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Originally posted by fixer1967
If a nuclear reactor loses power it has to be shut down or melt down. To do this cadmium control rods are lowered in the core to stop the reaction. If there is no power from back up generator or batteries or the controls are not working then the rods have to lowered by manually.
The persons that had to do that mostly would not live long afterwords, that would depend on any damage to the core and how close they had to get to shut it down.
it is an urban legend.
Cooling down (operating temperature to room temperature) requires no more than 3 days; I've regularly done it in less than 3 shifts.
Once cooled, the reactor (after about 4 days) is generating roughly 0.005% of its original heat. This amount of heat does require a small cooler, unless the top of the core is opened to atmosphere in the containment - as is usually done for normal refueling outages.
If the core cover is removed, the only thing needed is to periodically add clean water. No other power is needed, though all utilities are required by law to keep two alternate sources available.
The claims that backup power generators are unreliable (these have been repeatedly spread by a MA democratic congressman's office whose staffers hate and distruct nuclear power) are simply false. There is no other description nor excuse needed, these claims are simply wrong. Testing of these backup power supplies is also mandated in the operating license, and all plants regularly operate them.
Originally posted by punctual
That's pretty scary to live near one of those plants....but damn if you have to live near one, they should at least offer you free nuclear power so that is some benefit to you having to live near one.....i'm sure they could figure out a way to do that...if they wanted to