Fatal radiation released this week - will see responses

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Anybody care to guess how the Japanese explain the fatal radiation levels that were released in this weeks accident in Tokyo? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/feed/a3322-1999jul16.htm

-- Living in (the@real.world), July 17, 1999



Link to previous thread:

Japan nuclear leak serious


"The Japan Atomic Power Co. insists that no radiation escaped into the environment during Monday's accident, caused by a cracked pipe in the building that houses the reactor."

"But the leak's magnitude was significantly higher than the company's original estimate of levels 250 times higher than safety standards, the company said in a statement."

-- Linda (lwmb@psln.com), July 17, 1999.

>Anybody care to guess how the Japanese explain the fatal radiation levels

Fatal? Where does it say fatal?

-- No Spam Please (nos_pam_please@hotmail.com), July 17, 1999.

Let's say that you have a moisture detector in your basement sump area that's so sensitive that it will respond to one drop of water in the sump. You want to know right away 'cuz you've got valuable furniture in your basement. This then becomes your standard - one drop of water.

Now you have some ground water seep in. An ounce (100 drops, a quart (3200 drops and finally a full gallon of water(128,000 drops).

Since your sump pump turned on right away and it's capable of removing 5 gallons per minute and the sump will hold 10 gallons before spilling over into your basement, the furniture is safe even though you exceeded the safety margin by 128,000 times. It was not "fatal" to the furniture.

The radiation "leak" in Japan was contained in the "sump". The system worked. One hundred times more people every year are killed and injured in coal & diesel fired power plants than nuclear plants.

I've spilled "fatal" amounts of salt in my kitchen and still lived to tell about it. Shocking, but true.


-- Randers (coyotecanyon@hotmail.com), July 17, 1999.

Randers: "I've spilled "fatal" amounts of salt in my kitchen and still lived to tell about it. Shocking, but true."

Good line.

Do you work at a nuclear plant? [sorry.. not familar with your posting history]. Somehow that line sounds like an insider line. Good line.

-- Linda (lwmb@psln.com), July 17, 1999.

Yeh, good line, and classic minimizing and misdirection. It is this sort of PR statement that is the cancer at the core of information coming from the nuke industry. Three Mile Island didn't release any dangerous radiation according to the industry reports. Yet, independent analysis of noticeable increases in cancer rates downwind of the plume point to excessive radiation exposure. The industry denies, denies, denies. And as far as the Japanese, if you know *anything* about their culture and mentality you will understand that they will do everything possible to hide serious mistakes and errors.

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), July 17, 1999.


Nope, I'm a General Contractor who specalizes in period reconstruction for residential homes.

Just trying to put things in perspective.

"Eat your dessert, in 2000 we're all going on a diet."


-- Randers (coyotecanyon@hotmail.com), July 17, 1999.


See, here we go, no indepentent verification (or even offical accusation) of ANY radiation release outside the containment area, inference that I'm a industry shill and expansion of the initial rumor since "the Japs are known to lie".

If you're going to attack me, at least deal with my subject matter. Why do you use electicity when your use increases the risk of someone dying in the process of producing that power?

The answer is that you know I'm right, life is a risk. YOU mis- directed and attacked me personally instead. More people ARE killed in coal and diesel plants than nuclear (including 3 Mile Island). Let's try and be civil and stick to the subject matter.

Sticks 'n stones Gordon, sticks 'n stones.

By the way, more kids are killed riding bikes every year than by handguns too.


-- Randers (coyotecanyon@hotmail.com), July 17, 1999.


You're incorrect in your accusation of industry denials regarding Three Mile Island.

The alarms went off immediately and no one (once the inital confusion was over) denied the breach. Look up the articles, I remember, I was there.

Racism, false information, wrongful accusation, not bad for one paragraph.

You should apologize.

-- zorro (zorro@aol.com), July 17, 1999.


Oh for God sake, you're just some general contractor flunky. And here I thought you actually knew something. Go back to windows and siding.


You sound just like some Polly ass, is that what you are?

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), July 17, 1999.

One of the facts we know about Japanese culture is that when an up and coming man is appointed to go to the prestigous "Management Univeristy", they all do not pass, and some would rather commit suicide rather than face family, others as a pitiful failure.

There would be great challenge to say to your family, fellow workers, boss, friends - "I failed, we did not have nuclear safeguards in place and we have just exposed the community to dangerous radiation levels."

-- Living in (the@real.world), July 17, 1999.

Okay, before this thread degenerates completely, what do we know?

1. We know there was a leak within the reactor.

2. We have been told by the authorities that there was no venting into the atmosphere.

As far as I can see, everything else is speculation and opinions, right?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even Gordon.

Have a nice day.


-- Randers (coyotecanyon@hotmail.com), July 17, 1999.

We also know that according to the Associated Press and reported by the Washington Post,

1. There was an event that was not hidden. 2. The Nuclear power plant announced "250 times the safety level." 3. Outside authorities measured, reported " 11,500 times the safety level. 4. There will be a full review where I expect we will hear what the actual levels are. In the standard provided by FEMA, up to 50 Roentgens = no symptoms more than 600 Roentgens = Levels IV and V sickness = Death (2 weeks for level IV, level V=Death in few hours or a few days.

and I look forward to reading why the "no problem" announcement varied from the actual truth.

Then Imagining if the same variance in facts announcement could take place here also.

-- Living in (the@real.world), July 20, 1999.

I don't know their specific "safety level" - it normally is slightly above "minimal detectable amount" - often a level 10 millirem (10/1000 Rem) above background is enough to declare a space - such as this in the lower rooms inside the containment building - a "radiation area".

Such "radiation areas" are inconvenient and expense - depending on levels of activity, type of radiation, type of contamination, and what job has to be done in the area, you have to dress out differently, and use different monitoring devices. For example, in some "dangerous areas - above the safety levels" if you were to read the signs as this writer did - all we needed do was wear gloves and show covers. In other high radiation areas, but where there was no loose contamination, you didn't need ANY special clothing - just work clothes and regular safety shoes. (Yes, you got scanned on the way out to make sure you didn't track any radiation out.) In other spaces, full respirator gear and masks, sometimes even remote air supplies are needed.

There are NO demonstrable physical effects to short exposures to radiaiton fields even as high as 10 rem - 20,000 times the detectable levels mentioned above. So, do you go arbitrarily "hang around" a high radiation area - NO. You get briefed, get your tools, go in, do the job, and get out. If the radiation area is contained in the lower region of the containment dome - as it is in this case - behind some 110 feet of concrete sideways, and 30 feet down, there is no exposure to radiation to the public.

Now, what is the level? The story didn't say. It isn't fatal though. There is no reason to assume any body ever will get exposed to this "hot water". Remember, radiation is from individual metal articles dissolved in the water and suspended in the water. The water itself is pure and has no radiation. You pump the contaminated water into a tank - this removes the radioactive particles from the room where it was originally dumped and puts it in the tank for processing. Contamination of this kind normally emits low and medium energy gamma rays that can penetrate no more than 1" of steel. Ifcontaminated water is left in a plain concrete room, there is a good chance that metal particles from the water will "seap" through the paint and tiles into the concrete walls and floors. This can either be decontaminated or left in place, depending on how much and how the plant wants to decontaminate things.

Remember, cleaning up things and decontaminating rooms often generates more waste and creates more exposure cleaning up than leaving it in place does. So, after pumping the room rom, you ar eleft with a small fraction 0.01 to 0.001 of the original contamination left in the room walls, behind 110 feet of concrete and capable of exposing only us radiation workers.

Now, where's the "fatal" in this headline?

-- Robert A Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), July 20, 1999.

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