Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We are not going to die.

Today the news is dominated by the 'radioactive water' story.  Radioactive water is continuing to leak from reactor number 2, although the exact source is not clear.  Increasingly, it appears the water may be coming from pipes around the reactor itself, due to damage or partial meltdown of the rods.  The immediate focus at the plant is preventing this radioactive water from entering the sea.  In addition, plutonium was detected in soil outside the reactor, which also points to damage of the reactor.

All the reactors are still being cooled however, to various degrees by various means.

It's increasingly hard to be objective about all this: is there genuine danger for people outside the plant or not?  Like everybody, I was concerned when the nuclear accident was first reported on the news.  The very phrase 'meltdown' taps into a vague but colossal fear sourced in the unconscious.  It's almost impossible to be rational when thinking about concepts such as 'radiation' and 'meltdown'.  And what do I know about nuclear power or nuclear reactors?  But information, all the information you want, is available from Wikipedia or other reliable sources.  And when it comes down to it, there is negligible danger for Tokyo residents.  I'm more likely to incur health risk from the McDonald's meal I ate yesterday than from all the radiation reported in Tokyo thus far.  This knowledge, coupled with a healthy skepticism of mainstream media, has led me to believe there is actually...no danger at all.  No danger except, perhaps, for the workers at the plant.  No real reason for 20-50% of foreign residents of Tokyo to have left.  No real reason not to come back.

Yeah, I'm thinking about another McDonald's meal.  That Manhattan burger was pretty good.


ARTSOM said...

It's a mixed bag I think:
There is a potential danger from the damage to the plant, but it's been exacerbated by the media and the lack of people's knowledge. It might be prudent to leave Japan in order to ensure safety, but as you say, there's more health risks involved with something like a McDonald's than the current situation with the plant.

Captaincassowary said...

May I should just live in a country without nuclear plants or McDonalds...um, can't think of any...