Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Regarding the "Why I am not worried" piece (written by a German nuclear industry guy), in the other thread, das monde linked to a reply, OK, let us go through what he wrote. Which one to trust more, I don't know, but the one thing that caught my eyes too was the German nuclear industry guy's claim about a core catcher in the Fukushima plant.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 03:43:18 AM EST
Actually, there was another thing, the handwaving about radiation levels without quantification; but the reply only addresses half-lifes and handwaves itself on the rest.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 03:47:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When one makes a statement like this:

The Cesium and Iodine isotopes were carried out to the sea and will never be seen again.

you realize that the author has no understanding of, nor respect for, the chain of life which nourishes him.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 04:21:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bye bye frequent sushi. Plus, close regions have the biggest rice production in Japan. What are Japanese to eat?
by das monde on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 04:36:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pollution to prevent overfishing? Wouldn't that be ironic.
by Jace on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 05:28:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes and no. The chemical toxicity may be a problem, but the radiation is not. Low-intensity radiation damage takes the form of elevated risks of cancer and birth defects. In humans this is a severe increase in mortality and morbidity, at least in industrial societies. For most animal species, it's not even a rounding error.

Chemical pollution, over-exploitation, habitat destruction, and even the inevitable risks the animal faces in its natural environment - from predators, exposure, inability to obtain sufficient nourishment, and so on - all kill orders of magnitude more animals just as dead as any radiation damage.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 08:39:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Caesium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Caesium compounds are rarely encountered by most people, but most caesium compounds are mildly toxic because of chemical similarity of caesium to potassium. Exposure to large amounts of caesium compounds can cause hyperirritability and spasms, but as such amounts would not ordinarily be encountered in natural sources, caesium is not a major chemical environmental pollutant.


Radiocaesium does not accumulate in the body as effectively as many other fission products (such as radioiodine and radiostrontium). As with other alkali metals, radiocaesium washes out of the body relatively quickly in sweat and urine. However, radiocaesium follows potassium and tends to accumulate in plant tissues, including fruits and vegetables.

Caesium 137 has a half-life of 30 years which means it persists in the environment but is not an intense source of radiation. The fact that it accumulates in vegetables is a problem.

Iodine 131 is a more serious short-terms threat, because it accumulates in thyroid tissue and due to its 8-day halflife it's a relatively intense beta emitter. This is why people are given iodine pills as a prophylactic measure.

Isotopes of iodine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Iodine-131 (I131) is a beta-emitting isotope with a half-life of eight days, and comparatively energetic (190 KeV average and 606 KeV maximum energy) beta radiation, which penetrates 0.6 to 2.0 mm from the site of uptake. This beta radiation can be used in high dose for destruction of thyroid nodules and for elimination of remaining thyroid tissue after surgery for the treatment of Grave's disease. Especially in Grave's disease, often a thyroidectomy is performed before the radiotherapy, in order to avoid side effects of epilation and radiation toxicity. The purpose of this therapy, which was first explored by Dr. Saul Hertz in 1941,[1] is to destroy the remaining thyoid tissue that was impossible to be removed by surgery. In this procedure, I131 is administered either intravenously or orally following a diagnostic scan. This procedure may also be used to treat patients with thyroid cancer or hyperfunctioning thyroid tissue.

After the intake, the beta particles emitted by the high dose of radioisotope destroys the associated thyroid tissue with little damage to surrounding tissues (more than 2.0 mm from the tissues absorbing the iodine). Due to similar destruction, iodine-131 is the iodine radioisotope used in other water-soluble iodine-labeled radiopharmaceuticals (such as MIBG) which are intended to be used therapeutically to destroy tissues.

The high energy beta radiation from I-131 causes it to be the most carcinogenic of the iodine isotopes, and it is thought to cause the majority of the excess in thyroid cancers seen after nuclear fission contamination (such as bomb fallout or severe nuclear reactor accidents like the Chernobyl disaster).

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 09:43:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An ecology is a Chaotic system.  As such a minor change in birth propagation can iterate to substantial effects.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 01:42:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Such as

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 05:21:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This from Stop the Radiation! (also don't know how trustworthy)
To contain, indefinitely, a complete core meltdown. For that purpose, a large and thick concrete basin is cast under the pressure vessel (the second containment), which is filled with graphite, all inside the third containment. This is the so-called "core catcher". If the core melts and the pressure vessel bursts (and eventually melts), it will catch the molten fuel and everything else. It is built in such a way that the nuclear fuel will be spread out, so it can cool down.

That would be news to me -- and this graphite wouldn't be exposed to air, like the moderator in Chernobyl #4 was. The Fuel Pool (which is the core catcher on these BWR) is stated to be reinforced concrete with a cooling system, not graphite. I'm looking for the full design documents on a GE BWR-3 with a Mark I containment.

This is a good drawing (with a couple of annotations) on the basic layout. Note the torus below. This is where vented steam goes to condense, and if there was a full core meltdown, this is where it would flow.

Remember -- there are a lot of reactor designs out there. The most common BWRs are GE BWR 1 through 6, and the ABWR. In design is the ESBWR. This is a BWR-3 with a Mark 1 containment, if it's not talking about an BWR-3 with an Mark 1 containment, it's not actually telling you anything about Fukushima 1 Reactor 1.

(my emphasis)

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 at 03:50:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Top Diaries

UK election thread

by fjallstrom - Dec 12

It's Tory Austerity Stupid!

by Oui - Dec 9

Leave UK <dot> DT

by Oui - Dec 4

Occasional Series