Fallible Designer

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Fukushima The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a catastrophic failure at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants on 11 March 2011. The nuclear power plant was located on a 3.5-square-kilometre site in the towns of Okuma and Futaba in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. There were altogether 10 nuclear reactors, with 5 reactors using old designs and the rest using new designs. All the Fukushima plants, including the newer plants, were all based on General Electric(GE) designs. A lucrative contracts had been made between General Electric and Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) to service the GE nuclear plants in Japan. General Electric is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and operates through four divisions: Energy, Technology Infrastructure, Capital Finance and Consumer and Industrial. The oldest Fukushima nuclear reactor was built at 1960s. Unit 1-5 reactors were built with the older design, GE(General Electric) Mark 1 design. To keep the reactors compact and economical, the Mark 1 design had its reactor buildings small. Instead of putting the generators inside the reactor buildings, they are put into neighbouring structures that house turbines. Unfortunately, the turbine buildings were far less sturdy, especially their doors. On the other hand, the reactor buildings were built strong and stable, with thick concrete walls and dual sets of sturdy doors. However, even though the reactor building itself had strong protection, backup power generators are critical safety equipment and it should have been put inside the reactor buildings. The cooling systems of the nuclear plants run on electricity which pulled from the nation's power grid. For situation whe... ... middle of paper ... ... design. During the inspection, they should make sure that the old design passed the current safety standards, but not only focused on things like pipes and fittings. It is irresponsible to give an operating extension without proper checking of the reactors. In fact, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was not only caused by the negliegence of Tepco engineers and the regulators from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Other groups and associations like GE should also took the responsibility to make sure the design of the nuclear reactors were up to the current standards. When the Mark II design was released, they should have advised Tepco to retrofit the flawed design of the old reactors. Although the 45-foot tsunami was a natural disaster, the nuclear disaster could have been avoided if proper earthquake prepareness of the nuclear reactors were done.
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