Skip to main content

Lessons Learned from Japan

Constellation Energy Nuclear Group's Chief Nuclear Officer Maria Korsnick discusses lessons learned for the industry following the recent events in Japan. Visit ‪http://bit.ly/gT2XY5‬ to learn more about industry actions.

Visit the NEI Network for a lot more videos.

Comments

Scott said…
Why are we not hearing anything about hydrogen build-up issues during an emergency situation? The explosions that occurred at Daiichi did serious damage to the facilities, put the reactors at further risk, and are now greatly hampering efforts to contain the situation due to debris and significant damage to structural, electrical, and other systems. I've read that hydrogen build-up was also a big concern during the Three Mile Island incident. Has this concern already been mitigated at US nuclear plants? And if so, why is that not being communicated to the public?
David Bradish said…
Scott, CNN did a video a few days ago on Alabama's Browns Ferry nuclear plant which is similar in design to the Fukushima units. At the beginning of the video, there is a white large hardened pipe that everyone is staring at which is one of the modifications the industry made after TMI to vent primary containment at high pressure. This should prevent the secondary containment from exploding. It is not believed that the Fukushima units had hardened vents like this but we'll eventually find out. Right now the nuclear industry is going back to make sure the hardened vents in the US do what they're supposed to and that the plants take away any data from Japan.

This design modification, which was done a few decades back, has been communicated at our website and in other places, sometimes folks miss it.
Alan said…
Where can I find the INPO IER 11-1 document?

Thanks.
David Bradish said…
INPO documents are usually only for executive industry folks such as CNOs. Unfortunately you won't be able to find IER 11-1 anywhere online.
Brian said…
Alan, you can't find the INPO document online, but you can find a (probably the latest?) WANO SOER 2011-2, which incorporates INPO's findings. Here, for now: http://www.snus.sk/2011/fukushima/SOER_2011_2_en1_Fukushima.doc
George Martin said…
I read the WANO SOER 2011-2, which incorporates INPO's findings.

It is nothing but fluff. All it does is instruct plants to review their procedures and check readiness of equipment.

Something they should be doing on a regular, routine basis.

Why INPO should be writing a SER four days after the incident, not knowing the scope of the problems is mystifying to me.

I spent two years with INPO in the mid 1980 and participated in writing these documents.
George Martin said…
Re: "I've read that hydrogen build-up was also a big concern during the Three Mile Island incident."

We had an hydrogen gas excursion 10 hours following turbine trip at TMI. This was caused by the oxidation of approximately 30% of the zirconium fuel cladding.

The gases escaping through a pressurizer relief valve into the containment building.

Ignition of the gas most likely occurred during the remote cycling of one of these valves.

The maximum pressure to which the building experienced was 28 psig.

These containment buildings were designed for a pressure of about 60 psig, but structurally, should remain intact at twice that pressure.

It was about four days after the accident when our Industry Advisory Group received the Reactor Building pressure strip chart at breakfast and we became aware of it. Although, this information was available on the main control room console, it was not generally known to others.

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…