Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Which is which?

updated photo selection: okay if you are the one person who actually look at this often (Hi, mom), you'll be able to tell, since only one changed - I got a much better photo from Japan (thank you, Der Spiegel).

Tell me which one is Fukushima (Tokyo) and which is Chernobyl (Prypyat)?

Photograph #1

Photograph #2

A Ukrainian Liquidator, one of the first on site at Chrnobyl & surprisingly still alive, compliments the Japanese. "We wore normal clothes and a face respirator. As we went in to the reactor we were given an iodine preparation which was normally the first emergency aid..."

Today, 50 are remaining to control 3 reactors, hoping to keep them cooled. Or more, depending on which source. The Ministry of Health increased the acceptable exposure limit to "to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts, five times the maximum exposure permitted for American nuclear plant workers."

Despite the demands of occupational safety experts here to protect workers, I can't imagine the Dept. of Labor (i.e., OSHA) actually being capable of moving overnight to change an exposure limit. The cynic in me thinks this is, in part, because after-the-fact the safety professions would turn around and demand to have all of the other 30-year old limits changed, too.

I'm surprised the Green Party in the US isn't going more ballistic, given its absolutist platform on nuclear power. The party chair for Die Grüne [the German Green Party] was making this point in a rather restrained manner Sunday, anticipating the impending state elections in Baden-Württemburg. Given the party's platform on feminism, I suppose referring to her as the chairman would be gauche.

Interestingly in the German news, the Greens are confronted with 'warming their hearts' [ihre Seele wärmen] over the opportunity to renew one of their core beliefs coming to conflict with their desire to create a Black-Green coalition government, i.e. CDU/Green, which to the American bipolar condition sounds strange with the conservatives & tree-huggers. Admittedly, the German Conservatives are still in touch with reality, unlike ours.

#1 = Chernobyl
#2 = Fukushima

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