Fukushima Are the Japs Losing it?

No, the irradiation by the immersed material means the water itself is radioactive.
Really? In what way? Have the H2O molecules turned into deuterium or tritium dioxide? I'd be surprised - do you have a source for that?

Not that safe distillation of the contaminated water would be an easy task.
 
Really? In what way? Have the H2O molecules turned into deuterium or tritium dioxide? I'd be surprised - do you have a source for that?

Not that safe distillation of the contaminated water would be an easy task.
The issue is "heavy water" which does indeed contain deuterium isotopes.
I think it's spun out from the "light" water in centrifuges, so a million cubic metres will take some doing.
 
Really? In what way? Have the H2O molecules turned into deuterium or tritium dioxide? I'd be surprised - do you have a source for that?

Not that safe distillation of the contaminated water would be an easy task.
Because the bombardment of alpha, beta, and gamma particles increases of the energy of molecules of water. Some of them, will have, because of radiation, become deuterium atoms.

That's the nature of radiation. It spreads.
 
Because the bombardment of alpha, beta, and gamma particles increases of the energy of molecules of water. Some of them, will have, because of radiation, become deuterium atoms.

That's the nature of radiation. It spreads.
But deuterium isn't really a hazard, is it? Something like one in 6000 hydrogen molecules in the Pacific is naturally occurring deuterium anyway, the amount of deuterium in this million cubic metres isn't going to change that significantly. So I don't think trying to distil off the water from the more hazardous stuff sounds a bad idea.
 
But deuterium isn't really a hazard, is it? Something like one in 6000 hydrogen molecules in the Pacific is naturally occurring deuterium anyway, the amount of deuterium in this million cubic metres isn't going to change that significantly. So I don't think trying to distil off the water from the more hazardous stuff sounds a bad idea.
It is, however, radioactive. Pouring radioactive waste away is frowned upon.
 
It does seem a bit surprising that the 'best' option has continued to be 'collect the water in buckets and leave it there' -- the buckets are pretty large of course, and as a first reaction to keep the ground-water out of the sea it was quick and easy, but after several years? And they still can't stop ground-water going through the underground buildings, and at least some of that gets to the sea anyway. The ideas of building trenches and walls, even freezing the ground, have not worked out sufficiently well. Hopefully the above-ground problems have been better dealt with and there will be no further nuclear/steam/ building-collapse events.
 
Radiochemistry is complicated.

The water will be contaminated with a variety of isotopes, some of which will be water soluble e.g. Thallium 201, Iodine 131, Sodium 24 & Caesium 137. There will also be various particulate matter of other interesting materials (Uranium, Plutonium, Polonium etc). I-131 is a major fission product of uranium and plutonium

It's possible to separate some compounds out by e.g. reverse osmosis or ultrafiltration but would be time consuming and energy intensive.

In theory you could distil the water out leaving a more concentrated solution of radioactive materials, but the amount of heat needed and size of equipment would be unrealistic.

Sellafield deal with several types of waste, probably the most difficult is the old Magnox (Magnesium Non-Oxidising) fuel shells which were stored under water. In these conditions, the Magnox reacts with the water to form Magnesium Oxide sludge which contains small amounts of radioactive materials.

This material is currently being removed from the water filled storage and being encapsulated for a more permanent solution.

The main thing with Fukushima is to minimise the amount of contaminated material and thereby limit the size of the problem. Diluting the problem simply spreads it. The really nasty stuff is the long half-life isotopes e.g. Caesium 137 is 30 years, Strontium 90 = 28.8 years, Pu-237 = 88 years and U-238 = 4 billion years, U-235 = 700 million years.
 
In theory you could distil the water out leaving a more concentrated solution of radioactive materials, but the amount of heat needed and size of equipment would be unrealistic.
Yes, extremely expensive compared to normal distillation but if it condenses trillions of litres of lightly contaminated water down to millions of litres of nasty shit it's a massive saving in space and containment.

None of the dangerous isotopes are lighter than air and even if there are deuterium / trititum molecules formed they will be lost to space.
 

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