[SystemSafety] Costa Concordia, and Fukushima

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:54:21 +0200

Measures are starting today to float the Costa Concordia off the platform on which it has been resting, and onto/into a floating dock which will then take it to Genoa for scrapping. The Guardian has a helpful interactive schematic on the (hoped-for) sequence at http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2014/jul/14/removing-the-costa-concordia-from-giglio-interactive

I doubt it will be as spectacular as the righting. They have done pretty well so far with this operation. I hope things go according to plan with this as well.

Groundwater has been seeping into the basements of the Fukushima reactors, becoming contaminated and requiring treatment and storage. Storage is running out, as it eventually would at some time.

The plan to deal with this is to sink cooling pipes 33m into the ground, circulate coolant through them and thereby create permafrost, which will be impervious to groundwater. Sounds like a reasonable plan, but the problems will lie in the execution. The track record hasn't been perfect so far.

In good news, though, 1,200 of the 1,500 fuel assemblies in the precariously-supported Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor Building Number 4 have already been removed. The support structure of SFP 4 seems to have done its job so far. I was sceptical of the resilience of the structure, http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/26.91.html#subj4.1 , not least because of the history of problematic design in the accident-recovery process and the continuing lack of outside review, and am glad that it has worked, at least while nature remains relatively passive.


PBL Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319 www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de

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