Finding Nemo

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tokyo Radiation Levels

To those who may be concerned,

Man, I keep getting people yelling at me (via email, can you really yell via email?) that I'm crazy and need to get out of Tokyo.  As Obama likes to say, "Let me be clear."  He also likes to say "Make no mistake..." before stating something he thinks is important.

So in salute to our prez, I say this.  Let me be clear, and make no mistake.  The ambient radiation levels in Tokyo since I've been here have been at almost NORMAL levels.  They are slightly elevated but its almost not even worth mentioning.  The real concerns are:

1) Iodine-131 in the water, which currently are at TRACE levels.  Trace means they can measure them but its orders of magnitude below government standards.  The concern I have is that Japanese government levels are not EPA levels.
2) The wind is starting to blow NE.
3) Unit 3 pressure is building up.

There was a single radiation spike in Tokyo right before I landed, and the media and especially internet bloggers seized on it blaring things like "Radiation in Tokyo is 10x normal!"  Yes, it was 10x normal for a few hours before it dissipated.  The wind was blowing from the N as the explosion happened last Tuesday.  This carried it down to Tokyo, where there was a big report about the US warship detecting radiation.

So for something like that to repeat, there would have to be another explosion during this current wind pattern, which is supposed to end Wednesday.  That is a real risk since Unit 3 has a possible core breach and pressure build-up.  BUT it hasn't happened and its unlikely to happen from all the material I've read.  And I have to say, at this point I think I am as well informed as any CNN or Reuters blogger.

Anyway, bottom line is I haven't suffered any radiation exposure and don't expect to, and I am skipping town in 48 hours.  So don't worry about me, there is nothing dangerous happening here in Tokyo for short-timers like myself.  Yet.

Domo arigato go sai e mas


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