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Fukushima nuclear cleanup stymied by water woes

26 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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26 Comments
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I still dont get why they didnt concrete off the part of the sea with a tide barrier (to contain the radiation leak into the sea a bit more); and build a Giant double-walled sarcophagus (with access tunnels) around the plant (I have an interlocking block system design that a couple of cranes could construct at a relatively safe distance); and dozens of large underground swimming-pools to circulate and filter the radioactive water; rather than putting the radioactive water into tanks that can split open in another Earthquake gamble.

Then they could have put all the hot soil in between the twin-layer wall, and concreted over the top. With the access tunnels they could still get to the parts of the plant that are dangerous. They could also then Concrete all the surrounding area to have the land tilt towards more water collection pools; each spereated according to radiation levels. Then (although I am not a Nuclear power engineer), I dont know why they couldn`t re-circulate some of the less radioactive water to keep the meltdowns cooler until they have a fix.

I suggested all this within a couple of days of the disaster online. But few other people realised how fubar the Tepco plan would be. They have a band-aid. And its been a gamble. I also had given a talk about the benefits of a new generation type of geo-thermal plant for Japan in the months before the quake; but people were concerned that it would cool down the Onsens water temperatures around the country. You have to laugh really... Otherwise yad split town.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Happy to help Strangerland.

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Brian:

" how long will it take for the stored water in those big tanks to be safe for release into the ocean ?? "

Depends how you define safe. If you want to wait til all the isotopes have decayed to background radiation level, forever. If you are simply talking about danger to the environment, you could dump it right now. The dilution factor is so gigantic, it really would not make any measurable difference.

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Ok, I've read some more on this. I was wrong. I stand corrected.

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Strangerland

Radioactivity is not a particulate. It's a wave.

Radioactivity refers to materials that give off radiation. They can be big lumps of things, or so small to be considered particles.

Radiation can be particles or waves. Alpha, Beta, and Neutron radiation are particles. Gamma and X-rays are waves.

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The estimate of 400 tonnes of radioactive water being released since march 2011 is just an estimate as the avenues into the sea cannot accurately estimated.In the meantime the sea is being constantly polluted along with the marine organisms. The tanks in Fukushiama holding vast amounts of contamination are prone to leaks and degradation

And @Strangerland

It is accepted in physics that radiation can be considered a wave form as well a particle.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Stuart Hayward:

" Ten trillion yen, all this for a plant that will never produce a kilowatt of energy again. Is this the proof that nuclear energy is cheap and safe "

No, it is proof that the Japanese government is acting responsibly. You can bet that the same situation in any of hundreds of nuclear plants that are running or being built in other parts of the world, the government would simply let the contaminated water flow. (And in the event, it would not make much difference, because of natural dilution.) Japan is simply spending vast amounts of money simply to err on the sid of caution.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

how long will it take for the stored water in those big tanks to be safe for release into the ocean ??

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Sure, I already did it once but you must have missed it.

You initially wrote

That's because filters remove particulates, and radioactivity is not particulate.

Radioactivity is not a particulate. It's a wave.

Then you wrote

The radioactive particles are at the atomic level.

They are.

You do realize that the subject of those two sentences is not the same, right?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The plant has six reactors, three of which were offline when disaster struck on March 11, 2011. A magnitude-9.0 earthquake triggered a huge tsunami which swept into the plant and knocked out its backup power and cooling systems, leading to meltdowns at the three active reactors.

Let's stop with the self-pitying crap please! TEPCO was advised in 2001 by French nuclear specialists to get the back up generators off the ground and to waterproof all the electrics, which they totally disregarded. Yeah, they have a huge task ahead of them to clean up this disaster. The tsunami was the disaster, but the lack of proper safety upgrades is the catastrophe!

Yeah, they have 6,000 odd workers going through the plant every day. They also have forty or fifty temp agencies scalping cash from the government to supply the workers. I really cannot understand why this clean up has been left to private companies and not controlled by the government. Yeah, it is TEPCO's plant, but the government owns 51% of it. It's just a huge joke! Although, it's far from being funny!

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Fukushima nuclear cleanup stymied by water woes

No news here -- this has basically been the case since Day 1.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Sure. First you need to point out where I've stated something incorrect.

Sure, I already did it once but you must have missed it.

You initially wrote

That's because filters remove particulates, and radioactivity is not particulate.

Then you wrote

The radioactive particles are at the atomic level.

So first they aren't particles and then they are. One of those has to be wrong as they contradict each other, yet both claims where made by you. Thus one of your statements has to be incorrect. Simple logic.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ok folks,

Everything can be filtered, except Tritium, because it is an isotope of hydrogen and forms tritiated water. Tritium is one of the least harmful radionuclides, however, and is of little concern.

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Can you please keep your story straight.

Sure. First you need to point out where I've stated something incorrect.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The radioactive particles are at the atomic level. Not something that can be filtered the same as dirt.

Can you please keep your story straight.

That's because filters remove particulates, and radioactivity is not particulate.

And sorry but although generally smaller than typical 'dirt', radioactive particles can still be filtered out of the water. Although in many cases adsorbtion and ion exchange work better, just like the 'hard' water treatment systems many people have in their homes.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Nice to see Japanese Technology at it's finest. A world leader in building temporary housing and water storage. I hope it doesn't prove to be to much, I will wait another 3 years to make a decision.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

And the water is contaminated with radioactive PARTICLES not with radioactivity.

The radioactive particles are at the atomic level. Not something that can be filtered the same as dirt.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mike O' Brien: Can you show us a link of who those alarmist are, who are preventing the release of water, that has fewer radioactive particles than ocean water?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That's because filters remove particulates, and radioactivity is not particulate.

And the water is contaminated with radioactive PARTICLES not with radioactivity. Radioactivity is just energy released by radioactive particles, like light from a light bulb, and once it is released it isn't in the water and doesn't have to be removed.

but they cant filter the radioactive contaminants out of the tanks of water

They can and TEPCO is doing just this. But alarmists and radiophobes are preventing TEPCO from releasing water that has fewer radioactive particles than ocean water.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

'This is a much more complex, much more difficult water management problem' Barrett said

Very true, there are other examples like all the piles of contaminated soil.

Where will this hot soil be stored?

What about the numerous hot zones identified by independent testing?

The issues are many and the serious ones are ignored. Leaving the problems for generations going into the future.

Voter unhappiness across all of Japan is the largest challenge for leadership grappling with the worst nuclear energy production disaster in human history.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They know the problems, they love to make them, you make more money but not fixing a problem and allowing it to get out of hand

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hey no worries, we've got the Olympics and Abenomics, yippee kai yay!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I find I so strange that volunteer organizations can filter swamp water and ocean water for drinking water but they cant filter the radioactive contaminants out of the tanks of water

That's because filters remove particulates, and radioactivity is not particulate.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I find I so strange that volunteer organizations can filter swamp water and ocean water for drinking water but they cant filter the radioactive contaminants out of the tanks of water

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

OK, so what else is new??

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Ten trillion yen, all this for a plant that will never produce a kilowatt of energy again. Is this the proof that nuclear energy is cheap and safe? Delaying the decommissioning seems kind of backwards, since water can't be stopped, the quicker you remove the most contaminated areas (that the water flows through) would be more important. The water is just a symptom of the problem but the nuclear core is the core of it.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

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