The Nuclear Crisis in JapanSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

When the Unthinkable Happens

The Nuclear Crisis in Japan

26 March 2011 at 9:53:07 AM

"TAKOMA PARK, MD - March 25 - The damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan continue to release radioactivity into the atmosphere. So far, the accident has released far more radioactivity than the 1979 Three Mile Island (TMI) accident. While Chernobyl had one source of radioactivity, its reactor, there are seven leaking radiation sources at the Japanese site. Together, the three damaged reactors and four spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi contain far more long-lived radioactivity, notably cesium-137, than the Chernobyl reactor.

The French radiation protection authority, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), estimates the radioactive releases of iodine-131 in Japan had reached about 2.4 million curies by March 22, 2011. That is about 160,000 times the best estimate of the amount released during the TMI accident in Pennsylvania (15 curies) and about 140,000 times the maximum estimate of 17 curies.  It is about 10 percent of the estimated amount released during the Chernobyl accident, according to the IRSN.  Combined cesium-134 (half-life: about 2 years) and cesium-137 (half life: about 30 years) releases from Fukushima are estimated at about half-a-million curies, about 10 percent of estimated Chernobyl cesium releases. The TMI accident did not emit measurable amounts of radioactive cesium, according to the presidential commission that investigated the accident. 

“This accident has long since passed the level of Three Mile Island,” said Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER).  “While the releases are still considerably below Chernobyl, they have already reached a level that could affect the region around the site for a prolonged period.  It is simply a fantasy and highly misleading for the official accident level to remain at level 5, given the estimated radioactivity releases and the extended evacuation, contamination of food and water, and other countermeasures that have already been ordered by the government.”

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1 - salon   26 Mar 2011 @ 7:25:21 PM 

All the PR folks are out to talk about why Radiation is Good, and how we get it from a variety of sources. Well, if that's true, then why is Japan having the people around Fukushima evacuate (although it is not yet mandatory) an even farther distance from the town? (and why are those workers in the hospital with radiation burns?) The reason is said to be disruption of services, and I don't doubt that is at least part of it, but these people are not only having to find emergency shelters or other temporary places to live, but are being told that they cannot return for perhaps years. I'm trying to imagine that here in Glen Rose, where my wonderful home would be off limits.

Japan previously evacuated all residents within 12 miles of the nuclear complex. Officials now say they will aid those who live from 12 to 19 miles from the plant if they, too, want to leave.

Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said that people within the 12 to 19 mile zone should still be safe if they stay indoors. But due to the difficulty in delivering supplies to the area, it might be best if those residents voluntarily evacuated, he said at a press briefing Friday.

US officials have told US citizens to stay at least 50 miles away from the Fukushima plant. Some experts have urged Japan for days to expand its own evacuation zone.

How far is a 50 mile zone from Glen Rose? That would be Fort Worth. I'm sure that makes Fort Worth residents feel really safe. Especially wheh the 2 new reactors that Luminant wants are not tested and certified by the NRC.

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2 - humanbeing   26 Mar 2011 @ 8:47:45 PM 

This is the dark side of nuclear power, the one no one in corporate or government, including our local one, wants to talk about. This is real, folks. This is what can happen and does, eventually, somewhere. And let's not forget how radiation can travel with the wind and remain in the soils for hundreds of years.

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