But in Tokyo they are becoming integrated into the fabric of the day, and usually aren't particularly troubling. This morning's was at 8.08 though, peak time on the subway, and Hiro was on the train. All lines were halted to ascertain safety before resuming normal service. It seems as though there is a policy to have the trains proceed to the next station. Fortunately his train was stopped only for a few minutes & they had the doors open at the station. For me, probably the greatest fear of commuting is being stuck in an over crowded train needing to go to the loo...
The Sydney Morning Herald, yet again demonstrates its tabloid credentials, opening with a strong suggestiong that a fire at the Fukushima plan has caused the upgrading of the severity of the damage:
Japan has raised the severity level of its nuclear crisis to seven to put it on a par with the Chernobyl accident 25 years ago as engineers battled a fire at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
It has been upgraded, but not because of anything new, not because things are getting worse, but as a retrospective analysis of the situation. Unlike Chernobyl, there are multiple reactors in Fukushima.
Also unlike Chernobyl, irradiated food is being withdrawn from the food chain - with what seems to be strict & transparent testing. (Though Madeline has explained it to me I still puzzle that food irradiation for sterilization is permissible in so many jurisdictions internationally...)
In the last couple of days the evacuation area has been increased to include areas where radiation levels are high. But Japanese govt. exclusion zone is still much smaller than the exclusion zone foreign govts are working with. Realistically though, locating people from the 80km radius would mean evacuating 2 million people....If the radiation levels aren't high, I can see the logic for not applying the 80km zone.
This is a picture that was in the NY Times a few weeks back explaining the evacuation zones as they stood at the time.