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Radiation: Nothing to Worry About

I don't believe the powers when they tell me to panic. And I definitely don't believe them when they tell me NOT to panic. I think back to 9/11, when all those people in burning skyscrapers, just hit by airplanes, were told to remain calm and stay at their desks. The ones who decided for themselves that the situation was fubar and ran down the stairs were the ones who survived.

For this Japanese quake and tsunami the media machine has been spewing something constantly. Panic. Don't panic. Nothing to worry about. All under control. Oooops, out of control. Whoopsie.

It's up to us to decide what to do for ourselves.

Japan reportedly to rate nuclear crisis at highest level
By Chico Harlan, Monday, April 11, 9:30 PM

TOKYO — Japanese authorities planned Tuesday to raise their rating of the severity of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis to the highest level on an international scale, equal to that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, according to the Kyodo news agency.

A level 7 accident, according to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, is typified by a “major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
Yeah. I'll not deny that this did get substantially worse than I expected. That said, there is still no legitimate cause for concern in the US. This remains true for quite a variety of reasons, However, the simplest way to express it is that the radiation levels *at the plant boundary* have, since the beginning, maintained levels that are not hazardous to humans on a timescale measured in days. It takes *months* even at that nearby location.

Now, it is true that there have been isotope leaks into the oceans. That is one of the reasons that they were placed there to begin with, so that, in the eventuallity of a major problem, the radioactive isotopes could be dilluted to harmlessness in the ocean, and that remains true. There may be some population kills int he immediate vicinity of the plant, but there is unlikely to be any widespread human or other health concern.

It's also worth noting that that 7 rating covers a *lot* of territory, basically, it's like an insurance company saying a car is "totalled", that can mean anything from this:


to this

http://positivepsyche.biz/personal.php (scroll down).

It's also worth noting that a) they are now offering *tours* of chernobyl. It is estimated to have killed fewer than 50 people in total by the WHO, and a more alarmist organization I have never seen.


Essentially, yes, it's worse than I had originally estimated, but it could be 100 million times as bad as it has proven to be and there would *still* be no particularly valid reason for concern in the US.

This is the best source I have seen for the "straight dope" on the situation at the fukushima plant.


this is a chart that shows relative levels of radiation.

Note that the numbers in that chart are in seiverts, that is a biologicaly levelled radiation does unit. You'll see other units used to measure radiation, Rems being a big one, 100 rem is 1 sv. you may also see "curies", curies are a measure of decays per second, here's an explanation of curies.

For gods sake, take *nothing* seriously on this issue that comes from *any* media outlet, good or bad. In fact, I advise totally and completely ignoring anything that any traditional news source may have to say on the issue. The quality of the reporting on this has been genuinely horrifying.
Apr. 12th, 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
My goodness, lots of interesting looking links here. But it's past my bedtime, so I'll just take your last bit of advice to not take any media seriously, and the first bit about not worrying about it, and head for my pillow. Have a good one!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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