(visit the link for the full news article)
“This reveals a far greater problem than has been previously disclosed, and raises serious questions about whether it is safe to restart either unit,” said Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear expert at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
The new data shows that more than 3,400 steam generator tubes in the new steam generators at San Onofre have been found to be damaged — about 1,800 in Unit 3 and 1,600 in Unit 2 — he said.
The idea of TerraPower is that, instead of burning a part of uranium -- the one percent, which is the U235 -- we decided, "Let's burn the 99 percent, the U238." It is kind of a crazy idea. In fact, people had talked about it for a long time, but they could never simulate properly whether it would work or not, and so it's through the advent of modern supercomputers that now you can simulate and see that, yes, with the right material's approach, this looks like it would work.
And, because you're burning that 99 percent, you have greatly improved cost profile. You actually burn up the waste, and you can actually use as fuel all the leftover waste from today's reactors. So, instead of worrying about them, you just take that. It's a great thing. It breathes this uranium as it goes along, so it's kind of like a candle. You can see it's a log there, often referred to as a traveling wave reactor. In terms of fuel, this really solves the problem. I've got a picture here of a place in Kentucky. This is the leftover, the 99 percent, where they've taken out the part they burn now, so it's called depleted uranium. That would power the U.S. for hundreds of years. And, simply by filtering seawater in an inexpensive process, you'd have enough fuel for the entire lifetime of the rest of the planet.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 1,300 tubes that carry radioactive water inside the San Onofre nuclear plant in Southern California are so damaged that they will be taken out of service, the utility that runs the plant said Tuesday.
The figures released by Southern California Edison are the latest disclosure in a probe of equipment problems that have kept the coastal plant sidelined for more than three months.
At issue has been the integrity of tubing that snakes through the plant's four steam generators, which were installed in a multimillion-dollar makeover in 2009 and 2010.
Originally posted by -W1LL
why is it that these predictable disasters are being ignored and downplayed japan
is in the middle of a disaster
ROSEMEAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Southern California Edison (SCE) has released steam generator tube wear data associated with the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The data show that most of the wear, or tube wall thinning, was less than 20 percent. This is far below the 35 percent wall-thinning limit, which would require that the tube be plugged. The majority of this wear is related to support structures. The nature of the support structure wear is not unusual in new steam generators and is part of the equipment settling in.
“We’re using this information and additional detailed data collected through testing to develop our repair plans according to best practices and industry standards, particularly the data on the unexpected tube-to-tube wear,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Pete Dietrich. “Safety continues to be the guiding principle behind all the work we are doing.”
The data include the various types of wear on the tubes and the number of tubes affected.
There were three major categories of wear: anti-vibration bar wear, tube support plate wear and tube-to-tube wear. Two minor categories of wear were also included: retainer bar wear and wear due to a foreign object. The foreign object wear, also not unusual in new steam generators, was only found in Unit 2 and was caused by a piece of welding material about the size of a quarter rubbing against two tubes.
In Unit 2, 1,595 tubes showed wear of some type and 510 tubes were ultimately plugged — six tubes for showing wear of more than 35 percent and the rest for preventative measures.
In Unit 3, 1,806 tubes showed wear of some type and 807 tubes were ultimately plugged — 381 tubes for wear of more than 35 percent and the rest for preventative measures.
The complete data for both units is available on the commission website for SONGS information: www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactor/songs/tube-degradation.html.
Both units of the plant are currently safely shut down for inspections, analysis and tests. Unit 2 was taken out of service Jan. 9 for a planned outage. Unit 3 was safely taken offline Jan. 31 after station operators detected a leak in a steam generator tube. The units will remain shut down until SCE and the commission are satisfied that the units are safe to operate.
Originally posted by OccamsRazor04
reply to post by -W1LL
Only one word is needed for a reply.
This is becoming all to familiar our 30yr old design limit on nuclear plants has come and passed for some and our energy infrastructure is due to fail.
Lovely. Nuclear power needs to go. Until we can properly dispose of nuclear waste, until we can properly respond to disasters etc etc.
? Old plants with old gear and check the EPA with their perfectly disaterous regulations.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to perform an industry wide audit of procedures at these nuclear sites, and to perform random inspections. If discrepancies arise? Shut them down, and fix them!
Again Why do we put these things in populated areas, on the ocean, in earthquake country?
Originally posted by clarkness
Also U-235 is a lot more controllable than U-238. Breeder reactors can also be dangerous if not designed correctly (See Chernobyl).
Originally posted by clarkness
reply to post by Long Lance
Yes the RMBK is more of a breeder reactor. Any reactor that does not use enriched uranium and operates for the main purpose of obtaining bomb material is basically a breeder.