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View Diary: Recent measurements of Fukushima derived radionuclides in the Pacific Ocean (103 comments)

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  •  Near Japan (3+ / 0-)
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    northsylvania, FarWestGirl, duhban

    what process is creating tritium via the radionuclides from Fukushima?
    neutron capture?

    •  Hi Palantir, (8+ / 0-)

      Tritium production occurred in Fukushima's boiling water reactors through fission (0.01% yield) and from the neutron activation of Li-7. link.


      by MarineChemist on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 08:50:30 PM PST

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    •  the reason I asked... (2+ / 0-)
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      palantir, duhban

      is all BWRs leak tritium, so if some is detected in or near the US, it's more likely from a local leak.

      •  Are there any nukes (2+ / 0-)
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        FarWestGirl, duhban

        on the coast of western U.S. except Diablo? Hmmm... well, I guess there's Bremerton, but those puppies don't produce enough to allow shadow-tracking.

        Do Washington or Oregon have coastal nukes?

        •  Columbia in Washington ... (2+ / 0-)
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          FarWestGirl, duhban

          not quite on the coast, but close.
          San Onofre in California. There also was Trojan in Oregon, but it was retired and dismantled, IIRC.

          •  San Onofre's down for the count. (2+ / 0-)
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            atana, FarWestGirl

            And has been for awhile. Now scheduled for decommissioning.

            If Columbia isn't on the coast, it's unlikely to be a 'local' source of tritium along the west coast of North America in general, southern California in particular. Though there's probably a lot in the river. I hear Hanford's God-Knows-What plume is within meters of it now... §;o(

          •  columbia is over 350 miles from the coast n/t (1+ / 0-)
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          •  San Onefre screwed up big time (3+ / 0-)

            They signed a multi-million dollar contract for new steam generators. The steam generator is where the heat from the radioactive primary coolant gets converted to non-radioactive steam that is used to run the electrical generators. The problem is that they insisted on too many U-tubes. The primary coolant goes through a U-shaped tube in order to lose its energy to the cold water on the other side of the barrier. Over time, a lot of U-tubes develop leaks and have to be sealed off. The management at San Onefre decided that since we have a certain, predictable level of attrition for U-tubes then we should put in more of them to begin with. Unfortunately, the increased number of U-tubes overloaded the framework that was holding them. They vibrated like crazy and developed pin-hole leaks way ahead of schedule.

            The other problem is that San Onefre lied to the regulatory agency by telling them that there was no significant design change in the steam generators, so no regulatory oversight of the new design was required. With actual oversight, somebody would have pointed out that this was a really dumb idea.

            When the new steam generators started springing leaks, they had to shut down the plant. During the shutdown, hearings were held that slowly uncovered the depths of the malfeasance. It was eventually decided that it was best to never start these reactors every again.

            San Onofre had one of the worst safety records of any nuclear plant in the United States, so good riddance. And yet, California must now be buying massive amounts of coal power from out of state.

            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

            by Ender on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 11:51:19 PM PST

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            •  Not necessarily. During Enron's BS, Grey Davis (1+ / 0-)
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              ok'd a bunch of new gas-fired plants, so I imagine they're taking up a lot of the slack. And we keep adding renewable capacity. The Sacramento MUD, (municipal utility district), is adding distributed PV at maximum speed and they've got a waiting list.

              Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
              ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

              by FarWestGirl on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 11:27:50 AM PST

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