reply to post by Aslpride
The reactors which are in danger are in a position where merely turning off the power, means a significant increase in the risk of a containment
failiure, and resultant explosion, the throwoff from which would be terrifyingly radioactive, and spew potentialy hundreds of meters into the air,
before being blown away on the wind, and dependant on windspeed, height of the plume, and various other meteorological factors, may fall on populated
areas of not just Japan, but any region which is within range of the predicted spread of the radiological matter in the cloud. Things as they are mean
that for some of the reactors, they can at least attempt to control how serious any detonations, exposures and so on, may be.
The trouble with the concrete idea , is that apart from the fact that concrete wont do an awful lot, it would be impossible to get the man power, or
the machinery necessary to carry out such an operation, into the hotzone without putting every member of the work force in serious danger of radiation
related death. It would be close to suicide, even in the best rad proof suit you could get hold of, to go near ANY of those reactors for more than
half an hour, and it would take significant amounts of time to perform any filling operation to a standard which would render the idea meritable.
Furthermore, you have to look at Chrenobyl, and the sarcophagus that they built there , to understand the material density required to contain
seriously radioactive matter. Yes, the situation was different there, but the solution to exposed , melted reactors, is pretty much going to have to
be the same, but for modern alterations in terms of the chemical composition of any proposed material used to clad the thing.
The trouble with nuclear power plants, is that in the event of a catastrophic failiure of any significant part of the saftey structure, like the
cooling systems for instance, you run the risk of putting in motion a chain of events which cannot pheasibly be prevented from running thier course.
After a certain point, the detonations that we have seen, and the resulting damage to containment of the fuel rods, and exposure of spent rods, is
almost certain. You have to catch potential problems so damned early, and have response teams in full ready mode, and on the scene in minuites to
prevent the sort of trouble we are seeing here.
Realisticaly speaking, that was never going to happen during a major hydrological disaster, and in a quake zone.