Fukushima Fuel Pools - A Serious Threat To Humanity?

Grieves

Senior Member
Cross your fingers ...because the relative stability/security of life on this planet may well depend on the engineering prowess of our friends at Tepco.
http://fukushimaupdate.com/the-real-fukushima-danger-spent-fuel-pools/

(Originally from)
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/the-real-fukushima-danger.html

Read more......
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Meh. It does not seem like the worse case is worse than Chernobyl. Now while that was pretty bad, it was hardly the end of life as we know it - except for those living nearby.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
@Grieves, I wondered if the title could be modified to reflect the content more... so it comes up on search engines? It seems pretty serious to me. I think a good supply of Potassium Iodide would be a really good investment for those who may be affected.

Personally, I think there is a strong link in the amount of radiation released from nuclear explosions/accidents and the use of DU munitions and the rapid rise of cancers. Whilst I do not advocate smoking, I think it was necessary to demonise smoking, (which had been practiced for centuries), to cover the much more likely cause of the rapid escalation of cancer incidences... radiation.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Title modified.

And the smoking/cancer/radiation theory seems like a separate topic. You might want to check some numbers first though.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Meh. It does not seem like the worse case is worse than Chernobyl. Now while that was pretty bad, it was hardly the end of life as we know it - except for those living nearby.
Ehhhh, that's not what's being said that I can see.
[Mycle Schneider, nuclear consultant:] The situation could still get a lot worse. A massive spent fuel fire would likely dwarf the current dimensions of the catastrophe and could exceed the radioactivity releases of Chernobyl dozens of times. First, the pool walls could leak beyond the capacity to deliver cooling water or a reactor building could collapse following one of the hundred of aftershocks. Then, the fuel cladding could ignite spontaneously releasing its entire radioactive inventory.
Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt said recently in their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013: “Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date.”
http://akiomatsumura.com/2012/04/682.html
Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which is in pools. They contain roughly 336 million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident as estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.9 E+18 Becquerel).

and consider the difference in locations.

Chernobyl was more or less land-locked. Radiation found its way into the Baltic, but it had a fair bit of land to cover to do so. Compare that to Fukushima, directly on the coast of the pacific ocean. For well over 2 years, 300 tons of highly radioactive waste-water have been dumped into the pacific ocean DAILY. That, in and of itself, could pan out to be an environmental disaster to dwarf that of Chernobyl, once we've come to understand what effect it's had. Consider what could happen if they botched this job terribly, or another earthquake struck before they could complete the work? If the event were Chernobyl-scale, it could do massive damage to the pacific and everything that lives in it/off of it. If it were worse, which the experts seem to suggest it could well be should it happen, to a considerable scale in fact, it could send the whole kit and caboodle, Pacific, Atlantic, and everything in between into a downward spiral that makes the current frightening decline seem like the good old days of plenty. Not to mention it could literally empty the Island of Japan, or a fair portion of it at least.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not saying it would be a good thing. However the dilution provided by the ocean would be vast. Your 300 tons of radioactive water was only a few times above legal limits. By the time it gets a few miles out it's thousands of times below that.

Now raw fuel from a fire or explosion would be another thing, very serious locally. But less so on a global scale.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
I'm not saying it would be a good thing. However the dilution provided by the ocean would be vast.
Unquestionably, but I think we're well past the point of believing that vast dilution means such dumps are harmless. Especially given that the water is still flowing, and will continue doing so presumably for as much a decade if not significantly longer than that, the damage it does to the pacific can't be quantified. It might be slight, but it could just as easily be extreme.
Your 300 tons of radioactive water was only a few times above legal limits.
What are these legal limits, what authority sets them? Got a link?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The 300 Tons figure seems a little misleading there was a single leak of 300 tons of highly contaminated water, and separately there are estimates of 300 tons a day of much less contaminated water, which is what I was referring to.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/20/fukushima-leak-nuclear-pacific
Discussion of the limits and levels in Fukushima.
http://stream.wsj.com/story/latest-headlines/SS-2-63399/SS-2-320241/
Lots of details below on what the limits are, and where they come from. Seems reasonably consistent. The 30 Bq/L for strontium is the Japanese limit on what Nuclear power plants can release into the Ocean, and obviously assumes a lot of subsequent dilution. It is 100x the limit for drinking water in the US.

http://fukushimafaq.wikispaces.com/Radiation+Allowable+Levels
 

JeffreyNotGeoffrey

Active Member
Part of Chernobyl's problem was that the radioactive particles entered the atmosphere where they traveled downwind to Europe. The atmosphere is a faster, "better" vehicle for spreading radiation than the ocean, which acts as a buffer. I remember some wild-eyed girl on Yahoo commenting that her dad died of lung cancer from Chernobyl, while living in Oklahoma! "Oh he never smoked", she said, not realizing that asbestos, radon, and several other factors cause lung cancer.
And yeah smoking is as terrible as it is made out to be. I hate the "truth" commercials, but I've had enough family members become sick or die from smoking. It is a terrible vice that should be tamped down as much as possible.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Strawman much? the theory of linear harm is pretty well no longer accepted - so if you are not "over" this then how about some actual science that says that actually vast dilution DOES mean such dumps are harmless?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dounreay
 

Grieves

Senior Member
What point does this demonstrate?
I believe it's an effort to counter MikeC's claim that it's a 'staw man argument' to suggest dumping large amounts of nuclear waste into the ocean is harmful.... because a single study on breast-cancer suggests that the LNT model might not be entirely accurate.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Part of Chernobyl's problem was that the radioactive particles entered the atmosphere where they traveled downwind to Europe. The atmosphere is a faster, "better" vehicle for spreading radiation than the ocean, which acts as a buffer.
Ever felt the winds on the coast?
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
I believe it's an effort to counter MikeC's claim that it's a 'staw man argument' to suggest dumping large amounts of nuclear waste into the ocean is harmful.... because a single study on breast-cancer suggests that the LNT model might not be entirely accurate.
Yes. I didn't comment because I thought it self explanatory.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
I believe it's an effort to counter MikeC's claim that it's a 'staw man argument' to suggest dumping large amounts of nuclear waste into the ocean is harmful.... because a single study on breast-cancer suggests that the LNT model might not be entirely accurate.

No - ther are 2 matters - the LN says low doses are harmless because it is a linear model hence 1/10th dose = 1/10th the harm. The study linked to suggests that LNT might be erring on the side of to much harm being caused by low doses - that e harm is even LESS than the linear model suggests.

There is no science any more that I know of that suggests that all levels of radiation are always harmful.
 

Clock

Senior Member.
This is how Japan is planning on combating this:





http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23940214
 
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Clock

Senior Member.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23779560

http://news.discovery.com/earth/oce...ak-risk-exaggerated-japan-watchdog-130905.htm
 
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"They"

New Member
Junk has been floating up to the west coast of Canada and the United States from the tsunami in Japan 2011.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ins-reach-North-America-4-000-miles-away.html
This means if it was really bad radiation that killed people it would be too late for us. But if your kid finds a glowing / warm rock on a west coast beach any time in the next few years you might wanna pass it by. :)

(Unless of course its a green sphere which tells you its name is Loc-Nar and you plan on changing your name to Den) :D
 

Grieves

Senior Member
This is how Japan is planning on combating this:




http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23940214
The Ice-wall is just an effort, and one many experts suggest to be harebrained in nature, to contain the constant leaking. It's not a solution to the fuel-pool dilemma they face, which is what threatens an extremely major crisis.
 
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Boodles

Banned
Banned
'430 litres of water containing 200,000 becquerels per liter of beta-emitting radioactive isotopes, including strontium 90', reported over-spilt, likely into the ocean via a trench, over a period of up to 12 hours, by Tepco spokespersons today, according to Reuters.
http://reuters.com/article/idUSBRE99200R20131003?irpc=932&irpc=932
Tepco handout in Japanese, graphics look informative.
http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2013/images/handouts_131003_03-j.pdf
Press briefing
http://www.tepco.co.jp/sp/movie/index-j.htm
 
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jvnk08

Senior Member.
I find this infographic from XKCD helpful in visualizing radiation dosages:



Also, I know the study focuses on the health risk with regards to consuming seafood, but if this is what they're finding 2 years later then what are the chances it's going to get worse? Can we conclusively demonstrate that things are indeed getting worse?

(emphasis mine)
http://phys.org/news/2013-06-scientists-fukushima-derived-radioactivity-seafood-poses.html
 
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cloudspotter

Senior Member.

JRBids

Senior Member.
Well I didn't search for anything near resembling that, I did "fukushima plume pacific" and such.
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
Meh. It does not seem like the worse case is worse than Chernobyl. Now while that was pretty bad, it was hardly the end of life as we know it - except for those living nearby.
Oh, I don't know about that. Chernobyl wasn't located right next to the Pacific Ocean, in the path of the Pacific Current. Nor was it located in the midst of area prone to earthquakes. They were able to bury Chernobyl in concrete with an ease that doesn't seem applicable in this instance.

http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KuroshioOyashio.jpg
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
An ocean may be equivalent to being buried in concrete in terms of radiation dilution.
(not advocating that as a solution)
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Radioactive debris could be a problem.
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/radioactive-debris-washing-up-on-pacific-coast.html
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I wonder why the concrete dock didn't count? Also, the debris from the tsunami is not radioactive. It was out at sea for several days before the plants started melting down.
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
I wonder why the concrete dock didn't count? Also, the debris from the tsunami is not radioactive. It was out at sea for several days before the plants started melting down.
I would need to see actual proof of that before I believed it. The debris field, by its nature, had to be moving slower than the water it was in, which was being contaminated. There was also a radiation plume which forced a US aircraft carrier, stationed 100 miles off the coast, to move north and out of its reach after radiation had been detected on board.

The levels of radiation may turn out to be small, but to state that the debris is not radioactive without any proof seems to be the other side of the same coin that the CTers spend on chemtrails.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
http://marinedebris.wa.gov/


http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/tsunamidebris/faqs.html

 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
It's mentioned radiation *may* have been leaking before the tsunami itself due to the initial earthquake.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-19/fukushima-may-have-leaked-radiation-before-quake.html

Here's a list for you Cairenn if you're feeling up to trawling through 28 reasons someone wants people to be scared.
Many seem to be redundant and they're all based on speculation.
http://www.activistpost.com/2013/10/28-signs-that-west-coast-is-being.html
The title is blatant fear-mongering.
I do think it wise to be informed on possible areas of danger, but many out there have a compulsive need to hype any danger to apocalyptic proportions, it sells.
 
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