Breathe easy — radiation rumors are false

March 14, 2011

The Internet has been ripe with a persistent rumor during the last 48 hours, complete with color graphs, suggesting that radiation from northern Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors would be reaching California during the next ten days.

However, county public health officials have been quick to knock down the rumor, insisting in a press release that the stories are incorrect. Experts claim that there is no danger to California residents.

“The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department and the county Office of Emergency Services, as well as other agencies, continue to monitor the situation closely and should the situation change in the coming days information will be provided to the public as soon as possible,” according to the press release.

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Much like religion, many in this world have adopted a blind faith in Technology and therefore develop complacency surrounding the dark side of what they assume we have mastered. Unfortunately with nuclear technology there are no second chances.

The fact is, when/if it turns into a complete meltdown, especially if it involves more than one reactor, the cloud will eventually get here to some extent. It’s like they are not thinking ahead or with much foresight.

This (below) is from my buddy who lives in San Clemente near the San Onofre reactor. Apparently they give KI to the residents in that area.

“We have ours. They were sent out to every household in San Clemente about a year or so ago. 20 tablets, 65mg each.” DT

and this today;

“Just listened to an hour report narrated by a man at or near the failing reactors scene. All the roof top cooling ponds are boiling because of lack of cooling or periodic cooling. One pound has failed, has blown apart, and the spent fuel rods in that pound are exposed and this of course can cause further fires and explosions as the material is explosive. Others have had the roofs blown off. One reactor containment area has been breached. In one control room the operators have been evacuated and at some point in the not too distant future, all control rooms and workers may have to abandon the entire plant. This was reporting from close to site by experts who are trying to manage the situation.

You will not get any cutting edge news on CNN or MSNBC or any of those sites.

This will end up being far worse than being reported on the television to date.

Six reactors going south as we watch/listen to minimal and controlled mainstream media.

The man stated he envisions a catastrophic nuclear contamination outcome with possible global implications.

As I understand it, this involves six reactors in which cooling has or is failed/failing..”

This is what I am following and mainstream media is like a day behind and/or not reporting all the facts and details the government of Japan is aware of.

Thanks for the information sharing. I agree, to get anything like up-to-date and reliable news one has to ferret it out and vet the source. Certainly nothing will be forthcoming locally.

One of my neighbors told me yesterday that pills were sent out about 20 years ago.

I find it so SLO that there’s not a peep about pills now.

Guys… every year, or every other year, something like that, the county sends ALL OF US a voucher for KI pills, redeemable at your local pharmacy since we live so close to Diablo. …Or did you forget that.

I bet you all just throw away your flyer as another piece of junk mail.

I find it hilarious at how quick you all are to jump all over our government, implying they aren’t looking out for our best interests, when in all reality, you’re just too wrapped up in your own self righteousness to see it.

Now, I’m not defending all the crap the government does, i do think we’ve got a lot of crooks and idiots running the show, but get your facts straight.

It’s three reactors not six. MSNBC just had an expert on stating because of the logistics and type of event, if containment is fully breached the radiation will be worse than that of the Russian incident regarding the contamination of humans and environment. In a day or two I am sure this will all be standard news.

As of 11 am Pacific time:

6pm: The latest news on the state of each of the reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant:

• No 1: Cooling failure, partial melting of core, vapor vented, hydrogen explosion, seawater pumped in.

• No 2: Cooling failure, seawater pumped in, fuel rods fully exposed temporarily, vapor vented, damage to containment system, potential meltdown feared.

• No 3: Cooling failure, partial melting of core feared, vapor vented, seawater pumped in, hydrogen explosion, high-level radiation measured nearby.

• No 4: Under maintenance when quake struck, fire caused possibly by hydrogen explosion at pool holding spent fuel rods, pool water level feared receding.

• No 5: Under maintenance when quake struck, temperature slightly rising at spent fuel pool.

• No 6 – Under maintenance when quake struck, temperature slightly rising at spent fuel pool.

The situation has worsened over the day. Suggest you might like to check out The Guardian newspaper for their ongoing updates.

And as of earlier today,

the surgeon general was in the bay area and she said it wasn’t a bad idea to stock up on potassium iodide.

The good news is that the radiation level is falling on the plant grounds. Also, the decay heat falls exponentially. At the cost of the 3 fueled reactors (it will not be economical to decontaminate them) and early retirement of much of their workforce (those who were on site during the radiation spike have likely exceeded their lifetime dosage limits) and maybe the site (The primary containment breach of reactor no. 2 likely left quite a mess behind) they have the situation under control.

The wikipedia article is a pretty good source at the moment:

As is this blog from a bunch of MIT engineering students:

“Radiation Rumors are False” …. I would add “so far…. ” We are talking about a nuclear plant built in the 1970s based on technologies of the 1960s, projected to withstand an earthquake of around 7.5 or so, not taking into account the possibility of a huge tidal flow happening immediately afterwards. The spent fuel is apparently stored in swimming pool type storage ponds in the same building as the reactors, three to four stories above, protected from weather elements by a tin-shed type roof only, which was blown off by the explosion of the pent up hydrogen leaving the storage pools exposed to the atmosphere and is currently becoming heated by the reactors below them increasing the likely hood of a massive release of radiation due to the liquid surrounding the spent fuel boiling off. If the worst case scenario happens that all of the spent fuel storage ponds evaporate and allow the spent fuel to catch fire and release a massive cloud of radioactivity and the prevailing winds of the jet stream catch it, Hawaii and the west coast of the United States could see radiation heading our way. This is not just some idle speculation, there are actual scientists who are really concerned that this could happen. Don’t be afraid, be prepared.

On another note aren’t Diablo’s spent fuel ponds “fresh water” considered “backup” to cooling the reactor in case of power loss? Not a great backup plan. Please note, I do not know or claim this is is the protocol in case of emergency.

Ordinarily I have no quibble with CCN, but I think this article does a disservice to your readers when you dismiss the internet as simply some sort of hotbed of rumors.

The truth is, many scientists, in Japan and elsewhere, are discussing the ramifications of the nuclear situation, dispensing valuable information in a calm and rational manner.

One such source (supplied below) includes live broadcast links. There are maps and diagrams as well as information even a layman can understand about the ‘anatomy’ of a meltdown.and what to fear, when and why.

Immediately after the earthquake in Haiti, it was the internet that produced live pictures and broadcasts- and was a strong force in enabling rescue operations.

As days and weeks went by, we were able to transmit information to people on the ground in Haiti, connecting them to medical aid, shelter and food.No doubt lives were saved and to this day, the Internet allows me continued contact with Haitian friends.

For a view of information about Japan:

Yes -there’s disinformation on the Internet – about the same ratio as you will find in our local TV and newspapers. It’s wise to exercise your critical thinking skills whenever you go seeking information anywhere.

You can believe what you want, all I know is that my Smart Meter is running backwards!

There’s a large population who do not trust the government anymore,nor have they reason to, hell..they cant even predict the weather right 50% of the time. Anybody have a spare Geiger counter they don’t need :).

I would believe the internet before I’d believe the SLO County Health Department. They won’t even give us the facts about epidemics–because “privacy rights” are more important to them than county health.

We know only the OHV use at the Dunes causes health issues. Why would anyone be concerned about drift radiation from Japan?

“Experts” have been known to be wrong. Go do your research. Begin with David Brownstein, M.D.’s blog. He wrote the book about iodiine and thyroid cancer and is monitoring the situation and discussing the dangers. Do you not understand govt officials are mandated to keep the public calm? That usually involves keeping the public ignorant. Ignore information at your own risk. Take a press release as definitive? Not a smart thing to do. Decision analysis techniques would be better suited to this situation.