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(WTKR)   The first operating U.S. nuclear plant shut down because of an earthquake has reopened to glowing reviews   (wtkr.com) divider line 40
    More: Followup, U.S., earthquakes, U.S. nuclear  
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4263 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Nov 2011 at 1:58 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-11-28 02:00:07 PM
Some people just radiate confidence.
 
2011-11-28 02:04:01 PM
images.wikia.com
 
2011-11-28 02:06:40 PM
Oh yes, the nuclear power boogey man subby! OoooOOOOOooooo! Scary.
 
2011-11-28 02:07:49 PM
Oh, look, it's this thread. I predict a reasonable amount of people who are ambivalent/supportive, a few haters gunna hate (who don't understand the industry and don't know a BWR from a PWR from their butts), and a few other fark nukees if I'm lucky.

FTFA: Federal regulators gave the company the go-ahead to restart the reactors on Nov. 11.

The restart took longer than expected. But Dominion had said that delays were possible as both reactors were being restarted in phases so that safety testing could be completed.


For some reason I read this as "Well, shiat Bob, since we're having to inspect everything anyway, let's do a bunch of maintenance we had scheduled for later" followed not too long after by "Wait, we can restart? Uhh we need to finish a few things.."

/but then I'm a bit of a cynic
 
2011-11-28 02:09:30 PM
They need to hurry it up. The lack of newer warm water flowing into Lake Anna is messing up the Striper Fishing.

/This message is billy-bob approved.
 
2011-11-28 02:18:32 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2011-11-28 02:20:37 PM
I know people at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who told me that Harry Reid, who's in charge of the congressional committee, had the plant shut down simply because he's against nuclear power and he thought this would be a good chance to wipe out a power plant. Pure politics, nothing else.
 
2011-11-28 02:21:07 PM
Oyster Creek was still operational?
 
2011-11-28 02:34:33 PM

enemy of the state: I know people at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who told me that Harry Reid, who's in charge of the congressional committee, had the plant shut down simply because he's against nuclear power and he thought this would be a good chance to wipe out a power plant. Pure politics, nothing else.


Lulz, that sounds kind of crazy. It sounds like safey protocols worked and shut the plant down when a potential catastrophic event could have happened.
 
2011-11-28 02:52:36 PM
I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it... I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation.

On the hazards of nuclear power.
Testimony to Congress (28 January 1982);
published in Economics of Defense Policy:
Hearing before the Joint Economic Committee,
Congress of the United States, 97th Cong., 2nd sess., Pt. 1 (1982)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows the Aug. 23 earthquake caused peak ground movement about twice the level for which the North Anna nuclear plant northwest of Richmond was designed.

"We're satisfied the plant meets our requirements to restart safely, and we'll monitor Dominion's ongoing tests and inspections during startup of both reactors," Eric Leeds, director of the NRC's Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, said in a statement.

Note the Eric Leeds link at wikipedia LOL same person?
 
2011-11-28 03:07:07 PM

enemy of the state: I know people at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who told me that Harry Reid, who's in charge of the congressional committee, had the plant shut down simply because he's against nuclear power and he thought this would be a good chance to wipe out a power plant. Pure politics, nothing else.


There are so many stupids in that post it could go stupidcritical and flood Fark with moranic rays.
 
2011-11-28 03:16:02 PM

neversubmit: Blah


Ramsar, Iran has a natural background dose of 20 Rem a year.

20 Rem. REM. Natural background dose. Not bomb testing. And their cancer rates are actually slightly lower but within statistical deviation numbers.

/Hi, I'm a radiation protection technician
//PS: Coal plants jack up background radiation more than nuclear plants do
/there's actually some theoretical discussion about capturing fly ash to extract nuclear fuel from it
/but that's work gossip arubahah
 
2011-11-28 03:17:43 PM

neversubmit: I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it... I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation.


I agree! While we're at it, we should also eliminate that stupid sun we have and all of it's radiation too!
 
2011-11-28 03:30:46 PM
img24.imageshack.us
 
2011-11-28 03:32:48 PM

RageWars: neversubmit: I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it... I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation.

I agree! While we're at it, we should also eliminate that stupid sun we have and all of it's radiation too!


Don't forget the Earth, it's full of radiation too.

However, since we're on the topic of nuclear waste, I am going to throw my two cents in. We should burn it up rather than bury it. IMO there is no better way to do that than a molten salt reactor (new window). After all, it's not really waste, it's just unburned fuel.
 
2011-11-28 03:34:21 PM

Ringshadow: For some reason I read this as "Well, shiat Bob, since we're having to inspect everything anyway, let's do a bunch of maintenance we had scheduled for later" followed not too long after by "Wait, we can restart? Uhh we need to finish a few things.."


Sounds perfectly logical, especially from a financial standpoint - being able to utilize current forced downtime to do maintenance to prevent downtime in the future is a good thing.

It alsomade me think of car races (NASCAR to be specific) and 'opportunistic pits'. Normally you want to drag the stop out as many laps as possible, but as long as the hazard flag is out, might as well. Applies to regular cars as well - where you get things like 'as long as we're already 90% of the way there to do X repair, we might as well replace the timing belt now'.

Ringshadow, I agree. A properly run nuke plant is a safe, reliable, inexpensive source of power. Now if only we could get some newer, orders of magnitude safe reactors built to replace nasty coal plants as well as the 'slightly less safe' old reactors.
 
2011-11-28 03:48:50 PM
Cool fact: Lake Anna's dome can withstand a 747 engine falling on it from altitude.
 
2011-11-28 03:53:36 PM
farm4.static.flickr.com
 
2011-11-28 03:56:52 PM
Did you all remember to take your iodine this month?
There was a I-131 leak in Hungary which was measured across Europe. You are probably bioaccumulating some as you read this.

/it'll just kill off the slow and weak thyroid cells
 
2011-11-28 04:15:50 PM
Ringshadow

I don't know why the Hyman G. Rickover quote didn't post correctly or if it will this time. But you'll just have to pardon me that I'm going to take his word over yours.
 
2011-11-28 04:17:36 PM

RageWars: I agree!


Thanks for agreeing.
 
2011-11-28 04:21:01 PM
US nuclear power plants have precisely calibrated turbines, sometimes rotating at up to 400 mph, so major earthquakes mean a shutdown before the vibrations cause the turbines to shred themselves. A shutdown does not mean leakage.

And modern pebble-bed reactors have zero chance of meltdown and virtually zero chance of spillage even if the multiple layers of containment somehow crack all the way through.
 
2011-11-28 06:00:20 PM

neversubmit: Ringshadow

I don't know why the Hyman G. Rickover quote didn't post correctly or if it will this time. But you'll just have to pardon me that I'm going to take his word over yours.


*looks* Yeah, I wouldn't take the word of a NAVY reactor guy either, because MILITARY reactors are about as far removed from COMMERCIAL reactors as my arse is from Europa.

No offense. Simply put, nuclear power has changed majorly since it was a "military" thing and the military/DOE sites really suck. Commercial's miles safer than DOE.

And if you're honestly afraid of radiation, I'm sorry for you. I work in radiation protection and I'm not afraid of it, I respect it. I have tools to detect it, even remotely or at a distance, and tools to monitor my dose, and the ability to map it, and predict changes in dose due to plant changes. If there is anything I fear in a nuclear power plant, it's superheated steam, followed closely by CO2 fire suppression systems, because either of those can cut me down immediately.

Firethorn: Ringshadow, I agree. A properly run nuke plant is a safe, reliable, inexpensive source of power. Now if only we could get some newer, orders of magnitude safe reactors built to replace nasty coal plants as well as the 'slightly less safe' old reactors.


Hell man we're just trying to run and replace the fleet of reactors we have now. When Vogtle gets their duel license things will get interesting.. We should know for sure on that within the next year.

j0ndas: And modern pebble-bed reactors have zero chance of meltdown and virtually zero chance of spillage even if the multiple layers of containment somehow crack all the way through.


Non-viable design and those running are being shut down due to inability to pay for themselves let alone generate profit. Expect to see the pebble bed or crystal block design return in GenIV, starting 2025 or so. We're coming into GenIII+.

/you can't recycle fuel from pebble bed, anyway
//oh and graphite in reactors is totally banned in the US, generally speaking!
/because a flammable material in a very hot environment's a great idea, or not
 
2011-11-28 06:15:38 PM

Tat'dGreaser: enemy of the state: I know people at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who told me that Harry Reid, who's in charge of the congressional committee, had the plant shut down simply because he's against nuclear power and he thought this would be a good chance to wipe out a power plant. Pure politics, nothing else.

Lulz, that sounds kind of crazy. It sounds like safey protocols worked and shut the plant down when a potential catastrophic event could have happened.


My post was unclear, I'm afraid. The protocols shut the plant down, as they should have. After the fact Reid acted to keep it shut down permanently on the pretext that the earthquake had damaged things, or that the plant design was inherently unsafe, or whatever. He was just making things up.
 
2011-11-28 06:46:29 PM
I live about 30-40 miles west of this reactor. Hey, maybe I'll start to glow in the dark!
 
2011-11-28 06:50:15 PM

enemy of the state: My post was unclear, I'm afraid. The protocols shut the plant down, as they should have. After the fact Reid acted to keep it shut down permanently on the pretext that the earthquake had damaged things, or that the plant design was inherently unsafe, or whatever. He was just making things up.


I'm not fond of Reid either, given he's spent the last decade or something cackling madly while jumping up and down on Yucca Mountain, whilst screaming "I don't care how many thousands of jobs it is or how much research is done, not on my dime MWA HA HA."

/Seriously though Yucca Mountain dreams of being a fuel recycling center
//poor bastards
 
2011-11-28 07:09:11 PM

Ringshadow: enemy of the state: My post was unclear, I'm afraid. The protocols shut the plant down, as they should have. After the fact Reid acted to keep it shut down permanently on the pretext that the earthquake had damaged things, or that the plant design was inherently unsafe, or whatever. He was just making things up.

I'm not fond of Reid either, given he's spent the last decade or something cackling madly while jumping up and down on Yucca Mountain, whilst screaming "I don't care how many thousands of jobs it is or how much research is done, not on my dime MWA HA HA."

/Seriously though Yucca Mountain dreams of being a fuel recycling center
//poor bastards


What I don't get about Yucca is given how incredibly big and empty Nevada is, why did they decide to put it so close to Vegas.

/too cheap to build a highway?
 
2011-11-28 07:20:02 PM

beta_plus: What I don't get about Yucca is given how incredibly big and empty Nevada is, why did they decide to put it so close to Vegas.

/too cheap to build a highway?


Geological surveys, combined with housing employees. Theoretically Yucca would be several thousand employees total, not including the railways or the theoretical fuel recycling center. People have to live somewhere and be within a drive which won't kill them after working a twelve hour shift. It's often said the drive to and from work is the most dangerous part of the job (I was at Perry's outage this year, and a guy had a heart attack leaving the plant, and I just came from ANO and they lost an operator not long ago, fell asleep on the drive home).

That being said, the chance of Vegas seeing anything from Yucca is so minimal it's not entirely worth talking about. Yucca is the most researched piece of land in existence, something like 20K spent for every square meter. The fuel casks they use can survive tumbling down mountains, being dropped onto rebar spikes, being in jet fuel fires, and many other hazard tests, and they'd simply be housed in salt tunnels and actively monitored. If they put in a recycling center, they'd likely pull the casks to a different facility, wash them down with demin water and sink them to a deep end before opening them.

/besides, Vegas needs more employed residents
//seriously why do people think Yucca's just tossing the casks down a pit and ignoring them?
 
2011-11-28 07:24:51 PM

beta_plus:
What I don't get about Yucca is given how incredibly big and empty Nevada is, why did they decide to put it so close to Vegas.

/too cheap to build a highway?


Because if a radiation spill occurs and creates a bunch of mutant freaks in Vegas, no one will even notice the difference?
 
2011-11-28 10:07:20 PM

Ringshadow: Oh, look, it's this thread. I predict a reasonable amount of people who are ambivalent/supportive, a few haters gunna hate (who don't understand the industry and don't know a BWR from a PWR from their butts), and a few other fark nukees if I'm lucky.

FTFA: Federal regulators gave the company the go-ahead to restart the reactors on Nov. 11.

The restart took longer than expected. But Dominion had said that delays were possible as both reactors were being restarted in phases so that safety testing could be completed.

For some reason I read this as "Well, shiat Bob, since we're having to inspect everything anyway, let's do a bunch of maintenance we had scheduled for later" followed not too long after by "Wait, we can restart? Uhh we need to finish a few things.."

/but then I'm a bit of a cynic


The delay was due to wrapping up a refueling outage on unit 2 that was already scheduled to be done.

/getting a kick... etc
 
2011-11-28 10:38:58 PM

PicoDelSol: The delay was due to wrapping up a refueling outage on unit 2 that was already scheduled to be done.

/getting a kick... etc


Ahhh. Okay.

If it helps, I was at ANO not two weeks ago, and they fell over 12 days behind due to fuel cart retardation. And during most of that, almost no work happened in containment. So, you guys weren't the only ones behind.

/when you send divers into the pool with a four foot pry bar and a drill, shiat's gone pear shaped
//they fixed it though
 
2011-11-28 10:47:49 PM

Ringshadow: *looks* Yeah, I wouldn't take the word of a NAVY reactor guy either, because MILITARY reactors are about as far removed from COMMERCIAL reactors as my arse is from Europa.

No offense. Simply put, nuclear power has changed majorly since it was a "military" thing and the military/DOE sites really suck. Commercial's miles safer than DOE.


Well, considering that Rickover's basic rules were:

#1 - Safety
#2 - K.I.S.S.
#3 - Safety

I have to call shenanigans on that. From Wiki (yeah I know, but handy):

"Since its inception in 1948, the U.S. Navy nuclear program has developed 27 different plant designs, installed them in 210 nuclear powered ships, taken 500 reactor cores into operation, and accumulated over 5,400 reactor years of operation and 128,000,000 miles safely steamed. Additionally, 98 nuclear submarines and six nuclear cruisers have been recycled. The U.S. Navy has never experienced a reactor accident."

Plus Navy plants are operated over a range of power levels under strenuous conditions, not just (largely) steady state electrical generation. Not saying the civilians are bad at what they do, and most civvie plants are technically more complex in certain ways; but there's a reason Navy operators with a single enlistment under their belt can walk right into high salary civilian jobs.


/Radiographer not an operator
//Was on staff at an NPTU (Nuclear Power Training Unit)
 
2011-11-28 10:59:32 PM

Gleeman: but there's a reason Navy operators with a single enlistment under their belt can walk right into high salary civilian jobs.


Well, sure, and I respect the Nuclear Navy but I'm always a bit leery when people try to immediately say Navy Nuclear is the same as Commercial Nuclear.

Yeah, some things in commercial are looser. For example, commercial is allowed a tiny percentage of leakage, known and unknown. That can freak out navy guys.

I guess it's more DOE I've heard horror stories about. A lot of people getting hurt, or dosing out early in the year. shiat like that from senior techs who have been on the road longer than I've been alive you know?

And I've only done five outages, so you've probably seen more than me. Still I do rankle when someone insults what I see as a hella safe industry.

/of course I've temped in some kinda scary local places so my comparison baseline is low
//"Oh, yeah, bleeding is pretty normal when working this mold, I'll get you some bandaids." "Wut?"
///oh cold medicine y u take my coherency
 
2011-11-28 11:51:43 PM

Ringshadow: /Hi, I'm a radiation protection technician
//PS: Coal plants jack up background radiation more than nuclear plants do
/there's actually some theoretical discussion about capturing fly ash to extract nuclear fuel from it
/but that's work gossip arubahah


You again, the clerk that works at a nuke plant?
 
2011-11-29 01:11:58 AM

rwfan: We should burn it up rather than bury it. IMO there is no better way to do that than a molten salt reactor (new window).


Or you could go with a heavy-water-moderated design like the CANDU (new window). They'll burn just about anything - natural uranium, MOX, spent LWR fuel, thorium, etc.
 
2011-11-29 10:12:37 AM

Ringshadow: PicoDelSol: The delay was due to wrapping up a refueling outage on unit 2 that was already scheduled to be done.

/getting a kick... etc

Ahhh. Okay.

If it helps, I was at ANO not two weeks ago, and they fell over 12 days behind due to fuel cart retardation. And during most of that, almost no work happened in containment. So, you guys weren't the only ones behind.

/when you send divers into the pool with a four foot pry bar and a drill, shiat's gone pear shaped
//they fixed it though


Other than the 11 maxed work hour weeks it wasn't too bad. Didn't help that shift technical advisors aren't considered covered workers.
 
2011-11-29 11:11:58 AM
As someone who spent 12 years in the Nuke navy as a Reactor Operator and now I'm starting my 6th year in a commercial plant, I'd have to agree with Ringshadow about Navy being light years different from commercial plants.

In the navy, for example, we have to be able to trip the plant offline, fix whatever, and bring it back up in 2 hours, +/- 30 minutes or so... We also have much different safety systems along with more things than I'm able to talk about here..

Civilian plants, on the other hand, have safety systems, backups for those, and backups for the backups, along with 1 simple factor involved: They WON'T have anyone potentially shooting at them. If they do, they have security guards for that. They don't have to have a design that is robust enough to be able to move a ship at any speed to launch airplanes, get away from torpedoes or "bad guys" or whatever...

And yes, Ringshadow is right. There are more than a few differences from navy plants that have given me plenty of fits, and is why I'm not getting my license right now to do the same thing commercially that I did for the navy... But I'm doing for this plant what a mechanic would for the navy... Operate the valves, pumps and such...

And I forwarded the article to a few people here. Needless to say, several were suprised that it had been down this long, but it's always fun in our world...
 
2011-11-29 02:21:36 PM

gibbon1: You again, the clerk that works at a nuke plant?


I'm a junior radiation protection technician. That means by law, I can do everything a senior radiation protection technician can, except free release items and high risk job coverage (of course, there are some plants with tighter rules). Also, I'm a contractor which means I've seen multiple plants.

I'm not an office worker. I'm part of industrial safety, technically.

The irony here is that if I was a clerk, there's a change I'd be better informed in some respects, as most "clerks" in nuclear power are regulation compliance, QC/QA, ALARA, Dosimetry, Engineering, and oh so many other very technical things that are very paperwork heavy instead of being in the plant proper.

PicoDelSol: Other than the 11 maxed work hour weeks it wasn't too bad. Didn't help that shift technical advisors aren't considered covered workers.


Yeah, I'm never going salary if I can help it. If I'm working, I'm being paid, sorry. I never want to experience "unpaid overtime" like my dad does (He's QA something or other).

/salutes Arcturus72
 
2011-11-29 03:21:34 PM
Ringshadow:

Yeah, I'm never going salary if I can help it. If I'm working, I'm being paid, sorry. I never want to experience "unpaid overtime" like my dad does (He's QA something or other).

/salutes Arcturus72


Thankfully being on shift with the operators means I get paid for my OT. Made over double my normal paycheck the past two months from this debacle.
 
2011-11-29 04:24:52 PM

Ringshadow: Yeah, I'm never going salary if I can help it. If I'm working, I'm being paid, sorry. I never want to experience "unpaid overtime" like my dad does (He's QA something or other).

/salutes Arcturus72


Thank you Ringshadow...

Also, yes, salary sucks... My last job I was getting $42k a year, based on 40 hr weeks... Too bad I was working 6 days a week, 12 + hrs a day... But everyone has a price, and for me to go salary again would require more than a few 0's in my check for me to sell that part of my soul again...

But thanks to the changeover from my last job, working outages and such, I made in 6 months what I did all year at the last job... Even putting up with the stress involved.

But our jobs are all political in nature, from dealing with security that we might think is laughable to dealing with our coworkers that we might want to strangle... If the climate changes tomorrow and laws come out saying we all have to shut down, that's it... It'll take a while, but we're done...

TMI, Chernobyl, Fukishima, and even 9/11 all have caused major black eyes on the industry, and through no real fault of our own, we have to adapt. Some are changes for the good (INPO, WANO, etc), some, not so much... Like our changes to 9/11 and Fukishima are seen by some to be knee jerk reactions to near impossible scenarios... But we HAVE to deal with it and make the changes...

Even though there is no way to foresee everything...
 
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