Friday, April 1, 2011

I think that we need a little recalibration here?

At one point when I have a little more time, I will guide you a bit through the stars in the recent endless press conferences, my two particular favorites are the Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano representing the government and then Nishiyama (aka "Nobita-kun") of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the ministry of finance. Click the link above to get my take on his previous appearances.

Yesterday, I happened to catch another one of his great press conferences, as always heavily featuring people whispering to him what to say. The topic turned to the extremely high amounts of radioactive iodide that has been registered in the ocean close to the nuclear plant. He said something like "so... eh... recently the amounts of radioactive iodide in the ocean close to the plant has... eh... given a little high values... eh... 4,300 the normal amount... I think".

Now, what I find interesting here is his definition of how he defines "a little". Normally I would say that "3-5 times the normal amount" could be called "a little", maybe "a hundred times" could get a "quite high", but over 4,000 times the normal amount? I would say "extremely high", but not my man Nobita-ku, for him, it's "a little". I shudder to think of the values that he will need to say "high"...

Well, in any case, seems like seafood from Fukushima is off the plate for a while, but it never really was on it to begin with anywa, so no big loss for me!


Japan Angle said...

The master of understatement clearly!

The thing I'm worried about is that fish do have a slight tendancy to swim... :S

Chris said...

You outta hit this topic solidly. The government simply doesn't have a comparative sample (similar radiation release in a populated area) to assure everyone the food will be fine this Summer and Fall.

Based on what? No one is gonna eat 40 Kg of spinach but if a young girl gets pregnant after a single gene mutation caused by the still unknown effects of this scenario than how can the gov be so sure?

Down Syndrome is the mutation of 1 single gene. A little goes a long way and I'm becoming wary of everyone yelling fire except the person who's house is on fire.

We saw the effect of concerned consumers in Tokyo so the Gov avoiding panic is understandable....but having a Nuclear Scientist on T.V. stating his young kids are eating food from the area proves nothing except he might be very very stupid.

Sarahf said...

I've got to the point where the numbers all go over my head. All I got from today's news was that Mr Kan has abandoned his boiler suit and I only just noticed.

RMilner said...

It will take about three months for the radioactive iodine to decay down to normal levels. If they can fix the leak in the reactor it will all be OK again by the autumn.

Thereesa said...

Every time Nobita-kun is on the news the husband and I are entranced and can't look away. His face moves but the wig-helmet doesn't. It's fascinating.

BiggerInJapan said...

yeah, I saw that one and was WTF! A *little*??

Mr. Salaryman said...

Japan Angle - You forgot that fish with wings - maybe we'll see our tuna evolve quickly due to radiation now?

Chris - Yeah, but I have to say that I don't really feel that I have any real competency in the dangers of this, I just have to try and trust neutral/cautionary international sources. But of course, sadly enough for the region, we will avoid stuff from Fukushima, Ibaragi and Miyagi for a while. It will completely kill their agricultural industry for quite some time though, but I don't want to put the baby's health out there (I'm not too worried about myself, my growth is finished I hope)

Saraf - I noticed that too! We should write a letter complaining that he doesn't take the situation seriously enough!

RMilner - Yep, let's just hope none of that stuff with considerably longer half-life leaks out and contaminates stuff

Theresaa - He is a fascinating man indeed, mostly I get stuck staring at the wig and loose track of what he's actually talking about

BiJ - He has a way with words indeed!

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