[ RadSafe ] RadSafe Digest, Vol 919, Issue 1

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Mar 19 12:24:20 CDT 2012

I have to agree with Dewey: there are things that could have been done that wouldn't have increased cost by much and would have made things better, even if they didn't save the day.  Heck, something as simple as panels in the walls of the reactor building that could be opened would have prevented the buildup of hydrogen, and kept the buildings from blowing up.  The cost difference between a building designed to handle a 10 meter tsunami and a 20 meter tsunami isn't that great.  The cost of putting at least some of the emergency generators in facilities a mile from the plant, and up on the hill, might even be less than placing them inside the main plant, where footprint is more expensive.  

It comes down to one of my ongoing complaints with decision making processes in general.  I recognize that the technical issues are only one set of factors that have to be considered.  I just think that usually they should be the most important ones.   

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Thompson, Dewey L
Sent: Monday, March 19, 2012 6:55 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] RadSafe Digest, Vol 919, Issue 1

Sorry Ed, but I have to disagree with you (and those who follow you with their naysayer posts).

The outcome at Fukushima WAS preventable, and it should have been prevented.  I have not read the Carnegie report in detail; however I did peruse it to see they make some very valid points.  The basic plant was constructed fine; it withstood the quake and initial inundation from the Tsunami relatively intact.  

The problems came later.  Their coping strategies for "beyond design basis" pretty much did not exist.  

Oh sure there were some design issues too, like the lower levels not being water tight, and Safety Related switchgear being out in the open, unprotected.  (Which by the way, take a look at JAPC's Tokai-2.  They DID build flood walls and hardened some of the pits, and guess what happened?  Tokai-2 lost one set of diesel cooling pumps, but kept two sets.  End result?  NOT a severe accident.)

I believe there is ample evidence that TEPCO and the regulators DID have too cozy of a relationship.  Whether this was cultural or not I don't know or care. (The "Western" mindset is an adversarial relationship with the regulator.  I have the perception the "Eastern" mindset is leans more to cooperation).

The example of this for me is the hardened vents for the Mark-1 Containment.  This was a known issue in 1987, the US implemented hardened vents.  TEPCO did not (with backing from the regulators) as "being too expensive"........

Final point. Nuclear IS different.  Its NOT a coal burner, its NOT a hydro dam (although a failed dam can be really deadly).

And it is not JUST protection of the public.  Certainly that is a huge issue, but the commercial concerns are huge as well.  

March 10, 2011.  TEPCO was one of the best investments in world for the Utilities portion of your portfolio.  March 12, 2011?  Not so much.



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Staff HP
Radiation Protection Department
T 314.225.1061
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E DThompson3 at ameren.com

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Ed Battle
Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2012 12:36 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] RadSafe Digest, Vol 919, Issue 1

Reference: Stewart Farber's post on Sat 17 Mar 2012 18:41:50, forwarding a
40 page report that was just issued by the "Carnegie Endowment for Peace"
entitled:"Why Fukushima Was Preventable". The report chastises (TEPCO), and
Japan's regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) for not
taking preventive measures to mitigate a threat that occurs only every 1000
years!!!! Wow! Shouldn't they also have made the reactors asteroid-collision
and nuclear-weapon proof (considering North Korea)????? How many hydro- or
coal-fired plants could survive the two threats faced by Fukushima??
Ed Battle

p.s. Off-line. You are doing a great job!! "Ignorare clamor-infantes".

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