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Health officials respond to beach radiation scare 1/3/14

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by *GG*, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. *GG*

    *GG* Moderator

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    Concord, NH
  2. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    folk really need to hold detectors as close to the ground as possible to get truer readings
    if that's the reading at that height it's probably 3 or more times higher on the ground
     
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Nuclear power is quite safe generally, but even a rare disaster can have catastrophic global consequences. As we get more and more disasters they will add to each other, and it takes hundreds to thousands of years to go away. So even a few rare failures can do very great damage to the world. Is it worth it?

    Here is something not quite accurate (half lives, type of radiation, etc etc), but gives the flavour of the issue:

    Electricity is for an instant, but radiation is forever.
     
    SilverbladeTE and taniaaust1 like this.
  4. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Well.....your last quote isn't quite correct because in this terminology we mostly refer to "ionizing radiation" rather than just "electromagnetic" ;)

    yeah energy is mass and eternal, kind of, sort of, timey wimy wibbly wobbly ;)
    even black holes evapourate (we think)

    one of the nasty things is "neutron" radiation, which isn't strictly speaking, "ionizing"
    only found in reactors and bomb detonations, neutrons "activate" elements they hit, turning them into different isotopes
    lot of the new isotopes are actually not harmful, but because they are truly different, they can mess up chemical bonds, hence the metals, concrete etc in a reactor can decay etc far more rapidly than normal.
    this is why the materials used in such construction have to be extremely finely designed/manufactured, and need replaced every few years. Some elements cannot be used or allowed in alloys and others are added etc.

    the problem with Fukushima and where the "corium" is in Chernobyl, is this neutron activation over time, increases amounts of different, dangerous radioactive elements and can dangerously affect stability of engineering/architecture that is essential
    "Concrete cancer" is well known problem in building trade caused by simple chemical problem it's not a health threat to humans except by accidents, just problem so stability of the concrete, a spreading "rot"., neutron activation is in ways similar, but also incredibly toxic

    Chernobyl the reactor material has cooled and so very few neutron events compared to Fukushima, but it seems at the very least one reactor core is in complete runaway, maybe 2 others at Fukushima.
    this is vastly beyond Chernobyl for risk.

    generally the big "baddies" are strontium, caesium, cobalt and iodine
    certain isotopes of them the body thinks are other elements, so strontium gets into your bones where it triggers leukaemia's by damaging bone marrow
    iodine gets into thyroid and causes cancer there

    cobalt-60 is a swine as it has a half-life that's much longer than other isotopes of similarly nasty power of their emissions
    as general rule, the more powerful the radiation emitted the more likely the isotope has a very short half-life "the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long" *he says like Tyrell* :p
    cobalt 60 is in unfortunately, a "sweet spot" where it has half life effectively of decades and extremely harmful "tuning" as it were of the radiation

    neutron activation in all these man cores and pools means more filth is bred every day so the radiation is NOT decaying (in sense of radionuclides harmful to us)
    more uranium gets converted each day to heat + plutonium (but of lesser mass) + neutrons + materials nearby are "activated"

    the Russians "quenched" Chernobyl by dropping sand and beryllium to "choke" the neutron cycle, like putting a guard up around a fire so it suffocates itself as it can't get enough oxygen, also, they put metal pyramids under the melting core so it hit these and got splattered around into smaller chunks which didn't have enough mass to sustain reactions, like pulling coals or logs out of a fire


    So, looking at how Humans rung things...yeah, I'm a Vulcan, screw it! :p
    [​IMG]
    "They put SIX nuclear fission reactors on top of the most highly tectonic area on the planet, by the SEA shore?!
    Fascinating...tell, me, exactly how much LSD does your average leader consume, on a daily or yearly basis?"


    :sluggish:
     
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Love the comment. ;) It does sound like Spock!

    It is radioactive iodine that is the most dangerous in short term because it accumulates in the thyroid gland and children are particularly susceptible. Radioactive iodine has a short half life though, and will not contribute much to global radioactivity, though those who are close have reason to be worried. Other isotopes have much longer half lives.

    What worries me though is that at the current rate of failure of atomic power plants the world is going to become more and more radioactive over time. Only bacteria have a high radiation resistance, especially if frozen in ice or something. If the food chain starts dying, or becomes too poisonous to eat, then its going to be a problem. Many species with high cell turnover are particularly vulnerable, including all mammals and the young of any animal or plant species.

    The effects are slow for the most part, and if global cannot be cleaned up with anything except serious science fiction technology. Prevention is the best way to deal with this, starting with shutting down all nuclear power plants and banning the sale of uranium at an international level.

    Not that carbon based power plants are safe either. There is danger from non-nuclear power too. See for example:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste
     
  6. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Alex
    given our Gloriosu Leaders (tm) proclivities, I should have said "how much meth amphetamine do they consume?" :p

    The nuclear waste/coal thing is wrong, the real problem from coal stations beyond Co2, is mercury, they produce an average of 300+ to over 1000kg per year each :(
    organic mercury is hell on wheels.

    the true waste form nuclear power, the high level stuff, is poco loco bad.
    most of what's produced is low/medium level and yeah that's another matter entirely.

    Irish Sea is one of most polluted areas on the planet thanks to Windscale, Beaufort's Dyke etc :(
    loonies dumped 2 tons of uranium oxide in the sea over the years
     
  7. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Children are x1000 times more at risk from radiation damage due to speed of cell division etc :/

    anyway, made up a meme for this :p

    [​IMG]

    Question is though: do they take it orally, or.....? :p
     

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