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Fukushima Soil Contamination Probed

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the unless-you-want-giant-beans dept.

Japan 95

AmiMoJo writes "New research has found that radioactive material in parts of north-eastern Japan exceeds levels considered safe for farming. The findings provide the first comprehensive estimates of contamination across Japan following the nuclear accident in 2011. An international team of researchers took measurements of the radioactive element caesium-137 in soil and grass from all but one of Japan's 47 regions. The researchers estimate that caesium-137 levels close to the nuclear plant were eight times the safety limit, while neighbouring regions were just under this limit."

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Worse than Chernobyl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060328)

Because Ukraine is just some skank ex-communist block country, but Japan is source of weeaboo culture.

Re:Worse than Chernobyl (4, Funny)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060434)

It will be fine. The next generation of henti will just include the tentacles on the girls to begin with

Re:Worse than Chernobyl (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060580)

Already been done. You're not into monster girls I take it?

Gov't / media responses to crisis is very telling (0)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062774)

Crisis in Fukushima and Japan is far from over. It's just begun. Expect to see "lost decades" due to all kinds of sicknesses due to radiation exposure. Please study the material below, also for your own knowledge and safety:

MUST SEE VIDEO: Japanese officials confronted with question wether people in Fukushima has the same rights as other people to protect themselves against radiation, and their surprising answer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rVuGwc9dlhQ [youtube.com]

VIDEO: Fukushima children forced to drink radioactive milk at school:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Aq4JG9ULVNE [youtube.com]

Fukushima-get up to date on repressed news:
http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/much-of-northern-japan-uninhabitable-due-to-nuclear-radiation [endoftheam...ndream.com]
http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/media-2/fukushima-meltdown-caldicott-says-japan-may-become-uninhabitable-media-silent/ [independentaustralia.net]
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/06/10/japan-deal-radioactive-sewage-crisis-produce-cement-25231/ [alexanderhiggins.com]
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/remember-fukushima-its-back [zerohedge.com]

Secret pacts to NOT check for radiation in imported goods and foods from Japan (made after Fukushima started melting down):
http://www.nuclear-news.net/2011/08/20/hillary-clintons-pact-with-japan-to-downplay-fukushima-radiation-risks/ [nuclear-news.net]
http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/radiating-americans-with-fukushima-rain-food-secret-clinton-pact [examiner.com]

Experts: Fukushima 'off-scale' lethal radiation level infers 100 millions dying:
http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/experts-fukushima-off-scale-lethal-radiation-level-100s-millions-deaths [examiner.com]

Closer to home:
http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/uriks/article4151087.ece [aftenposten.no]

Independent measurements (uncalibrated, non-discriminatory - but shows no "need" for global mass-panic yet):
http://www.radiationnetwork.com/Message.htm [radiationnetwork.com]

Independent news (only ones still covering Fukushima):
http://www.fairewinds.com/ [fairewinds.com]
http://enenews.com/ [enenews.com]

Japanese government changing the "safe health standards" just moments after disaster struck. Now includes absurd amounts of radiation 20-30 times more than previously, which were already 2-10 times more than most Western countries'. The change document is of course provided, also with a "safe" limit of "plutonium and other ALPHA emitters". Plutonium! The most toxic substance known to life!

Raising the exposure limits were allegedly done to increase safety for citizens, something you'd expect in a Hitchcock movie..

"Becquerels" and Japan's changing "safety" standards for radiation in food and water
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc6FPIK1VaY [youtube.com]

"Evacuate Children!" Rally & Demo in Koriyama City, Fukushima Pref. on Oct. 15, 2011"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6RAwEBxaa4&feature=related [youtube.com]

"Detoxify or Die: Natural Radiation Protection Therapies for Coping With the Fallout of the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown":

http://www.health-matrix.net/2011/03/19/detoxify-or-die-natural-radiation-protection-therapies-for-coping-with-the-fallout-of-the-fukushima-nuclear-meltdown/ [health-matrix.net]

Experiences after Chernobyl and the multitudes of diseases, chronic fatigue and lessened immune disorders inflicted upon Europeans, and how Fukushima can learn from history.

VIDEO: "Evacuate Children!" Rally & Demo in Koriyama City, Fukushima Pref. on Oct. 15, 2011"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b6RAwEBxaa4 [youtube.com]

Re:Gov't / media responses to crisis is very telli (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38067656)

i love it when "balanced reporting" involves putting the "sky is falling" and the "nothing's happening" people in the same room.

shades of grey suck. it's all about contrast.

Re:Gov't / media responses to crisis is very telli (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072198)

I hate it when establishment-defenders mods a perfectly good post down (not referring to your post, but to moderators).

Exactly why I de-bookmarked /. years ago. Too many closed-minded elitists who seek to mute those opinions that disagree with their own world-view. Good luck believing this latest propaganda-piece which is not based on any real measurements, but on theoretical models.

Can't be bothered reading facts of course. Cognitive dissonance with the establishment would hurt too much. Cowards.

Re:Gov't / media responses to crisis is very telli (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080300)

why you post lies to Internet?

(seriously, if you believe that crap you must've failed school at a really early age)

Re:Gov't / media responses to crisis is very telli (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38103534)

What are the lies? I challenge you to find the lies.. I mean the information is there right in front of you, if you're truly interested in investigating anything other than accusing the messenger and dismissing evidence.

See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060376)

A huge earthquake and a tsunami both well above the level the plant was designed to withstand and it took it, with just some slight explosions and making great swathes of land uninhabitable for generations.

Nuclear power ftw!

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (4, Informative)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060420)

A huge earthquake and a tsunami both well above the level the plant was designed to withstand and it took it, with just some slight explosions and making great swathes of land uninhabitable for generations.

Nuclear power ftw!

Lets not forget the reactor up the coastline that took just as big of a hit..and came out relatively unscathed because someone took the time and knowledge to build it higher than sea level in a country prone to Tsunami.

Poor Engineering FTW!

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38063222)

To be fair there were a lot of towns build in areas that no-one expected to flood. The Japanese spend a huge amount of time and money preparing for natural disasters, after all they do have very regular earthquakes and tsunami. Fukushima Daiichi survived the tsunami fairly well except for the backup generators which were its Achilles heal, and which at Fukishima Daini up the cost were made flood-proof.

So rather than is being a problem of where the plant was built it was the failure of TEPCO to fix the backup system's vulnerability to flooding which they were warned about.

Most Japanese people do not blame anyone for failing to predict the scale of the tsunami. Everyone did their best and it was simply an event beyond what anyone thought was possible.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083658)

Everyone did their best and it was simply an event beyond what anyone thought was possible.

That's still a touch too black-and-white ; the earthquake and tsunami were always possible, but they were not considered a sufficiently high probability to be designed against. Those probability assessments have no doubt been revised.

Other commentators are forgetting that there is a reason the reactors were built at sea-level : they need the cooling water. Putting them (say) 100m above sea level would increase the power requirements for pumping cooling water up to the plants, which would mean that you need more (or bigger) power stations. (Plus, of course, putting them on hillsides would increase the risk of ground instability in a large earthquake.)

The design of these structures was rational. Some of the design assumptions (e.g. the probability of earthquakes of magnitude X) may have been incorrect, with hindsight, but that is a different thing from being recklessly negligent.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084462)

Some of the design assumptions (e.g. the probability of earthquakes of magnitude X) may have been incorrect, with hindsight, but that is a different thing from being recklessly negligent.

I don't think many people would accept that. When it comes to nuclear safety they expect that all conceivable dangers are addressed, no matter how remote. For example new reactors in France are airplane proof, just in case someone decides to crash a jet liner full of fuel into one. Highly unlikely but the consequences are so severe it is deemed necessary.

TEPCO should have improved the emergency cooling system when they were warned about it. Even if the probability was extremely low they should have done it. And in actual fact the nuclear regulator thought that the chance of great enough to be worth it anyway, it was TEPCO that disagreed on what appear to be financial grounds.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085428)

Being "recklessly negligent" has a very specific meaning : it means that you do not consider at all something which a reasonable person should have considered. It does not mean that you reckoned the odds and got it wrong.

I'm not disagreeing that TEPCO's various technical and financial calculations were incorrect. But that is a different thing to being "reckless", in both legal and moral senses.

(There are specific charges in the legal system that I work under that make a very clear distinction between actions that are "reckless" and ones that are ill-advised or poorly judged. For example, a case that a friend of mine in the trade union business was involved in a couple of years ago involved a building contractor one of whose workmen was injured when a trench collapsed. The contractor claimed that he'd been planning to shore the trench up when it got to a certain depth, and had made an error of calculation about what that depth should have been. The trade union (acting for it's injured member) asserted that, because there was no shoring material - boards and scaffolding poles - nor a plan for the shoring on site, then the contractor had been reckless - he'd completely ignored or not considered that risk. The judge found the contractor had indeed been recklessly negligent, and doubled the damages.)

What did Churchill say? Something about "two countries being so divided by sharing a common language"?

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38088078)

Being "recklessly negligent" has a very specific meaning

I know, which is why I didn't say it. My point has nothing to do with the definition of phrases in your comment, it is based on the fact that people in general are unlikely to accept that any decision which involves calculating the odds of a particular disaster happening. As far as they are concerned when it comes to nuclear if there is any danger at all which can be defended against failure to do so is unacceptable.

That is why French reactors are now being made suicide-jet-aircraft-attack proof. With re-enforced cockpit doors and more screening before boarding the plane the chances of it happening are very very low, but the people through their government demand it anyway.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (2, Interesting)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060472)

They built a plant that was supposed to last 100 years, and only set it up to survive smaller earthquakes. At the time of build, there had been 10 earthquakes in the last 1000 years big enough to f Fukushima up. Divide 1000 years by 10 earthquakes that bad = 1 per 100 years. And it was supposed to operate for 100 years. The arrogance of "maybe we'll get lucky this 100 yrs" vs. "let's make it work for 0.2 higher on the richter scale" is what is at fault here.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (4, Informative)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060684)

Except the earthquake is not what caused the problems. The generators that were shut down by flood waters, effectively killing the cooling system, causing overheating and eventually meltdown, Did.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060734)

I forgot that water happening after an earthquake was an impossibility on an island full of seismic activity! Silly me! Oh wait...

alternate response (2)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060752)

...And what created the biggest flood waters to hit the plant ever? An earthquake. Tsunamis aren't an unknown phenomenon that they didn't know about when the plant was built.

Re:alternate response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060970)

All your OP implies is damage directly caused by the earthquake, nowhere does it say anything about the other effects. No need to go double posting on the guy.

Re:alternate response (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061936)

All your OP implies is damage directly caused by the earthquake, nowhere does it say anything about the other effects. No need to go double posting on the guy.

Except that Moheeheeko is incorrect. There WAS significant damage done by the earthquake. And more by the tsunami. And both events were well within historical values that TEPCO and Japanese government geologists chose to ignore (go look for the citation if you're really interested).

So yes, it was a huge earthquake and huge tsunami. However, if Japanese regulators had actually been regulating they would have 1) insisted that TEPCO build up defenses to deal with larger quakes and tsunamis than the plant was originally designed for and / or 2) Shut the plant down at the end of design life and put up a newer, safer plant.

Not to mention the outright lying and obfuscation that TEPCO and the Japanese government continue to do about the magnitude of the problem.

0 for 3. Your out.

Re:alternate response (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062410)

Except that Moheeheeko is incorrect. There WAS significant damage done by the earthquake.

The International Atomic Energy Agency seems to disagree with your personal opinion.

http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/fukushima/missionsummary010611.pdf [iaea.org]

"Although all off-site power was lost when the earthquake occurred, the automatic systems at TEPCO`s Fukushima Dai-ichi successfully inserted all the control rods into its three operational reactors upon detection of the earthquake, and all available emergency diesel generator power systems were in operation, as designed."

Re:alternate response (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068068)

I may have phrased my initial post incorrectly, but in the context of global events you should still be able to discern the message of what I'm saying, rather than nitpicking it. But I can't take off my own pedant hat, so I know how that goes. ;)

Anyway: Earthquakes make tsunamis. If you are building an island reactor that must withstand earthquakes, it must be set up to also withstand the tsunamis that may come with an earthquake. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE AN ISLAND SURROUNDED BY WATER.

Re:alternate response (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083724)

...And what created the biggest flood waters to hit the plant ever? An earthquake.

Err, unless you're using a different meaning of "biggest", "flood", or "ever" to me and the dictionary . . .

Hang on - I read what you wrote as being "planet", not "plant", but "plant" makes sense as well.

On my mis-reading as "planet", the biggest flood waters to hit the planet ever were either the draining of Lake Missoula across the "scablands" of NW USA (see this [wikipedia.org] summary and references therein) about 15,000 years ago, or one of the several re-fillings of the Mediterranean Sea basin [wikipedia.org] after their desiccation in the Messinian Salinity Crisis (around 5 million years ago). There is an outside possibility that the Zechstein flood(s) 250-odd million years ago were bigger, but given the tectonics of the Mediterranean (a true ocean), I think the Messinian floods would have been volumetrically bigger. The flow through the Viking-Central graben series woulf have been pretty damned spectacular though.

OTOH, if you were actually referring to "the plant", then the history of the particular site is beyond me. However on general principles I'd expect any randomly selected part of the Japanese coastline to be subject to significant vertical motion on pretty short (10s of thousands of years) time scales. which should give pause for thought for locating things like nuclear waste repositories. But then again, all the volcanicity would rule Japan out for that sort of thing anyway.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060600)

Ploughing, and some fertilisers can help farmers reduce plants' uptake of the dangerous elements, and binding agents can be added to animal feed to reduce their uptake from the gut, he added.

Oh, no! How will humanity survive???

BTW Cesium-137 half life is about 30 years, so "uninhabitable for generations" is a bit of a stretch. The only way that statement could be true is in the area immediately surrounding the plant, and only If they do absolutely nothing at all - no treatment, no cleanup, nothing. Then, yeah, it would take 90 years to get down to the limit.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (3, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060602)

A huge earthquake and a tsunami both well above the level the plant was designed to withstand and it took it, with just some slight explosions and making great swathes of land uninhabitable for generations.

With radiation levels of 8 times the safe level for farming, it'll take 3 half-lives for them to decline to the safe level. Or, about 90 years, as Cs-137 has a half-life of about 30 years and it decays to the stable barium-137.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060732)

And of course you can just skim the soil off of the worst areas and put it in a big pile with a "do not touch until 2100" sign. Expensive for farmland, but definitely within the scope of human endeavor. Hell, Cesium-137 even has industrial uses - maybe there is a way to extract it.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060934)

Except that it is farmland. So they'll just plow it in, diluting the concentration.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061994)

AND except for the Japanese government still hasn't come clean about the extent of contamination. And seemingly has no plans to do so.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062668)

Fortunately, Japan is more or less free, so studies like this can run around taking measurements and publishing them.

Re:See, this just shows how safe nuke is ... (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38065866)

But half the current radioactivity of Cesium is Cs-134 with a half-life of 2 years (thus being 15 times as radioactive for equivalent amounts). Which basically reduces the time by 30 years outright. It is known from other sites (Sellafield, Chernobyl) that a lot of the Cs will inevitably be removed by erosion, migrating deeper into the soil and being absorbed by clay minerals - thus not being bio-available (that is, staying in the soil and not being taken up by plants growing in the soil).

Without decontamination we're still talking about decades.

But it's not like Sellafield or Chernobyl, because the problem is limited to Cs. There is no Sr-90, no activation products or Plutonium to speak of (some 0.6Bq/kg were found right next to the power plant - it is not clear whether this is from the powerplant or Cold War residue which has similar concentrations in Japan.)

*crickets* (0)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060384)

.....are we suprised by this at all?

They won't care (-1, Troll)

twiddler69 (2504140) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060398)

People there will still use that land for farming regardless of the radiation. Expect a bunch of mutant babies from Japan.

Re:Mutant fruits, three eyed fish, one eyed shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060448)

They are all ready on display in Japan.
LOL

Re:They won't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38063304)

People there will still use that land for farming regardless of the radiation. Expect a bunch of mutant babies from Japan.

Don't worry- the Japanese will still treat their mutant babies with love and care as seen in this enlightening film. [youtube.com]

...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (1, Informative)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060476)

The only thing that surprises me is that someone seriously came out with a study prior to this one saying the soil was A-OK after what happened.
You'd have to be pretty dense to believe that.

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (5, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060540)

The only thing that surprises me is that someone seriously came out with a study prior to this one saying the soil was A-OK after what happened.

Of course, if you read TFA, you find that the legal limits are only exceeded in the area immediately around the plant, and that everywhere else it's fine.

In other words, we have this exclusion zone. And we shouldn't be farming there....

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060608)

As is assumed, I was merely commenting that TFA mentioned a prior article that goes against these findings.

Japanese Government response to crisis (0)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062542)

MUST SEE VIDEO!!:
Japanese officials confronted with question wether people in Fukushima has the same rights as other people to protect themselves against radiation, and their surprising answer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rVuGwc9dlhQ [youtube.com]

VIDEO: Fukushima children forced to drink radioactive milk at school:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Aq4JG9ULVNE [youtube.com]

Fukushima-get up to date on repressed news:

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/much-of-northern-japan-uninhabitable-due-to-nuclear-radiation [endoftheam...ndream.com]
http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/media-2/fukushima-meltdown-caldicott-says-japan-may-become-uninhabitable-media-silent/ [independentaustralia.net]
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/06/10/japan-deal-radioactive-sewage-crisis-produce-cement-25231/ [alexanderhiggins.com]
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/remember-fukushima-its-back [zerohedge.com]

Secret pacts to NOT check for radiation in imported goods and foods from Japan (made after Fukushima started melting down):
http://www.nuclear-news.net/2011/08/20/hillary-clintons-pact-with-japan-to-downplay-fukushima-radiation-risks/ [nuclear-news.net]
http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/radiating-americans-with-fukushima-rain-food-secret-clinton-pact [examiner.com]

Experts: Fukushima 'off-scale' lethal radiation level infers 100 millions dying:
http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/experts-fukushima-off-scale-lethal-radiation-level-100s-millions-deaths [examiner.com]

Closer to home:
http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/uriks/article4151087.ece [aftenposten.no]

Independent measurements (uncalibrated, non-discriminatory - but shows no "need" for global mass-panic yet):
http://www.radiationnetwork.com/Message.htm [radiationnetwork.com]

Independent news (only ones still covering Fukushima):
http://www.fairewinds.com/ [fairewinds.com]
http://enenews.com/ [enenews.com]

Japanese government changing the "safe health standards" just moments after disaster struck. Now includes absurd amounts of radiation 20-30 times more than previously, which were already 2-10 times more than most Western countries'. The change document is of course provided, also with a "safe" limit of "plutonium and other ALPHA emitters". Plutonium! The most toxic substance known to life!

Raising the exposure limits were allegedly done to increase safety for citizens, something you'd expect in a Hitchcock movie..

"Becquerels" and Japan's changing "safety" standards for radiation in food and water
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc6FPIK1VaY [youtube.com]

"Detoxify or Die: Natural Radiation Protection Therapies for Coping With the Fallout of the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown":

http://www.health-matrix.net/2011/03/19/detoxify-or-die-natural-radiation-protection-therapies-for-coping-with-the-fallout-of-the-fukushima-nuclear-meltdown/ [health-matrix.net]

Experiences after Chernobyl and the multitudes of diseases, chronic fatigue and lessened immune disorders inflicted upon Europeans, and how Fukushima can learn from history.

VIDEO: "Evacuate Children!" Rally & Demo in Koriyama City, Fukushima Pref. on Oct. 15, 2011"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b6RAwEBxaa4 [youtube.com]

Re:Japanese Government response to crisis (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072220)

I hate it when establishment-defenders mods a perfectly good post down (referring to moderators).

Exactly why I de-bookmarked /. years ago. Too many closed minded elitists who seek to mute those opinions that disagree with their own world-view. Good luck believing this latest propaganda-piece which is not based on any real measurements, but on theoretical models.

Can't be bothered reading facts of course. Feelings of cognitive dissonance with the establishment would hurt too much.

This is not even worth my time. Cowards.

Re:Japanese Government response to crisis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072682)

This is exactly why most intelligent people either left long ago or rarely post (me). The sad thing is, the vast, vast majority of the elitists here rarely know anything about the topics they post and yet get constantly re-enforced by others who only know factually invalid information. Most slashdoters contribute absolutely nothing to an exchange. Sadly, most people don't even come here for an exchange, as was originally the point. Now people come here to have their invalid opinion validated by other people who hold the same invalid opinion.

Slashdot sucks. Sadly, most slashdotters do also; with an incredibly small ego and intellect. If people read at anything other than 0 or -1, you are absolutely guaranteed to have valid information censored and therefore, have less accurate, if not flat out invalid information. The problem has become so pervasive, I can't help but look down on slashdot post-lovers, as its a clear sign of very low intelligence and a completely lack of critical thinking skills.

Re:Japanese Government response to crisis (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38103464)

I'd like to respond to this, merely out of respect for such an opinion contrary to the /. mantra of: "getting high moderation means insightful or interesting posts". Long long ago, when I started /. I was fascinated by the moderation system. However, I also read posts by people complaining only finding the real gems at -1 or 0 (I do not have the time nor inclination for such tasks).

Now having posted with karma bonus, and getting moderated down, just for posting sincere videos and articles, I see what those people _10_ years ago meant.

I'm not saying I know everything. In fact, I'd LOVE to get a contrary opinion to my links, which do include independent nuclear scientists and medical experts, as well as ordinary people with children STILL IN Fukushima. However, when the "discussion" is promptly moderated down to 0 or sometimes -1 (they didn't have the nerve this time), then it just stops. No. Exchange. Of. Ideas. Anymore. Period.

See the videos. It's absolutely amazing: Japan is handling its nuclear crisis hundred times WORSE than Russians did Chernobyl. Something to think about while the media and politicians cheer on Japanese "efficiency".

My .sig also explains perfectly WHY /.ers have such problems with contrary opinions and free exchange of ideas. It's pretty sad really, thinking how highly intellectual they think of themselves. Myself, I do not have all the answers, but I know I have experienced enough to see that /. and mainstream do not have it either, and that you have to dig quite thoroughly in the unknown to find anything new. Yes, there's alot of mud and superstition, but there's gems also, and often, it's hard to know which is which.

Re:Japanese Government response to crisis (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38112364)

I also read posts by people complaining only finding the real gems at -1 or 0

Well all I can do is thank you for your post and hope that you will persist, this is where I find gems too. As for the Dogmatic Nuclear fanboi Skeptics found here on slashdot all I can suggest is that you draw a real sense of entertainment from disassembling their psyches after demolishing their arguments, after all you may find that it serves you in face to face situation when you encounter the same arguments.

Believe me I share your sense of frustration [slashdot.org] . If I see your comments, I'll mod them up as I'm getting the impression that the sane, independent and rational thinkers here have been diluted by the masses duped by social proof.

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (0, Redundant)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060630)

I have to quote each time this topic pops up those two idiots [slashdot.org] on slashdot on March 16. 2011:

AnonGCB (1398517) says:

It's funny because what is happening in Japan is exactly why Nuclear Power is SAFE! An earthquake 7 times more powerful than the biggest it was built for hit, and all that happened to the reactors that didn't shut down cleanly was a small amount of radioactive noble gases, which decay within minutes. Even if the cores DO melt, they're safely contained in ... wait for it... containment chambers!

Containment chambers indeed! On which kannibal_klown (531544) answers:

Hey, I know it. But Joe Sixpack is gonna say "But look at their problems now, I don't want that here." Bla bla bla

Beavis and Butthead anyone?

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060992)

I have to quote each time this topic pops up those two idiots [slashdot.org] on slashdot on March 16. 2011:

AnonGCB (1398517) says:

It's funny because what is happening in Japan is exactly why Nuclear Power is SAFE!

An earthquake 7 times more powerful than the biggest it was built for hit, and all that happened to the reactors that didn't shut down cleanly was a small amount of radioactive noble gases, which decay within minutes. Even if the cores DO melt, they're safely contained in ... wait for it... containment chambers!

Containment chambers indeed!

On which kannibal_klown (531544) answers:

Hey, I know it. But Joe Sixpack is gonna say "But look at their problems now, I don't want that here." Bla bla bla

Beavis and Butthead anyone?

I just read through a lot of that thread. It's really telling how many well-educated, smart people here on Slashdot, who really SHOULD know better, always run and start parroting whatever the media the tells them and sticking their heads in the sand when the shit REALLY hits the fan.

Fukushima is STILL emitting dangerous radiation, and the crisis is STILL far from over, while it may not be over for at least a decade. That's the reality, and that so many people who claim to be in the upper echelons of intelligence choose to ignore it, frankly scares the shit out of me.

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (2)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062176)

I have to quote each time this topic pops up those two idiots [slashdot.org] on slashdot on March 16. 2011:

AnonGCB (1398517) says:

It's funny because what is happening in Japan is exactly why Nuclear Power is SAFE!

An earthquake 7 times more powerful than the biggest it was built for hit, and all that happened to the reactors that didn't shut down cleanly was a small amount of radioactive noble gases, which decay within minutes. Even if the cores DO melt, they're safely contained in ... wait for it... containment chambers!

Containment chambers indeed!

On which kannibal_klown (531544) answers:

Hey, I know it. But Joe Sixpack is gonna say "But look at their problems now, I don't want that here." Bla bla bla

Beavis and Butthead anyone?

I just read through a lot of that thread. It's really telling how many well-educated, smart people here on Slashdot, who really SHOULD know better, always run and start parroting whatever the media the tells them and sticking their heads in the sand when the shit REALLY hits the fan.

Fukushima is STILL emitting dangerous radiation, and the crisis is STILL far from over, while it may not be over for at least a decade. That's the reality, and that so many people who claim to be in the upper echelons of intelligence choose to ignore it, frankly scares the shit out of me.

The coal crisis begins the moment a plant goes into operation. A coal plant operating normally spreads deadly (carcinogenic and even radioactive) pollution over a huge area. Coal proponents such as yourself accept the damage, even though it's greater than the damage of a nuclear plant by a large margin, because it's spread over a greater area. Whether or not you realize it, you're advocating for the entire world to become an exclusion zone.

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38062268)

I did not read through that thread, but it's really telling how many self-perceived well-educated idiots can spin a discussion to whatever end. It's like talking statistics with a politician.

First off, according to fud from the anti-nuclear camp, Japan should have been completely uninhabitable by now.. I mean, they had a reactor meldown and the reactor is still critical even 8 months after shutdown, omg! Responding to that position by claiming "hey, 46 out of 47 provinces are unharmed" is entirely reasonable and justified.

According to the pro-nuclear camp, this natural disaster was completely off the charts and should not have happened until we're all off the planet. Responding to that position by attacking the risk assessment and mitigation procedures and questioning regulatory oversigth is completely valid.

Reasonable people take reasonable positions. Intelligent people take position on the far side of the truth.

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (3, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38063184)

Show me one anti-nuclear protagonist mentioning risk assessments and mitigation procedures. If they would, they would have to admit that effective procedures are in place wherever people cared about the placement and number of emergency generators (2 per reactor is not enough, 4 per reactor is standard. The shutdown German reactor at Isar-1, for example, had 8 emergency generators.), wherever they installed filtered containment vents and catalytic converters to prevent hydrogen explosions. All that is standard at least is France, Germany and Sweden. (I don't mention other countries, because I don't know anything about them and I stopped making assumption about such things on March 12th or so.) They would also have to admit that Fukushima Daiichi was one of the worst governed nuclear power plants in the world [interaksyon.com] .

Hence, they don't. It is the pro-nuclear side that must make those points. All argumentation about lack in safety standards undermines the position of the anti-nuclear side, because of the anti-nuke dogma that nuclear power can't be safe, safety standards must not be talked about unless it is to dismiss the present state of safety of some plant. Talking about a lack of safety standards of a plant after an accident reinforces the revolutionary notion that safety standards can actually improve safety (as you could see in the accident-free shutdown in all other tsunami-hit powerplants) - which is not in the interest of the anti-nuclear crowd.

So what does it say about the situation, when the pro-side has to argue with arguments that the anti-side should have brought forth, while the anti-side has basically decided not to argue and resorts of FUD and dogmatism instead?

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068322)

+1 interesting, informative, insightful.

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38062296)

Prove it. Straight up. You make some very absolute claims here. And I call bullshit.

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060696)

No. based on the evidence at the time, it was a reasonable conclusion.

Don't allow confirmation bias to cloud your hindsight. And it's not nearly as bad as the headline makes it look.

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38061340)

the evidence at the time? it happened THIS YEAR. this IS the evidence at the time

Re:...is this supposed to be some big suprise? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061758)

It sounds to me like you just read the summary and stopped there. Or maybe I am just pretty dense. Why do you accept think this study disagrees with the other one? And if it did, why would you favor this study over the other one? If you read the articles, they are actually talking about two different things.

The original study is [nature.com] you scoff at is based on nearby measurements, while this new one is based on mathematical modeling. The original study measured plants at "around 9 becquerels per kilogram, much lower than the 500 Bq kg–1 safety limit for human consumption." Whereas the new study "provide[s] the first comprehensive estimates of contamination across Japan following the nuclear accident in 2011."

If you read the articles, they don't actually disagree. They have different purposes. One measures specific plants, and the other tries to guess overall radiation for the entire country. This new study merely recommends that "the Japanese government to carry out a more thorough assessment..." The article goes on to explain the discrepancy between the mathematical models and the actual soil samples. It says "once in soil, caesium will become bound to mineral components, which limits its uptake into plants." Aha!

Mostly estimates (5, Interesting)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060494)

The study seems to be based on few actual measurements, it is mostly a modeling of how the material spread. Additional measurements are needed in the areas where the model predicted high dosage.

Re:Mostly estimates (4, Insightful)

mcguiver (898268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061030)

The exciting(?) thing about this study though is how small of an area is contaminated beyond the legal limit. Since Cs is the major radionuclide that was released then these mappings should also be closely correlated to background doses. Given the conservative estimates that are used for setting regulations I am even more convinced that the general Japanese public is in essentially no danger from the radiation. I would like to see a more detailed analysis of the area right around the plant but given the picture in the article it gives me hope.

Many in the anti-nuclear crowd like to spout off and say that Fukushima has rendered vast amounts of land unusable for generations [helium.com] . This news actually bodes well for the Japanese people that in a couple of years all the land that was previously not part of the power generating stations might be returned to original state.

Re:Mostly estimates (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062890)

I am even more convinced that the general Japanese public is in essentially no danger from the radiation.

I agree, and to put my money where my mouth is I will be back in Tokyo and Chiba next month. I was there when the accident happened too and at the time I calculated that I probably received more radiation from a few years of flights than I did on the ground.

Still, the scale of the economic problems this is causing cannot be ignored. I'm not just talking about the contamination, the delay in getting other nuclear power plants back on line has to be considered too. Unfortunately due to the nature of nuclear power it does take longer to check, repair and re-start reactors compared to other forms of energy. Japan has few natural resources in terms of oil, gas or coal so the government put a lot of money into nuclear. Over-reliance on a single source is generally a bad idea, but at least now there are viable alternatives that didn't exist 10 years ago like solar thermal and wind.

Re:Mostly estimates (1)

borrrden (2014802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38067428)

I've been in Japan the entire time :). The offline power is quite a problem, and we may have to go through the rolling blackouts against this winter. That and the tourism hit is becoming really bad for Japan economically.

If I remember my Cold War optimism correctly... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060548)

If memory serves, protocol for maximizing survival after a nuclear 'event' requires feeding the most contaminated food materials to elderly people, or people without useful skills, as the former are likely to die of natural causes before radiation-induced cancers get them and the latter do not enhance group survival chances.

Re:If I remember my Cold War optimism correctly... (2)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060998)

> feeding the most contaminated food materials to people without useful skills
You mean give to the marketing and advertising people? Good idea

Re:If I remember my Cold War optimism correctly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38061116)

I think he meant politicians and lawyers.

Re:If I remember my Cold War optimism correctly... (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061592)

You forgot lawyers!

Re:If I remember my Cold War optimism correctly... (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062242)

No need. They'll prey on the marketing and advertising people. Well, they'll try to prey on everyone, but because M&A has been weakened by low-level chronic radiation sickness, they're the ones naturally selected.

Or, to not coin a phrase, "I don't have to outrun the lawyer; I just have to outrun you."

Re:If I remember my Cold War optimism correctly... (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062184)

Sure, and the rest will die off from an infectious disease contracted from an unsanitized telephone.

Re:If I remember my Cold War optimism correctly... (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38064926)

And for maximum poetic justice, get them to market the contaminated food to each other, precisely on the basis that it will only kill people who have outlived their usefulness!

Wonder what clever ad campaign they'll come up with to dupe each other into death...

Re:If I remember my Cold War optimism correctly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38061960)

If memory serves, protocol for maximizing survival after a nuclear 'event' requires feeding the most contaminated food materials to elderly people, or people without useful skills, as the former are likely to die of natural causes before radiation-induced cancers get them and the latter do not enhance group survival chances.

You might want to make sure your sanitation workers are also elderly, then. Other than that fecal quibble, I rather like this idea. A radioactive corpse can be safely stored in a nice lead-lined casket or vault.

Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (5, Interesting)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060610)

Although the land won't be suitable for farming for many years, botanists already know how to accelerate the cleanup by using plants that soak up radiation and contamination like sponges (phytoremediation.) Such contamination studies have been done at several major universities (including my own local one, which cleaned up an area that had been contaminated with non radioactive mercury within one year.) The question is whether Japan will swallow its pride and have its farmland turned into short term radioactive gardens. [mhhe.com]

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060704)

Not only that, the mad botanists can use all that delicious radiation to make our food taste even better, and grow an army of monster plants so that nobody dare mess with them in class!

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061096)

Ones grows an army of monster plants so the plants can defend themselves from the evil vegetarains.

After all vegetarians only attack things that cant fight back.

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062338)

Hey, man. I can grow some killer tomatoes in that stuff! Though I might have to get some advice from John Astin on how to keep them from getting away from me.

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (1)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060768)

What happened to 'the solution to pollution is dilution'. Depending on the foodstuff, why not just ensure that the contaminated stuff is mixed with a suitable quantity of the good stuff. Works fine for ergot (and mouse urine/faeces) in wheat, and no doubt there are lots of other contaminants in food at 'acceptable' levels that people simply aren't aware of.

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061890)

The Japanese are already diluting contaminated food with good food! I read not long ago about them mixing in bad rice with good rice to dilute the radiation exposure; making more 'bad' food as a result. I realize this sort of thinking is just fine for all our food, like how rats and mice are in our grain products and are spread out or how much shit their is in McDonalds low grade meat (look it up, its all real.)

Eating a little shit is NOT the same as a little nuclear waste. I don't want some particle in me increasing my risk of cancer later on; or being stuck in me for some reason for a long period of time (which will give me cancer.) I would like to know how the body takes these things up actually-- where is the data on that? Mercury is highly toxic but what makes it especially bad is how it bio-accumulates, how long it sticks around and the nature of the damage.

With so much in the ocean and so little known; I won't be surprised if all the seafood from the pacific is impacted before too long. As these things go, we end up with unexplained difficult to prove increases in statistics which people barely ponder the possible causes for the increase. World cancer rates could jump approximately around the proper time to connect it to this disaster and it'll be so diluted that we won't be allowed to make a connection -- politicians know this. Dilution of blame is one of their tools.

Lots of money in cancer treatment...

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062354)

I'd rather get cancer than the hantavirus.

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (1)

borrrden (2014802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38067538)

What you are referring to is the "effective half life" which is calculated using the radioactive half life (the one everyone is familiar with) and the biological half life (how long it takes your body to excrete half of the material). Let's take cesium-137 for example, its radioactive half life is 30 years and 29 days. The biological half life is 70 days. In this case, the half lives are so different that the radioactive half life doesn't come into play at all and the effective half life is 70 days.

Iodine-131 has a radioactive half life of 8 days 36 minutes, but is absorbed into the body more easily (thyroid) so its biological half life is 138 days. The effective half life becomes 7 days 14 hours

These figures are from WolframAlpha, and it has this data on many many isotopes.

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38099004)

Thing is though, there is already an acceptable safe limit. You could have been eating stuff at that limit for _years_ without a care in the world. The only difference now is that you are aware of the limit.

I like your slightly mad conspiracy theory at the end though, that was fun...

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38065932)

Cesium and Iodine bioaccumulate. It's better to get ahold of them via phytoremediation first, to have concentrated versions, before vitrifying it in a geologically stable glass, which is dilute to the point of not being a radiological hazard, but chemically inert, and incapable of bioaccumulation.

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38061240)

Where do you dispose of the plants that have concentrated this material?

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (3, Informative)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062090)

There are two options: For the long term contamination that will be around for decades, the best thing to do is plant trees (sourgum trees have been proven to work.) The trees will pull the radioactive matter into their tissue, and keep it locked away safely for the remainder of the tree's life For the shorter term contaminants with brief half-lives, mustard plants (annuals) are preferred. If necessary, they can be "harvested" and stored in nuclear waste facilities until they're clean. The most important thing, however, is to get the radioactivity out of the soil and thus out of the groundwater supply. When the material is in a perennial plant, it's bound and the rate of release into the air and soil is dramatically reduced. In the case of non-radioactive materials, many of the soaked up materials are chemically altered by the plant into a much less harmful form, so that even if it is an annual that biodegrades, the material returned to the soil is in a less dangerous form.

Re:Not good for farming, but perfect for gardening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38062098)

There's even a reasonable, face-saving alternative. Grow sunflowers. They stringly absorb ceasium, concetrating it 8000 fold. Then burn them as biofuel in any plant that captures ashes. Voila, green electricity. Currently Japan imports quite some fossil fuels so relying on domestic biofuel also can be spun as economic independence.

Journalism at its best as usual ... (3, Informative)

slb (72208) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060944)

So this is a computation using a statistical model to give estimates of the soil contamination, and it becomes facts and measured quantities in the ground. But worse, look at the original scale provided by the authors [pnas.org] of the paper: it clearly shows the areas under 2500Bq/kg, but the journalist conveniently merged it with the upper-bound area and also avoided the use of the green/blue colors usually associated with safe values in any mapping. Maybe the original map had not enough red and orange area for effective scare-mongering ? BBC I am disappointed...

Re:Journalism at its best as usual ... (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061724)

What the BBC does say, however, is that "Some neighbouring prefectures... are partially close to the limit under our upper bound estimate and, therefore, local-scale exceedance is likely given the strong spatial variability of [caesium-137] deposition," the researchers explained in PNAS.

Note a) the abundance of weasel words and other verbal subterfuge [urbandictionary.com] to imply that things are really bad and b) the map shows the upper bound estimate of the average (or so I presume, given the reference to local scale exceedance). Which also means that more local measurements would very likely show that there is land suitable for agriculture (with less than 2500Bq/kg) within the evacuation zone. But of course, we all know that this is a radioactive wasteland where no man shall trespass and all evidence to the contrary is an obvious lie.

Re:Journalism at its best as usual ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38062224)

If you look at the variation in levels that have been found at other disaster sites, you will see that the Cs-137 levels may vary wildly by an order of magnitude, over a local area. So, while you are correct that there are likely areas below the government limit, you are misleading us when you try to discredit the BBC statement.

When they say "upper bound estimate" they assume some error, that is to say there will be locations that exceed the estimated bound.

Re:Journalism at its best as usual ... (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062856)

What is so hard to understand about the upper bound estimate of the average? And why do you think that mentioning deviations below the average (while citing and acknowledging deviations above the average) is misleading and discrediting - while talking exclusively about deviations above the average and not even mentioning those below is not?

Re:Journalism at its best as usual ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38063162)

As to your first question, I'm not sure what you mean.

Your mention of deviations below the average is not misleading or discrediting. I suppose you want me to pinpoint exactly what I meant when I said you tried to discredit the BBC, so I will quote you:
"abundance of weasel words and other [bullcrap]" - here is an ad hominem attack without basis.
"But of course, we all know that this is a radioactive wasteland where no man shall trespass and all evidence to the contrary is an obvious lie" - here I felt your sarcasm was an attempt to discredit the BBC.

You are objecting (I think) to what amounts to a disclaimer for the BBC map. The map shows contaminated areas, and tries to draw a border between areas that exceed a regulatory limit and areas that fall within the limit. In this case it is not surprising that the BBC would clearly explain that their map is not exact. Basically it says: "Here is a map of estimated soil contamination. These borderline areas likely contain small patches that exceed the limit, even though it's not clear on the map."

What is a safe level of Cs-137? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38061832)

Do we have hard numbers relating radioactive contaminants in farm soil to public health issues? I don't mean government regulations (which can be changed at a whim, without public knowledge). I mean studies that look at actual Cs-137 levels in farm soil and correlate them to cases of radiation poisoning.

Without this sort of information, it is arrogant and stupid to comment on Japan's Cs-137 soil levels.

Also, in my brief attempt at research, I discovered that Bq/kg is not a typical unit, and soil contamination is also reported as Bq/m^2 and Bq/m^3. I hope someone else can clarify this.

What is a safe level of K-40 (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062186)

We do have numbers regarding natural radioactive substances in the environment and human bodies. Among them potassium-40 which decays into Argon-40, the third most common gas in our atmosphere - about 250 times more common than CO2. We also have numbers regarding decay products of uranium in areas where there are above-average levels of those in the soil. The results show that there is no difference in health even in areas contaminated more heavily than this.

Note that it takes about 60-120Bq of Cs-137 to equal 1Bq of Alpha radiation - because there is a quality factor ("damage multiplier") of 20 involved and Alpha decay has energies between about 3 and 8 MeV, whereas Cs-137 only has a quality factor of 1 and about 1MeV. All those are measured in Bq/kg, because it is a pervasive property of the soil that won't go away.

Re:What is a safe level of K-40 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38062612)

Thanks.
So, according to your response there is nothing to fear from these levels of Cs-137 in the soil, because it is similar enough to uranium by-products and K-40, which have been studied extensively and are safe at even higher levels. Is this a correct understanding?

Re:What is a safe level of K-40 (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38063626)

Yes. Although, just to be sure, I by no means imply that there are no areas in Japan with possibly unsafe levels of Cs-137. There are, there should not be and whoever decided not to implement standard safety measures in Fukushima Daiichi that were common for nuclear power plants in general and Mark I containments in particular was a bleeping b@st@rd.

Any non-minor release of radioactive substances is unacceptable. (Coal, natural gas and geothermal, for example, release additional radium, radon, lead-210 etc.pp. Many other activities also release radioactive substances - including cancer treatments and diagnosis. So there must be some point where you must draw the line and say that some small amounts are acceptable. where that is, is debatable - but saying "none" is not.)

All I mean to say is that there are levels of Cs-137 that can be considered safe to be around with by analogy to naturally occurring higher concentrations of radioactive isotopes and their lack of health consequences. Not that you should sprinkle the neighborhood with it.

Re:What is a safe level of K-40 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38064266)

It seems that we were not talking about the same thing. I was asking about specific studies and hard numbers regarding Cs-137 in farm soil. You seem to have provided a generalization that "it's OK in small quantities". I'm glad that you clarified because I would have been mislead by your previous post, in which you said: "The results show that there is no difference in health even in areas contaminated more heavily than this." I think, given the context of my original post, that such a statement should not have been made without an immediate clarification. Also, speaking to your "analogy", again I feel it was misleading given the context of my original post.

Sorry, I don't mean to nitpick but I am disheartened because your original reply seemed so certain, but after your clarification it turns out to be a misunderstanding between us.

Re:What is a safe level of K-40 (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38065466)

In general, if you want to know specific data, it's best to look for it yourself. Most people feel disinclined to do this for other people most of the time. However, you may try:
Radioactivity and health: A history (1988)
http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/servlets/purl/6608787-H6blQd/6608787.pdf [osti.gov]

Warning, almost 2000 pages and 115MB worth of data to download. No, I didn't read it yet, I was merely trying to find a comprehensive source on the topic. Yes, it is not up to date, but it shows the historic development of the field until two years after Chernobyl.

I could have pointed to you to any number of studies of the soil contents of radionuclides, but most of those were pay-walled (a common problem not just in this area) and I hate referring to summaries and abstracts. Search google scholar if you want to see them. But there were several that had an excess which was equivalent to more than 2500Bq of Cs-137 compared to average concentrations when you add up Thorium, Uranium and their decay chain products.

Re:What is a safe level of K-40 (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38114098)

thanks

food safety (1)

gibsganich (1486997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38065692)

Food safety will be a major problem in Japan. Supermarket chains usually do not want to release any information about the origin of the food they sell. Addresses provided on the wrapping may indicate just an intermadiary company, e.g. a distributor, a subsidiary, or the packaging company.

Sooner or later consumer confidence will be destroyed because of radiation risks. It will be difficult for the food consumers to develop any trust in the food they can buy and eat. Chances are high that any domestic product will contain some ingredient that is contaminated. I expect gradual, hidden poisoning of the Japanese people even in uncontaminated areas.

blog from Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38070092)

Maybe some reading on this blog may change your opinions on how safe Japan is form this ongoing disaster
http://fukushima-diary.com/category/column/

Really? Do you have blinders on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38070224)

Maybe relying on BBC (mass media) isn't the way to go. Contamination is widespread on land and sea around Japan.
www .asrltd. com /japan /plume .php
And do a web search for "fukushima diary"

everything is relative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071528)

in the slums of bangladesh a "clean floor" is not the same as in ..say ... singapore.
in the same sense certain countries declare nuclear power safe and other declare it as unsafe ..it's all
relative; it depends on the people and the government.
we will see the outcome of fukushima in 20 years ... but by then there will be 30, 40 more nuclear reactors
in the world.
if history is any indication, there will be a nuclear "accident" of sorts every 15-20 years, as long as there are nuclear reactors.
unlike nuclear weapons and its promise of global nuclear holocaust changed the thinking of the world to usher in an era of "world peace", it has not made human kind realize that we cannot keep consuming resources forever. endless growth, powered
by the slitting atom, is not sustainable. there's nothing more strong, powerful and dense then nuclear energy. if we keep consuming this "drug", it will be really really hard to ween ourself of it, because a whole economy / industry has been build around it. if the coming "peak-oil" and its implications are any indication ... "peak-radiological-contamination" will be far worse and last for thousands of years.

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