Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hey Drudge, where did that come from?

The Drudge headline says:

'REACTOR ISN'T IN GOOD SHAPE': Company Says Radioactive Leak Was Bigger...

But there is nothing in the linked article saying anything at all about the reactor. There were some drums containing low-level solid radwaste that were knocked over, an electrical transformer fire, and a discharge of a small amount of contaminated water from a discharge system; but nothing about damage to the reactor. Another linked article states:
Tokyo Electric said the damage from the earthquake did not threaten the safety of the reactors at the Kashiwazaki plant

Help me out Matt.

NEI Nuclear Notes provides a good, non-alarmist description of the damage to the Japanese nuclear plants from the earthquake.


Dad29 said...

What's the difference?

We all KNOW that 'low-level radiation' is exactly the same as FatBoy's emissions.


Headless Blogger said...

Thanks for asking. Too often the folks in my (jargon & acronyn infested) business assume a level of understanding that isn't obvious to outsiders.

The only thing that goes into barrels is contaminated trash - booties, rags, anti-contamination suits, etc. Liquids are not added, nor is the highly radioactive spent fuel. So a bunch of these nuclear trash cans being dumped really is of no consequence.

I read this comment from BVidalin at NEI Nuclear Notes:

"I have yet to read about any Safety Related SSC damaged at these 7 nuclear plants. I think the world press is missing the real story here. It seem that the robust seismic design of these nuclear units was just demonstrated incontrovertibly. Water sloshing out of a SFP, or a "routine" transformer fire, or a stack of drums falling over are not newsworthy events."

This is where I take issue with Drudge, the "reactor" is a very specific and highly protected part of the nuclear plant. The reactor is a safety related (SSC) System/Structure/Component and no damage has been reported. There may have been a lot of damage to the non-nuclear side of these plants, but the nuclear safety end has apparently worked better than designed, since this earthquake was stronger than what was postualated for these plants.