Fake News: Fukushima Edition

Guest post by David Middleton

fuku_01

Radiation levels recorded inside Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station are at the highest levels since its catastrophic meltdown in 2011.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc (Tepco) said the radiation level in the containment vessel of Reactor 2 in the Fukushima No 1 power plant had reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, Japan Times reports.

The “unimaginable” radiation levels were assessed by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

According to the institute, just 4 sieverts of radiation exposure would be enough kill a handful of people.

[…]

Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/world/2017/02/08/10/24/fukushima-radiation-reaches-unimaginable-levels#6AfOp4jyo5k3elmi.99

Fake News Item #1: “Unimaginable radiation levels.”

“Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc (Tepco) said the radiation level in the containment vessel of Reactor 2 in the Fukushima No 1 power plant had reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, Japan Times reports.

The ‘unimaginable’ radiation levels were assessed by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.”

530 Sv/hr… “unimaginable”? I don’t think so…

High-level wastes are hazardous because they produce fatal radiation doses during short periods of direct exposure. For example, 10 years after removal from a reactor, the surface dose rate for a typical spent fuel assembly exceeds 10,000 rem/hour – far greater than the fatal whole-body dose for humans of about 500 rem received all at once.

NRC

1 Sv = 100 rem. Roughly 1 rem is the average dose received in three years of exposure to natural radiation“…

530 Sv = 53,000 rem.

If “10 years after removal from a reactor, the surface dose rate for a typical spent fuel assembly exceeds 10,000 rem/hour,” 530 Sv/hr is not “unimaginable.”  I would venture a guess that 530 Sv/hr would be well within the expected range inside a reactor core, loaded with hot fuel which had suffered at least a partial meltdown.

Fake News Item #2: “The radiation level in the containment vessel… had reached 530 sieverts per hour.”

The use of the phrase “had reached” clearly implies that radiation levels had risen.  Other reports citing a previous high of 72 Sv/hr were also clearly intended to convey the impression that radiation levels had risen over the past 5-6 years.  This is clearly fake news…

NO, RADIATION LEVELS AT FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI ARE NOT RISING

Saturday February 4th, 2017

— Yes, TEPCO has measured very high radiation inside Daichi Unit 2.

— No, it does’t mean radiation levels there are rising.

In response to visual investigation results and high radiation measurements recently taken by TEPCO inside Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2, many news outlets have published stories with headlines like “Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown.” (The Guardian, Feb. 3, 2017).

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/03/fukushima-daiichi-radiation-levels-highest-since-2011-meltdown

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170202/p2g/00m/0dm/087000c

https://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/record-radiation-level-detected-inside-damaged-fukushima-reactor

This has led to a number of alarming stories claiming that radiation at Daiichi has “spiked” to unprecedented levels. That’s not what the findings indicate, however. In addition, Safecast’s own measurements, including our Pointcast realtime detector system have shown radiation levels near Daiichi to be steadily declining. As described in the Safecast Report, Vol.2, Section 2.1.4, TEPCO and its research partners have been developing robots and remote visualization devices to search for melted fuel debris deep inside the Daiichi reactor units, and to help plan for its eventual removal. On January 30th, 2017, a long telescoping device with a camera and radiation measurement device attached was inserted through an existing opening in the reactor containment of Unit 2 for the first time, and successfully extended approximately 8 meters into in an area known as the “pedestal,” to measure and take images from immediately below the damaged reactor pressure vessel (RPV). In addition to finding the area covered with molten material likely to be fuel debris, radiation levels of 530 Sieverts per hour were detected, which would be fatal to a person exposed for only a few seconds.

It must be stressed that radiation in this area has not been measured before, and it was expected to be extremely high. While 530 Sv/hr is the highest measured so far at Fukushima Daiichi, it does not mean that levels there are rising, but that a previously unmeasurable high-radiation area has finally been measured. Similar remote investigations are being planned for Daiichi Units 1 and 3. We should not be surprised if even higher radiation levels are found there, but only actual measurements will tell. Unit 4 was defuelled at the time of the accident, and though the reactor building exploded and the spent fuel pool was dangerously exposed, it did not suffer a meltdown, so similar investigations are not being conducted.

[…]

Safecast

Fake News Item #3: “Fukushima’s radiation is so bad it’s even killing robots.”

fuku_03

Five years after Fukushima, the exclusion zone is in better shape, but still a mess. The area around its once functional nuclear reactors are by far the most inhospitable. So much so that the radiation even managed to kill robots that had been sent in to help clean up.

Five robots that have gone into the reactor in order to help remove spent fuel rods have failed to return, reports Reuters. The issue? The radiation levels are so high that the robot’s internals just melt. We’ve seen this happen before.

Naohiro Masuda, Tepco’s head of decommissioning, explained the difficulties the company faces in an interview. Not only do the robots tend to fail due to the failure of their wiring, but it’s also not easy to get replacements. These aren’t just off-the-shelf bots; they have to be designed specifically for the challenges of the particular building they enter, and that takes about two years of design.

[…]

Popular Mechanics

None of the robots have been “killed” by radiation…

Melted Nuclear Fuel Search Proceeds One Dead Robot at a Time

by Stephen Stapczynski and Emi Urabe

February 16, 2017

The latest robot seeking to find the 600 tons of nuclear fuel and debris that melted down six year ago in Japan’s wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant met its end in less than a day.

The scorpion-shaped machine, built by Toshiba Corp., entered the No. 2 reactor core Thursday and stopped 3 meters (9.8 feet) short of a grate that would have provided a view of where fuel residue is suspected to have gathered. Two previous robots aborted similar missions after one got stuck in a gap and another was abandoned after finding no fuel in six days.

After spending most of the time since the 2011 disaster containing radiation and limiting ground water contamination, scientists still don’t have all the information they need for a cleanup that the Japanese government estimates will take four decades and cost 8 trillion yen ($70.6 billion). It’s not yet known if the fuel melted into or through the containment vessel’s concrete floor, and determining the fuel’s radioactivity and location is crucial to inventing the technology needed to remove it.

“The roadmap for removing the fuel is going to be long, 2020 and beyond,” Jacopo Buongiorno, a professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in an e-mail. “The re-solidified fuel is likely stuck to the vessel wall and vessel internal structures. So the debris have to be cut, scooped, put into a sealed and shielded container and then extracted from the containment vessel. All done by robots.”

[…]

The machines are built with specially hardened parts and minimal electronic circuitry so that they can withstand radiation, if only for a few hours at a time. Thursday’s mission ended after the robot’s left roller-belt failed, according to Tokyo Electric, better known as Tepco. Even if it had returned, this robot, like all others so far designed to aid the search for the lost fuel, was expected to find its final resting place inside a reactor.

[…]

No. 2 Unit

On Thursday, Toshiba’s scorpion-like robot entered the reactor and stopped short of making it onto the containment vessel’s grate. While Tepco decided not to retrieve it, the company views the attempt as progress.

“We got a very good hint as to where the fuel could be from this entire expedition” Tepco official Yuichi Okamura said Thursday at a briefing in Tokyo. “I consider this a success, a big success.”

Tepco released images last month of a grate under the No. 2 reactor covered in black residue that may be the melted fuel — one of the strongest clues yet to its location. The company measured radiation levels of around 650 sieverts per hour through the sound-noise in the video, the highest so far recorded in the Fukushima complex.

[…]

The Hitachi and Toshiba robots are designed to handle 1,000 sieverts and no robot has yet been disabled due to radiation.

[…]

Because the No. 2 unit is the only one of the three reactors that didn’t experience a hydrogen explosion, there was no release into the atmosphere and radiation levels inside the core are higher compared to the other two units, according to the utility.

[…]

Bloomberg

“The Hitachi and Toshiba robots are designed to handle 1,000 sieverts and no robot has yet been disabled due to radiation.”

Fake News Item #4 (or Urban Legend): TEPCO is dumping/pumping radioactive water into the ocean.

While I can’t locate an article from a reputable news outlet for this one, it has been a persistent urban legend.  They are neither dumping nor pumping radioactive water into the Pacific.  This image was circulated around the Internet with the claim that it depicted the flow of radioactive water across the Pacific Ocean…

energy_plot_japantsunami-e1377791396639

The map was generated at the time of the earthquake and is of the projected height of the tsunami.

At no time has TEPCO intentionally pumped or dumped radioactive water into the ocean.  Some contaminated water leaks into the ocean by infiltrating the local groundwater flow…

March 8, 2016, 9:24 AM

5 years on, Japan nuke plant still leaking radioactive water

TOKYO — After battling radioactive water leaks for five years at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, the utility that ran it says it will need another four to finish the job.

“We will bring an end to the problem by 2020,” says Yuichi Okamura, who led the Tokyo Electric Power Co. team dealing with water at Fukushima from the early days to last summer.

The contaminated water, now exceeding 760,000 tons and still growing, has been a major challenge that has distracted workers from decommissioning the plant. It is stored in more than 1,000 industrial tanks, covering much of the vast plant grounds.

Okamura says TEPCO expects that by 2020, it will have collected and treated all contaminated water pooled around the reactors, and will need to continue processing only the water necessary to cool the reactors.

TEPCO has managed to reduce the flow of contaminated water and hopes to get regulators’ approval within a month to activate an underground “ice wall” that would block out more water. The final step, though, remains contentious: Getting permission to release the water into the sea, after it has been treated to remove most radioactive elements.

[…]

The three damaged reactors still need to be cooled with water to keep their melted cores from overheating. The water picks up radiation and leaks out through cracks and other damage from the disaster. The water flows to the basements, where it mixes with groundwater, swelling the volume of contaminated water.

TEPCO has cut groundwater infiltration to 150 tons per day, nearly one-third of the amount two years ago, mainly by pumping out groundwater upstream and directing it to the ocean. The utility hopes the underground ice barrier will eliminate all groundwater inflow.

Radioactive water continues to leak into the ocean, but at a far lesser rate than it did early in the disaster. Ocean radiation levels are about a thousandth of what they were soon after the accident, according to Ken Buesseler, a radiochemist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) who has monitored the area. Because of concerns about the health of marine life, commercial fishing is still banned in waters just off the plant.

[…]

CBS News

The only water they are directing into the ocean is uncontaminated groundwater and decontaminated waste water. By pumping out upstream groundwater, they have reduced the flow rate of contaminated water into the ocean.

From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute…

What has been released from the Fukushima reactors and how dangerous is it?

Releases from the Fukushima reactors have included dozens of radioactive elements, but with regard to materials released into the ocean, most of the attention has been on three radioactive isotopes released in large amounts: iodine-131, cesium-137, and cesium-134. Iodine-131 decays quickly and any that was released from Fukushima is no longer detectable in the environment, but it was a significant health concern at the start of accident. Cesium-137 and -134 were released in the largest amounts. At the height of the accident, levels in the ocean near the docks at the reactors were 50 million times higher than before the accident and, at those levels, were a direct threat to marine life. Levels dropped quickly after the first month and today are many thousands of times lower, which is less of a direct health threat, but still an indication of ongoing leaks.

[…]

Are the continued sources of radiation from the nuclear power plants of concern?

The site of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is an ongoing source of radionuclides (pdf) in to the ocean—something I’ve seen evidence of in my data and published since 2011. However, the rate of release has fallen significantly since March 2011. At current rates of release, it would take 5,000 years to equal the amount of cesium that entered the ocean in the first month of the accident. For the workers at the site, direct exposure from leaking storage tanks is of greater health concern because exposure from these concentrated sources is much higher. For the general public, it is not direct exposure, but uptake by the food web and consumption of contaminated fish that is the main health concern from the oceans.

[…]

WHOI

While Fukushima is still decades away from full decommissioning, the situation is currently far better than it was nearly six years ago.

Fake News Item #5: The Fukushima nuclear disaster was due to a failure of nuclear technology.

This is perhaps the most egregious fake news item of all.  The Fukushima disaster was the result of the loss of external and backup power sources, rendering the cooling systems inoperable…

Events at Fukushima Daiichi 1-3 & 4

It appears that no serious damage was done to the reactors by the earthquake, and the operating units 1-3 were automatically shut down in response to it, as designed. At the same time all six external power supply sources were lost due to earthquake damage, so the emergency diesel generators located in the basements of the turbine buildings started up. Initially cooling would have been maintained through the main steam circuit bypassing the turbine and going through the condensers.

Then 41 minutes later, at 3:42 pm, the first tsunami wave hit, followed by a second 8 minutes later. These submerged and damaged the seawater pumps for both the main condenser circuits and the auxiliary cooling circuits, notably the Residual Heat Removal (RHR) cooling system. They also drowned the diesel generators and inundated the electrical switchgear and batteries, all located in the basements of the turbine buildings (the one surviving air-cooled generator was serving units 5 & 6). So there was a station blackout, and the reactors were isolated from their ultimate heat sink. The tsunamis also damaged and obstructed roads, making outside access difficult.

All this put those reactors 1-3 in a dire situation and led the authorities to order, and subsequently extend, an evacuation while engineers worked to restore power and cooling. The 125-volt DC back-up batteries for units 1 & 2 were flooded and failed, leaving them without instrumentation, control or lighting. Unit 3 had battery power for about 30 hours.

At 7.03 pm Friday 11 March a Nuclear Emergency was declared, and at 8.50pm the Fukushima Prefecture issued an evacuation order for people within 2 km of the plant. At 9.23 pm the Prime Minister extended this to 3 km, and at 5.44 am on 12th he extended it to 10 km. He visited the plant soon after. On Saturday 12th he extended the evacuation zone to 20 km.

World Nuclear Association

Yes, the reactors were old (1960’s) technology… But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster.  It was a failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 meter tsunami.

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fuku_04

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SMC

“1 Sv = 100 rem. Roughly 1 rem is the average dose received in three years of exposure to natural radiation“…
This is out of date. Average annual dose is 630mRem/year… So a little less than 2 years to reach 1 Rem.
https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiation/around-us/doses-daily-lives.html

100 millirem is the “natural” annual exposure — the reality is that it is less than that (although it varies from location). When I was in the Navy (at prototype), I wore a dosimeter for 12 hours per day for 21 days out of 28 for six months. Total exposure was 11 millirem.
We always joked that we received less radiation exposure when we were submerged with the reactor running than we did when at home.

Greg

less dangerous than being an air hostess !

SMC

What prototype did you go to? I went to S1C.

A research study suggests that low dose radiation might actually be beneficial. And as we all know so well, scientific research is always reliable (at least until someone tries to replicate the results).
See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834742/

S8G prototype in Ballston Spa, NY
S1C dang, that was in bad shape when I was in the Navy.

1 Rem is hardly in the realms of significant radiation dose, especially recieved over 1 year. A safe dose is about 100mSv, so 10 Rem. . Natural levels can be as high as 800mSv pa with no detectable epidemiological effects, that’s in Brazil. so that’s 80rems pa as a known safe background on your equivalence.
nb: using these outdated non SI units from the 60’s makes life confusing for people (I was bought up on Roentgens, Rads and Rems back then, measuring radiation at at UK NPL and RPS, we have moved on through Grays to Sieverts in international standards since then.).
Thera re plenty od f other such locations. Popuklous seaside resort – and health spa – Ramsar Iran checks in at >300mSv pa, no problems. And one study strongly suggested health benefits at 40mSV pa’ish, for an accidentally exposed population in Taiwan, living within a much larger unexposed community so good comparison. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/
Elevated natural backgorund is used to boost immune systems in cancer patients when chemotherapy and radiotherapy will not be tolerated by the very sick, and Germans go down mines for a low level radiation tonic. Think Sunshine exposure and you are nearer the truth, little and often at a safe level is good for you, a lot all at once is very bad.
It’s also important to separate unsealed and very dangerous radionuclides like Po-210, which only emits easilly attenuated so hard to detect Alpha radiation , that can quickly kill you if ingested, but can be caried safely and undetected in a thick paper bag by Russian hit men.. etc., The usual fission product risk is Cs-137, but that has two penetrarting gamma peaks that are easily detected by radiation monitors, as well as its more damaging beta particle radiation when ingested, when it enters various biological processes as a Potassium analogue, very close up, etc. I-131 only causes damage in the Thyroid, so can be blocked by taking regular Iodine tablets if an incident occurs. Etc.
Point I am making is the levels you describe are simply inconsequential for humans living on the naturally radioactive rock we evolved on, fact. We are very tolerant of radiation up to much higher levels than obtains in most of the world, as a quick survey of the peer reviewed literature from serious institutions will confirm.
Which is why thousands of people stiil aren’t dying from radiation after Chernobyl, 50 died in fact, all directly or indirectly from high radiation doses received by 30 first responders at the time, and the rest from 6,000 Thyroid cancers which were treated but recurred, mainly due to no Iodine distribution and no warnings re the milk by incompetent authorities. NONE either immediately or expected from Fukushima, where the levels were far too low or for far too short a time to cause any lasting illness.
Thousands of avoidable deaths were caused by unnecessary evacuation and panic abortions based on ignorant opinions, bad management and over reaction to the actual risks at Chernobyl, and Fukushima (not abortions here). Obviously when you don’t know the actual levels there is a tendency to over react rather than under. This isn’t my opinion, its the UN’s as well, as the various UNSCEAR reports will confirm to the inqyiring and open mind of the independnent validator.
Hope that hopes spread some facts you can s check for yourselves. Thousands still not dying, thousands more may be healthier than they would otherwise have been? If you follow the radiobiological science facts not the green anti-nuclear science fiction. We are fortunate our modern sciences give us the choice between superstitious/fearful belief and what we can measure as a fact. Not everyone likes that, though.

Scott

Let’s not forget Hillary saying during a speech only last year that Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island were the only nuclear accidents that we knew about. She blatantly and intentionally omitted Fukushima and very few said anything about it.

Hillary who?

Dave in Canmore

+10

TracyP

turn it to 11

Ross King

How about the Credibility of the 97?

Add McMurdo.
1. This is a Stanford student degree paper but a reasonable cross section. A somewhat one sided view and interpretation but useful. Much more on web with various claims and counterclaims.
http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2014/ph241/reid2/
2. If “nuclear accident” means reactor malfunction as root cause then Fukushima doesn’t count.
If “nuclear accident” means “nuclear accident” you can add Windscale, all the “broken arrows” and quite a lot more.

texasjimbrock

Fukushima was not a reactor accident. It was a design failure, for not anticipating a huge earthquake and tsunami. So Hillary was technically correct; the reactor breach was due to an outside force.

Don K

Actually, “they” designed for what they thought in midcentury to be the strongest likely earthquake — roughly San Francisco 1906 and more specifically the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that flattened Tokyo,Yokohama, and the surrounding region.. In the following decades, it became obvious that much stronger quakes were possible. But Japan’s reactors were never upgraded to reflect the improved knowledge of seismology. To my mind, that’s a management failure, not an engineering failure. And it leads to the question. “Is it possible to design a nuclear power plant that an ivy league MBA can’t destroy though mismanagement?”

Andy Ogilvie

In a country that has experienced many tsunami’s throughout its history, no one thought to put the diesel back up on the roof. Just goes to show the disconnect between education and common sense.

benofhouston

Well, they did have diesel backup behind a tsunami wall. After the tsunami hit and was multiple feet above the wall, that wall became a lake. It’s a situation where they planned for a bad situation, but didn’t anticipate a disaster that big.

John F. Hultquist

But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster.
[See above just at the end of the post.]

RoHa

There are stories that the Stuxnet virus had infected the Fukushima control systems and contributed to the disaster. Any confirmation of this? Or confirmation of attempts to suppress the information?

RoHa — You’re not going to find any confirmation about Stuxnet contributing to the disaster. These plants were built in the 60s and 70s using proven 1960s — and, possibly early 1970s — control system technology and components.
Even if some control system components were new enough to be susceptible to modern viruses, the complete loss of power after the tsunami hit would have also deenergized those control systems. It was only after loss of AC powered core cooling (when diesels flooded) and DC powered backup core cooling (when batteries were expended) that the cores began to significantly heat up.

Patrick Powers

Excellent to have proper balance restored on this matter.

Linus

Patrick: “excellent to have proper balance on this matter”
In the best case scenario, assuming limited damage from radioactive fallout and a successful containment process (not a given), this is going to cost Japan a minimum of a quarter TRILLION dollars, and decades of grand mobilisation to manage the crisis.
Nuclear energy is a bust, stick with fossil fuels, which are nearly limitless and dirt cheap. We all know that CO2 is not a problem, right?

Jannie

They keep ramping up the hysteria, they have no other strategy. Soon the MSM is going to inform us that we are already technically dead, but there might be a chance to resuscitate us if we give them another gazillion dollars, quick.

Radiation within containment is a relatively meaningless number unless you are a maintenance worker. All reactors have high radiation within containment — that’s why you are limited in the amount of time you can spend there based on that radiation level.

CodeTech

And, it seems, defines the very word “containment”

“Radiation within containment is a relatively meaningless number unless you are a maintenance worker” – not quite accurate; it’s the foundation on which the power plant works.”

Not really. The fission reaction occurs in the reactor. this is where you get the energy. The reactor, primary coolant, and auxiliary equipment will be inside primary containment. This is the area which you can enter (for a limited amount of time) only when the reactor is shutdown and levels have been monitored. The remainder of the system should be within secondary containment. This is where the equipment which is not radioactive is kept. Operators can work in this area even while the reactor is critical.
Fukushima was a boiling water reactor (always a bad design). That means that most of it was within primary containment with a small area within secondary containment. Three Mile Island (by comparison) was a pressurized water reactor which means that most of the steam equipment in outside of primary containment.

Javert Chip

“Radiation within containment is a relatively meaningless number unless you are a maintenance worker” – not quite accurate; it’s the foundation on which the power plant works

Griff

Except for the radiation at fukushima that vented to the atmosphere, of course.

MarkW

Small and dissipated almost immediately. It was hydrogen for the most part.

Paul Penrose

Have any specifics Griff, or is it just more fear mongering on your part?
Hint: “radiation” can’t be “vented” since it is comprised of photons (packets of energy). Radioactive gases can be vented, of course, but most have quite short half lives. Also radioactive particles suspended in the air could also be vented, which is a bigger concern, depending on the type of material. So what about it Griff, have any useful information, or is this just a drive-by?

Griff,
does that mean you didn’t fall for #4 nonsense? since that is a popular warmist argument.
I have had warmist morons,tell me they believe dangerous levels of Radiation reached the West coast of America,from Japan. I tried to point out how that is impossible, since the few actual pounds of waste allegedly released, would be so diluted by the 3,000 + miles of water,for it to show up on a meter.
Hop you didn’t fall for that howler.

Hivemind

In Griff’s defence, material was vented to the atmosphere to prevent dangerous pressures from building up. Although it was mainly hydrogen, there would have been other gasses present that may have been radioactive.
In the same way that swamp gas is mainly methane, but stinks to high heaven because of the other gasses that go with it.

Griff writes

Except for the radiation at fukushima that vented to the atmosphere, of course.

But that is not what this article is about. (FWIW — radioactive particles can be vented, especially gases, but I think we all understand where you are coming from.)

catweazle666

Still dishonestly spouting your alarmist drivel, Grifter?
What do you think you gain by trying to make people afraid of non-existent risks?
Have you apologised to Dr. Crockford for lying about her professional qualifications yet?

Tom Halla

A very expensive industrial accident. Arguably, the vast majority of the death toll will be those who die of exposure due to reliance on “renewable energy” imposed by the anti-nuclear movement, either cost or unreliability.

Post-tsunami – most of the dead died from a lower standard of living following evacuation, degraded medical care, increased stress and alcoholism. They are victims of panicked evacuation and media hysteria rather than victims of radiation as such.

Jer0me

Ditto chernobyl

mickgreenhough

How come Hiroshima and Nagasaki are now thriving cities of over 1 million each. Where has their radiation gone? Mick G
From: Watts Up With That? To: mickgreenhough@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Friday, 17 February 2017, 14:21 Subject: [New post] Fake News: Fukushima Edition #yiv8794210966 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8794210966 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8794210966 a.yiv8794210966primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8794210966 a.yiv8794210966primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8794210966 a.yiv8794210966primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8794210966 a.yiv8794210966primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8794210966 WordPress.com | David Middleton posted: “Guest post by David MiddletonRadiation levels recorded inside Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station are at the highest levels since its catastrophic meltdown in 2011.Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc (Tepco) said the radiation level in the c” | |

Most of the bad stuff decays very quickly (well for radiation decay anyways, a few years to a decade, for most the worse they are the fastest to become inert)

Alan McIntire

The really bad stuff decays rapidly. If you’re close enough to get harmful radiation, you were killed in the explosion, Elements like U 238 have half lifes of billions of years- we get only minute amounts of radiation from them.
Most dangerous are Strontium 90 and Cesium 137, with half lifes of around 30 years, comparable to a human lifespan.
An aside- “spell check” wanted me to use “half lives” instead of “half lifes”, but “half life” is NOT referring to an actual life, but is a coined word regarding radiation. As Steven Pinker pointed out, all new coined words are automatically regular. We say, of a baseball batter, “Jones flied out to left field(regular)” NOT
“Jones FLEW out to right field” which only a bird can do. LIkewise, when I refer to my daughter’s grungy boyfriends, I call them “low lifes”, not “low lives”.

aGrimm

There are two basic pathways to radioactive contamination products in a bomb blast.
1) Fission: a Uranium or Plutonium atom fissions creating fission products notably radioactive Cesiums and Iodines. The way to visualize this is to look at the number of protons in a Uranium atom – 92. When fission occurs, that atom splits roughly in half, for example one half may be Cesium with its 55 protons.
2) Neutron activation: free (unattached to protons) neutrons are released during fission. This is simplistic, but when a neutron hits the nucleus of another atom it can “stick”, thereby adding a neutron to that atom. Adding an extra neutron to an atom has a good probability of that atom now being in an unstable state (radioactive). So in a bomb blast, all the stuff that is obliterated and proximate to the neutrons emitted may become radioactive. That can be anything with carbon, iron, hydrogen, and the list goes on. The quantities of what radioactives are created depends on what we call the absorption cross-section; some elements easily pick up a neutron, others do not. In a bomb blast the better percentage of contamination and those most dangerous are created in this fashion. However, most of these are very short-lived and gone within a couple of weeks.

And if they didn’t need the fission bomb to kick off the hydrogen bomb, they’d be even cleaner. The point being is that even as horrible as it is, there is a simple basis to survive afterwards. IMO the hysteria over nuclear power plants is, well stupid.

In terms of ½-life, over 68% of fission products (FPs) are all but gone after 50 years (those with short ½-life). They are down to 0.1% of original activity, or less. In nearly every instance the result of radioactive decay of a fission-product is stable. So once its decayed, nothing more to worry about. Those bombs exploded > 76 years ago. FP proportions:
Long _____ > 100,000 yrs __ 20.8%
Medium ___ 5 – 100 years __ 11.6%
Short _____ < 5 years _____ 67.7%
A nice rule of thumb. To get the activity down to 0.1% of starting, multiply its ½-life by 10. Because 1/(2^10) = 1/1024 = 0.1%. The 21% of long ½-life FPs are not much to worry about with longish ½-lifes from 200k to 15m years, so not very high activity.
The two dangerous FPs are group I and II periodic table elements which together make up 10.8% of total FP yield. They have soluble salts so are easily absorbed. Sr-90 can substitute for calcium so build up in bones. These two both have ½-life ~ 30 years.
Cs-137 ___ 6.3%
Sr-90 ____ 4.5%

aGrimm

MarkAsp: good stuff.
I discovered while teaching radiation safety that the half-life concept is best taught to non-math inclined students by using a small number of atoms for the best visualization of the concept. For example, 100 atoms is a ridiculously small number of atoms, but it is a number most folks readily grasp.
Here’s an example using 100 atoms of C0-60 with its 5 year half-life and 100 atoms of U-238 with its (approximately) 5 billion year half life. Using a graph, I would show that it took 5 years for 50 of the CO-60 atoms to decay or roughly 5 atoms per year. I then showed that it would be 5 billion years before 50 of the U-238 atoms would emit their radiation or one emission once every 80,000 years. I would continue this process for a couple of half-lives, e.g. showing it took another 5 years for half the remaining atoms (50) to be reduced to 25 atoms. The advantage of this training technique is it was easy to point out that if there are only a few long-lived radioactive atoms in your body, the odds of even one emitting its radiation during your life time is extremely small – 70 years/5 billion years (0.0000001.4% chance). If one ingested 100 atoms of CO-60 and they all remained for ones lifetime, the odds are that all 100 will deposit their radiation in the body (not counting other factors that lessen the problem).
The above training came with a warning: as the number of atoms increase, then the odds of getting an emission increase. However, this is why dilution is a solution for long-lived radionuclides; the fewer the long-lived atoms ingested or presenting external exposure, then the odds drop that a person will receive a ‘hit’ from radiation. The opposite is true of short-lived radionuclides; if ingested/exposed, then the odds are high that a hit(s) will occur.
I’ve posted here before about the seven factors that determine the hazard of a radionuclide. Two of those, half-life and quantity, go hand in hand. A long-lived radionuclide of very few atoms poses no risk, whereas a short-lived nuclide of the same number will pose much more risk.

CodeTech

Average exposure is a meaningless number. Many areas of the world have several times this exposure level with no statistically significant increase in anything that might be related to this exposure.

It’s even been hypothesised that low-level radiation exposures over natural back-ground levels cause enough damage to stimulated repair, which can repair tissue damage that occurred but didn’t stimulate repair. This has resulted in reduction of mortality and morbidity in areas, where the traditional thinking would expect more. There an area in Iran where the back-ground is 7 times the average back-ground and the residents actually have less cancer.

Brian H

The Hormesis postulate: moderate stimulation by radioactivity activates DNA repair mechanisms, and thus actually reduces net damage.

Great article. although I’m thinking this phrase refers to cumulative dosage, not radiation rate:
The Hitachi and Toshiba robots are designed to handle 1,000 sieverts and no robot has yet been disabled due to radiation.
Watching the video from the recent robot I was impressed at all the radiation hitting the video sensor (almost certainly gamma or high energy neutron). Likely all the IC chips in the robot are being hit with a similar level of radiation so it would not be surprising that they would fail under such an assault given the small feature size of modern ICs.

Rad exposure shifts the threshold voltage of mosfets, for radiation qualified devices (which I’m sure were used) would be manufactured with the threshold all the way to the other end of the range which then allows the longest life.
I spent some time as a component eng for Mil-Aero-Space co, and got to do some cool stuff on this topic.

emsnews

So, who assumes Japan can and will continue to pump water and maintain ‘controls’ over this hideous mess for how long? Ten more years? 100 years? 1,000 years?
Nope. They can barely ‘control’ it right now and haven’t done that hot a job of it since day one. This is a grave situation and it will impact all life forms that fall within the perimeter of this place.
This is no laughing matter with any good end. So far, unless we pack this whole mess up and shoot it out of orbit to say, Jupiter, we will have to worry about Fukushima.

This is nonsense, are you always prone to hysteria?

MarkW

A few months back emsnews was claiming that Fukishima was going to result in the Pacific becoming a desert, devoid of life.

Yes. He is.

Paul

“+∞”
Hmm, wouldn’t that become negative because of overflow?

I always thought there was a place in math space where ∞ would be mapped like 0, so you could have ∞ +1 and ∞ -1, and so on, but maybe it’s be better as the equal of a pole, it’s all downhill from there……

aGrimm

Dave: ooohhh! I like your response. emsnews = chicken little.

Aye, we’re aw doomed I tell ye, doomed!

MarkW

Either you didn’t read the article, or english is not a language you speak.

@MarkW
To whom were you referring?

MarkW

emsnews

No problem 🙂

urederra

obvious troll is obvious

Paul Penrose

Are you really that ignorant? So you want to launch thousands of rockets loaded with radioactive materials into space? You must be insane. Just one launch accident and we could have a far worse disaster than Fukushima.

Mike McMillan

Could drop it into the Japan Trench. That should be good for a few lifetimes and it’s in the neighborhood.

RoHa

And wake up the monsters that live there?

Peta from Cumbria

There was an internet forum/message board I liked to visit- it was the message board belonging the Big Chill music festival. It was held on what should be *the* warmest weekend of the UK summer, namely the first weekend of August.
Sadly, Global Warming has made it so that Trench Foot, pneumonia and hypothermia are now very real and potent hazards for UK music festival goers – Big Chill and many more UK festys are no more.
Anyway, The Big Children who inhabited said message board had a saying, uttered loudly if and whenever one of their members told or recounted a particularly big or fantastic story:
They’d say “Show me pictures, or it didn’t happen”
So it is here………………

fxk

Ain’t it great to be able to rewrite history!

CodeTech

The biggest cure for irrational fear of radiation is education.

The first is, if you weren’t melted or have a building fall on you from the actual blast, you very likely will not die from radiation exposure from the blast. You have to be really near the fireball to get that high a dose (neutron bombs would be different).
You do have to protect from fallout, and the first few years will have the worst of the dangerous radiation, but all of will be stopped by not much more than a sheet of paper for shielding, as long as you keep the dust off you, and not to eat or breathe it.
yes, not always going to be easy, yada, yada, yada, but if you remember this and follow it, you can survive the end of the world, well at least the radiation part.

Ernest Bush

Yes, there would be greater problems in an apocalyptic future. Lack of food, uncontaminated water, and savagery would likely get you before the radiation did.

Greg

Good article in general , however:

Yes, the reactors were old (1960’s) technology… But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster. It was a failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 meter tsunami.

Well the real problem was putting EMERGENCY backup generators in a floodable basement and that was part of the design of this nuclear installation. ie par of the nuclear technology.
There is no sense in breaking it down, the plant either works safely or it blows up. If it blows up that is a failure of nuclear technology.
Same if the primary cooling circuit fails, there is no point is saying it is just a plumbing problem and not the nuclear technology which is at fault.
If wind turbine falls over you are going say “windmills” don’t work, not try to make excuses about it being an unrelated problem with aluminium pylons.
Yes, there is lots of FAKE news circulating, please don’t add to it.

@Greg
You mean to say you’re passing up this fantastic opportunity to blame CAGW for this failure?
That’s a first on this blog isn’t it?
Perhaps the tide of opinion is turning after all.

bezotch

It is a bit of a surprise that nobody has made a CAGW attribution for the disaster. Something along the lines that the tsunami was made worse by rising sea levels due to CAGW. Either there is limit to how ridiculous an assertion they are willing to make or that it is merely an oversight. History suggests oversight.

Leo Smith

When you think about a diesel submarine, those generators and tanks could have stayed there in the basement if it had been watertight and equipped with a schnorkel

MarkW

Just watertight would have been enough. The area was underwater for only a few minutes. Restart the diesels after the water had drained.

“If wind turbine falls over you are going say “windmills” don’t work, not try to make excuses about it being an unrelated problem with aluminium pylons.”
False dichotomy. And lame attempt to pretend to know how everyone else thinks. I would only say “windmills don’t work” if we had built every sort of windmill possible and none of them did what they are supposed to do. I don’t expect windmills that fall over to work. It would be illogical and inaccurate to say that “windmill technology failed” if it was merely a foundational failure, or it got hit by an airplane.

Dave in Canmore

Great article although I must admit I dislike the term “fake news.” It’s really just falsehoods or misinformation. Giving legs to the term “fake news” only keeps that Orwellian strategy from dying. Somehow “fake” seems less bad than “lies” or “propaganda.” It’s subtle but calling something “fake” news implies that no further disproof is required since the word “fake” already does the disproving. It’s a word that allows lazy people to think even less about things. Or am I out to lunch?

Phil R

David Middleton,

I just think “fake news” is more fun than lies, propaganda, falsehoods or misinformation. Plus… Fake News could just be the result of reporters being fundamentally stupid people.

I agree. In all my life I have never heard the term I think the term “fake News” used, or at least rarely, until the election. Whether you agree with Trump or not, I think the MSM has since so overused the term to attack and delegitimize him and his administration that it’s backfiring on them, especially when the people complaining about “fake news” and “alt-facts” are the ones publishing them. I think the term “fake News” is now being used for the most part now, as in comments here, to mock and make fun of the MSM. And they ARE to dumb or self-absorbed to see it.

Phil R

In all my life I have never heard the term I think the term “fake News” used…
D*mn proofreading.

Phil R

In all my life I have never heard the term I think the term “fake News” used…
D*mn proofreading html.

MarkW

The first time I heard it was shortly after the US presidential election when the Democrats started whining that it was “fake news” that caused people to vote for Trump.
Thus the need to regulate “fake news”.

Fake news or just alarmism?
We have to be careful to distinguish between the two because otherwise we cannot responsibly address either the alarmist cause depicted here or the alarmist cause of climate extremism.

Curious George

A lie may be created to support a cause or a CAUSE. What is the difference?

Unimaginable? NOT
I wrote the following a week ago on Facebook:
The radiation levels at Fukushima did NOT all of a sudden soar to 530 Sv/hr. It was actually “just the first detection of the actual level at a place nearer to the damaged fuel.”
(My background related to this topic: In the mid 1990s, I developed and subsequently taught training material on Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMG) for the nuclear unit where I worked. The training material I developed is still in use.)

Javert Chip

Mike
Your qualifications and comments are appreciated.
However, you do realize the fact you actually understand what you are talking about disqualifies you as a reporter of these events. You have demonstrated you will allow facts, experience and logic to get in the way of IT’S WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT – WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!

TA

““2nd battalion, 1st Marines will be sweeping the area north of Danang, 3rd battalion…” At which point, a reporter interrupted with a stupid question, “General, what’s a battalion?” General Walt replied, “You mean to tell me that your newspaper sent you half-way around the world to cover a war, and you don’t know what a battalion is?” The reporter replied, “They didn’t want to send someone who might be biased.”
Yes, the Leftwing news media of the time didn’t want to send anyone to Vietnam who would report favorably on the war. The lies they told back then actually ended up causing me to go to Vietnam. Every account I read about the war, while stationed in Germany, read like the U.S. was losing badly in Vietnam and was barely hanging on by a fingernail.
My mind couldn’t accept the fact that the U.S. military was losing this war, so I volunteered for Vietnam service, because I had to go see for myself, whether my worldview was completely wrong or not.
When I got to Vietnam in 1968, I found that the military situation was just the opposite of how it was being reported in the news media. The U.S. was winning and the North Vietnamese were losing badly. That’s when I first realized the news media doesn’t always tell the truth. They let their personal political opinions color their reporting, either deliberately or subconciously.

prjindigo

tl;dr
Tepco has CONSTANTLY lied about the amount of radiation coming out of the THREE reactors in melt-down, so now that real numbers are showing up the news is moronically reporting an increase in the radiation.

MarkW

Not reporting what you want to hear, is a lie?
The real numbers are showing up because they have finally been measured. FOR THE FIRST TIME.

Javert Chip

“Fake News” (different from “oops, we made a mistake and we’ll correct it”) brings into focus the press’ ethics, intellectual dishonesty and gross lack of subject matter knowledge.
As bad as this is with “climate science”, I suspect it’s doubly bad with anything having to do with nuclear physics – most of these writers don’t know the difference between an atom and their anus. Love him or hate him, Trump hit the nail on the head yesterday when he told the press “…nobody believes you anymore…’.

Ross King

Starting with Blairite Spin Strategies (maybe before?), followed by the climateGate shenanigans (inventing spurious ‘truths’), followed by Clintonesque distortions of & deviations from the truth, now NOAAGate, to say nothing of O-ba-ma-seat-of-ma-pants trampling of due Constitutional processes, we truly live in the Post=Truth World. NOTHING is to be believed ‘cos it’s self-serving to the utterer and designed to mislead the hot-polloi voters. The MSM has sold its soul to sensationalism with its concomitant wild exaggerations.
THERE IS NO “TRUTH” ANY LONGER, ANYWHERE. NOTHING CAN BE BELIEVED. Anything you see or read is news that is FAKE. So everything is “Fake News”.

K. Kilty

The phrase “failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 m tsunami” does not quite do justice to the incompetence involved. There were historical reports of a tsunami having inundated the site of the reactors, but Tepco had conveniently decided to start its historical period for a variety of purposes just after this event.

Javert Chip

Gee, that sounds an awful lot like “climate science” cherry picking…

Phil

Just north of Fukushima I and II is the nuclear plant at Onogawa. It was built in 1980 with a 14 meter wall and was a lot closer to the epicenter of the earthquake and the tsunami, I think, was also higher. It was used as a refuge after the tsunami and earthquake. It survived very well despite remarkable ground motion. It is an example of a properly built facility. Fukushima is an example of a very poorly designed and built plant. Using Fukushima to try to convince skeptics of the safety of nuclear power is sort of like trying to convince someone of the safety of travel by automobile using as an example a fatal accident involving a drunk who wasn’t wearing his seatbelt and who was exceeding the speed limit by double during an ice storm. For example, the torus or wetwell was intentionally built below the water table.

The BWR Mark I (used at Fukushima I) has a Primary Containment system comprising a free-standing bulb-shaped drywell of 30 mm steel backed by a reinforced concrete shell, and connected to a torus-shaped wetwell beneath it containing the suppression pool… The wetwell is connected to the dry containment by a system of vents, which discharge under the suppression pool water in the event of high pressure in the dry containment. … If a loss of coolant accident (LOCA) occurs, steam flows from the dry containment (drywell) through a set of vent lines and pipes into the suppression pool, where the steam is condensed.

In other words, the torus or wetwell is directly connected to the inside of the primary pressure vessel containing the core. In the event of an accident, the most radioactive stuff had a direct route to the torus. So what did they do? The lowered the water table by using sump pumps around the perimeter of the reactor buildings. When the plant suffered a total blackout, the sump pumps stopped running and the water table rose again to its normal level, leaving the most radioactive stuff in the torus under water. In order to minimize ground water contamination, IIRC the sump pumps have never been restarted and water is pumped out of the basements of the buildings to try to maintain a net flow INTO the basements. This contaminated water is treated and stored onsite. They are trying to freeze the ground around the buildings to isolate them, but with difficulties.
The Onogawa plant is an example of what the future of nuclear energy needs to be. Nobody ever expected a nuclear plant to be able to safely survive what Onogawa survived. Fukushima Daichi is not defensible. It serves as an example more of what not to do.

They rightly deserve the scorn for where the generators were, and then not fixing it (*). But the whole containment building took a really big quake, much larger than spec, and worked as design, did not breach, and shutdown as expected.
*while it is an excuse, I think I read someplace it is a really big deal to make redesigns to an existing license, in Japan anyway.

Here’s real news about groundwater radiation : far below targets:
“6 Feb (NucNet): Radiation levels in purified groundwater pumped into the sea from sub-drain and groundwater drain systems at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear station in Japan were substantially below the operational targets set by Tokyo Electric Power Corporation (Tepco), according to a report submitted by Tepco to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Tepco said its operational targets are well below those specified by the country’s nuclear regulator and about one-tenth lower than targets set by the World Health Organisation for acceptable drinking water. The results were confirmed by the Japan Chemical Analysis Centre, Tepco said. According to Tepco, analysis of seawater sampled during the discharge operation at the nearest seawater sampling post from the discharge point showed that radiation levels in seawater remain lower than the limits laid down by the regulator. The groundwater, which flows onto the nuclear site from hills behind the facility, mixes with contaminated water being used to cool melted fuel. The treated groundwater is only released into the sea when it is confirmed that concentrations of radioactive material have been reduced to between 0.001% and 0.0001% of their original levels and are below operational targets.”
This from http://www.nucnet.org several weeks ago.

henryp

Are you proposing we still use nuclear? In Chernobyl the problem is so bad that they have said that the whole plant has to be re- encapsulated. The price for this is so high that the Ukraine gov cannot pay for it..
Next major problem will be in Belgium or France
Where they discovered cracks in the reactor vessels.
NO MORE NUCLEAR PLEASE….

@henryp
Don’t be so wet.

Gary Pearse

henryp: these old chestnuts have been roasted too much. Chernobyl was a Soviet, no safety, no frills design and as such it killed 70 or so people and did make hundreds sick who were next door (the 4000 plus of the UN never materialized but sticks in the receptive heads like yours). The rest of the world’s nuclear accidents killed another half a dozen or so. Did you know that the radiation at Hiroshima dropped back down to background is year or two? Do you know that the Chernobyl exclusion zone is now a naturally redeveloped game park like a ‘Serengeti’ of Europe? Oh yes, there were deformed animals for a few years, but guess what? Wolves and other predators ate the weak and deformed and now they are amazingly recovered. The old stories, of course don’t easily get revised. There are ‘Babushkas’ picking mushrooms, etc in the forest and some of these have been conducting tours there for years.
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/nuclear_power/2013/01/wildlife_in_chernobyl_debate_over_mutations_and_populations_of_plants_and.html
“The idea that the world’s biggest radioactive wasteland could become Europe’s largest wildlife sanctuary is completely counterintuitive for anyone raised on nuclear dystopias.
The news isn’t good for all animals. Many species that like human company—swallows, white storks, pigeons—mostly left the region along with the people. Also, small creatures seem to be more vulnerable to the effects of radiation than large ones. That may be why Chernobyl rodents studied in the 1990s had shorter life spans and smaller litters than their counterparts outside the zone. Stag beetles had uneven horns. But it didn’t affect their population numbers.
And because the health of wild animal species is usually judged by their numbers rather than the conditions of individuals, Chernobyl wildlife is considered healthy. According to all the population counts performed by Ukraine and Belarus over the past 27 years, there is enormous animal diversity and abundance. The prevailing scientific view of the exclusion zone has become that it is an unintentional wildlife sanctuary. This conclusion rests on the premise that radiation is less harmful to wildlife populations than we are”
I hope this doesn’t meet with the usual imperviousness of the ‘committed’, henryp

If people were interested in the facts they would read them, UNSCEAR has reported several times on Chernobyl and Fujushima. No more than 50 people hav ever dies in nuclear generation related accidents. Its not 90, that is more nonsense, Far less per unit enrgy than any other modility.. You can’y t make delusional people understand the facts, though, because they prefer their beliefs. These are eco worriers. Irrational belief is the way of life they choose, grasping at evry scare story they don’t understand the science of and don’t research either, supported by a civilisation that depends on following the provable science we have developed to protect ourselves using the energy we produce from our machines. etc. We have to leave these irrational people be. They are not of this world. Let it go……queue music…..

Gary Pearse

Brian, I got your message about the futility of preaching to the impervious, but I was inspired over 50yrs ago by Christian missionaries who spent 25 yrs (this was in 1964 when I was a geologist with the Geol Survey of Nigeria – who knows, they may be still trying) preaching to the Muslims of Timbuktu and had only succeeded in converting two people, both lepers. I sometimes use much more polite offerings than the one above just to confirm your thesis on ineluctable minds.

Paul Penrose

Henry,
Fear and loathing are poor substitutes for knowledge and wisdom. Nuclear energy is the safest form of energy production on the planet on a per watt basis. It is also the only energy source capable of providing all our ever increasing energy needs into the far future.

henryp

PAUL
If it is not cheaper to build
Why would you preger nuclear?

henryp

Prefer

MarkW

It wouldn’t be if the anti-nuke kooks would quite using lawfare to drive up the cost.

Paul Penrose

Henry,
There are modern designs now that would be far cheaper to build than the reactors currently in use and not only will produce little (low-level) waste, but will burn the current stockpile of spent fuel. But the political and legal atmosphere is so poisoned that it has been impossible to get them approved, let alone built. The only reason to oppose them is to enable one to make the claim that nuclear is too dangerous and expensive.
Affordable, reliable, and abundant energy is the key to raising ALL of humankind out of crushing poverty. No technology is 100% risk free, but poverty, especially energy poverty, is the cause of more human misery and deaths than any other single factor you can name.
When considering those four things (affordability, reliability, abundance, safety), nuclear energy is the clear winner over all other energy sources. The newer designs should be even better. Given all this, why would you oppose it? Unless you just hate people.

Paul
most of you pro guys are not getting my point here.
Nuclear is in fact NOT economical compared to gas or even with coal {even with SO2 and heavy metal removal } so why would you still want to support it?
They are burying the waste here somewhere in the ground between Kimberley and Cape Town, and I am supposed to feel OK to see all the signs there to keep away [danger radiation signs] ???
You have to be crazy.
Why would anyone in his right mind want this kind of energy?

catweazle666

“most of you pro guys are not getting my point here.”
That’s because you haven’t got one.
An alarmist paranoid fantasy based on zero knowledge and even less understanding does not constitute a point.

Paul Penrose

Henry,
No, I understand your point. It’s just stupid. Basically you are saying that 1960’s era nuclear power technology can’t compete with modern natural gas and coal power, especially given the current low cost of those fuels.
MY point is, that there are new designs that would be more than competitive, at least for baseload. But none of these designs have been approved, let along built,, because of fear of nuclear. Naked fear, driven by the lies of the “green” groups and corrupt politicians that are happy to take their money. Not economic or any other considerations.

Paul
if you have a design for a nuclear plant that has no pollutant why is it not being promoted? Thorium? How far are they with that? Burning gas has almost no pollutant. More carbondioxide is better?
Via the Paris agreement they are now forcing third world countries to get nuclear plants which puts them in heavy debt. Crazy. All because of the CO2 nonsense.

The broken Chernobyl reactor does not need to be re-encapsulated. Here is typical FP yield grouped by half-life:
Long ____ > 100,000 years __ 20.8%
Medium __ 4.8 – 100 years ___ 11.7%
Short ____ < 4.8 years ______ 67.6%
68% of FP have already decayed away to 0.1% of their initial activity or less. These were the short-lived, very active FPs. So over 2/3 of the FP radiation has gone now. Plutonium-239 and transuranics are still an issue with half-lives of hundreds to thousands of years. But these substances stay where they are. They will not get up to fly outside the plant and attack you. The radiation emitted is mostly quickly dissipated. Alpha- and beta- radiation have no significant penetration in air. Only gamma penetrates but it's activity falls off as the square of its distance from the reactor. Build a 20-foot thick earth wall around the reactor and gamma too will not penetrate. The other 3 reactors next to the exploded one continued operation for years after 1986, when it was most dangerous for people to operate them.
The mausoleum around the exploded Chernobyl reactor is there just for show. Not to protect anyone. A €1 billion fashion statement.

For those who, like practically everybody, hasn’t seen info on the changes since Fukushima
(since the news media doesn’t cover anything but scare stories about nuclear) there have, in this country (and in Europe as well) added precautions to ensure that 1) back up power is resistant to all kinds of natural disasters and 2) that (in the U.S.) emergency pumping equipment is stored in two sites in this country (Memphis and Oak Ridge, I believe) that contain every kind of equipment that a nuclear power station that had lost power or otherwise lost the ability to pump cooling water thru its reactor could possibly need to restore core cooling. The equipment can be airlifted within hours to any U.S. nuclear reactor. Changes that make such emergency equipment unlikely to be needed in the first place include multiple backup power generators, including diesel, batteries, etc. Some have three levels of backup power generators, with a variety of technologies, located where they can withstand all kinds of natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, fires, etc). The notion of a U.S. Fukushima is pretty much a pipe dream held only by the paranoid anti-nuclear crowd.

MarkW

Wouldn’t it be better to have the two repositories, one on each coast? Rather than both in Tennessee?

Mike McMillan

L.A. and D.C. ?

Douglas M. Fabish

Is the 350 tons of enriched uranium still burning in uncontrolled fission or has that stopped?
[Primary fission stopped milliseconds after the accident. All delayed neutron production stopped a few seconds after the accident, which stopped even the delayed fission.
Decay heat continued to be generated, and will continue for years after the accident. BUT! Decay heat is a very small fraction of the instantaneous heat level generated prior to the accident, and will continue to decrease as each day and each year passes after the shutdown. Enough to cause damage, but a small fraction of the original heat being generated in the reactor. .mod]

Douglas M. Fabish

Thank you

Slee

My Dad was,for the bulk of his career, the head of a nuclear reactor safety division at a national lab. Interestingly, when Fukushima occurred he was emailing with some of the folks on the ground. He also did work for the Japanese folks. He ran this test:

(Note, the wall was 12 feet thick, the plane was going ~480 mph and the deepest dent in the wall was ~2.5 inches) was for the Japanese folks IIRC. They wanted to know what would happen if an airliner hit a containment dome. The answer, everyone on the plane dies and you sweep up the wreckage of the plane afterwards.
Anyway, back in the day he had a pool in their test area that had a beta radiation source at the bottom. They would take components, seal them, drop them down in the water and expose them to the source for a while, pull them back up and test them. Radiation hardness testing. The pool had a lovely blue hue due to Cherenkov radiation.
So, after some time they needed to drain the pool. Due to some regulations he had to inform the state and city about it. He informed the proper folks and the next thing you know there was a giant backlash. There were op-eds about how the lab was trying to kill all the children by releasing nuclear water into the sewer system. It was in all the papers, there were public meetings, etc. Poor Dad had to deal with all this.
The thing was, the water that was going to be released was about as radioactive as beer. I had stuck my arm in the pool. As long as the radiation source was contained, the water was perfectly safe.
Yet the outrage continued. This went on for a year or so if I remember correctly. The water was finally dumped and was no big deal.
That was when I learned that a) the press generally doesn’t know shit about nuclear b) the word ‘radiation’ used in any article scares a large percentage of the population because they have no understanding whatsoever of the subject and c) the general population freaks about small things while ignoring real issues.
Regarding the backup generators/nuclear technology bit. This was a failure of management, not nuclear technology. The management was told that a tsunami could take out the backup generators. Apparently, they judged the risk of losing the backup generators due to the tsunami as very low. That was a bad call that was also made by cities which tsunami walls were also too small to deal with the wave.
Slee

catweazle666

Many years ago when CD players with lasers were introduced, a woman of my acquaintance was horrified to see that it had a ‘Radiation’ sticker on it due to the laser, which she took to mean that it was radioactive.
There was nothing that anyone could say to convince her it was totally harmless, because as far as she was concerned, ‘Radiation’ meant radioactivity, like atom bombs.
So she got rid of it again…

You can’t fix stupid. Politicians and fraudsters rely on it to sell people phoney science as fact with expensive snake oil cures. [Never] fails, it seems.

Javier

I am sure that people who owned properties close to the Fukushima nuclear plant were told how safe it was and how a nuclear accident was unimaginable. I guess they now see things very differently to people that are sitting at their armchairs at the other side of the world. Their properties might recover their former value in tens of thousands of years. I seriously doubt anybody commenting here would like to buy them even at a discount.

MarkW

Those who died, and the property destruction that occurred was due to the tsunami. Not Fukushima.

Paul Penrose

Javier,
Thousands of years, eh? You don’t know much (or really anything) about nuclear physics, do you? If what you assert were true, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would still be barren wastelands, not thriving cities as they are today.

Gary Pearse

Background radiation at Hiroshima was back to background levels within about a year! Nuclear is the only way going into the future after fossil fuels whether we like it or not. Actually fossil fuels may become too strategic a resource for petrochemical feedstocks and burning it may become foolish for that alone. It may be fusion eventually but the atom is our destiny. Starting with this incontrovertible fact, ten percent of the cash being spent on CO2 hysterics would be enough to research all possible problems (nuclear waste, design parameters, control, etc. etc.). We just have to push past the Luddite mutants and let them whine. Like rescuing the Nile crocodile, we will be saving them, too, while they are trying to bite our asses off.

“I seriously doubt anybody commenting here would like to buy them even at a discount.”
You are wrong. I did and still feel tempted.

Whew! Just as long as it’s not leaking carbon dioxide.

David
fake news = promoting nuclear energy, when you know that building gas plants is 10 x cheaper and that the CO2 produced changes nothing to the weather….

MarkW

It is your position then, that unless one attacks nuclear power you are in fact promoting it?

Stephen Richards

Where I used to live near the coast there were 3 nuclear plants. We use to fish the outlets because fish there were larger. So Henry, why did those fish die and where is the data?

Different eco system has been established?

@ Henry P
Try looking up Galen Winsor on youtube.
Or reading Robert Zubrin’s book: Merchants of Despair.
Zubrin is a PhD nuclear engineer with 9 patents to his name or pending.
John Doran.

it seems most sane people have agreed that we don’t need nuclear energy as other options are cheaper.

Did you even bother looking?

Ross King

Is NucPwr cheapest or not?
Only a comparative set of DCF (Discount Cash Flow) analyses between competing power-gen alternatives will help answer this question objectively.
Capital Cost Inputs are:
1. Initial CapEx
2. Decommissioning costs
3. Measurable Externalities, capitalized (e.g., population displacement & loss-of-ag-land costs for a dam-scheme)
Direct Op., Maint. & periodic overhaul/refurbishment costs
Indirect costs such as Licensing, Insurance
Sales Revenues projected from long-term, capacity-maximizing operations (as a start-point before prioritizing dispatch).
Nota bene that in the context of hydrocarbon-powered power-plant, arguments will rage over the valuation of externalities such as CO2 (however spurious the competing claims might be). In the context of dams, methane production & impacts on fish habitat.
Nota bene also that Nuclear Power suffers few externalities in comparison:
a. It is free of emissions of CO2, Sulphates, NOX, toxic particulates (e.g., Mercury, heavy metals)
b. No aerial acidification & down-wind agricultural/aquacultural impacts
c. Minimal, below ambient irradiation
Yes, my critics will crow, but what about Chernobyl & Fukushima? To which my answer is:
i. They were rogue incidents, and the World has survived them with nary a blink globally;
ii. Modern reactor designs will accommodate lessons learnt therefrom and mistakes will *NOT* be repeated. Existing reactors will be retro-fitted concomitantly.
iii. The radioactive releases from these disasters have largely dissipated below ambient levels of radioactivity world-wide.

Yes sure, I looked it up. It is about people profiting on or from the fear of people.
My argument is that nuclear has become too expensive to build. Apart from that, you sit with the waste; I rather have more CO2.
Whether fear plays or played a part in that?
You tell me.

It’s actually about the falsely generated fear of nuclear. Nuclear has become too expensive through the generation of fear & the employment of bureaucrats to enforce unnecessary regulations. read the book I reco’d.

Not the case. Compared to what – other CAPEX that has maassive OPEX? I sent you the costs already. The amounts are not significant compared to even the waste in renewable subsidies -$7 or $8 B pa in UK alone, to make things worse than building nuclear.New nuclear $4.5-5B per GW. The table from IEA Data is mashed, you have to count the columns.
TYPE / CCGT Gas /Clean Coal / 90% CCS / Coal / Nuclear / Slow Fission / Onshore Wind Solar PV
CAPEX $M/MWh (i) 1,000.00 2,000.00 4,000.0 5,000.00 2,400.00 6,000.00
BUILD Years (i) 2.00 4.00 4.00 7.00 1.00 1.00
Life Expectancy 30.00 40.00 40.00 60.00 25.00 25.00
Annual Linear Depreciation 0% interest 33.33 50.00 100.00 83.33 96.00 240.00

stock

If you look at the safecast website, the reading are all strangely “flat lined” it doesnt work like that
http://realtime.safecast.org/map/
There is always significant variations, say 30% on an hourly basis.

MarkW

What in your fevered imagination, is the cause of this alleged variation?
Unless the amount of radioactive material is constantly changing, or somehow the shielding between the sensor and the radioactive material changes, the total radiation will only change as the total amount decays. Slowly, over months and years.

stock

You fail even the most basic research or knowledge, now where did I put that can of “troll begone”

MarkW

Troll calls others a troll. How precious.

Mark, are you perhaps Homer Simpson’s boss and is this why you promote nuclear?

catweazle666

No, he – and most other informed individuals – promotes nuclear because unlike you he understands the technology and the risks and advantages of it and isn’t frightened by crackpot alarmist bedwetter fantasies, and doesn’t believe every “Green’ lie that achieves currency amongst the feebleminded.

stock

It would be shameful to observe the massive die-offs of sea life and bird life around the Pacific and not at least consider the possibility that the 10000 to 20000 equivalent nuclear bombs of radiation that were released by Fukushima could be part of the cause.
The radiation sponge Chitin theory should be read.
https://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/2016/02/a-scientific-basis-for-destruction-of.html

edi malinaric

Hi Stock – a quick check of the state of corals at the Bikini Atoll – where they actually detonated in excess of 20 A-bombs…
http://www.livescience.com/2438-bikini-atoll-corals-recovering-atomic-blast.html
How do arrive at a figure of 10 – 20 000 equivalent nuclear bombs of radiation from a fairly well-contained nuclear power station?
cheers edi

stock

Cool, 70 years…nice to see it bouncing back. Do you have 70 years to spare?
Here is the inventory of Fukushima, by now most of it is out. The coriums sitting in the underground riverbed are soluble.
Inventory of Fukushima, compared to hiroshima bomb is 2,009,000 Hiroshima bombs.
https://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/2014/11/total-spent-fuel-inventory-at-fukushima.html

stock

Well contained? Are you talking Fukushima? Its a sieve in a river bed.

MarkW

It didn’t take 70 years, it barely took one year.

MarkW

The only animals that died because of Fukushima radiation were in the immediate vicinity of the plant and even then only for a month or so after the accident.

MarkW

If true, it isn’t because of radiation.

stock

Nicely played Martin Clark! Facts

catweazle666

You wouldn’t recognise facts if a swarm of them scuttled under your bridge and bit youi on the snout.

MarkW

Argument by ignorance.
You don’t know what it was, therefore it must have been radiation.
Since we both know that’s the best you can do. You can retire in full shame.

Paul Penrose

More likely the birds left when the people left. I bet the correlation between human population and bird population is much better than between bird population and radiation levels.

MarkW

You note that bird populations have dropped. Without any evidence you assume that it must be because of the radiation. Any other explanation has to have proof, but yours doesn’t.
And that’s without even bothering to prove that there actually has been a drop in bird populations.

Smart Rock

No one here has seen this number 10,000 to 20,000 “equivalent nuclear bombs” before so why don’t you give us a source. Also you should specify whether you’re using 1 KT battlefield nuclear shells or 50 MT thermonuclear bombs as the unit of measure. There is a difference, I believe.
I met people like you in the run-up to Québec making uranium exploration illegal. They didn’t use facts and figures, just anecdotes and made-up factoids.
Got to go, work to do.

There is a difference

Lol, bring a long tape measure to measure the size of the holes they make.

catweazle666

“No one here has seen this number 10,000 to 20,000 “equivalent nuclear bombs” before so why don’t you give us a source.”
Probably the Guardian.
That’s where most of the Green nutters get their alarmist BS from.

Stephen Richards

consider the possibility that the 10000 to 20000 equivalent nuclear bombs of radiation that were released by Fukushima
Where did you get that claptrap?

stock

It is also insightful that as the Globalists made there last push for global control with their flawed horse in the race, that horse was the secretary of state during Fukushima, and she got advice from the head globablist himself, Kissinger, to conspire with Japan to cover up Fukushima and USA would buy their radioactive food without testing as long as Japan didn’t fight the NWO too much.
Data straight from her emails……
https://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/2016/07/clinton-email-prove-she-made-shady-deal.html

MarkW

One thing with conspiracy nutcases, is their firm conviction that lack of evidence to support their delusions is merely proof of how effective the conspiracy is.

… Kissinger, to conspire with Japan to cover up Fukushima and USA would buy their radioactive food …

My conspiracy theorist BS detector here just flew off the scale. 1000 Sv of toxic bullshit posting detected. Alert, Alert, …

catweazle666

You really must upgrade your tinfoil hat, the aluminium just isn’t up to the job in your case.
Try ten gauge builders’ lead flashing, fully covering your head and hermetically sealed round your neck.
That should prevent any further conspiracy theories penetrating.

stock

The dead robots are true, Bloomberg reports. So the article claim of fake news is in fact fake news
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-17/race-for-japan-s-melted-nuclear-fuel-leaves-trail-of-dead-robots

MarkW

Dead robots are true. Why isn’t.
Take your delusions and peddle some place where everyone else is as ignorant as you are.

Paul Penrose

The robots weren’t “killed” by radiation and their insides did not “melt”. They became disabled or stuck due to the debris and/or nature of the damage to the building they were traveling through. So yes, it was fake news when the facts were so easily obtainable.

The tuna may glow but is safe for your kids to eat….
Do us a favor and stick to climatology.

MarkW

Wow, the delusions are inability to deal with the real world is strong in this one.
There are no glowing Tuna. In fact it takes the most sensitive instruments made by man to even detect the increase in radiation anywhere more than a few miles from Fukushima.

stock

50% of Humpback whales in Hawaii were missing last year.
https://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/2017/01/humpback-whales-in-hawaii-missing-in.html

MarkW

So it took the Humbacks 10 years to die from the radiation? Fascinating.
Why in your demented opinion did it take 10 years for them to die when the radiation was higher years ago?
Beyond that, can your p@ranoid imagination come up with a reason why humbacks are uniquely vulnerable to radiation?

stock

They eat krill, krill use Chitin as a structure. Chitin bio accumulates man made radiation at a rate of 200 time to 2,000,000 times what is present in the water.
Duh, you didn’t even read the material. Shameful little troll

MarkW

I confess, I rarely read fake reports from well known conspiracy sites.
Shame on me.
PS: Both of your claims are nothing but BS.
To bad you are smart enough to realize that.

Paul Penrose

stock,
What you said makes so scientific sense at all. How does anything biological accumulate high energy photons (radiation)? And even if you are talking about radioactive compounds, you need to tell us which ones, and how they get into the tiny krill shells. Then you need to come up with a plausible explanation on how, in the short life of a krill, it can mange to concentrate these compounds up to a 2 million times the diluted concentration. And even if you can do all that, you still need to show some evidence that not only are the “missing” whales dead (and not just miscounted), but that they died of radiation poisoning. If not, then all you are selling is fear and loathing.

MarkW

My reply is still stuck in moderation.

stock

I think most of the primarily well educated people on this site understand the ramifications and odds of a massive Carrington type CME or EMP. With all power down and all electronic boards fried, and the world in panic…just how many nuclear plants would shut down successfully?

MarkW

All of them, since none of them rely on outside power to shut down.

stock

You poor pathetic little troll. They prefer to rely on outside power to shut down, or they can use their own emergency backup systems to shut down….unless those are all fried, like the electronics / motor control centers. Kind of surprised they let you stay here

catweazle666

“You poor pathetic little troll.”
Heh, typical troll, having lost the argument, you revert to abuse.
It’s like this, child. The grown-ups have decided to build nuclear reactors – here’s a list of 60 currently under construction:
https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/World-Statistics/Nuclear-Units-Under-Construction-Worldwide
And here’s a list of all the nuclear reactors currently running in the world:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_reactors
So you just keep on sleeping on your rubber sheet, and the rest of us will enjoy keeping the lights on.

MarkW

You really stop while you are behind. CMEs and EMPs can’t destroy hardened electronics.
CME’s can’t even destroy any electronics, they might be able to take out the power grid, but that is far from certain, especially with all the work that has been done on hardening them in recent decades.

All of them. I’m sure every nuclear plant has backup diesel generators to power water pumps to keep the cooling going. 3 / 5 days of such cooling and most of the short-term, ultra-active radioactive FPs are gone. So decay heat is no longer a serious problem. After that natural cooling will prevent a melt-down.

Paul Penrose

More fear and loathing, eh stock? Nobody knows what the extent of the damage would be from a Carrington type event today. Most of what you read about it is pure speculation. There are some things that the experts agree on, however. Power grids would probably all go down. Sensitive electronics that are not shielded will probably be damaged, but that will vary a lot by circumstances. Communications will be disrupted and some satellites will be lost. But in places with heavy radiation shielding, like nuclear power plants and critical defense installations, there will be no effect.

crosspatch

Exactly WHICH radionuclides are being released matters. For example, just looking at a given amount of radioactive hydrogen might be much different than the same amount of cesium. The hydrogen is generally bonded with oxygen as water. It readily dilutes as soon as it comes into contact with the sea. It also has a much shorter biological half life (time required for the body to flush half of the material). Water passes through the body with a biological half life of about 7 days. Cesium reacts like potassium in the body and has a biological half life measured in months. So a given amount of radioactive water will see half of it gone in a week while an amount of cesium with exactly the same level of radioactivity will take the body months to remove.
The majority of the contamination currently released is radioactive hydrogen which is the least dangerous of all the radionuclides. In fact, the current daily release of radioactive hydrogen is LESS than if the plant were operating normally. Current release is below that permitted for release under normal operations. The problem is that TEPCO set an expectation that they were going to prevent ANY release, which has proved impossible to actually do.

You refer to the biological half-life as time of retention in a (human) body. Do not forget the radioactive half-life. Hydrogen-3 has a half-life of 12.3 years Cs-137 is 30 years.

Hydrogen-3 has the most pathetic radioactive emitter. It decays via beta-emission, releasing 18.6 keV of energy in the process. The electron’s kinetic energy varies, with an average of 5.7 keV, while the remaining energy is carried off by the nearly undetectable electron antineutrino. Beta particles from tritium can penetrate only about 6.0 mm of air, and they are incapable of passing through the dead outermost layer of human skin.
I’d be more worried about UV light.

Radiation doses from Natural & Artificial Sources:
Blood: 20 mrem/yr
Building Materials: 35 mrem/yr
Food: 25 mrem/yr
Cosmic Rays (sea level): 35 mrem/yr
Cosmic Rays ( Denver altitude): 70 mrem/yr
Medical X-Rays: 100 mrem/yr
Air travel ( NY to LA round trip) 5 mrem
Nuclear power plant (limit at property line) 5 mrem/yr
NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS (DOSE TO GENERAL PUBLIC) 0.01 mrem/yr
Average annual dose (general public) 270 mrem/yr
Figures from Robert Zubrin’s book Merchants of Despair.
Zubrin is a PhD nuclear engineer with 9 patents to his name or pending.
Book details the Anti-Humanist Malthusian/Darwinian agendas of the 1%s pushing the warming/climate scam & shows how clean & safe nuclear power is being suppressed.
John Doran.

Jer0me

Reminds me of a nuclear plant worker getting repeated warnings from her radition counting badge (that all plant workers & eg radiologists wear). On investigation, it was discovered that the cause was her eating 2 bananas a day. That gives you more radiation than is acceptable for a nuclear plant worker (due to the potassium therein, iirc).
It appears that the ‘banana’ has become an informal measure of radiation exposure, although I forget the value of said ‘banana’.
Whenever I get nuclear alarmism spouted at me, I ask “how many bananas is that?” When they admit to having no idea what I’m talking about, I explain, then ask them to read up about it before spouting nonsense.

Love it. Never knew this. 🙂

aGrimm

In early 1980’s, a medical products irradiator was built in Thorton, Colorado. It contained 12,000,000 Curies of Cs-137. At 1 meter, the gamma radiation level for one Curie of Cs-137 is 0.33 R/hr*. The dose rate for this 12 million Curies was therefore 3,960,000 R/hour at one meter (39,600 Sv/hr). I stood literally 26 feet away from the sources (~ 50,000 Ci/tube of Cs-137 in 200+ tubes) of Cs-137 and transferred the sources from the shipping cask into the storage pool. I got no dose of radiation as measured by ankle, waist, ring and collar dosimeters. How could this be? Was I behind a gigantic lead shield? Nope. Wearing my Superman cape? Nope. In fact I was shielded only by water – 24 feet of water.
Thus the “530 Sv/hr… “unimaginable” meme was rather snort worthy to me.
If I knew how to post a picture here, I could post one with all of the source tubes in the storage tank which shows the beautiful Cherenkov glow. The company which built the irradiator is Iotech. Unfortunately, a sister irradiator in Decatur, GA had a tube leak. A quick Bing search has this lawsuit citation over the Georgia failure: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/867/1465/1456365/ The one built in Colorado was working just fine, but they shut it down after the Georgia leak. FYI, much of the medical products in the US are sterilized via irradiators. Need a vaccination? Likely the needle and syringe were irradiated. Most US irradiators use C0-60, though there are some that use high energy X-Ray machines. CO-60 has a four times higher gamma radiation level per Curie than Cs-137.
* Radiological Health Handbook, 1970, US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bureau of Radiological Health. The reference can also be found in scores of Physics and Health Physics books.

Radioactive Cesium-137 .. in … water.
How is that not an accident waiting to happen?
Can’t Cesium be first chemically converted to an chemically inert and low soluble salt?
Or was that done with the Cesium?
The lawsuit give no indication, always referring them as “cesium capsules” and the words compound or salt missing.

aGrimm

Stephen: The Cesium-137 was in the form of CsCl, a salt – as you are obviously aware. It was enclosed in a double wall stainless steel tube of about 3″ od x 3′ length. Most Cesium sources are encapsulated this way – double wall SS with special welding. The problem that occurred with the Decatur irradiator was traced back to a problem where one of the capsules of CsCl did not get properly dried. At the high levels and heat of the capsule, the little bit of moisture built up internal pressure which proved more than design specifications from heat expansion of CsCl and caused the capsule to develop a crack. Being a salt, the CsCl dissolved into the coolant water of the irradiator where the sources were stored when not in use. It was a huge mess.
Co-60 irradiators do their irradiation under water. The advantage of the Cesium irradiator was that it did its irradiation in air – the sources were brought up out of the water. A humorous story: the State regulators absolutely insisted on video cameras in the irradiation chamber. The State was told what would happen and it did, the cameras burnt out in less than two hours.

Retired Kit P

Actually only 7′ of water are needed for shielding, the rest is a design margin.

aGrimm

@ Retired Kit P: Yep. I was with a company hired to check the shipping cask water for Cs-137 contamination. I had done this shielding calculation, plus measured the top of the storage pool so I had no concern. However there were nothing but project managers and workers around to off-load the sources, and they were hesitant to be the ones to move the sources. They asked me and I said, “Sure!” It put a feather in my health physics cap because there are damn few who can say they have moved 12 million Ci by hand (ala 24′ tongs). Thanks for the comment; it reinforces that even very, very large sources of radioactive materials can be handled safely.

I think I remember Harris having a Co-60 source, but I was never let near it. It was the military aero job that let me get a book on weapons effects to read, but I knew how all of it worked by like 10 thanks to the AEC and all of the free books they sent me 🙂

Nuclear power is the only energy source capable of powering most developed economies sustainably at even current energy use levels when fossil gas and coal are gone, or at least gas and oil become reserved fuels, and we depend on electricity for most heating and transport.. That’s the physics of energy intensity and intermittency. Most of the above is nonsense on the facts of radiation effects at the levels that apply. Contained melted reactors are just an expesnive decommissioning job 50 years on. Not a risk that we cannot deal routinely with. Where are the referenced facts or hard science. Just babble.
All radioisotopes decay. The fundamental ignorance of much of this reporting makes it wholly incredible to anyone with High SChool physics. I imagine most of the authors prefer to make up their own physics, based on the content.
And nuclear energy has caused the deaths of 50 people from radiation ever, no more are expected. The only suggestion they would was based on wholly bogus science by extremists, which some people prefer to reality. Fact: thousands still not dying. And won’t. The model used is based on science that was never proven, Linear No Threshold, then proved wrong. It isn’t linear and there is a threshold, way above the evacuation level, that occurs natuarlly around the world without medical effects. Up to 800mSv pa is harmless. We currently evacuate at 20mSv pa. The authorities don’t help by not revising safe levels to what is actually safe, of course.
Like Facts? I suggest all who have “opinions” about the risks and actual effects of Chernobyl and Fukushima read the UNSCEAR reports, whch are very conservative, but very detailed, really expert, and have clear conclusions. Also discuss the reality of safe levels, but do nothing about it, of course. This is the UN.
Or just keep making it up, if it makes you happy. Science doesn’t care what you believe.

MarkW

Accidental deaths are rarely expected. Pretty much by definition.
I would hesitate to claim that no nuclear accident in the future would ever kill someone.
However I would gladly point out that year in and year out, nuclear power is by far the safest form of energy when you compare the entire fuel cycle and number of MW’s of energy produced.

or at least gas and oil become reserved fuels
Oil and Gas (and coal) are already “reserved” fuels through the mechanism of PRICE. Supply and Demand.
Perhaps you think there will come a time of government fiat that rations use or bars use for uses a government agency deems unfit. Could be… Stupidity is one resource unlikely to become scarce.
PRICE is and always should be the governor in the smart use of a resource and its alternatives.

While we now have a healthy supply, we have to do nuclear, as we have to have it in space. And what we really should build first, is a huge reactor to power a wall of ion jets the size of a football field, a tiny cabin and a ship sized set of clamps.
If we do, and still needed fossil fuels, there are oceans of the stuff on titan (?).

See Stephen Rasey on economics, how much energy to get it to our grid from TItan?. Forget space. No significant nunbers will live away from Earth this warm period. Nearest planets so far away everyone will be dead when they return. And we have all the nuclear fuel we need to the end of water right here on Earth. Actually, in the sea, at $200/lb. Not significant in fuel rod cost. No problem

edi malinaric

HenryP
February 17, 2017 at 10:05 am
yes David
they build a nuclear plant here, in Koeberg, on the coast,
and all the fish that were here, died. Can you tell me why?
Nuclear fusion is still dead because we do not know how to harness the magnetic field strengths.
[btw changing magnetic field strengths on the Sun is what actually causes climate change]
Who would you say is the ignorant person here?
Hi Henry – you asked!
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.2989/025776191784287484
No need to panic.
cheers edi

edi
your link did not work [for me here]
however, I did make my point to stock/

@stock
the dying of the fish around a nuclear plant has to do with the amounts of water used to for cooling. The fish cannot withstand the warmer water being released around the plant [near to sea]
Which makes you wonder, does it not? That extra energy into the water ultimately translates to more H2O (g) which is a stronger GH gas than CO2 and is a more probable cause of global warming than CO2.
Indeed, all of my investigations showed that more CO2 would be cooling the atmosphere, rather than warming it….

MarkW

All power plants require cooling water, and in exactly the same amount.
PS: The amount of warming coming from all cooling towers is tightly regulated.
If you think that the fish were killed by warming water, than that is merely more evidence that you simply don’t think.

Mark, You got that one wrong. With a gas power plant you can just switch off the gas.
No need for big constant cooling like nuclear.
I would try to be less insulting if you want to enter into a discussion with me. This here is like a public lecture room and we are all students and teachers to each other.
Anyway, you have not told me why you or anyone would prefer nuclear energy if it is more expensive to make.

http://www.cfact.org/2013/10/12/physicist-there-was-no-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/
Deaths from the Tsunami, yes. Deaths from the panicked & incompetent govt evacuation order, yes.
Deaths from nuclear radiation: zero.
Our traitorous MSSM (MainSlimeStreamMedia) have no obligation toward truth.
John Doran.

MarkW
why do you want nuclear?

MarkW

There you go again you poor pathetic thing.
Refuting your lies is proof that I want nuclear.
I don’t care what’s built, as long as it’s the cheapest and safest.
Nuclear is by far the safest and the main reason why it’s so expensive is because of p@ranoid idiots such as yourself.

Mark
this shows me that you are the one who is pathetic
if you don’t even know that nuclear is more expensive to build [even before the C + F incidents]

MarkW

Poor little Henry, he keeps repeating the same disproven “facts” as if repetition could change reality.

catweazle666

Because it scares the sh1t out of bedwetters like you would be one reason.
The other is because it is a very effective method of producing very large quantities of electricity very cheaply (ask the French) and if it wasn’t for ignorant paranoid nutters like you it would be the cheapest too.

henryp

Neighbour Belgium had forced shut downs of a number of nuclear power stations last year due to cracks in the reactor vessels. Nothing lasts forever…

The Hitachi and Toshiba robots are designed to handle 1,000 sieverts and no robot has yet been disabled due to radiation.
This (I think) is a cumulative radiation measure. so the following comment is confused in measurements.

If the robots are designed to handled 1,000 Sv/hr… neither 530 nor 650 Sv/hr are unimaginable.

If a robot is designed to handle 1,000 sievets, then it can handle 100 Sv/hr for ten hours, 200 sv/hr for 5 hours, etc.

Walter Sobchak

The whole subject of the Fukushima reactors really bugs me. The Tohu Earthquake and tsunami killed almost 20,000 living human beings in the space of a few hours. It is one of the deadliest natural disasters in recent years. Yet the Mainstream Media neither noticed nor cared.
90% of their reporting was about the rather inconsequential meltdown of a couple of reactors, that in retrospect should have been sited on higher ground.
Why, because the true object of the media and the liberal elites is terrify the deplorables so that they will abandon the technology that has made them prosperous and live in the squalor, degradation, and misery that they deserve.

Retired Kit P

Walter
The media cares about dead bodies. If you have a dead body and no nuke plant that is. If a child dies in a house fire it is a tragedy.
If a child dies in a house fire and there is a nuke plant nearby, the headline is ‘fire near nuke plant kills child’.
Now that is a good story. The object is too get readers and sell advertising.

This was made a while after the event, and it’s very interesting for the approach of the media to the flat scientific facts from people working in the field, provided by the multi topic Science Media Centre in London, real experts were not wanted, just the experts who will support a headline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVQ0NvEcyqw

Stephen Richards

I know it sounds awful but Fukushima and Chernobyl have been a godsend for understanding the effects of radiation types on the human body. Before them there was really only Hiroshima and Nagasaki and they were high dose events. Scientists had to extrapolate to lower doses and this was highly unsatisfactory.
What Fuka and Chern showed was that these extrapolations were invalid. Little damage occurs at slightly higher doses than the extrapolations showed.

Tom Halla

Yes, the anti-nuclear activists, and zealots of other persuasions, love to use the “linear response/no threshold model” of health risk. While calculating the health effects of a massive dose, and extrapolating down is mathematically simple, there is no evidence supporting that approach in the real world.
It is rather like the joke/parable of the drunk searching for the lost item under the streetlight, rather than in the middle of the block where it was lost, because it it easier to look there.

Linus

Check out the damage from “depleted” uranium in Iraq and to a lesser extent in other battlefields like Serbia. In places like Fallujah, the rate of birth defects is over 10%. Over several generations, this amounts to genocide, given that the half life of depleted uranium is in the thousands of years.

MB

How many times does this DU nonsense need to be debunked?

Retired Kit P

No, it is awful. We already knew what the effects of radiation were. That is why the US has design standards to protect people. And it works.
The only reason to expose people to high level of radiation is for medical treatment.

[snip – noted, problem dealt with – thanks, mod]

MB

The biggest failures at Fukushima was human error. Egregious human error. When the electricity failed and the internal water pumps stopped working, water could have been pumped in externally from the ocean just a few yards away. Boats could easily have been tasked with this. The reason this wasnt done isnt because sea water would have made the crisis worse, its because sea water would have ruined the billion dollar reactors the Japanese electric company executives thought they could save.

Retired Kit P

Wow, that is a new one! Where do you think boat in a harbor end up after a 45 foot waves comes through?
When a seismic event exceeds the design basis of a nuke plant, the end result is decommissioning the plant even if there was no damage. This happen after the 2007 seismic event.

otropogo

These examples scarcely qualify as fake news. News items written and distorted by careless or technically uninformed copy writers and passed by inept or non-existent fact checkers and editors are not the same as fabricating misinformation out of whole cloth or saying “black is actually white”.
Here are some examples of REAL fake news that was happily accepted and propagated FOR DECADES by major news organizations and academics who should/must have known better:
1. that the German Wehrmacht murdered thousands of members of the Polish Officer Corps at Katyn Wood during the Second World War. It was only a few years ago that the truth was announced – it was the Soviet Army that did the deed.
2. that the Tang Shan Earthquake in China resulted in only 10,000 deaths. It was only a few years ago that the Chinese Government allowed the making of a movie that admitted a death toll of 200,000. The actual death toll was probably about 500,000, and was obvious at the time of the quake to a French delegation visiting the city, who reported that every second building was reduced to rubble.
Your examples a FAKE FAKE NEWS.
PS. The fact that radioactive water has been leaking in significant quantities into the ocean from the Fukushima site has been known for quite some time, as has the building of a frozen wall to try to contain it at great cost and with dubious chances of success. There has actually been far more REAL FAKE NEWS about the Fukushima situation minimizing the dangers and difficulties in dealing with this ongoing disaster.

Retired Kit P

What dangers, what disaster?
otropogo, I am thinking you do not know the relative meaning of ‘significant’.

otropogo

Retired Kit P
February 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm wrote:
“What dangers, what disaster?”
In reverse order, disaster:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tepco-fukushima-costs-idUSKBN13Y047
dangers:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/crippled-fukushima-reactors-are-still-a-danger-5-years-after-the-accident1/
“otropogo, I am thinking you do not know the relative meaning of ‘significant’.”
Anything that requires the expenditure or $360 million dollars on a fix that may not do the job…
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/30/science/fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-plant-cleanup-ice-wall.html?_r=0

otropogo

Oops! Looks like I’ve just created $40 million dollars worth of fake news…