Senior Scientist: Fukushima giant ‘ice wall’ to make crisis worse — Radioactive release into ocean from saltwater intrusion — Side effects ‘not good at all’ (AUDIO)

Published: September 22nd, 2013 at 4:46 pm ET
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Title: Interview with Ken Buesseler
Source: Worldview on WBEZ 91.5 Chicago
Date: August 26, 2013

At 6:00 in

Ken Buesseler, Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute: There are some engineering proposals to try and divert the water, or block the water. It’s very hard to dam a river because it’s going to go around the dam or over the dam. They’re having the same problems between the reactors and the ocean, and now they’re talking about even larger engineering structures. One kilometer ice dams, freezing the soil essentially to divert water around the site. That might reduce the total number of tanks you’d need, it doesn’t necessarily stop the leaks at all because they still would be applying water to cool those reactors. […]

We do know from other sites and cesium’s chemistry, as it leaks out, attaches to the soil in most cases, the clays absorb cesium in freshwater system. It’s not that way in the ocean. So if you’ve heard of salt water intrusion, if you’re living on the coast somewhere, you pump up groundwater too fast, the saltwater comes back in. If they have saltwater intrusion because they’ve stopped the flow of the freshwater, could actually release some of the cesium isotopes back into the ocean, and now you’ve changed the character again and made things worse. So there’s pretty complicated hydrology going on here. It’s not easy to divert it, so even if it’s successful […] it might have other side effects that aren’t that good, not good at all in this case.

Full broadcast here

Published: September 22nd, 2013 at 4:46 pm ET
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