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Nuclear power plant in Nebraska is nearly underwater

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June 22, 2011 4:55:44 AM

Nuclear reactors are a heavy operator. We must be ready to properly shutdown the plant.

If the whole system becomes corrupt, backups and shutdowns will be in place.
June 22, 2011 5:11:03 AM

dogman_1234 said:
Nuclear reactors are a heavy operator. We must be ready to properly shutdown the plant.

If the whole system becomes corrupt, backups and shutdowns will be in place.


Yeah, but even if the reactor is shutdown by the SCRAM sequence, the core is still extremely hot (fission elements) and needs to be cooled. If the plant loses power and they can't get electricity back to the plant. None of the systems will function and they're dead in the water. This is exactly what happened at the Fukashima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Power to the plant was knocked out by the earthquake and tsunami, emergency backup systems such as the diesel generators kicked in to power the cooling pumps, then when they ran out of fuel, battery power kicked in, and when that died, the reactors boiled themselves dry, overheated, and exploded.

If you look at the design of the stricken Japanese nuke plant, and compare that to almost any other plant in the world. That scenario could theoretically happen in the US, or anywhere else in the world.

*Many of the plant's important systems and subsystems were severely damaged/destroyed by the earthquake/tsunami
*The plant lost electrical power
*The diesel and battery-powered emergency cooling pumps kicked in, but eventually ran out of fuel and power.
*Plant operators vented pure hydrogen gas from the reactors into the reactor buildings to relieve pressure, and then the gas ignited and blew the reactor buildings sky high.
*The reactors eventually lost flow of cooling water, boiled dry, the core was exposed, and melted down.

The perfect formula for a nuclear catastrophe happened in Japan.
June 22, 2011 5:21:15 AM

^ A lot of the element you are talking about are not a factor. Yes, rising waters are coming and a power out could happen, but we checked our systems. We should be fine...unless an idiot is at the wheel of the operation...
June 22, 2011 1:43:31 PM

In addition, the containment vessels in the Nebraska plant should be intact since there has been no earthquake. Even if the core's melted down, they would be contained as a pile of hot slag at the bottom of the containment vessel.
June 22, 2011 2:32:03 PM

Maybe the US are a bit annoyed that the Japanese are getting too much attention so they want to show the world what a real nuclear power station meltdown is all about?

/harsh
June 22, 2011 2:59:54 PM

^ Yeah, you are having a bad day.
June 24, 2011 7:59:53 AM

Passive cooling is a backup for the battery powered cooling pumps that are a backup for the diesel powered cooling pumps that are a backup of the main, grid powered cooling pumps.

Lots of information on passive systems. Google "nuclear reactor passive cooling".
June 24, 2011 2:06:04 PM

It's now glaringly obvious that building a nuclear power plant opposite two tectonic plates is the definition of insanity. It must be safer if a plant is in a benign region just as the UK has announced 7 or so possible sites for new reactors.
September 12, 2011 4:18:48 PM

This topic has been closed by Reynod
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