Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 12/31/2011 07:52:00 PM
AJ, I agree that some of the temp workers are poorly treated and probably subject to a significant risk. That's a far cry from the general population being measurably affected. Even if you don't trust the Govt figures, there are lots of people looking for contamination across the country and basically finding very low levels - even when safety thresholds are met or exceeded, these are still set at very conservative levels. I'm happy that people are checking these things, but when I eat a Fukushima peach, the risk of choking on the stone vastly exceeds the risk of radiation-related harm. And don't get me started on mochi, especially in ozoni :-)
Listen guys (and girls), I agree that TEPCO and the Govt are culpable and have been incompetent in various ways. But that doesn't actually mean there is a significant risk to the general population from the situation. To those who say "one cancer is too many", I seriously doubt they make the same (unrealistic) demands of power from coal-fired stations (coal has substantial radioactivity), or their consumption of pickles and salt in their food - there's a good reason why Japanese stomach cancer rates are among the highest in the world (of course, the diet is extremely healthy in other ways, which just goes to show that there are always trade-offs and absolutist positions are rarely reasonable).
Actually it was an unusual takeoff too, which was, I suppose, the first tyre popping, and the second one was on landing. It's a pity - we had wanted to attend a fun event in Yokohama this evening - the aeroplanes normally land on time or early at Narita, and it takes 10mins to get through the airport (for a Japanese resident with no checked baggage). But today we missed our train as we had to sit on the runway for an hour (so that if we caught fire we wouldn't take the terminal with us?) and then the aeroplane was towed slowly to the gate.