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They could freeze the water with liquid nitrogen...

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:27:20 AM EST
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Did you know that's what was done to enhance the earth structurally underneath Chernobyl? Mining equipment was used to pump liquid nitrogen to keep the earth at -100C, if i recall.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:51:22 AM EST
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No, they built a big hole for the giant freezer, but the giant freezer was never installed - possibly on the grounds of utter impracticality.

So they filled the hole with concrete instead.

Is anyone at Fukushima wondering what's happening under the reactors?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:08:39 AM EST
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Sorry, have read too much already, thought i'd read that they had gone so far as to inject it.

i should stick to windmills, that i know.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:22:57 AM EST
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IIRCC, in the EE Times article linked to by ceebs I read that the Soviets brought in coal miners to dig beneath the Chernobyl plant and install a large, thick concrete "core catcher". If they used that term it might be one of the earliest instance. This is probably infeasible at Fukushima due to the water table from the adjacent ocean.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:43:51 AM EST
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I was thinking they could pour the nitrogen into the water in the turbine buildings. This would freeze it instantly and hopefully the freeze would propagate back through the piping and into the reactor...

Of course, this needs to be done with care. You might get a "steam explosion" in the nitrogen by putting nitrogen at 200C below zero in contact with hor water...

Also, if you froze one end of the pipes solid, water coming out of the reactor at pressure might burst the pipes at the other end and cause another spill. In this case it's a good thing that they have reduced the water input to just the amount necessary to compensate for vaporization in the reactor. Excess water had been flooding the turbine rooms previously.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 04:38:44 AM EST
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