The crisis in Fuskushima is far from solved, but so far the impact is minimal here in Narashino. Chiba Prefecture continues to post atmospheric radiation readings (gamma) on their site. Today I translated this document, to make it easier to understand for English readers who cannot read Japanese. I'm just looking for ways to help people involved in all of this.
My translation is publicly viewable via this link. Clearly these numbers are very encouraging. The gamma radiation so far has not been dangerous or significantly different from what it was a year ago. Based on this data, I would say the change in radiation levels here in Chiba so far has been negligible.
My mother used to work as a chemical engineer for the US Environmental Protection Agency. She's been helpful with information on types of radiation. I was browsing the EPA's site today and found this, which gives some useful information on different types of radioactive material. It's not really important for the situation here in Chiba, but it's useful to make sense of some of the terms being thrown around in the media.
There are a bunch of helpful data-driven resources out there to help better understand the situation in Fukushima. Here's a link to some very helpful presentation slides made by Benjamin Monreal, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at UC Santa Barbara. I encourage those of you who want to learn a little more about the situation in Fukushima to review the entire presentation. I'll post several slides below that I found especially helpful. Hopefully Dr. Monreal won't be upset...I added captions beneath each slide.
|The atmospheric radiation that we've seen (in Chiba, at least) so far only makes sense to measure in microseiverts, so I feel pretty safe looking at the data.|
|Fukushima's design and fuel system bears some important differences from Chernobyl.|
|This isn't a comfort to many people in Fukushima who had to evacuate their homes, but it clearly could've been much worse.|
That's all for now. I'll try to update again soon.