It was with great glee and anticipation that I opened the April 4 edition to read William Tucker’s article regarding the events at Fukushima Daiichi (“Overreaction”). However, my glee turned to sorrow toward the middle of the article. As an individual who has spent the last quarter century performing testing on welds at nuclear power plants, I found several errors in Mr. Tucker’s otherwise persuasive defense of nuclear power.
1. The “steel pressure vessel” (reactor pressure vessel) is not “cast from a single ingot.” Reactor pressure vessels are fabricated from multiple forgings that are welded together. In addition, they should