Thursday, March 17, 2011


Steve Herman is tested for radiation contamination in Koriyama, Japan

Voice of America Northeast Asia Bureau Chief Steve Herman has a personal account of what it is like being 30 KM away from the Nuclear Emergency.  Here is an excerpt.

After spending nearly all of the past six days in the "hot zone" of Fukushima Prefecture, it seemed prudent, while reporting from a radiation screening checkpoint, to see how much clicking my own body would register.

Arriving at the Koriyama Municipal Gymnasium was akin to walking on to the set of a science-fiction movie. Men clad head to toe in white anti-contamination suits calmly guided visitors through the gauntlet. Other "space men" unloaded boxes full of white masks.

Japanese, young and old, expressed no emotion as a mysterious device rendered their radioactive fate.

When my turn came the needle began to jump as the man in the space suit scanned my torso. I knew not to become immediately alarmed. After all, with the jump in background radiation levels in the past few days in the prefecture, it was not surprising that I had absorbed some extra radiation.

I had done an online cram course in radiation to conclude that even if I had been quite close to the crippled nuclear facility (and I was at least 30 kilometers away at all times), I was unlikely to have picked up more radiation than I would absorb on a trans-Pacific flight - or, at the very worst, a chest X-ray.
It's worth the read! 

No comments:

Post a Comment