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Thursday, October 27, 2011

☢ Bloomberg Report Fukushima Plant May Have Emitted Twice The Radiation ☢

Fukushima Plant May Have Emitted Double Radiation Than Estimated
QBy Tsuyoshi Inajima - Oct 27, 2011 11:20 AM GMT+0300

The wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan may have released more than twice the amount of radiation estimated by the Japanese government, a study by European and U.S.-based scientists said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima station, which was wrecked in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, may have emitted 35,800 terabecquerels of radioactive cesium 137 at the height of the disaster, according to a study in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics journal. Japan’s nuclear regulator in June said 15,000 terabecquerels of cesium 137 was discharged.

The amount is about 42 percent of that released at Chernobyl in 1986, the worst civil atomic disaster in history, according to the study. The plant north of Tokyo may have also started releasing radioactive elements before the tsunami arrived about 45 minutes after the magnitude-9 quake struck, contradicting government assessments.

“This early onset of emissions is interesting and may indicate some structural damage to the reactor units during the earthquake,” according to the report.

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency remains convinced the quake didn’t cause significant damage to the plant, Tadashige Koitabashi, a NISA spokesman, said by phone. He declined to comment on the report.

NISA and Tepco blame the tsunami, which swamped backup generators, causing a loss of cooling and the meltdowns of the three reactors operating at the time of the disaster. Explosions at the plant sent radiation into the atmosphere.

Radiation Effects

Cesium 137 is a source of concern for public health because the radioactive isotope has a half-life of 30 years.

A becquerel represents one radioactive decay per second and involves the release of atomic energy, which can damage human cells and DNA. Prolonged exposure to radiation can cause leukemia and other forms of cancer, according to the World Nuclear Association. A terabecquerel is one million times one million becquerels.

Almost a fifth of the cesium 137 fallout fell on Japan, while the remainder was carried by prevailing winds over the Pacific Ocean, according to the study.

Areas around the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, which is still emitting radioactive materials, may be uninhabitable for at least two decades, according to a government estimate in August.

Radiation Release

The study led by Andreas Stohl, an atmospheric scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, was released on the website of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions. The authors used readings from stations around the world to assess the amount of radiation release.

Japanese government officials and the utility known as Tepco haven’t updated figures on radiation from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station. Tepco said last week the amount of radiation being released has fallen to about 8 million times less than at the height of the disaster.

“We don’t need to add much to what was emitted in the early days,” Yasuo Kosaku, an official in NISA’s nuclear emergency division, said by phone today. Still, “the June estimate may have to be revised.”

The government plans to update the estimate, Goshi Hosono, the minister in charge of responding to the disaster, said in August.

The scientists provided other analysis that questions official assessments.

Reactor 4

The levels of cesium 137 emissions “suddenly dropped” after Tepco started spraying water on the spent fuel pool of the No. 4 reactor, they said. Reactor 4 was idle before the quake and the fuel assemblies in the core had been placed in the spent fuel pool of the unit.

“This indicates that emissions were not only coming from the damaged reactor cores, but also from the spent fuel pool of unit 4,” the report said.

Fukushima also discharged 16.7 million terabecquerels of xenon 133, “ the largest radioactive noble gas release in history not associated with nuclear bomb testing,” the study said.

The government estimated in June 11 million terabecquerels of the radioactive particle was released from the plant.

Xenon 133 has a half life of 5.2 days and is relatively harmless, Tetsuo Ito, the head of Kinki University’s Atomic Energy Research Institute, said by phone.

Go to the Original Bloomberg Story at:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-27/fukushima-plant-may-have-emitted-double-radiation-than-estimated.html

To contact the reporter on this story: Tsuyoshi Inajima in Tokyo at tinajima@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Aaron Sheldrick at asheldrick@bloomberg.net; Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net

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Geiger Counters - Radiation Detection Meters - Handheld Radiation Detector



When it comes to radiation detection meters you really have a wide field of gadgets to choose from, however radiation detectors are the most common to use. First of all if you need to know what type of radiation you are looking for. There are Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation detectors. And also there is neutron emission of nuclear radiation. And all these different types of emissions have radiation detectors for a specific type of radiation that you can buy radiation detector for. Some also measure both Alpha and Beta. Others detect Alpha, Beta and Gamma. While others let you measure Beta and Gamma radiation.



What most people have use for though are Dosimeters you can buy a handheld radiation detector pretty cheap that are good addition to a survival kit. There are different kinds that you can use that will detect radiation. There are radiation badges that will tell you when radiation become high. Workers at nuclear power plants use these to inform them of how much radiation they have been exposed to. Now also children in the Fukushima prefecture have each been given a radiation badge so they know if they are exposed to radiation. Some come in the shape of a pen that you can carry in your pocket while other are made more compact so that you can attach them to your keychain. And then you have what is called a personal radiation monitor. These are also called Dosimeters and also normally called Geiger counters. Although not all use the Geiger-Muller Tube for the radiation detection some use a semiconductor instead. These and mostly the older geiger counters seen are pretty big to carry around, so they might not be best suited for a survival situation where you only need to carry the most important things. However if you have land and want to check radiation around the property and drinking water then these are the geiger counters to get because they are very well built units.

These are the once that you normally see people use. They have different units of radiation detection, because when it comes to radiation there are many standards used. some give the measurements in Rads, while other use Sieverts. Some have the maximum radiation value for the measured radioactivity quite low but they will still give you an idea of the amount of radiation in the area. With the units ranging from between background radiation 0.001 mSv/hr all the way up to 10 Sv/h. Normally a dosimeter will measure radiation in micro siverts per hour. If you were to walk into one of the reactor units at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant you probably would get an error reading from your dosimeter because the radiation levels are so high there.

Note that some places outside the exclusion zone in Fukushima that are too radioactive for people to live in have areas where the radiation levels are above 30 Sv/h. So if you are in a area that have high radiation the radiation detectors would also there go off the scale. However Geiger counters or radiation detectors are still favored as general purpose alpha/beta/gamma portable radiation detectors and radiation detection equipment, due to their low cost and robustness. Most come with an LCD Display that show you the radioactivity in the area. Nowdays you will even get alarm sound and the possibility to connect the device to a computer. Either with a Infrared, Bluetooth or USB connection.

So if you look at the radiation detectors for sale that have this, then these radiation detection meters will allow you to make maps of contaminated areas that show where the radiation is high and low. This also will help you to see which areas are becoming more contaminated over time. With several nuclear reactors in the US and around the world located near fault zones that makes it a danger if a big earthquake would hit the area there is always a good choice to have a radiation dosimeter avaliable. I'm sure many in Fukushima would have been grateful to have dosimeters avaliable at the time of the disaster and I am sure you to would be grateful to have a geiger counter handy when you need one.

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