There is an interesting interview over at the Huffington Post with nuclear engineer Akira Tokuhiro. Tokuhiro talks about most of the nuclear fallout from Fukushima blowing over the USA and not Japan.
This is interesting Interesting information for the Flyjin who ran away from Tokyo, Nagoya and even farther away soon after the accident (and got much higher doses of radiation flying in planes than we were getting in Tokyo) and another curious point about how an accident at a USA designed nuclear power plant causes great damage to both Northern Japan and the USA.
“There is a difference amongst the following: nuclear physicist, nuclear engineer, nuclear reactor operator, nuclear non-proliferation specialist.
During the current crisis, all these ‘experts’ have been in the media.
The ranking of ‘experts’ who REALLY know how the reactor accident took place is as follows.
1) Nuclear reactor operator (he/she is really the forensic surgeon, the auto mechanic who can build and drive the car)
2) Nuclear engineer (he/she is the forensic and internal/external medicine practitioner; the automobile design and analysis engineer)
As for the other two, they only understand the principles. It is as if they know the principles of driving a car but have never driven the car nor designed a car nor repaired a car.
Would you ask a podiatrist about a medical heart condition? Would you ask a medical ethicist? I think you get my point.
It takes all kinds of people to run the global nuclear industry. However, who do you trust in terms of knowledge?”
The article continues:
“I asked him about his own family in Tokyo and about Japanese culture in general regarding the lack of information. Akira replied that Japan is very centralized, Tokyo-centric and that these things seemed to be taking place very far away and that the people in Tokyo were not in shelters, evacuated perhaps forever from their homes. He told me about the diary he was reading online of one evacuee who had been a nuclear engineer working at Fukushima, who had been evacuated with his family. (It can be found in the original on the Japan Nuclear Industrial Forum here: www.jaif.or.jp). This man is an expert and he can be trusted to know what is going on and analyze the information.
Fukushima differs from other nuclear reactors in that it uses a dirty fuel or MOX which is banned in many of the countries where nuclear power is a major energy source. My Swedish-Russian nuclear physicist friend is sending me links for reliable radioactivity readings and weather/wind patterns. We must remember some of what is posted on the internet are simulations, not actual readings. But he did add this:
The most terrifying fact is that the Japanese power plants are using ‘dirty’ fuel, which most countries have rejected and banned. Needless to say that the Americans built them. Since the Earth is moving Counterclockwise most of the fall-out will drop on U.S.”
Interesting to read that even Tokuhiro’s comments are completely about the immediate area around the nuclear power plant (and not Tokyo) and how efforts need to be focused there. It is also surprising to see that most of the radiation is going to fall on the USA…. It’s a US designed nuclear power plant too….I guess karma can be a real biatch!
It’s also relieving to see that the basic background radiation levels in Tokyo as measured by non-governmental agencies are still comparative to pre-earthquake levels showing no alarming spike and still 1/4 the radiation levels of Rome, Italy. The rdiation levels in Tokyo at this very moment are: 0.063 microgray per hour. If you flew from Tokyo to New York you would absorb about 200 micrograys of radiation. This means that the daily background radiation levels living in Tokyo straight for 8.69 months is roughly equal to one one way flight to New York from Narita.
Are you panicking yet?
For today’s levels compared with pre-quake levels see here. (If that link doesn’t work, copy & paste this: http://bit.ly/erHm9p)