back to article Hacktivists attack Japanese government over Fukushima wastewater release

Entities using the name and iconography of Anonymous (EUTNAIOA) claim to have conducted cyber protests against the Japanese government for actions related to the release of wastewater from the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant. In an operation dubbed "Tango Down," The Anonymous Italia Collective claims to have attacked 21 …

  1. ChoHag Silver badge

    > Doing so exposes the water to 64 radioactive elements whose half-life range from negligible to 5,000 years, as is the case with carbon-14.

    I feel like negligible is the wrong word here. It's the elements with the negligible half-lives that are the dangerous ones which will kill you.

    1. blackcat Silver badge

      It is interesting how we're getting worked up about releasing tritium and carbon14 at really very low levels yet in the late 40's for 15c and a box top from Kix cereal you could get the Lone Ranger atomic bomb ring that had a chunk of polonium210 in it. How many kids broke them open to see what was inside?

      1. Blazde Silver badge

        Lone Ranger atomic bomb ring that had a chunk of polonium210 in it. How many kids broke them open to see what was inside?

        Probably less than the number of kids who endured horrible radiation sickness deaths in Japan in 1945.

        Neither of these things are relevant to today's radiation release decisions except in so far as they become justification for further pollution because it's been done before. In turn that's probably the only sensible reason they shouldn't be putting Fukushima wastewater into the Pacific - someone in future will put their slightly-more radioactive water into some other ocean and claim it's okay because "What about the Fukushima wastewater? And the Lone Ranger atomic bomb rings?" and so on.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Plenty of nuke plants worldwide are ALREADY putting far more contaminated water into the worlds oceans. Yet nobody cries about it because A: Nobody knows and B: Nobody cares because it's not actually dangerous.

          1. blackcat Silver badge

            The Canadian CANDU reactors release quite a lot of tritium, as it is produced from the heavy water moderator, and most is vented to the environment.

          2. Blazde Silver badge

            I think you're just proving my point. The previous millisievert shouldn't be used to justify the next, otherwise before we know it all the nuclear waste in the world will be diluted to WHO suitable drinking water recommended levels and dumped in the oceans. Instead it's about what the alternatives are. In Fukushima's case they could continue accumulating it in tanks because there's plenty of space to do so (in contrast to many other plants), but not indefinitely, so someone with higher pay grade than me has to figure out if there's likely to be near-term technological advances in watewater processing to remove the tritium. Also consider that even accumulating it for another 12 years could halve the total eventual release of tritium into the ocean, but there are risks with that too eg. another tsunami could come and damage the tanks.

            I seem to remember plenty of people crying about the far more contaminated Sellafield water until it was made far less contaminated (did Bono himself wear those dark glasses to hide an occasional tear?). And if people in Japan hadn't been crying the last 12 years much more of the water would likely have been released untreated. Like it or not the crying achieves something.

            1. DS999 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              I suppose you're one of those nuts

              Who says the only acceptable level of radiation is zero.

              And won't let the wife get granite countertops installed because you're terrified the radiation the granite gives off will give you prostate cancer!

              1. Blazde Silver badge

                Re: I suppose you're one of those nuts

                Who says the only acceptable level of radiation is zero

                That's not even possible within the laws of our universe. Did you mean to reply to my comment or another one?

                (I love granite by the way. Have a large hotplate thingy on the counter-top which is otherwise cheapo laminate)

              2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: I suppose you're one of those nuts

                will give you prostate cancer

                F-I-L (stone mason, around granite most of his life) died of stomach cancer..

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      To be fair, either of those can kill you. Most isotopes of uranium take a rather long time to decay, but they can also kill you with radiation (and poisoning, but you can probably more easily refrain from eating it). However, the ones with really short half-lives, while more dangerous at the start, are also the ones that will quickly turn into something else without having to be stored for a long time. Depending on what that something else is, it may not be radioactive anymore and therefore the radiation risk is eliminated.

  2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    Natural tritium

    What's the betting these Anonymous goons have no idea that tritium exists naturally in water, everywhere, though at lower concentrations than the waste. Or they know and don't care, because they want an excuse to be vandals.

    Diluting tritium in sea water at between 1250 and 3750 litres per litre of waste water will reduce the tritium concentration to natural background levels. That's not a huge dilution. If TEPCO were to spread the discharge over a wide area the concentration increases really would be negligible. But this is TEPCO we're talking about, so they'd probably cheap-out on it and hope the sea dilutes it for them.

    1. Xalran

      Re: Natural tritium

      they probably are not even aware that the largest source of Uranium in the world is the oceans...

      It's just cheaper, for the time being, to dig it out of the ground than filter mllions of cubic meters of water.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Natural tritium

      We're NOT talking about TEPCO alone and afaik the plan is to spread out the release over an area (though depends on your definition of "wide" area whether it qualifes) AND they'll be PRE-diluting the waste water to absolutely negligible levels.

      We also know very well how Carbon-14 and Tritium behave with regards to influence on biological organisms and bio-accumulation of these elements (both pretty much non-existent at the dose rates involved here, even before the waste water is diluted prior to discharge). You can buy bottled water in many places in the world from all natural springs with more tritium in the water than what will be released here.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Natural tritium

        You can buy bottled water in many places in the world from all natural springs with more tritium in the water than what will be released here.

        Funnily enough, one of the places you used to be able to buy bottled water from was Fukushima. It has natural radium springs and used to sell radium water for when there were perceived health benefits. There are some pictures of those bottles somewhere on the Interwebz, but can't find them any more thanks to the 'improvements' made to search engines. Those springs are still there, and I think still more radioactive than the water they're proposing to release. Plus they'll be draining into the Pacific anyway.

        It's one of nature's marvels, but probably won't get you a licence to sell Cornish Spring natural mineral water.

  3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Homeopathy, again

    However safe the water seems to be, the EUTNAIOA quotes nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide and points out that "diluting simply means spreading pollution over a large area" – putting sea life, and those who consume it, in danger.

    OhNoes!. Usual problems apply. Big scarey numbers in 'millions of gallons' of contaminated water. Proposal involves pouring those gallons into the 710,000,000 km3 Pacific Ocean. 1km3=26,417,2052,358.15 US gallons. People on the US West coast, make sure you're well stocked up on iodine tablets, or other patent remedies sold by anti-nuclear shills.

    Meanwhile, the 165m km3 Pacific is busily being bombarded with cosmic and solar rays, not to mention RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES in the sea bed, or belching out of volcanic fissures. Not that consuming carbon-14 puts anyone in any real danger anyway given the abundance of it already in the environment. What they're not telling you is the potential tipping point. Carbon-14 will decay into nitrogen, and we know from the Netherlands that nitrogen is almost as bad as CO2. Beta decay means emitting an electron and an electron antineutrino, so can potentially lead to a large increase in antimatter, and the Pacific Ocean exploding. The results would be devasting given the mass of the ocean and antimatter having a yield of around 40kt/g

    (insert missing /sarc tags to taste)

    1. blackcat Silver badge

      Re: Homeopathy, again

      How else are they going to create Godzilla?

      I think the use of the word 'waste' to describe this stuff gives people the impression it is like the glowing goo from the simpsons.

  4. codejunky Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Hmm

    I wonder if these 'activists' are leftovers who wanted the plant to go boom because nuclear is scary. So much hysteria was pumped up at the time and even the German gov bought into the insanity at the time. But now nuclear looks like a golden child for 'saving the earth', maybe these guys never got the updated memo?

    1. blackcat Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      One of the reasons for the delay of the new US nuclear power station was that an environmental group sued them for not doing a study to evaluate the impact of tsunami on the power plant. Its 50 miles inland and in an area not known for tsunamis.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        One of the reasons for the delay of the new US nuclear power station was that an environmental group sued them for not doing a study to evaluate the impact of tsunami on the power plant. Its 50 miles inland and in an area not known for tsunamis.

        The new one in Georgia? For some reason, that's not been very well publicised, even though it's 3GW(?) and enough to power far more homes than massive wind or solar farms ever could. And it'll let peope charge their EVs using low carbon energy!

        But one of the saddest elements around the Fukishima disaster is it's become considered a 'nuclear disaster', rather than the vast majority of damage and loss of life coming from the tsunami and quake literally knocking a large island sideways. Personally I think it's a testament to nuclear's safety given the lack of damage to the plants. Plus the simple safety improvements to raise the generators, which would prevent any future repeats. Somehow, I doubt offshore wind would have survived, and suspect massive onshore windmills would struggle to deal with large quakes.

        1. blackcat Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          Fukushima is/was a massive balls up. I'd say it is a disaster due to the amount of work to clean up after but yes the lack of loss of life is a testament to just how far things have come.

          The GE Mk1 has been known to be at risk from this very sort of thing for a LONG time. The reactor vessel is pretty much only supported by the connecting pipework and putting the generators in a basement was just dumb. If your cooling water pipes are all broken then the flooded generators are a moot point... The other Fukushima plant is a good example of how evolutionary design works as they all shut down as expected and didn't suffer from broken coolant pipes.

          After three mile island a good number of water cooled reactors installed passive hydrogen recombiners in the containment although it appears this was never mandated. This may have prevented the explosions making it a lot less 'disaster looking' to the general public.

          It didn't have an uncontrolled fire like Windscale or Chernobyl.

          1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: Fukushima is/was a massive balls up.

            The likely lifetime exposure to people living in Fukishima prefecture is about the same as receiving a single full spine CT scan. Any increases in cancer rates and other radiation-induced diseases are unlikely to be detectable above background rates. I.e. it was a massive fuss about basically nothing.

            The massive balls up was the complete panic overreaction and forced removal of 150,000 people from land that was perfectly safe and will continue to be.

            1. blackcat Silver badge

              Re: Fukushima is/was a massive balls up.

              Getting them away from a source of radioactive iodine was a good idea. That danger is long gone and there wasn't the uncontrolled release of metallic radioactive material as there was at Chernobyl.

              There are parts of the world that are naturally very radioactive from minerals in the ground. There is a town in Iran where the dose from background radiation is about 10x the limit for nuclear workers. And there are parts of the US (southern Utah for one) which were in the path of the fallout from the Nevada test site that are still a bit iffy.

              I wonder how many people have fallen ill from the US testing in Nevada? It is well documented that people living in the Marshal islands and the other Pacific islands near the various test sites have been badly affected.

    2. ChoHag Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      > So much hysteria was pumped up at the time

      I remember watching one news report at the time quite blatantly stoking the fear about Fukushima atop pictures of an oil refinery on fire.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @ChoHag

        The 'impartial' BBC reported with a picture of a mushroom cloud. I am amazed at the recent shift in opinion over nuclear which is a 180 turn from a few short years ago.

        1. ChoHag Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Hmm

          > I am amazed at the recent shift in opinion over nuclear which is a 180 turn from a few short years ago.

          Maybe this time we'll quickly build a bunch of nuclear power stations, get practically-free energy, and see a subsequent huge drop in our energy bills?

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Hmm

            see a subsequent huge drop in our energy bills?

            Won't someone think of the shareholders? And those poor people in the C-suite - they *need* their bonuses!

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              @CrazyOldCatMan

              "Won't someone think of the shareholders? And those poor people in the C-suite - they *need* their bonuses!"

              Build some energy generation, let the price of energy fall and the shareholders and bonuses all around would still be cheaper than what we have now.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      I wonder if these 'activists' are leftovers who wanted the plant to go boom

      Which "activists" wanted which plant to go boom? In Japan? Where they already experienced 2 nuclear explosions?

      Are you getting confused with the plot of 'Holocaust 2000'? Hmm?

  5. John Robson Silver badge

    "Waste" water

    No - it's just water that was used for cooling.

    It happens to have measurable, but very small, amounts of substances which are also naturally found in the ocean.

  6. imanidiot Silver badge

    Not worth his title

    "nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide and points out that "diluting simply means spreading pollution over a large area" – putting sea life, and those who consume it, in danger"

    I propose we retroactively strip mister Hiroaki Koide of his engineering degree because quite frankly, if this is what he's spouting he's obviously not understood a lot of the very important things he's had to learn to get that degree. He sounds like a moron.

    It's also good to put things in perspective. China has several dozen nuke plants, many of which discharge Tritium containing cooling water into the ocean at concentrations much higher than what will be released at Fukushima Daiichi. There's plenty of other plants in the world doing the same.

    Carbon-14 is also relatively common in the world we live on already (it's in fact the "carbon" isotope measured in "carbon-dating").

  7. G R Goslin

    half of bugger-all

    The becquerel was once described as the buggerall, since it is truly insignificant. As to tritium, I have a couple of beta lights knocking around somewhere. Again half of buggerall. Carbon 14, is a natural. It's only effect, now is that it has already buggered up carbon 14 dating, by adding another unnatural factor to the natural incorporation of carbon14 in once living objects. It's rather like battleship steel. Since the first atom bomb tests, all new steel is slightly radioactive. Steel not having this can only be recovered by mining seafloor shipwrecks, if even this minute remnant is of some significance.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: half of bugger-all

      Steel not having this can only be recovered by mining seafloor shipwrecks

      Many of which are designated as either protected wrecks or War graves. And mined illegally by scum.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is no harm, and only benefit in monitoring, right?

    I doubt there is any chance of concentrations developing except in the area close to the outlet. If for none other than scientific reasons the environment at sea bottom around the outlet should be monitored, sampling the plant life and bottom dwelling flounder, etc, because that's where concentrations would develop in the food chain, were they to develop at all.

  9. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge
    Holmes

    Carbon 14

    Will this mess with future C-14 datings?

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Carbon 14

      Maybe. Maybe not. Carbon dating isn't likely to be used for anything younger than 1945. Anything older than that stopped respirating and incorporating atmospheric carbon within itself. There are also calibration curves used to correct for historically varying levels of atmospheric C-14. It would be a simple matter to sample recently harvested biological material. measure it and correct the zero level for recent dates.

  10. the Jim bloke
    Megaphone

    Their pet engineer needs to learn why diluting things works

    if a supposed professional wont understand how taking something that is already effectively harmless, and dispersing it into even lower concentrations, is a better option than stockpiling and concentrating the problem, he needs to trade in his engineer ticket for a homeopathy doctorate..

    Its all media grandstanding and publicity stunts, the same sort of thing PETA and its celebutards are famous for - although not their chosen field of activity, if you did some kind of "think of the dolphins..." campaign (in Japan, maybe not?), someone would probably talk one of their C list actresses into swimming naked through a holding pond.

    Just remember, its not the message that's important - its the publicity..

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Their pet engineer needs to learn why diluting things works

      I looked into this guy and apparently he initially started studying nuclear engineering because he thought it was great, then somehow took "they won't build large nuclear plants right next to major cities" to mean "nuclear plants are actually dangerous but they don't want to admit this" and then made it his lifes work to oppose nuclear power. That's his only take on nuclear power. "It's bad, mmmkay. Don't do nuclear power, mmkay".

  11. phils

    Do they want Godzillas?

    Because that's how you get homeopathic Godzillas.

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