Editor's Note - Going Solid RRS feed

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  • Great article, you really brought it home with the last sentence!

    Anthony Griggs

    Friday, May 6, 2016 1:00 AM
  • Thanks, Anthony. Glad you were patient enough to wait for the pay off.

    The details of the systems and events invovled in the Three Mile Island incident are very complex, but I was captured by how incumbent training shaped the response of the plant crew. To be clear, the Navy proscription against "going solid" wasn't just carried over by former Naval nuclear operators into the civilian field. It was also baked into the procedures and guidance produced by the plant manufacturer and utility operator. When you consider the foundational role the Navy had in establishing nuclear power generation in the US, it makes sense. The Navy knows its stuff, so the industry opted to leverage that wisdom.

    But as the column notes, large gigawatt-scale civilian nuclear reactors are very different from compact Naval reactors that produce perhaps one-tenth the power. And in the very specific and unique conditions at the Three Mile Island plant at the time, the Naval prohibition against going solid turned into a liability.

    Friday, May 6, 2016 3:25 PM