Economic Multipliers (29)
Do you know what these are?
They help CREATE wealth in systems.
Understanding ‘energy’ is an economic multiplier for you, your community and your nation.
Never having worked on any nuclear power plant design, I did not understand how today’s ‘redundant cooling systems’ were set up. Knowing more now, I believe the original designs 'need help' and there are multiple options (variations on a basic design) for modifying them.
Plant operators know that ‘excess’ heat is their enemy and with heat, you normally get pressure. Heat and pressure can cause everything to go out of control very quickly (explosions).
The optimal (basic) design that ALL the nuclear power plants around the world should have (because it uses the energy OF the problem to help solve the problem) is ‘somewhat passive’ (mechanical) cooling systems (note: the bulleted text was part of an email):
'They also need 'mechanical' cooling systems (for backup) (obviously ALL the nuclear plants globally need this) where the power to run them comes from heat (they obviously have A LOT of that) ... and I'm sure they figured out that if you use salt water to cool, it evaporates, leaving the salts which unfortunately act as an insulator (and has a bunch of other stuff in it like chlorine) ... which means that you need distilled water preferably ... which you get automatically when water evaporates and then condenses (IF you can capture it) ... the one thing about heat is it has a TON of energy which you can actually use to run processes to keep it under control (if you can harness it) ... imagine that water 'absorbs' some energy when it changes temperatures but 'absorbs' a LOT of energy as it evaporates (and then 'releases' it when it condenses).
Clearly, when a 'system' shuts down ... critical systems are supposed to remain in operation ... the ONLY way you can insure this is to have a backup (redundant) system that relies on no outside power (ever) and that does not rely upon computers ... computers go haywire very easily with excess heat and/or excess humidity.
… high quality components, recognize that metals can become brittle with exposure to radiation so you need to consider shielding issues, etc. ...
Know that the 'technology' for the above system has been available since before 1950 and to my knowledge NO nuclear reactor in the world incorporates this particular redundant cooling system design.'
That was the starting point … better alternatives … and fortunately, they exist ...
The next section of text ties into the minimum amount you should know about the operation of your electrical grid – even if you never work in the nuclear or electrical fields – because you might be the one who decides how your systems will get funded, how your students will be trained or how your community and/or nation will respond to an emergency. And, if you are the person they want to send in to respond to an operational or environmental crisis, you want to at least know what questions to ask and what options might be available:
'Re. OPERATING RULES for systems:
It is highly likely that NONE of the nuclear power plants would have had trouble IF they had stayed up and running,
BUT the grid needed to be disconnected because fires are a major problem/hazard and in any event like this, power would normally be restored neighborhood by neighborhood moving outward from the power plant,
which means that if a system that is creating a LOT of power needs to be disconnected from its LOAD, the power needs somewhere to go,
and the power has to go into something very close by - preferably something that creates one or more things the whole system needs in the event of a crisis.
Water is usually the most immediate need and I'm not a nuclear power plant expert but I believe they are normally, if not always, sited near available water,
which is not necessarily clean for drinking but excess power could run a distillation / bottling plant (note, you need to add some salts back in if you distribute distilled water).
If it takes time to get power restored regionally, excess power can be dumped to batteries for electric cars and bikes, etc., salvage units that melt down metal, etc., incinerators which burn waste (you'd have to make sure that all the necessary filtration, screening, equipment are in place, etc.) and even large resistors (but then you're just wasting the energy),
And, in the event that a reactor did have a longer term emergency problem (usually assessed right after the ground stops shaking ... people usually can't think very clearly while it is), if you have a system set up that can 'dump' heat and pressure, you buy time regarding how to deal with any emergency situation.
Refrigeration and air conditioning technology people can tell you A LOT about all the different ways it's possible to dump heat (which automatically helps dump pressure) ... you particularly want to be concerned (longterm) with the potential for corrosion in any system and how it would need to be maintained and routinely tested ...'
Now, if you’re not an engineering type (I wouldn’t expect you to be), it would seem uninteresting to you that distillation units are ‘cooling systems’ which are perfect heat sinks if you need distilled water for running processes but if you’re trying to ‘dump’ a LOT of heat quickly, there are more efficient cooling systems.
You wouldn’t be ‘amazed’ by the fact that heat can generate electricity (in multiple ways) or even if you were, you’d never take the time to find out HOW.
That’s OK. If you made it this far, you now know more than almost everyone else in the world about ‘cooling systems’ and how ‘the energy of a problem can help solve a problem.’
Use the knowledge well.