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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Power In To Reactors 1-4 Now

Power into Control Room 3 now.

Depending on the damage, it will take some time to do much with it, but this is a very big step.

They are still putting water into 4 with the concrete pumper. Reactor statuses (already a bit out of date).

Last update on prefectural radiation levels. You can see that they are still very low except for the omitted areas. The omitted areas: Ibaraki. Fukushima.

It is the net exposure that is of concern, and net exposure has to be calculated from ambient + ingested. The dosages given are in microsieverts/hour. In 30 days there are 720 hours, so if you were exposing someone to levels of 10 microS over a period of month that's 7.2 milliS, and if you had people drinking contaminated water and food, total exposure could amount to harmful levels.

Still, right now this is relatively safe as long as they don't eat the food and stay away from the tapwater when it is showing contamination. Staying inside provides a lot of short-term protection. Over time inside contamination levels rise. High levels of isotopes have been detected in seawater, but they need to do much wider sampling. I don't think anyone should eat any shellfish from that region of the coast.

I have been following the logistics of the rescue effort. At this stage it is Heartbreak Hill. The struggle to get food, medicine and warmth to the most fragile individuals is desperate. The government is trying to stage wider evacuations of refugees from the quake/tsunami event.

There is very good coverage at NHK.

The great news is that the Tokyo area is still very little exposed.

NYT is reporting that the plant was supposed to be shut down a few months ago but the government granted a 6 year extension.

So we have a great catch-22. The government is in massive debt and the anti-nuke people don't want new nuclear power plants built - so an old dangerous one stays open.

I can only get so much enjoyment out of human stupidity.
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