Yucca mountain revival and Fukushima design specs

It seems that science may prove more enduring than politics in the case of Yucca Mountain, which was given up for dead by many two years ago when Harry Reid apparently made it his price to support Obama's legislative efforts. A recent review calls into question the decision, in particular the conduct of NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko (former science advisor to, coincidentally, Harry Reid). My views on this are pretty clear and it's encouraging to see the disappointing decision receive this scrutiny.

In related news, I found it interesting (from this CSIS report on nuclear power after Fukushima) that the Fukushima reactors did not fail their design specifications:
First, the nuclear facility itself seems to have withstood a record 9.0 earthquake without critical damage because all of the reactors struck by the earthquake shut down as intended. The March 11 earthquake exceeded the design criteria and reinforces a lesson learned from an earthquake that damaged the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors several years earlier—these facilities are very robust. A second lesson is that the facility was vulnerable to compromise from damage to external elements of the plant brought about by a tsunami that was 150 percent larger than the design criteria.
Little comfort after a full meltdown of three different cores, but at least interesting in diagnosing the root cause of the problem and planning for the future.

P.S. The fact that that was what jumped out at me makes me wonder if I should be driving more consistently for higher-level messages, rather than interesting factoids.

1 comment:

  1. Fukushima is best meant for the nuclear plant. But there is no proper measures for the leakage control it seems. Thats the reason for hazardous consequences are happening.