Nuclear Grade Sushi from Fukushima

» I cant believe the boys at Fukushima (TEPCo) pumped more than three million gallons of unprocessed highly radioactive water directly into the ocean. That blows my mind.

Fukushima Daichi TEPCoThat's like taking a gigantic krap in your front yard .. every day for a year.

And Japan is the country that loves sushi. Would you eat sushi from Japan? (.. without a geiger-counter?)

They should have called for a barge to be delivered and pumped all the radioactive water into there.

I'm surprised they dont have a small fleet of such barges anchored right offshore .. just in case.

In the Navy, it was not allowed to discharge radioactive liquid into the ocean within 12 miles of land.

Sometimes we would go out to sea, just beyond the 12-mile point, discharge the contents of our retention tanks, then turn around and head back to port.

Nuclear Grade Sushi from Fukushima, Compliments of TEPCoAnd we would ALWAYS run any radioactive coolant (water) thru the purification system (ion exchanger resin bed) before discharging it overboard.

Moreover, we would always SAMPLE the water being discharged, to determine its radioactive concentration (.. which was always LOW, after being processed thru the purification system).

Entries regarding the discharge of radioactive liquid were entered into a discharge log.

The discharge log was important enough that only officers were allowed to make entries (» time, date, number of gallons discharged, radioactive concentration, total number of curies discharged overboard).

After drawing the sample, we would always first evaporate-off the water before counting the sample's radioactivity (in a lead-lined "pig" .. to shield out background radiation) .. because water shields radiation, and prevents an accurate count.

New Radiation symbolWe did this (evaporation) using a heat-lamp .. not unlike the kind you see warming your burger & fries at McDonalds. It would take maybe 10 minutes to "boil off" a 2-milli-liter sample.

If the heat was too high, the water in the metal planchet would splatter onto the bulb. Splatter is bad.

The best source that I've seen for what's happening at Fukushima is » here (NY Times) and » here (NY Times) and » here (Stanford).

There's also an article that said » Inevitable Some May Die within Weeks (of radiation exposure).

That would be a huge failure. It says bad things about management at Tokyo Electric (TEPCo) and reveals a loss of control. I see confusion, disorientation. Bad decisions.

I was kinda kidding before when I said the nuclear motto was » "dilution is the solution to pollution." TEPCo apparently takes that seriously.

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As a side note, you may find it interesting (as I do) that uranium is the largest (heaviest) NATURALLY-occuring element on earth. Uranium has 92 protons in its nucleus.

There exist other larger/heavier elements (called transuranics, such as plutonium, named after the planet Pluto, which has 94 protons) .. but they are all created in the laboratory. See here for more.

Weapons grade plutonium (Pu-239) sells for ~US$4,000 per gram ($112,000 per ounce) .. nearly 100 times more than gold.

Hmmm. Cant recall seeing any of THAT on display at Walmart last time I was there. Maybe they keep it under lock-n-key next to the gun rack.

Other sources I read said Plutonium is the heaviest primordal nuclide found on earth (in trace quantities). So I'm not sure if you would categorize it as "naturally-occuring" or not. Primordal nuclides have to do with the age of our planet and the half-life of the nuclides.

I've always heard (from Navy officers) that plutonium was "nasty sh!t" .. that radioactivity wasnt the dangerous thing about plutonium .. that it's horribly toxic. But this article says otherwise.

One of the reactors that TEPCo operates at Fukushima (unit #3) uses plutonium (6%). I have no experience with plutonium or plutonium reactors. The mere mention of the element however, sounds rather ominous .. does it not? "Plutonium." Gives me the creeps. Eeesh!

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » radiation fukushima daiichi nuclear japan ocean

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on April 9, 2011 4:09 AM.

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