Wednesday, May 4, 2011

UK's Guardian's Blooper: "38 Microsieverts" Somehow Turned Into "38 Millisieverts" for Fukushima School Yard

Let's see if (and how fast) the thought police from Japan descends on Guardian.. The Japanese government and the MSM press already dissed UK's Daily Mail as "sensational", but the paper has actually been covering the earthquake/tsunami/nuke plant accident in a very factual yet compassionate way with excellent photos.

From Guardian's article on May 2, 2011 titled "Fukushima parents dish the dirt in protest over radiation levels" by Jonathan Watts:


A group claiming to represent 250 parents in Fukushima visited the upper house of parliament and presented government officials with a bag of radioactive dirt from the playground of one of the affected schools. A geiger counter clicked over it with a reading of 38 millisieverts.

That's an astonishing number, 38 millisieverts.

Except in this case it's not what the reading was. It was 38 MICROSIEVERTS. It's still awfully higher than what the national and prefectural governments have been telling the residents in Fukushima, but not to the extent of 38 MILLISIEVERTS.

For those of you who understand Japanese (including the writer at Guardian, perhaps?), here's the video of the event. About 9 minutes into the video, they put the dirt in front of the bureaucrat and put the geiger counter on it, and read off the number, "38 microsieverts":

As of today (May 4), it is still "millisievert" at Guardian. Guardian is not alone in insisting on the story that it has published, though. As I've posted before (4/24/11 post), Japan's NHK WORLD (English) reported that "300 millisieverts per hour of radiation was detected in debris on a nearby mountainside", where in reality "From debris found on the side of the Reactor 3 building facing the mountain, 300 millisieverts/hour radiation was detected" (as in the original NHK Japanese news).

After 10 days, the radioactive debris is still "on a nearby mountainside" at NHK WORLD, and no sign of the Japanese thought police even aware of the NHK's blooper.


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

OK I'll concede the point but I wanted to wait for a bit to see if TEPCO was going to admit some new "who could have known moment". By this point it wouldn't surprise me if TEPCO opened a school constructed with recycled reactor building rubble. Well at least now they know where they can dump all the sewage slag. Like you said though the Japanese officials aren't being very vigilant with the surveys they are conducting. I won't be surprised when they claim "who could have known" in 5-10 years.

On a different note according to this article global warming is affecting some NPP's ability to operate at full output. They say new reactors designs shouldn't have the problem but they are at least two decades away.

"Heat Waves Putting Pressure on Nuclear Power's Outmoded Cooling Technologies"

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Here's another questionable radiation reading in the news but at least they put a "?" near the 70-90 Sv/hr! (At the Sv/hr level all the animals would way past dead and the people too!) I think the dead reanimate into flesh eating zombies at 100?Sv/hr so they better watch out! (^^)

Any way here's the story.

Hachiko Coalition: Super Mega Hyper Emergency Animal/Pet Rescue! (I like my title better)

"In a stunning example of selfless action, yet another video shows a family who re-entered the zone attempting to rescue and feed animals while also recovering the dead [4]. Mr. Hosti, who obtained the video footage, reported the radiation levels in that location were 70-90?Sv/h."

Of course if you read the actual press release they use μSv/hr (I guess the μ confused the guy at the San Francisco Chronicle so he left it off and used a ?) (Or maybe they are too cheap to pay for keyboards with a μ key)

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

And so it begins, here is a small jab at professor Toshiso Kosako's resignation. Now they are saying, "experts like Kosako are required to show the public clear criteria for judging whether the situation is safe or dangerous". Too bad the government is holding Kosako to a confidentiality agreement that has stopped him from speaking further. Why isn't the guy writing this article asking the government to lift the gag order? Kosako is following international norms when he condemns raising a child's permissible exposure 20x the norm. It seems to me the author of this "Perspectives" article Etsuko Nagayama, Tokyo Science and Environment News Department wants to blame Kosako for "fueling the public's anxiety" over a "slight rise in health hazards caused by radiation". While ignoring to governments granny heart warnings for the radiation safety professor to stay quiet.

Anonymous said...

I live in Tokyo and I just saw this video that says Tokyo had 3 Becquerels detected in a park, while Fukushima is at 4. I dont speak japanese so I was wondering if you could analyze this video and let me know whats going on?

Anonymous said...

Hello I live in Tokyo and I just saw this video that said 3 Bequrels of fallout had been detected in a park in Tokyo as apposed to 4 in Fukushima. I dont speak really good japanese, but can you analyze this video and maybe provide some comments?


thanks for all your work btw, i watch your page daily

word said...

I live in Tokyo and just saw this video that says 3 Bequrell of fallout fell on Tokyo as apposed to 4 in Fukushima. kind of alarming. i dont speak japanese well, so i was wondering if you would be able to comment on this and provide some analysis.


arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon, I will do. That I think, is about the questioning during the parliamentary session in April.

@robbie, the Mainichi artricle you linked is disgusting. The writer, a woman, says there is no evidence of ill effect from a long-term low-dose exposure to radiation. She's just following the official line and angry at the professor instead of at the government.

And what can you expect from SF Chronicle? But about the animal rescue in the evacuation zone, I've read several Japanese stories about how the concerned animal rescuers looking for starving pets, ignoring starving humans who still live in the zone...

Anonymous said...

Robbie sez:

Finally, Bento box lunches and bunk beds now all the workers need is a Pachinko parlor and some karaoke booths. Almost 2 months into the crisis and the workers are still waiting on makeshift shower stalls at their living quarters. Don't they shower to decontaminate after each work shift? You'd think decent showers would be the first thing they would supply.

Here's an emergency shower tip I learned when camping a long time ago. If you buy a 3 gallon garden/deck style pump sprayer they make a great makeshift shower. I fill the sprayer 1/2 way with cold water and then fill the other half with boiling water. This makes the water warm enough to be comfortable for a 5 to 7 minute pressurized shower. It also came in handy for washing dishes. I have used my sprayer a few times since camping when the power went out for a few days after a bad storm or picnicking and such, it comes in handy.

It looks like I'm going on a short vacation until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week so I may not be commenting until then. Don't let the world end until I get back.

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