American Morning

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March 29th, 2011
08:14 AM ET

Complications at Daiichi nuclear plant intensify

As concerns over leaking radioactive materials from the Fukushima Daiichi plant persist, workers continued Tuesday to try to cool the plant's reactors with water. But, the situation has become more complex as workers must find somewhere to dispose of the contaminated water used to cool the reactors. Additionally, highly toxic plutonium has been found in the soil surrounding the plant, causing concern.

Joe Cirincione is the President of the Ploughshares Fund, a public grant-making foundation focused on nuclear weapons policy. Cirincione talks to American Morning about the situation in Japan.

Filed under: Energy • Environment • Japan • World
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Monica

    "to tell you the truth, the ocean is a great diluter. It would be a disaster for the immediate marine environment and possibly 10's-100's km out, but the ocean is so large it would dilute the radioactivity so it wouldn't be harmful for example, for the United States which is many thousands of miles away."

    REALLY! Come on. If that is the attitude well then the heck with it, why not dump it into the ocean. As long as the USA wont be affected. No one cares. It is why there is still oil in the gulf of Mexico. Attitudes like this.

    March 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  2. Mark J Hill

    Ooops! The actual measure of the Iodine isotope's half-life might have been 8 months, rather than 8 years (I can't find video of Rob's explanation). But the other radioactive elements are measured in years. And the calculation of radioactive decay in term of half-life is the same, whether measured in months or years.

    March 29, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  3. Mark J Hill

    Rob Marciano didn't have his facts straight this morning when he reported on the half-life of radioactive elements. Radioactive Iodine doesn't go away after 8 years. What happens is that it loses half of its radioactivity in 8 years. That's called "radioactive decay." Radioactive Iodine with a half-life of 8 years will still retain 1/4 of its original radioactivity after 16 years. After 24 years, 1/8 of its original radioactivity.

    All of the CNN reports on this subject are failing to mention that Plutonium is the most toxic substance on earth. And it doesn't occur naturally in the environment. It is the by-product of the nuclear fission of Uranium.

    March 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  4. Scott

    Oil can wreck the coastline and the gulf for years, this accident, which the exposed Wikileaks show Japan was warned about is possibly wrecking Japan's environment for centuries, and yet our elected officials are still so in the pocket of the lobbyists that they no doubt will continue to find excuse after excuse to continue giving huge tax subsidies to companies like EXXON while at the same time saying we have no money to push forward with wind, solar, geothermal and other renewables that would make the U.S. energy independent. It's a shame that their campaign funding seems more important to them than America's future.

    March 29, 2011 at 8:29 am |