Fukushima Status March 23 – Radiation Levels Gradually Declining

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As usual, there have been more horror reports in the media today about the Fukushima crisis in the German media. German Zettels Raum blog brings us back to reality today.

Leading the way with the horror stories was Der Spiegel, which had the headline here at its online site:

Increased Radioactivity – Nuclear Power Plant Fukushima completely evacuated”.

So terrible has the media been with reporting on the nuclear crisis in Japan that Zettels Raum was compelled to write:

You always have to remember that when dealing with the media, journalistic research is something comparable to a chimpanzee dealing with the question of how one can prove the existence of anti-matter.”

It’s that bad. While media outlets like Der Spiegel propagated information distorted into horror stories, here’s what Japanese NHK said of the situation, 7:13 pm Japan time (emphasis added).

TEPCO: Black smoke rises from No.3 reactor

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says black smoke was seen rising from the No.3 reactor building at the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at around 4:20 PM on Wednesday. TEPCO told reporters that it received a report 1 hour later that the smoke had gradually cleared.

The company said that the level of radiation near the main gate of the plant, 1 kilometer west of the No.3 reactor, was 265.1-microsieverts-per-hour at 5 PM. They added there had been no major change in the levels after the smoke was observed. On Monday afternoon, gray smoke was seen rising from the same reactor building. TEPCO said that the plumes turned white before disappearing.

The power company evacuated workers from the control room of the No. 3 reactor, as well as firefighters from Tokyo and Yokohama preparing for a water-spraying operation. The firefighters had to abandon their planned water spraying operation for the day.

The evacuation took place at only one of the control rooms of the 6 reactors. Click here to see a graphic on radiation levels at the plant. Here you can see that radiation levels are trending down.

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10 responses to “Fukushima Status March 23 – Radiation Levels Gradually Declining”

  1. R. de Haan
    1. DirkH

      I ate several bananas today (and threatened my colleagues with them). 😉

  2. fung0

    Quite right: bunch of scare-mongering exaggeration. Time to call my realtor about all that under-valued property in the Chernobyl area!

    1. DirkH

      Comparing Chernobyl to Fukushima only shows that you have no knowledge about the difference between the reactor types or the difference of the amount of radioisotopes that escaped.

      In Chernobyl, a badly contructed reactor without a containment popped up and a graphite fire carried lots of radioisotopes high into the atmosphere.

      In Fukushima, the reactors and containments were not breached; the radioisotopes that escaped were short-lived radioactive nitrogen and some radioactive noble gas isotopes.

      There are at least three orders of magnitude difference in the amount of escaped radioactive material.

  3. kuhnkat

    Watching the media reporting on this has been truly abysmal. How do we make them accountable???

    1. Bernd Felsche

      Still abysmal. They’re copy-pasting scares from older stories.
      http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110323-33897.html
      and
      http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110325-33967.html

      I commented on the “recycling” in the later article as well.

    2. DirkH

      By founding our own newspaper, calling it “The Alarmist”, with the subtitle “The Truth that Der Spiegel doesn’t dare to tell you”, where we exaggerate every claim from Der Spiegel by a factor of 10. As soon as they go out of business, we victimize another paper.

  4. Mark Weitzman

    I have lived here in Tokyo almost 18 years.

    If you have a moment, please take a look at this article I wrote March 25 that explains why people in Japan are wearing masks, why the water is safe in Tokyo, when the power is off in the region, why Cup Noodle wasn’t available for about 24 hours, and more.

    This article provides corrections to a number of the erroneous reports by the world media.

    Op-Ed: Tokyo OK, foreign media’s sensational coverage shameful
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/305051

    1. DirkH

      “Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973″… Wonderful!
      Very good article, Mark, thank you!

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