Fukushima

Cr33pin

Peacock
Gold Member
Mainstream media finally picking this up.... I really think this is a much bigger deal then anyone is letting on. You can't just take some rags and Windex an clean up radiation, the area, machines and vehicles from Chernobyl still 30 years later are contaminated with lethal levels of radiation. Plus there is a good chance that this plant will collapse onto itself and create the largest BOOM the world has seen since those cavemen blew up the Dinosaurs.
 

weambulance

Hummingbird
Gold Member
There's no way the Fukushima Daiichi plant could blow up short of someone dropping a bomb on it, so don't worry about that.

Article discussing what that guy on Fox said:

I blame 1950s B-movies: sixty years later, it appears that most of what journalists know about radioactivity came from watching Godzilla.

On February 8, Adam Housley of Fox News reported a story with a terrifying headline: "Radiation at Japan's Fukushima Reactor Is Now at 'Unimaginable' Levels." Let's just pick up the most exciting paragraphs:

The radiation levels at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are now at "unimaginable" levels.

[Housley] said the radiation levels -- as high as 530 sieverts per hour -- are now the highest they've been since 2011 when a tsunami hit the coastal reactor.

"To put this in very simple terms. Four sieverts can kill a handful of people," he explained.

The degree to which this story is misleading is amazing, but to explain it, we need a little bit of a tutorial.

The Touhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, along with all the other damage they caused, knocked out the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi ("plant #1") and Daini ("plant #2") reactors. Basically, the two reactors were hit with a 1000-year earthquake and a 1000-year tsunami, and the plants as built weren't able to handle it.

Both reactors failed, and after a sequence of unfortunate events, melted down. I wrote quite a lot about it at the time; bearing in mind this was early in the story, my article from then has a lot of useful information.

Let's dispose of the silliest error first: "Four sieverts can kill a handful of people."

Here's what he really means: an exposure to four sieverts total dose will kill about half the people exposed. If you were inside the reactor, after a little over two minutes of exposure the chance you'll die is 50/50.

Next, let's look at the terror headline itself, the "unimaginable" level of radiation.

Here is a schematic of a "boiling water reactor" which is what is at the Fukushima plant. The "1." and "2." I've added; they'll be important in a minute:

bwr-annotated.png


To get a little bit better information than the Fox story, let's go instead to the Science Alert website for their article on this:

The radiation levels inside Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor No. 2 have soared in recent weeks, reaching a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, a number experts have called "unimaginable."

Now, let's refer back to the image above. Most commercial nuclear reactors have what's called the "primary containment" around the reactor: a sealed steel or reinforced concrete shell around the actual reactor. Outside that is the "secondary containment," another sealed building surrounding the primary containment. The unexpectedly high radiation levels -- and 530 Sieverts is way high, no question -- were detected inside the containment, the area marked by "1."

This is important, because everyone in Japan is in the area marked by "2.", technically called outside the containment. This is a Good Thing. What's even better is that we now know the radiation exposure in area 2 was only about 15 percent of what was originally thought.

So, the tl;dr here is: "Don't panic. The high radiation is only inside the reactor." I will say, though, that I wouldn't recommend anyone going into the containment vessel.

At Fukushima Daiichi [fixed], they got a robot close enough to measure the radiation level close to the "elephant's foot" -- the mass of slag that results when the reactor melts down. This was very high -- the article mentioned 530 Sieverts, but it's unclear what they mean, because Sieverts are a measure of biological damage, not radiation dose. Still, it's way high. (Reading news reports about these things can be very frustrating.)

While we're here, let's look at Housley's other attempt at a factual statement:

"The worry is with 300 tons of radioactive water going into the Pacific every day, what is that doing to the Pacific Ocean?" said Housley.

This, at least, is something we can evaluate.

Radioactivity is measured with two units, the Bequerel and the Curie; the Bequerel is ridiculously small, the Curie ridiculously large. (You can find a long detailed explanation in my article "Understanding Radiation" from the time of the Fukushima accident.) A Bequerel is one decay event per second.

TEPCO and the Japanese government carefully measure the radioactivity in the water being released, and report it regularly. Their February 1 report records only one significant radionuclide in the water: tritium, the third hydrogen isotope. The radioactivity level is between 780 and 820 Bq per liter of water.

What does this mean? Well, the U.S. EPA safety standard for tritium in drinking water sets an upper limit of 740 Bq/liter. Basically, you wouldn't want to drink it, right there at the outflow into the Pacific, for any extended length of time -- although it probably wouldn't hurt you.

You could swim in it, though.

So what have we learned today?

We learned that inside the reactor containment at Fukushima Daini, site of the post-tsunami reactor accident, it's very very radioactive. How radioactive? We don't know, because the dose rate has been reported in inappropriate units -- Sieverts are only meaningful if someone is inside the reactor to get dosed.

Then we learned that the Fukushima accident is leaking 300 tons of radioactive water -- but until we dig into primary sources, we didn't learn the radioactive water is very nearly clean enough to be drinking water. So what effect does this have on the ocean, as Housley asks? None.

The third thing we learned -- and I think probably the most important thing -- is to never trust a journalist writing about anything involving radiation, the metric system, or any arithmetic more challenging than long division.

I'm not an expert on radiation or anything--I mostly just learned about it in chemistry in college and picked some other stuff up over the years--but that article's a lot more in line with what I do know than the general alarmism we've been hearing.

I'll grant you the actual containment area is pretty fucked and it's not going to be an easy job dealing with it. But as long as it's contained, it's just not that big a deal. Maybe we'll get some novel new tech out of this like radiation super-resistant robots or trained cockroaches or something. Gotta find that silver lining bro.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
The best-case scenario for Fukushima at this point is a 40yr containment process with continuous radioactive leaks, which will cost Japan around half a trillion dollar.

The worst case scenario is, well, far worse...
 

weambulance

Hummingbird
Gold Member
I seriously doubt the huge $500 billion number is accurate because that's about what we spent on our entire space program in constant dollars*. It simply doesn't pass the smell test. The only way it's going to cost that much is if they take ridiculously over the top measures with no sound scientific basis during cleanup. I bet there's a fair amount of graft involved as well.

Looking online, I see the estimates (~$200 billion at present) apparently include paying residents a lot of money. That's incredibly misleading when talking about remediation and reclamation of the actual site.

And what's the worst case scenario? What's actually possible here? The radioactive sludge has been sitting in the same place for years, it's not just going to spontaneously escape now. The radiation that is escaping in the water is just not a big deal. As that article cites, all that's in the water is tritium, which isn't very dangerous. It beta-decays into helium and has a short half-life. Sooner or later they'll plug the leaks and the net harm of what's happening now will be negligible.

It's more likely there will be a major accident from a fuckup while trying to remove the waste than if they just encased the area, monitored it, and left it alone until they developed giant trained cockroaches and super robots. Hopefully it won't be a bog standard government operation like the 2015 EPA show of competence that totally fucked that river out west.


* I think. On the order of, anyway. I don't feel like doing the math myself and another source claim NASA has spent up to $900 billion total in constant dollars.
 

MrLemon

Ostrich
Every day, the pacific ocean is hit with gamma rays and is converted into Tritium and other radioactive substances. Every day the amount of radioactivity that is added to the pacific ocean is 1000000000000000000000000 times as much as the entire contents of the Fukishima reactor.

Fukishima is so completely irrelevant to the fish in the ocean, it's equivalent to peeing in the ocean from a rubber dinghy. That radiation is so infinitely small that it's zero, from a practical perspective.

Bulldoze the entire plant into the ocean. The ocean will not even notice, nor will any human being more than a mile away.
 

MrLemon

Ostrich
weambulance said:
As that article cites, all that's in the water is tritium,

Thank you for the summary. People can drink Tritium. You could bath in tritium every singe day your entire life and never even get a sunburn.

Average people are morons about radiation.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
You can easily account for background radiation, Dick, it's a known quantity, very stable and pretty low level. This being said that video looked pretty amateurish.

MrLemon said:
weambulance said:
As that article cites, all that's in the water is tritium,

Thank you for the summary. People can drink Tritium. You could bath in tritium every singe day your entire life and never even get a sunburn.

Average people are morons about radiation.

Actually, average people have very little understanding of how deadly radiation is, because few people have decent STEM backgrounds and the level of high school science is abysmally poor.

Cesium, strontium and a whole range of dangerous elements are also there.
 

Swell

Woodpecker
Gold Member
I am a person that questions everything.

To see people saying, "not to worry" and "you could bath in it" WTF

3 reactors had melt-down and people are saying not to be worried.

Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, which allows it to readily bind to hydroxyl radicals, forming tritiated water (HTO), and to carbon atoms. Since tritium is a low energy beta emitter, it is not dangerous externally (its beta particles are unable to penetrate the skin),[21] but it can be a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin.

Enjoy your cancer.
 

Nordwand

Kingfisher
A few years back, there was a TV programme in the UK about Chernobyl. Prior to going into the city, the crew were read the Riot Act by their producer, who told them that under no circumstances were they to eat or drink anything whilst they were there. This resulted in much mocking from an elderly couple, who still lived there, and offered them coffee and cake, which they had to refuse.
 

Hypno

Crow
I'm somewhere on the fence about this issue. Sure, the ocean is vast, but certain toxic elements like mercury and cesium 132 accumulate in the food supply.

Also, if the vastness of the ocean were a solution then we would just dump nuclear waste in the ocean.

As far as Geiger counters, they are not expensive, about $200-$400. I bought one after Fukashima as a prep for about $200, its up in price now to $349.

https://www.geigercounters.com/shop-all/

One of the reasons I did this is that shortly after Fukashima the government revised safety levels to declare levels of radiation that were previously thought to be unsafe as safe. So I wanted to be able to measure it myself, and build up a history of data. Governments are always doing things like this - they recently revised the level of testosterone down so that low T is now considered normal.

Back to geiger counters, interestingly, some folks have networked their data.

getmap~1~631~956~38.7813~-97.0391~2.7~y~y~n~n~y~n~n~n~n~n~.png


http://radiationnetwork.com/

getmap~1~631~956~31.0762~-86.3321~6.0~y~y~y~y~y~n~n~y~n~n~.png


According to this network, there is some sort of radiation event this moment around Augusta, Georgia, which is east of Atlanta. In all likelihood someone's equipment is FUBAR but its nice to know this network exists.
 

MrLemon

Ostrich
Hypno said:
I'm somewhere on the fence about this issue. Sure, the ocean is vast, but certain toxic elements like mercury and cesium 132 accumulate in the food supply.

Also, if the vastness of the ocean were a solution then we would just dump nuclear waste in the ocean.

As far as Geiger counters, they are not expensive, about $200-$400. I bought one after Fukashima as a prep for about $200, its up in price now to $349.

https://www.geigercounters.com/shop-all/

One of the reasons I did this is that shortly after Fukashima the government revised safety levels to declare levels of radiation that were previously thought to be unsafe as safe. So I wanted to be able to measure it myself, and build up a history of data. Governments are always doing things like this - they recently revised the level of testosterone down so that low T is now considered normal.

Back to geiger counters, interestingly, some folks have networked their data.

getmap~1~631~956~38.7813~-97.0391~2.7~y~y~n~n~y~n~n~n~n~n~.png


http://radiationnetwork.com/

getmap~1~631~956~31.0762~-86.3321~6.0~y~y~y~y~y~n~n~y~n~n~.png


According to this network, there is some sort of radiation event this moment around Augusta, Georgia, which is east of Atlanta. In all likelihood someone's equipment is FUBAR but its nice to know this network exists.

In physics class in college, we used to use the geiger counters to read the radiation being emitted by the banannas in people's lunch sacks.

Yep...bananas have a ton of potassium in them and potassium emits radiation.

Or, just go to Denver or any high altitude town. Or get a dental X-ray.

Meanwhile, every single person reading this post has Tritium in their body right now. Yep. Right this second. Tritium everywhere.

If Tritium is a worry, I suggest the following preventative protocol:

1. Paint yourself blue
2. Wrap your body in aluminum foil
3. Run around naked in the street waving your arms in the air
4. Scream about radia-shun.

This will protect you from the deadly Fukushima Tritium floating across the Pacific ocean.
 

Bitter End

Woodpecker
Orthodox
I am in the nuclear camp. I believe it is the safest abundant energy. Everyday radiation levels in normal urban environment are not taken into account, Chernobyl is instead turned into a mythical event similar to those in the wars prior. Apart from the closest proximity, many people have already measured the radiation outside of the plant in Ukraine and the levels are not nearly as high as the legend suggests.

The oil and gas lobby gain a lot by pushing useless "renewable energy", while countries such as France have the cleanest air by adopting nuclear power as a high % of the energy mix.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
We don't really know how many people died from Chernobyl, or how many will die from Fukushima in Japan across the Pacific. That's the lesson we learned from the covid crisis, where numbers are either inflated or understated, depending on the political agenda.

France has a solid engineering technocratic culture and tradition, that's the primary reason behind its successful nuclear power program. In the US however the nuclear industry might be run by MBAs who will place shareholders and quarterly profits above long term safety, not to mention the regulatry red tape. In the US as well there are powerplants in seismically dodgy parts like Diablo Canyon, that's not a good idea. And then you have tornadoes in the midwest and hurricanes across the SE coastline...

The US and Canada have plenty of oil, gas and coal, more than enough cheap, relatively clean energy for the next 50 years until there is an energy breakthrough (cold fusion, thorium fission etc).

I'm convinced that such a breakthrough would have already been achieved if it wasn't for research being blocked or simply not funded hard enough due to globalists being against Tesla's vision of electricity "too cheap to meter". This breakthrough is likely to come now from China and possibly India, who will be investing huge resources into energy research, as both are large "fossil" fuel importers. The benefits for humanity will be incredible, it could wipe out world poverty.
 
I think that for a lot of people, the numbers for nuclear power "don't compute" in their minds.

Everyone's gotten a sunburn, so people "get" solar power. Everyone's been at a BBQ, so people "get" coal and gas power. Everyone's been to a river, so people "get" hydroelectric power.

Start talking about the numbers for nuclear power, and you might as well be talking about border-line magic.



I think a better way to get through to people would be to tell them that with nuclear power their electric bills could drop like a rock.

It is the cleanest and most powerful source of electricity yet discovered. If Texas were smart, with this recent power outage, they'd start funding and building new nuclear power plants, and set up scholarships to fund the education for the nuclear engineers they'll need to keep those plants running.
 

Hermetic Seal

Pelican
Orthodox
Gold Member
I moved to Japan a couple weeks after the 3/11 disaster, to a northern prefecture affected by the tsunami, and I heard Fukushima scare propaganda nonstop during my three years there, most of it from the Western media or English-language outlets in Japan. When Covidmania hit last year, I was immediately struck by how the all-out media panic reminded me of the Fukushima situation years earlier.

I immediately distrusted the official media scare narrative surrounding Fukushima and the tinfoil hat-doffing scaredy cats on expat blogs and sites constantly trumpeting The End Is Nigh. The fact that the media was pushing it so hard should be enough to make anyone doubtful, but what was really fascinating is that normal Japanese people I met on the ground, not so far from where the Fukushima incident happened, didn't seem to be seized by mortal fear. They were far more concerned about the much more objective, empirical devastation from the tsunami.

While I'm far from some sort of nuclear expert, I read various articles and such from people with relevant knowledge/experience who disputed that it was the cataclysmic crisis it was made out to be. Of course, much like doctors and medical experts who violate the Covid fear narrative, you weren't hearing anything from them out of mainstream sources. This incident was actually a major step in the development of my total distrust of news media.

Over a decade later, I rarely hear much about Fukushima anymore. The apocalyptic predictions never came to pass.

Of course, it's obvious that pollution in the oceans (largely thanks to China, India, and other third-world garbage dump countries) is a real problem and can't be totally brushed aside, so some concern over ocean health is justified. I'm just not convinced that this incident is nearly as bad as China dumping trash in the ocean and wrecking the ecosystem on a daily basis.
 
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