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Radioactive Waste ............

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posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 12:13 PM
I don't know what should be the correct term in describing radio
active waste.I have had to learn recently about disposing of low
dose radiation in my cat's litter.She recently had radioactive iodine
for her thyroid problem.
I had to wear gloves when sifting her litter.Her used litter has to be
stored in a large,sealed bucket for 3 months before it can be placed
in the garbage.

posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 12:27 PM
a reply to: thorfourwinds

Especially Fuku, thanks for the reminder.

Hi thorfourwinds, always good to hear from you.

I'm still holding my breath so I don't breathe in the airborne nuclides.

I have a question for you. Seeing as how heavy lead particles can traverse the pacific ocean from China to the US west coast form Chinese coal fired power plants, I imagine Nuclear fallout from Fukushima can also do this. Are nuclides thermally hot because of their unstable state, do they naturally rise into the atmosphere because they are constantly decaying?

Heat rises, like in a fire the particles of smoke plume up because of the that in the smoke column from the fire. Do radioactive particles give off their own heat, that helps them rise into the atmosphere?

Jut wondering, thanks in advance for any links you might have.

posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 11:36 AM
Volatility is not a simple subject. In the case of Chinese Coal, it is the combustion products that allow small particulate matter to rise high into the atmosphere, once there it is more susceptible to the flow of the wind before falling back to Earth. You have to get it up there though. And in the case of coal burning, we are talking tonnes of material, and it is only coming down as a trace of material that slowly deposits with time.

In Fukushima, the amount of material is much lower so thats a bit better,

On Iodine 131, it has an 8 day half life, in physics we typically say to reduce the half life to an undetectable/non-useful level we need to wait for 10 half lives, which is around 80 days. This is why the Iodine contaminated cat litter needs to sit for 3 months... BUT to be honest after only 40 days the levels will be abut 3% of what it was at the beginning.

It beta decays into an excited state of Xenon which then Gamma decays to its ground state.

Iodine 129 is much longer lived, but has a much lower production yield than 131. Half life is about 15million years so, that stuff will just float around

Radioactive particles do theoretically give of heat, because heat is energy, but it is not as simple as saying oh the dust is radioactive and thus hot and such will rise. In fact much of the heavy isotopes like to plate out on things, Uranium decay chain products (which are almost the same for U238 and U235) will tend to plate out by the time they get to lead and polonium meaning they will no longer be highly mobile, the mobile breed really is only around for a half life of about 11 days.

The reason i say they don't put themselves into the atmosphere is because the energy of each decay itself is quite small, and the only way to generate lots of heat is to have it contentrated. now in a reactor it is exactly that... but... heat is lost to the environment quite quickly. You will get a plumb but, it wont be driven by the radiation in most cases. It will be driven by a pressure shock more than anything else i think... unless you have actual big chunks of material flying everywhere (Which, in Fukushima, no primary chunks of material did fly anywhere) Most of the long term issues are from leakages of the cooling systems into the ground, or the loss of containment on the radioactive slag as it cools off.

by comparison to Chernobyl, the event released about 1/5 of the radioactive material, the main reason is simply due to the fact the reactor was enclosed by pressure vessels structurally.

The bad stuff is Caesium which hangs about for a few million years, this is only detected in trace levels.

It is great cause for concern yes, but nothing like as bad as say... the nuclear bomb tests America did in the atmosphere through the 50s and 60s, which seeded a large area with lovely radioactive isotopes.

The proof is also in the testing of materials and the air. I remember posts here claiming "OMG background levels went up by a factor of 2 after it rains" which is perfectly normal with or without a nuclear disaster... not to mention that the natural radioactive background can change by a factor of about 1000 across the whole surface of the Earth (depending where you are, huge hotspots removed) I mean... no one worries too much for example that most smelting plants that extract Iron and Nickel usually have big slag piles that are extremely radioactive compared to background levels... but thats fine... because we never think about it...

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