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42 India nuclear plant workers contaminated

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here we go..no tsunami, no fault lines. Just pure human carelessness. Do note how they're ramping up nuclear power inspite of the rest of the world being more cautious. How safe is anyone really even if Japan gave up nuclear energy completely?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tritium is a mildly radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

This is a very big understatement. Heavy water is typically used in the core to slow neutrons to aid fission and thus it picks up another neutron and become somewhat more than mildly radioactive and is absorbed readily like any other water into the body through the skin. Given that it has a biological half life of 7-14 days (closer to for 14 for health monitoring purposes) it would be fair to say that the recipients of the dose last Thursday would not truly know their received dose. Because its absorbed through the skin readily a very small amount spilled on exposed skin is enough to give a very significant dose. I think they are fiddling the facts on the real doses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

scoobydoo is exactly spot on. Tritium is extremely dangerous, because its chemical properties are so similar to normal hydrogen. Tritium easily replaced common hydrogen in water. Thus, humans exposed to tritium will incorporate it and it will be distributed throughout the entire body and bound into all kinds of complex molecules like DNA. Normally, tritium is handled only with utmost care - but that doesn't seem to be considered necessary if there are a billion of workers at one's disposal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

here we go..no tsunami, no fault lines. Just pure human carelessness. Do note how they're ramping up nuclear power inspite of the rest of the world being more cautious. How safe is anyone really even if Japan gave up nuclear energy completely?

Unlike Japan India has nukes, unfortunately that means it is politically impossible for India to quit on nuclear energy without getting rid of their nukes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How safe is anyone really even if Japan gave up nuclear energy completely?

Good point @gyroman. For example, China has big earthquakes, and if a nuclear power plant accident happened, any radiation could drift towards Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Does not sound good for our Indian amigos, hope they get that situation under control and that we do not end up with the Indian version of Fukushima.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So sad.... Being a Indian I know how people take their responsibility towards work in India. But it is a rare case

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no such thing as tritium radiation

True but it is fair to associate the tritium with beta radiation

Betas cannot penetrate the skin

True but they deposit their energy over a short distance and thus are very dangerous internally and cause serious damage to the immediate area of contact

Anyone who says Tritium is extremely dangerous doesn't know what they are talking about

Just plain wrong

It is a naturally-occurring isotope found in all waters of the world. If a person really believes tritium is extremely dangerous, they should stop drinking water. If biologically-minutial skin absorbtion is such a hazard, then stop taking showers and baths.

This last comment is just ridiculous in the context of the contamination scenario

Many radioactive isotopes are also naturally occur including potassium in bananas and the list goes on. The natural abundance of Tritium in water (and most other radio isotopes elsewhere) is not enough to be of any concern. However tritium in irradiated heavy water (Deuterium) is a major health risk and could never be compared to the natural abundance levels. Even small amounts of it contacting your skin for even less than a minute can cause significant internal doses as also can inhaling the non visible vapor of it which is even worse if it is in the context of a cooling system whichis typicaly at a higher temp and a greater inhalation risk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nuclear power plants are not inherently dangerous unless you live on a fault or many faults such as Japan, especially modern ones. It's poor operation and maintenance which would lead to something like this. Nuclear power is the way forward, and it was a mistake for Germany to get rid of it because of what happened in Japan even though the circumstances and environment are in no way similar. Had this plant been operated correctly, this wouldn't have happened.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is no such thing as tritium radiation. Tritium releases Beta radiation, which is actually a free electron stream. Betas cannot penetrate the skin (or a piece of tissue paper, for that matter). The outer layers of skin are dead, so most of the "exposure" is inconsequential. It takes many, many times the conservative international Beta skin limits to cause superficial reddening. At 10-25% of the limit for Beta skin dose, there is absolutely no health hazard. Anyone who says Tritium is extremely dangerous doesn't know what they are talking about. It is a naturally-occurring isotope found in all waters of the world. If a person really believes tritium is extremely dangerous, they should stop drinking water. If biologically-minutial skin absorbtion is such a hazard, then stop taking showers and baths.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

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