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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 10:31 AM
Original message
Texas has a nuke plant event

http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index.php?smp=&lang=eng


Unit 1 of the South Texas Project nuclear power plant remained off line Thursday as workers tried to determine why one of the 57 control rods used in the unit failed to operate properly. The problem was discovered Wednesday afternoon as crews conducted a monthly control rod test and surveillance procedure, South Texas Project spokesman Buddy Eller said. He wouldn't specify the exact nature of the problem but said another control rod had what appeared to be a similar problem last month during the same test. Operators decided to shut down the unit Wednesday night to evaluate the problem, Eller said. Unit 1 was last shut down in October 2009 for a routine refueling, when some of the spent uranium fuel rods are removed and replaced. The reactor's vessel head was replaced then as well, for the first time since the unit started up in 1988. Eller wouldn't speculate as to whether the control rod problems were related to the new equipment. The plant's two reactors produce 2,700 megawatts of power, enough for about 2 million homes, the company estimates.
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davepc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds more like a non-event
A problem was discovered during routine testing (conducted to discover problems) and the facility was shut down to fix it.

omg, the sky is falling.

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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. On the other hand, ...
Edited on Fri Feb-05-10 11:08 AM by Tesha
...compared to some of the events that Ensho
posts, I'd consider a second failure of a control
rod driver to be pretty serious, suggesting that
there may be a systemic problem with design,
wear-out, or the way they were reassembled
after the recent refueling. If I were the quality
engineer on site, *I* would certainly want to
understand the root cause(s) of this before I
signed-off on operating the reactor again.

Put this in comparison: probably, proportionly-more
control rods in this reactor have failed (2 in 57, about
4%) than Toyota gas pedals, but people are going
completely nuts about the gas pedals.

Tesha
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. The difference is built in redundancy.
I strongly suspect that that it would take multiple simultaneous failures of this nature (I'd guess in excess of 25%) to even begin to be an actual concern with regards to the safe management of the reactor core, and even then I'd presume there exist emergency backups to force those control rods home regardless, and in all probability yet another which dumps cadmium salts (neutron adsorbing cadmium being the active component of the control rods) into the reactor's coolant water.

The brake problem on the other hand holds the potential for disaster (even if only localised) every single time it occurs.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. The Toyota has redundancy too.
1. Shift into Neutral.

2. Coast to the side of the road.

3. If shifting into neutral isn't effective, shut off the engine.

By the way, control-rod "scramming" usually involves releasing the
drive mechanism and allowing gravity to drop the rod into the core.
I'm pretty sure I've read of failures in the scramming system as well.

Tesha
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. at first I thought it was a party-type "event"
Texans celebrating a nuclear power plant for some reason.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R to undo the usual,inscrutable UnReKKK. Interesting site. Thanks. n/t
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-05-10 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. Here ...try running a nuclear power plant ...down load here...
Edited on Fri Feb-05-10 04:57 PM by L0oniX
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