Monday, March 28, 2011

Plutonium from Reactor 3 found in water and soil near plant
TOKYO – Workers discovered new pools of radioactive water leaking from Japan's crippled nuclear complex, officials said Monday, as emergency crews struggled to pump out hundreds of tons of contaminated water and bring the plant back under control.
Officials believe the contaminated water has sent radioactivity levels soaring at the coastal complex and caused more radiation to seep into soil and seawater. Crews also found traces of plutonium in the soil outside of the complex on Monday, but officials insisted there was no threat to public health.
Plutonium — a key ingredient in nuclear weapons — is present in the fuel at the complex, which has been leaking radiation for over two weeks, so experts had expected some to be found once crews began searching for evidence of it this week. end quote.

There are some key words here that should be noted. One is "Hundreds of tons of contaminated water" which would be a euphemism for hundreds of tons of severely radiated water. Since one Gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds we can divide a ton by 8.34 pounds and get our answer. However, there are many different tons:
1 long (or gross) ton = 2240 pounds (UK)
1 short (or net) ton = 2000 pounds (US)
1 tonne (i.e., a metric ton) = 2204.6 pounds
In the United States, when people say "a ton," they're thin.king the short ton, or 2000 pounds.

Since we are talking about Japan let us assume that a ton is a metric ton so that would be 2204.6 pounds
If we divide 2204.6 pounds by 8.34 and we get=264.340528. So let us make it just 264 for convenience.
So that means 264 gallons of extremely radiated water and what are you going to do with that? You are going to dump it in the ocean because you definitely don't want to pollute the fresh water table. However, since you are in an emergency life or death situation likely some of it will get into the fresh water table as it is removed towards the ocean. So since they are saying hundreds that would be a minimum of 300 which would be: 79,200. So, that means that there is at least about 79,200 gallons radiated with approximately 10,000,000 times normal radiation now collecting in the power plant there.

As a side note I used to live in Mt. Shasta, California around 1990. Around that time there was a train accident and 16,000 gallons or so or sodium bromide crashed into the Sacramento river just above Dunsmuir. It killed everything living in the river that had been alive since prehistoric times. Many species in the river died and went extinct during that time. Of course, over time other populations from up river replaced "Everything" that had died downstream. But like I said all natural species of that 50 mile stretch of river from above Dunsmuir to Shasta Dam went extinct and were replaced by other similar species from upstream. This kind of thing might also take place in the areas surrounding Fukushima nuclear plant over the next 100 years or so.
next quote from same article:

That has left officials struggling with two sometimes-contradictory efforts: pumping in water to keep the fuel rods cool and pumping out — and then safely storing — contaminated water.
Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, called that balance "very delicate work."
He also said workers were still looking for safe ways to store the radioactive water.
"We are exploring all means," he said. end quote.

I think extremely radiated water is in some ways a bigger problem than radiated soil but less of a problem than radiation in the air coming down on cosmopolitan areas in Japan. The reason for this is that water can be in three states: water, steam(clouds)  or ice. So, even if you put water to store it in a stainless steel container with radiation shields outside of that any temperature change over the years could destroy the container as the water changes shape from extreme low or high temperatures and creates either contraction or expansion with temperature change over 100s of years. So, radiated water is not something very practical to store for 100s of years without contaminating other beings eventually with extreme radiation. Of course, this also depends greatly upon what the half life of that source of radiation is.

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