da man
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New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:07 am

Just popped up on the newswire:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/chronicle/5116207.html

It looks like there will be a glut of new reactors built in the US coming soon.
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IFEMaster
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:29 am

While I think this is a step in the right direction as far as providing power that is cleaner for our air, I'm concerned about the storage of nuclear waste. It has a half life of 10,000 years, so what happens when we've generated so much of it we run out of space? In tandem with developing new power, there also needs to be work done on figuring out this storage/disposal issue.
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moo
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:41 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 1):
While I think this is a step in the right direction as far as providing power that is cleaner for our air, I'm concerned about the storage of nuclear waste. It has a half life of 10,000 years, so what happens when we've generated so much of it we run out of space? In tandem with developing new power, there also needs to be work done on figuring out this storage/disposal issue.

There are many proposals as to how to deal with it - the best one is to just sodding use it! The Integral Fast Reactor design actually uses high level waste (long half life transuranic isotopes) as a fuel source, leaving only low level waste as the long term problem.

The idea is to have one LPW reactor and one IFR on the same site, the LPWR using the first fuel cycle, and the IFR using the waste. The LPW reactor is around 1% efficient (uses about 1% of the contained energy in its fuel), and the IFR is about 99% efficient (uses 99% of the contained energy in its fuel).

While its not quite solved the entire problem, it puts us in a damn sight better position than we are now.
 
IFEMaster
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:44 am

Quoting Moo (Reply 2):
There are many proposals as to how to deal with it - the best one is to just sodding use it! The Integral Fast Reactor design actually uses high level waste (long half life transuranic isotopes) as a fuel source, leaving only low level waste as the long term problem.

The idea is to have one LPW reactor and one IFR on the same site, the LPWR using the first fuel cycle, and the IFR using the waste. The LPW reactor is around 1% efficient (uses about 1% of the contained energy in its fuel), and the IFR is about 99% efficient (uses 99% of the contained energy in its fuel).

While its not quite solved the entire problem, it puts us in a damn sight better position than we are now.

I did not know that, but I have always wondered "why can't we just use the waste as more fuel?" Thanks for the info.
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connies4ever
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:41 pm

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 1):
While I think this is a step in the right direction as far as providing power that is cleaner for our air, I'm concerned about the storage of nuclear waste. It has a half life of 10,000 years, so what happens when we've generated so much of it we run out of space? In tandem with developing new power, there also needs to be work done on figuring out this storage/disposal issue.

Depends on the type of reactor and fuel cycle. CANDU reactor fuel is at background radiation levels within 600-700 years. Still a fair stretch of time but more manageable. Besides which, the spent fuel is itself a resource, which can be recycled.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
baroque
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S

Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:29 am

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 4):
Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 1):
While I think this is a step in the right direction as far as providing power that is cleaner for our air, I'm concerned about the storage of nuclear waste. It has a half life of 10,000 years, so what happens when we've generated so much of it we run out of space? In tandem with developing new power, there also needs to be work done on figuring out this storage/disposal issue.

Depends on the type of reactor and fuel cycle. CANDU reactor fuel is at background radiation levels within 600-700 years. Still a fair stretch of time but more manageable. Besides which, the spent fuel is itself a resource, which can be recycled.

Added to which, waste is typically at relatively low levels within about 10 to 20 years. The long half life isotopes that stay active for long periods, do not emit much radiation in any short time period. The mistake is to cite the high radiation levels found immediately after unloading with the longest half life and then assume that the initial radiation levels last that length of time. They just do not last very long.

Nice concept the CANDU and catchy name, pity it has not caught on more. A bit like synrock, one of the neglected inventions of the atomic age!
 Wow!
 
connies4ever
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:44 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 5):
Nice concept the CANDU and catchy name, pity it has not caught on more. A bit like synrock, one of the neglected inventions of the atomic age!

Slightly off-topic, but we may be on the verge of a numbers of orders: 2 units in Ontario, 2 units in Argentina, and possibly 2 more in Romania, which would be a fair bit of work.

It's an interesting beastie and gives the operator control over the entire fuel cycle as the fuel is unenriched, It does make, however, for some interesting plumbing problems!
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connies4ever
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:36 am

Actually, one of the things holding nuclear power back right now is the size of the talent pool required for physicists, engineers, chemists, etc. My firm has gone from 2600 to 4600 employees in the last 2 years and we're still scrambling. Mind you, it's nice to have too much work to do than too little.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:41 am

Quoting Moo (Reply 2):
There are many proposals as to how to deal with it - the best one is to just sodding use it! The Integral Fast Reactor design actually uses high level waste (long half life transuranic isotopes) as a fuel source, leaving only low level waste as the long term problem.

I've PM'ed ContnlEliteCMH, and invited him to join this discussion.

He knows a lot about the IFR, and he taught me a lot a few years ago in a similar thread. Very smart guy.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
baroque
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:13 pm

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 6):
Slightly off-topic, but we may be on the verge of a numbers of orders: 2 units in Ontario, 2 units in Argentina, and possibly 2 more in Romania, which would be a fair bit of work.

That is interesting, the Argentinians have just sold us a research reactor which is having problems. Some colleagues of mine are having to send their work to Germany. And all is not happy there.
 
Rj111
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:38 pm

What is the state of fast breeder reactors? I hear they produce nearly no nuclear waste. Supposedly, the risk of losing the fissile to terrorists who could potentially produce nuclear weapons is a concern in the US though.
 
baroque
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:02 pm

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 10):
What is the state of fast breeder reactors?

Sad in general. Go up to the N of Scotland and see what happend to Dounreay. Basically they are care and maintenance. But cooling anything with liquid sodium gives me the nervous nellies. You might as well try cooling it with liquid nitroglycerine!

http://www.ukaea.org.uk/sites/dounreay_site.htm
"Once Britain's centre of fast reactor research and development, Dounreay is pioneering the clean-up of major nuclear sites. On current plans, decommissioning will finish by 2033 and UKAEA is working with development agencies to leave a sustainable legacy for the north Highlands."

Hmmmm!!
 
connies4ever
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:17 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 9):
That is interesting, the Argentinians have just sold us a research reactor which is having problems. Some colleagues of mine are having to send their work to Germany. And all is not happy there.

I saw the press release on that from ANSTO. You may be thankful though you bought the Argentine design rather than our MAPLE. Now eight years behind original schedule, still not working correctly, and program spending is > 2.5 times original plan. But, if INVAP have to redesign the fuel, it may amount to nearly the same thing. Research reactors as well as power reactors are being designed and built with much less inherent conservatism than a generation or two ago, and they are biting back !

Shows you what happens when you break up a talented design group and hand over control to another group with no background in research reactors. You can try Googleing "MAPLE Reactor" or "MMIR Reactor", there's a fair bit of stuff in public domain.
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galapagapop
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:17 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 11):

Sad in general. Go up to the N of Scotland and see what happend to Dounreay. Basically they are care and maintenance. But cooling anything with liquid sodium gives me the nervous nellies. You might as well try cooling it with liquid nitroglycerine!

Wasn't Sodium attempted at a test sight in LA in the 50's with what came to be the US's largest release of Nuclear radiations. Although if I remember correctly it wasn't the sodium itself, but the grease agent from a seal combined with the sodium created a goo that gunked up the bottom of several rods creating uneven cooling, correct me if I'm wrong however as I may be recalling this all wrong.
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:21 am

Now if they could just build nuclear-powered oil refineries next to each new plant. We'd be set for years to come.  Silly
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moo
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:57 am

Quoting Galapagapop (Reply 13):

Wasn't Sodium attempted at a test sight in LA in the 50's with what came to be the US's largest release of Nuclear radiations.

The 'Sodium Reactor Experiment' suffered partial core meltdown in 1959, but was restarted after several hours without an indepth investigation - the reactor was permanently shut down at the end of the year, and it was subsequently discovered that a third of the core had melted.

Radioactive gas was pumped from the core and stored in holding tanks, to be deliberately released untreated over a period of several weeks, resulting in the largest civilian radiation release in the US.
 
cfalk
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:57 am

All are looking to use advanced reactor designs, which the NRC is working to approve in advance in standardized form to hurry along the process.

Two of five most likely designs already have been certified by the NRC. The others are either under review or expected to be submitted by year's end.


That's excellent news. If we can start producing high-quality, standardized reactors like the French have done, you can radically reduce the cost of building these power plants. Virtually all the ones built in the U.S. until now have been one-off, customized designs, which can cost a billion dollars just for the design and approval work.
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lowrider
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:56 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 16):
That's excellent news. If we can start producing high-quality, standardized reactors like the French have done, you can radically reduce the cost of building these power plants.

Agree entirely. This technology has been available for years. Our failure to adopt it and resulting power shortages in parts of the country is a disgrace. Further, if we are serious about expanding the use of electric vehicles, then we will need the additional generating capacity to recharge them.
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connies4ever
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:44 am

Quoting Galapagapop (Reply 13):
Wasn't Sodium attempted at a test sight in LA in the 50's with what came to be the US's largest release of Nuclear radiations. Although if I remember correctly it wasn't the sodium itself, but the grease agent from a seal combined with the sodium created a goo that gunked up the bottom of several rods creating uneven cooling, correct me if I'm wrong however as I may be recalling this all wrong.

Sodium was also used to cool the reactor on USS Seawolf, SSN-572 (I think), which was the 2nd nuclear-powered boat in the navy. I always thought, after reading about it, "Yeah, let's surround liquid sodium with WATER, that's a good idea!" The Seawolf had a very troubled career although achieved some success as a spy sub (see: "Blind Man's Bluff" by Sherry Sontag, Chrtopher Drew & Annette Drew, 1998, ISBN 1891620088).
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
baroque
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:15 pm

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 18):
Sodium was also used to cool the reactor on USS Seawolf, SSN-572 (I think), which was the 2nd nuclear-powered boat in the navy. I always thought, after reading about it, "Yeah, let's surround liquid sodium with WATER, that's a good idea!" The Seawolf had a very troubled career although achieved some success as a spy sub (see: "Blind Man's Bluff" by Sherry Sontag, Chrtopher Drew & Annette Drew, 1998, ISBN 1891620088).

It would not need a faulty nuclear device to create a hell of an explosion if it suffered a major problem with the sodium. How do concepts like that get accepted? It is about as bright as the old store fission waste in rock salt concept. But the world seems to keep turning up similar examples. WHY?  Wow!
 
astuteman
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:14 am

Quoting Moo (Reply 2):
There are many proposals as to how to deal with it - the best one is to just sodding use it!

Indeed  Smile. Great post BTW

Quoting Baroque (Reply 5):
The mistake is to cite the high radiation levels found immediately after unloading with the longest half life and then assume that the initial radiation levels last that length of time. They just do not last very long.

Nasty thing, propaganda.
Horrible nuclear fuel - not environmentally friendly, like coal fired power stations......
(Anyone ever been to South yorkshire BTW? )

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 7):
Actually, one of the things holding nuclear power back right now is the size of the talent pool required for physicists, engineers, chemists, etc.

In the UK, the greatest source now appears to reside with the UK nuclear submarine building industry (specifically RRPE and BAE SYSTEMS). Our Head of Nuclear Safety is an ex-power guy, and is one of the few senior "power" engineers left in the UK

Quoting Baroque (Reply 11):
But cooling anything with liquid sodium gives me the nervous nellies. You might as well try cooling it with liquid nitroglycerine!

Can't see what's wrong with good old fashioned water mesself...........  Smile

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 14):
Now if they could just build nuclear-powered oil refineries next to each new plant

 biggrin 
Or, more seriously, liquid hydrogen plants perhaps....

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 16):
That's excellent news. If we can start producing high-quality, standardized reactors like the French have done, you can radically reduce the cost of building these power plants.

We're (BAE SYSTEMS Submarines) currently in talks with Westinghouse to JV a new generation of modular reactors. They reckon the market is worth $150Bn - $200Bn in the next 20 years.....  Smile

Regards
 
baroque
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:24 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 20):
Nasty thing, propaganda.
Horrible nuclear fuel - not environmentally friendly, like coal fired power stations......
(Anyone ever been to South yorkshire BTW? )

Well I was in the north area of S Yorks but I did my bit for mining Yorkshire coal. Beeston Seam which was not too bad for SO2. But the largest site had the Brown Metals Seam, so named because the pyrite oxidised to iron oxides giving a brown stain wherever the seam was encountered.

And don't forget that Yorkshire coal "produced" Freddie Trueman. (England cricketer for Continentals and N Americans.)
 
astuteman
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:11 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 21):
Well I was in the north area of S Yorks but I did my bit for mining Yorkshire coal

It's different now, 'cos most of the coal-fired power stations have closed (Ferrybridge and Drax excepted).
But I recall back in the '80's having arguments with my elder sister (who lives in Doncaster) over the environmental issues associated with Nuclear Power.
We'd then go outside, cough our lungs up, find the car in the smog, wash it (again), and follow the nearest plume of effluent reaching for the Stratosphere to find Doncaster town centre (where we'd usually bump into a Swedish person protesting about the de-forestation of his beautiful country...  Smile )

Regards
 
connies4ever
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:33 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 20):
Nasty thing, propaganda.
Horrible nuclear fuel - not environmentally friendly, like coal fired power stations......
(Anyone ever been to South yorkshire BTW? )

Yah, Leeds-Bradford is one of the most beautiful areas in the UK.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 20):
In the UK, the greatest source now appears to reside with the UK nuclear submarine building industry (specifically RRPE and BAE SYSTEMS). Our Head of Nuclear Safety is an ex-power guy, and is one of the few senior "power" engineers left in the UK

We of course don't have a nuclear submarine program, thanks to a very short-sighted decision by the government, and we are stuck with Upholder pieces of trash we bought.

Seriously, though, concurrent with a new-build program (wherever) what's needed is a real-time simulator (hopefully bought from CAE) and, like the airline biz, run round-the-clock to train control room teams in all kind of scenarios.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 19):
(see: "Blind Man's Bluff" by Sherry Sontag, Chrtopher Drew & Annette Drew, 1998, ISBN 1891620088)

The book, b.t.w., is a fantastic read about the development of the US spy submarine program, starting back in the late 40s and up to early 90s. Gives a good account of what happened to Thresher & Scorpion, with photos. Recommended to all.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
gigneil
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:35 am

Quoting Da man (Thread starter):
It looks like there will be a glut of new reactors built in the US coming soon.

All I can say is its about damn time.

NS
 
astuteman
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:09 pm

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 23):
and we are stuck with Upholder pieces of trash we bought.

Oi! I worked on them  gnasher  (well the name-ship anyway  Smile )

You should definitely have taken the Trafalgars way back when.
They're STILL proving they're an awesome piece of kit.  biggrin 

(BTW, the RN thought the upholders were great too.............  scratchchin   Smile )

Regards

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 23):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 19):
(see: "Blind Man's Bluff" by Sherry Sontag, Chrtopher Drew & Annette Drew, 1998, ISBN 1891620088)

The book, b.t.w., is a fantastic read about the development of the US spy submarine program, starting back in the late 40s and up to early 90s. Gives a good account of what happened to Thresher & Scorpion, with photos. Recommended to all.

Indeed. Compulsory reading in my field..  Smile

Regards
 
baroque
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S

Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:54 pm

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 23):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 19):
(see: "Blind Man's Bluff" by Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew & Annette Drew, 1998, ISBN 1891620088)

The book, b.t.w., is a fantastic read about the development of the US spy submarine program, starting back in the late 40s and up to early 90s. Gives a good account of what happened to Thresher & Scorpion, with photos. Recommended to all.

Looks like I had better find a copy. I think Astuteman is just happy that the Astute class came along otherwise he might have had to take his username from the Upholder class. The mind boggles!

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 22):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 21):
Well I was in the north area of S Yorks but I did my bit for mining Yorkshire coal

It's different now, 'cos most of the coal-fired power stations have closed (Ferrybridge and Drax excepted).

Which is where Freddie Trueman comes in believe it or not. Many of those power stations were set up to burn Barnsley Bed (which is what Freddie mined) and Beeston coal, both below 1% S IIRC, but ended up with stuff up to 4% S. Happily, the South African coals now imported are down around 0.5% S as are the Aus coking coals at Teeside - quite a different problem although still a problem.

Connies, Leeds, Bradford, OK, but the really nice valleys like the one with Cleck-Heckmond-Sedge* are too full of houses. You need to be out around Ribblesdale for the best part.

Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Liversedge (spelling might be off after all these years) run into each other, hence the compound name.

The Jowett car factory lurked in one of those valleys too.
 
connies4ever
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:19 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 25):
You should definitely have taken the Trafalgars way back when.
They're STILL proving they're an awesome piece of kit. biggrin

(BTW, the RN thought the upholders were great too............. scratchchin Smile )

What we got were tubes that had been laid up for, IIRC, seven years minimum. All kinds of wiring problems inside, which tells me they weren't properly setup for storage. Perhaps our guys had been at the local too long the night before inspection.

In my mind, we should have bought the French Rubis patrol subs back in the 80s. I worked on the program. Small boat, well-suited for littoral mission + show the flag up north. Projected high availability, and something where we could afford to commission about 8 of them. We'd be looking at the replacements about now...
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
astuteman
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RE: New Nuclear Power Plants & Reactors In The U.S.

Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:37 am

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 27):
In my mind, we should have bought the French Rubis patrol subs back in the 80s. I worked on the program. Small boat, well-suited for littoral mission + show the flag up north

Remember the time well...
Shame I can't tell you some of the things that happened back then.  Smile
Rubis wouldn't have been the best choice......  no 
Of course, I'm not biased in any way.  Wink

Regards
Upholdaman..
(Or PiranhaMan maybe...  Wink )

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