Please write and send praise, critique, interesting links or random musings to

Monday, March 28, 2011

Michio Kaku On Yesterday's Confusion

March 28th, 2011 12:39pm CST
If you can give to support relief efforts in Japan, please do so by clicking HERE

Michio Kaku, writing for Big Thinkdissects yesterday's confusion at the Fukushima complex which we reported HERE and HERE.

"First, workers at Unit 2 were astonished to find that radiation levels in the water were extremely high. This prompted them to evacuate the site immediately. Second, they rushed out so fast that they did not do a second measurement of the water. Third, the first readings were slightly incorrect. The workers got iodine-134 (with a half-life of 53 minutes) confused with iodine-131 (with a half-life of 8 days). Also, cesium-137 was also found in the water (with a half - life of about 30 years). Fourth, by confusing the two, they also go the wrong level of radioactivity. They found more iodine-134 that was actually present in the water. The shorter the half-life, the more radioactive an isotope is - the longer the half-life, the less the radioactivity. So their calibration of iodine-134 was incorrect, yielding thefalse number of 10 million. Fifth, the utility did not send in another crew to check the measurements, so they got their calibration wrong, but they went public with this incorrect number."
The money quote from his piece comes next:

"The main point, however, from the workers perspective, is that radiation levels are 1,000 milliseverts/hour. That does not change at all with this new calibration. This means that workers will come down with radiation sickness with only 15 min. of exposure. Some workers will die after 6 hours of exposure."

No comments:

Post a Comment