Frame of reference for radiation leak info

Japanese TV is getting the message, it seems, about what exactly people need to know. I mentioned this morning’s (Wed. March 16) show with Mino Monta. And right now, on ABC television, Ikegami Akira is taking viewers through definitions of some of the buzzwords that have been flying around TV studios and press conference rooms for the last few days: radiation, radiation leak, hydrogen explosion, irradiated (a tricky word in Japanese as it is a homophone of the word for “Hiroshima victim”, i.e. someone who suffered an atomic blast; it is pronounced the same but written with a different kanji), and so on.

This program lasts 3 hours. You can get all the same information in 10 minutes by reading the article Why I am Not Worried about Japan’s Nuclear Reactors, written a couple of days after the earthquake/tsunami. (The original article has been moved to MIT’s site here).

10 minutes vs 3 hours. Pretty good ROI, I think. Dr. Josef Oehmen’s assessment at that time was that Japan was facing a level-4 disaster. The situation has since worsened and been graded level 5, the same as 3-Mile Island (Chernobyl was a level 7).


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