Tag Archives | Nuclear Reactor

Jellyfish Cause Shutdown At Massive Swedish Nuclear Power Plant

jelly

The New York Times reports on how the world ends:

In an episode that evokes B-grade sci-fi movie plots, but actually reflects a continuing global problem, nuclear engineers in Sweden have been wrestling with a giant swarm of jellyfish that forced the shutdown of the world’s largest boiling-water reactor.

The plant’s operator said that a huge cluster of moon jellyfish clogged the cooling water intake pipes at the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant on the Baltic Sea coast, forcing the complex’s 1,400-megawatt Unit 3 to shut down.

Nuclear power plants are often placed next to large bodies of water, so jellyfish clogs are a recurring problem. The plant had a similar episode in 2005.

The Oskarshamn nuclear power plant uses the same technology employed at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, where a powerful earthquake and tsunami in 2011 caused the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

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Swede Arrested After Attempting To Build Nuclear Reactor In His Kitchen

nukes31-year-old Richard Handl tried to engage in nuclear fission at home using radioactive materials purchased on eBay. He blogged charmingly about his exploits via the site Richard’s Reactor before being detained by authorities. (At right is a “tiny nuclear meltdown” which occurred on his stove top.) The New York Times reports:

A Swedish man who was arrested after trying to split atoms in his kitchen said Wednesday he was only doing it as a hobby.

Richard Handl told The Associated Press that he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his apartment in southern Sweden when police showed up and arrested him on charges of unauthorized possession of nuclear material.

The 31-year-old Handl said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home and kept a blog about his experiments, describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove.

Only later did he realize it might not be legal and sent a question to Sweden’s Radiation Authority, which answered by sending the police.

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Michio Kaku: Fukushima Is A ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

From Democracy Now! The Japanese government is trying to calm fears about radiation levels and food safety in the region around the heavily damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility, even as it has raised the severity rating of the crisis to the highest possible level. "Radiation is continuing to leak out of the reactors. The situation is not stable at all," says Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and the City College of New York. "The slightest disturbance could set off a full-scale meltdown at three nuclear power stations, far beyond what we saw at Chernobyl."
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2 To 3 Minutes In Hell: Cleaning Chernobyl

A gripping, short documentary video of the horrifying challenge confronting the Soviet Union's "biorobots" -- soldiers, scientists, and civilians who were tasked with the emergency cleanup following the explosions at Chernobyl. Radio-controlled robotic machines were used at first, but their circuitry broke down from the radiation, leaving humans with shovels as the only option.
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Japanese Engineers Plug Fukushima Leak

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Photo: DigitalGlobe-Imagery

This sounds familiar, did they get advice from BP? The Guardian reports:

Engineers battling to contain the crisis at Japan‘s Fukushima nuclear power plant appeared to have turned an important corner last night after they stopped highly radioactive water from leaking into the ocean from one of the facility’s crippled reactors.

Workers struggling to halt the leaks successfully used a mixture of sawdust, newspaper, concrete and a type of liquid glass to stem the flow of contaminated water near a seaside pit, said the plant’s owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco).

Earlier efforts involving cement, an absorbent polymer and rags were unsuccessful in plugging the leak, which was discovered on Saturday, while radiation of more than 7.5 million times the legal limit for seawater was found just off the earthquake-hit plant.

In a sign of Tepco’s desperation, it breached its own regulations on Monday by beginning an intentional discharge of 11,500 tonnes of less contaminated water into the Pacific to make space for the highly radioactive liquid that was seeping out in an uncontrolled manner.

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