Fukushima is a real SNAFU. Situation Normal: All Fouled Up. (The polite definition of the term.)
Radioactive poisons will continue to spew from Fukushima for months, years… poisons will remain in our environment… “forever.”
I’m burned out. We’re all burned out. We’re all burned from the inside out and the outside in by this tragedy. Fukushima WAS and IS “the big one.”
It will kill for the rest of our lives. Kill fish. Kill birds. Kill people.
Not just in Japan, but all over. The deaths will not be televised. They will not be You-Tubed. They are too vile to watch, too painful, too personal, too humbling, too sickening. But you MUST know they will happen. They are happening. They will always keep happening because radiation causes cancer. It has no lower threshold, and billions upon billions of cancer-causing doses were distributed to the world. Gazzillions of billions. Uncountable trillions. Needles pegged. Detectors and dosimeters lost in the hydrogen explosions. And probably, nothing’s been calibrated in a month, they’re too busy….
For $1,000 a day, maybe more, maybe less, people are willing to go into Fukushima and get a dose. Thank goodness. When they run out of Japanese nuclear workers, they will surely import them, probably from India, where wages are low and nuclear power is (or at least, was, up until Fukushima) highly regarded by the government and largely unopposed by the people of India, who are up to their necks in other problems, like a polluted Ganges, monsoon flooding or lack thereof, poverty, internal terrorism, depleted natural resources, and just about every other problem you can imagine. They do, however, still have a thriving film industry.
How many workers will Fukushima Daiichi require by the time it’s all entombed — probably not the best solution, and certainly not doable yet — or whatever they do with it?
Chernobyl required about three quarters of a million Russian workers, most of them young military conscripts and firemen. Things are different in Japan. Allowable doses were much higher for the Chernobyl workers and generally, doses only estimated, not actually measured.
On the other hand, in Japan Tyvek suits are the norm, with breathing apparatus that might even be working somewhat! Oh, how I wish I had invested in “Tyvek” in February (that, and radiation detector companies)! These workers can stay longer. But the radiation levels at the plant are very dangerous and some of them might exceed what the workers at Chernobyl had to endure. AND yes, dosimeters don’t always tell the whole story even if everyone has one, and nor do any but the most sophisticated of radiation detection equipment.
In other words, almost everything, once again, is being estimated. And Tyvek leaks, either by being torn, punctured, or improperly used. And of course, only some radiation is blocked by the Tyvek, not all (chiefly among what is blocked are alpha particles, among what is not, gamma rays).
RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN is author of The Code Killers: An Expose of the Nuclear Industry. Free download: acehoffman.org. He lives in Carlsbad, California, 25 miles south of the San Onofre nuclear generating station and runs a blog: acehoffman.blogspot.com