Radiation 1,600 times higher than normal levels has been detected in an area about 20 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, International Atomic Energy Agency officials said Monday.
Data collected by an IAEA team show that radiation levels of 161 microsievert per hour have been detected in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, the officials said.
The government has set an exclusion zone covering areas within a 20-km radius of the plant and has urged people within 20 to 30 km to stay indoors.
I go for a gaze at my morning radiation data, and most people go here to check, but they are vastly scarier numbers—sending people quaking off to naturopaths—that the EPA continues to tell us are "far below levels of concern" and that is the extent of the description of what's normal and how far above normal we really are, not a bit of any sort of information on which to judge for ourselves. The citizen network page at least has a guy working behind there to address our concerns. It's not what I'd want, but neither did I think of it before the Daiichi reactors began melting down, so... so I'm grateful for it.
At least they're coming up on spitting it out, but have they started dumping sand and concrete on these reactors yet? I don't think so, and I don't know how it would do any good to kill someone over it.
Following the magnitude 9.0 quake and ensuing tsunami, the cooling functions failed at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and their cores are believed to have partially melted, releasing radioactive materials into the atmosphere, observers said.
Current jet stream map shows it running below Northern California, down into Southern California and Mexico and then arching up to nail Eastern Manitoba and the entire northeast of the continent. Doesn't look as though any of us will be spared.
We should not forget to consult the leading lights of Out There in our attempts to process this mess.
I recommend you listen... just in light of the fact that the physics under discussion is no longer in doubt by any genuine humans. It merits our attention.
I felt compelled to answer someone wondering why #3 was getting more attention than #4, and then had difficulty getting my comment to post. I finally got it to post, but now I want to put it here too because it took me so long to make clear.
You know, everything online could be SO much easier if the programming on the various platforms were not so flippy over the possibility of spammers and maniacs. No wonder so many people are coming to long for the supervolcano....
...prioritizing work at the no.3 spent fuel pool over no. 4 is still a mystery.
Only about the bottom third of the No. 3 reactor building is in any condition to be called "still standing" and, really, that is a stretch. If you've seen any of the graphics showing the design of these reactors, you will immediately realize that means the cooling pond isn't there anymore. This is probably true of all four Daiichi reactors, but the most blaringly obviously true at No. 3. The thing that would prioritize it, even if this were not the case, is the fact that they were using MOX fuel in No. 3, while No. 4 was using "mere" uranium.
MOX [mixed oxide] fuel rods are made of uranium laced with the PLUTONIUM from decommissioned nukes. This has been hailed as the great anti-terrorism solution to dismantle nuclear warheads such that they will be safe from falling into the wrong hands. Plutonium is THE most deadly substance on the planet. I've heard it said that a few cups of plutonium dust dispersed in the atmosphere would kill every living thing on earth. "Luckily" it is the heaviest element on earth and less inclined to stay airborne, but it's more inclined to blow and burn things up, which then increases the release of its alpha radiation into the air. Breathing it kills you like Alexander Litvinenko. You stand a chance with plain uranium.
I imagine No. 3 is getting the most attention because it is unquestionably the most urgent to keep from any more-explosive release. The PTB are the most likely to keep everyone as confused as possible — including having Chu state on TV that No. 2 was the most urgent — because their imperative is that we not kick up a fuss over their sacred MOX nuclear terrorism solution. The only way to accomplish that is to assist us in our sacred disinclination to LOOK at what's staring us in the face. No. 3 is blatantly, undeniably, in meltdown... doing the China Syndrome thing. Whatever was released from it in the explosion there and the days of it steaming is going to be exponentially more deadly even than the lethal emissions from No. 4.
There are Daiichi plant workers giving their lives to save the rest of us. THEY ARE KNOWLY GOING TO THEIR EARLY GRAVES FOR US, WHEN WHAT THEY'RE DYING FOR IS THE MONSTERS IN CHARGE DRAGGING THIS OUT TO KEEP THEIR MOX FROM BECOMING NIXED. If you ever had any thoughts that the Soviets were actually more humane than we are, here's your sign. The images released of those reactors over a WEEK ago were enough to show they needed the sand and concrete treatment — the Chernobyl option — immediately. This trying to pull it out with the cooling thing is psychotic/sociopathic... pick. The evidence is blindingly-obvious in the images released to the press. You don't have to be a nuclear physicist to put it together.