Former Toshiba Engineer: Dai-1 Meant for 8.0 Quake

Stonger quake, tsunami not expected

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Former Toshiba Engineer: Dai-1 Meant for 8.0 Quake

Shiro Oguro, a former Toshiba nuclear design engineer, speaking at the Foreign Corresponds’ Club of Japan in Tokyo Wednesday night said that stress criteria he was given to design equipment used in the Dai-1 Fukushima Nuclear Plant were rated to withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake.

He said he received such design specifications when working on designing “the pumps and heat-exchange systems involved in the structural safety of reactors numbers 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 used in the Dai-1 Fukushima Plant.” The earthquake that hit the area last Friday afternoon had a magnitude of 9.0.

Oguro is one of a group of engineers and scientists who support the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, and anti-nuclear group based in Tokyo, which arranged the press conference. Oguro said that the basic thinking behind these design conditions at the time was that an earthquake having a magnitude of 8 or greater would not occur.

Though we now know the servere threat tsunami pose for nuclear plants, that wasn’t the case back when Ogura was working on the Fukushima Dai-1 Nuclear Plant design, he added.

Photo: TEPCO/Reuters

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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