From the Uranium Information Centre web site (http://www.uic.com.au/wns0928.htm)
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Energy Institute have been
concerns arising from the World Trade Centre terrorist attack. While it is clear
that US nuclear
power plants are not designed to withstand that kind of impact and fire
unscathed, they are well
designed for lesser impacts and as with most other aspects of their
construction, there is a high
degree of over-engineering. As calculations have been revisited to take account
of a multiple impact
from a heavy aircraft (ie with two or more engines set out from the
energy-absorbing fuselage), it
appears that many reactors are sufficiently robust to survive better than
initially feared. Other security
arrangements at nuclear plants have been re-examined and found credible.
However, in public statements the industry and more explicitly the IAEA did not
rule out the
possibility of damage within the reactor containment from such a suicide attack,
consequent release of radiation. But no informed estimates have suggested that
this would have any
more serious effect than the aircraft impact and fire itself. In other words if
a US nuclear reactor
were selected as a target because of the likelihood of multiplied effects along
the lines of some
Chernobyl scenario, the mission would fail. In fact the containment engineering
and the internal
design of the vast majority of the world's reactors would preclude it, whatever
the damage sustained.
NRC 21/9/01, NEI Infowire 21, 25/9/01, NEI web site: Times 27/9/01, technical
"Vandergraaf, Chuck" wrote:
> Mr. Hammond,
> You write, "...A 757 at 500 mph could probably dive right through the
> containment building and explode the core all over the place causing the
> evacuation of millions and radioactive contamination for hundreds of miles.
> Hitting 4 of them at once would have done
> a half a trillion dollars in damage."
> A debate on energy supply would benefit more if it were based on fact and
> not on assumptions and preconceived ideas. Unless you can show convincingly
> that a 757 @ 500 mph can penetrate a concrete containment enclosure around a
> nuclear reactor, your statement is little more than scare mongering and
> that's the last thing we need, especially in this time of crisis. CANDUs
> and PWRs have concrete enclosures, not flimsy metal structures like that
> surrounding the RBMK reactors at Chornobyl. Could a 747, 757, or 767
> penetrate a concrete shell around a PWR or CANDU? I don't know but I aim to
> find out.
> Fusion reactors are no solution to our energy problems. Even after throwing
> billions of dollars into research on fusion, there is little to show for.
> Wishing for fusion reactors will not materialize them, no matter how tight
> we close our eyes and wish. In addition, contrary to popular opinion,
> fusion reactors generate lots of radioactive waste.
> If no fission reactors, then what? "Curse the darkness?"
> Chuck Vandergraaf
> -----Original Message-----
> From: George Hammond [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Wednesday October 03, 2001 5:57 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: USGS estimate of oil supply
> Vandergraaf, Chuck wrote:
> > Glenn,
> > In discussing uranium supplies a couple of weeks ago at a conference in
> > Austria, one comment was that, even though uranium resources also obey the
> > Hubbert curve, in practice the world's uranium supplies are "infinite."
> > argument is based on the fact that there is a low, but not insignificant
> > uranium concentration in seawater and that the energy requirements of
> > extracting this uranium is less than the energy that can be generated from
> > it. Thus, splitting uranium recovered from seawater has a net positive
> > energy balance. Extracting uranium from seawater is chemically not that
> > difficult as the Japanese have shown.
> > As I have mentioned before, uranium is not the answer to all our energy
> > problems, but it can be part of the solution.
> > Comments?
> All I can say is thank God that the US didn't
> have 2,000 online fission reactors boiling away when
> the terrorists decided to use airliners as flying
> bombs. A 757 at 500 mph could probably dive right
> through the containment building and explode the
> core all over the place causing the evacuation of
> millions and radioactive contamination for hundreds
> of miles. Hitting 4 of them at once would have done
> a half a trillion dollars in damage.
> Obviously what with the onset of a Third World
> revolution that will probably continue unabated for
> the next 30 years, I would think the last thing we
> should be thinking of is producing hundreds of tons
> of Plutonium or U235. The entire US Army couldn't
> protect it from terrorist attack or theft.
> The idea is absurd. Why didn't Bush put the 1.3
> trillion dollars over 10 years into Fusion instead
> of a tax cut for people who don't need it. That at
> least would have produced a solution to this oil
> crisis mess without getting us into WWIII ?
> Be sure to visit my website below
> George Hammond, M.S. Physics
> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Website: http://people.ne.mediaone.net/ghammond/index.html
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Oct 03 2001 - 22:14:11 EDT