It's probably just me, but I like to visualise the process of nuclear fission as atomic sex. Enrico Fermi was well aware of the problem when he and his associates were building the first nuclear reactor on a University of Chicago squash court in 1942.
I make 321 MWH but cannot survive the onslaught of quakes that befall me during reactor scram.
It's true that the Japanese nuclear reactor industry has been bizarrely complacent about safety – there have been many concerns and incidents over the years.
Anti-nuclear hysteria has inculcated a nuclear industry that is hyper-defensive and dwells in a state of minimal transparency.
Since the start of the nuclear boom in the 1970s, Japan's utilities have relied on temporary workers for maintenance and plant repair jobs, the experts said. I just wish the trials and tribulations of nuclear power were as simple those an Atari gamer faced in the compact, sterile microcosm of SCRAM: A Nuclear Power Plant Simulation. I think SCRAM would make for an enjoyably apocalyptic screensaver these days, if nothing else.
Scram actually sounds like my job, with valves being replaced by people, and natural catastrophes being replaced by client demands. So if you have a copy of SCRAM, you should be able to analyse the code if you’re really interested.
Got here via wikipedia small reactor research, which led to Chernobyl-disaster 3hour side-track. On August 30, 1989, the boiling water reactor (BWR) at the Hope Creek Generating Station in New Jersey automatically scrammed, or rapidly shut down, from 82 percent power, due to low water level in the reactor vessel.
During a normal reactor scram, electrical signals cause all the scram inlet and outlet valves to open virtually simultaneously. The staggered insertion of control rods at Hope Creek during this event caused reactor power to drop quickly.
Twenty years later, on May 17, 2009, the Hope Creek BWR again automatically scrammed due to low water level in the reactor vessel. Safety procedures call for the operators to immediately scram the reactor when two or more control rods are moving in the reactor core.
The requirement to immediately scram the reactor when more than one control rod is moving has significant safety implications. Dave Lochbaum, director of the UCS Nuclear Safety Project, is one of the nation's top independent experts on nuclear power. The process is called ‘subsidence charges” and is similar to planned demolition of tall buildings.   Simultaneously, nuke subs from all international nuclear powers must be called into action to retrieve the reactor cores and then dispose of them. By putting the Fukushima reactor cores into the ocean, the nuke submarines have the equipment to retrieve them.

Strategically placed explosives must be placed around all 6 (or 14!) damaged reactor cores and pools to slide the land masses into the sea (without causing a tsunami). There are escalating ‘fear mongering’ stories and delusions that the Northern Hemisphere is quickly becoming uninhabitable, and that the Southern Hemisphere is somehow safe(r) from the release of radiation contamination from the 3 known reactors in meltdown, and the other damaged reactors at Fukushima.
What if the prime minister was right that reactors #5 and #6 didn’t meltdown because those emergency generators were the proper voltage, and that there was another big Homer-type-OOOPS with the emergency generators for Reactors #1, #2, #3, and #4.     WHAT IF THERE WAS MECHANICAL ERROR AND HUMAN ERROR.
There is ample time to charge and try the criminals that brought this nuclear disaster to the world, and to include all those complicit in the cover up of this disaster…….
Another story is that the emergency shutdown button was marked “SCRAM” because the team would have to scram out of there if the button was actually needed. All the new reactor knowledge in my head was acquired via the manual and not the game itself. Although the energy score is reset when you change level, the current production rate of the reactor is preserved. Until now I've been doing experiments to find out which component was broken and this tinkering destabilises the reactor state – this means if a quake hits, it's difficult to see what new dynamic has arrived. You can turn the auxiliary pumps on which will have no effect on the reactor, provided you leave the auxiliary valves closed. Unable to identify what's broken during the shutdown, I run out of workers with random guesses. But it's important to note there's another Fukushima nuclear plant, Fukushima Daini, which was also overwhelmed by the tsunami. But behind the heroism is a legacy of Japanese nuclear workers facing hazards with little oversight, according to interviews with more than two dozen current and former nuclear workers, doctors and others. At least this way, no one reading Electron Dance will even think about reproducing my SCRAM play and question my strategy.
It’s much, much hairier than Scram, loaded with all sorts of information, and covers environmental issues pretty thoroughly. The normal water level was approximately midway along the 5-foot height of the steam separators installed inside the reactor vessel above the reactor core (see Figure 1) and about 14 feet above the top of the reactor core. Feedwater flow adds water to the reactor vessel (labeled “FW” on the right side of Figure 1). In this Hope Creek event, the timing for the scram inlet and outlet valves opening depended upon their distance from the broken pipe in the air header.
The effect of the rapid power reduction on water level in the reactor pressure vessel is similar to that from lifting a pot of boiling water off a hot stove – the bubbling slows and the level in the pot drops.
It took more than two control rods to be moving in order to to drop the water level down to the automatic scram setpoint. More often than not, an equipment failure that starts a reactor down the path to an automatic shut down is truncated by the control room operators manually tripping the reactor within seconds.

It would be even better if the operators at Hope Creek conformed to the high levels of performance demonstrated at most other nuclear power plants. For more information on nuclear power safety, see the nuclear safety section of UCS’s website and our interactive map, the Nuclear Power Information Tracker. Withdrawing the rods from the core would allow a self-sustaining nuclear reaction to take place and re-inserting them back in would subdue it. Whilst the origin of the term “scram” in the nuclear context is unclear, its use is ubiquitous.
An hour later, a tsunami battered the plant and disabled the backup power generators - sending the reactors hurtling towards meltdown.
Either that or a GRITTY REBOOT that teaches children about nuke-beasts, which are the actual cause of problems in a nuclear powerplant, taken care of with extreme violence. When the water level dropped about two feet below normal, the control rods were automatically inserted to interrupt the nuclear chain reaction and shut down the reactor.
Steam flow removes water from the reactor vessel (labeled “Steam Outlet” on both sides of the figure).
It also took several seconds for the water level to drop low enough to invoke the automatic scram.
The signals are confused when you have multiple component problems, gets frustrating when you can't work out what's going on without guesswork.
So a key to safe reactor design is being able to keep the coolant circulating in even the most extreme scenarios.
Nuclear power comes in for a lot of criticism but in the wake of a media frenzy like we have just seen, it is not out of place to ask whether nuclear power gets a raw deal.
The air pressure loss allowed the scram inlet and outlet valves for individual control rods to open. As the air pressure dropped below spring forces of individual scram inlet and outlet valves, these valves opened allowing individual control rods to insert. NSTD – Reactor … (1,946 nuclides in database) … Developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Nuclear. The insertion of some control rods rapidly reduced the reactor power level, which rapidly reduced the number of bubbles in the reactor water.
As will soon be detailed further in a Fission Story about three failed reactor scrams at Browns Ferry, this scenario is reality rather than speculation.

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