[ RadSafe ] Hydrogen Venting & Spent Fuel Pools

Paul Rubin paulrubin713 at comcast.net
Wed Mar 16 11:10:07 CDT 2011

Thanks Harry for the informative post. 

Paul Rubin, M.D.
Houston, TX

On Mar 16, 2011, at 10:00 AM, "Anagnostopoulos, Harry" <H.Anagnostopoulos at nv.doe.gov> wrote:

> Here's a few bits of information to add to the "shared pool of
> knowledge". I worked at a BWR-4 with a Mark-1 containment many years
> ago.
> 1. Hydrogen venting
> To reduce pressure in the reactor vessel, steam was dumped to the
> suppression pool (torus), which is 1/2 full of water. There are systems
> in-place to cool the water in the suppression pool, but they require
> electrical power. Eventually, the torus needed to be vented to reduce
> the pressure in the primary containment. Apparently, in the 1990's, such
> vents were added to older Japanese plants. These vents vented to the
> reactor building and lead to the explosions in the reactor buildings.
> I'm sure that the operators were aware of this possibility when they
> made the tough choice to vent...
> 2. Spent Fuel Pool heating
> SFPs need cooling and recirculation. The amount of cooling depends on
> the decay heat from the fuel in the pools. Immediately after core
> un-load, the heat load is significant. This changes with time. During a
> refueling outage, the cooling is periodically stopped and monitored so
> that the "time to boiling" can be calculated. Eventually, this time
> becomes indefinite.
> BTW, I deleted all previous history and header information when replying
> to RADSAFE. It kinda makes the message shorter. Perhaps some of us could
> give it a try?
> Harry Anagnostopoulos, CHP
> Navarro-Intera
> Nevada
> "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but
> planning is indispensable."
> -    President Dwight D. Eisenhower
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