The Corner

The Japanese Nuclear Crisis

My Radiation Guy, throws some coolant on the panic. Interesting stuff.

Did you read about us shipping “coolant” to Japan yesterday? “Coolant” is water. Highly pure water. So I don’t understand that manuever, unless American H2O is superior to Nipponese coolant. Doubtful.

Anyway, we’re seeing news like “radiation 1,000x normal“.  So just how many Japanese people will end up dying from radiation poisoning?

None.

Okay, to be precise, the answer is ”indeterminate”.  No one will die from acute exposure.  And if there’s any increase in cancer, it will be totally lost in statistical noise.

Yes, this is one of those cases where’ll I’ll bet my life against any asset you care to risk.

Where are you reading this?  Home, office, pretentious coffee bar?  Whatever.  Just imagine that the radiation level has increased a thousandfold!  OMG!!  How much danger are you in?!

You are in incalculable danger.

It’s incalculable because radiation is still damaging your body less quickly than it heals.  We’ve addressed that here before.

If I measured the dose rate where you’re sitting, I’d see about five micro-rem per hour, give or take a micro-rem.  (rem= Roentgen Equivalent Man).

One thousand times that would be five milli-rem per hour, which just happens to be the threshold where the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) and DOE (Department of Energy) must establish a Radiation Area. 

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