Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan Earthquake Update

Despite what the timestamp may say, I'm writing this on Wednesday afternoon, 4 days after the huge earthquake in northern Japan.

Here is the current situation as I see it, written in micro-paragraphs for the Twatter/Facebook generation:

There continue to be problems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station. There may be problems at other nuclear power stations, but none has been reported recently.

There's been a lot of hype/disinformation in the Twattersphere. Interestingly, at least among the people I follow on the web, there has been as much calm-mongering as there has been scaremongering. I find this type of head-in-the-sand response very upsetting.

The information provided by the axis-of-stupidity(Japanese government, NHK and TEPCO) has been worse than useless. They are largely the ones to blame for any hype in foreign media. They have talked in vague generalities that frequently don't make any sense at all. I'm never one to defend the shit-for-brains BBC, but at least they've talked to a variety of "experts" about the unfolding situation.

Due to the fact I'm quite far from the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, I'm not really very concerned about the acute effects of radiation. The general concensus, if you can call it that, is that the radioactive isotopes produced in the even of a major fuckstorm would have relatively short half-lives and therefore pose little risk to people in Tokyo.

The chronic effects of increased radiation are a different matter. Tokyo is my home and I would like to remain here for the foreseeable future. I'm concerned that background radiation here might rise significantly and remain high for months or even years. The authorities in Japan don't seem to believe "Honesty is the best policy" so without purchasing a Geiger counter and using it to check food and water, it would be hard to know if we're being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

Many of the key issues regarding the short-term outlook here are not being addressed by anyone. I'll post a list of the key issues(as I see them) later today.

1 comment:

sonicviz said...

There seems to be some contention about the MOX plutonium fuel used in Reactor #3 and worst case scenarios.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-03-15/mox-the-toxic-fuel-inside-japans-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-plant/?cid=hp:mainpromo3

Perhaps this is what is causing the french to be so flighty, seeing as the MOX fuel comes from France...but who knows?

I'd keep researching, and keep a close eye on the various non .gov rad monitors.