back to article Mummy, mummy, there's a nuclear monster!

The total non-story of the Fukushima nuclear powerplant "disaster" – which has seen and will see no deaths or measurable health consequences for anyone anywhere – has received a shot in the arm today with the news that Japanese authorities have upgraded the incident to a Level 7 on the nuclear accident scale. This was reported …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Well, here's one example of why there are rolling blackouts

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/01_08.html

It's an oil-fired plant just up the coast from Fukushima getting totalled by the tsunami.

7
0
WTF?

@ smelly socks

Eh, what, are you even reading the same article? The article is about scaremongering and needless media fed panic. I'm not surprised there are rolling blackouts, do you think that the Japanese electricity grid has been unaffected by the MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE followed by an VERY DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI?? Remember this is what actually happened and caused massive loss of life, you would think from news reports that Japan suffered a predictable nuclear meltdown about the same time as an unseasonably high tide. The blackouts are because the reactors have been shut down and the transmission grid is also in a less than optimal state. Have a go at lewis, god knows he's got his faults (would F-18's have helped here lewis?? :P ), but make your comments relevant to the article. Prat.

9
1

*IF* you could be bothered to look....

...for the information rather than talking to your friend, you would know that the rolling blackouts program that was in place has been suspended because conservation efforts and decreased economic activity - due to quake damage and recovery efforts - have reduced overall demand in the TEPCO area by some 20%. So for now, the blackouts are suspended. Their generating capacity is still very compromised, and if demand peaks in the hot summer months, they may have to re-institute blackouts unless they can quickly bring on additional generating capacity.

2
0
Pint

A note on numbers:

Ichi = 1

Ni = 2

Therefore:

Fukushima Daichi = Fukushima Dai 1

Fukushima Dani = Fukushima Dai 2

4
0
Boffin

eltiT

Indeed, and the "dai" part stands for "number" in this context. Imaginatively named, aren't they?

2
0

Numbers not hiragana letters

"Dai" in this case is a counter, like "number" so Daiichi is "number 1", the same as a popular businessman hotel chain in Japan which is probably getting fewer bookings these days for some reason. Since the Japs do like operator overloading in their language "dai" also means "big" although the kanji character for "big" is different to the one for "number".

Paris, because of her Daiichis.

1
0

Just a small point, but one that needs to be made

Watch NHK's English broadcasts. They refer to Fukushima Daiichi, not Fukushima Big 1, or Fukushima Number 1.

If we're going to get all pedantic, should we not first listen to how the name is used in context in the country of origin?

0
2

Since we seem to be numbering...

I've heard that Japanese has different numbers for big things and small things, as in "mitsu" being 3 (small). Hence Mitsubishi being "three (small) diamonds".

Groan moment: In the Metro, nice big fat letters: "Fukushima now seven, like Chernobyl!!!!" It's a bit like priorities on support calls, where lusers keep bleating at you to ESCALATE!!!! SO NOW YOU SODDING BASTARDS WILL FINALLY GET IT THAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING WHAT YOU CAN!!!"

Never mind that you were *already* doing what you could, only now, because of all this escalation crap, you've lost just a little more time.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Caesium

Lewis, you seem strangely fixated on Iodine levels. What about the radioactive caesium-137, which is considered to be more dangerous to human health over the long term due to its half-life of 30 years and solubility in water? It will be years before the exclusions zone will be fully habitable again, hardly as inconsequential as a minor fender bender.

5
7

Iodine and caesium

Because caesium has been released in much, much smaller quantities - typically two orders of magnitude less, and is less prone to travel over any distance.

So far, only two sites, both in the town of Iitate have been found with caesium contamination higher than the low (1/5th of the Chernobyl evacuation level) limits on contamination set by the Japanese government - and that's not a lmitation on human habitation, it's on rice-growing.

That's 5KBq/Kg of soil. It'd give rise about 500Bq/Kg, which is about the same as the legal limit here in the UK for water contamination.

11
2
Silver badge

Re: Caesium

Lewis is "fixated" on iodine levels because iodine is what's producing the current relatively high levels of radiation around the plant. Caesium was released in very small amounts, well below any dangerous levels: even leafed vegetables grown in the area had amounts of caesium below legal limits for human consumptions, and that's plants on which the stuff fell directly on; caesium in plants which merely grew on the soil would be completely irrelevant. The exclusion zone will be habitable again pretty much as soon as the crisis is solved.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Except that isn't true

From the New Scientist article, http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20305-caesium-fallout-from-fukushima-rivals-chernobyl.html

"Since 18 March, MEXT has repeatedly found caesium levels above 550 kBq/m2 in an area some 45 kilometres wide lying 30 to 50 kilometres north-west of the plant. The highest was 6400 kBq/m2, about 35 kilometres away, while caesium reached 1816 kBq/m2 in Nihonmatsu City and 1752 kBq/m2 in the town of Kawamata, where iodine-131 levels of up to 12,560 kBq/m2 have also been measured."

2
6

And the odd thing is..

The only references I can find via Google are blogs quoting that New Scientist article - nothing from MEXT themselves, or from the IAEA or any other monitoring body.

New Scientist isn't what it was

5
2
Pint

Using a a very non scientific method

I went looking for their data. (from MEXT, that is)

This is the reading from a helicopter flying around (as in, outside) the zone.

http://www.mext.go.jp/component/english/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2011/04/02/1304317_040213h.pdf

These are readings taken while driving through the exclusion zone.

http://www.mext.go.jp/component/english/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2011/04/07/1304766_0406_2.pdf

New Scientist is a red top, no matter their subject matter. If they can't scream that everything is about global warming or bash some creationists, they often seem to just not bother.

I read it for the pictures :-D

2
3
Anonymous Coward

Try here

The data itself is in the link in the NS article. If New Scientist isn't good enough for you, how about Nature:

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110405/full/472007a.html

0
2
Pint

Caesium

Dear Anon Coward, Posted Tuesday 12th April 2011 14:43 GMT

Caesium 137 is something my wife is very familiar with.

Following a Hysterectomy for Overian and Uterine Cancer ,she had 6 months of Chemotherapy , 5 weeks of Radiation by a machine blasting her with "External Beam Radiation Therapy" .

Then as a final treatment she had three days of Internal Radiation by an insertion of Caesium 137.

An impressive sign on the entrance to her room warned not to enter because of this dangerous radiation.

I ignored it as it seemed completely stupid to me.

The point about all this , is that eleven (11) years later her (and I ) and not showing any ill effects of the radiation.

If their is any life reduction because of it , it needs to happen soon as she is now 75

Get your dose of Caesium 137 , it can save your liffe.

6
3
FAIL

Fail at statistics

I'm not even sure where to begin here, elderlybloke, expect that the final sentence of "Get your dose of Caesium 137 , it can save your liffe" marks you out as either a parodist or extremely dim.

If the latter, is your lesson in statistics that because you and your wife are both still alive, despite being in contact with Caesium 137, that the health risks are therefore 0%?

You know what, I've been sun burnt a couple of times in my life, and I don't have skin cancer yet. Therefore the risk of contracting skin cancer due to over-exposure to the sun are 0%!

1
2

I'm surprised it did so well....

A shitty forty year old reactor design, that was criticized early in it's life, survives two extreme acts of god, and numerous aftershocks. Not bad. I'm sure more modern design's are even better.

Anyway LFTR for the win.

7
2
Silver badge

Sir

"numerous aftershocks"

hundreds...someone put a web site together with a little timeline video of the shocks, their depth and their area of effect - I'm actually amazed Japan didn't just disappear under the ocean!

I'll try and dig out the link

3
0
Alert

Crane operator killed by gravity waves

The crane operator was killed by dangerous gravity waves radiating from the Earth's centre of mass! Unprotected humans (those without a solid surface, like a floor, between them and the gravity-radiation source) often absorb fatal levels of kinetic energy!

Governments shouldn't ignore this threat any longer!!!

30
1
Alert

Note to mention...

The possibility of a critical failure in the strong force within our bodies; if it failed at the wrong moment (any moment), the result would be instant death! Precautions MUST be taken!

2
0
Thumb Down

where's "investigative reporting" when it's time to "follow the money"?

a little more pressure from the same "international community" that makes billions per year selling petrochemicals and the Scare Machine gets another boost. For less than a single distant Saudi by-blow spends on his private jet maintenance for a year, the Media can be bought and manipulated to make sure fossil fuels remain King for another century.

Fukishima is NOT Chernobyl. NOT EVEN CLOSE. But is this the same "international agency" that ignored the shuffling of bio and chem weapons from the Middle Eastern nations that bribed their inspectors in order to score a few political "gotcha" points, yet refused to issue any sort of retraction when the proof was in their face or killing civilians in the Sudan?

Nuclear power NOW! All the fearmongers (many of the same folk who believe in "carbon credits", "cap and trade", and Algoreanism not surprisingly) can become the energy-less serfs they seem to want everyone *else* to become.

Energy is the key to societal survival-regardless of what source it is, the culture that has abundant energy will dominate the ones that do not. Any politician suppressing his own nations' energy production is either a pawn of his enemies or a traitor, because he is killing his own nation with the same effect as the Allies' bombing campaign destroyed the economy and with it the nation of Nazi Germany.

But passive-aggressive wankers love media propaganda because they might be personally at risk in an honest stand-up fight. If they had to dedicate a nation to war to earn dominance, they might find their opinions and plans can't get enough support to even attempt a war. Propaganda allows small minorities to succeed (apartheid) where open debate or hostility requires some measure of support by the people.

11
1

Airline Crews?

>>For context, you could live permanently under radiation levels of 0.0016 mS/hr and you would >>never achieve even half the annual dose levels permitted by airline crew.

Is that because air-crew spend a significant portion of their working lives closer to space-borne radiation than the rest of use, because they are "photographed" by airport scanners more that the rest of us, both or neither?

Regards

0
0
Anonymous Coward

re. Airline Crews?

It's because they're slightly less protected by the atmosphere from sources of radiation in space; I seem to recall that Concorde crews (flying at almost twice the altitude of normal aircraft) carried dosimeters as part of tests to ensure crew safety.

2
0

Cosmis radiation from being higher in the protective atmosphere, hence a higher relative dosage.

Subject says it all.

1
0
Alert

Radiation Under-Reported by Factor of 100

I don't know where they are coming up with a maximum exposure figure of 0.0016 mSv/hr. Amateurs took a car trip this week to close to the Daiici plant and measured up to 0.108 mSv/hr (100 times more than cited in this article).

The video is on Youtube, just search for "yp9iJ3pPuL8"

3
7

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Let reasoned arguments get throw through the window :)

I've read both of the articles from Lewis and thought them well written, cogent and well researched. I haven't read anything refuting them from anybody else that appears to be as well put together.

I know zilch about the nuclear industry, so am the uninformed ignoramus on the Clapham bus.I have no axe to grind either way. What is interesting is the abuse being hurled at Lewis from people though. e.g.

>>"It has caused less human consequences than a moderate road-traffic accident."

>Odd... I've not seen any road-traffic accidents that resulted in the mandatory evacuation of >every human within a 20 kilometre radius, nor caused the ban on sale of a wide variety of >agricultural produce, nor that resulted in damage that'll cost tens of billions of pounds (that >could otherwise be spent on more worthy projects) to clean up.

Well the point Lewis was making was that these consequences are because people/organisations/countries are going over the top in their response. If we refer to the first posters link, it appears that nobody died, some people were slightly hurt but on the whole it wasn't too bad. Too bad would be having a Tsuami on your doorstep and 10,000+ people dying. Now that is a catastrophe.

The other quotes stating that there are congenital deformities need to back this up. Claims need evidence, extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. Hear say from the bloke in the pub simply doesn't work here. Lewis has made claims that nobody has yet refuted in either article (and yes I read most of the 300 or so comments in the last article). So if you disagree with him over the levels of radiation received, about whether dumping the contaminated water back in the sea poses a problem, or the number of people who haven't died, then put your evidence forward and lets test it, Otherwise we simply won't believe you and assume you're a sandal wearing, lentil eating Guardian reader (which is fairly close to me).

So put up or shut up.

Thanks,

20
3

Reason and fact have no place in this debate over faith and superstition

Sadly, the discussions about Fukushima both in the public sphere, the news media and the political sphere have degenerated into little more than superstition or faith. Reason and fact would require people to look in the mirror and face reality, which it seems we humans are loathe to do. If one looks at the radiation monitoring stations throughout Japan, with the notable exception of localized values in three locations (other than the powerplant itself) in Fukushima prefecture, the radiation levels are near normal background radiation for that area, and within the normal background radiation you might experience in some parts of the US, Europe and other parts of the world, especially those with large amounts of granite bedrock and granite used in construction. Even so, thanks to the western media's mad conspiracy theories, superstitions and constant conflation of Chernobyl and Fukushima, people are so scared in Japan (politicians especially), that rather than tell the truth and tell people to stop worrying, they are pandering to the fears by considering a wider evacuation zone. This is despite the fact that the radiation levels have been falling for weeks, in fact they have fallen by orders of magnitude since the initial evacuation zones were established. However it'd be political suicide to step forward and point this out, so no one does.

9
1
Unhappy

Maybe all this is false but...

You should check the documentary "The Battle of Chernobyl"

Maybe it's all a manipulative attempt of the anti nuke crowd, but somehow I at least give some credibility to the testimonials, the pictures apparently made by some of the "liquidators" and other materials presented.

And yes, I know of someone that managed to do a completely fake documentary proving that men never actually set foot in the moon. But this....

They look pretty authentic. So do the pictures of the deformed children. Ah yes, nobody can actually prove that those were due to exposure to radiation. After all, it happened decades ago.

There are lots of reasons to support nuclear power, mostly purely economical. The weakest one is that is safer than the alternatives. If only we could agree that we agree with the economical reasons, but the people cheering how safe it is are the ones living closer to the reactors....

0
0
Thumb Down

Give it a rest already

We get it. Nuclear power is just super duper fab! In the event of a catastrophic failure the worst that can happen is a release of fluffy bunnies in a similar manner to what happened at the end of each level of sonic the original hedgehog. Renewable energy on the other hand is the devils business. It will kill all wildlife within 100 miles, make you sterile and pee in your pint when you turn your back.

We give in. You are right in every way, and everyone else is so so wrong.

Now please shut the f**k up hand your keyboard over to an adult.

11
36
Silver badge

Thanks

For that well thought out and brilliantly well expounded refutation of Mr Page's article.

Thanks god people like you exist to blow these calm-mongers away.

Or, perhaps you should STFU as well.

14
3
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Give it a rest already

Ah, a well-reasoned response! I find your argument compelling, especially the final bit suggesting that Lewis should not be allowed to write. Although I'm not exactly sure whether the idea is that the people who should "hand their keyboard over" are those who disagree with you, or those who are able to provide verified facts to back their positions, or both.

3
0

That's rich....

the problem with renewables isn't that they kill sildlife - they just cost an utter fortune, and make very little electricity.

3
1

"Now please shut the f**k up hand your keyboard over to an adult."

Ah, irony, every time with you is like the first time all over again.

5
1
Coffee/keyboard

Fukushima releasing bunnies in a multi-sprite animated explosion.

I don't care if everyone's downvoting you. You get an upvote purely for that mental image.

Better hand me a new keyboard though. Tell you what, give me the one you just nicked from Lewis and we'll call it even.

2
0
Stop

I don't disagree... in fact I said as much

This is (was?) an IT site ('Biting the hand that feeds IT') so I come here for IT news. If I cared deeply about nuclear power I would go to a nuclear industry blog (I don't and I don't). It's nice to occasionally liven up my coffee break with a Lester Haines piece about Bulgarian airbags or swedish lesbians raiding spermbanks. I also like to read the occasional inflammatory opinion piece, but do we really need to hear the same opinion on the same topic, again and again, day in day out. Is there really nothing else in the world you want to write about?

Get a room, or take it outside. Either way <as title> <as icon>

3
4
Coat

pee in your pint when you turn your back.

Given modern lager, could this be a bad thing?

mines the one with the CAMRA badge.

0
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

Disheartened

Thanks Lewis for providing a much-needed fact-based opinion. Unfortunately, you're in a small minority. Most mainstream media is fanning the flames of hysteria, and nuclear seems to be doomed. I've given up trying to make people reason: I'm tired of getting called names, of having to debate people who confuse milli with micro, of getting told that the solution to the energy problem is "simply" to build a hundred thousand square kilometers of solar panels in Sahara or getting everyone to renounce cars and aircon. At least you get paid for this torment; good for you.

I'm done, I give up - the world clearly deserves to choke in the smoke from coal, dead miners, and wasted subsidies for the next 20 years, or as long as it takes before the need for nuclear power will so blindingly, desperately obvious that it cannot be denied. It will be a meager consolation to be able to say "you know, if only we did this back in the 2000s, we'd have saved millions of lives and billions of money". I just hope I don't die of lung cancer from airborne particulates before that time.

9
2

Don't give up, you'll hate yourself for it.

It's not easy paddling against the tide, but I've thought long and hard about this over the last few weeks myself. I realized that if I gave in to the nut jobs and stopped trying to use fact and reason, I might as well join in the orgy of superstition and fear. I realized that if I did that, I would really not like myself. Despite the accusations of being a heartless bastard for having the temerity to look at the facts and try to use reason instead of immediately jumping on the emotion bandwagon, I am certain that facing any situation with fact and reason is a preferable course to the path that the media and panic driven public and politicians are taking.

9
3
FAIL

@smelly socks

Ok, lets put a coal or gas-fired station right where the defunct reactors are now.

And let's pretend that they survived the earthquake an tsunami - unlikely because they wouldn't have been over-engineered to the same extent. But lets pretend

Then how the heck are you going to get the fuel to the powerstation to keep it going? The ports are wrecked. The roads unpassable. The trains washed away. The truth is that =only= a nuclear reactor that has to be fueled every other decade could possibly provide power in the immediate aftermath of something like this... if only those tsunami defences had been a little higher.

8
0

gas storage plants didn't do too well

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/pictures/photos-10811/pictures-japan-quake-and-tsunami-2011/11

I've seen the safety assessments for Exxon's (relatively small) storage facilities at FAwley. There's a small but significant risk of a blast in the hundreds of tonnes of TNT range.

2
0
Silver badge

let's put a *** station instead

It's worth noting that a dam of equivalent power, subjected to the same earthquake, would have likely burst, instantly killing everyone below. But yeah, hydroelectric good, nuclear bad.

5
2
Silver badge
WTF?

a title

Oh I see...... the only possible downside to a nuclear accident is death??

So you don't consider the fact that hundreds of thousands have been evacuated and many more are due to be when the exclusion zone is extended over the next month to be any sort of a problem at all?

You do realise that if this had happened at Doonray nuclear power station in Scotland - the proposed new exclusion zone would mean all of Edinburgh and quite a substantial area of Fife would have to be evacuated? According to Wikipedia the population of Edinburgh is 477,660 people.

I am sorry - I guess I just wasn't aware that "experts" measure the scale of a problem in deaths. In that case 9/11 in America obviously wasn't that big a deal - sure some people died - but many millions of people did not - phew!

7
12
Flame

I need to update my figures a bit, but here goes

9/11 wasn't THAT big a deal in and of itself. Here's some interesting statistics. (Note, some of these figures were computed in september 2010, others Jan 2010.

The aircraft that were used in NYC, took off from Boston. Both cities were major supporters of the IRA. (that's just coincidence though)

In September 2001, more than 3,000 people died on US roads, as they had the month before, the month after, or indeed on average every month for the past 15 years.

You are 155x more likely to die on US roads, than in a terrorist incident anywhere in the world where US civilians were injured or killed, or US millitary 'outposts' were targetted, over the last 15 years.

You are 74x more likely to be murdered in the US, than be killed in a US targeting terrorist attack, over the last 15 years.

You are twice as likely to be killed by the weather in the US, than by a terrorist action targeting the US.

As of Jan 2010, the odds of being on a flight in the US that was involved in a terrorist action, was 10,000,000-1 over the previous 10 years. That's lottery jackpot odds.

So, while there has been millions and billions spent on 'anti-terrorism', the US National Weather Service has had it's funding cut; police forces have had their funding cut, while also being told to spend time 'hunting terrorists'; and absolutely nothing has been done to increase driver safety through training (coupled with reduced cops, again).

Hysteria, it gets people elected.

14
1
Thumb Down

That'd be the "Doonray" at the northern tip of Scotland,

183 miles from Edinburgh....About ten times the size of the exclusion zone.

and usually spelled Dounreay.

Always good to discuss these things with well informed opponents.....are you sure you'd not mixed it up with "Doonesbury"? The latter sounds more your sort of thing.

11
1
Silver badge

@Andrew Jones 2

Well, yes, you've basically highlighted the main negative human effect of the damage caused to the Fukushima Daiichi plant (I don't think calling it a nuclear accident is fair as the accident was not caused by anything at all to do with the activities of the nuclear plant) has been the evacuation and exclusion zones and, of course, the disruption and suffering to human life caused by that is not to be handwaved away by saying "nobody died so no harm done".

However, a look at the facts as presented tells us that this exclusion zone was not mandated due to actual radiological risk to human health. It was mandated because, in the face of the same fears of the radiation bogeyman that Lewis' article is actually about, it was a political impossibility for the authorities to do anything else. I, certainly, would not be telling people "no, stay put, don't worry about it, it won't hurt you" even though the facts as we know them know say that they could happily have stayed put.

This is no different to, say, a large poison cloud from a chemical plant explosion. Compare and contrast, for example, Bhopal and Jilin to Chernobyl and Fukushima, in terms of evacuations, death toll and lasting environmental damage. Drawing your own conclusions is encouraged.

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Operation CYA (cover your ass)

its all about covering thier own ass for the officials in this. better safe that sorry, and all. is a 20km evacuation strictly necessary? doubtfull. but its better to evacuate and be safe than let people stay put and have the Worst Case Scenario Of The Day come to pass. they make it a level 7 incident because its better to overestimate it than to underestimate and get burned. they ban local produce so that if someone gets cancer in 50 years they can't blame it on some sushi they had back in 2011. it is 100% about self preservation or, more importantly, position preservation for most politicos.

2
0

It's a good deal worse than that.

All that driving -- because "everybody knows" how unsafe it is to walk or bike -- means very many people don't get enough exercise. That risk is large -- probably an order of magnitude larger than the risk from car crashes. One study showed a 39% higher mortality rate for people who did not ride a bicycle to work.

(I eagerly await the Lewis Page jihad against the killer car culture; the numbers are pretty damning, and he goes by the numbers, right?)

1
0

Well written

Very interesting and well written.

3
4

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017