Stuff about Fukushima you might want to know

Arnie Gundersen, a US nuclear expert (see here) has been commenting on the Fukushima Daiichi disaster since the start, almost a month ago. Arnie is a regular expert on CNN, amongst other news channels. I can’t remember if I’ve featured any of his video reports before. I do so now not because Arnie and I broadly agree on what’s happening at Fukushima, but because he’s one of the few in the mainstream media who is not a lobbyist for nuclear power. Here’s Arnie Gundersen’s latest report (2 days ago) on what’s happening at Fukushima…

And here’s a report by two Japanese journalists, made last Sunday, when they got to 1.5 km (about a mile) of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, all the while measuring radiation levels. It should be noted that the radiation levels in this video report are given in microsieverts (‘μSv’). Average hourly doses from normal background radiation are, at the top end, about 0.3 microsieverts. The geiger counter alarms start going off once it gets to above 2.5 microsieverts per hour (a danger to human health). The journalists in this report were measuring more than 112 microsieverts per hour at one stage, which is more than 370 times higher than normal background radiation. What they were measuring was airborne radiation, and not the levels in soil and water, which are usually much greater in these circumstances…

The nuclear industry loves the way that radiation is measured, because it’s so bloody obscure/confusing. If I have the time/energy I’ll have to do an easily understandable primer on radiation, and how it’s measured.

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