Re: [SystemSafety] Floods and Electrics

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2016 08:20:49 +0100


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On 2016-01-05 07:27 , Matthew Squair wrote:
> At least in the EU you don't have to contend with the US Army Corp of Engineers efforts in
> flood control.
>
> http://criticaluncertainties.com/2011/08/28/national-single-points-of-failure/#more-4805

Chip Clarke referred me to a superb essay by John McPhee in his book The Control of Nature (1989). It is adapted from McPhee's New Yorker article at http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1987/02/23/atchafalaya Randall Munro, the XKCD guy, also wrote some nice material on the 2011 floods. See http://blog.xkcd.com/2011/05/08/michael-bays-scenario/ I got the McPhee article link from there.

The other two essays in McPhee's book, about the Icelandic communities threatened by lava flows, and about LA and its susceptibility to earthquakes and wildfires, are also well worth reading.

People here might recall that the 2011 floods threatened the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant some 20 miles north of Omaha in Nebraska. Some reports said it wasn't a difficult problem, since the critical systems were some six feet above the expected highest level http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0627/Missouri-River-soaks-Nebraska-nuclear-plant-but-it-s-no-Fukushima . (There was also a report in a Pakistani English-language newspaper, referenced on another list by Karl Swarz, that Russian "authorities" had written that it was an INES Level 4 event and that US newspapers had been ordered not to report it. That was hard to take seriously. It sounded like a complete misjudgement of US journalism by people in countries whose press is routinely intimidated by government.)

PBL Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany Je suis Charlie
Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319 www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de

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