Weeping Japanese boss admits to potentially lethal dose rates.

This is probably the best reporting yet on the catastrophe. Naturally it’s British.

There’s also compelling photos.

One of which just drove me bonkers. It deserves its own post.

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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18 Responses to Weeping Japanese boss admits to potentially lethal dose rates.

  1. Dave says:

    “There‚Äôs also compelling photos.

    One of which just drove me bonkers. It deserves its own post.”

    Lemme guess… the radcon guy looking down at the table with his mask off, while a co-worker screens a potentially contaminated person 2 feet away?

    • wormme says:

      Okay, I’ve got to go back and look. After the other one I saw nothing but red.

      UPDATE–It’s ugly, but not definitively wrong. Those masks aren’t really respirators anyway. Wear one in an actual airborne area, you’d better expect an unpleasant surprise at your next WBC (whole body count).

      If those PPE’ed workers are actually crapped up, it’s a big stinkin’ problem. Otherwise, it just looks off. You don’t get into trouble wearing PPE in a clean area. It’s not having wearing properly in a C-Zone that’s the problem.

    • wormme says:

      Hey, I know I wrote a reply to you at work. What gives?

      Unlike the respirators, this scene is possibly okay. It doesn’t look good, but as long as these folks are wearing (clean) PPE in a clean area, this is acceptable. Meh, I don’t even care about the dust or paint masks. If you’re lucky they give a PF (protection factor) of 2. Sure, better than nothing, but for radiological work we don’t go below the “full face respirator”.

      And of course if it makes the populace feel a little better, sure.

  2. Bart says:

    I was perplexed at this: “However, radiation levels within the plant rose from 3,700 millisieverts to 4,000 millisieverts an hour immediately afterwards.” That seems a lot higher than anything I have read anywhere else. Your view?

    • wormme says:

      I don’t remember seeing rates that high, either. So first guess is, the usual micro/milli transposition.

      If not, then you could pick up a lethal dose at those locations in one hour. After everything else I’m not ruling it out…

      • Bart says:

        If it were micro/milli confusion, I would say the numbers were too small! It seems about a factor of 10 or 20 high. Maybe the clue is where they said within the plant. But, I don’t understand how they could have gotten those without someone dying.

  3. Mountainbear says:

    The staging point photo has the wrong caption. Those aren’t the engines that would go in. Those are regular fire engines and the men wear the normal firefighter uniforms. The JSDF would come with some heavy stuff, mainly from their airfields, vehicles designed to operate under extreme conditions, including fallout and fire by bombs and jet fuel.

    It’s also going to be the end of the Kan cabinet. Yes, Japan will overcome it. No doubt about that. But certainly not under his leadership. Once this has blown over, there will be massive calls for new elections.

  4. Dave says:

    Okay so another question based on the article (which was very good by the way). How doable is the solution of burying the reactors in sand and concrete? They seem to think that this would solve the problem, but I remember after they dumped seawater on the reactor you wrote they could never use it again anyway, so why not just cover it in concrete if they were going to do that? Thanks and keep up the good work!

  5. oldHP says:

    Japanese wear surgical masks frequently — is it to prevent inhalation of germs, or does one wear it when one has a cold, to prevent spreading it?

    So dust masks might be worn for that reason, when you are in a situation where they are available?

    • Mountainbear says:

      The surgical masks are, usually, worn by people who don’t want to spread germs. But ultimately it’s up to the wearer.

    • wormme says:

      Probably both. Their consideration for their neighbors is an endearing trait. Even if the masks are a bit unnerving to us gaijin.

  6. Nurarartmup says:

    And they say that in 2013 can open contact with humanoids

  7. Nancy says:

    I’m not as familiar with BWRs, but the second picture that says we are looking at the spent fuel storage pool. What? A circular spent fuel pool? with alignment pins? that small? Looks like the core barrel during refueling to me.

  8. Ed Hering says:

    Here’s what bothers me:

    “Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency admitted that the disaster was a level 5, which is classified as a crisis causing ‘several radiation deaths’ by the UN International Atomic Energy.”


    “It is now officially on a par with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979. Only the explosion at Chernobyl in 1986 has topped the scale.”

    Uh…Three Mile Island didn’t kill anyone, not even statistically, unless there were some deaths related to it I don’t know about. Am I wrong?

    Until the linked article came to my attention I was dismissing all the wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth as the usual scaremongering we get from the mainstream media (“OH NOES ITS TEH CHERNOBYL AGAIN”). The linked article makes it sound like this event is now worse than TMI–but if the best they can do is to say that the Fukushima event is only as bad as TMI, what does that say about the severity of this event?

    Should they drop TMI to level 4?

    None of this changes my mind about the validity of nuclear power as an energy source, but you know that a lot of folks out there are going to be scared green by all th is. (“Scared green” also meaning they’ll turn to wind and solar and unicorn flatus. *sigh*)

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