Dr. Stig Bernander

Editor’s Note: Canadian Hydro Engineer, Jim Gordon has worked hard to get successive Ministers of Natural Resources, including more recently Siobhan Coady, to take seriously the geotechnical analysis conducted by Swedish scientists Dr. Stig Bernander and Dr. Lennart Elfgren in relation to the North Spur, but without success. 

The Spur is a natural formation which forms part of the dam structure for the Muskrat Falls project. The feature contains clays defined by experts as “sensitive” because under certain circumstances they have the capacity to liquefy and to collapse. The issue is increasingly urgent because Nalcor, in a matter of days, will begin filling the Muskrat reservoir to the 39 meter level. 

What follows is the text of Jim Gordon’s recent email  to Minister Coady succinctly explaining the contents of a Report entitled “A Downward Progressive Failure of the North Spur at Muskrat Falls – A Possibility that ought to be investigated and mitigated” written by Drs. Bernander and Elfgren. 

Dr. Lennert Elfgren
It is important not just that the Government is warned by experts in the geotechnical sciences that Nalcor has not applied the standard of independent review warranted by the issue but that the public is aware that they have been warned. – Des Sullivan


Guest Post by James L. Gordon, P. Eng. (Ret’d)
Sioban Coady – Minister, Department of Natural Resources, Newfoundland.

am writing to further clarify the recent letter from Stig Bernander and Lennart

type of sliding failure described by Bernander and Elfgren has not been investigated
by SNC.

SNC have investigated upstream and downstream surface slope failure using
average soil strengths obtained from tests. Not a sliding failure.

Spur soils were deposited in almost horizontal layers during the last ice age
as winter flows alternated with summer spring floods. The deposition was not
similar each year due to the variability in flood flows. The result is a Spur
with layers of silts and sands of varying composition and strength. 

Jim Gordon’s Final Comments on North Spur

A Downward Progressive Failure of the North Spur at Muskrat Falls – A Possibility that ought to be investigated and mitigated by Dr. Stig Bernander and Dr. Lennart Elfgren
the base of the Spur there is a layer of soft soil sloping slightly downstream,
where a sliding failure could easily occur. The failure would be rapid under
the force exerted by the reservoir waters impounded against the Spur. There
would be no warning, and no time to evacuate downstream residents.

Bernander and Dr. Elfgren have analysed the possibility of such a failure using
the low strength of the soft base layer and not the average strength of the
Spur soils, since the failure will occur in the weakest layer, not the “average

result is a safety factor well below 1.0 indicating failure. A safety factor of
at least 1.6 is required to ensure safety.

tests of soil strength in the base layer are required using undisturbed
samples. Such undisturbed samples are difficult to obtain, hence an experienced
geotechnical engineer familiar with such tests will be required to supervise
the sample work.

would urge you to ensure that such soil samples and further analysis are
undertaken before the reservoir is filled. This is of paramount importance
since lives are at stake.

Jim Gordon.
James L. Gordon, P. Eng. (Ret’d)


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?


  1. "I am writing to further clarify the recent letter from Stig Bernander and Lennart Elfgren.
    The type of sliding failure described by Bernander and Elfgren has not been investigated by SNC."

    "Instead SNC have investigated upstream and downstream surface slope failure using average soil strengths obtained from tests. Not a sliding failure."

    The warnings are clear and urgent. The NL government have chosen to ignore the warnings. Both parties ignore that a surface soil failure is likely and that a sliding failure has NOT BEEN EXAMINED!!

    When will sanity and care for human health trump monuments to vanity? When will COMPETENT examination supersede Justice "Liars" boots firmly placed on bureaucrat's throats?

    Last call for sanity! Will anyone listen???

    • Some are so terminally naive that they think a competent EA was conducted by competent bureaucrats and engineers and that this "inquiry" has the mandate or desire to find answers to the horrendous cost or spur engineering. It did nothing more than accept the shoddy to non existent spur engineering.

      The only competent geophysical review by the Geological Survey of Canada was an ashen faced review of past recent failures upstream that happened quickly (in less than an hour most likely) by two GSOC engineers. Not all engineers disgrace the iron ring and some are competent and do speak truth to power.

  2. I spent 4 hours last night reading the 156 page investigation report by the expert panel on the mine tailing dam failure in BC in 2014, the report from a link I found after Robert Holmes posted a comment yesterday.
    I find the report shocking as to dam construction and engineering, and the results and recommendation, in my opinion, very applicable to an urgent need of an expert panel to assess the North Spur. The dam in BC failed suddenly due to construction on a foundation of clay which was not properly investigated before construction. This is not much different from what may happen at the North Spur. I am surprised this report has not come to the attention of this blog or the Inquiry.
    I find it remarkable that Judge Leblanc did not call the authors of that report to comment at this Inquiry, instead relying on Stan Marshall and Nalcor's opinions.
    As Jim Gordon says as to the issue of safety of the North Spur "this is of paramount importance since lives are at stake."
    D-Day, the start of filling of the reservoir, starts in 2 days. A massive protest at the MFs site to delay D-Day seems, to me, necessary to alert Nalcor and the government to the high risk of dam failure, and risk to the lives of residents there, and to demand an immediately action to strike an independent expert panel to assess this.
    Leblanc should also immediately write the government to request an amendment to his terms of reference, that he hear from such an expert panel, and to delay the filling of the reservoir.
    Winston Adams

  3. Yes the court of law allowed only evidance to be given from one side, the side that supported that muskrat was safe, and not the side that it may fail. What a system of justice that put lives at stake and risk a 15 billion dollar white stranded elephant. Sure your sick dog at age 17 years would receive better justice that that. At least they would hear from both sides if the dog should be put to sleep or kept on life support if the owner was willing to pay. They hear evidance that the average breaking stain is a factor of 1.6 but the weakest length breaking stress is below 1.0. So the latter evidance is not admissible. Because it is in conflict with the previous evidance of nalcor and SNC. Is that what we refer to as a kangaroo court??? Ball et al, and Stan the man said there were numerous studies done in the safety of the Spur, very true. But neglected to say none were done that brought into question the failure of the spur. Ignor one level of scientific knowledge and put all your eggs in the other sector of scientific knowledge. Suppression of knowledge is the name of the game. And if it fails where will the blame go, to the average Joe and Jane, same as the blame for having it go ahead in the first place. Joe blow.

    • Joe don't forget to decide who is and is not an expert to ensure you only hear one side.

      In the case of Phil Raphals he was deemed not an expert. He and Helios Center were denied public funding and the public therefore was denied hearing what he had to say.

      When he was needed on the water management issue he was called in and gave testimony in camera so that again the public was denied hearing what the "non expert" had to say.

      This "inquiry" was a carefully stage managed fraud to ensure the public never got close to the truth.

  4. There has been some discussion on the force exerted by the reservoir on the Spur.
    It is over 310,000 metric tons or almost 690,000,000 pounds on the 1000 meter long Spur.This is about equal to the pull exerted over 21,000 heavy duty pickup trucks equipped with a diesel engine.
    Jim Gordon.

    • Thank you Jim. I had estimated 300,000 lbs for 1000 ft, then realised the area was over 2000 ft long and suggested the force was 2-3 times more. Your figure of 1000 m long, is about 3100 ft long.
      Your 690 million lbs is about 2.3 times, so in the range of 2 to 3 times my original figure. Appreciate that my figures were reasonable and not scare mongering. Disappointed that PENG2 did not give figures as you have done, he being a geotechnical engineer and often commented here.
      I too imagined the force of what quantity of pick trucks would be needed to equal this force of water pressure, as it is illustrative for the Average Joe to appreciate the force without knowing the calculations.
      For UG readers, the BC dam failure report, 156 pages is found by Googling "Report on Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach"
      Parts of that should raise the hair on the back of your head, if dam safely is a concern to one reading it. Seems Nalcor, the Nfld govn, nor the Leblanc Inquiry have much concern.
      Winston Adams

    • Thanks for your work Jim. Many professional engineers and scientists like myself are not geotechnical experts and work for employers that would gladly fire us for using our names publicly.

      I hope the dam fails immediately while people are vigilant, rather than have it last a few years and fail when we have become complacent. Since an earth tremor can trigger a slide and the probability of a tremor is greater than zero, a collapse is inevitable.

      The general public doesn't understand that when engineers create a dam from scratch, they know exactly what is in the dam. The strength of the dam is known with great accuracy. Engineers with ethics can build in a safety margin and sleep well at night.

      The North Spur is no ordinary, engineered dam. The North Spur dam was already there and the area is prone to land slides. We know it contains materials that turn to liquid when disturbed. There is no simple way to determine the strength of something you don't fully understand. There are no applicable engineering tables to look up. You are on your own.

      The North Spur is a heap of variable depth, marbled with mystery materials, some of which are really inappropriate for a dam — and the companies/organizations running the project are filled with proven, bad people (i.e. incompetent, wrong experience, willing to doctor reports, deceive the public, risk the lives of others for personal gains and many more bad traits evident in the testimony). The North Spur is a giant pile of crap waiting for a trigger to kill people downstream.

    • 1. My initial rough estimate, in my mind, of water pressure on the N Spur assumed only 1000 ft long and 100 ft high water. I assumed 39m final elevation and 3 m downstream. I should have used about 14 M as the river bottom, so less than 100 ft high water, which would mostly align with Jim's calculation.
      2. If a sudden complete failure, what is the effect by the time it reaches Goose Bay town. With the spring flood sometimes it backs up about 6 ft higher there, I think.
      With a wall of water, if a summer time collapse of the dam, what is the sudden water increase above river flood down stream?
      If in winter, all the ice of the reservoir will come with the water, it would dam up downstream, and probably a very much worse situation that a summer failure?
      What extent of damage and possible loss of life would be expected?
      Winston Adams

    • My error to say the report on Mount Polley dam failure was not reported on this blog before. Jim Gordon, on his final remarks, last July, 2018, mentioned it and gave the link, I think. I missed the report then.
      So govn here , Nalcor, and Leblanc should be fully aware of it and its recommendations, so applicable to the N Spur. Yet never mentioned at our Inquiry, to my knowledge.

    • Recall; David Vardy was invited to BC, to warn the new government of the hidden risks in proceeding with the Site C dam. His careful analysis was ignored, union contracts and pre-purchased equipment and stuff, necessitated the continuance, and environmental/Indigenous concerns were given little sway. The main thrust regarding trumped up demand forecasts, relates to the hype for LNG production and shipping via new pipelines to the vulnerable West Coast. It seems that petro boys are pushing mega hydro around out here also.
      Governments everywhere are responding to the petro lobbyists in both jurisdictions. The Inquiry dare not open the terms of reference, too many heads would get bruised. The main man behind the Mount Polley catastrophic failure, (Edwards), Sponsor of Tory politicians, heavy hitter with the Oil Biz, (CNRL), (Calgary Flames Owner), is having his way with City of Calgary on the proposed new Arena for the Billionaires. You CAN fight City Hall. You just need bags of $$.

    • To Jim Gordon, those huge forces that could cause sliding or overturning will not be realized in the North Spur, as in a properly sealed concrete gravity dam, but rather seepage forces coupled with liquefaction of the marine clays are more likely to be the cause of any potential failure. In any case, failure, if it occurs, will not be pretty and will be disastrous both for the downstream residents and the people of Newfoundland who have to pay and suffer the cost.

    • "There has been some discussion on the force exerted by the reservoir on the Spur. It is over 310,000 metric tons or almost 690,000,000 pounds on the 1000 meter long Spur.This is about equal to the pull exerted over 21,000 heavy duty pickup trucks equipped with a diesel engine."

      A metric tonne is a unit of mass, not force.

      In physics, to state that a certain amount of mass "exerted" along a certain length equates to a force or "pull exerted" is dimensionally meaningless.

      The correct approach as per Newtonian physics would be to calculate the hydrostatic PRESSURE exerted on the Spur barrier. Pressure is simply the applied force per unit area, where force is measured as mass of the water times acceleration due to gravity, divided by the area in square metres over which this force is applied.

    • Anon: 18:14. Are you saying that Mr. Gordon and Winston and maybe others are giving a wrong explanation of force and mass according to engineering and Newtonian physics. Could you further explain. And maybe do the calculation as you described. Not wanting to confuse the discussion, but something seems amiss. Or are you both saying the same thing but in different wording. Average Joe.

    • WA:

      No reason for me to comment–your numbers were in the ball park.

      Assuming flow near the dam is very low velocity, simply assume 0.5psi per foot of reservoir depth–the centroid is 2/3 the depth. Kinetic pressure is about 800 times that of air, but shouldn't be a factor at MF.


    • Yes Joe, Winston and Gordon confuse mass with force. Are you surprised? Their rings must be made of lead that has had neurological impacts. They can't do any analysis and instead use BS to impress.

      Trust the engineers from GSoC, MF is a time bomb.

    • From a quick review from online, it seems the force must be greater than the friction of the dam movement to cause it to move or tip. Reminds me of an object, maybe a rock of a certain mass being rolled, tipped or pushed down stream by moving water. But in this case no moving water, just force or pressure difference on one side of the dam as opposed to the force on the other side. Just keeping the discussion going, no expert by any means. But remember calculating the pressure on the side of a ship or the pressure on the bulkhead of a full tank and an empty one on the other side of the bulkhead. Average Joe.

    • Is Bruno serious or joking, Malone style, saying Winston and Gordon can't do analysis and use BS to impress?
      Gordon, Adams, and now PENG2 agree the force of water pushing on the full area of the North Spur is about 690 million pounds.
      AJ does not dispute it. MA, who seems likely competent is such analysis should opine whether AJ, WA, PENG2, Gordon are right, or if Bruno is right, or joking?

    • My money is on the GSoC hydro geologists not the iron ring crowd that want to impress us under pressure, when it is not pressure but VIBRATIONS like from filling the reservoir or sliding faults upstream that fail and trigger a dam failure.

      If wise ignore the lead ring crowd who are UNDER PRESSURE.

    • When betting on GSC,from their website, they too call themselves "world class", and especially as to the mining industry.
      I guess Bruno, you didn't actually read the Polly Inquiry Report, to see both the cause of the failure and the incompetence in the mining developments?
      I am betting on AJ and the "lead ring" types like Gordon, who has issued a last warning before reservoir filling. They are indeed lead heavy in heart and speaking out on this blog and in letters, forewarning as UG says. He and others mentioned understand the meaning of water "force". May THE FORCE be with you too, once you become enlightened.

    • Bruno,
      1. to say an earthquake or a significant upstream slide will likely trigger a dam failure is not rocket science. Yes those are significant causes of vibration, can cause a pressure wave, and generate high forces and can shake and liquify clays or silts.
      2. Resonance can trigger from small vibrating forces, were you familiar with that, or dismiss it?
      3. A trigger can be basic overlaoding, as at Polly, and suggested by Berander and Gordon. This requires special analysis for marine clays as at MFs, and be independent of vibration problems.
      4. Improper drainage etc can be other causes of failure.

      I fear item 3 as most likely, and this from static water pressure, so a force, not from a vibration, thought they are real possibilities.
      Explain why you disagree with the lead ring crowd? Maybe others disagree?

  5. Well I guess the Government of NL and NALCOR could find another $30 Million to “bribe” the residents down stream to “ensure” their safety!

    It’s amazing how money can always make everything go away!

    • Most leaders can be bought off or blackmailed. Unfortunately, it looks like some indigenous leaders are no better than provincial politicians.

      One way to buy off those living downstream is to give them sufficient money (say $300,000 or so after taxes) so that they can purchase a new house and property somewhere else. Another possibility is to grant them crown land elsewhere plus sufficient money to build a new home as well as covering all relocation expenses.

  6. Repeated calls for the Engineer who certified the Work at Muskrat Dam have gone unanswered. Part of the problem at Mt. Polley was that uncertified Work, (Piling more dirt), preceded the failure.

    • My best guess is that NOBODY has certified the north spur and that NO Canadian competent authority (e.g. an independent and established engineering firm or recognized expert) will either. It will forever be that sword of Damocles hanging from a thread waiting to decapitate victims downstream. Failure would also make the Muskrat Falls dams absolutely worthless.

  7. Static loading may not cause failure. Add the thrum of the turbines, the roar of the tail race and I fear Winston’s resonance and vibration scenario in the layers might just do it.

    I hope not.

    • There seem to be numerous possible triggers for failure.
      For example, upstream landslides are quite possible this fall and next spring as dry land gets soaked by the raised river level. These landslides will deliver waves of water as well as pressure shocks to the upper elevations of the spur. As noted, when the weak link gives out, the rest will just cascade and unlock itself. Inquiry #2 into the dam failure may be inevitable.

  8. If the North Spur fails, we not only lose people downstream, we lose our whole provience.
    While our so called captians of industry talk it over Mohito's in the sunny south.
    A hard rains going to fall.

  9. If the North Spur fails, we not only lose people downstream, we lose our whole provience.
    While our so called captians of industry talk it over Mohito's in the sunny south.
    A hard rains going to fall.

    • Sorry, but Bruno is wrong again.
      Of course there was and is a plan. Just a bad plan caused by oil on the brain, and seemed a good idea to keep the economy stoked, and benefit while the going is good. Much false assumptions, PR and misleading, lying, deception, secrecy to get it passed, and then, once sanctioned, to late to stop. No admission of being wrong. Cast a blind eye to facts and truth,and an Inquiry that little inquires. So, still bumbling on.
      Come to think of it, when did Bruno ever admit to being wrong, which he often is, just recently corrected by Etienne.

  10. This officially makes remote, expensive MF power obsolete before it is commissioned. Remote generation is obsolete when now compared to a wind-solar-battery combination close to the needed power.

    "Costs of lithium-ion batteries dropped by a whopping 85 percent between 2010 and 2018, BNEF says, as it expects battery costs to further halve per kilowatt-hour by 2030, thanks to rising demand in two markets—stationary storage and electric vehicles (EVs)."

    " Earlier this year, MIT professor John Deutch suggested that a hybrid renewable electricity generation system that combines wind, solar, and storage could become competitive with the cheapest fossil fuel electricity in the United States—combined-cycle natural gas generation."

    • Elon of Tesla bought Solar city for about 2.6 billion, and also took on 3 billion of their debt. We wanted to combine battery and solar technology. They also sold solar panels through Home depot, but was losing money. Then he decided to sell direct to homeowners via internet sales, and is now losing even more money, a big decline in both last 2 quarters.
      MFs as a plan was obsolete before it was even sanctioned: recall Stan Marshalls figures at the Inquiry, and when adding CDM, total is less than 2 billion, vs 12.7 billion. In that combination there is NO solar nor batteries.
      Remote MFs is only officially obsolete now? Wake up Bruno.
      I recently posted the small uptake of renewables, as gas is largely replacing coal and some oil.
      Some climate scientists are now saying we have 18 months, not 12 years to make major shifts in policy and reductions of GHSs. The feeble uptake of renewables is a path to extinction. Time for Bruno the bogus environmentalist to come out of hiding. He should give up and repent for his native coal and gas philosphsy and call out the scandalous policy of doubling oil production off shore in Nfld.
      Bruno, with token green measures, is not much different from the Digger and Rex Murphy,
      Winston Adams

    • FYI Winston

      Bruno Marcocchio4 August 2019 at 23:43

      "Michelle Mungall, B.C.’s Minister of Energy and Mines, said the disaster sent shock waves through the mining industry worldwide.

      “It was a big lesson,” she said. “It’s a lesson of what happens when you don’t have a good regulatory regime.”

      Well Robert a dam underlain by quick clay failed. With a virtually non existent regulator regime for MF I wonder what can go wrong?!!??

    • Bruno: NO battery storage was my idea. My ideas was CDM, island hydro, island wind, combustion turbines for emergency backup.( some battery instead of CT when they become economic,and store more hours, I would agree)

      Yes Bruno ,you read the politician's PR and I read the report
      1. Yes failure on a clay foundation, that was not investigated before hand.
      2 regulatory had little to do with it, but mostly bad engineering.
      3 vibration was not the cause, but static overloading
      4. shock waves….worldwide? colourful language, the reality no changes, business as usual, 5 years later 3 engineers may get sanctioned but nothing happening, if so the fine is 25,000.00 and may be denied to practise……hardly shock waves, an invitation to turn a blind eye.
      If such a shock worldwide why was this failure not mentioned at our Inquiry? Ours is potentially worse than a man made dam.Why is Nalcor proceeding with D-Day tomorrow despite the high risks ? Some shock. Some some shock wave. It stopped outside this island.
      Seldom engineers use language as you do, before something drastic happens. But after; this report lays it out, saysone thing was "loading the gun, another was pulling the trigger" ……so much from that to be learned from that applicable to MFs,
      Summary of that report would be a good 2 or 3 piece article for UG. I wonder if PENG2 read that report , and his opinion as to MFs issue?


  11. OMG, it's started, the Telegram reported an hour ago.
    Get ready for another inquiry, as to the cause of the sudden complete failure pf the North Spur.
    I had a restless might last night, trying to visualise the failure, the consequences, under worst conditions, in winter. Horrendous.
    Has simulations been done as to worst case, and made public?
    Has Minister Coady got it in writing,(and not a note pad ) that guarantees her that the North Spur will not fail, least she be charged?
    Every day pressure and force grows greater, heading for 690 million lbs push on the Spur. Can the Spur continue to push back?
    I fear many lives will be lost, and the MFs asset useless.
    Insanity rules. Is the safety monitor data online in real time? Maybe we can just trust Nalcor now, since past misdeeds have been exposed? They fear the wrath of Leblanc's report, right?
    First power when? One pole or two? GE Software version 666? Maybe I'll buy a Bruno battery, a very large one, for electric heat for 4 weeks, only $300,000.00. Economics not great. Maybe a pellet stove, and smaller Bruno battery.
    Not a whimper of protest at the site? What have we done, what have we done?

    Winston Adams

  12. Breaking News;
    1.VOCM; Question of the day, If you go to the Regatta, what are you most interested in seeing?
    I thought they would ask " Are you concerned about the North Spur stability, now that filling of the reservoir has commenced?
    In 1918, when assistance for Labrador was requested due to people dying from the Spanish Flu, it was ignored, and partying when forward by govn officials, as the war had ended. As to Labrador, John Crosbie, a Minister, said "let then die". And die they did, some coastal towns over 60 % died brutal deaths. Is this a parallel, the Regatta question over possible dam failure?
    2. From CBC NL, Trudeau with his 300 dollar a plate fund raiser, only 100 attended. Hard , hard times. Must be the economy. Only 30,000 raised, less meal costs. T'was a time when 500 a place and a thousand attended, arranged by Tobin up in Canada, so 500,000 in one shot.
    Interesting was the site: The EMERA Innovation Centre, the old Battery, bought and refurbished by MUN for millions of cost. Emera got its name on the building for 7 million donation. Is Emera set to get 70 mollion a year from the DC link from Labrador, from ratepayers here?
    Innovation Centre they call it. The public Inquiry last session was there, was this an Innovation, 15 or so spoke, essentially ignored by the public. Now a political fund raiser there, is that Innovation? This building setting a fine example for Innovation, to add to the cod trap and the gas mask, both over 100 years old.
    3. The Telegram, a letter from Tom Careen, his visit to Costco, on a mission to buy a rate mitigator. A good read.
    The filling of the reservoir, timed with the Regatta and Trudeal visit and his walk around today…… change to ignore the real news?
    The real news: Warnings of North Spur failure ignored. That should be media headlines.
    Winston Adams

    • "YAWN"… do let us know when you have something of significant import to offer up other than this chronically tedious prattle, otherwise why not try spending some quality time with the wife and grand-kids for a change?

    • Anon; now almost 2 years assisting my wife to conquer stage 4 cancer, major surgeries , first removing 13 inches of colon, 5 lymph nodes, then surgery 2 to remove 60% all the right side of liver and gallbladder, then surgery 3, 2 more resections on the liver to remove more tumor, those done in Houston Texas, now moving forward for another major surgery to repair colon, a stoma now through her right side, to be reconnected , maybe in sept. This far, success overal, had less than 15 % chance, and she might have died already if neglected. She walked 2 miles today.
      At the same time, One grandchild, now 14, had a rare cancer and needed immediate operation to prevent paralysis, then intensive chemo, lucky to be alive, but now cancer free and very active this summer. My daughter spents weeks sleeping at the Janeway, foe necessary care.
      Yesterday , I came to help care for grand daughter who undewent dental surgery on Monday. Out of pocket medial costs may exceed 250,000.00 but not all paid yet. Progress is remarkable given the odds
      My diabled son, due to wife's situation, I had to lodge at Tiffany, for now over 1 year, about 80,000.oo per year cost.
      Thank you for your thought and concern. Yes , maybe I should do more and not waste time on this blog. As I have mental health problems my comments are mostly prattle, I hope you can understand, and would prefer to be more organized, and better contribute.
      Best regards to your wife and grand kids if you are lucky enough to have them.

  13. Give us your best shot;

    As a concerned citizen, what is your greatest concern right now?

    1, Impending collapse of Global Financial Markets?
    2, Impending failure of Muskrat Dam, due to uncertain soils?
    3, Impending failure of the NL Government to Balance its Budget in next 5yrs?

  14. A force can be push or a pull.
    Jim Gordon says with full impoundment, the N Spur will be subjected to an equivalent 21,000 diesel pick up trucks push force.
    No one has disputed Gordon's figure, except Bruno, whose technical knowledge is well known, but who himself has not given a figure that is different.
    It seems that of those 21,000 trucks,with combined pushing 690 million lbs, that about 5000 are already pushing from the elevation of 21.5 M of partial impoundment, so another 16,000 trucks to add more pushing force.
    If it takes about 2 months to get to the 39m level, this suggests we are adding about 270 diesel trucks per day, incrementally adding to the force. If the trucks are aligned bumper to bumper, this would be a caravan of trucks 1 mile long added each day, reaching 60 miles long over 60 days.
    What is holding back this force of trucks? Certainly it is the material of the North Spur. This material has weight and friction. Friction is the opposing force to these 21,000 trucks.
    Some material has high friction, some not so much… clay or silt that can turn to muck and flow like water. What at one moment can be stable, a moment later, once overlaoded, suddenly becomes unstable.
    Remember Cathy Dunderdale at the Inquiry saying "What do I know about P1 or P10 or P50, it means nothing to me. That is the experts at Nalcor, to sort that out", so she pleaded ignorance as to the risks.
    So too,now with Ball and Coady. "What do I know about force, about water pressure, about soil friction" they will say, if there is sudden failure. "We trusted to Nalcor and their 30 studies by experts to be on top of all that stuff. A pound force? 690 million lb force? No one ever mentioned that to me. A can of Carnation milk used to weigh a pound, before it went metric. Do you mean there would be a force equal to the combined weight of 690 million cans of milk pushing on the North Spur? Why did't Stan Marshall tell me that? If I knew that, I would have ordered an expert panel of geotechnical experts to have a final look before impoundment".
    We are due for an update in one week on impondment progress. Can be get the recording data in real time?
    Winston Adams

    • The thermometer is for checking ocean temperature as to capelin beach spawning, which you say capelin nor fish care about temperature. UG readers still waiting for your details of your fishery course. You being a bogus environmentalist, you hide from that.
      The pickups is Gordon's suggestion as to the equivalence force in pounds of push, and a good one. You say he is the lead ring type.
      You disagree with his 690M pounds?
      Add to that the weight of the Spur, and the river water velocity force (as PENG2 says, the velocity is low , so that force not great).
      You now are not worried about the N Spur, but the concrete one, the RCC which I questioned PENG2 on, as you know. You figure it will give out first? What is your calculation of force or water height when it fails? And what the cause? Vibration most worries you? And what of the power house or spill gates ……do you trust any of it.
      You are a real jumping jack, you weave and twist like Trump.Now all that marine clay issue,which worried you yesterday, and Bernander, C .Martin, Gordon, MA, etc got it all wrong? It is now secondary? When Gordon puts numbers on it at my suggestion, now all those others are wrong? What does this say about you? You even disagree with yourself form day to day, but never a mistake made?
      Lay a few Bruno batteries on the RCC, that will hold it. I expect if minor leaks in the RCC it will be fixable, as compared to complete sudden loss of the Spur. I guess your immense dam knowledge should be made known…..what courses did you do in material strength etc? Do a good write up for UG and I will pay you. Still waiting for your essay on solar panels for Nfld, and one for Fortis GHGs…….but you never deliver on a single piece of analysis, but ridicule Vardy, Gordon and others. And you dearly love my analysis.
      I learned way back you did not know a converter from a synchronous condenser,but try to fool people, and I let it pass, but you have almost zero technical skill, not even arithmetic. And you know not when to use a thermometer or slide rule. Check your body temperature, you are likely lightheaded.
      Nalcor has a position for you if you inquire. Glad to get you.

    • Yes anon, UG should not be a venue for fake news,and alternative facts, as is Bruno's trade. Opinions: we all recognise the difference in opinion and fact, as we do not own facts, and they are testable. Even rules of thumb can be acceptable and subject to more accurate analysis.
      Bruno is an OPINIONS bias based BSer. Biased Bruno, the bogus environmentalists. His comments is generally an abuse of science and truth, yet says he speaks absolute truth!
      Some might say he is dumb. I would not say that,but I suggest he is very slow to learn. One exapmle: After 5 or 6 reminders he now acknowledges batteries must be assessed in hours of energy. MWhrs, as they are not generators but store energy for minutes or a bit longer, at great expense. He is slow, not stupid, to learn that simple fact. He uses cute quips to cover his ass for lack of what is even common sense to many. Some may appreciate his humour.I sometimes smile at it.
      Has he ever named the emperor that he always references? He say he speaks truth to power, but is obviously afraid of the emperor. He is therefore cowardly, I suggest.
      When I state my analysis, I generally invite from others confirmation or correction of what I consider facts, least I mislead my error.
      Whether my description of Bruno is fact or opinion, others can correct me.
      Bullets have no effect against Bruno. Bullets have great force,and do damage if hitting something of substance. Bruno is without substance, or is other worldly, needing a stake to the heart. That is mere theory,to be effective, or he likely reincarnates , as some say as Greg Malone.
      I may not silence him, nor want to. But I notice, sometimes he ducks my questions, when a quip is not on his forked tongue.

  15. Now that MF is wrapping up (save for the Keystone Cops routine about to unfold) the Nalcor crew can move back to the offshore and complete the ruining of the NL treasury by developing money losing "stranded assets" offshore.

    ". These new investments will be in the spotlight, and scrutiny is going to grow ever-more intense, “especially those with a break-even of >$20/bbl,” Mark Lewis wrote in the BNP Paribas report.

    Ultimately, the risk of stranded assets is huge, and grows with each additional oil project given a greenlight. But the risk is more acute for projects with long lead times, long production profiles and/or large price tags."

  16. The big news on VOCM website this morning is that "Dildo is bigger than ever". Signs being posted linking Dildo as a twin sister city to Hollywood, this boosting business for Dildo. The most excitement since learning Shannon Tweed was a playmate with Hef, and was raised not far from Dildo on a mink ranch.
    At the bottom is a piece, of lesser importance to VOCM, that PC MHA Evans mentions Jim Gordons efforts to have the stability of the North Spur investigated by an expert panel before impoundment. She says a fraction of the 30 million allotted for wetcapping, that was not done, could have paid for the expert review.
    CBC has a piece on the public session of the Inquiry at Goose Bay. 12 spoke, allotted 10 minutes each. Protestors entered, dressed in black, with a coffin.

    Winston Adams

    • Notwithstanding your priggish implications that the local media isn't being alarmist enough to suit your Chicken Little sentiments re: the North Spur… why not just simply copy/paste the website links to these articles and submit them as your post?

      Instead of chocking the blog up with yet another epic saga about goings-on that those inclined to keep themselves informed are already aware of anyway.

    • The Telegram takes a different perspective on Dildo, as to negative publicity, and as Dildo, as photos show has much to offer on natural beauty.

      As to recent discussions on pressure and force on the Spur, Russell has an editorial titled Plankton under Pressure. This relating to our ocean, our fishery, and offshore oil exploration and damage from seismic blasts. Pressures of 250 decibels can kill 60 % of plankto within 1.5 km radius, yet Minister Coady says such blasts do no harm!
      I leave it to Bruno to explain the dramatic intense pressure from such blasts, or whether the number 250 is no big deal?
      As a professed environmentalist, one one think he would be highlighting this problem? What sound pressure levels did Bruno endure at the rock concerns in his youth? Could have it have impacted the soft tissue similar to the blows that Cashius Clay endured when boxing? Pressure, high pressure and force is not a trivial thing. It kills plankton, and damages our fish stocks. My own hearing damage has likely been affected from excessive decibels. Decibels, as to safe limits, is in the realm of the iron ring crowd, but best explained by Bruno, after a one minute Widapedai search. Watch for it, seeing Russell has raised the issue. Russell seems to be tilting in favour of our environment over the oil industry these days. Damn well time, and probably sencing the public mood shift. He has been sitting on the fence for 20 years on the climate emergency, yet a professional on writing on the sights and sounds of nature. Hats off to Russell on his latest piece on pressure.
      Winston Adams

    • Me Priggish: smug, prudish, Victorian,narrow minded?
      A picture is worth a thousand words. Google Dildo to see the beautiful painted vase from ancient Greece , about 450BC, a female wit said object.
      Chicken Little on the Spur pressures? Hardly. Nalco has warnings out while impounding.
      "Those inclined to keep themselves informed are already aware"?
      See my discussion with PENG2, why were Nflders not self informed from media pieces as to the risks of the boondoggle?


    • ob·ses·sion

      noun: obsession

      the state of being obsessed with someone or something.
      "she cared for him with a devotion bordering on obsession"
      an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind.
      plural noun: obsessions
      "he was in the grip of an obsession he was powerless to resist"
      synonyms: fixation, ruling/consuming passion, passion, mania, idée fixe, compulsion, preoccupation, enthusiasm, infatuation, addiction, fetish, craze, hobby horse; More
      phobia, complex, neurosis;
      informalbee in one's bonnet, hang-up, thing, bug
      "the idea grew in his mind until it became an obsession"
      early 16th century (in the sense ‘siege’): from Latin obsessio(n- ), from the verb obsidere (see obsess).
      Translate obsession to

    • Unfortunately, anon, obsession does not apply to me, your hypothesis fails. I have been professionally analysized, and indications of obsessive traits only, but not obsessive as a disease of the mind. Have you been assessed, seems obsessive on the synomyons for obsession?
      Obsessive traits permits one to focus on a subject, which can be very beneficial. But given my age and circumstances, my ability to focus is much less than in the past, perhaps a decline of 80%.
      If I improve towards regular, I may start my own blog. But don't count on it. UG is doing fine.
      Recently from one online free source I was asked if I want to contribute a donation. I was told I read 187 of their pieces in the last 30 days, most on climate change.
      Is 187 an obsession or an obsessive trait? I think Robert Holmes may read more than I do? Bruno, reads little except for headlines, it seems. A very "high level" approach, to use the legal phrases of the Inquiry, no "deep dives" with Bruno.

    • Give a man a thermometer and slide rule and his obsession knows no bounds. He is much too lazy to start his own blog for his rambling obsessions.

      Sadly the more that his rants are pointed out to be without merit it just fuels the obsession. His shrink declares his obsession is not a disease but it may be time for a new diagnosis!

    • It appears I am linked with Bruno by the mind meld. Five minutes ago I commented to my wife that I seemed to have shut Bruno up for 6 hrs. She asked what I had said. I told her I had come out with all guns blazing, but no bullets, and she laughed.
      Welcome back Bruno.
      I am lazy? I read the 156 page Polly review, and he read 4 lines from a politician, and stated the wrong conclusions on this blog, spreading fake news. And he call me lazy!
      My rants without merit…….says he, who knows not the meaning of the word merit.
      Shrinks are like lawyers, beware of anything they say. Not too long ago here we had "lunatic commissions" here. MacPherson,wrongly credited with inventing the gas mask headed up the commission in Nfld.
      Bruno says it was insanity to proceed with MFs impoundment……or did we both say that?
      Should Marshall, Coady , Ball be assessed by today's lunatic commission?
      Aristotle believed insanity was caused by the light of the moon, causing people to go mad, or foolish , what ever. Hence : lunatic from the word meaning moon.
      Now, I suggested Bruno needs a stake through the heart, as they do with warewolves, who are active in full moons.
      I will supply the wooden stake , who will drive it home?
      See how he could not post until past midday. Too much light when he opened his coffin, hidden somewhere in Cape Breton, where even the emperor can't find him. Even then, he got but 4 lines of prattle posted. I get paid by the word.
      Even on the keyboard he is lazy, or just simply slow.
      LOL, Bruno.

    • From 4 lines to one word, one number, and took more than 1 hr. He is barely alive, breathing slowly.
      What of his mysterious fishery course? Details of shoddy RCC work? His pressure calculations? Silence. Wounded but not dead. Bogus Bruno lives on.

  17. Question: Might the sound pressure from a jet aircraft approaching or departing Goose Bay airport, be a risk to trigger a collapse of the North Spur?
    Should flights over the reservoir be avoided, or be at a minimum height, or be subject to weather conditions that might increase the sound pressure?
    Are military or large cargo planes of particular concern whereas smaller planes might not be?
    Or,alternatively, are these sound pressures so low to be absolutely no risk?
    Have such risks been assessed or even considered?
    Winston Adams

  18. Nothing will change until we kick out the established political parties AND rebuild the civil service. Having worked for successful companies and several governments, I can tell you that the NL government is absolutely incompetent. The deputies, assistant deputies and directors are political animals and don't give a rats ass about the general public. Complaints about the North Spur are just noise to be ignored, bought off or drowned in propaganda. Most directors and ADM's are absolutely incompetent and clueless. Many managers are clueless at managing people and are only interested in climbing the ranks and keeping the directors happy.

    I am not saying that everyone in management (mgr/dir/adm/dm) is clueless and incompetent or only got the jobs because of political connections – just that the vast majority of them are. Those who try to serve the public (and disturb the status quo) rapidly get into trouble and many good people quit. Today's civil service is not the service that Dave or Des would be familiar with.

    Rebuilding the public service would be a daunting task. The public service commission is corrupt too – so you can't use them for hiring. You'd need good people from outside the province to perform the reorganization and hiring, and from there build new organizations from scratch. Many organizations would simply be eliminated because they provide no value to the public.

    Even if Des and Dave were given departments to run, they would fail with the current workforce and existing management who have political connections and would work very hard to make them fail.

    • Levy, we are of the same mind on this. Several questions regarding how to bring this about; 1 What process to amalgamation? 2 What and who will demand change? 3 How do we avoid a Brexit type fallout?

      I believe a Constituent Assembly, sort of like what brought us into Confederation, (National Convention), followed by a Referendum. Concerned citizens of Atlantic Canada, should drive the process. The current method of picking Party Leaders needs to be dismantled in favour of the CA. Grits and Tories alone should be abandoned in favour of a multi Party System, to rise out of an in depth CA process. This process cannot succeed alone by a group of people in one geographical "Province", but must involve similar parallel action by the amalgamating peoples within the Maritime Provinces. This is my own thought from a committed Canadian, put to the Blog for serious consideration.

  19. I see that before young Thunberg sets sail for America (she refuses to fly), she went to Germany where protesters have been trying for years to stop the ongoing coal mine operation, which feeds 3 nearby coal plants that are included in the top 10 GHS emitters in Europe.
    Greta told them, that since the coal is local, and "native" it is okay to continue to use at the rate of 40 million ton per year. She was taking the advise of Bruno, a well known Canadian environmentalist, who endorses native coal in his native Cape Breton region.
    The protesters there in Germany are trying to save the native forest, which is now only capable of absorbing 7% of Germany's emissions.
    Not to worry Bruno told Greta,, the boom of Bruno batteries will soon save the day. The protesters thinks she is getting bad advise form Cape Breton.

    • Greta, who is learned in the science of climate change, was at first sceptical of Bruno's advise, saying 40 million tons was a lot of weight and would generate a lot of CO2. Bruno explained that one must look at the physics. Use tonne as in metric tonnes, which is a mass, not a weight, he told her. Therefore with mass, the weight can be ignored. Jim Gprdon and others made the same mistake about Muskrat Falls North Spur risk he assured her. When assessed properly the CO2 from the coal is largely mitigated.
      Greta, having an acknowledged disability, said she trusted Bruno, who has a reputation for enviromental science. Sources say she is checking his CV.

    • Not of my meds Bruno. I assume you meant off not of, so I got your drift. Not sure how my meds affects by comments on you.
      It is obvious that I much admire the youthful Greta Thunberg, an environmental activist. Especially given her disability, which in no way impairs her scientific knowledge or precise communication skills to speak truth to power. The contrast with you or me to do that is obvious. At a recent OPEC meeting they stated that the greatest treat to oil prices is Greta Thunberg, not the Bruno battery. Indeed Saudi Arabia is 100 % fossil fuel as of 2017, not a wind mill, solar panel or Bruno battery in the whole kindgom. Even bone saws for journalists are not battery operated.

      As to my meds, which you show a keen interest. This from a Urinalysis result, Feb 19, 2018, from Dr Alia Norman, from the Cannabinoid Medical Clinic here;
      Marijuana (THC): Negative
      Oxycodone 9OXY): Negative
      Opiates(OPI): Negative
      Cocaine (COC): Negative
      Benzodiazepine (BZO):Positive
      Creatinine(CRE): Normal
      Oxidants: Normal
      pH: Normal
      Methadone (EDDP): Negative

      Of these, the Benzo is a bad bugger, whether you know? I thought maybe some weed might ween me off the Benzo, which has been very detrimental, and maybe even causes me to be critical of you at times. Is this possible do you think? As you have expertise in many fields, what can you advise on this matter?
      This info on meds and the report overall is stamped in big red letters ; "Confidential, PATIENT COPY". As you should know, there is a stigma as to mental health issues, and can be a detrimental some times, and a great privacy attached by the health care system. But I am at liberty to lift the veil if I choose. Given your interest, this was my result then, but seemed to exclude B/P and chlorestrol med, which I take, if this of interest to you?
      Winston Adams

  20. This misguided Hussey individual has obviously chugged the gallons upon gallons of kool-aid offered up over the decades by legions of dodgy and dimwitted NL politicians and their henchmen applying their standard operating procedure of diverting and distracting from their own colossal incompetence and corruption by blaming outsiders… any outsiders at all… be it the feds, Quebec, the Portugese, the mainland bankers, the Man in the Moon or whomever… for the chronically decrepit and destitute state of NL's economy, its government finances, and related metrics such as the "whopping gap in unemployment rates" as compared to all the other competently-run jurisdictions within Canada.

    I would suggest the hapless Mr. Hussey should dummy up, way up… he's aiming at the wrong target entirely.

  21. What of Jim Gordon's warning, as reported in this UG piece?

    1. Aug 6, Tue, Nalcor sent out warnings " reservoir levels will start rising this evening, … the end of Sept it will reach final elevation of 39m". This as MFs opponents in Labrador gathered for a "final meal", and CBC said the"last meal" as waters rises in the reservoir.

    2. VOCM , Aug 8 says ' Nunatsiavut Govn says they are at the point of no return. They refused the 10 million "hush money" offered by Stan Marshall and Ball. And PC MHA Lela Evans noted that Hydro engineer, Jim Gordon, had written to Coady that there could be sudden collapse of the N Spur, giving no warning to residents living downstream.

    3. Aug 10, The Telegram, a letter from the NDP Leader, Alison Coffin, calling for a pause on impoundment. She cited independent expert James Gordon has called for a cold eye review by an independent expert panel, due to stability issues that could endanger lives of residents downstream, and the loss of the the project and collapse of our economy… take corrective action before it is too late. She calls for the same panel to review the N Spur as assessed the Mount Polley dam failure.

    4. M Adams letter to the Telegram, stating Leblanc should seek TOF to address the possible instability issue of the N spur.

    5. nalcor has stated that their automated monitoring of water pressure, seepage, structure movement , water level and temperature, and trained staff is activated.

    As we now from Mount Polley, these type of activities by Nalcor, are useless if a sudden failure from clay foundations that are/can go unstable, and that the quantity, location and stability is unknown.
    These public warnings will be evidence for civil and criminal proceedings should sudden failure occur.
    Winston Adams

    • It would be helpful if some of the posters abusing this blog on a regular basis took a little personal time for themselves to learn how to interpret written prose, so as to avoid being so asinine as to go jumping to the wrong conclusions and putting words in others' mouths… nowhere does it say "the Spur will never fail".

    • Must be the same anon that said I was priggish as media favoured headlines about Dildo instead of the North Spur risk. Now this anon say I am impotent…….this person must have a fetish?
      Also he says I post 24/7, but factually seldom if ever between 1 and 9am.
      He says relax, and I am alarmist. Who should relax with 690 million lbs of water force on that sucker, sitting on marine clay, prone to go unstable suddenly? I suppose Stan, Ball, Coady, Ches, Gil and a few of that type can relax. And the legal sharks who see a windfall of lawsuits and inquiries.
      And this anon calls his 2 lines of BS PROSE? Check off funny on UG.
      Finally he says there is little I can do about it. Really?
      What if Bruno flips back to agree with Gordon and his force calculation? Bruno wold be just starters. What if Labrador residents initiate a shut down of the flooding? But you are right, I can to little, except waste my time. Odd that you worry about my time.
      I offered 50,000 to try for some expert opinion a while back, mentioned it to PENG2. Maybe he considered a joke, and not serious? He ignored it.
      Winston Adams

  22. The reservoir is filling at this time. There will be egg accumulating over time on some faces, either the faces of the yay or the nay sayers. For the taxpayers/ratepayers of NL ie. the payers, we hope the spur holds, against all odds.

    • "Hope" anon, is a poor substitute for possible or probable unsafe engineering.
      What is the period for the Spur holding against all odds?
      Odds is defined in Safety Factor that is engineered into the design.
      Egg on one face, if it holds, is nonsense when gambling with the lives of people. You rate the asset cost to life safety?
      See the Telegram today;
      The letter on N Spur safety is read 6 times more than the one on cost issues of MFs. A few is thinking rationally.
      What happened to Nalcor's Safety First?

      Today I wondered and compared the Safety Factor living down stream from the N SPur to safety of tires on my car. I usually drive not beyond the highway limit, 100km/hr, but occassionally if passing or down hill it might be 110 or 115 unless I brake. At those speeds I "Hope " my tires don't fail, as one would easily loose control. To me, dam safety is like tire safety, or even more important.
      My car says inflate times to 35/32, front and back . My tires say max 44 psi. That seemed a small safety factor.
      I researched and see that what is called hypermilers use 60-70 and even to 100 psi, for max gas saving.
      My further research showed tires have a burst pressure of 200psi.
      If so, that is a 4.5 times more than rated max pressure.
      What is the Safety Factor for this dam?
      Much less than 2 and possible less than 1, depending on who you believe.
      Perhaps someone can state the SFs more precisely, and see how hopeful one should be?
      This should not be a popularity contest, but a professional independent panel review, to put fear aside, and safety first.
      This risk has been known for over 50 years, and here we are, in doubt, after 12.7 billion spent.
      Winston Adams