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Plan to Release Radioactive Fukushima Wastewater Into Pacific Ocean Panned by Critics

How many million tons of underground water have flowed down from the mountains, through the boiling radioactive cauldron, and then on out into the Pacific?


We - the little people - aren’t supposed to ask questions like that. That is only for the “experts” like the ones who built Fukushima on this fragile spot.


There is a young lady north of Peoria who is the world’s expert on filtration. Since water itself cannot become radioactive, I propose cascade boiling the water off at 90% quality and filtering the 10%. Discharge the water into tanker ship. Sail south and unload into a current flow that does not approach a shore for quite a few thousand miles.

The contaminated filters can be gathered and buried 15,000 feet deep in Michigan or Nevada.

Drill a line of wells on the seaward side of the core melts and pump uphill into a sacrificial Japanese valley. Cut back pumping volume when saltwater is just barely intruding into radioactive freshwater attempting to flow into the sea.

Hmm I thought that they would just shoot it off into space like they do a lot of junk that’s floating around up there. Maybe they can put it in cement and then ship it up up and away? : 0

Oh, great. Go ahead and poison the Pacific, what the heck!!..sigh…like it’s not ALREADY polluted from the initial disaster…God help us


For years I read and posted on ENEnews and from day one everyone there screamed about “dilution”. You’ll note there is no discussion of bio-accumulation. It is a shame ENEnews is no longer around but there are still others out and about.


If only it was that easy. (Not to make a mockery of that despicable assassination.)

Any objections to the plan need to offer PRACTICAL information on how to avoid such a release after running out of space to store more such water on the site.

When the first nuclear test was performed in 1945 (just two months before hiroshima and nagasaki) do you believe they had a thought about the consequences? Or the reversal options? (Rhetorical question)


Dig a pit deep inside the country of Japan and store your own waste. Do not pollute the world with your mistake.

1 Like

I think I’ll just do a batch response here.


“Tell us trog and ol swannee how great nuclear power is again”

I advocate for the development of certain next-gen reactors, especially molten salt fast reactors, because it looks like they could be great, but we can only confirm that by developing them. (And any kind of liquid fuel molten salt reactor could not have had a melt-down, because liquids cannot melt.)

I also advocate for science and reason, especially for progressives. We have no standing to criticize others for ignoring science when a large block of us are doing the same.

“all you jackasses knew this was coming”

I was an anti-nuke until 2013. I knew melt-downs could happen, and I expected more to happen, which was a big reason I was an anti-nuke. What I did not know is that not all kinds of reactors would be vulnerable to meltdowns.


Some of the components in that waste water have a million year life-span.

In trace amounts. Nearly all of the radionuclides except tritium have been taken down to trace or below-detection threshold levels. And the longer the half-life, the less radioactive an isotope is.

This will be the coup de grace to the Pacific and everyone who eats from it.

It’s not going to be anything of the sort. It’s a million tons of water, but the total amount of tritium in storage at Fukushima is less than 4 petabecquerels–or roughly ten grams. The annual natural production of tritium on Earth is around 148 petabecquerels (about 410 grams). The global equilibrium value for natural tritium is 2590 petabq (about 7215 grams). And atomic bomb testing released roughly 233,000 petabq. (~650 kg) of tritium–around 65,000 times what’s in storage at Fukushima. And did that kill the oceans and everyone who ate from it? No.

There’s roughly 9000 petabecquerels of atomic bomb tritium still hanging around in the oceans today. So the amount in storage is not quite the amount of bomb tritium that decays away each three days. If you release the water slowly into the Pacific, say, taking a year or more, it will hardly affect the rate at which oceanic tritium levels are dropping every day.


So we are to be o.k. with a “little” radioactivity

You do know that you are radioactive, right? Even worse, you are a gamma emitter. The remaining isotope that can’t be removed from the Fukushima water is tritium, which emits no gamma rays and only kicks out a very weak electron, which won’t even penetrate a millimeter through seawater. You’ll get zero radiation dose standing next to a tank of tritiated water, whereas people standing close to you will be irradiated by your gamma emissions. Do you think we should not be okay with that?

“What about those means we have of concentrating the radioactive parts, such as centrifuges operating on gases?”

What the centrifuges can do is shift proportions. But they can’t clean up the last bit. The problem here is that we are talking about 10 grams of tritium in a million tonnes of water. That is already far cleaner than what the centrifuges can deliver. Tritiated water does have a slightly different freeze point than pure water, so it can be concentrated that way, if you are working with very small amounts of water. For processing a million tonnes, the cost and energy needed would be prohibitive.


“Cancer rates and other radioactivity induced illnesses will soar.”

Not from a tiny amount of tritium that is dwarfed by what is already in the oceans. However, fear of cancer and radiation-induced illness will probably soar.

“On the other hand, marine and terrestrial life may catch a break.”

The number one obstacle to releasing the water has been from fishermen, who fear their sales would plummet due to fear–even though they themselves know the fear is unfounded. And the fish are teeming in the waters off Fukushima for the very reason you cite.


“How many million tons of underground water have flowed down from the mountains, through the boiling radioactive cauldron, and then on out into the Pacific?”

It doesn’t work that way. Some of the water is pulled up in bypass wells before it reaches the complex. This is tested and usually released without treatment. If any radionuclides exceed set levels (some of which were there before 2011) the water goes through treatment before being released.

Some of the water flows around the ice wall and is extracted on the land side of the steel sea wall, and also tested, treated if needed, and then released. Water that is pumped into the reactor building to cool the cores mixes with groundwater that has made it past the ice wall which then flows into the reactor buildings, and all this water is pumped out, treated to remove everything but tritium, and put into storage. The water flowing into the buildings is why the amount of water in storage is increasing, at around 100 to 150 tonnes per day. (Before the ice wall, it was more like 400 to 600 tonnes per day.)

And the amount of heat coming from the old core material today is around 1000 watts per metric ton. Nothing down there is anywhere close to boiling.

“Since water itself cannot become radioactive”

It cannot become radioactive from exposure to decay radiation. In other words, gamma, beta, alpha, and x-ray radiation have no effect on it. But it can become radioactive from neutrons, or tritium can combine with another hydrogen atom and an oxygen atom to become a radioactive water molecule.

“I propose cascade boiling the water off”

Boiling tritiated water releases the radioactive water molecules along with the non-radioactive kinds (ie. containing only protium, or deuterium, or mixed). This would not be a problem if the release rate was small enough, but they are kind of crunched for time. Also, it would take a lot of energy to boil that much water.


You’ll note there is no discussion of bio-accumulation.

Because tritium does not bio-accumulate. If it could bio-accumulate, that would give us a way to segregate it.


“Any objections to the plan need to offer PRACTICAL information on how to avoid such a release after running out of space to store more such water on the site.”

There is an alternative between storing it in the tanks on land, and just dumping it into the sea. It could be put into storage in the sea. We already make huge transport bladders for shipping fresh water in the ocean, and this wouldn’t need to be as tough as those. Store the bags deep below ship depth, and moor them to weights so that they float above the sea floor, and they should be impervious to storms, lightning, meteorites, airplane crashes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and pretty much all of the land hazards. And if any of the water leaked over the next several decades, a slow leakage rate would dilute to well below background radiation levels before it could travel even a few centimeters away from the bags.


Those guys weren’t necessary in 1963. That was politically motivated murder, pure and simple.
Today, well, it seems that they might be able to save a nation from fascism.

If you are tracking that one
Start here at home with the Columbia

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Piss Off
20 years working the industry says you and your ilk are deadly wrong

And we keep having to clean up after your nonscience nonsense

Tell us again how long it will take to remove rods at Diablo Canyon

And you don’t care how many are sacrificed on your altar of toxicity

Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Piss Off


I loose my vehicle over a smog check but all around me are plants emitting tons of carbon and nox into the air-----and yea your a big rich company just dump your radio active waste in the ocean----it will be at the beach by next year so I can swim in it------WE ARE SCREWED!


You were the one who called for me to respond by name.

“20 years working the industry says you and your ilk are deadly wrong”

If you could have found a single thing that was factually incorrect about anything I said, that would have been a much better response than the pathetic “piss off” non-argument.

“And we keep having to clean up after your nonscience nonsense”

Fukushima was no more my mess than it was yours. And one of the reasons I would like to see better reactors developed is that it would make it easier to retire the old-tech reactors sooner.

“Tell us again how long it will take to remove rods at Diablo Canyon”

What, you mean how long to remove them from the cooling pools? There’s no time limit on that. What does this have to do with anything?

“And you don’t care how many are sacrificed on your altar of toxicity”

James Hansen concluded that even old-tech nuclear probably saved many hundreds of thousands of lives. If better nuclear works out, it could save millions. Do you not care about them?

“Quod Erat Demonstrandum”

You didn’t demonstrate anything.

“Piss Off”

Saying it again doesn’t make it into an actual argument.


“ignoring science” …

It’s stuff you cannot taste or see
It’s stuff you cannot smell
It’s stuff that’s twenty times as hot
As the hottest stuff in hell

And when the stuff gets in
You cannot get it out

  • James Moginie

Yes wings, I believe they did, much more than anybody on this forum. I’ve visited Los Alamos, back in '96 - read a lot on making the bomb, from Leo Szilard thru Robert Oppenheimer.

Day of the Bomb: Countdown to Hiroshima (Kurzman, 1986) - is very very good. There are more recent books of course, but I can personally recommend this one, as it is sitting beside me on one of my shelves.


for a second, I thought this was going to be a limerick!

“There was a young lady from Peoria…”
“Who took glee in her nuclear euphoria…”

Sorry. Please continue…:wink: