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Astronuc
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Apr16-08, 01:44 PM
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Well, I had a nuclear reactor physics prof who specialized in HTGRs and his comment was, there could be an accident, e.g. LOCA, and one could scram the reactor, then go to lunch, order a nice bottle of wine and take one's time to figure out how to resolve the problem because the core wouldn't melt, and it could maintain its integrity even without forced cooling during the decay heat period. I don't imagine the nuclear regulators would take such a relaxed and casual attitude, but there is a certain level of confidence that the core materials can handle high temperatures without loosing integrity and releasing fission products to the environment.