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Fukushima vs Climate Change

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  • Fukushima vs Climate Change

    For those not in the know, the Fukushima crisis has not gone away, but has been an ongoing problem since it occurred in 2011...

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/19/world/...hi-water-leak/

    ... with literally hundreds of tons of radioactive particles being dumped into the Pacific Ocean and in the air with no solution in sight, probably because it hasn't been getting anywhere near the attention it deserves. My question is, why is this global crisis (which is a crisis that has major ramifications for everyone in and around the Pacific Ocean and undoubtedly beyond and is a crisis that is indisputable) not getting the same amount of attention by the MSM and the debates that go on in these forums as climate change (which is a crisis that is debatable, not just the the level of man-made involvement but the overall solution, and lost in a sea of political and economic quagmire)?
    Last edited by seanD; 02-20-2014, 12:39 PM.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

  • #2
    Originally posted by seanD View Post
    with literally hundreds of tons of radioactive particles being dumped....
    Slight quibble: hundreds of tons of radioactive water. This is actually an important distinction (and poor reporting either on the part of CNN or of CNN's sources). Is this water that has been contaminated with radioactive particles, or is this water composed of radioactive isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen?

    If the latter, the major worry is water that contains tritium, which while worrisome is somewhat mitigated as a health hazard by having a relatively short biological half-file. If the former (doubtful, but possible), then it depends on what radioactive particles are being released into the ocean, and how much.

    In short, more information is needed, but this very much resembles hype more than hazard.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Outis View Post

      In short, more information is needed, but this very much resembles hype more than hazard.
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-0...hima-site.html

      About 100 metric tons (26,400 gallons) of water may have escaped a concrete barrier, the company said...Beta radiation readings of 230 million becquerels per liter were taken in a sample collected from a gutter on top of the leaked tank at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, according to a statement from the Tokyo-based utility.
      ...
      Some 300 tons of contaminated groundwater seep into the ocean each day at the Dai-Ichi station 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Tokyo, Japan’s government has said.

      Between May 2011 and August 2013, as many as 20 trillion becquerels of cesium-137, 10 trillion becquerels of strontium-90 and 40 trillion becquerels of tritium entered the ocean via groundwater, according to past statements from Tepco.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ah, much better.

        Tritium is not that severe of a problem. Cesium-137 and strontium-90, on the other hand, can cause problems, with strontium-90 being particularly worrisome. However, my knowledge of physics is not sufficient to translate becquerels into anything I can understand. I probably need this in "banana-equivalent doses",

        Comment


        • #5
          So maybe we will actually see Godzilla destroy Tokyo in our lifetimes

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
            So maybe we will actually see Godzilla destroy Tokyo in our lifetimes

            I'm always still in trouble again

            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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            • #7
              I'll take a recent report on strontium 90 and try to make a reasonable estimate:

              Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said late on Wednesday it detected 5 million becquerels per liter of radioactive strontium-90 in a sample from a groundwater well about 25 meters from the ocean last September. That reading was more than five times the broader all-beta radiation reading taken at the same well two months earlier.
              http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...A1C09720140213

              Assume you ingest 1 liter of water. Given a dose conversion factor on the scale of 10^-8 Sv/Bq you would receive ~0.05 Sv.

              From the US Nuclear Regulatory:
              § 20.1201 Occupational dose limits for adults.

              (a) The licensee shall control the occupational dose to individual adults, except for planned special exposures under § 20.1206, to the following dose limits.
              (1) An annual limit, which is the more limiting of--
              (i) The total effective dose equivalent being equal to 5 rems (0.05 Sv); or
              (ii) The sum of the deep-dose equivalent and the committed dose equivalent to any individual organ or tissue other than the lens of the eye being equal to 50 rems (0.5 Sv).
              Last edited by Paprika; 02-20-2014, 02:28 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by seanD View Post
                For those not in the know, the Fukushima crisis has not gone away, but has been an ongoing problem since it occurred in 2011...

                http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/19/world/...hi-water-leak/

                ... with literally hundreds of tons of radioactive particles being dumped into the Pacific Ocean and in the air with no solution in sight, probably because it hasn't been getting anywhere near the attention it deserves. My question is, why is this global crisis (which is a crisis that has major ramifications for everyone in and around the Pacific Ocean and undoubtedly beyond and is a crisis that is indisputable) not getting the same amount of attention by the MSM and the debates that go on in these forums as climate change (which is a crisis that is debatable, not just the the level of man-made involvement but the overall solution, and lost in a sea of political and economic quagmire)?
                Let's go with "no controversy, no coverage".
                I'm not here anymore.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It might be important to note here that TEPCO has been caught distorting the facts in the past. And there IS controversy surrounding this event. You have one side marginalizing the effects (typically the side that is associated with government, thus is in their best interest to downplay it so as not to cause panic) and another side sounding the alarms about current effects and future effects. So, as far as the effects, it's just another question of who we believe. Nonetheless, the point is, regardless of the nature of the current crisis itself, with all the hundreds of nuclear sites around the world, some of which are badly outdated, the odds that this crisis will happen again is not just possible but probable. So, I still don't understand why there is not as much debate about this -- an undeniable potentially global problem that can be fixed -- as man-made climate change -- a debatable problem with no political and economic solution in sight.
                  Last edited by seanD; 02-20-2014, 07:08 PM.
                  "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by seanD View Post
                    So, I still don't understand why there is not as much debate about this as global warming.
                    Probably because the impact of one plant going south is significantly less than the impact of global warming. Even a full-scale, Chernobyl-style accident, or a "China Syndrome"-like incident, while horrifying and devastating on a local scale, would not be able to affect even one percent of human-habitable territory.

                    And there may also be an element of "It couldn't happen here." The worst nuclear incident in the US caused considerable economic damage, but had no health impact. There have been three more severe nuclear accidents than TMI, but they all occurred outside of North America, so we tend to minimize or even deny future possible accidents.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, it takes controversy to make news, and it takes publicity to generate controversy. The situation at the Hanford site is worse than deplorable, but Hanford is only the worst offender of a long-term policy of basically not doing anything with nuclear waste, beyond storing it in temporary containers on site waiting for a national policy. The temporary containers are rotting away, and will be long gone before anything useful is done.

                      The Yucca Mountain site stands ready, as far as I know, and has been determined capable of safely storing the waste for the 10,000 years it takes before the radioactivity is less than deadly. BUT the waste must be transported somehow all across the nation to that site, and by current laws (passed when that was the proposed policy) can't actually be transported through or over any states to get there. So when Yucca Mountain was still alive, there was plenty of controversy - enough for most all states to pass NIMBY laws against transporting anything.

                      I suppose when the Columbia River starts glowing at night, there will be more controversy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seanD View Post
                        So, I still don't understand why there is not as much debate about this -- an undeniable potentially global problem that can be fixed -- as man-made climate change -- a debatable problem with no political and economic solution in sight.
                        Consider the following factors:

                        1) All readings of radioactive leakages are made by TEPCO - who have delayed findings and distorted the facts. The Japanese government have assisted them by allowing them to continue. Why? Corruption and influence over the media.

                        2) Japan was attempting to win the hosting rights of the 2020 IOC, which required assuring the IOC that Fukushima had been under control

                        3) It isn't a global problem, but rather a regional one. The impact from contaminated water moving up the food chain will affect mostly the Japanese.

                        One can reasonably assume that the Japanese media has downplayed the impact of the incident, not least to protect the country's honor, while other countries can't really care much because they will be minimally affected, if at all.

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