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Japanese Declare Crisis at Level of Chernobyl .
The Wall Street Journal ^ | APRIL 12, 2011. | PHRED DVORAK, JURO OSAWA and YUKA HAYASHI

Posted on 04/12/2011 3:11:45 AM PDT by Scanian

TOKYO—The Japanese government raised its assessment of the monthlong crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the highest severity level by international standards—a rating only conferred so far upon the Chernobyl accident.

Japan's nuclear regulators said the plant has likely released so much radiation into the environment that it must boost the accident's severity rating on the International Nuclear Event scale to a 7 from 5 currently. That is the same level reached by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union, which struck almost exactly 25 years ago, on April 26, 1986.

"Based on the cumulative data we've gathered, we can finally give an estimate of total radioactive materials emitted,'' Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said at a press conference Tuesday.

Even as they upgraded their assessment of the situation, Japanese officials went to lengths to say that the problem they are struggling to contain isn't anywhere near the disaster of Chernobyl.

"It is quite different from Chernobyl," said Mr. Nishiyama. "First, the amount of released radiation is about a tenth of Chernobyl," he said, adding that while there were 29 deaths resulting from short-term exposure to high doses of radiation at Chernobyl, there were no such deaths at Fukushima.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deaths; fukushimadaiichi; radiation; severityrating

1 posted on 04/12/2011 3:11:55 AM PDT by Scanian
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To: Scanian

Does it matter where the leaked/emitted radioactivity actually went? While sea creatures might disagree, the Japan situation does not appear to threaten great swaths of inhabited land.


2 posted on 04/12/2011 4:11:46 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Scanian

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will be worse than Chernobyl. The Japanese food staple, Sea Food) is being destroyed. All forms of aquatic life are being contaminated from the radiation leaks.


3 posted on 04/12/2011 4:21:10 AM PDT by chainsaw
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To: chainsaw

“Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will be worse than Chernobyl. The Japanese food staple, Sea Food) is being destroyed. All forms of aquatic life are being contaminated from the radiation leaks.”

OH NOES, the sky is falling!!!


4 posted on 04/12/2011 4:26:00 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Scanian

Anyone heard from Josef Oehmen lately...?


5 posted on 04/12/2011 4:30:32 AM PDT by edpc (Tagline under construction: Your American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars at work.)
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To: Scanian

I don’t beleive it. I think Keith Olberman needs to be sent for a first hand account and assessment of the situation.


6 posted on 04/12/2011 4:32:46 AM PDT by catfish1957 (Hey algore...You'll have to pry the steering wheel of my 317 HP V8 truck from my cold dead hands)
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To: Scanian

I look upon such a declaration with a bit of skepticism not only because of the varying and somtimes conflicting reports about the situation mixed with a bit of chicken-littlism, but also because the reactor exploded @ Chernobyl and since it didn’t have a containment chamber the nuclear fuel was thrown all over the area which seems like a far greater tragedy.

Election season is starting. The conservatives lost in Germany supposedly due to their nuclear energy policies. It doesn’t matter what the truth of their loss really is, the left thinks it’s true. And the left here in the US need something, anything to hang on to and so it would not surprise me if reports about the situation in Japan were not quite accurate.


7 posted on 04/12/2011 4:33:39 AM PDT by dajeeps
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To: driftdiver

Why this strange dichotomy between the people here concerned and the ones who insist on disparaging anyone who cares?

Has FR been SO infiltrated?


8 posted on 04/12/2011 4:41:53 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: treetopsandroofs

Caring is one thing. Exaggerating and thinking the world is collapsing is another. Some seem to have no reasonable perspective but rather are caught up in the “end of the world as we know it” hysteria.


9 posted on 04/12/2011 4:45:18 AM PDT by hal ogen (1st amendment or reeducation camp?)
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To: hal ogen

Who said this is the “end of the world” or anything like that? I see one poster up-thread who says all forms of sea life are affected by this which I take to mean all manner of fauna which is an accurate statement. Cesium 137 has a half life of 30 years so this accident will affect Japanese food supplies for decades.

On the other hand people have been dismissing this as inconsequential since early on. They’re the ones who’ve been proven wrong and must reassess their claims.

Do you still believe, as others claimed, that all nuclear fission ended on March 11 when the control rods were inserted?


10 posted on 04/12/2011 4:54:40 AM PDT by Justa
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To: Scanian

These assessments sound more like rules of thumb than actual specific categorization of the true damages. This is no Chernobyl.

That said, the nuclear and building technology at Fukushima Daiichi is 50 years old; the building itself is 40 years old.

That the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident should dictate future nuclear policy is like declaring crash tests from a 1969 Ford should determine safe speeds for today’s cars.


11 posted on 04/12/2011 4:57:15 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: treetopsandroofs

“Why this strange dichotomy between the people here concerned and the ones who insist on disparaging anyone who cares?”

Facts are critical for conservatives. We want to evaluate things based on factual, scientific data.

Looking at cold hard data will tell people this is nothing like Chernobyl.
And of course the higher rating isn’t for what is going on now. They raised it because after looking at data they think a greater amount of radiation was emitted in the past.

Here is just one story:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703841904576256742249147126.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories


12 posted on 04/12/2011 5:02:50 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Yes We Can, have smaller government)
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To: hal ogen

A little Perspective here:

“Japanese authorities announced that residents of some municipalities outside the 12.5-mile radius evacuation zone will be relocated to reduce long-term radiation exposure. Radiation can accumulate in some places based on weather and geographical factors. The relocation orders will apply to areas where there is a possibility of residents receiving a dose of 2,000 millirem over the course of a year.”

http://nei.cachefly.net/newsandevents/information-on-the-japanese-earthquake-and-reactors-in-that-region/

“The standards say that a nuclear plant worker can receive up to 5,000 millirem each year, but a Nuclear Regulatory Commission report says the average exposure for a nuclear power plant worker is 240 millirem per year. “

“Smoking 1½ packs a day can result in exposure to 1,300 millirem of radiation per year. Tobacco has a high concentration of polonium-210, a naturally occurring radioactive element.

Flying in an airplane reduces the thickness of atmosphere shielding you from cosmic sources of radiation, including our sun and cosmic rays. You receive about 1 millirem of radiation for each 1,000 miles you fly. If you flew in the Space Shuttle, you’d receive more radiation: between 433 millirem and 7,864 millirem depending on the duration of your mission. “

“GI series or cardiac catheterization 2,000 to 10,000 mrem/occurrence - Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory”

http://www.deq.idaho.gov/inl_oversight/radiation/radiation_guide.cfm

“The US Capitol Building in Washington DC:

This building is so radioactive, due to the high uranium content in its granite walls, it could never be licensed as a nuclear power reactor site.”

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/interact/facts.html

Information is our Friend. It helps determine whether or not the Sky is, in fact, Falling.


13 posted on 04/12/2011 5:04:00 AM PDT by BwanaNdege ("All it takes for Evil to triumph is for good MEN to do nothing." Edmund Burke)
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To: 1010RD
That the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident should dictate future nuclear policy is like declaring crash tests from a 1969 Ford should determine safe speeds for today’s cars.

However using your example there are laws on the books that you can't drive a Model-T on the highways since it cannot meat modern minimum speed and safety standards. (Top speed 40 mph, and no seat belts). So just as first generation cars have been forced off the highways by modern standards these first generation nuclear power plants need to be replaced by safer, more modern power plants. Modern plants store the fuel inside its own containment building, require less emergency heating, and have gravity fed water reserves. While none of those features could have prevented damage to the plant from a 9.0 earthquake, they all could have reduced the damage to the surrounding area and the cost of the cleanup.
14 posted on 04/12/2011 5:08:59 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: treetopsandroofs

Concern is one thing. Foretelling the destruction of the oceans is quite another.


15 posted on 04/12/2011 5:20:34 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Justa

“all forms of sea life are affected by this which I take to mean all manner of fauna which is an accurate statement.”

is it accurate? The radiation is indeed a threat near the plant where the concentration is high. Yes mobile creatures move in an out of that area. There is no indication radiation levels are high enough to injure those fish, let alone an entire eco-system.

“Do you still believe, as others claimed, that all nuclear fission ended on March 11 when the control rods were inserted?”

Only if you believe in science. If you believe in witchcraft or other black magic then perhaps the reaction continued after it was stopped.

The damage is caused by over heating not a continued fission reaction.


16 posted on 04/12/2011 5:24:28 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Scanian
Japanese Declare Crisis at Level of Chernobyl
The release from Fukushima of tens of thousands of terabecquerels of iodine-131, while huge, appears to be smaller than the U5.2 million terabecquerels released from Chernobyl.
"Appears to be 'smaller'?" Gee, ya think.

Tens of Thousands = xx,xxx (say 50,200 TBq for argument's sake)
and 5.2 Million = 5,200,000 TBq
means that: Chernobyl was 100 Times Worse
I'm not implying 'we' should go have lunch there, but 100x LESS than Chernobyl is far from: 'at level of'.

So it appears that the only reason they're saying it is, is that a Level Seven is the highest rating for an 'accident' (maybe they should go to 10 being the top?).

17 posted on 04/12/2011 5:33:12 AM PDT by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits [A.Einstein])
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To: Justa

So don’t eat any glowing fauna that might be imported from that specific area...as if any is being imported from that specific area. Make sure you spend the rest of your life in your safe room because there are lots of bad, scary things out here in reality, including facts. Sheesh!


18 posted on 04/12/2011 6:33:19 AM PDT by hal ogen (1st amendment or reeducation camp?)
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To: Scanian
Why- other than the cooling water would somebody build a nuke plant on the beach when it is on the “Rim of Fire” subject to quakes & tsunami's???
19 posted on 04/12/2011 6:38:19 AM PDT by DAVOILTTE (Why can Cancer breach the blood/brain barrier but the chemo drugs can't treat brain cancer)
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To: hal ogen

Thanks, but my kids eat food from a Japanese (import) grocery store.

The Japanese have not restricted export of contaminated food so you may well be eating it too in a few years as inexpensive ingredients of American foods.


20 posted on 04/12/2011 6:55:18 AM PDT by Justa
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To: driftdiver

“If you believe in witchcraft or other black magic then perhaps the reaction continued after it was stopped.

Groan. Ok, lets walk through this.

First, there have been several reports in the last month of gamma rays detected from beyond the plant substantiating criticality occurring outside containment which contradicts your assessment.

“The damage is caused by over heating not a continued fission reaction.

This is a ridiculous statement to make regarding reactor fuel meltdown. If the fuel is melted and pooled at the bottom of the reactor do you really think the Uranium melted fuel is separated sufficiently to prevent fission?


21 posted on 04/12/2011 7:08:02 AM PDT by Justa
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To: Justa

It seems that if the threat of radiation in Japanses food freaks you so much and if you care about your children you would go to a different store and avoid the Japanese ones. I’m just sayin’...


22 posted on 04/12/2011 7:12:55 AM PDT by hal ogen (1st amendment or reeducation camp?)
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To: Justa

“First, there have been several reports in the last month of gamma rays detected from beyond the plant substantiating criticality occurring outside containment which contradicts your assessment.”

There have also been numerous bogus reports.

“If the fuel is melted and pooled at the bottom of the reactor do you really think the Uranium melted fuel is separated sufficiently to prevent fission?”

Well yes, judging from the lack of further activity at the site.


23 posted on 04/12/2011 8:01:55 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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