Fukushima Upgraded To Level 6 as Tokyo Runs Out Of Bottled Water

Zerohedge reports that Fukushima Raised To Level 6 On INES Scale.

(emphasis mine) [my comment]

Fukushima Raised To Level 6 On INES Scale: Now Officially More "Serious" Than 3 Mile Island
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/24/2011 21:46 -0400

According to Asahi Shimbun which is quoting the Japan NRC,
the Fukushima event has just surpassed Three Mile Island in terms of seriousness, and has been upgraded from Level 5 "Accident with Wider Consequences" to Level 6 "Serious Accident." Only Chernobyl is a Level 7 event. We believe Fukushima should get there within 2 weeks as ever more of the current devastation becomes public [I agree]. Of course, all of this is a paper-pushing formality. What isn't, are people who may be developing serious diseases as the government continues to misrepresent the severity of the situation.


Some headlines from ENENEWS:

Radiation “skyrockets” 20 km from Fukushima — 1,600 times higher than normal
March 21st, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Cesium-137 released at Fukushima in first four days could be 50 percent of Chernobyl total: Austria' s ZAMG
March 22nd, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Comparisons with X-rays and CT scans “meaningless” — Inhaling particles increases radiation exposure by “a factor of a trillion” says expert
March 22nd, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Tokyo drinking water unsafe for infants: Officials — Government distributing bottled water
March 23rd, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Breaking news on NHK at 7pm ET: Smoke/steam rising from all 4 reactor units — Workers evacuated (VIDEO)
March 23rd, 2011 at 07:13 PM

Cooling system at reactor No. 5 “abruptly stopped working on Wednesday afternoon” — TEPCO
March 23rd, 2011 at 08:46 PM

BREAKING: Fukushima radioactive iodine and cesium emissions nearing Chernobyl levels — Carried far by the wind and absorbed readily by humans
March 24th, 2011 at 07:22 PM

BREAKING on NHK: High levels of radioactive material has started to leak at No. 3 reactor — Gov' t says reactor may be damaged… MOX (VIDEO)
March 24th, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Japan Gov' t: “No immediate likelihood the plant will stop emitting radiation” — High radiation areas should voluntarily evacuate (VIDEO)
March 25th, 2011 at 01:23 AM

“No end in sight for radioactive releases at Fukushima”: IAEA — “Could last months”: IRSN
March 25th, 2011 at 03:43 PM

Zerohedge reports that Tokyo Runs Out Of Bottled Water.

Tokyo Runs Out Of Bottled Water
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/24/2011 16:44 -0400

While the broader population continues to read stories of a stoic Tokyo population, casually taking each day of deteriorating news from Fukushima in stride, the reality is far from what is being represented. The latest escalation:
Tokyo is running out of bottle water, now that the government disclosed (with a two week delay), that drinking water is irradiated. From Reuters: "Many shops in Japan's capital ran out of bottled water on Thursday after a warning of radiation danger for babies from a damaged nuclear plant where engineers are battling the world's worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl." And if the government appears to be on the verge of losing control (and no city of 13 million can operate without water, no matter how bullish Douche Bank's chief strategist sounds on CNBC) after disclosing this one factoid, what happens when the true extent of the secondary effects from Fukushima are made public: "The government urged residents not to panic and hoard bottled water -- but many shops quickly sold out. “If this is long term, I think we have a lot to worry about," said Riku Kato, father of a one-year-old baby." Perhaps it is time for Malcolm Gladwell to do a tipping point analysis of herding mentality, vis-a-vis a decision to participate in a mass urban exodus. Which brings up tonight's $64k question: is Snake Plissken too old for the "Escape from Tokyo" sequel.

From Reuters:

Nearly two weeks after the earthquake and tsunami that battered the Fukushima complex and devastated northeast Japan,
Tokyo's 13 million people were told not to give infants tap water where contamination twice the safety level was detected.

Radiation levels above safety norms have also been found in milk and vegetables from the area around Fukushima, 250 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

The United States, Hong Kong and Australia have restricted food and milk imports from the zone, while Canada became the latest among numerous nations to tighten screening.

Radiation particles have been found as far away as Iceland, though Japan insists levels are still not dangerous to adults.

Jim Smith, of Britain's University of Portsmouth, said
the finding of 210 becquerels of radioactive iodine -- more than twice the recommended limit -- at a Tokyo water purifier should not be cause for panic.

"The recommendation that
infants are not given tap water is a sensible precaution. But it should be emphasized that the limit is set at a low level to ensure that consumption at that level is safe over a fairly long period of time," he said.

"This means that consumption of small amounts of tap water - a few liters, say - at twice the recommended limit would not present a significant health risk."

Yet some lobby groups are disputing this, suggesting that risks are being under-played.

Physicians for Social Responsibility, a U.S. anti-nuclear group, called for a stricter ban on sales of exposed food.

"There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water or other sources. Period," said physician Jeff Patterson, a former president of the group.

Luckily, Tokyo is not a ghost city. Yet

Some locals and members of Tokyo's large expatriate population left the city right after the earthquake and tsunami.

The capital's streets remain unusually quiet and edgy.

"It's not just the radiation in water. I'm worried about aftershocks and it's possible that things could go bad at the nuclear plant," an office worker who only identified himself by his last name Yamaguchi said outside one shop that had run out of water bottles.

How long the tenuous status quo persists depends entirely on just how long the Japanese government belileves that a 10K Nikkei is more important than possible long-term (and lethal) radiation related aftereffects affecting its citizens.

My reaction: Some of the main points to take away from Japan' s ongoing nuclear debacle.

1) Fukushima will become a far worse nuclear disaster than Chernobyl. Even if Japan started burying the reactors in concrete today, Fukushima radiation emissions would surpass Chernobyl levels before they had time to finish.

2) Fukushima will have a MUCH bigger economic impact than Chernobyl. Not only is the disaster itself more serious, Japan is the world' s third biggest economy.

3) Tokyo will likely become shadow of its former self (if not a ghost city). No one wants to live somewhere where the tap water is radioactive!

4) Japan' s economic struggles will adversely affect the US economy (disrupted supply chains) and the dollar (the loss of a big buyer of treasuries).

Conclusion: I expect the Fukushima to deteriorate into a worse-than-Chernobyl disaster with wide economic consequences.

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6 Responses to Fukushima Upgraded To Level 6 as Tokyo Runs Out Of Bottled Water

  1. CrisisMaven says:

    Your readers might also be interested in how to treat their radioactively contaminated drinking water:
    A Japanese translation seems underway, see comment by Takuya there. Maybe someone wants to help with other languages?

  2. Robert says:

    Maybe the Japanese crisis will create opportunities for America to take back some manufacturing jobs.

  3. Outsider says:

    Beg to differ to No. 2: „Fukushima will have a MUCH bigger economic impact than Chernobyl.”

    The economic impact of Chernobyl (1986) was big enough for the soviet union to go bust. 1989 it was finished.
    OK, the Afghan war had a role in the financial difficulties, but Chernobyl’s role was more or less of the same size. Both together were enough to catapult the Soviet Union out of existence.

    • Eric deCarbonnel says:

      "together were enough to catapult the Soviet Union out of existence." I was talking about economic impact, not political impact. Besides Chernobyl happened in the first place in part because Soviet Union (and its infrastructure) was crumbling to begin with.

  4. Andrey T. says:

    Very good idea for our response on Fukushima:

  5. peter pant says:

    again thank you very much for this articles, very instructive and very scary.
    paeople have to buy in advance some extra food t o store ,powder milk etc etc.
    your article is very sharp, (i bought ome food to store,a lot of silver some gold,gas cilinder,camping stove,good backpack. battery,light a lot of bottled water,(The Road) movie is coming but this time in real .

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