Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Japan prepares for release of tritium from Fukushima plant


To dump or not to dump a little-discussed substance is the question brewing in Japan as it grapples with the aftermath of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima five years ago. The substance is tritium.

The radioactive material is nearly impossible to remove from the huge quantities of water used to cool melted-down reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, which was wrecked by the massive tsunami in northeastern Japan in March 2011.

The water is still accumulating since 300 tons are needed every day to keep the reactors chilled. Some is leaking into the ocean.

Huge tanks lined up around the plant, at last count 1,000 of them, each hold hundreds of tons of water that have been cleansed of radioactive cesium and strontium but not of tritium.

Ridding water of tritium has been carried out in laboratories. But it’s an effort that would be extremely costly at the scale required for the Fukushima plant, which sits on the Pacific coast. Many scientists argue it isn’t worth it and say the risks of dumping the tritium-laced water into the sea are minimal.

Read the rest here 


That's the only way I like my tritium...


Paul, Dammit! said...

What makes me nuts is that there are new unitized, smaller reactors that are more powerful and far more safe and clean, and they can't get fielded because people are afraid of the old ones already.

Remember how chemo used to kill about 25% of the people that went on it, when we were kids? Imagine banning new medicines because the old ones were awful.

Too bad.

Anonymous said...

The total amount of tritium in ALL of that water is about ONE cup. The US dumped more tritium into the Mississippi river from the Paducah Ky.A bomb plant every year it operated. ---Ray

BC said...

Why can't they use the water to cool the things again? Why dump it instead of reuse, is it broken now?