×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Report: Nuclear Plants Should Focus On Risks Posed By External Events

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the it-might-be-this-knob-or-maybe-that-one dept.

Power 133

mdsolar (1045926) writes "Engineers at American nuclear plants have been much better at calculating the risk of an internal problem that would lead to an accident than they have at figuring the probability and consequences of accidents caused by events outside a plant, a report released Thursday by the National Academy of Science said. Accidents that American reactors are designed to withstand, like a major pipe break, are "stylized" and do not reflect the bigger source of risk, which is external, according to the study. That conclusion is one of the major lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan in 2011, which began after an earthquake at sea caused a tsunami.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yup (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542117)

Can confirm. Nuclear power plants are way too vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Into some of them you can just walk in, because there is not proper armed guards in place!

Asleep (2)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542267)

An NRC inspector had a very hard time waking a guard up at Indian Point a few years back.

Re: Asleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547175)

Indian Point should be closed.

human (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542129)

did they also consider human problems?

already done (4, Informative)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542147)

External events are considered in US plant design already, this author seems to be a bit ignorant on how the safety case for plants is built. Who cares if we refine the probability of an event is if the plant is already designed to withstand it? More total stupidity disguised as a serious study. Even highly unlikely events are designed against in our plants.

Now, Post-Fukushima, plants are adding response capabilities for apocalyptic type scenarios even though three is nobody that can provide an example of how such an event may happen for the particular site short of some major war type event. Fukushima was simple...don't put reactors that were not design to operate underwater where they can find themselves underwater. Given the situation, the outcome was quite easily predictable.

Re:already done (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542155)

Let me clarify; "more total stupidity" was aimed at the article author's interpretation of the study, not at the study itself. Poorly worded in my post. The study is what it is, the article author is clearly not qualified to interpret it.

Re:already done (2)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542249)

Matthew Wald does his homework and reports pretty accurately. Perhaps you should give some examples where he has misread the report.

Re:already done (0)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542275)

I think I already did. He characterized that our plant designs "do not reflect the bigger source of risk, which is external", but they clearly do.

Re:already done (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542299)

But isn't that what the National Academy of Sciences is saying in the report? Platts reports he same. http://www.platts.com/latest-n... [platts.com] "US nuclear regulators and industry officials must do more to protect reactors from extreme, but unlikely, events like the earthquake and tsunami that caused the accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, the National Academy of Sciences recommended in report issued Thursday."

Re:already done (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542317)

Well, that isn't what the author said, is it? Thanks for helping prove my point.
And, the NRC and industry are already "doing more" so the report is a bit of a redundancy, and a little late on that conclusion.

Re:already done (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542383)

OK, so they are right and Wald reported accurately. NRC already agrees with the report. It hardly seems late if it is a report requested by congress with a particular scope. NAS is usually pretty thorough. It hardly seems wrong for congress to want to know about this since the US shoulders nearly all the risk for an accident through the huge Price Anderson subsidy.

Re:already done (0)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542413)

"must do more" and "do not reflect" are two completely different things with different meanings. Its pretty simple, really.

Congress acts == too late (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#47543387)

> It hardly seems late if it is a report requested by congress

It's been said that one sure sign that an event is over is when Congress finally gets around to doing something about it.

Re:already done (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#47544427)

When someone has to rely on an ad-hominem you can take it as read that they don't have any specific criticisms. I somehow knew the first comment would be an hominem.

Re:already done (4, Informative)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 5 months ago | (#47542355)

It gets better, all the way back in 1975, the Wash-1400 report listed tsunamis as one of the potential ways to knock out the safety systems of a nuclear power plant, leading to the exact same outcome we have seen. All the way to the point of having to evacuate a few thousand square kilometers, given the BWR Mark I containment. (Actually, it was just one thousand, but the rest was off-shore.)

The main problem was that just about ALL the tsunami protection in Japan (both for cities and nuclear power plants) was based on the 1960 tsunami, that came all the way across the Pacific from Chile. The result was quite a disaster, but the worst part was the completely unprotected population and certainly not the nuclear power plants. Contamination is quite reversible, 18500 dead people not so much.

Re:already done (-1, Troll)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542373)

Very good points tp1024. It again reflects our societies complete skewing of risk when it comes to nuclear energy, and radiation in general.

Re:already done (-1)

FirstOne (193462) | about 5 months ago | (#47542903)

Contamination is quite reversible

.. Oh, you didn't mention that it takes six hundred years for the deadliest of the food chain isotopes (Cs-137, Sr-90) to decay to a reasonable concentration.. Yep other than that, contamination can be reversed.. Just not in a typical human life span .

P.S. Even time passage of a million years has little effect on some the other longer lived fission isotopes. Like Cs-135(6.9% fission yield, I-129, 0.84% yield).. Iodine-129 is particularly nasty since half of an animal's Iodine is concentrated in the thyroid gland. A 60,000 gram human has a thyroid that weights ~15 grams, you do the math.

.

Re:already done (4, Interesting)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 5 months ago | (#47543133)

If your definition of "reasonable" is "one millionth" you'd be right, but also perfectly unreasonable. There is such a thing as natural radioactivity, it is everywhere. And if you demand that "artificial" radiation must be less than 1/10.000th of natural radioactivity in the worst contaminated areas to be "reasonable", then you suffer from a gross form hubris. Your claims about Iodine-129 neglect to mention that is has 1/1.000.000.000th of the activity of I-131. Even by your stupid definition, it's not a problem. This is further compounded by the fact that Iodine is highly mobile, most of all, it is water soluble. This means that it will be dispersed in the environment at a much greater rate than it will be concentrated in humans. In fact, it is not even detectable around Fukushima Daiichi.

You also neglect to say that the total radiotoxicity of all longlived fission isotopes is less than the radiotoxicity of the natural uranium before it went through the reactor. It is LESS than what was naturally there anyway. I know you don't care about such facts, lots of other people do.

Your body is full of potassium-40, carbon-14, thorium, uranium and their decay products. If you're so scared of radioactivity that you must demand Cs-137 to decay to one-millionth of the current concentrations before you feel safe, then go commit suicide. There is no place in the solar system that will satisfy your demands. You, sir, are a lunatic.

Re:already done (-1, Troll)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47543467)

Natural radioactivity is mainly something that hits you from the 'outside' there is a rock or even the bricks of your house that emits something ... it hits your skin.
The exception of course is Radon, a gas produced by decay and radioactive itself. So houses build of particular bricks emit Radon, you inhale it, so it is inside of you. But also Radon easy escapes from the building, it is not building up a concentration.

Here we are talking about stuff that is getting inside of your body, and there it will kill you.

Your body is full of potassium-40, carbon-14, thorium, uranium and their decay products. If you're so scared of radioactivity that you must demand Cs-137 to decay to one-millionth of the current concentrations before you feel safe, then go commit suicide. There is no place in the solar system that will satisfy your demands. You, sir, are a lunatic.

The lunatic is you, as you have no clue.
First of all a healthy person has no Uranium or Thorium in his body.
Second, you are again mixing up external radiation by natural sources with radioactive elements incorporated into the body, you simply have no clue how to distinguish one from the other. So you don't qualify for this discussion.

Beyond me is why you claim such nonsense: This means that it will be dispersed in the environment at a much greater rate than it will be concentrated in humans. In fact, it is not even detectable around Fukushima Daiichi.
Sorry, you are an idiot and troll, should delete the rest of my post, as that claim of yours nails it.
The current evacuation zone is something like 40km around the plant. The actual contaminated area is a stripe going for 300km north east from the plant covering Osaka, Tokyo etc.
The fallout is measurable every where in north Japan. You are simply a complete idiot, good day moron!

Re:already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47543935)

Natural radioactivity is mainly something that hits you from the 'outside' there is a rock or even the bricks of your house that emits something ... it hits your skin.
The exception of course is Radon, a gas produced by decay and radioactive itself. So houses build of particular bricks emit Radon, you inhale it, so it is inside of you. But also Radon easy escapes from the building, it is not building up a concentration.

Here we are talking about stuff that is getting inside of your body, and there it will kill you.

You clearly did not do your homework when you wrote this comment. Your body consists of a significant fraction carbon. Some of that is C-14. That is radioactive. There is also a tiny fraction of hydrogen that is radioactive. Remember, your body is 70% water. You also have an amount of potassium in your nerve tissue... that is fairly radioactive.

And in terms of "getting inside your body and killing you," according to the EPA, about 160,000 people die every year from radon-induced lung cancer [epa.gov] . This is why people buy radon detectors in certain parts of the country, along with their carbon monoxide detectors.

I could go on for a while, but I've got other things to do.

Carbon dating is amazing. Look it up. (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#47544085)

Carbon dating is a very interesting technique. I think you'll be amazed at how it works. Or, you'll deny the existence of carbon dating in order to preserve your misconceptions.

Re:Carbon dating is amazing. Look it up. (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47545443)

What has carbon dating to do with backround radiation?
Obviously nothing ... your comment is pointless.

if you looked it up, you'd know (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#47545583)

> What has carbon dating to do with backround radiation?

If you looked up how carbon dating works, you'd know the answer to that.

Re:if you looked it up, you'd know (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47545759)

I know how carbon dating works.
And rest asured the carnon dating of animals living around Fukushima womt be affected by the desaster.
In 10,000 years their remains look exactly the same regardless if the disaster had happend or not.

Hence: the one who knows nothing about carbon dating obviously is YOU.

Re:already done (5, Informative)

brambus (3457531) | about 5 months ago | (#47544273)

Gah, the stupid, it burns!

Natural radioactivity is mainly something that hits you from the 'outside'... it hits your skin

Except for the ~5kBq of K-40 in your nerves. And the C-14 in all of your tissues. Also, cosmic radiation doesn't stop on your skin - it's comprised of extremely high energy particles [wikimedia.org] at 1 GeV or more. Those sort of energies make the radiation from nuclear reactors seem like child's play. That is not to say that you'd rather be inside of a nuclear reactor - most definitely not, the flux there is many orders of magnitude larger - but it does show that cosmic rays don't just "hit your skin", but instead fire right through you and irradiate your internals quite easily.

First of all a healthy person has no Uranium or Thorium in his body.

I'd be careful with throwing around superlatives like "none", but it's probably fair to say that the abundance of actinides in most humans would be classed as "trace" at best.

you are again mixing up external radiation by natural sources with radioactive elements incorporated into the body

Except that both K-40 and C-14 are both natural and inside your body. In fact, we use C-14 abundance in tissues to date when organisms died [wikipedia.org] . Whether something is or isn't natural has no bearing on where it is harmful.

The fallout is measurable every where in north Japan.

This statement, while true, is misleading, or at the very least oversimplified. We have extremely sensitive measurement equipment, but the mere detection of the presence of a radionuclide does not in itself imply any danger from it. What needs to be assessed is the particular type of radionuclide, its abundance and sample distribution, in order to be able to at least roughly assess the potential biological impacts. In pretty much any scoop e.g. topsoil you'd be able to find all manner of toxic stuff, from mercury through arsenic, lead and even to uranium - this is simply a consequence of the magnitude of Avogadro's number.

I'll leave you with just one tiny factiod: long-haul flights are associated with elevated exposure to cosmic rays, easily 20-30x sea-level background and comparable to some of the hotter parts of the Fukushima exclusion zone [iidj.net] . This has been repeatedly assessed [youtu.be] and demonstrated [youtube.com] . As such, one would expect to find radiation-related cancer clusters among airline crew, who spend a sizable amount of their lives in this elevated radiation environment. And yet, no reliable evidence [iop.org] for this has been found so far.

Re:already done (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47545485)

With 'natural' radiation people obviously mean background radiation.
Not C14 or other minimal intake.

Comparing the 'natural' intake of C14 and other elements 'in a normal' amount with the levels in Fukushima makes you a moron.

Sigh, and then you bring up flight exposure to cosmic rays and compare it with Fukushima chemical elements ...

Cosmic Ray != radioactive iod or caesium ... go back to school or shut up, moron.

Re:already done (2)

brambus (3457531) | about 5 months ago | (#47546775)

Comparing the 'natural' intake of C14 and other elements 'in a normal' amount with the levels in Fukushima makes you a moron. Not C14 or other minimal intake.

Contrary to your quite uneducated assertion that background radiation in a "normal" amount is somehow inconsequential compared with the radiation levels at Fukushima, they are rather comparable. We have quantified [wikipedia.org] these things quite accurately. Terrestrial background is anywhere from 0.1 uSv/h (Japan) to 0.3 uSv/h (USA) in most places on the planet, ignoring outliers. By comparison, the Fukushima exclusion zone [iidj.net] typically ranges from 0.1 uSv/h to ~15 uSv/h with the median being somewhere close to 3 uSv/h or about 10-30x background. This is comparable to radiation exposure on a long-haul flight, as I've shown you, and that has so far not been shown to result in any increased risk, even in people who work for the airline industry and spend a sizable amount of their lives in this environment.

Cosmic Ray != radioactive iod or caesium

From a radiotoxicity standpoint, they are in fact not really distinct. You may recall that Sievert [wikipedia.org] is a unit of committed dose [wikipedia.org] , so it expresses biological effects, not just raw counts, and is capable of accounting for the differences between internal and external emitters. Now you could argue that whole-body exposure numbers are too simplistic to accurately asses ionizing radiation impact, and I'd agree (for certain radionuclides), but this has been considered and more accurate models are available, they're just not used very often in discussions, because they're too complex to easily wrap your mind around. For a first-degree approximation, though, whole-body exposure numbers seem to be quite a good rule of thumb.

Re:already done (1)

greg_barton (5551) | about 5 months ago | (#47543879)

Wish I had points to up vote you. :)

Re:already done (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#47543375)

Ironically, the longer the half life, the less dangerous the material is. The truly dangerous ones have relatively short half lives which will easily have them dissipate well within a human lifetime.

eight days. Gunpowder dangerous, candles are not (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#47543451)

Iodine is most dangerous because it releases all of it's radiation quickly. With a half-Life of just eight days, it releases enough energy, quickly enough, to do real harm. After a few weeks, the radiation is pretty much gone. You can visualize that as being like gunpowder, it releases its energy quickly, and that's dangerous.

Other substances release energy very slowly, over the course of hundreds of years. That's like the heat energy released from from iron rusting - it takes a long time to release the energy, so it would take a LONG time to be affected by it. You wouldn't want to keep a piece of plutonium in your pocket for 800 years, because after 200 years or so you might start to notice some affects. Except of course you'll die of other causes in about 50 years, so you'd never notice any affects from plutonium.

Iodine and other isotopes with a short half-life ARE dangerous for a little while, until they "burn up".

Re:already done (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#47544451)

Contamination is quite reversible

Yes, but the effects of short term contamination are not. The evacuated towns in Japan are pretty much being abandoned now, because even when they do manage to fully decontaminate them there will be no-one to live there. All the former residents have had to move on with their lives, find homes and jobs elsewhere, go to other schools and try to start some kind of new life.

Those communities, those businesses are all gone for good.

Re:already done (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 5 months ago | (#47544805)

But
a) Nobody died. (Unlike due to the direct effects of the tsunami.)
b) In places like Ishinomaki, Kesenuma, Rikuzentakata or Ofunato the people are essentially in the same situation. People can't just go back, because they now realized that those places are too darn dangerous to live in, because of the tsunami hazard. If history provides any pattern there, the towns will be abandonned for several decades upon which people will start ignoring the danger again, rebuild former settlements and then suffer the next big tsunami. All very much on the same time-scale as for the evacuation zone around Fukushima Daiichi. With the difference that the next tsunami WILL come and WILL NOT be prevented, while nuclear power plants can simply be build properly to modern standards (i.e. designed to contain a meltdown, which General Electric said this containment wasn't designed to do all the way back to 1966, as you can read in the CR-6042 manual).

c) The number of people evacuated because of radiation is a fraction (10-20%) of the total number of people who lost their homes. Most of those will be free to return in the next few years. (There is no statistic that I'm aware of saying how many people's homes were destroyed in the area that was later declared off-limits. Extrapolating from the number of dead people in the area it ought to be about 10% or 50,000, but that could be wrong.)

Re:already done (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#47548045)

People did die during the evacuation, mostly the elderly. They can't go back because there are still spots of significant contamination where radiation levels are above the legal limit. The towns near Fukushima survived the tsunami unscathed, they are perfectly safe from even the largest waves.

Re:already done (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#47542485)

I find it hard to believe that a major earthquake would allow a reactor to remain intact.

Re:already done (4, Informative)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542561)

It will, in fact the reactors near Fukushima experienced major quakes beyond their design basis, remained intact and actually saw little or no structural damage. Only those plants that got flooded by the tsunami had problems, because they were not designed to be underwater.

If a major natural disaster hits, a nuclear plant is probably one of the safest places to be.

Re:already done (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#47543169)

It will, in fact the reactors near Fukushima experienced major quakes beyond their design basis..

Is anybody else concerned that anything like a nuclear reactor could ever encounter a major quake beyond their design basis?

Shouldn't we be designing reactors to handle any quake that is reasonably likely to occur? Japan is highly prone to earthquakes - I'd expect any reactor design to account for a very strong one.

We're not talking about a freak incident like a comet impact that destroys all of Japan. We're talking about an earthquake in one of the most earthquake-prone regions on Earth. I'd expect a reactor in an inactive region to be designed to withstand a major quake just as a matter of course.

Re:already done (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47543263)

Shouldn't we be designing reactors to handle any quake that is reasonably likely to occur? Japan is highly prone to earthquakes - I'd expect any reactor design to account for a very strong one.

They do, but you have to prescribe a specific requirement in the license and that is on the regulator. The actual designs handle quite a bit more than the licensed design specification, because a reactor designer will typically consider the worst site where a reactor is expected to be built, and the site specific design can be augmented if necessary. US plants have conservative earthquake requirements to start with as prescribed by the NRC, and they do consider the location. Designing a facility to withstand an earthquake is really not that big of a technical challenge.

Withstanding a tsunami is a whole different ball game... there is no margin for something like that, you either place the plant where it won't get hit, or you design it to operate underwater with destroyed surroundings... that latter is not practical.

Re:already done (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#47546415)

Shouldn't we be designing reactors to handle any quake that is reasonably likely to occur? Japan is highly prone to earthquakes - I'd expect any reactor design to account for a very strong one.

They do, but you have to prescribe a specific requirement in the license and that is on the regulator.

My issue is with the statement, "the reactors near Fukushima experienced major quakes beyond their design basis." That suggests to me that regulators set a design basis requirement smaller than earthquakes that have subsequently hit the region.

Obviously they have to set some kind of design threshold, since no machine can withstand an earthquake of such magnitude that it destroys the earth and half the solar system with it. I'd just expect them to take the largest earthquake in known history in that area, and add a safety factor to it. I wouldn't expect the plant to ever actually experience such an event within our lifetimes.

Re:already done (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47546565)

Agreed. Japan is a high seismic activity area and should have set higher requirements to start with, just as they should have never assumed a massive tsunami would not happen when its clear that it could based on the geology of the area and the type of coastline. Raising the minimum requires going back and re-analyzing to see if the design is still adequate and making modifications where it isn't, costly to do after the fact.

Re:already done (1)

Boronx (228853) | about 5 months ago | (#47547781)

The earth quake was a millennial quake, so they figured they only had a five percent chance of seeing one in the life span of the plants. In other words, they cut corners. They also cut corners on personnel. Competent management could have prevented the meltdown even post tsunami. For instance, they could have vented the Hydrogen gas, and they should have moved mountains to get the generators running (or get new generators flown in) and keep them fueled.

Re:already done (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47543561)

It won't.
The reactors at Fukushima did not feel anything from the earth quake.
They where 450 miles away from the epicenter. They suffered because surrounding pillars for electric wires collapsed ... they got damaged enough to be broken beyond repair and finally they got hit by a tsunami destroying the emergency cooling.
So an earthquake that was at the site certainly below 6 on the Richter Scale already did server damage.
The news that is survived a 9.x quake is a myth, the 9.x quake was as far away as the distance between New York and Cleveland Conneticut.
So you have a quake in Conneticut and a plant in New York fails (mainly because the plower lines around it got nocked down) and you claim: the plant survived a quake ...
Sorry it did not.
Even without the tsunami nocking out the emergency generators, the plant was doomed.
Even more important: Japans government failed to place there alternative diesel engines. Can't be so hard to drive them in with trucks, every military has such things. Even if we had needed to fly them in from Germany with Trans All's and using tanker air planes for refueling and parachuting them down would have been a no brainer and likely done in 36h if there had not been a catastrophic put your head into the sand no nothing happened in the end it will not be so bad ... stupid attitude.
With swift reaction the rest of the world had saved the plants from disaster (if not the cooling pipes are/where broken themselves)
Can't be so hard to bring a couple of ships to anchor and power the cooling or bring in trucks or really parachute down emergency equipment.
IMHO the plant manager and the managers of the company should be shot at a wall for not disclosing the severity of the situation in time.

Re:already done (3, Informative)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47543863)

^you can make stuff up all you want, but there are no such thing as safety related electrical pillars. Offsite power supply is not credited in a safety analysis of the plant, and failure of those systems is just fine, as the safety related systems could more than handle the earthquake. The plant was doomed when it was inundated by water and the safety related systems became inoperable.

You should learn more about how a plant safety design basis is developed, and in particular the difference between safety related and non-safety related systems and components.

Re:already done (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47544041)

If the outside power was not cut, the plant wasn't doomed ... or was it?

Are you trying to make an idiot out of yourself?

You claimed the plant was not at all affected by the earthquake, which is wrong.

There was plenty of structural damage by a quake nearly 500 miles away ...

The rest we all know, not much to talk about. Except your ignorance ofc.

Re:already done (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47544237)

Outside power is not required to shut the plant down. There nearby plants, the ones right next door, the ones not hit by the tsunami, also lost power but shut down just fine. The Fukushima Daiichi plants were in the process of shutting down after the quake and before the tsunami, even though offsite power was lost. The emergency diesel generators had started and the units were just fine to shut down. Had the tsunami not hit, regardless of the quake, you would never have heard of Fukushima Daiichi, just like you probably can't name any of the units that survived the severe earthquake without googling.

Re:already done (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47544253)

You claimed the plant was not at all affected by the earthquake, which is wrong.

I never said the plant was not at all affected, that is another fabrication by you. The safety systems, those designed to operate after such an event, were quite capable of safety shutting down the plant after the quake. They were not capable after the tsunami hit.

Re:already done (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47545431)

You said: the plant survived an earthquake undamaged ... should I click ten times parent/parent/parent to quote you?

Re:already done (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47545719)

yes, please find that quote.

Re:already done (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47545801)

Either you are a moron or you should not let other people use your /. account:
http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

if I did not miscount, just 5 posts 'back' .... hm, where is the 'that was easy' button?

Re:already done (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47546007)

I think you did not read it, because it does not say "the plant survived an earthquake undamaged". So, you are resorting to changing my words so you can play a game of "gotcha", and you have gone down that path because your arguments were failing.

Please just stop now while you are behind.

Re:already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547965)

The plant was doomed when it was inundated by water and the safety related systems became inoperable.

No, the plant was doomed when the operators started believing nothing could go wrong. TEPCO violated the design guide lines and manufacturers operational guide lines when operating the reactor. That is why it exploded

You should learn more about how a plant safety design basis is developed, and in particular the difference between safety related and non-safety related systems and components.

Well why don't you share that because it's not something you can just google. Basis design issues are uncovered during the lifetime of the plant and operational characteristics are changed to not provoke the issue.

If you knew this you wouldn't have said this The plant was doomed when it was inundated by water and the safety related systems became inoperable and this You should learn more about how a plant safety design basis is developed in the same post as it reveals that you don't know hat you are talking about.

TEPCO violated operational and design guidelines and exposed TWO basis design issues (or BDIs - the correct nomenclature) in a Generation 1 reactor. If you actually deserved that moderation you would be able to tell us all which two BDIs were exposed.

Re:already done (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#47544497)

Actually the earthquake did damage the plant in a very critical way. The emergency cooling system was broken, so that even when they started pumping in water from fire engines it didn't cool the cores and they went into meltdown.

I suggest you try watching this documentary: http://youtu.be/ldki2ji5-gU [youtu.be]

Re:already done (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47544585)

First, there were more than one unit that all met essentially the same fate from the tsunami, it was not just one unit, and each unit has multiple safety systems that are designed to complete their mission even if one fails, as the assumption is always that something will go wrong. There were plenty of operable cooling components in place to shut down the plant after the earthquake. Not so after the tsunami.

Re:already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547885)

It will, in fact the reactors near Fukushima experienced major quakes beyond their design basis, remained intact and actually saw little or no structural damage. Only those plants that got flooded by the tsunami had problems, because they were not designed to be underwater.

That's not true. The plant experienced a 150Gal event and was rated to 600Gal, well inside their design basis. Only reactors that got flooded AND had their diesel back up generators failed

If a major natural disaster hits, a nuclear plant is probably one of the safest places to be.

sure, sure, yep safest place

Re:already done (2)

Hussman32 (751772) | about 5 months ago | (#47543335)

The reactors are fine during an earthquake because they are effectively bolted to bedrock, and the move with the earth. There was a serious earthquake a few years ago at the Kashiwaszaki-Kariwa site, and the primary systems didn't move at all. There was a lot of damage to the switchyard and non-safety systems, and there was some water sloshed out of the spent fuel pool, but the reactor started up fine after all systems were requalified.

Re:already done (2)

HangingChad (677530) | about 5 months ago | (#47542515)

Given the situation, the outcome was quite easily predictable.

If it was that easy FP&L would be making plans to close Turkey Point instead of expand it. That whole site is going to be underwater and, before that happens, there's going to be a storm surge high enough to swamp it. That's a guarantee which seems to fly in the face of your supposition.

I worked in the nuclear industry for nearly a decade. What I saw with my own eyes could best be described as straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.

Re:already done (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542575)

Can you please describe the event that suddenly places Turkey Point underwater without sufficient warning to take appropriate actions? Many hurricanes have come through, even those with the highest scale, and TP has been quite fine. If you can show there can be a surge will inundate the plant that is not accounted for, please specify the height and relative limits for the plant.

Re:already done (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#47543203)

What I saw with my own eyes could best be described as straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.

I don't have any experience in the nuclear industry, but this sort of thing is common where satisfying inspectors/etc are concerned.

There is a lot more emphasis on looking busy than being safe. If you try to introduce a product in a regulated space and your testing is documented on two pages of paper an inspector would laugh at you and deny your application to market the product. On the other hand, if you produced 10k pages of documentation, but ignored testing some likely failure mode, chances are it would get rubber-stamped. If one of those 10k pages of documentation were missing an initial/date or signature, they (or an internal auditor) would probably catch it.

It is just the bikeshedding problem in another guise. The people charged with oversight can't possibly properly supervise the work - they just are woefully understaffed to do that. So, they just get a sense for how impressive the documentation looks and assume that if there are problems they'd be apparent. That is why anybody about to be inspected by a regulator doubles-down on the housekeeping - a tidy shop is more likely to get less poking-around.

Re:already done (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 5 months ago | (#47543435)

Why would Turkey Point be underwater? If it's the sea-level rise due to Apocolyptic Global Warming then you should be pushing for as much non-CO2 emmiting generation capacity as possible, Solar and Wind are the icing on the cake, but nuclear is your cake.

Re:already done (2)

multi io (640409) | about 5 months ago | (#47542827)

Now, Post-Fukushima, plants are adding response capabilities for apocalyptic type scenarios even though three is nobody that can provide an example of how such an event may happen for the particular site short of some major war type event. Fukushima was simple...don't put reactors that were not design to operate underwater where they can find themselves underwater. Given the situation, the outcome was quite easily predictable.

Can you cite any pre-Fukushima regulation that mandates this? Because if you can't, then that's a case of "hindsight is 20/20". I'm pretty sure the type of thing that happened at Fukushima has always been thought to be a "there is nobody that can provide an example of how such an event may happen for the particular site" type of scenario -- until it did happen.

Re:already done (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47543149)

Plants do address what they call "beyond design basis" events with various coping scenarios over and above the prescribed design basis accidents and events. Post Fuku response is really an extension of that severe accident management element. But that is not in response to a specified event, rather the approach is to simply imagine the plant is left crippled badly in various ways and put mitigations in place to cope. Now, they simply imagine a more crippled starting point. That's all well and good and conservative, but it doesn't address an event, which was the failing at Fukushima.

Re:already done (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 5 months ago | (#47543329)

Go read WASH-1400, that one said 36 years before Fukushima Daiichi what would happen when a tsunami hits a nuclear power plant. The predicted result is easily comparable to what we have seen, because Japan (just like the USA) didn't bother to implement major upgrades that were demanded by law in France, Germany and Sweden. Among those are hydrogen recombiners that the Japanese demanded by law in 2012 and were bought in France where they have been implemented for decades. You may remember the hydrogen explosions? Those were predicted. The same countries also installed filtered containment vents. Which would, by themselves, have prevented uncontrolled venting into the reactor buildings, they would have filtered out 99.99% of the Cs and they also have hydrogen recombines by default. In Germany those were required in 1988, Japan followed in 2013. Japan managed to require all reactors to have at least 2 emergency generators for each reactor in 2002 (before that 3 emergency generators were sufficient for 2 reactors). By comparison, at the same time, Germany required at least 2 WORKING emergency generators for each reactor, even if one generator is out for maintenance and another breaks down due to some technical fault. In other words, they required at least 4 generators and even more, if some of them were put in a place were they might fail due to some other causes (like flooding or a plane crash).

There is no tsunami risk in Europe. But nuclear power plants must be protected against 10.000 year floods. Fukushima Daiichi (along with all the coastal cities) was protected against a rather small tsunami that hit Japan in 1960 and nobody bothered that there were larger tsunamis in 1933 and 1896 (and many more before that).

It's not about hindsight. It's a matter of a complete lack of disaster planning in Japan, which is why you had almost 20.000 dead and 400.000 lost homes (that latter figure is without the additional evacuations due to the reactor accident).

Re:already done (3, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 5 months ago | (#47544607)

External events are considered in US plant design already, this author seems to be a bit ignorant on how the safety case for plants is built. Who cares if we refine the probability of an event is if the plant is already designed to withstand it?

Technically, the Fukushima plant was also already designed to withstand this type of event. It had sufficient backup power systems necessary to continue operating the cooling pumps in the event of a catastrophic disaster of this type.

Where they screwed up was in the redundancy of the backups. This is unfortunately a fairly common failure mode in engineering designs. Say a single diesel generator has a 10% chance of failing to start up if you try to run it during an emergency. People then naively think that if you just put 6 diesel generators into the design, then that reduces the statistical probability of failure to 1 in a million. The chance of all six generators failing is (10%)^6 = 1 in a million.

That's the correct math for generator failures due to independent internal causes. But everything changes when you talk about external causes. Suddenly you have a cause like, oh, say, a tsunmai, which can affect all the generators simultaneously. The failure mode for each generator is no longer independent, and your redundancy does nothing to decrease the odds of a failure. All they had to avoid this effect was put the generators and diesel fuel tanks in different places. But no, the typical Japanese obsession with order and symmetry* mandated that they put all their generators in a row in the same place. And the tsunami took them out and contaminated their fuel all at once. Indeed the two newer Fukushima reactors where the generators and fuel were stored in a different location got through the earthquake and tsunami just fine.

* I rag on the Japanese, but the same thing happened with the Space Shuttle Challenger. They were having problems with poor O-ring seals in the solid rocket boosters. So to reduce the probability of a failure, they just added more O-rings. That worked to stop the independent failures (burn-through due to improper seating of an O-ring in one spot). But when an external factor popped up which caused all O-rings to fail simultaneously (cold weather), the safety of the redundant O-rings was negated.

Re:already done (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47544705)

The plant was not designed to operate when inundated by water, it was not designed to withstand a tsunami of this magnitude, it was assumed a tsunami would never breach the protective wall and reach the plant, therefore, simple things like protecting the structures from the forces of the tsunami, and waterproofing all of the ducts, vents, doors, etc with controls over when and how long they can be open, were never in place.

Even with diesel failures at a unit, it could still have been safely shut down had the tsunami not hit. One option could have been borrowing power from another unit, but that would not necessarily be required. Diesels are very reliable machines that are tested on a regular basis. Adding a third does not improve the situation as much as you may think, because if two fail at the same time, its more likely a common cause than a different one, and the third diesel would stand a good chance of suffering that common cause as well. That is where testing, maintenance and reliability programs become very important. Also, having diverse means to achieve a safe state is also key.

The key is not placing a plant that cannot withstand a tsunami where it can be hit by one, because designing to withstand a tsunami suddenly inundating the site it really not practical.

How would that be even helpful? (0)

thieh (3654731) | about 5 months ago | (#47542161)

Withstanding earthquake at one particular strength does not mean it can withstand all earthquakes. And it probably isn't going to be helpful in a lot of cases as well, because where are you moving the whole thing away when you know there is an earthquake/tsunami coming? Japan is a bunch of islands for crying out loud. And you probably have to stay connected to the grid while you are moving it out of immediate danger. So until you have high-speed mobile plants fooling around external risks are probably not going to mean much to disaster-level events as we have yet technology to stop nature from dealing damage to us.

Re:How would that be even helpful? (2, Informative)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542181)

Earthquake probability and characterization is a 'continuously improving' science. Knowledge improvement is factored in by the regulator. Fortunately, plants are designed to withstand very large quakes with a large design margin added on top. In reality they will withstand quakes much larger than their stated design capacity.

Re:How would that be even helpful? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542255)

Not so for Humboldt Bay Reactor.

Re:How would that be even helpful? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542289)

Care to elaborate on how a small, long shuttered plant from the early 60s relates here, or are you just randomly copying stuff from your goggle search results trying to look like you have a point?

Re:How would that be even helpful? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542327)

It was shuttered because it was not built to withstand the earthquake risk. The margin was not there.

Re:How would that be even helpful? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542361)

Well, there you go, plants that are not designed to withstand an earthquake that is considered to be possible in an area are not allowed to operate. HB could not prove its safety case based on this EXTERNAL EVENT, and was shut down, many years ago.

Re:How would that be even helpful? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542399)

So, your claim that the margin is already there is false.

Re:How would that be even helpful? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542423)

Well, If we are talking about shuttered plants that are not operating, with no fuel, then they have plenty of margin, believe me. Anyone reading this thread to this point will clearly see how ridiculous your contention is, so I don't need to continue, but for your own edification, if HB were operating and were hit with a large quake, it would still likely withstand it due to the margin.

Re:How would that be even helpful? (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 5 months ago | (#47548001)

Well, If we are talking about shuttered plants that are not operating, with no fuel, then they have plenty of margin, believe me. Anyone reading this thread to this point will clearly see how ridiculous your contention is, so I don't need to continue, but for your own edification, if HB were operating and were hit with a large quake, it would still likely withstand it due to the margin.

Wow, you just can't concede that you are wrong. Plus all of your posts are upmodded so I wonder if you are using a sock-puppet

Re:How would that be even helpful? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47546131)

Re "plant from the early 60s relates here"
Plants often come form nuclear reactor designs and prototypes from the 1950's and 1960's.
We are now seeing the results of a very old sector trying to rebuild itself with new parts. Replacement steam generator plugging (failed pressure test and needed to be plugged). We have seen issues with air tightness of the reactor containments, issues in the re circulation pipe systems, cracks in the core shroud.
Then you have the complex costs of cleaning out a boiling water reactor and a pressurized water reactor ie radioactive steam moves via the entire plant system, tritium leaks, spent fuel storage costs vs limited decommissioning funds. Moving to dry storage and then moving all the regular waste from decommissioning and dismantlement (disposal license). The old plants waste size adds up and all you have a few Class A waste sites? Class B and C waste with more long-lived and short-lived radionuclides can just wait? Weld anomalies, through wall corrosion, corrosion of steel containments, walls of steel containments below the minimum design thickness. The old plants have containment degradation, metal pressure boundary corrosion incidents. Add in the fun of uprated license extensions to 2040+ with a power increase (Stretched Power Uprate).

Re:How would that be even helpful? (2)

brambus (3457531) | about 5 months ago | (#47543003)

Japan is a bunch of islands for crying out loud.

While true, it is quite an oversimplification. Japan is very mountainous even near the shores, in some places, and it would not have been impossible to place the plant a little further "uphill" to prevent this from happening. There are several reason they placed it right on the shore, one of them being construction purposes. LWRs consist of some very heavy single-piece components and it's much easier to ship them in via boat than it is to transport them over the road. In addition, you have a readily available source of large amounts of cooling water in the world's largest heatsink.

However, had TEPCO not been a bunch of colossal asshats and not skimped on the construction and piping costs, they could have just as easily placed the thing a few miles inland and at higher elevation and none of this would have happened. In fact, if Japan ever decides to build liquid-metal cooled fast breeder reactors, it is absolutely imperative they place it somewhere it can't ever get flooded. If OTOH they decide to go with molten-salt reactors (and they should!), they could place them pretty much where ever they want, because fluoride salts don't react with water, aren't water-soluble, don't operate under high pressure and their large liquid range allows for high temperature of operation, which in turn means that passive air cooling in the event of a plant blackout is far easier to do.

Stylized (3, Interesting)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542231)

It really harms the credibility of the NRC when their risk calculation come to a accident every ten thousand years while the real world rate is one every 18 years. There are ten or more near misses each year http://www.ucsusa.org/news/pre... [ucsusa.org] so nuclear plants are operating far outside the claimed safety envelope.

Re:Stylized (2)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#47542253)

while the real world rate is one every 18 years

Over 400+ nuclear reactors in the world.

Re:Stylized (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542263)

Accounted for that.

Re:Stylized (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#47542307)

No, otherwise you wouldn't have written:

It really harms the credibility of the NRC when their risk calculation come to a accident every ten thousand years while the real world rate is one every 18 years.

Re:Stylized (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542335)

What?

Re:Stylized (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547067)

What?

Yeah, khallow, the apex nuclear troll. khallow presents as a pro-nuclear apologist who's function is to dampen *any* criticism of the nuclear industry. Encounters with khallow "arguments" follow this general tone:

  • khallow never presents evidence to back up anything claimed
  • khallow will ignore evidence presented that doesn't agree with the nuclear agenda
  • if it is a direct factual finding against a khallow argument will use weasel words
  • khallow will launch into an ad-hom attack and ignore an argument presented
  • will simply delete any argument where khallow is proven wrong and not include it in a response
  • uses a number of khallow 'tactics' to frustrate an argument

You will never get anything resembling sense from khallow because of behavior resembling a paid Nuclear Industry shill on /.

Re:Stylized (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542385)

khallow, he just doesn't understand about application of statistical data, and repeats what he reads from nuclear FUD websites. You won't get a logical response to this obvious point.

Re:Stylized (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 5 months ago | (#47543243)

khallow, he just doesn't understand about application of statistical data, and repeats what he reads from nuclear FUD websites. You won't get a logical response to this obvious point.

I'm an astronomer who is also interested in music, especially sacred, and global warming. In astronomy, I've worked mainly on how intertellar dust can reveal the presence of super massive blackholes. ... For a number of years I've been involved in attempting to reverse global warming. I'm a member of the Green Party of the United States EcoAction committee and have helped to develop energy policy for the party. Very recently, I've gotten involved in a startup that plans to rent solar photovoltaic systems in the residential market. mdsolar (1045926) [slashdot.org]

Obviously he is more than capable of inderstanding the stats, whether he's willing to, due to conflicting vested interests and ideology is a different matter.

Re:Stylized (1)

dasunt (249686) | about 5 months ago | (#47543219)

Accounted for that.

Do you understand how this works?

18 * 400 = 7,200 reactor-years per accident.

Not too far away from the 10,000 figure.

Re:Stylized (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547457)

Accounted for that.

Do you understand how this works?

18 * 400 = 7,200 reactor-years per accident.

Not too far away from the 10,000 figure.

So, what you're saying is that we can *expect* a nuclear accident every 18 year. Sounds to me like all the statistical proof you need to prove Nuclear power isn't safe.

Re:Stylized (0)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542303)

More uninformed claims. External event risk varies widely by area, so the global average, however you want to characterize it, is useless. You probably picked that up from some 'league of anti-nuke scientisticians" website, as we know you will repeat anything you hear as long as it is anti-nuke.

Re:Stylized (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547533)

More uninformed claims. External event risk varies widely by area, so the global average, however you want to characterize it, is useless. You probably picked that up from some 'league of anti-nuke scientisticians" website, as we know you will repeat anything you hear as long as it is anti-nuke.

The 60 page document he is referring to has 2 pages of references, including the NRC, supporting the assertions. Why are you characterizing information as pro or anti anything - you either accept the conclusions or you don't.

All you are doing is demonstrating that you aren't even prepared to consider anything you don't already agree to.

Re:Stylized (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542421)

If the 1 in 10.000 years is per reactor, 18 years between accidents is "reasonable". With 400 reactors worldwide, that would mean approximately 25 years (~10000/400) between accidents.* Accounting for older designs, improving risk estimation, worse safety/quality standards in some parts of the world, etc. 18 years is close and not "far outside the claimed safety envelope".

Also, one "near miss" per year suggests luck, ten or more per year implies that there are enough safeties and checks in the systems to catch trouble before a catastrophe happens.

* I know this is not exact. It should be close enough. Fanatics can do the 1/(1 - ((10k-1)/10k)^400) stuff with a calculator.

Re:Stylized (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47542451)

Add that 'near miss' is not an official event defined event by the NRC , but rather that of the anti nuke group, so they decide what to call a near miss.

Re:Stylized (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547913)

Add that 'near miss' is not an official event defined event by the NRC , but rather that of the anti nuke group, so they decide what to call a near miss.

A "near miss" *IS* a term defined by the NRC and the acronym is ASP. They are audited, countable events which are triggered by specific behavioral characteristics of a Nuclear Reactor.

Re:Stylized (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 5 months ago | (#47542539)

It is not per reactor, that is 1 in over in a million in the generic approach.

Re:Stylized (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#47542527)

The contamination from a reactor spill might be so serious that one spill in ten thousand years might not be an acceptable risk. There is also a problem in that giving one nation the permission to build reactors really gives any regime the right to do the same. And we have no control over the safety or design standards applied in other nations. Nations like Iran and N. Korea act like mental patients who failed to take their meds. I'm not certain these nations should be allowed to chew gum much less have anything to do with nuclear power.

Re:Stylized (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47543135)

I would say no to North Korea.

Re:Stylized (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#47543231)

Nations like Iran and N. Korea act like mental patients who failed to take their meds. I'm not certain these nations should be allowed to chew gum much less have anything to do with nuclear power.

If my next door neighbor runs over a kid with their car because they don't look backwards when reversing, the solution isn't to remove the reverse gear from every car in the world.

You can't use the existence of N Korea as a rationale to constrain the behavior or legitimate governments.

Most accident scenarios ... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 5 months ago | (#47542689)

... unfortunately only regard one major failure (e.g. main coolant feeding line failure), with other failures (e.g. one emergency generator fails) covered by redundancies.

This might work for technical breakdowns, but not for external events. ("All coolant pumps and emergency generators fail - because the whole power plant compound is under three meters of water.").

Re:Most accident scenarios ... (1)

Fierlo (842860) | about 5 months ago | (#47543071)

There are probabilistic models that NPPs use to account for random failures, and human interactions (e.g., valve left in wrong position after test and undetected).

The issue that the OP is referring to is that most stations only use the internal events model which has an initiating event that starts with a NPP system failure (e.g., coolant line failure), instead of the external events models. They are called external, but includes fire, flood, seismic and high wind events.

Re:Most accident scenarios ... (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 5 months ago | (#47543151)

Read the NUREG-1150 or whatever more recent document (this one is from 1990 or so). You'll find that your claim is outdated by about half a century.

I think the key word is "focus" (1)

REden (174677) | about 5 months ago | (#47543173)

The headline says "focus". I take that to mean a lot of time has been spent on internal failures and external ones just need more study. That's not unreasonable. When I worked at one, I could imagine a movie plot military attack easily getting through security. I suspect that's the sort of thing they need to give more thought to.

stupid design (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#47544283)

Internal, external, magical wizard attacks and gypsy curses, who cares? What they need is a generally less stupid design. 3 backup cooling systems or whatever is completely wrong regardless. Design it so that if nothing were to occur, as in all humans left and everything turned off, it won't melt down. Anything short of that will melt down eventually. At least nuclear fusion will spin itself down on its own. They really need to up the funding for that. It's virtually unlimited free energy. Add electric cars and boats and planes and the world has clean energy forever.

FTFY. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47545865)

> Nuclear Plants Should Focus On Risks Posed By External Events

Nuclear Plants Should Focus On Risks Posed By External Events before the associated accidents happen. That would be better. But, hey, thinking about them ex post facto also can be useful, perhaps.

As a production sysadmin once told me (I was his boss and don't consider myself that dumb regarding IT matters):

-- If you don't know what you're doing, don't mess with it.

I got a little surprised, but can't deny the guy was 100% right. "You could climb down here, but you would not be able to climb up." Best heads up, which I learned while playing Colossal Cave!

Unless you can completely make sure all risks are zero -- or at least manageable -- don't do things from which you can't recover.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?