The EPA's response to the Fukashima reactor "partial meltdowns"? Lets ratchet up what we call a safe level! There! Problem solved. If there is a meltdown here we wont have to worry about evacuations.
The EPA is preparing to dramatically increase permissible radioactive releases in drinking water, food and soil after “radiological incidents,” according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
The radiation guides called Protective Action Guides or PAGs are protocols for responding to radiological events ranging from nuclear power-plant accidents to dirty bombs.
Drinking water, for example, would have a huge increase in allowable public exposure to radioactivity, the group says, that would include:
A nearly 1000-fold increase in strontium-90
A 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for iodine-131
An almost 25,000 rise for nickel-63
The new radiation guidance would also allow long-term cleanup standards thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted, permitting doses to the public that EPA itself estimates would cause a cancer in as much as every fourth person exposed, the group says.
I have always been uncomfortable with the term, "partial meltdown". Seems to me to be about as silly as a "partial pregnancy". You either have one or you don't. Unfortunately, Japan appears to have three. According to MSNBC the same high capacity concrete pumps that were used to entomb Chernobyl are on their way to Japan now.
The thing that bothers me is everyone keeps quoting I-131 levels. I am not that worried about I-131. It has a short half-life and we are a long way away. I want to know what the Strontium-90 levels are and if any has shown up here. That has a 28.8 year half-life and was what caused all the trouble when we still did above ground nuke tests. It is one of the common products of Uranium fission and concentrates in milk because it is chemically analogous to calcium.
More when I have more to pass along.
Be seeing you.