9 thoughts on “Fukushima Radiation”

  1. However one has to also take into account the yeoman effort by a small American company that invented a filtration method to pull Cesium out of the water in the plant. They designed and built the filtration plant in a matter of weeks, and drained out the water before it escaped into the ocean. The good news in this is that our ability to clean up a nuclear accident has *greatly* improved. Note that the canisters of what they filtered out are still sitting on site and are rather hot.

    So kudos to Kurion.

  2. This will make no difference. We’re more than 35 years past Three Mile Island, where there were ZERO health effects, and the envirowackos are still babbling about deformed animals and birth defects.

  3. The way I understood it, the tidal wave is what actually killed people, thousands of people. Have any lessons been learned from it? Are the Japanese making any effort to mitigate the risks from future, all but certain, tidal waves. Is anyone here in the USA learning any lessons from this?

    1. The tsunami (not a tidal wave) killed approximately 19,000 people. Some areas had sea walls that weren’t high enough to handle a tsunami caused by an earthquake over 9 on the Richter scale. They can adapt by building higher walls. They can also build on higher ground. The Japanese are smart and will adapt.

      Has the US learned from Japan’s experience? I don’t know. If experience is any guide, it’d take a decade or more to get sea walls erected in the US due to the environmental impact statement process alone.

      1. Tsunami means “harbor wave” which, idiomatically is the same as “tidal wave” in English. If you want to be precise you should call them long period waves.

        I was speaking somewhat in jest. I questioned their smarts when they shut all of their nuclear plants after the tsunami.

        1. The Japanese have had an uneasy relationship with nuclear power since 1945. Their fear of radiation, while overstated in this instance, isn’t completely groundless. Many thousand Japanese died of radiation exposure following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

          That said, I can’t help but wonder if they’ll eventually change their minds and reopen some of their nuclear power plants. IIRC, those plants used to provie about 70% of their electical production. Using imported natural gas to operate turbines is much more expensive.

          1. There was an article out today about them recovering methane hydrates as a possible energy source. Somewhat amusing that the country the Kyoto accord was signed in is doing so much to increase CO2 production.

  4. Hopefully, they learned to take into account not only the height of the wave but the length and width of it when designing a sea wall.

  5. We still don’t have a good model for calculating low-level radiation effects on humans. For political reasons, we’re still using the Linear No Threshold model, out of an abundance of caution. That’s something that really needs to be addressed for long-term space missions.

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