There was so much to talk about regarding the way that the world responded to the great north east Japan earthquake and tsunami – and the subsequent damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station that I gathered a second group of people in the evening of Sunday March 11, 2012.
This group included
Will Davis, whose Atomic Power Review became one of the most respected and informative English language sites on the web for up to date data about the events at the power station.
Laura Scheele, a professional staff member of the American Nuclear Society who helped to match real, qualified experts with media requests and who helped to turn the ANS Nuclear Cafe blog into a new aggregator for both ANS members and the public.
Cal Abel, a Nuclear Engineering PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Cal is also a former submarine engineer officer and a member of a family owned construction business. When he saw the futile attempts to fill used fuel pools from helicopters flying over the plant, he told himself there had to be a better way. Within hours he had figured out that the concrete pumper trucks that his wife’s construction business uses to precisely direct concrete into forms as the part of building tall buildings would work perfectly to deliver water to elevated fuel pools.
He worked his contact networks and convinced his advisors at Georgia Tech that he knew what he was talking about. Within 24 hours, his idea was being discussed on NPR and within 48 hours there were concrete pumper trucks on the Fukushima Daiichi site refilling the used fuel pools and restoring their ability to provide shielding to the used fuel.
You can hear the first group discussion by visiting the following link Atomic Show #180 – The Year After Fukushima (Part 1).
To my great regret, technology failed and prevented the participation of Margaret Harding, the former GE manager who put her 30+ years of experience with boiling water reactor engineering to good use by serving as a calming, rational voice in the mainstream media.