When disaster strikes, the public is cajoled and coddled with reassuring statements that it could “never happen here”, “not with ours”. Yet, I have yet to find a majority in any room that can identify 25 reactors of similar design from various countries without having incorrectly guessed on one or more. Even more in my arguments favor, when disaster struck in Japan, did they not request US studies on BWR reactors of the like?
The uncertainty leads to a multitude of unrealistic over assurances from officials, experts, and even the press, I’ve been darkly intrigued by the sadly desperate line added to every article regarding the Fukushima meltdowns – “Not threatening to Human Health.” It seems the public is repeatedly advised “do as I say, not as I do”.
Among the plethora of samples available, I’ve been collecting a few; thought I would share:
“There is no question of a Chernobyl situation or of anything like the same threat to human health and safety,” Rafael Arutyunyan, deputy head of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Nuclear Energy Development Security, told Russian NTV News. “An accident like Chernobyl cannot happen again—this is a reactor of a different generation. Even in the worst-case scenario of a total coolant failure, the radiation released will be hundreds of times less than from Chernobyl.” Thedailybeast – Why Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Is No Chernobyl Mar 13, 2011
Satellite photos taken Monday show steam rising from the damaged unit 3 building. The amount of radioactivity carried by the plume is unknown, but small increases in radiation — not enough to impact human health — were reported Tuesday in Tokyo, about 150 miles to the southwest of the stricken facility. The Washington Post – New fire reported at nuclear plant as Japan races to avert catastrophe March 14th, 2011
Roughly nine hours after the explosion, radiation levels just outside the plant — at dangerous levels in the morning — had fallen to 496 micro sieverts per hour, a concentration “much higher than the normal level … but one that causes no harm to human health,” government spokesman Yukio Edano said. At 9 a.m. (8 p.m. Monday in Washington), the radiation level at the plant had been 11,930 micro sieverts per hour, several times the amount a human should receive in one year. The Washington Post – New fire reported at nuclear plant as Japan races to avert catastrophe March 14th, 2011
Higher-than-normal radiation levels were detected in Tokyo, roughly 150 miles from Fukushima. Kanagawa, a prefecture south of Tokyo, recorded radiation at nine times the usual level. In Ibaraki, roughly 70 miles from Tokyo, levels were briefly 100 times the normal measure, according to the Kyodo news agency.
In each case, officials said that exposure to those levels of radiation would not pose an immediate danger to human health. The Washington Post – New fire reported at nuclear plant as Japan races to avert catastrophe March 14th, 2011
A diplomat who has access to radiation tracking by the U.N.’s Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization told The Associated Press in Vienna that initial readings show tiny amounts of radiation have reached California. But it’s not dangerous in any way — “about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening,” the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the organization does not make its findings public. FL Times Diplomat says minuscule fallout reaches Calif.
March 18th, 2011
Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deployed extra radiation detectors throughout the country to allay public concerns. On Thursday, President Barack Obama said “harmful levels” of radiation from the damaged Japanese nuclear plant are not expected to reach the U.S. FL Times Diplomat says minuscule fallout reaches Calif. March 18th, 2011
“The plutonium – used in the fuel mix in the No 3 reactor – is not at levels that threaten human health, officials said.” BBC News – Japan to scrap stricken nuclear reactors 30 March 2011
“The Japanese Cabinet Secretary, Yukio Edano, said: “Even if these foods are temporarily eaten, there is no health hazard.” BBC News – Tokyo water ‘unfit for babies’ due to high radiation 23 March 2011
“Three plutonium isotopes — Pu-238, -239 and -240 — were found in soil at five different points inside the plant grounds, Tokyo Electric reported. The element can be a serious health hazard if inhaled or ingested, but external exposure poses little health risk, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” Damaged reactor may be leaking radioactive water, Japan says – CNN.com By the CNN Wire Staff March 28, 2011
“Mr. Edano also noted that radiation above the acceptable limit had been found in beef from Fukushima prefecture, and he said the government was repeating the tests to confirm them. In any case, he said, “the radiation is not of a level sufficient to be harmful to human health if someone eats it once or twice.”” Radiation Levels Rise Again at Nuclear Plant – NYTimes.com
“Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda maintained that contamination of the sea to be caused by the disposal will pose no major health risk, while apologizing for raising concerns among the public, especially fishermen.” Removal of 60,000 tons of radioactive water eyed at Fukushima plant – The Mainichi Daily News
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