Thursday, March 24, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Government Considering 30-Kilometer-Radius Evacuation

instead of "stay indoors" instruction for the residents "trapped" between 20 and 30 kilometers and being starved of food and water, with radioactive particles falling down on their soil.

Yomiuri Shinbun (in Japanese; 8:43PM JST 3/24/2011) reports that the top officials of the ruling party (the Democratic Party of Japan) were in talks with the opposition leaders to re-designate the area between 20 and 30 kilometer radii as "evacuation" zone.

It seems like one or two politicians (or their faithful private secretaries) must have read the article on Asahi Shinbun (see my post, I translated the article in full), and thought "Hmmmm, the local election campaign just started, it would look bad on us if these people starve to death ...."

From the Yomiuri article, it seems to have been the opposition politicians who requested the DPJ top officials that the government re-consider the evacuation zone designation. The DPJ officials told the opposition that "their request would be duly transmitted to the government."

According to Yomiuri, the Naoto Kan's Cabinet Secretary Edano said, "Since it's been quite a while since the "stay indoors" evacuation started [between 20 and 30 kilometers from the plant], we have instructed [our officials] to review the situation in order for the government to decide whether it can continue." But he also said, "We should be careful not to send the "wrong" message that the danger has increased."

The danger HAS increased, Mr. Mouthpiece, and you know it. It's been 13 days after the accident, 12 days after the building top blew up on the Reactor No.1. And it's raining heavily in CA, in a very unusual winter storm, with jet stream coming all the way from Japan.

What was the point of using the "radius", to begin with? The land is not flat where the fallout or radiation spread out evenly. Wind doesn't blow from the nuke plant out to the surrounding areas in a concentric manner. There's prevailing wind in the upper atmosphere, which may be quite different from the surface wind direction.

This is the Nuclear Safety Committee simulation they released on March 23 on potential internal radiation exposure (cumulative, for 12 days) on thyroid gland (unit is milli-sievert); the dotted circle designates the area within 30-kilometer radius:

This is the actual data collected by the unmanned drones by the US military on radiation levels in the environment (unit is micro-sievert). It corresponds pretty well with the map above, with north-westerly direction from the plant getting higher exposure. US Department of Energy seems to have started to release the reconnaissance data, whether the Japanese government likes it or not, at


Post a Comment