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When All Else Fails, Change The Rules: Japan Increases Maximum "Safe" Radiation Dose Allowed For Nuclear Workers By 150% To Near-Chernobyl Levels

Tyler Durden's picture




 

This is about as pathetic as it gets. In order to deal with a new baseline level of radiation across Fukushima (which Japan still refuses to discloses to the world because it is "Under Survey"), the Japanese ministry of health labor has decided to take the unilateral act of scrapping years of safety data, and more than doubled the maximum allowable exposure for nuclear workers from 100 millisieverts to 250 millisieverts. At least we now know that the radiation level around Fukushima is most likely bounded by this range. As to the reason for the increase, the ministry said it is "unavoidable due to the circumstances." In other words, when self-administered Seppuku will not work, just apply it to someone else.

From AP:

TOKYO—Japan has raised the maximum radiation dose allowed for nuclear workers, citing the urgent need to prevent a crisis at a tsunami-stricken power plant from worsening.

Despite the increase, surging radiation levels forced emergency workers to temporarily withdraw from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant on Wednesday, losing time in their struggle to cool overheating fuel in reactors crippled by last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare raised the maximum allowable exposure for nuclear workers to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts. It described the move as "unavoidable due to the circumstances."

Hopefully the US won't promptly implement this cunning ploy to "overfund" pension funds with just one "safety-related" overhaul.

Indicatively, here is how "safe" 250 millisieverts are:

 

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Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:44 | 1060484 TruthInSunshine
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Japan crisis reaching worst case scenario-Russia
Published: March 16, 2011 at 10:39 AM ET

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Japan's nuclear crisis is developing according to the worst case scenario, the head of Russia's state nuclear corporation said on Wednesday.

He said the overheating at other reactors at the plant showed the crisis was now escalating according to the worst outcome modeled by the experts.

"Unfortunately, the situation is developing under the worst scenario," Sergei Kiriyenko, who presides over the bulk of the former Soviet Union's military and civilian nuclear facilities, told Reuters.

 

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:52 | 1060525 cossack55
cossack55's picture

"........military and civilian nuclear facilities, told Reuters before he fell off of his bar stool.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:04 | 1060563 Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath's picture

I hate to say this, but it is turning into a situation where the sacrifice of a few is needed for the safety of many.  In a sense this is almost a call for none aggressive martyrdom, but like any culture, the Japanese have this 'nobel sacrifice' built into their culture.

What will happen is that a few workers will ineviatably die of radiation, but the sooner they sacrifice a few, the sooner the many can start the rebuild.

Who wants to draw straws?

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:21 | 1060667 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

I volunteer these "heroes":

Bernanke, Greenspan, TaxCheat Timmay Geithner, Hanky Panky Paulson, Phil Graham, his wifey, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, all the Fannie/Freddie execs past and present, Summers, Robert Rubin, Dimon, Blankfiend, Fuld, ......,

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 12:07 | 1061044 cocoablini
cocoablini's picture

I'm sure any of these workers would take a bullet to save the country. They are Japanese, not a bunch of cowardly american bureaucrats.
Its getting to the point where theres no hope- they can't die and fix it or live and fix it. Its out of control so why have people there dying for nothing

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 13:18 | 1061580 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture

 

This is their kamikaze moment.

All though noble in spirit, it may be towards an unobtainable goal.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 12:08 | 1061046 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

coming from an avatar who stuck her head in the oven :/

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 12:39 | 1061326 Hexus
Hexus's picture

Have another look at the scale, 250 isn't so bad. The usual health and safety stuff has been sidelined for a while, so what? Why do people have to dramatise things so much, they're having a nuclear meltdown is that not enough? Why turn it into some cheesy Hollywood dross.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:16 | 1060659 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

From roymunnson on the "Latest Digital ..." thread.

"10km radius outside of Fukushima Daini as well..they have 4 more reactors"

Completely out of control now.

roymunnson
on Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:58
#1060519

For those that are tired of looking at the status of just 6 reactors...they have just moved to evacuate 10km radius outside of Fukushima Daini as well..they have 4 more reactors!!!

 

[3:07 a.m. ET Wednesday, 4:07 p.m. Wednesday in Tokyo] As a safety precaution, the Japanese government is now telling people living within a 10-kilometer radius of the Daini plant, the second nuclear power plant in Fukushima, to evacuate.

The Daini plant, which has four reactors, has reported fluctuating temperatures at its suppression pools. The Daini plant's reactors have been stopped, and there has been no radioactivity leakage so far.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:43 | 1060487 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

you also won't have to save as much for retirement as you thought!

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:49 | 1060503 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

What retirement?

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:52 | 1060524 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

self-administered Seppuku

Was there another kind?

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:56 | 1060531 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Gubmint induced seppuku, see Divine Wind or QE3.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:46 | 1060496 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

Devastating for the workers, but if theyre working for the greater good of the people, then God bless, and i hope they get the job done.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:54 | 1060528 duo
duo's picture

I remember NBC saying that the workers doing this had lost their families and homes.  Sad if true.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:49 | 1060500 TWORIVER
TWORIVER's picture

I wish they would shove a MOX rod up the JPNGov ass.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:50 | 1060507 Confused
Confused's picture

The question is, what happens if none of the workers go along with it? At this point (excuse the ignorance) what are the alternatives?

 

Certainly a bad situation all around. An epic damned if you do, damned if you don't.  

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:51 | 1060508 Mudflap
Mudflap's picture

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."  - Thomas Jefferson

Nobody to blame but ourselves really.  And our parents... Oh, and theirs...  Basically, the human race is just f'd up to begin with.  We want it all and we're willing to lose everything to get it, Damn it!

 

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:52 | 1060512 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

Tough situation, do they call the workers out for their own safety, or do they sacrifice the lives of the workers in an attempt to save the overall population?

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:52 | 1060513 uhb
uhb's picture

For those with access to a geiger Counter:
How to translate the CPM reading of a geiger counter into Sievert/Gray:

cpm 10-30: safe, 1-3milliSv/Yr
cpm 100: 9milliSv/yr, believed to be cancerous in children if long-time exposed
cpm1000: You receive 88milliSv/year, believed to be cancerous if long-time exposed
cpm10.000: You receive 880milliSv/year, cancerous if long-time exposed
cpm100.000: cancerous cancerous if exposed to for approx 100hrs
cpm1.000.000: cancerous if exposed to for approx 10hrs
Higher: Deadly

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:51 | 1060516 darkpool2
darkpool2's picture

This is about as pathetic as it gets.

+1000

There are just no depths that our "ëlected" officials wont stoop to.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:52 | 1060517 sabra1
sabra1's picture

i did not know you could pomo radiation!

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:51 | 1060523 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

Mark-to-Safety?

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:54 | 1060534 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

More like Mark-to-death.

Those guys are heroes in my book. Definitely in harms way, and your enemy is invisible.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:58 | 1060551 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Though I am an asshole and rather enjoy being one, I never toss around the word "hero" lightly. In this case I will definitly agree with your comment. This is what Valhalla is all about.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:11 | 1060526 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Debt ceiling, budget deadline, retirement age, allowable radiation dosage, are just a few of the limits we will see obliterated.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:53 | 1060527 sabra1
sabra1's picture

why not just send in the bernank and timmy buck naked, to pee on the rods!

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:54 | 1060529 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Dead men walking.

France calls BS on Japan saying they are hiding the extent of the crisis. Yea I know not surprising. Some amazing pictures with spiffy diagrams.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1366670/Japan-earthquake-tsunami...

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:02 | 1060562 Confused
Confused's picture

Thanks for the link. 

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:54 | 1060535 Ben Probanke
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* EU Energy Chief: Situation At Japan Nuclear Plant Out Of Control
 ...someone is not impressed by the water cannons at Fuckyoushima
 
 
 

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:56 | 1060539 ZackAttack
ZackAttack's picture

Mark to Roentgen, bitchez.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:55 | 1060542 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

This is a nice glimpse of the future. Events spiralling out of control while government makes rule changes to try to maintain the illusion of control. Note to self for the future: when it appears TSHTF, don't wait for government help.

Be prepared.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:01 | 1060558 cossack55
cossack55's picture

You got it, Doc. Only 319,578,235 to go (thats a lot of note-taking).

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:55 | 1060543 Ben Probanke
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* EU Energy Chief: Possible Catastrophic Events In Next Hours
 
 
 

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:20 | 1060683 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

Got link Bob?

 

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:24 | 1060706 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

Got link Bob?

 

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 10:59 | 1060549 Cdad
Cdad's picture

And the criminal class of Wall Street bankers, right along with the crony capitalist big energy lobby groups, continue prattling on that everything is just fine...in support of the Japanese government line.  Burning nuclear reactors is proof positive that nuclear energy is the safest form of energy in the world.

Great!  It's good that we have gotten a handle on the situation.  Follow the bankers and the lobbyists...they always lead the way to safety.

Is it too early for martinis?

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:04 | 1060567 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I would recommend watching whatever airport is closest to Yucca Mountain for a huge influx of Gulf Streams. Thats worry time.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:00 | 1060555 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

"When all else fails, change the rules."

Isn't this the Hank Paulson-Timmy Geitner Maxim?

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:22 | 1060708 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Nah, they were totally inspired by Cpatain Kirk rigging that "unwinnable test" at Star Fleet Academy.

 

cheating is winning..as long as its for the forces of good.

 

 

I know junk me for the ST reference..

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:00 | 1060559 tallen
tallen's picture

I wish they'd send Brian Moynihan,Blythe and all the other scumbags to clean it up. Help clean up not only the nuclear waste, but kill off the evil bankers too. = Double Win?

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:03 | 1060565 Nedly66
Nedly66's picture

WTF is happening?!!!!?

 

TLT just jumped $1.50

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:05 | 1060580 Paul Bogdanich
Paul Bogdanich's picture

This is not pathetic.  it's a bad situation.  Men are going to die.  The only queston that remains is how to save the most for the fewest dead.   Retreat is unthinkable.  Personal safety must be forgotten.  Time to stop acting like bankers and start acting like men.  Heedless self interest is not what is needed here, if it was ever needed anywhere.  Somebody has to contain this situation before it destroys everything and it won't be the ever so brave financial types.  I just hope people get the message after this.  These selfish people need to be punished.  Severely.      

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:07 | 1060590 luk427
luk427's picture

They must have learned some tricks from Rumsfeld and his gang of crooks. They got aspertame approveved wich is a known carcinogen and neurotoxic poison.    http://www.rense.com/general67/rum.htm

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:32 | 1060789 deepsouthdoug
deepsouthdoug's picture

Fuckin Bureaucrats.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:33 | 1060798 Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

cant belive it ...Japanese too manipulating ....

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:43 | 1060859 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

breaking news: GE's Jeff Immelt on site at reactor #4..giving technical advise while helping bucket water on the core..more to follow..sarc off.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 12:37 | 1061304 Invisible Hand
Invisible Hand's picture

Not just dose is important.  Dose rate is also important.  Also doses at these levels are not significantly dangerous.

US limit for radiation workers is 50 mS per year.  Higher dose limits are allowed for emergencies (planned special exposures).

The fatal dose limits you list are only fatal if recieved over very short times (few days).

This is a very serious situation and the dose limits being raised reinforces that fact. However, many people who received similar doses at Hiroshima and Nagasaki lived normal life spans and had no ill effects.

Any one that agrees to recieve this level of dose to protect others is a brave person, but not even mildlysuicidal.  Doses at these levels increase your risk of cancer somewhat, but not significantly.

Other than a small increased risk of cancer, a dose of 25 Rem (250 mSv) will produce no health detectable health effects, even with blood tests.

These doses are much less dangerous than running into a burning building, which fireman do every day.

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 12:41 | 1061352 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture

Your not tryin' to quote Spock from Wrath of Khan, are you?  Because if you are, do that shit right and pay some respect...

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 14:16 | 1061963 minus dog
minus dog's picture

How is this pathetic?  We're talking about nuclear workers willingly going in there to try and unfuck the situation.  I think the word you're looking for is "heroic" - or is ZH simply unable to get beyond the 9-5 suit and tie frame of mind?  How about a little respect instead of gibbering from the sidelines?

Keep in mind that the original dosage restrictions were set with the intent to create a zero-tolerance atmosphere in a very technically demanding environment.  Now that the gloves are off, they're working with dosages they can get away with instead of what they'd like to see.

And now that you've trotted out charts talking about dosages for context, how about admitting that that panic over a few dozen microsieverts early on in the disaster was entirely overblown?  Eh?

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 15:24 | 1062457 Still Life Living
Still Life Living's picture

The Obama adminstration, just a few months ago, asked Congress to loan $4 billion to Tokyo Electric to fund construction of two nuclear power plants on the Gulf Coast in Texas.

 

http://www.gregpalast.com/no-bs-info-on-japan-nuclearobama-invites-tokyo...

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 20:21 | 1064177 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Ask yourself why they are still showing that the area where the nuclear station is located is still under survey?  Ask yourself why the japanese helicopters didn't go on their water bombing run and turned around.  Ask yourself why the American military ships and the task force over a hundred miles out moved position after The carrier Ronald Reagan got hit with a month of radiation at one time.  And then ask yourself why is it that the media on both sides of the water is saying this level isn't bad and/or this level of radiation is the same as a chest X-ray or CT scan etc. etc..  It's because the radiation is alot worse than they are telling you period.  We saw massive explosions on two reactors and then 2 possibly 3 more reactors.  We saw the one explosion knock up debris to at least a thousand feet.  This is not normal, reactors aren't supposed to be dynamic like this.  The reason they are failing is because they don't and didn't have the power to keep the cooling water flowing over the pools and the live reactors.  And in so doing they are on fire and melting and releasing radiation. 

The govt. and officials in Japan not only want to save face, but they know the minute that they say that 4 reactors are in meltdown along with their pools of spent fuel rods and two more are close to it, you will have a panic.  If it's so safe and not to dangerous why hasn't the Americans and the Europeans flew over a specialized team or teams to help distinguish this mess.  As the US nuclear guy said today, they believe that the reactor 4 doesn't have any water in it's spent fuel storage and therefore is on fire.  They know that this area is a death trap and nobody wants a one way ticket to a lead coffin (that was done in Brazil to a young girl when one of the poor sections of Rio I believe had people going into a dump site and someone dumped illegally radioactive hospital waste).

 

 

 

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