Multiple Failures; Dependence Upon External Grid Led to Near-Miss at Scottish Nuclear Power Station

Mining Awareness +

Hunterston B sheep and grid streetview
The electrical grid, sheep at Hunterston B – about 30 miles, 50 km, from Glasgow, Scotland.

Dependence upon external sources of power is one of the most bizarre aspects of nuclear power stations. In the event of electrical grid failures, nuclear cooling systems can be powered with backup generators, which sometimes fail to start up. They also require diesel fuel to run. This is a major achilles heel of nuclear power.

As explained by the US NRC: “The reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite power is lost, emergency cooling water is supplied by other pumps, which can be powered by onsite diesel generators. Other safety systems, such as the containment cooling system, also need electric power.http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/bwrs.html Hunterston B is CO2…

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