Posts Tagged water

Dangers, Properties, possible Uses and Methods of Purification of radioactively contaminated (drinking) Water (e.g. in Japan) « CrisisMaven’s Blog

Reader CrisisMaven has a useful and informative post on what to do if there is radioactivity in the water you use. A big thumbs up to CrisisMaven and vielen Dank!. His native language (I believe) is German, but he has taken the trouble to translate his own articles into English. He invites readers and visitors to re-post (with attribution and link) and especially hopes that someone can translate this article into Japanese.

Most methods and tools being recommended here on the Internet such as purification by filtration will not lead to your desired result of decontaminating “radioactive water”.

a) Radioactive contamination of drinking water in Japan at this point in time can come about in only two ways:1) The source is actual surface water like lakes or rivers, possibly filtrated through river banks and thus came into contact with e.g. radioactive rain and/or dust. The Netherlands rely almost totally on water drawn from the Rhine and fed into the drinking water supply after conditioning.

2) The water may have been contaminated after production (e.g. in open cisterns/basins), which in effect is similar to bullet a1).

In all other cases it springs from groundwater (wells) and has often been concealed for years before being extracted again. As limnologists would say “groundwater” has an elephant’s memory, i.e. if you drop a can of used oil in a forest it may take ten years until you become aware of oil traces in your drinking water. This means that on one hand ground water wells should as a rule not yet show contamination from rain fall so shortly after a nuclear accident and on the other hand that when it appears further “down the road” all short-lived contamination should have decayed. This is by no means meant to downplay the issue.

So far I would have thought it unlikely to already find radioactive contamination in water that does not come from surface water or bank filtrate. If it should be true it would be alarming.

Now though, let’s assume it were true as authorities would rather hush up things than exaggerate them, thus let’s take some degree of water contamination for granted.

via Dangers, Properties, possible Uses and Methods of Purification of radioactively contaminated (drinking) Water (e.g. in Japan) « CrisisMaven’s Blog.

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Spraying all that water may not be useless

In the early days of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, we saw helicopters dumping sea water on the reactors and also saw that much of it drifted on the wind and did not hit the target. What a waste of time! Anti-nuke Hirose thought so:

Yoh:  Today many people saw water being sprayed on the reactors from the air and from the ground, but is this effective?

Hirose:  . . . If you want to cool a reactor down with water, you have to circulate the water inside and carry the heat away, otherwise it has no meaning. So the only solution is to reconnect the electricity.  Otherwise it’s like pouring water on lava.

Commenter CrisiMaven writes in a Q&A on his blog:

> Can you still use contaminated water for the following purposes (keep in mind, it is always a matter of how contaminated it all is!):

> – cleaning a garden path for example,

Yes, but may I suggest: only if the path would be less contaminated than before. But before you breathe contaminated dust from a contaminated path by all means use contaminated water to keep it in place! This is what is already done at Fukushima – they spray water not only for cooling purposes but also to keep the contaminated dust or radioactice debris wet and in place!

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Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate • The Register

Not news, but a comment (informed one, it seems) on the Great Tokyo Water Scare by a Western blogger, Lewis Page. In the second half of his article, he gives a textbook example of how the media, with some careless reporting, can give a false impression that is quite enough to sow disquiet, anxiety and fear in a whole lot of people, especially in the matter of radioactivity. Can you spot it? (Key points underlined for your convenience.) Blogger Counting Cats in Zanzibar, which is where I found the link to The Register article, comments, “I expect it’s something to do with the unique way it’s funded. TV news is, as I think I’ve probably said before, inherently tabloid in nature.”

Tokyo tapwater – THE NEW GROUND ZERO!!! Fallout!!! Chernobyl!!!Then theres the matter of the tapwater in Tokyo. Two days ago, levels of radioactive iodine-131 were found in the citys water which were above the safety limit for baby milk calculated on the basis of a years consumption: in other words, if babies drank such water for a year constantly they would have a tiny, minuscule extra risk of thyroid cancer.One should note that iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days: it disappears almost completely within a matter of weeks. The Fukushima reactors have not been generating any more of it since they scrammed nearly a fortnight ago, and the residual core heating which is causing it to be emitted has plunged to tiny proportions of that seen in the days after the quake

via Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate • The Register.

It continues… Read the rest of this entry »

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Nuclear Energy Institute – U.S. Navy barges carrying 500,000 gallons water nearing Fukushima


U.S. Navy barges carrying 500,000 gallons of fresh water were nearing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Sunday as workers continued to pump cooling water into reactors and spent fuel pools.

Beginning Friday, workers began to switch from sea water to fresh water to cool reactors 1, 2 and 3. The arrival of the barges will maintain the fresh water supply. Engineers are concerned that continued use of sea water will cause corrosion inside the reactors and hinder the cooling process.

Dose rates at the site boundary continued to range from 1 to 3 millirem per hour.

via Nuclear Energy Institute – Information on the Japan Earthquake and Reactors in That Region.

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2011/03/27 10:29 – Work To Restore Power, Inject Fresh Coolant Into Nuke Plant Continues

TOKYO Kyodo–Tokyo Electric Co. continued efforts Sunday to restore power and enhance cooling efficiency at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as it prepared to turn on the lights in the control room for the plants No. 4 reactor and inject fresh water into four reactors.The utility, known as TEPCO, will inject fresh water into pools storing the spent nuclear fuel at the plants No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 reactors to prevent crystallized salt from seawater already injected from hampering the smooth circulation of water and thus diminishing the cooling effect.The company continued with the work to remove a pool of water containing highly concentrated radioactive substances that was detected in the turbine buildings of the No. 1 reactor at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, around 220 kilometers northeast of Tokyo.

Read more via 2011/03/27 10:29 – Work To Restore Power, Inject Fresh Coolant Into Nuke Plant Continues.

And from the Japanese edition of Nikkei:



(My translation: According to the Economy, Trade & Industry Ministry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), the water which has collected in the turbine building of the No. 2 reactor at Fukushima’s Dai-ichi nuclear power station registered more than 1000 mSv/hr. This is 10 times the normal safety limit of 100 mSv.

“This is clearly from a nuclear fission reaction and is possibly coming from the reactor”, NISA stated, adding, “we don’t know whether it is originating from the reactor or from the spent-fuel pool. We are analyzing the contents.”)

via 2号機建屋内の水、放射線量1000ミリシーベルト以上 : 福島原発 健康被害、目安の10倍 2011/3/27 12:18

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Updated advice on Japan from Government Chief Scientific Adviser to UK Ambassador

Sir John Beddington, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, spoke to Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Japan David Warren on 25 March with an update on the situation in Japan. Transcript of phone call (16.00 hours local time) 25 March.

[JB] Let me take water first and I will ask Hilary Walker [Health Protection Agency] and JM to comment. First of all, we think that the advice being given by the Japanese authorities is extremely sensible: We would recommend that advice is followed. The other thing I would comment on is that radiation levels that the Japanese use in developing their recommendations are more cautious that the ones we have in the UK or Europe more generally. In terms of the mains water supply as was reported on 23rd March, it is pretty much safe to drink for all age groups for a short period. In terms of consumption of water, babies should avoid it. I think I’ll pass to Hilary for her comments on that.

[Hilary Walker: HW] As John was saying, the Japanese recommendations are much more cautious than ours. You must remember that these levels are based on assumptions of consumption over quite a long period of time.

[JB] Yes, this is just a one-off occasion. An explanation for it will be sought, but at the moment the recommendations from the Japanese seem completely sensible. Just to add to that it is completely safe for washing. You don’t have to go and buy bottled water to bathe your children in.

The other thing I’d like to say in terms of water is around the stable iodine tablets. Read the rest of this entry »

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