[LINK] Radiation

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Wed Mar 16 09:04:13 AEDT 2011

At 11:26 PM 15/03/2011, Andy Farkas wrote:
>If some of the fuel rods have been damaged, then releases can occur in
>the steam.

I heard an interesting physicist on ABC this morning. He said that 
the light water plants are far less dangerous than the Chernobyl 
graphite 'cooled' plants because it's much more difficult for heavy 
metals (what is actually radioactive) to be carried in air. Carbon 
particles (dust and smoke) are lighter and therefore would carry in 
the cloud and that is what happened across Europe. Rays are obviously 
a different matter, but on a local level.

I would like to see a reliable chart that overlays the current spread 
of whatever really is moving around out of those plants, the 
half-life of the stuff, and the effect levels AND what protections 
mitigate contamination. For example, is glass a protection? Is air 
circulation into buildings a problem?

And why are so many people wearing facemasks in Japan? Is that 
because of normal pollution levels or something to do with dust or 
molds dislodged by the quake?

There was also a story about the storage of the spent fuel rods, the 
fuel ponds, which were in the roof of the building that exploded and 
in water filled pools in the precinct. There are thousands of those. 
The person said the use of sea water to refill those ponds would be 
corrosive on the covers of those rods. That doesn't sound good, 
either. BUT what is the real risk? Is it to ground water? To air? To 
those who would ever re-inhabit the area?

There is also an article in the Oz today bemoaning the poor 
information coming from the IAEA re all the above questions.

I'm with Tom. We just don't know because this sort of engineering 
problem hasn't occurred before with this sort of reactor. It's a 
fluid, wicked problem.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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