Water to Stay on for Maryland County outside Washington, D.C.

IX Power Water Machines, OrganiClearGood news for Prince George’s County in Maryland:  While they are still going to be under water restrictions for a while – no lawn watering, car-washing, and they have to limit their showers and toilet flushes (pew in this weather!) –  they will at least have some water and shouldn’t be totally without for five whole days more or less!  

Yes, good news, but America’s lost the chance to see what’s it’s like to live without running water.   See earlier post on this subject below.

Still – maybe this incident will serve as a real wake-up that we have a dangerously aging infrastructure and while no one wants to pay higher taxes, it’s way past time to do something about it.  Taxes for infrastructure just need to be presented like a 2 x 4 across the butt:  We all pay up, or wake up one day to no water or electricity.  I’d rather pay up in advance.  What about you?

Water: Now U.S. Gets a Taste of Going Without (and in a Heat Wave!)

Thousands in Maryland are frantically preparing to lose running water for as much as five days

We have it so good here.  Really.  Yes, it’s true.  Here in the section of the U.S. that stretches from about the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast, we are having a heat wave.  It’s not THAT hot compared to say, Arizona, or maybe Death Valley! – but when you factor in the humidity, it’s miserable.  (And I thought I was escaping the relentless steam bath I endured in Orlando, by moving to Northern Virginia.  Ha!)

However, it’s still not so bad.  Most folks seem to have air conditioning or some access to it.  And, there’s plenty of water to drink, swim in, take refreshing showers in, etc.

Until Now.   Splashing water on white.  Splash of water on a surface.

Now, a part of Maryland that borders Washington, D.C. is about to see what it’s like to live like so many people have to outside of the U.S.  Thousands of folks living in Maryland’s Prince George’s County are going to have the water turned off to their homes and businesses.  The reason?  Our country’s notoriously aging infrastructure is rearing its ugly head. In this case, a 54-inch water main is beginning to fail, officials say, and they must shut down part of the system to replace it.  For as many as FIVE days.  And, this event affects not only regular businesses and homes.  It’s knocking out all the business at National Harbor, a popular resort and conference hotel area, and even Joint Base Andrews, the combo Air Force and Navy Base that’s the home of Air Force One. The media is full of advice on which pots and pans to fill up, how much each person will need, etc. but there is no getting around the fact this is going to be a BIG PAIN IN THE NECK for a bunch of Americans, and a good deal that serve our federal government.

Maybe it’s good however, for two reasons:IX Power LLC is offering new clean water technologies

Maybe, just maybe, it will help highlight the issue of our infrastructure, which is literally decrepit in many areas.

And, # 2:  Some folks are going to get a taste of what it’s like to live without running water.

True, no one in Maryland is going to have to walk two miles in bare feet in 100 degree temperatures with a gallon of questionable water on their head like folks must in Africa, Asia, South America and even parts of Mexico.  But, maybe it will help open some eyes in this country about the urgency of the water scarcity situation on this planet. There’s nothing like going without yourself, to bring home others’ suffering.

We simply don’t have enough water on this planet. The total usable freshwater supply for humans and ecosystems is only around 200 000 km3 of water – less than 1 percent of all freshwater resources. According to the United Nations, water scarcity already affects almost every continent and more than 40 percent of the people on our planet. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.  To look at it another way, we are over-consuming our natural resources at an unsustainable rate. Scientists at the U.N. say that around 3.5 planets just like Earth would be needed to sustain a global population achieving the current lifestyle of the average European or North American. And realize – everyone on the planet pretty much is striving to live like we do. Fat, happy and with plenty of water.

IX Power Water Machines, OrganiClearSo, what are we going to do about it?

At IX Power we’re working on new ways to clean “produced” water – the water from oil & gas extraction and processing. We have a new way to clean it for use in irrigation, and by livestock and humans. That’s one of our particular water niches. But, we can’t do it alone. More effort by other labs, companies, and government entities needs to be put into finding solutions for the growing problem of water scarcity.

In Maryland, I expect their short-lived water incident will build some, albeit temporary, empathy and sympathy for those who are already without water. But what happens when the water is turned on again?  Worse yet, what happens when the water crisis is no longer a temporary event for Maryland?  For the rest of the U.S.?

Deborah Deal-Blackwell to present “Getting Started on Your P.R. & Marketing” at Denver Innovators Workshop on June 12


Deborah Deal-Blackwell

Deborah Deal-Blackwell, APR

     People involved in new business startups, inventors and innovators, even those that have been in business for some time – all can benefit by attending the free Denver Innovators Workshop session “Getting Started on Your P.R. & Marketing” on Wednesday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Cluster Studios. Presented by veteran marketer Deborah Deal-Blackwell, APR, the two-hour event will cover how to start marketing your product or service and what business owners should do first, explore what business owners can do on their own, and when and how to hire a public relations, marketing or advertising firm. In addition, the Workshop will also present the latest available information about business exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities at the upcoming Denver Startup Street Faire in conjunction with Denver Startup Week. To ensure a seat, attendees should RSVP for the event at: http://www.denverinnovators.org.

     Deborah Deal-Blackwell is an Accredited Public Relations practitioner (APR) with 30+ years creating and handling public relations and marketing campaigns for a diverse group of clients from the Caribbean to Moscow, Russia and all across the United States.  Her early career in television was followed by leadership positions at two of Florida’s top advertising and PR firms. She also owned an operated her own successful public relations firm and was the CEO of Angel Flight Southeast, a regional non-profit. From her home base outside Washington, D.C., she has represented clients, including the Hyperion Power Generation small modular reactor company, before the U.S. Congress, Department of Energy, and many other federal agencies. Currently, she is the CEO of the non-profit IX Power Foundation and consults with a handful of clients offering innovative new products. She is a member of the National Press Club and the Public Relations Society of America, both in Washington, D.C., the Friends of the Gum Spring Library, and other organizations.

The Denver Innovators Workshop is a not-for-profit group of innovators and inventors, scientists and geeks, business professionals and students, who came together in 2012 for the purpose of helping each other succeed. In this process, the Workshop participants aspire to actually raise the number of new products, services and companies in the Greater Denver area, while boosting the area’s reputation for innovation.

In addition to its monthly meetings at Cluster Studios, the Denver Innovators Workshop is hosting the Denver Startup Street Faire.  Billed as a “Public Science, Technology, & Manufacturing Faire for Adults & Kids of All Ages,” the Denver Startup Street Faire is being held in conjunction with Denver Startup Week, and with support from the Denver Office of Economic Development and the nonprofit IX Power Foundation. The event will provide inventors, innovators and new businesses the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the public downtown at the Wellington Webb Building on Saturday, September 21, 2013.

 Press Contact: Claire Paulette        Claire at IXPowerFoundation dot org or (505) 661-1000, ext. 902.

It’s the GREEN Economy Stupid! April 22 is Earth Day

The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding

Take a look at The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding. It makes sense to me that the planet has a finite amount of natural resources and we could run out …

Every year it comes and goes with not nearly enough attention from the mass media.  What am I talking about?  EARTH DAY.  Officially it’s Monday, April 22, although EVERY day SHOULD be Earth Day.  Contrary to deniers of climate change, the planet is changing.  Whether mankind is wholly responsible for this is something that’s been hotly debated.  But, while experts and subsidized deniers do their hot debating about who or what caused it, and whether or not it is a normal cyclical change, it continues to get even hotter, and we still have to deal with droughts, storms, loss of shoreline, loss of species, acidification of the oceans, reduced foodstock from the sea, lack of clean fresh water and more! AUGH!

Ignoring, evading, denying, and mocking the problem is not helping and all this takes precious time and resources away from actually doing something to prepare for the change that IS coming.  

The problem for most Americans is that we live our luxurious lives (compared to that of other nations) in air conditioned offices and homes far, far removed from the processes of farming, water purification, and energy resource extraction.  We don’t have to get our hands dirty.  We are only affected by increased prices.

But, this somewhat blissful shelter from the realities of climate change is not going to continue for long for Americans.  Soon, it will no longer be a problem for “the poor folks in Africa,”  Nope, the problem is going to come home and hit us hard, and not just in the form of an extra dollar per gallon of gas.

i’ve been reading “The Great Disruption – How the Climate Crisis Will Transform the Global Economy” and I would suggest it be read by everyone. Basically, the author talks about how climate change is just one of many factors that is going to affect the way we live on this planet.  It’s the kickstarter that people notice, but there are other factors such as the gobbling up of natural resources in the making of “stuff” that is going to change our idea of a successful and productive life.  Simply, we won’t have the natural resources to keep making stuff; we’re going to have to recycle to get even the basic materials and everyone is going to have to live with less stuff – particularly less “throwaway” stuff.  It’s a good read, but I’ve also added photos here of some of my other favorites.  

Take a look; pick up one of these books. Knowledge is power. Sticking your head in the sand will just irritate your eyes so you can’t see the truth.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

See more books and links to Earth Day websites below, including one where you can get the great bumper sticker that says, “It’s the Green Economy Stupid!”

Hot - Living through the next Fifty Years on Earth

Another insightful book discussing a proactive approach to climate change and dwindling natural resources …

T-Shirts, posters, and my favorite bumper sticker “It’s the GREEN Economy Stupid.” can be found on the home page of http://www.earthday.org





Earth - Making Life on a Tough New Planet, Bill McKibben

Earth – Making Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben – more suggested reading!


The End of Growth

The End of Growth is another good read.

International Women’s Day is Friday, March 8 – Concerns about Water, Literacy & Violence

Friday, March 8, is International Women’s Day.   It seems to me, unfortunately, that women in the United States do not observe this important date as much as we should.  Maybe it’s because, even with the inequalities that remain in our country, we still have it pretty good — good enough to make us complacent and forgetful even, of how much we have to be grateful for and celebrate.

But as the “lucky ones,” relatively speaking, I think we owe it to our sisters in other parts of the world that don’t have it so well, to observe this day and do something to help those women with less opportunity.

From my travels, experience, reading and just years of life on the planet, three of the things that strike me as core issues for women today, particularly in countries with emerging economies are:

*  Water (and subsequently health)    

*  Literacy / Education

*  Violence         

International Women's Day March 8 2013 - will these girls have a future as adult women? Will they even survive to become women?

International Women’s Day March 8 2013 – will these girls have a future as adult women? Will they even survive to become women?

Lack of Clean Water – and therefore health

Of the 1.3 billion people living in abject poverty, the majority are women and children. With this poverty, most often comes a lack of access to clean water.  In addition to the physical harm that comes with having to carry heavy loads of water (and its often not even somewhat clean water) long distances, women in poor regions with no access to running water lose a lot of time – time to take care of their children, educate themselves and their children, and time to to spend on a livelihood to improve their lot in life.

But, they also lose their health, which continues the cycle of poverty because they are too sick to work at jobs or raising food.

According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), “37% per cent of the developing world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities, and over 780 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more.  

The majority of people living in poverty are women and children.

The majority of people living in poverty are women and children.

In fact, every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.  

Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many other serious repercussions. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because  their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer. Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible.”

 Violence Against Women 

It is when trying to transport water to their villages on unprotected trips down to water sources that women are often subjected to violence via regional conflict. This violence against them often involves sexual brutality and horrendous acts. But, one of the biggest segments in violence against women is domestic violence. Statistics from the United Nations state that in far too many countries 7 in 10 women can expect to be beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes. Aside from the obvious results – death or obvious injury – this violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.  

The World Health Organization has concluded that violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights.  A World Bank report, which estimates that more women aged 15-44 are killed violently than die of malaria, HIV, cancer, accidents and war combined.

Studies have shown that for both perpetrator and victim, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality, and low education or illiteracy, play a major role in the problem.


Which brings us to illiteracy.  In my neighborhood, we just celebrated the opening of the new long-awaited Gum Spring Library. On the first day over 6,500 people visited the library – many of those were women and couples with young children. More than 14,500 materials were checked out the first weekend. But, in way too many countries, a library – even the ability to read – is a luxury people will never live to see.  And this lack of literacy fosters not only conditions that lead to violence, but help to keep women, and men, in a cycle of poverty that includes a lack of access to clean water, which makes people sick and keeps them from working to pull themselves out of that poverty.

In spite of the fact that most development agencies identify women’s literacy as the single most important factor in development, one out of every three women in the world cannot read and write. And, in some countries, men would like to keep it that way.  Remember the attack in October by the Taliban on 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai for her attempts to promote girls’ education in Pakistan. 

Lack of water. Violence. Illiteracy.  They are intertwined in keeping women around the globe from achieving their potential and contributing to the betterment of the human race, the environment, and the planet.

On Friday, March 8, please observe International Women’s Day – make a vow to take a step – even just one small one within the next week – for the benefit of a woman somewhere who’s suffering, and for women everywhere. Make a donation, write a Congressman, talk to your daughters or a class at school or church about women’s issue such as domestic violence … if we all did SOMETHING, we could make a difference 

Read more at the following web sites:

Amnesty International   

International Center for Research on Women      

UN Women – the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women     

World Health Organization    

CNN – “interesting story on women by the numbers” 

IX Power Executives celebrate local event – NEW Library!

On a personal note: This may not have anything  to do with industry DIRECTLY, but I just had to share that we are finally getting a library out here in the wilds of South Riding / Stone Ridge Virginia (Loudoun County). Our beautiful, long-awaited brand spanking new library opens Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. To lean more, visit my personal blog at:  http://www.SaintBlackwell.com

Loudoun County’s new Gum Spring Public Library has been years in the making, and now it’s finally here!

Loudoun County's new Gum Spring Library

The new Gum Spring Library will open February 23. It’s a beautifully open and sunny facility packed with brand spanking new books.

Matt Damon on “Toilet Strike” for Clean Water

Well, it certainly isn’t a very practical idea, but you must give Matt and his team credit for thinking up his “Toilet Strike” as a creative and attention-getting way to get people to recognize the great clean water inequity that exists here on Mother Earth.  I mean, so MANY people do not have access to clean water or even dirty water at all…

Matt Damon on strike for clean water

Matt Damon, star of the “Bourne” movies, is on strike for clean water.

According to the United Nations, today 2.5 billion people, including almost one billion children, live without even basic sanitation. Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.

That’s why at IX Power Clean Water, we’re working to develop technologies that can turn otherwise un-usable water resources into clean water that can be safely used by people, livestock and in agriculture.  Let’s end the unnecessary suffering, let’s fix this problem!

We’re with you Matt …!  We agree providing clean water for everyone is probably the single most important project that civilization can take on.

Unfortunately, I doubt any of us can “hold it” like you. But, we’ve signed up for the strike program and we’re with you in spirit, man.  We are with you in spirit …

To join the strike, if only in spirit, click here.

Story in Los Angeles Times

Matt Damon’s Water.org web site

U.N. Statistics on Water

Still Kicking the Nuclear Waste Can Down the Road

Perplexed? I’m beyond perplexed!  Normally when you fork over funds for something, you get something in return. But not when it comes to the energy business and the current state of U.S. politics!  For years nuclear power plants have been paying into a U.S. Department of Energy program to take care of their nuclear waste – to safely store it.  So far the nuclear industry has put $28 billion into the coffers for this purpose. This program came into law with the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 which called for the construction and maintenance of multiple waste deposit sites, and then in 1987 an amendment to the Act directed that a single depository be built – Yucca Mountain, Nevada.  

Because nuclear power does not pollute the air with harmful emissions, it is considered by many to be a “GREEN” technology. However, the U.S. must decide a course of action for the waste from its nuclear power plants if nuclear is going to be a viable energy technology for the future.

But guess what?  Because of partisan politics, the U.S. government, still — 26 years later — has not begun to take that waste and store it; not at Yucca, not anywhere.  The waste of our country’s nuclear power plants is sitting around all over the countryside next to each nuclear power plant. Now, if YOU had paid $28 billion for someone to take out your trash and properly store it so no one would accidentally get hurt by it, and 26 years later, the contractor still had not done it, wouldn’t you be mad?

True, some of the nuclear utilities have sued the U.S. government to get that money back and thus far they have retrieved about $2.6 billion. They could probably use those funds to ensure that their on-site storage facilities are safely maintained. But, they had to burn a lot of “people energy” and time and money on legal fees to do so.  More legal suits are still in the works and Washington continues to kick our country’s nuclear waste disposal issue down the road with occasional help kicking that can from entities, such as the Blue Ribbon Commission which has been studying alternatives to opening the doors at Yucca Mountain. 

Now, bless-their-hearts (I always say that about people who are forced to declare obviously wrong decisions) the folks at the U.S. Department of Energy, have come out and said that not only do the utilities still have to pay this fee, the DOE is not even going to adjust it down one little bit …! The utilities still have to continue to pay it – even though they continue to get nothing for it and no one else is getting anything either – certainly not the individuals like you and me paying monthly electric bills. 

WHAT?  How is this right? Plan and simple, it’s NOT.  It’s politics played to benefit the few, instead of benefitting everyone and the future of our energy security.  Would someone please pick up the can of the nuclear waste issue and quit kicking it down the road?
 Click here for a good background story   

Grizz Deal to speak on Small & Modular Reactors in London at NIA conference

What’s happening with Small & Modular Reactors now?  Find out when John R. Grizz Deal, CEO of IX Power LLC will provide an overview on the small modular reactors (SMR) industry at the Nuclear Industry Association’s “Near Term SMRs in the U.K.” event on January 30 in London.      

John R. Deal, aka “Grizz,” will sharing the latest information on Small & Modular Reactors at the NIA in London January 30, 2012.

The event will also feature presentations by industry luminaries such as  Lord John Hutton, Chairman of the NIA, and Alexander Bychkov, Deputy Director General at the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA). Sponsored by Eversheds, as a public service attendance the event is open to all for a nominal fee of GBP 75.  To register, send an email to Stephanie McKenna whose address is located on the NIA web site. 

IX Power is an safe energy and clean water technology innovation firm based in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Before starting IX Power, Deal was the CEO of Hyperion Power Generation for five years. He co-founded Hyperion, the first modern SMR company to approach the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission with its SMR concept, with Dr. Otis (Pete) Peterson, Dr. Robert Libutti, and Deborah Deal-Blackwell. The objective of Hyperion Power was to introduce a mass produced, self-contained 25MWe power reactor safe and compact enough to be shipped on the back of a truck after complete factory assembly. Now known as a design in the generation IV (Gen IV) class of reactors, the Hyperion reactor was created to bring safe, emission-free clean nuclear power to remote communities outside the U.S. and industrial and mining operations.

Before starting Hyperion, Deal served as the chief marketing officer for Space Imaging, and was the founder and CEO of LizardTech, one of the more successful company spinouts from a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) technology transfer effort. Additionally, Deal served as Entrepreneur in Residence for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) at Technology Ventures Corporation, and as Visiting Entrepreneur at LANL. Grizz founded seven firms based on U.S. DOE technologies and holds graduate and undergraduate science degrees in geography from Texas A&M University. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo. He is a frequent speaker and writer on energy technology and policy, product development, starting and growing advanced technology-based ventures, and issues in raising capital for such ventures.

IX Power is working with an international team of scientists and strategists to develop and bring to market a number of ground-breaking technologies including the IX Power OrganiClear system that removes dangerous organic hydrocarbons from water produced by oil & gas, mining, and industrial processes without creating a hydrocarbon waste stream. The company’s main offices are in Los Alamos, Washington, D.C., and London, England.


What’s Next for Small Modular Reactors in the United States?

A number of countries have SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) under development.  Russia has been working on various models for some time and is famous for its RITM-200, the reactor powering its new nuclear icebreaker. Most recently South Korea announced that it has received its own state regulator approval for the SMART SMR and would soon be selling it around the world.  

Read the SEAB Subcommittee on SMRs report – link at the bottom of the page.

And, the U.S.?  The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy issued a Funding Announcement Opportunity (FOA) for a Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support Program  back on March 22, 2012. This government-industry cost share program was  for the design certification and licensing of up to two light water SMRs. Several applied, recently only one – B&W’s mPower design – was awarded funding.

On April 3, 2012, just weeks after the original FOA from the DOE came out in March, but well before the award was made, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu charged the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) with creating a subcommittee to report on what the U.S. should do above and beyond the existing FOA for two light water reactors. Secretary Chu wrote, “The broad purpose of the SEAB subcommittee on SMRs is to advise the Secretary on ways to advance this technology to achieve a global leadership role in civil nuclear technology for the United States, and ways for DOE to accelerate that role.”

Specifically, Secretary Chu charged, “Looking beyond the current DOE program authorized by Congress and begun by the FOA, this SEAB Subcommittee will: (1) Identify areas in which standards for safety, security and nonproliferation should be developed for SMRs to enhance U.S. leadership in civil nuclear energy, and (2) Identify challenges, uncertainties and risks to commercialization and provide advice on policies and other approaches that may be appropriate to manage these risks and accelerate deployment in support of national goals.”

I attended the “open meeting” in the Spring and came back and put the question to several of the “Linked-In’ groups on nuclear power:  “What would you advise the SEAB subcommittee on SMRs?”

There was a huge response.  After the discussions had gone on for a couple of months, I gathered the input with everyone’s consent and contact information and sent it in one very long letter to Dr. Nicholas M. Donofrio, Chairman of the SMR subcommittee. Before Thanksgiving, I received a letter back thanking everyone who participated on “Linked-In” and with the link to the completed report that was approved by the SEAB main committee.  Here it is: Report from SEAB Subcommittee on SMRs.

In another blog entry – and maybe on Linked-In – we’ll discuss some of the contents of the report.  In the interim, thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion via the various nuclear groups back during the summer of 2012 …!  Keep speaking up!  Happy Holidays!

Again, here’s the pertinent links:

Report from SEAB Subcommittee on SMRs

The subcommittee’s original marching orders

The DOE’s web site on SMRs