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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bath salts in the poison soup

The nucle-heads at Japan's melting-down Fukushima power plants have focused everyone's attention the last few days on this pipe outlet or hole, which they say is leaking highly radioactive water into the ocean:

They've been trying to contain it with concrete, then sawdust, newspapers, and expanding sealant -- at one point they were reportedly stuffing large bags full of litter into a hole as part of the process. So far, nothing's worked, they say.

But if that isn't all a purposeful distraction, I'll be a monkey's uncle. Do they honestly think there is only one leak? And if they stop the water from going into the ocean, where is it going to go? We're talking water by the swimming pool-ful, every day, drenching the reactors for the next year or more. They don't have storage space for anything close to that. And letting it get deeper and deeper just makes more and more of the plant untouchable by repair crews.

No, the water will continue to pour into the ocean. The radioactive iodine, which they keep giving out readings on, will dissipate. But there are a lot of other nasty radionuclides in that water, like cesium, that will be around for decades. If there's plutonium, we're talking danger for hundreds of centuries.

The latest dispatch from Tokyo Electric is that they put bath salts in the water to make it look milky and see where the leak is coming from. That's so cute. This show makes for interesting television, but so does "The Three Stooges."

UPDATE, 4/4, 1:47 a.m.: The latest from Japan is here:

The total amount of contaminated water to be released will be 11,500 tons and the concentration of the waste water is estimated at about 100 times the legal limit, which is deemed as a relatively low level, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.
That's around 3,000,000 gallons of water -- enough to fill four Olympic-sized swimming pools with enough to fill a fifth pool halfway up. And now 100 times the legal limit is "low level" radioactivity, eh? My, my. How stupid do they think the world is?

Comments (15)

Emergency Essentials reports Mountain House is so low on freeze dried inventory it is no longer filling orders for canned pantry stores.

Thank you Jack for your reporting on this issue. To my mind, all else that is happening is a diversion compared to this.

Worst environmental disaster in history, even if it gets no worse than what we are already being shown. But you can bet the money people are going to downplay it as hard as they can.

According to report on ABC News Australia, Dr. John Price, a former member of the Safety Policy unit at the UK’s National Nuclear Corporation, says that it could take 50-100 years before the fuel rods are cool enough to be removed, and the site will have to be “intensely controlled” for that entire period of time.

Here’s the link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/01/3179487.htm

Maybe Ann Coulter should have a nice long sea water soak!

It's plenty warm.

Some enterprising local TV station should start showing the plume map as part of the weather report. For example the one I saw shows a big day for us April 6th. Now, there's little we can do except munching kelp and avoid going outside. But wouldn't it be nice on the days we find out the plume is not over us and hitting California instead? Why not know that? This could go on for months.
Of course, TV stations are ultimately controlled by the New World Order so maybe we're in downplay mode, but I thought the one clown on KGW looked ridiculous bemoaning all the rainfall in March without any mention of our radioactive problems. You have to play to the room.

ok everyone take a deep breath and sing with me:

"It's the end of the world as we know it."

OR..."It's a small world after all...it's a small, small world".
And our great, great, grand children might look just like all those goofy Disney characters singing the song; oh, and those albino birds from the Ukraine too!

So, seriously: should we do our taxes, or just get the extension?

Calculations, here's one:

total mass of seawater in the world...1.5x10^18 tons (approx!)

Mass of released water:11,500 tons

Dilution, 7.66x10^-15.

Running rough calculations that comes to about 3 tablespoons diluted in a volume of water whose cubic dimensions measures thousands of miles in a side.

Let the detractors begin!

And no, I do not think it's a good idea to do so. The infinitesimally small can influence the infinitely large.

"Maybe Ann Coulter should have a nice long sea water soak!"

Comment of the day... and I am lucky there is not tea all over my desk.

Geez, you mean they haven't tried golf balls yet? Used Top Flites were one of the first options tried to plug the leaks after the Deepwater Horizon blew.

"Worst environmental disaster in history"

Don't know if that's hyperbole or just incorrect, but Chernobyl spewed as much radioactive fallout as a 50 Kt bomb set off at ground level in the first 10 minutes of the disaster, and it did it over a populated area (Western Europe).

This mess (shouldn't) get close to that.

*I say shouldn't, because who knows how TEPCO will screw this up from now forward...

It's very reassuring that experts are on the scene verifying that the ocean is so vast it will absorb all this radiation which remains active well beyond our lifetime. Apparently they are throwing everything at the glowing blob. From the (AP) – 4 hours ago: “Engineers have been using unusual methods to try to stop the more highly radioactive water leaking into the sea.”... “They dumped milky white bath salts into the system around the pit Monday to try to figure out the source of the leak, but it never splashed out into the ocean.”...”In the meantime, workers plan to install screens made of polyester fabric to try to stop some of the contamination in the ocean from spreading.”...”Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said officials were growing concerned about the sheer volume of radioactive materials spilling into the Pacific.”... (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jBT14vjP6E-x8acbdl67bV8CHKvw

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