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View Diary: Sen. Wyden Sounds The Alarm on Fukushima (291 comments)

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  •  Incorrect. Cs-137 Dispersion Animation Below (10+ / 0-)

    This is a common misconception, and nuclear physicists often know little about weather or planetary dispersion patterns.  That may be part of the problem here.

    Here's a link that illustrates the ongoing radioactive cesium dispersion from the accident.  The interesting thing about it is how well the radioactive materials spread.  Note that the Cs-137 contamination in the US from the radioactive cesium is higher in the US than in western Japan.

    The idea that the radiation would "not pose a threat to anything more than 150 meters out in the ocean" is laughable - and manifestly untrue given this dispersion animation.

    •  All the Cs-137 ever produced (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryfry, AaronInSanDiego

      by all nuclear reactors in the world would still pale in comparison with the radioactivity from K-40 naturally present in the ocean.

      The ocean contains about 560 Tt of potassium, which at 31 MBq/t works out to 17,4 ZBq.

      Cs-137 has an activity of 3,21 TBq/g, to match the activity of K-40 we would need 17,4 ZBq/(3,21 TBq/g) = 5,4 Gg = 5400 t. Cs-137 is produced at about 30 g per kg fissile, which gives us 180 000 t fissile needed to match the K-40 radioactivity naturally present in the ocean. It takes about 100x more natural uranium with LWRs, which gives us 18 Mt, or 360x the 2009 production of 50 kt.

    •  this shows how far the cesium has spread, but (0+ / 0-)

      as far add I can tell, it doesn't demonstrate how much of a that that amount of the isotope presents. Also, this is clearly not just material in the ocean, since it shows it spreading over the continent.

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:38:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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