I am a generalist with an ability to understand/solve complex problems in both the theoretical and practical world.
I work in the Energy industry and started in the field 25 years ago writing control systems for nuclear power plants (simulators).
I have followed Japan’s nuclear crisis closely. It is frustrating that there is so much mis-information and limited factual data.
Still, there is enough data being collected and published, that we can start formulating hypothesis and seeing if they hold up.
I see varying reports of the #4 reactor spent fuel being a big issue, or the #3 reactor letting off steam being a problem.
The fires and steam have not correlated directly to the radiation level spikes. So I suspect something less visible is going on. Can someone correlate the spikes to something?
Reactor 2 was in crisis on Monday night March 14. The coolant dropped dangerously low and pressure built up. We saw radiation levels go up at that time when they vented the reactor. Later that day, venting was not working. Then around 11 AM on Tuesday there was a “sound” or “explosion”, the pressure dropped to 1 atmosphere. With the explosion came a peak in radiation levels.
Then radiation levels then fell off after a few hour.
Houston, we have a problem with Reactor 2.
What to do…
Between the radiation peaks, work and and should be done by as many people as possible to:
1. Restore cooling capabilities
2. Prepare for the worst case and start encasement foundation work (sand/concrete/boron mix). Better now, then when the radiation levels are at 1000 what they would be if things continue to get worse.
3. Find a way to send robotic equipment in (Drones) to observe what is going on. What about all those neat mini helicopters with cameras on them?
Changing topics for a minute:
Emergency Response Data Acquisition and Display System (ERDADS) was designed after the Three Mile Island incident. When a control room has too many alarms and sensors tripping, it is difficult to get an idea of what is going on with the reactor. Without a “big picture” view, it is difficult to make the right decision or make decisions quickly to avoid complications.
ERDADS was designed to give the “system view” during crisis operations.
Unfortunately, the view only pertains to one single unit. Here we have 6 units all interacting with one another in terms of “priorities”. Do we need a “super-ERDADS” to plants of this nature?