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Fittster

16,081 posts

98 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
"The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has said damage to one of the reactors is much worse than previously thought.

A probe inserted into reactor two at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant revealed lethal doses of radiation and that the level of cooling water inside was far lower than expected.

...

Radiation was up to 10 times the fatal dose, the highest yet recorded at the plant. The level of water cooling the melted-down nuclear fuel was also far lower than expected.

The other two melted-down reactors, which are yet to be examined closely, could be in an even worse state, our correspondent adds


"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17533398


Welshbeef

17,960 posts

83 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
At what point does this become worse than Chernobl?

gowmonster

1,623 posts

52 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
probably when the death rate gets higher, but it's pretty even.

grumbledoak

18,634 posts

118 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
Not good news. But there is a long way to go to equal the damage and death caused by the tsunami itself.

Globs

Original Poster:

13,131 posts

116 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
Yes it was reactor 2, 60cm of water:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120327p2g00m...

fk knows where the core actually is, but some blobs of it are evidently still in the vessel or the radiation wouldn't be so high - so the high reading is a good thing IMO.
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hairykrishna

9,792 posts

88 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
The news stories are light on actual info. '10 times the fatal dose' is a meaningless factoid. I'll have a proper search around later and see if I can find anything with dose rate information.

Welshbeef

17,960 posts

83 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
How could the fall out impact the UK?
I guess if they all remain closed Japan use fossil fuel power stations so oil goes up even more long term

Mojocvh

14,948 posts

147 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
hairykrishna said:
The news stories are light on actual info. '10 times the fatal dose' is a meaningless factoid. I'll have a proper search around later and see if I can find anything with dose rate information.
Perhaps someone in China has found the core?

Welshbeef

17,960 posts

83 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
Would the core not drop through the building and into the stone below?
Or seep sideways?

The matter wouldn't burn away would it?


Will the fact that Welsh lamb will now be preferred over new celebs boost our economy? I see far too many people her buying NZ instead of UK lamb... Nuts

Globs

Original Poster:

13,131 posts

116 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
Welshbeef said:
Would the core not drop through the building and into the stone below?
Or seep sideways?
While hot it would continue to sink yes, nothing can really stop it.

ETA: The water seems to be a bit 'leaky' too:

Mainichi said:
TEPCO also said Monday that about 120 tons of water containing radioactive substances leaked from the water circulation system involved in cooling the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors.

Of the leaked water, which is believed to contain radioactive strontium, 80 liters leaked out into the Pacific Ocean. The concentration level is about 140,000 becqueruels per cubic centimeter, the company said.
If we use TEPCOs figure (Which I suspect has been 'lowered') that's 140,000,000 decays per kg, and that water has I assume soaked into the ground somewhere so that area will be contaminated for walking etc. I wonder if the other pollution like this will end up being a bigger issue than the actual corium.

Edited by Globs on Wednesday 28th March 20:54

DamienB

842 posts

104 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
Surely high radioactivity inside the primary containment vessel is good news, because if it the ol' radiokillolethalityometer was sat at zero inside the reactor, that would tend to indicate all the horrible kill-o-dead stuff had wandered off somewhere else to kick up a fuss.

Edited by DamienB on Wednesday 28th March 21:14

hairykrishna

9,792 posts

88 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
Globs said:
Welshbeef said:
Would the core not drop through the building and into the stone below?
Or seep sideways?
While hot it would continue to sink yes, nothing can really stop it.

ETA: The water seems to be a bit 'leaky' too:

Mainichi said:
TEPCO also said Monday that about 120 tons of water containing radioactive substances leaked from the water circulation system involved in cooling the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors.

Of the leaked water, which is believed to contain radioactive strontium, 80 liters leaked out into the Pacific Ocean. The concentration level is about 140,000 becqueruels per cubic centimeter, the company said.
If we use TEPCOs figure (Which I suspect has been 'lowered') that's 140,000,000 decays per kg, and that water has I assume soaked into the ground somewhere so that area will be contaminated for walking etc. I wonder if the other pollution like this will end up being a bigger issue than the actual corium.

Edited by Globs on Wednesday 28th March 20:54
It's not magic though. There's a finite, albeit high, amount of heat being produced so once it's mixed with enough molten concrete and other crap it'll stop sinking as the temperature drops. It's certainly a big mess in the bottom/ underneath the containment for them to clean up though.

The lower activity stuff is at least easy to deal with in clean up terms i.e. it's not that dangerous in absolute terms. 1.4e8Bq/kg's not something you want to dump into the sea but it's not 'massive ecological disaster' scale. Before the ban on it we, and a lot of other countries, used to routinely throw st like than into the ocean without a care in the world. Last time I looked, the estimate for releases into the sea at Fukushima was somewhere between 5 and 30e12 Bq of activity depending on who's estimate you believe. Pre ban the world average ocean dumping was something like 1500e12 Bq per year.


gowmonster

1,623 posts

52 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
what would actually happen if it did get through the Earth's crust? volcano time?

Globs

Original Poster:

13,131 posts

116 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
gowmonster said:
what would actually happen if it did get through the Earth's crust? volcano time?
No, the risk is that it meets water while extremely hot, and causes steam explosions which flings bits of the stuff back out into the atmosphere.

Actually that's the dramatic risk, the more subtle one is of contaminating the water table, which then spreads the pollution - perhaps into drinking water one day.

MOTORVATOR

3,639 posts

132 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
hairykrishna said:
It's not magic though. There's a finite, albeit high, amount of heat being produced so once it's mixed with enough molten concrete and other crap it'll stop sinking as the temperature drops. It's certainly a big mess in the bottom/ underneath the containment for them to clean up though.

The lower activity stuff is at least easy to deal with in clean up terms i.e. it's not that dangerous in absolute terms. 1.4e8Bq/kg's not something you want to dump into the sea but it's not 'massive ecological disaster' scale. Before the ban on it we, and a lot of other countries, used to routinely throw st like than into the ocean without a care in the world. Last time I looked, the estimate for releases into the sea at Fukushima was somewhere between 5 and 30e12 Bq of activity depending on who's estimate you believe. Pre ban the world average ocean dumping was something like 1500e12 Bq per year.
Surely though there is a difference between localised release and average dumping over the whole of the oceans?

Did we ever routinely dump that amount on a local basis where it affects fish stocks etc?

Or does this stuff disperse so quickly that it is not a problem?

hairykrishna

9,792 posts

88 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
MOTORVATOR said:
Did we ever routinely dump that amount on a local basis where it affects fish stocks etc?

Or does this stuff disperse so quickly that it is not a problem?
We used to dump much worse than that in one area. The old wisdom was that it spread out, got diluted and it wasn't a problem. We do know now that isn't necessarily the case because it bio accumulates in the food chain. What it'll do next to Fukishima's going to need some study.

MOTORVATOR

3,639 posts

132 months

[news] 
Wednesday 28th March 2012 quote quote all
hairykrishna said:
MOTORVATOR said:
Did we ever routinely dump that amount on a local basis where it affects fish stocks etc?

Or does this stuff disperse so quickly that it is not a problem?
We used to dump much worse than that in one area. The old wisdom was that it spread out, got diluted and it wasn't a problem. We do know now that isn't necessarily the case because it bio accumulates in the food chain. What it'll do next to Fukishima's going to need some study.
Is there no data available of similar releases to estimate impact?

llewop

2,225 posts

96 months

[news] 
Thursday 29th March 2012 quote quote all
MOTORVATOR said:
Is there no data available of similar releases to estimate impact?
yes - shedloads of data and measurements.

For a given release into air/water/whatever, including ground deposition, there are well established figures for what path materials could take in terms of, for instance, food chain and potential exposure. These can be used to predict what could/would be the affect of a release and what to watch out for. In addition to the predictions, actual measurements of food would also be made and compared to legal limits on food for consumption, with the limits set conservatively - so even someone who ate/drank extreme amounts of whatever wouldn't get a significant dose (the 'critical group').

MOTORVATOR

3,639 posts

132 months

[news] 
Thursday 29th March 2012 quote quote all
Cheers Llewop.

So this latest 1.4e8Bq/kg's, just to put it in context, is that like just a further (insert scary figure) sq miles of area that can't be fished for (insert further scary figure) hundreds of years or just a lengthening of time for an existing screwed up area?

The discharges to date have obviously had an effect and we do seem to get the story every time another bit happens that it's not that big a problem, but my mind says they are probably adding to the problem faster than natural repair is happening. So it is fair to not only call it an ecological disaster, albeit localised, but also one that seems to be increasing.

llewop

2,225 posts

96 months

[news] 
Thursday 29th March 2012 quote quote all
MOTORVATOR said:
Cheers Llewop.

So this latest 1.4e8Bq/kg's, just to put it in context, is that like just a further (insert scary figure) sq miles of area that can't be fished for (insert further scary figure) hundreds of years or just a lengthening of time for an existing screwed up area?

The discharges to date have obviously had an effect and we do seem to get the story every time another bit happens that it's not that big a problem, but my mind says they are probably adding to the problem faster than natural repair is happening. So it is fair to not only call it an ecological disaster, albeit localised, but also one that seems to be increasing.
I started to try and do a fag packet calculation over lunch but ran out of time, will try and finish it tonight - (anyone)care to pick an area of sea or more to the point - volume of sea water to disperse that in? I could pick a number, but wouldn't want to be seen to be manipulating the result! Having said that, it's also not quite as simple as dilution - once pesky living things get in the way, they might start to concentrate it again, depending on what the chemical form is and how it is metabolised.....
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