Friday, March 25, 2011

When "Fail Safes" Fail

Japan's nuclear plant has a suspected #3 reactor breach, meaning all "fail safe" systems failed.  The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was not designed to take a 9.0 earthquake, followed by a 23 foot tsunami.  The first containment system failure at reactor #3 occurred on March 14.  A hydrogen explosion tore through its containment building.

Last summer the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in a huge fireball after all "fail safe" systems failed.  A report suggests blowout preventers are anything but fail safe as currently designed.  When "fail safes" fail, look for the "U word,."  Unprecedented covers human failures well.

Update 3-31-11:  Radioactive contamination was found in groundwater nearly 50 feet under one of six reactors.  It measured at 10,000 times the government standard for water at the plant. This is the first time TEPCO released statistics for groundwater near the plant.

Update 4-17-11:  When fail safes fail, authorities say "trust us."   Take North Pacific fisheries.  No sampling or monitoring of fish is necessary.  Do fish migrateNOAA calls tuna a highly migratory species.

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