13 Apr '11, 1pm

Editor's Letter: After Japan: In the first moments after the earthquake, it appears that reactors across Japan

Editor's Letter: After Japan: In the first moments after the earthquake, it appears that reactors across Japan

The primary culprits seem to be electromechanical in nature: the pumps, valves and related controls that have been at the core of all steam power generation units for well over 100 years and that serve as the heart of such units, pumping fluid to control, distribute and regulate heat. Shaken by one of recorded history's most powerful earthquakes and battered by a tsunami, these systems–along with various backup and fail-safe systems–failed, precipitating Japan's nuclear crisis. The scenario that began unfolding March 11 previously had seemed so unlikely. But Japan itself is the product of tectonic action and the majority of the country's nuclear power plants line its coasts. In 2007, the world's largest nuclear power plant–the seven-unit Kashiwazaki-Kariwa station–suffered minor earthquake damage and was offline for 22 months as operators and regulators scrutinized the cau...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011...

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