Sunday, 20 March 2011

Thinkers 1: Flappers 0

Whilst others have been flapping uncontrollably about the dangers of nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, some people have been actually thinking about how to solve this problem in the future. To the right is a schematic illustration of one of those ideas, presented by commenter "Warbucks" at Herschel Smith's blog. It's very simple: molten lead is gravitationally loaded into the reactor core to act as a fusing agent to cool the uranium rods to sub-critical temperatures.

Meanwhile, suggestions from the public on how to practically contain the radiation leakage now are being sent in and discussed at this Slate piece by Chris Wilson. The solutions divide into two types: those that would necessitate shutting the plant down permanently with no possibility of future replacement at the same site, and those that would not necessitate this. I would prefer the latter, but by and large they seem to involve greater engineering difficulties and/or greater risk of radiation exposure.

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