Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sea salt may be hampering Japan nuclear recovery - tech - 24 March 2011 - New Scientist

Sea salt may be hampering Japan nuclear recovery - tech - 24 March 2011 - New Scientist


Andrew Sherry of the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Manchester, UK, told New Scientist that two additional problems might arise.
One is that salt deposits may be clogging up pipes, pumps and valves in the cooling systems, preventing them from functioning properly once power is restored.
"It's going to restrict flow, there's no doubt about that," says Sherry. "Whether it leads to problems restarting the pumps and opening valves, I don't know."
The second is that chloride in the salt may be creating holes in the outer zirconium oxide layer of the fuel rods' zirconium alloy cladding. This "corrosion pitting" could potentially eat right down to the radioactive fuel, forming holes and cracks that would allow volatile radioactive elements to escape.

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