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Japan’s Nuclear Incidents March 15, 2011

Posted by samwyse in Editorials.

After reading Robert X. Cringely’s “Is anything nuclear ever really super safe small and simple?“, I have a question that I’ve not seen asked anywhere. Filling the coolant system with seawater must be like using seawater in your steam iron. Yeah, it’s going to corrode things to the point of never-be-used-again, but it seems to me that there’s a shorter term problem. As all the water is boiled away and/or split into free atoms, you’re going to have lots of salt left over accumulating in the reactor, and eventually preventing the free flow of water. You saidin the previous column that it should take a week for the reactor to cool down, so maybe it’ll be ok, but I’m still wondering.


1. Craig Hansen - March 15, 2011

This will depend on having sufficient sea-water flow to both cool the reactor and flush the residual salt. If all the introduced water immediately turns to steam, there’s definitely a salt-build-up problem.

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