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Response to The Stranger (Reply #55)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 08:53 PM

59. Yep

The "reporting" has been incredibly poor.

They can be forgiven to some extent... since there are self-styled "experts" intentionally trying to deceive people into thinking that nuclear power is an evil genie always just a hair's breadth away from bursting out and killing millions of people... and they keep making themselves available for interviews (since publicity among anti-nukes is how they get their next paying gig). And, of course, the authors are often trying to sell their next story... and who wants to read a story about something as mundane as moving spent fuel?

Let's take the statement you cite. There are three distinct claims:

Broken rods can lead to criticalities
Overheated fuel is a cause of criticalities
The three meltdowns in 2011 were the result of such criticalities.

All three statements are demonstrably untrue. Fuel rods don't go critical because they're broken. Temperature doesn't impact reactivity. And it was decay heat (not heat from a criticality) that caused all three meltdowns.

Again... let's not forget Chernobyl. That wasn't just a few broken fuel rods or a short exposure to air. Hundreds of fuel rods melted entirely and have been sitting in air for decades. Yet there's no fission going on.

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