Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Japan equates nuclear crisis severity to Chernobyl

The Chernobyl reactor #4Image via WikipediaI really do not want to post the images of what happened at Chernobyl, its enough to make you wanna cry. To think that the people of Japan will most likely go through the same at a much slower pace seems to be well on it's way. It's not contained in any way, shape or form and is constantly spewing out radiation day and night. The food and resources around the area are full of radiation and the people there really have no choice but to eat it. Let alone all the water.
If you wanna know more about what the consequences of radiation are. I will post just a couple of videos of what happened at Chernobyl at the bottom. Keep in mind it's very graphic, and you may not want to see it.

We need to pray for the People of Japan and even more so for people around the World. Even though they claim it is not at high risk levels elsewhere. It is not done and still spewing out radiation everyday unlike Chernobyl. At least back then they sealed it up. Japan they are just letting it continue. Only God knows what the long term effects this is going to bring. 

TOKYO – Japan ranked its nuclear crisis at the highest possible severity on an international scale — the same level as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster — even as it insisted Tuesday that radiation leaks are declining at its tsunami-crippled nuclear plant.
The higher rating is an open acknowledgement of what was widely understood already: The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant is the second-worst in history. It does not signal a worsening of the plant's status in recent days or any new health dangers.
Still, people living nearby who have endured a month of spewing radiation and frequent earthquakes said the change in status added to their unease despite government efforts to play down any notion that the crisis poses immediate health risks.
Miyuki Ichisawa closed her coffee shop this week when the government added her community, Iitate village, and four others to places people should leave to avoid long-term radiation exposure. The additions expanded the 12-mile (20-kilometer) zone where people had already been ordered to evacuate soon after the March 11 tsunami swamped the plant.
"And now the government is officially telling us this accident is at the same level of Chernobyl," Ichisawa said. "It's very shocking to me."
Japanese nuclear regulators said the severity rating was raised from 5 to 7 on an international scale overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency due to new assessments of the overall radiation leaks from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

In 2005, the Chernobyl Forum - a group comprising the International Atomic Energy Agency and several other U.N. groups - said fewer than 50 deaths could be confirmed as being connected to Chernobyl. It also said the number of radiation-related deaths among the 600,000 people who helped deal with the aftermath of the accident would ultimately be around 4,000.
The U.N. health agency, however, has said about 9,300 people are likely to die of cancers caused by radiation. Some groups, including Greenpeace, have put the numbers 10 times higher.
The Fukushima plant was damaged in a massive tsunami that knocked out cooling systems and backup diesel generators, leading to explosions at three reactors and a fire at a fourth that was undergoing regular maintenance and was empty of fuel.
The magnitude-9.0 earthquake that caused the tsunami immediately stopped the three reactors, but overheated cores and a lack of cooling functions led to further damage.
Engineers have pumped water into the damaged reactors to cool them down, but leaks have resulted in the pooling of tons of contaminated, radioactive water that has prevented workers from conducting further repairs.
A month after the disaster, more than 145,000 people are still living in shelters. The quake and tsunami are believed to have killed more than 25,000 people, but many of those bodies were swept out to sea and more than half of those feared dead are still listed as missing.

Chernobyl (WARNING: Graphic)

Frequently Asked Chernobyl Questions

1. What caused the Chernobyl accident?

ChernobylOn April 26, 1986, the Number Four RBMK reactor at the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, Ukraine, went out of control during a test at low-power, leading to an explosion and fire that demolished the reactor building and released large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. Safety measures were ignored, the uranium fuel in the reactor overheated and melted through the protective barriers. RBMK reactors do not have what is known as a containment structure, a concrete and steel dome over the reactor itself designed to keep radiation inside the plant in the event of such an accident. Consequently, radioactive elements including plutonium, iodine, strontium and caesium were scattered over a wide area. In addition, the graphite blocks used as a moderating material in the RBMK caught fire at high temperature as air entered the reactor core, which contributed to emission of radioactive materials into the environment.

2. How many people died as an immediate result of the accident?

The initial explosion resulted in the death of two workers. Twenty-eight of the firemen and emergency clean-up workers died in the first three months after the explosion from Acute Radiation Sickness and one of cardiac arrest.

3. How many people were evacuated?

EvacuationThe entire town of Pripyat (population 49,360), which lay only three kilometres from the plant was completely evacuated 36 hours after the accident. During the subsequent weeks and months an additional 67,000 people were evacuated from their homes in contaminated areas and relocated on government order. In total some 200,0000 people are believed to have been relocated as a result of the accident.

4. What are the major health effects for exposed populations?

Thyroid scan on childrenThere have been at least 1800 documented cases of thyroid cancer children who were between 0 and 14 years of age when the accident occurred., which is far higher than normal. The thyroid gland of young children is particularly susceptible to the uptake of radioactive iodine, which can trigger cancers, treatable both by surgery and medication. Health studies of the registered cleanup workers called in (so-called “liquidators”) have failed to show any direct correlation between their radiation exposure and an increase in other forms of cancer or disease. The psychological affects of Chernobyl were and remain widespread and profound, and have resulted for instance in suicides, drinking problems and apathy.

5. What radioactive elements were emitted into the environment?

There were over 100 radioactive elements released into the atmosphere when Chernobyl’s fourth reactor exploded. Most of these were short lived and decayed (reduced in radioactivity) very quickly. Iodine, strontium and caesium were the most dangerous of the elements released, and have half-lives of 8 days, 29 years, and 30 years respectively. The isotopes Strontium-90 and Caesium-137 are therefore still present in the area to this day. While iodine is linked to thyroid cancer, Strontium can lead to leukaemia. Caesium is the element that travelled the farthest and lasts the longest. This element affects the entire body and especially can harm the liver and spleen.

6. How large an area was affected by the radioactive fallout?

Some 150,000 square kilometres in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are contaminated and stretch northward of the plant site as far as 500 kilometres. An area spanning 30 kilometres around the plant is considered the “exclusion zone” and is essentially uninhabited. Radioactive fallout scattered over much of the northern hemisphere via wind and storm patterns, but the amounts dispersed were in many instances insignificant.
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