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The Japanese Atomic Energy Agency has begun planning an experiment, set to be carried out within the next year or so, that will see them create a controlled nuclear reactor meltdown in order to study it and learn exactly what happens so that they can better prepare for similar situations in the future.
The idea is to create a precise and accurate computer model in order to determine what happened at the Fukushima meltdown and help predict what may happen if such an accident were to be repeated again.
An official from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency stated that they’d “like to find out what phenomena occurred in the accident and use the data to work out responses in the event of another nuclear power plant accident.
We want to study exactly how meltdowns happen and apply what we will learn to help improve ways to deal with severe accidents in the future.”
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The Japan News website released an article explaining that: “The experiment will be conducted at the Nuclear Safety Research Reactor in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture. A 1.2-meter-long stainless steel capsule containing a 30-centimeter-long fuel rod will be placed at the core of the reactor in such a way that the coolant water does not come into contact with the rod. Neutrons emitted by fuel surrounding the capsule will facilitate nuclear fission in the small fuel rod, which will begin melting after its temperature reaches 2,000 C.”
All aspects of the experiment will be carefully monitored in order to minimise the dangers, and the fuel rod will cool and return to a solid state within minutes after the experiment, although that will give the scientists plenty of time to collect data and analyse the pressure, temperatures, and process that occurs whilst the rod melts. The whole thing will be filmed so that experts can pour through all aspects of the meltdown over and over again in order to understand all details.
The official commented that the “results of the experiment will help us better predict the effectiveness of measures to deal with a nuclear accident, such as an emergency injection of water into a reactor,” reassuring that “there are no safety problems with the experiment itself.”
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…