April 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm #6574
Since the EMP thread has been dragged down by talk about what could happen post SHTF regarding Nuclear Power Plants I thought that it deserves it’s own thread.
So feel free to discuss that here.
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.April 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm #6578
Here is an article that has some good news about what may happen to nuclear power plants in an EMP but does not talk about the stored spent rods and there cooling systems.April 3, 2014 at 4:55 pm #6592
Thanks for starting this thread!
HannahApril 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm #6596
First let me give my bona fides.
I spent 40 years in the power industry, with 18 of those in the nuclear industry. I was part of the TMI site recovery operation, and experienced the recovery first hand.
Most nukes should be able to handle an EMP. As far as the spent rods and their cooling systems they should be fine also, because the spent fuel pits are passive in nature, with the rods in casks and the casks submerged.
The problem arises if there is a weak link that disrupts cooling for the plants. Assuming you can pull the rods, and begin a cool down, there should be no problem. The latest generation of plants (built mostly in Asia) takes advantage of normal thermal cooling and can be safely shut down even with a loss of off site power.
The reactor vessel is housed in a steel containment, and then the concrete containment building is built around that. The concrete containment is designed to withstand a direct hit from a jetliner.
Plants are being constantly upgraded, and most of the older ones are shut down. Like anything man made the potential for problems exist. I suspect the plants will have to deal with issues, but I do not see any serious problems.
As serious as Three Mile Island was, no radiation from the accident reached the atmosphere. Hope this alleviates some of your concern. It is just one of many problems we will face if we have a serious EMP situation.April 3, 2014 at 10:47 pm #6669
Hey , type in Fukushima vegetables …………..that will give you a good idea of possible plant mutations .June 20, 2014 at 3:17 am #17041
Roadracer, I appreciate the explanation you give but I have a couple questions. My concerns are mainly with the spent fuel pools which I don’t believe are built to withstand a direct hit from a jetliner and which require power from the grid or emergency generators to keep the rods cool. My understanding is that nuke plants have anywhere from a few days to a few weeks worth of fuel to keep their emergency generators running. First, are those generators hardened against an EMP? Assuming they are (I hope and pray they are), what are the plans to prevent meltdowns when the FEMA and the military can’t come to the rescue? Also, concerning the spent fuel pools, do you know if anything is being done to protect them from terrorism? More specifically, a plane being crashed into the spent fuel pool. Radical Islam seems to have plenty of suicide bomber volunteers. Thanks fro any light you can shed on this.June 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm #17099
First the spent fuel pits don’t need power to keep the rods cool. They are stored in casks, and basically kept underwater in a large pit. The water keeps things cool. The problem is many of these pits are now at or near capacity. The question is what do you do with the material long term. If a suicide bomber did get into the spent fuel pit and detonated himself, I doubt he would be do much more than make a mess by blowing himself up. Some of the old plants did keep the rods in the pool without any casks. These were a priority to get cleaned up. Most of those plants are shut down and are in a maintenance phase.
All power plants, not only nukes, are now required to harden themselves from EMP, cyberattack, and terrorist assault. Obviously this all isn’t going to happen overnight, but steps are being taken. Not sure about other industries, but power generators are pretty proactive on this issue.
Fukushima is a unique animal. Observing from a distance, it seems TEPCO is doing everything wrong. What they allowed to leak into the ocean is criminal. I personally would not eat any fish caught in the Pacfic. Their solution of building giant tanks to house all the water is crazy. Another quake in the area would split those tanks open like an egg.
Have heard conflicting stories about the meltdowns. Still have contacts in the industry and they are getting conflicting info. Always a sign that things might not be what they should be.
As far as plant mutations, from what I understand, it will take several generation of plants to see what the mutations are. Perhaps someone else can give further insight.
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