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[en] An evaluation is given of DOE's recommendation of the Elk River complex in North Carolina for siting the second repository. Twelve recommendations are made including a strong suggestion that the Cherokee Tribe appeal both through political and legal avenues for inclusion as an affected area primarily due to projected impacts upon economy and public health as a consequence of the potential for reduced tourism
[en] Residential retail competition in electricity supply was introduced in many countries and some US states as part of electricity industry deregulation. Following problems in the electricity market in California in 2000/2001 many US states, including North Carolina, suspended their deregulation agenda. Recent technological advances have made competition more viable, so we ask if NC should reconsider deregulation and retail competition. The welfare benefits will depend on consumers’ willingness to switch suppliers and the potential for value added innovations. In electricity and industries such as pay-tv and telecommunications consumers are ‘sticky’, remaining with their current supplier even though rivals offer savings. Moreover, some analysts question the likelihood of significant welfare improvements from retail competition. We survey residents in two NC counties focusing on: (i) households’ knowledge of and interest in retail competition, (ii) factors that would encourage them to switch suppliers and (iii) the required savings to encourage switching. About 50–65% of respondents would favor retail competition in NC. Demographic variables and experience switching in other industries affect opinions and the savings required to incent switching. We conclude the estimated rate reduction to encourage competitive switching will be hard to achieve in NC as long as rates remain below the national average. - Highlights: ► NC survey results suggest residents are interested in utility supply competition. ► Socio-demographic variables affect opinions. ► A lower bound on required savings to incent switching is about 1.4¢/kWh. ► NC residential rates are below the national average, so such a savings is unlikely.
[en] An orientation study was conducted in the Kings Mountain, North Carolina, area in preparation for a hydrogeochemical and stream sediment reconnaissance. The study was conducted by the Savannah River Laboratory as part of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) Program. Ninety-nine surface sites and ninety-six ground water sites were sampled over an 800-square-mile area. Uranium concentrations ranged from 2 to 156 parts per million (ppM) in sediment and from 5 to 186,000 parts per trillion (pptr) in water. Symbol plots showing areal distribution of uranium and cumulative frequency plots of uranium concentrations in ground water, stream water, and stream sediment are presented. Tabular data for each site include temperature; alkalinity; conductivity; pH; dissolved oxygen; Eh; sulfate, nitrate, and phosphate ions; ammonia; site descriptors (e.g., well depth, stream width, etc.); and analyses for 27 supplementary elements in sediment
[en] A shallow Coastal Plain aquifer in rural Sampson Country, North Carolina, has been contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbon from a leaking underground storage tank containing gasoline.An extensive field characterization has been performed to define the horizontal and vertical distribution of soluble gasoline components and indicator parameters. A plume of dissolved methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and the aromatic hydrocarbons benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene isomers (BTEX) is present in the aquifer and has migrated over 600 ft from the source area. Background dissolved oxygen concentrations range from 7 to 8 mg/L, and nitrate concentrations range from 5 to 22 mg/L as N due to extensive fertilization of fields surrounding the spill. In the center of the BTEX plume, oxygen concentrations decline to less than 1 mg/L while nitrate concentrations remain high. The total mass flux of MTBE and all BTEX components decline with distance downgradient relative to a conservative tracer (chloride). At the source, the total BTEX concentration exceeds 75 mg/L while 130 ft downgradient, total BTEX concentrations are less than 4.9 mg/L, a 15-fold reduction. Toluene and ethylbenzene decline most rapidly followed by m-p-xylene, o-xylene and finally benzene. Biodegradation of TEX appears to be enhanced by the excess nitrate present in the aquifer while benzene biodegradation appears to be due to strictly aerobic processes
[en] Over the past 40 years residents of, and visitors to, the North Carolina coastal barrier islands have experienced the destructive forces of several 'named' extratropical storms. These storms have caused large-scale redistributions of sand and loss of coastal structures and infrastructure. While most of the population living on the islands are familiar with the wintertime storms, the damage and scars of the 'super northeasters'-such as the Ash Wednesday storm of 7 March 1962, and the Halloween storm of 1989-are slipping away from the public's memory. In this research we compared the damage zones of the 1962 Ash Wednesday storm, as depicted on aerial photographs taken after the storm, with photos taken of the same areas in 2003. With these high-resolution aerial photos we were able to estimate the extent of new development which has taken place along the Outer Banks of North Carolina since 1962. Three damage zones were defined that extend across the islands from the ocean landward on the 1962 aerial photos: (1) the zone of almost total destruction on the seaward edge of the islands where the storm waves break; (2) the zone immediately inland where moderate structural damage occurs during severe storms; and (3) the zone of flood damage at the landward margin of the storm surge and overwash. We considered the rate of coastal erosion, the rate of development, and increases in property values as factors which may contribute to changing the financial risk for coastal communities. In comparing the values of these four factors with the 1962 damage data, we produced a predicted dollar value for storm damage should another storm of the magnitude of the 1962 Ash Wednesday storm occur in the present decade. This model also provides an opportunity to estimate the rate of increase in the potential losses through time as shoreline erosion continues to progressively reduce the buffer between the development and the edge of the sea. Our data suggest that the losses along the North Carolina coast would rank amongst the all-time most costly natural disasters to have occurred in the United States, with up to $1 billion in losses in North Carolina alone.
[en] Ibuprofen is commonly detected in onsite wastewater systems. Such onsite systems are abundant in coastal plain areas, globally. Coastal plain soils have unique mineralogy. Rapid subsurface transport may occur in coastal plain soils due to their characteristic permeable soils and seasonally high water tables. Laboratory batch sorption studies were conducted on Norfolk, Goldsboro, and Lynchburg, three archetypical coastal plain soils, with varying physicochemical properties, to evaluate ibuprofen sorption. Sorption distribution coefficients (KD values) across all three soils ranged from 0.63 to 1.26 L kg−1. Sorption of ibuprofen to Norfolk and Goldsboro soils was able to be modeled using a Freundlich isotherm; however, the Lynchburg soil, was not, likely due to soil heterogeneity. In general, sorption of ibuprofen was influenced by soil organic carbon content.
[en] The sources of planning for the development of curricula for engineering support personnel for the nuclear industry in general and nuclear facilities in particular have included the deliberate acquisition of inputs from employers, feedback from past students, and the critique of curricula by the industry, students, and faculty. As a result, three principal courses were developed in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, namely, Reactor Systems which deals in terms of the design engineer's and owner's concerns with regard to functional requirements, design criteria, and objectives of reactor systems; Reactor Operations which applies the student's basic engineering education to the role of an engineer in nuclear facilities, with particular attention to power plant operations; and Quality Assurance which provides the student with the bases, engineering implications and engineer's role in quality assurance during the design, construction, delivery and operation of nuclear and other complex facilities. A summary of the results to date of this trinity of courses is presented, with particular attention to its acceptance by the industry