The "more political thread" besides "Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants" scientific one


by jlduh
Tags: scientific
rowmag
rowmag is offline
#37
Apr28-11, 08:53 AM
P: 209
Quote Quote by Dmytry View Post
dunno, I'd prefer if they rather demanded (in toothfull, not toothless way) that shelters and medical institutions do not turn away refugees,
Do you watch the news in Japan? That kind of despicable stuff is covered prominently, and strongly condemned.

Can't say I have seen an in-depth discussion of beta burns in particular, but practical advice abounds. Authorities, experts and newscasters are not just saying, "Don't worry! Everything is under control!"
Dmytry
Dmytry is offline
#38
Apr28-11, 08:56 AM
P: 505
Quote Quote by rowmag View Post
Do you watch the news in Japan? That kind of unfortunate stuff is covered prominently, and strongly condemned.
How strongly? It should be illegal. It's like a black walks into the store and he gets told "go away *****", not only that's strongly condemned, that may cost you license I think, right?
I don't understand Japanese.
rowmag
rowmag is offline
#39
Apr28-11, 09:15 AM
P: 209
Quote Quote by Dmytry View Post
How strongly? It should be illegal. It's like a black walks into the store and he gets told "go away *****", not only that's strongly condemned, that may cost you license I think, right?
Don't think it is actually illegal, but public shaming is a pretty powerful force.

I don't understand Japanese.
NHK has English-language broadcasts.
|Fred
|Fred is offline
#40
Apr28-11, 09:17 AM
P: 312
Quote Quote by rowmag View Post
Do you watch the news in Japan?
That's kind of the main issue imo:
I remember it was in the first few days, this french guy on youtube screaming that they were all going to die and that Japanese TV was still airing situation comedy.. And I was like why doesn't he switch to TBS or NHK.. They had 247 coverage , explaining Sievers and dangerosity days if not weeks before anything remotely similar was done in Europe. Meanwhile people oversea believe that radiation in Toyko was almost Chernobyl like..

I could watch on TV so called expert explaining how Japanese were resigned and abbey what they were told... And I knew for a fact that was complete B.S , any one following tepco press conference, could witness how hard the press questioning Tepco , doubting what they are saying etc.. And while we were still pondering the fact that the Japanese did not extend the evac zone, understating that the Jap gov was not doing what it should..
Any one having a proper look, could have told you that 1) concerned people were evacuating if they could even if they were not if the evac zone ( I say if they could because they was no gaz, road were a mess at the time)
2) some people refused to evac or went back 3)looting was taking place in the evac zone .

So much for doing what they are told...

My understanding is that a lot of our own fear is projected on this Japanese crisis, not necessary a bad thing but when it reach the point where it no longer have anything to do with the actual reality ... it's just weird...
Dmytry
Dmytry is offline
#41
Apr28-11, 09:19 AM
P: 505
Quote Quote by rowmag View Post
NHK has English-language broadcasts.
ahh... well I'll leave coverage of it to someone else and shut up and focus on technical stuff. I'm at the moment more interested in reading various NRC stuff. It's not very easy for me to pick up translator's english there from audio.

I recall NHK translator had the idea of radioactive contagion, when explaining closure of the zone, but i dont sure in what thread it was sourced in.

edit: BTW did they actually explain how much the dose varies from place to place within few meters? With demonstration using a counter. Showing that it is literally, radioactive dirt.
rowmag
rowmag is offline
#42
Apr28-11, 09:39 AM
P: 209
Quote Quote by |Fred View Post
That's kind of the main issue imo:
I remember it was in the first few days, this french guy on youtube screaming that they were all going to die and that Japanese TV was still airing situation comedy..
Where did he find situation comedy? As far as I remember, the first ten days after the earthquake there was nothing but 24 hour news on all channels, and the next ten was half news, half "inspirational" stuff (sentimental song shows, etc.). Nothing like normal comedy reappeared until something like April.

And I was like why doesn't he switch to TBS or NHK.. They had 247 coverage , explaining Sievers and dangerosity days if not weeks before anything remotely similar was done in Europe. Meanwhile people oversea believe that radiation in Toyko was almost Chernobyl like..
I think we got better information here in Japan early on than folks overseas did, judging from the ridiculous stuff that got forwarded by overseas friends at the time, with the notation that "we fear you are not getting true information there"...

I could watch on TV so called expert explaining how Japanese were resigned and abbey what they were told... And I knew for a fact that was complete B.S , any one following tepco press conference, could witness how hard the press questioning Tepco , doubting what they are saying etc..
Yes.
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#43
Apr28-11, 09:40 AM
P: 468
Well, i think it's important to recall that even if gamma radiation emission is with reason considered as the most dangerous because it is much more difficult to contain, so it acts at a much bigger distance, the alpha and beta emitters can also be very dangerous as long as they are inhaled or ingested, because in this case their lower distance of "radioactive action" is no more a protection against the effects.

Saying an alpha emitter can be stopped by a sheet of paper, or beta by an aluminium one of a few mm, DOESN'T MEAN THEY ARE HARMLESS (and sometimes if find this straightforward presentation a little bit oversimplistic to say the least)...

The particles are dangerous depending also, at the end, where they will stay inside the body (internal contamination)

http://www.furryelephant.com/content...mma-radiation/
http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/understand/pathways.html
http://www.furryelephant.com/content...ealth-effects/

Focusing on gamma means focusing on external exposures (and especially indirect ones). But there is also internal exposure!

The third pathway of concern is direct or external exposure from radioactive material. The concern about exposure to different kinds of radiation varies:
Limited concern about alpha particles. They cannot penetrate the outer layer of skin, but if you have any open wounds you may be at risk.
Greater concern about beta particles. They can burn the skin in some cases, or damage eyes.
Greatest concern is about gamma radiation. Different radionuclides emit gamma rays of different strength, but gamma rays can travel long distances and penetrate entirely through the body.
rowmag
rowmag is offline
#44
Apr28-11, 09:49 AM
P: 209
Quote Quote by Dmytry View Post
I recall NHK translator had the idea of radioactive contagion, when explaining closure of the zone, but i dont sure in what thread it was sourced in.
That wasn't the NHK translator. That was the METI interpreter, who did not seem to be a native English speaker. If I were to criticize that, I would say:

1) Always use a native speaker of the target language for translation, if you care about the nuances.

2) Why did the Times not have anyone on payroll who is competent at Japanese, so that they could attend regular press conferences? Why are they sending a reporter who apparently cannot handle Japanese to cover events in Japan? It is only 6-7 weeks into an ongoing story, after all... The Times is not some tiny backwater operation -- presumably they should have some sort of professional standards, and a budget to back them up.

If you can't have been bothered to learn the language in which events are transpiring, or hire someone who does know it, then expect to receive incomplete, late, and possibly heavily filtered information.

edit: BTW did they actually explain how much the dose varies from place to place within few meters? With demonstration using a counter. Showing that it is literally, radioactive dirt.
You mean that youtube video? Haven't seen that on the news, but have seen reports that a team of academics is planning to do detailed measurements of place-to-place dose rates over a wide area including the evacuation zone.
Dmytry
Dmytry is offline
#45
Apr28-11, 09:52 AM
P: 505
Quote Quote by rowmag View Post
You mean that youtube video? Haven't seen that on the news, but have seen reports that a team of academics is planning to do detailed measurements of place-to-place dose rates over a wide area including the evacuation zone.
no, not that specific youtube video, just anyone with a counter can do this really, showing hands-on how contamination works. Perhaps even touching that on skin and getting dirty, then washing hands off. Warning of the danger of ingestion and inhalation. Can be done outside restricted zone easily...
If they did not do that yet - your coverage is total crap, sorry.
edit: To clarify. I'm not saying that coverage here is any better or anything, judging it absolutely, not relatively.
rowmag
rowmag is offline
#46
Apr28-11, 10:01 AM
P: 209
Quote Quote by Dmytry View Post
no, not that specific youtube video, just anyone with a counter can do this really, showing hands-on how contamination works. Perhaps even touching that on skin and getting dirty, then washing hands off. Warning of the danger of ingestion and inhalation. Can be done outside restricted zone easily...
If they did not do that yet - your coverage is total crap, sorry.
edit: To clarify. I'm not saying that coverage here is any better or anything, judging it absolutely, not relatively.
Yes, that kind of stuff has been covered. Take off shoes, wear a mask, wash hands, even gargling may help... Not the exact script you suggest with a counter, but the basics have been covered.

As I would expect they would be where you are (Lithuania?) in similar circumstances.
PietKuip
PietKuip is offline
#47
Apr28-11, 10:18 AM
P: 184
Quote Quote by rowmag View Post
That wasn't the NHK translator. That was the METI interpreter, who did not seem to be a native English speaker. If I were to criticize that, I would say:

1) Always use a native speaker of the target language for translation, if you care about the nuances.

2) Why did the Times not have anyone on payroll who is competent at Japanese, so that they could attend regular press conferences? Why are they sending a reporter who apparently cannot handle Japanese to cover events in Japan? It is only 6-7 weeks into an ongoing story, after all... The Times is not some tiny backwater operation -- presumably they should have some sort of professional standards, and a budget to back them up.

If you can't have been bothered to learn the language in which events are transpiring, or hire someone who does know it, then expect to receive incomplete, late, and possibly heavily filtered information.
Unreasonable demands. It is probably more important that these events get covered by a journalist specializing in science & technology or environmental issues than by a scholar specializing in east-asian history and literature.

The interpreter said (in a video that is not online anymore):

"... individuals who would enter these areas because if they come out of these regions the radiation contamination of these individuals may affect other people outside of this area. Therefor such a decision had been made."

If that was false there is a problem with the competence of the interpreters that METI employs.
Danuta
Danuta is offline
#48
Apr28-11, 10:59 AM
P: 100
Quote Quote by PietKuip View Post
Unreasonable demands. It is probably more important that these events get covered by a journalist specializing in science & technology or environmental issues than by a scholar specializing in east-asian history and literature.

The interpreter said (in a video that is not online anymore):

"... individuals who would enter these areas because if they come out of these regions the radiation contamination of these individuals may affect other people outside of this area. Therefor such a decision had been made."

If that was false there is a problem with the competence of the interpreters that METI employs.
In light of the article below, I doubt it is a problem with interpreter competence. More like a problem with the lack of proper radiological information dissemination. They've had since Hiroshima and Nagasaki to dispel "hibakusha" discrimination yet it still persists. But one also has to take into consideration the ingrained Japanese way of uninflicting one's problems/situation on the well being of others.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...=feeds-newsxml
Dmytry
Dmytry is offline
#49
Apr28-11, 11:28 AM
P: 505
Quote Quote by rowmag View Post
Yes, that kind of stuff has been covered. Take off shoes, wear a mask, wash hands, even gargling may help... Not the exact script you suggest with a counter, but the basics have been covered.
That does not address how radiation works... only 'what to do', without good explanation why and does not give a mental model.

As I would expect they would be where you are (Lithuania?) in similar circumstances.
I *hope* they'd have someone walk with counter show off how radiation works in less abstract way, in addition to telling what to do. In Lithuania, we have
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrius_Kubilius
In Germany, Angela Merkel.
We have scientists among top politicians, you see. We can have politician go there and do some science. I don't know how it is outside EU. edit: I mean, I know that in EU a politician with scientific background can go on site and measure something, cheap PR stunt it may be but it is a lot better than eating a tomato from the affected region. Plus said politician can't be easily bullgarbageted.

edit: also by now I would expect someone to set up high volume manufacturing of low cost personal dosimeters? I don't sure how quickly it was set up after Chernobyl. I think it did take very little time back then, using the military factories and the stockpile from the cold war. Owning a dosimeter really gives comfort in such situation. Keep in mind that during cold war, citizens of both sides were educated about radiation. Also, radiation and radioactivity was part of training during compulsory military service I believe. That is not to advocate the cold war - it was really terrible state of affairs - but to explain the difference.
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#50
Apr28-11, 12:16 PM
P: 468
The problem of the social acceptance of a technology is not 100% determined by pure scientific reasoning and perfect objective knowledge shared by 100% of the population. That's what a lot of scientifics and engineers fail to understand (either, they cannot understand it, or they do not want to understand it).

A society is, whatever you may think about it, much more complex and irrational than you would like to see it. And even the scientifics are part of this irrationality of course (history of sciences show the long erratic way through scientific beliefs, and history is not finished!). Sorry this is a french book (i don't think it has been translated in english) but it's a must read to understand how excellent rational people with great rational procedures can end up with silly tragedies -most of the examples are about planes and boats accidents, but there could be a neat addendum with nuclear ones i think:

http://www.amazon.fr/d%C3%A9cisions-.../dp/2070315428

(In english, the title would be: "Silly decisions: Sociology of radical and persisting mistakes". This would be at least a good read to those who are not inclined to inject enough doubt in their conceptions based on excessive rational thinking...).

So yes, a society is, whatever you may think about it, much more complex and irrational than you would like to see it. I'm not judging if it's good or bad (some can always say that obscurantism or misbelief in the society have to be fighted against until clear thuth appears!), I'm just saying IT'S LIKE THAT!

Moreover, if we talk about nuclear stuff, there are increasing factors for this tendency:

1) this is a complex area of science and technology. Just look at the number of units used for measuring it and you can have a good view of what i mean.

2) it's totally invisible but it can kill or harm you (ok, like bacterias or viruses you could say? Yes but bacterias were not socially developped, at first, by humans as weapons! )

3) and this is maybe the most important, the after war history that people have in mind is mainly related to military applications with bombs, weapons, the cold war, and so on. Even civil nuclear programs have all been initiated and managed as and by military approches (and culture of secrecy, by consequence). This is not an accusation, this is a fact. And this fact explains a lot of what people think and fear about, and that's understandable based on this history. It is funny by the way to observe that in the very first years of atomic research (after Marie Curie, etc.), radioactivity was seen by a good part of the society as a great magical phenomenon, with great health benefits even with direct exposure to radiations (yes, see all the stuff that was sold like baths with radiums sources, and so on, to get better health!

http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/q...es/radbath.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium (historical uses)
http://www.museumofquackery.com/devices/revig.htm

The point is that even if there was lack of knowledge at first on the health effects of radiations, the society was not by nature threaten by this new nuclear domain as these examples show. This hugely changed after the WWII of course. Civil nuclear was just the phase which came after big military use -first at Nagasaki and Hiroshima of course- , and in direct relation with that (Pu was needed to make the bombs in large quantities and Pu is a by product of nuclear fission in reactors, so that was a good opportunity to build reactors, and even the first reason at this time!)...

So here it is, nuclear is still associated (with rational reasons, and sometimes also with irrational ones like this hibakusha phenomenon) to danger, secrecy of weapons, and fear. And that's not surprising in my opinion, based on psychology, sociology, and history.
jlduh
jlduh is offline
#51
Apr28-11, 01:01 PM
P: 468
about the Hamaoka restart and reassessment of risks related to earthquake:

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/28_39.html

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/28_39.html
Danuta
Danuta is offline
#52
Apr28-11, 01:07 PM
P: 100
Unbelievable. Restart in July folks.

"The Hamaoka plant, 200 kilometres (120 miles) southwest of Tokyo, sits near an active earthquake zone that the government has forecast carries an 87 percent chance of producing a magnitude-8 or stronger earthquake in the next 30 years."

"With regard to tsunami countermeasures for their nuclear plant, they have done virtually nothing."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7FS3IS20110428
rowmag
rowmag is offline
#53
Apr28-11, 05:57 PM
P: 209
Quote Quote by rowmag
That wasn't the NHK translator. That was the METI interpreter, who did not seem to be a native English speaker. If I were to criticize that, I would say:

1) Always use a native speaker of the target language for translation, if you care about the nuances.

2) Why did the Times not have anyone on payroll who is competent at Japanese, so that they could attend regular press conferences? Why are they sending a reporter who apparently cannot handle Japanese to cover events in Japan? It is only 6-7 weeks into an ongoing story, after all... The Times is not some tiny backwater operation -- presumably they should have some sort of professional standards, and a budget to back them up.

If you can't have been bothered to learn the language in which events are transpiring, or hire someone who does know it, then expect to receive incomplete, late, and possibly heavily filtered information.
Quote Quote by PietKuip View Post
Unreasonable demands. It is probably more important that these events get covered by a journalist specializing in science & technology or environmental issues than by a scholar specializing in east-asian history and literature.
Unreasonable? For a global news organization?

And why do you assume the only bilingual people are history and literature specialists?

But in any case, I think the main area of importance (besides language ability, but that should be a precondition) is some intelligence and ability to learn quick. There are not that many nuclear power experts in the world, and news media would use such experts for in-depth analysis interviews, not for covering press conferences.

The interpreter said (in a video that is not online anymore):

"... individuals who would enter these areas because if they come out of these regions the radiation contamination of these individuals may affect other people outside of this area. Therefor such a decision had been made."

If that was false there is a problem with the competence of the interpreters that METI employs.
Which was my point number 1).

(And I gave you the exact wording that was used in Japanese in the other thread, to show how problematic the translation was.)
Dmytry
Dmytry is offline
#54
Apr28-11, 06:44 PM
P: 505
Well if the news didn't even teach their own translator that it doesn't spread like infectious disease, how are they to teach the public?

If there is some linguistic issue - e.g. if they are using the word commonly used for infectious diseases to describe radiation sickness or cancer - then translator would have a lot of advantage over people who don't speak English.

Also, I do not think it is at all unreasonable demand for a developed country's media to be able to find someone who understands radiation, and to have that person show how it works with the counter. Get his hand slightly contaminated, wash it, etc. A propaganda trick it may be but it is better than nothing. Reuse the 'dirt' intuition.
Really, anyone with physics degree should know it. Is Japanese scientific education system much behind? I know Japanese did quite a bit of theoretical physics, e.g. i know of Yukawa. I don't particularly like Michio Kaku but he isn't stupid either and he's quite common on TV in US.


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