SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Continued saga at Ward Cove
By Don Borders


November 09, 2009
Monday PM

I watched the local telecast of the presentation where the development plan to build a Plasma plant at Ward Cove was presented. I have many concerns as to how the Borough might act on the slick mono-view of the "possibility" of the fringe technologies for Ward Cove. It was impressive to the scope which various people were taken by the smooth delivery without really answering any hard questions. The end results are breath taking, however, what about any concern if the thing will just not work due to local environmental conditions such as 80 to 99 percent humidity, lack of actual product to "burn," will they import materials to "feed" the Beast? What if the possibility the whole thing ends back up in the laps of the borough assembly with added additional problematic clean-up of Ward Cove all over again? Will it be additional pages and chapters in the ongoing saga of government mismanagement?

I can state from a personal perspective when I worked at Ward Cove pulp mill, the mill had several Electrostatic Participator's, in boiler emissions controls, they used very high voltages. The devices had problems over a certain voltage. They were unable to develop peak design voltages due to ambient moisture in our wet marine air and any residual moisture, down stream, created severe corrosion problems. I worked in the electric shop where we fixed the things. Plasma arcs designs are going to use very high voltages to get the needed effect in melting the material into the final end product. So the Plasma design has a flaw already, if it's used, here in our Wet Rain Forest environment.

OK, speculative at best. The safest way to be able to address any problems would be to divide the problem in to smaller parts which will / would make it less of a public spectacle if there are any failures. Continue on with dividing the property in to smaller parts, that way, if there are any failures they can be addressed to the owners who have an investment by living here and have an history of doing business in the region. Failure of one large outside entity would put the Cove at risk, similar which the borough just took back. Then there are questions of getting the thing built and bonds to do so. I am sure the developer would not be using his / their own monies to build this.

Considering the failures of the past, the best course of action is to do what is least dangerous in repeating the past. Division is the way to go and would divide the big problems, the borough has, into smaller ones. There, they would be easier to deal with and be less of an public embarrassment to the Borough management. Any failures would be of the single small business owners problem and the whole "Gigantic Mud Pie" problem would not end back where the management has it now, in their laps.

Don Borders
Ketchikan, AK

Received November 06, 2009 - Published November 09, 2009



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