Much Of Northern Japan Uninhabitable Due To Nuclear Radiation?

With no resolution to the crisis in sight, the damaged facilities at Fukushima continue to pump massive amounts of nuclear radiation into the surrounding environment every single day.  So will much of northern Japan end up being uninhabitable due to nuclear radiation?  Everyone agrees that the area immediately around Fukushima will be uninhabitable indefinitely.  The only question is how large of an area around Fukushima is eventually going to be considered unlivable.  This week authorities in Japan finally raised the crisis at Fukushima up to a level 7 disaster on the international scale.  In fact, they are now telling us that the total release of radioactive material will likely surpass that of the Chernobyl disaster.  Chernobyl was incredibly nightmarish and there are still vast areas around Chernobyl that are basically uninhabitable.  But Chernobyl only burned for 10 days.  The crisis at Fukushima could end up lasting for many months.  Keep in mind that radiation is cumulative.  Every single day the total amount of radioactive material that the world is dealing with because of Fukushima just continues to increase. (Read More...)

Radioactive Cesium With A Half-Life Of Approximately 30 Years Is Being Released At About 60 Percent Of Chernobyl Levels

Why does it seem as though the nuclear crisis in Japan just keeps getting worse with each passing day?  TEPCO has announced that extremely radioactive water is now leaking from reactors 1, 2, and 3 at their damaged nuclear complex.  On Thursday, three workers stepped into water in reactor 3 that contained 10,000 times the normal amount of radiation.  Two of the workers experienced significant radiation burns and all three were sent to the hospital.  Authorities have also announced that it is very likely that the containment vessel in reactor 3 has been breached.  That is extremely alarming because reactor 3 is the one that uses plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel (“MOX fuel”).  So is plutonium being released into the surrounding environment?  That would be absolutely catastrophic.  But what we know is happening already is quite catastrophic.  According to a recent NewScientist article, radioactive iodine-131 is being released at 73% of the level that it was being released at during the Chernobyl disaster.  But iodine-131 only has a half-life of about 8 days.  According to that same article, radioactive cesium-137 is being released at 60% of the level that it was being released at during the Chernobyl disaster.  Cesium-137 has a half-life of approximately 30 years.  That means that all of this cesium is going to be with us for a very, very long time. (Read More...)

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