Posting in Energy
Local Japanese governments have found dangerously high radiation levels in pastoral grasses located over 100 miles from Fukushima. Scientists are independently monitoring background radiation throughout Japan.
Unsafe levels of radioactive contamination have been reported from multiple sources throughout vast areas of eastern Japan in locations far away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Science Magazine cites data from the prefectural government of Iwate revealing radioactive cesium has traveled over 100 miles away from Fukushima. Pastoral grasses are contaminated beyond safety standards
Japanese scientists have begun to track background radiation levels independently, according to the magazine’s report. Levels are exceeding acceptable safety limits in many locations.
A “citizens’ map” of radiation levels is being maintained by a group of Japanese bloggers. Levels appear highest near Fukushima and toward its northwest. The vicinity around immediate southwest of the reactors shows elevated radiation, and a large pocket of contamination has settled further south in the outskirts of Tokyo.
Even more disturbingly, some local newspapers in eastern Japan have attributed sickness in children to the meltdowns. Children located 50 KM away from ground zero are suffering from fatigue, diarrhea, and nosebleeds.
I’m not a scientist, but a link is plausible. If grass is contaminated, cows eat the grass, and children drink the cows’ milk. Crops also absorb radiation; in fact, growing crops is a strategy used to clean up soil that’s contaminated with radiation.
It took several months for the world to learn that there were three core meltdowns at Fukushima. It will take years for the entire truth to be revealed, and not every report will be entirely accurate.
Jun 17, 2011
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I've heard through the rumor mill that there are recent new problems at Fukushima Nbr. 4. I've checked Japanese government and foreign embassy websites which advise that things are getting better. I'm wondering if it really is getting better, if the rumors are alarmist, and where we can really find out what is going on. I have grandkids in Japan and it concerns me.
This is something that cannot be papered over or discounted in any way. How can anyone even try to weasel out of this? 50KM is quite a distance and as time wears on while the political wrangling takes the spotlight and continued inaction at shutting down the radioactive particle release, the 50KM radius will expand. Remember, cesium 137 is only one of many types of hot particles that are being made airborne. You cannot be too conservative wrt radioactive fallout but it's easy to be too optimistic. The human condition is that way and the propaganda ministers take full advantage of it.
Although LifeofBrian does all his calculations correctly, I think the conclusion is over optimistic. The criteria for relocation after the Chernobyl accident was 350mS/lifetime. At 1uS/hr, this works out to be 8.76mS per year (0.001mS*24*365). And then 350/8.76 = 39.95, which is to say that in 39.95 years, all of the 1uS/hr and up areas will exceed the standard set for relocation after Chernobyl = ghostlands. Greenpeace also has a map....which explores the 5+uS/hr areas a bit more. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/nuclear/safety/accidents/Fukushima-nuclear-disaster/Radiation-field-team/ and some of the areas on the SmartPlanet map which show 5uS/h and up (>5uS/h) are actually like 32uS/h...which is almost 10x higher radiation than at the gates of the Chernobyl plant today. http://www.smh.com.au/travel/a-tourist-spot-so-hot-its-radioactive-20100924-15qbe.html
LifeofBrian, Very well said! Sadly what you did say is too rational and scientific for the alarmist age we live in. Howard T. Lewis III is just talking polemical, nonsensical, hysterical rubbish. And David Worthington deserves an editorial reprimand for writing "I???m not a scientist, but a link is plausible."
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That's good news! Note the values are in microSiverts/hour. No safety standards are cited. One recommendation from a Wade Allison, who is a nuclear and medical physicist at the University of Oxford (author of Radiation and Reason (2009), states that a 'responsible danger level based on current science would be 100 mSv [milliSiverts] per month' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12860842). Note this value is in milliSiverts which is 1000 times larger than the microSiverts/hour units in the smartplanet.com map (see hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q2779.html for radiation conversions). Making the time conversion for month to hours, the maximum implied value in the smartplanet.com map of 5.5 microSiverts/hour close to the nuclear generators is equivalent to 3.96 milliSiverts per month (5.5*24*30/1000), which is 25 times LESS than Allison's recommendation. Allison cites that the average British person "is exposed to 2.7 mSv per year", which translates to 0.31 microSiverts/hour, which corresponds to the three darkest shades of blue on the smartplanet.com map. So - in terms of interpretation of data - whom do you believe? A peer-reviewed scientist whose reputation and career depends on his work, or journalism - of which this blog is a mild example - whose popularity depends on sensationalism?
Linus Pauling won a Nobel Prize for proving the radioactive fallout from nuclear bomb testing was causing cancers and other problems back in the 1950s. The FACT that the American news media has been totally ignoring this central fact out of economic expediency is just cause to line up the nation's leadership and news network CEOs and put an end to their stunted, sick little lives. I worked building a nuke back in 1975 and QUIT for reasons apparent then and today. WE CAN"T STORE THE SPENT FUEL SAFELY. The corporate press still acts like there are no problems and for this millions of Japanese people and many thousands of Americans will die of cancer. Neonatal deaths are up 35% in the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. and hit a 48% increase this week in Philadelphia. Surely enough to send in the Marines and clean up on these pigs in the U.S. who sited, designed and certified Fukushima and continue the cover-up of these and reactors in the Mississippi river valley system flooding out and threatening meltdown.. Watch the chem-trail/HAARP weather manipulation via satellite transmissions. This is not to be missed.I sincerely hope they all legally get sent straight to hell . The scum has earned THAT. Civility is wasted on these 'leaders'. Don't wait for Congress. If it doesn't involve sucking, lying, or taking bribes, they won't have time.
LifeofBrian gave a reasonable response. The IAEA recommendations are about a 1/3 of what a person receives annually independent of nuclear plants, and are also based on what a normally operating plant should be capable of achieving. These limits are based on the conservative precept of minimizing all exposure so the limits are extremely low. For instance the increase in health risk from increasing annual exposure from 1 to 2 mSv would be extremely low, certainly lower than the risks we face daily from say commuting, living in an urban area etc.
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For instance, the IAEA, in their publication called Radiation Safety says the following: "The dose limits for practices are intended to ensure that no individual is committed to unacceptable risk due to radiation exposure. For the public the limit is 1 mSv in a year, or in special circumstances up to 5 mSv in a single year provided that the average does over five consecutive years does not exceed 1 mSv per year" source: http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Radiation/radsafe.html Quite a difference from Allison's suggestions, which I think shows that his "common sense" is not well accepted at all, and that indeed the Japanese do have some legitimate concerns.