Officail: fear of radiation kills more people than radiation.

"It is important to understand that the risk to health from radiation from Fukushima is negligible, and that undue concern over any possible health effects could be much worse than the radiation itself"
Gerry Thomas Imperial College, London
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Fear_and_Fukushima_0309131.html
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Ineptocracy

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On 04/09/2013 09:29, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I think negligible is over egging it a bit. The threat to nuclear workers in the plant is real enough if they are unlucky or careless.
Most of the surroundings will have cooled down by now, but the presently uncontrolled leaks to groundwater are not good news. Tepco management has basically lost the plot and everybodys' trust.
The surrounding contamination is now pretty well under control but like in the UK moorlands some parts have vegetation that concentrates certain radioisotopes. It is also true that in Japan fear of nuclear contamination has considerably more public resonance than elsewhere.
They are the only nation to have been attacked with nuclear weapons.
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On 04/09/13 10:50, Martin Brown wrote:

they carry dose meters and alarms.

there are no uncontrolled leaks to groundwater.
There was one leak, which didn't get far, and is now contained.

They are the only nation that cannot realistically do without nuclear power, too.
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On Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:54:51 +0100, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Well I suppose you are hanging that statement on the "to groundwater" hook.
The news that I have read is that several of the storage tanks have leaked over the years and that some of the pipework has also leaked and they aren't sure what is getting out of the containment vessel(s).
TEPCO do seem to have lost the plot, latest cock appears to be using a meter with FSD of 100 mSv and saying that the puddle was at that level, then going backa few days later with a meter witha higher FSD and finding 800 odd mSv... Combine that basic plumbing failures(*) and the Japanese cultural inabilty to admit to failure it's hardly surprising there is some distrust of TEPCO and their abilty to manage the situation.
(*) It's only water they are storing moving about FFS. Yes it has a minute trace of some radioactive isotopes but it's still only water. Hardly difficult to store or have leak proof pipework.
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On 04/09/13 11:36, Dave Liquorice wrote:

that's not the news that I read.

that is deliberate misinterpretation of the facts.
the puddles were relatively low but as the water evaporated a very small hotspot was left at the centre of the puddle.
100mSv/h is not a huge issue anyway. 100msV is the radiation dose given toi cuyre cancers and is the threshold for ANY detectable increases in cancer risks or a as my oncologist said 'a 5% extra chance of secondary cancer in 15 years time'

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On Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:12:50 +0100, The Natural Philosopher

Yes, as per the link I gave in another reply:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23779560
"Having initially reported high levels of radiation - of about 100 milliSieverts per hour near the leaked water within the moat - officials had to concede later that the equipment used to take the readings had an inadequate scale. When newer equipment was brought in, it was established that the levels of beta radiation had actually been 18 times higher. Subsequent readings have been up to as much as 2,200mSv per hour. While still extremely high, experts say that, properly protected, workers can still operate in such an environment."

No, you're the only person doing that.
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Usual crap fromTurNiP. http://www.hazardexonthenet.net/article/60139/Japan-nuclear-regulator-says-Fukushima-radioactive-water-leaks-now-an--emergency-.aspx
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On 04/09/13 20:03, harryagain wrote:

usual crap from harry.
calling something an emergency doesnt mean a damned thing. people's toiliets that don't flush are 'emergencies'
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Ineptocracy

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Governments don't throw $470m on something that isn't an emergency.
On Wed, 04 Sep 2013 20:13:57 +0100, The Natural Philosopher

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On 04/09/2013 10:54, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Apparently, the meters were set with a maximum range of 100 mSv, so the leak was logged at that level. Unfortunately, it was actually vastly higher, but nobody noticed until much later.
I imagine one of the issues they have is that they have to discharge experienced staff, as they have been subject to lifetime radiation limits, if not beyond. Consequently, they have all sorts of new people on-site who have no clue about what they are doing.
Quite frankly, if you did have an idea about what you are doing, would you work there?
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On 04/09/2013 11:48, GB wrote:

As it happens, yes. They did an appalling job of handling release of information to the media at the outset; since TMI we are *much* better organised in the UK. But they also did a relatively good technical job in the immediate recovery period as, for that matter, did the Russians after Chernobyl.
I have to agree, though, that they are not doing well now.
An interesting juxtaposition of figures, at the time the Japanese talked about allocating another third of a billion euros/dollars to Fukushima, a BBC radio program was talking about how the Norwegians are tucking away a billion euros/dollars into their wealth fund *every week*.
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wrote:

You'd have thought that with that much wealth they would cut income tax and the price of fuel, beer and electricity.
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On 05/09/2013 08:30, The Other Mike wrote:

I know, taking a long term view is just _so_ wrong!
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On 04/09/13 11:48, GB wrote:

imagination doesn't beat facts. Only tow workers reached annual dosage levels at the time of the spill.

Money?
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On 04/09/2013 13:14, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

You mean from this particular spill? Do you have figures for how many of their experienced staff have had to stop work because of radiation limits? Or are you saying it's just 2 since the original problems started? If so, I must express my surprise.

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On 04/09/13 20:29, GB wrote:

As far as I know only two workers have been laid off because they had reached teh 100mSV limit.
Since the actual accident they wear suits when in higher level radiation zones. Why would they not? They have also used robots.
Once the situation was under reasonable control - and that was really inside of a cuople of weeks - there was no reason to use humans to mess with the more radioactive stuff.
All they have to do on site is remove fuel from what reactors are still relatively undamaged, and repair the holding tanks for the spent fuel.
Then start treating all the water they had used to flood the reactors down to cold shutdown
I think that is the water under question.
You seem to think the site is lethal It isnt. Mostly its safe. There are few copntaminated places where plutonium and uranium flecs landed, and there is a lot of moderately contaminated water, but water is an effective shleld. That water had already been treated to remove most of the contaminants, and it could and should have been dumped in the sea. However rules said it had to be stored and treated, thereby adding massively to the cost, and creating wonderful opportunities for more headlines
The MSM is a total disgrace: no opportunity is missed to blow any minor issue out of all proportion, but the milestones in bringing the reactors and fuel ponds under control, and decontaminating it and treating the water have all been missed.

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On 04/09/2013 21:08, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_50
"Over 30 workers are radiated beyond 100 mSv by 23 April 2011."

I think they are only wearing paper overalls and particulate masks. The idea is to protect against ingesting/breathing in radioactive particle.
Pretty much anything protects against beta radiation when it is outside the body. The beta radiation risk is from radioactive particles inside. That's why plutonium is so serious, IIRC.
The suits won't protect against gamma radiation and they provide no effective defence against alpha radiation. (This is all me dredging this info up from my school/university days, 40 years ago, so please excuse any hopefully minor inaccuracies.)
The main reason for not wanting to work on the site is that they don't seem to be managing the place terribly well.
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You're right about the gammas, you need lead for that. But paper will protect against alphas. So will glass. Thass why it was easy enough for the Litvinyenko killers to lace his tea. Just carry a solution of e.g. polonium nitrate in a small bottle in your pocket. Won't harm you or set off radiation detectors.
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On 05/09/2013 11:28, GB wrote:

Beta radiation is high energy electrons and can penetrate a few mm of metal, paper overalls offers no protect from them.
Alpha particles are high energy helium nuclei and are stopped by much thinner things.
Both may have associated gamma radiation which needs lead or a lot of mass to stop.
The most dangerous, because its hard to stop, is probably neutrons but they are a fission product and stop when the control rods are inserted.

No minor ones. ;-)

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On 05/09/13 11:28, GB wrote:

Plutonium is not serious at all. I am not sure anyone ever died of plutonium. Polonium..is a different matter.

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