Hurricane Sandy May Score a Direct Hit On Spent Fuel Pools at Nuclear Plant

Monday, October 29, 2012
By Paul Martin
October 29, 2012

New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut Nuclear Plants In Path of Storm

Preface: We hope and expect that the severity of the hurricane is being overblown, and that the nuclear plants in the Northeast will ride out the storm without any incident.

We noted Friday that more than a dozen nuclear plants are near Hurricane Sandy’s path.

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen says that there are actually 26 nuclear plants in the path of the hurricane, and that the spent fuel pools in the plants don’t have backup pumps (summary via EneNews):

You’ll hear in the next 2 days, “We’ve safely shutdown the plant”
What Fukushima taught us is that doesn’t stop the decay heat
You need the diesels to keep the reactors cool
26 plants in the East Coast are in the area where Sandy is likely to hit
Fuel pools not cooled by diesels, no one wanted to buy them
If recent refuel, hot fuel will throw off more and more moisture from pool
Reactor buildings not meant to handle the high humidity
Fuel pool liner not really designed to approach boiling water, may unzip if water gets too hot
A lot of problems with allowing fuel pool to over
Need water in around 2 days if hot fuel in pool
The only fall-back if power is lost is to let fuel pools heat up
EneNews also reports that the hurricane is forecast to directly hit the Oyster Creek nuclear plant and that – while the plant is currently shut down for refueling – it still might very well have new, very hot fuel in the fuel pools:

Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station is located near New Jersey’s shoreline in an area forecast to take a direct hit from Hurricane Sandy: “The current ‘track center’ for the landfall path is central New Jersey pointing Sandy in a path that would hit Oyster Creek nuclear station.” -SimplyInfo

The Rest…HERE

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