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Japan

TEPCO Readies Plan To Bring Reactor Under Control 116

Posted by timothy
from the no-dear-the-heavy-gloves dept.
Kyusaku Natsume writes "TEPCO has released details of their plan to bring Unit 1 of Fukushima Daiichi under control, to improve the working conditions inside the reactor building of this unit and install a new cooling system. From the success of this operation maybe we will know how they will address the emergency in the remaining damaged nuclear reactors."
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TEPCO Readies Plan To Bring Reactor Under Control

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  • Just Unit 1? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psx29 (538840) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @11:11PM (#36044112)
    Wonder what they plan to do about Unit 2, 3 and the spent fuel pool in 4?
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Stretch goals.

    • by afidel (530433)
      Take the lessons learned from unit one and apply to the rest? Personally I think they should have just let the units melt into the bottom of the containment vessel, far less radiation would have been released and unless the operators think they know more than the engineers that designed the containment vessel...
      • Personally I think they should have just let the units melt into the bottom of the containment vessel, far less radiation would have been released and unless the operators think they know more than the engineers that designed the containment vessel...

        Since it's very likely Unit 2's containment vessel is cracked/damaged, that would probably be a really bad idea...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          As bad as TEPCO is, thank God *you're* not in charge then. "just let the units melt into the bottom of the containment vessel"? "far less radiation would have been released" !?!

          Wherever you're getting your news or scientific information from, you may want to do some actual research on your own.

          Greg (in Tokyo, very happy with the way TEPCO is handling things now..)

          • by afidel (530433)
            Uh, the analysis of the containment vessel from TMI #2 showed that even with 20T of just melted core having slid to the bottom the there was never in any danger of breaching. That's why the general consensus I have read is that if you're not trying to save the reactor for further operation the best plan is to just leave it the hell alone and let it meltdown and cool down before attempting anything further. There's a reason no significant amount of radiation was released from TMI.
            • by mug funky (910186)

              TMI didn't get hit by a freaking 9.0 earthquake and 14 metre tsunami...

              you think perhaps that could cause some damage?

            • Didn't hurt that the cooling systems were intact at TMI.

            • by MightyYar (622222)

              TMI is not a boiling water reactor. It has the massive containment structure of a PWR. There is a BWR in New Jersey with a PWR-style containment vessel - I think so that the plant could be built near heavily populated areas - but it's not common.

            • by dbIII (701233)
              If you knew anything at all about that incident you would know it was sheer dumb luck that it happened in a structure designed to withstand strike from a large aircraft from the nearby airport so it was the strongest reactor containment vessel built to that date. That's the reason. The lesson was learned and significant changes were made to later plants and whatever existing plants could be modified. In Japan it's a different situation and a very different design so your incredibly and childishly simplis
      • Re:Just Unit 1? (Score:4, Informative)

        by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday May 06, 2011 @01:04AM (#36044574)

        I have never seen an industrial plant of any kind where operators are not ruled by engineers with deep knowledge of the process. Operators are button pushers and bring units into certain positions, but it is ultimately the decision of qualified professional engineers who decide on what operating point to bring a unit to, who diagnose why a unit isn't behaving exactly as predicted, and when the shit hits the fan, if they can then they go running into the control room providing live technical support.

        This can be taken to extremes and I've even heard of Russian oil refineries who's operators aren't allowed to make any changes without authorisation unless an operating envelope is breached. There are few if any places where operators have true autonomy as to how to run their plants.

        • Re:Just Unit 1? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Friday May 06, 2011 @06:04AM (#36045564)

          I have never seen an industrial plant of any kind where operators are not ruled by engineers with deep knowledge of the process. Operators are button pushers and bring units into certain positions, but it is ultimately the decision of qualified professional engineers who decide on what operating point to bring a unit to, who diagnose why a unit isn't behaving exactly as predicted, and when the shit hits the fan, if they can then they go running into the control room providing live technical support.

          This can be taken to extremes and I've even heard of Russian oil refineries who's operators aren't allowed to make any changes without authorisation unless an operating envelope is breached. There are few if any places where operators have true autonomy as to how to run their plants.

          You've obviously never seen a nuke plant in operation. Their operators aren't "button pushers;" rather they have an in-depth knowledge not only of the physical operation of the plant but the theory as well. They complete years of training and retraining, and in many cases they are engineers as well. They run the plant with the support of the engineers responsible for the various systems. When a problem occurs, the systems engineers do help with the diagnosis, but as part of the operations team, not as some sort of all knowing overseer.

          There are few if any places where operators have true autonomy as to how to run their plants.

          One of which is a nuke plant. In fact, no one can enter the control room without the operator's permission; for in the control room, they are the ultimate decision makers, very much like the crew on an aircraft.

          • So nuke operators aren't like those portrayed in the Foundation *logy? :-)

          • by thegarbz (1787294)

            Your confusing my definition of operators and operations. All the plants I have seen have had engineers as part of the operations team. They are often called Ops Engineers and they work directly with operators side by side deciding on how things run, but in many cases they do not run out and turn a valve. I was not talking about some fancy oversight engineering division. I have never seen anything like that. Often actually it's some process engineering group who make suggestions and only ever suggestions wh

            • Your confusing my definition of operators and operations. All the plants I have seen have had engineers as part of the operations team. They are often called Ops Engineers and they work directly with operators side by side deciding on how things run, but in many cases they do not run out and turn a valve. I was not talking about some fancy oversight engineering division. I have never seen anything like that. Often actually it's some process engineering group who make suggestions and only ever suggestions which the ops engineers evaluate, and ultimately the operators carry out. Operations are king and I haven't seen a plant which doesn't have "Operations personnel only" written at the entry of the control room.

              Yes, the control room is the center of the known universe. Just ask any operator.

              I think we are in general talking about the same thing, and that is that the operations department is not a dumb group relying on some other mysterious knowledgeable entity, but rather a group who in themselves contain the vast knowledge necessary to run the plant and the intelligence to figure out what happens outside normal operations.

              It sounds like we are. In a nuke control room, you typically have a Shift Supervisor, with a Senior Reactor Operator license, who has overall responsibility for safe operation. The rest of the team are the reactor operators - who operate equipment in the control room, plant operators who operate equipment outside the control room, and a shift technical advisor (STA) who is the engineering support. They are a team, since safe o

        • In other places operators are expected to know the plant, take years before they are promoted to be operators and they are paid accordingly. If somebody is going to have to make quick decisions that can cost or save millions in production or repairs you want them to know what they are doing. At one time I was an engineer backing up the operators in a steel rod rolling mill but I did not have the Godlike understanding assumed by the poster above and the operator that had worked in every part of the mill fo
          • by Vegeta99 (219501)

            I'll join the fray with my experience as an operator on college summer temp jobs. I ran a high speed printer, and if the engineers wanted to touch it, they had to ask me first. In fact, 99% of the time, it was me that had to get the engineer and then only because certain areas of the machine were not accessible without a key. Any adjustments to the machine were made by me, and I was also responsible for almost all routine maintenance. The only things the engineer did were things the vendor required that he

    • by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday May 06, 2011 @01:45AM (#36044684) Homepage Journal
      Well, we have the dummy plug, and SEELE is sending us the 5th children so I think everything is going to be A OK!
    • by umghhh (965931)
      I think they have some plans but all of them are subject of a revision due to the fact that it is very difficult to know what happened in the first place. See here [economist.com] for quite interesting details on the subject.
  • fortune (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Tim, Fix the damn fortune database already!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A disaster just fine. Only one of them had anything resembling an issue, and that was the transmission lines going down, which mean the reactor had to shut down.

    Nothing major in danger there.

    Yet there's little in the way of coverage out there.

    At least the people are getting some attention.

    • Well, aside from Japan suffering one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded there is a difference of at least 1000 times in density among water and air so the natural disasters of tsunami and tornadoes are almost not comparable in any way; still, always is good to see that emergency procedures work has expected because when they don't, bad things happen like the damage at Fukushima Daiichi.

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday May 06, 2011 @12:05AM (#36044354) Homepage

    That's just the very beginning - hook up an air filtration system so humans can briefly enter the containment. Then try to hook up a water level gauge for the reactor pressure vessel, so they can actually tell how much of the core is uncovered. Then they can think about what to do next.

    All this work is taking place in partially collapsed buildings where explosions have destroyed the structure. Ordinarily, one would bring in big cranes with grabs and start removing debris. But they can't do that.

    The situation remains dangerous as long as there are still many red blocks on the JAIF's status chart. [jaif.or.jp] Note that reactors 1,2, and 3 still have not reached cold shutdown, where the reactor core is below the boiling point of water, all steam has condensed to water, and pressure in the reactor vessel is down to one atmosphere. All the ad-hoc cooling measures aren't enough to get the core temperature down. Normal time to cold shutdown for a GE Mark I reactor is about a day. Even at Three Mile Island, it took only about two days to reach cold shutdown.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, 2011 @12:38AM (#36044482)

      Humans are not entering the "containment". They are entering the reactor building. Reactor building was damaged - especially the top floods. It was not damaged at the bottom, where the cooling equipment is.

      Reactor 1 is being tried first because the building as the least amount of radiation. The robot that went in measured about 40-50mSv/h. This is reasonably low and can be brought down further.

      The reactors are not in cold shutdown because there is no water cooling. They *could* achieve cold shutdown quickly by water in faster, but it would not help the situation. They need to repair the recirculation pumps and find the leaks and plug them. They also need to find out if there is any hydrogen in the reactor vessels and to deal with that. These 2 reasons is why cold shutdown mode is very BAD right now - they had to slow down water pumping to prevent pressure from dropping as that could cause air to be sucked into the reactor and hydrogen could burn (explode), if there is any hydrogen there.

      Don't second guess them now. They are doing things very carefully.

      TEPCO failed at not having prepared for the scenario when the plant suffers complete blackout, including all backups being flooded. That's all. Had they had prepared for this scenario, this would not have happened. Period. Now they are dealing with consequences and I'm certain that plans will now be in place that no nuclear reactor will melt even if they lose all cooling - ie. external emergency cooling will be setup before coping batteries die.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 06, 2011 @01:25AM (#36044616)

        Don't second guess them now. They are doing things very carefully.

        How dare you try to stop me from being an overly critical armchair nuclear physicist! Who are you to curtail my freedom of speech? Some hoity-toity reactor expert I'd suppose?? Why don't u take off ur white coat and roll up your sleeves like the rest of us? .. oh, not willing to get ur hands radioactive I suppose?

        I thought this was a democracy? I'd suppose ur one of them neo-fascist high-folutin Republican extremists? Harry S Truman would've sorted u out good proper like!

      • they failed more (Score:3, Insightful)

        by YesIAmAScript (886271)

        TEPCO failed at not having prepared for the scenario when the plant suffers complete blackout, including all backups being flooded. That's all.

        That is not all.

        They had 8 to 24 hours (I forget) to bring and connect additional power generators or charged batteries to the site before the existing batteries failed, but they didn't do it despite knowing what the stakes were.

        They failed to vent the hydrogen from the reactor buildings. They thought to vent the vessels to the buildings but didn't vent the hydrogen from the buildings. This lead to significant avoidable additional damage from explosions and probably raised the amount of radiation released t

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Um, the buildings were constructed without external vents. So at the time of the earthquake, it was not avoidable. Now, whether they should have foreseen this scenario and installed external venting... Also, you realize that every road for 100 miles around had been trashed by an 9+ magnitude earthquake? TEPCO should be second-guessed on many levels, and the lessons applied to every nuclear power management agency on the planet, but please try to keep it real.

          • Um, the buildings were constructed without external vents.

            Have you noticed the big chimneys beside the plants? They were put there for a reason.

          • You can open a hole in the roof, as they did with buildings 5 and 6 later.

            If they don't have the tools onsite to open a hole in those buildings at the top where the hydrogen would collect, then that was again poor planning and preparation.

            The stakes are extraordinarily high, the response can be so.

            And when you are looking at such a dire situation and the roads are trashed YOU CAN CALL A HELICOPTER if you need to. At the outside, they could have called the US military to fly a chopper in with tools they need

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, finding what is probably several megawatts worth of diesel generator, or rigging up the HV transmission line to get it to the plant would have been really simple, and made even simpler given that the entire surrounding area had just had a fairly large an unexpected bath so there couldn't possibly have been any reason they couldn't just phone up Dave's power lines and generators and ask if they could get them some electricity so they could shut the reactors down and spend the rest of the afternoon watc

          • by Magada (741361)

            One does not go outside operating parameters if one has a choice, period. You want to keep the plant in such a state that the answers to all your problems are still inside the operating manual. Once you're out of the book, all bets are off and BAD THINGS (tm) tend to happen.

            The pressure inside the RPV was allowed to rise to twice the design limit before something broke, H2 was vented into the building and the first explosion ensued.

            That's either a huge operator error or indicative of a lack of options.

            Inter

            • by Anonymous Coward

              It's indicative of a lack of options. They vented the hydrogen from containment into the buildings 3 and 4 so it wouldn't blow up containment, it would only blow out the walls of the buildings. They didn't vent building 2 (or didn't vent it fast enough or soon enough), and a loud bang was heard in that building a few days after the earthquake - from the containment vessel. The speculation as of a few weeks ago was that the hydrogen they didn't vent in that building ended up combusting within the containm

              • by Magada (741361)

                There is no path or sequence of actions to allow the operators to vent hydrogen into the buildings. Stuff must break first for that to happen at all.

            • by Coren22 (1625475)

              As far as I have heard on the issue you mention is that these reactors did have the hydrogen handling equipment to recombine it into water safely, unfortunately, with no power they were not able to run the equipment, and by the time power was restored, the equipment had already been trashed but the earthquake/tsunami/explosions.

          • You can get a 20' container with a 2MW Diesel generator in it. They aren't even very expensive (less than $1M). There were certainly some in the area, if they should have been commandeered for the task. These can be lifted by large helicopters I expect (can't find figures on this to be sure, a 6MW generator is 2x too heavy for a Chinook to carry, perhaps a 1 or 1MW generator is light enough. The US military certainly has several of these, they were several hours away but remember the batteries lasted for 8-

        • by peragrin (659227)

          Exactly. in the USA if you have money and an urgent enough need you can have several hundred kilowatts of generators flow to your location. It surprised me to find out the US air-force wasn't flying it's large generators in to help with the power problem at the plant.

          Then again it might have been because Fukishima runs at 50 hertz instead of the 60 hertz the USA and most of Japan uses. They might not of been able too.

          • The problem was that they didn't have roads to transport those generators to the power plant. That is the main reason for the long delay in the arrival of the fire engines at the site. Current emergency procedures that almost all utilities in Japan have implemented now call for having generators and fire engines on standby very close to the NPS.

            • by peragrin (659227)

              You missed the flown in part. A 100kw generator weighs less than 75 tons that an m1 Abrams weighs. For a NPS with problems it is worth it.

              • I didn't. They don't have close any airport that could land a big transport plane and even if they had it there was no way to transport the equipment from the airport to the NPS. The diesel generators were of 6.5 Mw, the pumps for the cooling systems need at least 1 Mw for each reactor. Anyway, since the electric interconnection equipment and maybe the pumps themselves were under water they really didn't had many choices from what they ended doing aside praying to $deity.

          • Im no EE, but Im almost positive you could fix that little snag by converting from AC to DC, and then back again on the proper frequency; Im sure there is a much better way to do it, but that comes to mind quickly.

            • by gbutler69 (910166)
              Every generator I've ever worked with could have the RPM adjusted to achive the desired Hz. You could get 50, 60, 40, whatever you wanted.
          • by Coren22 (1625475)

            What I have read about this is that the generators needed to run the cooling of the plant are so large that a heli can't lift it; therefore with the roads destroyed, there was no way to move the generators on site.

      • by Idou (572394) on Friday May 06, 2011 @02:09AM (#36044754) Journal
        That's all? So TEPCO did not falsify safety inspection records [theaustralian.com.au], cover-up a defective reactor [ito.com], use the yakuza to get expendable workers [democratic...ground.com], continue on with a foreign journalist QA session even without the foreign journalists [youtube.com], or make numerous blunders immediately after the tsunami to put us into the current situation [yomiuri.co.jp]?

        What a relief . . . here I was thinking TEPCO would become the poster child of the part of Japanese society that remains corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent. Good thing they have apologists like yourself . . .
        • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Friday May 06, 2011 @06:38AM (#36045652) Homepage

          Can we get some objectivity please? TEPCO are far from blameless but equally a bunch of links to blogs, forums and YouTube videos are not all that convincing either. Expendable workers? This isn't China.

          The flaws that led to this disaster are not limited to TEPCO or Fukushima Daiichi. The tsunami defences which failed were based on government projections of the most severe waves that would ever be encountered, and they were inadequate. TEPCO built them to what was considered a safe standard, but the the best experts on earthquakes and tsunami in the world got it wrong.

          If you didn't notice these flawed assumptions also resulted in 25,000 people being killed. TEPCO made mistakes, some of them should have been preventable and some of them I think it is fair to say were due to people having to react to a difficult situation with incomplete information under a great deal of pressure.

          • by Magada (741361) on Friday May 06, 2011 @08:08AM (#36046062) Journal

            Oohh. Mistakes were made. I see. Well that makes it all better, then, doesn't it?

            The tsunami defences which failed were based on government projections of the most severe waves that would ever be encountered, and they were inadequate.

            There are no tsunami defenses at Fukushima Dai-ichi. Nothing failed because nothing was there. The plants were built too low, the dike which protects against typhoon-generated waves was obviously not enough, but it did not fail, it's still there, as useless against tsunamis as it ever was. Oh, it may have added a bit to the height of the wall of water that struck the NPP.

            Had the plant been built above the historical high water mark for tsunamis in that area, nothing would have happened. It was not, because adding elevation means bigger, more expensive pumps for an idiotic design which uses open-circuit seawater cooling for the primary (and only) core coolant loop.

            • The tsunami got in from the south side that is closer to the sea. It ripped open the door to the turbine building in front of unit 4. They had a previous study that suggested improved tsunami defenses but it was ignored. The dikes for the port were also built has a tsunami defense, but obviously, they consistently underestimated the risk. In top of that, the whole island sunk 75 cm after the quake, making even more inadequate any tsunami defense they had. Also, Fukushima had in march 12th the only dam failu

              • by Magada (741361)

                TEPCO is proposing to build dikes because they want to distract attention and avoid being told to shut down the unsafe plants.

                • Here in Mexico we have a say:"Ahogado el niño, a tapar el pozo". "After the kid is drowned, the well gets a lid". That is what they are doing, basically. The proposal to build concrete walls around buildings and put water tight doors at the entrance of the buildings and inside several key parts inside buildings was something that they could have done with all the time in the world since 2007. Now is good to have those dikes, we don't really know when the next big earthquake/tsunami will hit the place,

            • by khallow (566160)

              There are no tsunami defenses at Fukushima Dai-ichi. Nothing failed because nothing was there. The plants were built too low, the dike which protects against typhoon-generated waves was obviously not enough, but it did not fail, it's still there, as useless against tsunamis as it ever was. Oh, it may have added a bit to the height of the wall of water that struck the NPP.

              5.5 meters. That's the height of tsunami that the tsunami defenses were built for. During the earthquake, apparently the site lowered by a meter and was hit by a tsunami over ten meters high. Note that several other nuclear plants were also hit by these tsunami, but weren't flooded.

              Had the plant been built above the historical high water mark for tsunamis in that area, nothing would have happened. It was not, because adding elevation means bigger, more expensive pumps for an idiotic design which uses open-circuit seawater cooling for the primary (and only) core coolant loop.

              It was a forty year old design. They didn't have access to your amazing hindsight.

              • by Magada (741361)

                5.5 meters is a reasonable height for a typhoon wave break. It's ridiculously inadequate for tsunamis.

                According to Wikipedia, the great Kanto earthquake of 1923 produced a 12-meter wave. The 1964 Niigata earthquake produced a more reasonable 6 (six, not five point five) metre one. These are 20th century incidents, well documented, with even photographic evidence available.

                TEPCO played fast and loose with the statistics and lost. Why are you defending them?

                • by khallow (566160)

                  5.5 meters is a reasonable height for a typhoon wave break. It's ridiculously inadequate for tsunamis.

                  As I noted, Fukushima wasn't the only nuclear plant subject to the tsunami. The other nuclear plants did just fine by the current standards.

                  TEPCO played fast and loose with the statistics and lost. Why are you defending them?

                  Because someone has to defend the future of humanity from hysteria such as you demonstrate. Nuclear power may not be a part of that future. But I'm willing to judge things by their usefulness and outcomes, not flip out every time "nuclear" appears near "accident".

                  • by Magada (741361)

                    The other nuclear plants did just fine by the current standards.

                    The tsunami also flooded Fukushima Dai-ni cooling pumps, ultimately resulting in LLOCA [wikipedia.org] at units 1 3 and 4. Cold shutdown was only reached on March 15. Is this what you call fine?

                    • by khallow (566160)

                      The tsunami also flooded Fukushima Dai-ni cooling pumps, ultimately resulting in LLOCA [wikipedia.org] at units 1 3 and 4. Cold shutdown was only reached on March 15. Is this what you call fine?

                      Yes. Why wouldn't I?

                    • by Magada (741361)

                      TEPCO doesn't think it's fine they have to do tests and repairs well into the summer instead of running Dai-ni at full power, at a time when the loss of Dai-ichi left them hurting for every kilowatt. Why do you?

                      Your stupid is showing, "defender of humanity". I'm done talking to you.

                    • by khallow (566160)

                      TEPCO doesn't think it's fine they have to do tests and repairs well into the summer instead of running Dai-ni at full power, at a time when the loss of Dai-ichi left them hurting for every kilowatt. Why do you?

                      Because all they need to do is tests and repairs after a magnitude 9 earthquake. That's fine in my book, and frankly it should be fine in your book too. I get the impression that you forgot that these nuclear plants didn't spontaneously break, but that there was a massive earthquake involved.

                      Your stupid is showing, "defender of humanity". I'm done talking to you.

                      The days are long past when I'll listen to someone who can't be bothered to take their own advice.

            • by AmiMoJo (196126)

              There are no tsunami defenses at Fukushima Dai-ichi.

              Wrong.

              http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110410003477.htm [yomiuri.co.jp]

              Breakwater 5.7m above sea level. Also note that the cooling issue was made far worse by the inability to get replacement generators and batteries to the site due to damage to roads. What they had was considered adequate for most of the plant's life but they did fail to upgrade when it was suggested that they should. The government shares the blame there, they should have improved safety regulations to force upgrades. The reactor was due for shutdow

          • by Idou (572394)
            >Can we get some objectivity please?

            I find it extremely ironic for a TEPCO apologist to make such a statement. You are obviously oblivious to the "kisha club", the "amakudari", or the fact that foreign journalists do not even bother going to QA sessions where they know they will have their intelligence insulted. It is hard to find MSM articles of TEPCO misdeeds because of the above and the fact that the government is trying to censor such "illegal information" to "protect citizen morale."

            As to not
        • by khallow (566160)
          You have any real complaints? The only relevant one is the allegation of "blunders" after the tsunami. And that's to be expected given the rarity of such accidents and the devastation from a magnitude 9 quake.
      • by Animats (122034)

        Humans are not entering the "containment". They are entering the reactor building.

        That has to be right. But what's still airtight enough to be entered through an airlock? Here's what Unit 1 looks like. [foxnews.com]

      • by mvdwege (243851) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Friday May 06, 2011 @04:53AM (#36045316) Homepage Journal

        No, TEPCO failed because they relied on a design that requires active input to stay safe. Any measures you think of to improve safety for such a design come down to security by 'Allow by default' and closing holes after exploits. Since it is impossible to keep up with all possible circumstances, this means the design is unsafe.

        Mart

      • by gr8_phk (621180)

        The reactors are not in cold shutdown because there is no water cooling. They *could* achieve cold shutdown quickly by water in faster, but it would not help the situation.

        And I think that's the point. The fact that they are not in cold shutdown indicates problems. But we already knew they have ongoing problems.

    • by DerekLyons (302214) <`fairwater' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday May 06, 2011 @12:40AM (#36044494) Homepage

      Even at Three Mile Island, it took only about two days to reach cold shutdown.

      No, TMI-2 didn't reach cold shutdown until 27 April - nearly a month after the accident.

      • by mad flyer (589291)

        Yes, but I don't think Tepco still have the start of a clue aboot what's happening or what to do aboot it.

        • by khallow (566160)

          Yes, but I don't think Tepco still have the start of a clue aboot what's happening or what to do aboot it.

          Do you have any reason for believing that? I instead see a company that in the midst of a remarkably bad situation (which apparently has killed 27,000 people, need I remind you?), brought three nuclear reactors under control.

    • by etudiant (45264)

      The degree of disfunction in this effort is beyond belief.
      The accident was almost 2 months ago, admittedly in the context of a massive natural disaster.
      Since then, nothing has happened except the barest minimum. There are a quarter of the workers on site as were there before the disaster, living in a bunker with no showers or decent meals, no hazard pay or adequate equipment. They are going in baby steps because there is not the people or the equipment to do more than one thing at a time. Not even the basic

  • Page 9 of the linked PDF, on the Mr Obvious decision diagram, the conclusion if there's too much radioactivity inside the reactor building is:

    Feed&Breed / [*] Cooling the reactor core by feeding and breeding

    I certainly hope they're talking about feed and bleed.... There no need breeding any more isotopes at this point.

    Wow, Slashdot is lame, I pasted some japanese characters and slashdot does not render them properly. They are where the [*] is.

  • Several weeks ago the failure of the Japanese reactors was "upgraded" to a Chernobyl level disaster.

  • I just want to carry on the proud slashdot tradition of saying 'see nuclear power is perfectly safe' every time fukushima is mentioned. The Nuclear shills are quietening down but we mustn't forget our heritage
    • by Coren22 (1625475)

      Try modifying your statement a tad there and it becomes true. Modern nuclear power is very safe. 40 year old reactors that lose power and were never designed to be passive safe, with no way to bring in new power (roads destroyed, power needs bigger than any helicopter could bring in, and more than a nuclear reactor on a aircraft carrier that refuses to come close enough to help), and no way to bring in fire trucks with self powered water pumps. Yeah, they had a worse case senario. The senario was far wo

      • by he-sk (103163)

        If modern designs are so safe, why is no private company willing to insure a new construction effort?

        One of the supposedly safe designs that is often mentioned on Slashdot are peddle-bed reactors. Well, recently we had a scare in Germany, where some of those peddles went missing. (They weren't actually missing, just misaccounted for if memory serves right.) Anyway, during the reporting on that incident, the public learned that a substantial amount of these peddles had cracked -- calling into question the fu

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          So, what alternative energy do you propose instead of fission reactors? I would much prefer more research was done towards fission reactors which use different fission elements, but I am not a power company and can't force the issue, but trying to claim that there are alternative sources for base load power that are better than nuclear fission is unfortunately a pipe dream at this time. Iceland has great geothermal power, but where else is that even possible? I understand that Yellowstone in the US could

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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