originally posted by: theworldisnotenough
So you tell me: which is safer: dumping a barrel of plutonium into the ocean or dumping a single molecule of it?
Is that a trick question?
Diffusion may cause the barrel's contents may get dissolved in the ocean eventually.
So while the barrel is intact, the barrel is safer. But once the barrel is breached through the inevitable corrosion, it's much worse.
Would I be correct in believing that what you are saying means that the barrels of nuclear waste that have been dumped into the deep blue seas years
ago by foreign countries, most notably Russia, will come back one day, maybe soon, to bite us in the a**?
a reply to: theworldisnotenough
The USSR dumped a lot into the Arctic Ocean. The frozen methane helps to keep that contained, but if the methane thaws, then the radiation will spread
much faster. But if the methane thaws, the radiation will be the least of our concerns as explained in this video:
Steven Chu on Permafrost feedback
If what he's talking about happens it is likely to kill far more people than radiation ever will.
People have probably died from radiation long before the atomic age, in small numbers. But since the atomic age I think the greatest number of
premature deaths globally will probably result from fallout from atmospheric nuclear bomb tests. Since oceans cover 2/3 of the Earth about 2/3 of that
went into the oceans, maybe more. Chernobyl and Fukushima will elevate risk levels locally and some people will die prematurely but not huge
The USSR dumped a lot of liquid waste into the ocean without any containers at all. When they did put epoxy around the waste to try to contain it, it
was expected to contain it for 500 years. If or should I say when that epoxy fails in 500 years or so, more radiation will be released but not an
amount that will kill lots of people, but there will probably be some premature deaths as a result of that.
This chart kind of puts the radiation levels in perspective. The largest blue box is fallout, so this shows why I say that was globally the biggest
The box labeled #3 shows what has been dumped in the ocean. While it may not be a full accounting of everything dumped, even if you double that, it's
still not that large compared to the other sources, right?
If true, these allegations paint a worrying picture of an unknown amount of nuclear waste in the Mediterranean whose true danger will only become
clear when the hundreds of barrels degrade or somehow otherwise break open.
So, the author acknowledges that dumping of barrels of nuclear waste into the sea has ill-defined, unpredictable consequences.
The article at online.wsj.com... states that between 1946 to 1970 the federal government
dumped 47,000 barrels of nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean about 50 miles off the coast of San Francisco.
So, what is now melting star fish and killing other forms of marine life up and down the West Coast of the United States?
Is it radiation from Fukushima or are 47,000 barrels of nuclear waste finally breaking open and doing their dirty work?
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