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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wow.

The pictures coming out of Japan are just horrifying!  It seems that our little Gulf Hurricanes are nothing compared to the power of an earthquake and the resultant tsunami! 


It boggles Miss Ginger's tiny little mind to imagine what devastation like this must look like!  She remembers the damage in the neighborhood after Hurricane Ike, but a hurricane covers much less ground than an earthquake and tsunami!  Oh, the humanity!




Now, it appears some degree of nuclear meltdown is underway.  This link takes you to an alarming depiction of what can happen! 


Now, certainly, Miss G is no nuclear physicist.. as a matter of fact, she had to use the dictionary to spell it...       ...but, there are a few things she understands here, and even more that she doesn't.




First of all, she is aware that this is a completely different type of reactor than the one that cause Russia's devastating Chernobyl disaster,  so hopefully we don't have to fear anything like that.  She also understands at this point that the Japanese company that owns the reactors is willing to sacrifice the unit's future in order to protect the safety of the country and its people- by flooding the core with seawater,  they will render the aging plant useless. Miss Ginger can't help but wonder if an American company would ruin their plant to protect the people? And she is aware that the Japanese plant was of modern design, with all expected safety systems, and was well-managed, well-run,  and considered well-equipped for its situation.


But here's what Miss Ginger can't wrap her tiny drag queen brain around:  If protecting the cooling system is the crucial part of preventing a nuclear meltdown, why can't the plant be designed to be self-sustaining, so it creates the energy it needs to cool itself down?  Obviously, the power grid will be compromised in a natural disaster, and that's what triggers the shutdown in the first place.  But diesel generators don't seem like the smartest equipment to use as a backup.  They are restricted by fuel capacity, and, as discovered by this particular incident, are susceptible to flooding and physical damage.


Why could there not be a system to use heat from the reactor itself to create the energy needed to drive a cooling system?  Surely there is a way to safely generate some amount of steam from the hobbled reactor; enough to drive an electric generator that could run a cooling unit?!  It seems to Miss G that there could be a lot more designed into the plants to ensure they can shut down safely in case of an unanticipated disaster!


Does anyone know what the "worst case scenario" could be? Is there any risk to the US?





2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The worst thing would be the water is contaminated and fish die or become mutants. If it spreads in the air, it is no way to predict. It is worse the Hiroshima in that Japan is so over populated.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Hope you have been reading my updates. Bottom line, when you insert the control rods to shut down the plant, then there is only decay heat left, and only for days.

New generation plants have passive safety systems that do not require support systems.

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