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back to article Japanese gov makes Fukushima evac zone compulsory

Japanese authorities have elected to make a recommended evacuation zone around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant compulsory and ordered residents of some communities beyond the zone to evacuate, despite the fact that radiation levels beyond the plant fence are dropping steadily and are nowhere such as to cause …

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What,.. nobody bashing Lewis?

I guess they have all decided to go bury their heads in the sand again Lewis. <LOL>

Thanks again for your perspective.

So much more informative than the usual mob of panic mongers!

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I'll have a go...

Lewis,

Britannia rules the waves and all that, eh?

Well guess what, India got its independence quite some time ago, and Madras is now called Chennai. What's more, it's not a state, it's a city in the state of Andra Pradesh.

Consider him bashed.

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"...they have all decided to go bury their heads in the sand again..."

Well, no -- they're just sick of getting thumped like a kettle drum in actual arguments, so they've retreated and now seek to maintain their untenable position solely through the use of the downvote button. You know, because "I don't like you!" is exactly equivalent to "You're wrong!"

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is required

Isn't Chennai the capital of the state Tamil Nadu?

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Don't feed the troll... (especially not an article-writing one)

Perhaps people have just given up on reading opinionated and condescending articles. Treating the subject like he does, Lewis has probably ticked off way more reasonable and knowledgeable people that are actually in favor of nuclear energy than convincing people the other way around.

It is true that in a lot of mainstream media, the coverage about Fukushima isn't as balanced as it could/should be. People have a tendency to be scared of things that they don't understand, and media have a tendency to exaggerate the scariness of any given situation -- not just the nuclear ones. If you have a good understanding of the topic at hand, then those in your environment that know about it will value your opinion and perhaps feel a bit more at ease to adapt the picture that has been painted in their heads by the news outlets.

If you look purely at the facts in the past articles, I like that there is already more 'objective' information available than in most other articles on the subject although it's not even close to being balanced -- there should be more attention for sources that don't have a vested intrest in everything nuclear. On top of that, the not-too-subtle tone of nearly all the articles until today is that anyone with a different opinion than the one portreyed by Lewis is a bleedin' idiot.

There is a point where people stop debating and figure that the other guy is just being an ass who isn't willing to consider a different point of view.

The worst part of it all is that Lewis is actually capable of writing a proper article, as long as he keeps to the facts; once he starts having an opnion it all goes pear-shaped vewwwy quickly.

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Pint

Re: I'll have a go...

It's still a bloody Madras in the curry house down the road. I can vouch for the fact that it is indeed capable of converting anything it contaminates into a "hot zone" and the "fallout" can be terribly unpleasant.

Mmm. I know what I'm doing later now......

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yer geography sux

"Madras" is now lovingly called "Chennai" and it is *NOT* in the state of Andra Pradesh, it is in the state of Tamil Nadu.

full marks on the Lewis bashing though. the attempt brought a smile to me face.

Fail and Epic Fail for geography.

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Coffee/keyboard

(actual) curry on the keyboard..

F#$cker... you owe me a new one...

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Here's one (Lewis basher)....

Lewis, I think you are needlessly being too premature in your judgement of the situation there. It is better to slowly watch and wait for the experts to determine what exactly the risks are.

Do remember, it's not just the radiation you're dealing with by and large. God knows what byproducts are lingering around, and certain elements as you well know have very long half lives, and more importantly, something you may not have appreciated is some of these elements may actually be preferentially taken up by life, proving to be more of a long term hazard in the long run, even though their overall radioactivity may be 'low'.

You do realise iodine gets preferentially taken up in the thyroid, strontium in bones, lots of other examples. How would you like to carry a huge proportion of 'background radiation' in you?

You don't know all the ramifications of this. Nobody really does - I'll bet you ask any expert involved, they'll probably say 'we're not completely sure, but this is life we're dealing with, human life we're trying to save and protect from long term harm, so perhaps this margin of safety is warranted'

Lewis, if you think it's that safe, I challenge you to go live there.

Not that I am slating nuclear power. I believe work on it has to go on. We will continue to need fission plants for now. This I agree with you. If we just wash our hands off anything vaguely 'hot' we may very possibly deny ourselves something potentially ground breaking down the line, like perhaps the holy grail of a clean-ish fusion plant. But we also need to learn from this 'lesson'.

Just don't downplay the potential long term danger this accident actually presents.

And don't downplay the fact that there is a lot to be learnt from it, consequences and outcomes which we still won't know for years.

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Anonymous Coward

Nope, if you bash him your posted is blocked

Why bother, he's a troll

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Nope, if you bash him your posted is blocked

Hardly. I let pretty much everything through on Lewis's threads, except for the really nasty "I hope your family dies" stuff.

Er, I mean, YEAH, IT'S A CONSPIRACY etc etc.

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Shrieking Fits

Long years ago, when the Greens were still worried about the coming Ice Age, I thought nuclear power made sense. When it became clear that large segments of society were willing to throw a shrieking fit about it, I reconsidered.

Now that large segments of society throw shrieking fits about EVERY source of energy, I'm willing to reconsider my reconsideration. If everything has to fight its way past opposition, let's settle on the one that creates the least CO2 and environmental devastation: nuclear

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I am become TEPCO, destroyer of worlds!

That is all.

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Oh, for God's sake, grow up.

Oppenheimer was being histrionic too, but at least he had an excuse.

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Yet another pitiful sufferer from the dread...

... Irony deficiency syndrome.

Yank are you?

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Afraid so

Worse, one who's only just realizing that he has spent far too many years following the gospel of a bunch of latter-day Puritans who wouldn't know a good joke if it hit them in the face with a pie. By this point I've probably been damaged for life. However glad you are to have got properly rid of those people, you cannot possibly be glad enough.

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Arse covering?

I wonder if the evacuation is less about safety and more about ensuring that 50 years from now anyone who gets cancer doesn't automatically sue the government and Tepco for billions of yen?

Or maybe it's just so the politicians can look like they're doing something...?

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Pint

You won the prize!

You hit it on the head.

Basically from start to finish every action the government has taken was to make itself look useful and like it was doing something. Regardless of whether they were fanning the flames of fear or otherwise.

Regardless of whether fanning these fears ruins Japans only real shot at power in generations to come. Right now they need to look like they're doing something!

50 years from now, they're still liable for damages so I'm sure arse covering has a lot to do with it too.

Pint - That's your prize.

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Pint

Just a standard governement money-grab.

"All I can say is that Tepco will be held liable and they will be made to make full compensation to sufferers of this incident," stated Edano.

In other words, Edano will use this as an excuse to grab loads of money from Tepco, and dish it out to favoured parties, meanwhile getting kudos for being a strong and decisive leader, and (he hopes) thanks from the people he is doling Tepco's money out to.

Much like the 1 Billion extorted from BP after Deepwater Horizon went to glorify BHO, and give massively overdone compensation to fishermen and hotelliers, and of course, all the middlemen who evaluated claims, campaigned etc...

Drink. It's the only solution.

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Really you are comparing this to BP?

You say: Much like the 1 Billion extorted from BP after Deepwater Horizon went to glorify BHO, and give massively overdone compensation to fishermen and hotelliers, and of course, all the middlemen who evaluated claims, campaigned etc.

This disaster isn't due to some negligence by some company being greedy. There was an earthquake and then a tsunami. I might have had sympathy for BP had their rig been exposed to those extreme conditions.

To say they were extorted is ridiculous. In fact for the 11 who died due to BP's negligence we should've executed the top 11 executives of BP as well as taken over all BP operations and given it to the US government as payment. I cannot believe you would compare two incidents, one where the people were directly responsible for the catastrophe and one in which a natural disaster brought the catastrophe on.

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Coat

Who is this "we" we are talking about?

"We should've executed the top 11 executives of BP as well as taken over all BP operations and given it to the US government as payment."

Because oil flows better and more securely if the means of production have been nationalized and top executives are shot whenever sabotage/snafus/fishkill occurs?

Your political commissar coat, m'lord.

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Grenade

It was NOT BP

Dear Anonymous, Thursday 21st April 2011 20:54 GMT,

BP employed a company witch is a specialist in deep water drilling.

They were the owners and operators of the rig that exploded.

Why blame BP just because the Americans do?

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Dowsing?

Company witch?

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FAIL

Wait for it...

Now various people will scream that this 'proves' how immeasurably dangerous it is there, and those screams will prompt the government to implement ever more cautious rules.

Rinse, repeat.

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Stop

Nanny state?

Japan is post-apocalyptic and has seen the effects of radiation on life, people, children, etc. so naturally they are cautious.

Iran is not post-apocalyptic (yet).

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Why don't you check on the actual...

...dangers of the dose levels being experienced before you shoot your mouth off?

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Anonymous Coward

*yawn*

Japan is over run by conservative crack pots who believe that all that happened in ww2 was the evil Americans flew along and dropped bombs on them.

Currently arguably the most powerful man in Japan (Governor of Tokyo) is a man who doesn't believe the rape of Nanjing happened, believes that the Japanese colonial occupation of Korea was a glorious period and nothing bad was ever done and, he also thinks woman that can't have children are a sin.

He also thinks that the tsunami was retribution for Japanese greed.

And he got re-elected the other week.

And comparing the aftermath of the atomic bombs (where most of the radiation damage post initial damage was caused by people drinking the black rain) to the current situation is stupid.

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The compulsory evacuation is to stop looting

It said on PM on Radio 4 this evening that the reason for the compulsory evacuation was to prevent looting rather than because of any increased radiation risk. Mind you, they didn't say that until after 5 mins of scaremongering crap.

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Stop

I disagree

Japan is post-apocalyptic and has seen the *minimal* [read: less than everyone seems to think] effects of radiation on life, people, children, etc. - *so why are they over-reacting*?

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"Japan is post-apocalyptic"

Where do I even start?

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Stop

Correlation does not imply causation

People living for generations in regions with high background radiation can simply have experienced increased selection pressure due to higher rate of damage to the DNA (which in most cases is fixed, but sometimes results in a new mutation) for more efficient repair mechanisms. Comparison of people who migrated into and out of such regions with the populations at their place of birth would be more convincing.

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Grenade

Wrong

Wrong wrong wrong. I think you are confusing science fiction with science.

Germ cell line mutations are usually bad (often fatal), especially when said mutations occur to DNA repair sequences. DNA repair mechanisms are highly conserved, indicating the code is already optimized and further changes are highly likely to be deleterious (with emphasis on "delete"). You would need to apply "selection pressure" (i.e. kill off or sterilize before reproducing) to billions if not trillions of organisms in order to have any chance of a single significantly beneficial mutation occurring. Fine if you are a bacterium, not so much if you are a human.

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Anonymous Coward

also wrong.

Most mutations are actually harmless http://www.brighthub.com/science/genetics/articles/48285.aspx.

(The bad ones tend to spontaneously abort, which is probably the ultimate DNA repair mechanism in humans).

Also you don't need to kill or sterilise to get selection pressure, all it needs is for one variant to be more successful at breeding than the other, and it only has to be a few percentage points more succesful too. So eventually the world will be full of good-looking milkmen, and there will be no spotty-nerds left to read "the register" from their parents basements :P

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"More efficient repair mechanisms"

I suggest you re-read the original post I was replying to. The poster was suggesting that letting a few thousand humans breed in a high-radiation environment for a few generations would lead to mutant super-humans with improved DNA repair mechanisms. The odds of this happening are vanishingly small.

We have been living in a radioactive environment since the dawn of time. The optimization of DNA repair mechanisms occurred long ago over a billion+ year time-frame. Any new germ cell mutation to DNA coding for DNA repair is overwhelmingly likely to be negative, especially to humans living in a higher-radiation location.

DNA is not homogenous. Highly-conserved regions of the genome are highly-conserved for a reason: errors in these regions cause a complete system crash requiring a hard reset.

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FAIL

New Scientist confirms Japanese government aren't stupid

Based upon New Scientist data It seems the radio Ceasium emissions from Fukushima are comparable with those at Chernobyl:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20285-fukushima-radioactive-fallout-nears-chernobyl-levels.html

"Similarly, says Wotawa, caesium-137 emissions are on the same order of magnitude as at Chernobyl. The Sacramento readings suggest it has emitted 5 × 10**15 becquerels of caesium-137 per day; Chernobyl put out 8.5 × 10**16 in total – around 70 per cent more per day."

I'm well aware of the short half life of radioactive iodine. This article states the caesium 137 as volatile, so presumably it's being blown or washed out in large quantities as well due to the emergency cooling measures needed for many months to come. This stuff has a half life of 30 years.

Which source of information to trust ? The New Scientist data confirming as rational the basis of a massively expensive decision made on behalf of its citizens by the government of one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet, or the best spin which can be put on this disaster by a self-confessed nuclear enthusiast - who won't let all the evidence allow him to abandon his dreams of a Jetson's future and nuclear electricity so abundant and cheap it doesn't have to be metered - so he quotes the bits which best suit his case ?

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New Scientist confirms Japanese government are stupid

uhm

"In the 10 days it burned, Chernobyl put out 1.76 × 1018 becquerels of iodine-131, which amounts to only 50 per cent more per day than has been calculated for Fukushima Daiichi." So Chernobly was worse so far than Fukushima by about 50% so far (and is for iodine which has a half life of 8 days)

So far so good

now to the caesium-137 "The Sacramento readings suggest it has emitted 5 × 1015 becquerels of caesium-137 per day; Chernobyl put out 8.5 × 1016 in total – around 70 per cent more per day."

So it's less for the Iodine and left for the ceasium, so Less must equal the same!

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You just can't expect some people to think, can you?

I mean, sure, a month-old article in the New Scientist which doesn't say what either you or it claims it does and has in any case been contradicted by many articles based on newer information from both within and without the nucleonics community -- yeah, *that's* the source to trust! My God, man, you've cracked it! We must turn to outdated distortions from the scientific gutter press for *everything* from now on!

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wim
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come to Japan and open your eyes.

"one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet"

Did you ever visit Japan ? I guess not. I live here now for 7 years. The only way to describe Japan is a industrialized developing country.

Every time some one starts spouting this "technologically advanced" I have a one reply.

single glazing. Most buildings have single glazing and no insulation. That is what stops every discussion. Yes there are technologically wonders here but everyday life is on the standards of what life in the 50's must have been in Europe.

another good one: No central heating. If you really believe that Japan is that highly developed you have fallen for the Japan PR. Look up at how well the Hayabusa space probe went and then they still call it a success because that is what you have to do in Japan. Everything is a success and nothing ever fails.

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Yag
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Most buildings have single glazing?

Wow. And it probably also apply to all european countries.

And the US too, those trailers and subprimes wood shacks don't seems that well insulated to me

In fact, this whole world is primitive.

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Precaution

... against what might still happen I suppose: the reactor(s) are hardly in a normal, safe state; the cooling is still jury-rigged, the shape of the fuel rods / cores essentially unknown, except that there must have been damage to the cladding as I-131 and Cs-137 is out in generous amounts, "unknown" applies to the integrity of containment structures and/or the RPVs of units 2 and 3.

Still, that it has not gotten worse than this is encouraging: with each passing day the decay heat drops and with that the change of sudden, (more) substantial leak(s) is diminishing. Assuming that all goes reasonably well, the most substantial impact - realistically - is that plans for building more nuclear power have been derailed for the foreseeable future as well as - paradoxically - implementing a long term solution to the nuclear waste problem (instead of letting it pile up in temporary storage) such as reprocessing and getting rid of plutonium as mox-fuel, not to mention research into breeder reactors or even improving current designs.

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Definitely arse-covering

Here's what happens if they don't make the evac mandatory: 30 years from now, a bunch of guys who lived 15km from the plant get cancer. There *will* be some, because people sometimes get cancer, radiation or not. They make a class action suite against TEPCO and the Japanese government. Statistics on local cancer cases can easily prove that their cancer was not caused by the plant accident, but this is not the point.

The point is that TEPCO and the Japanese government now have to either pay megabucks, or they have to declare that these poor cancer victims are wrong, the megacorp and the goverment are right, and therefore the poor cancer victims won't see a dime. True it may be, but how's that for a PR disaster? Do you think the media will sympathize with the megacorp and the government, unfairly accused of giving cancer to people? No, I don't think so either. They'll sympathize with the poor dying kid, and accuse TEPCO and the government to be lying. They're *already* being accused of lying, and in reality nobody even got seriously hurt yet!

Forcing a bunch of people to evac is much, MUCH lighter as PR damage goes.

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Yag
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mmmh... Wrong calculation

Probably cheaper to pay for those cancers than to evacuate the whole frikkin' zone.

However, even paid in full, they will be a lot of bad PR.

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Pirate

Spin-o-rama

I don't think they're looking too hard in the area for radiation. It's probably rained a few times since the event, and the surface stuff has decayed a bit, but also has been concentrated into low-lying areas. Also, the exclusion represents confidence in the containment at the site.

Safe for 99.99% of people, maybe 99.9 depending on how many basements are present.

In order words, you're downplaying, but you're mostly right. The chicken-little press only uses 3-inch headlines for things that are 99.99% safe however.

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Happy

In before...

Comments that the government is banning people from entering the zone in order to hide that the radioactivity level is far higher than they report.

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No you bloody weren't

If you want to get in before *that*, you're going to need an RSS reader plugged straight into your frontal lobe.

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This is little more than a power grab by Edano

This quote says it all

"All I can say is that Tepco will be held liable and they will be made to make full compensation to sufferers of this incident," stated Edano.

Because of his decision to make evacuation from areas compulsory not because of actual radiation danger but as a government driven 'precaution', Edano effectively kills TEPCO as a going concern and virtually guarantees government ownership of TEPCO now. Apart fro all the fear and anxiety and personal hardship his government is needlessly inflicting on people living in perfectly tolerable and safe conditions, he has with a single statement destroyed one of Japan's significant power companies.

It's an exercise in power, not sense or reason.

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wim
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agree

The DPJ was hurthing bad before the quake/tsunami disaster. Now they can look in control and try to turn around the general opinion that was going to murder them in the upcoming elections.

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"renowned US nuclear engineer Ted Rockwell"

"He was Technical Director of Admiral Hyman Rickover’s program to build the nuclear Navy and the first commercial atomic power station. "

So he's not at all biased then. Meanwhile, in a different part of the planet:

"Father and son Trebor and Emlyn Roberts recall hearing on the radio how a radioactive cloud would pass over their farm. They were told their sheep and land would be affected for 3 weeks, 3 months at the most. A quarter of a century on, they cannot move any animal from their land without testing it for radiation."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010dfgn/On_Your_Farm_17_04_2011/

Not Fukushima, just a fucked-up food chain, 25 years after an incident a couple of thousand km away. Good job there's no chance whatsoever of any unpleasant debris getting into the food chain ever again, by air or by land or by sea, eh?

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Well that's him outed, then

A "renowned" nuclear engineer worked as a nuclear engineer, on major nuclear engineering projects. Who'd have thought it.

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Happy

@fridaynightsmoke

Well, North Korea is not being used for anything important right now. Lets just evacuate the entire country of Japan there and they will have that part of the peninsula sorted out in a few months. :)

Plus, the US military can move into Japan, pave everything and use it as an airbase in the war to protect Taiwan from China in 2024. Now that's thinking ahead.

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