Japan earthquake - contamination & consequences outside Fukushima NPP


by jlduh
Tags: consequences, contamination, earthquake, fukushima, japan, nuclear
clancy688
clancy688 is offline
#55
Jun14-11, 04:12 AM
P: 546
I have one question regarding the IRSN evaluation I posted:

Do I understand correctly, that most of the paper is only about the population which's outside the 20km zone?
So there are up to ~70.000 people outside the 20km zone who are in need of evacuation and ~85.000 people inside the 20km zone who have already been evacuated? All in all 110.000 to 150.000 people who'll lose their homes forever?
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#56
Jun14-11, 05:04 AM
P: 468
Quote Quote by clancy688 View Post
I have one question regarding the IRSN evaluation I posted:

Do I understand correctly, that most of the paper is only about the population which's outside the 20km zone?
So there are up to ~70.000 people outside the 20km zone who are in need of evacuation and ~85.000 people inside the 20km zone who have already been evacuated? All in all 110.000 to 150.000 people who'll lose their homes forever?
Some days ago, there was a discussion on the forum about comparing the impacts between a majpr accident in a nuclear plant and any other industrial accident. I was saying that there is no other industrial accident that has a so big impact on social communities than a nuclear one (I'm talking about a big one like this one for example, which could have been much worse in fact, I think that even some professionals from nuke industry start to, hardly but finally i would say, recognize it -think of one or several completely explosed SFP with fuel thrown in the air and falling around, with all he domino effects to anticipate). Some people were arguing that chemical accident like Bhopal did more dead people immediatly than Fukushima, which is true if you consider the time factor.

But can you list one single other INDUSTRIAL accident that creates what you describe, currently 110 to 150 000 people losing their homes? I don't...

That's why in my mind, nuke industry is no way an industry like the others. The potential social impacts are too big.
clancy688
clancy688 is offline
#57
Jun14-11, 05:18 AM
P: 546
Quote Quote by tsutsuji View Post
Isn't their line of thought being that populations should be evacuated according to the shapes on the maps rather than according to perfect round shapes centered on the plant ?
That's exactly why I'm confused... if you take a look at the LAST page of the paper, you'll find a comparison between Chernobyl and Fukushima.

They say there's an "inital evacuation zone at Chernobyl (30km, 135.000 people) and Fukushima (20km, 85.000 people).
And then there are "strictly controlled zones" or "evacuation zones" with 270.000 people at Chernobyl (that's the number they're often quoting in the text as being evacuated) and 70.000 at Fukushima (also often quoted).
It's my understanding now that those 135.000 and 85.000 from the "inital evacuation zones" do NOT include the numbers from the "strictly controlled zones".

They say the following on page 4:
The number of Japanese people living in the most contaminated areas outside the initial 20 km radius
evacuation zone
around the Fukushima plant (874 km2 with caesium 134+137 deposits higher
than 600,000 Bq/m2) was estimated to 70,000 people including 9,500 children of 0-14 years in age.
My interpretation is that we're dealing with TWO zones, both at Chernobyl and Fukushima. The first one is a strict 30/20km perimeter which was evacuated IMMEADIATELY after the accident, regardless of actual radiation levels.
The second one is an extension of the first one based on actual radiation data. And while the first was evacuated within the first few days of the accidents, the second one was and will be evacuated over a course of months.
But both zones will stay off limits.
tsutsuji
tsutsuji is offline
#58
Jun14-11, 05:40 AM
PF Gold
P: 1,220
Quote Quote by clancy688 View Post
I have one question regarding the IRSN evaluation I posted:

Do I understand correctly, that most of the paper is only about the population which's outside the 20km zone?
So there are up to ~70.000 people outside the 20km zone who are in need of evacuation and ~85.000 people inside the 20km zone who have already been evacuated? All in all 110.000 to 150.000 people who'll lose their homes forever?

table 1 page 18/28 (pdf page number 17 , http://www.irsn.fr/EN/news/Documents...H-23052011.pdf ) says that the 69,400 population figure applies to "Affected population (excluded the no-entry zone)".

Conversely, among the people already evacuated from the no-entry zone, those from the North and those between 15 and 20 km away in the South-West where the contamination is low should be able to go back home. So you should ultimately subtract that number from the total displaced population.
clancy688
clancy688 is offline
#59
Jun14-11, 05:57 AM
P: 546
Quote Quote by tsutsuji View Post
Conversely, among the people already evacuated from the no-entry zone, those from the North and those between 15 and 20 km away in the South-West where the contamination is low should be able to go back home. So you should ultimately subtract that number from the total displaced population.
Hm, let's do a "best case/worst case" calculation:

Let's say from those 70.000 mentioned in the report, only ~25.000 need to be evacuated (because the government tells <20mSv/a is still okay or something like this). In the 20km zone, the towns of Tomioka, Okuma, Futaba and Namie are probably in need of permanent abandonment. They have a total population of 55.000 people.

So the "best case" may be that 80.000 people lose their homes and the worst case 150.000.


Futaba District will probably nearly become a ghost district. Of all cities (total population: 75.000) only the villages of Kawauchi. Naraha and Hirono (only 17.000 people) lie outside the >1MBq/m˛ zone.
tsutsuji
tsutsuji is offline
#60
Jun14-11, 07:22 AM
PF Gold
P: 1,220
Quote Quote by Jim Lagerfeld View Post

To this contamination map by Yukio Hayakawa @ Gunma University:

http://maps.google.co.jp/maps/ms?ie=...257202&t=p&z=8

In my opinion no one has officially explained nor factored in the full significance of the contaminated green tea from Shizuoka (150km south west of Tokyo) yet, however those SPEEDI plumes just kiss Shizuoka too.
Thank you for the link. I think the 0.5 μSv/h spot centered in the North of Chiba prefecture, extending west on both sides of the Edogawa river could have a link with the 22 March water crisis when significant levels of contamination were found in the Kanamachi water purification plant, which takes water from the Edogawa.
SteveElbows
SteveElbows is offline
#61
Jun14-11, 08:46 AM
P: 630
I am talking about reactor 2 releases on the main thread, and because this quickly gets into contamination issues I am following up something posted there in this thread instead:


Quote Quote by Jim Lagerfeld View Post
As a resident of Tokyo, I find the SPEEDI stuff from the 15th all too interesting! I remember reading in the Tokyo Shimbun at the start of April that the 'unexpectedly high' radiation recorded in Tokyo was due to the fact that the reactor three plume which 'went out to sea' actually looped back and licked Tokyo and Chiba.

When the SPEEDI maps finally came out, this made some sense. Compare the shapes on these predictions:

http://www.mext.go.jp/component/a_me...48_0315_06.pdf

To this contamination map by Yukio Hayakawa @ Gunma University:

http://maps.google.co.jp/maps/ms?ie=...257202&t=p&z=8

In my opinion no one has officially explained nor factored in the full significance of the contaminated green tea from Shizuoka (150km south west of Tokyo) yet, however those SPEEDI plumes just kiss Shizuoka too.

I'm also guessing the makeup of the reactor 3 plume should be significantly different from the reactor 2 plume due to the completely different release path - they should be able to 'fingerprint' them, right?
Using SPEEDI wind data, Reactor 3 explosion-related stuff seems to go out into sea where I am not convinced they will have tried to estimate it properly. Reactor 1 plume prediction area strongly overlaps north-west area that is implicated in reactor 2 release, further complicating matters.

Strength of wind, height of release, timing of rain and snow all complicate things further. At the moment if we assume reactor 2 is largely to blame, then one possible explanation is that initial release that went south spread out over a very wide area, hence no intense concentrations of contamination to the south, it dispersed much more widely. Then in the afternoon when wind direction shifted so that stuff went north-west, rain/snow timing caused large concentrations of this stuff to fall in a smaller area.

Either that or the quantity of radioactive substances released increased well after the explosive event of the 15th. On site radiation readings show around 3mSv during reactor 2 venting after 9pm on the 14th March, and then falling levels. After 6am 15th explosion the levels start to climb again, with highs of 8mSv at 8.31am and 11mSv at 9am. Levels go back up again to values such as 8mSv late on the 15th and also several highs on the 16th, with official reports blame both reactor 2 & reactor 3 for the march 16th releases. From what I can tell from SPEEDI & site wind info, we are looking at a period of roughly 1pm 15th->1am 16th (SPEEDI) or 12 noon 15th->11pm 15th (Site data) that the wind is blowing in a direction that would cause contamination to the north west.

There are also unknowns about how much of March 15th radiation on site & beyond may have been caused by events occuring at reactor building 4 on the same day, although subsequent evidence that 4 spent fuel damage may not be great might help us somewhat rule out 4 as a large factor.
QuantumPion
QuantumPion is offline
#62
Jun14-11, 01:25 PM
P: 733
Quote Quote by jlduh View Post
Some days ago, there was a discussion on the forum about comparing the impacts between a majpr accident in a nuclear plant and any other industrial accident. I was saying that there is no other industrial accident that has a so big impact on social communities than a nuclear one (I'm talking about a big one like this one for example, which could have been much worse in fact, I think that even some professionals from nuke industry start to, hardly but finally i would say, recognize it -think of one or several completely explosed SFP with fuel thrown in the air and falling around, with all he domino effects to anticipate). Some people were arguing that chemical accident like Bhopal did more dead people immediatly than Fukushima, which is true if you consider the time factor.

But can you list one single other INDUSTRIAL accident that creates what you describe, currently 110 to 150 000 people losing their homes? I don't...

That's why in my mind, nuke industry is no way an industry like the others. The potential social impacts are too big.
There was a coal mine fire in 1962 in Centralia, Pennsylvania. All of the residents had to leave due to the area being unstable and dangerous. It is still burning to this day, rendering the area off-limits, and is expected to continue for 250-1000 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania
Luca Bevil
Luca Bevil is offline
#63
Jun14-11, 01:39 PM
P: 87
Quote Quote by QuantumPion View Post
There was a coal mine fire in 1962 in Centralia, Pennsylvania. All of the residents had to leave due to the area being unstable and dangerous. It is still burning to this day, rendering the area off-limits, and is expected to continue for 250-1000 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania
1.000 evacuees according to wikipedia, , with quite some time to realise the health danger, quite difficult to compare with either Chernobyl or Fukushima consequences.

I do not think anyone thinks that no-other energy related human endeavours can lead to very serious accidents, but I still have to find worst case scenarios and real accidents that are of a comparable scale.
SteveElbows
SteveElbows is offline
#64
Jun14-11, 02:10 PM
P: 630
Quote Quote by Luca Bevil View Post
I do not think anyone thinks that no-other energy related human endeavours can lead to very serious accidents, but I still have to find worst case scenarios and real accidents that are of a comparable scale.
Try the Bhopal disaster.
clancy688
clancy688 is offline
#65
Jun14-11, 03:03 PM
P: 546
Quote Quote by SteveElbows View Post
Try the Bhopal disaster.
...

We had that discussion a while ago. http://physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=486089

Starts at post #237


Basic statement for Bhopal: High death toll came into being because the plant was right in the middle of a slum. Population in a radius up to 1km around the plant was 100.000 people. No wonder they get thousands of deaths if something blows up. Still it didn't contaminate half of the district as happened in Chernobyl and Fukushima. Today there are people living around the Bhopal plant. There won't be people living near Fukushima or Chernobyl for the next hundred years.
Luca Bevil
Luca Bevil is offline
#66
Jun14-11, 03:10 PM
P: 87
Quote Quote by clancy688 View Post
...

We had that discussion a while ago. http://physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=486089

Starts at post #237


Basic statement for Bhopal: High death toll came into being because the plant was right in the middle of a slum. Population in a radius up to 1km around the plant was 100.000 people. No wonder they get thousands of deaths if something blows up. Still it didn't contaminate half of the district as happened in Chernobyl and Fukushima. Today there are people living around the Bhopal plant. There won't be people living near Fukushima or Chernobyl for the next hundred years.
Yep. Quoted 100 %.
BTW, Steve my thanks for your painstaking efforts in the main 3d.
Great work no matter what the reliability of the underlying data was.
Gary7
Gary7 is offline
#67
Jun14-11, 04:31 PM
P: 74
Arnie Gundersen is again the darling of the conspiracy theorists due to his recent video claiming residents of Tokyo were breathing in 10 "hot particles" per day during April. He is also claiming that residents of Seattle were breathing in from 5 to 10 hot particles as well. Fukushima residents were apparently breathing in 30x as many hot particles.

He also drags out another factoid; that residents of Japan are tasting a "metallic taste" which is indicative of radioactive contamination.

I no longer know what to think about Arnie. Earlier on in the disaster, I found his discussion to be be very digestible and credible, but as time goes on I'm really concerned because he seems to be getting his information from some of the alternative news web sites, and it seems he is no longer looking at things with any objectivity. He bought the "Leaning Reactor #4" story hook, line, and sinker. He's now regurgitating the metallic taste myth, even though this has never been reported in Japan. Regarding the hot particle story, he says his information comes from "scientists using air filters".

Do any of the physicists here have an opinion on this hot particle story. Is it credible? Is it a worry? Tokyo and its environs has about 30 million people in it - me being one of them. Are we all breathing in 300+ hot particles, and if so, is there any meaning in this?
zapperzero
zapperzero is offline
#68
Jun14-11, 06:24 PM
P: 1,030
Quote Quote by Gary7 View Post
Do any of the physicists here have an opinion on this hot particle story. Is it credible? Is it a worry? Tokyo and its environs has about 30 million people in it - me being one of them. Are we all breathing in 300+ hot particles, and if so, is there any meaning in this?
What's this hot particle thing? I thought exposure was measured in Sievert?
Borek
Borek is offline
#69
Jun15-11, 01:59 AM
Admin
Borek's Avatar
P: 22,679
Must be some unit invented for Joe Public.
Gary7
Gary7 is offline
#70
Jun15-11, 04:29 AM
P: 74
Its in his latest video, which is full of odd trivia. He's purporting that everyone in Tokyo breathed in 10 "hot particles" every day during the month of April. Same for Seattle (although he's made two different claims for Seattle, one that said they breathed in 5 per day, and another that suggested they breathed in 10 per day). I don't know how he came up with any of these figures. Different posters are already regurgitating this story on this forum. Its basically going viral on any web site that has to do with Fukushima. Its the perfect meaningless sound bite for everyone who wishes to believe in Arnie's original story that "Fukushima is Chernobyl on Ssteroids (tm)". Arnie is saying his data comes from "scientists using air filters" (?!). He is full of circular logic, such as "we know the data is true because of the information coming from the air filters".

He's also talking about people in Tokyo experiencing a metallic taste, and he's tying this in with a similar phenomenon at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. However he ignores the facts that: Tokyo is much farther away from the source of the radiation than the populations of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl/Pripyat, and, more importantly (crucially, I would say) there never was any report of people tasting a metallic taste in Tokyo. And if the people in Fukushima were ingesting 30 times the "hot particles" that Tokyoites were, you would imagine that the tastebuds of those in Fukushima were feeling like they were gobbling handfulls of metal.
SteveElbows
SteveElbows is offline
#71
Jun15-11, 01:21 PM
P: 630
Quote Quote by Luca Bevil View Post
Yep. Quoted 100 %.
BTW, Steve my thanks for your painstaking efforts in the main 3d.
Great work no matter what the reliability of the underlying data was.
Thanks very much, and sorry for not realising Bhopal had already come up here.

As for Arnies hot particles, I dont pay much attention to him or to attempts to quantify this stuff. I do think the issue of internal exposure is worthy of much more attention though.

I would imagine that this risk will vary considerably between people, depending on what you do on a particular day in a particular location. If you manage to disturb some contaminated material that has settled, you could get more than your fair share.

I would hope that more could be done with data from Tokyo and beyond to give us a better sense of the scale of the problem there.

As I am still studying the estimated releases of March 15th I hope to have more to add to this subject in future.
mikefj40
mikefj40 is offline
#72
Jun15-11, 02:05 PM
P: 26
Woods Hole has a research ship (RV Ka`imikai-o-Kanaloa) off the coast of Fukushima surveying the marine environment for contamination. They are blogging about their mission here:

https://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=68736

They aren't publishing results yet, presumably additional analysis will happen on land when the ship returns to port. It's interesting for the tools and methods they are using.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants Nuclear Engineering 14198
8.9 earthquake in Japan: tsunami warnings Current Events 671
Fukushima, Japan – Constructing an Effective First Response Nuclear Engineering 21
Radiation Contamination Thread re Fukushima Nuclear Engineering 19
Fukushima plant - should I leave Japan? Nuclear Engineering 10