[ RadSafe ] Abandoned

Thompson, Dewey L DThompson3 at ameren.com
Wed Mar 16 09:01:12 CDT 2011

This is NOT intended to be critical of anyone's decision demur speaking to a class.  

I would like to weigh in here and lobby that we be disposed to support such interaction - were we can.  Those of us that work for a corporate entity obviously can not be seen as a "public spokesman".  Many of us do have the ability to be a voice here and there.  

What I would tell a ME class:

1. The basic facts, as we understand them.  Not sugar coated, but not
   dramatized, "Just the facts ma'am".  There are several sources of
   pretty good status.  

   The plant apparently survived the earthquake (shake part) pretty well.
   (compare that to the surrounding buildings).

   The tsunami took out emergency diesel generators fuel and cooling 
   systems.  This challenged cooling the reactor cores that were operating,
   and lead to the early over heat problems.  The opinion part is that the 
   situation is extremely serious, is stabilizing, but slowly.  Obviously 
   they have, and have had unimaginable logistics issues with the regional 
   devastation.  The immediate problem now is keeping the reactor cores 
   flooded, and a looming problem is dealing with the spent fuel pools.  
2. The differences between this event and Chernobyl.  These cores have been 
   decaying for several days now.  Chernobyl's releases were from a core  
   during a power excursion with burning graphite. With no containment. 

3. Will there be lessons learned?  Absolutely.  Will there be a movement
   away from nuclear energy? That remains to be seen.  We must know the
   facts in order to make intelligent decisions.  My desperate hope is that 
   we DO make intelligent decisions.

4. (The opinion part).  I still support the technology.  Yes, this is an 
   ongoing catastrophic event of "biblical proportions", much of the use of 
   technology involves risk of such.  Nuclear plants can (and must) be 
   constructed to generate power while protecting the public.  My point for 
   mechanical engineers would be to always remember that during their 
   careers.  Whether it is designing a nuclear power plant or a catwalk for 
   a ritzy hotel, it is an awesome and solemn responsibility. 


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Larry Addis
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:25 PM
To: 'The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Abandoned

This is truly a nightmare of historical/biblical proportions.  

I was asked to give a talk/answer session to an mech. engineering class
today and said I'd wait - I just don't know what I'd say. Dumbstruck at this

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