bird in hand
This is one of those situations where it may actually have been better to have the bird in the bush.
In a bizarre turns of events, a large bird shut down a nuclear power plant after it crapped on vital equipment. The Indian Point Energy Center runs two nuclear reactors in south New York state. It emerged this week that on December 14, the plant went into emergency shutdown after a power surge in its transmission lines. …
Willing suspense of disbelief.
(As this seems to be 'Quote Saturday', at least on some of the threads, how about "I'm not letting anyone stare in disbelief at my willie suspension!")
Anyway, have you ever seen what a couple of swans can leave on the lawn?
But I digress. If something like that can get a powerplant, nuclear or not, in trouble, there is a lot of room for improvement in the design of the plant.
The British suffer from "leaves on the line", and a train is delayed.
In the US, they have a mini explosion as, almost certainly an American Eagle (yes like Sam on The Muppets). was the culprit. Late trains and leaves are about as exciting as damp macintoshes - exploding eagles, that's the American Way!
All joking apart, the story tiptoes around the fact that the return of the Eagles to an area so close to NYC has consequences. Eagles are big (and spectacular), Indian Point is famous for them. It would not take an ornithologist long to look at the avian deposit and determine exactly what species of bird had anointed the power distribution equipment.
[quote]It would not take an ornithologist long to look at the avian deposit and determine exactly what species of bird had anointed the power distribution equipment.[/quote]
..even /after/ being fried by xxKV going through it? An avian forensics examiner may have more luck, but I doubt it..
Isn't the above-mentioned eagle in question protected in that state? Will the power company be prosecuted for killing an endangered species? ;)
Or a Swan? Google Maps shows what looks like a swan (white, size 1.5 m) on the Hudson River near the Indian Point Energy Center. Definitely not a penguin.
I think I can speak with some authority, since I live in the area. Number 1 most common large flying bird is the Red-tailed Hawk, whose scream is used to suggest the wilderness in the wildlife documentary or horror-in-the-woods drama of your choice. There are so many Red-tails in our region that their territories have no room to expand. If you want to see one, just wander to the edge of town.
After that we have a few vultures who can be seen gliding in some of the more picturesque areas. Eagles are rare by comparison. Swans don't perch on pylons: that's what hawks do. The largest local bird is the wild turkey, which frequently does what chickens do to get to the other side, to the detriment of local cars. But they don't fly, or perch on pylons. Or produce aerial streams.
"whose scream is used to suggest the wilderness in the wildlife documentary"
I swear there is only exactly one recording of that sound ever, and it must come pinned to the "top ten foley fx quick list" of every damn mixing software (only to be topped by the "fwoooosh" sound and that "eeeeeeaaaaurgh" sound - also a single sample ever existing of each of those)...
I was going to call birdsh#t on this but apparently it's a genuine problem and there are guidelines in the IEEE regs. Of course having a lattice of power lines outside the facility that rival those of down town Mumbai probably doesn't help. Check out the main entrance on Google street view opposite the sub-station.
The FAA must make new rules for nature's flying elements close to power lines and power stations. The DHS must ensure that the TSA will reduce the fluidic content to less than a wire's length before they may fly. The NSA must listen in and map the grouping of flying terrorists and map their path across the terrain. All those terrorist birds! They are probably trained and controlled by foreign powers, trying to disrupt our daily life.
That would be a bit expensive - shadowing all eagles with a helicopter! The birds rest on the wires and, as they take off produce a long conductor that shorts out between the wires. It really makes it apparent just how vulnerable our distribution system is, as are nukes which could be disabled by well though out attacks on the distribution system.
At the very least, the conductors should be separated enough that something like this couldn't happen. But even then, I figure that they should have some kind of net over the switching stations to prevent birds from getting in, or at the very least, people flying drones into the things to shut down the station intentionally.
There's lots to prevent this...
There is no way a long stripe of bird shit falling between two conductors cause have caused this:
1) It would have had to fall perfectly parallel to the ground to hit both conductors at the same time.
2) The energy unleashed would have exploded the shitbomb causing it to be no longer conductive.
3) Even if exploding the shitbomb blew the safety relays, these are automatically re-tried and the power would have flowed again in a second or so.
So it was not between conductors.
The only place a problem like this can occur is if the shitbomb hits an insulator. That way it gets some mechanical integrity and can last through the hammering long enough to cause the protection mechanism to fire multiple times (typically three or so).
On massive power lines the insulators must be cleaned often to get rid of bird shit. Even if not highly conductive, highly resistive losses still add up when you're dealing with 500kV or so.
If a streamer contacts an energized conductor, the electrical current may travel through the streamer back to the bird
I Am Not An Electrical Engineer, which is perhaps why I can't understand this. If the bird's in the air (not specified, but strongly suggested by the reference to takeoff), where's the current going to? It's no different from a bird on a wire.
And the moral of the story is if the Foo Shits, Wear IT!
Really, projectile feces often occurs while the bird is in flight but it has been known to happen when the bird takes off from its roost. We have dozens of Turkey Buzzards in town that roost on electrical substations, cell antennas etc. The cell antennae are particularly covered in bird excrement after only one day. The Canadian Geese are another avian pest, I've seen large dogs leave less of a mess. Hawks are usually too small for the required volume of material to bridge insulators. Eagles would be more like it but the Buzzards are as large and more prolific a source of "fertilizer".
There are two species of large bird that hang out around Indian Point. One is the bald eagle, but they tend to stay about 15 miles up river. The other is much more common and is known locally as a "Turkey Buzzard" which are really Turkey Vultures. They are prolific streamers and quite a nuisance when they roost near your property (yuck). Extremely common around Indian Point. The only other birds in the region of similar size are swans, herons, and turkeys, but they rest on ground or water and not trees, poles, or other high places. Below those the next largest in size are the various hawks of the region, but they are a big step down in size.
Given the above, it is reasonable to suspect a Turkey Vulture as the most likely culprit.
Just offering some local knowledge.
The power plant may have completely ignored the problem if the Governor didn't release a statement calling for an investigation.
When the cosmic background radiation was discovered by Penzias and Wilson, the first thought was that there may have been noise introduced by a "white dielectric substance" (bird business) covering the antenna. This makes me wonder if the same substance could have built up on an insulator until a final application caused power to arc to ground setting off a protective relay.
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