An ABCNews article, quoting Dr. Michio Kaku.
“It’s gotten worse. We’re talking about workers coming into the reactor perhaps as a suicide mission and we may have to abandon ship.”
That’s close to what I meant by nuclear triage. Except I see it as an “either/or” decision, not a “both bad and worse” one.
But, as always in these long articles, we get mixed messages. With that “abandon ship?” we also get:
Radiation levels were as high as 10 millisieverts per hour today, the equivalent of getting a CT scan for every hour of exposure. Radiation levels have since dropped and the plant workers are planning to return to work, officials said.
We may have to abandon ship as the plant workers plan to return to work?
Okay, the 10 mSv/hr. dose rate. That’s 1 rem/hr. That rate might be just on the threshold forjust an “acute” radiation death. Or not. I’ve already used the term “LD 50/30” here, with 400 rem as that benchmark. It means “Lethal Dose for half the population within 30 days”. The thing is, it was built around truly acute doses: periphery of a nuclear explosion, criticality excursions, that sort of thing. And it certainly still applies to getting it within a few hours. But sixteen days? Your body has two weeks to recover from the earliest damage even as more damage is layered on…
…is there a radiobiologist in the house?
Anyway, most of us RCTs have been in 1 rem/hr. dose rates on many occasions. We just try not to linger. In fact, lingering is officially forbidden due to the philosophy of ALARA–Always Let A RentaTech Absorb.
Sorry. House tech joke. It means As Low As Reasonably Achievable, and is applied in most health and safety concerns.
Dose rates dropping, that seems like good news, right? But then there’s this:
The last step in a nuclear meltdown is the breaching of the containment vessels. The fact that at least two containment vessels are damaged makes nuclear experts nervous.
“We have cracks now, cracks in the containment vessels…
Oh boy. That would explain the “abandon ship”. You should definitely check the lifeboats and make sure they’re okay..
Obviously posts on this will follow.