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Ask A Nuke Tech Anything

AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers
Ladies and gentlemen, we have two real-life Homer Simpsons (minus the buffoonery) in our midst. Ask @ItsShug and @NHetro (I have not run this by him but am blindly assuming cooperation) about nuclear power and working in the plant!
NHetro
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Comments

  • Options
    AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers
    How close is planet Earth to complete nuclear destruction at any given moment?
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    Tad_MTad_M Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Level 2 Supporter, POTM
    Can you take a picture of a donut on the board in the super cool control room for our donut thread? Without terminating us all?
    M_WareAaronWebsteyCraig_DStruangNHetrowchevron

    But when it's my time
    to throw the next stone
    I call you beautiful

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    ItsShugItsShug Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM


    No doughnut, but this is a picture of our simulator.

    How close is planet Earth to complete nuclear destruction at any given moment?

    A lot further than most would think. Especially american reactors. The new reactors westing house are building are incredibly solid design.
    AaronWebsteyCraig_D1_Hot_Pretzelslickfins_RyanKenElPescadoPeladoMartinSdogGasBomb
    Demotivational Speaker
    Master of the Absurd - King of all Polls
    Kansas Native
    Tweets Me  Follow ItsShug
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    ellsworth53tellsworth53t Member, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM
    @ItsShug that picture is awesome. This wont get picked up by Homeland Security?
    AaronWebstey
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    M_WareM_Ware Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Level 2 Supporter
    What can we do to convince people that nuclear is greener than wind OR solar?
    AaronWebsteyMattNHetroMartinJohns622
    Queen of All Pins and A+ Enabler
    Send your Pinterest suggestions to me at:
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  • Options
    ItsShug said:



    No doughnut, but this is a picture of our simulator.


    How close is planet Earth to complete nuclear destruction at any given moment?

    A lot further than most would think. Especially american reactors. The new reactors westing house are building are incredibly solid design.
    Are you guys really still operating with BTG boards and pneumatic/hand controls??

    Honestly asking...

  • Options
    ItsShugItsShug Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM
    We are looking at upgrading our controls next outage. But for now we are all analog controls with exception of our turbine generator controls.
    Craig_DMattNHetroGasBomb
    Demotivational Speaker
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    Tweets Me  Follow ItsShug
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    ItsShugItsShug Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM

    @ItsShug that picture is awesome. This wont get picked up by Homeland Security?

    No. Picture was in the simulator not the control room. And if you go to inpo.org or YouTube you can find plenty of photos and videos of various control rooms
    Demotivational Speaker
    Master of the Absurd - King of all Polls
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  • Options
    @ItsShug What is going to be your next career? You made a quick switch from farmer to nuke tech. Impressive.
    NHetro
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    ItsShugItsShug Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM
    Im a bit like batman. Farmer by day. Reactor operator by night.
    M_WareCraig_DTad_MAaronWebsteyGasBombmaggieruGranpa Chook
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    Master of the Absurd - King of all Polls
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    Craig_DCraig_D Member, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM
    @stevej We use a Foxboro DCS at the heavy oil upgrader I work at. No photos. Lots on line though. Miss the old E/P and Bailey Net 90 stuff from the last place I worked sometimes though. Nothing like putting the Boiler Master in “hand” when sh@t hits the fan and watching things calm right down. Last trip I had I barely had to lift a finger and left everything in Auto-magic. New controls with set point tracking are kinda boring.
    M_Ware
    Canadian Division
  • Options
    NHetroNHetro Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    How close is planet Earth to complete nuclear destruction at any given moment?

    We were close to nuclear annihilation during the cold war, but we seem to be okay now. As for a nuclear reactor meltdown that would wipe us out, that won't happen. Nuclear reactors are designed not to explode like a nuclear bomb (there may be other explosions during an accident like a hydrogen deflagaration). Chernobyl is the worse thing that could happen, so a reactor meltdown, a large plume release of fission products, uninhabitable land for a few thousand years, and billions of dollars to contain and clean it up.
    AaronWebstey
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    NHetroNHetro Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    @ItsShug that picture is awesome. This wont get picked up by Homeland Security?

    The simulator is a mock up of the main control room. It acts and functions as the real thing. Think of it as an elaborate Disney world simulator ride. The one I've been in had actual sounds effects so speakers that would simulate what you would hear during an accident (e.g., main steam line break). Operators are trained and tested in there. So the instructor would simulate an accident and the operators need to react and not fuck up the plant.
    AaronWebsteyCraig_D
  • Options
    NHetroNHetro Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    M_Ware said:

    What can we do to convince people that nuclear is greener than wind OR solar?

    Nuclear is greener than wind and solar. It has a much smaller foot print per mega watt, less physical waste, but that waste is really awful. And it does cost a bunch to regulate and build a new plant. Plants these days are +$10 billion. A utility is risking alot to build a new plant.
    Still, my opinion is to diversify in our energy portfolio, because the market can be volatile and each energy source has its strengths and weaknesses. Oil and gas is cheap and easy to fire up when we have peak energy demand during the day. Wind and solar are greener but dependent on the weather and cant be placed everywhere. Nuclear is great for your base loads (e.g. things that are always on such as your refrigerator).
    AaronWebsteyM_Ware1_Hot_PretzelMattCraig_DMartin
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    NHetroNHetro Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    ItsShug said:

    We are looking at upgrading our controls next outage. But for now we are all analog controls with exception of our turbine generator controls.

    Almost all of our plants were built in the 70s and 80s. They were built with the technology we had at the time.
    The few new plants we are building now (the ap1000) had digital control panels. The small modular nuclear reactor I was designing for my first project out of college had digital controls.
    AaronWebsteyCraig_D
  • Options
    KenElPescadoPeladoKenElPescadoPelado Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    Have you ever met Cyber Awareness Jeff IRL?


    M_WareCraig_Didking90NHetroabussey1
    Sometimes I tweet... Follow PescadoPelado
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    ItsShugItsShug Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM
    Aside from the shitty ass D.O.D. training you didn't believe how big our cyber security department is becoming
    abussey1
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    Tweets Me  Follow ItsShug
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    stevej said:



    Are you guys really still operating with BTG boards and pneumatic/hand controls??

    Honestly asking...

    Knowing that nuclear safety relies on analog rather than some multi-million line operating system and electronics built in nebulous countries allows me to sleep better at night, than you very much. I have little doubt that 'Murica can still build a bad-ass valve or switch. Less so that anyone can build an OS that is impenetrable and bug-free.
    AaronWebsteyNHetroItsShugslickfins_RyanMattCraig_DTad_MSdog
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    Johns622Johns622 Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    The company I work for did some work at a nuclear plant in GA. The stories I've heard are pretty interesting.
    ItsShug
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    NHetroNHetro Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Have you ever met Cyber Awareness Jeff IRL?

    That looks like fun. Most of my training looks like an elaborate PowerPoint presentation. "Click this button to learn more about yadda yadda..."
    Phishing emails is the big concern now. Our own company test spanms us with an emails to see if we click on them or enter a password. If you fuck up too many times, they can fire you.
    What's more exciting is the yearly force-on-force exercises that they hold at power plants. The NRC mandates a yearly test where ex navy seals/military attempt to penetrate the plant. They outfit the security team that's conducting the exercise with laser guns and vests. Theres another security that ensures security while the other one is conducting the test. A nuclear power plant is the last place you would want to attack.

    AaronWebsteyKenElPescadoPeladoCraig_D
  • Options
    ItsShugItsShug Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM
    Martin said:


    stevej said:



    Are you guys really still operating with BTG boards and pneumatic/hand controls??

    Honestly asking...

    Knowing that nuclear safety relies on analog rather than some multi-million line operating system and electronics built in nebulous countries allows me to sleep better at night, than you very much. I have little doubt that 'Murica can still build a bad-ass valve or switch. Less so that anyone can build an OS that is impenetrable and bug-free.
    We may transition to more digital electronics in the future. But the NRC mandates that all safe shutdown components have to have hardwired actuations, switches, wiring, and relays.

    There was an accident at Brown's ferry years ago that made the industry go to pretty extensive train separation and wiring just to insure a fire in one set of safe shut down equipment can't effect the other.
    AaronWebsteyCraig_D
    Demotivational Speaker
    Master of the Absurd - King of all Polls
    Kansas Native
    Tweets Me  Follow ItsShug
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    MattMatt Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member
    ItsShug said:

    Aside from the shitty ass D.O.D. training you didn't believe how big our cyber security department is becoming

    I've read enough Tom Clancy books to know how important this is.
    M_WareKenElPescadoPeladoCraig_DMartinTad_M
  • Options
    NHetroNHetro Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    That Brown Ferry accident was a shit show. It happened back in the 70s. The guys were testing for air seal leaks near the cabling that control the emergency shut down equipment. They were smart enough to have redundant cabling so if one fails you're not screwed. But they werent smart enough to separate the cables so a common cause failure couldnt occur. So to test the air seals they used a candle and watched if the flame reacted to any drafts. Welp, the guy caught some foam seals on fire and they couldn't put it out initially. They were able to shut down and avoid a meltdown. Still, that's some stupid shit.
    KenElPescadoPeladoAaronWebstey
  • Options
    ItsShug said:

    We are looking at upgrading our controls next outage. But for now we are all analog controls with exception of our turbine generator controls.

    Interesting. I used to work for a big DCS vendor and now currently work for a utility as a controls engineer on our fossil plants.

    While there are definitely pro's to automating your controls, your current controls can't be hacked. With all the focus on cyber security in the last few years, I joke that we need to go back to "hand controls".
    NHetroCraig_D
  • Options
    Craig_D said:

    @stevej We use a Foxboro DCS at the heavy oil upgrader I work at. No photos. Lots on line though. Miss the old E/P and Bailey Net 90 stuff from the last place I worked sometimes though. Nothing like putting the Boiler Master in “hand” when sh@t hits the fan and watching things calm right down. Last trip I had I barely had to lift a finger and left everything in Auto-magic. New controls with set point tracking are kinda boring.

    I don't have any experience with foxboro but have worked with Bailey stuff a bit. My company just decommissioned it's last Bailey controlled plant.

    Fully agree that "auto" and let the controls do it's thing is kinda boring. While I am not an operator, if I was one though, I would want to put everything in manual just for the challenge.
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    Craig_DCraig_D Member, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM
    @stevej Lol. When I first became a panel trainee one of the senior guys would always make us run with everything in manual (fuel, air, and water) to “get a feel” for it and learn what the impacts were. 23 years old and ready to crap my pants at any second while the trainer drank 3 pots of coffee and smoked 2 packs of cigarettes and laughed at you. I hated every second of it but boy was it good for learning.
    NHetroAaronWebstey
    Canadian Division
  • Options
    ItsShugItsShug Member, Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM
    edited December 2018
    stevej said:

    Craig_D said:

    @stevej We use a Foxboro DCS at the heavy oil upgrader I work at. No photos. Lots on line though. Miss the old E/P and Bailey Net 90 stuff from the last place I worked sometimes though. Nothing like putting the Boiler Master in “hand” when sh@t hits the fan and watching things calm right down. Last trip I had I barely had to lift a finger and left everything in Auto-magic. New controls with set point tracking are kinda boring.

    While I am not an operator, if I was one though, I would want to put everything in manual just for the challenge.
    Hard pass. Every now and then they fail auto operation on just one of our controls during a simulator sesh, then make us do a down power. Just one is enough of a head ache to balance while trying to move the plant.
    NHetro
    Demotivational Speaker
    Master of the Absurd - King of all Polls
    Kansas Native
    Tweets Me  Follow ItsShug
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    NHetroNHetro Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    @ItsShug , is this how your control automation really works?
    Tad_MAaronWebsteyStruangCraig_DwchevronKenElPescadoPelado
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    wchevronwchevron Member, POTM
    What do you do with all the spent fuel rods? And how often do they need to be replaced.

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