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Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.
5

Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

There's a video (readily available online) called “1945-1998” by Isao Hashimoto; about 14 minutes long. It's informative in showing the timing and location of over two thousand nuclear tests.

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

Even if this "nuclear coffin " somehow totally disintegrated overnite, I cant help but think that the amount of radiation released into the environment would be several orders of magnitude less than that let go at Chernobyl or Fukishima. And in round numbers, the entire population of Europe was exposed at Chernobyl and the entire west coast of USA and Canada, as well as Japan was exposed at Fukishima. Helps to keep things in perspective.

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

The half-life of some of the materials used for atomic bomb testing is approx 20,000 years, so the islands will not be suitable for residence for the next while... Don't know how that compares to Fukishima or Chernobyl...

Dik

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

How many straws does it take to break a Camel’s back?

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA, HI)


RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

Quote (Chernoble)


Following the disaster, the Soviet authorities rushed to build a concrete sarcophagus over the reactor. However, the structure was only intended to last for 30 years, and so as it deteriorates, the need to replace it becomes increasingly urgent.

According to the BBC, some 97% of the reactor’s radioactive material remains inside. The risk of further radioactive material being released into the environment is therefore very real, and the authorities have reacted to contain, and ultimately, deconstruct the reactor and its core.
Link

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

(OP)
The cobalt etc will have all decayed away by now and most of the isotopes will be low level activity its more that it will get into the food chain. And contact doses to various organs will be the issue from alpha emitters. It will be several 100 magnitudes lower. But similar to the pit at Dunray in Scotland I doubt very much they will have a clue what's in it.

Don't know much about Fukishima, Chernobyl my dad was a radiation protection advisor and had to deal with the impact in the UK. I was very young at the time but I remember going to the Student float parade in Aberdeen and it was pissing down with rain and when I got home dad found 3 or 4 particles on our jackets and our clothes and shoes disappeared after that. We were also banned form drinking milk for 6 months.

At uni an elective course covered the accident and the engineering of why the rbmk reactors were so dangerous.

Currently I fly over Chernobyl a couple of times a month. I keep meaning to go and do the tour but its not something I would take my kids to.

The big thing for me is seeing the area from 25000 ft on a clear night. The area around it which is uninhabited is colossal. The plant is a huge bright light in the middle of a vast space of darkness. It covers a sizable chunk of Belarus and way up into Russia along with the area in the Ukraine.

The worry they have even now is they don't know where most of the melted fuel is inside it. They have the elephants foot but that's only a small part of it. One of the big worries is that the site gets flooded with water and it acts as a moderator and some fuel will go critical again flash and the water will boil and shut down the criticality but will explode the fuel and structure around it. From memory it was 2% enrichment they ran at but the half life is 700 million years for 235 most of the graphite burned up.

I do work with people that were sent there for a week who did two trips onto the roof put 2 shovels full over the side and then came down. Repeat 2 days later and then sent home.

The issue with this dump is where it is located in the pacific ocean current system. Mind you that takes it up past Japan anyway and they are pumping way more crap out with Fukashima than is likely to come out of it.

BTW there is loads of old soviet reactors dumped up in the sea on the North coast of Siberia, and you can pick up the leaks from them in Scotland.

Mind you we also get phosphorus balls washing up on the west coast of Scotland from the WW2 munitions that were dumped afterwards.

BTW I am pro Nuclear. Thorium salt reactors always seemed the sensible way to go for me.


RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

"...several 100 magnitudes lower..."

If you mean 'orders of magnitude' (10:1), then there's not enough scale range in the Universe to support several hundred orders of magnitude.

Only about 1080 atoms in the entire Universe.

[Edit to add: Assumes we're not talking about a pile that's gone critical.]

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

The primary contaminant entombed here is unreacted plutonium 239 which is an alpha emitter and not particularly dangerous in the environment but is toxic if ingested. It has a half-live of around 24000 years so whatever amount is buried here has not appreciably decayed. Most of the other fission products would have decayed to isotopes of strontium and cesium with half-lives of around 30 years, so these would require several hundred years to decay to the point where they are not significantly dangerous. It's worth considering that where the contents of the dome are concentrated and dangerous, it actually contains a small percentage of the fission products and plutonium that was released there during testing so most of this material is still in the wild.

Brad Waybright

It's all okay as long as it's okay.

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

Dilution is the solution...

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

Quote (Alistair Heaton)

Don't know much about Fukishima, Chernobyl my dad was a radiation protection advisor and had to deal with the impact in the UK. I was very young at the time but I remember going to the Student float parade in Aberdeen and it was pissing down with rain and when I got home dad found 3 or 4 particles on our jackets and our clothes and shoes disappeared after that. We were also banned form drinking milk for 6 months.

I used to know a guy from Belarus who told me he was standing in formation for a parade as a kid and got rained on in Pripyat before it was evacuated. He said afterwards he was treated in BRD or DDR for leukemia (And his family didn't still owe for the dr's). I think when I heard this story I began to realize that cost-based fear of medical treatment was a US thing.

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

(OP)
Fair cop on the magnitude stuff

17000 PBq released.

Which was 20% of the fuel load plus transient isotopes.

It was in an iodine pit at the time so was extremely dirty.

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

Ah the good old days. 19 May 1953. At Operation Upshot-Knothole on the Nevada Test Site. The 32kTon (Dirty) Harry test made quite a mess. Reportedly the worst within the USA.

---

I actually bought a cheap (~$35) eBay Gieger Counter just for fun. It uses a J305 GM tube, and it randomly clicks about 25 times a minute. Reassuringly low background.

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

Quote (Alistair Heaton)

Mind you we also get phosphorus balls washing up on the west coast of Scotland from the WW2 munitions that were dumped afterwards.

I picked one of those up on the bottom of Burra Sound about twenty five years ago - wondered what this weird soapy stuff that was getting all over my gloves was - then twigged, spent five minutes brushing as much as I could off, took the gloves off before getting back in the boat and chucked them in a corner for half an hour to see what (nothing) was going to happen.

A.

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

As of last week, Congress is requiring a risk analysis to be submitted by next June. There had been a requirement to submit a plan to relocate the waste, but that language was dropped from the bill.

Quote (LA Times)

As part of the new National Defense Authorization Act, signed last week by President Trump, the energy agency must submit a report by mid-June on the risks that Runit Dome poses to the people, environment and wildlife of Enewetak lagoon — the site of 44 nuclear bomb detonations during the Cold War.

It must also include an assessment of how climate change could affect the site, although the term “climate change” was dropped as the bill moved through the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is chaired by Oklahoma’s James M. Inhofe, one of Congress’ most outspoken climate change skeptics.

According to the law, the energy agency must submit a report that includes an “assessment of how rising sea levels might affect the dome.”

LA Times article Link

RE: Nuclear dump in Marshall Islands breaking up.

My dad is listed as an "Atomic Veteran" by the Government for his time on Eniwetok with the Coast Guard during operation "Red Wing"
I'm not sure how many tests he witnessed but the only cancer he ever had was skin cancer due to exposure to the sun.

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