The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident
The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Ma
rch 11, 2011 caused devastating
damage. In this
assignment, you will write an essay that deals only with the difficulties
associated with the cooling of the
Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Before
r essay, you should perform the
1. The Unit 1 reactor was a
type reactor. These reactors generally work under
pressure and produce steam at
. The power plant is a
some of this thermal energy is released to the atmosphere and some is
Use the efficiency equation from chapter 2 (page 60) to estimate the maximum
for this reactor.
2. The Unit 1 reactor was capable of producing
power. Assuming that the
efficiency was about 10% less than the optimal efficiency you found
in the previous
power output (in
units of MW) of the reactor?
3. The reactor was shut down quickly after the earthquake struck, and hence the nuclear chain
was halted. However, the highly radioactive fission fragments within
continued to decay
and thus produce heat (t
). Combine your
the thermal output
during normal operation with the information in your textbook (see te
Fig. 5.13) to estimate
the thermal output of the reactor just after the shutdown and one year after
4. Heat can be removed from the reactor complex by allowing it to boil water. The process of
off a gallon
of water that is initially at
) . Combine
this information with your previous work to com
pute the rate
er must be supplied (in gallons
per second) to carry away the heat so the reactor does not
and melt. Remember that a Watt
is a Joule per second, or
Once you have completed these calculations, you should write your essa
with keeping the reactor cool after the earthquake, even though
it had been
Work at least some of the numbers you have calculated into your essay.
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