Humidity Drops as Doors Open at Fukushima Unit, Radiation Release Small

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Humidity Drops as Doors Open at Fukushima Unit, Radiation Release Small

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Radiation readings at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant grounds were unchanged Monday after workers opened the doors to reactor unit 2.

Fukushima unit 2 airlock. Source: TEPCOThe doors were opened gradually between Sunday night and Monday morning, Japan time, to minimize airborne dust. Readings on plant grounds afterward did not show a rise in radiation, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. undertook the operation to reduce high humidity levels complicating work in the unit. The utility reported humidity has dropped from nearly 100 percent to below 70 percent. Four workers took readings inside the unit after the doors opened. The next step will be to adjust gauges in the building as part of efforts to control reactors that lost safety systems following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

TEPCO told regulators it expected opening the doors to unit 2 would release 1.6 billion becquerels of radioactive contaminants, with radiation levels on plant grounds increasing by a maximum of 0.0014 microsieverts per hour. Earlier, TEPCO has opened the external doors to the unit 1 reactor building, which was expected to release less radiation into the environment than unit 2.

(Photo: Partially opened airlock at Fukushima Daiichi unit 2, shown at 5 a.m., June 20. Source: TEPCO)

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  • If you call 1.6 BILLION Barquels a small amount then your rite.

  • 1.6 billion barquels? That Is the new safe level for exposure. Stand by for updates.

    I'm suprised they didn't send in children wearing dosimeters.

  • One gram of naturally occuring radium 226 emits 37 billion becquerels(1 curie) , the average human being emits between 4,000 to 6,000 becquerels  and 1 kg of granite emits about 1,000 becquerels.

    So Tepco released the equivalent of less then 1/10th of a gram of radium, or 400,000 people or about the same as 1800 metric tons of granite.

  • harrywr2 Tue, Jun 21 2011 3:31 PM

    "One gram of naturally occuring radium 226 emits 37 billion becquerels(1 curie) , the average human being emits between 4,000 to 6,000 becquerels  and 1 kg of granite emits about 1,000 becquerels.

    So Tepco released the equivalent of less then 1/10th of a gram of radium, or 400,000 people or about the same as 1800 metric tons of granite."

    Really....I've never read anything like that before...source of this info please.

  • Please see any decent modern physics textbook, or

    sciencedemonstrations.fas.harvard.edu/.../icb.do

    If I recall correctly "Nuclear Engineering" by LaMarsh should have a fairly good table of activity levels.

    By the way, as we all know bananas have an affinity for absorbing potassium.  Natural potassium (due to the K-40 isotope) has an activity on the order of 31 or do Bq per gram (recall: 1 Bq equals one disintegration per second, this is a VERY small unit of measurement).  One banana has about half a gram of potassium.  This yields a dose of about 0.078uSv/banana, call it 0.1uSv/banana rounded up.  Therefore we're talking about releasing a bit over 106 million bananas into the environment.  

    (sarcasm on) For a sense of scale, Per UN numbers, something like 16 million tons of these highly radioactive sources were wantonly produced and exported worldwide.   I can't remember the mass of a banana offhand, but gee - 16 megatons of bananas is a lot more than 106 million.  Obviously we must eliminate this scourge! (sarcasm off)

    www.unctad.org/.../market.htm

    V/R

    Mike