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As Radiation Now 400 Times Normal 40 km From Fukushima, A Closer Look At The Three Most Dangerous Radioactive Isotopes

Tyler Durden's picture


With much confusion over just which radioactive isotopes are considered dangerous following the Fukushima explosions, Reuters has compiled a handy overview of the key actors: iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137. For the time being only the far more inert and shorter half-life elements such as Xenon have been dispersed globally, while the more dangerous isotopes have been relatively localized, and their dispersion is limited to wind direction.  Furthermore, metrics such as halflife are relatively irrelevant for now since the release of radiation continues mostly unabated thereby producing a constant source of freshly radioactive substances. This is all the more validated by the just released NHK data indicating a surge in radioactivity as far away as 40 kms from the plant: "Japan's science ministry says radiation exceeding 400 times the normal level was detected in soil about 40 kilometers from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The ministry surveyed radioactive substances in soil about 5 centimeters below the surface at roadsides on Monday. The ministry found 43,000 becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per kilogram of soil, and 4,700 becquerels of radioactive cesium-137 per kilogram about 40 kilometers west-northwest of the plant. Gunma University Professor Keigo Endo says radiation released by the iodine is 430 times the level normally detected in soil in Japan and that released by the cesium is 47 times the norm."

From Reuters:

Experts are most worried about three
radioactive substances -- iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137 -- all
of which can cause various types of cancer years later.

Caesium-137 is of particular concern as it can stay in the environment
and potentially cause havoc for hundreds of years. It takes 30 years for
this contaminant to lose its power by half -- what experts refer to as a
"half life".

At this rate, it would take at least 240 years for the contaminant to exhaust all its radioactivity.

"Caesium-137 can last for hundreds of years. If exposed, one can get
spasms, involuntary muscular contractions and may lose the ability to
walk. It also causes infertility. High doses will also damage a person's
DNA and cause cancer later," said Lee Tin-lap, an associate professor
at the Chinese University's School of Biomedical Sciences in Hong Kong.

But a few experts stressed there was no need for panic yet.

Levels of caesium-137 detected in spinach in Japan over the weekend
stood at an average of 350 becquerels per kilogram, well below the
European Union's limit of 1,000 becquerels for dairy produce and 1,250
for all other food items.

"Becquerels are like atoms," said
Pradip Deb, senior lecturer in Medical Radiations at the School of
Medical Sciences, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University.

"A litre of milk has billions and billions of atoms ... and this is just 350."

Caesium-134 has a half-life of 2 years, which will take about 20 years for it to become harmless.

The radioactive spill has prompted food checks in the Philippines, Hong
Kong, South Korea, China, Singapore and Malaysia, with Taiwan's
government extending surveillance to include even electronics and tech
items, chemicals and machinery. In addition to iodine and caesium,
Thailand is also looking out for Strontium 90.


Milk samples in Japan, however, have been found to contain an average
of 1,210 becquerels of iodine-131 per kilogram, well over the limit of
500 becquerels imposed in the EU.

Japanese spinach has also been
found with an average of 10,450 becquerels of iodine-131 per kilogram,
more than 5 times the EU limit.

One mitigating factor though is
that iodine-131 has a half life of 8 days, which means it will take 80
days to lose all its radioactivity -- assuming there is no fresh
radioactive spillage.

"You can't control radiation. It's already
there, but you can take preventive action (by not consuming any
radioactive food that is tainted with iodine-131 for 80 days)," Deb

Radioactive material is carried by tiny moisture droplets
in the air. It can then be directly inhaled into the lungs, get washed
down by rain into the sea and into soil and eventually contaminate
crops, marine life and drinking water.

Radioactive substances
are dangerous because they can cause changes or mutations in DNA, which
may then go on to cause cancer. While the human body can repair DNA
changes or damage, a person is only safe if the repair process happens
faster than the time it takes for the damaged or mutated DNA material to

Experts agree that children and fetuses are most at
risk because their cells divide at a faster rate than adults. They also
consume more milk, which puts them at greater risk.


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Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:37 | 1085368 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

DOW +3% today to celebrate this. 


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:59 | 1085427 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

So what happens now then? Japan prints even more money, uses it to buy Western foods and rice etc and exports this glow-in-the-dark spinach to ...where?

The starving multitudes in ...?

That'll go down well...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:52 | 1085623 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

So what happens now then? Japan prints even more money, uses it to buy Western foods and rice etc and exports this glow-in-the-dark spinach to ...where?

The starving multitudes in ...?

That'll go down well...


From food against resources to contaminated food against resources... A normal evolution in this US world driven economics.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:07 | 1085449 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

For the time being only the far more inert and shorter half-life elements such as Xenon have been dispersed globally, while the more dangerous isotopes have been relatively localized, and their dispersion is limited to wind direction.

Cesium Detected In Washington State
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:59 | 1085653 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture


It's over dude. Just like Deepwater Horizon, this will be stonewalled with distractions and false press and denials. But every indicator points to the fact that this is the Tipping point event. Entombment, I think they are implying that as a cruel joke for everyperson.

Doomers, gloomers, everyone got it right. We have been careenign out of conntrol for a long time now. Greed, hubris, rage, inequity..... these are the defining qualities of the collective.

Truth....surely stranger than any fiction one could dream up eh?

it's in the air and in the water already.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:41 | 1085576 jus_lite_reading
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HOLY MOSES!!!!  Xenon gases almost circle the earth in a few days according to Norwegian scientists!

Yee Haw! Happy gas for everyone! And more reasons to rally!!!!!


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:36 | 1085369 prophet
prophet's picture

So where is RT with a "Has the Radiation Topped Out Yet" checklist and charts?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:39 | 1085373 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Two 6.6 EQs and a 6.4 off Honshu are not even news anymore, sorry, I mean MSM news.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:22 | 1085496 ss123
ss123's picture

3 of the last 12 were over 6.0.


Are things starting to act up again?


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:38 | 1085371 cossack55
cossack55's picture

They forgot FRN-100,000,000,000,000,000.00

Totally deadly globally.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:38 | 1085374 bonddude
bonddude's picture

And here on the left coast the car is still packed...w/food and water.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:55 | 1085414 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

maybe its time to start that car....

a friend of mine in produce out there told me yesterday that broccoli,califlower and blueberries are showing radiation at higher than normal levels

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:00 | 1085430 strenue
strenue's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:07 | 1085453 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture




In broccoli,califlower and blueberries.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:35 | 1085547 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

the females in my office are currently discussing dancing with the stars.  in detail.  i want to eat a cesium 137 sandwhich right about now.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:38 | 1085556 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

I would get up on my desk, fashion a noose, and hang my fucking self.

How do you put up with that shit?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:38 | 1085569 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Thank God I work in an industry where I can still hit the people who work for me. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:41 | 1085586 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

i wouldn't exactly say i put up with it.  they are outside my office door blabbing, not discussing with me.  i have fully informed them that they will drown in their own ignorance.  the best part is, they fully admit it is active denial.  "with all the bad stuff going on in the world, i just want to turn my brain off and be distracted."

this is what we are dealing with folks. 

there will be no pity from me when TSHTF

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:14 | 1085698 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

one day, when I was feeling really brave, I posted a link to an article on my blog (about world events) on a blog called It's about fashion for corporettes.

The responses were hilarious and chilling in equal measure.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:58 | 1085866 Deepskyy
Deepskyy's picture

ORI, do you have any highlights saved?  I'm sure we here at ZH could use the laugh considering the past 2 weeks.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:54 | 1086547 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Deep, they came on my Disqus account or were on their blog itself, so I did not keep.

Perhaps, just to see how much, if at all the world has changed int eh past two months, I'dd repost there and share the results here. Truth be told, I don't expect much of a change.

oh my god, who let this creature in? It looks like English, but.....

like that.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:05 | 1086606 Rula Lenska
Rula Lenska's picture


You do grasp, I hope, the irony of your statement.  Go ahead and re-read it; I'll wait.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:31 | 1087839 AndyR
AndyR's picture

+1 for priceless irony

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:42 | 1085584 fuu
fuu's picture

In my office this morning they are talking about how good the current crop of American Idlers are and how hard it will be to wait to find out the winner.


They asked who my favorite was and I said Reactor 3.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:45 | 1085598 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

We shouldn't be surprised anymore should we?  Humanity has always been like this. Bread and Circus is all most will ever know or care about...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:50 | 1085609 strenue
strenue's picture

Hey different strokes for different folks. While they're 'Dancing with the Stars' we're 'Dancing with the Disasters'.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:59 | 1085647 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

damn you and your reasonableness!!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:01 | 1085654 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

damn you and your reasonableness!!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:22 | 1085978 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture


LOL!!  Did they look at you cross-eyed after that one?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:32 | 1086047 freedmon
freedmon's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:05 | 1086588 Rula Lenska
Rula Lenska's picture



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:43 | 1085378 Zina
Zina's picture

I see a level of confusion here about the difference between "abnormal" and "harmful".

The "normal" level of radiation means the background radiation everyone is exposed to, at any place, at any time. Yes, we all are exposed to radiation, at any place, at any time.

The fact that the level of radiation is "abnormal", meaning it's above the normal background level, doesn't necessarily means that it's at a harmful level.

Take an example different from radiation: magnetic fields. The normal magnetic field we all are exposed all the time is a very tiny magnetic field. If we start to play with some strong neodymium magnets, the level of the magnetic field we will be exposed is thousands of times higher than the normal magnetic field we are exposed in the everyday life. But there are no reports that playing with neodymium magnets is harmful to the human health. A magnetic field thousands of times stronger than the "normal" is not harmful to our health.

Please note that I'm not saying that radiation 400 times above the background level is not harmful. I can't tell if it is harmful or not, because I'm not a specialist.

What I'm trying to say is: the fact the level of radiation is 20, 50, or 100 times above the normal background level of everyday life doesn't necessarily means it's in a harmful level. I simply can't tell you what is the level when it becomes harmful to human health, because I simply don't know.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:46 | 1085390 bonddude
bonddude's picture

Just one cesium cloud will ruin your whole day. Thanks to ZH for easy access to the info.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:54 | 1085621 MSimon
MSimon's picture

Just one cesium cloud will ruin your whole day.


Those things are really heavy. And they don't have to fall from far to really hurt you.


Dose my man. Dose. A little arsenic is good for you.  A lot is not.


Radiation hormesis.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:45 | 1085394 prophet
prophet's picture

I think this article clearly delineates what is background normal, what is abnormal, and what is harmful.  Best and most balanced yet. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:54 | 1085418 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

'I can't tell if it is harmful or not, because I'm not a specialist.' Should we wait till our hair falls out and our teeth start to glow in the dark before we complain?

As a life form I am the result of two billion years of evolution albeit with constant exposure to nominal background radiation and magnetism. I did not evolve to live in this irradiated bullshit no matter who or what says it is 'safe'. It is not normal, I have not evolved to tolerate it and I am not happy with my inability to avoid it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:10 | 1085460 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Which is the level of either radiation or magnetism which results in two Kirks? (Shatner turns 80 today)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:36 | 1085554 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

The Japanese and American governments in an effort to downplay this from the outse,t have simply lost credibility with anyone who pays attention beyond Katie Couric.  We have gone from nothing to worry about, the radiation will never get here, to it's here but not harmful, to it's in the food but don't worry about it. Next up: Don't worry about that giant tittie growing on your forehead. 

As the situation escalates daily, the governmental and MSM efforts to downplay this have increased proportionately.  I am not sitting here in a positive pressure suit, crunching KI tablets by the handful while I write this; far from it.  What I want however, is for somebody besides alternative "moonbat" media to simply ACKNOWLEDGE the fact that my spinach isn't supposed to be radioactive.  You can't go out of your way to panic me in your headlines, with counts 1000x normal (whatever the Hell that is), and radiation in the drinking water etc.. and then put your chief medical correspondant on camera to tell me not to worry, and maintain any credibility.

I really don't think most people are all that worried.  They are just being purposefully misled, and kept in the dark.  They are confused. 

This whole thing is an epic failure, on every level, from its start to whenever it finishes.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:54 | 1085625 taraxias
taraxias's picture

excellent post

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:56 | 1085637 MSimon
MSimon's picture

The situation is serious in Japan. For the rest of the world? Not so much.


You can make up for the added risk (in the rest of the world) by being extra careful crossing the street.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:59 | 1085656 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

I don't disagree with you.  But I am disagreeable with the way this is being handled.  Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining, and I won't assume everything you tell me is a lie.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:57 | 1085861 MSimon
MSimon's picture

The people of Japan are screwed. No doubt. But in the US? No serious worries. If one of our nukes go up - then I'll worry. But Japan is a long ways away. Distance dilutes. Even a plume.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:30 | 1086040 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

You seem to be either missing the point, or you work for the FOX Medical A Team.  We aren't worrying about the earlier referenced "tittie on the forehead". 

What I am complaining about is that as the situation has deteriorated, the MSM has doubled down, and the more radiation released in Japan, the safer it is.  Give this shit another week, and CNN will be downloading Ann Coulter's "Radiation is Good for You" column into their teleprompters.

If I put two bowls of spinach in front of you, told you the one on the left was truly organic, and the one on the right had been dusted with a "safe" level of radioactive iodine, can you look me in the eye and tell me you'd pick the one on the right? 

When I watch some stupid bitch on the news say that she'd be happy to eat that spinach, I think, "Go ahead.  Toss a salad." (pun intended)  I on the other hand am firmly planted in the camp that radiation on vegetables is bad.

I'm not panicked.  I'm pissed. And when I'm pissed, being lied to only exascerbates said pissed. Do you understand the difference?


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:53 | 1086545 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

I'm not the one junking you, BTW.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:10 | 1085931 Life of Illusion
Life of Illusion's picture

How about this one...

WTF,,,It will not harm human health,,,,but but but ,,a aircraft carrier could get destroyed! UNreal

“Moving the USS George Washington is a precaution given the capabilities of the vessel and the complex nature of the disaster,” the 7th Fleet said in a press release. “The forward deployed carrier is scheduled to remain in the local waters off Japan.”


“We’ve seen nothing that rises to the level that would be harmful to human health,” Commander Jeff Davis, a

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:33 | 1086063 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Thank you for helping to drive it home.  If you won't tell me a number at the plant, all of the reported numbers surrounding the plant are ridiculously on the low side of normal, AND you are repositioning fucking aircraft carriers the sparks start flying from my newly fashioned lead helmet.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:31 | 1086458 Unlawful Justice
Unlawful Justice's picture

Pay attention to what they do not what they say.  This is an exponential crisis that looks to be in free fall.   FrankenBenny can't QE his way out of this one.  Has Reality crossed the threshold of human Narcissism?  Radiation can't be spun with doublespeak to go away with a 30 year half life.  As the gravity of this becomes ever increasing, expect denial to increase right along with it.  Excuse me wile I go puke.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:23 | 1086226 KevinB
KevinB's picture

The following article in Canada's National Post addresses this issue:

For those too lazy to click the link, long term studies of survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that those who were exposed to moderate amounts of radiation in those events, which were orders of magnitude larger than the current exposure, actually lived longer than those who were not exposed at all. In some cases, there were slightly higher incidences of cancer, but there was much lower chance of cardiac disease and other mortality causes. 

The knee-jerk assumption that ANY exposure to higher levels of radiation is necessarily bad is, at the very least, cast into doubt by this very large study (over 80,000 survivors surveyed twice a year, yielding over 2.5 million data points).

People who junked Zina should at least examine the facts before leaping to conclusions.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:51 | 1085383 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture
It's a hard rain that's going to fall
For reasons one can only speculate upon, official pronouncements regarding the ongoing Fukushima reactor disaster in Japan have consistently either understated its severity, its potential consequences, or both
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:41 | 1085384 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Listen people, until Tokyo residents start making Youtube videos of their hair falling out, none of this is going to matter.

The media is ignoring the problem and it will soon go away, thanks to the 15 minute attention span of your avg American.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:44 | 1085393 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Hey, I resent that remark. If you really thinkg the attent.i09 spm3 om.........must turn on Jersy Howsewive..........

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:03 | 1085433 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

What'd he say...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:54 | 1085413 tmosley
tmosley's picture

No, it matters now.  Production of Japanese goods has SHUT DOWN.  This crap is likely to keep it shut down until it is resolved.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:56 | 1085421 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Who cares?  They can print as much money as they want to.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:03 | 1085439 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Sounds like a plan...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:38 | 1085564 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Damn, my sarcasm detector must be radiation sensitive.  It totally shut down this morning.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:26 | 1086737 fajensen
fajensen's picture

That will make a lot of fun with all those JIT production lines meticulously bummed into running at 100% capacity. They will never be able to catch up the backlog.

So, what will they do? They will raise prices to make up for the shortfall in volume. Then they will discover that the price / demand curve is not linear for every product; there is a magical limit where one just does not need a new Ipod of flat-screen TeeVee right now, demand falls off a cliff. Food should go up in price quite smoothly though, which must please the economists, who will take this as a "robust demand" aka DoublePlusGood while really it is caused by the Japanese not wanting Strontium 90 with that!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:58 | 1085870 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Listen people, until Tokyo residents start making Youtube videos of their hair falling out, none of this is going to matter.

The media is ignoring the problem and it will soon go away, thanks to the 15 minute attention span of your avg American.


I agree with this. Those videos are on a short ETA, IMO.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:45 | 1085387 Former Sheeple
Former Sheeple's picture

Tyler, It may be worth keeping an eye on where they sample data. It appears this reading below was taken "upwind", models seem to show wind south/south how high would it have been downwind? ?

North of Service Building: 2015.0μSv/h at 16:30, Mar. 21

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:48 | 1085395 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture
The sideshow at Fukushima

Consequently, there is probably far more fuel in the Japanese spent fuel pools than was originally expected, making the situation at Fukushima far worse than it should be.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:50 | 1085400 prophet
prophet's picture

This issue is immediate and it is interesting and it can directly and immediately effect the markets.  However, the sum total of this single incident is likely far less than the aggregate of "brown" conditions in place today and occurring on a daily basis.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:49 | 1085402 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

And the hits keep on coming.

Another 6.6 eqrthquake off the coast of Honshu -


Japan nuclear crisis: Fukushima heats up AGAIN in aftermath of earthquake

Daily Mail - ‎10 minutes ago‎

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:07 | 1085914 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture


Has hardly stopped shaking in that area since the initial.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:51 | 1085404 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

For emphasis: In the soil, 5 cm below the surface.  Ponder that for a minute.  Has it even rained there yet?


Don't breathe the dust.  Good luck with that.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:52 | 1085410 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture
It's a hard rain that's going to fall
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:42 | 1085578 nowhereman
nowhereman's picture

+1 ... WOW

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:38 | 1085798 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

That is a very frightening article.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:24 | 1086724 Rula Lenska
Rula Lenska's picture


Don't know about rain, but it did snow.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:23 | 1087001 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

n100 respirators can be useful.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:50 | 1085408 Cdad
Cdad's picture


Just got the radiation "all clear" call on the Ministry of Truth [CNBC] where a member of the Association of Flight Attendants says everything is just fine..."completely normal."

You might want to check your information channels and consider changing them.  No one knows more about cesium 137 than flight attendants which is, of course, why the Ministry of Truth [CNBC] set aside time for this very important radiation call.

Sheesh you eat fluoride paste on crackers or something?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:55 | 1085419 TruthInSunshine
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:18 | 1085487 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Listen brother Truth,

This whole fluoride eating thing has to stop.  After all, fluoride is toxic waste too, you know.

If the flight attendant opinion does not make you feel safe, well then surely an insurance man from Aflac sent into Tokyo should clear things up.  His comment was that Tokyo was 90% back to normal.  Now, never mind that Aflac does 75% of its business in Japan...sometimes you have to selectively suspend belief when assessing natural disasters followed up by radiation.

It seems the the Ministry of Truth [CNBC] really has the jump on Tyler on this whole Japan was similarly the case when the Middle East revolution was raging...and M. Bartiromo got to the bottom of whether or not there were problems in Saudi Arabia by...interviewing a member of the Royal Family there who, of course, explained that everything was just fine.

Sheesh...lay off the fluoride, people.  See how irrepressibly adorable E. Burnett is this morning?  Could she really pull that off if there was danger?  What next....a story about how the US dollar is collapsing?

Get long casual dining stocks.  Hurry!


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:40 | 1085801 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Middle east on fire, Japan shaking and radiating, unemployment lines getting longer, housing prices dropping faster, oil and commodity prices exploding -

Pretty soon, few will be able to afford their Chili's Baby Back Ribs (and Barbeque Sauce).

Brinker's on borrowed time, and Darden is overbought by a gigantic margin.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:53 | 1086132 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture stocks that get over hyped & over valued are always a good normal times...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:55 | 1085409 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Don't forget Sr-90. Half life of around 30 years and it bioaccumulates along a similar pathway to calcium. Meaning it settles in the bones.

Though it doesn't produce "hard" gamma radiation, any unstable element causes trouble when it is inside your living tissue.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:35 | 1086069 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Good catch.  Surprised this wasn't mentioned in the article.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:54 | 1085412 props2009
props2009's picture

China yuan at record high. Has the Chinese finally learnt the lessons of Arab revolution and has the fed finally triumphed in forcing the chinese.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:55 | 1085415 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

So tired of the doom & gloomers on here...just listen to the Japanese government:

"There should be no immediate health impact. If this situation continues for a long period of time, some impact can occur," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:59 | 1085424 cabernet
cabernet's picture

Believe the Japanese government and TEPCO. That's a good one. Have they been honest so far?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:02 | 1085434 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

I'm being sarcastic, friend.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:44 | 1085426 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Translation:  You're all fucked.


Not only do I have an advanced degree, I also graduated Summa Cum Laude from the School of Realism.


Fukushima: TEPCO Hires Homeless People in Fukushima 'Death Zone'



It's all good.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:07 | 1085451 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

From that same CNN article.

Efforts to restore power at the Fukushima Daiichi plant -- a key step that officials hope will allow them to bring cooling systems back online -- were ongoing. Earlier Tuesday, a faint trail of white smoke could be seen rising over the damaged nuclear plant.

Japan's nuclear safety agency said it was not immediately clear why smoke was rising from the plant's No. 2 and No. 3 reactors. Tokyo Electric Power Company said in a statement that the smoke was decreasing and barely visible.

Really?  You don't know why smoke is rising?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:10 | 1085458 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Pop tarts.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:11 | 1085462 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

Good call.  Someone left some in the toaster.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:56 | 1085641 TWORIVER
TWORIVER's picture

more like jiffy pop

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:17 | 1086209 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Man!  I hate the smell of burnt popcorn!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 08:59 | 1085428 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

19 new aftershocks in the past 12 hours...4.5 to 6.6 in intensity.  A 6.6, a 6.4 and another 6.6 hit in a space of three hours.

The 6.4 was just 70 km slightly south of due east from the Fukushima Daichi power plant.

I watch this pretty close and these numbers represent a signifcant increase in both frequency and intensity compared to the last week or so.  Can't say it's a trend yet...but man....I feel for those guys trying to get that plant under control.  This can't be helping their morale.

The pucker factor must be high enough to start causing charlie horses in the purse strings...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:03 | 1085441 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

Buy BIDU and forget about it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:10 | 1085459 gwar5
gwar5's picture

I heart BIDU.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:30 | 1085530 ss123
ss123's picture

Yep. I've been graphing these things out and this is a definite spike.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:19 | 1085724 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

It seemed that the number of quakes had settled down considerably yesterday.  Today they are picking up steam, both in frequency and severity.  Here are the two sites I have been watching:

I'm not educated enough to know whether or not the skanky looking seismic graphs are a predictor of activity to come, or responding to the quakes earlier in the day.  Interesting as Hell though.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:33 | 1085768 Stormdancer
Stormdancer's picture

You might enjoy this link Colonel:


A US Geological Survey site that lists all the earthquakes in the world for the past seven days, but with a bit of noise suppression.  The list only includes 4.5 magnitude quakes or better outside the US.  In the US and adjacent areas it list 2.5 magnitude and above.

They usually have new quakes posted within 15-20 minutes, near real-time.



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:39 | 1086081 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Thanks for that.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:06 | 1086176 FilthyLucre
FilthyLucre's picture

Nice graphs, updates pretty quickly, links to siesmograms.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:23 | 1086725 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

++++.    :)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:16 | 1085705 franzpick
franzpick's picture

Expert Jim Berkland's EQ 'window' usually is from 3 days before (a new/full moon/perigee) to 6 days after, in this case, 3-16 to 3-25, so I'm still watching too and have USGS emailing me worldwide quakes over 6.5, and may add text messaging. 

There is a P-wave mobile app available in Tokyo which gives a few seconds warning of an incoming quake; time to pull some essentials together at home or office and get ready for a shaky exit.  Our fire departments have signed up for similar service here so as to get trucks out before the quake jams the large, closed doors, but not available for mobile, so I use a P-wave detector on a wall 2X.  Works great, picks up Baja waves 300 miles away, also nearby busses and garbage trucks if I set it high enough.

Wish they made one for the incoming BS-wave on network tv.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:29 | 1086030 flattrader
flattrader's picture


Please provid some info on your P-wave detector.

Make, model, cost etc...

Thanks in advance.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:35 | 1086800 Rula Lenska
Rula Lenska's picture

"19 new aftershocks in the past 12 hours...4.5 to 6.6 in intensity."

I thought anything over a 6.0 is considered a quake, not an aftershock...or, has that been "recalibrated" too?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:09 | 1085457 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Two words: food chain. On the bright side, some of the Chernobyl dose is starting to wear off since it's approaching 30 year half life on some of the nasties.

Caution: Protect your gold from radiation or it's tits up for you. We know from Goldfinger the price of everybody else's will just go up. /


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:41 | 1085582 ZackAttack
ZackAttack's picture

Two words: food chain

We now call it "The Circle of Half-Life."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:18 | 1085719 franzpick
franzpick's picture

I can see the grocery ads now: "Half-life sale"...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:56 | 1085638 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

On the not-so-bright side, Chernobyl was just one reactor full of nasties.

Now we have three (maybe four if #2 blows) sets of reactors plus spent fuel pools with several reactor-loads each. There are a lot more becquerels in all that.

Here's hoping 99% of it stays put.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:04 | 1086164 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

...and it was not up wind from our West Coast....most of the U.S. is clueless as to just how large a role Cal ag plays in their food chain....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:46 | 1086846 Rula Lenska
Rula Lenska's picture

+133, Rosie.  Not to mention the record-breaking (literally) rainfall the US west coast has been getting this month.  Heavy rain in a certain town in Sweden in the spring of '86 proved fatal for thousands.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:49 | 1085607 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

The Japanese government has just announced that all citizens must turn in their gold and silver bullion within 24 hours so that it can be dropped on these reactors to bring them under control. They will be issued dollar-denominated bonds in return, ensuring their future financial security.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:54 | 1085624 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

So how much will this increase japanese food imports?

I also assume there LNG imports will skyrocket.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:11 | 1085691 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

"But a few experts stressed there was no need for panic yet. "

And panicing is going to do what, for you?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:10 | 1085693 ss123
ss123's picture


5.9 just to the east of Tokyo... about 4 quakes in the last hour.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:15 | 1085711 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Japan's a jumpin' today.

More destroyed buildings and a deepening radiation leak and fucking cracks and fissures around all those nuclear fuel rods and spent fuel pools should give everyone on CNBC complete hard ons.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:28 | 1085759 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

What was your source for the spent fuel--er, waste pool temperature note you mentioned in the last thread?  Was it for the common pool or a reactor pool?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:38 | 1085788 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Temperatures in the facility have already reached boiling point and staff believe this is responsible for the clouds of steam drifting from reactor two yesterday. 

The hot storage pool is another complication...

It looks like both, based on what's being reported in the U.K., at least (no mention of anything but Bread & Circus in U.S. MSM) -

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:37 | 1086136 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

This has me completely baffled. Reactor #2 had an explosion Mar. 15 that did not take the roof off. Several photos since then show Reactor #2 as a complete structure, 4 walls and roof intact, with a hole in the east wall spewing steam. Today Tepco says Reactor #2 is boiling and burning, so they're going to spray water on it to cool the spent fuel pool -- which sounds impossible to me. How do they spray water on anything inside Reactor #2 building? On the roof, yes. Inside, no way.

NYT (today): The storage pool at Fukushima Daiichi Power Station’s No. 2 Reactor, which holds spent nuclear fuel rods, was spewing steam late Tuesday, forcing workers to divert their attention to dousing the reactor building with water. If unchecked the water in the pool could boil away, exposing the fuel rods and releasing large amounts of radiation into the air. “We cannot leave this alone and we must take care of it as quickly as possible,” Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, told reporters.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:36 | 1085733 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

Click Japan Black Dot to start animation over 10 days:

Why has this toxic spray not been stopped?  Buried under concrete and rendered inoperable? Why Not…?  Where are the suicide concrete workers? Why not?

Emergency: Alpha & Gamma Ray Fallout North 40! by Dear ContraFolk,

Sometimes the hair on your neck stands up, sometimes you look at the clock and every time it reads something :11,  like 9:11am or 12:11pm … and sometimes the news just doesn’t add up.   Like today, we hear after a full nuclear meltdown in Japan taking now seven days of spewing more and ever more “unannounced” poison into the atmosphere.

“Nothing to worry about” they, the media, say.  ContraMan is a scare monger will be said as well.   So, I will present just two facts and you can decide if it is all just a co-incidence - as I head below the equator for a week or two of tactical radiation avoidance manoeuvres today.

Radiation has decreased as the fallout hits California today, luckily its higher up in the atmosphere in the jet stream.   Tomorrow and the next few days will cause the radioactive fallout to drop from higher levels of the atmosphere, down to the ground as the jetstream heads north and cools the energy causing unsafe readings in some northern locations.   Rain or snow will make things even worse.  Think clusterbombs.

So on that news, read on.

Brazil- “The first family — along with Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson — will appear at a series of joint and family events during their five-day trip. A White House aide says Robinson and her granddaughters, Malia and Sasha Obama, could appear with the first lady at some events.”

Nice time for  a family Trip Down South??? And secondly, the Cdn. Prime Minister flies out Friday night to Paris for Libya talks... sure.  Back When? He should return for Tuesday's Federal Budget...

In North America, the jet stream should be followed closely over the next 5 days.  Avoiding the new Green Glowing Plague would be recommended.

Go South Young Man, Go to South America,


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:28 | 1085751 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

From Kyodo news update:

"The spokesman of the government's nuclear safety agency, Hidehiko Nishiyama, told a separate press conference in the afternoon that if electricity starts to work, the actual condition of the plant would become ''visible'' and authorities would be able to check whether the current measures are sufficient to contain the crisis."

When they say 'nothing to see' they really mean 'we haven't seen the actual situation since the emergency started.'

Gee I wonder if they'll have a public, live camera rolling when they turn on the lights and see the equipment--like Geraldo with Capone's safe.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:00 | 1086151 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Strikes me as bullshit. The control rooms are a quarter mile away from the reactor buildings AFAIK and there is every reason to suppose that sensors and cables in the reactor buildings were fried, saltwatered, totally gone.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:36 | 1086257 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

There are connected control rooms for units 1&2 and units 3&4 that are right by the buildings.  They say the workers have not been able to occupy them for long periods--whatever that means--due to radioactivity, heat and lack of power. 

It's still BS, more or less, in that they are presenting what amounts to being able to make coffee as somehow making the public safe.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:13 | 1086380 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Jim, do you have a Fukushima plant diagram showing where these "connected" control rooms are?

Surely this photo of #3 control room is remote, nowhere physically near the reactor. People in shirtsleeves.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:29 | 1085753 Thinkor
Thinkor's picture

I read the latest IAEA report on radiation measurement and it gave 0.1 microsieverts per hour as the normal background radiation, but it's not clearly exactly where in Japan this was taken.  Anyway,  0.1 microsieverts multiplied by 400 is 4 millirem.  (1 sievert = 100 rem, approximately.) 

Constant exposure for one day is therefore 94 millirem. 

After 50 days of constant exposure you will get almost 5000 millirem which is the regulatory limit for radiation workers per year.   Wikipedia says you are in danger of getting radiation sickness at a dose of 50 rem = 10 * 5000 millirem.  Therefore, if you remain in such an environment for 500 days = 1.37 years, you will receive about 50 rem and are likely to contract radiation sickness.

Of course, you won't be constantly exposed and half-life really does matter. 

Iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days, so it is no problem, because the iodine contribution to the dose will drop to 1/16th its current contribution in just 32 days.  Since that's where 90% of the becquerels are, after 32 days you will have only about 5 rem in 1.37 years.  So, it will take more like 13.7 years to get radiation sickness, if you are constantly exposed. 

I'm very surprised to hear there is this much radiation so far from the plant.  It seems inconsistent with other statements I've seen.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:06 | 1086171 Elliott Eldrich
Elliott Eldrich's picture

What bothers me is that so few people seem to understand why radioactive particles are such a big deal. Just one particle of radioactive material can be a real problem if you breathe it in and it lodges in your lung. The biggest problem with explaining radiation hazards is that it all comes down to statistics, and what is happening in this case is that everything is being explained as if the risks caused by exposure are a one-shot deal. The risks are, of course, cumulative. 

If you play Russian Roulette, and pull the trigger once, you're much more likely than not to survive the experience. But if you keep spinning that cylinder and pulling that trigger, sooner or later there's going to be a big mess. The more particles released into the environment, the more "bullets" are being released into the biosphere. Most won't hurt anyone, but some will, and the more particles the more damage overall. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:59 | 1086909 Rula Lenska
Rula Lenska's picture

Yes, EE, lots of talk about exposure and less about the very real difference b/t exposure and contamination.  Exposure is a problem for the NPP workers and others in close proximity to the disaster.  Contamination is a concern for the rest of the world due to the global nature of the modern food supply chain.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:44 | 1085761 Colonel Sun
Colonel Sun's picture


I've read that potassium iodide tablets are sold out across the USA, so on that note:


A Joint Statement from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, 

the American Thyroid Association, The Endocrine Society, 

and the Society of Nuclear Medicine

March 18, 2011 [pdf]

Reassuring that some in the US have not succumb to Idiocracy

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 10:55 | 1085854 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

Our failure to rethink our energy needs will lead us into further peril, but much like I see from how policymakers have been bought and sold twice over the prospects certainly look dim.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:30 | 1086031 ss123
ss123's picture

There's a 5.8, almost exactly on top of the 5.9 that happened within the last hour.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:47 | 1086108 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

This is getting very sad:

High levels of iodine found in tap water

Japan's health ministry says it has detected radioactive iodine levels above the safety standard for infants in tap water at 5 locations in Fukushima Prefecture.

Officials say iodine-131 levels exceeding 100 becquerels per kilogram were detected in tap water at 4 cities and 1 town. The levels ranged from 120 to 220 becquerels.

The ministry says the water does not pose an immediate risk to infants, but is advising residents against letting infants drink it or adding it to powdered milk.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 20:56 +0900 (JST)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:04 | 1086166 FilthyLucre
FilthyLucre's picture


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:31 | 1086242 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture
03-22 12:18: Japan issue earthquake early warning alert 3 mag 6.4-6.6 have hit in past ten hours off east coast of Honshu...
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:49 | 1086297 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture
Japan site still leaks radiation, source unclear-IAEA

Reuters - Fredrik Dahl, Sylvia Westall - ‎12 minutes ago‎
  • VIENNA, March 22 (Reuters) - Radiation is continuing to be emitted from Japan's disaster-hit nuclear site but it is unclear exactly what the source of it is, a senior UN atomic agency official said on Tuesday. "We continue to see radiation coming from ...
Japan battles crippled nuclear plant, radiation fears grow

Jerusalem Post - ‎20 minutes ago‎
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the overall situation remained serious at the Fukushima plant and that it was concerned it had not received some information from the Japanese authorities about one of the nuclear reactors. ...
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:16 | 1086338 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, nuclear fuel damage – detected six times the standard iodine March 21, 2011 (Google trans from Japanese)

Traces of Radiation Found In The Pacific Sea Waters 21 March 2011 (Reuters)

UPDATE 12:30 pm, Monday, March 14, 2011. Air dose rate on site (outside the reactor building) was 3,130 at around 9:30pm.” We believe the 3,130 figure means 3,130 MicroSievert/hour, which would be highest reading yet recorded—about 310 millirems/hour.

My element list till now: (Plutonium and Strontium not yet found)

Plutonium 239   Strontium 90   Caesium 137   Iodine 131   Xenon 133   Tellurium 132
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:22 | 1086423 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

For everyone who is just a little bit tired....of 'the situation'

Some philosophy and beauty from Joni Mitchell

'Hejira' solo version


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:25 | 1086435 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

I begin to understand now the power of Zero Hedge to bring the real unfiltered data to everyone, bypassing the Media.

Maybe it is time to elbow Fox, CNN and others aside and launch the Zero Hedge Channel on satellite.

There are still books from the Cold War in our local library that contains graphs, charts and specific information in REM form. The tough part is trying to convert international units and seperating ever smaller values with increasing decimals and shovel the BULLSHIT out so we reach a proper understanding of the REM.

Half tempted to scan pages and retrieve the information before it is lost out of the Library.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:41 | 1086508 Kassandra
Kassandra's picture

Well...if any of us DO get radiation sickness or something similar, you can count on being being misdiagnosed and put on an antidepressant.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:05 | 1086631 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

thanks for the data point, tyler. 

the jerusalem post piece sounds like moi!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:48 | 1086853 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture


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