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Topic: Three Mile Island Radioactive Water  (Read 9273 times)

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Three Mile Island Radioactive Water
« on: March 03, 2006, 07:36:56 PM »

I just had a question about something I saw about the Three Mile Island incident in Pennsylvania during 1979. A foreman went into reactor building number 2 on the 3rd day and extracted some of the coolant that circulates in the reactor. He held up the beaker to the light only to see it had turned yellow and it was vibrating. I was wondering why it would be doing either. I have a few ideas but nothing solid, no pun intended. I know uranium was used to dye things yellow such as in glass and plastics, but don't think water would have the same reaction. There was only 50% left of the reactor, the rest had been vaporized, so the casts had been exposed to the coolant. The vibration of the beaker also brings up questions, does anyone have a clue.


Offline Bakegaku

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Re:Three Mile Island Radioactive Water
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2006, 10:49:37 PM »
well the yellow could be contamination from a number of different things.  My guess is it's either something the coolant came in contact with as it collapsed, or that it's contamination from a chemical resulting from radioactive decay.  Uranium ore and some compounds are yellow, but I believe elemental Uranium  is a metallic colour.

As for the vibration, I don't have any idea.  Personally I think it must be some sort of mistake or inaccuracy, for I don't see how a substance can macroscopically vibrate on its own without some sort of mechanical instigation.  I'd say that some sort of machine that was still running was vibrating the floor enough to visibly shake the water, but not enough to notice easily...  Or perhaps the foreman had Parkinson's.  ;D
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Offline billnotgatez

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Re:Three Mile Island Radioactive Water
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2006, 07:32:24 PM »
Could particles in the water be so hot (radioactive and temperature) that it was boiling.

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