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Japan Technology

How To Monitor Leaky Radioactive Water Tanks 111

Posted by timothy
from the for-fun-and-profit dept.
freaklabs writes "The radioactive water leaks are getting worse at Fukushima Dai-Ichi. In a recent New York Times article, it was mentioned that TEPCO didn't have a reliable way to monitor the water storage tanks for leaks. I decided to write a tutorial on how to wirelessly monitor water levels in storage tanks."
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How To Monitor Leaky Radioactive Water Tanks

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  • Hardening (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pjt33 (739471) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @01:28PM (#44664739)

    So now we'll never know whether they remembered to take into account radiation hardening.

  • radioactive water (Score:3, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @01:29PM (#44664741) Homepage Journal

    So this is fine when it concerns non-radioactive water, but this solution wasn't tested in an environment where the radioactive levels are higher than usual, there was no test case in the story for that. Will the electronics live long enough? Also what about humidity, how long before this stops working because of higher humidity levels?

  • Solar Perhaps (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @01:29PM (#44664745)

    The only thing it's missing is a small solar panel to keep the battery charged. That way, no one has to climb those tanks of deadly radioactive water unless hardware has actually failed. Some of those Arduino boards already have battery chargers on them, but if not, a small regulated LiPo or NiCad battery charger is what you need. Then you just need a solar panel that is small and has the right output voltage. Sunelec.com seems to sell a 10 watt, 12 volt panel for $15. No big deal, and that's more than enough juice. Size the panel right, and you can do the monitoring continuously for a measurement every minute or so. (not that this really matters, but why not overdeliver?)

  • slashvertisement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @01:30PM (#44664757) Homepage Journal

    Because your website needs more hits and the experts in Japan certainly never thought of some of the most obvious ideas, yes?

    You may not be familiar with japanese culture. I am, at least a bit.

    In the US, this admition would translate to "we can't be arsed to give it some attention".
    In Japan, this is a major loss of face and could well mean the end of someone's career.

    This face thing is a major problem in many cases in Japan, because people won't admit to mistakes until they can't hide them anymore. Yes, even more so than in the West.

    It would be fantastic if someone from the japanese geeks involved in the whole thing would read /. and rip your blog-wiseassing to shreds. Unfortunately, that's unlikely and so your ego can feed on a false sense of superiority.

  • Re:radioactive water (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @01:36PM (#44664789)
    Heck, I'm wondering whether you can do anything wirelessly in a radioactive environment -- ionising radiation most bugger up the charge in an antenna something chronic....
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @02:00PM (#44664937) Homepage Journal

    I managed to read TFA and the submitter only mentioned the words "radioactive" once or twice and never considered the challenging environment that his device would have to be used in.

    Personally I don't believe he considered that side of the problem. Would the design work at all? I think it would for some time, but it probably would fail after a short time period without hardening against radiation and humidity.

  • by JoeyRox (2711699) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @02:06PM (#44664971)
    The reality is TEPCO doesn't want the radiation monitored. For the same reasons the beef industry doesn't want cows tested for Mad Cow. The absence of testing allows for plausible deniability.
  • Re:slashvertisement (Score:3, Interesting)

    by freaklabs (1359341) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @03:00PM (#44665195)
    Hi. I live in Tokyo, am one of the founders of Tokyo Hackerspace, and would probably be considered one of the Japanese geeks.

Hackers are just a migratory lifeform with a tropism for computers.

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