Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Nuclear Risk Worsening: Prevention Never Premature
Now authorities are admitting that the nuclear crisis in Japan, predicted by my grandfather five days ago and in my first blog, is far worse than Three Mile Island, and possibly as bad as Chernobyl but as yet unclear. BBC is reporting this morning that levels of radiation are significantly above the legal limit. Radiation in Tokyo was just reported by Drudge to be 10 times normal.
I'm trying to interpret the data daily, which is very difficult given the many competing interests and absence of firm facts.
My opinion remains the same as in my first blog - it is prudent to have iodine on hand as recommended by the Center for Disease Control; whether to take it is still unknown. Yesterday I read a comment by a nuclear regulatory official who stated the discussing iodine in the US was "vastly premature." I completely disagree. My stance for 22 years is that prevention is never premature. Meanwhile, Japan is dispensing 230,000 doses of iodine to affected citizens, again according to the Drudge Report.
German Foreign Guido Westerwelle called the events in Japan an "apocalypse" which is causing lots of controversy. Like most people, I have significant fear about the nuclear power industry and their lack of safety record. Controversy is king right now because we're all scared: scared and deeply saddened for the unbearable human burden of suffering in Japan, scared about what the nuclear crisis means for our planet, scared that the radiation (in unknown quantity as I write this 3/15/11 at 8:15am PST) may be heading toward us.
Yesterday, Anderson Cooper et al. reported from Japan about how the 40-year old reactors in Fukushima were not designed for an earthquake/tsunami of this magnitude (CNN went on to say that reactors in the US, near the ocean, are designed to withstand this level of earthquake/tsunami. I found this not reassuring in the least).
I made a video yesterday, extremely low budget, about the question of whether to take iodine. Check it out below.
I also wanted to share a radiation map that I learned about from Dr. Helayne Waldman, who will be talking more about iodine in our office this Thursday at noon. Unfortunately, the most reliable map we found has crashed for unknown reasons. Please comment if you know of other good sources for tracking radiation from Japan and into the Western US and Canada.
It's moment by moment right now. One helpful, ancient methodology that helps me in crises like these is Tonglen meditation, which is a form that allows you to take in and digest the deep suffering of others. It's a wonderful balm for those times such as know when we desperately feel we need to do something. Shown below (recorded many months ago and triggered by a far lesser event, but the principles are the same).
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