. (Not to be confused with the County’s Thoroughfare Plan, which has little or no open process.) This Transportation Plan I think will include another attempt to design a bus system; we’ll see. I’ll be there; how about you?

Here’s a transcription of the PDF flyer:

PARTICIPATE! PARTICIPATE! PARTICIPATE!

Public Open House

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

at the
Southern Georgia Regional Commission
327 W. Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, GA

2035 Valdosta-Lowndes MPO
Long Range Transportation Plan Draft Project List Review

Valdosta-Lowndes MPO
229-333-5277 … chull@sgrc.us … www.sgrc.us/transportation