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harpy

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Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« on: February 09, 2018, 01:18:00 AM »
There's probably at least 100 nuclear power plants around the 10 meter mark above current sea level.  How rapidly do you folks predict that sea level would rise if there was a catastrophic melting of Greenland or antarctic ice sheets over the next 5 years?

The concern I have is that most if not all of these nuclear power plants at sea level have spent fuel rod containment facilities, and if they lose power to the nuclear fuel rods we have a Fukishima event X100 (or however many cannot be successfully decomissioned before sea level rise inundates the facilities).

Not only this, but when you lose 1/4 of all nuclear power plants on earth, suddenly large swaths of the population no longer have power, and you have rolling brownouts and utter chaos as population attempts to move inland.

Is there any likelihood that sea level would rise quick enough to cause any issues with these powerplants?

sidd

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 02:32:51 AM »
From my post on another thread

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,874.msg67057.html#msg67057

we see high end SLR on the order of 10mm/year or so during the last deglaciation. But we must add storm surge and tidal variation and precipitation and for a nuke, plan for 100 and 500 year events. Unfortunately the old records are being broken, we are seeing multiple hundred year events in decades.

Another factor other than sea level rise is inlet cooling water temperatures. If the  incoming water is too hot, the nuke cannot run.

Decommissioning should be feasible in a few years, but radiactive waste storage is highly problematic. The fuel rods are killers when freshly pulled out of a reactor and are typically stored in water onsite for years (see e.g. Fukushima). But we cannot do that in the event of nuke teardown ahead of marine trangression.

Tough engineering problem. Right now some nukes are building seawalls, but that's a losing game.

sidd

be cause

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 02:59:05 AM »
About the same time as facilities would fail so would infrastructure .. the homeless unemployed millions / billions may not be too bothered whether coastal nuclear power was on line or not .. bc
be the cause of only good
and love all beings as you should
and the 'God' of all Creation
will .. through you .. transform all nations :)

Daniel B.

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 03:43:31 AM »
I serious doubt we will the kind of sea level rise necessary to cause any significant issues with these plants over the next 5 or even 10 years.  The rise will also be slow, giving sufficient time to prepare.  Remember, Fukushima was a sudden 40-meter tsunami wave.  Really no comparison to decades long sea level rise.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 04:50:44 AM »
I recall reading that 2 meters SLR by 2100 is on the high side of many scientific projections.  Go ahead and add 50% (3 m ~10') [what do I know!]: nukes around the world will still be safe from SLR over the next 30 years.  SLR is basically increasing exponentially, so the biggest increases are certain to occur near the end of any period of consideration.

I share the concerns of others that overly warm 'cooling' water, social & economic disruption and terrorism are more serious concerns this century with regards to nuclear power stations.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

sidd

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 05:14:48 AM »
"SLR is basically increasing exponentially, so the biggest increases are certain to occur near the end of any period of consideration."

I am not so sure. In my comment

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,874.msg67057.html#msg67057

I pointed out:

"  The jumps in sea level are episodic, the rates of rise jump to their maxima on century scale, if not faster. Sea level doesnt rise as an exponential would, with the greatest rises at the end; rather it goes in fits and starts, with SLR rates flickering between lows and highs over a couple orders of magnitude. This leads to far more damage early than the backloaded exponential would have you believe, and amplifies discounted damage costs, since discounting trivializes damages further in the future. "

That comment contains some graphs that might help understand where I was coming from.

sidd

Daniel B.

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 05:19:08 PM »
I would not say exponentially either.  At least not based on the recent satellite date.




Tor Bejnar

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 07:45:35 PM »
Lots of papers deal with SLR.  Here's a 2016 paper's abstract (from an internet search):
Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era
Quote
We assess the relationship between temperature and global sea-level (GSL) variability over the Common Era through a statistical metaanalysis of proxy relative sea-level reconstructions and tide-gauge data. GSL rose at 0.1 ± 0.1 mm/y (2σ) over 0–700 CE. A GSL fall of 0.2 ± 0.2 mm/y over 1000–1400 CE is associated with ∼0.2 °C global mean cooling. A significant GSL acceleration began in the 19th century and yielded a 20th century rise that is extremely likely (probability P≥0.95) faster than during any of the previous 27 centuries. A semiempirical model calibrated against the GSL reconstruction indicates that, in the absence of anthropogenic climate change, it is extremely likely (P=0.95) that 20th century GSL would have risen by less than 51% of the observed 13.8±1.5 cm. The new semiempirical model largely reconciles previous differences between semiempirical 21st century GSL projections and the process model-based projections summarized in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report.
[emphasis added]
Note there is a linked corrections page.  Their graphs show there is more than just anthropogenic global warming affecting sea level.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Daniel B.

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 09:32:55 PM »
Tor,
Thank you for the reference.  That maintain a 20th century SLR of 15 cm (1.5 m/yr), which commenced in the mid 19th century.  Also, about one-third was natural.  They acknowledge that their values are lower than others, but also that their determination of past rises and falls are lower also.  Their maximum SLR in the 21st century was 131 cm, assuming no mitigation of emissions and higher future warming.

Sleepy

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 09:39:35 PM »
Here's an old favourite:
https://www.aviso.altimetry.fr/en/data/products/ocean-indicators-products/mean-sea-level/products-images.html
Later missions shows higher trends, like Jason-2 (4.42mm/yr) and Saral/AltiKa (4.60mm/yr). Adding Jason-2 below.
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Iceismylife

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 09:03:33 PM »


If we are going to have 3 meter sea level rise by 2050~2060 as NOAA has warned then we mint think about when to shut down reactors that are going to be inundated.

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 09:41:22 PM »
I wrote a note to Mike Weightman in 2011.  He was then Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations and head of the Office for Nuclear Regulation. He was reporting on the safety of nuclear power after the accident at Fukushima.

The note concerned the increased possibility of tsunamis. Excerpts

Quote
1. Scientists link melting glaciers to earthquakes

Experts ponder whether tectonic activity increasing

Also the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports
"Historically, when big ice masses started to retreat, the number of earthquakes increased,” ...

2. Study Sees North Sea Tsunami Risk

A computer model designed by Norwegian scientists shows the possible consequences of a mega-landslide. They have forecast the progression of a disaster...

3. Tsunamis from submarine “slumps” triggered by the dissociation of methane hydrates

...Geologists speculate that massive submarine “slumps”, which can be likened to sea-floor avalanches, may occur when hydrates break away from the steep slope...

I did a postscript in 2015:

Quote
Sometime in the 1960’s, I was with my father when he stopped to talk to an old work colleague, who was working on the Dungeness B advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power station. He was welding stainless steel pipes and commented adversely on the design. I remember him saying the spaces were too tight and the pipework was  so convoluted they would be very difficult to mend. Wikiedia’ description of the breakdowns and also the  financial and engineering difficulties is instructive. It ends:

    “In 2005 the station’s accounting closure date was 2018, 35 years after first power generation.[22] In 2015 the plant was given a ten-year life extension, with an upgrade to control room computer systems and improved flood defences, taking the accounting closure date to 2028.”

One of the reasons for this power station’s longer than usual life is that it was shut down so often that it hasn’t worn out yet. Although it is good to see that the sea defences have been improved, my impression from informal conversations at conferences, is that they are not yet good enough to withstand the uprated predictions for sea leve, rise and mega storms that some scientists are suggesting.

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harpy

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2018, 05:13:55 PM »
In an emergency situation, can't the nuclear power plant / government authorities simply take all the spent fuel rods load them up on some ship, and dump it in the ocean?  I don't think nuclear rods will melt down if they're at the bottom of the pacific/atlantic oceans.

I would think it's infinitely better to just unload all the spent fuel rods in the ocean than it is to just let them sit on land where they're prone to power outages and 100+ fukishima events at the same time.


DoomInTheUK

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 12:54:32 PM »
Harpy - I don't think just dumping them is a good idea (anymore - I believe in the early days, it was sealed in drums and dumped at sea).

The best solution I've heard for long term nuclear waste is to dig a tunnel, akin to coal mining, out under the sea bed near a tectonic subduction zone. Pile as much of the stuff as you can in there, then back fill the thing and leave the mantle to take it down and 'process' it. A few million years should do the trick. Better than trying to bury it under a mountain anyway.

I'm told Canada has an ideal location to create such a 'waste cavern'.

TerryM

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 03:50:41 PM »
Harpy - I don't think just dumping them is a good idea (anymore - I believe in the early days, it was sealed in drums and dumped at sea).

The best solution I've heard for long term nuclear waste is to dig a tunnel, akin to coal mining, out under the sea bed near a tectonic subduction zone. Pile as much of the stuff as you can in there, then back fill the thing and leave the mantle to take it down and 'process' it. A few million years should do the trick. Better than trying to bury it under a mountain anyway.

I'm told Canada has an ideal location to create such a 'waste cavern'.
I hope not.
If it proved viable we would undoubtedly sell it to some multinational for pennies on the dollar. They would then allow us to dispose of our own waste at an extravagant price, while demanding that we build a superhighway to their facility to handle the incoming toxic loads from abroad.
Terry

DoomInTheUK

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2018, 08:30:53 PM »
That's too close to the truth to be funny.

Anyway, it'll never happen - it's probably too sensible.

harpy

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Re: Sea level rise and nuclear powerplants
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2018, 03:24:23 AM »
Harpy - I don't think just dumping them is a good idea (anymore - I believe in the early days, it was sealed in drums and dumped at sea).

The best solution I've heard for long term nuclear waste is to dig a tunnel, akin to coal mining, out under the sea bed near a tectonic subduction zone. Pile as much of the stuff as you can in there, then back fill the thing and leave the mantle to take it down and 'process' it. A few million years should do the trick. Better than trying to bury it under a mountain anyway.

I'm told Canada has an ideal location to create such a 'waste cavern'.


This makes a lot of sense, but the US government is too disorganized and dysfunctional to figure out some sort of comprehensive plan to sensibly remove nuclear waste in a safe and logical fashion.

The only way such a plan would be carried out is if the US military took over the government and declared martial law, and made a direct order to do such an action.  Only then would such a logical, sensible plan be carried out.