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CME risk and effects on nuclear power

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posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 02:37 PM
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As we approach solar maximum in the next year or so, there is potential for another CME on the scale of the 1859 event.

This could possibly kill all electric power, rendering it irrepairable for months, possibly years.
All nuclear power stations would lose power to their coolant pumps, leading to meltdown of nuclear fuel rods,
which would be pretty much apocalyptic!

Obviously, the events in Japan have got me thinking about this. Are my fears incorrect?
Any members out there who are better versed than i am on this subject may be able to clarify, and hopefully allay my fears.
Any feedback in this matter would be most appreciated!




posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by bargoose
 


It certainly is a possibility .. although a large enough CME would make a nuclear meltdown the least of my concerns.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 02:50 PM
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Reactors have backup generators, including those in Japan. Had there not been a tsunami the Japanese reactors would not have had problems.

Pretty poor planning on their part. No contingency for tsunami from the people who invented the term.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 02:53 PM
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Those backup generators run on fossil fuels don't they?

So after a few days to a week, they would probably run out of fuel huh?

Also, why can't the coolant systems run off the power generated by the nuclear reactor in the first place? It seems really odd...there must be a reason I just don't know about yet.

Anyways there is over 400 nuclear power stations world wide.
Not to mention hundreds of power plants inside of ships/submarines.

Imagine having 100s of meltdowns all at once.

Perhaps we should start considering finding a shelter underground haha.
I know I'm mulling the ideas over a bit...


Chart from Wikipedia...
edit on 21-3-2011 by muzzleflash because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 02:57 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


So assuming the back up generators run on diesel or petrol, which would eventually run out in a major CME event, i'm wondering how long the fuel rods take to cool under normal operating conditions from the coolant pumps. Any ideas?



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by bargoose
 

I don't know.
Hopefully that is considered when planning generator fuel supplies.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:12 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


No power plant can run off the electricity it generates. That’s because the turbine generator’s voltage is different than the plants main bus voltage.

With that said, any plant that has steam driven pumps could run for a long time just on its backup diesels.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:12 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Over 400? Wow. If my fears of solar max were to come to fruition then there isn't much hope then.
Imagine the toxicity from that lot failing



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:18 PM
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reply to post by SirMike
 

Steam driven pumps. That makes sense.
Is that a common design?



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:36 PM
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This is already being discussed in the following thread:

Japan Reveals A Whole New SHTF Scenario

I would love to hear from several great minds about this particular scenario. There are many, many, many nuclear power plants. In the event of a sustained worldwide power failure, all it takes is a failure of diesel generators or a logistical failure of fuel delivery to a few power plants, and we have a major, simultaneous SHTF scenario in more than one location.

Phage, why would you assume that the logistics of emergency fuel delivery at nuclear sites all over the world would have been considered/accounted for in the emergency plans? I mean, the tsunami-vulnerable Fukushima Dai'ishi site did not think it was a problem to locate their diesel generators on low ground. How many other obvious design flaws have been overlooked at other locations? It requires review.

I think that backup steam-driven pumps make way, way, way more sense. In fact, it would solve the logistical problem entirely, provided that "normal" power could be restored eventually. How many reactors have this option installed and how many have diesel generators? How much diesel do they have stored on-site? What are the other options?
edit on 21-3-2011 by OuttaHere because: just... because.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by OuttaHere
 

Yes. I pointed out the apparent poor planning in Japan. Though they were designed for a 7 meter wave, the one that arrived was 10.

I said "hopefully" the amount of generator fuel available would be sufficient to bring about a cold shutdown if necessary.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


A RCIC system (reactor core isolation cooling) has steam driven turbopumps as a safety feature and is a design feature on all BWR's. Fukushima had them, that’s what the 8 hour battery was supplying power to .. the valves, instruments and controls that made the turbine powered pumps able to work. The pumps are sized to keep the minimum required cooling water flow through the reactor on just the steam generated from the decay heat.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:47 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 




I said "hopefully" the amount of generator fuel available would be sufficient to bring about a cold shutdown if necessary.


So you did. My apologies.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 04:02 PM
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So if i'm understanding this correctly, the steam generated from the reactors which usually drives the main turbine and main generator for electicity production, can be diverted to run pumps to keep itself cool?
I wonder how many nuclear power stations actually have this particular backup facility in place though.
All should have it by law, but there is possibly less than a year to get it sorted.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by bargoose
 


All BWR's have them.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 04:24 PM
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reply to post by SirMike
 


I'm possibly being dumb here, but what does BWR stand for?



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by bargoose
 


BWR = boiling water reactor
PWR = pressuized water reactor

Fukushima has all BWR's.




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