Emergency shutdown at nuclear reactor: “Reading for number of neutrons became exceedingly high” after typhoon #Soulik #Taiwan

Published: July 14th, 2013 at 2:59 pm ET


Title: Typhoon Soulik causes nuclear reactor shutdown
Source: China Post
Author: John Liu
Date: July 15, 2013

Typhoon Soulik’s strong winds caused one of the reactors at Taiwan’s First Nuclear Power Plant to automatically shut down as part of precautionary measures twice on Saturday.

At 2:50 a.m. on July 13, strong winds knocked out systems designed to reduce the likelihood of direct lighting strikes on the facility at the plant’s number two reactor unit, resulting in an automatic shutdown. While repairs were carried out on the system, the reading for the number of neutrons became exceedingly high, once again leading to an emergency shutdown as part of protection measures. […]

Taipower said it had planned to submit a report regarding the incident to the Atomic Energy Council (AEC, 原能會) by yesterday afternoon, though no confirmation of this submission was available at the time of going to print. […]

The typhoon also led to a significant amount of detritus blocking the water inlet. […]

See also: [intlink id=”japan-nuclear-expert-30000-deaths-in-first-month-and-up-to-7-million-cancer-deaths-total-if-accident-at-taiwan-nuke-plant” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: July 14th, 2013 at 2:59 pm ET


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41 comments to Emergency shutdown at nuclear reactor: “Reading for number of neutrons became exceedingly high” after typhoon #Soulik #Taiwan

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    "While repairs were carried out on the system, the reading for the number of neutrons became exceedingly high, once again leading to an emergency shutdown as part of protection measures. […]"

    Just wait until the next Carrington Event shows up on the horizon.

    Not sure if these guys and gals know the amount of repairs that will be needed then.

    But then I think they will all just walk away…

    There will be way to many free wheeling neutrons to deal with after such and event..

    The entire world should just breath in very deeply and drink the contaminated water and get healthy!

    Not sure anyone will have a choice in such matters in the near future.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    Other than a lightning rod, what kind of systems are designed to eliminate lightning strikes, the lack of which would shut a nuclear reactor down? A simple rod to ground is what 99.99% of the rest of the world uses. But that's just me.

    And detritus blocking the water inlet usually means a lack of cooling capacity. Well, we all know what that means.

    I'm sure the Taiwanese version of TEPCO is on this. Oh, wait . . .


    "The Agency Against Corruption under the Ministry of Justice searched the state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) Tuesday as part of an investigation into corruption surrounding a 2007 procurement case at the company's fourth nuclear power plant."


    Interesting story source:

    "The Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) was initially adopted in Sarajevo in February 2000, as Stability Pact Anti-corruption Initiative (SPAI), to address corruption – one of the most serious threats to the recovery and development of the South East European countries. Currently the Initiative consists of 9 member countries from the region – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia and one observer – UNMIK, providing all of them with a general framework for coordination, . . .


    • Time Is Short Time Is Short


      One day we will figure out the right character amount.

    • RichardPerry

      I believe lighting may blow power lines leaving no off sight power only back up would be generators and battery. Their bosses will give them hell but for me do not take the risk that main load may drop off from wind or lighting. A good call I would say. All so a low level strike may weld switches and breakers, then can not turn power off and may harm computers and logic circuits for fail safe states.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Not sure I like seeing these two words together…"Corruption~Nuclear".

    But then we already know everything is simply and ongoing conspiracy..

    "According to the report, Lin had irregular connections with the two companies and allegedly directed the supervisory team to allow the materials from the two companies to pass inspection."

    Maybe this is what happened at San Onofre and we enenewsers are just waiting for similar results to happen all over the world? Bad pipes in all the plants?

    Just like taking Crack..oops..I mean Candy from a baby!

    Another "Carrington Event" may just put us all out of our misery….real soon.

    Sun looked pretty HOT today!

  • We Not They Finally

    This should be fine. There won't be any more typhoons in that part of the world. What? There WILL be?

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    I wonder how this projected 4.1 billion price tag, which I think will be way the under actual costs, work in that "to cheap to meter" Nuclear Energy equation?

    How many generations will be involved in this current Nuclear Fiasco?

    Yes..we are all nuts!

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    oops.."which I think will be way under the actual costs"

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    No corruption could go on here…could it?

    Bring me more electricity and bring it now and I do not care how you get it to me…or what it costs!

    Bring me more of everything and especially expensive controlled and manipulated electricity!

  • excessive neutrons? What is that from?

    Is that from the operators eating too many Twinkies?

    Or too many beans?

    How does one get 'excessive' neutrons?

    Take two aspirin and call the doctor in the morning.

    • Jebus Jebus

      What happens in the milliseconds approaching criticality in a nuclear reactor if control rods are somehow not functioning correctly?

      Say like when a fuel rod(s) is pushed to it's limit, or sags, or warps out of shape.

      My guess is "excessive neutrons"…

    • Jebus Jebus

      Fukushima has "excessive neutrons".
      Japan has "excessive neutrons".
      The Pacific Ocean has "excessive neutrons".
      The Earths Ecosystem has "excessive neutrons".
      Cancer is caused by "excessive neutrons"…

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    “In a nuclear reactor, the neutron population at any instant is a function of the rate of neutron production (due to fission processes) and the rate of neutron losses (via non-fission absorption mechanisms and leakage from the system). When a reactor’s neutron population remains steady from one generation to the next (creating as many new neutrons as are lost), the fission chain reaction is self-sustaining and the reactor's condition is referred to as "critical". When the reactor’s neutron production exceeds losses, characterized by increasing power level, it is considered "supercritical", and; when losses dominate, it is considered "subcritical" and exhibits decreasing power….”
    If you can’t control the neutrons, and you have too many, the fuel cladding will eventually melt and you will have a nuclear accident.

    • Neutrons

      "Exposure to free neutrons can be hazardous, since the interaction of neutrons with molecules in the body can cause disruption to molecules and atoms…"

      "Some particular thought must be given to how to protect from neutron exposure, however. For other types of radiation, e.g. alpha particles, beta particles, or gamma rays, material of a high atomic number and with high density make for good shielding; frequently lead is used. 😉 However, this approach will NOT work with neutrons, since the absorption of neutrons does not increase straightforwardly with atomic number, as it does with alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. Instead one needs to look at the particular interactions neutrons have with matter…"


    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      "Criticality". The title cut off somehow. Whatever method they were using to keep the reactor in a critical state in order to produce energy was messed up by the typhoon. Maybe the electricity was cut off. It is the free neutrons slowed down to low temperature that produce fission and energy. Not enough free neutrons and you are not getting enough energy production. Excessive free neutrons means it was probably getting too much rise in temperature. Anyway the reactor shut down.

      Nuclear fission
      “In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, nuclear fission is either a nuclear reaction or a radioactive decay process in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts (lighter nuclei). The fission process often produces free neutrons and photons (in the form of gamma rays), and releases a very large amount of energy even by the energetic standards of radioactive decay….
      “Fission as encountered in the modern world is usually a deliberately produced man-made nuclear reaction induced by a neutron….”

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Here is an animation:

        “…In a system at thermal equilibrium, neutrons (red) are elastically scattered by a hypothetical moderator of free hydrogen nuclei (blue), undergoing thermally activated motion. Kinetic energy is transferred between particles. As the neutrons have essentially the same mass as protons and there is no absorption, the velocity distributions of both particles types would be well-described by a single Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution….”

  • razzz razzz

    They obviously have leak. If it leaks all the time or just from the emergency shut down, they are not sure because they don't know where the neutrons are coming from. How reassuring. Sounds like a containment issue because the neutrons are flying around like crazy during fission.

    The reporting is bad (from China?), doesn't say which plant has the problem.

    A search doesn't bring up much. Taiwan has the old BWR and newer PWR reactor designs.



    'Taiwan presses ahead with home-built nuclear power plant despite safety fears
    Nation dogged by serious concerns over storage of radioactive waste being stored at existing power plants'

    "…So the three existing power stations are packed with highly radioactive waste, which in the event of an accident could pose a serious hazard. The six reactors' cooling ponds now contain almost four times the amount originally planned…"

    From an older article (amass radioactive waste then what?):

  • "The clinical role of fast neutron therapy has been limited by excessive late normal tissue damage"


    Are they saying that excess neutrons kill patients?

  • Beta decay

    Beta decay itself comes in two kinds: β+ and β-.

    β- emission occurs by the transformation of one of the nucleus’s neutrons into a proton, an electron and an antineutrino. Byproducts of fission from nuclear reactors often undergo β- decay as they are likely to have an excess of neutrons.

    β+ decays is a similar process, but involves a proton changing into a neutron, a positron and a neutrino.

  • 2. Only about 8% of all known nuclides are stable; the remainder plot in a region above the curve known as the “neutron excessive region” or a region below the curve known as the “neutron deficient region”.

    Conclusion; all radioactive isotopes have 'excess neutrons'

  • What causes atoms to be radioactive?

    Atoms found in nature are either stable or unstable. An atom is stable if the forces among the particles that make up the nucleus are balanced. An atom is unstable (radioactive) if these forces are unbalanced if the nucleus has an excess of internal energy. Unstable atoms are called radionuclides. The instability of a radionuclide's nucleus may result from an excess of either neutrons or protons. An unstable nucleus will continually vibrate and contort and, sooner or later, attempt to reach stability by some combination of means:

    ejecting neutrons, and protons
    converting one to the other with the ejection of a beta particle or positron
    the release of additional energy by photon (i.e., gamma ray) emission.

  • Bottom line, when they are reporting that this plant is emitting 'excess neutrons', what they are really saying is that it is leaking radioactive isotopes…

    In other words, it is melting down.

    • That's what I thought.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      It was in danger of melting down. But the reactor is made to shut down and it did. If it hadn't shut down then it would melt down. They have to maintain shut down or they will continue to have the danger of possible melt down. When the control rods insert and the system for boron absoption works properly and the cooling system works properly, they all work together to slow down the creation of excessive free neutrons.

      Of course, they have to maintain shutdown. But we have no reports of leaks or rise in temperature or meltdown.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        What we are getting is that they are having problems with fixing the systems needed to restart the reactor.

        If the cladding of even one fuel rod was damaged during the typhoon, they will have to find out where it is and replace the whole assembly.

        In other words, nuclear energy is completely unreliable and it is not safe under any circumstances. And no one has a safe solution for handling the nuclear waste generated. Who called it the Midas touch? Apt metaphor.

        • Maybe they are just being 'polite' and not saying they have a meltdown. If they do not restart within a few days, that would be our guess.

          Chernobyl, TMI, Fukushima; the ONE THING that they all had in common.. NO ONE ever admitted that they had a melt down. They ALWAYS covered it up until they could not do that anymore. Meanwhile, millions of people got exposed to dangerous and toxic levels of radiation, and more people were NOT evacuated, despite being exposed to high doses of radiation.

          At this point, we do not trust anyone who has anything to do with the nuclear industry and that is getting paid by them, or anything that they say.

          They seem to change what they say from one minute to the next, just to keep up good appearances and to save the industry…

  • zinc apparantly absorbs and blocks excess neutrons; via an experiment they did in a sodium cooled reactor experiment in Los Angeles..

  • WrenchMonkey

    The continued reliance on nuclear energy, by anyone, can be simply described in a single word: <b>INSANITY.</b>

    Just my opinion.

  • so how to excess neutrons relate to 'neutron beams'?

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant

    Commissioned in 1978 for its first nuclear reactor, the plant is Taiwan's first nuclear power plant.

    Commission date
    10 December 1978 (Unit 1)
    15 July 1979 (Unit 2)[3]

    Decommission date December 2018 (Unit 1) – Planned
    July 2019 (Unit 2) – Planned
    Reactor type(s) BWR-4


  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    “Active seismic faults run across the island, and some environmentalists argue Taiwan is unsuited for nuclear plants.[1] A 2011 Natural Resources Defense Council report that evaluated the seismic hazard to reactors worldwide, as determined by the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program data, placed all of Taiwan's reactors within the highest risk group of 12 reactors within very high seismic hazard areas, along with some of Japan's reactors.[2]…”

    • AntonButler

      Some German professors are convinced that it is
      a mistake to put a single nuclear reactor in Japan.
      There are some good documentaries in German and French languages on youtube also, but you are American and maybe not knowing the other
      European languages ……….(i may be wrong) ,
      dont be offended.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        German was my minor at Stanford U. And I've studied 18 languages, though I don't much speak any of them. Many times on youtube, there are English captions.

  • 13 Neutron Beams Came Out Of Fukushima; Direct Evidence Of Holes In Reactors And Multiple Melt Throughs; via @AGreenRoad

    • razzz razzz

      The chopper pilots were reporting neutron beams during the water drops besides nighttime glowing. It was no big secret.

  • Excessive Neutron/Neutrino Emissions From Nuclear Power Plants, Mines, Recycling Facilities And Their Effect On Human Health; via @AGreenRoad

  • it's speaking of a loss of moderation.. IE water loss… so yes you get lots more and a shutdown. But GOLD coating is only thing helps stop it leaving the building.

  • So we should all wear suits made of gold, in order to protect us from neutron radiation?

    They have a sale on gold foil suits down at Macy's today..