Japan Nuclear Plant: Just How Bad Is It?

The nuclear crisis at Japan’s Fukushima plant is already considered the second worst nuclear accident in history, behind Chernobyl.

The Telegraph(UK) reports:

French experts now rate it as a six on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s seven-point scale, despite the Japanese insisting it remains a four.

The International Nuclear Events scale (INES) was introduced in 1990 by the IAEA to aid public understanding on the significance of such events.

The scale is designed so incidents classified at one level are 10 times more severe than those at the level below. Here is our guide:

Level seven
A major accident which releases radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects. The 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine is the only level seven incident to have taken place.

Level six
A serious accident with the likely release of significant amounts of radioactive material.

Level five
An accident with wider consequences, and several expected deaths.

Level four
An accident with local consequences and at least one death.

Level three
A serious incident in which exposure exceeds ten times the statutory annual limit for workers.

Level two
An incident in which a member of the public or a worker is exposed to a certain level and level one is an anomaly involving minor problems with safety components.

Just keep praying…


The Ides of March

The soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar was, ‘Beware the Ides of March’… Well apparently, that’s today:

The Ides of March (Latin: Idus Martii) is the name of 15 March in the Roman calendar, probably referring to the day of the full moon. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months.The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and 60 other conspirators.

On his way to the Theatre of Pompey (where he would be assassinated), Caesar saw a seer who had foretold that harm would come to him not later than the Ides of March. Caesar joked, “Well, the Ides of March have come”, to which the seer replied “Ay, they have come, but they are not gone.” This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned to “beware the Ides of March”…

Wikipedia has more.