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Originally posted by Sandalphon
They should prepare for an incident that is 10 times as bad as Chernobyl. It's the only way to be confident about things. Expect a big fire, and poisoned water.
There is no other way, unless DARPA builds hoverdrones with claws to take the rods out in the next month or so. We can get to Mars with a rover but we can't get to Fukushima on our own planet. Some radioactive absorption palettes put in the way would be useful somewhere, convert that disaster into something energetic.
Some UFOs would come in handy right now, go in there and steal the radioactive rods. Someone should put an ad on Earth Craigslist: free nuclear rods, you pick up.
If only they built a dark matter converter we might be able to suck all that black radiation out of the way. It's not enough that they throw water on it. They need super ionated water, designed to pick up stray radiation.
Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by jiggerj
They can't yet. It takes years for the rods to cool enough to be able to safely take them out and put then into a permanent storage cask and move them somewhere. The rods that are in pool 4 haven't quite gotten to that point yet, so they have to stay there a little while longer until they can be safely moved.
TEPCO also plans to remove melted fuel from the wrecked reactors within 10 years, but full decommissioning of the plant is expected to take decades.
This then leaves 1,231 irradiated spent fuel rods in pool No. 4, which contain roughly 37 million curies (~1.4E+18 Becquerel) of long-lived radioactivity. The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements. If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.
The infrastructure to safely remove this material was destroyed as it was at the other three reactors. Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were routine cargo. In order to prevent severe radiation exposures, fires and possible explosions, it must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks.
Liquid discharges of 90Sr to the ocean were estimated, resulting in an inventory of 53±1 TBq of 90Sr in the inshore study area in June 2011 and total releases of 90Sr ranging from 90 to 900 TBq, depending upon the reported estimates of 137Cs releases that are considered.
On 11 March 2011, a Tsunami hit the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP), which caused the loss of cooling capacity in four of its six nuclear reactors and 25 led to the release a radionuclides into the environment. It is expected that between 6 and 47 PBq (1 PBq= 1015 Bq) of 137Cs (half-live 30.17 yr) was directly discharged into the Pacific Ocean (e.g. Bailly du Bois et al., 2012) in the aftermath of the tragedy. Due to the determined 134Cs : 137Cs ratio of around one, about the same amount of 134Cs (half-live 2.07 yr) was discharged into the Pacific.
Initially, discharge was assumed to represent the larger fraction of total Cs-releases. Therefore, many researchers and TEPCO focussed [sic] on the determination and estimation of the behaviour of Cs in Pacific waters and its behaviour in the environment, especially the uptake by biota (e.g. Buesseler et al., 2011, 2012; Honda et al., 2012; Madigan et al., 2012; Behrens et al., 2012). The explosions of units 1 to 4 of FD-NPP also released radionuclides into the atmosphere which were detectable around the world (e.g. Hsu et al., 2012; Stohl et al., 2012; Jakobs, 2011). From these investigations the wet and dry deposition of caesium isotopes in marine areas where German monitoring was carried out after the accident at FD-NPP occurred, which are the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the coastal West and East Greenland currents, were estimated to be between 0.1 and 100 Bqm−2.
(From the interview with the workers) The common understanding of Fukushima workers is Fukushima can’t be settled anymore. [...] It’s not only the rat to have caused outage, but they have problems everywhere in the plant. The actual situation is way worse than officially announced
The radio show “Hodosuru radio” (MBS radio) reported a comment of a Fukushima worker.
The announcer, Ueda introduced the comment of an anonymous Fukushima worker.
The worker stated, “About the power outage, it became a news this time because it affected the coolant system, but it has happened several times before.”
Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds’ chief engineer: Since I’ve been talking about Fuksuhima, I got an email that brought me to tears.
It was a woman who was in 10th grade at the time of the [Three Mile Island] accident. She was in chemistry and they were studying radiation and they had a Geiger counter hanging out the window for the entire semester.
They walk into the class at 10:00 in the morning of the accident and the Geiger counter is pegged.
So the teacher goes to phone as a responsible citizen, he calls Governor Thornburgh and tells him, “Look, I’m in Middleburg, I’ve got a pegged Geiger counter here. What should I do?”
Gov. Thornburgh’s office told this high school teacher, “Don’t do anything, we know all about it.”
So they kept the kids in school, and who got evacuated were the parents of the people who worked at the power plant, they all came by and grabbed their kids and got out of there. And the kids that didn’t have the inside scoop wound up staying in that town and got high exposures.
So do I think my country’s going to be any different than the Japanese? No way.
A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulation Authority said an alarm went off on Friday afternoon at reactor No 3, and that the cause of the failure was still under investigation.
A beach-ravaging winter storm on the Outer Banks could help power homes thanks to a billboard-size fiberglass paddle that generates electricity as it moves to and fro in the sea currents.
(Reuters) - As much as 120 tons of radioactive water may have leaked from a storage tank at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, contaminating the surrounding ground, Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Saturday. The power company has yet to discover the cause of the leak, detected on one of seven tanks that store water used to cool the plants reactors, a spokesman for the company, Masayuki Ono, said at a press briefing.
The company plans to pump 13,000 cubic meters of water remaining in the tank to other vessels over the next two weeks. Water from the leaking tank, which located 800 meters from the coast, is not expected to reach the sea, Kyodo news wire reported, earlier, citing unidentified officials from the utility. The company did not say how long the tank had been leaking.
About the major leakage of highly contaminated water from reservoir No.1, 2 and 3, NRA (Nuclear regulatory agency) stated they still haven’t verified the reason of the leakage in their briefing of 4/9/2013.
Tepco states the water was returned from No.1 to No.2 by siphon effect but the water level of No. 2 kept on decreasing linearly. *1
They observed the water level decreased from 57% to 55% in reservoir No.1. The capacity of No. 1 is 13,000 m3.
Roughly estimating, if 2% of the 13,000 m3 leaked, it’s 260 m3.