Comments about technological history, system fractures, and human resilience from James R. Chiles, the author of Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology (HarperBusiness 2001; paperback 2002) and The God Machine: From Boomerangs to Black Hawks, the Story of the Helicopter (Random House, 2007, paperback 2008)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan Temblor: Reactor links and questions

A few of my questions about the Fukushima I cooling crisis at Unit 1 and possibly Unit 3:

What's the cloud visible in videos? It looks like concrete dust to me.

How much of the crisis was really due to lack of emergency generation capacity, and how much to difficulty of getting access to controls and instrumentation?

How did radioactivity get into the control room?

Is the primary containment intact?

What's the status of the spent fuel in the pool next to the drywell? Once the secondary containment shell blew out, it would appear that a fair amount of structural steel and concrete fell in there.

I'll be adding some links, but in the meantime here's a good one from David Lochbaum on the workings and layout of the troubled reactor.

1 comment:

  1. METHINKS HI-TECH NUCLEAR REACTORS NEED AND ENTIRE SEPERATE SYSTEM OF EMERGENCY COOLING IN THE FACE OF CATASTROPHIC LOSS OF POWER TO PRIMARY COOLING METHODS-ALL MECHANICAL VALVES, ALL MANPOWER CONTROLED-TO PREVENT THIS IN THE FUTURE. ALSO-SHUNT PIPES TO VENT HYDROGEN TO AWAY TOWERS TO SEQUESTER EXPLOSIONS. REMEMBER-NATURAL DISASTERS AND EMP WEAPONS MUST ALWAYS BE IN THE BACK OF ENGINEER'S MINDS AS THEY DESIGN ALTERNATE VENTING SYSTEMS.

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