Thursday, January 17, 2013



New electoral map cuts 6 provincial ridings - New Brunswick - CBC News

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HISTORY: Learn more about the not so simple past at Grand Pre.

Battle of Grand-Pré
Nova Scotia Archaeology Society\
The Deportation cross in Hortonville, Grand-Pr...
The Deportation cross in Hortonville, Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Join the NSAS on January 22, 2012 at 7:30, Saint Mary's University,
Sobey Building, Rm 260 for lecturer, Dr. Jonathan Fowler, presenting:

'The Battle of Grand-Pré Reconsidered: Historiography, History, and
Archaeological Potential'

In February of 1747, a force of French and Amerindian fighters surprised
a New England expeditionary force billetted at Grand-Pré. Over 70 New
Englanders were killed in the engagement, including their commander,
Col. Arthur Noble. Since the event, people have struggled to understand
the battle and its consequences. Using new information gleaned from
archival research in the United States and Europe, combined with the
results of recent archaeological fieldwork, this talk will outline how
others have interpreted the engagement and will offer a new
interpretation of the Battle of Grand-Pré and its archaeological

Dr. Jonathan Fowler is an anthropology prof at Saint Mary's University,
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Tidal power firm still eyes N.S. | The Chronicle Herald

Tidal power firm still eyes N.S. | The Chronicle Herald

But Clean Current no longer involved in Fundy test this year

The Atlantic Hemlock tows the barge that lowered a tidal turbine into the Bay of Fundy in 2009. Clean Current Power Systems and Alstom are no longer involved in a plan to put a test turbine into the water this year. (ERIC WYNNE / Staff)
The Atlantic Hemlock tows the barge that lowered a tidal turbine into the Bay of Fundy in 2009. Clean Current Power Systems and Alstom are no longer involved in a plan to put a test turbine into the water this year. (ERIC WYNNE / Staff)
A Vancouver tidal power developer says it remains interested in Nova Scotia ventures, even though it won’t be involved in putting a turbine in the Bay of Fundy this year.
Clean Current Power Systems was partnered with French company Alstom on a plan to put a one-megawatt test turbine into the water near Parrsboro during the second half of this year.
But the two companies recently announced that they were terminating their 2009 licensing agreement.
Clean Current president Chris Gora said Tuesday his company is continuing to develop smaller-scale turbines, which it hopes could be included in other proposed tidal projects in the province.
“We believe that we’re a good fit for at least some of the sites being considered,” Gora said of ventures proposed as part of the province’s community feed-in tariff program.
Tidal energy developer Fundy Tidal of Westport has approved COMFIT projects in Digby County and the Great Bras d’Or Channel in Cape Breton.
Dana Morin, Fundy Tidal’s director of business development, said the company is still talking with various would-be partners.
“Their proposed technology development pathway does fit well with our timelines and device requirements,” Morin said of Clean Current.
“I am sure we will be having further discussions in the months ahead.”
Gora said Clean Current is interested in producing a larger turbine down the road and may be back at the Minas Passage test site, which the non-profit Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy operates.
Alstom, meanwhile, still has a spot at the test site.
But a Montreal spokeswoman couldn’t say when a tidal device may go in the water.
Alstom is still in the process of acquiring United Kingdom energy developer Tidal Generation fromRolls-Royce as part of deal announced last fall.
“We’re committed to ocean energy, but with the ongoing process for the acquisition of TGL, we still need time to finish the analysis of the technology and the environmental conditions,” Alstom’s Michelle Stein said.
Alstom also has to determine whether a potential Tidal Generation device would work in the Bay of Fundy, she said.
A centre spokesman said FORCE doesn’t expect a turbine in the water this year.
But Matt Lumley said the centre will continue with plans to lay the $11-million subsea cable needed to connect devices to the grid.
“Our target is to have the first of four cables in the water during the first half of this year.”
Turbine projects have also been proposed by Minas Basin Pulp and Power of Hantsport and U.K. partner Marine Current Turbines, and by the U.K.’s Atlantis Resources, partnered with Lockheed Martin Canada and Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax.
A fourth berth, vacated by Nova Scotia Power in 2011, is expected to be filled later this year.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Downtown Moncton Tidal Bore Park - Petitcodiac River - Moncton NB

Downtown Moncton Tidal Bore Park - Petitcodiac River - Moncton NB

Tidal Bore Park

Tidal Bore Park Main Street Between King & Steadman
Moncton, New Brunswick,
Phone: (506) 853-3590
Toll Free: 1-800-363-4558
Rating For: Tidal Bore Park

Downtown Moncton Tidal Bore Park - Petitcodiac River

This natural phenomenon is a result of the record high tides of the Bay of Fundy. These cause the water in Moncton's Petitcodiac River to raise with just one wave coming in from the Bay. Within an hour the river can go from a muddy river bottom at low tide to being filled to its banks at some 7.5 m depth. The Tidal Bore can be seen from many points in the Greater Moncton area, one of the best being Tidal Bore Park, where a clock displays the time of the next bore. For more information visit a Moncton tourist information centre.

2013 Tidal Bore Schedule

Times listed below are approximate. The tidal bore could arrive up to 20 minutes before or after time posted. Go here -

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Paul Watson quits Sea Shepherd over U.S. court order

Paul Watson quits Sea Shepherd over U.S. court order - World - CBC News


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NUCLEAR: NB Power overstated deferral costs by $100M, expert says - New Brunswick - CBC News

NB Power overstated deferral costs by $100M, expert says - New Brunswick - CBC News

NB Power overstated deferral costs by $100M, expert says

Utility's consultant dismisses allegations it overcharged the Point Lepreau deferral account

Posted: Jan 8, 2013 6:32 AM AT 

Last Updated: Jan 8, 2013 7:59 AM AT 

NB Power is being criticized for how it accounted for replacement fuel costs during the refurbishment of the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station.NB Power is being criticized for how it accounted for replacement fuel costs during the refurbishment of the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. (CBC)

A startling accusation by a U.S. energy expert that NB Power overcharged itself $100 million on the Point Lepreau nuclear refurbishment is being vigorously denied by the utility in advance of regulatory hearings later this week.
"Yes, there are differences that exist between expert points of view," said Brent Staeben, a NB Power spokesperson.
"We look forward to making our case in front of the board and deferring to their judgment."
René Basque, the public intervener, has filed evidence with the Energy and Utilities Board from New York-based energy expert Kurt Strunk claiming NB Power charged the Point Lepreau refurbishment about $100 million too much for replacement power during the 56-month shutdown.
Replacement power was needed to fill the gap of what Point Lepreau would normally produce and as a result it was given unique accounting treatment.
Costs for replacement power were charged directly to the Point Lepreau project and became part of its $2.4-billion price tag in a so-called "deferral account,” bypassing NB Power's normal profit and loss statements.
It was up to NB Power to estimate how much of its electricity production between 2008 and 2012 was for replacement power using computer models.That allowed NB Power to claim $326 million in profits during the four-and-a-half year refurbishment, even though the deferral account was forcing the utility deeply into debt the entire time.
But according to Strunk, the modelling regularly ignored normal utility operating practices and the requirements of New Brunswick's Electricity Act and wrongly charged the refurbishment project for enormous amounts of electricity.
"I conclude that there are two areas where the deferral account has not been made in compliance with the act and associated regulations," wrote Strunk.
"Correcting the calculations to make the deferral account compliant would materially reduce the amounts deferred and the future charges to customers. I estimate that the order of magnitude reduction to the deferral account may be in excess of $100 million if changes are made so that the deferral balances are calculated in accordance with the regulations."
If true, Strunks's accusation would have a significant domino effect on several provincial government bodies, undermining four straight years of audited financial statements for each.
It would mean NB Power overstated its profits during the refurbishment period by $100 million and the New Brunswick government had understated its deficits by roughly the same amount.
It would also mean New Brunswick's claim for compensation from Ottawa for $1 billion in cost overruns at Point Lepreau is $100 million too high.
But NB Power disputes that and has hired its own expert to debunk Strunk's analysis.
James Sustman of the worldwide consulting firm Ventyx filed rebuttal evidence dismissing Strunk's conclusions as deeply flawed that "reflect a lack of understanding" of how the utility operates in real world situations.
Energy and Utilities Board hearings into NB Power's deferral account begin on Thursday morning
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Natural Gas Leaks: A Risky Business In Need of a Fix | Conservation Law Foundation

Natural Gas Leaks: A Risky Business In Need of a Fix | Conservation Law Foundation

Natural Gas Leaks: A Risky Business In Need of a Fix

Jan 3, 2013 by   | Bio |  Leave a Comment
A few weeks ago, Springfield, MA, was rocked by a natural gas explosion that destroyed a building, ruined a city block, and was hailed as a miracle because no lives were lost.
The pipelines that lie below our communities, always out of sight, came suddenly came into focus. The explosion reminded us of the sobering reality that our streets are not always safe. Despite smart investments in energy efficiency and new energy technologies in New England, when it comes to natural gas, whose infrastructure is among the oldest in the nation, we have been reluctant to prioritize investment in replacing and repairing the pipes and valves that we rely upon not only to heat and power our homes, but to keep us safe.  When it comes to natural gas efficiency and investment, there is much more we can do – so much more.
We need to improve safety, increase efficiency, and reduce the risk to communities and to our planet. It is my belief, as well as that of my colleagues here at CLF, that we can and should make our communities healthy and safe from the unnecessary risk of explosions from old and leaky pipelines. This is vital, for two reasons.
It’s vital because methane, the major component of natural gas, is 25 times more potent as a global-warming causing gas than CO2. In a year that has broken so many temperature records, and in an age when climate is showing the signs of human distortion, we are constantly reminded of the strain we are placing on our global ecosystem. It is a strain we need to urgently reduce.
It is also vital to replace and fix pipes leaking natural gas because it is so combustible. Springfield reminded us of this fact. So too did the explosions that that rocked San Bruno, California in 2010, Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 2011, and Gloucester, MA in 2009, and most recently, Sissonville, West Virginia, to name only a few. These explosions are reminders of the serious care and attention that our natural gas infrastructure needs. If we fail to provide them with that care, we gamble with our safety, and with our lives, as this image from the San Bruno explosion vividly shows.
As my colleague Shanna Cleveland recently said, “The need for action is particularly acute in Massachusetts where over one-third of the system is considered ‘leak-prone’—made up of cast iron or unprotected steel pipe.” The leaks in Massachusetts are so significant that the gains by efficiency programs put in place by Massachusetts regulators are disappearing into thin air. A report released by CLF by that name (Into Thin Air, available to download for free here) documents how these leaks, known as “fugitive emissions,” are being borne not by the utilities, or by the regulators, but by consumers. Utilities pass the cost of lost gas onto ratepayers to the tune of $38.8 million a year. Here’s aninfographic from that report:
Another report by Nathan Phillips of Boston University combines Google Earth and research into a compelling visualization of just how prevalent these leaks are.
Like the explosion in Springfield, Nathan’s map documenting the 3,356 separate natural gas leaks under the streets of Boston reminds us that, as we walk or drive down the street, we are often driving through an invisible cloud of natural gas leaking from aging pipes. If you are like me, to accept the avoidable risk of a predictably volatile gas is deeply unsettling.
With the exuberance for cheap, domestic natural gas on the rise, proposals for new massive interstate pipelines are in the works. Houston-based Spectra, a natural gas pipeline company, is proposing a $500 million expansion for Massachusetts alone. Before we go down that route, I would like to make three simple suggestions.
1) Whether the natural gas industry ever delivers on its claim of being more environmentally friendly than coal or oil depends on how well natural gas infrastructure addresses leaks. We develop more accurate tools for assessing the greenhouse gas emissions from pipelines.
2) Not only is investment in new pipelines and power plants expensive, but it comes with serious and lasting environmental consequences whose costs are too often discounted or ignored.  Before we blindly rush ahead with investments to expand, we need to look closely at the full range of costs.
3) Finally, we would do well to remember the lessons we have learned so well about the environmental and financial benefits of looking to efficiency first. Efficiency, both in the traditional sense of reducing our use of natural gas, and in the sense of maximizing the efficiency of our existing natural gas infrastructure by replacing outdated infrastructure and repairing leaks will reduce risk, reduce costs, reduce environmental impacts and put people to work throughout the region.
As the explosions in San Bruno, Gloucester, Allentown, and Springfield have reminded us, this is about the safety of our communities. We should not let promises of short-term profit in new projects trump both the near-term risk of thousands of leaks and the long-term sustainability of this region and stability of our climate.
Ignoring leaky natural gas infrastructure is risky business. Let’s fix what we have, and maximize our efficiency gains, before aggressively expanding. We’ll be more sustainable, and safer, that way.
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TOURISM: More development lessons from Eastport, Maine

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

OPINION: CLF thinks Vermont Yankee is Worth More Dead than Alive

Didn't this apply to Point Lepreau? Doesn't it still?
Posted: 02 Jan 2013 12:40 PM PST

Photo courtesy of Andy Hares @

The financial world is waking up to what a drag Vermont Yankee really is. The tired, old and leaking nuclear plant in Vermont is not carrying its weight. Financial analysts report that Vermont Yankee is economically vulnerable and a retirement announcement would boost stock prices for its parent, Entergy.

You can read the UBS Investment Research report “Re-assessing Cash Flows from the Nukes” here. It states:
“Notably, we believe both its NY Fitzpatrick and Vermont Yankee plants are at risk of retirement given their small size; while potentially negative to sentiment, an announcement to retire the units would likely drive positive FCF revisions.”
Clearly it is past time to close this plant.
Analysts today dropped the projected price target for Entergy’s stock. They see high debt and little cash coming in. Not good news for any investment.

It is good the financial world is waking up to what Vermonters have known for years. Vermont Yankee is not a good deal. It hasn’t been for years. It is expensive and financially risky. Conservation Law Foundation submitted testimony to the Public Service Board on the lousy economics of allowing Vermont Yankee to continue to operate. It does not have enough money for decommissioning, low energy prices mean it is not making money and any problems would saddle Vermont with big problems. You can read CLF’s testimony here.

These are not problems we need. Nuclear power was once touted as too cheap to meter. That has never been true. Now it is too expensive to even keep operating. Thank goodness financial markets are waking up to this fact.

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ISSUES: One Island One Magical Hour - Why people fight for their beliefs

One Island One Magical Hour

Sears Island, two miles long by one mile wide, is one of the largest uninhabited islands on the East Coast. It is a gem of a place in the pristine Upper Penobscot Bay. Most days after leaving the causeway leading to the island and heading in any direction will provide solitude in few minutes. Today I am doing an hour long trail run, so come with me; it’s become my new favorite.  I’ve run in a lot of different cities, towns and trails and to have solitude for a full hour to convene with nature is very special. It’s the last day of October but it is a balmy 62 degrees thanks to tropical air transported by Hurricane Sandy.  It’s been raining on and off all day but stopped now and the ground is soft, with some small puddles. The route up the road to the cell tower at the far end of the island is about 2 miles, and every scent is enhanced by the moist air.

Up about 12 minutes to the loop trail the fir trees that line the path are especially fragrant; the pine smell of Christmas combined with the salt sea air is a great mix, a welcome antidote to the danger and smell of running on Rte. 1 and other city runs. The trail here is especially nice with soft pine needles and some leaves on grass. It's spongy like running on a mattress. Today I have some extra late day energy and I am just flying down this trail that loops back to the main dirt road; further down as the road descends my pace quickens with more energy. I touch the metal chain link fence that houses the buildings and the cell tower. 18:34: a good time.

Up from the tower around the loop trail again to the road and I’m still holding a strong pace; I think it really is the ideal late October day with little wind and not hot, not cold.  I should admit I do like inclement weather to run in, especially a warm rain. Timecheck: 15:03

I head back up and take a left up the hill on the paved road to the jetty on the west side running by streams that trickle, and birds and hawks that call out,

Who is this stranger and what is he doing here? And it’s down, down, down along the dirt road to the end.  The island is a large mound— it's about running up a large hill to the crown and down to the edges at the shore. I am announced at the trail-end by three different tones of sea buoys. I realize I am enormously fortunate to be able to run this well so well into middle age.

I feel a strong connection to nature and the entire earth. My mind wanders and I visualize the Charles and Ray Eames film, “Powers of Ten”.  This film documents a couple having a picnic lunch alongside Lake Michigan and ten seconds later the camera moves ten feet up and keeps moving up into space exponentially by ten feet every 10 seconds until by the tenth time the earth nearly disappears. And that is how I feel here, just a very very small organism on a very small planet and its humbling. I come back to running and I’m experiencing power not entirely effortless—that is a very rare experience—but I am flying down the central road hill from the crest of the island to the cutoff onto the Homestead Trail on the right side.

I’ve only run the Homestead Trail in one direction -- center to shore – and its breezy-easy and one of the best trails to run anywhere, scenic and fun. I wind past the large pine tree, then the remnants of a foundation of a long abandoned homestead. Alongside there are rock walls that were created decades ago yet still mark property lines.

Further down are a series of wood planks; I haven’t counted how many there are but my guess is about 10 or so and I love them and think most hikers and trail runners do as well. But the sad part is that by the time you reach the planks you know your run is about to end. Its all just down, down, down, lower and lower, heading to sea level. The terrain is somewhat challenging as the trail has many rocks and roots, the footing is not easy, especially at a fast pace. The boards are great because they are wide enough and cover the streams that now are flowing after all the rain.   Check watch after run on the beach to the stairs: 7.17, bringing the run to a lean, efficient 58:42. This has to be the best run I’ve had on Sears Island. I know I will be back as this is by far one of the most special places to run anywhere.  

New Circle Action

The new circle footprint action will take place on Saturday, January 5 at 1pm at Mosman Park in Searsport. Save time for this exciting event—we are planning this to be an interactive good time. Please look for a more detailed email midweek giving directions, where to park, etc. Encourage all your friends to come—we’re looking forward to a great showing.  

It’s not too late to make a year-end donation to TBNT. We do have a significant amount of legal bills that add up to considerable amount.  Your help is always appreciated. Link here for online donation.

And lastly

Here is wishing a Happy New Year to all our members and friends. You may not realize, but you just have read an email that did not use the words: LPG, Mega-tank, DCP Midstream, Planning Board, Public Hearing, DEP, permit, or even safety. Until now.  May 2013 be filled with health, happiness, peace, prosperity and be LPG tank-free.

To see a video and learn more about Sears Island, please click the link below:

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Considering "Sandy" would have inundated part of the Point Lepreau plant area, this is a chilling thought! ONE FOOT MORE TO MELTDOWN – A nuclear “near miss” USA « nuclear-news