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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yehudi View Post
    This site measures radiation levels in real time.

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

    And this is spreadsheet keeps the tracked data. Quite an interesting read. You can see the spikes during the two fires but the radiation levels haven't changed much (if any) since the fires were put out.

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/lv?k...lZieUNvb0hfQnc

    ETA: He doesn't have the 3/15 data on the google docs sheet anymore but I believe he keeps it in CSV format (which can be opened in Excel) on his site

    http://www.sendung.de/
    Great links. Thanks.

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    I am concerned about the effects of radiation on the environment and how it may impact sea, plant, fungi and animal life. I am an avid forager and being in Alaska I am certaintly worried about how this will impact my ability to harvest such food sources as sea vegetables, and fungi especially which intake a lot from the environment. I am not very scienftically inclined, so it would be nice to have some insight from anyone here on the possible implications of this horrific disaster.

  3. #63
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    This situation is obviously not Chernobyl (yet, and let's hope it doesn't get even close to that), but I remember seeing a documentary called Chernobyl Heart (you can watch it online in this link) that focused on the impact of the incident on local residents. In one scene in which local residents were coming into some type of clinic for routine monitoring, they were trying to figure out why one of the patients was either sick or had high levels of radiation (can't remember). So they asked him what he was eating, and no surprise since Russians and Ukranians are big foragers, the patient mentioned eating mushrooms and making jams from wild berries. So they asked the patient to bring in some samples and when they held up a jar of some type of home-made berry jam next to a Geiger counter, the needle just went off the chart.

    Now, these were local residents in the immediate vicinity of Chernobyl, and Alaska, while closer to Japan than many people realize, is not exactly next door to the affected area, so unless the incident really takes a horrific turn for the worse, it seems unlikely that ground contamination by you would reach any significant levels. But I am very concerned about the impact of this event on the ocean, whence so much life stems. We've seen how pervasive mercury contamination can be in large fish. Could this be worse?
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    ...Alaska, while closer to Japan than many people realize, is not exactly next door to the affected area, so unless the incident really takes a horrific turn for the worse, it seems unlikely that ground contamination by you would reach any significant levels. But I am very concerned about the impact of this event on the ocean, whence so much life stems. We've seen how pervasive mercury contamination can be in large fish. Could this be worse?
    As I understand it, the Japanese, the US, and international agencies have said that, at this point, the radiation is only at harmful levels within the plant itself, with occasional increases in radiation within the immediate area of the plant. So as of this moment, this doesn't seem to be a danger.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

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    So far, whatever remains of the shields is helping keep most of the radio elements.
    The only problem is the spent fuel rods in the pool. These could be more than dangerous
    poths Void: MarieM carries a rusty old blade in her handbag!

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    This situation is obviously not Chernobyl (yet, and let's hope it doesn't get even close to that), but I remember seeing a documentary called Chernobyl Heart (you can watch it online in this link) that focused on the impact of the incident on local residents. In one scene in which local residents were coming into some type of clinic for routine monitoring, they were trying to figure out why one of the patients was either sick or had high levels of radiation (can't remember). So they asked him what he was eating, and no surprise since Russians and Ukranians are big foragers, the patient mentioned eating mushrooms and making jams from wild berries. So they asked the patient to bring in some samples and when they held up a jar of some type of home-made berry jam next to a Geiger counter, the needle just went off the chart.

    Now, these were local residents in the immediate vicinity of Chernobyl, and Alaska, while closer to Japan than many people realize, is not exactly next door to the affected area, so unless the incident really takes a horrific turn for the worse, it seems unlikely that ground contamination by you would reach any significant levels. But I am very concerned about the impact of this event on the ocean, whence so much life stems. We've seen how pervasive mercury contamination can be in large fish. Could this be worse?
    There will be little to no impact on the oceans. Do you have any idea how much radioactive material has been dumped in the oceans? Russian sinks nuclear subs, radioactive waste has been dumped. Yet, the oceans have absorbed it. The output from Japan will be nothing. The impact on land beyond the immediate area will be no more than from Chernobyl or the many above ground nuclear tests. In fact, it will be substantially less unless each of those reactors has a huge explosion sending tons of material into the air. That has not happened and hopefully will not. Godzilla will not rise from the seas.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Ann Coulter: Radiation Is 'Good For You'

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_837512.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by millipied View Post
    Ann Coulter: Radiation Is 'Good For You'

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_837512.html
    Oh good, I hope she volunteers to help at the plants in Japan and gets herself a nice dose of it. You know you have gone batshit crazy when O'Reilly wont defend you.
    -Brian
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by millipied View Post
    Ann Coulter: Radiation Is 'Good For You'

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_837512.html


    I'd like to see the studies she is referring to. They all seem to be correlations that are not the same as causation. For instance, in the case of women with TB and repeated Xrays, how do we know it's not some other factor, like for example TB itself that has anti-cancer properties? Or it could be something else they have in common like a susceptibility to TB that's riding on the same gene complex as anti-cancer gene? Could be lots of other explanations.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    Godzilla will not rise from the seas.
    Well in that case, we have nothing to worry about.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    First of all, THANK YOU to rfisher for your objective, informative posts!
    I have been furiously reading up on this stuff from various sources and everything I am learning points to exactly what you are saying: No impact on the U.S. West Coast, or even most of Japan itself.

    Earlier today, I also found a list of radiation readings by Japanese prefecture and city, then did some math:
    Current radiation level in Tokyo: 0.05 μSv/hour (vs. normal of 0.03)
    Spending a year at that radiation level would give you 438 μSv.
    One mammogram gives you 300 μSv.

    So to measure the impact of that radiation cloud on the someone standing on the beach in California, spread 1.5 mammograms across 5,000 miles of ocean.

    IIRC, no significant radiation from Chernobyl reached the U.S. East Coast, and the amount of radiation emitted from that disaster into the upper atmosphere was greater than even the worst case scenario for the Fukushima plant at this point. What Americans should have really been concerned about were all of the nuclear tests that went on in Nevada in the 50's and 60's!
    Last edited by Doubletoe; 03-18-2011 at 11:38 PM.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    Well in that case, we have nothing to worry about.
    I love Godzilla. I use him/her as a metaphor all the time. There is bad Godzilla who stomped Tokyo in the 50s as the example of the danger of radiation, then there is good Godzilla who fought Mothra and saved Tokyo in the 60s. Then there's Godzilla in NYC who was sort of bad and had that cute little Chihuahua who called here, lizard, lizard. But, she was only bad because the evil Americans were stealing her eggs.

    And just for those who worry about mutations such as Godzilla, , radiation does not produce any new mutations. Large doses may only accelerate the rate of naturally occurring mutations. Mueller demonstrated this back in the 40s with his fruit fly experiments in genetics.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  13. #73
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    TBH, I wasn't thinking about mutations. My (ignorant) question was more about whether radiation levels can build up through the food chain (similar to what happens with mercury). So many little fish with slightly higher than normal radiation levels are eaten by a bigger fish, and several of these fish are in turn eaten by an even bigger fish, etc. - could this lead to larger fish having significantly higher than normal radiation levels? I'm guessing from your prior answer that the answer is "no."
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    TBH, I wasn't thinking about mutations. My (ignorant) question was more about whether radiation levels can build up through the food chain (similar to what happens with mercury). So many little fish with slightly higher than normal radiation levels are eaten by a bigger fish, and several of these fish are in turn eaten by an even bigger fish, etc. - could this lead to larger fish having significantly higher than normal radiation levels? I'm guessing from your prior answer that the answer is "no."
    This just in. . . http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...999139786.html
    Also, the FDA will be scanning all food imports from Japan for radiation (good for those like me, who shop at the Japanese supermarkets for my favorite goodies!).

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doubletoe View Post
    Excellent - thank you.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  16. #76
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    One of the things I like about FSU is the posters who are experts in one field or the other. We have physicians, artists, teachers, attorneys, etc.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    TBH, I wasn't thinking about mutations. My (ignorant) question was more about whether radiation levels can build up through the food chain (similar to what happens with mercury). So many little fish with slightly higher than normal radiation levels are eaten by a bigger fish, and several of these fish are in turn eaten by an even bigger fish, etc. - could this lead to larger fish having significantly higher than normal radiation levels? I'm guessing from your prior answer that the answer is "no."
    Theoretically, it would be possible, but it would depend on a lot of factors including the type of radioactive particles. And it would have to come from radioactive particles not the gamma radiation currently being found. They are just high energy, short wave length electromagnetic radiation (like UV light or X-ray only with more energy). That energy is dissipated as it passes through matter. Radioactive particles which would be a big concern if those exposed rods were to explode are a different matter as they could have a very long half-life. Uranium-235, for example, has a half-life of 700 million years, or cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years. One of the consequences of the above ground nuclear testing by the Russians was the strontium-90 (hl app 90 years) that entered the atmosphere. It feel to the earth in rain and was taken up in grass. Cattle ate the grass and there was concern about strontium levels in milk. To my knowledge, there were no documented cases of long term effect, although, it would be impossible to ascertain if someone who drank tons of milk and developed cancer did so from the strontium or from other causes. Strontium replaces calcium so the concern was the development of bone cancer.

    So, if plankton were to somehow absorb sufficient quanties of some radioisotope, it could theoretically move up the food chain. To my knowledge that hasn't been documented after even the US atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific and those were large quanties of radioactive material in the explosions. If a fish was exposed to large quantites of radioactive particles, it would die rather quickly. Oooohhh, I just remembered another great movie about the evils of the atomic bomb that had huge mutant crabs. Scared the crap out me when I was a kid.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Civic View Post
    One of the things I like about FSU is the posters who are experts in one field or the other. We have physicians, artists, teachers, attorneys, etc.
    Indeed. I usually read the news sources, and then I check FSU for the real truth.

    And thanks, rfisher, for the detailed explanation.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I will be at the beach on Monday during my break and will harvest the bounties of the sea without fear of radiation. I have been craving fresh sea vegetables since the dead of winter and I cannot wait. Perhaps I can make a or two with the raise in demand for seaweed.

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    WHO Rep just on CCTV News has said there is no dangerous radiation spread. Even when asked about what those in Japan should do, he said, paraphrased, since there is no dangerous radiation spread, pay attention to the national authorities and reputable organisations, and don't listen to rumors. Say informed onlt through reputable organisations and national authorities. There is no need to do anything more, no need to take any iodine etc.

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