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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DAY 12 OF THE GREAT TOHOKU EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI OF 2011

The Huffington Post today published two of my articles:



Click on them and add your comments.

The following was my reportage of Day 12 from the second posting:


Well, this is Day 12, and I'm back at the Tokyo Westin, where the hotel occupancy is 12%.  The Asiana flight from Seoul was almost empty.  Coming in from Narita Airport I noticed only a few cars on the road.  The economy in this country surely must be taking a hit.  Fukushima #2 and #3 nuclear reactors remain testy.  I fear the plutonium from #3.  The seawater 100 meters south of this stricken site was finally measured, and, no great surprise, but the radiation level was from 16 (Cesium-137) to 127 (Iodine-131) times higher than government standards.  

The death count has passed 9,000 and there remains speculation that this figure will at least double.  As half the bodies have not been identified, I still think the maximum will be in range of 15,000.  The Nikkei jumped 4.4% and Tokyo Electric Power Company soared up 16%.  Someone must know something I don't.  But this is good news for me, as I decide how far North or South to go over the next few days.

Well, how safe is it in Tokyo?  In the village of Iatate, 27 miles northeast of Fukushima #1 reactor, the reading yesterday was 10.6 microsievert/hour;  Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture, about 50 miles south, 0.5 ms/hr; and Tokyo, 150 miles southeast, 0.125 ms/hr.  Multiply these numbers by hours of exposure and you get microsieverts.  Exposure (microsieverts):

Chest X-Ray                                                    50
Tokyo-New York city round trip flight                190
Average radiation exposure/year                   24,00
CAT scan of chest                                     69,000
Cancer risk increases by 0.5%                  100,000
One hour exposure inside power plant 
       at  Fukushima after explosion             400,000
50% fatality in 30 days                           4,000,000

Thus 400 hours (more than two weeks) exposure in Tokyo would be equal to a  chest X-ray.  

A worst case scenario would have been a Chernobyl-like explosion in Fukushima reactor #3, for this one has plutonium, something Chernobyl did not.  But 25 years later, the area about the size of Switzerland remains contaminated in the Ukraine, and will remain so for at least 300 years.  Oh, the half life of plutonium (depends on which isotope) is around 24,000 years, which means that 24,000 years later, the radioactivity has only been reduced by half.  Jesus Christ was only 2,000 years ago.

Wow, the Tokyo Westin just shook for several seconds.  I wonder what magnitude that was.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are much closer than you know to working cold fusion. Look up a book named "A Drop of Water". Written by two people – Tom Massey and Crystal Yu. I know them and the events discussed in the book.

PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY said...

Okay, I'll take a look at it. But a fictional book?