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New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the two-leak-stories-in-a-row dept.

Japan 198

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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198 comments

Radioactive ooze! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:Radioactive ooze! (4, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#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! (3, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Not reassuring, actually (3, Funny)

Camael (1048726) | about 8 months ago | (#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! (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 8 months ago | (#44627265)

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]

Re:Radioactive ooze! (4, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 8 months ago | (#44627097)

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.

It do. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626311)

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
They think it don't be like it is,
But it do.

Works out to (1)

djupedal (584558) | about 8 months ago | (#44626313)

...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:Works out to (3, Insightful)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#44626429)

rephrase - the nuclear site is leaking so much radioactive wastewater into the sea that it would fill an olympic swimming pool each week!

Re:Works out to (2)

Naedst (1313869) | about 8 months ago | (#44626433)

79.3 k gals per day. Despite the headline the actual amount released per day is 300 tonnes.

Re:Works out to (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 8 months ago | (#44626721)

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:Works out to (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626945)

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

Re:Works out to (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#44627059)

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?

Re:Works out to (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#44627813)

...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?

Good News! (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#44626343)

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.

Re:Good News! (2)

jftitan (736933) | about 8 months ago | (#44626875)

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.

I like fish (0)

Andrew_NZ (1287650) | about 8 months ago | (#44626353)

300 tons of contaminated water doesn't seem like a lot when you consider there are (roughly) 784,430,000,000,000,000.00 tons of water in the pacific ocean alone. I think I'll still eat fish...

Re:I like fish (4, Informative)

DeathElk (883654) | about 8 months ago | (#44626699)

Things to consider:
A. How much radioactive water has actually leaked into the Pacific Ocean prior to the latest reports?
B. What is the true amount of radioactive water still leaking into the Pacific Ocean?
C. How long until the leaks are stopped?
D. Given A,B and C, what will be the total amount of radioactive water to be dispersed from the local site?
E. Given D, how may fish are likely to encounter this area, considering fish migrate thousands of miles?
F. Given E, How many predatory fish will each the contaminated fish, spreading radiation through the marine food chain?
G. What is the period of time the radiation will remain in the marine food chain?

I think I'll be testing my fish with a geiger counter for a while.

Re:I like fish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626843)

Things to consider:
A. How much radioactive water has actually leaked into the Pacific Ocean prior to the latest reports?
B. What is the true amount of radioactive water still leaking into the Pacific Ocean?
C. How long until the leaks are stopped?
D. Given A,B and C, what will be the total amount of radioactive water to be dispersed from the local site?
E. Given D, how may fish are likely to encounter this area, considering fish migrate thousands of miles?
F. Given E, How many predatory fish will each the contaminated fish, spreading radiation through the marine food chain?
G. What is the period of time the radiation will remain in the marine food chain?

I think I'll be testing my fish with a geiger counter for a while.

The first thing you should have asked is:
What kind of radiation from what type of source?

Re:I like fish (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 8 months ago | (#44627063)

The first thing you should have asked is: What kind of radiation from what type of source?

"While it had been treated to reduce radioactive caesium, tests of the leaked water found it was still highly contaminated with beta-ray emitting substances including strontium, which has a half-life of about 30 years and can cause bone cancers."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-20/toxic-puddles-discovered-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant/4899844 [abc.net.au]

Enjoy your fish and osteosarcomas.

Re:I like fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627433)

You should do some research into amount of radiation already in the biosphere from natural sources.

http://www.umich.edu/~radinfo/introduction/natural.htm [umich.edu]

Oceans get about a "massive Fukushima-leak" amount of radiation dumped into them from cosmic sources every few hours, continually..

Why aren't you freaking out about that?

Re:I like fish (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627757)

Strontium replaces calcium in bones. Now fuck off.

Re:I like fish (4, Informative)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 8 months ago | (#44626887)

Things to consider: A. How much radioactive water has actually leaked into the Pacific Ocean prior to the latest reports? B. What is the true amount of radioactive water still leaking into the Pacific Ocean? C. How long until the leaks are stopped? D. Given A,B and C, what will be the total amount of radioactive water to be dispersed from the local site? E. Given D, how may fish are likely to encounter this area, considering fish migrate thousands of miles? F. Given E, How many predatory fish will each the contaminated fish, spreading radiation through the marine food chain? G. What is the period of time the radiation will remain in the marine food chain?

I think I'll be testing my fish with a geiger counter for a while.

H. Ignore A through G as you are probably more likely to win the lottery (even w/o every buying a ticket) than to suffer any ill effects from this unless you live in close proximity. And are more likely to get mercury poisoning than for this to affect you in any way.

Re:I like fish (0)

DeathElk (883654) | about 8 months ago | (#44626963)

Admittedly, I based my concept on what seem to me to be common sense assumptions given the longevity of radiation and the long migratory habits of fish. If you have data that contradicts my assumptions, I'd like to see it. Cheers

Re:I like fish (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627683)

Or in other words, you pulled it out of your arse. "Common sense assumptions" are worth, to a first approximation, bugger all.

Re:I like fish (5, Interesting)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 8 months ago | (#44627009)

300 tons of contaminated water doesn't seem like a lot when you consider there are (roughly) 784,430,000,000,000,000.00 tons of water in the pacific ocean alone. I think I'll still eat fish...

Make that 300 tons of contaminated water per day, something that Japan's environmental agency says has been happening since very soon after the initial accident in March of 2011. According to NPR [npr.org], the next plan is to dig a bunch of cooling pipes into the ground and create an underground "ice wall" to stop the contamination from flowing out in to the ocean. No, really

You can trivialize all you want, but if I were you I'd avoid eating the fish from anywhere near the Japanese coast, and anything that eats there during annual migrations. Could be bad for your health. Radioactivity builds up in plants and animals over time, and it's been pouring in for 2 1/2 years now.

If that isn't bad enough, a newly stated concern is the proximity of melted fuel in relation to the Tokyo aquifer that extends under the plant. If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, there will be 40 million people in the Tokyo area without access to safe water.

Re:I like fish (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 8 months ago | (#44627347)

create an underground "ice wall" to stop the contamination from flowing out in to the ocean

Now that's a cool solution.
There's nothing wrong with that so long as it isn't the only thing done. You only need to keep it frozen long enough to find the leak, seal it and dig/pump out the contaminated stuff.

Re:I like fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627603)

We can only hope the people who caused this will have to bear most of the consequences.

Re:I like fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627735)

"Only long enough to find the leak."

Well, they've only been trying to do that for the last two years - can't take much longer, right? Right?!

Re:I like fish (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#44627787)

And of course TEPCO is still fighting not to pay out compensation to affected fishermen. Actually it will be the government, or rather the tax payer, who coughs up the money, since TEPCO is basically nationalized now. The government insures all nuclear plants because no commercial insurer will go near them.

Re:I like fish (1)

Cochonou (576531) | about 8 months ago | (#44627385)

You should still be careful with fish, depending on where you live. Those 784,430,000,000,000,000.00 tons of water are already so much polluted with mercury that it might be safe to limit your fish intake. See for example this study [briloon.org].

Re:I like fish (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 8 months ago | (#44627571)

The problem is more that the people living around a nuclear plant doesn't dive all that well and haven't got any houses under the sea.

I guess that's possible to fix with global warming and all but further away from the leakage. :)

(And no, it's likely not all that dangerous but it ruin a site pretty well.)

useless article (-1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | about 8 months ago | (#44626373)

"A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation"
Wow! that's slightly more radiation than you'd get from a flight over the ocean! Let's all freak out!

"In addition up to 300 tonnes a day of contaminated water is leaking from reactors buildings into the sea"
So...how contaminated is this water? the same as the puddles? More? Less? What is it contaminated by?

Re:useless article (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626453)

"A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation"
Wow! that's slightly more radiation than you'd get from a flight over the ocean! Let's all freak out!

"In addition up to 300 tonnes a day of contaminated water is leaking from reactors buildings into the sea"

You fail at conversions. 100millSiverts = ~2000 Sydney Australia to Los Angles flights (1 flight is around .05 milliSieverts or 50 microSieverts).

Re:useless article (4, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#44626459)

Better check your arithmetic. It's giving off 100 mSv/hr = 876 Sv/yr (about 175x the fatal dose). If you flew in an airliner 24x7 you'd get 24 mSv/yr (a dose 36,500x smaller).

Re:useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627043)

Who are these guys who always seem to show up right after nuke power or global warming stories and post absolutely bullshit figures? Thanks for correcting the record.

Re:useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627093)

We can't forget either that these exposures are not simply comparable based on raw numbers. Internal exposures are different than external, and different energies of radiation have different damage potential. The petition by the US universities after the airports started using the Rapeyscans basically addressed this point. There is a tendency for the public, the media, and us on Slashdot to try to equate exposures using rate of emissions. It is only a slight guide, the rest is situation specific.

To me, there is no acceptable amount of additional strontium and cesium in my body from Fukushima. Unfortunately, today there is some amount in the body of nearly every person in North America from it. Your own little souvenir so to speak.

Re:useless article (1)

Endovior (2450520) | about 8 months ago | (#44627165)

True, but the timeframe presented is worse than useless. A better figure would be that, if you spent all day bathing unprotected in the radioactive pool, you could die; if you spend two days there, you would probably die; if you spent four, you would certainly die. This is perhaps relevant to local fish over the extremely short term, but nothing you the consumer need to worry about; the legal freakouts associated with this will certainly keep any fish that happen to be right there where the waste's still concentrated enough to be hazardous off plates.

Re:useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627207)

100 mSv is the lowest dose linked to cancer. 50 mSv is the yearly dose limit for a plant worker. So it would only be 2 years of exposure. Of course Sv is based on the actual exposure conditions of the dose so I have no idea how you would report a radiation source of having a Sv. Unless you are assuming how the individual will be exposed to the radiation source. Did the person drink the water, swim in the water, stare at the water? The dose would be completely different.

Re:useless article (4, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 8 months ago | (#44626461)

In parts of the US background exposure is 1700 mrem or 17 mSv per year. So the 5 year background exposure is 85 mSv.

In the US the normal power plant exposure limit is 50 mSv per year, and under emergency conditions it can be raised to 250 mSv per year.

According to the news report 100 mSv/hr was right at the surface of the puddle.

So don't go there.

Re:useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626465)

You might not want to freak out, but you might not want to move in next door either. All of this just raises the question of when will the locals be able to move back? If Tepco still can't control leaks, they can hardly say it's harmless to be living nearby.

Re:useless article (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#44626481)

On the bright side, you can buy Fukushima real estate very cheap these days. Uh, what's the half-life of this stuff? Gotta do a present/future value calculation on that real estate investment.

Re:useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626545)

I wonder if you can actually buy it at all.

Re:useless article (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 8 months ago | (#44626831)

If it was actually for sale, I'd buy it for cheap. In 30-50 years it'd be clean enough to live on, the high rad stuff has short half lives, and the long live stuff has lower radiation, and it'd be cleaned up in 30-50 years. So, where's the Fukushima real estate link?

Re:useless article (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 8 months ago | (#44626951)

I wonder if you can actually buy it at all.

Sure. Too bad you will be responsible to clean it up.

I saw something similar (non nuclear/smaller scale) happen in a town I lived in. CSX owned an abandoned roundhouse, but couldn't even give away the property due to the cost they or the new owners would incur to clean it up by doing so.

Re:useless article (4, Informative)

thelexx (237096) | about 8 months ago | (#44626491)

Totally wrong on the puddle, not bothering with the rest.

http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html [hps.org]

Nutshell:

"The corresponding annual effective dose, based on 700 hours of flight for subsonic aircraft and 300 hours for the Concorde, can be estimated at between 200 mrem for the least exposed routes and 500 mrem for the more exposed routes."

500 mrem is equal to 5 millisievert. So 100 msv is equal to 20 years of commercial airline employee exposure. In one hour.

Re: useless article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626511)

You're crazy!!! 4 or 500 mil. Sv is a lifetime maximum safe disage!!!! Fukishima is tthrowing out 100 mil. Sv per HOUR!!!!!!+

Re:useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626579)

Not reading the article doesn't make it useless but certainly makes your comment useless. "One hundred millisieverts per hour is equivalent to the limit for accumulated exposure over five years for nuclear workers; so it can be said that we found a radiation level strong enough to give someone a five-year dose of radiation within one hour."

Re:useless article (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 8 months ago | (#44626703)

Since the LD50 is about 5,000 mSv, 50 hours of exposure to this water would kill half of the people so exposed, roughly, from acute radiation sickness. But let's not freak out. They only lost 300 tons of it and don't know where it went. They still have their other 800,000 tons and at the rate they are generating this stuff it will hardly be missed. Shoot, 300 tons of it trickles under the plant toward the sea on an average day without having ever been in a tank by their own estimate. It's just embarassing to have gone to the trouble to capture it and then lose it. No biggie. How about you volunteer to go out with a mop and bucket and police it up. You should be done in a week or two.

Re:useless article (4, Insightful)

Endovior (2450520) | about 8 months ago | (#44627105)

Obligatory: http://xkcd.com/radiation/ [xkcd.com]

So yeah, if you decided, against all common sense, to bathe unprotected in the water leaking out of the reactor for an hour, then you would experience a statistically noticeable increase in cancer risk. Given that everyone knows there's radiation over there, nobody is doing this. That doesn't quite mean that it's 'safe' or 'trivial'... but it also doesn't mean you need to freak out and stop eating fish or anything.

Re:useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627175)

Wrong, wrong. That comic is so evil because it equates all types of radiation. Energy of radiation is more important than rate of emission.

Re:useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627709)

And Sieverts are a unit of absorption, not emission. The different effects of different radiation energies and types are already taken into account.

300 Tons and Growing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626375)

Make my monster grow!
Go, go, Godzilla!

So.... (1, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | about 8 months ago | (#44626387)

....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?

Re:So.... (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 8 months ago | (#44626523)

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.

Re:So.... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 8 months ago | (#44626573)

nonsense, we can extend and beef up the grid.

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

Re:So.... (0)

AK Marc (707885) | about 8 months ago | (#44626899)

The problem with alternative energies is that people are addicted. Fossil fuel can meet 100% of our energy needs, even if only for a limited time. But we can't use a single renewable source to meet 100% of our needs directly, so they are all worthless. Now, a combination of them could meet 100% of our needs, but that's two things, or more. That's too complicated. We need just one, like before.

The "solution" is simple. Distributed PV. Put panels on every house, grid tied, and the grid selling infrastructure and storage, not generation, and the problem is solved. Today. Using existing technology. The power companies would just need to build some storage (turbines or hydro, depending on location). It's not hard to solve, just expensive.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627849)

Fusion is not hard to solve, just expensive.

Happened years ago (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 8 months ago | (#44627393)

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.

Re:So.... (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#44627743)

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.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626543)

Neither. ou are not personally responsible for the demise of humanity.

I just hope that when humans die out, we dont take the rest of the world with us.

Go ahead and laugh. Might be worth a shot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626389)

The Paul Solomon Readings offered a solution to this more than 20 years ago: http://koogmo.com/?p=5670

tons != tonnes (1)

Naedst (1313869) | about 8 months ago | (#44626403)

Units matter guys. 300 tonnes = 330.693 tons.

Re:tons != tonnes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626559)

Units matter guys. 300 tonnes = 330.693 tons.

It doesnt matter. Either way, its still approximately 300,000 litres of contaminated water leaking into the sea Every Single Day

Re:tons != tonnes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626997)

"up to"... there could be much less.

You're welcome. :)

No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626411)

What happened to the post just after the tsunami that explained that nothing bad could happen at Fukishima?

this is disinfo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626483)

So fucking what?

The engineers responsible should be killed, slowly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626503)

This mess is unacceptable, and because better quality work in the
beginning could have prevented the disaster, it is UNFORGIVABLE.

May all those responsible suffer the tortures of the damned.

Re:The engineers responsible should be killed, slo (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 months ago | (#44626837)

Before you kill the engineers, I'd like to meet them. I didn't even know it was possible for mankind to create a 30 meter wave that can kill 18,000 people.

Oh, wait, you meant the engineers that designed the nuclear plant that withstood the largest earthquake ever to hit Japan and then the subsequent tsunami? Hmmm, maybe we should agree to disagree.

The nuke plant gets all the play, and it is an ongoing expensive headache, but there are 18,000 people who would have rather been in Fukushima that day.

Re:The engineers responsible should be killed, slo (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 8 months ago | (#44627413)

Don't pretend to be stupid, what was meant is the engineers that made the sort of mistake we used to laugh at the Soviets for - putting backup systems in places that make them as prone to failure as the main systems. The real problem however is the plant operators that took so many shortcuts that what should have been a relatively graceful failure was instead a serious of fuckups up to and including explosions. I'd say those are the people the above poster wants pointless revenge on.

Re:The engineers responsible should be killed, slo (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 8 months ago | (#44627445)

The nuke plant gets all the play, and it is an ongoing expensive headache, but there are 18,000 people who would have rather been in Fukushima that day.

Sigh, I KNEW there was going to be one of these comments here.... Guess what, I know you don't know this, but I feel it's important to pass this info on: NO MATTER HOW BAD YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO DIED, THEY ARE DEAD.

People like you really piss me off because you seem to think that if all we do is throw a big pity party then the people who died in the tsunami will come back to life. But you have really BELIEVE they will, and only talk about them and absolutely nothing else. Guess what, it sucks that they died, it sucks hard, but there isn't a god damn thing you can do about, no matter how much you talk about it. But the people's friends and relatives DO have to deal with the nuclear issue. They DO have to deal with being kicked out of their homes for who knows how long. Unlike the dead people their situation can be changed(for better or worse). So yeah, unlike your self-righteous claims to the contrary, talking about the nuclear situation is in fact more productive than a constant pity party. Moron.

Re:The engineers responsible should be killed, slo (1)

sl149q (1537343) | about 8 months ago | (#44627515)

And at 300 tonnes per day it could leak until the end of time and not cause (after dilution) 18,000 additional deaths.

To call this a mole hill made into a mountain is to overemphasize it's size... after this is diluted into the ocean this does not even make mole hill status.

I wouldn't want to bath in the puddle before it leaks into the ocean. But bathing in the ocean more than a few hundreds of meters off shore would be safe.

Re:The engineers responsible should be killed, slo (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#44627763)

It was a 15m wave, and the plant was designed only to withstand 7.5m tsunami and magnitude 7.1 quakes. Both the tsunami and the quake damaged the plant. Japan had experienced larger tsunami and quakes before.

In fact the nuclear regulator warned TEPCO that defences were inadequate years before the disaster. The engineers knew there was a problem, they are not to blame. It is, as ever, the managers and profit motive.

Also, it's a slightly bizarre argument to say that because 18,000 other people died that somehow mitigates Fukushima. If you want to go down that route then millions starved in Africa in the 80s, 500,000 Iraqis died in the last war... I'm not sure what your point is. It's a disaster in its own right and deserves to be scrutinized.

Re:The engineers responsible should be killed, slo (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 8 months ago | (#44626915)

And the regulators. They approved a design that, in the failure of grid power, a generator fault would guarantee a meltdown. A tsunami capable of reaching the plant had a near-100% chance of knocking out grid power and fouling the fuel. They approved a plant in a tsunami zone with a guaranteed meltdown in the case of a tsunami. The generator and fuel were at ground level. Putting them in a 10m tower (hardened for earthquake) would have prevented this meltdown. At a cost of a few hundred thousand dollars. To save pennies, a meltdown was guaranteed by bad design.

Re:The engineers responsible should be killed, slo (2)

lennier (44736) | about 8 months ago | (#44627129)

They approved a design that, in the failure of grid power, a generator fault would guarantee a meltdown.

Indeed. I remember as a kid with an interest in nuclear power in the 1980s, reading about the design of the GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactor [wikipedia.org] and boggling at the lack of a PWR-style containment building because the suppression torus "should be enough". But accidents always happen, I thought. What if some disaster caused a meltdown or explosion? Well, the article said, because there was no containment, the result of a meltdown would be unthinkable and therefore hasn't been investigated. Instead there would be failsafes to make sure a meltdown absolutely could never happen.

And I felt a cold shudder run down my spine at the casual engineering arrogance of that design and that, I think, was the moment when I switched from thinking of nuclear power as "cool" to "incredibly stupid".

There was a file photo in the article of a Mark 1 under construction - it was quite probably this one at Harper's Ferry [wikipedia.org] - and the sight of the naked reaction vessel with the pipes reaching through the torus like an evil alien root, a cancer nodule built in steel, gave me nightmares for weeks. I had an instinctive feeling of revulsion and horror. This is a radiological disaster waiting to happen. Why would humanity build this monstrosity? Tear it out! Burn it! Bury it! Entomb the ashes!

Actually, looking at that photo, I still feel that feeling today. But at least we've learned from this... right guys?

Re:The engineers responsible should be killed, slo (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about 8 months ago | (#44627287)

It's not an engineering fault, but a business and regulatory one. Make it as safe as possible, and have multiple redundant failsafes. That costs too much, so they are axed. And the regulators sign off on it.

Re:The engineers responsible should be killed, slo (0)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#44627779)

That's an oversimplification of what happened. When the power failed there was a backup system in place that would have prevented a meltdown. The problem is that it was damaged by the quake and then again by the tsunami. In fact the pumps were working and a large enough volume of water needed to cool the reactors was pumped in, but due to values being in the wrong position and instrumentation not working a lot of it never got as far as the cores.

Even after the tsunami a meltdown could have been avoided, but a mixture of incompetency and a lack of information and understanding at the time allowed it to happen.

AHHHH We're ALL DEAD (2)

kellymcdonald78 (2654789) | about 8 months ago | (#44626707)

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 go bathing in or drink the water and you'll be fine.

Re:AHHHH We're ALL DEAD (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 8 months ago | (#44627061)

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 flowing through them (and getting contaminated from the melted fuel lumps) and going right out into the sea. That's a different issue than all the water getting pumped in to keep the damaged fuel from getting hot that has to be stored in tanks (some of which are prone to leaks).

Water can't be radioactive (0)

barv (1382797) | about 8 months ago | (#44626711)

Water is hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen has 2 isotopes, Deuterium & Tritium. OK Tritium might be radioactive, but its not there. (Besides it's probably worth so much that there would be a race to get it). The longest life isotope of Oxygen is O15 which has a half life of 2 minutes, so its not a problem.

So water is not the issue.

It's the dissolved solids or suspended solids (sludge) in the water that is radioactive. If it's a sludge, it should be filterable. If its dissolved salts, there is probably a way to precipitate the radioactive bits. Failing that, evaporation should separate it out.

Re:Water can't be radioactive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626909)

somebody never took college level chemistry 2.

disinformation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626895)

the 300 tonnes of dihydro monoxide per day is the cooling system used to keep the reactor from burning its way deeper into the ground. it's been doing that for over 2 years. the only reason there is a possibility for news ventures such as this one to pick up the story and treat it like it's new is because the audience has a fucked-over attention span. anybody who has been keeping up to date on fukushima would know this and furthermore if you aren't keeping up to date on fukushima then why don't you just go hang yourself?

and to the idiot down there who's saying water can't be radioactive, here. this is a hypothetical glass containing heavy water. otherwise known as used reactor coolant. don't worry it's already chilled and this is the variety used without added coolants. just plain old good old water. so go ahead and drink it idiot. because water can't be irradiated right?

morons all over the fucking place.

morons all over the place (1)

barv (1382797) | about 8 months ago | (#44627039)

"morons all over the place". You said it. In case you didn't know, heavy water is water made with the deuterium isotope of hydrogen. Deuterium is not radioactive, so heavy water is not radioactive. (That is not to say heavy water is not poisonous to drink). As I originally stated, tritium is the only isotope of Oxygen or Hydrogen that could be dangerously radioactive in this situation.

I am surprised that morons have the sense to hide behind an anonymous nom de plume. Maybe you and the author of "somebody never took college level chemistry 2." above are only halfwits.

White House Dead White House Dead All Dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626953)

Obama declared War on America.

America Answers and Declares War On Obama.

Operation 'Carpet Bomb'.

Operation 'Carpet Bomb' is ON.

  Boeing Co.'s Narus subsidiary, Cisco Systems Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc. are the high priority targets to kill.

Killrate is est. 1000 employees per minute.

Then On To BIG WHITEY.

International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | about 8 months ago | (#44626985)

Holy crap. There is an International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. This thing actually exists.

Re:International Nuclear and Radiological Event Sc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627111)

And TEPCO plans to test every level of it!

Do you belive it just like that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44626995)

All you read is "Surpise! New radioaktive water!" and think it's still because of the earlier catastrophe. I belive criminal guys around the world, likely you're goverment, are dumping radioaktive waste into the ocean near Fukushima because it's cheap and the damage is already done.

SMH says it will upgrade to a 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627657)

Sydney morning herald says

The severity warning about a toxic water leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant is to be dramatically raised, its nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday.
The deepening crisis at the Fukushima plant will be upgraded from a level 1 "anomaly" to a level three "serious incident" on an international scale for radiological releases, a spokesman for Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority said.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/fukushima-radiation-warning-over-toxic-water-leak-20130821-2sb4s.html#ixzz2caLLLn91

Risk of uncontrolled chain reaction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44627707)

Ex-Fukushima Worker: High risk they’ll break fuel rods in Unit 4 pool —
Gundersen: Moving fuel risks nuclear chain reaction;
You can’t stop it, no control rods to control it.

1,331 rods need to be moved from just the #4 pool

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-japan-fukushima-insight-idUKBRE97D00M20130814

North US and state of human society in 2013 (1)

geekymachoman (1261484) | about 8 months ago | (#44627799)

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 ignorant and ... stupid (even though human race would think it's smart, especially the egotistical CS nerds) that we deserve to be wiped of this planet and replaced with whatever else.

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