Extremely high doses of radiation have been discovered outside one of the stricken nuclear power plants in Japan in recent days.
Plant operator the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said radiation greater than 10 sieverts per hour was found at the foot of a ventilation chimney between two reactors, Reuters reports.
Radiation levels might even be higher because 10 sieverts is equal to 1000 REM on a Geiger counter which is the maximum that it can read. In other words it could be much higher than this. A one hour exposure to 1000 REM will result in irreversible radiation poisoning and you’d be dead in less than a day.
There is some speculation that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) which has mapped the contamination around the plant may have missed measuring it. Considering the incredible incompetence exhibited by TEPCO, this is a distinct possibility. However, the measurements were taken at the base of the main ventilation stack that services reactors No. 1 and No. 2. Arnie Gundersen, the nuclear expert featured in some of my previous blog posts might have an explanation. You can listen to Arnie below but you need to remember one thing. If he’s right, then that means that an incredible amount of radioactive contamination has been poisoning the atmosphere for more than 140 days now.
You also need to consider that it is summer in Japan and the temperature is warmer than in winter. Cold winter temperatures would result in more condensation. So, if this much summer-time condensation results in incredibly lethal doses outside the stack, you can only imagine how much uncondensed steam has vented into the atmosphere that we are breathing.
Again, for your long-term health, I urge you to limit your outdoor exposure as much as possible despite the warm summer weather. I’ve hung up my in-line skates for the summer and I’m exercising indoors. Ok, I admit I’m a hardcore, hard-boot snowboard fanatic who sees summer as an unnecessary interruption of snowboarding but I’d still like to live long enough to shred the slopes for a few more years.
August 4, 2011
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