Today the BBC and other news outlets continue to inform us that

Workers at Japan’s quake-hit nuclear plant are trying to prevent radioactive water from seeping into the sea.

It’s not the H2O that’s emitting radiation, it’s radioisotopes, and there’s a big need to know what they are. It will be a dangerous business to analyze the water, but it needs to be done to get an idea of where the radioisotopes are coming from, and where they can go.

Also, it bears mentioning that this water is going other places besides the sea. In all likelihood it’s moving downward through soils into the subsurface. This seepage will result in a lot of contaminated soil and water. And some of it might well be going into the atmosphere if the water is hot when it comes out. Evaporated droplets of this water is likely to contain radioisotopes, unfortunately.


ADVERTISEMENT