As you are going to be in the Cleveland area this week for Dan Saks visit, you might want to hang around until next week for the Symposium on the Future of Nuclear Power, in Pittsburgh. This symposium is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy and the Swanson School of Engineering.
The main topics of the for symposium sessions are:
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
- Nuclear Power and Energy Alternatives - 2:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
- America's Nuclear Future - 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
- Three Mile Island. Chernobyl. Fukushima Daiichi - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
- Legal and Financial Aspects of Nuclear Power - 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Registration for the event is required and there is a $300 fee to attend.
You may be wondering what this has to do with Embedded Systems or Software Safety? Westing House Nuclear is one of the largest employers for Embedded System Designers in the Pittsburgh region. Also, all of our widgets currently require to electricity to run them. Our current path of relying on 'Green' energy, and the closing of Coal based power plants is only going to lead to a failing Electric Grid as early as this summer (2012); I'll have more to say about that in a future blog.
Just this week the Utilities and the Department of Homeland Security ran a Power Hungry: Prototyping Replacement EHV Transformers test, better summarized as the Transformer Replacement Test.
As I've reported previously something like an EMP event, or a Solar Storm could put the Grid out of commission for days to months. Some of the mega-transformers have a two year lead time, when they need to be replaced. 90% of consumed power passes through a high voltage transformer at some point. If these transformers fail, especially in large numbers, therein lies a very big problem.