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2011-03-12 -Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Nuclear Plants near Fukushima Release Radiation
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Posted by Steve White 2011-03-12 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6481 views ]  Top

#1 Who should not be interested?
Posted by newc 2011-03-12 02:10||   2011-03-12 02:10|| Front Page Top

#2 Will the St. Andreas be next is the greater question?
Posted by Besoeker 2011-03-12 04:36||   2011-03-12 04:36|| Front Page Top

#3 Japan's Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant explodes
Posted by tipper 2011-03-12 04:38||   2011-03-12 04:38|| Front Page Top

#4 Drought in Russia, and then in China. Earthquakes. Tsunami. You suppose Somebody would like to remind humankind not to be so full of themselves?
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2011-03-12 04:49||   2011-03-12 04:49|| Front Page Top

#5 Well g(r)om, our experiment with fission may yet turn out to be our undoing.
Posted by Besoeker 2011-03-12 04:57||   2011-03-12 04:57|| Front Page Top

#6 BBC reporting roof has now caved in at Fukushima Daichi 1

possible meltdown in progress
Posted by anon1 2011-03-12 06:06||   2011-03-12 06:06|| Front Page Top

#7 wind blowing weakly to the north east out to sea, according to reports

despite what worried government officials say there is no, repeat NO safe dose of radiation. All radiation potentially causes cancer, including that from X-rays and the sun. Higher doses just increase the risk.
Posted by anon1 2011-03-12 06:07||   2011-03-12 06:07|| Front Page Top

#8 Anon1, be your age.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2011-03-12 06:14||   2011-03-12 06:14|| Front Page Top

#9 Anon1, I hope you don't live in a brick house or eat bananas. At least by avoiding X-rays, you'll not have to worry as long, though the dental pain may get a bit much to bear.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2011-03-12 07:11||   2011-03-12 07:11|| Front Page Top

#10 G(r)om, if you are referring to my statement of fact that there is no safe dose of radiation, including that from medical x-rays, then see this new scientist article that makes it quite clear.

Living in Australia, I am well versed in how the sun's radiation causes skin cancer.

The only safe dose of radiation is no dose at all. HOwever, in the real world this is impossible. It is still a consideration for those people in Japan who have been evacuated from around that and other nuclear power plants. They were told by their government that the slight release of radiation was 'not harmful for human health'. That was a lie, all radiation is harmful for human health. Of course the Government must say these things to avert panic. The same happened at Chernobyl: nothing to worry about, they said. Until there was.

Posted by anon1 2011-03-12 07:14||   2011-03-12 07:14|| Front Page Top

#11 Has anyone mapped out the fallout patterns to include the jet stream?
Posted by 49 Pan 2011-03-12 08:55||   2011-03-12 08:55|| Front Page Top

#12 The World Meteorological Organization has informed the IAEA that prevailing winds are blowing eastwards, away from the Japanese coast.
Posted by Besoeker 2011-03-12 09:08||   2011-03-12 09:08|| Front Page Top

#13 Fallout map
Embedded the link for quick click. AoS.
Posted by 746 2011-03-12 09:20||   2011-03-12 09:20|| Front Page Top

#14 Thanks!
Posted by 49 Pan 2011-03-12 09:26||   2011-03-12 09:26|| Front Page Top

#15 NO safe dose of radiation.

Which is why solar radiation which kills tens of thousands everyone due to sun expose makes solar energy NOT safe. There's a difference between 'there's nothing you can do about it' and safe. Just as we witness the power of wind create a fire storm that consumes the east bay of San Fran area or the source of hydro power water's that destroyed whole communities in massive floods [image a failure of the Three Gorge dam], there is no perfect.
Posted by Procopius2k 2011-03-12 09:30||   2011-03-12 09:30|| Front Page Top

#16 Unthinkable now, but said to be one of the beauty aid procedures of it's time. Wymin and non-wymin reclined on them in the 20th and 21st centuries.

What is a tanning bed?
Posted by Besoeker 2011-03-12 09:44||   2011-03-12 09:44|| Front Page Top

#17 Video of the explosion at this link
Posted by Water Modem 2011-03-12 09:51||   2011-03-12 09:51|| Front Page Top

#18 Oh please. Small amounts of radiation are not dangerous or we would all be dead. We know airline pilots and crew spend a large fraction of their lives aloft and get increased radiation, but live to old age and retire. Same for people who live in Tibet or Colorado.

Even massive amounts of radiation, while bad are not well understood. There was a story linked by Instapundit yesterday about a Russian guy who stuck his head into a working synchrotron and was blasted by a thousand times more radiation than is recognized to be lethal, and is still alive in retirement. Even the Chernobyl exclusion area is a virtual nature park at this point packed full of living creatures some of which are humans.

A prudent person would be wise to avoid unnecessary radiation, just as a prudent person would avoid unnecessary sunburn. They can both be dangerous over the longer term.

If the thing melts down, then it would be prudent for people in the near areas to evacuate and in the affected area to reduce their exposure, through Iodine pills, staying indoors or avoiding fresh produce, for a while depending on where they are and what types of radiation is present.

That affected area could be not just in Japan, but also the west coast of the US and Canada. It could cover as much as a 100 million people, so do not start out the conversation with assertions that are false on their face.
Posted by rammer 2011-03-12 10:39||   2011-03-12 10:39|| Front Page Top

#19 Thank you for the useful and usable perspective, dear rammer. That helps a great deal.
Posted by trailing wife 2011-03-12 11:01||   2011-03-12 11:01|| Front Page Top

#20 Just to pile on about the potential impacts due to large amounts of radiation. In the 80,000 identified survivors of the nuclear bombing of Japan the Japanese estimate is that there were 500 excess cancer deaths. (

So, even for people who were deliberately nuked and took absolutely no action to reduce their radiation exposure, there was less than a 1% increased chance of cancer death due to radiation.

It is not that radiation is harmless, only that it is not worthy of your fear.

Posted by rammer 2011-03-12 11:10||   2011-03-12 11:10|| Front Page Top

#21 12:36Officials have announced they plan to fill the leaking reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant with sea water to cool it down and reduce pressure in the unit.

"The nuclear reactor is surrounded by a steel reactor container, which is then surrounded by a concrete building," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. "The concrete building collapsed. We found out that the reactor container inside didn't explode."

The Japanese government had earlier warned of a meltdown at the reactor at the plant, damaged when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the northeast coast, but said the risk of radiation contamination was small.

Mr Edano said: "We've confirmed that the reactor container was not damaged. The explosion didn't occur inside the reactor container. As such there was no large amount of radiation leakage outside.

"At this point, there has been no major change to the level of radiation leakage outside (from before and after the explosion), so we'd like everyone to respond calmly.

"We've decided to fill the reactor container with sea water. Trade minister Kaieda has instructed us to do so. By doing this, we will use boric acid to prevent criticality."

Mr Edano said it would take about five to 10 hours to fill the reactor core with sea water and around 10 days to complete the process.
Posted by tu3031 2011-03-12 11:59||   2011-03-12 11:59|| Front Page Top

#22 Anon1, we have evolved with a certain level of radiation. And believe me (and I used to be a biochemist), we have one hell of DNA repair mechanisms.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2011-03-12 13:20||   2011-03-12 13:20|| Front Page Top

#23 Nuclear power in the west looks relatively unsafe because we don't make the alarmist sonsofbitches write the environmental impact statement for Iran dropping a cobalt bomb on New York City.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2011-03-12 14:11||   2011-03-12 14:11|| Front Page Top

#24 Anon1 - hysterical much?
Posted by Frank G 2011-03-12 15:43||   2011-03-12 15:43|| Front Page Top

#25 That "Nuclear Fallout Map" is a fake

Come on, people, think critically. 750 rads?
Posted by gromky 2011-03-12 16:34||   2011-03-12 16:34|| Front Page Top

#26 Gromky, I can't find any definition of rads which is listed as a measure of radiation. Can you explain?

In the old days we used to talk of rems (roentgen equivalent man). Now they use sieverts as a unit of measurement of radiation exposure.
Posted by Rambler in Virginia 2011-03-12 17:18||   2011-03-12 17:18|| Front Page Top

#27 gromky, never mind - I found the article in Wikipedia under rad(unit).

I still can't find how many rads correspond to how many sieverts.

Posted by Rambler in Virginia 2011-03-12 17:23||   2011-03-12 17:23|| Front Page Top

#28 For what it's worth. There is a cancer treatment called TomoTherapy. It delivers approximately 84-86 Grays of radiation fractionated over 39 days (~2 Gys/day). This translates into a total of around 8400 rads. It is a very localized dose that is delivered. It works well for kicking some kinds of cancer. There are risks but these are balanced against against treatment value.
Posted by JohnQC 2011-03-12 19:39||   2011-03-12 19:39|| Front Page Top

#29 I've been wandering around on comment boards where the engineers hang out, and the consensus seems to be that this is still a technical problem, not a disaster. They are practically unanimous in saying that the news media is hyping the situation for profit.
Posted by Free Radical 2011-03-12 20:31||   2011-03-12 20:31|| Front Page Top

#30 a technical problem, not a disaster.

Having just written that, let me hasten to add that I am referring only to the situation at Fukushima. The earthquake/tsunami combo is a disaster.
Posted by Free Radical 2011-03-12 20:34||   2011-03-12 20:34|| Front Page Top

#31 Anon1 - hysterical much?

Not to worry - Julian will wave his hands and it all will go away.
Posted by Pappy 2011-03-12 21:13||   2011-03-12 21:13|| Front Page Top

#32 there is no, repeat NO safe dose of radiation

This is why it is so very important that the SHINY side be facing out when constructing a tinfoil hat. Otherwise, the little atoms of radiation just rattle around inside your head like BBs in an empty paint can.
Posted by SteveS 2011-03-12 21:53||   2011-03-12 21:53|| Front Page Top

#33 "news media is hyping the situation for profit"

That's the "news" media's standard, Free Radical - about everything. >:-(
Posted by Barbara Skolaut 2011-03-12 21:58||   2011-03-12 21:58|| Front Page Top

#34 Rammer: Yes small amounts of radiation are harmful. THat is why thousands of people die of cancer each year.

Medical X-rays in fact cause thousands of deaths worldwide, just from the minute dose. If a chest X-ray gives a dose of radiation that is only likely to cause cancer in 1/ 100,000 patients, it still sucks to be that one.

And yes it happens, sorry to break the facts to you.

All i can do is give the facts. What you do with them is up to you. If you are financially and emotionally invested in the nuclear industry to the point where you don't like scientific evidence telling you something is harmful there, I can't help you.

And yes, as I said, radiation is unavoidable, we get it every day from background sources including space, bricks and bananas.

That doesn't mean it is safe. It isn't. The only thing people can do is minimise it.

Love the reference to Julian Assange, please bring that up in every unrelated topic because we all know ad hominem attacks that are irrelevant are the fastest way to increase knowledge and spread wisdom.
Posted by anon1 2011-03-12 23:09||   2011-03-12 23:09|| Front Page Top

#35 Incidentally I wish to ad that just because medical X-rays do cause cancer in very small numbers of people, doesn't mean they are not of huge benefit.

Of course the benefit outweighs the risk.

It is far better to take the very, very small risk and take the X-ray so doctors can diagnose whatever is wrong with you, than it is to avoid them.

The point though, stands. Radiation is not safe, and I am glad the Japanese around the reactors have been evacuated. It is very very sad that there are a couple of meltdown situations in progress, it is going to have an effect on people who have not even been born yet as increased radiation in the area does not go away, it gets into the food chain and hangs around for years.

Posted by anon1 2011-03-12 23:12||   2011-03-12 23:12|| Front Page Top

23:44 RandomJD
23:37 RandomJD
23:36 Besoeker
23:27 RandomJD
23:18 anon1
23:12 anon1
23:09 anon1
23:01 Fi
22:59 Broadhead6
22:56 Herman Phusons1336
22:49 Herman Phusons1336
22:13 Frank G
21:58 Barbara Skolaut
21:53 SteveS
21:52 Pollyandrew
21:45 Dale
21:41 Besoeker
21:34 Besoeker
21:32 tipper
21:24 Charles
21:14 Fi
21:13 Pappy
21:04 Fi
20:35 Dale

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