Putting water into a reactor breach isn't a good idea

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by cosmictraveler, Mar 26, 2011.

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  1. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I 'd think that if they somehow get the water turned back on or water to flow faster into the reactor that could have a breach it would be letting all of the radioactive water out into the ocean where it will contaminate even more of an area. Is this a concern or am I just off base on this thinking?
     
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  3. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    There are multiple cooling systems.
    http://gramercyimages.com/blog1/tag/fukushima-daiichi/
    The main one uses an external closed loop system and the cooling water doesn't come in contact with the nuclear fuel.
    The Emergency cooling system is not as effective and requires periodic releases of radioactive steam.
    It would appear though that most of the radioactive water that is draining into the ocean is coming from the thousands of tons of water they are spraying on the 3 reactor buildings trying to keep the spent fuel ponds full.

    Arthur
     
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    So that means if the reactor does have the breach they think it does, most of the radioactive waste is being dumped into the ocean to be spreads out into the fisheries and other areas located where the ocean goes. :shrug:
     
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  7. DeeCee Valued Senior Member

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  8. Bells Staff Member

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    I think there could be several ways for the radioactive iodine to have entered the sea off the plant - the venting of radioactive steam and gas, the debris from the explosions, the run off and/or a suspected breach of one of the reactors.

    The concern, is if it is a breach, that it could be seeping into the ground water as well.

    Iodine has a half life of 8 days, so it should dissipate quickly enough. The biggest concern:

    TEPCO also reported levels of caesium-137 - which has a longer half life of about 30 years - almost 80 times the legal maximum. Scientists say both radioactive substances can cause cancer if absorbed by humans.

    (Source)


    That would of course depend on the level(s) recorded.
     
  9. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    water is just like food, irradiated water doesn't become radioactive.
    but it will pick up radioactive material and disperse it over a wide area, that's where the problem arises.
     
  10. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Up until just recently they didn't have a way of getting water to the Spent Fuel Ponds except by spraying with water cannons (now they are using a Concrete Pumper truck which allows a somewhat more accurate delivery)

    The water runs off and drains to the sea.
    The measurements are from a few hundred yards from their drain pipe.

    The high levels of Iodine 131 isn't that much of a long term issue though as it has a half life of just 8 days, and so will be gone within weeks.

    Arthur
     
  11. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Except they are quoting the legal maximums as if you drank water with these concentrations.

    And of course the "legal maximium" for these radioactive elements is set very low because that's the level that they think you could drink with that much in it FOREVER with no ill effect.

    But no one is drinking this sea water and natural dilution will take care of it.

    Arthur​
     
  12. Bells Staff Member

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    Which is what I assumed.

    However if there is a breach in one reactor and the radioactive water is seeping into the ground water, which can keep seeping into the sea and have an affect on the land around the plant, then yes, that would be a cause for concern as if it keeps happening for a long period of time, it can have an affect on fish stocks (as one example).

    I suspect there may be a few km's around the plant that will end up being an exclusion zone for a few years, since they have found higher levels around the plant - within the exclusion zone. And last I heard, I think they had ordered people to leave beyond the 20km exclusion zone, where prior to now, people living between 20km and 30 km were only advised to stay indoors. But they did not say why - which I think is an even bigger cause for concern.
     
  13. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    They asked them to leave because of the difficulty of getting them food and water and so now the evacuation zone is 30 km.

    Within that area it's not advised to stay because if something DID go wrong with the reactor then you might not be able to outrun the radiation leak.

    It's a PREVENTATIVE measure.

    Within that 30 km area there is a rather narrow band of slightly radioactive spots, but even at the plant the levels are low enough that the workers don't particularly have to worry about it unless they are in the reactor buildings.

    http://www.mext.go.jp/component/english/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2011/03/26/1304318_2619.pdf

    In fact for the workers RIGHT AT THE SITE, the total number of people who have been exposed to more than 100mSv is only 18, and none are over 200.

    Most of the radiation continues to come from very short lived isotopes like Iodine 131 (8 days).

    Arthur
     
  14. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    The reactor that might have the breach also contains Plutonium,which is far worse than just a normal fuel load from what I understand.
     
  15. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Not really.

    (If you'll notice it's not the Urunium or the Plutonium that is getting released).

    Arthur
     
  16. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Oh dear, MattMarr is back.
    Go away crank.
     
  17. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Can't find what or if either is contaminating the water as yet but I will keep looking.
     
  18. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    MattMarr That is an interesting name ? His personality seems to fit. The Mars Man Savior of the world and all. Should we let him have the job? Or just wait for Spidey to come back , our elected prophet.
    I heard the radiation levels are elevated as far away as Massachusetts . Detected in the drinking water . Yeah it was said on the news by the media. I don't think this is a good thing at all and us humans don't know the far reaching effects of the continuing disaster. Waiting for the world to change just like everybody else. Except the people up close and personal in arms way. Lets pray for them even if you think prayer has no effect. Like the chanting and dancing for earth hour . We could do earth hour for nukes to get the nuking under control . We could chant sand and cement , Sand And Cement, Sand And Cement Yeah !!! Give It to em ! Sand and Cement Yeah !!!
     
  19. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    Although the fuel-rods are mostly Uranium, with a Plutonium kicker, niether Uranium or Plutonium are soluable in water to any significant degree. If either of these gets out it would be as patricles due to severe damage. There is less and less chance of this happening as time goes on. Even the fire in the used fuel didn't reaease Uranium or Plutonium. These are at thier most toxic when inhaled. Dousing the facilities with water has undoubtedly helped reduce air and land pollution. The sea will dilute the radiation, but the fish that Japan relies so heavily on may be inedible for years to come.
     
  20. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    And Boron as well, that is needed to absorb the radioactive particles.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  21. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Officials say evidence of highly radioactive plutonium has been detected in the soil in five locations around Japan's earthquake-disabled nuclear reactor.

    Operators of the Fukushima nuclear plant quoted by Japan's Kyodo news agency said Monday they believed the plutonium was seeping out from the nuclear fuel in the damaged reactors.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...8vyIBw&usg=AFQjCNGxzn8-fVgm8iInz0-kq1FKb5-UQQ
     
  22. PsychoTropicPuppy Bittersweet life? Valued Senior Member

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    It's like the French said at the beginning, if they can't fix it in a week then it's too late.

    TEPCO is lying from beginning on till the end, it's quite a shame. They knew that the water was highly contaminated, but still they sent their workers there who were ignorant of that fact and are now spending their time in the hospital (question is if they'll recover). I don't know why the Japanese government isn't strangling TEPCO into finally doing what they're supposed to do, to fucking fix it, and not try to brush it off as if everything's just fine once they 'cool' it down a bit. It pisses me off to see that only NOW they finally accept technical assistance from French specialists. They should have done so from the START. Even the evacuation zone is a joke, it should be much bigger than it currently is.

    An other thing, it's quite amazing how LITTLE TEPCO claims to know. I think that just says it clearly, TEPCO is not qualified enough to handle the situation and should be thus put off of this.
     
  23. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    false
     
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