[ RadSafe ] Radioactive contamination of the ocean
C.Busby at ulster.ac.uk
Wed Mar 30 06:47:53 CDT 2011
But it does not work like that. That is what Dunster said in 1957 about Sellafield. But it was wrong. The radionuclides bind to the intertidal sediment and become resuspended and come ashore in the air due to sea-to-land transfer, a phenomenon that is well described and measured. This results in excess cancer risk in coastal communities. For example, the leukemia rates in children are highest in the coastal communities near the Millstone reactor; plesty of other examoples especially Sellafield.
From: radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu on behalf of Jerry Cohen
Sent: Mon 28/03/2011 23:01
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Radioactive contamination of the ocean
In todays news, we see alarming stories of radioactive contamination found in
ocean waters near Japan. In a previous post, I cited the tendency of people to
equate detectability with hazard, and our capability to readily detect
radioactivity in miniscule concentrations.
The capacity of the ocean to dilute any contaminant is almost infinite. It can
readily be calculated that any amount of radioactivity released to the ocean
will be diluted to innocuous levels in a relatively short time. All of the
nuclear waste conceivably produced by the most ambitious nuclear power
production in the world would pose no significant health hazard if dispersed in
the world's oceans compared to the natural radioactivity (U, Ra, K-40, etc)
that nature has already placed in the ocean. Actually, as I have previously
discussed on radsafe, oceanic disposal is our best bet for disposal of
all radioactive waste.
Unfortunately, politics and hysteria will always trump science.
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