Here's some QA, documents and articles related to the Japan nuclear accident. Talking to friends, I see that there is a lot of information to digest and article to read to get a good understanding of this event.
This graph from the globe and mail show how the radiation spiked in Japan. Note the level compared to a full body CT scan. Those level where recorded very close to the plant, where not one lives and where only worker where exposed to high level radiation.
First a look at some articles I found interesting:
Putting some perspective on the nuclear question
- Japanese Earthquake Implications Quick Q and A
- Good starting point on how a nuclear power plant operates, radiation level and type and much more.
- Banana equivalent dose: A banana equivalent dose (BED) is a measure of the radiation exposure caused by eating one banana. It is a concept that was intended to explain the relative danger of radiation by comparison with everyday life activities. BED is a radiation dose equivalent unit; the corresponding SI unit is the sievert (and rem is also commonly used).
- The dose equivalent of eating a banana is about 0.01 mrem (or 0.1 µSv).
- Less cancer or congenital heart malformations after being exposed to low dose radiation a must read, real life data: http://bit.ly/gbUu2I
- An extraordinary incident occurred 20 years ago in Taiwan.Recycled steel, accidentally contaminated with cobalt-60 (half-life:5.3 y), was formed into construction steel for more than 180 buildings, which 10,000 persons occupied for 9 to 20 years. They unknowingly received radiation doses that averaged 0.4 Sv-a collective dose of 4,000 person-Sv.
- Low-dose radiation is documented to be beneficial for human health but, for political reasons, radiation is assumed to be harmful at any dose. Detail of the study
- Journalist Wall of Shame covering the #Japan #nuclear and #earthquake crisis http://bit.ly/fbyxvg sensationalist, speculation, bad reporting
- Best read so far; William Tucker: Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl - http://t.co/S2mzc2D a must read
- Used #nuclear fuel is an energy opportunity, not a threat or a burden to future generations.
- Nuclear Overreactors: Let's cool the political meltdown over Japan's damaged nuclear power plants.
- Viewpoint: We should stop running away from radiation
- You need to drink 5000 liters of contaminated milk before you reach recommended limit set by the EPA: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703806304576233221749626458.html
- Talk About a Meltdown: The hysteria over Japan’s nuclear reactors is ridiculous.
Let start with an interview on Blogginheads.tv between John Horgan Stevens Center for Science Writings, Cross-check and Rod Adams Atomic Insights Blog, The Atomic Show
This one is a bit older and is more a debate on nuclear power in Alberta, but the discussion is interesting. This is from http://skepticallyspeaking.ca/episodes/11-nuclear-power-round-2
Fascinating discussion on nuclear power with Dr. Jeremy Whitlock, reactor physicist and author of the website The Canadian Nuclear FAQ, and Elena Schacherl, founder and Co-chair of Citizens Advocating the Use of Sustainable Energy (CAUSE), which is a member of the Coalition for a Nuclear Free Alberta.
There is not perfect solution like any human endeavors, so having the perfect energy solution does not exist yet. When you compare different energy source and related deaths, nuclear is one of the best in that regards.
This web site as a good compilation of information on that subject.
Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh) Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity) Coal – China 278 Coal – USA 15 Oil 36 (36% of world energy) Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy) Biofuel/Biomass 12 Peat 12 Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy) Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy) Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy) Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead) Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
To be continued...