Update regarding nuclear reactors and radiation

Recent developments in the aftermath of Friday’s disasters have again brought up concerns about the safety of Japan’s residents.  I wanted to put together a resource page regarding these recent updates for concerned parties to check in real-time.

Most recently and possibly, most pressing in many peoples’ minds is the current state of the nuclear power reactors in Fukushima, located 150 miles North of Tokyo.

The reactors in question are on the eastern coast of Fukushima prefecture.  The recent explosions and radiation concerns are at this time confined to a 30km (18 miles) circle immediately surrounding these reactors.  At the time of this blog post, current radiation levels as reported by the news are 200 microsieverts.  Reports state that 250 microsieverts are currently considered a concern for human health, though the research I’ve been conducting suggests lower levels are actually cause for concern.  Again, this radiation reading is in the area immediately surrounding the reactors.

150-ish miles to the south, in Tokyo, radiation levels are within ranges safe for humans.  Research indicates that regular background levels of radiation range depending on the area.  A live radiation monitor, called a geiger counter, is setup right here in metropolitan Tokyo.  This is setup in Koto-ku, in south central metro Tokyo.  Current readings at the time of this blog post indicate 18-27 CPM, or counts per minute regarding radiation levels.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/geiger-counter-tokyo

Now, let’s take a look at this article, which summarizes the recent radiation information in Tokyo:

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/03/14/geiger-counter-readings-rise-in-tokyo

To summarize:

100 CPM on a geiger counter = 1 microsievert per hour.

100 microsieverts = risk of permanent damage, such as infertility.

1,000,000 microsieverts = risk of serious harm, or death from radiation poisoning.

Given the current readings, Tokyo is in the 10-30 CPM range.  It is also not harmful for human health at this time.

Take a look at this website, updating with real-time radiation levels within Japan.  The Tokyo area is still reported as within normal ranges of radiation:

http://www.bousai.ne.jp/eng/

If you are concerned about the radiation levels in Tokyo and throughout the rest of Japan, try to keep an eye on monitors like these.  It’ll provide you with real-time information you can use to determine your personal safety and the safety of your loved ones.  Everyone is exposed to regular amounts of radiation on a daily basis.  Tokyo is currently not even experiencing 1 microsievert per hour of exposure, let alone 200-250, like in the evacuated areas near the reactors.

I will continue to monitor the radiation levels and update with any additional information.  I am not an expert, but am attempting to educate myself in the interests of my own safety and for the safety of those around me.

Regarding aftershocks – they’re coming less and less often, though earthquakes have been hitting other parts of Japan.  Tokyo has food, water, power, and supplies.  Please continue to focus your worry up north.

More updates later, or I’ll be late for work!  I’m back at the office this week.

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This entry was posted in Earthquake, Radiation. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Update regarding nuclear reactors and radiation

  1. Tripto Roy says:

    http://www.bousai.ne.jp/eng/

    this link/site isnt working……any alternatives

  2. Alisha says:

    The site is under heavy traffic. I don’t know of another alternative now. Keep trying.

  3. Matt Young says:

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/time-lapse-animation-shows-japans-earthquakes-110315.html

    Check this timelapse video out. Shows how many earthquakes have occurred since last Wednesday.

  4. Pingback: World Spinner

  5. Karl says:

    100cpm does not necessarily translate to 1 microsievert/hour. It can tell you that there are 100 decays happening per minute, but nothing about the energy of those photons. It is a sensitive measure, but not specific. Over 130cpm should trigger concern.

    Also, 1 microsievert/hour seems small, but it comes out to about 900 millrem/year. The recommended maximum permissible dose for non radiation workers is 500 millirem/year. Almost double is acceptable under the circumstances there, but this is not and ideal rate of exposure for extended periods of time, and certainly not good for young children or pregnant females.

    Don’t be alarmed by these numbers, just be informed. There is alot of minimizing of risk aplenty with the media, and understandably so.

    • Alisha says:

      Karl,

      Thank you very much for your comment. I really appreciate it. As I noted in my post, I am by no means an expert, and welcome feedback regarding my post. I am attempting to educate myself and others.

      I hope those who read the post keep your comment in mind. I know I will. Thank you.

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