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Japan Raises Nuclear Plant Crisis Severity To 7

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the bad-to-worse dept.

Japan 673

darkonc writes "Early Tuesday in Japan, the government decided to raise the severity level of the accident to the maximum 7 on an international scale, up from the current 5 and matching that of the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. The government declared the level 7 emergency because it is now estimated that the crippled plant was emitting over 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactivity for a number of hours at the height of the nuclear incident. Previously, on Monday, the government had expanded the evacuation zone around the plant to include at least 6 cities up to 60 km away from the plant. These cities, outside of the current 20-30 km evacuation area, are now expected to exceed the 20 millisieverts/year limit on residual radiation established by International Commission on Radiological Protection and the International Atomic Energy Agency in the case of an emergency."

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Japanese whispers (0)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791652)

As facts get passed from source to newspaper to news site to commenter, things are going up a notch in severity each time.

The government says "we might need to evacuate X and are making plans, we are monitoring the situation", which becomes "X preparing for evacuation", then "X ordered to evacuate" until eventually people are convinced that "X will be uninhabitable for 99999 years!!!!!11one!"

Helples pro-nucular babbling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791692)

But... but... nucular is good! that's unpossible!

or what.

Re:Japanese whispers (5, Insightful)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791698)

And people on slashdot.org read that Japan has already released 10% as much radioactive material as Chernobyl, and somehow it's all a liberal scare. BP has the worst oil spill in US history, yet somehow this is a non-issue for the environment. And somehow, this is all related to tax breaks for the rich, and building up our military. Group think in full swing.

Re:Japanese whispers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791800)

yeah it's been a whole 10 minutes or so ... time for another Japan story!

guess there was a chink in the armor of that reactor. amirite?

Re:Japanese whispers (3, Informative)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792002)

Except one blew lots of plutonium and other fun stuff into the atmosphere, while the other has released mostly radioactive iodine and cesium.

Re:Japanese whispers (5, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792074)

Except ignorant scaremongering frequently prevails over truth and reason. Not all radioactive releases are equal. The source of the radiation is as important as where its released and how it was released.

The reality is, the current rating is based on radiation at the source NOT its comparability in scope to Chernobyl. That's not to say they will never or can never be comparable, only that comparisons to Chernobyl at this point is pure idiocy and scaremongering - classic anti-nuclear propaganda.

Re:Japanese whispers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792056)

I think the difference is the visibility of the problem.If the nuclear waste being released into the air was green and therefore toxic looking then it would appear to be a lot worse.

Re:Japanese whispers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791742)

It's not so bad in reality, nuclear energy is safe, the media caused Fukushima!

And some people still wonder why... (4, Insightful)

sincewhen (640526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791656)

And some people still wonder why the public are opposed to nuclear power.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (3, Interesting)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791684)

This crisis, bad as it is, is still just a drop in the bucket compared to what we may be doing to our atmosphere with coal. I'd take a world powered by nuclear any day. At least the problems with nuclear are local-ish.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (5, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791750)

Local-ish, like me, in my hometown 1000 miles from Chernobyl, not being able to collect mushrooms due to Strontium contamination, today? I completely agree that coal has to go, but hopefully, nuclear will be only a temporary solution, to be phased out for renewables in the next decades.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (3, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791922)

Talking about 'nuclear' as if there was exactly one fuel and one reactor design involved is like thinking a Prius, a Tesla and a '69 Corvette all work the same way.

Maybe, just maybe, the answer doesn't lie behind the question of whether we want nuclear power or not. Perhaps we should think about nuclear alternatives. I still say "Yay for LFTR!"

Re:And some people still wonder why... (2)

shilly (142940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791954)

Nope, it's like saying "there may be designs out there that are safe, but there's plenty of 1970s plants with these vulnerabilities designed into them, and each one of them is a potential massive cluster-fuck. So let's focus on those, shall we?"

Re:And some people still wonder why... (5, Insightful)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792044)

You mean the politicking stops and someone either shuts them down or replaces them? At the moment no-one wants to deal with losing the fairly significant contribution that nukes make to our energy supplies, presumably the lights going out is a vote-loser, but no-one wants to build newer safer ones, presumably because it's a vote loser. The most stupid thing about the situation is that the middle ground is the most dangerous - blocking progress and the development and construction of better safer plants and meaning the older plants get lifetime extensions.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (3, Insightful)

shilly (142940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792152)

No, I don't think shutting them down or replacing them makes sense.

Industrial gear is regularly in operation for many decades, especially when it's expensive. Trains and planes are often kept going for 30+ years, for example. Buildings often have lifespans in the centuries. No-one is going to invest in a nuclear powerplant that has to be ripped down after 20 years because it's outdated, not least because decommissioning costs a bloody fortune due to the large amounts of waste that have to be dealt with. Nuclear plants are routinely expected to operate for 30+ years. It's just unrealistic to expect that we're going to see widescale decommissioning of large numbers of 1970s and 1980s reactors, due to the economics alone.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792192)

Exactly. I am not opposed to shutting down all our nuclear reactors if we have a real alternative in place. Heck, we have a few in Switzerland that are old enough for a T-Rex to have humped their cooling tower.

BUT just because a 40 year old design has flaws does not mean the idea is flawed. But tell that to the people. Most of them don't have the knowledge (I don't blame them... you can't be knowledgeable about everything around you...) and our news outlets are decidedly not helping.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (2, Insightful)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791934)

Renewables will never have the energy density required to completely power our world, and will always depend on fickle things like the wind and the clouds. Either we carpet every available inch with solar panels, and plant every plain full of wind farms, or we move to more exotic power sources, like piezo sidewalks and nano-generator clothing (both of which I consider sci-fi despite working in labs, and piezo flooring has even been deployed in Japan (I guess the earthquake generated at least some power, even if it was intermittent...)).
Even if you say "Fission has to go some time...", I'd say to this "... and be followed by fusion or Thorium, not sun and wind.".

Re:And some people still wonder why... (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791966)

Stochastic does not mean unpredictable. And the "carpet every inch with solar panels"-thing conveniently leaves out solar thermal, which has an intrinsic storage capacity.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792170)

[...]And the "carpet every inch with solar panels"-thing conveniently leaves out solar thermal, [...]

Yes. Yes, it does. Since we're talking about electric energy here, and not hot water/central heating. I said power, not heat the world, if I wanted to heat it, I'd light it.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

0-until-pink (202599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792122)

They certainly won't at current consumption rates no. I live at 53 degrees north latitude and my building has air conditioning and sealed shut windows. This means as the climate gets warmer it requires more energy to drive the air conditioning to keep the building cool. This is totally illogical when opening the windows has been effective for adequate cooling here for centuries.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792168)

It's not just cooling. It's also about controlling humidity levels. It's called climate control and not temperature control for a reason.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791778)

Being against nuclear power do not imply being for fossile fuels.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (0)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791810)

It sort of does when you make the comment using a computer that uses electricity, at least over short-medium terms.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791974)

There are actually other ways to get energy. What i think many of us wants is more work put into developing better sources of energy instead of relying on nuclear or coal, or even better more safe nuclear technologies.

What most nuclear huggers seems to disregard is that most nuclear plants are old and way past their date for decomission. Dismantle those and then we talk.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (0)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792022)

Thank you for posting that. I realize there is a very vocal minority that would love nothing more then for all of us to go live in huts and tents but the vast majority likes their iPads and Android Phones. We need power. Just choose the least nature harming one. Of course nature should cooperate and leave those well enough alone.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792062)

It sort of does when you make the comment using a computer that uses electricity, at least over short-medium terms.

I'm peddling like hell to run this laptop you insensitive clod.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (-1, Flamebait)

sincewhen (640526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791816)

Are you a shill for the nuclear industry? An astroturfer? Because that's the only reason I can think for such a stupid comment.
I'm tired of all the pro-nuclear wankers on slashdot.
Fine, coal is bad and we should try to replace it ASAP.
But your relativism doesn't make nuclear desirable. It is another bad (and probably worse) energy source because it is INHERENTLY DANGEROUS!

I'd take a world powered by nuclear any day.

And if you replaced all of the coal-fired power plants around the world with nuclear, how many accidents do you think we would be having annually? How many major disasters would it take for you to admit it is a bad idea, because while it *can* be safe, it never *would* be safe.

At least the problems with nuclear are local-ish.

Fucking moron.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791890)

I'm tired of all the anti-nuclear tossers on slashdot.
Fine, nuclear is bad and we should all be scared.
But your relativism doesn't make nuclear undesirable. It is another acceptable energy source because it is INHERENTLY JUST AS DANGEROUS AS EVERY OTHER FORM OF MASS POWER GENERATION!

Fucking moron.

Please put your signature in your profile. Some of us have signatures switched off, you know.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791924)

> How many major disasters would it take for you to admit it is a bad idea

The pro-nuke types _can't_ admit that. Even the prospect of long term evacuation of cities in a highly technological culture and one of the densest population areas in the world is not enough for them to admit that maybe nuclear has consequences that other forms of energy don't have. A coal plant doesn't make large areas of land uninhabitable for decades, and nuclear does, but they can't admit this. No amount of evidence such as from Chernobyl is ever enough when you are blinded by ideology.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792088)

A coal plant doesn't make large areas of land uninhabitable for decades

It just makes the entire world slightly less inhabitable little by little.

Obviously neither is really desirable .. it's kind of depressing really.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791930)

Did you ever think that the reason it's fairly safe is BECAUSE it's inherently dangerous? Humans tend to be more careful when they view something as very dangerous than when they view something as relatively safe.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791948)

Are we allowed be against 1950s bomb-maker-reactors and for newer no-accident-possible-and-practically-no-residue reactors?

Re:And some people still wonder why... (5, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791952)

Are you a shill for the nuclear industry? An astroturfer? Because that's the only reason I can think for such a stupid comment. I'm tired of all the pro-nuclear wankers on slashdot. Fine, coal is bad and we should try to replace it ASAP. But your relativism doesn't make nuclear desirable. It is another bad (and probably worse) energy source because it is INHERENTLY DANGEROUS!

I'd take a world powered by nuclear any day.

And if you replaced all of the coal-fired power plants around the world with nuclear, how many accidents do you think we would be having annually? How many major disasters would it take for you to admit it is a bad idea, because while it *can* be safe, it never *would* be safe.

At least the problems with nuclear are local-ish.

Fucking moron.

Ahem;

Are you a shill for the wind power industry? An astroturfer? Because that's the only reason I can think for such a stupid comment.
I'm tired of all the anti-nuclear wankers on Slashdot.
Your "INHERENTLY DANGEROUS!" nonsense doesen't mean a damn, because a 40 year old power station was hit by an enourmous earthquake, then an enourmous tsunami; no-one died, and the surrounding area is roughly as polluted as would be caused by the average oil refinery fire.

Hell, there WAS a big refinery fire nearby too; but that got ignored because the scary nuc-ular power plant is spitting out some radioisotopes that will at most present a tiny cancer risk for people locally, and has made the surrounding area roughly as radioactive as being on a goddamn aeroplane.

As someone else on here has already pointed out, there was an oil rig disaster last year which has actually killed people and has polluted a wider area more severely than Fukushima has. No-one said "oil is INHERENTLY DANGEROUS!" and called for all oil production worldwide to end. They said "Christ, they should be more careful with that stuff" which indeed they should. The same applies with this.

Everything in the world is inherently dangerous in some way or another. RIGHT NOW you're sitting mere inches from mains electricity that could kill you, and indeed kills hundreds of people every year in a country near you. You don't raise merry hell about that. Statistically, major incidents included, nuclear remains the safest form of electricity production known, including safe and cuddly solar, hydro, wind etc.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792004)

Show me one incident of a refinery fire that required a decades-long evacuation of thousands of square kilometers, then we talk.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (5, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792186)

Show me one incident of a refinery fire that required a decades-long evacuation of thousands of square kilometers, then we talk.

If refinery fires had the same evacuation criteria in terms of actual risk to people, they would all require extensive evacuation. Sooty oil smoke is plenty carcinogenic, and I would bet good money that the "statistically noticeable cancer risk area" would be at least as large for a refinery fire as it is for Fukushima right now.

The whole thing is a caution-outrage spiral; public concern creates the need for immensely cautious evacuation, which creates more public concern. People are always concerned about any risk from radiation, whereas some 20% of the population subject themselves to a quite large risk from intentionally inhaling smoke for a buzz. That's why a cloud of radioiodine that might give 20 extra people cancer creates global panic, while a cloud of oil smoke that might give 20 extra people cancer doesn't.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792156)

Your "INHERENTLY DANGEROUS!" nonsense doesen't mean a damn, because a 40 year old power station was hit by an enourmous earthquake, then an enourmous tsunami; no-one died, and the surrounding area is roughly as polluted as would be caused by the average oil refinery fire.

Really? You're using the Chewbacca defense to support nuclear power?

that will at most present a tiny cancer risk for people locally

This is worse. Not even the IAEA would dare put out such fluff.

last year which has actually killed people and has polluted a wider area more severely

You're starting to compound lies on lies. This is serious stuff.

You need to seek medical help immediately. This is beyond trolling. If you're in school you should talk to you counselor. Though really it looks like you need inpatient treatment and quickly.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792006)

The phrase "Fucking moron" is apparently better at describing you. Nuclear is "probably worse"? They why does nuclear have the best record of all forms of power generation? On a deaths per terawatt basis, nuclear has the least number of deaths. The next safest source is wind, and it's almost 4 times worse. You have more people dying from falling off roofs installing solar power than you have people dying from nuclear accidents.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792032)

And if you replaced all of the coal-fired power plants around the world with nuclear, how many accidents do you think we would be having annually?

This is why stats are given in relation to energy generated. Even conservative estimates have coal's power to death ratio _way_ higher than nuclear. Adding more power plants shouldn't change the rough percentage.

Truth is, nuclear accidents are just way more dramatic ... toxins and CO emissions from coal, not to mention mining accidents just don't make headlines the way "OMG NUCLEAR MELTDOWN" does. Even by conservative estimate, coal kills more people under ordinary circumstances than the disaster in Japan will.

And I agree nuclear isn't ideal either... but we need _something_ ... and solar/wind/geothermal just isn't gonna happen yet.

I'd also add (for some more pro-nuclear wanking) that considering what it took to actually cause the disaster in japan, that I too would rather see a new nuclear plant go up in my neighbourhood vice a coal or oil plant.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (2)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791888)

At least the problems with nuclear are local-ish.

Localish ? 2000 km away, we could not anymore eat fish from the lake during a while.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792076)

And yet everywhere pregnant women are told to not eat too many fish due to mercury?

Re:And some people still wonder why... (2, Insightful)

cronius (813431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792052)

In Norway nearly 100% of the electrical power used and produced is from renewable energy. The government of Sweden has started working on getting the country completely independent of oil (without building more nuclear power plants). Norway, England, Italy, the US and others have started to look into floating (deep water) offshore wind power as a future energy source.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Comparing nuclear to coal is fucking bullshit.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792064)

yeah people who have used Nuclear power don't realize how much fuel and radiation being stored in the plant who knows it might acutally blow or malfuntion then what i've studied Nuclear, Solar, Wind, and water power and I have to say Nuclear is not the beast power source considering its making this planet worse and people sick i would always switch to a much cleaner power source like Solor or Wind...water won't do much considering who knows when the river may dry up or flood

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791686)

Unfortunately, the slow emissions of CO, radioactive and mercury emissions by coal plants don't make good headlines.

I'm for nuke against coal.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

magsol (1406749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791710)

It's not hard to see why the public at large is opposed to nuclear power: see the above headline. What is evidently much harder to see is why that opposition is extremely unreasonable, particularly in relation to power by fossil fuels.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (2)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791850)

It's not hard to see why the public at large is opposed to nuclear power: see the above headline. What is evidently much harder to see is why that opposition is extremely unreasonable, particularly in relation to power by fossil fuels.

It's unreasonable because it's emotional and based on the fear of something that most people don't really understand. Whenever "nuclear" comes up it's hard for many people to imagine anything other than mushroom clouds and Chernobyl.

I'd be curious about whether a pebble bed reactor would have fared better. If so then this is like so many other things in that it's not about what we do but how we go about doing it.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791712)

And some people still wonder why the public are opposed to nuclear power.

People oppose the nuclear power because they are fed over-exaggerated headlines by sensation seeking media. "We are facing the next Chernobyl! BOOM!!!" is going to generate many more views than "Humanitarian crisis in Japan caused by widespread flooding."

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

OutSourcingIsTreason (734571) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791784)

No. People oppose power plants that can poison the planet with radiation and greenhouse gases because they have common sense.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791912)

Yeah, and they're right. Much better to use the plants that do poison the planet with radiation and greenhouse gases every second they're in use.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792128)

Are you saying nuclear power produces greenhouse gases?

Or are you saying people are against coal?

Neither makes any sense.

The real question is how much are these people doing to reduce their energy footprint given that pretty much all of today's power generation methods release radiation and/or stuff like mercury into the atmosphere....

[sound of crickets chirping]

Re:And some people still wonder why... (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791714)

And some people still wonder why the public are opposed to nuclear power.

Because it took a large earthquake, a very large tsunami, and corporate neglect to cause something that, while expensive, has resulted a casualty figure that is lower than what is seen in a day in Libya. On the other hand, it also shows that nuclear technology that is decades old can withstand all but the strongest of natural disasters. If anything, the public should be realizing that modern nuclear technology coupled with real, effective corporate compliance and government monitoring would make nuclear energy extremely safe and productive. This is what the media should be talking about, instead they are fear mongering and spreading any rumor they can find that bumps up ratings, regardless of the veracity of those rumors. A wonder indeed.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (5, Interesting)

shic (309152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791862)

I am broadly in favour of nuclear energy - in principle. In practice, I have faith in neither corporate compliance nor government monitoring. Neither entity is equipped, or motivated, to appropriately manage long term risk... and that means you can good as guarantee failures. Hysteria about nuclear contamination, IMHO, has made matters worse - encouraging officials to focus exclusively upon reassuring the public that there is "no risk" at the expense of a focus on restricting and mitigating the consequences of the (ultimately inevitable) eventual accident.

Economics (2)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792054)

With adequate safety design, effective corporate compliance, and government monitoring, nuclear energy could be safe.

The problem is that it would then be economically unfeasible.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (3, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791802)

Nuclear accidents are a lot like train derailments and airplane crashes.

Statistically, air and train (and nuclear) are very safe but when something goes wrong, it’s very dramatic. Even looking at very conservative statistics for death vs power generated, coal is much, much worse it just kills people at a slow, steady rate such that it seems normal and doesn't get headlines.

Re:And some people still wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791996)

The only alternatives to nuclear power that sustain the lifestyle that you, mr slashdotter, lead is atmosphere polluting coal/gas/oil power stations that have a finite life AND are contributing to climate change.

In case you hadn't noticed, there are no 100% environmentally friendly power sources for "base load" power. Hydro, wind, solar - none of these are suitable for "base load" power generation.

The world *needs* nuclear power. The world *needs* for us to make nuclear power safe. The world *needs* more research into how to build safe and reliable nuclear power.

The world *does not need* more neagtive hyberbole about nuclear power - unless we want to doom the human race and everything on the face of this planet. Surviving for the last two millenium has been challenging as a species, as a race, but unless we want to kill this planet and/or ourselves, we need to figure nuclear power out.

apologetic comments incoming (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791662)

typical /. pro-nuclear apologetic comments arriving in 3..2..1..meltdown!

Right Now It's a 7 (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791664)

I think using a scale based on 'the worst nuclear disaster so far' isn't a great idea. Do we add #8 'Fukushima' to the scale if it gets any worse?

Re:Right Now It's a 7 (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791668)

Yup.

Re:Right Now It's a 7 (4, Funny)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791746)

My nuclear meltdown scale goes to 11.

It's one worse.

Re:Right Now It's a 7 (0)

trold (242154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791962)

No. If it gets 100 times worse, it's still not as bad as Chernobyl.

Re:Right Now It's a 7 (3, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792014)

Congratulations. You hit on why the INES scale is deeply flawed.

I'm going to point to this [world-nuclear-news.org] news article which explains far more in depth as to why the Level 7 was chosen. After reading it, you should realize that Fukushima is not as bad as Chernobyl. Here's some summary facts.

The Level 7 was chosen solely based on the total cumulative release of radioactive isotopes over the course of a month. Chernobyl's release was mostly due to the radioactive plume that was ejected during a one time event.

The Level 7 covers seven locations. Units 1-4 at Daiichi and three Units at Daiini. Each of these doesn't class over a Level 5 on the INES scale.

Fukushima does not even qualify for level 5. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791696)

You need to have at least a few deaths from radiation poisoning, Fukushima does not even have that. They are maximum at 4-5.

Re:Fukushima does not even qualify for level 5. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791758)

That scale is based entirely on the amount of radiation released. It has no particular death requirements for any specific level.

Re:Fukushima does not even qualify for level 5. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791870)

It takes some time for the people affected by radiation to die unless exposed to insane amounts like the people who sacrificed their lives to contain the Tjernobyl disaster.

Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791728)

Rising or lowering the level won't fix anything.

I couldn't help but notice... (0)

frank_carmody (1551463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791790)

... it's over 9 000!

Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactly? (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791796)

22,000 people died in the tsunami. TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND. So why isn't the tsunami getting more press? Answer: your elites can't score political points from a tsunami.

So that's how pro nuculars argue? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791830)

Tsunamis are bad -- therefore nuclear is good?

Wow.

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (4, Insightful)

Synn (6288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791844)

Actually it's because we can't do all that much against natural disasters. I live in Florida and "Death by Hurricane" is sort of the deal you make to live here.

But we don't have to mismanage nuclear power, or focus our (distant) future on it.

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792110)

False equivalency. Much can be done against natural disasters, but none of it serves an agenda. Always ask yourself: who benefits from this?

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791864)

Good question. Utterly moronic answer.

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (2)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791884)

When did 'elite' become a pejorative?

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791980)

When did 'elite' become a pejorative?

Whenever it was coined.

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (2)

isorox (205688) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791896)

22,000 people died in the tsunami. TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND. So why isn't the tsunami getting more press? Answer: your elites can't score political points from a tsunami.

People understand tsunamis. They can see it, it's terrible, but then it's over, and has been for a month. They weren't killed. Nuclear is invisible and poorly understood, and that leads to fear. Fear of the effects, but fear of the unknown.

The bigger story, which is under-reported, is the displaced people, and the shattered lives. Also, the hope and relief we should have as there haven't 220,000 deaths from disease and starvation after the tsunami.

But people aren't dying, and are unlikely to die

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (2)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791914)

So why isn't the tsunami getting more press?

Because the tsunami happened and then was over with. The reactor situation is ongoing, and isn't getting better very quickly. There's little point on dwelling on the past, there's nothing anyone can do about the tsunami now, the damage is completely done and over with. There are no new developments. Obviously this translates to "no news".

Fighting to keep the reactors from melting down and further major radiation releases is a current and ongoing battle. Every day brings new developments, a new news story, and people want to know what's changed since yesterday. That's the essence of "news".

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (1)

ArAgost (853804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792164)

Because the tsunami happened and then was over with. The reactor situation is ongoing, and isn't getting better very quickly. There's little point on dwelling on the past, there's nothing anyone can do about the tsunami now, the damage is completely done and over with. There are no new developments. Obviously this translates to "no news".

Yeah I'm glad everything's fine with the tsunami and everybody else returned to their homes.

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792010)

Ban tsunamies!!!! We must give our children a tsunami-free world.

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (-1, Troll)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792034)

You know, the situation at Fukushima does not improve by your attempt to utilize the tsunami victims for your propaganda. Also, no one is going to fall for it, so show some respect.

Re:Tsunami: 22,000 dead - nuclear, how many exactl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792114)

Because the radiation will affect even more than 22k people, and takes much longer to clear than the damage from the tsunami (which after 5-10 years villages will be rebuilt), but radiation will remain there for another 50-70 years to make the land unhabitable.

why are it the bulk of slashdot comments (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791804)

about fukushima always minimizing, belittling, or otherwise dismissing what is happening here as hysteria or science illiteracy?

it seems like a form of denial to me

we're talking about the end of nuclear power in japan, and perhaps elsewhere

if you don't understand why, you really are in denial, and you don't understand risk analysis

it's not hysteria going on here. really

Re:why are it the bulk of slashdot comments (0)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791828)

There are a lot more hah-hah comments in this story right now than there are rah-rah.

Re:why are it the bulk of slashdot comments (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791854)

i'm not talking about this thread alone. in every story that comes up about fukushima on slashdot, you see comments modded up that:

1. how fukushima is no big deal, its media hype and confusion
2. how fukushima was easily avoidable, so therefore, its ok
3. how events like this are really rare. so nuclear power is ok
4. how nuclear is really really safe compared to other sources, and science illiterates are just hysterical

repeat after me: denial, denial, denial, denial

Re:why are it the bulk of slashdot comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791926)

Nothing wrong with a calm discussion. The only reason why it may look like denial is you've been so propogandised by screaming headlines and single issue pressure groups. Get the facts, read up on risk analysis, and look at the alternatives.

false alarmism is indeed wrong (-1, Redundant)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791998)

do you know what is equally wrong?

false complacency. i think that's what you refer to as a "calm discussion". its not intelligent, its smug. and wrong, and fails at risk analysis

now go ahead, dismiss me as just another propaganda victim

Re:why are it the bulk of slashdot comments (1)

Frangible (881728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792080)

Yeah, there's no anti-nuclear hysteria. That's why *nuclear* magnetic resonance imaging is so popular. Oh wait!

Re:why are it the bulk of slashdot comments (5, Insightful)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792086)

Most of these comments are subsets of what I see as the truth:

1. Fukushima *is* a big deal
2. But it's not going to actually ruin the planet
3. So take the lessons we've learned, and improve all plants to make this type of disaster far less likely
4. Continue to build nuclear until there are better choices
5. Continue to research better choices

#5 is the most important in the long run, and the Fukushima accident HELPS us understand that. In fact, this disaster is a disaster for Japan, but a great boon to the world, as it helps us better understand what we are doing.

Re:why are it the bulk of slashdot comments (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792136)

this is the beginning of the end of nuclear power in japan. maybe the usa. probably europe

that's what people are learning and understanding

the point is, because some people are hysterics or are illiterates does not change the fact that alarm is indeed the proper, intelligent reaction to fukushima

and i see too many comments in denial, and falsely complacent

Re:why are it the bulk of slashdot comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791936)

Give the astroturfers and their useful idiots a few hours to reorganize their talking points.

Re:why are it the bulk of slashdot comments (5, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792040)

... you don't understand risk analysis

Are the anti-nuclear crowd going to drive their cars to the protest? After letting the TSA spend billions of dollars to trample their rights on the flight over there? And receiving a decent dose of radiation on that flight.

Tell me again about "risk analysis" and how good the average person is at it...

it's not hysteria going on here. really

Uhuh.

you don't combat false alarmism (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792096)

with false complacency

you walk the fine line between false complacency and false alarmism with a prudent understanding of what is going on, intelligence. sometimes, you are complacent. sometimes, you alarmed

and if you are intelligent, you are alarmed about what is going on in fukushima right now. that some people are also alarmed for stupid reasons does not change the fact that alarm is the proper reaction to fukushima right now

now go ahead, dismiss me as a hysteric or illiterate. denial, denial, denial

watch this video (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791814)

You can't really put things into perspective until you look at this video:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/04/12/japan.nuclear.reactors/index.html?hpt=T1

A few filmmakers went into the evacuation zone. Watch how those geiger counters are going ballistic miles from the plant. Whole cities are going to be ghost towns for our lifetime for sure.

Re:watch this video (1)

shilly (142940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792066)

Thank you for posting this. It truly spells out the reality of what has happened. No-one's going to be going back there in a hurry. Very, very sad.

What does 'emitting radioactivity' mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791834)

Does it mean beaming alpha/beta/gamma rays out from radioactive material that is basically contained, but not shielded (e.g. fuel rods in a storage pool with not enough water to block the radiation), or does it mean actual dispersal of the radioactive material itself into the environment, where it beams out alpha/beta/gamma rays? Because those two things are completely different.

centralized intentions; disarmament, truth telling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791848)

something can be all simple like that? still too many of us alive to bother asking?

take a moment to review the genuine native american elders rising bird of prey leadership initiatives, as were commenced during the time of the teepeeleaks etchings, & continue today, using real math, history, biology etc... the genuine natives still have no words in their language to describe what happened to them after they were 'discovered' by us. between that, & the missing (monkey) hymen investigations, we should know something soon?

birds thought to be higher form of our life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792132)

so them dying off just puts us closer to being #1 again? mathamatically, as well as with the obvious physical advantages, the bird frienders may be right. many birds likely find us to be smelly & unappetizing (taste like poison), as well as fatal to them, so.. there can only be one (1) number one (1)? who's willing to wager that the birds survive us?

Luckily (for us) it is happening in Japan (3, Insightful)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791856)

Just imagine one second this type of accident in China...

Re:Luckily (for us) it is happening in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792150)

There are some potential problems in China. The Sichuan earthquake gave more focus to the security discussions regarding the Three Gorges Dam. It would not be pretty if that one breaks. Some scientists believe the Sichuan earthquake was triggered by the Three Georges Dam: "Scientists Link China's Dam to Earthquake, Renewing Debate" - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123391567210056475.html

Not sure why a country like China made them self vulnerable this way, but it is done. All big countries has some issues.

When the next tsunami hits the crippled plant (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791874)

and washes all that radioactive material inland and then back out to sea we will have to increment the Crisis Severity again... and again... ...several thousand times.

Re:When the next tsunami hits the crippled plant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792182)

I'm sure they'll build better tsunami defences to prevent that happening.

Thoughts and Prayers to the Japanese (3, Insightful)

AndyMcL (65518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35791940)

Japan is a great country and the Japanese wonderful people. I lived there in the 90's and loved it. They are showing tremendous resolve and strength during a natural disaster that just keeps on going. It seems like almost everyday I see a headline of yet another 7.x aftershock. Yet they are repairing their infrastructure at an incredible rate and keeping as much control over what they can better than anyone.

If and when the US has another natural disaster, I hope we can come somewhere close to what they are doing. The Japanese people's efforts are not only helping Japan, but much of the world. Many critical components and products for many industries are made or flow through Japan. If Japan were to stop or slow down noticeably, it would seriously affect economies all over the world including the US.

-Andy

Fukushima Power Plant saved lives (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792160)

Did anyone see the area around the power Plant? Nobody survived the tsunami there but those working at the plant which was designed to take the earthquake and tsunami did fine. If it was a coal or gas plant it wouldn't have been built as well so those workers would have been dead too.

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