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03-14-2011, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SLang View Post
Telos, not sure what your background is and it's very likely you know a lot more about this than me, but.....from what I am seeing they are in a last-ditch effort to save these reactors from melting down by pumping in seawater. The seriousness of the issue in underlined by the fact that they've made that decision knowing full well that once they do that, the reactor is *********d and will have to be abandoned.

Also, weren't these reactors also built in the 70's? Like, 1970?

It seems to me the issue here is not one of modernity, but of the design of the back up generation and cooling systems. Those diesel generators should have been installed in such a way to prevent them being taken out by a Tsunami. If the reactors survived the Tsunami, then their support systems should have, too.
The media loves to overhype the event, which naturally American anti-nuclear supporters are going to latch on to. I would read this article to put things into better perspective:

There is virtually no chance for an extreme disaster and radiation spilling flush across the area around the facility. The Japanese reactors are Generation II, which is the same as the U.S., but they are better maintained and were developed much later than the U.S.'s reactors. They are much better versions of Gen2 nuclear reactors than ours. But, when you consider that Gen4 nuclear reactors are already available, which are infinitely safer, provides a staggering amount of energy that could serve all our needs indefinitely, and is far cheaper than any option available, the technology we use now is child's play. Our government really needs to take the Department of Energy more seriously, especially given that this is the second greatest problem that faces us for the next century (first greatest problem is water - we are running out of it).

But rest assured, there is no huge nuclear disaster on the horizon for Japan. There was one article I saw written that suggested the radiation could make it from Japan to the States... Ridiculous.

I agree with you though that Japan's could have been upgraded to Gen3 as well, which would have eliminated the need for generators and work merely on convection, but that is neither here nor there.


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