Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't Panic: Jim's Facebook Post: Updated with Brave New Links

Hi Everyone,
OK, trying to consolidate everything (consolidating a couple of my FB posts):
1) Don't panic. If you're in Tokyo, you're fine. If you're not, well, trains are generally running but taxis are harder to get than normal.

2) I've collected everything that I liked on the nuke reporting. It's below.

3) The geiger counter below @1130 am on 3/15/2011 has a bit of a jump. While the jump is scary, we're still not anywhere near a bad place. When it gets to 100, we've had the equivalent of 1/100 (or maybe 1/50) of a chest X-ray. Given that I had a catscan two weeks ago, I've done worse to myself recently.  

 4) Really cool link on background radiation. Cannot vouch for accuracy with certainty, but my cursory reading says OK: 

5) Some of the worst reporting I have seen comes courtesy of NPR and CNN. Not necessarily because of the actual interviews, but because the headlines read "Meltdown possible" instead of "Meltdown viewed as extremely unlikely" or whatever or "Meltdown bad for TEPCO stock but won't affect you". I think, but am not certain, that meltdown is a term like "injury", where it can range from "Sprained ankle" to "likely to die in the next week".  

Remember, "NEWS" is a business, and the first headline gets you clicks and links, while the second gets "Oh, right" and no one reads any further. Kudos to the Washington Post for having done better, at least as far as I can tell:

[snipped possibly questionable MIT scientific posts] 

Interview with MIT scientist on the reactor:

Geiger counter in Tokyo for those of you who are debating about returning:
100 CPM = approximately 1 microSv/hour 

Fukushima reactor summary from earlier:

1) Reactor core overheated due to no power post-earthquake, and backup generators going offline. I wondered if it was the steam get too hot and overpressurinig the outer containment facility.
2) Evacuating 20 km radius (have also seen 10 km radius, think that has been superceded) from the plant NOT due to the release, but because they are planning to do additional work on the containment structure and "just to be sure".
3) Radiation released so far in the superheated steam was about 1.5 milliSv  (at the release point) The USDA recommended amount of radiation is 1.0 milliSv/year. 1.5 millisSV is also the same amount of additional radiation you pick up flying 125,000 miles in a year, so it's really about a long term increased cancer risk, not bone marrow damage tomorrow.
4) Currently, core protection seems to be ok, while the explosion did do some damage to the containment.
5) Tokyo is something like 250 km away.

More on "How much radiation will kill you":

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