Fukushima meltdown hastens decline of nuclear power

Is nuclear fission going to make a comeback and plug the gap in our energy needs? Will nuclear fusion ever become energetically viable?

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Little John
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Post by Little John »

woodburner wrote::D :D :lol: I might feel insulted if was not for the fact you often treat people on PS this way.
Well, WB, I am more than happy for others to judge whether or not the post to which you initially responded was guilty of having an "attitude" that was "unhelpful" and/or "disrespectful" or whether or not your response to it was histrionic and immature.

There may well be practically insoluble reasons why they do not clean the water at Fukishima. In which case, state what you think those reasons may be instead of playing the ridiculously immature drama-queen

And, in any event, putting aside the above,. there is still the question of the particular radioactive isotopes that are suspended in the contaminated water? It is important to know which one/s in terms having a proper understanding of the long term damage that may be caused in the wider environment.
Last edited by Little John on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

Pots and kettles? How about you tell us of your implied simple solution?
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
Little John
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Post by Little John »

woodburner wrote:Pots and kettles? How about you tell us of your implied simple solution?
So, you have nothing to say then.


Pathetic.
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Post by woodburner »

stevecook172001 wrote: And, in any event, putting aside the above,. there is still the question of the particular radioactive isotopes that are suspended in the contaminated water? It is important to know which one/s in terms having a proper understanding of the long term damage that may be caused in the wider environment.
If you refer to my earlier post you would see what the contaminants are thought to be.

I note you edited your post to remove the parts which would put you in a poor light. Maybe you would like to put them back (so you can be happy for others to judge you).
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
Little John
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Post by Little John »

Strontium 90, whilst being highly initially radioactive and, in terms of its danger to biology, a "bone-seeker" has a half life of only 28 years and so does not have a long term impact on the wider eco-system. In any event, Strontium 90 is also relatively easy to filter from water.

Tritium is, relatively, a very low radiation emitter and also has a half life of merely 12 years. Tritium radiation, being weak, cannot directly penetrate living tissues and this, combined with its very short half life is why tritium nuclear waste is regularly pushed straight out into the oceans by nuclear plants already. It is true to say that the levels of tritium at Fukishima are higher than "normal" for a fully functioning nuclear power plant. It is also true that tritium is the one radioactive isotope that is relatively difficult to filter from water (though by no means impossible). However, given its short half life and weak radiation, even if tritium was the one radioactive isotope left in such water after it was filtered, this would hardly represent the kind of doomsday scenario being hysterically being put out by the media and by hysterics such as yourself on here.

The question I want answering is what is stopping them from filtering out the strontium 90 from the already accumulated waste water. Following filtration, this (tritium laced) water could then be re-cycled as coolant and so mean that the overall volume would stop increasing.
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Post by woodburner »

stevecook172001 wrote: Strontium 90, whilst being highly initially radioactive and, in terms of its danger to biology, a "bone-seeker" has a half life of only 28 years and so does not have a long term impact on the wider eco-system. In any event, Strontium 90 is also relatively easy to filter from water.
Well it's good we have experts such as yourself on hand to reassure us. I'm surprised you don't have the answer as it so easy to solve.
............ and by hysterics such as yourself on here.
Keep up the insults. It does indicate you have little confidence in your case. You see it as a trivial problem, the Japanese experts see it as needing a Level 3 classification. (Whatever that means).

:roll:
Last edited by woodburner on Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
Little John
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Post by Little John »

woodburner wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote: Strontium 90, whilst being highly initially radioactive and, in terms of its danger to biology, a "bone-seeker" has a half life of only 28 years and so does not have a long term impact on the wider eco-system. In any event, Strontium 90 is also relatively easy to filter from water.
Well it's good we have experts such as yourself on hand to reassure us....
Do you deny that Strontium 90 has a half life of 28 years or that it can be filtered from water?
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

Since strontium-90 forms strontium hydroxide when in contact with water, please explain your simple filtering method.

Strontium is similar to calcium, and between 30 and 40% of the amount ingested is incorporated into the bones
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
Little John
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Post by Little John »

woodburner wrote:Since strontium-90 forms strontium hydroxide when in contact with water, please explain your simple filtering method.

Strontium is similar to calcium, and between 30 and 40% of the amount ingested is incorporated into the bones
I've already pointed out strontium 90 is a "bone seeker", so please do stop trying to imply lack of understanding on my part in order to imply superiority of understanding on yours. Just point out the facts where they have not been pointed out.

In terms of filtering, I said filtering strontium 90 is relatively easy, I did not say it was simple in the way you imply. Again, a cheap piece of rhetoric on your part.

Oh, and by the way, just because something has the word "strontium" in it does not necessarily mean it's radioactive and that it's going to eat you. Strontium hydroxide has been used in the sugar refining industries for at least a century. As for whether there is a radioactive form of strontium hydroxide, I am unsure. If this is what you are suggesting, point to anywhere on the web, this is indicated.

In any event, be it strontium 90 or, as you seem to be implying, a radioactive form of strontium hydroxide that has formed from strontium 90, the filtering of radioactive strontium is already widespread. As for such for filtering methods, the main one, so far as I understand, is mineral filtration using substances such as zeolite or other similar volcanic minerals. There are also significantly more technologically advanced methods used by various nuclear industries routinely to clean and re-cycle their coolant water. Filtering strontium 90 from nuclear coolant water is a well established process and is done routinely by nuclear power plants the world over in order to re-cycle their coolant water and so keep contaminated volumes to a minimum. Indeed, I would be unsurprised to hear that Fukishima was using such filtering methods on their waste water right now. My question is why are they not filtering sufficiently quickly to ensure that the total volume did not keep on rising as fast as it appears to be? There may well be a practically insoluble reason for why they have not done this, but I have yet to hear of it here or anywhere else.
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Post by woodburner »

Your original question was "So, why the hell don't they simply do that with it?"

The implication is that it's trivial. Why don't you offer your obvious talents and write immediately to the Japanese consulate to that effect? Instead of wasting your valuable time on a minority forum. Any point put to you, you treat destructively. As I said, and now confirmed, unhelpful and disrespectful.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
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Post by biffvernon »

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Post by woodburner »

Overnight news
The new storage tank leak presents a different and potentially more serious problem than the ongoing groundwater flow leaks. The water from the leaking tank is so heavily contaminated with strontium-90, cesium-137, and other radioactive substances that a person standing less than two feet away would receive, in an hour's time, a radiation dose equivalent to five times the acceptable exposure for nuclear workers, Reuters reported. Within 10 hours, the exposed person would develop radiation sickness, with symptoms such as nausea and a drop in white blood cells.

A More Hazardous Leak

The latest leak comes from one of the massive array of 1,000 above-ground storage tanks built inside the plant by TEPCO, which store water that deliberately has been pumped into the damaged reactors in an effort to cool the nuclear fuel inside and prevent a meltdown. Such water is heavily contaminated and dangerous compared with the larger radioactive groundwater flow problem, which scientists say does not pose an immediate health hazard to humans (though it has made some types of fish from the area unsafe for consumption).

The Japanese government's Nuclear Regulation Authority is calling the leak a "serious accident" and wants to raise the official threat level from 1 to 3 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale—the highest level since the level 7 rating given when the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami severely damaged the facility. (See related "Pictures: The Nuclear Cleanup Struggle at Fukushima.")

While about two-thirds of Fukushima's storage tanks are welded steel vessels, the leaking tank is one of about 350 improvised temporary tanks that TEPCO has employed to augment its capacity. The temporary tanks are made of steel plates bolted together with plastic packing materials to seal the seams, and apparently are more vulnerable to leaks. A TEPCO official told The Japan Times, an English-language daily, that there have been four previous leaks in the temporary tanks. Unlike the previous ones, this leak somehow went undetected by plant workers for as long as a month. During that time, it leaked an estimated 10 tons (about 2,400 gallons) of highly radioactive water per day. (See related photos: "A Rare Look Inside Fukushima Daiichi.")

TEPCO hasn't yet found the precise leakage spot or spots on the faulty tank, which according to Reuters is located just 550 yards from the ocean. But the company said that workers have pumped all of the water from inside a small concrete containment area where the leaking tank is located. In the event of rain, they plan to continue running the pump, which they say is powerful enough to keep rainwater from flowing out of the containment.
The new problem further escalates the dilemma faced by TEPCO, which already has been struggling to find a way to deal with massive amounts of water contaminated with various radioactive substances at the site. When the company belatedly revealed last month the daily leakage of radioactive groundwater into the Pacific Ocean, a problem that outside scientists have long suspected, public confidence in TEPCO's ability to manage the cleanup threatened to erode further.

The development prompted Japanese government officials to step in and take a more direct role: The government announced last week that it is considering spending 50 billion yen ($410 million) to finance construction of a frozen soil barrier—also known as an ice wall—in an effort to block the groundwater from the plant from reaching the ocean. (See related story: "Can an Ice Wall Stop Radioactive Water Leaks From Fukushima?") That technology has long been used in the mining and construction fields, and reportedly performed well in containing radioactive water in a U.S. government test project in the early 1990s, but has never been used on a large scale at a nuclear power plant.

"This leak is very serious," said Dr. Janette Sherman, an Alexandria, Virginia-based physician who specializes in radioactive and toxic exposure. Dr. Sherman, who edited an in-depth study of health effects on cleanup workers in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union, said she is concerned that the cleanup crew at Fukushima Daiichi may face long-term health risks. She also raised the prospect of the radiation's as-yet unknown effects on fish and other marine life in the Pacific.

Buesseler said he was concerned that the high level of radiation from the leaking tank might just be a harbinger of what is to come if more of the other temporary tanks begin to fail. But he's even more worried by revelations of leaks and other problems at the plant, which lately have been coming with dismaying frequency. "There is still a lot of contamination at Fukushima—in the land, in the buildings, and now from these tanks," Buesseler said. "Every bit of news that we've been getting is that the [radioactivity] numbers are going up."
However there is no cause for concern as our resident expert can re assure us
..........this would hardly represent the kind of doomsday scenario being hysterically being put out by the media and by hysterics such as yourself on here.
So that's alright then, (not that I've seen any reports that meet that description, but I'm not an expert).


More background.........
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
Little John
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Post by Little John »

woodburner wrote:Overnight news
The new storage tank leak presents a different and potentially more serious problem than the ongoing groundwater flow leaks. The water from the leaking tank is so heavily contaminated with strontium-90, cesium-137, and other radioactive substances that a person standing less than two feet away would receive, in an hour's time, a radiation dose equivalent to five times the acceptable exposure for nuclear workers, Reuters reported. Within 10 hours, the exposed person would develop radiation sickness, with symptoms such as nausea and a drop in white blood cells.

A More Hazardous Leak

The latest leak comes from one of the massive array of 1,000 above-ground storage tanks built inside the plant by TEPCO, which store water that deliberately has been pumped into the damaged reactors in an effort to cool the nuclear fuel inside and prevent a meltdown. Such water is heavily contaminated and dangerous compared with the larger radioactive groundwater flow problem, which scientists say does not pose an immediate health hazard to humans (though it has made some types of fish from the area unsafe for consumption).

The Japanese government's Nuclear Regulation Authority is calling the leak a "serious accident" and wants to raise the official threat level from 1 to 3 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale—the highest level since the level 7 rating given when the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami severely damaged the facility. (See related "Pictures: The Nuclear Cleanup Struggle at Fukushima.")

While about two-thirds of Fukushima's storage tanks are welded steel vessels, the leaking tank is one of about 350 improvised temporary tanks that TEPCO has employed to augment its capacity. The temporary tanks are made of steel plates bolted together with plastic packing materials to seal the seams, and apparently are more vulnerable to leaks. A TEPCO official told The Japan Times, an English-language daily, that there have been four previous leaks in the temporary tanks. Unlike the previous ones, this leak somehow went undetected by plant workers for as long as a month. During that time, it leaked an estimated 10 tons (about 2,400 gallons) of highly radioactive water per day. (See related photos: "A Rare Look Inside Fukushima Daiichi.")

TEPCO hasn't yet found the precise leakage spot or spots on the faulty tank, which according to Reuters is located just 550 yards from the ocean. But the company said that workers have pumped all of the water from inside a small concrete containment area where the leaking tank is located. In the event of rain, they plan to continue running the pump, which they say is powerful enough to keep rainwater from flowing out of the containment.
The new problem further escalates the dilemma faced by TEPCO, which already has been struggling to find a way to deal with massive amounts of water contaminated with various radioactive substances at the site. When the company belatedly revealed last month the daily leakage of radioactive groundwater into the Pacific Ocean, a problem that outside scientists have long suspected, public confidence in TEPCO's ability to manage the cleanup threatened to erode further.

The development prompted Japanese government officials to step in and take a more direct role: The government announced last week that it is considering spending 50 billion yen ($410 million) to finance construction of a frozen soil barrier—also known as an ice wall—in an effort to block the groundwater from the plant from reaching the ocean. (See related story: "Can an Ice Wall Stop Radioactive Water Leaks From Fukushima?") That technology has long been used in the mining and construction fields, and reportedly performed well in containing radioactive water in a U.S. government test project in the early 1990s, but has never been used on a large scale at a nuclear power plant.

"This leak is very serious," said Dr. Janette Sherman, an Alexandria, Virginia-based physician who specializes in radioactive and toxic exposure. Dr. Sherman, who edited an in-depth study of health effects on cleanup workers in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union, said she is concerned that the cleanup crew at Fukushima Daiichi may face long-term health risks. She also raised the prospect of the radiation's as-yet unknown effects on fish and other marine life in the Pacific.

Buesseler said he was concerned that the high level of radiation from the leaking tank might just be a harbinger of what is to come if more of the other temporary tanks begin to fail. But he's even more worried by revelations of leaks and other problems at the plant, which lately have been coming with dismaying frequency. "There is still a lot of contamination at Fukushima—in the land, in the buildings, and now from these tanks," Buesseler said. "Every bit of news that we've been getting is that the [radioactivity] numbers are going up."
However there is no cause for concern as our resident expert can re assure us
..........this would hardly represent the kind of doomsday scenario being hysterically being put out by the media and by hysterics such as yourself on here.
So that's alright then, (not that I've seen any reports that meet that description, but I'm not an expert).


More background.........
You’ve merely quoted here, the fact that the tanks are leaking, the fact that plutonium is very radioactive and that this is a very bad combination of factors. Tell us something we don't know, or better still tell, us what you actually think they should do or could do to improve the situation. Or, if you have absolutely no thoughts on the matter whatsoever other than to simply regurgitate news items verbatim on this thread, then please don't, people can actually read for themselves you know. In fact, if you have absolutely nothing to independently say or think on the matter, why are you even bothering to post on this thread?

In any event, given the tanks are leaking and given that a significant portion of radioactive material can be cleaned out of the water by tried and tested means, what do you suppose the reason is that they are not doing that or are not doing it quickly or as extensively as needs be to minimise the increase in total volume of waste water contaminated with nuclear materials? There must be a reason. It may well be a perfectly valid one. However, I don't know about you, but I'd quite like to know what it is.

Or don't you actually have any thoughts on the matter at all save to hysterically decry anyone who does?
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Post by biffvernon »

stevecook172001 wrote: why are you even bothering to post on this thread?
I expect W is posting the material because he thinks some of us might be interested in reading it. I am, and I guess you also must be since you saw fit to copy and re-post it and add a comment.

I'm not a nuclear engineer but, with all due reservations based on past experience, I trust the TEPCO people to now be doing the best job they can to mitigate an impossible situation. If you are looking for a reason why the problem has not been solved, it's probably because it's a hard problem.

I've been pretty sure that this would turn out to be a hard problem since the day I saw the power station blow up. Some other folk have taken a little longer to recognise this.
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Post by Little John »

biffvernon wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote: why are you even bothering to post on this thread?
I expect W is posting the material because he thinks some of us might be interested in reading it. I am, and I guess you also must be since you saw fit to copy and re-post it and add a comment.

I'm not a nuclear engineer but, with all due reservations based on past experience, I trust the TEPCO people to now be doing the best job they can to mitigate an impossible situation. If you are looking for a reason why the problem has not been solved, it's probably because it's a hard problem.

I've been pretty sure that this would turn out to be a hard problem since the day I saw the power station blow up. Some other folk have taken a little longer to recognise this.
I am not suggesting that there may not be a very good reason why the problem of growing quantities of waste water has not been solved with established scrubbing/filtering methods. I am asking what it is.

I am also pointing out that tritium is of relatively low level long term concern due to its low level of radioactivity and short half life.

I also take extreme exception to the hysterical implication that to raise such questions is to demonstrate an "unhelpful" and "disrespectful" "attitude".
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