Monday, 24 July 2017

WHY WE SHOULD RESPECT THE INCARCERATED LABRADOR THREE

None of the people who are alleged to have falsified the estimates, and possibly other aspects of the so-called “business case” for the Muskrat Falls project, are in jail.

Some of those responsible are probably still permitted to wield power, enter into contracts, spend public money, earn large salaries, and if they have been deceitful cover their tracks.

Although the consequences of their actions will imperil the economy and cause enormous human pain, possibly for decades, the politicians from the Premier down have made excuses to protect them from being held to account.

They enjoy immunity while their mothership Nalcor is permitted to swear affidavits and call upon the judicial system to grant injunctions against protesters making a mockery of transparency and fairness in the bargain.    

Thursday, 20 July 2017

MEDIA FOCUS ON 'CHASE THE ACE' HAS UNCLE GNARLEY OUT OF SORTS

Uncle Gnarley is in a foul mood.

The old economist and Petty Harbour fisherman called up just the other day to wail that the “Chase the Ace” lottery in the Goulds is getting more traction than possible fraud at Nalcor.

That the CBC had stationed a reporter in the community for the whole day - and planned to go back on-air to chase the outcome - didn’t sit well with him. “Damn blasted,” he could be heard, “sure the crowd at 'Here and Now' probably think Muskrat is something to chase, too.

"A bunch of innocents thinking a church lottery makes better news than fooling people and squandering billions", he growled. 

He was not happy. And not because he didn’t have a ticket.

Yes, it’s July. And readers are likely saying ‘for the love of Pete, knock it off… we don’t care if Nalcor is responsible for every iceberg on the north-east coast as long as winter is over by Regatta Day!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

BARD OF PYNN'S BROOK TAKES ON MUSKRAT - IN VERSE, OF COURSE

Editor's Note: John Tuach, a geologist, is well-known to the mining and mineral exploration industry. It seems, in addition to a keen skill for staking promising mineral claims, he has a talent for poetry - of which I was unaware. Known to most only by his surname, Tuach, the 'bard of Pynn's Brook', has written several of what he calls "Muskrat rants". They can be found at www.jinglejohn.com .The Uncle Gnarley Blog has never considered the appointment of a Poet Laureate - always thinking playwright, never settling on whether comedy or tragedy. But Tuach - in verse - sets one to thinking!

Monday, 17 July 2017

MUD LAKE VS. PENNECON: GIVING PROFIT A BAD NAME

When Barnard Pennecon LP was asked to comment on a letter which a senior company executive wrote to Nalcor, blaming them for the Mud Lake flood, it denied that the letter reflected its official position on the issue.


On Monday, July 10, 2017 the Uncle Gnarley Blog released a series of quotations contained in the one-page letter from the North and South Dam contractor. The executive told Nalcor that had it exercised “reasonable diligence [it] could have prevented the blockade by properly managing the downstream flows.”


The flood triggered a gate blockade at the entrance to the project; protestors blamed Nalcor for the flooding.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

FILLED RESERVOIR WILL CAUSE NORTH SPUR TO FAIL, STUDY PREDICTS

Guest Post by James L. Gordon, P.Eng. (Ret'd)

THE MUSKRAT NORTH SPUR WILL FAIL!

Mr. Robin Dury, an engineering student at the LuleĆ„ University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, INSA Lyon, has undertaken a geotechnical analysis of the North Spur as part of his studies towards a Master’s degree in Geotechnical Engineering. He concludes that –

For assumed material properties and geometries of failure, the critical load-carrying capacity is below 1000 kN/m whereas a rise of the water level with 21 m (to El. 39m) will give an increased load of Nq  = 2420 kN/m. This is more than twice of what the ridge may stand with the assumed properties.

In other words, the North Spur will fail when the reservoir is filled.

Monday, 10 July 2017

NEW WHISTLEBLOWER REVEALS NALCOR RESPONSIBLE FOR MUD LAKE FLOODING

A new whistleblower has contacted the Uncle Gnarley Blog — shedding new light on who is responsible for the severe flooding and evacuation of the community of Mud Lake in May.

The confidential source has leaked a copy of a letter sent by Bernard Pennecon LP, the contractor building the North and South Dams, to Nalcor’s subsidiary, Muskrat Falls Corporation. The document states that the event was due to Nalcor’s “failure to manage the downstream flows which resulted in the flooding of the Mud Lake Community.” (Bold added to all direct quotes from the Barnard Pennecon letter.)
The letter dated 23-May-2017 was given exclusively to the Uncle Gnarley Blog.

In January another whistleblower, the "Anonymous Engineer", gave the Uncle Gnarley Blog details of how the estimates for the Muskrat Falls project had been falsified in Nalcor's bid to get sanction, a process which continued until after the 2015 General Election.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

ANONYMOUS ENGINEER SAYS ED MARTIN'S STATEMENT MAKES NO SENSE

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a Guest Post written by the whistleblower, who I have dubbed the "Anonymous Engineer". He originally disclosed – on this Blog - falsification of the estimates for the Muskrat Falls project on January 30, 2017 . At that time, his comments were recorded in a post entitled Muskrat Cost Estimates "A Complete Falsification". A second post called Muskrat: Allegations of Phony Cost Estimates provided significant additional details of both low-balled estimates at sanction and even after sanction. — Des Sullivan

Guest Post by the "Anonymous Engineer"
I read Ed Martin’s “Statement” of June 26th, 2017 with a sense of regret and dismay. Regret – because it represents  an accelerated demise from an exalted position; dismay – as most of the “Statement” made no sense.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

VARDY/PENNEY SEEK EXPERT PANEL ON NORTH SPUR

Guest Post by David Vardy and Ron Penney

The recently released SNC Lavalin risk assessment report identifies the dearth of geo-technical investigations as one of the highest risks of the Muskrat Falls project. In his Uncle Gnarley post of June 29, 2017 Cabot Martin cites this report to confirm his claim that the North Spur is one of the major threats to the project and to the people living and working close to the site. The SNC report refers to “major scope change.” Cabot states:

Now “major scope change“ with regard to an admittedly unstable dam component like the North Spur is engineer code for “Your proposed North Spur stabilization design could be unsafe and to make it safe will require as yet unknown and un-costed extra work.”

And also unstated is that geotechnical conditions may be found (like Quick Clay) which will in effect be impossible to cure.

Monday, 3 July 2017

PUBLIC SHOULD BE AFRAID OF POSSIBLE CORRUPTION

SNC-Lavalin was responsible from the start in devising the financing strategies and engineering design for development of the Muskrat Falls project. When such a company throws down the gauntlet to its employer, Nalcor detailing incompetence, a lack of technical and logistical readiness, and recklessness and neither Nalcor nor the Provincial Government performs their duty and investigates, it is time for the public to step in.

Describe it as one might, but the public interest is under attack on an unprecedented scale.

The evidence, detailed in a 2013 Risk Assessment Report only now brought to light by CEO Stan Marshall illuminates a Government seemingly incapable of responding to the allegations against its own crown corporation. Those accusations, by any standard, constitute the worst crisis that has faced a public sector agency since Confederation.