Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slippery news

One of the things needed, if you're going to strive for rationality- is "facts" that have some chance of being real. And it's getting harder to get hold of those, or to keep them where everyone can see.

One of the news sources I regularly scan is the NHK World feed; the Japanese version of National Public Television.

For reasons that are fascinating to speculate about, this news source often seems to be almost "unfiltered" - they just blurt out the truth, as they record it from first hand sources.

Like this; for instance, in toto:
"40% of residents' exposure tops annual limit"

"More than 40 percent of the people surveyed in 3 municipalities near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were exposed to radioactivity levels above the annual safety limit in the 4 months after the disaster.

"Fukushima Prefecture released on Monday the results of its survey of external radioactive exposure among some 9,750 residents of 2 towns and a village after the accident last March. This number excluded people working in places with high radioactivity, such as a nuclear plant.

"Participants were asked about their behavior over a 4-month period immediately following the nuclear accident in order to estimate their external exposure.

"Forty-two percent of the respondents are estimated to have received more than one millisievert --- the annual limit for the general public --- in the 4 months following the disaster.

"Estimated exposure exceeded 10 millisieverts for 71 people. The highest dose was 23 millisieverts for an adult woman.

"Among young people under the age of 20 at the time of the accident, the highest exposure was 18.1 millisieverts over 4 months.

"The prefecture is conducting the survey on all its 2 million residents.
Monday, February 20, 2012 19:28 +0900 (JST)"

The thing is- the next day; you can't find that story anywhere. I'm pretty sure the "filters" kicked in. The original link does still work, one day later; but my experience is that in several days, they stop working; hence my in toto quote.

Do you suppose it would be news, of international interest, that where 1 millisievert per year is the "allowed" dose, they were finding numerous people with 10 millisieverts - accumulated in 4 months? And some up to 20?

Nah. Haven't seen anyone pick it up, yet.

Then; today's fun story from them:
"Survey: 95% of disaster debris not yet disposed of

"The Japanese Environment Ministry says 95 percent of debris from last year's disaster in northeastern Japan has yet to be disposed of more than 11 months on.

"The March 11 quake and tsunami created more than 22 million tons of debris on the coasts of hardest-hit Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures alone.

"The ministry said on Tuesday that just over one million tons, or 5 percent, of debris has been either incinerated or buried. 72 percent is still stored at temporary sites.

"The ministry says many of the incinerators planned for disaster-stricken municipalities have yet to enter operation. It cites the difficulty in finding sites for new incinerators.

"The ministry also says disposal in other areas of Japan, expected to shoulder 4 million tons of debris, has hardly begun.

"Environment Minister Goshi Hosono told reporters the ministry's goal of completing disposal by the end of March, 2014 is unrealistic.

"He asked municipalities outside the disaster-affected region to help, noting that delays are greatly hampering reconstruction.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 13:25 +0900 (JST)"

The link for that is here.

Hey, I just wouldn't want you all to be worrying about Greece today, and forget that the problems in Japan are - pretty much entirely not dealt with. At all.

But hey- Technology will certainly come to our rescue; the free-market system guarantees it!


knutty knitter said...

Things are pretty much normal then.....


You have that horrid word capture I see - well I think I might actually be able to read this particular one but on the whole I find them very off putting. Maybe if I was a robot I would have more chance of consistently reading them :)

try 2

Greenpa said...

"You have that horrid word capture I see - "

what? did something change? Nobody told me! And I can't see it as the author; is there some weird barrier there?

I LOVE "improvements."

Anonymous said...

according to arnie gunderson at www.fairewinds.com , the burning of radioactive waste is only going to disperse the radioactive particles over a wider area. so the fact that only 5% has been "disposed" of, may actually be a good thing.


opit said...

Thanks for the NHK link. I noted your comment at Majia's and left one of my own http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/measuring-absorbed-dose-instructive.html?showComment=1331500593828#c664102764861769868

I don't know what the problem with the word 'capture' is either. Then again, my choice of verbage has convinced some I must be a bot. LOL

Anonymous said...

Reading this late, which is interesting, because NPR just the other day had a story in which some experts claimed that no one in Japan, including the workers wading through radioactive water at the plant, was exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. (They did, later, have one of the sources elaborate, after a number of irate readers commented. Evidently, the Japanese can expect some additional cancer deaths, but nothing measurable.) There also was comment in the article about the need to treat people for their fear, and disinclination to trust what they're told. With so many contradictory stories going around, who can wonder? ... Weren't there stories last year about the vast dangers and likely radiation death those workers were facing? Now it's reddening on their legs, but nothing to worry about. ?!