Monday, May 25, 2009

All Sensors Down

A long time ago--like in caveman days--a young engineer interned for a very large utility on the East coast that had bragging rights to running the 'safest' nuclear power generating plant around.

The intern's duty was to review the Quality Control procedures for the plant and see that they were in line with acceptable operating procedures at the time. The green and still wet-behind-the-ears engineer brought it up that randomly checking valves for safety would not guarantee that every valve was checked eventually and there should be a better system to ensure regularly checking all the valves since there was no way to predict which one would fail.

The feedback was not taken seriously because the intern was barely a sophomore, but it did garner the intern a lunch in the executive dining room. When the subject was casually mentioned the intern further indicated that while it made sense to have female operators avoid working around the live reactor, the male plant operators should be shielded when working in the plant while it was active; lunch was paletable and the view was great but then the intern was gently told that checking every valve is too costly and it was not called for by any protocol in place at the time and men don't carry all their reproductive cells around at the same time like women do so there was no such need for being overly cautious.

The intern moved on to remote sensing and communication; over a quarter century later the question remains--they're not still just randomly checking valves in nuclear reactors are they?!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Singular Senselessness

I guess I am learning not to mind my dissertation here being occasioned by some who may have ulterior motives other than to imbibe my sense of realism; but in the back of my mind there is the niggling concern that some visitors’ motives may be less than admirable.

Every time I come across one school district or reseach facility followed by another availing itself of this blog I think that rather than using this information to help the general population avoid toxic exposure, the voyeurs may actually be trying to knowingly put the public and our children in harm’s way. Afterall, over the course of this past decade I still see those ubiquitous blue Waxie Time delivery trucks all over town and I don’t bother with the MSDs anymore because the harmful ingredients are now simply listed as ‘secret.’

While the Maxie Time protagonist was unconvinced that her exposure was anything more than a mere accident, the regular interest from school districts and other government agencies that traffic this site would lead one to believe her toxic exposure was not only deliberate but made worse by the malevolence of those responsible for it, since any scientist worth their bifocals can tell you how excruciatingly painful and utterly debilitating chronic toxic exposure injury is. I say scientist and not doctor, because while doctors know this to be true, there is no money to be made by them if they admit there is any truth to this.