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RE: Over-Engineering

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Ohh no. Here comes the hot air from Bill P in 3.2.1...

-----Original Message-----
From: David Merrick, Structural Engineer, Merrick Group
[mailto:mrkgp.se(--nospam--at)gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:23 AM
To: SEAINT
Subject: RE: Over-Engineering


I Suspect Dr Brune would agree with the blowing sand theory and even
have a time relationship with when a rock was more stable. I have seen
balanced basalt rocks on top of mountains. There are many Engineers who
are climbers, go ask one. Probably each condition will have its own time
line and estimate of limits of seismic events. These records as a whole
may lead to new understandings of the limits of larger seismic events in
general.

It is responsible to consider a 10,000 year return period for a
structure that is to harbor nuclear waste whose toxins can last twice
that time period. A 10,000 year return period is used to represent a
1,000 year use. 20 times more than our building performance designs, but
working stresses have a lesser increase (if any at all when using
dampers and yielding members). I hope that in the next 50 years we will
find a use for these waste products and an alternative source of power.
If we could just consider the nuclear solution as a temporary bridge but
design the containment for a future far beyond the economic interest.

Do you believe 2012 is the end? Others have concluded that, by 2012, if
we do not change our ways then around 2050 we will have had to reduce
our population to 30% of what it is today. We need to reach farther into
the future than did our rational predecessors. This does not quite fit
when sitting across the table from a client who needs an investment to
survive a tax equation for obsolescence. Unanimous support of Global
Warming keeps getting tripped up by short sighted views of weather
events, ignoring the climate. Why is it temping to believe “the end is
near” or “global warming isn’t happening”? Will it undermine your
competitors? Does it let us spend more on our whims?

How does one sell the benefit of longer lasting structures?

Individual owners have a higher benefit when abating details that do not
meet a 100 year return period seismic event. Seismic strengthening
costs, at the 500 year return period, are usually most beneficial to the
larger money interests who are using the community’s manpower and
infrastructure. Neither person nor corporation seems to directly benefit
from protection from a 1,000 year seismic event. The choice may have
something to do with our society’s health needing to have a goal of a
more distant future or just a simple and healthy concern for future
generations.

Nuclear waste is more toxic than burning fossil fuels and it sticks
around longer. The constant trend of human error for the next 1,000
years of using nuclear power could increase global background radiation
to an inhospitable level. Nuclear energy is one front to fighting the
warming climate. Global warming may not threaten our safety as a world
population for another 100 years. I hope we will find a better energy
source in the next ten years. I believe, to store nuclear waste, a
seismic return period greater than what is used for common designs is
reasonable. 10,000 years may be best.

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