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Recent Blackouts-Are They Really a Coincidence??

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by angelize56, Sep 28, 2003.

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Do you think the power outages are all purely coincidental?

  1. Yes-I'm not paranoid!

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  2. Yes-Systems need updating badly!

    9 vote(s)
    64.3%
  3. No! Something is going on behind our backs!

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  4. No! I'm paranoid and worry these are just "practice" runs before a world-wide blackout!

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
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  1. angelize56

    angelize56 Always remembered in our hearts Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    First the US....then the UK....now today Italy, originating in France....are these really just coincidences or signs of something terrible coming?? How do we know these blackouts aren't someone practicing before the big world wide blackout...perhaps in the middle of a cold winter??? And I'm NOT a paranoid person! Just seems too strange to have these blackouts all of a sudden affecting so many! :eek: Take care. angel

    Nationwide Blackout Disrupts Italy
    By TOM RACHMAN
    Associated Press Writer

    ROME (AP)--Power went out across Italy on Sunday, stranding riders in subway cars, disrupting travel nationwide and cutting short an all-night festival in Rome.

    There was no official tally of customers without power, but early reports indicated most of Italy's 58 million people could be affected. The Aug. 14 blackout in the eastern United States and Canada affected 50 million people.

    Italy's state broadcaster said the problem may have originated in France. The French government said there were no reports of outages there.

    The first outages were reported around 4 a.m. local time in Rome, where the city was celebrating an all-night festival with museums and restaurants open around the clock.

    Later, the national electricity company ACEA said power was out everywhere except on the island of Sardinia, the ANSA news agency said.

    "As far as we know it's all across Italy,'' police official Franca Sesti Miraglia said in Rome. "We don't know the cause yet.''

    Carlo Andrea Bollino, the director of the Italian electrical network, ruled out terrorism. (Like they'd ever admit to us if it was! :rolleyes: )

    "All the data we have now is in line with a technical failure,'' Bollino said. (Yep...those good old tech failures explain it all!)

    More than 110 trains were stopped with 30,000 passengers on board, and hundreds of people attending the all-night ``White Night'' festivities in Rome were stuck in subways, ANSA said. Italian television showed darkened streets and stranded travelers sleeping in a subway station.

    By midmorning, electricity was beginning to return to some parts of Venice, Milan and other northern cities. However, rural areas and all regions south of Rome remained completely out of power. Diesel locomotives were towing stranded electric trains to the nearest stations.

    "In certain parts of the city, electricity has already returned,'' said civil defense official Pasquale Aversa. "Given the situation we're in, it's going well.''

    He added that hospitals and other emergency centers were using generators. Top civil defense officials will likely hold a meeting in Rome on the matter soon, Aversa said, but he had no further details.

    The Italian state broadcaster RAI said the problem was believed to have originated in France and caused a domino effect throughout Italy. Italy depends on France for some of its power.

    However, the French Interior Ministry said it had no immediate reports of any outages in France, nor were there problems with crossings at the Italian border.

    A spokeswoman for Electricite de France, France's state-run electricity provider, said the company was investigating the shutdown.

    "EDF is waiting to see what really happened before making any comment,'' said spokeswoman Christine Collaert.

    Power also went out for about three hours in Geneva, Switzerland earlier in the night, but it was unclear if it was related to the Italian outage. :eek:

    Austria, Slovakia and Croatia--Italy's neighbors to the north and east--reported no problems.

    Trains from Switzerland were stopping at the southern Swiss town of Chiasso, unable to enter Italy because of the outage, said Viasuisse, Switzerland's travel information office. Most of Europe's trains are electric.

    Italy was hit with partial power cuts in June, when people _ suffering in the scorching summer--overloaded the system with air conditioners and other electricity-guzzling appliances. That was the first time in more than 20 years that the national operator of the electrical grid ordered power cuts.

    Authorities have repeatedly said that power demand is growing faster than supply and that imported electricity would not make up for insufficient production in the long term.

    A massive blackout hit vast swaths of the northern and eastern United States and parts of Canada on Aug. 14, affecting 50 million people and shutting down more than 100 power plants. On Aug. 28, power briefly went out in parts of London and southeast England, shutting off traffic lights in the British capital and stranding hundreds of thousands of people on subways and trains.

    Authorities are still investigating the U.S. and British outages. (Why of course!)


    AP-NY-09-28-03 0418EDT
     
  2. Stoner

    Stoner Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    44,931
    Hi Angel :)

    Until I see reports otherwise, I think the power grids are like any other business activity during recessions and economic recoveries. Short sighted business administrators too often cut budgets on maintenance, hoping to coast into better economic times while maintaining the best possible 'profit' line. Some times companies don't prepare for the expense of the unforeseen and there is no cushion (financially) to provide backup, preventive maintenance or upgrades.

    There will always be accidents, but (IMO) there do seem to be more of them and of a greater seriousness, during tight financial times.


    And then again, it could be an assualt against national economies at a tech level. Just have to wait on the final reports



    (Angel, do your duty to improve the economy, today, go out and buy something worthless :D j/k !)





    Jack :D
     
  3. Stoner

    Stoner Banned

    Joined:
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    Just saw this on Reuters. Looks like storm damage was the primary cause.




    http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=DTTPMG1UE0HKKCRBAEOCFFA?type=topNews&storyID=3519451

    Power Failure Brings Italy to Standstill
    Sun September 28, 2003 06:11 AM ET




    By James Crawford
    ROME (Reuters) - A nationwide power cut plunged Italy into darkness early Sunday in one of the country's worst blackouts, which authorities blamed on the breakdown of electricity lines from France and Switzerland hit by storms.

    The early morning blackout hit virtually the entire country, stranding more than 30,000 train passengers, forcing airlines to cancel flights and leaving people sleeping on the streets.

    There were no reports of fatalities directly linked to the fourth major power breakdown in Western economies in two months.

    It was Italy's worst blackout in nearly a decade and hit all of the country except the island of Sardinia and some small pockets of the mainland, officials said.

    Eight hours after the power went out, huge sections of the country were still without electricity including Rome, where stranded subway and train passengers slept on the ground.

    "It's chaos, and until the electricity comes back on it will continue to be chaos," said policeman Fabio Bragazzi, 21, at Rome's main Termini train station.

    Italian authorities said the near simultaneous failure of power lines from neighboring Switzerland and France, which provides about one fifth of Italy's electricity at night, triggered the cut at 3:20 a.m. (0120 GMT).

    "It was an exceptional, extraordinary event," Andrea Bollino, chairman of national grid operator GRTN, told Reuters.

    "There was a problem with the connection in Switzerland which then caused a problem with our connection with France and then affected Italy," Bollino said.

    French authorities said severe storms apparently cut two 400,000 volt lines connecting the two countries. Sunday morning the two lines were reconnected, restoring power to large parts of northern and central Italy.

    "The origin of the main failure is not French. There was a failure between Switzerland and Italy around 3 a.m. (0100 GMT)," said Patrick Larradet, a spokesman for French grid operator RTE.

    He said two French power lines came down shortly afterwards, around 3:25 a.m. (1025 GMT) -- most likely due to storms in the region -- but electricity was soon restored.

    Power was expected to be up in the rest of Italy by Sunday afternoon, Industry Minister Antonio Marzano said.

    "WE'RE NOT HAPPY AT ALL"

    The outage brought an early close to an all-night party in the capital where shops, tourist sites and museums were meant to stay open until daybreak. Cash machines in Rome went on the blink.

    Patrons in one Rome cafe without power to run the coffee machine turned to liqueur instead.

    "We're not happy at all. Everything was fine until about 3:30 a.m. (0130 GMT). Then it all happened at once and now we're angry and wet," one sodden party-goer said.

    About 110 trains with some 30,000 passengers were stranded when the power went out. "Almost all trains that were blocked are now brought into the stations," a spokesman for the state railway firm said.

    Italy, which relies on a constant supply of imported power, especially from France, suffered several power outages over the summer as temperatures soared.

    About five million consumers in eastern Denmark and southern Sweden were left in the dark last Wednesday in the worst blackout there in 20 years.

    That followed last month's huge outage that left 50 million North Americans without power for up to two days and a shutdown which paralyzed London for several hours.

    (Additional reporting by Rachel Sanderson in Rome, Svetlana Kovalyova in Milan)
     
  4. Paquadez

    Paquadez

    Joined:
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    8,765
    The great thing about FRance, is like it or love it, they have invested heavily in nuclear power.

    EDF (Electrictie de France) provides probably the best and cheapest power in Europe.

    Better, certain appliances work on a low-tariff at off-peak times: EDF send a "Pulse" along the lines to enable and dis-enable the appliances. Clever stuff!

    France has, however, been for some time been supplying surplus power to surrounding states, including Italy and by circa 2010, the UK as well (since Teflon Tony and his gang don't have the wit to realise thet power is a strategic resource- dumb brains!).

    Why do you think Paq is gonna be living in France?

    Paq

    :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
  5. Stoner

    Stoner Banned

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    Silly me :D

    I thought it was the beaches ;)
     
  6. Mulderator

    Mulderator

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    You'll fit right in Paq. You can bash the US at the local cafes and enjoy the finest in socialized benefits! ;)
     
  7. Paquadez

    Paquadez

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
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    Stoner

    The beaches are nice too: wonderful golden sand runs right from Calais all the way to Normandy.

    Mulder

    I won't have to bash the US: the French will make an excellent job of it themselves!

    As for the social security, I shall in fact be paying more taxes, however, strange as it might seem, I don't mind paying a bit more, for one of the best health services in the World, one of the best road systems in the World, the best food and wine (which is far cheaper - particularly eating out!), one of the best railway networks in the World - and one of the cheapest mile-per-mile and in fact anything other than the Third World banana Republic Great Britain has degenerated into!

    As for me "Bashing the US", did you not read my comment, earlier, in another post?

    Bash Geo W for marching off to war in total contravention of established international law? Yes, Sir, guilty.

    Bash the current state of US capital markets, where the knock-on effect has skittled MY savings down the alley of malfeasance? Yes, Sir, guilty, again.

    To state the case finally and unequivocally, I think the USA was and could be one of the finest countries in the World.

    However, I believe that you have the same incipient political and financial problems brewing that (for different reasons) has destroyed the UK. I have stated this, sadly, before.

    Still, as always seems to be the way in California, everyone's cool, baby and completely locked out of reality!

    :p :p :p


    I shall now probably get a smack from Candy for rabbiting on in random!

    Paq
     
  8. Mulderator

    Mulderator

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    It is the finest in the world as far as I'm concerned and that all that really matters now, isn't it? ;)
     
  9. Hergé

    Hergé Guest

    I blame the fossils myself. Both the fossil fuels and the fossils running government and the church.

    Like fossils everywhere they are out of date. :)

    Where is all of this alternative energy going to come from?

    And where is the renewable energy going to come from?

    How about moving to Africa and saving on central heating and snow clearance?

    The upside? They say that it will be Heavenly when hell freezes over. :D

    "Hergé"
     
  10. Hergé

    Hergé Guest

    NO!

    It would be better still if this was the finest planet in the Solar system.

    I told you that you are too parochial.

    No country is an island in global thinking.

    What is happening in Africa, India, The Phillipines and Indonesia?

    You all live on the same planet you know!

    Only 2 people per square mile living in Australia.

    How are you doing?

    "Hergé"
     
  11. Paquadez

    Paquadez

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    Oh, Dear Weapon of Mass Destruction!

    No, only to YOU!

    One day (soon I hope:confused: ) you will realise that the World is far bigger and more critical than continental USA!

    By then, however, I will be in my dotage, probably!:p :p
    _____________________________________________

    Mulder (Moderator) Foothill Ranch, CA (It's God's Country)
    _____________________________________________

    Last time I was there (California), could have fooled me!

    Paq
    :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
  12. angelize56

    angelize56 Always remembered in our hearts Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Messages:
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    Well it's all a giant conspiracy!!! The governments have learned to use lightning in strategic places to take out the power! :D I'm telling you..it's all trial runs until the middle of winter...then...BAM...more lightning to knock out the whole world's power! AND they'll find a way to make our generators not work too! :D Then it will be THEM in power....the New World Order!!! :D Where will we go to get warm??? :)

    Now if you want to know what I REALLY think.....:D
     
  13. Hergé

    Hergé Guest

    ^ "Now if you want to know what I REALLY think.....:D"

    We are all ears. :)

    Hergé
     
  14. Gibble

    Gibble

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    lol us Canucks will rule the world, we're used to the cold :p
     
  15. Paquadez

    Paquadez

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    Gib

    Surely, Canada has lots of nice environmentally friendly hydro-electric plants?

    Don't you actually export large surpluses to the USA?

    I seem to recall that this availability of "cheap" power was why AlCan became so dominant in the reduction of Bauxite to alluminium? Can only be done with a high frequency electric furnace, viably, that is.

    Paq
     
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