Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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giant heavy hot air balloon for containing radioactive steam

make balloons and contain steam with them
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(+1, -2)
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Too heavy for the heat to lift, lined with sheet metal, and absolutely huge, these balloons would contain radioactive steam long enough for most short-lived isotopes to decay.

This would let engineers release steam to lower container pressure without worrying about said isotopes.
Voice, Mar 14 2011

Fukushima is a triumph for nuke power: Build more reactors now! http://www.theregis...ukushiima_analysis/
Analysis of how well Fukushima has performed [hippo, Mar 15 2011]

Crack in the World (1965) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059065/
[Ian Tindale, Mar 16 2011]


       I am not quite sure what part of 'contained nuclear reaction' people are not understanding.
Do they think that the rate of fission is contained? Yes, good.
Do they think fission reaction chambers are contained? Yes, good.
Do they think that fission reactions, once started can't stop? Yes, bad. There is, of course, some residual action that happens once control rods are displaced (scrammed). This is both normal and accounted for. One gas that does appear in abundance in this process (scramming) is hydrogen. Basically, the odd proton (and there are quite a few of them) picks up an electron on the way out. The only thing your heavy balloon will collect is massive amounts of hydrogen. Hindenberg, anyone?

       This radioactive steam you talk of, has anyone seen it? I presume you mean D20 or T20? This is the kind of stuff you find in linear acceleraters 27 km long. You are not going to find it in sufficient quantities at any nuclear plant, nowadays (CANDU excluded). Or maybe you mean steam laced with nasties from the awful nuclear reactions. Radioactive steam (of the horse with your colour feathers) comes from a core meltdown, or similar breach. The containment vessel and its moderators (or parts thereof) are vapourised. This cannot, by design, happen in a LWR, most notably because there is no core. Fuel rods are placed too far apart, because they use light water as a modertator, to give a significant slow neutron cross section in success and failure.
It really is as simple as that. LWR cut themselves off, and give off hydrogen as a result.

       There is always the possibility of meltdown, but it has a very, very low probability in a LWR, and even if the shit it gives out spreads across the globe, you will receive more radiation lying down on your granite kitchen tops.
4whom, Mar 14 2011

       //hydrogen. Basically, the odd proton (and there are quite a few of them) picks up an electron on the way out.//   

       That I did not know. I thought the main hydrogen problem was caused when cooling water hit hot zirconium in the reactor, producing hydrogen chemically.   

       Also, how did you know that [Voice] lies down on his granite kitchen tops??
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 14 2011

       What I'm sure Voice is referring to is the obvious cloud of something that can be seen hovering over the Japanese nuclear plant: assumedly steam. And I'd rather a potential Hydrogen chemical explosion than a definite cloud of radioactive material floating away.
FlyingToaster, Mar 15 2011

       The lesson of the Hindenburg was to not fill gigantic airships with hydrogen gas. The lesson of 'giant heavy hot air balloon for containing radioactive steam' will be to not fill giant heavy hot air balloons with radioactive steam.   

       My own suggestion for dealing with this problem would be to blow the whole sheet of the Earth's crust that the Fukushima plant sits on and the plant itself into the ocean.   

       Godzilla may result.
rcarty, Mar 15 2011

       The problem with the whole scenario, as far as I see, is that whatever safety system you come up with, you have to be able to cope with it malfunctioning in the event of violent shaking of the land, huge walls of water sweeping in fropm the ocean or giant, fiery rocks falling from the sky. There is no such thing as the 100% safe power plant because there will always be some combination of events that will undo all of your careful planning and engineering.

Personally, I'd go for building a huge digger bucket anchored to the Moon by a very long cable. In the event of imminent nuclear catastrophe, the arm could be lowered into the earth's atmosphere and it would just scoop up the whole power station and its environs and lift it all safely into space to be jettisoned into the sun. Nothing could go wrong with that, surely!
DrBob, Mar 15 2011

       It seems that any radioactivity released in the hydrogen explosions has a very short half-life (a few seconds), so doesn't represent a great danger. Overall the power plant is doing pretty well, considering what it's had to cope with (see link).
hippo, Mar 15 2011

       One solution is to build reactors on seaborne platforms and moor them a few kilometres out. Long-period Tsunami waves would roll right under them.   

       Reactors on ships are Baked.   

       Watch out for hurricanes.
8th of 7, Mar 15 2011

       //Reactors on ships are Baked. Watch out for hurricanes.//
The solution to hurricaines would be a submersible fission reactor, no? Have nuclear submarines ever been proposed as a way of siting civilian nuclear power plants?
mouseposture, Mar 15 2011

       The thing is, the news is talking about a worst-case scenario (at the moment, anyway) where "tens of people" could be killed by released radiation. Multiply that by a hundred if you are cynical.   

       There's no mention I've seen of how many people were killed by the fires and explosions of the petrochemical plant that went up after the quake. Perhaps none were, but that seems unlikely. Perhaps no carcinogenic chemicals were released, but that seems unlikely also.   

       The country is dealing with what will probably amount to tens or low hundreds of thousands of deaths; I just don't understand the perspective on this.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 15 2011

       If that’s the case, it’d be absolutely terrible. It’d be tantamount to about five years of UK road traffic accident fatalities, all at once.
Ian Tindale, Mar 16 2011

       //blow the whole sheet of the Earth's crust that the Fukushima plant sits on and the plant itself into the ocean// There are alluvial deltas to consider. What happens when the sheet hits the fan?
spidermother, Apr 17 2011

       [spidermom] That's why you shouldn't build a nuclear plant three sheets to the wind.
4whom, Apr 18 2011

       Sheet metal does not block radiation, good grief!
Zimmy, Apr 28 2011


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