Fukushima Fear, Vol. 4: More Nonsense Than You Can Shake a Giant Squid At

Like an out of control flood of death and destruction, silly rumors and scares about the aftermath of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster continue to emanate from a toxic slagheap and pour into the world, causing fear and panic buying of worthless detox junk. Scientists and skeptics, armed with virtual mallets, slam these demonic hedgehogs of lies back into their dark holes; only for more to pop out of the ground, clutching new rumors and scares in their foaming maws.

But major media outlets haven’t been silent. There are solid pieces all over the internet from the likes of Time, the LA Times, the New York Times, Forbes, Daily Kos, Popular Mechanics, Slate and others. There is also excellent debunking by experts of all stripes, from physicists to marine biologists to nuclear engineers, at places like Deep Sea News and Southern Fried Science. Finally, there are my humble attempts to bring some sanity to the madness.

So in the spirit of good science and healthy snark, here’s Volume 4 of my Fukushima series.

The previous volumes answered the pressing questions:
Is Pacific Ocean fish safe? Yes.
Is the West Coast Being Absolutely Fried by Fukushima Radiation? No.
Did a bunch of other apocalyptic nonsense happen? No.

And now, meet the new crap. Same as the old crap.

CLAIM: OMG! A giant squid beached itself in Santa Monica! Fukushima! This one is actually a decent litmus test for whether a person is serious about the impact of Fukushima. If they take this obvious hoax to be reality, they probably aren’t that bright and shouldn’t be listened to. For the record, Snopes demolished this the same day it hit the web, finding the two pictures Photoshopped together to create the hoax, and driving down to Santa Monica to ensure that, no, Squidzilla had not washed up on Muscle Beach. We’re dealing with moderately humorous satire, and that’s it.

Giant squid, giant fake.

Giant squid, giant fake. (Snopes.com)

CLAIM: Two underground nuclear explosions rocked the Fukushima site on New Year’s Eve, forcing Russia’s Ministry of Defense to go on high alert – and causing TEPCO to quietly admit that Reactor 3 was melting down. GAME OVER!!! None of this happened, other than Reactor 3 melting down, which took place right after the tsunami. The original “report” about the “explosions” came from whatdoesitmean.com, one of the least reliable “news” websites on the internet, with a reputation for making up wild conspiracies and insane stories, then tossing them out there for other conspiracy sites to disseminate. Which is exactly what happened here. There were no underground explosions and no high alert.

Not only were there no nuclear explosions, there couldn’t have been. A nuclear bomb and a nuclear reactor are not at all the same thing. They’re designed differently to do very different things. Without some kind of detonator and weapons grade nuclear material, which Fukushima doesn’t have, a nuclear explosion literally could not have happened. This is basic nuclear physics, and if you don’t know this, you shouldn’t be sharing anything about Fukushima.

CLAIM: Radioactive steam was seen pouring off Reactor 3, meaning it’s in the middle of a meltdown. Alternative media sites went crazy right before New Year’s with claims that the west coast was about to be hit by an onslaught of radiation from Reactor 3 in the form of nuclear steam. Putting aside the ludicrousness of “radioactive steam” in Japan killing people on the west coast, the steam, which is real, has a simple explanation, rooted in kindergarten physics.

Steam coming off Reactor 3. Because it's cold outside.

Steam coming off Reactor 3. Because it’s cold outside. (AP)

1. The reactor is physically hot, because of the decay of nuclear fuel. Of course, this is dangerous, but that’s beside the point.
2. It’s winter in Japan.
3. When cold water from rain or snow hits something hot (like a reactor), it turns into steam. Just like your breath.

The steam has been coming off Reactor 3 for almost three years. Panicking about it now makes no sense.

CLAIM: A dude with a Geiger counter went to a California beach and found radiation levels off the charts! Evacuate the west coast at once! This one has been pretty well covered here at Skeptoid and at other places, so I won’t go into the whole explanation again, except to say that there are any number of reasons why the Geiger counter in the video reads the way it does. Background radiation is everywhere, and in everything (so much for the “no safe dose” meme.) This is especially true of the ocean, which is rich in uranium. That particular area, Pacifica State Beach, is especially radioactive, owing to natural substances in the granite and sand there.

The video is not a source of anything other than a guy with a Geiger counter. California officials dismissed it as scaremongering, and they were right. Your granite countertops will absolutely fry you long before a day at the beach does.

CLAIM: 98% of the Pacific sea floor is covered in dead creatures nuked by Fukushima. Not even close to true. The way-smarter-than-me folks at Deep Sea News have a fantastic blog post that explains this insane claim. In essence, it’s a sampling of a study related to the phenomenon of “marine snow.” This is when salps, plankton or algae suddenly bloom in mass quantities, then die and fall to the sea floor, providing meals for the creatures there.

The original story, from Natural News, takes a report from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (full disclosure, I’ve been to the Aquarium and it’s really cool) and twists it into some weird conspiracy rant about Fukushima killing everything in the ocean. But like I said, Deep Sea News explains it way better than I could.

CLAIM: A mass die-off of sardines in the Pacific is because of Fukushima radiation. This is classic Fukushima trutherism: take a real thing that has nothing to do with Fukushima and start “asking questions” to see if the disaster is “really” the cause. We’ve seen it with starfish wasting (a real thing with no connection to Fukushima), Bald Eagles (dying of West Nile virus), salmon stocks (crashing for unknown reasons over two decades) and now here. In fact, you’ll see lots of truthers rhetorically asking “What’s causing the die-off? Is it Fukushima? Of course it is, you idiots!” Not great science, there.

Cannery Row, Monterey, CA. Is Fukushima responsible? (wikipedia)

Cannery Row, Monterey, CA. Is Fukushima responsible? (wikipedia)

To be sure, we’re in the middle of a massive sardine crash, the worst in generations. But it has everything to do with the nature of sardines themselves. It’s an unpredictable fish, prone to wild swings of overpopulation and disappearance. In fact, next to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, you can find the remains of Cannery Row, a massive industrial complex dedicated to sardine fishing and canning – that went under when sardine fishing crashed in the 40’s. Can’t blame that one on Fukushima.

The cause of the boom/bust cycle could be anything from naturally occurring climate cycles to parasites to the effects of climate change. But it’s real. And blaming something that’s happened for at least a century on something that happened two years ago isn’t even post hoc logic. It’s just silly.

Incidentally, there were two mass sardine die-offs in 2011, and one took place just before the Fukushima meltdown. The folks at Deep Sea News came up with a perfectly valid explanation for it: the fish had eaten a bloom of toxic algae.

CLAIM: California scientists are going to start monitoring kelp forests, because they know Fukushima radiation is killing us all! Here we have a shining example of how conspiracy theorists can hold two contradictory beliefs at once. In my first Fukushima piece, one of Gary Stamper’s complaints was that the FDA wasn’t monitoring fish from the Pacific Ocean. They actually were and stopped after finding nothing, but never mind that. The FDA’s “inaction” became fodder for the meme that the government doesn’t care about us, only protecting its revenue stream from fishing (pun somewhat intended.)

Recently, researchers from Berkeley National Laboratory and Cal State Long Beach announced a plan to monitor 36 different kelp beds on the west coast for signs of Fukushima radiation. And true to form, the truthers moaned about THAT. It’s just the fox guarding the hen house, they say. The media has been lying to us about the danger the whole time, they say. SHILLERY ABOUNDS!!

Well, if you get mad they’re not monitoring, you can’t get mad when they start monitoring. This is exactly what scientists should be doing: studying, gathering data and coming to evidence-based conclusions. If you were upset before, you should be pleased to hear this.

CLAIM: The US government bought 14 million potassium iodide doses to protect the wealthy elite from radiation! APOCALYPSE AHOY! Around the first of the year, truther hotbeds had their tinfoil hats blown off by an Infowars story that the Department of Health and Human Services ordered millions of doses of drugs meant to counteract radiation poisoning. The proof was screen captures of a federal contracting website where HHS asked for 700,000 packages of 20 pills each, each pill being 65 mg of potassium iodide (KI). And the kicker is that they had to be delivered on or before February 1. THAT’S TWO WEEKS FROM NOW, PEOPLE!!!

Potassium iodide. Please don't take without a doctor's supervision.

Potassium iodide. Please don’t take without a doctor’s supervision. (INFOWARS.COM!!!)

The problem with stories like this is that there’s no context given with it. Who is the iodide for? Has an order this size been made before? Is it routine?

Alex Jones cares not for your pesky questions, but I do. So I did a little digging. The first thing you have to realize is that 65mg is actually the dose recommended for children. The adult dose of KI is 130 mg, or two tablets. So our “14 million doses” is actually only 7 million adult doses. And it’s much more useful for children than adults, with the FDA not recommending anyone over 40 take it, due to lack of efficacy and potential for allergic reaction.

The second thing to keep in mind is that KI doesn’t protect against any radiation except radioactive iodine. In fact, it’s potentially harmful. This is important because the iodine-131 released by Fukushima only has a half-life of eight days. So it’s impossible for anything other than harmless traces of it to reach the west coast – meaning that if the “globalist controllers” were trying to protect themselves from Fukushima, they bought the wrong stuff.

The third thing to remember is that governments procure supplies all the time. Including radiation antidotes. In 2002, the 107th Congress passed the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act, calling for HHS to “maintain a stockpile […] of drugs, vaccines and other biological products…” Potassium iodide falls into this category. A quick search finds HHS publicly announcing another such purchase in 2005, and I’m sure if I looked harder I could find more.

Tl;dr version: Routine purchase, called for by law, not what you’d buy to protect a giant conspiracy.

So what are we to make of all this? And what can the average person who doesn’t have the time or resources to dig into every ridiculous claim do when faced with this nonsense?

I believe there are three things we can all do to fight Fukushima misinformation and fear:

1. Consider the source. If a piece that you read comes from a legitimate news outlet, science blog or evidence-friendly writer, it’s probably worth your time. If it comes from an anti-nuclear activist, conspiracy theorist, doomsday prepper or hack doctor, you can probably let it go.

2. Save your money. Don’t buy any of the anti-radiation junk sold by conspiracy websites and “alternative” physicians. If you live on the west coast, purchasing earthquake supplies is a way better idea than buying potassium iodide drops, “sacred clay” or lead-lined underwear.

3. Don’t panic. There’s just no need to. Despite the scaremongering, science, research and logic tell us you don’t need to stop eating Pacific Ocean fish, you don’t need to stop going to the beach and you don’t need to evacuate the west coast.

Knowledge and calm will save us. Panic and fear will not.

About Mike Rothschild

Mike Rothschild is a writer and editor based in Pasadena. He writes about scams, conspiracy theories, hoaxes and pop culture fads. He's also a playwright and screenwriter. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/rothschildmd.
This entry was posted in Conspiracy Theories, Energy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Fukushima Fear, Vol. 4: More Nonsense Than You Can Shake a Giant Squid At

  1. Barry Walker says:

    Demonic hedgehogs. Can I use that for a band name?

  2. Philip says:

    Over a year ago an old friend of mine got into multi-level marketing. From there he became anti-GMO, anti-vaccine, and eventually bought the potassium iodide supplements because people weren’t “waking up” about Fukushima. Of course any attempt to reason with this person failed, because any criticism was regarded as a personal insult. It’s very sad. I had to cut contact with this person.

    Speculation: I wonder if those 50 out of the 5000 sailors from the Reagan became ill (allegedly) from potassium iodide doses rather than radiation? Given the symptoms from the link it would seem to make sense.

    • Irritated Kalifornian says:

      Now That would be an interesting thing to study.

    • John Denys says:

      I guess there wouldn’t have been much use in pointing out to him the half life of iodine 131, which is a little over 8 days.

    • ask412 says:

      Philip wrote; “I wonder if those 50 out of the 5000 sailors from the Reagan became ill (allegedly) from potassium iodide doses rather than radiation?” Another comment consistent with culture turning a blind eye to multinational corporate behaviour.

      Those denying ‘agent orange’ was toxic to living cells came out with the same unevolved rhetoric parroting ad agency seeded memes. Blindly believing the corporate line, what agent orange has done to living organisms and humans specifically is on public record.

      Monsanto is what it is, a corporate entity with indefinite life. Leveraging media, wealth and power to justify profit before social responsibility. A model adhered to by the military / nuclear power industry. There is such irony in the comment, its laughable.

      Just think about what you wrote
      and how those mens families feel hearing that jingoistic line of logic.

  3. As a resident of Japan I thank you for this.

    • It’s my pleasure. I’m interested to know what the opinion on the ground in Japan is about all this. Is there similar panic, or are the people just laughing at us?

      • ask412 says:

        Mike Rothschild wrote; ” … opinion on the ground in Japan is about all this. Is there similar panic, or are the people just laughing at us?”

        As a foresight practitioner personally I see the ‘fear mongering’ as a clever disinformation campaign. Designed as a smokescreen regarding the whole nuclear industry. Relatively easy due to the general lack of knowledge about geopolitics and science. Combined with a cultural stage of development this becomes being fertile ground for lack of discernment and resulting dogma.

        As for the Japanese People;

        Firstly; Japanese do not think in 3 sec sound bytes when accepting meme contrived by think tanks and served in media by ad agencies. Their culture is older and has more depth than to be affected like that.

        Secondly; they have far more knowledge about man made radioactive particles than the US public having become acutely aware first hand of the destructive outcome. Environmental awareness is their cultural legacy and it has developed over thousands of years.

        Thirdly; within the local Fukushima Prefecture studies are being run by local governments.

        So it would be clever not to project our values onto their behaviour.

        As for these studies they can be considered “independent” of TEPCO, the Japanese Central Government and the global controlling body of the military / nuclear and power industry the IAEA.

        In Japan the local government often find they need to make an effort to free themselves of requirements imposed by the prefecture or central control, and in many cases have been able to function quite independently.

        As such there is a large-scale screening program for thyroid problems in Fukushima, including everyone who was under 18 at the time of the accident.

        Because they are run by the prefecture there is a level of controversy stirred up by vested interest. But the studies intent is to create an independant baseline of data so all future thyroid cancer rates can be compared.

        The result is both the prefecture and many local governments have been conducting large-scale screening for internal contamination.

        This is because they understand the real long term risk is from heart disease and other organ failure, including ongoing chromosome damage passed down through countless generations of Japanese, born and unborn. The Japanese grasp ingesting radioactive particles from the surrounding environment cause long term damage. They understand the particles sit irradiating human cells within the body and realise that this begins to become evident as decades pass. Obviously the cheapness of gene sequencing in the future will also play a part in identifying Fukushima radiation contamination and outcomes.

        Our skeptical minds could model the Japanese, not being naive in coming dogmatically to any conclusions about environmental damage from a timeline of short exposure to man made radioactive particles. Anyone touting conclusions raises questions about the source of scaremongering, their intent and value set.

        Genuine concern needs to focus on the long term ramifications. Using discernment to differentiate between ‘scaremongering’ disinformation put out by vested interests as a smoke screen and actual science.

        So far the threads here are just carrying the planets largest employers standard nuclear line where they ‘admit no liability’.

        Very corporate and totally consistent with the evolving meritocracy in the US.


        Crowd Sourcing Data

        Safecast is a global sensor network for collecting and sharing radiation measurements to empower people with data about their environments.

        So instead of panicking concerned Japanese members of the public have designed an iPhone app and geiger counter to test local man made nuclear radiation and map levels of contamination. As a result genuinely concerned US citizens can also become involved with this long term study, mapping their local areas and contributing.

        In time the data will able to be correlated with extensive local studies of disease in Japan and elsewhere.

        The influence of the Japanese Central Government, TEPCO and the IAEA have no way to control this crowd sourced information and are left only with one strategy, to downplay the outcome.

        Just watch that unfold over time, it has been used before on all nuclear incidents.



      • Philip says:

        The Hiroshima Syndrome blog is also a great resource on debunking some of the nonsense out there. It also spends a great deal of time educating about nuclear energy, and putting the nuclear disasters into context. There are informed commentaries addressing several issues and claims, and the updates give some insight on how this is being reported in Japan.

        I only wish the site was a bit more modern so it would be more easily shared and searchable.

    • John Denys says:

      As a 17 year resident of Japan I thank you as well.

    • John Denys says:

      Were you in Japan when the accident happened? I suddenly started getting calls and emails from friends and relatives telling me I should leave. I told them they should learn more about Japanese geography.

  4. Alison Edwards says:

    I applaud your persistence chasing of this topic, Mike. I’d be pulling my hair out if I had to deal with all the crazy.

  5. This is a great expose. Here’s some more evidence that “Radiation is safe within limits.” http://radiation-safety-limits.info .

  6. Robert says:

    That giant squid picture is cool

  7. John Denys says:

    I’m not sure how much this was reported in the non-Japanese press but after the accident there was a phenomenon know as Fukushima radiation bullying. Children evacuated from Fukushima were bullied by students in their new schools. Children and indeed adults as well were under the wrongheaded notion that radiation could somehow be transferred from person to person. It would be helpful if more articles like Mike’s were available in Japanese as well.

    • ask412 says:

      John Denys wrote; ” … Children and indeed adults as well were under the wrongheaded notion that radiation could somehow be transferred from person to person”

      The press in Japan is heavily controlled. It is relatively recent history there has been allowed more than one news correspondent from each country in Japan.

      The relics of the closed culture are still evident with all issues surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi incident.

      John Denys wrote; ” … more articles like Mike’s were available in Japanese as well.”

      One of the only sources outside the Japanese media system is the journalist Mochizuki Cheshire Iori he has a blog reporting on the activity. But operates outside the Government, TEPCO and the IAEA by reporting. In the interest of balance it is regularly gets scanned for information.

      The ignorance shown in our media about all the various problems is clear, including the psychological damage by man made radioactive particle contamination being glossed over.

      As always, the Devil is in the details. So it depends on our due diligence where we seek relevant information. It is in Japanese, but the on Chrome Google translates his pages clearly.

      Most supporters of ‘no harm done’ get their information from one source, the military government / nuclear energy bloc.

      The challenge is there as is Mochizuki’s information and it is his one year anniversary reporting news that has been left out of our media. Perhaps he could have some new readers.


  8. John Denys says:

    In Japan, at the time of the accident I would say the news coverage was so so. They told us a lot of numbers but didn’t step back and explain what those numbers meant. I had to search online for Sievert which was a new term for me at the time. Almost every day though there would be news reports about so many microsieverts or milisieverts. Just out of curiousity I asked some of my students if they knew they relationship between Sievert, milisievert and microsievert and many of them didn’t know those basic facts. They also didn’t have much basic information about radiation, such as the fact that many common activities come with a small dose of radiation. In general, in Japan, I’d say many people are prone to panic when it comes to radiation. Even in my city, Ise, which is about 500 km away from the power plant there was panic buying of bottled watered. You’d go into the stores and there wouldn’t be any. Some people were sending it to other locations that were also not in danger but are further east.

    One political party put up a lot of posters saying Japan should end the use of nuclear power immediately. I would also consider this a panic response along the lines of what happened in Germany. I haven’t seen those posters in a while though.

    One of my students had a conpriracy theory that the government was adjusting the earthquake data on purpose. When we first heard about it they said it was 8.7 or 8.8 magnatude. Eventually it turned out to be 9.0. I asked him what the purpose would be of doing that and he didn’t really have an answer. I also pointed out to him that they were probably collecting more data from various sources and that made the numbers more accurate.

    Since it has been almost three years since the accident to find a good conspiracy you would really have to look for a bad website. The regular news broadcasts have been rather calm about it.

    • ask412 says:

      John Denys wrote; “… out of curiousity I asked some of my students if they knew they relationship between Sievert, milisievert and microsievert and many of them didn’t know those basic facts.” Why does this not sound surprising?

      John Denys wrote; “…I would also consider this a panic response along the lines of what happened in Germany. I haven’t seen those posters in a while though.” Another comment consistent with the value system of the cultural centre of gravity in the US.

      The nation that has used nuclear weapons is no position to be unbiased.

      Because history shows under the pretence of producing electricity it has created tonnes of weapons grade plutonium and stockpiled weapons.

      That nations cultures have developed advanced values, understanding the integral nature of life on earth.

      Does not mean they have panicked choosing alternative source of energy.

      That is a subjective opinion based in a culture still venerating the Abrahamic value set and using its adversarial mindset to justify uncivilised public policy.

    • Irritated Kalifornian says:

      The USGS often adjusts the magnitude of an earthquake. Initially when they happen everyone wants to know “how big & where?” & they can give an initial number because folks want to know “right now” but that can change as they get more info & pinpoint the exact location.

  9. John Denys says:

    Today there was a news story about radiation testing in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. A group of 30 restaurant managers from the Tokyo area went to observe radiation testing at a tomato farm and at a place where seafood is tested. Apparantly they were satisfied with the testing. One woman who had bought some tomatoes said she would be giving them to her children. Another woman said that when she saw the word “Fukushima” she didn’t “reach out” for the items but now she realized that that had been a mistake.
    The text is included at the bottom.
    Story (in Japanese): http://www.fnn-news.com/news/headlines/category00.html

    • ask412 says:

      Hmmm … hydroponic tomatoes in an enclosed environment out of the natural cycle hardly qualify as safe Fukushima food.

      But is does indicate there are ways around food production in the area that will not leave the food un contaminated.

      As for the testing of fish, that is another story. Time will tell.

      One woman commented; “she saw the word “Fukushima” she didn’t “reach out” for the items but now she realized that that had been a mistake.”

      This is hardly surprising as the article explained this was a “Mercenary of tour guests , crop of Fukushima Prefecture… under the complete control, participants visited and that agricultural products are produced, and test readiness of radioactive material.”

      Keyword here most Japanese are extremely skeptical about “under the complete control” [of the Government].

      Put in language we grasp a it was a ‘public relations’ exercise put on by Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

      Like all corporation / government the principle is to admit no liability, seems perfectly consistent with the continual denial, known media black out and vetting of news by the Japanese right of centre government.

      “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
      ~ Adolf Hitler ~

      Hydroponic tomato hmmm … looks like the lie is working all the way across the Pacific.

  10. Irradiated says:

    Somebody with access to proper measuring devices needs to tell me how the Fu-radation compares to Sol-radiation that blankets the planet daily in terms of intensity and acreage.

    Then I will know how much to panic.

    • ask412 says:

      Irradiated wrote; ” … access to proper measuring devices needs to tell me how the Fu-radation* compares to Sol-radiation. Then I will know how much to panic.”

      Firstly, don’t panic awareness will dispel fear. But heightened responsibility and awareness are by products of due diligence on facts.

      Please try to discern between feelings and facts. Because, feelings are not facts..

      This group* is a good source of information, due diligence writing a simple email asking the question will give you an unbiased answer.

      I had a graphic outlining exactly the answer you needed, I will try finding it for you.
      * Mochizuki is independent of Japanese Media, a journalist acting outside ‘established’ channels. He has simple commentary and accurate translation of TEPCO published data.

      ** http://blog.safecast.org/

  11. Bob says:

    I wonder why the Japanse gouvernement has passed a bill that forbids the press to write anything on Fuckushima. Makes me wonder “what is there to hide. While the leaking of radiation in to the air and ocean is going on.

  12. Zach Wilson says:

    How can we trust you? Your last name is Rothschild, you must one of the global elite.

    Joking aside, great article! This needs to be boosted. Might I also add that Japan, and other nations, have been working on a global project to build a robot, efficient enough to enter disaster areas, and aid in preventing future catastrophes.

    • ask412 says:

      Zach Wilson wrote; ” … efficient enough to enter disaster areas, and aid in preventing future catastrophes.” You do know that the stuff is manga sci/fi.

      So far in over fifty years playing with man made nuclear materials nothing is impervious to the radiation. Every unmanned vehicle TEPCO have use has failed.

      All metal, pipe, protective material distorts, degrades and fails. The biggest problem currently is the holding tanks for the mega litres of contaminated water are failing. All because of irradiation on the materials

      Which means toxic water runs our to the ocean. The rest goes into the groundwater contaminating the underground aquifers. Which in turn is exposing the entire ecosystem to the continual cycle of radiative material over and over infinitum.

      Unmanned robotic vehicles are no match for this man made radioactive catastrophe or any like it, that is a delusion, nothing more than faith in propaganda.

      Just fantasy from a manga graphic novel.

  13. ask412 says:

    TEPCO spokesman “I have distrust in TEPCO itself for not announcing the wrong analysis for this long” TEPCO has been incorrectly analysing Strontium-90 in contaminated water and seawater for 2.5 years since the start of the Fukushima Daiichi 311 incident.

    Fukushima Daiichi workers were building the underground wall only a few meters away from the location that they measured 5,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of Strontium-90 in the groundwater. However, TEPCO didn’t inform the workers of the contamination level for over half a year.

    The extremely contaminated water got on the boots of workers while they were injecting the chemical material underground. They had to pile dams up to 1m high with the lead plate on the top to avoid the contamination, according to TEPCO. That was in the beleif they were working with lower levels.

    • Mudguts says:


      Whats the problem there? Thats heaps of shielding for the workers.

      The response to contamination (seepage? I am working on your prose) sounds bizarre for the scenario you proposed. (90Sr is a pure beta emitter)

      Maybe if you got a better report to work with so you could explain the scenario better.

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