Friday, March 25, 2011

福島原発でアメリカ人がパニックしている理由  Why Americans are so panicked about Fukushima.

I have been searching the net, and I think I have found one source for American panic about the Fukushima reactors. Statements from Robert Alvarez are in the following link.


link number one


(出てきたページでこの下記の記事にリンクして下さい。Kate Sheppardさんは書きました。)

How Bad Could Japan's Nuclear Crisis Get?

He is a former advisor to the Clinton administration. In his worst case scenario at Fukushima, he has said that an area as large as several northeastern US states could become uninhabitable.


link number two

He is an activist against nuclear power.


link number three


In links two and three, he is listed as a nuclear scholar. It does not say if he has a degree in nuclear science.


First of all, in the above link number one, he made one serious mistake that I caught. He said that if a worst case scenario happened at the Fukushima nuclear power plants, it would be like dropping a bomb, the size of the area he mentions, several northeastern American states, would be as large as the Tohoku region in Japan.


Now, a nuclear accident at a nuclear power plant is not like a bomb. Japan has suffered nuclear attack twice, at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is no way a nuclear power plant accident could be this bad.


Nuclear weapons are designed to cause much destruction and kill many people. Nuclear power plants are designed to contain the disaster if an accident happens.


So we cannot, in any way, compare this accident at Fukushima with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Now I would like to introduce the remarks made by the British Government's Chief Scientific Officer Professor Sir John Beddington at the British embassy in Tokyo on March 15th.



And he points out the second error that Mr. Alvarez made. According to Professor Beddington, a worst case explosion, a meltdown, at Fukushima, would result in a radioactive cloud that would rise some 500 meters high. No more. Even with strong winds blowing towards Tokyo, the seriously affected area would be within 30 kilometers of the reactor.

それで、アルバレズさんの二つ目の大きな間違いを教えます。福島原子力発電所の最悪の場合の爆発が有りましたら、 メルトダウンの爆発で放射能雲は500メートルを上がります。東京方面向きの強い風が有っても、放射能漏れの厳しい影響は30キロ以内です。

The Professor says this absolutely. He compares this with the Chernobyl accident, where the fuel burned for months, shot fallout 30,000 feet, about 9,000 meters into the atmosphere. Such a reaction, even in the worst case, would not be possible at Fukushima.


So Mr. Alvarez, who is listed as a scholar at a US think tank, has made two serious mistakes. One, a Chernobyl type explosion is impossible at Fukushima, and two, the potential contaminated area at Fukushima would be very local, not spread across the Tohoku region.


One of these men is a scholar at a US think tank, the other is Professor working for the British government. I will believe the Professor. That is because the Professor is correct.


At a guess from myself, I think I am beginning to see a political fight in the United States here. President Obama wishes to expand nuclear power in the US. Of course, there will be people who oppose this, I would think the coal industry would be against it.


More nuclear power plants would mean less coal mined, and less profit.


I am guessing here, but Mr. Alvarez seems to be using our trouble in Fukushima for American domestic political purposes. In that case, he would not care what damage his remarks cause Japan.


And Mr. Alvarez's remarks have appeared in many print media recently in the United States.


Perhaps here is one reason the US government overreacted so.


In any case, the mandated evacuation zone around American nuclear power plants in the United States in case of accident is 10 miles.


Now the news is all about radiation contamination in the water of the Tokyo area. This is to be expected. It will pass. Unless there are more releases of radioactive steam, there should be no more contamination.


A meltdown at Fukushima has become more unlikely. The Japanese military, police and fire services, and TEPCO nuclear engineers are making extreme efforts. All we can do is to pray for their success.


And for those who have criticism of TEPCO, yes it is possible that they were naive about the disaster before it happened. But let us remember, since the disaster, TEPCO engineers have been their risking their lives. Let us do the criticizing later.


Meanwhile, obey the government's instructions. They are correct. There is no reason to panic.


As for myself and my wife, her home town is northern Saitama, and it is now my home town. It is next to Ibaraki prefecture. Yesterday, we went to the supermarket, and bought Koshi-Hikari rice grown in Ibaraki prefecture. If the food is being sold in the market, it is safe. We feel sorry for all the farmers in the affected area.


It is a small thing, but it was something we could do.




In breaking news, today it was announced that reactor number 3 is leaking at Fukushima. It is thought that there is a crack in the containment vessel. The evacuation zone has been extended to 30 kilometers.


However, I have not heard any reports of highly dangerous radiation levels outside the Fukushima plant area. What I have heard is that part of the evacuation reason is to ease the life of people forbidden to go outside. Also, truck drivers refuse to deliver supplies.


But I have not heard any news that meltdown has occurred.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

外国人は日本から恐怖の避難と外国メディアの大げさな報道  Foreigners run from Japan in panic. Foreign media exaggerates Japan's plight.

Foreigners continue to panic. From friends with connections to US military bases in Japan, I have learned that there is mass panic among US military dependents in Japan. One friend cannot cash his US military pension checks. The US bank on the base has closed, all employees have evacuated to the US.


The US government has begun evacuation of US military dependents from Japan.


The American military families are afraid of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plants. The truth is, as the Japanese government reports, very little radiation has been released. And beyond the local area around the plant in Fukushima, it is not dangerous.


US bases are located far from the Fukushima plant, they are in no actual danger.

A lot of panic has been caused by sensationalist coverage in the foreign press.


This panic was caused by ignorance. I think that Fox News really looked stupid by labeling "Shibuya Eggman" as a nuclear power plant.


But American officials should have known better. The American embassy created a lot of friction by creating an evacuation zone for Americans larger than that created by the Japanese government around the troubled Fukushima nuclear plants.

Look on page two of the above link, and you will see that the Pentagon ordered all US military personnel to leave the Fukushima evacuation zone as defined by the US.


The US military provided a lot of aid. An American ship moved Japanese military personnel and equipment from Hokkaido to the disaster zone. American ships refueled Japanese military helicopters at sea. Also, American helicopters delivered much food and water to evacuation centers.


But because of orders from the US government, US forces avoided the Fukushima area. I am very disappointed by this.


It is becoming more and more apparent that the American created evacuation zone was in error. Doctor Robert Gale, a US doctor who treated victims of Chernobyl, said that the Japanese government ordered zone was already more than large enough.


While reactors 1,2,3 have been damaged at Fukushima, their containment structures are intact.


But even if full meltdown had occurred, the result would have been nowhere near as dangerous as Chernobyl.


The fuel is different, such a large explosion like Chernobyl was impossible at Fukushima from the start.


I do think that the Japanese government and TEPCO did a poor job of communication. Yes, we were in the middle of Japan's largest natural disaster in 1,000 years.


But when you mention nuclear power, and an accident, people will be very scared. I saw some nuclear power expert on TV, on Hodo station with Mr. Furutachi. The man just could not communicate. He would go on and on in technical jargon, but he could not simplify his explanation.


Mr. Furutachi tried to get him to tell us, how bad could a worst case scenario be?


This is my own guess. If full meltdown had occurred, the plant area itself would have almost certainly become a no-go area for a long time. I don't think there would have much possibility of large area becoming a no-go zone like Chernobyl.


But nobody in the Japanese government or TEPCO came out and said that clearly. Or gave us a range of possible effects and the probability of their occurring.


And responsible foreign news organizations and government officials should have known this.


But not all foreigners ran away.


Cyndi Lauper didn't run. She played her concert in Tokyo as planned on March 18th.


I have always been one of her fans, now I salute her.


As for me, I stayed in Tokyo the whole time, why not?


Thursday, March 17, 2011

巨大地震後の日本が大丈夫?特に福島原発所の事件について What is the future of post quake Japan? In particular, what about the Fukushima nuclear power plant?


It has now been 6 days since Friday the 11th, the day the quake hit. I was at home with my wife, very fortunately. I never thought that I would get seasick in my own living room, but I did.


My wife and I spent the day transfixed at the television, watching the destruction of the Sanriku region. It was shocking, unbelievable. Japan has seen nothing this bad since the Pacific war.


We watched on live television as town after town disappeared under those awful black tsunami waves.


In Tokyo, we have rolling blackouts. Train service has become erratic. Personally, I have had work cancelled.


But in Tokyo, we have it easy. Everyday, I am thinking of those people in the North. They have lost family, home, possessions. They are sitting in unheated refugee centers, with only a single blanket, with only one or two onigiri a day to eat.


No, in Tokyo we don't have it tough at all.


But today, I would like to concentrate on another issue. This is the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plants.


All right, number one. Don't panic. Yes it is bad. But it is not Chernobyl, and no matter how bad it gets, it won't be like that.


Now as to why I can say this with authority. Well, I have deep knowledge of military affairs. Of course, I have studied the concept of nuclear war, and it's effects. In a nuclear war, it is the initial blast that kills a huge amount of people.


After that, the danger is from fallout. What is fallout? It is the rain of ash and debris that is thrown into the air by the explosion of a nuclear weapon. It falls in a teardrop pattern downwind from the target. Radiation particles adhere to this ash and debris.


Fallout decreases with distance. This makes sense, since the heavier particles fall first. Areas closest to the blast get the most fallout. Gradually, downwind the fallout decreases to insignificant amounts.


Downwind means the prevailing wind direction. In the case of the Fukushima plant, downwind is out to sea. Occasional reverses in the prevailing winds have brought the cloud over Tokyo. But the result has been nothing more than a slight increase in normal background radiation.


So far, as I have been able to determine from news reports, the releases, both accidental and deliberate, from Fukushima have been of radioactive steam.


At Chernobyl there was a release of physical parts of the fuel into the atmosphere. This created a cloud of radioactive fallout.


The explosions at Fukushima are much less dangerous. And I do not think we will see any future release of physical material like at Chernobyl. Radioactive steam is probable.


OK, so what to do. If you live near Fukushima, follow the government instructions. From my own knowledge, the instructions issued by the Japanese government are exactly correct. If you are in the 30 kilometer zone, stay inside.


For people outside the zone, watch the weather report, in particular the wind direction.


If the wind direction is blowing from Fukushima towards your area, then observe the following:


Limit your trips outdoors. If you must go out, when you return, take a shower. In areas closer to Fukushima, remove all your clothes when returning home.


On days when the wind is blowing from Fukushima to your area, dry your laundry inside the house, not outside.


Frankly, in Tokyo, I don't think that last bit of removing clothes that necessary. The radiation increase measured in Shinjuku a couple of days ago was tiny.


Also, drink a glass or two of red wine per day. Red wine helps protect against radiation sickness.

Last night, I saw a news report that some truck drivers delivering emergency goods to the refuggees in Fukushima refused to deliver their loads out of fear of radiation.


SHAME! The people are in desperate need. Even inside the 30 kilometer line, where the government has told people to stay inside, a short trip is safe.


One more thing about radiation. It is not only the amount that is important, but also the amount of time exposed. The people are told to stay inside to avoid long term exposure, a truck driver making a delivery or two is in no danger at all.


Here is a guide to daily radiation exposure.


Here is an example from the above site. In America, I love New York City. So if I was a Steward on an airline flying from New York to Tokyo, I would be exposed to 9 mSv a year.


So far, the highest recorded radiation level outside the Fukushima plant was a brief spike to 11 mSv on March 16th.


If you smoke 1.5 packs of cigarettes a day, you are exposed to 13 mSv a year.


Radiation becomes dangerous at levels of 100 to 500 mSv a year.


So as you can see, there is no danger from delivering a truckload of emergency goods to the people in Fukushima.

これで、福島県の避難者に救助物の配達は全然危険な 事ではないと分かります。

Shame on those who refuse, they are not human beings.


At this time, what we need is scientific fact, not rumor.


Many foreigners are panicking and leaving Japan. In particular, I am ashamed at the reaction of my ancestral Germany. Lufthansa has stopped flying into Narita airport.


Well they can go. And please, don't bother to come back. In particular, I am disgusted with the panic exhibited by Germans.


Where is the steady heart of the Germans who invaded Russia in 1941? They were allies of Japan at that time. Why have Germans become so weak to panic at a time like this?


As an person of German blood, but not born in Germany, I can tell you that I am one German who is not running.


Well, in Japan, this is our country, this is our home. We have nowhere to go.


To those foreigners who are in panic, just go. Don't come back. As for myself, I have a few contacts in the Japanese government, Since I have a lot of free time on weekdays, I am offering my services as a volunteer interpreter. If called, I will go where ever sent including Fukushima. If one takes the proper precautions, it is quite safe. At the moment, that is what I can think to do. Otherwise, I shall remain in Tokyo with my wife and her family, and live a normal life with the few precautions necessary.


Shame upon those who do not do their duty.


But I am proud of the way Japan and the Japanese people have responded to this disaster. I have much confidence in the future of Japan.


Saturday, March 12, 2011