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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Fukushima released 13,000,000,000 times more neutrons than initially estimated — “Obvious implication for human health”

  • We estimated a lower limit of 5.2 × 1021 slow neutrons m–2 sec–1 [m–2 sec–1 = per sq. meter per second] were emitted from the nuclear fuel rods to the sea water injected in the reactors
  • Priyadarshi et al. (2011) have estimated a release amount of 4 × 1011 slow neutrons m–2. The large difference with our estimation [13,000,000,000 times higher] comes from the intrinsic limit of the box model study by Priyadarshi et al.
  • Our model directly estimates the amount of material released from the reactor core
  • The estimated… number of neutron represent a lower limit of the amount of radiation emitted from the nuclear reactors… These values can be used as a proxy to the total amount of radiation emitted since the melt down
  • [The authors] express their gratitude to… the Japanese Ministry of Environment…Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, and Technology (MEXT)… [and] the Cabinet Office
Source:  Scientists from Tokyo Institute of Technology, U. of California San Diego & Kyushu U., made available Oct 16, 2014
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/253330134_An_estimation_of_the_radioactive_S-35_emitted_into_the_atmospheric_from_the_Fukushima_Daiichi_Nuclear_Power_Plant_by_using
_a_numerical_simulation_global_transport

 Evidence of neutron leakage at the Fukushima nuclear plantDespite the obvious implication for human health and the surrounding ecology, there are no quantitative estimates of the neutron flux leakage… Heat must be removed by cooling the system to prevent… meltdown, which results in injection of neutrons and other fission products into the atmosphere… [T]ons of seawater were used as a coolant… A consequence is that salts and minerals present in seawater become radioactive by reaction with thermal neutrons… We calculated the total number of neutrons that leaked from the reactor core [and] estimate that a total of 4 × 1011 neutrons per m2 were released before March 20.
Source:  Priyadarshi et al.:
http://www.pnas.org/content/108/35/14422.full

Slow Neutrons: “In water-cooled reactors like the ones at Fukushima, the right combination of slow neutrons and enriched fuel leads to a self-sustaining process… [Water] acts as a so-called moderator, slowing down the neutrons and keeping the reaction going.”


Health effects of neutron radiation:
  • Wikipedia: [Neutron] radiation is considered to be the most severe and dangerous radiation to the whole body when it is exposed to external radiation sources [and] roughly ten times more effective at causing biological damage compared to gamma or beta
  • Dr. Robert Gale, MD (In 2011 Gale was called to Japan to deal with medical consequences of the Fukushima disaster): All  three  types  of  particles… can  harm humans. Neutrons are the most dangerous because they are very energetic, can penetrate deeply, and deposit large amounts of energy into tissues.
  • US Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Neutrons… have an exceptional ability to penetrate other material… neutrons are the only [type of ionizing radiation] that can make objects radioactive… neutrons can travel great distances in air.
  • Dept. of Health & Human Services: Neutrons… are significantly more potent carcinogens [and] induces… chromosomal aberrations, mutations, and DNA damage… more efficiently
Source: Enenews
http://enenews.com/fukushima-released-13000000000-times-neutrons-initially-estimated
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