Skip to comments.Fukushima’s tritiated water to be dumped into sea, Tepco chief says
Posted on 07/18/2017 12:17:05 AM PDT by ransomnote
Despite the objections of local fishermen, the tritium-tainted water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be dumped into the sea, a top official at Tokyo Electric says.
The decision has already been made, Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with the media.
Tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts, and ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations. This is because it is a byproduct of nuclear operations but cannot be filtered out of water.
As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks at the Fukushima plant, which is quickly running out of space.
Tepcos decision has local fishermen worried that their livelihood is at risk because the radioactive material will further mar public perceptions about the safety of their catches.
Kawamuras remarks are the first by the utilitys management on the sensitive matter. Since the March 2011 meltdowns were brought under control, the Fukushima No. 1 plant has been generating tons of toxic water that has been filling up hundreds of tanks at the tsunami-hit plant.
Kawamuras comments came at a time when a government panel is still debating how to deal with the tritium issue, including whether to dump it all into sea.
Saying its next move is contingent on the panels decision, Kawamura hinted in the interview that Tepco will wait for the governments decision before actually releasing the tainted water into the sea.
We cannot keep going if we do not have the support of the state as well as Fukushima Prefecture and other stakeholders, he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at japantimes.co.jp ...
explains that 300 tons of radioactive ground water pour into the ocean daily. The Japanese were not able to stop the leak but treated (removed many kinds of radioactive waste products from) some water and stored it on land in a temporary tank farm. Now they will dump that water into the ocean even though it still contains radioactive Tritium. Radioactive wastes will continue to flow into the ocean via groundwater indefinitely as no remedy is known and the location of the radioactive fuel in the destroyed nuke plants is unknown (somewhere under the plant) and ground water testing stations near the plant continue to register record-setting levels of radiation. Pumping all that water into the plant to cool the fuel in the ground beneath the plant means that the water has to go somewhere and it is going into the ocean.
Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, which allows it to readily bind to hydroxyl radicals, forming tritiated water (HTO), and to carbon atoms. Since tritium is a low energy beta emitter, it is not dangerous externally (its beta particles are unable to penetrate the skin), but it can be a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin. HTO has a short biological half-life in the human body of 7 to 14 days, which both reduces the total effects of single-incident ingestion and precludes long-term bioaccumulation of HTO from the environment. Biological half life of tritiated water in human body, which is a measure of body water turn over, varies with season. Studies on biological half life of occupational radiation workers for free water tritium in the coastal region of Karnataka, India show that the biological half life in winter season is twice that of the summer season.”
There is plenty more useful health/environment information at the link.
Yes there’s information all over the web. The excerpt you provide doesn’t address cummulative exposure. Here’s an excerpt from the web as well (Scientific American):
“Some evidence suggests the kind of radiation emitted by tritiuma so-called beta particleis actually more effective at causing cancer than the high-energy radiation such as gamma rays, even though skin can block a beta particle.”
Sadly, as US nuke plants have tritium in the groundwater, the gov/nuke industry is defining hazard downward and in a year or two, will have “Science” to “Prove” that it’s less harmful than milk.
Fukushima’s leaking ground water has not been treated and therefore contains many harmful isotopes like Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 and that flows into the ocean daily and will continue to do so. Perhaps since they are now going to flush the tank water into the ocean, and the tanks were temporary (flimsy and leaking) to begin with, they will no longer treat any water and just let radioactive groundwater flow into the ocean without treating any of it.
This will probably be a horrible mess for many, many years until we develop some sort of super technology to just get it under control. Maybe robots that can withstand extreme radiation and heat? Why do I have the feeling that the worst is yet to come?
With demographics indicating to the Japanese that there will not be enough young people to care for their aging population, much of their robot technology developments have focused on robots that can care for the elderly. They are Japanese built robots in use at Fukushima but they struggle to function and are often reported as “dying” in high radiation areas.
The nuke industry is not interested in developing radiation disaster technology - they are always clamoring for more money and new plants that they imagine will be perfectly safe, just like they used to say the destroyed plants were perfectly safe. Historically, the nuke industry promises perfection, denies failure, ignores ongoing evidence (just ask them about health issues in the Ukraine...crickets), blames the innocent (yes - they think it’s our fault), and begs for shiny new technology. You know, it’s like nuclear power is literally their self image.
I wonder, couldn’t it be possible to extract the tritium for use in other applications? I know, 300 tons is a lot of material to process—but it seems to me that a resource is being thrown away here.
What other applications? It is an isotope used in some night sights for firearms, and for a while it was a hydrogen bomb component candidate, but the relatively short half life (abt 12 years) makes it kind of useless for that too. Tritium is about as useful as the garbage in a landfill.
It is used in medical research for a number of applications. For example, one can measure the kinetics of enzyme/substrate binding using tritiated substrates.
It is nice to work with because it has such low energy that the researcher has no worries of the beta particles penetrating the skin.
The amount used in medical research is in the millicurie range. The amount of tritium in the contaminated water stored at Fukushima Dai-ichi is estimated at 3.4 peta becquerels, or 34 with a mind-boggling 14 zeros after it. I reiterate there really isn’t any use for it, but I should qualify saying slthough there is a use for very small quantities, there really isn’t any use for such a vast amount of tritium. US nuclear plants produce hundreds of curies per day that gets released into the environment
Be prepared for restaurants of offer you a gieger counter reading with your sushi !
This has already happened in the vegetable markets immediately following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, where gieger counters accompanied vegetable shoppers.
They need to load the heavy water up on C-130s and C-141 refuelers and fly over to North Korera and just start dumping the stuff.
Tell the Norks if they dont like it we have some highly concentrated tritium we can give them.
Much faster method of operation that the former but just as effective.
If the tainted water is evaporated by extreme heating, where is the tritium - in the residue, or in the water vapor that is released or recaptured?
Is it possible to evaporate the tainted water leaving all radioactive tainted material in a residue that could be containerized and buried in something like a salt mine?
I understand Fukishima and the effects of its catastrophic failure and ruptured systems, but you make it sound like every nuke plant in the world leaks water like sieve.
I wonder if they could boil the water to reduce the volume needing to be stored ?
Anybody know if that would work and leave the tritium in a dry form like a powder that could be dealt with in some way ?
Just a brain fart of an idea.
See my above
No, it's a gas. Hydrogen, but two extra neutrons.
The ocean is the best place for the Fukushima water...the volume released is infinitesimally small compared the ocean itself.
Dilution of the solution is the resolution.
You said it. when you boil a pot of distilled water until all of the water is gone, what's left? NOTHING Tritium is hydrogen in the form of hydrogen oxide (ie water)
The tritium is a hydrogen atom that’s part of the water molecules. Boiling it off would put the tritium into the atmosphere in the form of water vapor rather than into the ocean in liquid form .
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