OT: What is Al going to do for a living now?

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On 8/7/2011 12:34 PM, Edward A. Falk wrote:

AFAICT from reporting of conditions I've been able to find, the _primary_ containment at Fukushima held, the failed buildings are the secondary containment (which were not the GE engineers' point of contention and are not positive pressure boundaries. The complaint was that _primary_ containment might be too small but it doesn't appear that was an issue.
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What I understood from what I readwas that the primary containment and cooling systems had somwe flaws that ordinarily would not become important. However, when the power systems failed miserably as a result of the tsunami, several facets that were not important before became rapidly critical. First among them was the inadequate cooling of the stored spent fuel leading to hydrogen explosions and further damage to the cooling systems. Although apparently, the cooling of some of the primary reactor vessels was sufficiently down to allow melting of the fuel.
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Han
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On 8/7/2011 7:20 PM, Han wrote:

Well, when a design constraint is exceeded, bad things happen.
The selection of the design basis EQ and tsunami was not and has nothing whatsoever to do w/ the reactor design.
The point above was that the other respondent claimed the GE engineers predicted the problem at Fukushima; I'm pointing out that their concern wasn't borne out as being a problem even w/ the conditions that did occur.
It is, again, I contend, cherry-picking after the fact to complain that there should have been perfect a priori knowledge and design and that somehow all of human experience that shows that despite best efforts that we evolve into improving all systems. To think somehow it should be possible in any one area to make it flawless is wishful thinking; we can and should and do try, but one has to be realistic in assessing the likelihood of reaching perfection.
Overall as others have pointed out, the commercial nuclear safety record is quite remarkably good in comparison to virtually any other venture of similar complexity and risks are extremely low in comparison to those taken routinely in other activities.
As for an absurd design flaw, what about that little lap belt that is all they give you in a commercial airliner flying at 24.000 ft and 400 mph when it has an accident (and those happen far more often than do nuclear ones)? That's really going to help...otoh, a NASCAR driver has pretty good odds because he's got a full harness, neck restraints, roll cage, etc., etc., etc., ... That's the kind of gear for safety's sake airline passengers should be wearing but it what are the odds?
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On 8/7/2011 9:50 PM, dpb wrote:

harness would not help a bit since the seat tears out at lower forces.
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On 8/7/2011 10:23 PM, Richard wrote: ...

Well, there's that, too, that's absurdly under-engineered as well.
I was figuring the whole thing together even though only mentioned the belt, I sorta' thought the mention of the roll cage in the NASCAR comparison covered the mechanical end of it w/o going into a full design report/analysis... :)
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On 8/7/2011 11:16 PM, dpb wrote:

Hardly a reasonable comparison, though.
The 747-400 gross weight is listed at 870,000 POUNDS (364,000 to 440,000 pounds empty weight). Max payload is 244,000 pounds with a 5000 mile fuel load.
It can carry up to 400 people at over 600 miler per hour (mach .92).
It will burn roughly 300 pounds of fuel (about 50 gallons) per person on a 2500 mile flight.
Formula one cars weighs 1200 - 1300 pounds and carry one fool around in a circle at maybe 220 mph and gets about 3.1 MPG at 175 mph.
A flying machine is ALL about weight. Any added weight comes off of the payload or range, and speed.
At some point it won't be able to fly, but it becomes economically unflyable long before that.
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On 8/8/2011 3:23 AM, Richard wrote:

You've missed the whole point, sorry... :(
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On 8/8/2011 8:06 AM, dpb wrote:

Really?
The airframe could be built to withstand impact loads like F1 cars.
But the plane wouldn't be able to fly!
Now, what WAS your point?
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<snip>

I believe (memory what it is) that the inadequate cooling of the spent fuel pool was one of the things that had been pointed out. As it turned out, that was a big thing.

Of course, Monday morning QBng is easy. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't pay attention to potential problems. All in all I'm very much in favor of nuclear power. Does that mean I would like tritium leaking into my drinking water, or anyone else's? No. Sorusty pipes and leaks should be fixed ...

I'll fly again when I want to. But the TSA is putting a bad damper on that.
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Han
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Agreed.
That would require heavier-duty seat frames (a lot more weight) and more harness materials/labor (also weight), so cost/weight are big, big concerns with that.
Then again, how many planes crash with survivors? I think it's a pretty low percentage, so isn't harness safety a moot point?

I think the Powers That Be want it that way. Doesn't the gov't want to keep us dumb and immobile while they rake in the dough from everywhere and waste it on themselves?
-- I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues. --Duke Ellington
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wrote:

My minivan still works. And pretty soon I'm going to try an RV ...
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Han
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With the gov't allowing gasoline/oil futures, they still get their pound of flesh.
-- I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues. --Duke Ellington
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On 8/8/2011 9:37 AM, Larry Jaques wrote: ...

...
But how many more survivors would there be if the seats didn't become missiles and folks were more securely protected?
But, the point wasn't specifics but the generic; it's clear airliners _could_ be made safer but there are tradeoffs of practicality and what is is considered "good enough". OTOH, many who accept that risk and many others even higher as routine activity somehow think there should be a way to have absolutely no risk from commercial nuclear power.
That's the goal and any accident is a failure somewhere, but it's inevitable there will be at least some irregardless of the best of intentions.
The subthread begin w/ a complaint that there's rampant incompetence and worse; that's what I said is simply nonsense--it's just people doing best they know how in the circumstances there in as in every other activity. And, of course, there are those who are truly exceptionally talented and some who aren't quite so much involved.
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dpb wrote:

A more down-to-earth example is whether school busses should be equipped with seat belts. Currently, they are not.
Similar trade-offs obtain.
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snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMgmail.com says...

Airliners are particularly problematical though--Stapp's research showed that 32 g is survivable with minimal injury if the seat stays put and if it's rear-facing. Airline seats are stressed to 16g (well, they're required by the FARs to be--that doesn't mean that the manufacturers don't make them stronger) and facing forward. Military transport seats (the ones in purpose-built transports anyway) face aft and are stressed to 32.
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On 8/8/2011 9:21 AM, Han wrote: ...

Only once the other design was exceeded...when lost cooling owing to full loss of offsite power, then yes, it became a problem.

Of course; that I fully agree with. It is and has been a continuing process of improvement and modifications to both operating and new(er) designs. TMI led to a "virtual plethora" of additional fixes, both design/mechanical as well as operational for the one example. Fukushima will make its contribution as well.

Much higher risk there than from nuclear based on actuarial statistics...there's inordinate attention giving to perceived risk in one activity vis a vis a whole range of other activities that are far more dangerous and that are accepted routinely.
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Please find a statement by any of the "GE Three" that "the design is unsafe".
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wrote:

3 accidents in 14,174 collective years of operation? Not a bad record.
Yeah, I'd like it better if those never happened, but not a single prognosticated doomsday has happened in all that time at any of the 442 plants worldwide. http://goo.gl/0pLED
-- In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. -- Albert Camus
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wrote:

Meanwhile, dozens (hundreds?) of coal miners die every year.
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On 8/5/2011 3:03 AM, Bob Martin wrote:

Um tell that to the workers or their families or surrounding communities that the accidents were near that it was not their own personal doomsday.
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