Saturday, 26 April 2014

Engineers Design Tsunami-Proof Nuclear Power Plants That Float in Ocean

MIT Engineers Design Tsunami-Proof Nuclear Power Plants That Float in Ocean

Red AlertWe know that the nuclear reactors are the best energy production means (in terms of how much energy is being created) available to us as of now. Those of you who have played the ‘Red Alert’ game must remember that building a nuclear reactor meant surplus amount of power was available. However, the issue was the radiation spill which followed when a nuclear reactor was destroyed. Contamination lingered on for a while and rendered the site inaccessible while killing your troops. It would be stating the obvious but that’s how a nuclear reactor works in reality too. Any damage to the reactor can result in catastrophic results. Therefore it needs to be situated at a safe place…. more like, at the safest place you can find. According to an MIT design, the safest spot to construct a nuclear reactor is offshore.
Kernkraftwerk_Grafenrheinfeld_-_2013Nuclear FalloutThe design comes from MIT and talks of a nuclear facility that will be built on floating platforms which will be moored a couple of miles away from the cost, in deep water. According to the team behind the design, by using this approach a number of advantages are imparted to the structure. The structure will become immune from tsunamis, earthquakes and even meltdowns. Although the advantages seem quite far-fetched, once you listen to the Professor’s arguments you might just agree with him. According to him, the tsunami waves are not large enough in deep waters and earthquake is effective only when you’re on earth. The constant contact with water allows for the reactor to cool down passively which Jacopo Buongiorno from MIT refers to as ‘Infinite Heat Sink’.
ConceptHowever, a few things about the project seem a bit hazardous. For example; in an emergency situation it has been told that the radioactive gases which are being vented out to the air shall be directed into the ocean. The measure is to protect the nearby areas from airborne radiation; however, its impact on the ocean is something that needs to be considered. As of now this is just a concept and we expect that if they do try to execute it they will tie up all lose ends and develop this idea into a safer one.
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