Thursday, March 24, 2011
Now That's Hot
Update: Article on the reactor 3 contamination. A "volunatary" evacuation out to 30 km was recommended.
It sucks, but....
Okay, so I have been following the beta burn story. The radiation levels TEPCO reported in the water were extraordinarily high:
The company says 3.9 million becquerels of radioactive substances per cubic centimeter were detected in the water that the workers were standing in. That is 10,000 times higher than levels of the water inside a nuclear reactor in operation.This seems to imply that reactor 3 has a containment breach or a very serious situation in the spent fuel pool. TEPCO said it had surveyed the area within the day and found no water and much lower levels of radiation. The workers who were trying to run the cable ignored their dosimeter indicators. Apparently two were not wearing boots, and those are the ones with the burns. As to what may be the problem, here is a much earlier post at another blog.
The level of radioactive cerium-144 was 2.2 million becquerels. Also, 1.2 million becquerels of iodine-131 was measured.
I am sure that experts will discuss this. One of the places to look might be the IAEA accident log.
TEPCO also released information about high levels of radiation at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station. I say high not because they are dangerous, but because they exceed the allowed levels. There is careful monitoring for radiation at and around nuclear plants. After an investigation TEPCO decided that the radiation did not come from this plant and were probably due to Daiichi's emissions. What's notable is that this plant is on the west side of Japan:
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Water at 18 water purification plants in six different prefectures has now tested above the 100 becquerel level at least once. Often the level will drop down in a day or a few days.
Update: ZAMG's map seems to show how the west coast plant picked up those levels (which are not high in general terms):
In short, a nuclear engineer, but not a professor - one with working knowledge.
Which has highly unpleasant implications.
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