Monday, April 11, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Photos of Debris Removal Operation


More at the link.


netudiant said...

There will need to be tens of thousands of these containers to even make a dent into the mound of debris.
This will take many years to do.
Meanwhile, the damage continues as the emissions poison more of Honshu.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention I don't see anything that looks like it can scoop up all the small debris. I guess they'll just bury the problem. That's how the DOE got rid of their plutonium problem when they were forced to close Rocky Flats weapons facilities in Colorado. One thing the experts tend to ignore when talking about plutonium contamination is some of its isotopes decay chains create americium-241 which is very mobile and dangerous. Over the centuries the Am-241 content will increase due to its long 432 year half-life.

"A team of scientists who spent ten years studying migration of plutonium and other radionuclides in the Rocky Flats environment concluded that plutonium left in the environment at the site would remain "relatively immobile." This conclusion led to a "cleanup" that would leave considerable amounts of plutonium in place with the regulators of the "cleanup" insisting that there is no pathway by which plutonium can reach human subjects. But this foundational conclusion itself is fundamentally flawed because it was based primarily on computer modeling rather than empirical observation and it ignored the following:

* environmental engineer Iggy Litaor's discovery with instruments set up in the field of rapid movement of plutonium in subsurface soil at Rocky Flats in the field in the unusually wet spring of 1955.
* Shawn Smallwood's 1996 study showing that 18 burrowing animals present on the Rocky Flats site dig down to as much as 16 feet and constantly move soil and its contents on the site, taking surface material down and bringing buried material up, disturbing as much as 10 to 12% of surface soil at Rocky Flats in any given year.
* numerous findings of significant migration of plutonium in soil at other plutonium-contaminated sites.
* a 12-year study at Savannah River site showing that grass brings buried plutonium to the surface.

My paper discussing these points was written in response to a Physics Today article in which members of the scientific group that did the Rocky Flats study claimed a big share of the credit for the successful "cleanup" because it was based on their conclusion of the "relative immobility" of plutonium in the Rocky Flats envionrment. For the full article, see"

"Incautious approach used in setting Rocky Flats cleanup standards: Those who set the cleanup standards for Rocky Flats followed the ICRP in using 20 as the RBE for plutonium. This averaging approach disregards the harm that may result from plutonium exposure to certain organs of the body or to given individuals; it does not protect the most vulnerable members of the population. The Rocky Flats Cleanup Agreement allows 50 picocuries of plutonium per gram of soil to remain in surface soil after “cleanup,” much larger quantities of plutonium at levels below three feet."

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I do hear "wild rumors" that they are bulldozing highly radioactive materials (like bits of fuel rods) and burying them. Bits of fuel rods have been already mentioned by the US's NRC.

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