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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tokyo: Don't let infants drink tap water

The depth of the tragedy is truly staggering. And it's no closer to being over than it was yesterday, or the day before that.

UPDATE, 6:38 a.m.: They're reporting that radiation reached half a sievert per hour -- 500 millisieverts per hour -- at one spot inside the Fukushima plant gates. Even a couple of hours of exposure at that intensity can cause radiation sickness. As we understand it, the legal limit for nuclear power plant worker exposure is 50 millisieverts a year. And so at Fukushima, the worker would get a year's worth of the legal limit in six minutes.

Comments (13)

I love journalists. The story says that there are X Bequerels detected per liter, "about a quart.". No explanation of what a Bq is, except a clarification later that it was named after Henri. But thank god for letting us know that a liter is about a quart.

Ladies and Germs, I give you the paper of record! How about a big hand for the disappearing newspaper.

The lights are on but nobody's home!

I am afraid we are finding out the color of the smoke when a melted radioactive fuel assembly melts thru concrete. And what do the TEPCO executives have to say about poisoning the water supply of Toyko? I think this situation goes from very bad to worse in days to come.

Tokyo: Don't let infants drink tap water

Reminds me of that old country western song:(Japanese)mammas, don’t let your babies grow up to be radioactive.

(Excuse any perceived flippancy-I should know better-my wife, in-laws being Japanese-watashi wa nuclear energy ga kirai desu, honest!).

The latest information indicates 470 microsieverts/hour at the gates, not millisieverts

I believe TEPCO increased the level the emergency workers can receive to 100 millisieverts/hour with a cap at 250 millisieverts/year

Sic transit mundus....

There was an incorrect news report about the 500 milliseiverts/hour at reactor 2.

This is a fun video of the helicopter ride over the plant - slow-mo and stabilized

This Tanaka guy who says the containment vessel on #4 was badly compromised during the manufacturing process, is kind of a downer too.

Fortunately #4 was down for maintenance during the big earthquake - the guy who helped cover-up the defect calls it a time bomb.

The real honest unfiltered information is trickling out as dangerously as the water.

Question> Would any of you drink the water in Tokyo?

I know that asking the city the size of Tokyo to evacuate- especially with the ongoing and staggering tragedy in the North- is out of the question, so they will probably just try to manage it with limited information and higher doses of BS.

"Trickldown," it is you who are mistaken. The 500 millisevert reading was confirmed by the Japanese government, and the 50 millisievert limit is set by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

One Bequerel (Bq) is defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second.

Perspective: in the human body, natural Potassium (K40) decays 4,000 times per second, causing 4kBq of activity. The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima caused an estimated 8 * 10^24 Bq of activity.

470 µSv/hour is a pretty bad dose if you stay in it for a prolonged amount of time (multiple days constant exposure), but that's why they wear dosimeters - so they know when to get the hell out.


Japan’s Flawed Nuclear Power Regulation: It’s Our Story Too
By: Scarecrow Tuesday March 22, 2011 9:27 am

So what was the problem? They had a government responsible for oversight but also advocating the technology and assuring the public it’s safe. They had a revolving door between the industry and government, with lucrative careers for those moving from oversight to industry. They suffered from insufficient oversight staff and funding and regulatory capture.
Which of these elements is missing from the US scheme? None. In fact, it’s just as bad or worse here.

We’ve had successive Democratic and Republican Administrations being major advocates of nuclear power and its safety. Our President routinely assures us how safe the technology is even as we watch plants explode and melt down. You can bet neither this nor previous Presidents appointed NRC Commissioners with strongly negative views of nuclear plant safety, because strong industry skeptics can’t get confirmed. See Krugman today for other examples.

Think many of us know better than to be reassured that "all is miniscule or OK."
(above, excerpts only)

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