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Sunday, June 26, 2011

At Fuku, a big cup of alkalinity down

Things remain relatively quiet on the surface at the multiple nuclear meltdown site in Fukushima, Japan, but there's new trouble in reactor no. 3, the most heavily trashed of the four wrecked reactors. Apparently so much debris fell into the spent fuel pool at that reactor when it blew up, that the chemistry of the water in the pool has taken a turn for the worse. They're now dumping boric acid into it to reduce its alkanity; otherwise, as any hot tub owner knows, the racks that keep the waste fuel assemblies from going nuts could corrode away.

Meanwhile, they're handing out radiation badges to 300,000 children and pregnant women in the area surrounding the plant. Can you imagine what it would be like to wear one of those day and night? And gee whiz -- these people have been getting dosed with radiation for three and a half months now. Even if the colorful little meters don't show bad levels of radiation now, for some folks it's already too late. Urine samples taken from local residents in May showed that all of them had radioactive cesium in their systems. The nuke apologists will tell them that it was a "safe" level of exposure, but there's no such thing. Cesium causes cancer, and anyone exposed to it bears an enhanced risk.

Comments (5)

The world's motto should be as Bill McDonald wrote earlier, "If you can't turn it off, don't turn it on!". Nuclear energy requires perfection in an imperfect world.

Dave Letterman would argue that, "There is no off position on the genius switch", but I think we can agree that the designers of these plants were not geniuses.
My question is how long does this go on? When Tepco announced the timetable for cold shutdown as from 6 to 9 months, it really worried me. That's the type of numbers you throw out there if you have no idea. Is there a scenario where this just goes on spewing for years?

Hey, the party's just gettin' started:

Flood berm collapses at Nebraska nuclear plant; officials say no danger

Sun, Jun. 26, 2011 01:06 PM

Those 300,000 people should just start walking away. The info from those badges will only be kept secret by government anyway, and used for mostly nefarious and selfish purposes.

Badges? What badges? I ain't got to wear no stinkin' badges!

Um..actually, the power transformers at the Fort plant have gone offline, as of about an hour ago. Something about too much water. Backup generators reportedly weren't working, and there seemed to be some concern about the spent fuel tanks.

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