Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Problem is NOT the nuclear power plant

Above: I am being asked, as a non-native living in Japan, to inform my home country about the real problem here in Japan. It is apparently* NOT the nuclear power plant, although that is a serious problem. In 1979, there was an incident in Pennsylvania known as The Three Mile Island accident. That accident (click here) was apparently a "Level 7" emergency. At the nuclear reactor here in Fukushima, we are apparently at a "Level 4" emergency level. Therefore, the government here in Japan is asking (yellow box in the lower left corner of the image above) us to inform our home country that while it is a danger, the reactor has not exploded and there is not going to be a massive fallout around the world causing massive death and disease. They are not ruling out a chance of an increased chance of obtaining a disease here because of some of the radiation that is released, but the problem is NOT as dire as the international media is making it out to be.

Therefore, we need to keep our focus on the main problem here and that is the aftermath of the massive tsunami's. The news here is reporting that the total fatality toll could be more than 10,000 people with over 31,000 taking refuge in evacuation shelters around the country. Because the nuclear reactor is out of commission, millions of people are without power. The NE area of the main island of Honshu, where the brunt of the tsunami's hit, can still be very cold at this time of year. Consequently, you have to imagine the problems that this area of the country is having right now without power, without a home to go home to and with little fresh water available. Food and other aid is getting to them, but it is gradual and it is not bottomless. Please help in whatever way that you can. As more opportunities rise on how you can indeed help, whether through donations or whatever, I will let you know. However, I'm guessing the local red cross and other similar organizations will have ideas and suggestions on how you can help Japan at this traumatic time.

*I am not an expert here. I am only a messenger. I have been watching the news pretty much non-stop since this accident started. It is not dramatized here, but filled with facts and figures. And I truly believe that they are doing everything they possibly can to rescue, aid and protect the people who have been affected and could possible be in danger from the nuclear power plant.


federica said...

thanks for sharing the news..I'm happy to know you're ok..
It has been such a terrible disaster.. hope the situation can get better soon :(

Holly Rogers said...

Thanks Toby - your 'real life' report is very helpful in understanding what's happening.
Our prayers and best wishes are with you,

Chuck said...

Great info Toby!!!!

Frank said...

Thank you so much for keeping us abreast of the news about these events. Better to hear from you than our news people in the states. Frank

Keshu said...

Hello, interesting and true fact that people should rely on fact and stop panicking. Nothing good will come from panic.

I just wanted to point out that the Three mile incident was assessed by the IAEA at level five. Chernobyl was assessed at level seven, the highest on the scale.

Brandi said...

Thanks, Toby. Aaron, the girls and I have been thinking about you and your distant island neighbors. We just set-up a relief fund at work. Hope they are quickly able to take care of all the people now homeless from this tragedy.

Mike said...

The nuclear problem is serious, but people and animals dying because of lack of food, water or medical care is very urgent. It is NOT receiving enough attention here in the US.

Best thoughts to you and all those affected.