Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Containment and Protection

In three previous entries I wrote of using the masonry system described on this blog as a containment structure for a nuclear reactor; here, here, and here.

In these entries I discussed the importance of providing an adequate containment structure as a safety factor in the event of a nuclear accident. An inadequate containment structure will allow dangerous radiation to leak to the outside, as has happened in Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi.

In addition to providing containment of radiation, a properly designed and built containment structure will help to protect the nuclear reactor from any dangerous forces outside the reactor. It will serve as both containment from inside the reactor and a shield from outside the reactor. This is an important and often overlooked safety consideration.

Potential threats from outside a reactor range from hurricanes and typhoons to tsunamis and even terrorists. A toughened, hardened, robust, blast-resistant shell can help protect a nuclear reactor from storms, explosions, tsunamis, airplanes, etc. This safety factor is provided in addition to the feature of containment. That is, a properly installed shell will both prevent escape of any leaked radiation and will also protect the reactor from outside forces at the same time.

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