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Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Reactors and Media Sensationalism

This is a discussion on Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Reactors and Media Sensationalism within the Energy forums, part of the US Discussion category; We can agree on feeling compassion for the people of Japan. But I'm more worried about the lack of food, water, power, and sewage treatment. ...


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Old 03-16-2011, 08:34 AM
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We can agree on feeling compassion for the people of Japan.

But I'm more worried about the lack of food, water, power, and sewage treatment. The risk of infectious disease is worse than the radiation one, imo.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:20 PM
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It seems like only a few days ago that the world was abuze with the hysteria that We're All Gonna Die From RADIATION...oh wait, it really was only a few days ago.

So, where is the hysteria now?

It appears that, indeed, the media grossly sensationalized the story. In reality, radiation levels are falling and we are not going to have another Chernobyl (which was impossible to begin with given the differences in design and the fact that Chernobyl was actually a nuclear weapons plant).

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.

(snip)

Also note that they no longer believe the Fukushima Daini plant had any sort of radiation release — the two plants are close together, and they now believe any increases in radiation at Daini were caused by the Daiichi reactors.

It’s hard to imagine, but it’s now been eight days since the Honshu quake and tsunami, and evidence continues to accumulate that while it was certainly a bad industrial accident, the “doomsday” and “worst case” scenarios just haven’t happened. Every day longer makes those scenarios even less likely — the reactors are cooling, the Japanese are getting them supplied with power, and the fuel rods haven’t burned.


The PJ Tatler » Fukushima update: get a grip part 2


For further evidence, note how the MSM's attention is no longer focused on the nuclear reactors.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:31 PM
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I'm still waiting for evidence of media hype...
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:21 AM
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Media sensationalism.

1. We have several nuclear reactors, on with plutonium in it, that are on the verge of meltdown. Were it not for heroic measures taken, they would have already melted down and completely breached their containers.

2. The radiation is not decreasing. In fact, cesium and iodine are being found in more and more locations, indicating that at least one reactor has a major leak.

3. The very radioactive water is already entering the ground and ocean. And the increasing amount of radiation is preventing more efforts to improve the cooling of the reactors and storage pools for spent rods.

4. The corperation has tried to put a best face on this situation, and is not allowing outside monitoring of the radiation levels within the reactors.

5. In short, I think that the media is not only not sensationalyzing the situation, they may well be underplaying it. For sure, this means that the nuclear industry here will not be building any new power stations, at least not until they have a good thorium design, that cannot do the meltdown number.
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