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It's a seven-point scale

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has had issues with toxic water leaving the site of its damaged reactor, and now, Japan's nuclear agency is upping the toxicity level of this water. 

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority is looking to raise the alert level of a leak at the plant from a one to a three on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). INES is a seven-point scale. 

The move still has to be approved by the United Nations' nuclear agency.

The reason behind this increase in severity is the fact that 300 tonnes of radioactive water is leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the plant daily, which contains radioactive particles of cesium, tritium and strontium. To make matters worse, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said that one puddle of the toxic water emits 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation. 

"One hundred millisieverts per hour is equivalent to the limit for accumulated exposure over five years for nuclear workers; so it can be said that we found a radiation level strong enough to give someone a five-year dose of radiation within one hour," said Masayuki Ono, general manager of Tepco.

Officials are already working to try and prevent more toxic water from leaving storage tanks, such as the leak that may receive a three on the scale. For instance, sandbags are being used to surround the tank and absorb water. 

Just last week, it was announced that Japan was looking into creating an ice wall, which would turn soil into a permafrost-type condition through the use of refrigerated coolant. This would build an underground containment wall made of ice to hold the water and stop it from going into the Pacific. 

However, the government doesn't have a cost estimate for the project yet. Kajima Corp. -- the construction company that largely built the nuclear plant -- has until March 31, 2014 to create a feasibility study of the ice wall.

The government would like the project to be completed by July 2015. 

Back in March 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake shook Japan and crippled the reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It caused quite a bit of havoc with the release of radioactive watercontamination of crops and of course, the thousands of lives lost.

Source: BBC News

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Fukushima = FUD
By Strunf on 8/21/2013 12:23:11 PM , Rating: 3
I don't get why the world is so against nuclear energy... 300 tonnes of water containing radioactive elements is no big deal, the ocean is literally full of radioactive elements, and if the water keeps flushing all the radioactive material soon there will be no radioactive material left, hence no radiation.

We got really into an era where people seem to think with there hearts more so than with there head, a bit more and will be back to the dark ages and start witch hunting again.

RE: Fukushima = FUD
By superstition on 8/21/2013 1:12:01 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Fukushima = FUD
By nafhan on 8/21/2013 2:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
What you said plus bad or intentionally misleading data from the media (like what's in this article). I'd say it's less people "thinking with their hearts" and more letting others do their thinking for them. :(

For instance this sounds scary: "the toxic water emits 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation", but in reality it would only be helpful to someone considering entering the reactor to splash around in the puddles. To anyone outside the reactor, it's meaningless.

Also, going from "Level 1" to "Level 3" sounds scary, but again meaningless without context, such as some definitions for the levels or even an indication of how many levels there are. Based on quick perusal of wiki, this is probably why it's now considered "level 3" (of 7) on the INES scale: "Severe contamination in an area not expected by design, with a low probability of ­significant public exposure."

RE: Fukushima = FUD
By boeush on 8/21/2013 3:31:54 PM , Rating: 1
the ocean is literally full of radioactive elements
Really? And where does the ocean obtain all these extremely short-lived (on a geological scale) radioactive isotopes from? You wouldn't, say, be committing the crime of spouting off while clueless, would you?

Besides, here's something to ponder:

You know how when coal is burnt in power plants, small quantities of mercury are released, and settle/flow into the oceans. In ocean water, this pollution is incredibly diluted and you couldn't possibly get toxic levels of mercury simply by drinking ocean water.

However, zooplankton feed and multiply by filtering great volumes water over time, and in the process greatly increasing mercury concentrations in their tissues relative to the dilution levels in the surrounding water. Then, they are eaten by fish, who thereby obtain yet further-concentrated levels of mercury in their tissues. These fish are in turn eaten by larger fish, and so on all the way to the top of the food chain (ending in fish like salmon and swordfish and tuna.) And by then, concentrations of mercury in the tissues of these top predators reach such levels, that pregnant women are strongly advised against consuming these fish.

Now... could anything like this possibly happen with the highly-diluted radioactive toxins leached into the Pacific from the Fukushima site? What sort of fishing restrictions, if any, are in place? What assurances are there of limited migration amid local fish stocks?

RE: Fukushima = FUD
By nafhan on 8/21/2013 3:58:02 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think iodine, etc. have a tendency to accumulate in fish or shellfish (iodine and cobalt are both used in biological processes, mercury is not).

RE: Fukushima = FUD
By boeush on 8/21/2013 6:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
Cesium doesn't bioaccumulate, according to references...

However strontium mimics calcium in chemical reactions, and as such definitely accumulates (we owe our world-wide calcium carbonate sediment deposits to this bio-accumulation of calcium.)

RE: Fukushima = FUD
By poi2 on 8/21/2013 7:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
"Hawaii trips are suicide, because of radiation levels"

No it's not! It's the other way around,
your children will become X-Man mutant if you fly to Hawaii or drinks Fukushima syrup

Strunf must be professor-X

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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