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View Diary: Big Trouble In Arkansas w/Update (246 comments)

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  •  A scram is an emergency-triggered (13+ / 0-)

    shutdown. This reactor was at 100%, it can happen at any critical power level. Shutting down a reactor for a planned outage is a whole other process, and it's not very hard on the hardware of the plant. Emergency scram from power is very hard on the hardware of the plant.

    Luckily these plants are pretty tough, since they have to do this far more often than they were originally designed to tolerate. They are not unbreakable, and they are not indestructible.

    A full-power operating reactor needs some considerable time with full RCS plumbing (including at least two pumps) to bring the decay heat level to something not in immediate danger of meltdown. ANO's number 2 reactor hasn't enjoyed this luxury, because its EDGs are apparently not able to power the RCS pumps. It is depending on "convection cooling," and has been depending on that since it scrammed. That's way, way outrageous and ultimately scary. To me, and I was once a nuke. These aren't anything new, since engineering designs haven't changed in at least 50 years.

    If it worries me, it should definitely concern people living in the plume path. This is sort of a gentle warning that if the helicopters haven't spooked you yet, the newly-deployed evacuation route signs should spook you. Get the hell outta there for awhile.

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