Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fukushima updates for Wednesday 4/13 - Damn Strontium pops up, there's a plan to move rods from the spent fuel pools and... UFO's?

  • According to Japan`s Nuclear Safety Commission, radioactive materials amounting to 1 tera (trillion) becquerels per hour are still being emitted into the air from the reactors.  Theoretically, if this activity were constant and evenly distributed over Japan territory, it would add 62.4 Becquerel worth of assorted radioactive isotopes per square meter of land each day.
  • The Science Ministry is also confirming that radioactive Strontium ("the bone seeker") has been detected in soil and plants as far as 80 km away in Nishigo Village.  At distances of 30km, levels between 3 and 32 Bq have been found per kg of soil. The bad news?  Sr-90 mimics calcium very efficiently and doses bone marrow to hell.  The good news? 70–80% of the isotope gets excreted within a few days after ingestion, and levels thus far are quite small.  
  • TEPCO wants to remove fuel rods from the sfp in unit 4, along with those remaining in units 1 and 2. They'll need all the luck they can get. Unit 4's fuel rods alone are confirmed to have sustained damage to the cladding and readings just 6 feet away are running at 84 mS/hr, so this effort will have to be accomplished "by installing a large crane outside the building and attaching to it an unmanned remote controller".  This seems like a daunting and dangerous technical effort that will lack precision.  I would expect a lot of dropping, clanging, and further exposure to the inside of the fuel rods if this is attempted. 
  • In a strange twist to the happenings there, apparently, ufo's have been sighted and caught on video.  In absence of any recent progress and developments out of Dai-ichi, and if you have absolutely nothing better to do with your time, you can entertain this story here.

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