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#219402 - 03/16/11 04:40 PM Get water to the reactors?
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
If my fragile and incomplete mental picture of the reactor challenges in Japan is accurate, the most pressing need is to get water to the reactors to cool things down into controllable temperature zones and to keep various hot bits covered.

Discussing this on ETS will not physically solve this problem, but perhaps we can use the story to exercise the brain trust in suggesting ways of that could work. It feels a bit like helping which I like better than the helpless alternative, and who knows what we might come up with?

So:

1. How much water do they need?

2. If that amount of water was delivered to the site, are there systems that would let them easily use it?

3. Is there infrastructure in place that could be used to deliver enough water to the site, even if it means converting it from its different intended use?

4. Is there new infrastructure that could be put in place quickly enough to get the needed water to the site?

5. Do we know how far the site is from big enough water sources like the ocean, big lakes, and rivers?

6. Is container delivery of water a viable solution?

7. Is onsite generation by water-from-air technology a viable solution?

And then there are the smart questions that those who understand the reality better than I can suggest!

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#219411 - 03/16/11 05:23 PM Re: Get water to the reactors? [Re: dweste]
JIM Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 1032
Loc: The Netherlands
What I don't understand: if the nuclear plant was flooded once, why can't they do it again?

Taking the plant to the water instead of water to the plant, so to speak.
_________________________
''It's time for Plan B...'' ''We have a Plan B?'' ''No, but it's time for one.'' -Stargate SG-1

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#219414 - 03/16/11 05:35 PM Re: Get water to the reactors? [Re: JIM]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 876
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: JIM
What I don't understand: if the nuclear plant was flooded once, why can't they do it again?

Taking the plant to the water instead of water to the plant, so to speak.


Jim- Can *you* generate a 40 foot wall of water from the ocean when you need one?

Dweste- While these might seem sensible questions it feels to me like it's the same kind of thing as asking about why a platoon leader doesn't have his men shoot just a little further to the left or wondering why they don't get out the grenade launcher while he's engaged in combat.

We don't know. We aren't there. Our discussion won't help them solve the problem.

Make a donation to disaster relief headed for Japan if you want to help. (we already have)

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#219416 - 03/16/11 05:52 PM Re: Get water to the reactors? [Re: unimogbert]
JIM Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 1032
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: unimogbert
Originally Posted By: JIM
What I don't understand: if the nuclear plant was flooded once, why can't they do it again?

Taking the plant to the water instead of water to the plant, so to speak.


Jim- Can *you* generate a 40 foot wall of water from the ocean when you need one?

Dweste- While these might seem sensible questions it feels to me like it's the same kind of thing as asking about why a platoon leader doesn't have his men shoot just a little further to the left or wondering why they don't get out the grenade launcher while he's engaged in combat.

We don't know. We aren't there. Our discussion won't help them solve the problem.

Make a donation to disaster relief headed for Japan if you want to help. (we already have)


Fugushima's right next to the pacific ocean..

Well, isn't there a way to transport the fuel rods and dump them into the sea? That will keep them cooled right?
_________________________
''It's time for Plan B...'' ''We have a Plan B?'' ''No, but it's time for one.'' -Stargate SG-1

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#219418 - 03/16/11 06:01 PM Re: Get water to the reactors? [Re: JIM]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
http://theconservativetreehouse.files.wo...w=640&h=445

This photo gives a better understanding of the scale of the problem.

If you take into consideration the physical size of the building then even the Japanese Authorities stating that they jury rigged a series of water pipes from the ocean to then run sea water into the burnt out reactor buildings is once again getting more and more difficult to believe.

The latest news media reports of the use of Riot control vehicles with water cannon to pump water into the reactors is once again a red herring.

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#219419 - 03/16/11 06:05 PM Re: Get water to the reactors? [Re: JIM]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 876
Loc: Colorado
Right next to the ocean when there's been a 9.0 earthquake and there's no electricity means the ocean is a long ways away.
Bucket brigade might be a solution.

The fuel rods are probably (a) hard to find (b) too radioactive to handle (c) heavy (d) impeded by minor obstacles such as reactor vessels, containment vessels and explosion debris.

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#219421 - 03/16/11 06:12 PM Re: Get water to the reactors? [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
If a virtually unlimited supply of water will not solve the problem, or get it into the solvable range, then - never mind!

My questions do assume the opposite, and then ask for thoughts on how to get the water to the reactor site.

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#219422 - 03/16/11 06:20 PM Re: Get water to the reactors? [Re: dweste]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
As I updated my post in the other thread, it seems that they will be restoring grid power soon. If successful, then it sounds like they can restart the normal cooling systems instead of doing whatever jury rigged system they're using right now.

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#219424 - 03/16/11 06:40 PM Re: Get water to the reactors? [Re: NightHiker]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Quote:
Anybody remember an old SNL skit about 3-Mile Island? "You can't put too much water in a nuclear reactor."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JrIYR8jArk

Sounds like this is what happens if you get all those 'nuclear experts' currently doing the rounds on the news media and put them in a room.

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#219425 - 03/16/11 06:40 PM Re: Get water to the reactors? [Re: Arney]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 876
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Arney
As I updated my post in the other thread, it seems that they will be restoring grid power soon. If successful, then it sounds like they can restart the normal cooling systems instead of doing whatever jury rigged system they're using right now.


If the piping is intact.
If the pumps will run.
If the valves will open/close.
If the electrical power to the pumps is intact.
If the controllers for the pumps are intact.
If the intake supply to the pumps is/are intact.
If the operators can get to the manual valve handles.

There are probably a half-dozen more IFs involved.


Don't forget, there was a 9.0 earthquake followed by a 40' wall of water and several explosions and lots of water and debris getting kicked around. Some damage may have occurred.

Still, it might help. I'm sure it will, eventually.

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