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But I Fear a Great Fear…

March 18, 2011

Last night on Facebook, a FB friend of mine who’s nowhere near the coast had a post about how hard it was to find Potassium Iodide pills.  A few others were commenting on how hard it was as well, though one did comment that a bunch of people miles away from Japan buying these probably meant that the Japanese would be further shorted on supply.

Sigh.

So first of all, what do those pills really do? (Thanks for the pointer at Hot Air)

At least seven people have reported reactions to the drug, often called by its chemical name, KI, including two who said they were suffering from serious symptoms including vomiting, racing heart and dizziness or vertigo.

Oh, so there are more people in the US sick over taking pills that don’t work as a preventative… then there are in Japan who have actually been treated for radiation sickness (last I checked, that answer was: one).  By the way, for those panic-mongers who feel a bit of guilt about taking supply away from Japan, most governments have a nice stock of this already.  So you’re free to buy to your heart’s content.  The pills are somewhat useful in case you ever run across some water in the wilderness that needs cleaning before you drink it, though there are cheaper solutions there as well.

So what’s really going on at Fukishima?  I wouldn’t go to the news to find out, but here’s a nice update:

The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant in Japan, badly damaged during the extremely severe earthquake and tsunami there a week ago, continues to stabilise. It is becoming more probable by the day that public health consequences will be zero and radiation health effects among workers at the site will be so minor as to be hard to measure. Nuclear experts are beginning to condemn the international hysteria which has followed the incident in increasingly blunt terms.

Seawater cooling of the three damaged reactor cores (Nos 1, 2 and 3) at the site continues. US officials and other foreign commentators continued to remain focused on a spent-fuel storage pool at the No 4 reactor (whose fuel had been removed and placed in the pool some three months prior to the quake).

If you haven’t been following Lewis Page’s common-language explanations, please go read them all now.  They’re a tribute to the quality of people who are keeping focus and stabilizing the situation at some moderate risk to their health.  Go to a typical news source, and you get:

Okay… thanks.

At this point, I’m past thinking the news agencies couldn’t find anyone to do research to really see how bad this really was (not really bad at all), and now they’re just cauing panic to get ratings.  Luckily there are plenty of people here in the US who are happy to oblige.

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