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Vincent the wiener dog weighs double

Vincent is on a weight-loss program while he receives foster care through K-9 Angels Rescue. (Source: KTRK/CNN)
Vincent is on a weight-loss program while he receives foster care through K-9 Angels Rescue. (Source: KTRK/CNN)

HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) – Obese, unhealthy and mourning the loss of his owner, Vincent was surrendered to a county animal shelter in Houston two weeks ago. His prospects didn’t look good. Vincent the wiener dog weighs double what vets said he should, and at nearly 40 pounds his size takes a toll.

“Actually, some people can be kind of mean,” said Melissa Anderson, who has taken Vincent in for foster care. “They’ll say things like, ‘That’s abuse,’ and they’re thinking it’s my dog. Then I’m like, ‘I’m trying to help this dog.’ It just made me realize that people can be pretty harsh.”

Someone dropped Vincent off at the pound after his owner died. Anderson is fostering him through her group K-9 Angels Rescue.

She believes his previous owner fed him fast food because he goes crazy when they pull up at the Starbucks drive thru.

“Vincent was just enormous,” Tipton said. She took a picture and posted it on Facebook to find him a foster parent. Within 15 minutes, dachshund rescuer Melissa Anderson volunteered to take Vincent in.

He’s on a pretty rigorous exercise regime, participating in water aerobics five times a week and playing with her others dogs in the yard. The water aerobics help take pressure off Vincent’s strained joints. Plus, with the 100-degree weather in Texas, it offers a nice cool-down for both Vincent and Anderson.

At first Vincent just floated at his water aerobics class, but he's started swimming.


At first, Vincent would just float in his life jacket. But his endurance is growing. Vincent can now paddle in the pool for about 15-20 minutes, five days a week. Before, he could only waddle around the yard with the other dogs. Now he is able to jog.

“He is really happier now than he was,” said Anderson. She said he keeps a positive attitude and seems to know they are trying to help him.

Credits:  http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/31/living/overweight-dog-vincent-k-9-angels-rescue/index.html


Nuclear-waste bunker would cost billions and causing Danger

Image result for nuclear plantRelocating a nuclear-waste bunker from its currently proposed site on Lake Huron would cost billions of dollars, take decades to execute, and increase health and environmental risks, according to a new report by the project’s proponent.

The report by Ontario Power Generation, done at the request of the federal environment minister, also asserts that the public doesn’t really care about the proposal for the deep geologic repository — or DGR — even though scores of Great Lakes communities in both Canada and the United States have denounced the plan.

“There is little interest among the general public regarding the DGR project,” the report states. “Ontarians are not looking for information on nuclear-waste disposal in large volumes. This topic is not a popular one nor is it generating large volumes of curiosity.”

In May 2015, an environmental review panel approved the project — currently estimated to cost about $2.4 billion — which would see a bunker built at the Bruce nuclear power plant near Kincardine, Ont. Hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of radioactive waste — now stored at the site above ground — would be buried in bedrock 680 metres deep about 1.2 kilometres from Lake Huron.

The federal government has since delayed making a final decision on the plan, instead asking OPG last February to provide information on locating the repository somewhere else.

Moving the location now would add as much as $3.5 billion, OPG says. The money would go toward buying and preparing the needed land, as well as to packaging and shipping the dangerous waste. In addition, the utility says, the current plan to start burying the waste in 2026 would be derailed and in-service date would likely be pushed back to as late as 2055 if another site is chosen.

While the study does not identify any actual sites, it does find that vast stretches of the province, including much of southern and southwestern Ontario, would be geologically suitable for a waste bunker.

Perhaps the biggest risk posed by building somewhere else would be the need to truck the hazardous material as far as 2,000 kilometres at a cost of up to $1.4 billion.

“Relocating the DGR project to an alternate location would require approximately 22,000-24,000 radioactive shipments resulting in over a million kilometres of travel on public roadways throughout the duration of the transportation campaign,” the study states.

“The incremental conventional transportation risks are estimated to be between three and 69 road collisions. It would also add a small but incremental risk of exposure to radioactivity to the public and workers.”

Preparing an alternate 900 hectare site, including clearing the area and creating road access, would also hurt wildlife habitat and cause environmental damage, the report says.

Finding another community willing to take the waste — the municipality of Kincardine has been supportive of the project — won’t be easy.

“There would be considerable uncertainties associated with a DGR at an alternate location including the time required to develop and implement a consent-based site-selection process and achieve a willing and supportive host community, as well as the consent of indigenous communities,” the report states.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will now review and assess the utility’s report, allow time for public comment, and come up with its own recommendations to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in the fall. The agency notes the timeline could change if it requires more information.

For its part, however, OPG insists it’s time to set aside any criticism and get on with digging the bunker — at the Bruce site.

“Deferring costs to future generations, when a safe, cost-effective option already exists, is not necessarily in the best interests of society,” the report states. “OPG therefore concludes that the DGR project at the Bruce nuclear site remains the preferred location.”

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

Winter December solstice

Illumination of Earth by Sun at the northern s...
Illumination of Earth by Sun at the northern solstice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The December solstice is the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. The day has astronomical, cultural and religious significance.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the December Solstice is the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year.

Although winter is the season of dormancy, darkness and cold, the December Solstice marks the “turning of the Sun” and the days slowly get longer. Celebrations of the lighter days to come and nature’s continuing cycle have been common thorughout cultures and history with feasts, festivals and holidays around the December Solstice.

The December solstice is on either December 20, 21, 22 or 23.

The North Pole is tilted furthest from the Sun.

December solstice illustration

It is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the shortest day of the year.

In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year.




Midnight Sun or Polar Night

Being the longest day of the year, also means that people in the areas south of the Antarctic Circle towards the South Pole will see the Midnight Sun, i.e. have 24 hours of daylight, during this time of the year.

Sunrise & Sunrise Worldwide

For people in the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the exact opposite, the day of the year with fewest hours of daylight. North of the Arctic Circle towards the North Pole there is no direct sunlight at all during this time of the year.

Credits: https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/december-solstice.html


Justin Trudeau and wife strike a pose is going to be featured on Vogue magazine

Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie in a photo from the January 2016 issue of Vogue magazine. (Norman Jean Roy/Vogue)

On the glossy pages usually reserved for movie stars and fashion models, a Canadian politician is making his mark on America’s media scene.

American fashion magazine Vogue is featuring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau in a profile and photo spread in its January issue.

An online version of the piece posted Wednesday was the most-shared story on the magazine’s website.

With peppered references to the Kennedys and the British royal family, the piece opens on the fan frenzy that greeted Trudeau on the day of his swearing-in ceremony.

Introducing him as the “new young face of Canadian politics,” John Powers’ profile traces Trudeau’s roots as the son of “the most glamorous PM their country has known” and “a leader known equally for brains and sex appeal,” up to meeting Grégoire-Trudeau, and eventually carving his own path on Canada’s political scene.

Justin Trudeau photographed in Ottawa.
Justin Trudeau in a photo from the January issue of Vogue magazine.

Online reaction to the story and the photos was mixed, with some praising the PM for elevating Canada’s exposure on the world stage and showing some personality, particularly in the gripping portrait of husband and wife embracing.

Others took issue with the choice of a non-Canadian designer for Grégoire-Trudeau’s dress and questioned whether a sit-down with an American fashion magazine was the best way for a prime minister to spend his first days in office.

Those who believe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau puts style over substance are directed to the forthcoming issue of Vogue.

Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau took time from their schedules after his swearing-in last month for a photo shoot with the high-end fashion magazine. The pictures accompany a survey piece on Trudeau and his election victory, which describes him as “strikingly young and wavy-haired,” looking “dashing in his blue suit and jaunty brown shoes.”

In one black-and-white photo, Trudeau looks off-camera in a manner certain to evoke comparison to Zoolander. In another photo, Trudeau embraces his wife, who is clad in an Oscar de la Renta dress valued at $5,700. (He’s wearing a plain blue shirt — his own.) As Trudeau’s Twitter loyalists were quick to point out — and the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed — the frock was provided by Vogue. “As we’ve said many times, the Prime Minister engages regularly with many different kinds of media,” PMO spokesman Kate Purchase explained in an email.

The Vogue spread continues the tsunami of fashion industry coverage that Grégoire-Trudeau has enjoyed. The focus on her wardrobe has generated valuable publicity for those who employ her friend and stylist, Jessica Mulroney (the former prime minister’s daughter-in-law) and Trudeau’s half-sister, Ally Kemper.

It does not look like Mulroney had a hand in styling this shoot, though. The magazine credits their image to two professional stylists from the U.S., with and hair and makeup artists brought in to groom the couple.

We could soon be reading more about the Vogue feature in another source: the website of federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson.

The PMO pledged that Trudeau would report any loans of fashion items to his wife in the MP’s conflict-of-interest report he is required to file with Dawson’s office.

Credit: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/12/09/justin-trudeau-makes-a-splash-in-vogue-magazine.html

Credit: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/trudeaus-hit-the-pages-of-vogue-dont-worry-sophies-5700-dress-is-a-loaner

The real nuclear danger isn’t Iran or North Korea

The article below is of interest in relation to the 70th anniversary of the A-Bombing of Japan.

In addition, here are some declarations of historic interest on the abolition of nuclear weapons:

(1) Joint Declaration by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of: Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden( The “New Agenda” Coalition ) http://www.ccnr.org/8_nation_declaration.html

(2) Statement on Nuclear Weapons by International Civilian Leaders (take a look at the signatures!)   http://www.ccnr.org/civilian_leaders.html

(3) Statement by Generals and Admirals of the World Against Nuclear Weapons (check the signatures) http://www.ccnr.org/generals.html

(4) The Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: http://www.ccnr.org/canberra.html

Gordon Edwards.


The real nuclear danger isn’t Iran or North Korea

Analysis: The most dangerous nuclear nations are the 
U.S. and Russia, the ones with nearly all of the weapons

by Joe Cirincione, Al-Jazeera, August 4, 2015


Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness.” — President John F. Kennedy

Seventy years after the first atomic explosion lit up the New Mexican desert and nearly 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, both Russia and the United States retain nuclear postures from the darkest days of their rivalry. There are almost 16,000 nuclear weapons still in the world today, and the U.S. and Russia possess 94 percent of them. Worse, 1,800 of these Russian and American weapons sit atop missiles on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch on a few minutes notice.

Few people are even aware of these dangers. Most have forgotten about the weapons. They think the only nuclear threat is the chance that Iran might get a bomb. Or that plans are in place that effectively prevent or contain nuclear threats. They are wrong. On any given day, we could wake up to a crisis that threatens our country, our region, our very planet.

There is good news. The size of these arsenals has decreased dramatically in the last 30 years. When Ronald Reagan and Leonid Brezhnev squared off in the 1980s, pouring new nuclear missiles into Europe, there were more than 70,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Mass protests and the wisdom of Reagan and his negotiating partner Mikhail Gorbachev, who succeeded Brezhnev as the head of the Soviet Union, led to arms control treaties that slashed arsenals by 50 percent.

The restraint of the two nuclear superpowers rippled to other nuclear aspirants. More countries gave up nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons programs in the past 30 years than tried to get them. And these were tough cases, including Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, the nuclear successor states to the Soviet Union: Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and Iraq and Libya.

In turn, the American and Russian arsenals were cut 50 percent further under Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. President Barack Obama, early in his term, trimmed them a bit more. And the entire interlocking network of global treaties and security arrangements has gone a long way to providing tougher inspections, more rigorous export controls on nuclear technologies, better security over “loose nukes” and nuclear materials, and more formidable barriers to new states getting weapons.


Indeed, while people talk of “states like Iran and North Korea,” there actually are no states like Iran and North Korea. Apart from the eight countries with established programs there are no other governments racing to get the capability to build nuclear weapons. 

And here, there is more good news. The nuclear agreement with Iran is a major step in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. If we can contain North Korea’s program, or strike a similar deal, it then becomes possible to talk about the end of the wave of proliferation that began 70 years ago. Global intelligence officials are clear: There is no other nation looming on the new-nuclear-state horizon.

Even as proliferation risks decrease, however, the risks of accident, miscalculation or intentional use of one of the existing nuclear weapons is unacceptably high. Indeed, since the end of the Cold War, we have come closer to Armageddon than many realize.

In January 1995, a global nuclear war almost started by mistake. Russian military officials mistook a Norwegian weather rocket for a U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missile. Boris Yeltsin’s senior military officials told him that Russia was under attack and that he had to launch hundreds of nuclear-tipped missiles at America. He became the first Russian president to ever have the “nuclear suitcase” opened in front of him. But Yeltsin trusted U.S. officials, and he was confident that there was no hidden crisis that might prompt a surprise attack by the U.S. With just a few minutes to decide, Yelstin concluded that his radars were in error. The suitcase was closed. 

American nuclear weapons, too, have often come within a hair’s breadth of detonation.

In 1958, a B-47 crew accidentally dropped an H-bomb that exploded near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Luckily, only the weapon’s conventional explosives detonated, but the crater can still be seen.

In 1961, a B-52 carrying two armed weapons broke apart over Goldsboro, North Carolina. Two bombs dropped from the bomb bay. One bomb’s parachute deployed and carried it safely to the ground. The other fell all the way down. All of the weapon’s safety mechanisms failed, save one. A single low-voltage switch, the technical equivalent of a light switch, prevented a hydrogen bomb from destroying a good portion of North Carolina.

As the numbers and deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons declined, accidents also decreased, but they did not end. In 2007, a B-52 flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, carrying 12 cruise missiles on its wings. Unbeknownst to the crew, six of the cruise missiles were armed with nuclear warheads.

The missiles traveled across the nation and spent the night sitting on the tarmac guarded by just a few security officers and a barbed wire fence before their true nature was discovered. The really bad news? No one at Minot ever noticed that they had gone missing.

One has to be a true optimist to believe that we can leave 16,000 nuclear bombs in fallible human hands indefinitely and nothing will go wrong.

It could get worse. The world’s nuclear weapons are aging. Bombs, like cars, wear out and eventually have to be replaced. We are now in a generational transition, when the weapons built during the terrifying Cold War rivalry of the 1980’s are ready for retirement. This could be a good time for Russia, the United States and other nations to close down these obsolete arsenals and save billions of dollars.

Instead, the nuclear nations are raiding their treasuries to build an entire new generation of the deadliest weapons ever invented. As Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris point out, “nuclear nations have undertaken ambitious nuclear weapon modernization programs that threaten to prolong the nuclear era indefinitely. … New or improved nuclear weapon programs underway worldwide include at least 27 ballistic missiles, nine cruise missiles, eight naval vessels, five bombers, eight warheads, and eight weapons factories.”

The world doesn’t need more nuclear weapons. Russia currently has the largest nuclear arsenal, with a total of approximately 7,500 warheads. The United States is second, with roughly 7,100 warheads. Other nuclear weapons states have far fewer. France possesses 300, China 260, and Great Britain, 225. Pakistan has about 120 weapons and India 110. Although Israel has never acknowledged its nuclear weapons stockpile, it is estimated to have nearly 80 weapons. North Korea has enough material for less than 10 bombs but has not deployed any. 

Current global nuclear arsenal

Country Warheads
Russia     7500
U.S.     7100
France       300
China       260
Great Britain       225
Pakistan       120
India       110
Israel         80
North Korea                <10
Sources: US Nuclear forces, 2015, Russian nuclear forces, 2015, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Note: Not counted above: The U.S. has 2,340 warheads awaiting dismantlement; 
Russia has 3,200. Some numbers above are estimates, for example, it is estimated 
North Korea has the material for up to 10 bombs, but has not deployed any.

Nuclear weapons are not cheap. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, U.S. nuclear weapons spending alone is estimated to reach $348 billion over the next decade, while arms control experts estimate that it could reach up to $1 trillion over the next 30 years. Russia is also increasing the role of nuclear weapons in its strategy. But why?

It is difficult to think of a military combat mission that requires the use of even one nuclear bomb. There has not been one in 70 years. Perhaps there is a mission that might someday require one bomb. Or ten. Or an arsenal of 500. But the United States has 7,000. This is beyond all logic and military need. Clinging to these obsolete weapons is a vestige of Cold War thinking propped up by contracts and the desire of those with nuclear bases to keep the few thousand jobs they provide. Pandering to these parochial motives and flawed strategies risks catastrophes whose financial and human costs dwarf any conceivable benefits.

Pope Francis told a conference on nuclear threats in Vienna this year that “spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations.” He questioned the morality of maintaining these huge arsenals for any purpose. These horrific weapons, he said, must be “banned once and for all.”

Seventy years after it was born on the sands of Alamogordo, there is a growing global sense that it is time to retire the Bomb. 

Govt crackdown on homeschooling due to ‘terrorism’ threat

The government has announced proposals to ban homeschooling in the UK.

A review is currently being launched by Nicky Morgan after education officials claimed that many parents who homeschool their kids could potentially be “poisoning their minds” with extremist and terrorist ideologies.

The government is currently using terrorism as a reason to crackdown on parents who educate their kids at home.

A senior government source said: “There has always been the freedom in this country for people to educate their children at home. Many people do it very well. But we need to know where the children are and to be certain that they are safe. For every parent doing a brilliant job, there may be someone filling their child’s mind with poison. We just don’t know. We don’t have reliable figures.”

The move comes after claims by Ofsted’s chief schools inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, who has alleged that there is a “serious and growing threat” to the safety of children posed by unregistered schools and educational facilities.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “We have provided Ofsted with extra inspectors to eradicate extremism in education. We are working with them to address their concerns about home education being exploited, while safeguarding the rights of parents to determine how and where to educate their children.”

Currently, there is no obligation for a parent to register or inform anyone of their intent to homeschool their children if those children have not been offered a place at school. However, the government is looking into whether this should be changed.

The last Labour government had already tried to launch such a review, but it did not go ahead after failing to win enough Conservative support.

It appears, that all of that is set to change. This new announcement of a review into homeschooling comes after Nicky Morgan announced a crackdown on unregistered schools and “weekend madrassas” after some were claimed to be promoting extremist tendencies. However, not everyone agrees with the plans.

Conservative MP Graham Stuart, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on home education, told the Independent: “The home is used by parents to inculcate ideas into their children’s heads all the time. Just because there is a problem does not mean there can be a solution.

“If the next step is a formal register I would resist that strongly. The legal duty to educate a child rests with the parents, not the state. That is a long-standing settlement in this country.”
However, Labour’s shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell supported the plans.
She claimed: “We urgently need robust local oversight and accountability of all local schooling, regardless of type, so that communities can work together to improve standards and stop children from ending up in harm’s way.”



A kind stranger leaves money

A student was left overwhelmed by the kindness of a stranger who overheard her phone conversation with a counselor about the pressures of college deadlines.


good news
via FacebookCharlotte Rose Ford, a student at the University of Manchester, was discussing the £20 cost to obtain a doctor’s letter so she could get a mitigating circumstances form in relation to her university work.

After ending the call in tears, Charlotte, who was sitting at a table in the university’s student union at the time, was presented with a coffee, a touching note, and two crumpled £10 notes tucked down in the cup’s cardboard sleeve.

The note read:

I hope you don’t mind that I overheard. Just wanted to say don’t worry! I’ve been there, I thought I wouldn’t get through my undergrad & now I’m doing a PhD! This is for the doctor’s note. You’ll get through it!”

Charlotte documented the incident in a Facebook post. She said the story “just shows that there are really good people in the world” who are “full of kindness.”


“I don’t know who it was that sent it to me but if they read this I want to thank them so much because they completely made my day and made me feel so much better; as well as completely baffled by how kind strangers can be!”
Credit:  http://www.sunnyskyz.com/good-news/1420/A-Kind-Stranger-Leaves-Cash-And-A-Touching-Note-After-Overhearing-A-Woman-s-Phone-Conversation#GwuarmvmFKbx7SsU.99

Toxic substances in foods. The laser arrives to detect food frauds

Rome, May 12, 2017 – A laser that can detect potentially toxic substances in the food directly on the counters of shops, markets and supermarkets in seconds.
It is not science fiction but innovative technology that has been developed by ENEA to counteract food frauds by discovering the presence of toxic substances such as histamine in fish due to poor conservation or adulteration of powdered milk with compounds Generally used for glues and plastics such as melamine.

Laser anti-fraud was developed by Frascati Center researchers along with six industrial partners within the three-year SAL @ CQO project funded by the Ministry of Economic Development with € 3 million.

These anti-counterfeiting technologies are also able to detect the addition of unreported water and sweeteners to fruit juices, in the extra-virgin olive oil the presence of low-cost vegetable oils and excessive methanol in wine.

“We have developed innovative optical instrumentation, based on infrared laser technology, which allows us to identify food frauds and ensure the quality and safety of food that ends up on our tables. For the time being we are in the experiment phase but we aim to realize in a short space of time transportable and handy instruments for a quick and accurate analysis of food both at the point of sale and at the place of production, to be entrusted to the control institutions and all Those industries and distribution chains that aim to maintain a high standard of quality. And all this will be possible without resorting to highly specialized personnel, “said Gianfranco Giubileo of the ENEA’s Diagnostic Laboratory and Metrology.

The team of ENEA researchers looks over and is already testing portable devices where the laser beam can travel along a fiber optic or even be replaced by a LED. But it also does not exclude the creation of miniature systems and smartphone apps that allow the consumer to do a few seconds of screening of the food they are about to buy, to know if it is of quality and whether it has been preserved well, respecting, for example, the chain of Cold as in the case of frozen foods.

“Currently,” says researcher Adriana Puiu, “there are no tools available with these features in the market, so anti-fraud controls are based on complex laboratory analyzes that require long times, costly equipment and specialized personnel. The results of our project are hoping to arrive shortly for quick, reliable, and simple execution controls. ”

Until now, ENEA anti-fraud technology has been tested on various food products such as fish and fruit juices. In the first case, the laser system has made it possible to detect the presence of histamine, a toxic molecule that is formed when the fish is old or is not stored well (in 2013 it has caused thousands of intoxications all over Europe). In the case of hymen, which mainly concerns tuna, sardines, mackerel and anchovies, they do not serve anything to cook, freeze and box and the only weapon to defend consumers is the preventive control that prevents the product from ending in the shopping cart.
In fruit juices and light drinks, the hi-tech system of ENEA has been able to disclose and distinguish the presence and quantity of five sweeteners (fructose, glucose, maltose, aspartame and sucrose) which are not declared on the label.




Recycling Paper Products

Sorting out items to be recycled is the beginning of the process.  Setting up a system when you have a series of storage bins for each category will make process far simple. Fist you find out which material your local facilities accept for recycling and then set up your bins accordingly.


Crystal Kids Radio

recycle paper bag
Store newspapers for recycling in a brown paper bag so that both contents and container can be recycled.


Every ton of recycled paper saves 15 trees.  it is turned into new paper products such as newspaper, printer paper, packaging, books, stationery, toilet paper, and paper towels, or shredded to make animal bedding.

  • Save newspaper, magazines, phone books, white envelopes, computer paper, old letters, and paper packaging.
  • staples in paper are acceptable, but remove rubber bands or plastic wrap.
  • Store paper flat: it takes up less space
  • Do not include the following in your paper recycling: Carbon paper; stickers; cardboard; laminated cardboard.Discard plastic-lined paper drink cartons; fast-food wrappers made from plastic; dirty or food-stained paper; tissues or napkins
  • Exclude glossy magazines, which have insoluble glues in by offering them to friends or to a doctor’s or dentist’s waiting room.


trash bins for used paper
trash bins for used paper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

$12.8B rebuild of Ontario nuclear plant

TORONTO — The proposed $12.8-billion refurbishment of four nuclear reactors at the Darlington generating station is an ill-advised make-work project that will end up soaking taxpayers, a retired nuclear scientist says.

Darlington nuclear facility

In a letter to Ontario‘s energy minister, obtained by The Canadian Press, Frank Greening warns of the formidable technical hazards he says will undermine rosy projections for the project.

“I am quite mystified that you would consider the refurbishment of Darlington to be some sort of solution to Ontario’s economic woes, when in fact the premature failures of (nuclear reactors) are a major cause of Ontario’s economic problems,” writes Greening, a frequent critic of the industry.

“Spending billions of dollars trying to patch up Darlington’s four dilapidated reactors will simply continue the bleeding.”

Earlier this month, the province’s publicly owned generating giant, Ontario Power Generation, announced plans to start refurbishing Darlington — situated east of Toronto on Lake Ontario — this fall. The project aims to extend the life of the CANDU reactors, scheduled for permanent shutdown in 2020, by 30 years.

The government projects the rebuild will create up to 11,800 jobs a year at the height of construction and generate $14.9 billion in economic and spinoff benefits.

Greening argues the units are in need of rebuilding prematurely because their pressure tubes and feeder pipes will soon fail fitness tests. He also warns the reactors’ massive steam generators, which are not part of the proposed project, have had a less than stellar track record and will more than likely need replacement.

“Replacing these steam generators is fraught with very serious problems, both technical and economic, that could prevent the continued operation of Darlington beyond 2030,” says Greening, a senior scientist with OPG until he retired in 2000.

“The decision to proceed with the refurbishment of Darlington could prove to be a disastrous mistake if it is discovered that steam generator replacement is in fact needed in the next 10 to 15 years.”

Environmental groups also argue such projects always run massively over budget and have cost taxpayers untold billions in the past and refurbishment is simply not worth the potential radiation risk to public safety.

The Ontario cabinet has so far given the green light to refurbish one of Darlington’s reactors. OPG would need separate approvals for each of the other three units. The government said that process would allow it to call off the project at each stage if things are going awry.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, who argues the province needs Darlington’s power, referred questions about Greening’s criticism to Ontario Power Generation.

OPG spokesman Bill McKinlay said Wednesday the federal nuclear regulator noted Greening’s concerns before giving the project its stamp of approval.

“We’ve been preparing since 2009 and we’re ready to deliver the job safely, on time and on budget,” McKinlay said. “We expect it will provide 30-plus years of clean, reliable base-load power at a cost lower than other alternatives.”

Greening, however, argues the project is an attempt to put a “dying industry on life support” at the taxpayer’s expense.

“The inconvenient truth is that, after less than 25 years of operation, Darlington NGS is a mess,” he says.

“Its feeder pipes are falling apart and its pressure tubes are ready to crack. Darlington is another failed CANDU station desperately in need of a fix.”

The performance of four other refurbished CANDUs in Ontario, he argues, has fallen well short of what a new reactor typically delivers.

“This reveals the uncomfortable truth: A refurbished CANDU reactor is no substitute for a new one.”

Credit: Canada press

Schematic Diagram of a CANDU reactor: The prim...
Schematic Diagram of a CANDU reactor: The primary heavy-water loop is in yellow and orange, the secondary light-water loop in blue and red. The cool heavy water moderator in the calandria can be seen in pink, along with partially inserted adjuster rods. { (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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