• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

Fukushima leak is bad and getting worse

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
A nuclear expert has told the BBC that he believes the current water leaks at Fukushima are much worse than the authorities have stated.

Mycle Schneider is an independent consultant who has previously advised the French and German governments.

He says water is leaking out all over the site and there are no accurate figures for radiation levels.

Meanwhile the chairman of Japan's nuclear authority said that he feared there would be further leaks.

The ongoing problems at the Fukushima plant increased in recent days when the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) admitted that around 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank on the site.

The Japanese nuclear energy watchdog raised the incident level from one to three on the international scale that measures the severity of atomic accidents.

This was an acknowledgement that the power station was in its greatest crisis since the reactors melted down after the tsunami in 2011.

But some nuclear experts are concerned that the problem is a good deal worse than either Tepco or the Japanese government are willing to admit.

They are worried about the enormous quantities of water, used to cool the reactor cores, which are now being stored on site.

Some 1,000 tanks have been built to hold the water. But these are believed to be at around 85% of their capacity and every day an extra 400 tonnes of water are being added.

"The quantities of water they are dealing with are absolutely gigantic," said Mycle Schneider, who has consulted widely for a variety of organisations and countries on nuclear issues.

"What is the worse is the water leakage everywhere else - not just from the tanks. It is leaking out from the basements, it is leaking out from the cracks all over the place. Nobody can measure that.

"It is much worse than we have been led to believe, much worse," said Mr Schneider, who is lead author for the World Nuclear Industry status reports.

At news conference, the head of Japan's nuclear regulation authority Shunichi Tanaka appeared to give credence to Mr Schneider's concerns, saying that he feared there would be further leaks.

``We should assume that what has happened once could happen again, and prepare for more. We are in a situation where there is no time to waste," he told reporters.

The lack of clarity about the water situation and the continued attempts by Tepco to deny that water was leaking into the sea has irritated many researchers.

Dr Ken Buesseler is a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who has examined the waters around Fukushima.

"It is not over yet by a long shot, Chernobyl was in many ways a one week fire-explosive event, nothing with the potential of this right on the ocean."

"We've been saying since 2011 that the reactor site is still leaking whether that's the buildings and the ground water or these new tank releases. There's no way to really contain all of this radioactive water on site."

"Once it gets into the ground water, like a river flowing to the sea, you can't really stop a ground water flow. You can pump out water, but how many tanks can you keep putting on site?"

Several scientists also raised concerns about the vulnerability of the huge amount of stored water on site to another earthquake.



Graphic of water tank contamination at Fukushima
Water from the storage tanks has seeped into the groundwater and then into the sea. Efforts to use a chemical barrier to prevent sea contamination have not worked.

The storage problems are compounded by the ingress of ground water, running down from the surrounding hills. It mixes with radioactive water leaking out of the basements of the reactors and then some of it leaches into the sea, despite the best efforts of Tepco to stem the flow.

Some of the radioactive elements like caesium that are contained in the water can be filtered by the earth. Others are managing to get through and this worries watching experts.

"Our biggest concern right now is if some of the other isotopes such as strontium 90 which tend to be more mobile, get through these sediments in the ground water," said Dr Buesseler.

"They are entering the oceans at levels that then will accumulate in seafood and will cause new health concerns."

There are also worries about the spent nuclear fuel rods that are being cooled and stored in water pools on site. Mycle Schneider says these contain far more radioactive caesium than was emitted during the explosion at Chernobyl.

"There is absolutely no guarantee that there isn't a crack in the walls of the spent fuel pools. If salt water gets in, the steel bars would be corroded. It would basically explode the walls, and you cannot see that; you can't get close enough to the pools," he said.

The "worsening situation" at Fukushima has prompted a former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland to call for the withdrawal of Tokyo's Olympic bid.

In a letter to the UN secretary general, Mitsuhei Murata says the official radiation figures published by Tepco cannot be trusted. He says he is extremely worried about the lack of a sense of crisis in Japan and abroad.

This view is shared by Mycle Schneider, who is calling for an international taskforce for Fukushima.

"The Japanese have a problem asking for help. It is a big mistake; they badly need it."

BBC News - Fukushima leak is 'much worse than we were led to believe'
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I have been seeing the ocean flow charts posted on facebook over the last few weeks, but the BBC articles adds some detail. THe leaking Cesium 137 is particularly bad due to it solubility.

Caesium-137 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Perhaps it is time for the UN's Atomic Regulatory agency, the IAEA, to inspect the site and determine whether other nations should step in to help protect the planet as Japan seems to not want to face the problem.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
I believe one metric ton of water is only 1 cubic meter of water, so..

On the flip side, I'd be more surprised to meet a Japanese official who wasn't trying to save face.

I'm sure somewhere along the line everyone agreed that a few sumimasen's and some deep bows should fix the problem.

Now everyone, back to your regularly scheduled wacky game show.

-jM
A&D
 

NemIsis

TRIBE Member
Sorry, in the middle of a movie and needed a break. Just stopped in to say you're both right. 1 cubic metre of water = 1 metric tonne = 1,000 litres. So about right depending upon the liquid.
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
So every day, 400,000 liters of radioactive water have to be stored somewhere safe on the site.
 

ndrwrld

TRIBE Member
read a study about not a single Bluefish Tuna caught off the coast of California not being well over the allowed levels of radioactivity.
gotta love how the FDA upped allowed levels in seafood right around the meltdown.
fuckers.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Should Fukushima's radioactive water be dumped at sea?

link

JAPAN'S beleaguered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility made headlines again this week, when some 305 tonnes of radioactive water leaked from a storage tank at the complex. This prompted Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority to upgrade the situation from 1 to 3 – a "serious accident" on the 8-point International Nuclear Event Scale.

The crisis reopened questions about how to deal with the flood of radioactive water accumulating at Fukushima. There is a radical option: to filter out as much radioactive material as possible, dilute what's left, and dump it in the Pacific.

This idea was put forward in April by a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after a visit to the site. But the Japanese government and local fishermen are opposed, fearing the waste would destroy their fisheries. A look at the numbers suggests that such fears lack firm justification.

For now, it is unclear whether any water from last week's leak actually reached the Pacific. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), which owns the plant, recorded high levels of radioactivity in a drainage ditch that runs to the sea from the tank, but could not detect anything in the seawater itself.

Other parts of Fukushima are certainly leaking. From samples of seawater, Jota Kanda of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology estimated last year that about 0.3 terabecquerels (TBq) of radioactive material are leaking into the sea each month.

Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts says the Kanda estimate is probably the best he is aware of, and closely matches figures released on 21 August by Tepco, of 0.1 to 0.6 TBq per month for caesium-137 and 0.1 to 0.3 for strontium.

He points out that the north Pacific contains an estimated 100,000 TBq of caesium-137 from H-bomb testing in the 1960s, so the fallout from Fukushima is adding only a fraction of that. Total discharges from the Sellafield nuclear plant in the UK released 39,000 TBq over 40 years, he says.

Buesseler says that during his own sampling survey in waters 30 to 600 kilometres from Fukushima in June 2011, three months after the meltdown, the highest levels he found were 3 Bq of caesium-137 per litre of seawater. By comparison, the natural weathering of rocks results in about 10 Bq of radioactive potassium-40 making it into each litre of seawater.

On an international level, even if all the waste from Fukushima was dumped neat into the Pacific, dilution would eliminate any radiation risks to distant countries like the US, says Simon Boxall of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK.

The ocean would be the safest place for the waste water, says Geraldine Thomas, who runs the Chernobyl Tissue Bank at Imperial College London. "But to make that politically acceptable they have to talk to the local population. They have to make people understand that low levels of radiation don't matter because we're all exposed to it all the time."

In other words, it is more of a communication problem than a public health problem. "None of this is going to do anything health wise," she says. "Fukushima is nothing compared to Chernobyl."
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

alexd

Administrator
Staff member


Now they are talking about building an ice wall to keep the radiation at bay.
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Not only will they have to put the radioactive water behind the ice wall, but they will have to keep the wall frozen for what, 125,000 years? Sounds like a plan.
 

Lojack

TRIBE Member
The Chernobyl was worse, but at least the Soviets moved far more swiftly in containing the problem - remembering that it was happening for almost a week before they were forced to publicly admit to it - than the Japanese have. While the Soviets used uninformed labour, many who later died, the problem did not become worse. I hate to say it, but to fix this, some may have to sacrifice themselves.
 
tribe cannabis goldsmith - gold cannabis accessories

Persephone

TRIBE Member
The Chernobyl was worse, but at least the Soviets moved far more swiftly in containing the problem - remembering that it was happening for almost a week before they were forced to publicly admit to it - than the Japanese have. While the Soviets used uninformed labour, many who later died, the problem did not become worse. I hate to say it, but to fix this, some may have to sacrifice themselves.
or we need the robot revolution
 

Maui

TRIBE Member


In other words, it is more of a communication problem than a public health problem. "None of this is going to do anything health wise," she says. "Fukushima is nothing compared to Chernobyl."


Praktik, have you ever thought of a career as a PR specialist. I think Big Tobacco is looking right now.

"The ocean is a big place, it'll get diluted" Yeaaaah good one chooch. How about I come piss in your cereal bowl, it's ok right cause it'll get diluted. You fucking sorry excuse for a human being.
 

Lojack

TRIBE Member
or we need the robot revolution
LOL, I thought about that, but here's the rub: even if we had robots capable of doing the work, the robots would be contaminated by the radiation, so when those break down, someone still has to be exposed to fix it.

Until Skynet has its manufacturing facilities online that is.... ;)
 

Lojack

TRIBE Member
Praktik, have you ever thought of a career as a PR specialist. I think Big Tobacco is looking right now.

"The ocean is a big place, it'll get diluted" Yeaaaah good one chooch. How about I come piss in your cereal bowl, it's ok right cause it'll get diluted. You fucking sorry excuse for a human being.
Praktik is a good guy, he just loves to take the opposite position of a discussion. He's gotten quite good at it.

Which reminds me, Praktik: when are you leaving for that volunteer work in Japan again? ;>
 
tribe cannabis goldsmith - gold cannabis accessories
Top