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Nuclear Mistake

Some people talk about how nuclear is bad, nuclear will end us all, these people tend to talk about Chernobyl and Fukushima

Instead today we are gonna talk about Fukushima and why nuclear is safe, humans are not, nuclear mistake, humans at fault
First off is a rundown on the day, at a simple level 3 huge mistakes were made and left the plant to blow up and cause havoc.

First was the design being just not thought out at all, 2 things here, the tsunami went over the flood wall, so the flood wall wasn't designed correctly.
The second design flaw is more glaring, which is that the backup generators were in the basement, well will come back to this later.

The next flaws that were made stem from the design phase, and into the operational phase of the plant, all the power backups were on site, and had a single point of failure: The Generators.
We will still come back to the generators.

And the third flaws were what the plant management decided to do after the incident, which was to abandon the plant and ignore it to prioritize the people, which sounds great
But this is nuclear power. Nuclear power doesn't care about people.

So lets go over that single point of failure, the generators, the plant had 2 stages of backup power, 48 hours of a battery bank, and when those ran out, the backup generators.
The problem lies in that when the tsunami breached the flood wall, it didn't go up, it never went near the elevated reactor cores, that were elevated because it would be stupid to have it on the ground.
The flood water went down, to the basement, where the absolute genius of GE nuclear design placed the backup generators, this is the flaw with not properly planning for the site a plant will be on, and over relying on premade blueprints from GE.

What happened that day was a series of dumb mistakes that should not have happened, the flood walls were too low which led to the backup generators flooding because they were too low
The backup battery lasts for 48 hours so they have time to fix it, but they foolishly thought the plant would be safe and prioritized people, so the batteries ran out.

What happens when a nuclear power plant with reactors cooling down loses power?
Fun happens, you cant just shut a reactor off, it needs to cool down the fission reaction, and to do that it needs to pump water.
And oh it gets better, when the water stops pumping, the water still in the reactor just heats up, and evaporates, so you get an exposed core.
Once the water is gone, the nuclear fuel heats up faster, and starts melting the concrete below it, because yes, Uranium can heat up that much.

A few extra things happened, but they really didn't have to happen, Fukushima should not be a symbol of nuclear failing us, its a symbol of humans bad judgment causing massive repercussions.
The plant builders should have designed for the environment the plant would operate in,
The plant management should have secured a emergency system without a single point of failure,
And the plant management should have known the limits of the poorly planned plant and ensured the plant was not in trouble after the tsunami.
None of these things happened, and the result is an explosion, people calling for nuclear to be shut down, and then uninformed governments taking down nuclear power from their list of priorities.

Out of all the countries currently, India is the only one looking forwards, they have started work on molten salt thorium reactors, which will replace a significant amount of their power grid.
Molten salt thorium reactors solve the problem that happened at Fukushima, the cooling solution is molten salt, which does not simply boil off when power is lost to cooling, so it is much safer against a reactor overheating.
My favorite part is molten salt reactors weren't invented after Fukushima, they were back in the 60s when nuclear power was just starting to take off, and America could have chosen to go with them because of their safer design, but uranium can be turned into bombs, thorium can, but not as easily.
Uranium reactors are used in America.

-- Ultrabear, because the military matters more than safety apparently