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No, Virginia. It's Not Over Yet...

The Tokyo Electric and Power Company, a.k.a. TEPCO, has announced that they estimate some 1.1 trillion becquerels of radioactive contamination were released during a 4-hour period on August 19, 2013 during debris cleanup at the #3 reactor plant. Now, we who pay attention to all things Fuku have known for a long time that TEPCO is not particularly trustworthy in its "estimations" of either contamination levels or releases, so take that for what you will.

#3 is the reactor burning MOX plutonium fuel, which blew up so spectacularly on March 14, 2011, three days after the earthquake caused a power outage in the northeastern Japan region. TEPCO left it pretty much alone for two and a half years, as the levels of contamination in the wreckage were - and still are - too high for humans. Debris removal was begun at unit 3 in August of last year (2013), using primarily robots and remote control heavy equipment.

Cesium contamination of areas well outside the no-go zone has led to a new NRA inquiry, and the 1.1 trillion bq. figure was given by TEPCO in that inquiry. Their estimate for a total 4 hour release on August 19, 2013. TEPCO further admits that over the next 12.5 years, the facility will continue to release an estimated (again by TEPCO) 10 million bequerels per hour. Which is less when all totalled than this "extra" contamination from the unit 3 debris removal. Which is continuing. One may wonder when TEPCO and the Japanese government will put all this together to finally set to rest the idiotic notion that Fukushima's three meltdowns, 2 spent fuel pool fires and 4 exploded reactor buildings were somehow LESS of a nuclear disaster than Chernobyl.

Let me put those numbers into context for readers who aren't that familiar with exponentials. There are 8,736 hours in a year [24 times 7 times 52], 109,200 hours in a period of 12.5 years. Not messing with leap/non-leap years and/or tweaks here and there. Times 10 million. Or, if we drop the 9,200 and just go with the 1, that is a trillion becquerels. That's a whole heckuva lot of anything, and radiation is a definite health hazard.

This huge release was airborne, not the constant release to the Pacific Ocean from groundwater flow underneath the reactor plants. The debris removal at unit 3 (and the other destroyed reactor plants) is and will long be ongoing. Water contamination is certainly bad for organic life forms that live in the sea, but it's atmospheric contamination that presents the biggest hazard to land-dwelling human beings.

Which helps explain why Japanese doctors and epidemiologists have been calling for expanded health exams for people outside the exclusion zone and as far away as Tokyo. The Japanese government, of course, subscribes to the notion that smiling people are not harmed by radiation, so no one really needs to stress out about it.

Just an update on the ever after nuclear disaster at Fukushima, and a reminder to those following to keep their guard up - it's not over yet.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (38+ / 0-)

    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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:35:36 AM PDT

  •  I get 10 trillion (7+ / 0-)

    not 10 to the 36th.

    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

    by mosesfreeman on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:44:19 AM PDT

  •  How did you get to 10^36? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    10 million times 1 million is 10^13.

    "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

    by jrooth on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:53:42 AM PDT

  •  The numbers would make a lot more sense (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, marleycat, jeanette0605

    compared to some standard - a chest x-ray, normal acceptable exposure for someone working in a nuke plant or a nuclear-powered naval ship, etc.

    It's hard to wrap your head around what this means - clearly it sounds bad, but exactly how bad is it?

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:54:57 AM PDT

    •  The measurements are of different things. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, Jim P, Gordon20024, jrooth

      Becquerels and DPS [Disintegrations Per Second] measure specific activity, doses are absorbed energy in Rem or Sieverts. Your average chest x-ray delivers ~2 mrem (0.02 mSv) of gamma (pure energy, not particulates) dose.

      The danger in northeastern Japan is primarily from particulate releases that fall out of the atmosphere (or go out with the wash) and contaminate drinking water sources, cropland and fisheries. Internal contamination is more dangerous over the long term, and life forms bioaccumulate some isotopes in tissues and organs. Including humans.

      So it's not like there is a quick conversion you can make here to compare with flying or bananas. If the availability of radioisotopes in the environment is steady - and Fukushima's is, with occasional notable burps - the levels bioaccumulated will stay at an equillibrium rather than go down after a one-time exposure.

      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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 11:16:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok - that helps explain a bit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        Is there a comparison with the normal background radiation in the environment?

        Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

        by bear83 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 11:24:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm engaged in a house project (5+ / 0-)

          right now and am not going to go looking to see if I can find out what the pre-Daiichi background levels were 20 kilometers outside the facility. Truth is, it doesn't matter.

          Dose from man-made radiation, in medicine or from your local melting/exploding power plant(s), is always in addition to natural background. Radiation dose is cumulative. If you see someone say "it's about natural background level" when talking about average dose from a release, that means the hapless civilians are being exposed to twice the amount of radiation than usual. And averaging doses to the public involves quite a bit of sleight of mind too, involving a statistical exercise that lumps all members of an exposed population all into one "risk pool" and then evenly divide the expected dose from that amount of radiation amongst them all. Despite the also known fact that radioactive contamination travels in plumes, and people in the plume receive much more of a dose than any of the people outside the plume.

          And because most of the natural background radiation we are exposed to comes from the 0.012% of potassium that is radioactive K40 (plus varying levels of radon daughters, less than the K40), we're talking about a level of radiation we humans evolved with since well before we even got here. K40 ratio doesn't change, as its half-life is ~125 x 109 years.

          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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 12:37:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The problem with background comparisons (6+ / 0-)

      when talking about the iodine. cesium and strontium radioisotopes spewed from the triple meltdowns, explosions and fuel pool fire at Fukushima Daichi is that background radiation is external. These contaminants can be absorbed into the body and accumulate in bones and tissues and glands, where they deliver concentrated doses to a small number of cells, causing a much greater chance of cellular damage and cancer than standing on radioactive granite, or even inhaling inert radon gas.
      Radioactive potassium is often used as a yardstick in the infamous banana comparisons, but radioactive potassium is at the same concentration in all organic matter, and out body regulates out potassium levels carefully to stay alive, so eating bananas has very little impact on potassium levels in a healthy body, and thus does not change exposure to radioactive potassium.

  •  Thanks Joieau for reminding us because (7+ / 0-)

    all the proponents of Nukes sure want us to forget.  It's not over.  What is over, I hope, is any future expansion of fission power.  

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 11:15:17 AM PDT

  •  Big deal. If you ate 4.385 tons of bananas a day (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, Wreck Smurfy, Sandino, bear83, ozsea1

    you'd get the same... never mind. Ahem.

    Seriously, I wonder how solid, and how followed-up, was a recent study which showed that there are varying genetic predispositions to being harmed by radioactive exposures.

    If validated, it would throw the whole 'your average healthy 20ish male can be safely exposed to x-amount-radiation' (the basis of all these 'allowable doses' limits) kind of gibberish into the crapper once and for all. It would all have to be officially rethought.


    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 11:40:20 AM PDT

    •  It should all have been officially rethought (10+ / 0-)

      many years ago. And using the average healthy 20ish male as a role model is dishonest from the git-go. Women and children and especially developing foetuses are much more susceptible to health effects from radiation damage. This has been known for decades.

      And constand low-level exposure does have health effects. The nuclear industry, its pet watchdogs and too many erstwhile 'experts' in radiation like to pretend not so, but that's not the base standard used to establish dose limits to the public. Since Fukushima we're hearing more and more noise about hormesis, which is total garbage. No, a little radiation over a long time is NOT "good for you," and no it doesn't impart any immunity to occasional larger acute doses.

      And being irradiated from the inside out - with alpha, beta and gamma radiation steadily over years - is not the same thing as getting a 4-second x-ray. Nor is it the same as eating x thousands of bananas in a day (which would probably kill you of exploded stomach before the K40 damage kicked in). Excess K40 is only an issue for as long as a potassium-rich food is in your digestive system. The amount of K40 amongst all potassium on this planet doesn't change, nor does the amount of K40 out of all the potassium in use in your body at any given time.

      If you're also eating a steady amount of cesium in your diet, it does give you an excess internal dose. Our bodies incorporate cesium as if it were potassium, and 99.99whatever % of the potassium in our bodies at any given time is stable - not radioactive. Chances are any cesium you absorb is replacing a stable isotope of potassium, not a radioactive one. Cumulative. Potassium concentrates in muscle tissue primarily. Including heart muscle tissue.

      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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 12:21:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cwillis
    TEPCO further admits that over the next 12.5 years, the facility will continue to release an estimated (again by TEPCO) 10 million bequerels per hour.
    But the article you link to says:
    The debris cleanup operations at the Unit 3 reactor released more radiation into the environment then will be released from the plant in the next 12.5 years at the estimated 10,000,000 becquerel per hour leak rate.
    The article's statement and your statement are mutually exclusive, contradictory and both statements cannot be true.

    The article talks about a 10,000,000 bequerel per hour release rate, but that was intended to characterize the release rate occurring during the recent 4 hour incident.  

    Your interpretation of the declaration in the article appears to be in error.

    I don't understand how you can make the statement that 10,000,000 bequerel per hour is the expected release rate over the next 12.5 years.

  •  Math isn't your strong suit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    apparently, since 24 x 7 x 52 = 8736, and 8736 x 12.5 = 109,200.  You appear to have made a factor-of-10 error.

  •  Perspective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrooth, Johnny Nucleo

    A trillion becquerels is 27 curies, which may help contextualize the quantity in units that are traditionally more familiar.  Relative to the releases that have already occurred in the accident, 27 curies over the next decade is in the noise:  the Fukushima source for all reactors involved amounts to some 400-800 PBq, or 400,000-800,000 times more than a trillion becquerels.  For further comparison, Chernobyl released about 5000 PBq.

    LakeSuperior upthread had a good point, which is that your interpretation of your source material is not consistent with what it actually says.  The source material (which links to no primary sources and is not by a recognized subject-matter expert, for what it's worth) said:

    -1.1 TBq was released in Unit 3 cleanup activity, per TEPCO
    -Fukushima site is currently releasing 10 MBq / hour (270 microcuries per hour), per TEPCO
    -The author respun these above facts to say that IF the current release rate were maintained at steady state, it would take 12.5 years to exceed the release from the Unit 3 cleanup activity.  The import of this respinning is lost on me, but anyway, that's what he said.

    Then YOU said that

    TEPCO further admits that over the next 12.5 years, the facility will continue to release an estimated (again by TEPCO) 10 million bequerels per hour.
    The above interpretation obviously does not follow from the source material, as already mentioned.

    Once more, you've been way too sloppy with the sourcing, the interpretation, and the math on this subject to have credibility discussing it.

    •  The 4-hour burp that TEPCO (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Gordon20024, ozsea1, chmood

      has admitted to at 1.1 trillion bq is by way of "explanation" for newly discovered increased cesium contamination of nearby rice fields. Which has been a regular big deal for weeks now. We hear fairly regularly about waterborne releases, and ridiculous levels of contaminates in the groundwater test wells (ocean side) of that groundwater, to which one could add the constant dribbling from the inter-building trench water at upwards of 1,000 R/hr gamma (God only knows what the hell is in it) if one were trying to characterize those releases. With occasional burps of that too, as regularly admitted to with overall low by factors of ten 'estimates' of releases from heavy rains, leaking tanks, etc., etc.

      Given TEPCO's record thus far in basic honesty about how much is going out ("but we don't know HOW to measure for beta!") to the water, there's never been any good reason to accept their lowball 'estimates' of waterborne OR airborne releases. Included in the micro-dust particulates released into the air from that 4-hour period they're now admitting to during the first stages of the unit 3 debris removal - which I remind readers in no way represents total release from those operations over the past year - are very likely 'other' atmospheric releases ongoing.

      Note that the 10 million bq/hour steady releases are not specifically qualified as atmospheric releases. Yet because the subject of this inquiry is atmospheric releases and not releases to the Pacific, one could conclude that the 10 million bq/hr figure is for day to day airborne releases and not the corium-contaminated groundwater releases at all. They do tend to constantly confuse the two. It serves them well.

      There is a significant difference when talking about possible harm to human beings between airborne and waterborne releases of contamination. As I mentioned, if you're a whale you might well object to the waterborne releases more. We, however, live on land. Contamination in our air, drinking water and cropland are much more damaging (to us) than releases to the Pacific.

      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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:58:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One thing at a time... (0+ / 0-)

        This false claim needs to be corrected right away:

        TEPCO further admits that over the next 12.5 years, the facility will continue to release an estimated (again by TEPCO) 10 million bequerels per hour.
        As I and another reader mentioned, attributing this "admission" to TEPCO is a falsehood, as it isn't in, and doesn't follow from, your reference and would be a ridiculous thing to say anyway.  It's the major remaining logical / factual inaccuracy in the diary after you fixed the arithmetic problems in my opinion.
        •  It's 10 million bq/hr. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Gordon20024, ozsea1

          That has been pointed out to you.

          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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:14:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read the comments again. (0+ / 0-)

            The comprehension issue is not the 10 MBq / hr in present releases, it's the matter of what happens over the next 12.5 years, and who said it.  Hint: TEPCO didn't say that 10 MBq / hr would continue over the next 12.5 years; that's a false attribution.  

            •  It is 10 million bq per hour (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gordon20024, Sandino, ozsea1

              for the next (estimated, by TEPCO) 12.5 years. Per the source.

              Now. If you want to complain that they "meant" 10 million bq over the next 12.5 years, you're going to have to deal with that little "per hour" sub-clause. It's in there. Get with TEPCO about it, and let us know.

              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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:40:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We're still not connecting. (0+ / 0-)

                Let me attempt to make this as simple as humanly possible.  

                Step one: let's agree that your source is this website article:

                http://enformable.com/...

                Is that correct or not?

                Step two: Where does this article mention 12.5 years?

                Right here:

                The debris cleanup operations at the Unit 3 reactor released more radiation into the environment then [sic] will be released from the plant in the next 12.5 years at the estimated 10,000,000 becquerel per hour leak rate.
                Step three: Analyze.  Is this a TEPCO statement?  No, it's the author's own.  His name is Lucas Hixson.  Does the statement predict, "admit", or suggest what will happen in the next 12.5 years?  No, its purpose is to compare the current release rate (10 MBq per hour) with the release rate during the specified cleanup operations, and uses the time of 12.5 years to suggest how long it WOULD take for the present release rate--IF maintained steadily--to catch up to the total release from aforementioned cleanup operations.

                In conclusion, as I have been saying, and as others have mentioned as well, you've got a false attribution and an illogical analysis in your diary, neither of which follow from the source material. It's a basic reading comprehension issue it seems.  Not a numerical error, not a technical mistake, but plain ol' reading comprehension.

                •  your POV is biased in favor of the current busines (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau, Creosote

                  model, and I'm putting that as simply and politely as possible.

                  In reading the exchange, I find nothing in your commentary that convinces me that nuclear power production, in its current state-of-the-art, is any safer than before this exchange began.

                  "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

                  by ozsea1 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:08:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The discussion here (0+ / 0-)

                    in this particular comment hierarchy is about one thing, and one thing only: correctly attributing and interpreting a source.

                    I do have an obvious point of view, one that is critical of sloppiness and inaccuracy.  You will find the same POV expressed routinely in my other comments to this same author, regarding both basic interpretive / comprehension issues (e.g., above), as well as subject-matter-specific technical understanding.  DKos has an appropriately-high prevailing standard for diaries, and the majority of writers treating the topic of Fukushima or nuclear technology--from a variety of disparate points-of-view--write carefully and accurately.  There are careful and accurate diaries that take an expansionist view toward nuclear power, careful and accurate diaries that take an abolitionist view, and careful and accurate technical diaries that simply avoid classification into particular "camps" of thought on the matter.  You won't find any example in my own comments of camp sycophancy on nuclear power, because I personally think that cultivating general polarization one way or the other is reductive and a silly waste of time.  But watch out for me if you try to present yourself as a subject matter expert and peddle lazy or misinformed assertions.  That's when I'm likely to show up in your comments, like a turd in the ol' punchbowl of ignorance.

                    •  I'll be the judge, not you (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joieau

                      Just because you affect an attitude of expertise doesn't mean your pov is more valid.

                      I've assessed the commentary between you and the diarist. I've followed this Fukushima story since it began.

                      If I need your advice, I'll ask for it.

                      Otherwise, you're just another troll with a superiority complex.

                      Go ahead with your turds, your be flushed accordingly.

                      "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

                      by ozsea1 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:19:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Congratulations (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mamooth

                        on your judgmentalism.  You've managed to express an opinion about me!  A bold, brave, dignified, and articulate piece of original thought, I will grant you that.  Participation that should swell your berobed chest and bewigged head with sanctimonious pride.  By all means, keep swingin' that gavel and promulgatin' them "assessments" and diagnosin' them "complexes".  Lord knows it's hard work and somebody's got to do it.

                        However,  I can't figure out what your contribution has to do with the specific reading-comprehension dispute at hand between me and the diarist.

                    •  Excuse me? (0+ / 0-)

                      Your little exercise in dead-threading is, quite honestly, not that impressive. I've never been big on authoritarians.

                      We all have our positions on the matter of nukes in general and Fukushima specifically. I am not someone who can be swayed by the Mysterioso act because I've lived the real deal. How you 'read' the news article(s) and associated links is irrelevant to what is and has been coming out regularly from Daiichi. It's not over yet. They had a big-big 4-hour dump last year. They say by way of explanation for new cesium pollution of cropland beyond the exclusion zone. They're still estimating 10 million bq an hour, for the next 12.5 years. TEPCO is still notorious (as established dozens of times since 2011, and some notables before) for being incorrigible liars. Their average lowball is off by a couple of factors of ten. Or more.

                      "...like a turd in the ol' punchbowl of ignorance" is an absurd boast even without the implied 'threat' of the preceding sentence. I don't think you really want to go there with me.

                      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 Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:21:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Swing...and a miss (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mamooth
                        They're still estimating 10 million bq an hour, for the next 12.5 years.
                        Repeating the same logically-bankrupt paraphrasing of your source doesn't increase the probability of it being correct.  But by all means give it another try (or four).
    •  Oh, and just a by the way, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Gordon20024, ozsea1, chmood

      the adage long decades ago when I actually needed to do the calculations, was "Where there's cesium, there's strontium." Nobody wants to talk about that, of course. Sure, the iodine 131 (but not 129) is essentially gone by now, but strontium 90 has nearly as long a half-life as cesium. And will be present in its ratio wherever cesium is present. There is no magic filter at any nuclear plant anywhere in the world that selectively filters out strontium. That technology doesn't exist.

      Among the particulates being released (so long as particulates are being released) are "fuel fleas" that may contain any and all relatively longer-lived radioisotopes, including uranium and plutonium. Reactor #3 was the MOX reactor - its fuel was 'highly' enriched with plutonium. It's a no-brainer that any subsequent particulate releases from the facility generated by debris disturbance contains plutonium.

      Though we don't see that talked about in these news reports...

      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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:10:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Recent, reliable, expert sources (0+ / 0-)

        have been presented to you in your diary comment threads before concerning the "hot particle" and transuranics releases.

        Another recent diary by MarineChemist discussed the plutonium and is a good example of a well-sourced diary that avoids speculation:

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        •  You'll have to excuse me (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Gordon20024, ozsea1

          on MarineChemist's rainbows and unicorns per waterborne releases. His leading colleague in that endeavor is Ken Buesseler, who bills himself as some kind of 'expert' in marine radiocontamination. And who asserted strongly with his first published paper on the issue that...

          Polonium-210 is the most abundant radionuclide in the world's oceans.

          Which is flat out not true, and any 12-year old with Google capabilities could find that out in about a minute. But then again, this diary isn't about releases to the Pacific. It's releases to the atmosphere.

          I'm not that impressed with the current ongoing attempt to diminish the actual hazards from Fukushima's releases past, present or future. The nuclear industry is going to have to either deal with what's real, or become wallpaper so nobody will notice them going forward. Let me know when they start dealing with reality, m'kay?

          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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:35:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hi Joieau (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cwillis, northstarbarn

            The diary on plutonium release is here and as cwillis indicated is based on measurements of Pu and Cs in air, soil, water and seawater that are published in the peer reviewed literature.  According to those sources Pu release was 1 to 10 million times less than 137-Cs released.  Mobilization of Cs through cleanup would mobilize Pu in this ratio. My other diaries about the timing and magnitude of direct seawater releases are similarly researched and supported by peer reviewed and published scientific sources.

            We are still making measurements.  I'll continue to report as more information becomes available.

          •  Staying on topic briefly, (0+ / 0-)

            I should mention that the MarineChemist diary links to an ACS journal publication by an author named Sakaguchi that discusses plutonium from Fukushima.  If you want to learn about plutonium released at Fukushima, that ACS reference would be a good, sound reference, and that diary does a good job of citing a source.  Its source is peer-reviewed.  It is a primary source that discusses actual research.

            Regarding rainbows, unicorns, a guy named Ken Buesseler and what he says, etc. I have no basis for commenting.  If your purpose in this word salad is to discredit the other diarist by association, it's a misplaced effort since the paper discussed in that diary, with the facts discussed in that diary, is by Sakaguchi and appears in an ACS publication.  Shooting the messenger is kind of pointless.

  •  As I see it, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, Sandino

    The reactors and their fuel need to be isolated from the environment.

    This means surrounding the whole thing in steel.

    This may be expensive, but it is doable.

    Why are we not doing this?

    •  My suggestion from early on (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Gordon20024, ozsea1

      was to build the Mother Of All Seawalls out beyond the groundwater sinks. That unfortunately would take the cooperation and resources of pretty much all nuclear nations on the planet, and they won't do that if it'll give you the impression that their releases aren't totally benign.

      It's an industry default. They are never going to change, even when it's themselves and their own children they're dumping on.

      Still, that doesn't do anything about airborne releases. Which for us land-dwellers, is worse than waterborne.

      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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:17:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is hard to impossible (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, ozsea1, chmood

      One major problem is that humans can't get close enough to do the work even if they could locate the corium pockets. Another problem is that electronics in normal robots also get fried by high levels of radiation.

      But essentially it is the cost and inherent admission of liability that keeps Tepco and their allies in the plutonium cartel from undertaking the type of measures that might isolate this contamination from the environment.

      •  At Chernobyl, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, Joieau

        they basically did this.  They dug under the reactor.

        Now if it is impossible at Fukushima, how is it that Fukushima is considered a safer design than Chernobyl?

        It seems to me that Chernobyl is the better design as now that all went to hell at Chernobyl the situation is more or less stable.  Certainly Chernobyl is stable relative to Fukushima.

        Fukushima does not appear at all stable.

        And if Fukushima is a more dangerous design than Chernobyl after the experts deemed otherwise, how can we have trust in the designs of any of these reactors?

        •  A key difference (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bear83, Joieau, jrooth, ozsea1, chmood

          is that Fukushima is basically on the beach, so I think a lot of work would be under the water table. Also, the guys who did the work at Chernobyl were basically sacrificed. I guess that is a plus in the column of totalitarian states. The bums that the Yakuza rounds up to be sacrificed at Fukushima don't seem to have that mettle.
          I take it you've watched The Battle of Chernobyl on YouTube.

          The design of Chernobyl was bad, that of Fukushima's vintage G.E. reactors was also known to be unsound since the 70's.

          I'm not sure the designs can be trusted completely, but I'm completely sure the private, profit-first enterprises that build and operate them can't be trusted, and the compromised, captured regulators who must simultaneously police and promote them have proven ineffective.

          •  The water table at Fukushima (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gordon20024, Sandino, ozsea1, chmood

            was all of 15 feet before the disaster. They cut into the cliff face to build the first four units, so they wouldn't have to pump seawater so high to cool the post-condenser loop. They used permanent sump pumps to keep the basement levels from being inundated by the groundwater 'river' that flows beneath the entire facility as part of an ancient drainage pathway.

            The land subsided 15 feet due to the earthquake, the water level has been known to be equal to ground level since the summer of 2012. Which is when they covered the ground in the work areas with inches-thick steel plates they had accumulated to shore up the cliff face. So workers could get from one place to the next without sinking into quicksand/mud or getting steam cleaned by fumeroles erupting from the ground. The corium, just so you know, is and has been for a long time below water level.

            There has been concern about the stability of those SFPs suspended 100 feet in the air, in that liquification of the ground will cause the wreckage to subside. The water they sump pump out of the basements is the same water they're attempting to filter through the French system that sometimes works, and is being pumped from there into those thousands of big, badly put together tanks that have used up so much of the campus and leak regularly.

            By the way, the French system filters cesium. It doesn't filter any other contaminates, including strontium.

            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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:00:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Joieau. How sad. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, Sandino, Gordon20024, ozsea1, chmood

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:02:41 PM PDT

    •  More criminal than sad, I think. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gordon20024, HoundDog, Sandino, ozsea1, chmood

      If they'd just admitted they're out of their depth, the rest of the nuclear world just might have helped them out. Or not, these people aren't well known for their concerns about pollution. Still, there would likely have been some real work and noodling about what possible mitigations could be applied. Except for the fact that nukes and their pet governments aren't generally noted for anything approaching real concerns for the innocent people they harm.

      It's all cost-benefit to them. It would cost too much to mitigate, and if they tried people would know they're nowhere as "clean, safe and cheap" as they pretended to be when the public was being sold on this means of boiling water.

      So we're stuck with the filth. Now and forevermore. They thought it was a good trade for toasted bagels for breakfast. Others might well weigh that risk differently.

      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 Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:17:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent points. I agree. Thanks for keeping us (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, Sandino, chmood, ozsea1

        informed of this.

        Your comments and post raise the question of whether we need stronger international agencies to take over the management of emergencies like this when a nation shows repeatedly it is not handling it well.

        Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

        by HoundDog on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:02:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nukes are an insular lot, not big on (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chmood, ozsea1, Creosote

          either honesty or cooperation with 'outsiders'. Comes from being birthed and bred in a deliberately crafted shroud of secrecy and esoteric mystery. Such conditions appeal to a certain kind of person, just as being a policeman appeals to a certain personality type.

          They're so used to lying to the public and coming up with clever ways to get around government regulation that they seem literally unable to recognize when it's time to be honest for a change. Worse, the rest of the insular fraternity everywhere in the world is far more likely to aid and abet the lies and slides than to warn the public (or government /international officials) about what's really going on.

          Never buy the bullshit line from any nuke that they have no idea what's going on inside their reactor(s) or that they didn't know they were dumping radioactive crap on the locals and countryside. They all know - it's physics. And keep in mind that no erstwhile regulators or international bodies concerned with things nuclear exist to look out for the public's interests, but to protect and promote the nuclear industry.

          Bottom line: The nuclear industry's pet governments all decided when they joined the club half a century or more ago that they could absorb pretty much any level of projected population losses and human suffering from inevitable accidents/disasters. They were more than willing to take the risk in exchange for the power and prestige nukes offered, the public didn't need to know such risks existed. A Faustian bargain for sure.

          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 Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:27:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  as exemplified by those two "individuals" upthread (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, Creosote

            who popped up from under the bridge to offer us their oh-so-wise head-patting advice.

            "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

            by ozsea1 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:10:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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