[ RadSafe ] LOBA Accidents -- Wind Turbine Failures Strike Again
SAFarber at optonline.net
Fri Jun 10 13:41:23 CDT 2011
Fun for a Friday afternoon. Attached are a few links about an older
fatal accident, and 2 recent windmill accidents a few months ago for those
who are interested in alternate energy impacts. If not interested, please
delete this email and all attachments. It's too hot for flaming.
Occassionally when discussing alternate energy impacts, list members have
referred to my 1981 satirical LOBA [Loss of Blade Accident]
letter-to-the-editor titled "The potential dangers of windmills" about
the threat of LOBA accidents with wind turbine electric generation. This
satire and a bunch of email responses, including some hilarious replies
from people who did not realize my letter was a satire, are attached.
Who needs a LOCA when a LOBA can kill people in the here-and-now? As has
been pointed out many times [where is Petr Beckman when we need him?],
nuclear electric generation has the lowest detriment when viewed on the
basis of deaths and environmental impact per unit energy produced.
I wrote my 1981 LOBA satire after a true incident where the President of
the company which manufactured the windmill, and which threw a blade fell
while he WAS ON the tower, fell to his death while inspecting the
windmill at a California windfarm. When I saw the initial headline: "Man
killed at windmill" about the tragic [seriously] accident, I knew this was
the stuff of which satires are made.
My initial 1981 satire about the LOBA death in California is attached.
This satire proposed "at least a 5 year moratorium on any new windmills
[and perhaps any machine with propellors] until detailed safety studies
can be completed and be accepted by popular vote". Unfortunately, this
sensible step was not taken.
In addition attached is a link to a detailed recent news article titled
"NJ Turbine Blades Fly Off" which concerns two recent incidents where
LOBAs actually occured at two large, modern windmills in NJ [somewhat
coincidentally Forked River, NJ is home to Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating
Station]. Thankfully, the blades which flew off the windmills in Forked
River did not feather out to strike the Oyster Creek nuclear plant.
Of additional note, these two windmills cost about $1 million each
[subsidized by the taxpayers to the tune of about $700,000 each -your tax
dollars at use]. Each windmill delivered only about 25% of the total
kilowatt-hours promised by developers [before all 3 blades flew off from
each windmill]. You could say that the developers proved to be blow-hards
because the wind blew too soft. Although ignored in all news reports about
new wind farms, the capacity factor is generally 18% to 25% for wind
farms vs. about 90% ++ at today's nuclear plants. So about 3,700 MW[e] -
5,000 MW[e] of wind farm installed peak capacity is needed to equal the
average output of one 1,000 MW[e] nuclear power plant. Tends to affect the
cost of wind power generating capacity "slightly".
Stewart Farber, MSPH
Farber Medical Solutions, LLC
Bridgeport, CT 06604
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