this post is undergoing editing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30026010
The public response to the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear disaster was and remains strongly negative. At core is the question “At what level of radiological exposure should the public be concerned?” The question has at it’s heart the concept of involuntary and compulsory imposition of increased risk. Nuclear experts have long pondered how to respond to such concerns of ordinary people: quote: >“When is a radiation dose high enough to be a “public health concern?” This, of course, is a question that the radiation safety community has been trying to answer for decades. Over 20 y of working with the public on radiation issues strongly indicates to me that many, if not most, members of the public have answered this question for themselves: Any amount of radiation that is not of direct benefit to me will result in harm to me or my children. The National Academy of Sciences has most recently concluded that use of the linear no-threshold (LNT) hypothesis to describe the relationship between radiation dose and the risk of developing cancer in humans is consistent with current scientific evidence (NRCNA 2006). The public believes that this is a fact, not a hypothesis. If we, the radiation safety and public health communities, agree with this statement, then any dose above background could be considered a dose of “public health concern.” Of course, the proper use of the LNT hypothesis is subject to considerable discussion (Siegel and Stabin 2012).
EPA chose to use a small fraction of the PAG in the Fukushima incident as a level of no “public health concern.” Was that an appropriate use of this phrase? The Health Physics Society has issued a position statement that below a dose of 50–100 mSv, the “risks of health effects are either too small to be observed or are nonexistent” (HPS 2010). Is this a place to begin defining a dose of no “public health concern” for emergency response purposes?
Clearly, this question is not going to be answered easily or quickly. Source: Charles W. Miller, Radiation Studies Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341; IN : “THE FUKUSHIMA RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY AND CHALLENGES IDENTIFIED FOR FUTURE PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSES”, Health Phys. 2012 May; 102(5): 584–588.
doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e31824d0241. end quote
There will always be tension between radiological safety measures, including exposure limits to the public, which permit nuclear industry to exist, nuclear safety experts, most of whom work to ensure industry complies with relevant laws including exposure limits to the public and the general public itself. Indeed, some members of the public have a zero tolerance of industrial radiation exposures when such exposures are suffered by the general public.
Nuclear safety experts have, as Miller points out above, discussed the problem for decades. It is useless, given the entrenched nature between the concept of “nuclear safety” in the context of low level industrial contamination, for nuclear advocates to complain about the expressed views of people who refuse to give consent or to accept industry and government have any right to actually inflict nuclear contamination upon the human living and the world’s biosphere. It is quite useless. It is useful however for nuclear experts to engage honestly and sincerely with the public. The behaviour of the industry, government and pro nuclear lobbyists has been variable – from appalling to atrocious. And that includes the published and broadcast statements of one Barry Brook. In my opinion.
One cause of specific global outrage in the wake of Fukushima was, to quote:
“The post facto raising of safety limits for radiation exposure on 19 April 2011 (from 1 to 20mSv) and reduction of the evacuation zone to
less than 30 km from the NPP, driven by an unapologetic ‘logic’ of optimal growth, ignored the passage of radioactive concentrations beyond the official concentric circles emanating from the crippled plant. These were to denote the 20km mandatory exclusion zone (greater than 50mSv) and the 30km voluntary exclusion zone (20-50mSv).” end quote. Source: Adam Broinowski, “Fukushima: Life and the Transnationality of Radioactive
Contamination 生命と国境を越える放射能汚染” The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus, Volume 11 | Issue 41 | Number 3 | Oct 13, 2013. pp 5.
ICRP Publication 82, entitled “Protection of the Public in Situations of Prolonged Radiation Exposure”, dated 1999, states: “This report provides guidance on the application of the ICRP system of radiological protection to prolonged exposure situations effecting members of the public. It addresses the general application of the Commission’s system to the control of prolonged exposures resulting from practices and to the undertaking of interventions in prolonged exposure situations…..Generic reference levels for intervention, in terms of existing total annual doses, are given as <~100 mSv, above which intervention is almost always justifiable (situations for which the annual dose threshold for deterministic effects in relevant organs is exceeded will almost always require intervention), and <~10 mSv, below which intervention is not likely to be justifiable (and above which it may be necessary)….." end quote. Source: ICRP, 1999. Protection of the Public in Situations of Prolonged Radiation Exposure. ICRP Publication 82. Ann. ICRP 29 (1-2) at http://www.icrp.org/publication.asp?id=ICRP%20Publication%2082 . Of course, Australians who followed the cleanup of the Maralinga Nuclear Test site, and others who were aware, prior to 1999, of the ICRP move to recommend the <100mSv regime for which no intervention would be required. This was clearly explained by the Maralinga Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and by Peter Burns, then a senior technical leader with ARPANSA (since retired). Burns' report "Maralinga", quoting, TAG, states in part: "The aim of the Maralinga rehabilitation was to ensure that the risk to potential inhabitants from exposure to radioactive contamination would be acceptable. The dividing line between acceptability and unacceptability of risk [TAG, 1990] was determined to be an annual committed dose of 5 mSv, assuming full time occupancy by Aborigines living an outstation lifestyle. This corresponds to an annual risk of fatal cancer following the inhalation or ingestion of contaminated soil of not more than 1 in 10,000 by the fiftieth year of life [Technical Advisory Group, TAG, 1990]. The value of 5 mSv is broadly consistent with the intervention level of 10 mSv that has recently been proposed by the International Commission on Radiological Protection [§6.1 in ICRP, 1999] and which is under consideration by the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA, 2002]. Both of these international bodies are proposing that, in future, a generic reference level of around 10 mSv be set, under which intervention is generally not justified." (Burns, ARPANSA, TAG) Here, the imposed risk of fatal cancer due to the exposure is clearly given, in a matter of fact fashion. An annual committed dose of 5 mSv imposes a risk of 1 in 10,000 by the fiftieth year of life for a person. Brook may well huff and puff at ARPANSA's alleged radiophobia in so giving a discussion and prediction of risk and harm (as implied by the risk over time) but Brook is a Kangaroo expert, not an expert in health physics. Others may say ARPANSA is grossly under estimating the risk. This is the same old debate which has been going on since Madame Curie was a child and the matter remains unresolved. See Miller's discussion above. People such as Brook (then of Adelaide Uni) and Sykes of Flinders Uni and others, who, along with Sykes are paid contractors of the US Department of Energy, charged with promoting the work of that foreign government agency have actually no basis for attempting to halt public debate by intimidation based upon throwing insults at ordinary members of the public in a democracy. For example: https://news.flinders.edu.au/blog/2011/07/14/radiation-response-a-meltdown-in-reason/ by Sykes. 1 in 10,000 over fifty years is way too high when the added risk in an uncontaminated environment would be zero Sykes. Brook is quite upset by people who maintain that the Japanese increase to the non intervention level in Japan from 1 mSv to 20mSv is not risk free. The fact is members of the public in Japan are totally free, or should be, to be unhappy about the state of the environment due to the Fukushima Diiachi disaster.
In terms of the Australian context, the importance of Fukushima Diiachi relates to the long standing debate, which pre dates 2011, about what our future source of electricity should be. We are in an energy transition cusp which may well last for 20 years. During that time we need new sources of power generation and the choices are limited. A nuclear reactor would take 20 years to come on line, we would need two. By the time the reactors were built, they would not be needed. Two coal fired power plants could be on line much more quickly but coal is out of fashion. To say the least. Renewable energy storage is not quite mature. We await the new generation of lithium battery to ensure renewable energy from wind and solar photovoltaic can be stored safely and reliably for use when needed. As it is we will need coal fired stations for 20 years. Further, as we shall see, the state of the grid in Australia fails to meet the stringent requirements nuclear licensing and technical requirements demand. If the wind can bring down high voltage pylons in SA – which they have done recently – what does that say about the safety of any NPP in Australia in terms of station blackout? And yes, in Japan, the earthquake caused the main grid both fed by and feeding Fukushima Diiachi to go down. The quake caused reactors to shut down, the grid blacked out AND power lines feeding Fukushima Diiachi were destroyed. These quake based factors have been ignored in the industry narrative of the Fukushima Disaster. Indeed the constant industry refrain that the public is too ignorant to understand that the industry is innocent and honest and messengers of the whole truth is merely an old song which makes a ribald sea shanty seem like high opera in contrast.
The fact is had Japan not radically increased the risk by changed exposure rules post Fukushima, though still based on ICRP quidelines, the nation may well have been financially crippled for decades. As it is the costs of the accident will continue to be levied from the public for many years to come. Japan has lost more home island land due to 4 nuclear reactors than it did from the Allied forces in WW2. The contamination of areas in Japan from 2011 on has imposed heightened risk upon select populations living in Japan. At a contamination level of 5 mSv, the risk is 1 in 10,000 over fifty years. Source: ARPANSA. At least. At that brings me to my last point in this pre amble: On the 15th of March 2011, the words of the Chief Scientist of Britain, Lord Beddington, were transmitted and streamed around the world by the BBC. I watched him speak on local TV in Adelaide. If there were a meltdown, he said, “you would get an explosion and radioactive material would be emitted. But it would be emitted to about 500 meters and it would be a relatively short duration of the order of an hour or so. Compare that with Chernobyl…” (BBC material rebroadcast by SBS TV Australia, 15 March 2011.) Well Beddington was imo deliberately incorrect. Further, in order to gain some insight into the newly imposed risk suffered by the Japanese people, looking at Chernobyl was very advice for an Australian to follow. Maralinga, its cleanup, and its imposed risk, deemed acceptable by authorities, and the best the owners of the land could hope if they were ever to get their land back, is a far plainer and easier to understand example than Chernobyl. Even though the Maralinga cleanup was a cock up, we have some official odds, some official degree of risk over time resultant from dose. 1 in 10,000 is an extra imposed burden. 1 in 10,000 means someone gets a fatal cancer every fifty years in each afflicted population. Now, that figure might well be wrong. It may be optimistic or pessimistic. Who knows. But there is a risk and the general public is allowed to know about that risk and precisely what it means. And we are free to talk about it among ourselves without the industry having right to try to shut us up with insults and threats of legal action. Barry.
Research into the medical effects of low dose radiation exposure extends back many decades. One recent paper is : “Leukaemia and myeloid malignancy among people exposed to low doses (<100 mSv) of ionising radiation during childhood: a pooled analysis of nine historical cohort studies."
Little MP1, Wakeford R2, Borrego D3, French B4, Zablotska LB5, Adams MJ6, Allodji R7, de Vathaire F7, Lee C3, Brenner AV3, Miller JS8, Campbell D8, Pearce MS9, Doody MM3, Holmberg E10, Lundell M11, Sadetzki S12, Linet MS3, Berrington de González A3.
Lancet Haematol. 2018 Aug;5(8):e346-e358.
This paper states the following: “BACKGROUND:
Substantial evidence links exposure to moderate or high doses of ionising radiation, particularly in childhood, with increased risk of leukaemia. The association of leukaemia with exposure to low-dose (<100 mSv) radiation is less certain, although this is the dose range most relevant to the general population. We aimed to estimate the risk of leukaemia associated with low-dose radiation exposure in childhood (age <21 years)……The risks of acute myeloid leukaemia and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia were significantly increased after cumulative doses of ionising radiation of less than 100 mSv in childhood or adolescence, with an excess risk also apparent for cumulative radiation doses of less than 50 mSv for some endpoints. These findings support an increased risk of leukaemia associated with low-dose exposure to radiation and imply that the current system of radiological protection is prudent and not overly protective.”
National Cancer Institute Intramural Research Program, National Cancer Institute, and US National Institutes for Health. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
end quote. Again, far from the cry that public concern about both the post 1999 ICRP action level recommendations and the consequences of the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear disaster are mere signs of mass mental illness and phobia, the record is replete with findings which indicate that risk is proportionate to dose. And that even at both prolonged and acute exposures of “less than 50mSv” risk remains proportionate. Therefore public concern at environmental contamination from the activities of nuclear industry remains an a rational and adaptive concern. This flies in the face of the rosy reassurances issued by quite ignorant kangaroo experts such as Prof Barry Brook and Prof Pam Sykes.
For me, the ARPANSA/ TAG risk assessment of Maralinga, being in the same ball park as the prolonged exposures suffered by the Japanese people impacted by the meltdown and explosions of 4 nuclear reactors. And to my mind the authority of ARPANSA (such as it is in the public mind) enables me to quote that source : Prolonged exposure to contamination of 5 mSv pa over fifty years yields a risk of fatal cancer of 1 in 10,000. Brook and Sykes are wrong and I believe they or their advisors / trainers / propagandists knew their information was incorrect when these people and others commandeered the media and made their lunatic edicts from 2011 through to the recent South Australian Royal Commission in the SA nuclear fuel cycle. The end result of the industry campaign to hood wink South Australians is to render the statements made by talking heads such as Brook, Sykes and Baht laughing stocks when their crap is compared to the scientific record. I can understand Brook feeling glum enough to threaten ordinary people with legal action for their robust disagreement with him and his statements. Still, his TV interview linked to below allows him to have another go at appearing reasonable and democratic.
In further rebuttal to the nuclear industry advocate view that the Japanese public has no basis for public health concerns as a consequence of the Fukushima Diiachi disaster I report the following:
A US based professional nuclear decontamination expert names Dr. David Chanin contacted me to discuss his views on events related to the Fukushima Diiachi disaster. He and I exchanged emails. Here is some information about Dr. Chanin and some of the things he wrote to me:
David Chanin co-authored, among other things, the following publications :
“MELCOR Accident Consequence Code System (MACCS) Model Description”
NUREG/CR-4691, SAND86-1562, Prepared by H-N Jow, J. L. Sprung, J. A. Rollstin, L. T. Ritchie, D.I. Chanin,
Sandia National Laboratories, Prepared for U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ManuscriptCompleted:
December 1989 Date Published: February 1990.
87185 GRAM, Inc.Albuquerque, NM Technadyne Engineering Consultants, Inc. Albuquerque, NM Prepared for
Division of Systems Research Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, U.S.Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555 NRC FIN A1853, Prepared for Division of Systems Research Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Washington, DC 20555 NRC FIN A1853
Available at: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0635/ML063560409.pdf
“PWA 00004 Pilgrim LR Proceeding 50-293 – LR, 06-848-02-LR PWA- David Chanin: MACCS2 Support Forum & The Development of MACCS2: Lessons Learned, August 23, 2006 RE: MACCS2 Economic Costs” Available at:
In 2011 and 2012 David Chanin and I exchanged emails in regard to the consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.
In response to a question David Chanin responded with the following:
David Chanin To Paul Langley16 Jul 2011
“I think we’ll never know the truth about what’s happening there.”
—– Original Message —–
From: paul langley
To: David Chanin
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:21 AM
Subject: Decontamination in Fukushima
David, has there been any progress or good news regarding decontamination of Fukushima City itself?
David Chanin also wrote the following:
— On Fri, 22/4/11, David Chanin wrote:
From: David Chanin
Subject: hey, here’s another favor you can do me
To: “paul langley”
Received: Friday, 22 April, 2011, 1:45 AM
What’s amazing to me is that I seem to be the only one who thinks that I-131 levels should be decreasing with 8-day halflife because its only parents in the “standard NRC 60-nuclide list for reactors” are Te-131and Te-131m, both with shorter halflives, so they can’t be causing any I-131 buildup and certainly can’t cause the high levels of I-131 being reported in the flood of measurements that were published by TEPCO all on April 19, with measurements of seawater as far away as 15 km showing I:Cs rations of over 2:1 and as high as 3:1, but sometimes they’re equal, with few to none where I-131 is measured at levels less than Cs-134 and Cs-137 on a Bq/gram-water basis with 1000-second counting time of 1-liter sample, which matches up with usage of a gamma spectrometry machine like the GAM-AN1 by Canberra: http://www.canberra.com/literature/994.asp
Can you do me a favor and ask one of your nuclear engineer contacts how and why I-131 can be over double the reported levels of Cs-134 and Cs-137, after five halflives of I-131?
I’m not a nuclear engineer who can try to run the Origen code for their reactors and the SNF pools to see what could be making the I-131. I’m the consequence analyst who developed the MACCS2 code and have used it and its predecessor MACCS since the 1980s for nuclear accident analysis.
All I know is that when people use the MACCS2 code, which is the NRC-approved code for reactor PRA consequence calculations, and is used worldwide for well over 500 nuclear facilities and operations since its release in 1997, the MACCS2 code shows ZERO consequences from I-131 from reactor accidents after 40 days of decay. It’s not just the direct exposure doses from groundshine and inhalation, it’s also the food doses calculated by the code with both of the “food models” that are available to the code user. Milk from cows grazing during a large release shows very low levels of I-131 after 40 days according to the MACCS2 calculations.
And it’s also my understanding that “normal levels” of I-131 in SNF pools should be practically zero, with the million-year, weak emitter, I-129 being the only iodine that should be detected to any significant degree in SNF water from an intact pool under normal operation. So, if my MACCS2 code is wrong about I-131, then all the safety analyses that use to MACCS2 to calculate nuclear accident impacts are also wrong. That’s why this is an important question.
Even if criticalities are ongoing, it’s impossible for me to imagine that they could be creating so much I-131. I’ve used “standard decay tables” that all derive from ICRP 38 and were calculated by Keith Eckerman, at ORNL, who calculates the internal and external DCFs for US and international agencies which all rely on the ICRP 38 decay chains, where decay-chain calcs are necessary because of the decay and buildup of progeny after an intake both on the ground for deposited material and in the human body from inhlaed or ingested material.
I have not tried to use this database from KfK to solve the puzzle.: http://www.nucleonica.net/unc.aspx
So my question, which you can forward around with all the above ane below is: Why are the I-131 levels of April 19 in “plant-water” and seawater from http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html so high after 5 halflives? The NRC says that the MACCS2 code is essentially error-free. I’m curious if that’s true because I learned way back in school that there is no such thing a bug-free large-scale software such as MACCS2, which has received little-to-none verification and validation for complex scenarios.
I have no qualms whatsoever being known as the source of this request. I’ve never pretended to know everything.
David Chanin also wrote the following:
“I haven’t read your blog going back past a week or so. The only reason i posted there was that it seemed like a safe enough place to post my newly formed opinion about the Japanese being used as human guninea pigs for the second time … but now by their own government. There are plenty of competent CHPs in Japan who can read and write good English. Unfortunately, competent CHPs seem to have no involvement with the events of Fukushima. The flood of garbled information with nonsense numbers coming from people driving cars around with a single pen dosimeter to take a “dose reading” is tragically funny. You’re right about ignoring the inhalation intakes. They might not know that the inhalation pathway is more important than “groundshine.” But that’s Radiation Safety 101. Every nuclear engineer in the world should know that or have it on their bookshelf. Tis a mystery. Maybe the US NRC told them they didn’t have to worry about inhalation as long as they wore face masks. But then what about analyzing their nasal swabs? Never mind. The labs are full. No need to worry. It’s perfectly safe. Time will tell … Meantime we get to do a huge experiment to see if low doses and low dose rates actually can cause any cancers other than childhood thyroid cancers. Isn’t that grand?” David Chanin 2011.
When a nuclear decontamination expert communicates the concerns expressed above, people need to sit up and take notice. While my opinions deviate from those held by Dr. Chanin, both Dr. Chanin and I share one thing: to understand the relevant situation as well as we can. No contest Dr. Chanin is in a far better position in this regard than I am. However, when I compare the views of Dr. Chanin with the views, expressed as non negotiable alleged facts, by Barry Brook, Pam Sykes and Dr. Baht, I see no unity of opinion and knowledge. In the case of Brook and co I see remarkable lack of knowledge and gross technical errors. I see a very negative characterisation of the wisdom of the general public and an arrogant dismissal of the rights of the general public to hold both specific knowledge and opinions and the right to express these opinions. The tension between the academic claim to intellectual pre-eminence and the rights of individual lay people in democratic societies is certainly very great in the nuclear debate. Happily it is quite easy to rebut Brooks, Sykes and Baht. None of these will be remembered as significant knowledge workers in the future history of Australia’s energy generation regime. In my opinion.
The Aim of this post is to present the mass media statements of knowledge and opinion given by Prof. Barry Brook.
Prof. Brook has presented the pro-nuclear environmentalist case for a number of years. I was and remain particularly interested in his public level presentations regarding the nuclear accident at Fukushima Diiachi in March 2011.
A primary objective of this post is to determine whether or not the information transmitted to the public by Prof. Brooks contains sufficient technical knowledge. Particularly in both the contexts of current best practice and historical levels of knowledge. Specifically regarding the criteria for the safe design of multi- mega-watt nuclear reactors. Given that nuclear reactors have long working lives, historic and current technical knowledge are both relevant, as are regulatory updates and technical modifications. Indeed, the US NRC mandated changes in procedures and equipment at relevant US nuclear reactor sites throughout the USA in the wake of Fukushima.
I certainly do not question anyone’s right and ability to express their knowledge and opinions to the public. I rely on an open and democratic society in precisely the same manner as everyone else. Prof. Brook has of course the same right. In my personal opinion, academic meritocracy exists within a field of tension within democratic society. Thus, I believe I have equal rights to express my knowledge and opinions both with, and indeed, in tension to any qualified academic. And certainly studying Prof. Brook’s public statements via the mass media will be an exciting one for me, perhaps a boring one for him, should he notice. However, my aim is to assess, not attack, the public statements of Prof. Brook. Certainly if Prof. Brook has reason to complain, I will certainly listen and respond to what he might object to. I shall try to ensure that he has no reason to complain.
Prof. Barry Brook:
I refer to the following public media statements made by Prof. Barry Brook:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFs_-8DtZvo The following is a partial transcript of the words spoken by Prof. Barry Brook in the video. I have not transcribed the questions put to Prof. Brook by the interviewer, please watch the entire video. The section I chose to transcribe (this is my own transcription, please check the video) highlights the profound lacking inherent in the nuclear industry narrative regarding key events and key standards which are as inherent in modern reactor designs as they are in the old Fukushima type reactors. The most important of these lacking revolve around a failure to admit to the very well documented “ECCS Controversy” which remains today, the regulations regarding NPPs and the grid, the risks posed by a failed grid to NPPS, the regulations which stipulate the performance parameters of the ECCS of all nuclear reactors, which remain basically the same now as they were then. Prof Brook makes a statement that the emergency cooling water was damaged by the tsunami. In a section below devoted to the power grid, the power grid and meltdown, the Ergen report into ECCS, and the US NRC short history of emergency core cooling and ECCS design, I shall show that the statement made by Barry Brook comparing the old Fukushima Diiachi reactors ends with an incorrect conclusion. In my opinion, based upon the qualified texts quoted.
Regarding events involving Japan and Fukushima:
Prof. Brook: “I think they (events) show the vulnerability of any human infrastructure to the forces of nature. Especially when they are unleashed with such fury as they were with that massive earthquake, the largest one to hit Japan in recorded times, and a 10 metre tsunami. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect any infrastructure along a coastline like that to survive an event like that. But what it does highlight is that decisions were made back in the ‘60s, when that nuclear power plant was planned and built, they did not anticipate the scale of the natural disaster that occurred here.”
On the relevance of the design of the Fukushima Diiachi type NPP to today’s modern reactors and to future stations :
Prof Brook: “These are amongst the oldest nuclear power plants in Japan. And they put them on the coastline for the sensible reason that they can use seawater to cool them. And it’s part of the design that they were protected not only against earthquake by seismic isolating the plant itself, but by tsunamis. They predicted up to a 6.5 metres tsunami and protected against that. But of course, as events turned out, the tsunami was even bigger than that. The tsunami washed over the plant. It seems like it damaged the diesel generators that were supplying backup power . There was a chain of diesel generators in fact, each one a redundant generator for the one before it. All of those were destroyed by the tsunami. The fuel tanks that would supply the diesel for many days for them seemed to be washed away. And the emergency cooling water as well was also damaged such that they ended up having to use sea water to cool it. The design of the 40 year old plant actually survived the earthquake. They were designed to survive an earthquake 7 times that what they were hit by and yet they survived and it was the tsunami that got them.”
It’s not beyond the wit of engineers to plan plants survive better?
Prof Brooke: “I think it’s clear that the risk that the tsunami faced and the fact that all of the redundant generators were wiped out in one blow suggests that there was not enough prudent forethought for that risk. And in any sort of major accident in any industry there’s a period of introspection afterwards. Looking at what went wrong. Just like in anything in our lives. And trying to take the salient lessons and use that in future is a …I see the announcements of governments around the world to re-look at the safety of their current nuclear power plants. That’s an eminently sensible thing to do because you can look at all of the contingencies that they have allowed for and say well, what if the situation in Japan had happened to us, are we prepared? That’s learning from the lessons of history.” Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFs_-8DtZvo ABC TV One Plus One: Barry Brook on nuclear power’s future after Fukushima, posted Published on 18 Mar 2011
These two references will suffice. Many other references to Prof. Brook’s public media contributions exist online and are easy to find. Please read the contents and listen to the video at the above links before continuing to read this post.
The account Prof. Brook gives of the nuclear accident at Fukushima and the consequences of it is very conventional when compared with other accounts from nuclear industry experts. Barry mentions relative risk compared to other forms of power generation, the chemical pollution unleashed upon Japan as a result of the March 2011 disaster, the age of the Fukushima power plants, the apparent resilience of the aged plant and equipment in the face of earthquake, the unexpected height of the tsunami which swamped the plant and particularly the emergency power generators which were destroyed by the wave. Barry is of the view that the people at risk from the high risks of high radiation doses were the plant workers: that the risk to the general population in the immediate vicinity of the plant (say 30 kms) was not and is not, a matter of significant concern.
A study of relevant US nuclear authority (AEC and NRC) documents reveals that current and past regulations maintain a close relationship to each other. The safety challenges posed by nuclear power plants demanded from the beginning complex and comprehensive regulations based upon the findings of science. The early studies into a primary safety concern – preventing core overheating – remain relevant today. Today’s knowledge and regulations does nothing to diminish the regulations the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear plants were built to comply with. Centrally, the operating life time of the late sixties era Emergency Core Cooling systems built into the Fukushima Diiachi had to ensure that when lack of grid power and loss of normal cooling loops occurred the reactor cores would not overheat.
This remains true today of every Western nuclear reactor. The ECCS is built into every reactor and the promise of industry has been no matter force of nature or human stupidity causes loss of primary cooling, the ECCS will ensure that the core does not overheat.
Thus, the question millions of people have in the wake of Fukushima Diiachi, is this: given that the multiple integral ECCS systems built within each of the three afflicted Fukushima Diiachi reactors, failed to prevent overheating, hydrogen production, explosions and core over heat, can we be sure that any ECCS system fitted to any nuclear reactor will work as promised. What is the solution to the patently obvious failure of multiple ECCS systems ? Is the solution? Some say the solution is simple in Australia. Simply do not commence to build nuclear reactors here.
A REBUTTAL OF THE PROF. BROOK POSITION
This post has been edited. Please see the pre amble for a rebuttal of the Brook position regarding public safety in parts of Japan post the Fukushima Diiachi disaster.
Baseload Power, the Grid, Nuclear Reactors and Renewables
According to nuclear industry, the concept of Baseload Power via an electrical grid is a basic requirement of modern societies. According to this view robust national grids fed by multiple high capacity continuous generators is mandatory.
Australia and South Australia certainly is in an energy technology transition. We are in a cusp and are vulnerable as a state and as a nation as a result.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released a report which studies the causes of the 28 September 2016 state wide black out which the state of South Australia suffered on that day. The full report is available here:
“The report states: “As the generation mix continues to change across the NEM, it is no longer appropriate to rely solely on synchronous generators to provide essential non-energy system services (such as voltage control, frequency control, inertia, and system strength). Instead, additional means of procuring these services must be considered, from non-synchronous generators (where it is technically feasible), or from network or non-network services (such as demand response and synchronous condensers).” (AEMO, page 5). NEM means National Energy Market.
Please note the text I have highlighted in bold. Synchronous generators such as coal fired baseload, nuclear baseload and hydro baseload are, clearly, in the findings of the AEMO report, NO LONGER APPROPRIATE to rely upon for the essential grid services defined by AEMO.
Thus AEMO is able to state that: “AEMO has also begun work with the Australian Renewable Energy Authority (ARENA) and others on proof-of-concept trials of promising new technologies, starting with use of the new Hornsdale Stage 2
wind farm to provide grid stabilisation services. These projects can deliver engineering solutions to make the grid more resilient and protect customer supply as the transformation of Australia’s energy system continues. (AEMO, page 5).
If nuclear power were actually the only means by which Australia could stabilise voltage, frequency, load capacity, phase alignment and so on, and still mean Australian carbon emissions targets, surely AEMO, as an independent expert body would have reported as much.
Which is not to say Nuclear power plants could not technically replace the Australian coal fired generator fleet. Obviously NPPs could have a role. The fact is that they don’t have a role in Australia’s national energy and happily never have had such a role.
South Australia has always had a shaky state grid. The stability of the state grid in terms of voltage spikes, phase accuracy and alignment and so on caused HiFi enthusiasts to complain about about the technically ‘dirty” Adelaide electrical supply from the time I was a teenager. A Linn hifi system (a very sensitive and expensive system) sounded “like crap” in Adelaide whereas the very same hifi system moved and set up in Sydney sounded the way it should. Many experts put it down to SA’s small coal fired generators being actually unable to maintain a stable grid in all parameters. It has been a long term problem here.
With the advent of the national energy market, the South Australian grid’s inter connector with the East States’ coal fired power stations became critical. The inter-connector became even more critical with the closure of the coal fired power station at Port Augusta in South Australia’s mid north area. The closure of that station was long overdue. Original designed to burn eastern seaboard high grade black coal, various supply threats induced the SA government in the 1950s to instruct that only local low grade brown coal be burnt. This has had specifically very negative health effects on people living near and down wind of that now closed power plant. The late former Mayor of Port Augusta spent years trying unsuccessfully to induce the government to improve the emissions filters on the old power plant to little result. The late Mayor blamed the area’s high rate of lung cancer squarely on the emissions from the old coal fired plant. Here is an article about the issue from 8 years ago: https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/port-augusta-is-sas-cancer-hotspot/news-story/d2ed7532527bf669df9666b933dc7cd9 I have reported this previously. I agree with the late former mayor, and disagree with then Minister Hill. The cause of the lung cancer rate in the town was the power plant. Other surveys found the smoking rate of the residents was no different to the rest of the state. These are the facts as I see them. It is rational to think that burning coal which was closer to bitumen than proper high grade black coal would and did cause a public health disaster in the environs of the old Port Augusta power plant. The recent clouds of ash from the unmitigated fly ash dump at the old power plant, which blew all over the city of Port Augusta shows how trust worthy private industry and governments actually are when it comes to matters of public health risks in the context of the social good of electrical power. Individuals come off third best. Corporations have their PR and their actual reality. So does government. PR = bullshit. imo.
Turning back to the AEMO report in the 2016 state wide blackout, we need to look at what factors actually caused the blackout:
Here’s a fair slab taken straight from the AEMO report:
“On Wednesday 28 September 2016, tornadoes with wind speeds in the range of 190–260 km/h occurred in areas of South Australia.1 Two tornadoes almost simultaneously damaged a single circuit 275 kilovolt (kV) transmission line and a double circuit 275 kV transmission line, some 170 km apart.
The damage to these three transmission lines caused them to trip, and a sequence of faults in quick succession resulted in six voltage dips on the SA grid over a two-minute period at around 4.16 pm.
As the number of faults on the transmission network grew, nine wind farms in the mid-north of SA exhibited a sustained reduction in power as a protection feature activated. For eight of these wind farms, the protection settings of their wind turbines allowed them to withstand a pre-set number of voltage dips within a two-minute period. Activation of this protection feature resulted in a significant sustained power reduction for these wind farms. A sustained generation reduction of 456 megawatts (MW) occurred over a period of less than seven seconds. The reduction in wind farm output caused a significant increase in imported power flowing through the Heywood Inter-connector. Approximately 700 milliseconds (ms) after the reduction of output from the last of the wind farms, the flow on the Victoria–SA Heywood Inter-connector reached such a level that it
activated a special protection scheme that tripped the interconnector offline.
The SA power system then became separated (“islanded”) from the rest of the NEM. Without any substantial load shedding following the system separation, the remaining generation was much less than the connected load and unable to maintain the islanded system frequency. As a result, all supply
to the SA region was lost at 4.18 pm (the Black System).3F 4 AEMO’s analysis shows that following system separation, frequency collapse and the consequent Black System was inevitable.” (AEMO, page 6) emphasis added.
South Australia is a long way from the power generators in the Eastern states. There are hundreds of miles of high voltage transmission lines going from the interstate inter- connector to the main SA grid.
What did AEMO recommend as a solution to the problem?
“What conclusions have come from AEMO’s investigations?
From its analysis of the Black System event, many of AEMO’s conclusions provide valuable guidancefor improving the management of extreme conditions in SA:
Access to correct technical information about grid-connected equipment is critical for system security.
Wind turbines successfully rode through grid disturbances. It was the action of a control setting responding to multiple disturbances that led to the Black System. Changes made to turbine control settings shortly after the event has removed the risk of recurrence given the same number of disturbances.
Had the generation deficit not occurred, AEMO’s modelling indicates SA would have remained connected to Victoria and the Black System would have been avoided. AEMO cannot rule out the possibility that later events could have caused a black system, but is not aware of any system damage that would have done this.
The following factors must be addressed to increase the prospects of forming a stable SA island and avoiding a Black System:
Sufficient inertia to slow down the rate of change of frequency and enable automatic load shedding to stabilise the island system in the first few seconds. This will require increases in SA inertia under some conditions, as well as improvements to load shedding systems combined
with reduced interconnector flows under certain conditions.
Sufficient frequency control services to stabilise frequency of the SA island system over the longer term. This will require increases in local frequency control services under some conditions.
Sufficient system strength to control over voltages, ensure correct operation of grid protection systems, and ensure correct operation of inverter-connected facilities such as wind farms. This will require increases in local system strength under some conditions.
As noted in the recommendations chapter, AEMO is working with stakeholders to identify the best ways to address each of these requirements.
A number of factors investigated by AEMO were found to have little or no material effect on the event:
Trips of wind turbines due to high wind speed.
Operation of the five gas generators on-line at the time.
Performance of the Murraylink interconnector.
Settings of the relays that tripped the interconnector.
Settings of powerline protection relays.
Static Var Compensators (SVCs).” (AEMO page 7)
It can be seen that the market operator is of the view that procedures, settings, resources and techniques were and are available which would have prevented the state wide blackout, regards of the wind damage to high voltage lines and in hindsight crudely set turbine cut out settings.
The ferocity of the winds hit the grid infrastructure and the turbine settings as if they were completely impossible to predict and plan for. Of course, such wind speeds were are predictable.
Just as the 10 metre tsunami which destroyed the Fukushima diiachi primary cooling heat exchangers and back up generators were predictable on the basis of the written Japanese record. The March 2011 quake was not the largest of all time. Only a dumb a plan would put NPPs in a place like Japan. Only complete lunacy would put 55 there. Only a maniac would consider that Fast Breeder Monju would ever deliver limitless plutonium fuel for the reactors. And only a delusional twit would consider that the Japanese interim high level waste facility would be successful, economic and safe. As yet, the Japanese still cannot guarantee that no further explosions will occur when they attempt to vitrify Japanese reactor high level waste. For years it has been normal to send low level liquid nuclear waste via pipeline into the Sea of Japan. That has been going on for decades. In that context, the Fukushima liquid nuclear problem is not new. Its merely a couple of decades worth of rads destined ultimately to the sea as per normal. Though it must be said the Japanese activity levels piped into its sea is a mere fraction of the British disaster which is (was) Sellerfield aka Windscale.
Be that as it may, nuclear advocates will say that had SA a nuclear power plant at Port Augusta, as former Prime Minister John Howard wanted, then the state wide black out would not have occurred in September 2016. Probably correct. However, I have to balance that saying : yes, the high voltage cables where destroyed in two places in the SA wilderness by very high winds. Yes, the high wind speeds and the loss of sections of grid caused overly cautious trip settings in the wind turbines to trip, causing the inter state electrical inter-connector to trip out.
However, I ponder what would have happened at the theoretical Port Augusta nuclear plant when the winds blew down the high voltage power lines which connected the non existent, but hoped for by some, NPP and upon which it and all real nuclear power plants rely. For actually, all multi mega watt base load nuclear power plants rely most heavily upon a sufficiently robust and impregnable grid FOR THEIR SAFE OPERATION. And the source for that is the IAEA, to whom I will shortly turn for definitions and explanations.
Caption: what if an SA nuclear power plant had relied on these broken high voltage power lines? Did the March 2011 Japanese earthquake bring down the grid upon which Fukushima Diiachi relied?
Caption: Handout photo from Tokyo Electric Power Co. shows workers attempting to repair power lines at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, March 2011. The power grid connection to Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 was destroyed during the earthquake. It took a number of days to reconnect the grid to Fukushima Diiachi. The capacity of the Emergency Core Cooling systems integral to each of the afflicted reactors is measured in hours. There were many factors involved in the accident. However, the history of meltdown studies, US Nuclear Regulations at the time of design, and the Americo-centric imaginations of ECCS designers all played a part in the disaster. However, sadly today’s current and “popular” (not) Westinghouse AP1000 reactor has a gravity fed ECCS with a time capacity which is NO DIFFERENT to that fitted to the Fukushima Diiachi reactors.
“Vibrations from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered an immediate shut down of 15 of Japan’s nuclear power stations. Seismic sensors picked up the earthquake and control rods were automatically inserted into the reactors, halting the fission reaction that is used to produce electricity. This sudden loss of power across Japan’s national power grid caused widespread power failures, cutting vital electricity supplies to Fukushima Daiichi. There were three reactors, one, two and three, operating at the time when the earthquake hit while reactors four, five and six had already been shutdown as part of routine maintenance work.” “Japan earthquake: how the nuclear crisis unfolded”. Richard Gray, Science Correspondent, The Telegraph, 20 March 2011. end quote.
The IAEA requirements for electricity grids which supply Nuclear Power Plants.
The following text is a straight quote from : ” “ELECTRIC GRID RELIABILITY AND INTERFACE WITH NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS” IAEA NUCLEAR ENERGY SERIES No. NG-T-3.8, IAEA, COPYRIGHT NOTICE All IAEA scientific and technical publications are protected by the terms of the Universal Copyright Convention as adopted in 1952 (Berne) and as revised in 1972 (Paris). Reproduced here for study purposes and fair use. I have tried writing to the IAEA but they seem not to reply to normal people. Perhaps they go into shock or something.
Quote: ““The safe and economic operation of a nuclear power plant (NPP) requires the plant to be connected to an electrical grid system that has adequate capacity for exporting the power from the NPP, and for providing a reliable electrical supply to the NPP for safe startup, operation and normal or emergency shutdown of the plant.
“Connection of any large new power plant to the electrical grid system in a country may require significant modification and strengthening of the grid system, but for NPPs there may be added requirements to the structure of the grid system and the way it is controlled and maintained to ensure adequate reliability.
“The organization responsible for the NPP and the organization responsible for the grid system will need to establish and agree the necessary characteristics of the grid and of the NPP, well before the NPP is built, so that they are compatible with each other. They will also need to agree the necessary modifications to the grid system, and how they are to be financed.
“For a Member State that does not yet use nuclear power, the introduction and development of nuclear power is a major undertaking. It requires the country to build physical infrastructure and develop human resources so it can
construct and operate a nuclear power plant (NPP) in a safe, secure and technically sound manner. ” end quote. Source: “ELECTRIC GRID RELIABILITY AND INTERFACE WITH NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS” IAEA NUCLEAR ENERGY SERIES No. NG-T-3.8, IAEA, COPYRIGHT NOTICE All IAEA scientific and technical publications are protected by the terms of the Universal Copyright Convention as adopted in 1952 (Berne) and as revised in 1972 (Paris). Reproduced for study purpose and fair use. emphasis added. Hmm. very interesting. NPPs require a specifically designed and modified baseload capable grid network before they can be expected to safely start up, operation and shut down. Further the grid is needed, according to the world nuclear authority, for SAFE EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN.
Well, no wonder nuclear industry reckons baseload capable grids are mandatory. For nuclear power plants REQUIRE THEM. The nuclear sales people are a bit arse about in their mantra I think. Anyway don’t let my opinions distract you from the contents and implications of the quoted authoritative text.
So, how big a risk is the grid going down on a NPP ? Surely the Americans studied that one in depth. Let’s see what Barry Brook could have dug up about it.
I refer to the following text:
“U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION August 1988 REGULATORY GUIDE OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REGULATORY RESEARCH Reissued to correct
REGULATORY GUIDE 1.155 Tables 1, (Task SI 5014) 5, and 6.
STATION BLACKOUT ” Operating lifetime for emergency power back up.
Quote: “The term “station blackout” refers to the complete loss of alternating current electric power to the essential and nonessential switchgear buses in a nuclear power plant. Station blackout therefore involves the loss of
offsite power concurrent with turbine trip and failure of the onsite emergency ac power system, but not the loss of available ac power to buses fed by station batteries through inverters or the loss of power from “alternate ac sources.” Station blackout and alternate ac source are defined in § 50.2. Because many safety systems required for reactor core decay heat removal and containment heat removal are dependent on ac power, the consequences of a station blackout could be severe. In the event of a station blackout, the capability to cool
the reactor core would be dependent on the availability of systems that do not require ac power from the essential and nonessential switchgear buses and on the ability to restore ac power in a timely manner.
“The concern about station blackout arose because of the accumulated experience regarding the reliability of ac power supplies. Many operating plants have experienced a total loss of offsite electric power, and more occurrences
are expected in the future. In almost every one of these loss-of-offsite-power events, the onsite emergency ac power supplies have been available immediately to supply the power needed by vital safety equipment. However, in some
instances, one of the redundant emergency ac power supplies -has been unavailable. In a few cases there has been a complete loss of ac power, but during these events ac power was restored in a short time without any serious consequences.
“In addition, there have been numerous instances when emergency diesel generators have failed to start and run in response to tests conducted at operating plants.
The results of the Reactor Safety Study (Ref. 1) showed that, for one of the two plants evaluated, a station blackout event could be an important contributor to the total risk from nuclear power plant accidents. Although this total risk
was found to be small, the relative importance of station blackout events was established. This finding and the accumulated diesel generator failure experience increased the concern about station blackout.
“….References 2 through 7 provide detailed analyses of these topics. Based on risk studies performed to date, the results indicate that estimated coremelt frequencies from station blackout vary considerably for different plants
and could be a significant risk contributor for some plants.
In order to reduce this risk, action should be taken to resolve the safety concern stemming from station blackout. The issue is of concern for both PWRs and BWRs. ” end quote. Source: “U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION August 1988 REGULATORY GUIDE OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REGULATORY RESEARCH Reissued to correct REGULATORY GUIDE 1.155 Tables 1, (Task SI 5014) 5, and 6.
STATION BLACKOUT ” Operating lifetime for emergency power back up.
“Famous last words”, said the Bishop to the nuclear engineer. The workers at Fukushima Diiachi ran out of time, and it was not the workers fault. Would you buy a used NPP or even a new one when there is a possibility that grid destruction could cause another Fukushima Diiachi for any combination of reasons. Including rats chewing through power cables as they did at Fuk, repeatedly?
Here at last we have, via the US NRC, the documented link that shows, despite whatever the causes might be, were or are, there is a direct and acknowledged link between station blackout and meltdown. And meltdown is the major event which nuclear industry promised and promises would never happen, except for once in a thousand years.
ERGEN AND THE REAL CHINA SYNDROME. – the ‘forgotten’ history which underpins every Western nuclear reactor.
I refer to the official short history of the US Nuclear Commission regarding the “Emergency Core Cooling System” controversy which has underpinned every multi mega watt nuclear power station the West has constructed.
I disagree most strongly with Prof. Barry Brook in his stated position that the age of the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear power plants render any lessons learned since March 2001 irrelevant to current design reactors currently for sale, such as the Westinghouse AP1000. The lessons have been well known by nuclear authorities since the 1960s. And those lessons are vital to know. Why it is that any narrative about Fukushima Diiachi issued by nuclear authorities and repeated by nuclear supporters omit these crucial lessons and facts is totally beyond the naive and innocent lay person.
A link to the complete Ergen Report is here: https://www.academia.edu/8424123/AEC._Ergen_Report._Advisory_Task_Force_on_Power_Reactor_Emergency_Cooling._1967 It’s a very rare book, extremely hard to get, so download it and send it to your member of parliament/Congress/the Queen/Don.
Ralph Lapp’s summary of the Ergen Report, essay, New York Times, 12 DECEMBER 1971 “THOUGHTS ON NUCLEAR PLUMBING”
The following text is taken from : US Nuclear Regulatory Committee’s “A Short History of Nuclear Regulation, 1946-1999” available at https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML0037/ML003726170.pdf
“The Problem of Core Meltdown
The regulatory staff sought to gain as much experimental data as possible to enrich its knowledge and inform its collective engineering judgment. This was especially vital in light of the many unanswered questions about reactor behavior. The AEC had sponsored hundreds of small-scale experiments since the early 1950s that had yielded key information about a variety of reactor safety problems. But they provided little guidance on the issue of greatest concern to the AEC and the ACRS by the late 1960s–a core meltdown caused by a loss-of-coolant accident.
“Reactor experts had long recognized that a core melt was a plausible, if unlikely, occurrence. A massive loss of coolant could happen, for example, if a large pipe that fed cooling water to the core broke. If the plant’s emergency cooling system also failed, the build-up of “decay heat” (which resulted from continuing radioactive decay after the reactor shut down) could cause the core to melt. In older and smaller reactors, the experts were confident that even under the worst conditions–an accident in which the loss of coolant melted the core and it, in turn, melted through the pressure vessel that held the core–the containment structure would prevent a massive release of radioactivity to the environment. As proposed plants increased significantly in size, however, they began to worry that a core melt could lead to a breach of containment. This became their primary focus partly because of the greater decay heat the larger plants would produce and partly because nuclear vendors did not add to the size of containment buildings in corresponding proportions to the size of reactors.
The greatest source of concern about a loss-of-coolant accident in large reactors was that the molten fuel would melt through not only the pressure vessel but also through the thick layer of concrete at the foundation of the containment building. The intensely radioactive fuel would then continue on its downward path into the ground. This scenario became known as the “China syndrome,” because the melted core would presumably be heading through the earth toward China. Other possible dangers of a core meltdown were that the molten fuel would breach containment by reacting with water to cause a steam explosion or by releasing elements that could combine to cause a chemical explosion. The precise effects of a large core melt were uncertain, but it was clear that the results of spewing radioactivity into the atmosphere could be disastrous. The ACRS and the regulatory staff regarded the chances of such an accident as low; they believed that it would occur only if the emergency core cooling system (ECCS), made up of redundant equipment that would rapidly feed water into the core, failed to function properly. But they acknowledged the possibility that the ECCS might not work as designed. Without containment as a fail-safe final line of defense against any conceivable accident, they sought other means to provide safeguards against the China syndrome.
“The Emergency Core Cooling Controversy
At the prodding of the ACRS, which first sounded the alarm about the China syndrome, the AEC established a special task force to look into the problem of core melting in 1966. The committee, chaired by William K. Ergen, a reactor safety expert and former ACRS member from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, submitted its findings to the AEC in October 1967. The report offered assurances about the improbability of a core meltdown and the reliability of emergency core cooling designs, but it also acknowledged that a loss-of-coolant accident could cause a breach of containment if ECCS failed to perform. Therefore, containment could no longer be regarded as an inviolable barrier to the escape of radioactivity. This represented a milestone in the evolution of reactor regulation. In effect, it imposed a modified approach to reactor safety. Previously, the AEC had viewed the containment building as the final independent line of defense against the release of radiation; even if a serious accident took place the damage it caused would be restricted to the plant. Once it became apparent that under some circumstances the containment building might not hold, however, the key to protecting the public from a large release of radiation was to prevent accidents severe enough to threaten containment. And this depended heavily on a properly designed and functioning ECCS.
“The problem facing the AEC regulatory staff was that experimental work and experience with emergency cooling was very limited. Finding a way to test and to provide empirical support for the reliability of emergency cooling became the central concern of the AEC’s safety research program. Plans had been underway since the early 1960s to build an experimental reactor, known as the Loss-of- Fluid-Tests (LOFT) facility, at the AEC’s reactor testing station in Idaho. Its purpose was to provide data about the effects of a loss of coolant accident. For a variety of reasons, including weak management of the test program, a change of design, and reduced funding, progress on the LOFT reactor and the preliminary tests that were essential for its success were chronically delayed. Despite the complaints of the ACRS and the regulatory staff, the AEC diverted money from LOFT and other safety research projects on existing light-water reactor design to work in the development of fast- breeder reactors. A proven fast breeder was an urgent objective for the AEC and the Joint Committee; Seaborg described it as “a priority national goal” that could assure “an essentially unlimited energy supply, free from problems of fuel resources and atmospheric contamination.”
To the consternation of the AEC, experiments run at the Idaho test site in late 1970 and early 1971 suggested that the ECCS in light-water reactors might not work as designed. As a part of the preliminary experiments that were used to design the LOFT reactor, researchers ran a series of “semiscale” tests on a core that was only nine inches long (compared with l44 inches on a power reactor). The experiments were run by heating a simulated core electrically, allowing the cooling water to escape, and then injecting the emergency coolant. To the surprise of the investigators, the high steam pressure that was created in the vessel by the loss of coolant blocked the flow of water from the ECCS. Without even reaching the core, about 90 percent of the emergency coolant flowed out of the same break that had caused the loss of coolant in the first place.
In many ways the semiscale experiments were not accurate simulations of designs or conditions in power reactors. Not only the size, scale, and design but also the channels that directed the flow of coolant in the test model were markedly different than those in an actual reactor. Nevertheless, the results of the tests were disquieting. They introduced a new element of uncertainty into assessing the performance of ECCS. The outcome of the tests had not been anticipated and called into question the analytical methods used to predict what would happen in a loss-of-coolant accident. The results were hardly conclusive but their implications for the effectiveness of ECCS were troubling.
The semiscale tests caught the AEC unprepared and uncertain of how to respond. Harold Price, the director of regulation, directed a special task force he had recently formed to focus on the ECCS question and to draft a “white paper” within a month. Seaborg, for the first time, called the Office of Management and Budget to plead for more funds for safety research on light-water reactors. While waiting for the task force to finish its work, the AEC tried to keep information about the semiscale tests from getting out to the public, even to the extent of withholding information about them from the Joint Committee. The results of the tests came at a very awkward time for the AEC. It was under renewed pressure from utilities facing power shortages and from the Joint Committee to streamline the licensing process and eliminate excessive delays. At the same time, Seaborg was appealing–successfully–to President Nixon for support of the breeder reactor, and controversy over the semiscale tests and reactor safety could undermine White House backing for the program. By the spring of 1971, nuclear critics were expressing opposition to the licensing of several proposed reactors, and news of the semiscale experiments seemed likely to spur their efforts.
“For those reasons, the AEC sought to resolve the ECCS issue as promptly and quietly as possible. It wanted to settle the uncertainties about safety without arousing a public debate that could place hurdles in the way of the bandwagon market. Even before the task force that Price established completed its study of the ECCS problem, the Commission decided to publish “interim acceptance criteria” for emergency cooling systems that licensees would have to meet. It imposed a series of requirements that it believed would ensure that the ECCS in a plant would prevent a core melt after a loss-of-coolant accident. The AEC did not prescribe methods of meeting the interim criteria, but in effect, it mandated that manufacturers and utilities set an upper limit on the amount of heat generated by reactors. In some cases, this would force utilities to reduce the peak operating temperatures (and hence, the power) of their plants. Price told a press conference on June 19, 1971 that although the AEC thought it impossible “to guarantee absolute safety,” he was “confident that these criteria will assure that the emergency core cooling systems will perform adequately to protect the temperature of the core from getting out of hand.”
The interim ECCS criteria failed to achieve the AEC’s objectives. News about the semiscale experiments triggered complaints about the AEC’s handling of the issue even from friendly observers. It also prompted calls from nuclear critics for a licensing moratorium and a shutdown of the eleven plants then operating.
“Criticism expressed by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an organization established in 1969 to protest misuse of technology that had recently turned its attention to nuclear power, received wide publicity. The UCS took a considerably less sanguine view of ECCS reliability than that of the AEC. It sharply questioned the adequacy of the interim criteria, charging, among other things, that they were “operationally vague and meaningless.” Scientists at the AEC’s national laboratories, without endorsing the alarmist language that the UCS used, shared some of the same reservations. As a result of the uncertainties about ECCS and the interim criteria, the AEC decided to hold public hearings that it hoped would help resolve the technical issues. It wanted to prevent the ECCS question from becoming a major impediment to the licensing of individual plants. The AEC insisted that its critics had exaggerated the severity of the ECCS problem. The regulatory staff viewed the results of the failed semiscale tests as serious but believed that the technical issues the experiments raised would be resolved within a short time. It did not regard the tests as indications that existing designs were fundamentally flawed and it emphasized the conservative engineering judgment it applied in evaluating plant applications. But the ECCS controversy damaged the AEC’s credibility and played into the hands of its critics. Instead of frankly acknowledging the potential significance of the ECCS problem and taking time to fully evaluate the technical uncertainties, the AEC acted hastily to prevent the issue from undermining public confidence in reactor safety or causing licensing delays. This gave credence to the allegations of its critics that it was so determined to promote nuclear power and develop the breeder reactor that it was inattentive to safety concerns.” End quote Source: US NRC as above.
The outcome of the Ergen Report and the famous Controversy surrounding the adequacy of Emergency Core Cooling Systems as an US nuclear regulation called “Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors”, which is available to read here: https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part050/part050-0046.html Such was the controversy that the US nuclear industry was unable to construct any new NPPs until public hearings had taken place. The construction of new NPPs recommenced upon the issuance of safety and adequacy by nuclear authorities. At the time and since, both experts and the general public, in large numbers remain skeptical of official assurances. The general knowledge of the controversy, for it was very great one, is well remembered by many Americans. Not many Australians today are aware of the limitations in practice of both old and new ECCS systems.
Salient extracts from the Acceptance Criteria for “Emergency Core Cooling Systems…” follow:
“50.46 Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors….
“(b)(1) Peak cladding temperature. The calculated maximum fuel element cladding temperature shall not exceed 2200° F.
(2) Maximum cladding oxidation. The calculated total oxidation of the cladding shall nowhere exceed 0.17 times the total cladding thickness before oxidation. As used in this subparagraph total oxidation means the total thickness of cladding metal that would be locally converted to oxide if all the oxygen absorbed by and reacted with the cladding locally were converted to stoichiometric zirconium dioxide. If cladding rupture is calculated to occur, the inside surfaces of the cladding shall be included in the oxidation, beginning at the calculated time of rupture…..
“(3) Maximum hydrogen generation. The calculated total amount of hydrogen generated from the chemical reaction of the cladding with water or steam shall not exceed 0.01 times the hypothetical amount that would be generated if all of the metal in the cladding cylinders surrounding the fuel, excluding the cladding surrounding the plenum volume, were to react.
(4) Coolable geometry. Calculated changes in core geometry shall be such that the core remains amenable to cooling.
(5) Long-term cooling. After any calculated successful initial operation of the ECCS, the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core.”
As the Fukushima nuclear disaster unfolded, reactor after reactor exploded. “Nuclear experts” providing narrative to Australian media outlets described these explosions as being “perfectly normal”, “consisting of merely Hydrogen gas/”
No such expert fully explained that the mass produced reactor explosions were vivid demonstrations of the fact that ECCS as designed and regulated by the USA, being imposed upon the design of the US originated Fukushima reactors, were patently inadequate. That the rules merely stated a criteria which was known to be impossible to achieve in the real world in the event of the ECCS actually be called upon to work.
Criteria sub paragraph (5) is most troubling. It calls for the ECCS to contiue to work for months: “Long-term cooling. After any calculated successful initial operation of the ECCS, the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core.
Yet we learn from the American Nuclear Society that the US designed (incorporating a claimed conforming with the US Design Criteria above) to operate not for the length of time the longest lived radioctivity remaining in the core demanded, (months) but EIGHT HOURS.
Did the tsunami damage the “emergency cooling water” as Prof Brook claims?
From my reading of qualified texts, I conclude the answer to be NO. I refer to :
‘SEVERE ACCIDENT ISSUES RAISED BY THE
FUKUSHIMA ACCIDENT AND IMPROVEMENTS
JIN HO SONG* and TAE WOON KIM
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute
1045 Daedeok-daero, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Korea, 305-353
Corresponding author. E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Received August 22, 2013
Accepted for Publication November 05, 2013″, at https://ac.els-cdn.com/S1738573315301649/1-s2.0-S1738573315301649-main.pdf?_tid=d8f804c0-7412-4fec-b2bb-b6422f537085&acdnat=1530402801_a1089807f49ab4ae98ba6bf79ee9a247
I refer also to:
“FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI: ANS Committee Report, A Report by The American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima March 2012. Dale Klein Co-Chairman Michael Corradini Co-Chairman ANS Special Committee on Fukushima ANS Special Committee on Fukushima at http://hps.org/documents/ANSFukushimaReport.pdf
I further refer to the text: ““Measures Taken at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (December 2011 Edition)”, TEPCO, http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu11_e/images/111222e18.pdf
Prof. Brook has, since the accident at Fukushima occurred, made numerous and glaring technical errors in his bombastic and simplistic/ignorant statements about the progression and outcomes of the Fukushima Diiachi accident. This is just another one. His passing reference to the Emergency Core Cooling system in his ABC One Plus One interview consists of this:
” And the emergency cooling water as well was also damaged such that they ended up having to use sea water to cool it.” Brook, B., ABC TV One Plus One: Barry Brook on nuclear power’s future after Fukushima, 18 March 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFs_-8DtZvo
At no stage does any of the above Fukushima Diiachi accident chronologies report that “..the emergency cooling water as well was also damaged such that they ended up having to use sea water to cool it.” (Brook, 18 March 2011) However, Brook appears to be confusing tanks of fresh water located around the plant site as a fire fighting resource. These tanks of fresh water are NOT part of the emergency core cooling system. BUT the decision was taken, based upon prior Japanese experience with difficulties cooling reactors during a 2007 earthquake. At that time the Japanese authorities devised a means by which reactor pressure vessel coolant could be maintained by use of fire engines and hose lines which tapped into the reactors emergency core cooling system. The source for this is TEPCO, as discussed fully below.
The Fukushima Diiachi nuclear disaster appears to be the SECOND TIME that Japanese reactors demonstrated the lackings inherent in the design of the Emergency core cooling systems.
It was long planned to use seawater as coolant as coolant mixed with Boron in the case of cooling failure.
Far from demonstrating the resilience of the plant as Brook implies, reality shows, and the technical show, that the reactors suffered fatal core melts and that pressure vessel and containment failure did in fact occur at Fukushima Diiachi. The ECCS remained intact in all reactors and was not damaged by the tsunami.
What events do these QUALIFIED SOURCES say caused the use of sea water to prevent further core melt down? Let’s see:
” In parallel with ongoing freshwater injections, the fire brigade started to prepare for seawater injection as instructed by the Site Superintendent. This was due to the limited freshwater reserved for the fire protection tanks. “ Source: ““Measures Taken at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (December 2011 Edition)”, TEPCO, http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp- com/release/betu11_e/images/111222e18.pdf Page 48.
“At 15:27, the first tsunami struck, followed at 15:35 by the second tsunami…..Subsequently, the Main Control Room informed the
Emergency Countermeasures Headquarters that seawater had reached the <em>entrance of the service building. ” “The operators in the Main Control Room realized that tsunamis were
flooding the site. “Saturday, March 12, 2011 0:06 There was a possibility of the drywell (hereafter the “D/W”) pressure
exceeding 600kPa abs, which could require venting of the Primary
Containment Vessel (hereafter “Vent/Venting”). Thus, the Site
Superintendent ordered to prepare for Venting….0:30 It was confirmed that the government’s measure to evacuate local residents had been completed (evacuation of local residents staying in Futaba-machi” “0:49 Possibility of the D/W pressure exceeding 600kPa abs exists, so a specified event
(abnormal rise in containment vessel pressure) in accordance with stipulations of
Article 15, Clause 1 of the Nuclear Emergency Act was determined to have
occurred, government and other authorities were notified at 0:55. ..” 1:30 (Approx.) Proposal to vent Units 1 and 2 made to the Prime Minister, Minister of Economy,Trade and Industry, and Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and consent obtained. 1:48 It was confirmed that the diesel fire pump had been stopped. 2:03 Emergency Countermeasures Headquarters started studying a method whereby a fire engine would be connected to the water supply pipe inlet of the Fire Protection System line. ” “2:47 Emergency Countermeasures Headquarters reported to the competent
government and other authorities at 2:30 that the D/W pressure had risen to
3:06 Press release on Vent operation
4:00 (Approx.) Freshwater injection into the reactors started from the fire engine through the Fire Protection System. Injection of 1,300 liters completed. ” “4:01 The result of assessing radiation exposure in the event of operating Venting was reported to the competent government departments and agencies.
4:55 It was confirmed that radiation dose in the Power Station site had risen (Near the main gate: 0.069μSv/h (4:00) → 0.59μSv/h (4:23)). The rise was reported to the competent government departments and agencies.
5:14 The radiation dose in the Power Station site was rising, while the D/W pressure was on the decline. Emergency Countermeasures Headquarters decided that an “outside leak of radioactive materials” had occurred and accordingly reported the event to the competent government departments and agencies.”
“5:44 The Prime Minister issued an evacuation order to local residents staying in the
areas within a 10-km radius of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
5:46 A fire engine resumed freshwater injection into the reactors through the Fire
5:52 The fire engine completed 1,000 liter freshwater injection into the reactor through
the Fire Protection System line.
6:30 The fire engine completed 1,000 liter freshwater injection into the reactor through the Fire Protection System line.
6:33 It was confirmed that a study was underway to evacuate residents of
Okuma-machi into Miyakoji areas.” “6:50 The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry ordered Venting operation
(manual Vent) in accordance with law.
7:11 The Prime Minister arrived at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
7:55 The fire engine completed 1,000 liter freshwater injection into the reactor through
the Fire Protection System line.
8:03 The Site Superintendent instructed operators to manipulate Vent at 9:00.
8:04 The Prime Minister left Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
8:15 The fire engine completed 1,000 liter freshwater injection into the reactor through the Fire Protection System line.” “8:27 It was confirmed that part of the residents of Okuma-machi had not completed
8:30 The fire engine completed 1,000 liter freshwater injection into the reactor through
the Fire Protection System line.
8:37 Emergency Countermeasures Headquarters informed Fukushima Prefecture
Office of its preparation to start venting around 9:00. The headquarters made an
adjustment that it will vent after confirming the situation of evacuation.
9:02 It was confirmed that residents of Okuma-machi (part of Kuma district) had completed evacuation. 9:04 Operators headed for the work site to Vent. ” “9:15 The fire engine completed 1,000 liter freshwater injection into the reactor through
the Fire Protection System line.
9:15 (Approx.) The vent valve (MO valve) of the Primary Containment Vessel (hereafter the
“PCV”) opened manually.
9:30 (Approx.) Operators tried manipulating the small valve of the vent valve (AO valve) of the Suppression Chamber (hereafter the “S/C”). However, they had to give up the efforts because of high radiation dose.
9:40 The fire engine completed 15,000 liter freshwater injection into the reactor through the Fire Protection System line.
9:53 Emergency Countermeasures Headquarters again reported to the competent government departments and agencies the result of its dosage assessment in the event that Vent was operated. “10:40 Since the surrounding of the main gate and monitoring post No. 8 indicated a
higher radiation dose, it was judged that the rise would be highly attributable to the Vent operation that had led to emission of radioactive materials. 11:15 Radiation dose is falling, thus indicating that venting was not likely sufficiently effective.
11:39 Emergency Countermeasures Headquarters reported to the competent
government departments and agencies that one of the employees who had entered the reactor building for Vent operation had an exposed dosage beyond 100mSv (106.30 mSv).
14:30 When the restoration team installed a temporary air compressor around 14:00 to operate the large valve of vent valve (AO valve) of the S/C, the team identified a decline in the D/W, decided that the decline was attributed to “emission of radioactive materials,” and reported the event to the government and other authorities at 15:18.” “14:53 The fire engine completed approx. 80,000 liter freshwater injection into the
reactor (in total of accumulation).
14:54 The Site Superintendent ordered operators to inject seawater in the reactor.
15:18 The restoration team was advancing the restoration of the standby liquid control system. The team planned to perform injection into the reactor by starting up the pump of the standby liquid control system as soon as it is ready. Emergency Countermeasures Headquarters also informed the competent government departments and agencies of its plan that the seawater would be injected in the reactor through the Fire Protection System when the preparation is completed.
15:30 (Approx.) The restoration team formed a route where electricity from an HVPS car is supplied to the Unit 1 MCC through the Unit 2 P/C. The team started supplying electricity up to a point just before the standby liquid control system.
15:36 An explosion occurred at the reactor building.
16:27 Surrounding of monitoring post No. 4 measured a radiation dose beyond 500μSv/h (1,015μSv/h). …” “18:25 The Prime Minister issued an evacuation order to local residents staying in
areas within a 20-km radius of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
18:30 (Approx.) The results of checking the state of the fire engine, buildings, etc. confirmed that
these areas were in a mess. Damage was also identified to the power supply
facility for the standby liquid control system and to the seawater injection
hose that had been reserved. They were confirmed as unworkable.
19:04 The fire engine started seawater injection into the reactor through the Fire
Protection System line.
20:45 Seawater was injected in the reactor after being mixed with boric acid. ”
Source: ““Measures Taken at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (December 2011 Edition)”, TEPCO, http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu11_e/images/111222e18.pdf
It is important the following fact about the Fukushima Diiachi reactors ECCS systems. The modification procedure was a Lesson Learned from the 2007 Chuetsu-oki Earthquake, as follows:
“Activities after “17:12 on March 11 when the Site Superintendent ordered that an alternative means of water injection be studied as part of accident management (hereafter “AM”) measures and a method for injecting water into the reactor using fire engines (installed on a lesson from the “Chuetsu-oki Earthquake”)”
・ At 17:12 on March 11, the Emergency Countermeasures Headquarters started studying an alternative means of water injection (the Fire Protection System (hereafter the “FP”), replacement water condensate system, and containment cooling system) set up as part of the AM measures, and on the use of fire engines.
・ Operators at the Main Control Room removed the AM operation procedure
description, applied the shift supervisor seat to check alternative means of water injection into the reactor and confirmed alternative lines of water injection. At 18:35 on March 11, the operation room used the DDFP to form an alternative line of water injection into the reactor through the Core Spray System (hereafter the“CS”) from the FP line. Since no power supply was available, the Main Control Room had no control over the line. A total of five members, consisting of four operators and one member of the power generation team, wore full-face masks and
headed for the Reactor Building. With the help of flashlights, the members reached the Reactor Building where they manually opened five motor valves, including the CS, and at around 20:30, completed the formation of an alternative line of water injection into the reactor. ” Source: “Measures Taken at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (December 2011 Edition)”, TEPCO, http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu11_e/images/111222e18.pdf
So we can see that the objections raised by scientists and technicians in response to the risk of core melt in large reactors first voiced in the late 1960s (Ergen, AEC), early 1970s (Lapp, AEC), and Nader and Abbott (1975) and the US Supreme Court (1975) – that being, the inability to insert water via ECCS into a reactor pressure vessel suffering over pressure due to over heating was confirmed in Japan. In 2007 they evolved a plan whereby, according to the quote from TEPCO above, external water (water in addition to the ECCS reserves) could be injected into the reactors directly from external fire pumps after over pressure had been released from the pressure vessels. And this TEPCO report is the only one I have found with reference to this technique. It is apparently uniquely Japanese. I cannot find a discussion of the impact of the 2007 quake on Japanese reactors anywhere on the internet so far. However it seems that the inability of ECCS as predicted specifically by Nader and Abbott in 1975 and foreshadowed by Ergen and Lapp earlier has been experienced and worried about in Japan since 2007.
The fact is, from 1975 until 2011 the promise of the nuclear industry was that the ECCS systems integral to GE MK1 and Mk2 and Mk3 reactors was sufficient to prevent core melt and pressure over pressure, sufficient to prevent any venting of radioactive material to the environment. As anyone with any knowledge of the technical reports which under pin the design and relevant regulations relating to these reactors knows, the industry made this false promise and maintained it for decades in the teeth of constant disagreement from independent technical experts. The aware world, including millions of Americans who were awake in from the time of Ergen Report on, had been waiting for a test of the honesty of the nuclear industry. When the day came that tested the claims for the ECCS, the ECCS systems of three reactors all failed to prevent core melt and fission product venting on the same day at the same place. Despite dire warnings not to place more than one reactor on each reactor site. These are not lessons learned actually, they are lies revealed.
THE TEPCO REPORT ABOVE REFUTES THE CLAIM OF PROF. BARRY BROOK. THEY USED SEA WATER AS THE COOLING WATER WAS LEAKING OUT AS FAST IT WAS BEING PUMPED IN. THEY HAD CONSUMED ALL OF THE AVAILABLE FRESH WATER. THE STOCKS WERE LIMITED FROM THE START. THE ECCS SYSTEMS, INCLUDING THE COOLANT THEY CONTAINED, INTEGRAL TO EACH REACTOR, COULD NOT HAVE BEEN DAMAGED BY THE TSUNAMI UNLESS THE REACTORS THEMSELVES WERE DAMAGED BY THE TSUNAMI. THE REACTOR BUILDINGS AND PRESSURE VESSELS WERE NOT DAMAGED BY THE TSUNAMI.
The American Nuclear Society describes the multi system Emergency Core Cooling Systems integral to each afflicted reactor at Fukushima Diiachi as follows:
“In the event that the normal heat-removal pathway to the
main turbine/condenser is lost, BWRs have, as the first
backup, systems to provide core safety by either adding
water to the RPV or by an alternate heat removal path, or by
both. BWR/3s have isolation condenser systems that both
remove the decay heat by condensing the generated steam in
the RPV through heat exchange with a water pool outside
the drywell and return condensate to the reactor over a wide
range of reactor pressures. No additional water is added,
however, so if there are leaks in the primary pressure circuit,
additional water is required from other sources. BWR/4s
and BWR/5s use an RCIC system, which is a turbine-driven
pump using reactor steam that can add water to the RPV
over a wide range of reactor pressures. The RCIC system
draws water from either a large pool inside the containment,
the suppression pool, or from a tank located outside the
containment, the condensate storage tank (CST). The RCIC
system has the advantage that it can provide significantly
more water than needed to make up for decay heat–generated
steam, but it does not remove the heat. When the
reactor becomes isolated from the main turbine/condenser,
that heat is transported to the suppression pool via safety
and relief valves (SRVs) that open and close to maintain the
primary system pressure within safety limits. There is sufficient
heat capacity in the suppression pool for many hours
of decay heat storage before the heat must be removed from
the containment using pumps and heat exchangers requiring
electrical power. If this does not occur, the pressure and
temperature in the containment will rise as time progresses.
“If these first backup systems are not sufficient, then ECCSs
are provided to both add water to the RPV and to remove
decay heat either from the RPV or from the containment.
With one exception, all these systems require alternating-current
(AC) power that is supplied either by the NPP normal
AC distribution system or by emergency diesel generators
(EDGs) if the normal supply is lost. The exception is that
as part of the ECCSs in BWR/3s and BWR/4s, there is
a high-pressure coolant injection (HPCI) system that is a
turbine-driven pump that uses reactor steam and that has
about seven times the capacity of the RCIC system and can
add water over a wide range of reactor pressures.
As we discuss below, because for many hours the Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear power station (NPS)2 was without electricalpower and long-term cooling to remove the decay heat to the
environment, the aforementioned systems were not available
to keep the reactor core from overheating and the fuel from
being damaged.” source: FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI:
ANS Committee Report AMERICAN NUCLEAR SOCIETY A Report by The American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima 12 March 2012.
Here, the worst fears regarding the inadequacy of the Emergency Core Cooling System capability held since the publication of the Ergen Report (AEC) of 1969, Lapp’s (AEC) public essay “Thoughts on Nuclear Plumbing” (NYT) of 1971 and “The Menace of Atomic Energy” by Nader and Abbott, Outback Press, Victoria, Australia. Copyright 1977. ISBN 0 86888 0515. (some pages from the book are available here for study purposes: https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/the-eccs-controversey-of-the-1960s-and-1970s-usa-in-the-light-of-march-2011/
Given that the time from 1969 until 2011 amounts to FORTY TWO YEARS, and given the nuclear industry’s denial of the veracity of these sources extends for that WHOLE PERIOD OF TIME , I am left aghast and horrified by the Brook claim that:
“Prof Brooke: “I think it’s clear that the risk that the tsunami faced and the fact that all of the redundant generators were wiped out in one blow suggests that there was not enough prudent forethought for that risk. And in any sort of major accident in any industry there’s a period of introspection afterwards. Looking at what went wrong. Just like in anything in our lives. And trying to take the salient lessons and use that in future is a …I see the announcements of governments around the world to re-look at the safety of their current nuclear power plants. That’s an eminently sensible thing to do because you can look at all of the contingencies that they have allowed for and say well, what if the situation in Japan had happened to us, are we prepared? That’s learning from the lessons of history.” Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFs_-8DtZvo ABC TV One Plus One: Barry Brook on nuclear power’s future after Fukushima, posted Published on 18 Mar 2011
Oh frigging bullshit Barry!!! How many years will take for the nuclear industry to actually READ AND COMPREHEND Ergen, Lapp and Nader and Abbott you dim wit?!!!!
THE FREAKING LESSONS WERE LEARNED BY EVERYONE EXCEPT THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY FROM 1969 TO 1977!!! Learning from the lessons of history indeed. Learning at the time WITHIN the industry should have occurred when the knowledge first became available – from 1969 to 1977!!! Why wait until 2018? Since 2011 all the industry has done is fudge and mislead on the issues raised by the PREDICTED performance of the GE ECCS.
Half the world’s population knew the issues even as the supposed learned voice overs of the TV news footage from Fuk in 2011 mumbled “This is perfectly normal….” as the zirconium overheated, produced hydrogen, bending fuel rods, venting liquified cesium etc, causing explosions, rupturing the pressure vessel top flanges, causing release of nuclides into air, melting control rod seals at the base of the reactors, allowing molten fuel to drip down onto concrete and below….. ALL OF THIS WAS FORESEEN FORTY FREAKING YEARS BROOK!! IF THERE IS A LESSON FROM HISTORY HERE, SPORT, it is that the INDUSTRY IS ARROGANT, NEGLIGENT AND IGNORED THAT WHICH WAS KNOWN TO BE TRUE FROM 1969 ON.!!!!!!
BROOK, IMO YOU ARE APPALLING!!!! YOU ARE A MERE LAYMAN LIKE ME IN THIS MATTER. YOU HAVE ZERO QUALS IN THIS!!!
Photo: The black board in the Fukushima Diiachi control room : “16.36 hours, ECCS failure” Dan Edge, BBC, Quicksilver productions, PBS, “Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown”, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/japans-nuclear-meltdown/ video, transcript: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/health-science-technology/japans-nuclear-meltdown/transcript-4/ to quote: Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY Dan Edge
“March 11, 2011
NARRATOR:This is the frantically scribbled log the engineers kept on a whiteboard in the control room as the nuclear plant slid towards disaster. “15:42, nuclear emergency declared. 15:50, loss of water level readings. 16:36, emergency core cooling system malfunction. No water can be injected.” end quote.” Source: Dan Edge, BBC, Quicksliver Products PBS, “Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown”
Who knew this would happen prior to and at the approval and licencing of the design in the USA? Consulting Nader and Abbott we can build a list of those who knew. There are two groups – independent scientists and technologists who were dissenters and the nuclear authorities themselves, as follows:
Henry Kandall and Daniel Ford. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
Dr Morris Rosen (Atomic Energy Commission)
George Brockett (AEC)
J. Curtis Haire (AEC)
Milton Shaw (AEC)
Dr Alvin M. Weinberg (Oak Ridge)
The Federal Republic of Germany Reactor Safety Committee, 1972.
The Federation of American Scientists, 1973.
The RAND Corporation, 1972 (CIA)
Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards 1972 (AEC)
The California Assembly’s Advisory Committee on Science and Technology 1973
Swedish government scientific opinion of US reactor design safety – ECCS
Pugwash Conference 1973
2,300 US scientists – petition to Congress. 1975.
How did they know? The knowledge was gained during tests of the ECCS commissioned by the ECCS as documented by Nader and Abbott:
Nader and Abbot, The Menace of Atomic Power, 1977, page 101.