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DISASTER Grid-down, Nuke Plant meltdowns?
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  1. #1
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    Grid-down, Nuke Plant meltdowns?

    Does anyone here know to what extent the nuclear power industry or the feds have planned for the possibility of a prolonged widespread grid-down scenario? My understanding is that all nuke plants have emergency generators with fuel on site to last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. To what extent the containment vessel might protect us from a core meltdown I donít know but for sure the spent fuel pools are not so well secured. They will meltdown catastrophically very quickly if we canít keep cold water circulating. Just look at what happened in Japan. An EMP, terrorism, cyberwar, or even major pandemic can bring the grid down.

    It seems that all disaster planning scenarios assume regional events in which help can come from elsewhere. They donít ever talk about what happens if the grid goes down nationwide. Iím guessing thatís because they donít have a plant to keep the nuke plants from melting down.

    Am I misunderstanding something?

  2. #2
    I think the plan is to have small business owners drive these to produce the power needed if the grid goes down....


  3. #3
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    my understanding is that nuke plants here in the US have the infrastructure in place to "separate" the cores components (I'm certain I have the terminology wrong), which will cease the nuclear reaction.
    " 'cause we'll put a boot up your ass, it's the American way".

    Preps = "Git 'r done"
    Preps = "Just do it"

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbabulldog View Post
    my understanding is that nuke plants here in the US have the infrastructure in place to "separate" the cores components (I'm certain I have the terminology wrong), which will cease the nuclear reaction.
    They can cease the accelerated reactions that way, the Natural decay is going to continue.
    The half-life of each isotope present in the fuel rod will determine the radiation and heat produced.

    An in-service fuel rod will need many Years of 24/7 cooling to prevent meltdown and radioactive element release.
    If they are even allowed to be exposed to air, they catch fire and melt.

    So every reactor will need a 10 year supply of diesel fuel, and spare parts to keep the generators going.
    (and enough guards to keep the fuel safe...)


    The Spent fuel pools are going to be a big big problem.

    MIT NSE Nuclear Information Hub
    What are Spent Fuel Pools?

    http://mitnse.com/2011/03/16/a-prime...nt-fuel-pools/


    Spent Fuel Storage in Pools and Dry Casks
    Key Points and Questions & Answers

    http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/faqs.html
    shōu xžnyÚngkă ma?

  5. #5
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    I think man plans, GOD laughs.

    Look at Japan's disaster in Fukushima
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, Americaís Second President

  6. #6
    There is no cure for the current reactors or the spent fuel pools. In realty spent fuel is stacking up in the reactor yards because we have closed down Yucca Mountain and have no other place to dispose of it. I don't think they are using Carlsbad anymore? All reactors CONUS are old. They need to be refitted for thorium fuel. A thorium reaction can be stopped dead with a flush of Barium or Barite. I can't remember which. That would have been a big plus at Fuki. You can also burn the spent fuel rods from the old reactors in MOX fuel so as to reduce the amount to dispose of.

  7. #7
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    I like this site. You enter your zip code and it shows you if what happened in Fukushima happened in YOUR neck of the woods...http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/fallout/
    Only the dead have seen the end of war.
    óPlato

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VesperSparrow View Post
    I like this site. You enter your zip code and it shows you if what happened in Fukushima happened in YOUR neck of the woods...http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/fallout/
    cool site; for once it pays to live in Colorado!
    " 'cause we'll put a boot up your ass, it's the American way".

    Preps = "Git 'r done"
    Preps = "Just do it"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by VesperSparrow View Post
    I like this site. You enter your zip code and it shows you if what happened in Fukushima happened in YOUR neck of the woods...http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/fallout/
    Thank you, from the looks of it I am screwed.....
    "America is at that awkward stage, to late to work within the system, but to early to shoot the bastards"-- Claire Wolfe

  10. #10
    Thank Heavens they closed down San Onofre before something terrible happened.
    They were already suffering faulty tanks or pipes or something and finally did something right. So that map is out of date as far as San Onofre in S. Cal. is concerned. That plant was old and outdated as are many others and they all need to go. All I know is we are a lot safer today than we were 2 years ago.

  11. #11
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    I know those in the NE that live within 20 miles of the nuke plants in the area were sent pills (KI??) as a precaution, just in case it ever happens.

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  12. #12
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    Thank Heavens they closed down San Onofre before something terrible happened
    Um. That nuclear fuel is still there. And still being cooled. Currently by cooling towers, pumps, and connection to the main grid.

    And that fuel will be there for at least three years until it is cooled enough to be encapsulated and put up in dry cask storage.

    And even then the fuel will still remain on site at SONGS until a national nuclear waste repository is built. Remember Obama killed Yucca Mountain?

    And current COLA licensing of future nuclear plants is being held up on the basis of no national repository.

    So you're not out of the woods yet...

    Not to mention that electric load on the grid has not dropped, and instead of nuclear power, the coal plants will be making up the slack. And polluting the air. And creating hazardous waste in the ash which in most cases is being landfilled and will remain buried and monitored like the nuclear waste repository for MANY years to come - perhaps as long as a nuclear waste repository?

    And those coal plants actually emit MORE nuclear radiation than nuclear plants - and do it continuously since coal contains radioactive arsenic and other isotopes which the boilers CONCENTRATE in the ash as the carbon in the coal burns away. And this nuclear emission is not monitored or recorded or even generally known by the public.

    So - until you all cut back on your electric demand - expect even more issues with birth defects, pulmonary and skin disease.

    NOTHING comes without price. If you don't pay Peter, you pay Paul's brother-in-law.

    But conserve that electricity - and at least then the price becomes manageable - at least for now and until there are more of you.

    I have an LED light in my stall. It uses 5 watts and gives the light of a 40W bulb.

    Dobbin
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by West View Post
    I think the plan is to have small business owners drive these to produce the power needed if the grid goes down....

    Yep that works for charging a laptops battery and that's about it, but I'd remove the inverter from the system and get a 12v DC cord to charge laptop (if possible), that way you'd only half the bike for an hour instead of an hour and a half to charge it up.

  14. #14
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    Owner has threatened to get one of these.

    Actually I would be good with it - as long as I get to use the lap, er shelf top.

    Don't know how easy the stylus would be to use though. Maybe more spelling errors?



    Dobbin
    I hinnire propter hoc ecce ego

  15. #15
    Yea I was thinking of you, unlike a human at least you get an honest horsepower !

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Possible Impact View Post
    They can cease the accelerated reactions that way, the Natural decay is going to continue.
    The half-life of each isotope present in the fuel rod will determine the radiation and heat produced.

    An in-service fuel rod will need many Years of 24/7 cooling to prevent meltdown and radioactive element release.
    If they are even allowed to be exposed to air, they catch fire and melt.

    So every reactor will need a 10 year supply of diesel fuel, and spare parts to keep the generators going.
    (and enough guards to keep the fuel safe...)


    The Spent fuel pools are going to be a big big problem.

    MIT NSE Nuclear Information Hub
    What are Spent Fuel Pools?

    http://mitnse.com/2011/03/16/a-prime...nt-fuel-pools/


    Spent Fuel Storage in Pools and Dry Casks
    Key Points and Questions & Answers

    http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/faqs.html

    THIS---EXACTLY.

    And---if there is ANY disruption to the SUPPLY CHAIN that will RE-SUPPLY the diesel to the generators---and a meltdown BEGINS--

    we are screwed.

    THAT is what happened at Fukushima---the generators came online, as I understand it, but then ran out of diesel fuel, and due to the disruptions caused by the earthquake, they couldn't get more fuel there IN TIME to keep the generators running---so w/i a few hours of the earthquake meltdown HAD ALREADY BEGUN---but of course Japan and Tepco didn't TELL The rest of the world that little fact until skyrocketing radiation readings made it impossible for them to deny any longer....

    It will be the same here--we won't find out we are screwed until folks start dying...
    "Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup that the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?"

    The only "change" I CAN believe in: I Corinthians 15: 51-52...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by VesperSparrow View Post
    I like this site. You enter your zip code and it shows you if what happened in Fukushima happened in YOUR neck of the woods...http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/fallout/


    I'm 'relatively' safe near Atlanta; however, I notice there's a 'marker' on the site in the CITY of Atlanta, that won't open----but I know what that is----

    GA TECH has a small, experimental NUCLEAR REACTOR right on the college campus in the middle of downtown---I believe it's there for training purposes for those studying Nuclear Engineering---but if the power went down, then that reactor is RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA....
    "Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup that the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?"

    The only "change" I CAN believe in: I Corinthians 15: 51-52...

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Countrymouse View Post
    THIS---EXACTLY.

    And---if there is ANY disruption to the SUPPLY CHAIN that will RE-SUPPLY the diesel to the generators---and a meltdown BEGINS--

    we are screwed.

    THAT is what happened at Fukushima---the generators came online, as I understand it, but then ran out of diesel fuel, and due to the disruptions caused by the earthquake, they couldn't get more fuel there IN TIME to keep the generators running---so w/i a few hours of the earthquake meltdown HAD ALREADY BEGUN---but of course Japan and Tepco didn't TELL The rest of the world that little fact until skyrocketing radiation readings made it impossible for them to deny any longer....

    It will be the same here--we won't find out we are screwed until folks start dying...
    the pumps at fukashima were in the basements which got inundated w/ salt water and the pumps were ruined

    all the diesel in the world would not have helped

    i am not knowledgeable enuff to comment on our doom index here in conus for extended grid down and our reactors

    but someone w/ enuff of a clue shoul check in here soon enuff
    Pragmatic. Eclectic. Realistic.

    The BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth! Read it yourself. Live it. Love it.

    Vivere Paratus: Fortune Favors the Prepared

  19. #19
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    VesperSparrow wrote: I like this site. You enter your zip code and it shows you if what happened in Fukushima happened in YOUR neck of the woods...http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/fallout/
    I'm glad to see I live beyond the VT Yankee zone but my guess is that the real situation in a grid-down scenario would be much worse. Winds will carry the radiation far beyond those zones and if you had 140 of so (???) nuke plants melting down in the US, it will circle the globe.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adino View Post
    the pumps at fukashima were in the basements which got inundated w/ salt water and the pumps were ruined

    all the diesel in the world would not have helped

    i am not knowledgeable enuff to comment on our doom index here in conus for extended grid down and our reactors

    but someone w/ enuff of a clue shoul check in here soon enuff
    I'm fairly "clued in", please re-read my earlier post.
    The Links go to MIT and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    If the postulated grid-down scenario were to happen,
    the fuel to keep the diesel generators operational
    would have to be Already in place and Secured. (JIT system will be gone!)
    Bottom line, due to monetary costs, the necessary steps to mitigate that risk will not be taken.
    shōu xžnyÚngkă ma?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbabulldog View Post
    my understanding is that nuke plants here in the US have the infrastructure in place to "separate" the cores components (I'm certain I have the terminology wrong), which will cease the nuclear reaction.
    The core SCRAMs, removing the possibility of a runaway reaction.

    The real problem, is keeping the spent fuel rods cool. No water circulation in the cooling ponds, very real risk of meltdowns- China Syndrome... No diesel fuel for back-up generators, no water circulation, welcome to Fukushima or Chernobyl... Regardless, no US reactor has enough fuel on hand, let alone qualified staff, to keep the plates spinning... For many, it will be lights out, game over...

    Maranatha

    OldArcher
    "Confess with your mouth, that 'Jesus is Lord,' believing in your heart that God raised Him from the Dead, and you will be saved, for with the heart, man believes and is justified, and with his profession of faith, he is saved." Romans 10:9-10.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Possible Impact View Post
    I'm fairly "clued in", please re-read my earlier post.
    The Links go to MIT and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    If the postulated grid-down scenario were to happen,
    the fuel to keep the diesel generators operational
    would have to be Already in place and Secured. (JIT system will be gone!)
    Bottom line, due to monetary costs, the necessary steps to mitigate that risk will not be taken.
    i meant no offense pi

    if i offended you i apologize

    i did skim your post and got the reference to jit shut down and the diesel shortages it will bring which will obviously cause cooling pumps to shut down

    what i had been referring to was someone coming along that had a clue what the step after jit shutdown would be

    i am praying there is a plan to round up and secure as much fuel as possible and have to believe someone out there in the industry has considered this before

    i am praying for something along the lines of a roundup and shipment to the facility at yucca mountain (grid down means survival time not politics) or something and had been hoping someone would confrim there was a contingency plan in place

    peace
    Pragmatic. Eclectic. Realistic.

    The BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth! Read it yourself. Live it. Love it.

    Vivere Paratus: Fortune Favors the Prepared

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adino View Post
    i meant no offense pi

    if i offended you i apologize

    i did skim your post and got the reference to jit shut down and the diesel shortages it will bring which will obviously cause cooling pumps to shut down

    what i had been referring to was someone coming along that had a clue what the step after jit shutdown would be

    i am praying there is a plan to round up and secure as much fuel as possible and have to believe someone out there in the industry has considered this before

    i am praying for something along the lines of a roundup and shipment to the facility at yucca mountain (grid down means survival time not politics) or something and had been hoping someone would confrim there was a contingency plan in place

    peace
    No offense, I really thought I put a "wink smiley" on the first line of my reply.
    Just a gentle play on words was intended.

    I'm afraid that everyone in the Industry expects "The Government" to take care of
    all the mess, and do any cleanup of "unforeseen accidents".

    A lot of people built houses in flood plains or almost on the beach,
    and expect "The Government" to rebuild their houses after a disaster.

    So, only the military will have resources available to coordinate the simultaneous
    "rescues" of every nuclear plant in the USA.

    How will they coordinate 10,000 men over 10 years, in a potentially chaotic environment?
    (number of men is very rough guess, 10 years is very necessary, and it could need even more...)

    Getting everything into dry cask storage will be a monumental effort,
    it may be the trigger for a "peaceful" contingent of UN/foreign troops to arrive to "Help".
    shōu xžnyÚngkă ma?

  24. #24
    if the nuclear industry really can't handle an extended grid down, and grid down is a real possibility, then imo we should mothball the whole damn industry and deal w/ the mess we already have WHILE we have power

    but that would be operating under the premise they care about we the people i suppose
    Pragmatic. Eclectic. Realistic.

    The BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth! Read it yourself. Live it. Love it.

    Vivere Paratus: Fortune Favors the Prepared

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldArcher View Post
    The core SCRAMs, removing the possibility of a runaway reaction.

    The real problem, is keeping the spent fuel rods cool. No water circulation in the cooling ponds, very real risk of meltdowns- China Syndrome... No diesel fuel for back-up generators, no water circulation, welcome to Fukushima or Chernobyl... Regardless, no US reactor has enough fuel on hand, let alone qualified staff, to keep the plates spinning... For many, it will be lights out, game over...

    Maranatha

    OldArcher
    And maybe then...and only after thousands are killed off.....will we start to see TESLA towers popping up...
    Only the dead have seen the end of war.
    óPlato

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by VesperSparrow View Post
    And maybe then...and only after thousands are killed off.....will we start to see TESLA towers popping up...
    Thousands? Dream on. Millions.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldArcher View Post
    The core SCRAMs, removing the possibility of a runaway reaction.

    The real problem, is keeping the spent fuel rods cool. No water circulation in the cooling ponds, very real risk of meltdowns- China Syndrome... No diesel fuel for back-up generators, no water circulation, welcome to Fukushima or Chernobyl... Maranatha

    OldArcher

    OA is exactly correct. I would add,
    There are numerous safeties and back ups built in to the reactor plants and especially the cores to prevent disasters.
    SCRAM means that the controls rods fall into a neutral position which stops the splitting of atoms. There are then no reactions taking place and no heat generated. Basically a neutral state - reactor safe. That doesn't mean a major earthquake won't present unique problems.

    The rod bath..... totally different story as evidenced by Fukishima.

  28. Quote Originally Posted by West View Post
    I think the plan is to have small business owners drive these to produce the power needed if the grid goes down....

    Here. Fixed it for you:

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    "And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand." -Dan 12:10


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