Nuclear Diner debunks the claim of radioactive kelp There was an article from Common Dreams that referenced report from Cal State Long Beach.
According to the Cal State web page:
* “Although we measured iodine 131 because we were limited in what our instrumentation allows us to do, the big question was, is another major isotope that came over in the cloud, cesium 137, present in the kelp, too? It has a half-life of 30 years, where iodine 131 has a half-life of eight days,” so cesium may still be present.
This is a surprising statement since Cs-137 is a beta emitter the same as I-131 therefore you have to ask – if they could detect the beta decay of I-131 why not Cs-137? Are the levels so low that their detectors are unable to measure such low levels? And if so, is it a concern?
The Common Dreams article – quotes two other articles:
* The largest concentration was about 250 times higher than levels found in kelp before the accident.
* However, the Corona del Mar sample had 250 times the iodine kelp in the area usually has.
The primary iodine isotope of concern is iodine-131 (I-131). I-131 is radioactive and has an 8 day half-life. What that means is that within an 8 day period half of the original amount of I-131 would have decayed into another less harmful element. Within 16 days you would then have a 1/4 of the original amount, 24 days 1/8th, – and so it would continue. What does this mean? Within a period of ten half-lifes or in the case of I-131 80 days the original quantity of material is virtually gone.
So any I-131 from Fukushima would be gone 80 days afterwards.
Talk Nuclear debunks a Greenpeace claim that nuclear power is increasing electricity costs in Onatrio. Greenpeace anti-nuclear campaigner, Shawn-Patrick Stensil, wrote a blog recently blaming nuclear energy for Ontario’s rising electricity rates. He referred to a small section (pp. 69-70) of a very complex and technical report by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) that investigates the sources of something called “Global Adjustment” — which is not the same as “recent increases in your electricity bill.”
“In November 2010, the Ministry [of Energy] forecast that a typical residential electricity bill would rise about 7.9% annually over the next five years, with 56% of the increase due to investments in renewable energy” (page 89).
“In April 2010, the OEB completed an analysis predicting that a typical household’s annual electricity bill will increase by about $570, or 46%, from about $1,250 in 2009 to more than $1,820 by 2014. More than half of this increase would be because of renewable energy contracts” (page 95).
Without nuclear energy, this base load power would need to be supplied by burning carbon-emitting coal or gas.
According to the OECD, Canadians pay the same or less for electricity from nuclear power compared to all other forms of electricity; and the overall cost to the consumer is similar to that of large-scale hydro, natural gas and coal, and much lower than wind and solar. Here’s a link to that report as well.
There’s a reason anti-nuclear activists tend to criticize nuclear energy based on cost rather than on environmental arguments about the technology itself. Critics know there are virtually no greenhouse gas emissions from our nuclear facilities and that nuclear does not contribute to climate change or smog. Carbon-cutting is at the top of all of our agendas and is an area where nuclear makes a valuable contribution to Canada’s status as a clean energy superpower. Nuclear energy saves the potential emission of about 90 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year that would result from the same amount of electricity generated by fossil-based sources. Many people may not realize that nuclear’s clean, base load power is enabling the province of Ontario to be coal-free by 2014 and provides the stable base needed to bring renewables onto the grid.