Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The perfect nuclear plant

I'm about the only nuclear seismic expert who talks. Everybody else works as a consultant and has to be quiet, in order to satisfy political bosses with money. The most exciting thing (recently) in the nuclear seismic business has been a thing called Experience Data. You won't find this on the Internet, but it's a lot of fun! Like fishing!

Basically you start with the idea that all industrial plants are the same to an earthquake. There are transformers, barrels of waste, storage tanks, pipes, etc. Then, the seismic fishermen go around to all areas that have had earthquakes, and look at the industrial plants. They look for damage, and especially non-damage (which most people don't look for!). They compile tables (a lot of data!), and determine what gets damaged the most, and what never gets damaged.

This information has completely turned a lot of conventional seismic engineering on its head. There are many things that get damaged which the old engineers ignored (like Japan!). There are things that never get damaged, which engineers pour billions into (like pipes!). Old OPG is spending billions (more or less) in replacing feeder pipes which can absolutely never get damaged in an earthquake. It's all due to the old crap analysis which I'm sure the Japanese love (and OPG!).

The Japanese had a lot of experience data from previous earthquakes. But like The Claptrap Society, they never talked about it, or participated, as long as they could keep quiet about it. As far as we knew, they never applied the findings to their own plants (quiet again!). In Experience Data, there is some really, really good information on seismic interaction. Of course I would never say 'never, never' because of Conrad Blackism Libel Chill (I'm just kidding everybody!).

And so this brings us to our new nuclear plant in Ontario (and a very long post!). Are we applying the old crap or the new stuff? I'm not very hopeful, because so far, everything has been very politically correct, trying to keep everybody happy. There is no hope we can build a new nuclear plant, when we really need it to keep on my air conditioner in the Home.

Here's how to bring it on-line in my lifetime. Forget all the PC crap. Just lay down the only design that can be built by 2014, and people can take it, all or nothing. Of course, I know the only thing that can be done in that time, and I'll save it for another post. Right now, they are jamming 4 reactors sideways, in a postage stamp lot, with damn cooling towers, that will cast a permanent ice fog on the 401 and kill everybody! Does anybody think this can be built?

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