Can you safely evaporate radioactive water?
October 27, 2012 5:54 PM Subscribe
When radioactive water is evaporated, where does the radioactivity end up?
posted by woodblock100 to science & nature (12 answers total)
One of the ongoing issues in the extended cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear problem is the question of how to dispose of the huge amount of radioactive water that is stored on the site. They are now sitting on more than 200,000 tons of water that has been run through the damaged reactors for cooling, and are running out of space to store it while waiting for their water treatment capability to come online.
Why can't they simply leave the storage tanks open to the sky and let the water evaporate bit by bit? Surely the molecular components (hydrogen and oxygen) that are released into the air by evaporation are not radioactive in themselves? The water left behind would presumably become gradually more and more 'concentrated', but wouldn't that solve their storage problem?