[SystemSafety] Costa Concordia, and Fukushima

Peter Bernard Ladkin ladkin at rvs.uni-bielefeld.de
Mon Jul 14 10:54:21 CEST 2014

Measures are starting today to float the Costa Concordia off the platform on which it has been
resting, and onto/into a floating dock which will then take it to Genoa for scrapping. The Guardian
has a helpful interactive schematic on the (hoped-for) sequence at

I doubt it will be as spectacular as the righting. They have done pretty well so far with this
operation. I hope things go according to plan with this as well.

Groundwater has been seeping into the basements of the Fukushima reactors, becoming contaminated and
requiring treatment and storage. Storage is running out, as it eventually would at some time.

The plan to deal with this is to sink cooling pipes 33m into the ground, circulate coolant through
them and thereby create permafrost, which will be impervious to groundwater. Sounds like a
reasonable plan, but the problems will lie in the execution. The track record hasn't been perfect so

In good news, though, 1,200 of the 1,500 fuel assemblies in the precariously-supported Spent Fuel
Pool of Reactor Building Number 4 have already been removed. The support structure of SFP 4 seems to
have done its job so far. I was sceptical of the resilience of the structure,
http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/26.91.html#subj4.1 , not least because of the history of problematic
design in the accident-recovery process and the continuing lack of outside review, and am glad that
it has worked, at least while nature remains relatively passive.



Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany
Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319  www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de

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