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Prairie Island nuclear plant experiences 'unusual event'

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posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 01:41 AM
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Prairie Island nuclear plant experiences 'unusual event'


www.postbulletin.com

RED WING — The Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Facility located six miles from downtown Red Wing experienced its second issue of 2012 on Tuesday morning.

Officials at the nuclear plant reported an "unusual event" at 6:24 a.m. after there was a decrease in water levels inside the Reactor Coolant System in Unit 2 during a scheduled refueling outage. According to a press release from Xcel Energy, there was no release of radioactive materials and there is no danger to the public or plant employees. Unit 1 remained online and fully operational.
(visit the link for the full news article)


edit on 7-3-2012 by Anim8tr because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-3-2012 by Anim8tr because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 01:41 AM
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Earlier this year there was a similar event where the Prairie Island nuclear plant reached its highest nuclear alert level in history. Now its happening again and they call it an "unusual event". Still they say its all under control and there's nothing to worry about. TEPCO much?

So what's to worry here?

After the bleach spill in January 2012, Red Wing city council members urged the community to begin conducting live drills, including evacuation, to be better prepared in the event of a more serious emergency from Prairie Island.

Oh, good so they are doing something about it...NOT

"discussions for an expanded procedure remain in their infancy, according to Red Wing city council member Lisa Bayley."

"We take everything that happens at the plant very seriously, ..." she said.

Sure




www.postbulletin.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 01:45 AM
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Doesnt it really depend on what an unusual event really is before we start freaking out?
edit on 7-3-2012 by bknapple32 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 01:51 AM
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reply to post by bknapple32
 


If the unusal event includes a a decrease in water levels inside the Reactor Coolant System, yes. Especially if they didn't know how it happened. I wouldn't freak out at the momemt, but rather stay on my toes incase we get a 2nd Fukushima.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 02:08 AM
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yea but thats an if, we really have no clue what it means



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 02:18 AM
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Can we say "Drama?"

Unusual events are the marked experience of life, in general. That is why reactors are built with failsafes and come with operating procedures that prevent unusual events from becoming bad events (presuming the unusual event, left unchecked, would have caused problems).

The problem with attempting to compare this to something like Fukishima is the lack of a giant wall of water physically destroying the compound and compromising the vast majority of the reactor's systems.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 02:28 AM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
(presuming the unusual event, left unchecked, would have caused problems)


The problem is that it's being left unchecked. The council urged for drills, evacuation ect. but noone actually done anything yet. IF (HUGE "IF") we have a meltdown situation there, that area is going to be in big trouble.


Originally posted by Aim64C
The problem with attempting to compare this to something like Fukishima is the lack of a giant wall of water physically destroying the compound and compromising the vast majority of the reactor's systems


I have to give you credit for this one. The Fukushima incident is a bad comparison with whats happening on Prairie Island, I exaggerate when it comes to nuclear events. However if you would combine these steady failures in the plant with a natural disaster, relations could be made.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 07:32 AM
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Thank god the Prairie Island Reactors are PWR's Pressurized Water Reactors, which are inherently safer than their counterpart BWR's Boiling Water Reactors. I live in Midwest MN myself about 70 Miles from Monticello where their is a BWR Plant, besides a few incidents their track records have been quite good over the year, but they have some age to them being from the early 70's. and have extended both Licenses for another 20+ years. The big trouble with Prairie Island is their storage facilities. And the fact they are in the Mississippi River Flood plane.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 07:46 AM
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reply to post by Aim64C
 



The problem with attempting to compare this to something like Fukishima is the lack of a giant wall of water physically destroying the compound and compromising the vast majority of the reactor's systems.

Good point, but.........

Where was the tsunami that caused Three Mile Island?????



I guess i should add that there was no natural catastrophe at Chernobyl that destroyed a compound and compromised the reactors systems.
edit on 7-3-2012 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by Anim8tr
 



The problem is that it's being left unchecked.


You and I are coming from two different focuses. I look at it from the operator's standpoint. You look at it from the government's standpoint. From the operator's standpoint, the "unusual event" never threatened the function of the reactor, and would not have interfered with the normal operation of the reactor's many failsafes to prevent a dangerous situation.

Thus, there's no real need to get excited about it. You log it in the records and have maintenance crews take a look at probable causes on the next scheduled cycle.


IF (HUGE "IF") we have a meltdown situation there, that area is going to be in big trouble.


I think it's more important that cities ensure they pay their contracts up for weather and disaster alert systems. Branson found this out not too long ago when a tornado came tearing up 'the strip' without any warning due to failure on behalf of the city to pay its bills in a timely manner.

Once society is prepared to handle the more frequent and likely disasters, we can address the dramatized fears of nuclear meltdown.

reply to post by butcherguy
 



Where was the tsunami that caused Three Mile Island?????


www.world-nuclear.org...

You're looking at apples and oranges. Even if the disaster had been ten times worse and had been resulting in a melt-down situation, there are methods to bring the reactor under control without an elevated threat to the surrounding population. This would be made quite simple by the presence of infrastructure that areas following the Tsunami lacked.


I guess i should add that there was no natural catastrophe at Chernobyl that destroyed a compound and compromised the reactors systems.


www.world-nuclear.org...


On 25 April, prior to a routine shutdown, the reactor crew at Chernobyl 4 began preparing for a test to determine how long turbines would spin and supply power to the main circulating pumps following a loss of main electrical power supply. This test had been carried out at Chernobyl the previous year, but the power from the turbine ran down too rapidly, so new voltage regulator designs were to be tested.

A series of operator actions, including the disabling of automatic shutdown mechanisms, preceded the attempted test early on 26 April. By the time that the operator moved to shut down the reactor, the reactor was in an extremely unstable condition. A peculiarity of the design of the control rods caused a dramatic power surge as they were inserted into the reactor


"Sienar Systems' basic TIE fighter–a commodity which, after hydrogen and stupidity, was the most plentiful in the galaxy."
―Corran Horn



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 10:39 AM
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The reactor is being re fueled like many are this time of the year. Just a paperwork issue at this point. You will hear a lot of suuff because thanks to Enron they cannot refuel or plan maintance during the summer



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 11:18 AM
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reply to post by Aim64C
 



You're looking at apples and oranges. Even if the disaster had been ten times worse and had been resulting in a melt-down situation, there are methods to bring the reactor under control without an elevated threat to the surrounding population. This would be made quite simple by the presence of infrastructure that areas following the Tsunami lacked.

Actually, I am not looking at fruit at all.


I am looking at failures of nuclear power plants due to human error. I guess I must have been way too vague, but that was my point.

As in...."We don't need any tsunami to have a nuclear accident, we can have them due to our own ineptness and stupidity alone, thank you."

And the last part of your quote shows that you were not following my point. TMI and Chernobyl both ran away.... even with ALL the infrastructure present and available to " bring the reactor under control without an elevated threat to the surrounding population. ".


edit on 7-3-2012 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 



And the last part of your quote shows that you were not following my point. TMI and Chernobyl both ran away.... even with ALL the infrastructure present and available to " bring the reactor under control without an elevated threat to the surrounding population. ".


Not a heavy reader, I see.

Chernobyl did not have the infrastructure present. It was a research reactor and a unique (and fundamentally flawed) design. The operators deliberately disabled the safeguards and compromised the infrastructure designed to keep the reactor under control.

It wasn't operator error. It was complete negligence.

In the case of Three Mile Island:


The accident to unit 2 happened at 4 am on 28 March 1979 when the reactor was operating at 97% power. It involved a relatively minor malfunction in the secondary cooling circuit which caused the temperature in the primary coolant to rise. This in turn caused the reactor to shut down automatically. Shut down took about one second. At this point a relief valve failed to close, but instrumentation did not reveal the fact, and so much of the primary coolant drained away that the residual decay heat in the reactor core was not removed. The core suffered severe damage as a result.

The operators were unable to diagnose or respond properly to the unplanned automatic shutdown of the reactor. Deficient control room instrumentation and inadequate emergency response training proved to be root causes of the accident


It's the 10% rule. You have to be at least 10% smarter than the equipment you are attempting to use.

The accidents are completely different in nature. Japan had issues with a runaway nuclear reactor following a natural disaster. Russia durka-durred with their reactor and injected coolant straight onto an overheating core with a predictable and devastating explosion. The U.S. had a reactor that was smarter than the people operating it, and were left scratching their heads following an automatic shutdown of the reactor (and unindicated bleed off of coolant).

The operator error in this instance never had the capacity to result in a 'runaway' reactor.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
reply to post by butcherguy
 



And the last part of your quote shows that you were not following my point. TMI and Chernobyl both ran away.... even with ALL the infrastructure present and available to " bring the reactor under control without an elevated threat to the surrounding population. ".


Not a heavy reader, I see.

Chernobyl did not have the infrastructure present. It was a research reactor and a unique (and fundamentally flawed) design. The operators deliberately disabled the safeguards and compromised the infrastructure designed to keep the reactor under control.

It wasn't operator error. It was complete negligence.

In the case of Three Mile Island:


The accident to unit 2 happened at 4 am on 28 March 1979 when the reactor was operating at 97% power. It involved a relatively minor malfunction in the secondary cooling circuit which caused the temperature in the primary coolant to rise. This in turn caused the reactor to shut down automatically. Shut down took about one second. At this point a relief valve failed to close, but instrumentation did not reveal the fact, and so much of the primary coolant drained away that the residual decay heat in the reactor core was not removed. The core suffered severe damage as a result.

The operators were unable to diagnose or respond properly to the unplanned automatic shutdown of the reactor. Deficient control room instrumentation and inadequate emergency response training proved to be root causes of the accident


It's the 10% rule. You have to be at least 10% smarter than the equipment you are attempting to use.

The accidents are completely different in nature. Japan had issues with a runaway nuclear reactor following a natural disaster. Russia durka-durred with their reactor and injected coolant straight onto an overheating core with a predictable and devastating explosion. The U.S. had a reactor that was smarter than the people operating it, and were left scratching their heads following an automatic shutdown of the reactor (and unindicated bleed off of coolant).

The operator error in this instance never had the capacity to result in a 'runaway' reactor.
Thank you for completely backing up my post. I said ineptness and operator error.

The Soviets were inept.


It was complete negligence.

Thank you.

TMI had operators that were not up to the task.


It's the 10% rule. You have to be at least 10% smarter than the equipment you are attempting to use.

Thank you.
What did I read incorrectly....that you wrote???
I can see where you would be sensitive, if you are in nuclear plant operations in some capacity. I'm guessing, is it so?




The operator error in this instance never had the capacity to result in a 'runaway' reactor.

BTW, you can call it what you like.... but TMI had significant core melt. Is that normal operations??? Talk about heavy reading...... some might call it crap.

Half the core melted at TMI.

Although the TMI-2 plant suffered a severe core meltdown, the most dangerous kind of nuclear power accident, it did not produce the worst-case consequences that reactor experts had long feared. In a worst-case accident, the melting of nuclear fuel would lead to a breach of the walls of the containment building and release massive quantities of radiation to the environment. But this did not occur as a result of the three Mile Island accident.


NRC Backgrounder: TMI

edit on 7-3-2012 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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It was a research reactor and a unique (and fundamentally flawed) design.
reply to post by Aim64C
 
Another thing, Mr. Heavy Reader.....

Your statement that I quoted here is only partly right. Chernobyl was a flawed design. It was not a research reactor. There were four of those reactors at Chernobyl because it was a nuclear power generating plant. It's purpose was to generate electricity.
Each of the four RBMK type reactors were capable of producing 1,000 MW of electrical power. There were two more reactors under construction at the plant when the accident happened.

There are two other nuclear power plants of the RBMK design, Leningrad Power Station and Kursk Power Station. They still produce electricity. Leningrad is slated to shut down reactors in 2018 and 2020.

Does this sound like a Research reactor to you?

I hope someone is asking the important question right now..... Why are there reactors of the admittedly flawed RBMK design operating today?



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