Originally Posted by cdoublejj
Except it needs a pump, in this case a diesel witch was flooded with water. think of it was water cooling like for your pc, except it leaks all over the mobo. while you make a good point they are exposed to tsunamis so it's a double edge sword.
I bet the US is just as bad. i'm sure we have accidents just waiting to happen. It's not all that smart to mess with stuff you don't fully understand and or aren't able to fully contain in worst case scenario.
But we do fully understand it.
If you play with fire your gonna get burnt.
Just because the common man doesn't understand it doesn't mean the experts don't.
Nuclear power plants are incredibly safe. The US plants are literally built to take a direct plane crash/tornado strike and survive without having a disaster.
The Japanese reactor was "succesfully" shut down. Reactor cores four, five, and six had already been shut down to undergo routine maintanence before the earthquake. Cores one, two, and three succesfully underwent the SCRAM sequence due to the earthquake shutting them down.
The problem was that the fuel rods in reactor 1 which the Japanese had hoped were undamaged suffered damage which caused parts of the rods to be uncooled and caused portions of them to melt. This was what caused the disaster at reactor core 1. Because of this, steam was able to come into contact with exposed portions of uranium, oxidizing the metal and releasing hydrogen which later built up and exploded. Usually there are systems that burn away the hydrogen before it can build up, but these apparently failed due to electricity.
As of now the Fukushima I has suffered from a nuclear meltdown in reactor core 1. And there are multiple credible reports that fuel in reactor 4 underwent uncontrolled nuclear fission which is extremely dangerous because it did undergo a SCRAM procedure. But the fission was small enough that it passed unnoticed until scientists collected various chemicals which are the byproducts from nuclear fission. Even though there is not the correct fuel for a multi kilotons explosion from the reactor, there is enough in any one of the cores to create a dirty bomb. The explosion would be pretty small, maybe not even a kiloton, but with that much overheated uranium fuel it could heavily irradiate all of Japan.
funny story. The origin of the word SCRAM is that in the very first nuclear reactor the control rod was held up by a rope to a motor. Should there be an accident there was a man on the balcony in front the rope and control rod. He was given a sharp axe and was told that if there was a problem he was to chop the rope in half so that the control rod would fall into the reactor and shut it off. "SCRAM" is an acronym for "Safety Control Rod Axe Man"Edited by Singular1ty - 5/17/11 at 11:52am