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Monday, February 25, 2013

Reed College explains nuclear reactor violation

Students at a college with a drug problem running a nuclear reactor -- what could go wrong? We've noted that Reed College recently received a disciplinary notice from federal regulators for a significant safety breach at its toy research reactor, adjacent to the psychology building. The fearless crew was caught loading an extra 15 fuel elements into the reactor, exceeding its limit of 62, without conducting a proper safety analysis.

Now Reed has filed its response, here. Part of the joy was that Reed was adding radioactive fuel that had already been "burned" at the University of Arizona:

Based on the UARR fuel history, the licensee surmised that neutronic and thermohydraulic analysis of the 62-element core described in the applicable UFSAR would be inclusive of the February 2011 core. The Reactor Operations Committee approved the adding the elements by amending Special Experiment #1.

Words we don't like to read in documents relating to nuclear reactors include "surmised" and "special experiment." But hey, nothing to worry about. Everything's fine.

Comments (5)

Yeah, right on, Jack. Add "would be" to that list. It's way past the time for that nuke teen playpen at Reed to scram. When's that license up for NRC renewal? We need to intervene & oppose it if Kroger doesn't shut it down & surrender.

And btw, where does their spent fuel go?

Maybe Kroger should have to relocate his office next to the nuclear reactor. As an analogy, the Romans are said to have required their engineers to hang out below the bridges they would design and build.

Need to also bring back the concept of "skin in the game," rather than relying on some far removed bureaucrat unaffected by his/her decisions. Also, broaden the concept of "clawbacks" to include public sector decision makers. Maybe Adams and Leonard wouldn't have spent so much of our public monies on failed green projects if their pensions were at risk of being docked proportionately.

Mayor Hales, this is a clear and present danger to the city. I imagine the Charter gives you the power
to stop this disaster-in-making.

Mojo: If the reactor is indeed a threat to the neighborhood then Kroger's office in Elliot Hall will obviously be affected. If it doesn't endanger Elliot Hall then it's really not worth griping about.

Mayor Hales, this is a clear and present danger to the city.

Including his neighborhood.

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