April 7, 2011

18th Interview with My Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Japan

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

You can listen to all the interviews on the new vimeo channel Brandon and I created. You can also listen to most of the interviews on Brad Go’s YouTube channel.

Here’s the vimeo channel:

Brad Go’s YouTube channel: 

This afternoon my dad and I recorded our 18th interview on the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. Please see the rest of the blog (sidebar) for previous interviews. We are no longer answering listener questions, but please do continue to send emails to [email protected]. We really do appreciate all the comments and nice emails we receive! You can also follow me on twitter @GeoEvelyn.

Here are some websites we refer to in today’s interview:

In today’s interview:
1. My dad gives his usual update

2.We address a final batch of questions from listeners:

(a.) Is there a possibility that radioactive water is seeping into the ground? What potential harm could this cause?

(b.) How could it happen that, after much less than a century of nuclear power, we’ve got an accident that is completely beyond the design basis of a nuclear plant? Aren’t the designs of these plants supposed to take into account events far rarer than that? Was this so out of the blue that we can be reasonably sure something like this won’t happen again in the next, say, 200 years, or does this mean that in the next couple of decades, we might well have another disaster, perhaps of some completely different nature, that is so beyond the design basis of a plant that its safety mechanisms are as compromised as we’ve seen at Fukushima?

(c.) Why do they build several nuclear reactors close together, such as the 6 reactors and 7 spent fuel pools at Fukushima? What are the advantages of building several reactors close together? What are the disadvantages of building several reactors close together?

(d.) What missing information do you wish you had to help you better understand what is happening at Fukushima?

Hope to have an audio link soon. Here is the interview on vimeo:

Please see the announcement page for more information about these interviews:

If you have time and interest, please transcribe this interview. Our final wrap-up interview will take place on Saturday, April 9th.