Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County, California, USA - this plant sits on an earthquake fault - Image via WikipediaWhat is the truth about radiation levels?
From Denny: The Japanese keep changing and downplaying the radiation level numbers. At one point last night one Japanese official said the radiation levels at the troubled nuclear plant had reached 1,000 times the healthy levels. He was later forced to back off on that number, claiming it was a mistake in translation. No, it wasn't. Read that as a diplomatic way for a bureaucrat to get out the truth, knowing he would have to walk it back but at least the information would get out to the public.
Prez Obama sends in nuke specialist team
Finally, America got smart and sent in their own teams to monitor and assess the threat level. The American military was to try and douse the troubled reactors with water from a helicopter dump today but had to sideline that idea as the radiation levels were far too high for safety of the crews. The Navy is also keeping their ships out of harm's way of the radioactive plumes from the plant explosions.
This is one of those times I'm pleased this White House, the Pentagon and the world intelligence community read this blog. Yes, I yell at them: a lot. They often need it as they can be such brick thinkers and too slow to react in a crisis situation. Thank God, they decided to hear me now and act for the sake of everyone concerned: the entire world. To their credit they are constantly monitoring the health of the military stationed in Japan as well as the crews helping with the rescue and relief efforts. That sure takes a load off of my mind. Good going, guys.
Worried world diplomats
Apparently, about a thousand diplomats read this blog when I talked about the Japanese government was lying about the nuclear threat. Many of you have been sensing something a bit wrong but, as diplomats, you are not allowed the luxury of a journalist blogger to call a liar a liar. Many of you went away from that post with a fresh perspective, for if a mere blogger could see and state the obvious, then so should you. All the world governments need to get involved with this nuclear threat. There is far more at stake here than anyone is anticipating. More reactors will go into meltdown status soon.
Make sure Japan is in nuclear treaty compliance
President Obama sent his own nuclear crisis team to assess the radiation levels as well as assist. If they are smart they will poke around and make sure Japan has been in compliance with nuclear treaties, not creating, moving or selling any nuke materials to irresponsible governments or terrorists.
Japan's nuclear reactors' current status
Currently, the status of the nuclear reactors is that four are in different stages proceeding toward meltdown while there are another two in crisis. That means we have at least six nuclear reactors going crazy with no stopping them - and that's if the information is accurate because there may be more reactors in trouble of which we have no knowledge. Has anyone bothered to calculate the harm of the combined power of these reactors?
Enlarge the radius away from the radiation site
One thing I will disagree with on Sec. Clinton is this 50 mile distance from the nuclear reactors in trouble. The distance should be hundreds of miles as many physicists advise. Various Navy ships are 100 to 200 miles away from the radiation zone. Should not the populace take the same precaution? People are receiving repeated exposure that has been happening almost a week now - perhaps longer because we can't verify the Japanese accounts properly.
Evacuate the nation even if it takes a month
The real problem here is that the entire nation should be evacuated. Each day we find a new reactor rushing toward meltdown, a containment wall is destroyed, a fire, an explosion in yet another area or reactor. It doesn't matter if the actual reactor is the issue or the spent fuel rods overheating in the water pools. Radiation is radiation and a person cannot keep getting exposed on an hourly and daily basis to this kind of situation and not develop serious terminal illness later.
NBC Lester Holt
Early this morning I turned on the news to hear NBC's host Lester Holt talking about how he had found radiation on his shoes but no where else on his person. He tried to scrub the shoes to no avail. He had to throw away the shoes. How many of the survivors are walking around with radiated shoes just like this reporter? There are 500,000 homeless. How many have been checked for radiation?
Airports jammed with foreigners and Japanese trying to leave
Right now, the airports are crowded with long lines of people smart enough to evacuate. From the news tape it looked like mostly the young and educated who understand the magnitude of how this situation could go very bad. Too many people, our government included, are still acting like "frogs in the pot" waiting to boil. By the time they figure out they are cooking to death it will be too late to jump out.
Japan as we knew it may no longer exist
We may be witnessing the long slow death of a culture and a nation. We still don't know if the radiation levels have saturated the population to the level they may now be sterilized like when a cancer patient receives treatment and yet lives many more years. We don't know how the DNA of every person in Japan has been altered because of radiation exposure. Will there be birth defects in the near future? Will the lives of all these people be cut short? We don't know.
Wiser course to evacuate American military and government families and non-essential personnel
The last thing we should be doing is holding people hostage to stay on this island nation with growing radiation levels far beyond normal amounts for long periods of time. It will take months to cool down those spent nuclear rods if that's the only problem. People can't stay indoors indefinitely because of the carbon dioxide level buildup. At some point they have to run the air conditioner or fan, bringing in outside air.
World weather system as a conveyor belt of radiation particles
It is irresponsible to declare to people that all is well when clearly the situation is constantly changing, getting worse by the hour and the day. The whole world waits to view how bad will be the fallout from the meltdowns of several reactors or the explosions from hot spent rods when the world conveyor belt weather system travels the radiation clouds and particles around the globe.
Education and training needed, World transparency of nuclear information during crisis
It's past due time we educate and train our entire populations of what to do during this kind of emergency so there isn't panic and more destruction. Any way you look at it, it's time for the world community to come together and create a world plan for transparency of information during times of nuclear threats.
Here are some of the sentiments from cartoonists as they mourn the situation in Japan:
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