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Power News Science Technology

Scuba Diver Survives Being Sucked Into Nuclear Plant (nydailynews.com) 318

mdsolar writes: A man scuba diving in Florida somehow survived being sucked into a nuclear power plant in a terrifying log flume ride. Christopher Le Cun was boating off the coast of Hutchinson Island when he and his friend went under to check out three large shadows beneath the waves that looked like buildings. After diving down, he felt a current that quickly pulled him toward one of three intake pipes, got sucked in and was immersed in darkness for five minutes in the water being taken to cool the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant. Le Cun told WPTV that he thought he was going to be chopped into tiny bits when he hit a turbine at the end of the 16-foot-wide, quarter-mile tube. However, the turbine never came, and the pipe eventually spat him out into a reservoir at the plant holding water used to cool the nuclear reactor. After finding a passing worker, Le Cun was able to call wife Brittany, who thought her husband was dead after seeing the shocked face of his diving partner.
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Scuba Diver Survives Being Sucked Into Nuclear Plant

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  • From mdsolar? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Wow, I didn't see that coming...

  • by geoskd ( 321194 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @06:05PM (#51649861)

    So, apparently these guys moored to the warning buoy being interested in what was beneath it. Upon entering the water, they see a gigantic pipe, with some hardware that was clearly intended to prevent marine stuff from accidentally entering the pipe, so they thought: "What a great idea! lets bypass these things intended to keep big stuff out and enter this here pipe!"

    Darwin just missed on this one...

  • #FloridaMan (Score:5, Funny)

    by GenieGenieGenie ( 942725 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @06:16PM (#51649903)
    "#FloridaMan arrested for attempted impersonation of reactor coolant in order to penetrate nuclear facility"
  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @06:17PM (#51649913) Homepage Journal

    A long long long time ago I heard exactly the same story.

    Here's a blog discussion [scubaboard.com] among scuba divers claiming the exact same event, at the exact same nuclear power plant, that was posted in 2013 (referring to a past, previous event).

    So, either this is a hoax, or this happens occasionally at the nuclear power plant in question.

    (I *do* have to wonder how something gets sucked into a reservoir without encountering propulsive blades.)

    When I first heard the story, it mentioned that there was no warning of any kind to deter scuba divers from that location. The current news story says the same thing.

    I mean, it is *exactly* the same story!

    Does this happen often?

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      From the bottom of TFA:

      While Le Cun’s terrifying experience may seem one-of-a-kind, a similar event actually happened at the same power plant in 1989, according to UPI [upi.com]

      Hardly "often", but judging by the description of the buoy and foreign matter filter in the older UPI article, probably something that Florida Power and Light needs to beef up a bit more - it's clearly insufficiently tamper/idiot proof.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        probably something that Florida Power and Light needs to beef up a bit more - it's clearly insufficiently tamper/idiot proof.

        Nothing can be made idiot proof, because idiots are so ingenious. You can put up a sign at a zoo, stating that the lions are wild animals, and you should at all means never enter their enclosure.

        Some idiot will still crawl over the fence to pet the "Kitty-Kats".

        And then sue the zoo. See cats in the microwave and hot coffee for examples.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Joviex ( 976416 )
        So its up to 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999% to make even more warnings for the 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001% who cant read or comprehend language?

        As you said, 2 instances across nearly 30 years? is not even remotely cause for speculation in this instance, given the idiots refusal to read or pay attention while scuba diving.
        • the 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001%

          I somehow missed that there were ten tredecillion (10 billion trillion trillion trillion) people on the Earth[1]. That's 20 nonillion people per square meter of land area, and at the average human mass of 62 kg, means the human population of Earth masses 530 times as much as the galaxy! Damn. Population growth is really out of control.

          I get that you were exaggerating for effect, but learn something about large/small numbers, will you? Exaggerating by a couple orders of magnitude is fine, but 35 orders of

      • by plover ( 150551 )

        I think it was a defective idiot trap. Anyone ignoring the warning buoys right next to a nuclear plant, and then deliberately bypassing the safety grates is by definition an idiot, and the mechanism was designed to chop the idiot up into fish bait. Score another failure for nuclear plant engineers.

    • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @06:38PM (#51650011) Journal

      The reservoir works by gravity and water pressure. That is how there was no blades. It is basically a man made lagoon except the opening connecting it to the ocean is a series of pipes run underground and out to sea a bit to get deeper and cooler water.

      The power plant will take water from the lagoon lowering its level slightly which water from the ocean will flood back in creating a current.

      • The reservoir works by gravity and water pressure. That is how there was no blades. It is basically a man made lagoon except the opening connecting it to the ocean is a series of pipes run underground and out to sea a bit to get deeper and cooler water.

        The power plant will take water from the lagoon lowering its level slightly which water from the ocean will flood back in creating a current.

        Thank you - that makes sense now.

        Would this make a new and interesting X-games thing?

        Pay money to get sucked into a nuclear power plant, have your picture taken at the end, get bragging rights at poker night?

        Just a thought...

    • The reservoir is tidal as a result of being connected by the pipe to the ocean. In this case the tide must have been coming in for the moron to be pushed through the pipe. This reservoir could have been connected by an open channel, but for what ever reasons it was obviously decided a pipe was better.

      And I know it's pedantic but he wasn't sucked into the pipe, he was pushed. The force was coming from behind him as the tide came in.

    • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @07:13PM (#51650197)

      I just hope its not the exact same scuba diver...

  • Guy is a moron (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Sunday March 06, 2016 @06:22PM (#51649937) Homepage

    It's not like you just come across pipes like this in open water, but no SCUBA diver worth their salt would get near an unknown pipe like that.

    Differential pressure makes it terrifyingly easy to get pulled into something you can't get out of. This guy is incredibly lucky.

    • Re:Guy is a moron (Score:4, Informative)

      by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @06:43PM (#51650041)

      It's not like you just come across pipes like this in open water, but no SCUBA diver worth their salt would get near an unknown pipe like that.

      Exactly! Someone please mod this up! I have some friends who dive, and they tell me, "Before you go down . . . look around!" Local diving clubs have maps of places with potential dangers, and are more than welcome to give you advice, free of charge!

      These guys are a couple of idiots with too much money to spend on gear, and obviously have no training whatsoever.

    • This guy is incredibly lucky.

      I would say incredibly stupid. This is someone the human gene pool can do without. No diver with half a brain would go anywhere near something like this.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @07:57PM (#51650387)

      Shit like this is marked on navigational charts, and there is a warning buoy. It isn't like this is some new feature either so if you happened not to have updated charts it wouldn't be there, the plant is decades old, your charts have it. Don't have charts? That's on you. Ocean navigation is serious business.

      That aside, if you see something and you don't know what it is in the water, or see a buoy and don't know what it signifies, the right answer is to FIND OUT, not to go and look. Get on the radio and see what's up. In this case, even that wouldn't be necessary: This is right off the US coast, well within cellular range. He could have just pulled up maps on his smartphone.

      Hopefully his lawsuit gets dismissed out of hand.

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @06:34PM (#51649985)

    Title says it all. Everyone's favourite anti-nuke troll is running out of things to troll about.

    • No, the nuclear follies are very rich these days. It is just that the editors like stuff with potty humor possibilities. 'Remember how you used to say "do it again, flush me J."'
    • Even so, it's a pretty entertaining story. For compensation, here's another entertaining story about a death-ray solar power plant [extremetech.com].
  • Caostal nuclear power is very vulnerable to sea level rise. But, in Floral it is doubly so. Their customers all have too move away as well. http://news.nationalgeographic... [nationalgeographic.com]
  • For those of you making up your own "atomic/nukular blow job" jokes:

    STOP IT!!!
  • I think that an unsigned long int should hold that data without much risk of overflow.
  • I've played that game [wikipedia.org] before, but never in SCUBA gear.

    [ Happy to hear he's okay. ]

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @06:52PM (#51650091) Journal

    This article sounds exactly like the origin story of a superhero.

    A stupid, Florida superhero, but superhero nonetheless.

  • Getting sucked into pipes usually occurs near large passenger ships. They pay hell getting bodies out of their AC cooling systems. But that nuke is next to my home. Frankly, there is no easier way to send a reactor into an emergency than plugging up its cooling water intake. Imagine what a terrorist with a couple of self inflating life-boats could have done. Home- Land Security needs to be all over those intake pipes.
    • Frankly, there is no easier way to send a reactor into an emergency than plugging up its cooling water intake.

      When you said "frankly," is that "Frankly, as I know from my years of working as a nuclear scientist" or is it "Frankly, as I know from watching enough movies"?

      Imagine what a terrorist with a couple of self inflating life-boats could have done.

      At a guess, I'd say they could get a nuclear reactor shut down for a bit, and that's probably about it.

      On the other hand, what they could do with a small waterproof bomb might be a little more sobering. Especially as it seems someone could get in there with it.

  • by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @07:09PM (#51650181)
    How cool would that be? Do it again!
  • Cliver Cussler should be able to skip hiring at least two ghost writers this week.

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