Cutaway view of the proposed plant shows that the reactor vessel itself is located deep underwater, with its containment vessel surrounded by a compartment flooded with seawater, allowing for passive cooling even in the event of an accident (Image: Jake Jurewicz/MIT-NSE)
MIT proposes building floating nuclear power plants located 5 to 7 miles into the ocean, enabling the nuclear power plants to ride out a tsunami without sustaining damage (Image: Jake Jurewicz/MIT-NSE)
The most frightening part of a tsunami hitting a nuclear power plant is what comes after – radioactive leaks that contaminate the water around the plant are exceedingly difficult to contain. The clean up of the radioactive water around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, which was struck by a tsunami in 2011, is expected to take decades. MIT researchers have come up with an alternative; they propose building floating nuclear plants, far enough offshore to simply ride out a tsunami and emerge unscathed.
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