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Archive for the ‘Policy and procedure’ Category

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I was asked recently to comment on the factor of safety and the probability of failure.  I declined, because I have been thinking about it, using it, and writing about it forever.  I went back to one of the first pieces I wrote, The Engineer and the Probability of Failure.  You can download a copy at this link.   It was an occasional piece in a magazine in South Africa.  It is dated October 1978. I based the piece on a court case in South Africa where the judge wrote: (more…)

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Flexible Evaporation Solutions

Walked around the exhibit hall at the Denver SME convention.  Chatted to old friends and met new people–and learnt of new products. Suddenly my mind was cast back to my days as a kid on the East Geduld Mine in South Africa where we grew up.  The area was arid; there were no natural water bodies within two-hundred miles.  One of our favorite places was the mine’s evaporation ponds.  On our rickety bicycles we would break through the flimsy security gate and spend hours around the ponds.  They were magic: a wonderland of color and water.  Better than those fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. (more…)

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This week I had reason to go back and re-read three papers I co-authored in the early 1980s.  It is surprising how far advanced we were then, and how little things have changed, or how little of what did has become standard practice. The first paper is at this link.  Rick Call was the lead on the work we describe in this paper.  He was a large buff man, with an enormous beard, a perpetual pipe, and a totally irreverent attitude towards authority.  He sent Ned Larson and me to Texas, where we sweated through the heat to get the data.  Then back to Tucson to do the calculations.  I recently reconnected with Ned who is now in Las Vegas and the grandfather of sixteen grandchildren.  He is still with the U.S. Department of Energy which he joined after working with me for five years on the UMTRA Project in Albuquerque.  He is a great engineer, as was Rick. (more…)

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This evening I watched the Mariinsky version of Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet.  This is the only ballet I like.  Mostly because of the music.  And, I suspect, because once I could recite the entire Shakespeare play.  (I was Friar Lawrence in the  high school production.)  And now in the ballet I can hear the words of every emotion. (more…)

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This picture and the others in this posting were taken by me at Knotsberry Farm in California.
A great place to visit and enjoy a terrifying ride along the raging river of insanity.

If you seek a thorough and intelligent analysis of dealing with uranium mill sites (and particularly the tailings facility) take a look at the following–it is an amazingly comprehensive document–and should be required reading for all involved in mine management, regardless of whether the mine is uranium, copper, gold, or something else. (more…)

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Here is the outfall of the Pebble Mine and Mt Polley Mine debacles.  A report on the Seabridge Gold’s KSM Mine in BC.  The report is authored by Salmon Beyond Borders, a coalition of Alaska Native tribal members, commercial, sport and subsistence fishermen, and other groups, in consultation with Earthworks.  The press release is at this link.  The full report is at this link.  Here from the press release on the five key risks associated with the mine: (more…)

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Today I received the followings announcement by email.  I cannot find the original on the website of the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM).  Maybe they have not gotten down to posting it yet.  The announcement, in short, is that MEM has awarded Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) a $1.5 million to help MEM evaluate the cause of the Mt Polley failure–more specifically to provide advice in conducting the “forensic investigation” into the breach. (more…)

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