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Old 03-17-2011, 01:47 PM
elbows elbows is offline
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What will they be left with? (Japanese Reactors)

Let's assume they get the upper hand, cool things down, whatever. No more leakage of radiation.

What will they be left with? Will they be able to do repairs and get their reactors back to working order? Will they be forced to bury all four in lead/concrete or something? Will they have to build 4 new reactors from scratch? What will the millions do for electricity in the mean time?
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:52 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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They have over 50 more online. Way more then the U.S. I'd assume they'll be reviewing the safety procedure and backup systems on the plants still operating.
Quote:
Worried that over-dependence on imported oil could undermine Japan's humming economy, the government threw its support into nuclear power, and the industry boomed in profile and influence. The country has 54 nuclear plants, which provide 30 percent of the nation's energy needs, is building two more and studying proposals for 12 more plants.
http://www.katv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14268011

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-17-2011 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:15 PM
mlees mlees is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
They have over 50 more online. Way more then the U.S. I'd assume they'll be reviewing the safety procedure and backup systems on the plants still operating.

http://www.katv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14268011
"Way More"?

The USA has 104 reactors in 65 sites according to my manual count here:

http://www.nukleer.web.tr/indexe.htm
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:21 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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That's a surprise. I've only heard of a few in the U.S.

I stand corrected.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:22 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Yes, but will there be opposition to the opening of any new nuclear plants? And as to what they're going to do in the meantime, I heard that Gazprom is increasing deliveries of LNG. But they don't have enough generating capacity to replace the destroyed plants.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:26 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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And I also found an article that said that Russia is considering laying a cable from Sakhalin to Japan to supply power.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:41 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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In terms of what they'll do with those specific reactors: There are levels of damage that could be repaired. I think we're probably past that level, but the information is pretty spotty right now. At some point, it's easier (safer, more cost-effective) to just bury the thing in cement or some kind of structure and forget about it. With such high levels of radioactivity, you can reach a point where it's simply impossible (or, at least, excessively hazardous) to work in those areas.

Chernobyl is currently covered with a cement "sarcophagus" and there are plans to update that with a steel enclosure sometime in the future.

In comparison, Three-Mile Island was repaired and eventually put back into service.

It appears that the Japanese incident is somewhere between the two, so we'll just have to see what's possible once it all settles out.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:05 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is online now
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The reactors are already old enough to be considered past their expected lifespan. Japan has plenty of other plants without those reactors. They will likely be stripped down and the area encapsulated till they decide it's worth the investment to do something further with the land.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:44 PM
constanze constanze is offline
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Originally Posted by dracoi View Post
Chernobyl is currently covered with a cement "sarcophagus" and there are plans to update that with a steel enclosure sometime in the future.
Actually, the sarcophagus was a rush job (no surprise, considering the circumstances) and the concrete is crumbling, so it's rather urgent to replace it with a better job. Only that costs money that the Ukraine doesn't have and nobody else wants to pay for them, either, because the Ostrich tactic is so popular.

Quote:
In comparison, Three-Mile Island was repaired and eventually put back into service.

It appears that the Japanese incident is somewhere between the two, so we'll just have to see what's possible once it all settles out.
The "Japanese incident" as you so quaintly put it, is NOT OVER yet. Core melt down is still an imminent possibility. The govt. announced the possibility of three blocs melting on Monday - before bloc 2 exploded so hard that they think the inner shell is cracked (nobody can get close enough to really see what's going on), and before bloc 4 (which was shut off to cool down the spent rods) started catching fire.

When the exposed rods heat up to full temp. of over 2 000 deg. C, then they will melt through the containment concrete shell like hot iron through snow and seep into groundwater plus explode a bit more into the air. That would be a bit of a problem for keeping that thing running.

Generally speaking, everything I have heard is that the reactors are so severly damaged that any repair is a hopeless, futile job. However, the Japanese population still seems to believe the govt., and the pro-nuclear propaganda, so all the screw-ups and lack of adequate back-ups that caused this catastrophe will probably not result in an indictment of the company, or the shut-down/ upgrade of other, older reactors.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:01 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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Constanze, I didn't mean to imply that the problems in Japan are over, or even at their peak. We just don't know what's going to happen yet - and have pretty scarce information on has already happened there. I just wanted to provide an answer to the part of the OPs question about repairs with comparisons to some other disasters relative to where things are rated in Japan right now. On a 1 to 7 scale, I believe Three-Mile was at 4, Chernobyl was 7 and Japan is (so far) in between.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:08 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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Originally Posted by dracoi View Post
Constanze, I didn't mean to imply that the problems in Japan are over, or even at their peak. We just don't know what's going to happen yet - and have pretty scarce information on has already happened there. I just wanted to provide an answer to the part of the OPs question about repairs with comparisons to some other disasters relative to where things are rated in Japan right now. On a 1 to 7 scale, I believe Three-Mile was at 4, Chernobyl was 7 and Japan is (so far) in between.
French nuclear authority rate it a 6 along with the Finns.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:18 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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Originally Posted by dracoi View Post
In comparison, Three-Mile Island was repaired and eventually put back into service.
The partial meltdown at TMI was in unit 2. Unit 2 has never been put back into service, nor will it ever be. Unit 1 was unaffected by the partial meltdown in unit 2. It was, however, shut down for several years after the accident at unit 2 out of an abundance of caution. It was restarted in the mid-1980s.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:48 AM
Diceman Diceman is offline
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Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
French nuclear authority rate it a 6 along with the Finns.
Level 4 is an incident with only local consequences. Considering that the USS Ronald Reagan detected radiation 100 miles out to sea, I think we can safely say that the Japanese have been downplaying things.
  #14  
Old 03-18-2011, 01:03 PM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Let's assume they get the upper hand, cool things down, whatever. No more leakage of radiation.

What will they be left with? Will they be able to do repairs and get their reactors back to working order? Will they be forced to bury all four in lead/concrete or something? Will they have to build 4 new reactors from scratch? What will the millions do for electricity in the mean time?
There are six reactors at Daiichi, not four.

Since they pumped in highly corrosive seawater and boron into reactors 1 through 3, they will not likely be able to reuse them, a fact which TEPCO acknowledged today.


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
French nuclear authority rate it a 6 along with the Finns.
I rank the Finns a 6 as well. The Swedish women's beach volleyball team is a 9, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Yes, but will there be opposition to the opening of any new nuclear plants? And as to what they're going to do in the meantime, I heard that Gazprom is increasing deliveries of LNG. But they don't have enough generating capacity to replace the destroyed plants.
Many sections of Japan, including Tokyo, have undergoing rolling blackouts because of insufficient supply. I don't know if they can restore any of the reactors (possibly 5 and 6), but there will be resistance by people to this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by constanze View Post
Generally speaking, everything I have heard is that the reactors are so severly damaged that any repair is a hopeless, futile job. However, the Japanese population still seems to believe the govt., and the pro-nuclear propaganda, so all the screw-ups and lack of adequate back-ups that caused this catastrophe will probably not result in an indictment of the company, or the shut-down/ upgrade of other, older reactors.
Not necessarily, many people I've talked to are very concerned. Some are not and fit your description, but many others do not.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diceman View Post
Level 4 is an incident with only local consequences. Considering that the USS Ronald Reagan detected radiation 100 miles out to sea, I think we can safely say that the Japanese have been downplaying things.
They have increased it to Level 5.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:14 AM
TurboNuke TurboNuke is offline
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[QUOTE=constanze;13583749
When the exposed rods heat up to full temp. of over 2 000 deg. C, then they will melt through the containment concrete shell like hot iron through snow and seep into groundwater plus explode a bit more into the air. s.[/QUOTE]

This does not happen. Anti nuclear people like to assume that fission continues after the meltdown. If you assume fission keeps happening after the meltdown, then you can get some very bad outcomes.

In real life, fission stops after the meltdown. The core needs a certain geometry to maintain fission and it loses this after it melts. There have been studies showing that the core won't melt through the vessel. And even if it did, the containment is designed to retain the core.

The China syndrome is a movie, not a real outcome.
  #16  
Old 03-19-2011, 11:34 AM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Originally Posted by TurboNuke View Post
There have been studies showing that the core won't melt through the vessel. And even if it did, the containment is designed to retain the core.

The China syndrome is a movie, not a real outcome.
Half the core melted in Three Mile Island in the first few hours. They did not know it at the time (indeed did not know for years till they opened it). The core never breached the reactor vessel and there was a containment vessel as a fall back if it did.
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