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 tsunamis.
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 stations.
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 earthquake country?
As we are finding out, there is a lot of uncharted nuclear energy territory out there.