Re: Energy and "the Clash of Civilizations" -- a policy thoughtproblem

From: Ken Clements (
Date: Sat Sep 29 2001 - 19:45:03 MDT

jeff davis wrote:

> --- Hubert Mania <> wrote:
> >Imagine a Boeing 747, heading from Frankfurt
> > to the USA is going
> > to be hijacked and with the full load of fuel is
> > flown at full speed into
> > Biblis containment. I bet the concrete shield will
> > not withstand that
> > impact.
> I bet it would. Based on the following factors:
> 1. The designers say it will. No one is better
> qualified to know.

No, they do not say so. Go read the press release from the NRC.

Here is a specific Q and A from the above:

> Q: What would happen if a large commercial airliner was intentionally crashed into a nuclear power plant?
> A:. Nuclear power plants have inherent capability to protect public health and safety through such features as robust containment buildings, redundant safety systems,
> and highly trained operators. They are among the most hardened structures in the country and are designed to withstand extreme events, such as hurricanes,
> tornadoes and earthquakes. In addition, all NRC licenses with significant radiological material have emergency response plans to enable the mitigation of impacts on
> the public in the event of a release. However, the NRC did not specifically contemplate attacks by aircraft such as Boeing 757s or 767s and nuclear power plants
> were not designed to withstand such crashes. Detailed engineering analyses of a large airliner crash have not yet been performed.

Jeff, did you read my post from earlier today? The comments you posted
about pill boxes would apply if the containments were about the same
size. But they are not. The more volume you have to enclose, the less
impact strength you get for the same wall thickness. Also, the weight
of the building itself goes up with the cube of the scale factor while
the strength of the walls only goes up with the square, so the bigger
you build it, the more of its strength goes to just holding it up.

The safety reports I have seen from the NRC all have a clause that
states that their figures are only for an "accident" and specifically
disclaim "intentional" damage. It is bad enough that one of these would
go off course and hit, but can you picture flying a 757 in a parabola
that peaks its 100 tons at 15 km in the sky and then builds up to
supersonic speed before impact? I predict the plane would go right
through and give you a nice fuel-air explosion inside the containment.


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