Tuesday, March 22, 2011

POST with the MOST - 2011 Entry #2

What is happening at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami?

Anatomy of a nuclear reactor

Evelyn Mervine, founder and author of Georneys has submitted a series of interviews with her father, Commander Mark L. Meverine to the 2011 POST with the MOST contest. Commander Meverine is a nuclear engineer and provides a unique perspective on the dire situation at the Fukushima plant.

Listen to and read the entire series here.

One Q&A from this excellent series of interviews.

Evelyn Mervine - Do you think nuclear  power plants should be built in an earthquake prone area such as Japan?"

Commander Meverine -  I think it’s important for the nuclear industry, to be unemotional  about what has happened here. So, like I said, it does appear that all  of the design features that were required for the earthquake,  functioned, and the plant was going through a normal shutdown sequence.  Obviously, when the tsunami came, that was something that was not  designed for, because it flooded the location where the emergency diesel  generators were and caused them to lose all power, and we're now in a  scenario that's well beyond any design contingencies that were designed  for that plant.

So, I think the nuclear industry has to take a serious look at what has  occurred in Japan. Although nuclear power is an important source of  electricity, I think we have to seriously question any plants that are  located next to the ocean and the worst case scenario for this type of  event, an earthquake followed by a tsunami, as to the impact it would  have on that plant, and the emergency backup system.

Clearly, in this case, this was not taken into account and the net  result is, we have a nuclear plant that appears to be very very close to  a core meltdown.
Listen to the entire first interview below.

Interview 1 | 3/12: Nuclear Engineer on Japan Nuclear Disaster from Evelyn Mervine on Vimeo.

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