Alaska Digest

Posted: Monday, October 10, 2005

Power lost in Lemon Creek, Auke Bay, Mendenhall Valley

JUNEAU - Alaska Electric Light and Power crews spent about two hours restoring power Sunday night, after an insulator broke off the main 69-kV transmission line that feeds Lemon Creek and the Mendenhall Valley.

The outage started at 6:07 p.m. Sunday, according to AEL&P spokesperson Gayle Wood, and affected all customers northwest of Lemon Creek - including everyone in Auke Bay and the Mendenhall Valley.

Power began to come back at 8:17 p.m., and the last customers were restored at 8:57 p.m., Wood said. Near Auke Lake, power returned at 8:24 p.m. On Back Loop Road, power was back at 8:36 p.m.

Power remained on in downtown and Douglas.

The problems started during Sunday evening's storm, when the insulator failed on the main line, near the Department of Transportation office at Mile 7 of Egan Highway.

"There's a lot of tension on that section of the line, and the poles are really tall," Wood said. "A good wind could create the kind of fatigue that could cause a failure."

A crew attempted to start a generator at an AEL&P station in Auke Bay in order to restore power to the main portion of Mendenhall Valley. In the process, a computer failed.

"Normally we're able to use electronics to bring our system up through computer commands," Wood said. "In this situation, the computer command was not working. It required a line crew to come out and take a different tact."

The Auke Bay generator was tested two weeks ago and appeared to be working properly, Wood said.

ConocoPhillips plans seismic survey in Anchor Point

KENAI - ConocoPhillips plans to conduct a seismic survey this fall in Cook Inlet's Cosmopolitan prospect that aims to demonstrate the potential for oil or gas.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co., of Irving, Texas, acquired a 10 percent interest in the prospect, with an option to acquire as much as 40 percent more, depending on the results of the seismic survey.

Veritas DGC Inc. will do the geophysical survey for ConocoPhillips. Veritas recently acquired Fairweather Geophysical, a company that has 15 years experience collecting seismic data in Cook Inlet.

Veritas is expected to begin the 3-D survey by Nov. 15, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service. The survey will extend about six miles to the northwest of Anchor Point and cover about 30 square miles of federal Outer Continental Shelf waters, according to an MMS environmental assessment prepared for the project.

2nd crew member recovered from helicopter wreckage

EDMONDS, Wash. - A Navy ship has recovered the remains of a second crew member from more than 500 feet of water where the aircraft crashed into Browns Bay north of here, killing a pilot and two nurses on board.

The remains were found Saturday among wreckage located by the Navy vessel, Battlepoint, Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Jones said Sunday.

The remains were turned over to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office, but on Sunday no identification was available.

One of three crewmembers killed in the accident was recovered a day after the helicopter crashed Sept. 29. Efforts to locate a third crewmember continued Sunday, Jones said.

UW study enrollment halted

SEATTLE - The federal government has identified more safety problems with human research at the University of Washington, prompting the school to halt further enrollment in a genetic study.

It's the second time this year that the university has been warned about its procedures involving human research.

This time the school did not fully disclose to test subjects the risks involved in an ongoing genetic study or do enough to protect the confidentiality of their genetic information, according to the federal Office for Human Research Protections, which oversees government-funded human experiments for safety.

University officials were notified of the problems Sept. 9.

"We will respond to each of these concerns," the university stated in a letter to the agency dated Friday.

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