Tradeoffs, Saltwater Edition
In a perfect world, you use distilled HOH to cool and control a nuclear reactor.
In a flawed world, you use potable HOH and hope nothing damages the reactor in the longer term.
In an emergency, especially one where potable HOH is going to be in short supply and you are near the coast, you use saltwater and hope you can avert a crisis while only losing future use of a reactor you weren’t going to be able to salvage in the first place.
This is not rocket science, it’s making the best tradeoff you can and hoping that ex post discussions are about “better next time ” instead of “what went wrong.”
“The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that.” Larry Kudlow
i was going to take the opportunity to point out to the libertarians lurking that down by where i live the rich yacht owners and the fiercely independent fishermen are demanding government help to repair the damage from the tsunami.
i thought they would see the point. but i guess not.
your average libertarian imagines that He would have been too smart to get hammered by a tsunami, or hurricane, or nuclear bomb. and that when he emerged from his bomb shelter he would not need the cooperation of second raters and ewww workers to survive.
and of course when it hits he is right at the front of the line demanding a government handout, and can show you in the Word of God just where THIS kind of government handout is “different” and fully justified under Libertarian Principles (correctly understood).
I expect the Japanese are going to be taking a very hard look at plant siting and re-licencing of 40 year old systems. I also expect they will be doing some thinking about re-siting some of the destroyed towns. Either that or some very high tsunami walls.
You didn’t bother to say where the excess saltwater flows after it has been used to help cool the reactor.
You didn’t explain why river water wasn’t used to cool the reactor.
As for whether the actions ongoing in Japan with regard to their damages nuclear power plants not being rocket science, I wouldn’t be so sure. A lot of minds are working on those problems.
Does it really matter what you do to the reactor when it was due to be shutdown at the end of the month anyway?
Excellent explanation of saltwater economics. Boy was I ever confused.
River water was not used because there is no river nearby to use, the sea is what is available.
Daiichi is on the ocean coast. Daini, too.
I know that the nuclear facilities are located near the ocean. They opted to use ocean water because they’ve written off the reactors. The threat was too great to wait for distilled water delivery or withdrawals from rivers and lakes.
Where does the ocean water used to temporarily cool the reactors go as new ocean water is pumped in to keep cooling the reactors?
You go to the reactor with the water you have not the water you want.
I believe that they were pumping the seawater/boric acid mix in, but not out. Basically they flooded the reactor with it. Ideally the water is supposed to just stay in there, absorb some of the heat, and help it spread around evenly… though it would seem some of it is escaping as steam and hydrogen gas.
So the water sits in there, they wait some time for the heat and radiation to drop in place (months?), then they pump it out as liquid nuclear waste.
I agree that the seawater/boric acid mix would be a good idea. Not sure that I believe that the same pool of water just sat there considering the heat level. I expect that they were pouring more water in all the time to avoid steam and superheating and pumping the outflow back in the ocean.
But it doesn’t matter now at a couple of the reactors now as they lost their ability to furnish the supply of seawater as well. Pumps may have stopped working for whatever reason or the supply structure got too hot, failed, and then all hell broke loose.
Big, big problems at this point.
then i take it you would
not ban DHMO?
yes, normally takes about a month
Juan, at least put a smiley face afte that! :-))
So should those of us on the west coast buy potassium iodide?
Cursed, do you live within 10 miles of a Nuke power plant? If so, they should have been given out by your Health Dept.
We are starting to see some common sense commentary on a few ?News? shows and on the internet. The most interesting was: Chernobyl, the most dangerous nuclear melt down in history, resulted in a handful of deaths and ~1K leukemia cases. 998 of them were cured.
The 2nd most interesting was: ” Have people forgotten all the air dropped atomic and hydrogen bomb tests? That released far more radiation than these plants ever could. We’re still here.”
Don’t worry folks, CoRev is here.
There have been other reports about Chernobyl that talked about more than a “handful” of deaths.
But maybe after enough radiation a handful will mean something different to future generations.
How many fingers do you have, CoRev?
“The 2nd most interesting was: ” Have people forgotten all the air dropped atomic and hydrogen bomb tests? That released far more radiation than these plants ever could. We’re still here.””
There are a whole lot of “down winders” who remember these tests. There are pictures of US soldiers standing in the foreground of these explosions, ostensibly so the Pentagon could see how they would operate under these conditions. I’m sure there where dumb ass officers telling the elistees “Don’t worry”.
“Have people forgotten all the air dropped atomic and hydrogen bomb tests? That released far more radiation than these plants ever could. We’re still here.””
Google strontium 90 + milk
but yrs, so far still here