Fukushima one year on

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sparks
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Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

3 meltdowns 1 of which was total, that is to say the entire core liquified.
1, possibly 2 containment breaches.
3 hydrogen explosions.
1 criticality explosion.
7 spent fuel pools in various stages of collapse containing over 11,000 fuel rod assemblies, each assembly contains over 60 fuel rods.


The gift that keeps on giving, our buddy, The Atom. Here's a good linky to an interview/talk by Micio Kaku. Takes an hour, but well worth it. Some of it regarding Fukushima, some not.

http://soundcloud.com/flashpoints/flash ... wsmag-05-6

Goddamnit but I hate it when I'm right. :x
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by DrMatt »

ItllNeverHappenHeretm
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Bruce »

Has the reactor melted it's way down to the core of the earth yet? You know, like the nuclear scientists of the 1940's promised?
sparks
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

No. No 'China Syndrome'..................yet. But it's likely that one or more melt-throughs have occurred. If the melted 'corium' as it's called remains hot enough long enough, it will go through the outer containment (concrete) and into the earth below below (presumably bed rock). If it encounters any ground water along the way, then do have a good one Tokyo!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... plant.html

http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/0 ... -syndrome/

If one of those mothers was going to go China Syndrome on us, I'd have thought it would have gone off by now, so hopefully the corium is too cold to be on the move.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Doctor X »

I think given Tokyo has not been stomped, the risks of nuclear power in Japan have been greatly exaggerated.









What?

--J.D.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

Well, you know it's not the nuclear power itself that's the danger. It's the fact that the nukes melt the ice in which Godzilla is imprisoned, and once he thaws out........................
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Rob Lister »

how many deaths?
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

Rob Lister wrote:how many deaths?
Let you know in 20 years...........................
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by -FX- »

Reading the very very long transcripts, which are heavily redacted (censored with literally, a big black marker), it becomes clear why the US military reacted as they did during the crisis stage.

And why they were scrambling so hard to get the Japanese to accept help.

It's extremely complicated, more so by all the things that are still not released. The things that are known for sure, is that nobody actually knows. It's not that TEPCO and the Japanese authorities are not saying, sometimes they actually just do not know what is happening. Or happened.

But after reading all of the documents, I have to agree 100% with
What is perfectly clear in the various documents from March 11th through March 18th – the time period when reactors 1, 2 and 3 were actively melting and exploding and the unit 4 spent fuel pool fires led to a fourth reactor building blow-out – is that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, along with several other departments and agencies of the U.S. government and the UN’s IAEA, were watching the situation very closely.

Our government was intimately involved in withholding accurate data from the public as well as minimizing what was being publicly reported.
http://enformable.com/2012/03/fukushima ... -disaster/

But that is a huge complicated mess of stuff. In regards to the worst case scenario, as far as I can tell, nobody in the media, or even the alarmists blogs, nobody ever came close to describing the worst case disaster that almost happened. The recent Frontline show http://video.pbs.org/video/2202847024 made it clear just how close it all was, and how a few heroes risked their lives to save not just Japan, but the world.

(No, the Frontline show does not discuss the worst case scenario.) Based on the experts discussing the disaster, as it occurred, the worst case scenario was going to come from the spent fuel pond in building four. Of all things, the reactor that was shut down, not even fueled, suffered the worst structural damage, and threatened to cause a disaster so bad nobody had ever imagined it.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by -FX- »

To cut to the chase (some would say, too late) the really big fear was the #4 fuel pond. (at the time, we now know it was also building three that was in big trouble).

Of course the reason the fuel pond was so much trouble was the explosion of three, which spread deadly radiation (including nuclear fuel) all over the fucking place, but most seriously, between buildings three and four, which is exactly where men needed to be to stop things from getting worse.

This would be the point where the helicopters were trying to dump water, from high altitudes, due to the extreme levels of radioactivity. Which enabled the firefighters to go in. If they hadn't been able to run those lines and start spraying water, things would have gone from bad to worse, to complete disaster.

You hear in the Frontline at 37:00 that the fuel could catch fire, which would be worse than a reactor blowing it's core into the atmosphere. No doubt about that. But what the experts were saying (which AFAIK so far, has never been talked about in the media) was so much worse.

The fuel pond going dry, catching on fire, that is so horrific, it's hard to imagine worse. (hell, even in my worst case scenario I never considered it). What would happen, it turns out, is the spent fuel would slump to the bottom of the pool, and even with out a nuclear reaction happening, the heat would melt the concrete bottom of the pool. Actually cause it to burn. And after the 3,000 or so tons of burning and melting nuclear fuel breached the concrete it would fall into the basement, onto the torus.

Which did have a lot water in it. Be it building three or four (or one or two or five or six) when a shit ton of burning nuclear fuel hits water, things turn to complete shit. It wouldn't matter which reactor that happened in, at that point it's fucking game over.

Because it seems when that complete and utter clusterfuck happens, not only does the fuel go really big boom from the steam explosion, it spreads the fuel all over the fucking plant. (forget about down wind at this point, that doesn't even matter)

Because at that special point in time, nobody can anywhere close to the place.

I was all like, what the fuck? Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me?

You can't hear the inflection, but just reading the transcripts, the tension is so thick at that point, it's like fucking Dr. Strangelove.

I imagine the blacked out portions go something like this:

"The torus?"

"Yeah, the fucking torus is right under that fucking fuel pond."

"So what?"

"So of that fucking shit hits the torus it will melt through it like a hot knife through butter, and when it hits the water in there the whole fucking thing will blow to Kingdom come."

"WHAT???"

"It's a know flaw in the motherfucking Mark I. We have the whole scenario mapped out since 1972. We ran all the simulations."

"Shit. What the fuck do we do about it?"

"Well, that is the one thing that isn't in the simulation."

"Are you fucking kidding me?"

"You just have to keep water on it, Keep the fuel covered."

"We FUCKING KNOW THAT! How do we get close enough to do that?"

"Well, at this point a few people are going to have to die."

"Well for fucks sake don't say anything to anyone about that. The media would have a field day reporting that shit."

"No worries. There's a war going to break out in Africa in the morning, nobody will give a shit about this in about 24 hours."
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

Thanks for that FX. Yep, that's one big fucking bloody mess over there, I reason it threatens the entire planet (meaning us stoopid yumins) and it's not getting better, it's getting worse. Since we can't get close enough to do any meaningful recon, we can't possibly begin to develop a plan for control and containment. One more big quake will bring down building 4 and with it, that spent fuel pool. And, as you've pointed out, if all that shit is uncovered it will catch on fire. Make arrangements to then spend the retirement fund on 8 balls and asian hookers 'cause it's 'On The Beach' revisited.

Nothing sharpens the mind like the knowledge of one's demise. Some call this paranoia. Time will tell. If we are still all here and happy about what has happened regarding control and containment at Fukushima in, say, 10 years, I will gladly cede the point and never darken any fora with my concerns about nuclear power again.

However, if that spent fuel pool goes dry and the spent fuel catches on fire, the radioactive shitstorm contained therein will be aerozolised. There will be no place to run to, no place to hide, as the old song goes. Good news AC: You won't have a cat problem anymore! Bad news: You won't live long enough to enjoy it.

How many dead? Patience Lister, patience. We're just getting on a good roll with this radioactive slag heap. Give it another decade or 100.

Fuck me running uphill backwards at full speed. :cry:
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by -FX- »

sparks wrote: it's getting worse. Since we can't get close enough to do any meaningful recon, we can't possibly begin to develop a plan for control and containment. One more big quake will bring down building 4 and with it, that spent fuel pool. And, as you've pointed out, if all that shit is uncovered it will catch on fire.
Nope. They have been working hard to make sure the fuel pond doesn't collapse. The amount of radiation leaking into the air is still decreasing. Can't say about the groundwater.

Even if the pond starts to go, they will pump water on it, to prevent any air releases. What will happen after that is a fuckin mystery of course. But I am not going to live with a worse case scenario.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

-FX- wrote:
sparks wrote: it's getting worse. Since we can't get close enough to do any meaningful recon, we can't possibly begin to develop a plan for control and containment. One more big quake will bring down building 4 and with it, that spent fuel pool. And, as you've pointed out, if all that shit is uncovered it will catch on fire.
Nope. They have been working hard to make sure the fuel pond doesn't collapse. The amount of radiation leaking into the air is still decreasing. Can't say about the groundwater.

Even if the pond starts to go, they will pump water on it, to prevent any air releases. What will happen after that is a fuckin mystery of course. But I am not going to live with a worse case scenario.

Oh. Pollyana huh? Shit, you're no fun....................... :)
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by hammegk »

Aerosolized huh? What are the worst, lightest, components?

Do we have downwind disaster maps available?
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by En folkefiende »

Sparks, I think you're overstating the problem a bit.

This is not to say it's NOT a problem.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

Well damnit, someone's got to run around yelling all about the sky falling and shit. Might as well be me. :)
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by En folkefiende »

sparks wrote:Well damnit, someone's got to run around yelling all about the sky falling and shit. Might as well be me. :)
If that photo is you, you don't look terribly stressed.

I forget, you still in Oregon?
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

Yep. And that's an old photo taken back when my hair was still brown and my teeth were still white! Just a little boating on Tillamook bay (and just outside too) on an exceptionally fine day for the Oregon coast. You know, the most stressful thing about this kind of shit is not being able to do anything constructive to help mitigate the problem(s). Now that this sumbitch has been set to rolling, there's nothing to do except sit back, pop open a cold one and watch. A person of faith might pray that it doesn't get any worse, but I'm not a person of faith.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Rob Lister »

(Newser) – Barely a month after Japan shut down its last nuclear reactor, the government approved plans today to bring one reactor back online, reports the AP. The Japanese public has been wildly against nuclear power since last spring's disaster at the Fukushima plant, but with summer energy demands threatening electricity shortages, Kansai Electric Power plans on restarting two reactors in the western town of Ohi, to help with power supplies in Osaka.

"I approve the plan because I have been assured of the government's safety efforts and because it will provide stability for our industries," said the regional governor for Ohi. The shutdown of Japan's 50 nuclear power plants has hurt the economy badly, and the government is eager to show that the nation's reactors are safe so they can be restarted.
A wise move. They should start construction on twenty or so more. Pebble-beds or Sodium-cooled. Modular.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

"I approve the plan because I have been assured of the government's safety efforts and because it will provide stability for our industries,........
Yea, Sky Daddy knows we can't let anything interfere with our profitability! And you just gotta love those government safety assurances too. :o
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Rob Lister »

sparks wrote:
"I approve the plan because I have been assured of the government's safety efforts and because it will provide stability for our industries,........
Yea, Sky Daddy knows we can't let anything interfere with our profitability! And you just gotta love those government safety assurances too. :o
Safety assurances or no, lack of 'profitability' could doom [what's left of] the Japanese economy. Give it a few years and all the the nuke plants will be back online. And they'll build more. Coal doesn't make sense for Japan (since they have none of their own).
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

Give it a few years and all the the nuke plants will be back online.
I can think of 4 of 'em that won't.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by En folkefiende »

sparks wrote:
Give it a few years and all the the nuke plants will be back online.
I can think of 4 of 'em that won't.
Probably 6, really.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Rob Lister »

jj wrote:
sparks wrote:
Give it a few years and all the the nuke plants will be back online.
I can think of 4 of 'em that won't.
Probably 6, really.
The vessels themselves are done-for, clearly, but the site will eventually be put back to nuclear use. It may be 20 years though. Meanwhile ...
(Newser) – After almost two months of doing without nuclear energy for the first time in nearly 40 years, Japan is planning to restart its first reactor this weekend, CNN reports. Nuclear power supplied almost a third of the country's electricity before last year's Fukushima disaster, but all 50 of the country's reactors have been offline for safety checks since early May. Despite public safety concerns, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has approved restarting two reactors in western Japan to avoid power shortages.

All but one of Japan's electric companies held shareholder meetings yesterday, and shareholders voted in favor of sticking with nuclear power, reports Reuters. "Nuclear energy is an important source of power that we will utilize," said the chief of Kansai Electric after his company's meeting. "There is absolutely no plan to scrap nuclear power." The cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe are major shareholders in the company, and their mayors urged the nation to shift away from nuclear power.
It really just boils down to there being no other choice.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by DrMatt »

Shareholders want it, and they're the only ones who count.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Rob Lister »

DrMatt wrote:Shareholders want it, and they're the only ones who count.
In this case, the shareholders include every man, women and child in that country that happens to use or need electricity ... or the products and industry that rely on it. Coal and NG are just not feasible long term options. Any 'renewable' options, outside some limited reliable hydro and geo, are laughable pipe dreams. Until someone figures Fusion out (can't be more than 50 more years :roll: ), fission is the only choice they have.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by DrMatt »

Rob Lister wrote:
DrMatt wrote:Shareholders want it, and they're the only ones who count.
In this case, the shareholders include every man, women and child in that country that happens to use or need electricity ... or the products and industry that rely on it. Coal and NG are just not feasible long term options. Any 'renewable' options, outside some limited reliable hydro and geo, are laughable pipe dreams. Until someone figures Fusion out (can't be more than 50 more years :roll: ), fission is the only choice they have.
I think you have shareholders confused with stakeholders.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Rob Lister »

DrMatt wrote:
Rob Lister wrote:
DrMatt wrote:Shareholders want it, and they're the only ones who count.
In this case, the shareholders include every man, women and child in that country that happens to use or need electricity ... or the products and industry that rely on it. Coal and NG are just not feasible long term options. Any 'renewable' options, outside some limited reliable hydro and geo, are laughable pipe dreams. Until someone figures Fusion out (can't be more than 50 more years :roll: ), fission is the only choice they have.
I think you have shareholders confused with stakeholders.
Intentionally so, Matt.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Anaxagoras »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/new ... story.html

“What must be admitted — very painfully – is that this was a disaster ‘Made in Japan,’ ” investigation Chairman Kiyoshi Kurokawa wrote in the introduction to the report. “Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program’; our groupism; and our insularity.”
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Anaxagoras »

sparks wrote:How many dead? Patience Lister, patience. We're just getting on a good roll with this radioactive slag heap. Give it another decade or 100.

Fuck me running uphill backwards at full speed. :cry:
Now there's an estimate:

They put the worst-case scenario in the headline:

Fukushima Radiation May Cause 1,300 Cancer Deaths: Study

But the best estimate is much lower:
The best estimates of cancer cases resulting from the Fukushima disaster is 180, and range from 24 to 2,500, yesterday’s study said.

The most likely number of cancer deaths is 130 and estimated to range from 15 to 1,300, the authors said, adding that the ranges reflect uncertainties about emissions and the methods the researchers used to calculate their impact.

“They have demonstrated there are no significant public health effects” from radiation exposure, said Evan Douple, associate chief of research at the Hiroshima Radiation Effects Research Foundation. “Their best estimate of 130 cancer deaths in Japan would be lost in the background wash of the hundreds of thousands of cancer deaths that would be occurring in the million or so people in the population exposed.”
If it's only 130 extra deaths it would be pretty much impossible to detect because that's well within the error bar of the total number of expected cases of cancer.
Basically, you can round it down to "no significant public health effects" as in "not statistically significant."

ETA: Just for perspective:
Air pollution
The World Health Organization states that 2.4 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution, with 1.5 million of these deaths attributable to indoor air pollution.[16] "Epidemiological studies suggest that more than 500,000 Americans die each year from cardiopulmonary disease linked to breathing fine particle air pollution. . ."[17] A study by the University of Birmingham has shown a strong correlation between pneumonia related deaths and air pollution from motor vehicles.[18] Worldwide more deaths per year are linked to air pollution than to automobile accidents.[citation needed] Published in 2005 suggests that 310,000 Europeans die from air pollution annually.[citation needed] Causes of deaths include aggravated asthma, emphysema, lung and heart diseases, and respiratory allergies.[citation needed] The US EPA estimates that a proposed set of changes in diesel engine technology (Tier 2) could result in 12,000 fewer premature mortalities, 15,000 fewer heart attacks, 6,000 fewer emergency room visits by children with asthma, and 8,900 fewer respiratory-related hospital admissions each year in the United States.[citation needed]
Although estimates for Japan are not given, a rough estimate based on US rates adjusted for Japan's population would be ca. 200,000 deaths/year due to air pollution.


130 extra deaths due to cancer spread out over multiple decades is like nothing compared to that.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Doctor X »

Sort of like plane crashes--the event amplifies the actual figure. Not that that excuses the accidents.

--J.D.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

Anax quoted thusly:
But the best estimate is much lower:
This assumes nothing else goes wrong, of course. If one of those spent fuel pools goes dry the fuel will burn and when it does we'll be in for some fun shit then my friend.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Rob Lister »

sparks wrote:Anax quoted thusly:
But the best estimate is much lower:
If one of those spent fuel pools goes dry the fuel will burn and when it does we'll be in for some fun shit then my friend.
Is there some situation that prevents them from keeping the pools full? Pools for spent fuel rods are a standard feature of any nuclear reactor.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by sparks »

Yep: They are located high up in the structure to make access to and from the reactor easier. The structures are already compromised by the quake and the story goes that one more good one will render one or more of them incapable of holding water regardless of how much you're able to dump into them. However, in spite of the mess they've got to deal with there, they must have figured out a way to keep them topped up for the time being otherwise we'd have heard all about the fire by now.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by DrMatt »

Oh, good. They just need to keep 'em topped for the next 50000 years.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Anaxagoras »

Spent fuel is typically kept in cooling pools for 10 years after being removed from a reactor. By then its heat production is too small to melt anything, and it can be placed in concrete casks for indefinite storage.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Anaxagoras »

Amid energy shortages, a record first-half trade deficit for Japan
TOKYO — Japan posted its biggest first-half trade deficit on record, according to government figures released Wednesday, highlighting the economic consequences as this nuclear-averse country imports fossil fuels to meet its energy needs.

The Ministry of Finance reported a 2.92 trillion yen (or $37.3 billion) trade deficit, which reflected not only Japan’s surging need for oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG), but also weakened exports to slumping markets like Europe and China.

The world’s third-largest economy has averted economic crisis this year largely because of a spike in domestic demand, spurred by reconstruction of the earthquake- and tsunami-devastated northeast.

But long term, Japan faces some troubling challenges: Its famed exporters — automakers and tech giants — are pinched by a global economic slowdown. Meanwhile, the country’s sustained wariness of nuclear energy has led to record imports of fossil fuels, which arrive here on hulking tankers and help prevent the nightmare scenario of blackouts during the sweltering summer.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has lobbied for months about the need to resume use of nuclear power, which once supplied a third of Japan’s energy. For now, though, only two of the nation’s 50 atomic reactors are online. Many regions face energy-saving targets, handcuffing manufacturers.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by DrMatt »

Hamme has the answer to your problems.
Slave labor.
Nothing quite like it to pick up an economy.
And per him, slaves should kiss the ground on which they are enslaved, for rescuing them from the horrors of whatever slavery is supposed to rescue them from.
He'll go first.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by hammegk »

Change your Depends, fuckwit.
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Re: Fukushima one year on

Post by Anaxagoras »

The Panic Over Fukushima
Denver has particularly high natural radioactivity. It comes primarily from radioactive radon gas, emitted from tiny concentrations of uranium found in local granite. If you live there, you get, on average, an extra dose of .3 rem of radiation per year (on top of the .62 rem that the average American absorbs annually from various sources). A rem is the unit of measure used to gauge radiation damage to human tissue.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends evacuation of a locality whenever the excess radiation dose exceeds .1 rem per year. But that's one-third of what I call the "Denver dose." Applied strictly, the ICRP standard would seem to require the immediate evacuation of Denver.

It is worth noting that, despite its high radiation levels, Denver generally has a lower cancer rate than the rest of the United States. Some scientists interpret this as evidence that low levels of radiation induce cancer resistance; I think it is more likely that lifestyle differences account for the disparity.

. . .

The "hot spots" in Japan that frightened many people showed radiation at the level of .1 rem, a number quite small compared with the average excess dose that people happily live with in Denver.