Recently Iowa State hosted a lecture by Margaret Harding, an alum and nuclear expert with 27+ years of experience in the industry. She did an excellent job of descibing simply the events that have transpired at the Fukushima Daiichi and the events that may have transpired (things we won’t know for weeks). She also addressed the world’s concerns about radiation and did a good job putting radiation doses into perspective. I thought she also did a great job not to minimize the tragedy, while still emphasizing the safety and necessity of nuclear power. Find it here.
Since she spoke, a radioactive water leak was found (and stopped) leaking water into the ocean. This is definitely not a good thing, but let’s not forget the ocean has a ton of water, so it will be diluted, lessening adverse effects. Also, time is on our side. With a half life of 8 days (which the major radiation source, Iodine-131, has), the amount of radiation will be reduced by half in 8 days and virtually non-existent in a matter of weeks.
Here are some great (read reliable) places to get your news and interpretation of current events in Fukushima:
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)
- Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA)
- 4 Factor Consulting Blog