It appears that one of the back up safety controls is to use back up
diesel engine/generator sets to provide control power during emergency
reactor shut downs.
In Japan, these engine/generator sets have been wiped out by the
So much for that back up.
Here in SoCal, we have the San Onofre nuclear generating station right
on the shore line about half way between Los Angeles and San Diego.
This is residential country with some high priced SoCal real-estate
less than 2 miles away.
It also has a diesel engine/generator sets to provide control power
during emergency reactor shut down.
Earlier this week the plant mgr was interviewed one of the local TV
Plant mgr was very proud of the San Onofre design improvements in
recent years including the construction of a 30 ft high wall and
underground diesel storage tanks.
A couple of thoughts:
1) Are the diesels automatically started by a clutch and spinning
flywheel approach used by the Las Vegas casinos 50+ years ago, or are
they depending on a standard cranking motor and battery?
Cranking motor and battery is less costly.
2) I personally question whether a 30 ft retaining wall is enough,
probably needs at least another 5-7 ft.
3) How do you build a safe diesel fuel storage vessel underground in
As we are finding out, there is a lot of uncharted nuclear energy
territory out there.