Old 04-05-2012, 09:37 AM #1
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Post Radiation in Seoul Korea

I though some of you might find this interesting.

The first pic is of Yonsei Severance Hospital in Seoul. This is the maxofacial X-ray room.

2nd pic is showing advice of how to deal with Cs137 pollution from Japan or a North Korea

nuclear test.

The pic from the Pharmacy explains that having Vitamin D and C can reduce the risk of

Cs137 intake. Cesium 137 isotope. IT is particularly dangerous to your Thyroid and bones.

Sad times we live in when we see this as a common reminder at a pharmacy.

Food for thought, perhaps?
Attached Thumbnails
Radiation in Seoul Korea-img_0477.jpg   Radiation in Seoul Korea-img_0478.jpg  


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Old 04-05-2012, 10:15 AM #2
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

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Originally Posted by Seoul_lasers View Post

Food for thought, perhaps?
I think it is a smorgasbord for thought. The biggest misconception I learned about the Fukushima disaster is this erroneous suggestion that the exposure to the Japanese fallout is safe and is no worse than an x-ray or radiation from airline travel. The BIG difference is that an x-ray or flight is temporary, but if you inhale or ingest a radioactive fallout particle like Plutonium it will get permanently deposited in your lungs or other parts of your body and continue to bombard you with radiation internally, (radiating the nearby cells indefinitely and likely mutating and forming a cancer there.) If you were to ingest a number of the radioactive elements that act similar to calcium in your body it will get deposited in your bones and continue to bombard the bone cells indefinitely with nuclear particles until the cells mutate there as well.

So no, this kind of fallout is not like an x-ray or cross country flight. According to a doctor who studies nuclear fallout, over a million people died from Cancer causing fallout in Chernobyl.

There were some really prudent Nuclear Engineers / Consultants who were monitoring the fallout reaching the west coast of the U.S. and Canada and reporting everyday on the latest findings. Plutonium was detected in significant amounts in Seattle and San Francisco through air filtration, and the milk in Hawaii was in the unsafe zone and I believe still is higher than what is considered safe. I can't remember the exact number but I think it was ~10 particles per day of Plutonium that were estimated to be inhaled by people in the Seattle area during parts of the month of March or April 2011. This is according to Arnie Gunderson a nuclear consultant that has been on CNN etc.


Plutonium is one of the most dangerous things known to humankind and one pound of plutonium would be enough to kill everyone on earth if divided equally between them. The spent fuel rods containing Plutonium stored on top of the reactors in Japan were blown to smithereens high into the upper atmosphere and carried on the Jet stream. There were many 100s of tons of nuclear fuel there that was blown up in the initial explosions where you can see the plume launching high into the sky. The rods were found up to one full mile away from the Fukushima reactor and their particulate dust has reached the west coast of the USA and Canada. Chernobyl did not have the stored fuel rods blown into the atmosphere, and there has never been Plutonium released until Fukushima. The Japanese nuclear accident was FAR worse than Chernobyl and many of the consequences have yet to manifest themselves. One of these would be the advance through the food chain of the fallout in aquatic organisms because the enormous volumes of radioactive water released into the ocean which could make mercury in Tuna seem much more minor.

I was following this story really closely spending as much free time as I could researching information released about Fukushima by medical doctors, nuclear engineers, etc. but after a while I just had to stop cold turkey as it was just getting too depressing for me to read about after a while... Only recently have I even been able to get back into reading about what the latest situation is regarding Fukishima.

There is much more to this story than the Nuclear lobby would wish you to know.

Japan is fed up with the myth of nuclear safety. People can't even find food that is safe there and the Government has done nothing to help provide a safe source of food. In addition they are talking about having to clearcut entire mountain ranges in the regions surrounding and remove the top foot of soil everywhere to prevent fallout from continually washing down the mountain in the streams and into the villages and towns below.

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Old 04-05-2012, 03:36 PM #3
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

Good point.
The excitment, if you can call it that round Fukushima (TEPCO) disaster is that it has now sparked serious interest in Japan (Otaku crowd) and elsewhere in Gamma spectroscopy.
I happened to work in Hazmat (as a student DND job) 10-11 years before this disaster and got a very good first hand experience with some SERIOUSLY radioactive materials, namely Co60 for Metallurgical testing.
I continued my love of Radiation detection and have a very nice collection of Radioactive minerals at home (leaded vented boxes).

You're referring to MOX fuel in the Fukushima reactors, yes... they contained both.

I'm going to however correct you on Chernobyl. There is a major key difference between Fukushima and Chernobyl. In Russia the reactor went into pretty much a complete meltdown state, which means the core was starting to gassify out before coolant was put on it to cause the H2 explosion. This ejected 60% of the contents into the atmosphere.
Fukushima, is a partial meltdown at one (smaller) reactor. The problem is in #3 the bottom right melted into the reactors basement. All 3 reactors experienced H2 buildup and detonation. However the cores largely stayed intact. 3rd reactor ejected some material. This the primary cause for the majority of Cs137 and Radio-iodine contamination.

There was concern after the Japanese government learned of the situation at TEPCO that Tokyo may have to be evacuated. From a few sources, I know... during the fist 48 hrs after the Tsunami there was a risk of a total containment breech at all 3 reactors. The Japanese government tried to keep the media spin on the "everything is under control" to avoid public concern and keep face.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:17 PM #4
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

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Originally Posted by Seoul_lasers View Post

All 3 reactors experienced H2 buildup and detonation. However the cores largely stayed intact. 3rd reactor ejected some material. This the primary cause for the majority of Cs137 and Radio-iodine contamination.
I believe due to the (poor) design of the reactor that the spent fuel rods were stored above the reactor and it was the H2 explosion from the reactor pool below which blew off the roof and hence also propelled these spent rods high into the atmosphere. I would think that it is the spent fuel rods stored above the reactor which are the source of the rods found the mile away (not the ones in the reactor itself which you mentioned stayed put although melting into the basement) and is the same source of the plutonium particulate fallout on the west coast of the US and Canada.


Most of the information I was reading was from the Nuclear consulting firm website Fairewinds.com run by the Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gunderson. He has done some really good work at finding out what really happened at Fukushima and has disputed many times the information stated by TEPCO. (Tokyo Electric Power)

It really irks me when they say things like: "No immediate threat to human health" (Sure that's true... Cancer is not an immediate threat to human health but you might die several years or a decade or more later because of radiation exposure or ingestion at the present time. Or: "Early Decommissioning" of the reactor. AKA a radioactive smoldering rubble pile...The government of Japan was less concerned for their citizens safety and more concerned with avoiding fear or panic and protecting the industry from criticism.

In the U.S. there are signs of similar behavior as there has been talk of simply raising the acceptable limits for radiation in food if it increased rather than calling that food unsafe despite the fact that levels above this amount are known to be harmful. Thus the definition of "safe" is a constantly moving threshold that will be defined not by the threat to human health but by what is convenient for political reasons, the lack of will or desire to pay the high cost of an alternative food source, or the inability to meet the domestic food demand without using the domestic supply which is contaminated with radiation.



The husband of my aunts' friend (who I do not know) was apparently one of the engineers tasked with designing these GE plants who quit do to design flaws on this particular reactor. Storing the spent fuel above the reactors in large quantities or at all was an extremely bad idea.

There is a good video I just watched on Fairewinds that shows random soil samples from Tokyo which were tested and found ALL were radioactive enough to be considered radioactive waste in the U.S. and would have to be disposed of as such in the U.S. That is quite far away from Fukushima (200 miles) and truly is more evidence of just how bad the situation is related to having much of their scarce land contaminated and not fit for farming and food production. The sad thing is that this land will be contaminated for centuries if not longer. For such a small country with limited land for farming this is an unimaginable catastrophe.

Updates on Fukushima: | Fairewinds Associates, Inc

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Old 04-07-2012, 05:09 AM #5
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

How did I miss this thread until now!?

One more thing about Chernobyl; the neutron moderator was GRAPHITE, which is flammable. Once the core melt took place the graphite became superheated and burned for days, this is the main source of released isotopes from Chernobyl. That design has not been used since, due to flamability. Most of the non-gasseous isotopic release from Fukushima came from spent pool ejection and from the dumb move to flush the cores with corrosive seawater. They'd have been better off letting the cores go into meltdown (they did anyway!) and not contaminating millions of gallons of seawater which got everywhere, including the ground water.

Also, having adequate vitamin intake may reduce the uptake of Cs137 (or Cs134) to the bones, but not to the Thyriod. Cs is a bone seeker due to it's chemical relation to Calcium. The Thyroid bioaccumulates Iodine mostly, so having Vitamin D/calcium won't do anything to prevent radioIodine uptake. RadioIodine is usually in gasseous state though and does have a short half life.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:16 AM #6
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Wink Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigurthr View Post
How did I miss this thread until now!?

One more thing about Chernobyl; the neutron moderator was GRAPHITE, which is flammable. Once the core melt took place the graphite became superheated and burned for days, this is the main source of released isotopes from Chernobyl. That design has not been used since, due to flamability. Most of the non-gasseous isotopic release from Fukushima came from spent pool ejection and from the dumb move to flush the cores with corrosive seawater. They'd have been better off letting the cores go into meltdown (they did anyway!) and not contaminating millions of gallons of seawater which got everywhere, including the ground water.

Also, having adequate vitamin intake may reduce the uptake of Cs137 (or Cs134) to the bones, but not to the Thyriod. Cs is a bone seeker due to it's chemical relation to Calcium. The Thyroid bioaccumulates Iodine mostly, so having Vitamin D/calcium won't do anything to prevent radioIodine uptake. RadioIodine is usually in gasseous state though and does have a short half life.
I knew about the Radio-iodine being a short lived isotope, but here in Korea the drug companies are pushing the public to consume extra vitamins. D and C, though this is not a bad thing when done in very moderate amounts, I am concerned as people here don't get it that excessive C can burn the stomach and the mouth and lead to ulcers.

The Cs137 definitely is a bone seeker. ... It would be good to properly educate the public in matters such as these.
Unfortunately Korean language is so imprecise and generalist that to describe a complex idea you'd need pages of info. The science education levels here are pretty poor for the general public.
Surprising for a country that produces such an amazing amount of "high-medium" quality electronics products.

an amazing amount of electronic goods.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:26 AM #7
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

There just doesn't seem to be an interest in honesty when it comes to being upfront to the public about what real risk is posed if there ever was a total failure of a U.S. nuclear plant near a populated city. Are people prepared to abandon 100's of miles of California coastline for centuries? Or New York City? What if the worst case scenery happened in the U.S. as did in Fukushima however unlikely as it may seem. Given the reality in Japan of having to abandon large regions for centuries or very likely far more it would seem that this remote risk is not worth taking.


I just read about the California Nuclear plant's radiactive gas leaks which has caused it to be shut down, I'm surprised hadn't even heard of it until today. It says it was a safe level that was leaked because there was not much... but later mention they have no idea how much actually leaked!


Quote CNN website
"
The power plant has been shut down since this winter, when a small amount of radioactive gas escaped from a steam generator during a water leak. At the time, federal regulators said there was no threat to public health, though they could not identify how much gas leaked or exactly why it had happened."
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:44 AM #8
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

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One more thing about Chernobyl; the neutron moderator was GRAPHITE, which is flammable. Once the core melt took place the graphite became superheated and burned for days, this is the main source of released isotopes from Chernobyl.
There were numerious design problems with the chernobyl reactor, but graphite moderation is a major one. Being flammable is a problem after it melts down, but the main problem of graphite is that cannot be easily removed, and doesnt evaporate on overheat and containment loss.

This failure mode is completely absent in modern reactors: they all use liquid (heavy or normal water) moderators, which will disappear when containment fails completely. This will cause the main uranium/plutionium fission reaction to stop immediately due to lack of slow neutrons.

The problem is mostly in the spent fuel, as radioactive isotopes produced by fission are still present in the fuel bundle, and continue to generate heat even when the water is gone completely. This heat is often still enough to cause metldown of the fuel bundle, but nothing as catastrophic as chernobyl.

As for death and destruction, numbers are often greatly exaggerated, describing it like the worst industrial disaster that ever occurred. This has no basis in fact however: despite dramatic failure, only 57 people died soon after the accident from acute exposure. The long term death toll has been estimated at 4000-5000 by the UN. Compare these numbers to those of the Bhopal disaster: 8000 immediate deaths and 100.000 severly injured.

I'm not sure what numbers fukishima will come up eventually, but i'm sure they will be far lower than chernobyl. The combination with the earthquake and tsunami makes it harder to determine exact numbers, but so far, the number of acute radiation casualties is zero. 6 people received a dose larger than acceptable during an entire lifetime, 300 received a dose above safety limites, but they are all still alive. Compared to the >15.000 direct casualties of the natural disaster, its realistic to say that the reactor incident didn't really make things -that- much worse looking at the numbers.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:35 AM #9
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

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Originally Posted by Benm View Post
As for death and destruction, numbers are often greatly exaggerated, describing it like the worst industrial disaster that ever occurred. This has no basis in fact however: despite dramatic failure, only 57 people died soon after the accident from acute exposure. The long term death toll has been estimated at 4000-5000 by the UN. Compare these numbers to those of the Bhopal disaster: 8000 immediate deaths and 100.000 severly injured.
According to the New York Academy of Sciences, the the number of deaths from Radioactive fallout from Chernobyl is 980,000. It is more recent (2009) and is much larger than the estimate you quoted from the World Health Organization. This report has been done with independant research by digging up records from the surrounding region studying cancer deaths, and has tracked the greatly increased numbers of deaths at all age ranges. There is a despute but I believe this is the most recent number after being able to better look at and assess the the data which has taken years to be able to collect, analzye and count as the cases of cancer steadily increased as it took sometimes many years for cancers to develope and manifest themselves after the accident.


The New York Academy of Sciences Research study is below if your interested.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=g34t...onment&f=false


How nuclear apologists mislead the world over radiation (Guardian newspaper UK)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...ists-radiation

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Old 04-08-2012, 02:55 AM #10
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Exclamation Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

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Originally Posted by Benm View Post
There were numerious design problems with the chernobyl reactor, but graphite moderation is a major one. Being flammable is a problem after it melts down, but the main problem of graphite is that cannot be easily removed, and doesnt evaporate on overheat and containment loss.

This failure mode is completely absent in modern reactors: they all use liquid (heavy or normal water) moderators, which will disappear when containment fails completely. This will cause the main uranium/plutionium fission reaction to stop immediately due to lack of slow neutrons.

The problem is mostly in the spent fuel, as radioactive isotopes produced by fission are still present in the fuel bundle, and continue to generate heat even when the water is gone completely. This heat is often still enough to cause metldown of the fuel bundle, but nothing as catastrophic as chernobyl.

As for death and destruction, numbers are often greatly exaggerated, describing it like the worst industrial disaster that ever occurred. This has no basis in fact however: despite dramatic failure, only 57 people died soon after the accident from acute exposure. The long term death toll has been estimated at 4000-5000 by the UN. Compare these numbers to those of the Bhopal disaster: 8000 immediate deaths and 100.000 severly injured.

I'm not sure what numbers fukishima will come up eventually, but i'm sure they will be far lower than chernobyl. The combination with the earthquake and tsunami makes it harder to determine exact numbers, but so far, the number of acute radiation casualties is zero. 6 people received a dose larger than acceptable during an entire lifetime, 300 received a dose above safety limites, but they are all still alive. Compared to the >15.000 direct casualties of the natural disaster, its realistic to say that the reactor incident didn't really make things -that- much worse looking at the numbers.
Still alive so far. We don't actually know how much radiation was really released in Fukushima during the initial events. Government was busy trying to keep a lid on international press from causing widespread panic.
Reaction soon after was a total lack of public trust in authority in govt. I know that
the problems in Fukushima has lead more than a few companies to make Gamma Spectrography kits available to the public as the interest around Japan has surged.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:26 AM #11
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

Sources seem to provide wildely varying numbers of casualties indeed, but there is no cemetary anywhere arouind chernobyl that holds almost a million graves. I visisted the area myself last year, and it really is no doomsday scenario when looking upon it.

As for fuskishima, the long term results just arent in yet - i guess these will be numerous statistical deaths if you ask a source of information of choice. For now the only certainty is that noone died of acute radiation exposure - which doesnt mean that there will not be a number of premature deaths associated with the incident.

I will stand by the observation that the direct effects of the quake and tsunami killed far, far, more people then the radioactive fallout will. Perhaps i'll be proven wrong in several decades, but so far i don't see any reason why.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:28 AM #12
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

I really don't know much about it but why don't they when planning a site for a reactor facility find somewhere that you have solid rock down for say 1000 feet or whatever depth is needed. Dig out a 100-200 foot diameter hole all the way down. Then build the reactor at the very top with some way to drop it if needed. If a loss of containment happens drop it in and collapse the the tunnel.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:54 AM #13
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

It sounds like a really good possibility. Although I remember with Fukushima they were thinking of Cocooning it in cement and incasing it indefinitely. I guess the problem was that the melted reactor cores will still be hot for decades and so any water seeping in through the concrete would turn to steam and blow the concrete cocoon clear off.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:15 AM #14
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

Quote:
Originally Posted by DTR View Post
I really don't know much about it but why don't they when planning a site for a reactor facility find somewhere that you have solid rock down for say 1000 feet or whatever depth is needed. Dig out a 100-200 foot diameter hole all the way down. Then build the reactor at the very top with some way to drop it if needed. If a loss of containment happens drop it in and collapse the the tunnel.
Because nuclear power plants require a tremendous supply of cooling water, and thus need to be built near a natural water source. If you can find a quake-proof place that is ALSO next to a large source of water that never dries up, chances are there is a plant there already or it (the perfect location) doesn't exist.

If it wasn't for the water requirement, you could put nuke plants 2 miles under ground, if things ever go off the deep end just seal the hatch, problem solved.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:42 AM #15
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Default Re: Radiation in Seoul Korea

Availability of cooling water is a big requirement indeed, which explains why most nuclear plants of any scale are located along coatslines or rivers.

Safety of powerplants is an ongoing matter though. What happened in japan was a somewhat unfortunate combination of circumstances: the reactors were powered down due to an earthquake alert, AND the backup diesel generators were knocked out by the water from the tsunami. In retrospect it might have been better NOT to shut down the reactors, allowing them to supply power to the cooling system despite being immersed in ocean water.

The important lesson learned is that you should not rely on availability of atmosphere in case of an incident, and that future emergy power systems should have both fuel and oxidizer stored to deal with immersion of the entire installation.

This knowlegde will not go to waste either, i'm sure future power plant designs will include a scenario where both reactor integrity is at stake and air is absent. I can understand why engineers did not consider a situation where the backup power system fails due to flooding until that actually happened. This situation never occurred before, and if it does again, having plentiful battery or even rtg backup would be a good precaution.
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