Thursday, November 17, 2011

French Reactors are Cheesy


(Reuters) - France needs to upgrade the protection of vital functions in all its nuclear reactors to avoid a disaster in the event of a natural calamity, the head of its nuclear safety agency said, adding there was no need to close any plants.

Ok, let's not pick on poor old France, but this article does show the need to lower the odds for earthquake scenarios.  As well, they have to take a realistic attitude to field observations on how things actually perform during earthquakes.

Anyone who reads this knows one of my major pet peeves is the massive physics disconnect between field observations (experience data), and engineering design (seismic).  They are two different worlds!  Engineering design is defended using the words 'traditional' and 'conservative'.  Pah!

So, along come some earthquakes and blow this complacent attitude away.  Now we have reports.  It is funny that nothing will change in Canada and the US, because of entrenched interests, and the fact that the regulators don't have a speck of seismic expertise.  Being familiar with Canada, I can assure you that the regulator wouldn't hire an earthquake specialist, if one splattered on their windshield!  We leave it as an exercise to think of what the utilities will say.....

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