Sunday, March 13, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: GE Mark 1 Reactor Design Flaw?

Of 6 reactors at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, at least 2 of them use GE's Mark 1 reactor (reactors No.1, 2). (I haven't found out whether the reactor made by Toshiba (reactors No.3, 5) and Hitachi (reactor No.4) are still based on GE's Mark 1. The reactor No.6 is GE's Mark 2.

From Nuclear Information and Resource Services March 1996 article by Mark Gunther [emphasis added]:


....But even basic questions about the the GE containment design remain unanswered and its integrity in serious doubt. For example, eighteen of these BWRs use a smaller GE Mark I pressure suppression containment conceived as a cost-saving alternative to the larger reinforced concrete containments marketed by competitors.

....However, as early as 1972, Dr. Stephen Hanuaer, an Atomic Energy Commission safety official, recommended that the pressure suppression system be discontinued and any further designs not be accepted for construction permits. Shortly thereafter, three General Electric nuclear engineers publicly resigned their prestigious positions citing dangerous shortcomings in the GE design.

....An NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] analysis of the potential failure of the Mark I under accident conditions concluded in a 1985 report that Mark I failure within the first few hours following core melt would appear rather likely."

....In 1986, Harold Denton, then the NRC's top safety official, told an industry trade group that the "Mark I containment, especially being smaller with lower design pressure, in spite of the suppression pool, if you look at the WASH 1400 safety study, you'll find something like a 90% probability of that containment failing."

Read the entire article at the link.


Wilson Brazil said...

Yankes just see and justa wanna profits, despite the securities mesures. It's a serious problem. How safe are their projects?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Probably not safe. Take a look at the diagram of GE Mark 1 reactor (No.4 reactor). Notice the waste fuel pool on the top floor, uncovered:

Anonymous said...

Wilson, you might want to remember there's always more secure options to choose from, if you decide to buy bad quality, that's what you get. You should blame the folks who thought it would be a good Idea to save some money and choose the less secure, cheaper design to be implemented.

Anonymous said...


Since you're such an expert maybe you can tell us which of the expensive "good" designs put their spent fuel in hardened containment? Since that number would be none I think you're talking out your ass. This accident proves nuclear power is dangerous and the danger has been horribly underplayed in the name of profits.

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