Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, March 12, 2011

What nobody seems to be asking is whether the automatic shutdown of the Fukishima was the correct policy.  The unfolding problems have arisen because diesel generators failed.  While reactors are operating, they provide the electricity they need to operate thier cooling systems.  It is only when shutdown, that they need to rely upon diesel generators.

Would a safer policy to have been to  manually shutdown, albeit quickly, the four reactors most at risk, leaving one reactor running?  The remaining reactor could then have been shut down a few hours later, if necessary, once the other reactors cooled substantially.  Until then it would have provided a secure source of power to itself and to the other reactors.

Of course we don't know. I think emergency procedures ought however to consider whether an automatic shutdown really is the safest policy.