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One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the spreading-the-glow dept.

Japan 190

AmiMoJo writes The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says more than one trillion becquerels of radioactive substances were released as a result of debris removal work at one of the plant's reactors. Radioactive cesium was detected at levels exceeding the government limit in rice harvested last year in Minami Soma, some 20 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO presented the Nuclear Regulation Authority with an estimate that the removal work discharged 280 billion becquerels per hour of radioactive substances, or a total of 1.1 trillion becquerels. The plant is believed to be still releasing an average of 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive material.

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The trick with nuclear bombs is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527803)

that you make them detonate before they can be deactivated and turned against you by the enemy.

It's time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527809)

I'm buying a ford falcon xb and a leather jacket.

Re:It's time (1)

dunng808 (448849) | about 3 months ago | (#47527843)

The real question is, how many Babel Fish can you shoot in a becquerel? ... or ...

Do those Fukushima engineers have enough towels to clean up the mess?

Apologies to Douglas Adams.

Re:It's time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528179)

the shame is - this happened in a nice civilized place like Japan and not somewhere like Africa or the Middle East

Re:It's time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47529655)

Do those Fukushima engineers have enough towels to clean up the mess?

They have no intention of cleaning up the mess.

What the banana boys posting below are trying to avoid you understanding is that the difference between the Fukushima disaster and Chernobyl is that Chernobyl happend quickly and ended (relatively) quickly. All the radiation was released and dispersed in the first few months, mostly over land, and the Russians work hard in in some cases died to contain it.

By comparison, Tepco engineers are intentionally allowing all the radioactive contaminants, including bioaccumulating beta emitters like strontium, to gradually leach into the aquifer and ocean. Patently ridiculous efforts like their ice wall are never really intended to contain the toxins, instead they''re just plausible deniability. The marine ecosystem around Japan will accumulate readioisotopes, people will eat the seafood and suffer cancers and radiation-caused illnesses as a result.

Even with the payouts, it'll still be cheaper than doing the job properly.

Re:It's time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47529381)

If only I had mod points :)

One trillion becquerels (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527811)

So....is that bad?

Re:One trillion becquerels (0, Troll)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 months ago | (#47527891)

I am sure some pro nuclear AC will put it in terms of fruit, nuts, flights or average medical exposure as the classic talking point. What this will do to your lungs or after ingestion is the risk never mentioned.

Re:One trillion becquerels (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528075)

Because nobody actually ingests fruit, nuts or what not. Right?

Re:One trillion becquerels (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528081)

So instead of a pro-nuke justification put in terms of banana equivalent doses we get FUD with undefined threats against our lungs and other vital organs? You thought yourself better than the hypothetical poster you so fear?

Re:One trillion becquerels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528127)

Brazil nuts have about 440 becquerel per kg it won't do anything to your lungs after ingestion unless you ingest a lot of them, but you would hit other problems long before the radiation was an issue.

Re:One trillion becquerels (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47528299)

constipation?

Re:One trillion becquerels (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528581)

No, you'll go nuts first

Re: One trillion becquerels (1)

YodaDaCoda (1927704) | about 3 months ago | (#47528727)

You are what you eat.

Re:One trillion becquerels (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527945)

It's terrible. We have, what, seven billion people on earth? Now there's a population explosion and all of a sudden we have a trillion Scott Becquerels. They can't create Quantum Leap reboots fast enough, and everyone is scrambling to keep all Star Trek-related scripts away from them.

Pick your units of radiation... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528153)

Becquerels, roentgens, rems, sieverts, pick your units of radiation.

For energy, lets use ergs instead of joules as an energy of watt. Then we can go with hyperinflated numbers instead.

For crying out loud, one becquerel is a single ATOM popping its top off. Imagine if we measured visible light this way instead of via lumens. Much bigger numbers.

Of course, this raises the question why we need yet another fscking unit of radiation? Simple answer: makes it sound big and scary for the anti-nuke crowd to crow about is why.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (4, Informative)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47528347)

agreed, the bequerel as a unit is bad enough, but it's even worse when people mis-use it. A bequerel isn't a count of something, like coulomb or joule (or "atoms popping tops off") but rather a rate, like amperes or watts. it's (atoms popping off) per second. so the notion of "bequerels per hour" makes no sense, or "a total of N bequerels".

the best you can do, if you want to measure the number of atoms blowing their wad over a period of time, you multiply the atoms-blowing-chunks-rate with the number of seconds in the time period. So, if something has a radioactivity of N bequerels, then there are 3600 * N atom pops per hour. Or, as we do with electricity, you could measure atomic pops with the unit bequerel-hours. You could also say "my atomic trash emitted N bequerels (or N/3600 bequerel-hours) over the course of the clean-up period.

honestly, the bequerel-hour may be the most common-sense method to measure radioactivity. It's grounded in the physical world (atomic pop-offs) unlike things like greys, and it's similar enough to watt-hour that people will use it right.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528457)

No.

A dose released in a short amount of time is much more damaging than a dose released over a long period of time.
If you have a high dose*time over a second, the body won't be able to heal itself.
If you have the same dose over 10 years, your body can heal the damage.

Also, the Bq is a worthless unit because it doesn't tell you *what* is released.
A decay that releases a low energy beta is fairly harmless, but if it releases a 10 MeV gamma, that is very bad.

But then again, I'm just some "pro nuc AC", so maybe you should rely on people who don't know what they are talking about.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 3 months ago | (#47529487)

A Becquerel-hour should be good enough to quantify most non-acute exposures.

I do agree on the alpha vs. gamma point, though.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 3 months ago | (#47529659)

Bq isn't a dose! It's activity.

If you want a dose, you'll measure Sv (Sievert)

That is exactly because of those things you noted. But that doesn't make it worthless. It's just measuring something different.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528597)

so the notion of "bequerels per hour" makes no sense

Makes plenty of sense, in that it indicates the rate at which material is moving from one place to another (inside to outside in this case) relativity to its activity. When aggregating together random radioactive materials, with no context of how a person might be exposed to it (ingestion? sitting next to it?), total activity, and the rate change of activity due to changing amount of material ends up with Bq and Bq/time unit.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47528743)

Bq/hr, can you use it in a sentence?

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528967)

Bq/hr, can you use it in a sentence?

"Captain! The warp core containment leak is accelerating by over 9 trillion Bq/hr. If she keeps this up, I canna stop the breach from going critical within the next 4 hours!"

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47529111)

Bq/hr, can you use it in a sentence?

Sure, at a high rate of speed.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528815)

Okay, so drawing the logical conclusions from your post you dislike the Watt as much as you dislike the Becquerel? The usefulness of a nuclear reactor can only be measured as the energy extracted during its lifetime, not by its capacity measured in GWe?

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47529493)

Bequerel is a unit of radioactivity. Bequerels per unit time is a measure of the rate at which the plant environment becomes more radioactive as the stuff leaks, therefore somewhat meaningful. Think of multiplying the leakage rate of each leaking contaminant by its inverse half-life.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (-1, Flamebait)

fnj (64210) | about 3 months ago | (#47528391)

For crying out loud, one becquerel is a single ATOM popping its top off. Imagine if we measured visible light this way instead of via lumens. Much bigger numbers.

For god's sake if the simple quantity bothers you for some reason, just call it one terabequerel. I'm sure you'll feel much better about one of something than a trillion of something else. Just like 100 kg is perfectly all right, but my god 100,000 grams? Time for a diet!

Myself, I kinda like calling it a trillion bequerels, because a thousand thousand thousand thousand atoms "popping their tops" is pretty much a fucking disaster, and it's less likely that moronic assholes will just shrug it off.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (4, Interesting)

nojayuk (567177) | about 3 months ago | (#47528837)

A cubic kilometre of seawater contains about 10 trillion becquerels of the naturally-occurring potassium K-40 isotope. That's ten fucking disasters per cubic kilometre using your scale and there's a lot of seawater on this planet (1.3 billion cubic kilometres according to most sources).

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47529461)

How can seawater contain 10*10^12 1/s?
What does that even mean?
This cubic km of water contains 10 T Hz.
Yeah, I'm not really getting it.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (2)

nojayuk (567177) | about 3 months ago | (#47529511)

Ten trillion nuclear disintegrations of potassium-40 occur in a cubic kilometre of seawater every second. A single nuclear disintegration per second is a becquerel (Bq). Usually Bq are qualified by being associated with a mass or volume, Bq/litre or Bq/kg. Radioactivity in seawater is usually measured in terms of litres but if you make the sample size big enough (cubic kilometres) the numbers can look really scary.

Re:Pick your units of radiation... (5, Insightful)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 3 months ago | (#47528847)

I prefer to measure it as .006 USCoalBurningEmissionsYears.

I don't believe that's an SI unit, though.

Pick your units of radiation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528801)

For crying out loud, one becquerel is a single ATOM popping its top off.

No, it's not. One becquerel means a quantity of atoms such that one of them will decay each second. If we pick Cs-137 as an example, its half-life of 0.95 billion seconds means your crude understanding of the Becquerel is off by a factor of 0.95 billion. Now, the mix of isotopes being released here will ofcourse have a different average than pure Cs-137, but you get the point. Or even if you don't, someone else reading this may still get it...

Re:One trillion becquerels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528231)

So....is that bad?

Well, it is enough to contaminate rice 20km away. And if we're talking Cesium 137, swallow it and you will be dead within hours. So yeah it's bad. It is also about 1/3 of a gram.

I also measure distance (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527821)

in miles per hour. No but seriously, Bq is disintegrations per second. It's a convenient way to quantify radiation if you have one isotope or it's contained in a small area, but is absolutely ass for a situation like this.

I also measure distance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527849)

so the lethal range is almost a billion angstroms!

Re:I also measure distance (0, Troll)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47528025)

in miles per hour. No but seriously, Bq is disintegrations per second. It's a convenient way to quantify radiation if you have one isotope or it's contained in a small area, but is absolutely ass for a situation like this.

God damn you!!! You just don't understand science! If we were to take those becquerels and put them into a right triangle... we divide 1 trillion by 2 for the a and b... so we get 500billion Bq... so thats 2*500,000,000,000^2 that means the hypotenuse of the radiation is 50 Quintillion becquerels! By my back of the envelope numbers by next year news stories about fukishima will have release more radiation than a small supernova. A year after that even Andromeda is going to be pissed at Japan.

Re:I also measure distance (1)

msauve (701917) | about 3 months ago | (#47528089)

Bq seems a fair measure to me. It's a measure of radioactivity. Would you prefer pounds (or kilograms) of X, with no measure of the rate X is releasing radiation?

To follow your analogy, if the concern is how fast something travels,then MPH is a reasonable measure.

Time (rate) seems an important component of the measure to me. What SI unit do you propose they use?

Re:I also measure distance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528123)

The cumulative dose of what is released might be an improvement, because a TBq of low energy decays is going to be a lot different dose than a TBq of say high energy alpha decays in an isotope that bioaccumulates. Or they could use what man-sieverts at least, which takes into account not only how much, its biological impact, but also the amount that will actually end up some place with people.

Re:I also measure distance (1)

Warshadow (132109) | about 3 months ago | (#47528165)

While it's not a good thing, using Becquerels is a convenient way to make something sound worse than it actually is. It's 27 Curies, which is about 0.18% of the activity of the sources they use for some gamma sterilization machines (which can be around 15000 Curies or 555,000,000,000,000 Bq). Now that is a scary amount of radiation.

Re:I also measure distance (1)

msauve (701917) | about 3 months ago | (#47528263)

The Curie is not an SI unit. It is, however, locked to the Becquerel by a fixed ratio. They measure exactly the same thing, so in what way do you claim Bq are "bad?" The GP seems to want a measure of disintegrations without regard to time, which makes zero sense. It's like claiming you did work or expended energy when trying to lift a 1 Kg rock with 1 N of force.

Re:I also measure distance (3, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | about 3 months ago | (#47528543)

Even though they measure the same thing, the Becquerel is a very, very small unit. If somebody was talking about the risk of a dam breaking, and used the cubic centimeter for measuring the volume of water behind that dam, perhaps with a note that a single cc of water can killl a person if they choke on it just right as a justification, wouldn't you still prefer a unit such as gallons, or cubic feet or cubic meters, Wouldn't that be better in helping asses the real consequences of a dam failure even though we are measuring the same thing? Or wouldn't it be better to give information on just how many acres downstream would be flooded and how many people live on that floodplain, even though that's all a very different kind of measurement? There are plenty of cases where either a similar measurement that uses units more in keeping with the situation or a measurement of something different may either or both be better.
          Using SI units is a good thing overall, but what if those units are many orders of magnitude outside of the thing they were designed to measure and there's a non-SI unit that isn't? Or, what's the point in preferring Km./liters over miles/gallon if we are talking about how much fuel it took to send Voyager 1 outside the heliopause? Neither one is very useful when we are not exactly sure just where the edge of the solar system is, or how to measure it, and Voyager will keep on coasting many light years farther in the end, if its trajectory even has an end in the lifetime of the universe.
            I see using becquerels in this case as similar to someone being opposed to a government project, so they give how much it costs in the currency of some nation currently undergoing hyperinflation, so the project costs a bajillion, bajillion, Saganillion Elbonian Smerdlaps, That's not the same thing as writing about the US economy for a European audience and converting to Euros, or writing about the European economy for Japan and converting to Yen. Even though we know a conversion rate for the uints, and it's fixed as of a given date,,using some units for currency could still be an attempt to make the numbers sound so large they prejudice the average reader more than they inform. You should look at what level of information the average person reading an article from that particular source will have in deciding whether a difference of units is simply a difference or if there's some intent to mislead - and since you asked it as in what way X is :bad?", hopefully we can agree attempts to mislead are bad.

Re:I also measure distance (2)

Artifakt (700173) | about 3 months ago | (#47528559)

Oooops! I would drop an 's' from assess and make it asses. Why just mispell something when you can make what someone will probably call a Freudian slip, after all? Please excuse me.

Re:I also measure distance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528849)

So it's like a cop measuring your car's speed in angstroms per year in order to write a big number on the ticket.

Re:I also measure distance (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#47529291)

The units are not that important, what matters is the relative numbers. The point of the story is that TEPCO is failing to prevent the release of radioactive material from the plant in enough measure to contaminate nearby crops and make them worthless. Relatively speaking the amount of released material is lower now, but expected to rise once they start further decommissioning work.

In this case the unit used by TEPCO and the government is Becquerels, and there has been a great deal of discussion about it in the Japanese media so people are aware of the issues. It serves as a measure of how effective TEPCO's efforts to reduce emissions is.

Re:I also measure distance (1)

fnj (64210) | about 3 months ago | (#47528411)

MPH is a reasonable measure ... What SI unit do you propose they use

Meters per second springs to mind. Base units make the most sense.

Re:I also measure distance (4, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 3 months ago | (#47528971)

Bq seems a fair measure to me. It's a measure of radioactivity. Would you prefer pounds (or kilograms) of X, with no measure of the rate X is releasing radiation?

It's a bad unit to use in this context because it's a measure of individual atomic decays per second. It's kinda like you asking me how far you have to walk to get to the nearest bus stop and me telling you the distance in angstroms. The scale is just completely devoid of any common reference frame for the number to be intuitively useful (not that most people have a common reference frame for radioactivity). That's why Bq is commonly used by people trying to scare the public about radioactivity - when you're talking about a lot of material like, oh, a field, it results in really, really big numbers.

Let's put it this way. A block of soil one square mile by 1 foot deep (790,000 m^3) has a natural radioactivity of 653 billion Bq [isu.edu] . If they excavated 1.1 trillion Bq of radioactive material from Fukushima, then they removed about as much radioactive substances as is naturally contained in 1.7 square miles of soil one foot deep. Of course the piece of information that we're missing (and no it's not in TFA) is how much volume of material they removed. If we knew that, we could come up with a ratio and say "Ah hah! The stuff they removed is x times more radioactive than the natural radioactivity of dirt!"

Re:I also measure distance (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 3 months ago | (#47529565)

It's worse than that it's like asking someone how far the bus stop is and the person answering 10mph.

I can't help but notice that the lack of any meaningful measurements was used by several slashdotters to say the radiation was low and then several modders conveniently overlooked the fact that their math made no sense whatsoever and modded them up because the message is pro-nuclear.

Re:I also measure distance (1)

msauve (701917) | about 3 months ago | (#47529717)

"It's kinda like you asking me how far you have to walk to get to the nearest bus stop and me telling you the distance in angstroms."

No, it isn't. Angstroms are not an SI unit. It's more like asking how far the next town is, and getting an answer in meters instead of km.

"The scale is just completely devoid of any common reference frame for the number to be intuitively useful"

So, the public has an intuitive understanding of Curies? OK.

Yes, absolutely! (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 3 months ago | (#47529503)

Would you prefer pounds (or kilograms) of X, with no measure of the rate X is releasing radiation?

Yes, absolutely. I can look up what kinds of radiation X emits and its specific activity.

Is that a lot? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527823)

Can someone with experience comment on whether that is a lot or not? Obviously it's not what anyone wants released into the environment, but as a non-becquerel expert it's hard to have some sort of relevance.

Please no car analogies though.

Re:Is that a lot? (2, Informative)

calidoscope (312571) | about 3 months ago | (#47528327)

Not that much. A typical Tc99m scan involves injection a bit over a billion (10E9) bq per person, albeit half life is only 6 hours. Reminds me of a "warning sticker" for a CB radio - "Danger 5,000 milliwatts".

Re:Is that a lot? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528495)

"one trillion Bq of radioactive substances"? That phrase doesn't even make sense.

A Bq is a disentegration per second. So a mass of material can have an activity measured in Bq, such as:
"the radioactive substances released have an activity of one trillion Bq"
but you can't use Bq to measure how much substance was released.

Also, a Bq only tells you that there was a disentigration. It doesn't tell you what was released.
A release of low energy beta's is fairly harmless, a release of 10 MeV gammas is fairly serious.

This is just scare mongering. They put out a big number trying to scare people.

To put it in perspective, a gram of material has something like 10^22 atoms in it.
If there are 10^9 disintegrations per second, that means you are depleting a very small amount of material,
something on the order of 0.000000000001 grams.

Pah! That's hardly a TBq! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527827)

All these trillions and billions.. Fear-mongering! I ate a PBq for lunch!

Re:Pah! That's hardly a TBq! (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 3 months ago | (#47528775)

I've drinked 1500 Bq/liter for like 15 years or so at least I guess.

And I'm awesome.

Bq? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527839)

Why not list what Sv of exposure people might be exposed to instead of a measure like Bq which produces large, meaningless numbers for headlines?

You don't even want to know how many Bq the Sun releases, but what matters is who is exposed to what danger.

Re:Bq? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527919)

You expect samzenpus to post anything actually informative about nuclear power? HA!

Re:Bq? (0)

sjames (1099) | about 3 months ago | (#47528059)

Because that wouldn't have people ripping their hair out in a panic.

Re:Bq? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528093)

At these rates it will begin falling out in days.

Re:Bq? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528653)

Can you name one person who died at Fukushima due to radiation poisoning or cancer? Just one will do, thanks.

Re:Bq? (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 3 months ago | (#47528735)

Can you name one person who died at Fukushima due to radiation poisoning or cancer? Just one will do, thanks.

If you can't name a specific person does this mean something important?

Re:Bq? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47529107)

That a lot of people got freaked out for something that hasn't killed anyone? Unlike, say, traffic accidents which are far more likely to kill you and where you take much bigger risks constantly?

Re:Bq? (1)

msauve (701917) | about 3 months ago | (#47528149)

In Fukushima, radiation rips hair out for you!

English motherfucker, do you speak it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527861)

Can someone put this into layman terms? What is a becquerel? How many of them are considered dangerous over what time span? What ramifications does this kind of radioactive release have for the environment? Should I be going out and buying iodized salt pills on the other side of the ocean (west coast Canada)?

There's some "big numbers" in the summary, which makes me think that things are either really bad or don't really matter that much, I can't tell. I mean, at least they're cleaning stuff up, but otherwise I have absolutely no idea what any of this means. Not all of us are nuclear physicists.

Re:English motherfucker, do you speak it? (1)

upuv (1201447) | about 3 months ago | (#47527927)

Here for the super lazy

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=becquerel... [lmgtfy.com]

Re:English motherfucker, do you speak it? (5, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | about 3 months ago | (#47527941)

One Becquerel means one decay per second. So Fukushima each month emits radioactive material that adds additional 1 million decays per second to the environment.

This is a very small number, the natural activity of radioactive materials inside a human body is about 10000 Bq. One gram of radium is 37 billions Becquerels. So the whole Fukushima disaster emitted the equivalent of about 30 grams of radium, not a trivial amount anymore, but still very small on the global scale. For comparison, one ton of uranium-bearing minerals contain about 0.1g of radium.

Re:English motherfucker, do you speak it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528107)

One Becquerel means one decay per second. So Fukushima each month emits radioactive material that adds additional 1 million decays per second to the environment.

This is a very small number, the natural activity of radioactive materials inside a human body is about 10000 Bq. One gram of radium is 37 billions Becquerels. So the whole Fukushima disaster emitted the equivalent of about 30 grams of radium, not a trivial amount anymore, but still very small on the global scale. For comparison, one ton of uranium-bearing minerals contain about 0.1g of radium.

Finally, a voice of reason.

Re:English motherfucker, do you speak it? (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 3 months ago | (#47529081)

To be fair, a gram of radium held for long enough will kill your ass dead. Held for not very long at all, it will just cause your flesh to die and ulcerate.

good news for science! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527899)

All that radiation is sure to cause some mutations in something, then we can prove the theory of evolution, conclusively.

Abe Laughs With Glee Of This News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527989)

For Abe, his most hated enemy is the Citizen Japan (Nipponjin).

Abe's parents are actually Korean-Japanese, using the USA type of "by-the-blood" distinction of nationality.

For Abe, he has deep feelings for the Korean nationals enslaved by Nihon during the years following the
World War Zero -- Japan vs Russia. The years following saw Japan annex parts of China (Manchuria) and Korea.

The reason for the annexation was to supply slave labor, cheap labor, for Japan Industry.

To feed the slave need of Japan Industry, Tokyo instituted policies and programs to annex millions of Koreans
to live and mostly die in Japan in order to feed Japan Industry.

For Japan 'Today', Abe is the Manchurian Candidate.

Iodine wishes and Nuclear Dreams.

Re:Abe Laughs With Glee Of This News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528235)

While I have no love for Good Ol' Panderin' Abe, you're obviously unhinged and should be forced to leave your apartment (preferably during the daylight hours), ya weirdo hikikomori.

Abe Laughs With Glee Of This News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528247)

Well that post was excessively coherent.

Re:Abe Laughs With Glee Of This News (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 3 months ago | (#47528379)

Other than both having the word "shima"(island) in them, not really sure there is much else linking Fukushima to Tsushima.....

Are we really counting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528047)

...individual isotopic decays in a scale this large? Humans are subjected to approximately 5400 Bq, constantly through an adult lifetime. Now, if they had expressed this in BED, I would have been much more impressed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_equivalent_dose

Re:Are we really counting... (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 3 months ago | (#47529101)

Approximately 66 GBED

10 million becquerels/hours is a strange unit (1)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 3 months ago | (#47528077)

Since the becquerel has units of reciprocal seconds and one hour is 3 600 seconds, the number quoted 10 as million becquerels is 36 000 million with no units. Hmmm...?

Re:10 million becquerels/hours is a strange unit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528145)

learn to read
they are removing, each hour, soil containing 10 million bec

Re:10 million becquerels/hours is a strange unit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528613)

... Bq/hr = decays/s/hr = (1/3600) decay/s^2

It is a rate change of a rate, just as (m/s)/s = m/s^2 is a reasonable unit.

So does this mean I shouldn't visit Japan? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | about 3 months ago | (#47528079)

I was kind of keen on visiting Japan during the fall months. I have no idea how this impacts my decision.

Re:So does this mean I shouldn't visit Japan? (1)

msauve (701917) | about 3 months ago | (#47528113)

Don't eat rice harvested last year in Minami Soma.

Re:So does this mean I shouldn't visit Japan? (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 months ago | (#47528757)

Relax, I see nothing but glowing reviews.

... and that's not much. (0)

mpoulton (689851) | about 3 months ago | (#47528083)

A trillion Bq is a fairly small number, especially when spread over a large area. That's pretty insignificant.

Re:... and that's not much. (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 3 months ago | (#47529119)

A trillion Bq is a fairly huge number, especially when spread over a very small area. That will cook you like fried chicken exposed to the afterburner on an F18.

Of course they didn't give us any idea which of our both-true statements reflects reality.

Without context is no.

but is a trillion a big number ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528135)

this is about 300 curies
it is quite common, or used to be, for molecular biologists, working at the bench, to use 50 millicurie in an experiment (of course, that was relatively low enegy short lived P32)

the point is, context is all; a trillion disintigrations per second is meaningless without some context

if you look at the table in this url
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-Security/Radiation-and-Health/Radiation-and-Life/

you will see that the OP is hysterical nonsense

10 MegaBecquerels is what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528141)

10 MegaBecquerels is what?

270 microcuries = damn little radiation

Dr. Evil Says... (4, Funny)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 3 months ago | (#47528335)

(holds pinkie to corner of mouth).."one *TRILLION* Becquerel!" (uproarious laughter from nuclear engineers)

But how many Olympic Sized Swimming Pools.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528399)

... is that?

(The one and only universal unit of measurement since... records began.)

Re: But how many Olympic Sized Swimming Pools.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528467)

I've noticed Republicans prefer the measurement of Rhode Islands. They're so stupid that they don't understand that is a measurement of area rather than volume. Of course ignorance is the way of their kind.

Re: But how many Olympic Sized Swimming Pools.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528741)

Not understand the difference between, for example, square feet and gallons is pretty damn stupid. Republicans really are the dumbest people on the planet.

Background Radiation (1)

aberglas (991072) | about 3 months ago | (#47528463)

An at least vaguely meaningful measure might be how much it raises the radiation in given environments compared to the background radiation. If 1% then it is not very significant regardless of how many trillion Bequerels are involved.

In perspective: "becquerels" of mercury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528515)

A becquerel is one disintegration per second, so it is a unit of atomic scale; of course numbers will be big and scary. For perspective, let us consider mercury on the atomic scale. This will be a comparison of atoms to atoms, the rate of radioactive atoms decaying, vs the rate of mercury atoms being released into our environment by burning coal.

We are burning 7 billion tons of coal, releasing 910 tons of mercury [energyfromthorium.com] into our environment each year. A mercury atom has a mass of 200.6 u or 3.331e-25 kg, which divides to 2.732e30 atoms per year, or 8.657e22 atoms per second. That is 86570 billion billion "becquerels" of mercury, and that isn't even considering the thousands upon thousands of tons of other highly toxic materials also released.

Remember, radioactive atoms are disappearing, while the mercury atoms are everlasting. Mercury which was bio-concentrated millions of years ago, and we will now have the opportunity to do it once more after re-releasing it.

Unit-of-measure: ZPH (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 months ago | (#47528745)

Zombies produced per hour

Beware of people - natural radioactivity of 40K (2, Interesting)

KAdamM (2996395) | about 3 months ago | (#47528835)

For your information, an average human body contains natural radioactive isotope of potassium - 40K. Every second there are approx. 3000 decays (Bq) of that isotope in your body. It means that every man is approx. 9 billions Bq "on release" per year. 40K emits 1460 keV gamma-ray (that easily goes out of your body) in about 10% of decays, the rest ends in beta-particle only, that stays inside. That's one of the problems of measuring release in Bq, which is not a good idea. Anyway, your one trillion Bq is equivalent of mere 1000 people, if you measure radiation that goes outside of man body. If Fukushima scares you, stay away from people. Don't hug them, kiss them, or - that's the most dangerous - sleep all night near them. Avoid crowded public places, gatherings, public transportation etc. Build a lead bunker. Wait! Radioactivity is already in your body!

Re:Beware of people - natural radioactivity of 40K (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 3 months ago | (#47529135)

Clearly we need to coat our insides in lead.

General Motors was right all along!

Re:Beware of people - natural radioactivity of 40K (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47529599)

Don't worry, we, here in /. , are very careful about not interacting with other people.

Real world consequences (4, Informative)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 3 months ago | (#47529063)

Now that the Slashdot Pundits have made fun of a number, here's what's happening in the real world.

According to researchers, monkeys in the vicinity of Fukushima City had detectable levels of radioactive cesium in their muscles, while the northern monkeys did not. Researchers also found that the Fukushima simians had significantly lower white and red blood cell counts compared with macaque troops almost 200 miles away.

The researchers suggested their findings mirrored studies conducted on human health impacts following the Chernobyl disaster, where researchers found decreased blood cell counts in people living in contaminated areas.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-fukushima-monkeys-20140724-story.html [latimes.com]

The Chernobyl site is in the process of having a New Safe Confinement [wikipedia.org] structure built, which will keep radioactive material from the disaster site from entering the environment for 100 years. Once it is in place some of the radioactive material will be broken up and moved to long term buried storage.,

In contrast, one of the articles states "The plant is believed to be still releasing an average of 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive material." The quoted 1.1 trillion BQ figure was the result from recent debris removal.

Up to 1.12 trillion becquerels of cesium was dispersed last summer as debris was removed from the battered building of reactor 3 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, with tainted rice later being found in Miniamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, according to Tokyo Electric.

The amount of cleanup and debris handling remaining is immense compared to the work done in this last operation. This means that the impact of future work will be proportionally larger.

Beyond that, the three damaged cores are still not stable or safe. There is no solid information on the state of cores, or even if the core material is in the containment structure. At least one of the cores is believed to have suffered a complete meltdown and become corium [wikipedia.org] .

The already severely damaged reactors are still at risk for future earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons. Any one of these events could result in another large scale radiation event. The Fukushima disaster is not necessarily over. It's just less active.

So go on and giggle over a number. It shows that you have the collective intelligence of a retarded 11 year old.

Re:Real world consequences (0)

vic-traill (1038742) | about 3 months ago | (#47529217)

Mod Parent +1. Required Snark, thanks. Wish I had mod points.

Re:Real world consequences (0)

thygate (1590197) | about 3 months ago | (#47529353)

Mod parent up

My daugher had 33 MBq injected last week (1)

virve (63803) | about 3 months ago | (#47529137)

Not to trivialize Fukushima Daiichi but the current release of 10 MBq/h could be compared to the single dose of 33 MBq my baby daughter has injected last week. I was not happy with that because it seemed that the examination was for no useful purpose.

Still, the Fukushima mess has convinced me that nuclear power is a too dangerous path to thread. Unfortunately.

YES! FP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47529279)

and? (1)

sjwt (161428) | about 3 months ago | (#47529499)

Now lets use my favourite dosage level, and all radiation related matters should be in the everyday standard of BED (Banana Equivalent Dose)

We are talking about an exposure of 8,461,539 KG's of Bananas. Or about One 17th the level that Bananas expose humans to in a year. (@140Bqs per KG)

Did you know that Humans are radioactive and rated at about 100Bqs per KG, so we are talking about a release of radiation equal to about 11 million KGS of ppl or less than what the ppl in a city with around 180,000 population releases from the ppl alone.

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