1. One Congress Man who’s name éludes me says that the world should cough up And pay the US for keeping the océans safe in the mid East for oil transit.

    Well Russia should also be paid for keeping commercial artic routes opened for all with their Nuke Ice breakers.

  2. Rod,

    Russia innovated with their Nuke Ice breakers.

    For the first Time ever, the Olympic flame was taken from a northern Russia port to the North Pôle in Record Time.

    It was a first for a North pôle Olympic flame combo.

  3. Since you own the VHS tape, you have a right to copy that to a different medium, like DVD. It can be done with a special analog-to-digital converter device (mine has an RCA coax plug on one end and a USB on the other end). Or, I’m sure you could get it done commercially.

    1. @Keith Pickering

      True, but once I have a digital version, I am not sure that I have the legal right to distribute clips on the internet. There is a certain amount of leeway provided by “fair use” principles, but the clips have to be quite short in order for that to be legitimately used. (BTW – I have an A/D converter and have produced a digital version of the documentary for private use.)

  4. Rod – Good point! They should have used a nuclear-powered Russian icebreaker, which could have torn through that ice like a hot knife through butter and proven to the world that the southern icecap is melting(!!) and we’re all going to die(!!) unless we all repent to Mother Earth and submit to a life powered by windmills and solar cells.

    By the way, why do you refer to these people as “scientists”? Only a third of them could lay any claim to the title “scientist”; the rest were either journalists or eco-tourists, some of them children. Of the third who could presumptuously call themselves “scientists,” I consider them scientists only in the loosest possible definition of the term.

    A “Ship of Fools” is a more honest and accurate description.

    It’s a shame that the Russian nuclear icebreakers seem to have been unavailable to attempt a rescue of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy. It would have been a great time for some positive nuclear energy PR while the world was paying attention.

    A shame? Yeah, great … so that RT (short for “Pravda Today”) would have (yet another) opportunity to point out how backwards the nuclear technology of the West is and how Russian technology is so much superior. No thanks. They have been doing that enough already with their coverage of Fukushima over the past three years. That’s exactly the kind of PR you would have gotten.

    Of course, I guess I’ll end up changing my tune, once EL’s dearest wish is finally fulfilled and the nuclear industries in the US and Western Europe are finally put out of their misery via death by regulation, and I end up working for a company that subcontracts to the Russian nuclear industry.

    I did mention that I studied Russian in college, didn’t I?

    1. Now behave. Climate change and acidification are serious issues. I would have a more aggressive response, but seeing as the concern was mainly eco-journo-tourists, you know, not so much. BTW in a stranded antarctic expedition scenario there is your best dining option.

      1. Climate change and acidification are serious issues.

        Then why are these people trivializing it with what can only be called a stunt, and a rather stupid stunt at that? In my opinion, this news story has garnered far more attention than it ever deserved, but then again, many people do enjoy a good farce.

        1. Do not ask me these questions. I dont know. Its easy, highly visible and supports their other beliefs in political matters is my best guess.

          They are “doing something while the rest of you sit around posting in blogs.” Never mind if the something they are doing is altogether a negative fraud. You have to keep busy.

        2. @Brian Mays

          The fact that there are a small number of people who “trivialize” an issue and the fact that there are greedy groups who expect to make money by selling “solutions” to the issue does not invalidate the reality of the issue.

          There are many charlatans that promise cancer cures and many others that do not know how to respond when someone they love is diagnosed. Neither of those responses makes the disease less critical for the victim.

          1. Rod – The fact that foolish people keep repeating the same thing over and over and over does not validate the reality of the issue either (cf. Caldicott and the “millions” killed by Chernobyl). Nor does it make it a genuine “serious issue.”

            Whatever reality is, it’s clear that this stunt backfired. This ship of fools has done more harm to their cause than good. Climate change desperately needs some more intelligent fanatics.

    2. Report calls Northwest’s lone nuclear plant a money drain

      “losing the Northwest’s lone nuclear power plant could save taxpayers $1.7 billion over the next 17 years, according to a new report commissioned by the Oregon and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. ”


      The socialist grifters are killing off nuclear. Nearly all of them are “highly educated” too.

  5. I wonder if there would be a cost advantage to a nuke icebreaker on big Lake Superior. I would think the icebreaker goes through a lot of fuel. The Navy uses nuclear powered ships so why can’t the Coast Guard?

    Commercial ships burn bunker fuel which seems like it would be environmentally unfriendly. I wonder how long it will be before they are somehow internationally regulated. The title of the article in this link is, “Just 15 of the world’s biggest ships may now emit as much pollution as all the world’s 750 million cars. Container ships and maybe even oil tankers may be converted some day. (It’s from Tree Hugger.)


  6. Isn’t it summer down there? Why hasn’t anyone remarked that in this time of “global warming”, oh yeah, read that “climate change”, a summer time freeze of that magnitude still seems somewhat out of place. Is it just an inconvenient piece of data?


    1. 3 years ago in 2010, the warming has broken a large piece of the Mertz glacier. This has the consequence that the area where the ship is currently now tends to accumulate an abnormal amount of ice, and therefore growths a much thicker sea ice than is usual.

      At the Dumont-d’Urville base, French scientists (seriously upset that the Astrolabe ship was diverted for the rescue operation when it has only a very short date range available to resupply them, and it’s even worse for the Australian ship) report that on the 1srt of January, the temperature was 6 degrees Celsius, and it was raining.
      This means water warm enough to fall in liquid form at a latitude where this normally never happens.

      1. Tks JM – so probably there was excessive fresh water and ice in the area, add a cool snap and instant ice trap.

  7. Now that Japan has shut down its nuclear power plants, they are getting natural gas shipments from Europe. The shortest route is via the Arctic Sea, and the LNG ships need to follow Russian nuclear icebreakers through the northern ice.

    So, nuclear power is being used to help supply LNG to a nation that recently shut down its nuclear power plants. That must make the fossil fuel company executives laugh.

  8. Some information on the net reports that the nuclear reactors of the Arktika class ice-breakers have not been conceived to be safely cooled when navigating into warm water, so can not cross the tropics to go to the arctics. They probably already would have been used if this wasn’t the case.

    However they are reports that a Russian ice-breaker could be used to rescue the ship (passengers are gone, but she’s still there with the ), maybe the Vaygach that has a diesel turbine in addition to the nuclear engine can be sent there. But the Vaygach is intended rather for coastal route, so I’m not fully sure if it can go to the antartic or not.

    1. I am guessing the problem would be high backpressure in the turbine. I would think they could run reduced power and not trip the turbine, but hard to say without knowing specifics of the condenser.

  9. Ok here we go :

    This shows the map of where the ship was. ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25573096 )

    Here are last month’s anomalies. ( http://data.giss.nasa.gov/tmp/gistemp/NMAPS/tmp_GHCN_GISS_ERSST_1200km_Anom11_2013_2013_1951_1980_POL/nmaps.pdf )

    So off the bat there is a cool anomaly there this year. Of course in the antarctic over the last decades there has been less cooling ( http://data.giss.nasa.gov/tmp/gistemp/NMAPS/tmp_GHCN_GISS_ERSST_1200km_Anom0112_1960_2012_1951_1980_POL/nmaps.pdf ) because of a noted increase in the westerlies ( http://www.scar.org/treaty/atcmxxx/Atcm30_ip005_e.pdf ) most likely related to climate change itself.

    There are a few positive feedbacks in a warming antarctic that would increase sea ice : Increased freshwater from melt, ice from glacial calving, waves, wind and snow (varied effects) and obviously it being the antarctic its going to always be comparably “cold.”

    I just posted on the heatwave in Argentina ( http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/seven-people-die-in-the-worst-heat-wave-ever-recorded-in-argentina-9032202.html ) and Australia just had its hottest year ever recorded and trends in New Zealand show continued warming :

    2013 confirmed as Australia’s hottest year on record ( http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/2013-confirmed-as-australias-hottest-year-on-record-20140103-308ek.html )

    NZ temperature record ( https://www.niwa.co.nz/climate/nz-temperature-record )

    So climate change likely hasn’t “gone away” in the southern hemisphere.

  10. “…the fact that he has not seen headlines like “GLOBAL WARMING SCIENTISTS TRAPPED IN ANTARCTIC ICE” in major news outlets indicates a liberal media bias,,,”

    100% correct. ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and NBC, NPR and PBS, as well as most major newspapers like the NY Times.

    PS, they are also anti-nuclear in their reporting, and cheer-leaders for the narcissist President.

  11. Question about commercial Nuke ships:

    When US nuke plants were first built, it didn’t take very many people to run them. Over the years, rules changed and staffs got much much bigger making some of the original little plants non cost competitive.

    What extra people would be needed on a commercial nuke ship? Would you need a guard force for Ninja attackers? Would you need 24 hour Health Physics guys? Would you need a full time guy just to deal with the license? Would someone be stuck in a berth calculating the probabilistic risk of parts on the ship failing? What ports would this ship be allowed to dock at?

    1. @Eino

      Short answer is that any nuclear ship operator would be far more assertive than utility plant operators in resisting imposition of non value added regulations and positions.

      For a variety of reasons, nuclear plant operators have been pretty wimpy in resisting the ratcheting of regulations. There have been some successes, but the die was cast in the era of rate regulated utilities who initially operated under the assumption that their public utility commissions would allow them to pass the cost of federally imposed regulations onto their customers without any questions.

      Now, even merchant generators have apparently decided that it is easier to say “how high” when the NRC says “jump”, probably because the NRC can shut them down with only the slightest of justifications.

      In the merchant ship world, there would not be a regulatory monopoly. Other countries would probably offer sensible regulatory services if any one country’s regulators got out of hand.

      Before anyone jumps on me as advocating something akin to Liberian ship registration, that is NOT what I am talking about. Reasonable regulations are as beneficial as reasonable rules and capable referees on a football field. Unreasonable regulations aimed at increasing costs to benefit competitors need to be resisted.

  12. U.S. Coast Guard hopes to break ice surrounding ships off Antarctica

    The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star had been heading to that area anyway, having left its home port of Seattle early last month to eventually break through sea ice and refuel the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station on Ross Island.

    Now the icebreaker is retooling its mission to help the Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy and China’s Xue Long, the Coast Guard said Saturday in a statement. ( http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/04/world/antarctica-ships-stuck/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 )

    I bet this thing can burn some fuel!!:

    POLAR STAR’s three shafts are turned by either a diesel-electric or gas turbine power plant. Each shaft is connected to a 16-foot(4.9-meter) diameter, four-bladed, controllable-pitch propeller. The diesel-electric plant can produce 18,000 shaft horsepower(13,425 kilowatts) and the gas turbine plant a total of 75,000shaft horsepower (55,925 kilowatts). Along with POLAR STAR’s sister ship POLAR SEA, she is one of the largest ships in the US Coast Guard and the world’s most powerful non-nuclear ships.

    POLAR STAR has other unique engineering features designed to aid in icebreaking. An installed heeling system can rock the ship to prevent getting stuck in the ice. The system consists of three pairs of connected tanks on opposite sides of the ship. Pumps transfer a tank’s contents (35,000 gallons, 133 kiloliters) to an opposing tank in 50 seconds and generate 24,000 foot-tons (64,800 kilowatt-seconds) of torque on the ship. That goes a long way in rocking POLAR STAR loose from any tight spots. ( http://www.uscg.mil/pacarea/cgcPolarStar/History.asp )

  13. I think the US clearly needs to invest in some Nuclear Icebreakers. This kind of thing as well as shipping, border security and exploration issues are only going to intensify.

    Im surprised they are not already being built.

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