Saturday, March 26, 2011

Profiles of Those Who Have and Have Not Been Evacuated

Evacuated: Residents in the “no-go” zone near Fukushima reactors who can afford to rent a place, who have gasoline to drive, or who have a relative or friend’s home to go to. These people are undergoing voluntarily evacuation as suggested by the Japanese government.

Not evacuated: Residents in the “no-go” zone who don’t have facilities or resources and are forced to stay in local evacuation centers in the danger zone near the Fukushima reactors or live in makeshift housing along the coastal areas.

Evacuated: Domesticates whose owners can find evacuation centers that take pets and those who have been found and rescued.

Not evacuated: Domesticates who couldn't evacuate with their owners. Just as in Katrina many owners were forced to make a choice between staying with animals or giving them up.

Evacuated: Aquarium mammals in damaged tidal wave zone aquariums.

Not evacuated: Fish in damaged tidal wave zones aquariums.

Not evacuated: Various animals and insects belonging to 130 land mammal species, 600 bird species, 73 reptile and amphibian species, 190 kinds of dragonflies, 300 kinds of butterflies, some of whom lived in Fukushima and are examples of movable nature. Any of them can potentially move across arbitrary boundaries, including out of the “no-go” zone. They potentially carry radioactivity.

Not evacuated: Ocean-going mammals and fish in the ocean near the Fukushima plant where TEPCO is dumping or leaking radioactive water. They are examples of movable nature that move through the water. They could be near or far from the reactors now.

Evacuated: Nuclear reactor workers with burns. So far only three workers have been admitted by TEPCO to have been hurt. They were evacuated under cover by large blue tarps carried by fellow reactor workers to the National Radiology Hospital because they have received more than 10,000 times the limit of radiation.

Not evacuated: Nuclear reactor workers with no burns. Takashi Hirose, Author of Nuclear Power Plants for Tokyo and Genpatsu, The Time Bomb spoke on the reactors thusly. “. . . it’s a complete mess inside, and when I think of the 50 remaining operators [now 47], it brings tears to my eyes. I assume they have been exposed to very large amounts of radiation, and that they have accepted that they face death by staying there. And how long can they last? I mean, physically. . . . All of the information media are at fault here I think. They are saying stupid things like, why, we are exposed to radiation all the time in our daily life, we get radiation from outer space. But that’s one millisievert per year. A year has 365 days, a day has 24 hours; multiply 365 by 24, you get 8760. Multiply the 400 millisieverts by that, you get 3,500,000 the normal dose. You call that safe? And what media have reported this? None. They compare it to a CT scan, which is over in an instant; that has nothing to do with it.” (Counterpunch, March 22)

Evacuated: Hundreds of US military families in Japan and their pets.

UPDATE March 27, am:

Evacuated?: Workers at the plant. It appears that workers are being evacuated from reactor 2. Late March 26th (US time), at an on-going press conference, Tepco employees said they detected radioactive Iodine 134 in the water pool in the turbine room that was 10 million times beyond the normal level and they couldn't measure the level of radiation because the instrument they use which can measure up to 1000 msv/h went beyond the limit. This is a level of radiation that can kill a man. According to the World Nuclear Association, 100 mSv a year is the lowest level at which any increase in cancer is clearly evident. Absorption of more than 500 mSv can depress white blood-cell levels, etc. See below:

250 mSv Allowable short-term dose for workers controlling the 2011 Fukushima accident.
350 mSv/lifetime Criterion for relocating people after Chernobyl accident.
1,000 mSv cumulative Would probably cause a fatal cancer many years later in 5 of every 100 persons exposed to it (i.e. if the normal incidence of fatal cancer were 25%, this dose would increase it to 30%).
1,000 mSv single dose Causes (temporary) radiation sickness such as nausea and decreased white blood cell count, but not death. Above this, severity of illness increases with dose.
5,000 mSv single dose Would kill about half those receiving it within a month.
10,000 mSv single dose Fatal within a few weeks.

Moved: US crew members and the US navy's 7th Fleet, stationed 100 miles offshore, has retreated and moved after 17 crew members' bodies were treated for radiation exposure (which essentially means they were cleaned with soap and water and their clothes thrown away).

We’re all in this together.