Assessing the Risks

There is been much fretting and fear about the nuclear disaster in Japan. Indeed the situation at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear power plant is bad, in fact it is likely as bad as it could get. Yet it is beginning to look like it might not be as bad as some of the hyperbole may lead us to believe.  The PJ Tatler gathers some real facts and data. boils it down and serves it in byte sized pieces.

For reasonably decent data, look at the IAEA Japan tsunami site, the Nuclear Energy Institute site, and the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering site.

Now, let’s get down to the status reports.

NEI: Radiation doses at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continue to decrease. Radiation dose rates at the site boundary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant ranged from 1 millirem to 3 millirem per hour on March 18. Eighteen locations were monitored in a 30-kilometer to 60-kilometer radius of the plant. The highest radiation dose rate at any of those locations was 14 millirem per hour.

This is a fairly substantial drop in the dose rate from just a few days ago — which is to be expected, because many of the radionuclides released have short half lives, minutes to hours. 1 millirem means 1000 hours to get 1 rem, 10,000 hours to get to 10 rem, the occupational dose limit in the US for one year — which you couldn’t get, because 10,000 hours is a little over 13 months.

The report also indicates that a true meltdown is unlikely.  The lack of Zirconium in the area indicates that the rods weren’t burning or melting.  While the  some iodine isotopes were dispersed locally, There don’t present much threat. As long as the iodine contamination is monitored, and they keep the milk cows from grazing the area, there should be little further health hazards.

It’s still early and we probabbly won’t understand the full extant of the damages and consequences for months.  There the 180 Fukushima 50 who are enganging in the hand to hand combat of taming this beast . We won’t know what heath consequences these men will pay.

Its all about perspective

We should keep in mind that candles are more deadly than the nuclear plants and that candles kill more people than the nuclear plants.

Nuclear power plants – 0 deaths per year
Candles  – 126
Bicycles 1995  – 800
Agriculture  – 1,300
Motorcycles  – 2,500
Car Phones 2002   – 2,500
Alcohol – 100,000
Tobacco – 500,000

The Greeny Leftist for some reason still would rather have has burning candles.

About Liberty

Blogging is something I do for myself. I've been blogging since Sept. 2003, mostly about politics, guns, and observations about the word around me.
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