dimanche 20 mars 2011

Fukushima and Nuclear Plant Safety.

I need to make the following comments about Fukushima:

-- This accident may have a big impact on the french economy. Because of the cost we might pay to improve nuclear security.

-- Why they don't have helicopteres equiped with an automated pilote? Or why they haven't built helicopteres with a shield against radiations ? They could go near the reactor without risking life of pilotes. In this case, they could have put water more accurately in the pool with used fuel. This solution could have been decided just after Chernobyl.

-- When making the conception of the plant: why they haven't found a way to be able to stop the reactor even if cooling has been stopped? I mean: is there any way to spread the fuel far enough or to eject it out of the reactor-core so it would stop to interact and heat? Do they need to cool the fuel when they carry it from La hague to Japan?

-- Because cooling is critical then why they don't have a backup outside the site for the pump and the electric power: that equipment could be transported by an helicoptere.

-- Why they don't use every year students working in this area? They could make propositions and critics about the conception of a nuclear plant. Somebody in charge of designing a nuclear plant might have difficulties to find every case of disaster. Once you have missed the point, you are likely to miss again. We can't wait that the disaster comes.

-- Do we have too many possible causes of disaster? That would be dreadful if we could not protect ourself efficiently against nuclear disaster . It may be possible to find some solution that might be common to many causes of disasters. The most obvious being of course: not using nuclear plants.

-- Japanese executives of the nuclear corporation might have made bad decisions in order to save money. In this case citizens might want to include in the staff that is managing the accident, people who are less interessed in the profit of the corporation: members of governmental organisations or members of the army. Equipments and people that do not belong to the corporation might also be used to monitor constantly the daily events at nuclear plants.

-- We have to considere that security and cost are always fighting each other. Whatever cost we want to cover we will always have security problemes when designing a nuclear plant.
We have to choose: either we spend more in order to avoid accidents or we spend more to manage the accident.

-- I see an other issue related to economic war between states. If a state decide to spend a lot of money in case of accident in order to protect it's own population (and that include population in other states as well) it might encourage other states to provoke such an incident in order to win economic competition. We could ease this problem by giving more authority and more means to an independet international organisation in charge of nuclear security.

-- Environmental activists are upset. They will not miss this opportunity. But I am asking them to reckon how many people have died in car accident since the start out of using cars. For exemple how many people would have been saved if they had been wearing an helmet inside cars? These activists would probably agree that our leaders have still space for more casualties in the nuclear field.
One of the biggest problem might be the using of fuels like MOX (around 7% of plutonium). The life-time of radiations is 24000 years in case of plutonium. That is not a nice gift for the next generations. After several big nuclear disasters involving plutonium, they would have to stick with their geiger counters. With such a life-time we might get some environmental achievements: restore the life of some dinosaurs just by accelerating the Darwinian evolution!

-- An other question: will they continue to use MOX in the oldest plants, the ones which have the highest risks?

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