The sad part is a think the money grabbers are out also. Last night we got 4 calls wanting money for some sort of Japanese relief. Now I do not mind giving, but I never give over the phone. I give to my Church, or somewhere I know the money will get to where it is suppose to be. I do not know if the people calling were legit or not. I do know there is always someone out to make a dollar on someones pain.
Japan needs help. I heard they ask for help. They are wanting some help with equipment to help cool things down.
I fear the death toll with go up. It is below 3,000 last I heard. I have not heard how many are injured.
They had warnings on CNN about scammers looking to make money off the disaster. We need to be sure we are donating to legitimate organizations. How shameful that people would try to "cash in" on someone else's misery.
I received some disturbing information today. Radiation surveys showed dose rates of 827 millirem per hour at the site boundary. For perspective, these are typically <0.05 millirem per hour at a typical U.S. commercial reactor site boundary. At U.S. reactors, a whole body dose rate of 1000 millirem/hour requires special controls and these are locked areas with unique locks and keys.
Dose rates by one of the damaged reactor containment structures was 40 Rem per hour (40,000 millirem/hour). Health affects are usually assured with an acute exposure of 100 to 200 Rem, and some deaths can occur although most in that range survive. Acute is defined as receiving that radiation exposure in a 24 hour period. However these dose rates are not likely to spread beyond the site, so they would not endanger the public.
Beyond all the above, my most immediate concern is with the spent fuel pools being exposed to the atmosphere, which happened when the Reactor Building blowout panels "blew out" in the hydrogen explosions over the past few days. This is the equivalent of having your swimming pool filled with used nuclear fuel bundles. They lost FPC (Fuel Pool Cooling) which is causing this water to boil off and although those spent bundles have decayed and cooled over time, it is a tremendous amount of radioactive material with thousands of Curies of activity. This is what they are talking about using helicopters to drop water into.
Dave, thank you for all of your input about the reactors. I know you have more of an understanding of what's going on inside those plants than any of us could even imagine--I'm talking about the crews that are trying to get this under control. All of the events that have occurred since Friday is more than my mind can comprehend. My thoughts and prayers haven't stopped.
I saw it snowing to beat the band on the news this morning. The devastation is just incredible. I can't watch the videos, it makes me cry and breaks my heart. I don't know why the media insists on recording the pain of loved ones finding out someone is dead. I did see a couple of clips of people finding relatives and children alive, but most of them are people in agony. I know it has to be reported, though, it seems an invasion of privacy to me.
I-131 is the biggest contributor to dose for the population. This is Iodine-131, which has a short half-life of 8 days, so it decays quickly and will be mostly gone within a couple weeks or so.
For the area near the nuclear plants, there will be a few months of elevated radioactivity, and their biggest problem will be fission and decay products released from failed fuel bundles in the fuel pools which are open to the atmosphere. Xenon and Krypton are typical. However, it should not be a case where there is an extended period of elevated radiation levels or exposure to radioactive contamination (aka...fallout) which could be presented as either airborne or ground-based, or both.