Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dams the possible culprit in the three mile island Unit 2 core melt?


"Due to the loss of heat removal from the primary loop and the failure of the auxiliary system to activate, the primary loop pressure began to increase, triggering the pilot-operated relief valve (PORV) at the top of the pressurizer – a pressure active-regulator tank – to open automatically. The relief valve should have closed when the excess pressure had been released, and electric power to the solenoid of the pilot was automatically cut, but the relief valve stuck open due to a mechanical fault. The open valve permitted coolant water to escape from the primary system, and was the principal mechanical cause of the partial meltdown that followed."

The relief valve PORV may have got stuck because of the mechanical fault engendered by the massive bending moment surge wave of the world's dams that crossed the TMI half an hour(330 AM local time,830 UTC) earlier:

The giant surge wave of the world's dams was equivalent to a strong damquake of magnitude 8.8 MM:

The hydrological year June 1978 to May 1979 was a particularly stressful year for the earth, with 15 major earthquakes occurring, 6 of them in the wet season:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Three Mile Island-An accident that was caused

Three Mile Island-An accident that was caused

By R. Ashok Kumar,B.E.,M.E(Power),Negentropist, Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal, 299, Tardeo Road, Nana Chowk, Mumbai-400007.

© 2011 Ramaswami Ashok Kumar

“ was a routine accident that could occur anywhere. But it was blown out of proportion, literally because the operators got confusing signals and regulators ordered an unnecessary evacuation that caused panic and scared people.”- Jeremy Gordon, writer and analyst of the World Nuclear Association a global nuclear trade association that has around 130 members and deals with nearly 90 percent of the world’s commercial nuclear industry, in “The safest energy, but dangers lurk too”-
Deccan Herald, Panorama, Friday, June 29, 2007(Emphasis mine).

But Greenpeace has other revelations about the man-made disaster that’s Three Mile Island:
In the mid-80s, a Toronto newspaper reported that the late Admiral Hyman Rickover, father of America's nuclear navy and the PWR, had made an amazing confession. Rickover's daughter-in-law, Jane Rickover, swore an affidavit to say that he told her he had used his personal influence with President Jimmy Carter to suppress the most alarming aspects of the Presidential Commission report into Three Mile Island and, instead, release it in a watereddown form. The report, if published in its entirety, continued Rickover, would have destroyed America's civilian nuclear power industry,
'because the accident at Three Mile Island was infinitely more dangerous than was ever made public.'
Dr E. Sternglass on truth about the “accident”:
The most chilling assessment of the health effects from Unit 2 came from Dr Ernest Sternglass, Professor Emeritus of Radiological Physics at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine and an internationally acknowledged authority on radiation and health. Sternglass, who arrived at Harrisburg the day after the disaster with a Geiger counter which showed elevated levels of radiation, later studied official US health statistics and discovered that an infant mortality peak during 1979-80 had disappeared from later publications. Similar figures, showing a drop in infant mortality while Unit 2 was shut down, also vanished at a later date. Sternglass concluded that the statistics were deliberately 'massaged' to disguise the true health implications of Three Mile Island: 'There is no other way to explain the changes,' he said.

-Excerpts from the Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age-The Hidden history- the human cost.

By breakfast time on 28 March 1979, four hours into the greedy inhuman man-made
disaster, 50 percent of the core had melted away.
Out of proportion, yes? Who can “blow this(truth) out of proportion”?
Again, Greenpeace:
About 53 per cent of the reactor's core had melted, coming perilously near to breaching the eight- in-thick carbon steel reactor vessel.....As one engineer put it: 'Why wasn't there core on the floor?' As a result of probing deep into the heart of the crippled reactor, nuclear engineers have now evolved a new scenario for the final operating hours of Unit 2. During the first two hours of the accident, cooling water fell to its lowest level and the exposed core's temperature rose high enough to rupture cladding around the fuel pellets. Two and a half hours into the event, burning cladding ran down the fuel assemblies, followed by partially molten fuel. Three hours into the event, as more water was pumped into the system, the water level rose and overheated fuel assemblies shattered, like a hot glass held under ice-cold water. Just before four hours had elapsed, the molten core streamed towards the bottom of the reactor, reaching the bottom of the vessel in under a minute. Only the small amount of coolant water in the reactor prevented a breach, say the nuclear engineers. Luckily long-term cooling was established at about this time. Unit 2 barely escaped a total meltdown and the release of radiation on a scale possibly approaching that of Chernobyl.
Again: '.......former Unit 2 control room operator, Harold Hartman, told investigators that the crippled reactor had suffered problems prior to the accident, and that they had been concealed. He alleged that
operators, with the knowledge of some MetEd managers, had systematically falsified primary coolant system leak figures in order to keep the plant running. Documented records also showed a history of failures in the primary coolant system. These problems, it was alleged, had desensitised operators to warning signals and may have damaged the PORV(pilot operated relief valve) that staved open during the accident.'-Excerpts from the Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age-The Hidden history- the human cost.
Further, to make some $ 90 million in a hurry TMI owners and the tax payers will end coughing up 25 times that amount -about 2 to 2.5 billion US dollars! The cost in terms of those suffered by the affected people will be that which may be called payout for "the catalogue of the enormous cost of human suffering” and of other living beings, if at all possible to compensate. Just look at the design deficiency that was to be made good:
'To prevent nuclear accidents ... fundamental changes will be necessary in the organization, procedures
and practices (of the) nuclear industry.'- President’s commission into the accident.
People are unconvinced that Three Mile Island is now safe.
(This reference is in
Man is unable to ensure infallibility in forbidding the propagation of error. Nuclear Power will remain prone to fatal accidents as long as people are managing them. There is no way to design around this fallibility!People in India must read the Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age to become aware of the unresolved dangers of radioactive emissions as the European Committee on Radiation Risk also asserts.

The luck of the containment building not rupturing because of two hydrogen explosions

"The Zircaloy-steam exothermic reaction produced hydrogen which was released to the containment through the open PORV. It accumulated in the containment and several hours after the start of the accident burned; producing a pressure spike of 2 bars in the containment. The containment, designed for the pressure rating of 5 bars, had no problem with the hydrogen burn and did not sustain any damage."
IAEA on this issue:
A localised explosion of about 320 kg of hydrogen in the containment, after 9 hours 50 minutes, induces a 2 bar pressure spike in the reactor building, without causing any particular damage(
But the hydrogen explosion could easily have occurred at or above the design pressure of the containment(5 bars) and it was just luck that we did not have another Chernobyl!

Low-Level Ionising Radiation : The Risks

The risk model within which nuclear and coal fired programmes currently operate was drawn up before the discovery of DNA. Cell biology and the study of the immune system indicate enormous scientific uncertainties regarding the health effects of radionuclides. In this context the precautionary principle suggests that when we are unsure about such risks, we should not allow such processes to be implemented. We must prevent them from releasing further radioactive emissions until they can prove conclusively, and in accordance with the most recent physiological discoveries, that they are safe.

2003 Recommendations of the ECRR.2003.Busby,C et al. The Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators’ Edition. Published on behalf of the European Committee on Radiation Risk. Green Audit.p23-24.
The Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age- The Hidden History, the human cost available on the internet on line: