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Hysteria Mounts Over “Radioactive” Tokyo Water


The Japanese government has warned that Tokyo tap-water is contaminated with radioactive materials and that babies should not be allowed to drink it, prompting an immediate health scare as flighty Tokyo residents rush to buy up all the mineral water they can lay hands on.

The government admits radioactive iodine has been detected in Tokyo at a level of 210 becquerels per kg, significantly above normal levels.

It subsequently warned against babies or pregnant or nursing women from drinking this, immediately leading to panic buying of mineral water, with empty mineral water shelves and huge queues soon evident.


Fruit and vegetables from several prefectures have also been banned from sale after some exceeded government set (and exceedingly low) radiation limits.

Unfortunately, neither the government nor the mass media is highlighting the minuscule scales of the contamination or the highly precautionary nature of the health warnings, creating an immediate mass panic amongst a populace highly attuned to media scares and with virtually no ability to comprehend measurements of radiation.

In fact, it would be almost impossible to suffer ill-effects at the levels subject to warnings – the government estimates for a baby to reach the acceptable limit for radiation exposure (itself extremely low), it would have to drink 1 litre of tap water each day for a year.

Even larger scales of consumption apply to the amounts of contaminated foodstuffs which would need to be eaten by an actual adult in order to exceed exposure guidelines, let alone reach a level damaging to health.

Meanwhile, more level-headed physicians have pointed to research indicating more radiation may be involved in smoking a packet of cigarettes than in the levels currently subject to hysteria.

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  • Whats this, the idiot that got banned from MyAnimeList and a bunch of other sites is still alive?

    The gods must be blind, leaving faggots like this guy alive while killing other innocent ppl.

    • I don’t have anything against the mentally challenged ppl, but I really hate those who thinks they can do anything just because they’re ‘a step lower’ than us.

      Seriously, those kind of ppl shouldn’t deserve any kind of kindness or sympathy.

  • by admitting to the public they have radiation in the water only worsens the ban of Japanese products in foreign counties which DOES NOT STIR THE ECONOMY OF JAPAN. in fact admitting this will hurt japans economy even more.

  • Hmm I’m not sure what side to take. I mean is it an overreaction or is there merit to the panic? For some reason though the panic doesn’t show any result of Japan getting back up on its feet…more like this will cause Japan to become even more deserted. 🙁

  • Actually, living in Tokyo there isn’t that much panic buying. The government and the mass media are actually highlighting the small scale of the contamination – much more than the panicking foreign media is, to be honest. Not that they should care, since they aren’t the ones drinking it…

  • The Register’s Lewis Page has been reporting on the situation at Fukushima from the beginning. Contrary to other journos who have mostly been running in circles screaming “Chernobyl”, he drawed on information from IAEA and the academic community to produce an overall fairly positive account of the whole episode. His latest words on the subject can be found here:

    His article series has been quite polemic, but in a very positive way – discussions and criticism of his pieces have largely been based on scientific evidence and trusted sources, rather than on hysteric fear-mongering. As a result I learned a helluvah lot about how nucler reactors work, the expectable consequences of a meltdown, and even came to see a reassessment of the Chernobyl incident. Highly recommended.

  • “You get 3,500,000 the normal dose. You call that safe?”

    Hirose Takashi: The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident and the State of the Media

    Broadcast by Asahi NewStar, 17 March, 20:00

    Interviewers: Yo and Maeda Mari

    Yo: Today many people saw water being sprayed on the reactors from the air and from the ground, but is this effective?

    Hirose: . . . If you want to cool a reactor down with water, you have to circulate the water inside and carry the heat away, otherwise it has no meaning. So the only solution is to reconnect the electricity. Otherwise it’s like pouring water on lava.

    Yo: Reconnect the electricity – that’s to restart the cooling system?

    Hirose: Yes. The accident was caused by the fact that the tsunami flooded the emergency generators and carried away their fuel tanks. If that isn’t fixed, there’s no way to recover from this accident.

    Yo: Tepco [Tokyo Electric Power Company, owner/operator of the nuclear plants] says they expect to bring in a high voltage line this evening.

    Hirose: Yes, there’s a little bit of hope there. But what’s worrisome is that a nuclear reactor is not like what the schematic pictures show (shows a graphic picture of a reactor, like those used on TV). This is just a cartoon. Here’s what it looks like underneath a reactor container (shows a photograph). This is the butt end of the reactor. Take a look. It’s a forest of switch levers and wires and pipes. On television these pseudo-scholars come on and give us simple explanations, but they know nothing, those college professors. Only the engineers know. This is where water has been poured in. This maze of pipes is enough to make you dizzy. Its structure is too wildly complex for us to understand. For a week now they have been pouring water through there. And it’s salt water, right? You pour salt water on a hot kiln and what do you think happens? You get salt. The salt will get into all these valves and cause them to freeze. They won’t move. This will be happening everywhere. So I can’t believe that it’s just a simple matter of you reconnecting the electricity and the water will begin to circulate. I think any engineer with a little imagination can understand this. You take a system as unbelievably complex as this and then actually dump water on it from a helicopter – maybe they have some idea of how this could work, but I can’t understand it.

    Yo: It will take 1300 tons of water to fill the pools that contain the spent fuel rods in reactors 3 and 4. This morning 30 tons. Then the Self Defense Forces are to hose in another 30 tons from five trucks. That’s nowhere near enough, they have to keep it up. Is this squirting of water from hoses going to change the situation?

    Hirose: In principle, it can’t. Because even when a reactor is in good shape, it requires constant control to keep the temperature down to where it is barely safe. Now it’s a complete mess inside, and when I think of the 50 remaining operators, it brings tears to my eyes. I assume they have been exposed to very large amounts of radiation, and that they have accepted that they face death by staying there. And how long can they last? I mean, physically. That’s what the situation has come to now. When I see these accounts on television, I want to tell them, “If that’s what you say, then go there and do it yourself!” Really, they talk this nonsense, trying to reassure everyone, trying to avoid panic. What we need now is a proper panic. Because the situation has come to the point where the danger is real.

    If I were Prime Minister Kan, I would order them to do what the Soviet Union did when the Chernobyl reactor blew up, the sarcophagus solution, bury the whole thing under cement, put every cement company in Japan to work, and dump cement over it from the sky. Because you have to assume the worst case. Why? Because in Fukushima there is the Daiichi Plant with six reactors and the Daini Plant with four for a total of ten reactors. If even one of them develops the worst case, then the workers there must either evacuate the site or stay on and collapse. So if, for example, one of the reactors at Daiichi goes down, the other five are only a matter of time. We can’t know in what order they will go, but certainly all of them will go. And if that happens, Daini isn’t so far away, so probably the reactors there will also go down. Because I assume that workers will not be able to stay there.

    I’m speaking of the worst case, but the probability is not low. This is the danger that the world is watching. Only in Japan is it being hidden. As you know, of the six reactors at Daiichi, four are in a crisis state. So even if at one everything goes well and water circulation is restored, the other three could still go down. Four are in crisis, and for all four to be 100 per cent repaired, I hate to say it, but I am pessimistic. If so, then to save the people, we have to think about some way to reduce the radiation leakage to the lowest level possible. Not by spraying water from hoses, like sprinkling water on a desert. We have to think of all six going down, and the possibility of that happening is not low. Everyone knows how long it takes a typhoon to pass over Japan; it generally takes about a week. That is, with a wind speed of two meters per second, it could take about five days for all of Japan to be covered with radiation. We’re not talking about distances of 20 kilometers or 30 kilometers or 100 kilometers. It means of course Tokyo, Osaka. That’s how fast a radioactive cloud could spread. Of course it would depend on the weather; we can’t know in advance how the radiation would be distributed. It would be nice if the wind would blow toward the sea, but it doesn’t always do that. Two days ago, on the 15th, it was blowing toward Tokyo. That’s how it is. . . .

    Yo: Every day the local government is measuring the radioactivity. All the television stations are saying that while radiation is rising, it is still not high enough to be a danger to health. They compare it to a stomach x-ray, or if it goes up, to a CT scan. What is the truth of the matter?

    Hirose: For example, yesterday. Around Fukushima Daiichi Station they measured 400 millisieverts – that’s per hour. With this measurement (Chief Cabinet Secretary) Edano admitted for the first time that there was a danger to health, but he didn’t explain what this means. All of the information media are at fault here I think. They are saying stupid things like, why, we are exposed to radiation all the time in our daily life, we get radiation from outer space. But that’s one millisievert per year. A year has 365 days, a day has 24 hours; multiply 365 by 24, you get 8760. Multiply the 400 millisieverts by that, you get 3,500,000 the normal dose. You call that safe? And what media have reported this? None. They compare it to a CT scan, which is over in an instant; that has nothing to do with it. The reason radioactivity can be measured is that radioactive material is escaping. What is dangerous is when that material enters your body and irradiates it from inside. These industry-mouthpiece scholars come on TV and what to they say? They say as you move away the radiation is reduced in inverse ratio to the square of the distance. I want to say the reverse. Internal irradiation happens when radioactive material is ingested into the body. What happens? Say there is a nuclear particle one meter away from you. You breathe it in, it sticks inside your body; the distance between you and it is now at the micron level. One meter is 1000 millimeters, one micron is one thousandth of a millimeter. That’s a thousand times a thousand squared. That’s the real meaning of “inverse ratio of the square of the distance.” Radiation exposure is increased by a factor of a trillion. Inhaling even the tiniest particle, that’s the danger.

    Yo: So making comparisons with X-rays and CT scans has no meaning. Because you can breathe in radioactive material.

    Hirose: That’s right. When it enters your body, there’s no telling where it will go. The biggest danger is women, especially pregnant women, and little children. Now they’re talking about iodine and cesium, but that’s only part of it, they’re not using the proper detection instruments. What they call monitoring means only measuring the amount of radiation in the air. Their instruments don’t eat. What they measure has no connection with the amount of radioactive material. . . .

    Yo: So damage from radioactive rays and damage from radioactive material are not the same.

    Hirose: If you ask, are any radioactive rays from the Fukushima Nuclear Station here in this studio, the answer will be no. But radioactive particles are carried here by the air. When the core begins to melt down, elements inside like iodine turn to gas. It rises to the top, so if there is any crevice it escapes outside.

    Yo: Is there any way to detect this?

    Hirose: I was told by a newspaper reporter that now Tepco is not in shape even to do regular monitoring. They just take an occasional measurement, and that becomes the basis of Edano’s statements. You have to take constant measurements, but they are not able to do that. And you need to investigate just what is escaping, and how much. That requires very sophisticated measuring instruments. You can’t do it just by keeping a monitoring post. It’s no good just to measure the level of radiation in the air. Whiz in by car, take a measurement, it’s high, it’s low – that’s not the point. We need to know what kind of radioactive materials are escaping, and where they are going – they don’t have a system in place for doing that now.

    • There are 18 US Navy ships of the coast of Sendai right now. ALL of the ships from Yokosuka Naval Base were deployed, it is empty of ships right now. They are helping with the relief effort in northern Japan, but the Japanese gov’t won’t allow US help at the Nuclear Reactors.

  • “Fruit and vegetables from several prefectures have also been banned from sale after some exceeded government set (and exceedingly low) radiation limits.”

    why don’t you go to eat them yourself, stupid sankaku!

  • Clearly recent panic purchases did not include water like some profit-mongers were hoping, so a statement was given by the government that water might be toxic. This caused people to buy the water. Something new will cause people to buy a new item soon, wait for it.

  • Hmm, from what I remember of Chemistry bottled water = worse the tap water do to the fact that tap water has to be tested every 4 or so hours compared to company’s which make bottled water which are inspected ones in 3 – 4 years, not to mention one little funny fact

    Bottled Water = Tap Water, but with price on in which is full BS…

    • You’re right.

      It’s just a way to brain-wash people into believing that tap water is bad for them…and to make a huge profit….it’s one of the biggest money-making scams on the planet.

      If bottled water is so “healthy” for people, why do they bathe in tap water? Even though it’s hot, it is still tap water?

      My baka roommate buys at least 2 cases of bottled water every month….she’s just spending money like water.

      See…I made a funny ^_^

  • Hmm.. if what the physicians said is true, then they still will get hit by radiation, from smoking.

    Smoking is bad for health, and a complete waste of money. Money is better spent on acquiring lovable figurines =3

  • For those of you who don’t live here (I’m in Northern Tokyo), things here are pretty tense. Water is gone along with most bottles of tea. The only things left are beer, juice and soft-drinks which are seldom drank when compared to bottled water and ocha (tea).

    • Wow.. just.. Woooo… Wow. That’s really one idiot gaijin.

      Funny thing is it seems like he doesn’t even understand or could read Japanese. Sad thing is there were actually people who believed his pure BS and actually spread the video all over youtube… oh and the fact that I actually wasted my 5 mins watching him spitting out bull.

      I demand people making meme or series of parody vids of him in Nicovideo and Youtube after this.

  • In other news: Tokyo residents, yet again, act as if they were the only people suffering horrendously. No mention of the poor people in the refugee camps (who don’t get nearly enough relief care) and the forced suicide workers in the nuclear plant.

    I do think they have a severe misconception of importance.

  • Japanese Government: “Don’t worry, everything is fine. Radiation levels are too low to affect human health. Oh, by the way, don’t drink tap water or eat vegetables.”

    So which is it?! They must have completely lost the faith of their citizens by now. You can’t trust what any government says nowadays.

    • can you read its for babys and poeple that already are weak and 1 thing i am a father and dont give my baby water do you?? its not like any normal person can get sick from it or something the poeple in tokyo just panic over nothing

      • Do you believe whatever the government tells you? Why do you think that the government has been censoring radiation levels in Fukushima and Miyagi ever since this crisis started?

        I’m an adult and I sure as hell wouldn’t drink Tokyo tap water. Can you honestly say that by drinking Japanese tap water your chances of developing cancer in the future wouldn’t increase even if by a little? I think not.

        • Enough with the idiocy.

          IIRC, someone on the forums posted links to regularly updated geiger counter readings from near the Daiichi plant. And where the hell is this “radioactive dust” supposed to have come from? Have there been Chernobyl type inner-reactor explosions that I haven’t been made aware of? And no, the turbines are not in the reactors proper.

          Finally, if you’re worried about drinking Tokyo water, you’d probably be best off never drinking it, since the levels of radioactive materials in the water are probably the same as they always have been. Even though Tokyo’s one of the cleanest metropolitan areas I’ve been in (the other two being Osaka and Kyoto, being compared to cities around the world) there’s still plenty of pollutants that will be able to enter the water supply that have trace amounts of radioactive isotopes that.

          Enough with the drama bullshit, it’s getting no one anywhere while taking focus from important things. Like housing and feeding a whole bunch of people who lost their homes and rebuilding efforts.

        • I’m not affected personally, however my girlfriend and her family are since they are living in Miyagi prefecture 70km away from the Daiichi Plant. Yes, I’m very worried that attempts by the government to put a smiley face on this situation could lead to her or her family members being at risk for developing cancer over the normal rate. We’ve spoken over SKYPE and she and her family too agree that the government has been censoring and downplaying the situation to the detriment of their health.

          It’s not the background radiation that I’m worried about. It’s the harmful radiation dose they may get if they eat the wrong food or breathe in a gasp of radioactive dust.

        • Please, follow the link that I posted above and you’ll see for yourself. Fukushima and Miyagi are “under survey” and have been this whole time.

          Did you specifically hear about radiation levels in Miyagi and Fukushima? These are the places where radiation is likely the highest. From all of the sources that I’ve seen, they are reporting radiation levels for all prefectures except for those two.

          I have seen radiation levels for a few places within 20-30km of the power plant in Fukushima, but I have yet to see radiation levels released from places such as Sendai and Fukushima City. The 2 million people living in the nearby surrounding areas outside of the 20-30km are not being told their local level of radiation.

        • There’s a place in the UK that would get a dark orange color on the map because of the rocks in the earth, and while admitedly people don’t live on it, I’ve walked my dog there for pity sake… Unless you live in the prefecture don’t worry about it, if you’re so scared of cancer the best way to ensure you don’t get it is just off yourself now, because passive smoking is more likely to give you cancer than that water moron.

        • I listened to NHK this morning, and they were reading the radiation levels for all prefectures. What censoring?

          Sure TEPCO tried to manage information, but they got a mouthful from PM Kan for it.

  • And on the news they say that the water around Fukushima is radiated, but not even close to harmful. It would take many, many years of constantly drinking the water to have any sort of symptom from radiation poisoning. But sure, better safe than sorry I guess.

  • Artefact, could you kindly put a massive statement at the end of your article saying that boiling the water doesn’t help against radiation?
    It seems we have a lot of idiots in here.

    • Don’t forget though that ingesting or breathing in radioactive material is much more harmful than having radiation exposed on your skin. Radioactive particles are not easily eliminated from the body.

  • Ok, so why the fuck is there so much panic? The exposure does not seem that deadly for an adult human, its only for children truth. But then again the Chernobyl reactor meltdown was way worse not to mention completely unsafe reactors that where used at the time…

  • Fail once again. It’s over the limit for infants (100 untis). The limit is higher for everyone else (300 units). And the japanese standard is really strict, the limit is much higher (up to 3k units) everywhere else.

  • For those who laughing at these news, try put yourself in their shoes.

    If you are from those countries which have yet build any nuclear plants and laughing at this, urgent your government to quickly build one and let’s see if you can still laugh and tease on these news.

    If you think this is funny, and if your country’s nuclear plant is in trouble and tap water is having the same problem. Please drink from tap water and dun panic to buy bottled waters from walmart, etc.

    Btw, whatever stuffs you (eat) drink in =/= what you pass out. “Minerals” in those water have 50% chance of staying in your body. Especially those radioactive idoine and caesium which can replace your calciums. After 29-31 years, you may find holes in your bones. Radioactive affects everywhere even your “cells” to reproduce.

    We only have knowledge on nuclear stuffs for less than 70 years and we may still not know the full nuclear side-effects (long term effects) for next generation (other future generation). Bioaccumulation + Biomagnification. Sometimes when I look at most (many in fact) Japanese, their crooked teethes seems like hinting some kind of genetic disorders from the 2 bombs from WWII.

    Yes, we ourself are the white lab mices for all these nuclear incident testing. The nuclear scientists (sadists) are observing and recording these data while we are suffering from nuclear incidents.

    Just like the testing and recording on affected Japanese after WWII and people from Chernobyl disaster.

    Read Manga “Coppelion” <- Thanks to whoever suggested/ intro me to read.

    • It was recently discovered that as many as 70% of all household tapwater taps leak lead that exceed the government issued limit. I still drink tap water, and so does almost everyone. While it’s not radioactive, lead isn’t exactly healthy for you either.

      Seriously, drop the damn conspiracy theories. The US nuclear tests that they performed in Nevada caused more radiation to hit the US than the Fukushima plant has caused Japan so far.

    • You’re hysterical, Ocha. I get radiation from the radon in the air and radiation from space every day and I don’t see any holes in my bones. Neither do old people.

      Btw, we have nuclear plants and are currently building more and have approved plans to build even more. And that’s cool with me.

      I guess it’s good that they’re stocking up on water now in case there is a chance that bottled water will be needed sometime in the future (don’t know if that’s the case). I’d personally probably drink the tap water over queuing, but I’m not Japanese…

      • The difference is getting hit by radiation RAYS and having your bones composed of radiating material.

        Radiating material decomposes which will leave holes and also damages other material in your body by the destructive rays.

        • Silvertide says:

          With low levels of radiation, the damage that is most serious is in the cell nuclei where DNA is stored. Although we have proteins that repair damaged DNA, any damage done to DNA that is either not spotted or fixed by the cell’s proteins may result in a mutation. If this mutation occurs in an area of DNA that regulates the cell cycle, it is possible that mitosis can occur without control. This is the essence of cancer.

          Under acute radiation poisoning, cellular damage is so great that normal metabolic functions cannot continue and the cell dies. Usually this is due to a loss of cyctoplasmic membrane integrity leading to cellular swelling and loss of organelles or a loss of mitochondrial membrane integrity leading to a loss of ATP production.

        • okay, for 1, our bodies have this thing call regenerating, you may have seen it when you cut yourself as a kid, if there’s a hole (I’d like to point out, this will be a single molecules worth of hole by the way, and there’s a fair few molecules in a human body, then the body will just regenerate and fill that hole. Also the radioactive material will become a stable, or more stable atom in the process rather than just disappear, so we’ll still have the same number of atoms in our body, or in some cases more…

          Also I live in the UK, we’ve already had a nuclear problem, it was forgotten.

  • heres hopeing for a

    1) goo girl
    2) 4 armed woman
    3) 3 boobed woman
    4) 4 boobed woman
    5) 6 boobed woman
    6) a woman with 8 boobs, that go front sides and back (think flower petals)
    7) a woman with boobs on the front and back
    8) a woman with 2 assholes, one for poo, and the other is lined with clitoris and g-spot like tissues, secrets 4 times the lube as the pussy does, the lube is a mild aphoristic, and unless a tampon like object is inserted, it will leak.
    9) a woman who has a hole in her belly button that goes to her womb, and you can fuck the hole
    10) a 1 eyed cyclops like lila from futurama


    new number 1-3 everything else gets bumped down one

    1) a futanari goo girl who cums buckets,
    2) a futanari who cums buckets
    3) a furanari who can cum from vaginal and penis.