Because they lost power to the water cooling system, they needed to vent the pressure that's building up inside.My suspicion is that as the temperature inside the reactor was rising, some of the metal cans that surround the fuel may have burst and at high temperature, that fuel cladding can react with water to produce zirconium oxide and hydrogen.That hydrogen then will be part of the gases that need to be vented. That hydrogen then mixes with the surrounding air. Hydrogen and oxygen can then recombine explosively. So it seems while the explosion wasn't directly connected with the nuclear processes, it was indirectly connected, because the hydrogen was only present because of what was going on in the reactor core.
quote: 1000x greater radiation level in the control room
quote: aren't 'normal' radiation levels outside a nuke plant as close to zero as it is sitting at your desk reading this?
quote: When something goes wrong with gasoline production it does not affect people living a thousand miles away or more....Oil spills and fires at refineries can be bad but they are nothing compared to how bad Nuclear disasters can get so enough with the pro-Nuclear propaganda.
quote: what it boils down to is that an area contaminated by nuclear meltdown is uninhabitable for *much* longer than any other kind of power plant destroyed. That and the widespread effect on people and the wildlife is much longer lasting as well.
quote: If you find nuclear power plant so safe, are you living near one already?
quote: When you operate a coal plant, the harm is spread all around and avoidable
quote: Nuclear accident: 1 in 10,000,000 chance of dying Scalding: 1 in 5,000,000 Food poisoning: 1 in 3,000,000 Falling out of bed: 1 in 2,000,000 Drowning in bath: 1 in 685,000 Work accident: 1 in 43,500 Car crash: 1 in 8,000
quote: Also expecting the world to be rational is futile. Look at how much money is being spend on countering terrorism - if that money was instead spend fighting pollution and improving traffic safety the results would be much better.
quote: Heck, the money could be spend building schools, providing the most basic health care and thus making the whole world a better place (and likely make many wannabe terrorists into happy productive people).
quote: There will always be extremists and those who are angry at the world no matter what country they are in, but the idea is to minimize the number of ant hills we step on along the way.
quote: The new reactors need energy input to sustain fission so if the power is cut the reaction dies out automatically.
quote: There are simple and effective solutions in use today that guarantee a reactor shutdown if coolant power is lost. Simply suspending the control rods above their slots via electromagnets is probably the simplest. If the magnets lose power the control rods drop into the reactor and bring the nuclear reactions to a stop (or near enough anyway).
quote: The much worse being a total core meltdown and breach of the inner containment chamber resulting in a release of large amounts of highly radioactive material on a Chernobyl scale.