jm + nuclear   9

The likely user interface which led to Hawaii's false-alarm incoming-ballistic-missile alert on Saturday 2018-01-13
@supersat on Twitter:

"In case you're curious what Hawaii's EAS/WEA interface looks like, I believe it's similar to this. Hypothesis: they test their EAS authorization codes at the beginning of each shift and selected the wrong option."

This is absolutely classic enterprisey, government-standard web UX -- a dropdown template selection and an easily-misclicked pair of tickboxes to choose test or live mode.
testing  ux  user-interfaces  fail  eas  hawaii  false-alarms  alerts  nuclear  early-warning  human-error 
4 weeks ago by jm
Kodak Had a Secret Nuclear Reactor Loaded With Enriched Uranium Hidden In a Basement
non-proliferation? what's that?
Kodak's purpose for the reactor wasn't sinister: they used it to check materials for impurities as well as neutron radiography testing. The reactor, a Californium Neutron Flux multiplier (CFX) was acquired in 1974 and loaded with three and a half pounds of enriched uranium plates placed around a californium-252 core. The reactor was installed in a closely guarded, two-foot-thick concrete walled underground bunker in the company's headquarters, where it was fed tests using a pneumatic system. According to the company, no employees were ever in contact with the reactor. Apparently, it was operated by atomic fairies and unicorns.
kodak  nuclear  safety  non-proliferation  scary  rochester  reactors 
may 2016 by jm
Reddit comments from a nuclear-power expert
Reddit user "Hiddencamper" is a senior nuclear reactor operator in the US, and regularly posts very knowledgeable comments about reactor operations, safety procedures, and other details. It's fascinating (via Maciej)
via:maciej  nuclear-power  nuclear  atomic  power  energy  safety  procedures  operations  history  chernobyl  scram 
august 2015 by jm
"A Review Of Criticality Accidents, 2000 Revision"
Authoritative report from LANL on accidents involving runaway nuclear reactions over the years from 1945 to 1999, around the world. Illuminating example of how incident post-mortems are handled in other industries, and (of course) fascinating in its own right
criticality  nuclear  safety  atomic  lanl  post-mortems  postmortems  fission 
august 2015 by jm
Photographs of Sellafield nuclear plant prompt fears over radioactive risk
"Slow-motion Chernobyl", as Greenpeace are calling it. You thought legacy code was a problem? try legacy Magnox fuel rods.
Previously unseen pictures of two storage ponds containing hundreds of highly radioactive fuel rods at the Sellafield nuclear plant show cracked concrete, seagulls bathing in the water and weeds growing around derelict machinery. But a spokesman for owners Sellafield Ltd said the 60-year-old ponds will not be cleaned up for decades, despite concern that they are in a dangerous state and could cause a large release of radioactive material if they are allowed to deteriorate further.

“The concrete is in dreadful condition, degraded and fractured, and if the ponds drain, the Magnox fuel will ignite and that would lead to a massive release of radioactive material,” nuclear safety expert John Large told the Ecologist magazine. “I am very disturbed at the run-down condition of the structures and support services. In my opinion there is a significant risk that the system could fail.
energy  environment  nuclear  uk  sellafield  magnox  seagulls  time  long-now 
october 2014 by jm
Extract from 1973 HM Treasury document concerning post-nuclear-attack responses
'Extract from 1973 HM Treasury document concerning post-nuclear-attack monetary policy' includes this amazing snippet:

[Contingency] ...(d) a total nuclear attack employing high power missiles which would destroy all but a small percentage of the UK population and almost all physical assets or civilised life. [...] As for (d), the money policy would of course be absurdly unrealistic for the few surviving administrators and politicians as they struggled to organise food and shelter for the tiny bands of surviving able-bodied and the probably larger number of sick and dying. Most of the other departments contingency planning might also be irrelevant in such a situation. Within a fairly short time the survivors would evacuate the UK and try to find some sort of life in less-effected countries (southern Ireland?).


Hey, at least they were considering these scenarios. (via Charlie Stross)
nuclear  attack  contingency  government  monetary  policy  uk  ireland  history  1960s  via:cstross  insane  fallout 
august 2013 by jm
Scram
noun: an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor. It has been defined as an acronym for "Safety Control Rod Axe Man", due to this story from Norman Hilberry: "When I showed up on the balcony on that December 2, 1942 afternoon [at the Chicago Pile, the world's first self-sustaining nuclear reactor], I was ushered to the balcony rail, handed a well sharpened fireman's ax and told, "if the safety rods fail to operate, cut that manila rope." The safety rods, needless to say, worked, the rope was not cut... I don't believe I have ever felt quite as foolish as I did then. ...I did not get the SCRAM [Safety Control Rod Axe Man] story until many years after the fact. Then one day one of my fellows who had been on Zinn's construction crew called me Mr. Scram."
scram  nuclear  reactor  history  etymology  words  shutdown  emergency  wikipedia  1942  science  acronyms 
june 2012 by jm
Corium
'a lava-like molten mixture of portions of nuclear reactor core, formed during a nuclear meltdown'
corium  nuclear-power  disasters  nuclear  radioactive  wikipedia  meltdown  from delicious
march 2011 by jm
Nuclear energy: Inside the black box
What's going on inside the Fukushima nuclear reactor, and how it is hoped meltdown can be averted
nuclear-power  meltdown  disasters  japan  fukushima  power  electricity  nuclear  from delicious
march 2011 by jm

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