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New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing 198

Posted by Soulskill
from the two-leak-stories-in-a-row dept.
AmiMoJo tips this news from the BBC: "Radioactive water has leaked from a storage tank into the ground at Japan's Fukushima plant, operator TEPCO says. Officials described the leak as a level-one incident — the lowest level — on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), which measures nuclear events. This is the first time that Japan has declared such an event since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation, equivalent to five year's maximum exposure for a site worker. In addition up to 300 tonnes a day of contaminated water is leaking from reactors buildings into the sea." There was a significant leak back in April as well.
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New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:05PM (#44626299)

    It's florescent fucking green! Do you know what that means?! It means it's toxic radioactive ooze!! Fucking OOZE!

    Not nearly as reactive as this FUD however.

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:24PM (#44626409)

      Officials described the leak as a level-one incident — the lowest level — on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)

      first, i'd like to point out that the lowest level for nuclear leaks is LEVEL 0 - NO FREAKING LEAK.

      Second, to the parent post - heroes in a half shell. turtle power!

      • Re:Radioactive ooze! (Score:4, Informative)

        by rubycodez (864176) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:51PM (#44626565)

        nice guess but no. Level 0 is called "deviation", an event with no safety concern. Something might break or leak or even trip the reactor offline but with no danger or threat to anyone's safety.

        • homer simpson makes level 3's all the time

          • ...because with all that radioactive water dumping into the Pacific, any fish from that ocean will start absorbing radioactive elements. Bart's three-eyed fish will seem tame in comparison, because at least you can see the problem.

            Even better? Radiation is cumulative, so propensity for tissue damage rises with each exposure and the radioactive elements build up in the animal's body. There is no safe level of radiation exposure (source: Hellen Cadicott [globalresearch.ca])

            Still even better? Expect the higher-order fish (the

        • by Camael (1048726) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @10:58PM (#44626937)

          Officials described the leak as a level-one incident — the lowest level — on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)

          The fact that its reported as a Level 1 incident is not reassuring, actually.

          The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) seems to be highly subjective [wikipedia.org] :-

          As INES ratings are not assigned by a central body, high-profile nuclear incidents are sometimes assigned INES ratings by the operator, by the formal body of the country, but also by scientific institutes, international authorities or other experts which may lead to confusion as to the actual severity.

          And also, under Criticisms :-

          Deficiencies in the existing INES have emerged through comparisons between the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Firstly, the scale is essentially a discrete qualitative ranking, not defined beyond event level 7. Secondly, it was designed as a public relations tool, not an objective scientific scale. Thirdly, its most serious shortcoming is that it conflates magnitude with intensity.

        • Re:Radioactive ooze! (Score:5, Informative)

          by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@hotmail.cOPENBSDom minus bsd> on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @12:11AM (#44627265) Journal

          Level 0 is called "deviation", an event with no safety concern.

          "TOKYO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Contaminated water with dangerously high levels of radiation is leaking from a storage tank at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the most serious setback to the clean up of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

          The storage tank breach of about 300 tonnes of water is separate from contaminated water leaks reported in recent weeks, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Tuesday.

          The latest leak is so contaminated that a person standing half a metre (1 ft 8 inches) away would, within an hour, receive a radiation dose five times the average annual global limit for nuclear workers. After 10 hours, a worker in that proximity to the leak would develop radiation sickness with symptoms including nausea and a drop in white blood cells.

          "That is a huge amount of radiation. The situation is getting worse," said Michiaki Furukawa, who is professor emeritus at Nagoya University and a nuclear chemist."

          http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/20/japan-fukushima-leak-idUSL4N0GL16I20130820 [reuters.com]

    • by binarylarry (1338699) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:47PM (#44626541)

      Well hey on the bright side the turtles won't have to go far to find a ninja master!

    • Re:Radioactive ooze! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@hotmail.cOPENBSDom minus bsd> on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @11:27PM (#44627097) Journal

      Not nearly as reactive as this FUD however.

      Interesting choice of words.

      Why would you consider information about a radioactive leak which includes very bio-active beta-emitters to be FUD? The BBC article from TFA doesn't even identify bioaccumulation as the biggest risk factor in this current leak, despite strontium 90 being one of the beta emitters detected in the puddles.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Why does it have to be toxic? Can't we have radioactive nontoxic ooze? Maybe if you irradiate some green playdough and get it wet?

    • We should take all these dudes who try to apologize for and/or rationalize nuclear accidents and move them all to Yucca Mountain or Fukushima. That way, they can see first-hand just how safe and reliable it is!
  • ...approx. 75k gals per day. or not quite enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.

    Good thing it's a big ocean. Pity it's such a small island.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by noh8rz10 (2716597)
      rephrase - the nuclear site is leaking so much radioactive wastewater into the sea that it would fill an olympic swimming pool each week!
    • by Naedst (1313869)
      79.3 k gals per day. Despite the headline the actual amount released per day is 300 tonnes.
      • Its confusing, but from the report it actually sounds like theres 300 tonnes total of the 'stand near a puddle for an hour to get your annual dose' stuff and 300 tonnes per day leaking of the less radioactive waste water they're using to keep the ponds of spent reactor rods cool.

    • Thanks..... who the heck measures a liquid by weight?

      But.... 75,000 gallons is a pittance, given that there are 326,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons [howstuffworks.com] on earth. So, that's 12 trillion years worth.....

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        if we're talking about water, weight and volume are near equivalent in both the sane and ridiculous measurement systems used by the world.

      • So, you are saying that we should only be concerned when they dump enough toxic waste into the ocean so that it will more or less immediately affect everyone on earth?

      • Thanks..... who the heck measures a liquid by weight?

        It's done all the time in motorsport, as weight (or more technically mass) doesn't vary with temperature.

        • Yes, it's done in aviation as well, for similar reasons. However, when I pull into a petrol station, I don't say "ten kilograms, please".

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      ...approx. 75k gals per day. or not quite enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.

      Question: Where does all this water come from? It's been leaking for years, isn't it empty yet? Have they got some weird infinite source of water?

      • They just keep adding fresh. They are near the ocean, not infinite, but they can keep topping it up for as long as they can find new heroes to run the hose.

  • Good News! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:10PM (#44626343) Journal
    TEPCO is pleased to announce that additional capacity has become available in one of the radioactive coolant storage tanks, a development certain to ease fears of a capacity shortage.
    • by jftitan (736933)

      Reminds me of the old " The solution to pollution is through dilution"

        mix it all up with sea water, and no one will ever notice... well maybe the three eyed fish. but those are just perks.

      • The trick is knowing when the solution to pollution is dilution and when the solution to dilution is bio-accumulation...

        Some pollutants do, indeed, dilute almost as neatly as a chem101 'concentrations of mixtures' exercise (some even better, if some quirk of the enviromnet causes them to form a nice insoluble, biologically inactive, precipate somewhere that nobody cares about). Others (most notoriously some of the nastier lipid soluble persistent organics) get hoovered up by the small fry and shunted in
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Keep your eyes on those geiger counters, kids. Tick tick tickety means run your ass outta there.

  • So.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bennomatic (691188)
    ....this is how it ends.

    Should I apologize to my kid before or after he's old enough to understand that humanity has no future?
    • The end of nuclear power as something the public wants to invest in? Sure nuclear power is cleaner than coal. Coal guarantees health problems and death through air pollution. Nuclear power only poses a problem when things go wrong. This is half a century old technology, and a lot has changed. This is basically my same post as reddit, but I'm glad solar power is catching up, otherwise when electric cars get economical, the power grid would be taxed beyond its means.
      • by rubycodez (864176)

        nonsense, we can extend and beef up the grid.

        smarter countries are making heavy investment in nuclear power and R&D.

      • The end of nuclear power as something the public wants to invest in

        Already been done by Carter, Reagan and Thatcher. It's just been a dead cat bounce since then with reactors living out their lifetime and nearly nothing being built. With a technology like that unless you keep on building stuff continuously you slide backwards because you've got to train a new bunch to build each reactor.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Did you happen to see the story about Germany's renewable energy that was posted today? Turns out coal isn't the only other way of generating electricity.

  • by seanvaandering (604658) <sean.vaandering@ ... minus physicist> on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:49PM (#44626549)
    I swear it's going to come true in my lifetime.
  • We've got 'leak' in the headline for three articles in a row. (If you have the same topics enabled as I do.)

  • Except of course only ~300 tonnes of partially treated water IN TOTAL leaked (not 300 tonnes per day) and the leak has been stopped. Some of the water was recovered, and soil removed. It is also unclear if ANY of the water entered the ocean as nothing has been detected in any of the drainage ditches. And while 100 mSv of Beta radiation was detected at the surface of one of the puddles, only 1.5 mSv of Gamma radiation was detected (as the water was already partially treated to remove any Caesium). So don't g
    • Except of course only ~300 tonnes of partially treated water IN TOTAL leaked (not 300 tonnes per day) and the leak has been stopped.

      Sorry, that is incorrect. There are many much better stories about the leaks, but even this one mentioned (at the bottom):

      The incident comes days after Tepco admitted that as much as 300 tonnes of contaminated water a day was leaking from the damaged reactor buildings to the sea.

      Yes, they are pumping water out of a leaky tank into another one, but have only promised to remove the contaminated soil, nothing done on that yet. And the problem is that these plants are sinking, and there is ground water flowin

  • by JoeyRox (2711699) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @10:25PM (#44626741)
    TEPCO has had a troubled relationship with the truth.
  • Holy crap. There is an International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. This thing actually exists.
  • http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-09-19/fukushima-radiation-japan-irradiates-west-coast-north-america [zerohedge.com]

    In any case. Look at what's happening on this planet now with governments, governments organizations (nsa, ...) their corporation overlords, etc. You get the point.

    Shouldn't it make sense that the world unites and helps Japan fix this problem ? At least the countries that can. I mean radiation is a global problem, not Japanese problem just because it happened in Japan.

    Sometimes I think we're so ignor

  • but does anyone else feel this may be leading to a very Godzilla like situation.

  • by fullback (968784) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @03:10AM (#44627945)

    Each level is considered 10 times more severe than the level below, just like earthquake intensity scales.

    I live less than 100 miles south the Fukushima plant.
    On behalf of the people around me, I'd like to tell the Godzilla and Ninja Turtles-type of posters to go fuck yourselves. This isn't a fucking Internet meme to some of us.

    Some of us who weren't killed or hurt in the earthquake or tsunami still have financial problems from the economic downturn in our businesses. We're not all in a position to just be able to pack up and move. We don't all live in trailers like some of you Godzilla-spouting fuckers.

    Some of us have had to dig deeply into our savings.

    To be honest, I'm more worried now than I was a year ago. We're back to trying to contain events instead of making any progress toward cleaning up and decontaminating.

    I think a bigger problem is this:
    How are they going to continue to find people willing to work at the plant? They quit after a while.
    Would you work in a sealed decontamination suit and breathing gear outside in a heat index about 140F for about the same money the night shift kid-manager at Burger King makes? Just how smart and competent can someone like that be?

    That's scary.

    And the problem is not the engineers, it's the reckless, cost-cutting zealot-assholes from the accounting departments who become the presidents of utilities instead of engineers.

    • by maliqua (1316471)

      I think any disasters on this scale ALL the directors of the companies should be directly involved in the clean up (read physically there doing the work) or simply executed publicly

    • by fnj (64210)

      Thank you for your post. Some of us do empathize with your situation and would like to apologize on behalf of the twerps.

  • ... how nature points out the folly of man.

    GO GO GODZILLIA!

  • 300 tons (80,000 gallons) of water is approximately...

        * A city swimming pool
        * The amount they dropped on the ground
        * The amount they are leaking into the ocean each day.
        * The amount they are adding to the tank farm a day.

    Wow!

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