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Japan Power News

Safety Measures Fail To Stop Fukushima Plant Leaks 157

AmiMoJo writes "The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been developing countermeasures to deal with repeated leaks from tanks of contaminated water. But despite the measures, 100 tons of radioactive water leaked on Wednesday and Thursday. 'The leaked water was among the most severely contaminated that Tepco has reported in the aftermath of the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, when damage caused by an earthquake and a tsunami led to meltdowns in three of the plant’s reactors. Each liter of the water contained, on average, 230 million becquerels of particles giving off beta radiation, the company said. About half of the particles were likely to be strontium 90, which is readily taken up by the human body in the same way that calcium is, and can cause bone cancer and leukemia.' The estimated volume of the leaked radioactive materials caused Japan's nuclear regulator to rank the leak a level-3 serious accident. The international scale of nuclear and radiological events ranges from zero to 7."
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Safety Measures Fail To Stop Fukushima Plant Leaks

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  • by digitrev ( 989335 ) <> on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:29PM (#46305487) Homepage
    Becquerels of particles? Really? That's like saying (obligatory car analogy incoming) joules of cars. A becquerel is a measure of activity - each litre gives off 2.3e8 electrons per second. While this is a problem, this is a nonsensical way to talk about it. What's that law again? The one that says that "every news article in your field of expertise is utter garbage". I'm pretty sure it holds here.
  • by ramper ( 1206148 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:37PM (#46305543)

    "massive radio active steam and dust cloud and the resulting fires and highly molten core would create radio active dust high into the atmosphere that would spread for thousands of miles"

    you mean like current coal plants do?

    "Though the concentrations are low, the total amount of TENORM in fly ash is noteworthy (Beck
    et al. 1980; Beck 1989). For example, in 2004, U.S. electric power plants burned approximately
    921 million MTs of coal (U.S. DOE/EIA 2005d). If that amount of coal is burned with 1.5 ppm
    uranium, 1,381 MTs of uranium would be concentrated, in addition to other TENORM quantities."

    [] - EPA

  • by trims ( 10010 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @05:44PM (#46306619) Homepage

    100 tons of water is 24,000 gallons, or about 3600 cubic feet of water.

    That's roughly about the same amount as two (2) of the large tanker trucks that fill up a gas station.

    Or, in Olympic Pool metrics, about 1/24th of a Pool.

    In radiation terms, 230m Bq per liter (for 24,000 Gal = 91,000 L) or 21 Trillion Bq.

    A single (average) coal plant puts out about 4 Quadrillion Bq via emissions pollution. So this spill is roughly 0.5% of the yearly output of a coal plant (or, 46 hours of operation of one).

    In terms Banana Equivalent Dosage, you're talking about 1.4 Trillion bananas per hour to start with, halving every hour.

    And Now You Know.


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