Japan – Nuclear Update

So things are going from bad to worse.

The problem is still no where near as bad as Chernobyl – where the reactor itself exploded. But it appears radioactive water has leaked.

This BBC webpage gives an update. For much more detail – have a look at the Wikipedia page.

But – how dangerous is this radation?

Source: World Nuclear Association – via this BBC webpage.

The level of radiation found at the power plant is enough to increase by 1% the likelihood of cancer, with over 4 times the yearly allowed radiation each hour. Only workers who stayed in the danger areas for more than a few hours were likely to get radiation sickness.

But further away, the risks were very low. Drinking water in Tokyo adds just 0.3 mSv a year – we get 2.5 mSv a year from our natural surroundings (and much more in some parts of the world) – but small children will be more affected.

To put it into perspective – the power plant has killed/injured/made ill a small number of people but for most in Japan there is little to worry about at all. But the earthquake/tsunami has killed at least 11,000 with hundreds of thousands homeless.

Mr G

Sources: BBC News Website