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Comment Re:That's impossible! (Score 1) 396

You were just as well not to take the tour. Unless the plant was in an outage and you could finagle your way out on the fuel bridge while the reactor still had some fuel in it. Then you would have seen something interesting. They don't let the general public into an RCA in general and definitely not into a radiation area that is also an FME area like the fuel pool. What I was referring to is called Cherenkov effect. It is beautiful even if it is deadly.

Comment Re:Overly technical (Score 1) 174

The measurement is a standard one that correlates to working arms length from something. Since radiation follows the inverse square law distance is critical. How about something along the lines of "Standing at arms length from the source would expose you to twice the legal yearly limit for nuclear workers in US per second"? We don't need to mention that standing there for about 5-6 minutes would result in you collapsing where you stood. How about mentioning that standing there for 80 seconds would pretty much guarantee frying your bacon ie kill you with 1 to 2 weeks (LD100 level)?

Comment Re:So In Effect... (Score 1) 174

You might be thinking of the funny yellow suits with a hood but no face mask? That would be Anti-C's or anti contamination suits. Actually they come in many colors and over the last 10 years or so they came up with a disposable version. The disposable ones will shrink down to the size of an index card when you put them in boiling water. Anti Cs attempt to keep contamination off of your body. Basically keep radioactive dirt off of you.

Comment Re:Some plants good, some can never be good (Score 1) 93

They were never giving you the full story then. The equipment would be shipped hot back to Waltz Mill where it would be maintained between outage seasons. A system was not dedicated to a single plant but carried between plants. With minor retooling it would be used on 44's 51's and any other generator that you find out there. It was interesting using them in CE designs though.

The cooling issue was solved using a combination of venturi coolers with heat pipes for some components and a tent with a spot cooler for other parts. I don't recall all of the details about the control system but I do remember the erratic behavior of the ROSA I systems. What you are saying might help to make sense as to why they switched to brushless DC motors and multiple resolvers per axis.

Did you ever make it out to Waltz Mill to work at the mock-ups? I probably was there 8 to 10 times a year for durations of at least a week.

I quit working there in 1997 and went to work for their competition in 2000. I moved from Upstate NY to Lynchburg VA in 2001. Ultimately I left the industry in 2008 after the passing of my first wife and now serve as a lowly IT Manager. Westinghouse and Waltz Mill now seem like a lifetime ago.

Comment Re:Some plants good, some can never be good (Score 1) 93

That would be ROSA III and it was a behemoth. Sure it was portable in the same sense that the Navy labels anything with handles portable. The main motor control unit (Universal Amp Box) did indeed require that you take it down to modules to get it in the building. Nothing related to ROSA III would be removed from a radiological area after first use due to needing local spot coolers in containment with it. Very few things are ever intended to be carried in then removed from a commercial plant. BTW they went with 60HZ and hooked local 480v instead of power from outside. The only downfall to the system other than being heavy as hell was the fact that if you changed out an actuator or resolver it was going home to be recalibrated before being used again. The process was not doable in the field.

Considering you never actually saw the inside of containment it is no surprise that you have spotty recollection about the particulars of plant design. The problems that you describe would be mostly talking about "chiller" plants. Whoever decided packing the containment building with ice to reduce the size requirements of containment needs to be shot. A few of these plants are jungle gyms.

ROSA III went the way of the betamax as it was too expensive to maintain and much cheaper equipment could do 90% of what it could do. It was intended to be a "one robot does all" maintenance tool. It didn't succeed on that count and the costs doomed it.


Comment Re:Some plants good, some can never be good (Score 1) 93

If you are referring to the ROSA arm, sir your 80 lb estimate is low and if you are referring to the UAB found in ROSA III suffice to say we took it apart to get it into the building . Tube diameters were between 3/4 and one inch but the wall thickness was no where near that.

The reason plants had radiation monitoring equipment going into the plant was related to a Westinghouse engineer becoming contaminated in the north test cell at Waltz Mill and dragging that from Waltz Mill all the way to a site where it was discovered on the way out not in. So, the monitors where there to protect the plant from having to explain "unexplainable" contaminations.

The "day labor" comment was essentially true however the lifetime part of that is dead wrong. back then (until 1992) exposure limits were 3 R per quarter and 5 R per year (Federal limits, wholebody, form 4) with a lifetime limit of 1(N-18)R or one rem per your age minus 18. So assuming that you were grabbed off of a bar stool a few days before a change in quarter at the ripe old age of 23 (1(23-18)=5) and jumped into the steam generator for the typical 3-5 minutes it would take to accumulate 3 rem. A few days later when the quarter changed they threw you back in for a little less than 2 rem more. You have worked a week and hit 5 rem total committed dose. Next year you could get another rem according to the law. In 1992 the law was changed (10cfr20) and the quarterly limit went away along with the lifetime limit.

However, what utility in its right mind is going to change its story from "it isn't safe for you to be exposed to more than 1 rem for every year you have been over 18" to "sure come get all you like up to 5 rem per year. No worries." That is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I am sure even now people with high lifetime exposures are either refused access to the RCA or maybe even refused unescorted access to avoid being the cause of the person receiving more than the old 1N-18 rule.

Comment Re:(un)Fair and (un)Balanced (Score 3, Interesting) 93

Take a look at DC Cook or Indian Pt. for that matter. The NRC will shut down a plant. If you want to call a spade a spade, the pushing match over inspections vs profitability have a predictable swing with predictable consequences. Let the bean-counters convince you that they can run without inspections and pretty soon you will start having Davis Besse like events. Let the Nimbys win the safety at all cost argument and pretty soon you have 140+ day outages again like we saw as recently as the 90's that drive the price per KW/H way up. The NRC is just the poor bunch of engineers caught in the middle of this political infighting.

Thats my opinion after working in the industry for 20 years anyways.


Comment Re:Love camera phones (Score 1) 182

Tell that to my Nikon 1. These little mirrorless cameras are the unsung heroes these days. The convenience of a point and shoot with the speedy focus of a DSLR. They have manual settings to boot (albeit cumbersome in certain situations). Need a slightly different focal length, no problem they are interchangeable just like their bigger cousins and even can use the bigger SLR lenses with an adapter. Since it is mirrorless it has an ungodly frame rate. Its high ISO performance looks alot like film.

  Don't get me wrong, it hasn't replaced my D300 for action photography or the D7000 for low light work. It did move the D70 to the closet probably never to return and will spend more time with me than the D40.

People shouldn't get all worked up over what she said about cell phone cameras and $200 cameras being good enough. What she was saying is that for the intended presentation (online @ 72dpi) almost anything will work. Go to print a 10X14 @ 300dpi with your phone, I dare you. That little sensor has real problems with noise so that even if you had the pixels to print that large, they would be very ugly pixels indeed.

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