Monday, April 4, 2011

why the news is making me crazy

Articles like this one (below) convince people who are not in Japan that it is dangerous to be in Japan. Anywhere in Japan. Not just in the evacuated zone around Fukushima where the nuclear reactors are, not just in the areas east of Sendai devastated by the tsunami, but anywhere in the whole country. In the minds of many Westerners, Tokyo is Japan, and so Tokyo must be dangerous too.

It's tough to talk to people who think this way. If I say I am going back soon, they look at me gravely and say, but think about the children.

I am thinking about the children! About how they need to get back to some semblance of normal life, about how they need their dad, and for our family of four to be under the same roof. Of course nobody knows what could happen up there in Fukushima (140 miles away from Tokyo), because the situation remains serious and won't be under control for several weeks or even months, probably. But staying away isn't a good option either.

Japan Struggles to Plug Leak as Radioactive Water Seeps Into the Sea
By Ken Belson and Hiroko Tabuchi
April 2, 2011

TOKYO — Highly radioactive water is leaking directly into the sea from a damaged pit near a crippled reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Japanese safety officials said Saturday. The leak was the latest setback in the increasingly difficult bid to regain control of the plant.

Although higher than normal levels of radiation have been detected in the ocean water near the plant in recent days, this is the first time the source of any leaks was found.

Because the government did not report the levels of radioactive materials in the waters near the stricken plant on Saturday, it was difficult to judge how dangerous the levels of radiation were for fish or for humans who might come in contact with it. The government has already set up an evacuation zone for 19 miles around the plant, and fishing in the area has been suspended since the earthquake and tsunami...

click here to read more (you'll need a digital subscription I think)

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