September 04, 2007

There They Go Again

Over at Hot Air, Bryan has a nice catch this morning about UPI-alleged attack on a power-generating plant in southern Baghdad.

Bryan has a contact that works at the plant, and states it was not attacked when UPI ran the article, that they were not damaged nearly as bad as UPI states, and was only attacked two days later.

Per Bryan's request, I contacted the Army PAO in that sector, and found out that there was indeed an attack that day, on a power substation in that sector:

The attack on the substation definitely happened, as did the attack on the fire truck. I just saw photos of the burned out building and fire engine.

But, it is a small facility, and the article exaggerates the impact of the attack. Did people lose power as a result? Probably- those serviced in that immediate neighborhood. But, power is intermittent throughout Doura, so to insinuate that the loss of this station is the cause of a city-wide loss of electricity isn't exactly accurate either. It sounds like another example of one smaller event happening, but then being made into more than it actually was.

The main Doura power plant is still operating per normal output.

There is a huge difference, of course, between substations, which are small relay stations commonly found distributing power to adjoining residential and commercial districts here in the United States as elsewhere in the world, and power stations, where coal, other fuels, or nuclear power is used to generate energy in a much, much larger facility.

Details, details.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 4, 2007 12:50 PM

Great post! Your story on the largely phony UPI story reminds me to ask whether you have ever heard from Scott Horton over at Harper's relative to what sure looked like another Beauchamp fantasy.

Posted by: Terry at September 4, 2007 01:23 PM

Terry, Harper's and Horton have apparently decided that not answering my inquiries is their preferred course of action.

That, of course, doesn't stop anything, it just makes it take longer to find answers from other sources.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 4, 2007 01:37 PM

Your first version of this post said "This never happened."

Now, you find out that something did happen but you quibble about the definition of substations and power plants and you have the nerve to suggest that UPI is guilty of botching the story.

Seems to me no one has the whole story and its better for all of us to take some time to absorb all the facts as they come to light instead of panicking at the first rumor of this or that.

Posted by: Spinsterina at September 4, 2007 03:34 PM

"you quibble about the definition of substations and power plants"


power plant (in fact, the one in question):

Note that the first merely transfers electrical power, while the second GENERATES electricity. Note, especially, the presence of smokestacks, in the second photo, and the absence of same in the first.

In my county we have dozens of substations, but not a single power plant. Several times a year, a substation is put out of commission by lightning or a wayward and unfortunate raccoon; this is not news. If a power plant were put out of commission, it would be.

Hardly a "quibble."

Posted by: notropis at September 4, 2007 06:56 PM

but you quibble about the definition of substations and power plants

Huh? There is no quibbling possible. Substations don't generate power. Period. They are small and serve a neighborhood sized area. Period.

They're used to knock the 40Kv stuff down to lower voltage for local distribution.

Do you know anything at all about power systems? It doesn't sound like it.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at September 4, 2007 09:16 PM