a reply to: DJMSN
That's not exactly a fair statement on Fukushima which occurred due to an act of nature and not due to compliance or regulatory lapses. An
earthquake or even a serious flooding event from a bad hurricane could have a nuclear facility here in the same situation.
Fukushima was built as a boiling water reactor (BWR) instead of a pressurized water reactor (PWR). BWR designs are much cheaper and faster to
construct, but are also much more prone to natural disasters than PWR designs.
The diesel fuel for Fukushima was stored in a lower elevation, which lead to contamination in the case of the tsunami, something that is common in
The plant was not designed to withstand an earthquake of the magnitude expected according to NRC design criteria.
When the plant loses power in a SCRAM, there are two backups to allow it to shut down safely. Primary is the diesel generators, which had their fuel
contaminated as mentioned. Secondary is batteries, designed to supply SCRAM power for 10 hours maximum. When the diesel generators failed and SCRAM
took longer than anticipated due to damage, auxiliary generators were brought in to handle the overload. The plugs were not the same and they had to
be hot-wired. In order to do so, company policy demanded that the workers get approval from headquarters first
, which directly led to a
temporary loss of power at the plant and the failure of the SCRAM process.
Had any one of those mistakes listed above been corrected, there would have been no meltdown. Had the plant used PWR design, the damage would have
been mostly confined to secondary sytems; BWR design uses no secondary system. Had the diesel fuel been located higher, the tsunami would not have
contaminated it and the SCRAM would have been successful. Had the plant been built to stricter seismic specifications, the damage would have been less
severe, allowing for a faster SCRAM. Had the auxiliary generators been connected when they arrived the SCRAM would have been successful.
Fukushima was a comedy of errors executed in turn by TEPCO. The true danger in nuclear energy is people trying to say it was just a fluke; it wasn't.
It was an experiment into the reality of the China Syndrome and a stark example of how NOT to build and operate a nuclear plant.
Three Mile Island still occured under the same regulatory processes in place today, although I am sure we have made changes as we learned from
the incidents inside and outside the US.
Three Mile Island was not a meltdown; it was a radiation release to avoid a meltdown. The actual cause was operator error based on faulty sensors
inside the reactor chamber. The reactor at the plant I worked at was of the same design, but had several built-in safeguards to prevent another such
incident. So yes, we have made improvements.
The NRC, as this story shows, is much more proactive than any global regulatory body. Obviously.
edit on 10/14/2019 by TheRedneck because: (no reason given)