Friday, August 31, 2012

What Really Happened At the Fukushima Nuclear Plants


Dale said...

Ah, Arnie Gunderson.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm unbiased (I worked for Westinghouse Nuclear for a little over a year), or that a website called "Atomic Insights" is either, but Gunderson has a certain reputation for, shall we say, overstatement:

Philip Munger said...

Are you implying, Dale, that those gen sets did not go down in the aftermath of the 2012 quake/tsunami?

Dale said...

No, I'm not implying that.

But those pumps being wiped out isn't as critical as he's implying; in the immediate aftermath of a shutdown, it's less-vital to be pumping fresh cold seawater through the condenser than it is to keep the primary coolant flowing. And protecting the generators would keep the primary coolant flowing.

And so my disagreement with Gundersen here is that it is appropriate to focus on protecting the generators as the "lesson learned" from Fukishima, and that we can in fact protect these sites from future tsunamis by doing so, even if the pumps (which are by necessity near the water's edge) are still vulnerable.