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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chernobyl vs Fukushima

A video was just posted to YouTube called the "The Truth About Fukushima".  It was a clip from this older (uploaded April, 2011) video comparing Chernobyl to Fukushima, which I hadn't seen.  So rather than post the recent, shorter upload, let's explore the original:

According to the video's description Dr. Alexander Sich is a nuclear engineer who worked around Chernobyl for around 18 months.  I'm not sure what background his audience has.  He's forced to a schedule, it appears, to keep his talk limited to 30 minutes, so he rushes.

He does a good job putting radiological risks in perspective and criticizing fear mongers.  A good review (for me anyway) of Chernobyl which happened so long ago.

He has some minor mis-speaks, like saying the LD 50/30 for radiation is around 600-650 rad.  The "LD" stands for Lethal Dose (will kill) about 50% of the population exposed to the radiation after 30 days (assumes no medical treatment).  Though one can quibble about the value, 400-450 rad is closer.  He says we contain "potassium-32", but he obviously meant potassium-40.

It's good to hear him discuss the safety culture while criticizing the Russians, but I wonder if there wasn't a surplus of "accidents are impossible" mindset in Japan.  He doesn't go there, but I essentially did here.

Here's a bit of an irony...Russians find Cs-137 from Fukushima.

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