Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Nuclear Energy

Floating Nuclear Plants Could Survive Tsunamis

NewsImage_FloatingNukes

The 2011 tsunami that struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan left the complex in disarray, contaminated and broken. The Japanese government subsequently found itself moving at the behest of public opinion to decommission many of its nuclear facilities and pushing towards a renewable energy future.

However, the damage done to the facility was not caused by the earthquake or resulting tsunami itself, but rather the aftereffects, specifically the lack of cooling for the reactor cores due to the shutdown of power at the station.

Researchers from MIT, along with others from the University of Wisconsin, and Chicago Bridge and Iron, presented a novel nuclear plant concept — that might escape such disasters in the future — at the Small Modular Reactors Symposium, hosted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The concept is a nuclear power plant built on floating platforms out to sea — modeled after the same platforms used for some offshore drilling platforms. Additionally, as noted by MIT, “such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.”

Three MIT professors are among those who presented the idea, including Jacopo Buongiorno, who explained that such plants could be built in a shipyard and then towed to their destination five to seven miles offshore where they would then be moored to the seafloor and connected to land by an underwater electric transmission line.

As can be seen in the image below, the reactor vessel is actually located deep underwater, surrounded by its containment vessel flooded with seawater.

Cutaway view of the proposed plant

Cutaway view of the proposed plant

Not a new concept, this particular design of a floating nuclear power plant has “enhanced safety”, according to Buongiorno, as being located so far offshore would allow the plant f

Illustrations courtesy of Jake Jurewicz/MIT-NSE

 

Advertisement
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

Comments

You May Also Like

Nuclear Energy

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed its fourth review mission in November of Japan's efforts in decommissioning and cleaning up the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power...

Nuclear Energy

A new study by a team of international researchers has for the first time "explicitly revealed" uranium and other radioactive materials in the surrounding...

Nuclear Energy

The nuclear regulator in Japan has OK’d the use of a frozen wall of soil to prevent water entering the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear...

Nuclear Energy

Two 1,117-MW nuclear power plants being constructed at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Power site in Fairfield County for South Carolina Electric & Gas Co....

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.