If you're still trying to get your head wrapped around how nuclear reactors like the ones in Fukushima operate, and what went wrong after the Tohoku earthquake, Mother Jones editorial fellow Joe Kloc might be able to help. He's put together a nifty diagram of the cooling system from a GE Mark 1 nuclear reactor—the kind found in 5 of the 6 reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. By coloring in the pipelines he demonstrates how coolant is supposed to flow through the reactor normally, and how it's supposed to flow during various emergency shutdown situations.
This version of the diagram shows normal operation.
Mark I Reactor Running Normally: Recirculation loops (RED) keep pressurized water circulating through the uranium core of the reactor. When water is heated by the uranium core it turns to steam. It passes through the steam separator and dryer assemblies positioned above the core (ORANGE) and then moves through the steam pipe. The steam is used to turn a turbine connected (PURPLE) to an electrical generator. It is then turned back into liquid by a condenser and cooled by a pipe (GREY) of circulating cold water. The water is then pumped back into the reactor, where the process begins again.
I have attempted to create a diagram of the reactors based on the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Boiling Water Reactor Systems Manual, which contains maps of the various Mark I emergency systems. In places where the manual was unclear, I used Japanese news broadcasts. The drawing is not to scale and the layout of the pipes entirely my own (though their location in relation to the various containment walls is based on the USNRC manual). To my knowledge, the diagram is accurate to the extent that a New York City subway map is accurate. It shows the various components, connections, and relationships between the emergency water systems.
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In 1960, parapsychologist Anthony Donald Cornell donned a bed sheet and attempted to scare an audience watching an X-rated film in a movie theater. Why? Cornell, a believer in ghosts himself, wanted to understand how people reacted during “apparitional experiences.” Today at the BBC, University of Oxford experimental psychologist Matthew Tompkins explores Cornell’s strange experiments […]
With so many costumes adorning this election season, you might think the Halloween get-ups are overkill. Think again, because David Ng and B.R. Cohen are here to present the official universal survey about your candy favorites for the 2016 hierarchical delineation of candy virtue.
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]