It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Radiation Leak at Three Mile Island

page: 1
3
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 07:56 AM
link   





Radiation Leak at Three Mile Island

There was a radiation leak at Three Mile Island on Saturday afternoon. According to TMI spokesperson Ralph DeSantis, employees were working in a reactor building around 4:30. It was part of the process of removing TMI's old steam generators and installing the new steam generators, that just last month rolled into TMI.

DeSantis told abc27 that workers were cutting a large number of pipes. A radiation alarm sounded. According to DeSantis, about 150 employees were inside the reactor building. They were wearing protective suits, but about 100 were still contaminated.

As of 11pm, DeSantis reported that all workers had been decontaminated. He said that the contamination was not at a threatening level and was contained to one building at Three Mile Island. He stressed that the public was not in any danger.



Here's the part I really don't like:




DeSantis told abc27 that the cause of the radiation leak is not yet determined. The entire plant is now shut down. Once operating again, work will remain shut down in the reactor building.



How could we not know?????

Didn't we build the damned thing?


[edit on 22-11-2009 by loam]




posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 08:36 AM
link   


Here is a tiny bit more info.

TMI sends workers home Saturday after radiation contamination

Updated: 11/22/2009 01:15:00 AM EST

One worker received 16 millirem of exposure, and other workers received lower levels of contamination. The annual limit for nuclear workers at Exelon plants is 2,000 millirem, according to the release




[edit on 11/22/09 by makeitso]



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 08:51 AM
link   
Little bit more.

Denials that anyone was serously exposed despite the above post.
Denials that radiation leaked outside of the building despite evidence to the contrary.

Warning was delayed 5 1/2 hours until Mayor notified 911.

TMI Radation Leak, Officals Delayed Notification

According to Exelon, all 175 workers were checked for exposure, but none of them approached or exceeded any exposure limits.

Exelon Nuclear says that there was no contamination identified outside the reactor building.

Surveys conducted outside the reactor building indicated a slight increase in radioactivity, but levels have since returned to normal, TMI officials report.

County and state EMA officials did not learn of the exposure until Middletown Mayor Robert Reid contacted the county's 911 Center at 9:30pm, 5 1/2 hours after the radiation release.



[edit on 11/22/09 by makeitso]



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 08:55 AM
link   
reply to post by makeitso
 


The mayor had to call 911????

Is that for freakin' real?!?!?!



I'm surprised styrofoam cups and string weren't used!

:shk:

[edit on 22-11-2009 by loam]



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 08:58 AM
link   

Denials that anyone was serously exposed despite the above post.


16 millirem of exposure is not significant. As previously described, the maximum limit for workers at Exelon Power Plants is 2,000 millirem per year. At 16 millirem it would take 125 days for them to go over the maximum annual usual dose.


[edit on 22/11/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 09:00 AM
link   
reply to post by C0bzz
 


Dooh!

Thank you for the correction.



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 09:04 AM
link   
reply to post by C0bzz
 


It's quoted in makeitso's original post.

But I still find it unsettling that the cause of the exposure is "unknown" and that it took 5 1/2 hours to alert emergency personnel via the mayor.



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 09:09 AM
link   
well if the radiation came from one of the pipes that normaly does not have radiation in it i could see how they would keep it shut dow untill they find out where it came from.



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 09:14 AM
link   
The "steam generator" they were replacing has another name - Heat Exchanger. This exchanges heat from the primary pressurised closed loop of water that circulates through the reactor, to the secondary loop which (usually) would spin the turbines. Therefore, it only seems as if they came close to the coolant, and no actual waste, or fuel itself. Most of the radiation in the coolant water is from Nitrogen-16, which has a very short half-life of only a few seconds. This makes it highly unlikely that any significant problem occurred, and this is furthermore reflected in the small radiation dose the personal received. Of course, this is mere speculation on my part, maybe it was a spill of some coolant or something else? In any case, it shouldn't be radioactive for long.



But I still find it unsettling that the cause of the exposure is "unknown" and that it took 5 1/2 hours to alert emergency personnel via the mayor.

I'm guessing that it was too insignificant to alert emergency personnel. 16 millirem would probably cause an investigation, and future prevention, but it is by no means significant. About three quarters of a single X-ray scan (but this varies on the context (whole body average, or just the area irradiated) which is not clear in the OP).

[edit on 22/11/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 09:25 AM
link   
reply to post by C0bzz
 



Originally posted by C0bzz
I'm guessing that it was too insignificant to alert emergency personnel. 16 millirem needs investigation, and prevention, but it is by no means significant. About one and a half of a single X-ray scan.


I get "16 millirem" is not significant, but the fact of its unexplained release is NOT insignificant, imo.


Moreover, someone thought something significant happened, or the entire plant would not be shut down.



[edit on 22-11-2009 by loam]



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 09:37 AM
link   

Moreover, someone thought something significant happened, or the entire plant would not be shut down.

The plant is shut down for refueling, maintenance and steam generator replacement. It has been shut down since Oct. 26, 2009, of course, before that it had run for 705 days non-stop. If all work was shut down because of this incident is unclear, but yes, the 175 employees that were inside the reactor building have been evacuated.



[edit on 22/11/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 09:47 AM
link   
reply to post by C0bzz
 


Yes, this article made that less than clear:




Unit 1 had already been shut down for weeks due to overhauling of new steam generators and other equipment.

...

The cause of the incident is under investigation. The entire plant is shut down.

Link.




posted on Nov, 22 2009 @ 09:49 AM
link   

Originally posted by loam
reply to post by makeitso
 


The mayor had to call 911????

Is that for freakin' real?!?!?!



I'm surprised styrofoam cups and string weren't used!

:shk:

[edit on 22-11-2009 by loam]


The first method was a runner, who disappeared and then a man on horseback carrying a sealed envelope that too, disappeared. It was only then that a disheartened and frightened Mayor resorted to the powers of modern technology. He used a rotary phone at that.


In all seriousness, I would agree with the 5 1/2 hour delay, if you just announce to people that 3 mile has a radiation leak, images of meltdowns and nuclear holocaust appear.. and then they panic, riot, kill each other trying to get out of harms way.. The mayor calling 9/11 is just weird though .. bizarre story..



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 12:36 AM
link   
You guys are not thinking this through very well.
Steam Generator work is right there in the Primary loop...not the secondary loop.

A steam generator is what we call....."Smoking Mon!!"

And someone had it correct that a Steam Generator is a heat exchanger, It transfers heat from the primary side under high pressure without boiling ..over to the secondary side to make steam for turbines to turn electrical generators. But nonetheless..steam generators are on the primary side of the reactor system.

It means that enough tube sheets have become worn out that the steam generators must be worked or replaced. A big operation. It also means that there may be some primary to secondary contamination spread. Samples are taken both on the primary and secondary side to detect any such changes.

What is not clear in the 16mr reading is that it is given as a radiation level. No one speaks of the contamination levels. Obviously something was disturbed which set off an alarm. It takes some time to run it down in a large reactor space and it must be carefully and methodically done..step by step.

What you are looking for is evidence that a contamination breech has taken place..and also that anyone has been internally contaminated. Most external contamination can be washed or cleaned off/decontaminated by various methods. Internal is another story altogether. It must be carefully flushed out of the body over time. Also carefully monitored during this process.

Radiation..once the source is found can be controlled/reduced...Isolated or shut off. Contamination is a different story. 16mr of contamination is quite a bit. Particularly if one gets it internally.

Be careful of these types of stories. The informations can be misleading if you dont know or not enough informations is provided.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 01:14 AM
link   
They have changed the measurements for Radiation so many times that its hard to keep track of all the nomenclature if you're not a physicist. I believe 1 Gray = 100 RADS of Radiation. I have no idea of what the equivalent Milli-rem calculation is. I do know that roughly 500 Rads or 5 grays of full body exposure of radiation is fatal.

The radiation that these workers were exposed to was probably neutron radiation, which is some nasty stuff.

The problem with neutron radiation is that the human body is a perfect moderator for neutrons. This means that the human body tends to absorb fast moving neutrons. this knocks electrons out of orbit in the shells of the atoms in our bodies (hence the term "ionizing radiation". If these happense enough, tissue is destroyed and begins showing burns.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 01:47 AM
link   
I feel it's more likely that the 5.5 hr delay in communications was just them getting their story together.
Also,I'd have to agree with you loam,in that "unexplained release is NOT insignificant"

Whenever it comes to these nuclear power plants,every tiny detail is significant.

I have a friend who works,or worked there-don't know if he still does.He used me as a reference when he initially put in his resume and they called me asking a LOT of questions-as you can imagine-even asking me if he were a drinker,or had any .. ANY issues that I knew of.Great detail was taken and they kept me on the phone going over the same questions-I think trying to maybe catch me in a lie... or just being very careful.

They also did a psychological eval on him and other tests.I guess they don't just let anyone work there.

I remember the meltdown in 79-it was pretty scary..I was a teenager.

I found this comment after reading the local news there in YORK:

So I wonder what really happened? Will Exelon ever tell us? After what they did covering up the truth during the "incident" back when there was a near melt down, I don't believe one word that comes out of that company via the news media for the public to know what is going on there. It is but by the grace of God that they didn't kill us the first go round there at TMI! My stomach knots up every time I see some headline or news article about that damn plant! I was a young mother when that happened, with two small children under five back then. I will never forget the terror I lived during that time and I am sixty years old now!



Here



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 01:59 AM
link   
This sounds to me like more radiation could be released, or am jumping ahead to fast?



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 02:22 AM
link   
This is one of the new steam generators (of two)...:



All the way from France. Don't think the USA even has the capability to produce them anymore.



I believe 1 Gray = 100 RADS of Radiation.

100 rad is equal to 1 gray
100 rem is equal to 1 sievert.

If I recall correctly, rem / sievert are them same as rad / gray, but rem / sievert takes into account how potent the radiation is (e.g. 100 rad of Alpha could be like 1000 rem).


After what they did covering up the truth during the "incident" back when there was a near melt down, I don't believe one word that comes out of that company via the news media for the public to

Exelon did not operate the plant in 1979, they acquired it in 1999.

Covering up the truth? What?


It is but by the grace of God that they didn't kill us the first go round there at TMI!

Whether the writer chooses so or not (or perhaps he is just plain ignorant like his entire post) - TMI Incident was not even close to a disaster. It was caused mostly by improper training. The BAD thing that it caused was the radiation released.


16mr of contamination is quite a bit.

One worker had 16 millirem of exposure. Rem = Dose equivalent.


Twenty workers received exposure to contaminants, but the exposure did not exceed U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits, said John White, a branch chief at the commission's Region 1 office, who visited the Londonderry Township, Dauphin County site Sunday to follow-up on the incident.


That is coming from the NRC (which is regarded as a gold standard for safety internationally). Doesn't sound like much to me. According to the podcast linked below (with people in the Nuclear Industry) 16 millirem is tiny and very normal.


This sounds to me like more radiation could be released, or am jumping ahead to fast?

All the news reports have so far indicated that it's relatively minor. Also, apparently there was no release, just contained in the building...


I feel it's more likely that the 5.5 hr delay in communications was just them getting their story together.

Why are the obligated to alert anyone other than the NRC (or other applicable authorities) when no radiation was released into the environment and all radiation doses received were beneath limits? What do you base this on?


Both CNN and ABC News were blatantly wrong; there was not a “radiation leak” from the plant. What happened was a minor spread of radioactive dust and particles during maintenance activities inside the reactor building. Some workers in the vicinity got material on their clothes and skin that had to be washed off. The material was easily contained and there was no leak from the plant into the environment.

I first learned about this from April Schilpp, who I follow on Twitter. April is a communications specialist in Lancaster, PA.

In this podcast April and I discuss what happened, how the social media helped get the word out, and how the companies and other stakeholders could have used social media to keep the mainstream news sources honest.

thisweekinnuclear.com...

I recommend everyone to listen to that podcast in the link above. Apparently 16 millirem is normal for a worker working on a stream generator during an outage.


Also, I found this comment amusing (and true):


29 people died in coal mining accidents in the US last year. Over 3000 people died in coal mining accidents in China last year. And coal plant pollution kills more than 30,000 Americans annually. Yet no one seems to care!


Maybe the news should focus on what actually deserves attention, coal.




About 150 employees working inside the shut-down Three Mile Island Unit 1 containment building were sent home about 4:00 p.m. EST Saturday after an airborne radiological contamination alarm inside the reactor building sounded.


The unit has been shut down since Oct. 26 for refueling, maintenance and steam generator replacement.


No contamination was found outside of the containment building. Radiological surveys showed that the contamination was confined to surfaces inside the containment building.


The event posed no threat to public health and safety.


A monitor at the temporary opening cut into the containment building wall to allow the new steam generators to be moved inside showed a slight increase in a reading and then returned to normal. Two other monitors displayed normal readings.

www.exeloncorp.com...


[edit on 23/11/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 04:11 AM
link   
reply to post by C0bzz
 





TMI Incident was not even close to a disaster. It was caused mostly by improper training. The BAD thing that it caused was the radiation released.


I can imagine that if you live nearby,and have small children,it could be pretty scary.
Not everyone is the expert.

I remember it,and it did seem pretty scary at the time.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 04:41 AM
link   
reply to post by C0bzz
 


You bring up a point...


I'm guessing that it was too insignificant to alert emergency personnel. 16 millirem would probably cause an investigation, and future prevention, but it is by no means significant. About three quarters of a single X-ray scan (but this varies on the context (whole body average, or just the area irradiated) which is not clear in the OP).


is the Radiation Badge the only thing that got the 16millirem
or was it everyone's whole body that got the wee dose ?

i suspect that everyone of the workers who were cutting pipes got the .75% of a typical X-Ray dose.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`



Now, in response to the general thread:

when in the office doing routine work, I don't get too excited when someone coughs...especially now with the seasonal flu & H1N1 variants getting airborne.

so it is with the delayed news announcement:
I expect that with that 'incident' at TMI, the dose was so small & contained that the news filtered through the chain-of-command to the proper person to announce the abberation to the public... the Mayor of the next door community of Middletown made the announcement instead of 'alarms' being raised by a quick news blurb by a TMI official or PR spokesperson...

~relax~

[edit on 23-11-2009 by St Udio]



new topics

top topics



 
3
<<   2 >>

log in

join