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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oyster Creek pops up on mainstream media radar screen

They're having an "alert" at the nation's oldest nuclear power plant, we're told -- yeah, no kidding:

The alert -- the second lowest of four NRC action levels -- came after water levels at the plant rose by more than 6.5 feet (2 meters), potentially affecting the pumps that circulate water through the plant, an NRC spokesman said late on Monday... a further rise to 7 feet could submerge the service water pump motor that is used to cool the water in the spent fuel pool....

Although such alerts are considered serious events in the industry -- with only about a dozen such instances in the past four years, according to NRC press releases -- flood waters should be receding at the plant following high tide, reducing the risk of emergency action....

The NRC spokesman said the company could use water from a fire suppression system to cool the pool if necessary. The used uranium rods in the pool could cause the water to boil within 25 hours without additional coolant; in an extreme scenario the rods could overheat, risking the eventual release of radiation.

Exelon spokesman David Tillman said the plant has "multiple and redundant" sources of cooling for the spent fuel pool. He said he did not know whether the service water system was operational at the moment.

Nothing to worry about. Nothing at all.

Comments (5)

Backup system is basically a fire hose? These guys need a lesson in the Department of Redundancy Department.

I can't believe the NRC has allowed one of those old Mk I reactors to stay online all this time, especially after all the negative attention its design received after Fukushima last year.

Even the EU had the sense to tell its new member states from the former Eastern Bloc to get rid of the Soviet RBMKs (Chernobyl design, and elsewhere).

The plant was shut down for re fueling. It was never in danger.

The issue is keeping the spent fuel rods cool. (You know - those rods that should have been reprocessed like the French do.)

All that appears to require is keeping them covered with water.


All that appears to require is keeping them covered with water.

How does one say that in Japanese?

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