U.S., Japan use same design for react...

U.S., Japan use same design for reactor containment

There are 52 comments on the www.thenewstribune.com story from Mar 15, 2011, titled U.S., Japan use same design for reactor containment. In it, www.thenewstribune.com reports that:

As Japan copes with one crisis after another at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, federal records indicate almost a quarter of America's nuclear reactors in 13 states share the same containment system design of the ill-fated Japanese reactors.

The boiling water reactor plants were designed by General Electric and use its Mark I design for containing radioactivity.

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GomerPyle

Tampa, FL

#42 Mar 17, 2011
Anyone else think that we should require (FULL)Water Towers at all Nuke Plants? Apparently, water is a critical component for addressing failures. With a tower, you don't need pumps(gravity)

“UG X”

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#43 Mar 17, 2011
SWG UG wrote:
<quoted text>
They have recovered from all these very things in the past. The only difference this time is that all 3 things happened at the same time. This time around they will have a lot more help to rebuild. The way things are going it looks like they will lose some land due to contamination. Japan is a strong nation they will recover and probably rebound back better than they were before.
I have doubt they will be able to rebuild Japan. They need their Kuril islands back. I knew that is was much worse then they were telling the world. Those who relieved Chornobyl know just too well what happens when even "minor" accident happens at the reactor. To be honest, there are no minor accident when it comes to nuclear reactor.

Its going to blow big time. Water, even great amount of it will not stop chain reaction. It would have to be burred under sarcophagus to prevent radiation from leaking.
I doubt that anybody would want to live even close to zone of disaster after that.
How truly sad. If Russians have any decency what so ever, they should give Japan their islands back.
ronan

UK

#44 Mar 17, 2011
ana 8 wrote:
<quoted text> If Russians have any decency what so ever, they should give Japan their islands back.
How easy for you to make such suggestion !

Since: Jan 10

California USA

#45 Mar 17, 2011
"A United Nations forecast projects the radioactive plume from the Fukushima facility would reach the Aleutian Islands on Thursday and hit Southern California late on Friday, The New York Times reported."

I read some claims a radiation cloud already reached Bakersfield, CA yesterday (16th)
The government is deploying more radiation detectors, though they also say there is no health risk.

They think the fuel rods are exposed but the Japanese deny it.

Since: Jan 10

California USA

#46 Mar 17, 2011
Crap, maybe Robert is right and the world ends May 21st...

“UG X”

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#47 Mar 17, 2011
ronan wrote:
<quoted text>
How easy for you to make such suggestion !
Didn't you say once that its just a piece of land? Zhyrinovsky already made that suggestion and by the looks of it, it was as easy as one, two , three. So why are you constipation over it?
Scottar

Albuquerque, NM

#48 Mar 17, 2011
Pesky army wrote:
Anything designed by GE malfunctions, even you in NM should know it.
Perhaps, you are not being informed in your hick-town ?
Hick town?

Ever hear of Los Alomos?, Sandia Labs?

Where is your city?

What products of GE do you find defective?

Frankly you sound like some valley Cali dweeb talking out your ambiguous butt!

Here's what really went on with the plant. it could have been averted.

U.S. officials have been trying to find ways of helping Japan avert a nuclear core meltdown in ways the Japanese can accept. So far, it hasn’t been easy, a senior U.S. official told Newsmax.“We tried to airlift generators to Fukushima right at the beginning, but the Japanese refused our help,” the official said.“They are very proud.”

The U.S. now fears that a third reactor at the Fukishima plant could be in danger. 3 of the 6 reactors shut down correctly when the earthquake hit, but the tsunami cut short the cooling sequence on 3 other reactors by knocking out emergency power.“The Japanese had back-up generators, but they weren’t sealed as ours are,” the official said.“They have been bringing in these small batteries, but they only work for a few hours at a time.”

Without the back-up power, officials at Fukushima weren’t able to pump water into the reactors to keep the fuel covered, and had to vent steam from a cooling vessel on Saturday to prevent a catastrophic nuclear accident.“We think they have a core meltdown in one of the reactors, but because the containment hasn’t been breached it won’t be anything like Three Mile Island,” the official said.

The U.S. offered to airlift water-sealed generators “as big as a house” to Fukushima but the Japanese government refused the help. Only now are the Japanese and the rest of the world beginning to realize the scope of the catastrophe.“They are using all their helicopters trying to save people and bring in aid,” the official said.“They just don’t have enough airlift capacity to handle this.”

President Obama and vice-president Biden are both “big supporters” of nuclear power, the official said.“They want to make sure this doesn’t develop into another Three Mile Island, which shut down the U.S. nuclear power industry for 30 years.”

Japan’s solution has been to use small back-up batteries to operate pumps to flood the reactors with borated sea water, but it could take up to 10 days to completely fill the containment vessel, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power said on Saturday. Boric acid absorbs neutrons, slowing down the nuclear reaction, and is regularly added to cooling water in pressurized water reactors.“These are 40-year old reactors. You wouldn’t be having these problems with newer generation reactors,” the official said.

While President Obama has been widely criticized for caving in to demands from Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid to shut down work on the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage site, the Department of Energy has come up with an alternate plan to store spent fuel from U.S. nuclear power plants at dry storage sites in the desert for 50 years, then burn it up in new generator reactors expected to come on line by then.“In the end, this is a better alternative to burying the stuff for thousands of years,” the official said.

So where do you get off that American technology is deficient? You just don't have all the facts.
Scottar

Albuquerque, NM

#49 Mar 18, 2011
Cassandra_ wrote:
Crap, maybe Robert is right and the world ends May 21st...
Well here's 2 site to get a handle on your fears:

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2011...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/... #

The radiation fears are greatly exaggerated.

“Dimitri at the races in Russia”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#50 Mar 18, 2011
There´s no need to be panicky.
Japanese are not some dumb peasants from Ukrainka.
Ukras are so stupid, they even offer Chornobyl as sightseeing. Some say, the above Ms tractor had already spent several weeks there. No wonder, this beach whale is burnt completely.

Japan will recover within two years, completely.
Live Free or Die

Brunswick, ME

#51 Mar 18, 2011
Scottar wrote:
<quoted text>
What products of GE do you find defective?
So where do you get off that American technology is deficient? You just don't have all the facts.
LACK OF CONTAINMENT INTEGRITY DURING A NUCLEAR ACCIDENT

The purpose of a reactor containment system is to create a barrier against the release of radioactivity generated during nuclear power operations from certain "design basis" accidents, such as increased pressure from a single pipe break. It is important to understand that nuclear power plants are not required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to remain intact as a barrier to all possible accidents or "non-design basis" accidents, such as the melting of reactor fuel. All nuclear reactors can have accidents which can exceed the design basis of their containment.

But even basic questions about the the GE containment design remain unanswered and its integrity in serious doubt. For example, eighteen of these BWRs use a smaller GE Mark I pressure suppression containment conceived as a cost-saving alternative to the larger reinforced concrete containments marketed by competitors. A large inverted light-bulb-shaped steel structure called "the drywell" is constructed of a steel liner and a concrete drywell shield wall enclosing the reactor vessel. The atmosphere of the drywell is connected through large diameter pipes to a large hollow doughnut-shaped pressure suppression pool called "the torus", or wetwell, which is half-filled with water. In the event of a loss-of-coolant-accident (LOCA), steam would be released into the drywell and directed underwater in the torus where it is supposed to condense, thus suppressing a pressure buildup in the containment.

However, as early as 1972, Dr. Stephen Hanuaer, an Atomic Energy Commission safety official, recommended that the pressure suppression system be discontinued and any further designs not be accepted for construction permits. Shortly thereafter, three General Electric nuclear engineers publicly resigned their prestigious positions citing dangerous shortcomings in the GE design.

An NRC analysis of the potential failure of the Mark I under accident conditions concluded in a 1985 report that Mark I failure within the first few hours following core melt would appear rather likely."

In 1986, Harold Denton, then the NRC's top safety official, told an industry trade group that the "Mark I containment, especially being smaller with lower design pressure, in spite of the suppression pool, if you look at the WASH 1400 safety study, you'll find something like a 90% probability of that containment failing." In order to protect the Mark I containment from a total rupture it was determined necessary to vent any high pressure buildup. As a result, an industry workgroup designed and installed the "direct torus vent system" at all Mark I reactors. Operated from the control room, the vent is a reinforced pipe installed in the torus and designed to release radioactive high pressure steam generated in a severe accident by allowing the unfiltered release directly to the atmosphere through the 300 foot vent stack. Reactor operators now have the option by direct action to expose the public and the environment to unknown amounts of harmful radiation in order to "save containment." As a result of GE's design deficiency, the original idea for a passive containment system has been dangerously compromised and given over to human control with all its associated risks of error and technical failure.
Live Free or Die

Brunswick, ME

#52 Mar 18, 2011
cont.

DETERIORATION OF BWR SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS

It is becoming increasingly clear that the aging of reactor components poses serious economic and safety risks at BWRs. A report by NRC published in 1993 confirmed that age-related degradation in BWRs will damage or destroy many vital safety-related components inside the reactor vessel before the forty year license expires. The NRC report states "Failure of internals could create conditions that may challenge the integrity the reactor primary containment systems." The study looked at major components in the reactor vessel and found that safety-related parts were vulnerable to failure as the result of the deterioration of susceptible materials (Type 304 stainless steel ) due to chronic radiation exposure, heat, fatigue, and corrosive chemistry. One such safety-related component is the core shroud and it is also an indicator of cracking in other vital components through the reactor made of the same material.

Core Shroud Cracking

The core shroud is a large stainless steel cylinder of circumferentially welded plates surrounding the reactor fuel core. The shroud provides for the core geometry of the fuel bundles. It is integral to providing a refloodable compartment in the event of a loss-of-coolant-accident. Extensive cracking of circumferential welds on the core shroud has been discovered in a growing number of U.S. and foreign BWRs. A lateral shift along circumferential cracks at the welds by as little as 1/8 inch can result in the misalignment of the fuel and the inability to insert the control rods coupled with loss of fuel core cooling capability. This scenario can result in a core melt accident. A German utility operating a GE BWR where extensive core shroud cracking was identified estimated the cost of replacement at $65 million dollars. The Wuergassen reactor, Germany's oldest boiling water reactor, was closed in 1995 after wary German nuclear regulators rejected a plan to repair rather than replace the reactor's cracked core shroud.
Scottar

Albuquerque, NM

#53 Mar 18, 2011
Live Free or Die wrote:
cont.
DETERIORATION OF BWR SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS
It is becoming increasingly clear that the aging of reactor components poses serious economic and safety risks at BWRs.
Pesky was condemning the engineers. Engineers will design to given parameters and constraints. So it is the regulatory oversight and corporate ethics that is the issue here.

Yes, the BWRs are obsolete and more efficient technology is the factor here. The design safety flaws can be dealt with. Just don't condemn the whole GE Corp. for one div. and ditto for the nuclear industry.

Wind and solar will not replace fossil fuel efficiencies and economics. So nuclear is the remaining fall back with more efficient and economical designs such as LFTR or HTGR, Gen IV over Gen I and II.

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