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Fukushima water

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It depends on the contaminants.

But it would be extremely expensive to do that. Distilling it would work as well and be a lot cheaper.


But the main thing to realise its that the amount of contamination leaking from Fukushima is only a local problem.

Once it is dispersed in the ocean the radiation is not distinguishable from the natural background and presents practically no risk.

It is, for example, a lot less than the radioactivity released into the Irish sea from reprocessing at Sellafield.


In case anyone is thinking of saying I have no evidence for that, yes I have. Decades of experience at Sellafield and extensive research in the health of the local population.

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Radioactivity typically is associated to the nucleus of an atom, not to the configuration of the electrons surrounding the nucleus. The binding between atoms is an effect of the electron configuration only and does not affect the nucleus. If you were to break the binding between the H and O atoms, i.e. change their electron configurations, you'd not affect their nuclei. You'd still be left with the same level of "contamination" as before.

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The radioactivity presently released isn't that huge, but the one released during the accident was, it has rained down on the Pacific mainly, and it must easily exceed one year of releases by Sellafield or La Hague.


Dilution is not the ultimate answer - except for the nuclear industry. Because the risk associated with small concentrations of radiation is proportional to it, dilution means that more animals and humans are exposed to a smaller increase in the risk. By the "linear-no-threshold" model, which is the norm and is reaffirmed regularly, but is fought by propaganda organizations of the nuclear industry, the smaller individual risk shared by more persons means the same increase of illness in the global population.


The most commonly accepted report:


first paragraph:

"A comprehensive review of available biological and biophysical data supports a “linear-no-threshold” (LNT) risk model"

of which nuclear propagandists take

"effects of low dose can't be proven".


The big difficulty is that a small risk in a big population is impossible or very difficult to measure (or even to prove in a trial). The position of scientist is then to extrapolate it linearly, because for each single cell, there is no "small dose": one absorbed ray is devastating to it - so one considers that more rays just increase the number of cells that present a risk to become a cancer, hence the linearity. The position of the nuclear industry is that the small risk isn't measured hence it doesn't exist - or even, I've read "they won't be able to prove his cancer is our fault".


These two positions explain the huge discrepancy in the fatalities estimates after a catastrophe - like 10 or 1000 or >10,000 for Chernobyl.




Electrolysis: not the good method. Filters are already installed, more are arriving, Tepco will solve it - it's the reason why the government tells "we take action".


However, filters as well as electrolysis would leave tritium. This one will be diluted and released in the Ocean, it's already planned like this.

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" Because the risk associated with small concentrations of radiation is proportional to it, dilution means that more animals and humans are exposed to a smaller increase in the risk."

​Most people are not in the middle of the Pacific.


The point isn't one of linear or non-linear effect.

It's that the levels become indistinguishable from background.

The natural level of damage is not zero and the additional damage caused by the leak is going to be a lot smaller than the natural level.

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Yes, the damage added by human pollution may be small (or not) as compared with the natural radioactivity. But linearity is important, as it tells that the amount of added damage does not depend on the dilution. The added damage becomes only difficult to attribute to the added pollution.


Most people live outside the Ocean but many eat products obtained from the Ocean.


There are also some differences between natural and man-made radioactivity. Most natural activity in the Ocean is from 40K, which we don't concentrate. We eat fish containing it, but excrete it. As opposed, we concentrate 131I (no more a worry now from Fukushima) in thyroid, 90Sr in our bones.

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Moderator Note


This thread is regarding the decontamination of the water from the reactor - and the op suggested electrolysis as a method - please could we stick to the topic.


For the avoidance of doubt - the safety of nuclear reactors, the safe levels of radiation in water, how animals react to that radiation etc are all off topic. Open a thread if you wish to discuss other matters.


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