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OH, Poor Japan,

They are possibly having a nuclear reactor meltdown at one of their power plants, people up to 60 km away have been evacuated.

http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2011/03/12/explosion-at-japans-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-power-plant-radioactivity-20-times-normal-level/

Apparently 5 other reactors are overheating, one dangerously.

 

I can hardly comprehend so many disasters happening in one tiny country at the same time. My heart goes out to them.

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I'm watching this this morning. It's a scary crisis. I hope they can cool these places.

 

I sometimes teach about these things at school (using Chernobyl and Three Mile Island). We really don't need "new" material for the class, but I fear we already have it.

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I saw a map showing the spread of radiation yesterday, which I can't find this morning, indicating the levels that the west coast of the US would see in about 10 days. Anyone have knowledge on how much of a problem this will be?

 

It depends on the wind for the most part - and how much radiation gets in the atmosphere.

 

Unfortunately, there isn't much actual data on a nuclear emergency as scientists can't just "do" these things to make models of them and know what will happen. Most of what we have is a best guess scenario based on theories, but you can spend some time googling Chernobyl to see what happened (and is still happening with regards to birth defects and the like) there. This is what they will be making their best guesses on.

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I was going to start a thread because I hadn't seen this one. I don't understand why Japan appears to be downplaying this? This could have a global impact. So very scary.

 

According to them, it *may* not be that bad. (Yet.)

 

"Though Toshihiro Bannai, director of the agency's international affairs office, said engineers have been unable to get close enough to the core to know what's going on, he based his conclusion on the fact that they measured radioactive isotopes in the air Saturday night.

 

"What we have seen is only the slight indication from a monitoring post of cesium and iodine," he said.

But Bannai added that he didn't believe a disaster was looming.

"We actually have very good confidence that we will resolve this," he said.

 

Edano, too, raised few alarms during his press conference Sunday. He based his optimism in large part on measurements of radiation outside the nuclear plant, conceding fluctuations may occur while stating that levels have generally decreased.

"We are continuing to monitor the radiation, but it is (under) control," he said."

 

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/12/japan.nuclear/?hpt=T1

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According to them, it *may* not be that bad. (Yet.)

 

"Though Toshihiro Bannai, director of the agency's international affairs office, said engineers have been unable to get close enough to the core to know what's going on, he based his conclusion on the fact that they measured radioactive isotopes in the air Saturday night.

 

"What we have seen is only the slight indication from a monitoring post of cesium and iodine," he said.

But Bannai added that he didn't believe a disaster was looming.

"We actually have very good confidence that we will resolve this," he said.

 

Edano, too, raised few alarms during his press conference Sunday. He based his optimism in large part on measurements of radiation outside the nuclear plant, conceding fluctuations may occur while stating that levels have generally decreased.

"We are continuing to monitor the radiation, but it is (under) control," he said."

 

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/12/japan.nuclear/?hpt=T1

 

 

It just sounds like they are trying to downplay it. The fact that they have had to resort to sea water to cool the reactor means that many things in that plant are not working as they should.

They are handing out iodine tablets to people living close to the plant and telling them to wear masks. Yet in the interviews with Japanese officials, they are making it sound like everything is under control. Something just seems off to me.

They have been pouring sea water on that reactor since yesterday and it still had a meltdown....so how do they think they are going to avoid meltdowns at the other reactors (that are having cooling issues as well)? (and I'm not directing this at you ;) I'm just thinking out loud here...and it just seems like a potential for a much larger problem is not taken seriously)

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It just sounds like they are trying to downplay it. The fact that they have had to resort to sea water to cool the reactor means that many things in that plant are not working as they should.

They are handing out iodine tablets to people living close to the plant and telling them to wear masks. Yet in the interviews with Japanese officials, they are making it sound like everything is under control. Something just seems off to me.

They have been pouring sea water on that reactor since yesterday and it still had a meltdown....so how do they think they are going to avoid meltdowns at the other reactors (that are having cooling issues as well)? (and I'm not directing this at you ;) I'm just thinking out loud here...and it just seems like a potential for a much larger problem is not taken seriously)

 

Spin, baby, spin. Not like they can do more to fix it than they already are, I assume, & freaking everyone out with what-ifs won't help anyone. I'd expect the same with an American disaster, TBH. "Oh, it's fine, everything's under control" until it's not physically possible to hide it anymore :tongue_smilie:.

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Yes, I would be a little concerned if I were you in America...might be worth stocking up on some iodine. If it realyl does melt down like Chernobyl it will blow across to you.

My favorite source of iodine is Iodoral from amazon. I take anywhere from 1-4 tablets daily.

 

IODORAL.jpg

 

Interestingly, the average Japanese normally has the highest rates of iodine in the world, so hopefully, God willing, this will protect them.

When we take 50 mg of iodine/iodide a day, it acts as an adaptogen, regulating various body functions. This is the amount that most of us need.

Not just any iodine will do. Kelp and iodized salt just won’t give you even close to the 50 mg required amount. Neither will seaweed nor fish, unless you eat enough of them every single day. The Japanese have adequate iodine, but we can’t get enough from our diet unless we eat high-iodine seaweed every single day. We’re extremely deficient. We’ve been on a low-iodine diet all our lives and they haven’t. And it’s rare for most to eat seaweed daily.

 

Some forms of iodine are harmful. Iodoral is not. All of us need a combination of iodine and iodide, the two forms of iodine used throughout our bodies. Iodoral and Lugol are the only supplements containing these two nutrients. Lugol, however, tastes foul.

 

You may need 1 to 4 tablets of Iodoral, a combination of 5 mg of iodine and 7.5 mg of potassium iodide. Additional research finds that vitamin C improves the transport of iodine in the body, so it may be best to take Iodoral with Vitamin C.

Start off slowly over a 4 week period.

Take 1 pill for 30 days

Then 2 pills for 30 days

Then maybe 3 for 30 days

Then maybe 4 for 30 days

Then back down to 3, 2, and 1 - gradually – see how much your body needs to maintain

Your body will know....listen to it...

One Iodoral tablet provides 12.5 milligrams of iodine/iodide which is about the amount the average Japanese consumed in 1964 in their everyday diet.

Iodoral is the best way to get the recommended amount of iodine.

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Apparently they randomly tested 3 people from a group of 90 who had been outside in an open area waiting for evacuation and all three of them tested positive to radiation exposure. I think it's a fair bet to say that the other 87 were probably exposed as well. :(

 

I agree it's probably a "don't panic the people until we HAVE to situation". Then again maybe they really don't know the extent of the damage and are still trying to figure it out for themselves.

 

I guess we shouldn't be eating fish from Japan for the next 250 000 years :001_huh:

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The fallout is scary. I know here, where we are in Germany, all boars have to brought to a station to be checked for contamination from Chernobyl. If they are contaminated I think the station buys it from the hunter. Scary stuff - now I wonder if the west coast (my home) will suffer the same long lasting effects :confused:

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I was going to start a thread because I hadn't seen this one. I don't understand why Japan appears to be downplaying this? This could have a global impact. So very scary.

 

Japan is acurately reporting this because it will NOT have a global impact. This is nothing like Chernobyl. Chernobyl was a fast-reaction reactor- similar to a breeder reactor. The product in those types of reactors is weapons-grade nuclear material. Chernobyl was run by completely inexperienced people, from the top down. The Fukushima plant is a slow reaction reactor, using delayed neutrons instead of fast neutrons. The operators and engineers are very highly trained.

 

Here is a non-inflamatory article designed to actually inform rather than spread fear. I'll explain a little more. If you look on the right of the link, you will see a diagram of the primary system in a BWR (boiling water reactor). Notice the upside-down lightbulb-looking thing? That is the primary containment vessel. That is usually made up of 4-8ft thick concrete walls. Inside the primaary containment vessel is a drywell, usually filled with nitrogen to provide more shielding. Then you have the actual reactor, which is made of some sort of super steel alloy that I cannot remember, but it's strong. More shielding. THEN, inside of all that, you have your fuel rods and pellets. The pellets, Uranium 235 or 238 depending on what they're using, actually have a type of cladding on them to provide more shielding. When the dumb media talk about a nuclear meltdown, they make it sound like the whole reactor vessel/primary containment is melting. What is happening is the fuel and rods are melting. Not good, but certainly not an apocolyptic event.

 

Here is another fact-based report.

 

FTR, my dh works at a nuclear power plant similar to the Fukushima plant. I was in the Navy nuclear power program. We've been involved with nuclear power for almost 13 years now. I happily sent him to work this morning with no problem. These plants are ridiculously safe. This is the what.. 3rd major incident in 50 years of operations? How about all the coal plants, oil refineries, and chemical plants that have accidents all the time?

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The situation seems to be getting worse and worse.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/9007383/blast-strikes-japan-plant-core-safe-bodies-found-on-coast/

 

according to this report an USS aircraft carrier picked up radiation readings 160 km away from the site.

 

I have heard an official from Japan power company ( On ABC radio) stating that the core is three metres above the coolant, and they can't get it covered, which will probably mean a meltdown.

and a second reactor has had an explosion of built up Hydrogen gas. I think ( am possibly wrong) that Hydrogen gas builds up when a melt down is starting.

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Japan is acurately reporting this because it will NOT have a global impact. This is nothing like Chernobyl. Chernobyl was a fast-reaction reactor- similar to a breeder reactor. The product in those types of reactors is weapons-grade nuclear material. Chernobyl was run by completely inexperienced people, from the top down. The Fukushima plant is a slow reaction reactor, using delayed neutrons instead of fast neutrons. The operators and engineers are very highly trained.

 

Here is a non-inflamatory article designed to actually inform rather than spread fear. I'll explain a little more. If you look on the right of the link, you will see a diagram of the primary system in a BWR (boiling water reactor). Notice the upside-down lightbulb-looking thing? That is the primary containment vessel. That is usually made up of 4-8ft thick concrete walls. Inside the primaary containment vessel is a drywell, usually filled with nitrogen to provide more shielding. Then you have the actual reactor, which is made of some sort of super steel alloy that I cannot remember, but it's strong. More shielding. THEN, inside of all that, you have your fuel rods and pellets. The pellets, Uranium 235 or 238 depending on what they're using, actually have a type of cladding on them to provide more shielding. When the dumb media talk about a nuclear meltdown, they make it sound like the whole reactor vessel/primary containment is melting. What is happening is the fuel and rods are melting. Not good, but certainly not an apocolyptic event.

 

Here is another fact-based report.

 

FTR, my dh works at a nuclear power plant similar to the Fukushima plant. I was in the Navy nuclear power program. We've been involved with nuclear power for almost 13 years now. I happily sent him to work this morning with no problem. These plants are ridiculously safe. This is the what.. 3rd major incident in 50 years of operations? How about all the coal plants, oil refineries, and chemical plants that have accidents all the time?

 

Thanks:001_smile: Very imformative.

 

lisa

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I don't understand why Japan appears to be downplaying this?

 

Having been in high school within 100 miles of TMI when the incident happened, I'd be very cautious as an American being critical of any other nation and its handling of information. Especially in a disaster of this scale. This is but ONE of many, many things going on simultaneously, and nothing is easy...no power, no direct routes, and on and on. It's hard to imagine what else could be thrown into this situation to make it any worse.

 

Heck, we as homeschooling parents sometimes can't even manage to get all our work done on good weeks or months...with a few children and no disasters. In other words, things don't go as planned on good days, let alone on really, really, really the worst of days.

 

Praying for all those having to coordinate the solutions to this horrible reality. It's not as if Japan has been cavalier with its preparedness. This is a cautionary tale for the entire world at so many levels. :sad:

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Yes, the radiation is from the venting. The explosion was expected. The wind is in the direction of out to sea. The reports here say the levels are equivalent to a month of what one normally gets walking the earth.

 

The meltdown is a meltdown of the fuel rods, not of the reactor itself. The reactor design is different than Chernobyl. The Japan Times is reporting that the sea water has covered the core, which means cooling is circulating and sufficient to carry heat away, rather than the water boiling off: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110314a4.html

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110314a1.html

Their back up emergency cooling plans are working. The reactors will be shut down.

 

Thanks for making it super easy to understand! I think I'm going to do more reading on the subject of nuclear power.

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Thanks for making it super easy to understand! I think I'm going to do more reading on the subject of nuclear power.

 

Nuclear power plants today are far safer than the older ones were. Builders did learn from previous mistakes no matter which country or whether for military or power use. No one wants an accident to occur. Period.

 

The new designs for plants "to be built" are even safer than those already in operation. When they rebuild these Japanese plants (after seawater has been pumped in, they can't use the same reactor), they will correct for the problem that occurred this time too.

 

Nuclear is still a good option for power IMO. But there are hazards and they need to be handled with the respect that is due.

 

IF there is a complete meltdown including the shell, then at least prevailing winds head out to sea and not over land in this case. Hopefully that won't be the case and things are under control. Since it hasn't happened before, we are still working on theories as to what will happen. And it still helps that even the low radiation is mainly going out to sea.

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Having been in high school within 100 miles of TMI when the incident happened, I'd be very cautious as an American being critical of any other nation and its handling of information. Especially in a disaster of this scale. This is but ONE of many, many things going on simultaneously, and nothing is easy...no power, no direct routes, and on and on. It's hard to imagine what else could be thrown into this situation to make it any worse.

 

Heck, we as homeschooling parents sometimes can't even manage to get all our work done on good weeks or months...with a few children and no disasters. In other words, things don't go as planned on good days, let alone on really, really, really the worst of days.

 

Praying for all those having to coordinate the solutions to this horrible reality. It's not as if Japan has been cavalier with its preparedness. This is a cautionary tale for the entire world at so many levels. :sad:

 

Perfectly said.

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Having been in high school within 100 miles of TMI when the incident happened, I'd be very cautious as an American being critical of any other nation and its handling of information. Especially in a disaster of this scale. This is but ONE of many, many things going on simultaneously, and nothing is easy...no power, no direct routes, and on and on. It's hard to imagine what else could be thrown into this situation to make it any worse.

 

Heck, we as homeschooling parents sometimes can't even manage to get all our work done on good weeks or months...with a few children and no disasters. In other words, things don't go as planned on good days, let alone on really, really, really the worst of days.

 

Praying for all those having to coordinate the solutions to this horrible reality. It's not as if Japan has been cavalier with its preparedness. This is a cautionary tale for the entire world at so many levels. :sad:

 

:iagree:

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Having been in high school within 100 miles of TMI when the incident happened, I'd be very cautious as an American being critical of any other nation and its handling of information. Especially in a disaster of this scale. This is but ONE of many, many things going on simultaneously, and nothing is easy...no power, no direct routes, and on and on. It's hard to imagine what else could be thrown into this situation to make it any worse.

 

Heck, we as homeschooling parents sometimes can't even manage to get all our work done on good weeks or months...with a few children and no disasters. In other words, things don't go as planned on good days, let alone on really, really, really the worst of days.

 

Praying for all those having to coordinate the solutions to this horrible reality. It's not as if Japan has been cavalier with its preparedness. This is a cautionary tale for the entire world at so many levels. :sad:

 

I don't see what "being an American" has to do with my concerns. I would be just as "critical" of our govt. (and I have). I'm sure Japan is doing everything they can possibly do to help their people. I'm sure their top priority is their peoples safety. My concern is that either the govt. or the utility company appeared to be downplaying the scenario. I don't believe they have it under control as a pp suggested. Many experts have weighed in and it's not cut and dry. It's still a volatile situation and no one knows what the outcome will be. My prayers are with everyone affected by these horrible tragedies. :(

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Japan is acurately reporting this because it will NOT have a global impact. This is nothing like Chernobyl. Chernobyl was a fast-reaction reactor- similar to a breeder reactor. The product in those types of reactors is weapons-grade nuclear material. Chernobyl was run by completely inexperienced people, from the top down. The Fukushima plant is a slow reaction reactor, using delayed neutrons instead of fast neutrons. The operators and engineers are very highly trained.

 

Here is a non-inflamatory article designed to actually inform rather than spread fear. I'll explain a little more. If you look on the right of the link, you will see a diagram of the primary system in a BWR (boiling water reactor). Notice the upside-down lightbulb-looking thing? That is the primary containment vessel. That is usually made up of 4-8ft thick concrete walls. Inside the primaary containment vessel is a drywell, usually filled with nitrogen to provide more shielding. Then you have the actual reactor, which is made of some sort of super steel alloy that I cannot remember, but it's strong. More shielding. THEN, inside of all that, you have your fuel rods and pellets. The pellets, Uranium 235 or 238 depending on what they're using, actually have a type of cladding on them to provide more shielding. When the dumb media talk about a nuclear meltdown, they make it sound like the whole reactor vessel/primary containment is melting. What is happening is the fuel and rods are melting. Not good, but certainly not an apocolyptic event.

 

Here is another fact-based report.

 

FTR, my dh works at a nuclear power plant similar to the Fukushima plant. I was in the Navy nuclear power program. We've been involved with nuclear power for almost 13 years now. I happily sent him to work this morning with no problem. These plants are ridiculously safe. This is the what.. 3rd major incident in 50 years of operations? How about all the coal plants, oil refineries, and chemical plants that have accidents all the time?

 

Great info. Thank you!

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Here is a good article written by a local doc on preparing ourselves. I thought it was well written without fear-mongering.

 

FTR, I have stocked up on Iodoral. We take it whenever we are expecting to get x-rays or have been exposed to large amounts of x-ray radiation (testing and such) but we ran out so I ordered more to have on hand just in case. It doesn't hurt to be prepared.

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FTR, my dh works at a nuclear power plant similar to the Fukushima plant. I was in the Navy nuclear power program. We've been involved with nuclear power for almost 13 years now. I happily sent him to work this morning with no problem. These plants are ridiculously safe. This is the what.. 3rd major incident in 50 years of operations? How about all the coal plants, oil refineries, and chemical plants that have accidents all the time?

 

:iagree:My husband also works in the power industry selling and maintaining all types of plants. He has watched the news with growing anxiety because accidents like this always panic the general public and turn everyone against nuclear power, one of the safest, cheapest and cleanest types. Experts have already said this is nowhere near the disaster at Chernobyl, a plant that was both poorly designed and built, and run by the clueless. Is what happened in Japan scary? Yes. Is it the deathknell for nuclear power? I hope not. As wendilouwho said, all plants have the potential for accidents. One of dh's oil-fired plants blew up last year killing six people and rocking the surrounding town. No one called for a halt to oil-fired plants. Perspective is needed.

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Japan is acurately reporting this because it will NOT have a global impact. This is nothing like Chernobyl.

 

This is what my husband was explaining to me this morning, too. These plants aren't made the same way as Chernobyl.

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I don't see what "being an American" has to do with my concerns.

 

:001_huh:

 

I believe I said I'd be, not You should be... :)

 

My comments were referring to ME (the American), who experienced the American govt. be less than forthcoming immediately in a situation that was singular, not multiplicitous like Japan is experiencing. BTW, you don't list a place, so I didn't know you were in the U.S. Actually, from your comment, I figured you were quite possibly there or somewhere in the Pacific Rim.

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Yesterday, someone from Greenpeace was on the BBC. He was pointing out that we really don't know the full extent of what is happening. He mentioned that the nuclear industry in Japan is known to be "economical with the truth."

 

Now that's a great way to put it!! My oldest ds won a state gold medal in 4-H last year talking about Nuclear Energy, how it is produced and it's safety. He discussed in detail Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. His presentation has helped me understand this in much more detail and the fact that we live within a few miles of a nuclear plant. They hand out iodine pills to us each year so I'm aware of the reasons.

 

However, saying all that just means the potential for disaster is huge! My heart just aches for the people in Japan and all they are enduring at this time. At our church staff meeting this morning, we decided to forgo the Easter Lilys that are purchased each year and take up a collection to help with Japan. Though we are an ocean away, everyone can do something.

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:iagree:My husband also works in the power industry selling and maintaining all types of plants. He has watched the news with growing anxiety because accidents like this always panic the general public and turn everyone against nuclear power, one of the safest, cheapest and cleanest types. Experts have already said this is nowhere near the disaster at Chernobyl, a plant that was both poorly designed and built, and run by the clueless. Is what happened in Japan scary? Yes. Is it the deathknell for nuclear power? I hope not. As wendilouwho said, all plants have the potential for accidents. One of dh's oil-fired plants blew up last year killing six people and rocking the surrounding town. No one called for a halt to oil-fired plants. Perspective is needed.

 

But, beyond the tragic loss of life and damage done to the immediate area by the force of the explosion, did that explosion have any long-lasting effect on the immediate area and areas around it for hundreds of miles? THAT is my fear with nuclear power (long before this emergency in Japan began) Certainly other types of power plants have accidents, but the effects of those accidents seem (to me) to pale in comparison to the effects of a nuclear accident.

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Question for Wendi, Perry, or anyone else who feels qualified to chime in ;): I've been reading the blogs, articles, etc., that have been linked here (and other places on the net today) wherein some of them recommend Americans take iodine now. Do you feel this is overkill? Not necessary? Erring on the side of caution, or what?

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I am so happy to read these posts. My dh is a scientist (environmental, not nuclear) and he and his collegues agree that one of the worst things about this is the fact that lay people tend to react and panic. He says people see the word 'hydrogen' and think nuke bombs, and it's not that at all!

 

This is all the talk in our science community, and they agree that these reactors are *nothing* like Chernobly, and Japan is nothing like the old Soviet Union.

 

People do need to step back here and try to read non hysterical information from people who know. Coastal Japan is a mess and it's epic, but some people are going off the deep end with this panic. My husband, and sceintists like him, who have a real understanding of what's involved here, have no reason to lie to people about what is real and what isn't. There might be a time to run and panic like crazy, but it's not now. Save the iodine pills. You might need them sometime, but not today, not yet.

 

:iagree:My husband also works in the power industry selling and maintaining all types of plants. He has watched the news with growing anxiety because accidents like this always panic the general public and turn everyone against nuclear power, one of the safest, cheapest and cleanest types. Experts have already said this is nowhere near the disaster at Chernobyl, a plant that was both poorly designed and built, and run by the clueless. Is what happened in Japan scary? Yes. Is it the deathknell for nuclear power? I hope not. As wendilouwho said, all plants have the potential for accidents. One of dh's oil-fired plants blew up last year killing six people and rocking the surrounding town. No one called for a halt to oil-fired plants. Perspective is needed.
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Question for Wendi, Perry, or anyone else who feels qualified to chime in ;): I've been reading the blogs, articles, etc., that have been linked here (and other places on the net today) wherein some of them recommend Americans take iodine now. Do you feel this is overkill? Not necessary? Erring on the side of caution, or what?

 

I will have to ask my husband more about this. However, I live pretty close to a nuclear power plant and have never been given iodine. When dh and I were discussing this situation, he said plants often have to vent off the primary. This air goes through so many different filters that the rad levels are nominal at best. I would have to actually see the measurements taken to know if they were actually harmful. In the US, the limits for radiation exposure/radiation released are far below what is considered harmful.

 

This is an ongoing situation. You cannot just turn off a nuclear reaction. The plant shut down as designed, but there is still residual heat/reactions taking place. That is why they are flodding the reactor with seawater, which btw, is per procedure. While the situation is pretty grim from a nuke standpoint, it should not have lasting civilian consequences. The media like to sensationalize events. We've grown numb to the damage from the tsunami and quake, so now they're moving on to the nuclear plant.

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I am so happy to read these posts. My dh is a scientist (environmental, not nuclear) and he and his collegues agree that one of the worst things about this is the fact that lay people tend to react and panic. He says people see the word 'hydrogen' and think nuke bombs, and it's not that at all!

 

This is all the talk in our science community, and they agree that these reactors are *nothing* like Chernobly, and Japan is nothing like the old Soviet Union.

 

People do need to step back here and try to read non hysterical information from people who know. Coastal Japan is a mess and it's epic, but some people are going off the deep end with this panic. My husband, and sceintists like him, who have a real understanding of what's involved here, have no reason to lie to people about what is real and what isn't. There might be a time to run and panic like crazy, but it's not now. Save the iodine pills. You might need them sometime, but not today, not yet.

 

Thank you!

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Question for Wendi, Perry, or anyone else who feels qualified to chime in ;): I've been reading the blogs, articles, etc., that have been linked here (and other places on the net today) wherein some of them recommend Americans take iodine now. Do you feel this is overkill? Not necessary? Erring on the side of caution, or what?

 

:iagree: That's what I'm wondering. Would the radiation reach us in the US? I am perfectly happy to buy iodine for my family to keep us safe, but living in MI, is it necessary or the smart thing to do?

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