Turn Off the Gloom & Doom

This was sent to me by a friend:

Turn off the gloom-and-doom TV and turn on some Mozart.
Don’t listen to or contribute to the rumor mill.
For those of us over 30km from the Fukushima nuclear power plants, this is much more a psychological threat than a physical threat.

The US Embassy has extended the evacuation radius to 80km (http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20110317-01.html) and recommends that people who do not evacuate stay indoors.

The British Embassy has a transcript of a teleconference with Britain’s chief scientific advisor and British health authorities (http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=566799182). The transcript concludes that the radiation is a non-issue if you live outside the 30km evacuation zone, even if two or three reactors melt down and explode at the same time. It further describes why Fukushima will not turn into another Chernobyl and advises that British schools in Tokyo should not be closed due to radiation concerns (though there may be legitimate concerns like structural damage or another earthquake/tsunami).

The 16 March Stars and Stripes newspaper reported that 20 millirems of radiation was detected at Atsugi Naval Air Station (Kanagawa Prefecture), but that is less than half the 50-millirem threshold where they would start monitoring people for possible radiation-related issues.
A 17 March Stars and Stripes article reports that evacuations have been authorized and that travel warnings have been issued (http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/stories/U/US_US_JAPAN?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT).

There are 30 to 40 radiation measuring points within Japan (http://maps.google.co.jp/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=ja&brcurrent=3%2C0x6022295cbc75bc41%3A0x3d9e6648de582c42%2C0&msa=0&msid=216128354650842399419.00049e6a217dfc6e8b7e8&z=6).
These are operated by several different agencies, so there is little chance of a cover-up and they would surely let us know if there were a problem.

I am more concerned about people hoarding and turning imagined shortages into real ones. Some gas stations in Tsuchiura (Ibaraki) are out of gas, and cars are lined up at those stations still operating. Reminds me of the oil shocks of the 1970s.

Of course, we still have to be prepared for the possibility of another earthquake/tsunami, but I believe any additional earthquake will be much smaller.

I hope I have given you enough information to make your decisions.

Personally, I am going to stay in Japan but recommend that the young, the old, and pregnant women consider a two-week vacation with friends or relatives outside Japan.


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