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Mon Jan 30, 2012, 07:09 PM

Ill. nuclear reactor loses power, venting steam

http://www.stltoday.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/ill-nuclear-reactor-loses-power-venting-steam/article_50fcb20f-8f89-5d33-a139-c7a466797a4f.html

Associated Press | Posted: Monday, January 30, 2012 3:47 pm

A nuclear reactor at a northern Illinois plant shut down Monday after losing power, and steam was being vented to reduce pressure, according to officials from Exelon Nuclear and federal regulators.

Unit 2 at Byron Generating Station shut down around 10:18 a.m., after losing power from an off-site source, Exelon officials said. Diesel generators began supplying power to the plant equipment and operators began releasing steam from the non-nuclear side of the plant to help cool the reactor, officials said.

Even though the turbine is not turning to produce electricity, "you still need to cool the equipment." said U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng. Releasing steam helps "take away some of that energy still being produced by nuclear reaction but that doesn't have anywhere to go now."

The steam contains low levels of radioactive tritium, but the levels are safe for workers and the public, federal and plant officials said.

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Reply Ill. nuclear reactor loses power, venting steam (Original post)
NNN0LHI Jan 2012 OP
liskddksil Jan 2012 #1
TheWraith Jan 2012 #2
NNN0LHI Jan 2012 #3
BeFree Jan 2012 #12
BeFree Jan 2012 #4
FBaggins Jan 2012 #7
BeFree Jan 2012 #9
FBaggins Jan 2012 #10
BeFree Jan 2012 #11
FBaggins Jan 2012 #13
BeFree Jan 2012 #15
FBaggins Jan 2012 #16
BeFree Jan 2012 #17
FBaggins Feb 2012 #20
DCKit Jan 2012 #18
FBaggins Jan 2012 #19
backscatter712 Jan 2012 #5
opihimoimoi Jan 2012 #6
madokie Jan 2012 #8
lonestarnot Jan 2012 #14

Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 07:53 PM

1. So apparently it doesn't take an earthquake and tsunami to knock out power

to these things.

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Response to liskddksil (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 07:57 PM

2. No, but it does take a tsunami to take out all the power plus the coolant plumbing. nt

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Response to TheWraith (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 08:57 PM

3. I am assuming you are referring to Fukushima?

Seems like I remember reading reports that a radiation alarm went off at Fukushima before the tsunami came ashore indicating there were serious problems even before the tsunami struck the power plant.

I could be wrong on this. Just seems like I remember it being reported.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 10:17 PM

12. The earthquake?

All those pipes and all the weight of the pools many feet off the floor...
could it be that the earthquake shook lose some of that?

I believe you would be right in thinking that the earthquake - which was expected - could have and did cause great damage to the plumbing in the reactor buildings. Yep.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 09:03 PM

4. 100 plus reactors in the US

As they get older, reports like this will become ever more frequent.

Of course the biggest story will be our on Fuku-styled reaction and then we will catch up with Japan.

Problem of course is, if we shut down the plants, as we should, the costs for the shutdowns will take all our money. So, economically, we simply must leave them running to keep us from going broke. Like Japan is.

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Response to BeFree (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 09:38 PM

7. Doesn't have thing one to do with the age of the reactor

A brand spanking new PWR will do the same thing if external power is cut.

It's not at all like a BWR venting steam in an accident.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 09:57 PM

9. That's right

Even the new ones are fucking dangerous.

They are all time bombs waiting to go off.

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Response to BeFree (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 10:12 PM

10. Lol... There isn't anything dangerous about it.

Paranoia and ignorance tend to walk hand-in-hand, but there isn't any excuse for trying to sell it to others.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 10:14 PM

11. Nothing dangerous about nuke powerded BWR's?

Really? Is that what you really believe?

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Response to BeFree (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 10:28 PM

13. Do try to pay attention.

It isn't a BWR... and there's no danger from a PWR venting steam during a shutdown. It's quite normal.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 10:31 PM

15. Uh, dude

I dare you to put your nose near that Tritium that is coming out in the steam. But don't put it IN the steam.

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Response to BeFree (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 10:56 PM

16. The heat in the steam could hurt you.

The tritium is irrelevant.

Don't you even TRY to look this stuff up before you spout off?

Try comparing ALL of the radiation from tritium in that release to... say... the granite in a kitchen counter. Or any other everyday radiation exposure.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 11:07 PM

17. Go ahead then

Breathe a whole bunch of that Tritium and then get back to us.

Do some real science for once..

Say, did you read that there were close to a 1000 different chemicals released from Fukushima? And the government and the industry said we needn't worry.

So go do some sampling of this latest release and get back to us.

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Response to BeFree (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 3, 2012, 09:10 AM

20. "Do some science for once"

What a crock. Thanks for the laugh.


CHICAGO — The trace amount of radioactive tritium released in steam to cool a reactor during a shutdown at an Illinois nuclear plant was not enough to present a danger to the public, according to the first estimates by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Preliminary calculations indicate that the radiation dose from Monday’s release at the Byron Generating Station was less than 0.001 (one one-thousandth) percent of the commission’s annual dose limit of 100 millirems. That amount is thought to be safe to workers and the public, agency spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said.

“That is a very, very, very small amount,” Mitlyng said, much less than the dose from a dental X-ray (0.5 millirem) or a smoke detector (0.008 millirem). Exposure to radiation increases a person’s lifetime risk of cancer, so minimizing exposure is a good idea.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/nuclear-regulator-estimates-low-level-of-tritium-released-at-stalled-northern-illinois-reactor/2012/02/02/gIQAFArbkQ_story.html


That's right. If you have a smoke detector in your home... you're getting a higher dose.

Of course... given how irrational paranoia works... I expect few true believers to adjust their actions based on actual science. It's far more likely that they'll take this news to mean that they need to get rid of their smoke detectors. Heaven help 'em if they unknowingly wear radioluminescent watches. The tritium dose would be many times as high.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 01:48 AM

18. From the EPA:

 

Health Effects of Tritium
How does tritium affect people's health?

As with all ionizing radiation, exposure to tritium increases the risk of developing cancer. However, because it emits very low energy radiation and leaves the body relatively quickly, for a given amount of activity ingested, tritium is one of the least dangerous radionuclides. Since tritium is almost always found as water, it goes directly into soft tissues and organs. The associated dose to these tissues are generally uniform and dependent on the tissues' water content.


How is the "one of the least dangerous radionuclides" simply not dangerous?


What does tritium do once it gets into the body?

Tritium is almost always found as water, or "tritiated" water. Once tritium enters the body, it disperses quickly and is uniformly distributed throughout the body. Tritium is excreted through the urine within a month or so after ingestion. Organically bound tritium (tritium that is incorporated in organic compounds) can remain in the body for a longer period.

Tritium atoms can exchange with any hydrogen atoms. If the hydrogen atom is part of an organic molecule, the tritium becomes 'organically bound' and is transported with the molecule rather than moving freely like water.


With a half-life of 12.3 years and the fact that tritiated water molecules can replace any of the H2O molecules in any bodily component, that tritium atoms can replace hydrogen in any chemical reaction, I don't give a rat's ass if it emits a "weak beta particle" as long as that beta particle can be released right next to my DNA.

You are nothing, if not persistent in your defense of the nuclear industry.

The credible links that popped up on the first page of a Yahoo search for "tritium exposure":

http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/radionuclides/tritium.html#inthebody
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/tritium-radiation-fs.html
http://ottawariverkeeper.ca/news/danger_of_tritium_exposure_underrated_report_says
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium#Health_risks



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Response to DCKit (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 06:21 AM

19. How is it not dangerous? Because amounts matter.

You see "least dangerous" and pay attention to only the second word?

Ever try playing the same game with arsenic? It's almost certainly in your daily diet... just not in amounts worth caring about.

Everyone comsumes tritium on a daily basis completely apart from nuclear power/weapons with no ill effect (you would have gotten this had you actually read the links you posted). Is that because any amount of tritium is always without danger? Nope... it's because there just isn't much of it.

Just as there isn't enough of it to care about in the off-cycle venting of a PWR.

Think of it this way. The NRC's standards are so tight that a reactor that leaks tritiated water can get in trouble even if that leak meets the federal standard for drinking water... yet these steam releases aren't even that "big" an issue.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 09:17 PM

5. Doesn't look like a Fukushima event so far.

The steam's being vented from the non-nuclear part of the plant, and the backup systems are keeping the pumps running.

But even though the reactor's been SCRAMed, you still need to cool it while the residual nuclear heat dissipates, which can take days. If you don't, see Fukushima...

I'm guessing this will be fixed before long and everything will be back to business as usual.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 09:29 PM

6. This shoulde be the Kiss of Death Re Nuke Power::: Its not fool proof ...long term runaway reactors

equal long term loss of affected areas.....

Long Term Loss means this is NOT ACCEPTABLE

Can we name an incident where Humans are not available to look after 10 of these things 50 of them...

all right, ... 240 of them....and for how long???>

See what I mean??? its the long term effects.....there is no way to prevent a disaster eliminating

all humans from the sites.....

our govt had better prepare for the the worst...if not...we gonna pay a terrible price...

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 09:39 PM

8. Its only a matter of time

until we'll be so sorry we ever listened to the people pushing nukes on us. Our reactors are getting old and metal fatigues under extreme heat, pressures and vibrations and all three are happening at each of these plants. shut them down before we have to evacuate a large section of the country, thousands possibly millions of people displaced, Don't sound like fun to me or something we should take a chance with.
shut the fukers down

fuck it turn my electric off half the day I don't care just shut the reactors down

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 10:30 PM

14. I wish I knew more about the fucking things as fear of the unknown is not a good thing.

 

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