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View Diary: 90-Strontium Released from the Fukushima Disaster Compared to Other Human Sources (44 comments)

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  •  You keep saying there was (0+ / 0-)

    "direct discharge to the ocean" of "waters used to cool the damaged reactors" 10,000 to 100,000 times greater than releases to the atmosphere early on in the disaster (March-April 2011, per your next to last paragraph here).

    I have repeatedly asked you where these direct discharges to the ocean came from prior to containment melt-throughs and groundwater incursion, and you have never provided an answer. Since you are here asserting it again, I thought I'd ask again.

    I have never seen any data from TEPCO, IAEA, NRA or their predecessors at NISA, any NRC documents or discussions in that time period between NRC officials, DOE researchers and NEI (the industry lobby's tech 'consultants' to NRC/DOE), Japanese Diet Investigation of the disaster, or anything in the annals of GE engineering and design for these BWR power plants that would account for what you keep asserting to have occurred. Believe me, I have paid close attention to the situation from Day-1, actually did the first analysis of the NRC's Op-Center FOIA releases from March through June of 2011. They were paying close attention too, just so you know. I never saw any indication from anybody that there were some kind of huge waterborne releases of radionuclides early on, though there was plenty of concern about fallout from the airborne plumes.

    Technical fact of the matter is that not a single one of Daiichi's primary loops goes anywhere near the ocean, to have been discharging primary coolant directly into the ocean. Had any appreciable amount of water that might be considered primary coolant been getting to the cores/coriums in the vessels/containments, that is, which there wasn't. The corium flows had to be well into the groundwater flooded basements before corium contaminated groundwater exiting beyond the seawall could be transporting gross levels of contamination. That wasn't the situation in March-April 2011.

    As I have patiently explained before, these supposed huge direct to ocean releases ~50,000 times worse than the airborne releases would appear to be impossible given the lack of feedwater to the pertinent reactor systems at Daiichi for up to six months due to check valves in the exterior piping they tapped into, which instead diverted the flow to the turbine buildings. That water never came into contact with the cores/coriums. There were issues with trench water getting into the lagoon early on (here too), but that was measured in tens or hundreds of liters, not in hundreds of tons like what has been going out beyond the seawall since groundwater incursion. To the tune of some ~450 tons per day. Water that has been in contact with what's left of the cores/coriums in the vessels and containments has been pumped out for treatment and stored in those ever-proliferating, very leaky water tanks.

    This shouldn't be difficult, given how much reliance you've been placing on the existence of these supposedly super-huge waterborne releases early in the disaster scenario. You are the one making the assertion - repeatedly - so I presume you can demonstrate where it came from. Some other researcher's bland assertion is not what I'm looking for, I want the trace on the volume and source [source term] as well as decent extrapolation from actual data of contamination levels in these supposedly super-huge waterborne releases, per the design of the plants and dynamics of the disaster as it occurred. From an official source please, no assumptions from unqualified people who provide no technical detail to back up their claims of "must have been." Thanks.

    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

    by Joieau on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:22:50 PM PDT

    •  Hi Joieau (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The figure of 10,000-100,000 reflects the diminished ocean input rates from about July 2011 until present compared to initial ocean releases in March-April 2011.  The rates of 137-Cs input to the ocean determined by various methods  in April 2011 range from 0.12-0.88 PBq/day (PBq = 10^15 Bq) compared to the 0.00009-0.0009 PBq/day in the period from July 2011 until May 2013 as reported in the Ocean Sciences talk by Dr. Matt Charette of WHOI you reported on in your last diary.  The 10,000-100,000 does not reflect the relative releases to atmosphere and ocean.

      With respect to direct ocean discharges you can consult, for example, the
      Report of Japanese Government to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety - The Accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations.  The section of interest is found in Chapter VI titled Discharge of Radioactive Materials to the Environment.  In section 2 of that chapter called "Evaluation on the amount of radioactive materials discharged to the sea" the following is reported:

      In Fukushima Dai-ichi NPS, the water containing dissolved radioactive materials that were released from inside the RPV leaked into the PCV. In addition, as a result of injecting water from outside in order to cool the reactors and Spent Fuel Pools, some of the injected water leaked out of the PCV and accumulated inside the reactor buildings and the turbine buildings.

      The management of the contaminated water in the reactor and turbine buildings became an important issue from the viewpoint of workability inside the buildings, and the management of contaminated water outside the buildings became an important issue from the viewpoint of preventing the release of radioactive materials into the environment.

      TEPCO found at around 09:30 on April 2 that water with a reading of over 1,000 mSv/h had accumulated in a pit storing electric cables near the Intake Channel of Unit 2 and that there was a crack (about 20 cm) on the lateral surface of the pit, from which water was flowing out
      into the sea. From this reason, TEPCO took some measures such as pouring concrete, etc. and injecting soluble glass to stop water discharge and confirmed that the water outflow stopped at 05:38 on April 6.

      I will not quote the whole section but you can read it.  Another salient passage is:
      On April 1, the day before the outflow was detected, the air dose rate near the sea surface around Unit 2 screen was confirmed as 1.5 mSv/h, which was the same as the surrounding background level. Immediately after the outflow was confirmed, the air dose rate measured at almost the same place was 20 mSv/h. This makes it reasonable to assume that contaminated water flowed out in a period from April 1 to 6. The outflow rate was calculated as about 4.3 m^3/h based on photos, etc. The total amount of radioactive materials contained in the outflow of the contaminated water can be estimated at 4.7×10^15 Bq using measured values obtained via sampling.
      The report links to appendices with the measurements and estimates of radionuclide input rate.

      There were significant direct discharges of highly contaminated water to the ocean beginning on or about March 26 given the stabilization of 131-I/137-Cs ratios in the coastal ocean (Tsumune et al. 2012).  More studies which investigate and document the very large direct releases that occurred in March-April 2011 can be found if you look here:

      Charette et al. (2013)

      Aoyama et al. (2013)

      Kanda (2013) where Fig. 2 shows the temporal evolution of 137-Cs activities in the coastal ocean

    •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

      The larger volumes of water entering the coastal water now from subterranean groundwater discharge (SGD) simply have many many orders of magnitude lower activities of radioisotopes compared to the discharge entering the ocean directly in March-April 2011.  That is what measurements in the coastal ocean demonstrate.  Contact Matt Charette at WHOI as I am sure he would be happy to explain how they use Ra isotopes to determine the flux of anthropogenic isotopes to the coastal ocean by SGD.

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