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Old 09-06-2010, 06:57 PM
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,097,961 times
Reputation: 11053


In inertial magnetic confinement fusion......theoritically if anything goes wrong the reaction does stop because it takes energy to contain the plasma ; although there are other confinement schemes that are even less likely to have any type of radioactive discharge such as the Laser approach.

Now I understand what you meant by the fuel rods melting.......I was not aware that the reactors operated at a high enough pressure to cut through many feet of reinforced concrete along with inches of steel in the containment building. Aren't they designed to withstand a direct hit from a fully loaded, modern jetliner????....Perhaps you mean a steam explosion similar to Chernobyl but that design had no containment vessel comparable to Western designs.

Containment building - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Three Mile Island accident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chernobyl disaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:18 PM
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,718,453 times
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Specifically I meant we were discussing modeling whether the secondary containment:

The reactor building's several feet of reinforced concrete, plus fuel dispersion schemes/trays, plus "ice boxes" (on some models), plus whatever else (because there's a whole lot of "custom jobs" in the USA)...

...will withstand a full-on core meltdown.

The primary containment is, of course, the big stainless steel core container. However, in the case of a severe LOCA, you can get a meltdown of the fuel which will go right through that drum and result in a pressurized jet of Uranium Dioxide--and ZrOx, and H2, and lots of other crap--shooting out into the 2ndary containment. Then you've got explosive vaporization wherever that hot fuel hits water, lots of combustible hydrogen gas, and much other nastiness inside the walls. When a lot of these plants were built, these effects were not fully modeled. It's only recently that studies have been completed which look at whether the containment domes you see on US reactors are sufficient to contain the effects of such a severe LOCA.

The good news is that the answer is "yes" in most cases. The better news is that such an event has never occurred and is unlikely to occur, though TMI came close with a partial core melt. Still, TMI really changed the whole approach of the nuclear industry. We "learned our lesson" so to speak.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:34 PM
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,097,961 times
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So basically it comes doiwn to whether the domes can stand a certain pressure per square inch.....Do you know the design specifications in pounds per square inch that the "dome" is designed to withstand...I would assume that was discussed in your scenarios?
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