— MIT’s floating reactors — “outstanding safety performance” or dangerous fraud? (VIDEO)

Here is the transcript and MIT description for the Jacopo Buongiorno video. Again, this is a must-see video; archive it for future use.

In this video are many errors and assumptions. Obviously neither Buongiorno nor his team are sailors who have experienced weather and ocean conditions. The evacuation and contamination zone for Fukushima is not a few miles. The only thing infinite about the ocean is its goodness. Certainly the ocean is not an infinite heat sink. Heating the ocean is never, ever, a good idea, and discharging radioactivity into the water is insane. Radioactive gases will also burp out of the ocean as fast as they are pumped in, as anyone who has blown bubbles into water knows. So much for mitigation. So much for ‘higher’ education.

These universities seem to be publicly-funded industry profit enrichment systems. There is little critical thinking going on here, and degrees are being given to fools and yes-men who develop systems that endanger the Earth and everyone on it. 

Video and description from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Published April 15, 2014

“When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused most of the damage and contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects — specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores and spent fuel, due to a shutdown of outside power — that caused most of the harm.

A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid such consequences in the future. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically flooded by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, providing sufficient cooling to indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.

The concept is being presented this week at the Small Modular Reactors Symposium, hosted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, by MIT associate professor of nuclear science and engineering (NSE) Jacopo Buongiorno along with others from MIT, the University of Wisconsin, and Chicago Bridge and Iron, a major nuclear plant and offshore platform construction company.

Video filmed by Christopher Sherrill, courtesy of MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering.”


Speaker: Jacopo Buongiorno,
Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT

Today I want to tell you about a new nuclear reactor concept that we’re developing here at MIT, and that is the possibility of revolutionizing the nuclear industry both in terms of economics and safety.

This is a floating offshore nuclear power plant.

It’s a power plant that can be entirely constructed in a centralized shipyard and then towed to the site where it would be moored or anchored a few miles off the coast and link to the electric grid with a transmission line.

Now the idea of the floating plant is not entirely new. In fact, the Russian are building a floating plant themselves, but the key difference between our concept and theirs is that ours is not only floating but is sited a few miles off the coast, and this affords some absolutely crucial advantages.

First of all, tsunamis and earthquakes are no longer a source of risk for the nuclear plant because essentially the ocean shields the seismic waves. And the tsunami waves in relatively deep waters – say, 100 meter deep – are not big and so they don’t really pose a hazard for the plant.

Number two, of course, the ocean itself can be used as an infinite heat sink. And so, the decay heat which is generated by the nuclear fuel, even after the reactor is shut down, can be removed indefinitely, and this is a major advantage with respect to current terrestrial plants in which the ultimate heat sink is not assured necessarily for the very long term as demonstrated by the accident in Japan at Fukushima.

The other key safety advantage is that because of distance from shore, even if an accident should occur at the plant, it will not force people to evacuate, to move away from their homes and their jobs on shore. Because of distance, and also because of the possibility of essentially venting radioactive gases under water, therefore minimizing the impact onshore.

Now, a nice characteristic of this idea is that it combines essentially two established technologies. One is nuclear reactors – for example, light water reactors, PWI and PWR — and the other technology is offshore platforms which are currently used obviously for oil and gas exploration, exploitation, and extraction.

So we think that the combination of these two technologies give some solid ground on which we can build a plant that has good economic performance and, as I explained, an outstanding safety performance.

And we have a great team here at MIT of students, both graduates and undergraduates, as well as professors, and we’re also collaborating with other universities and with industry to develop these new concepts.