Throughout the Fukushima nuclear disaster, an odd thing could be noted.  The US seems to be taking a much more concerned approach toward evacuation than Japan has.  The Japanese government only just recently upgraded their evacuation zone to 30km from the original 20km, and even that is not mandatory.  This whole time, the US has recommended a 50-mile (~80km) evacuation radius for its citizens.

Since Japan has so much more to lose by being wrong, why wouldn't they use the US evacuation radius?

Simple; they basically can't.

For my business, I have a working copy of the GeoNames geographic features database that I can issue arbitrary queries to.  This contains, among many other things, a list of cities worldwide.  All of the cities of reasonable population in Japan (~20k or over) have population figures over.  To fill in the gaps for smaller cities and to account for rural populations/unincorporated municipalities, we will add an extra 4k to each city.  This is imprecise, but it does not affect the overall picture too greatly.

We then set up a query to look at how many people there are inside each evacuation radius.  The below is the code to do it; I will summarize what it's doing and what the results are immediately after it:

-----
``` geonames=> select sum(4000) + sum(population) from geonames where feature_class = 'P' and geoblock1_longitude in (27, 28, 29) and geoblock1_latitude in (7, 8, 9) and earth_distance(ll_to_earth(latitude, longitude), ll_to_earth(37.421112, 141.033179)) < 20000;  ?column? ----------     89866 (1 row)```

```geonames=> select sum(4000) + sum(population) from geonames where feature_class = 'P' and geoblock1_longitude in (27, 28, 29) and geoblock1_latitude in (7, 8, 9) and earth_distance(ll_to_earth(latitude, longitude), ll_to_earth(37.421112, 141.033179)) < 30000;  ?column? ----------    145866 (1 row)```

```geonames=> select sum(4000) + sum(population) from geonames where feature_class = 'P' and geoblock1_longitude in (27, 28, 29) and geoblock1_latitude in (7, 8, 9) and earth_distance(ll_to_earth(latitude, longitude), ll_to_earth(37.421112, 141.033179)) < 50000;  ?column? ----------    726407 (1 row)```

```geonames=> select sum(4000) + sum(population) from geonames where feature_class = 'P' and geoblock1_longitude in (27, 28, 29) and geoblock1_latitude in (7, 8, 9) and earth_distance(ll_to_earth(latitude, longitude), ll_to_earth(37.421112, 141.033179)) < 80000;  ?column? ----------   2367494 (1 row)```
----

What each of these doing is summing up for each city within a certain distance -- 20,000 meters, 30,000 meters, 50,000 meters, and 80,000 meters from the reactors, respectively -- the sum of the known and estimated populations within that range.  We limit our search to the area around the plant for speed reasons.  What we find out is the following:

20km (the original evacuation zone): ~90k people.  Most of them are probably already evacuated due to tsunami damage.
30km (the new evacuation zone): ~145k people.  Again, most are probably already evacuated.
50km (an arbitrary intermediary measurement: ~726k people.  Most are not evacuated.
80km (the US's evacuation zone): ~2.4 million people.

Notice how dramatically the evacuated population rises once you step outside that 30km evacuation zone.  Why?

``` geonames=> select earth_distance(ll_to_earth(latitude, longitude), ll_to_earth(37.421112, 141.033179)), asciiname, population, latitude, longitude from geonames where feature_class='P' AND geoblock1_longitude in (27, 28, 29) and geoblock1_latitude in (7, 8, 9) and earth_distance(ll_to_earth(latitude, longitude), ll_to_earth(37.421112, 141.033179)) < 80000 and population > 100000 order by earth_distance(ll_to_earth(latitude, longitude), ll_to_earth(37.421112, 141.033179));   earth_distance  | asciiname | population |  latitude   |  longitude   ------------------+-----------+------------+-------------+--------------  43394.3344668441 | Iwaki     |     357309 | 37.05000000 | 140.88333330  57508.4560359889 | Koriyama  |     340560 | 37.40000000 | 140.38333330   61950.610151041 | Fukushima |     294237 | 37.75000000 | 140.46666670 (3 rows)```

(Above: Iwaki)

(Above: Koriyama)

(Above: Fukushima)

That is, there are three major cities, with populations similar to Arlington, New Orleans, and Cincinatti, respectively, that would have to be evacuated (along with many smaller ones).

What would 2.4 million IDPs -- let's face it, refugees -- mean to Japan?

(Above: Putting 2.4 million people in perspective: this shot shows a fraction of the people inside a building that, when full holds 10,000)

Japan is a country with 40% of the US's population and 4% of its land area.  Of that land area, 75% is extremely mountainous; Japan has little arable land to expand into.  Scaling the displaced peoples to US-scale from a purely population perspective, is equivalent to if the US had to evacuate both Los Angeles and Chicago, or perhaps 3/4ths of New York City.  From a perspective of where to settle them, the problem becomes extremely difficult.  Factor in that these people need to be supported instead of contributing approximately \$70B annually to the Japanese economy and you have a devastating picture.

Basically, Japan essentially can't afford to evacuate people within the 50-mile exclusion recommended by US nuclear scientists.  It doesn't matter that the furthest of those major cities (Fukushima-shi) was, as of yesterday, at nearly 100 times their normal background radiation.  And that unlike most background radiation, the source of this radiation is inhaleable/ingestable particulate matter (internal exposure is orders of magnitude worse than external exposure in terms of health consequnces).

They're just not going to do it.

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#### Comment Preferences

• ##### Tip Jar(166+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
• ##### Hmm... is there a Fukushima mothership diary?(21+ / 0-)

And if so, how do I deal with that?

[ Parent ]

• ##### Time For Nukesters To Retract Slurs on Jaczko(25+ / 0-)

Thanks for your analysis. It makes a lot of sense.

It also certainly discounts the attacks on NRC Chairman Jaczko by the various nukesters. Based on data and events, his 80 km/50 mile circle was correct, not evidence that he's an unqualified alarmist as the nukesters had claimed.

Recall that Jaczko was talking to Americans, not many of whom were there. Recall also that even before Jaczko drew that line, the U.S. Navy had already moved its fleet and started planning a wider evacuation.

• ##### Nuclear Power isn't an answer.(9+ / 0-)

It's a fetish.

On the other side of ..."Taghyir" or "Change" Square, others stripped off their jackets and advanced towards the gunfire, pointing towards their chests...in an invitation to shoot.

[ Parent ]

• ##### it's one of those things that would be cool if it (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
A Voice, science nerd

worked.

• ##### depending on definition of 'worked'(12+ / 0-)

Nuclear power 'works' if you mean just does it generate power. It certainly does that, and most of the time it doesn't kill people.

If your definition of 'works' means 'does it avoid producing hideously toxic substances during normal operation which no biological organism can process and which remain toxic for hundreds to thousands of years' - then nuclear power does not, cannot, and never has worked.

But yeah, I wish we lived in a Tom Swift Jr world where a high school kid could safely experiment with Atomic Batteries (tm) in his garage and where the isotopes all decayed to harmless forms within seconds. That kind of nuclear power I could believe in. Just not the kind we sadly have in the real world.

Stupid broken reality, why can't your physics be more like a videogame?

• ##### It "works," if by "works" you mean...(8+ / 0-)

...funnel trillions of public dollars into private hands.

Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

[ Parent ]

• ##### IF means IF(0+ / 0-)

it doesn't work
we shouldn't do it.

• ##### NRC role and regulation in the USA(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
bablhous, A Voice, science nerd

Jaczko’s Call on Fukushima Radiation Plucks U.S. Regulator From Obscurity

. . .

A major test of the NRC will be how the agency addresses the issue of spent fuel storage, Alvarez said. Jaczko, who Alvarez characterized as “a straight shooter,” may end up in the minority, he said.

“Even though he’s chairman, there are other commissioners and he’s just one vote,” Alvarez said in an interview. “In order to fill seats on that commission, you have to get the OK from the nuclear industry.”

Nuclear plant operators had misgivings about Jaczko when he joined the NRC and then became chairman, Kai Anderson, who served with Jaczko on Reid’s staff, said in an interview. Jaczko was considered an “aggressive regulator,” said Anderson, now a lobbyist at Cassidy & Associates in Washington.

. . . as if "aggressive" regulation in nuclear power could ever be considered a bad starting position.

"So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

[ Parent ]

• ##### perhaps if Japan had aggressive(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
science nerd, concerned

nuclear industry regulation, we wouldn't be having this discussion because either the Fukushima reactors would be in full operation or trouble would be at worst, confined to the site and pro-nuclear lobbyists would be touting Fukushima as proof that nuclear power is safe.

Note that we have (IIRC) a couple of dozen reactors essentially identical to the ones in Fukushima . . . and nuclear regulation as aggressive as . . . the regulators in Japan.

Which makes a good case for having potassium iodide around the house, particularly if one lives around a nuclear reactor facility.

Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Incredible.(10+ / 0-)

Thank you. I love demographics and geography writing. This makes it relevant.

• ##### yes, great data(7+ / 0-)

I read the transcript of the daily phone briefing on the Japan Fukushima plants, by the Union of Concerned Scientist under the link in the mothership, and found this sections to be interesting, and relevant to your point.

The issue raised is that the levels of radiation measures in several spots 30 to 40 miles away from the plant,  that might need to be abandoned, or extensively decontaminated before they will fit for human habitation.

Cesium 137 in the soil, and ground emits enough radiation to be a problem.  Some may run off into the ground water.  But, apparently the expectation is enough will remain as to be problematic.

Union of Concerned Scientists.  And they discuss measurements of 1 millirem per hour, 40 miles downwind,  from ground particulates, persumable Cesium 137, which has a half life of 30 years.

This would mean residents would recieve their yearly maximum in 100 hours.

If these levels perist, it would seem to imply, these areas would be uninhabitable for many decades.

REPORTER:  Hi, thank you.  Can you talk about a little bit more on your thoughts on the data that DOE released and the Austrian data in terms of health risks that those radiation levels pose and whether or not the data suggests that radiation risks were present in a larger area than Japanese officials had evacuated?
MR. LYMAN:  Yeah, actually, I need to pull those numbers up.  They certainly show dose rates that would indicate that there was prolonged residence in those areas, if those dose rates don't increase -- don't decrease, that in a matter of weeks, people would exceed -- or actually days, people would exceed the threshold that's generally considered the international standard for the maximum amount of radiation in one year for members of the public from our official sources, which internationally is 100 millirem a year.

So, they have mapped -- actually, I need to look at that to tell you, but they've mapped doses of over one millirem an hour as far as 30 or 40 miles downwind.  And, so, that would indicate that those areas, at least, are not going to be fit for long-term habitation at those dose rates.  If it really is due to cesium 137, then those dose rates are not likely to decline significantly over time.  So, it looks like there are going to be areas considerably further than 12 kilometers that may require significant decontamination or condemnation.

REPORTER:  And why is it that -- can you expand on that point about cesium 137 and why wouldn't it decline over time?

MR. LYMAN:  Because it has a half life of 30 years.  That's the physical half life. Now, what happens is as eventually it will work its way down to the soil, so the dose rates will decline somewhat faster than that, but if you look at the Chernobyl exclusion zone, you can see that even 20 or 25 years after the accident, that those dose rates do persist, and people do understand to some extent now from that experience how they will change over time, but certainly within a year or two, I would expect if there's no remedial action, that those would go down significantly, if they are due to cesium 137.

The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

[ Parent ]

• ##### Interesting analysis (8+ / 0-)

and unfortunate for the millions of Japanese living in the area that, it appears, ought to be evacuated but has not been.  Let's hope the wind blows out to sea.

• ##### But where do u Evacuate to?(16+ / 0-)

It would be like relocating the equivalent of 5.8M people in the US over a week.

And, as Rei says, Japan doesn't have much land mass, relative to the US.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Not to mention that a lot of their transportation(18+ / 0-)

infrastructure up there is shot.  Pretty much anything that ever runs by the coast / through a coastal city / through a coastal plain.

I can't imagine how the rolling blackouts are affecting their rail travel.  It's mostly by electric train (a great way to travel, by the way).  Of course, difficulty getting fuel to places may well hinder the diesel trains...

When I was in Japan, the only place I ever went that left us on a diesel train was in neighboring Yamagata-ken.  Everywhere else I traveled was electric.

[ Parent ]

• ##### I can answer that.(11+ / 0-)

Basicaly the plan to manage this consists of several elements:

:: The frequency of trains have been reduced on lines particularly during off peak hours when more power is required for businesses. Companies dependant on commuters are extending office hours to level pesk demand.

:: Much of the North-South train survices have been disrupted. In some areas the point is moot at this time because businesses are down and this is more of a problem (one of the main problems) affecting the ability to distributes food and supplies to the affected areas. There are really not enough trucks to pick up the slack.

:: Busses running on Diesel or LNG are running at maximum frequency and are overloaded (long waits) particularly in aras where train services have been affected.

:: Businesses are also required to cut all non-esetial power use such as heating meaing overcoats in the office now and sweltering heat as spring turns to summer.

:: The effect on industries and this point is quite severe because they have to manage rolling brownouts running intermitatly, just as is commonplae in some areas of China in the summer. Some industries (including large power consumer) that have to run 24/7 for process reasons will have to negotiate operating periods which could mean for example, 5 days on 4 days off, etc. For some this becomes very complex due to disruptions of supply chains which may take months to recover(my company faes this) and the effects of this have already been felt globally but the up side is should temporarally reduce power demand if force it to be used less efficiently.

:: The Japanese government have cut a deal with the Rusian Federation to supply a large quantity of LNG which will be used to run generators to make up some of the shortfall and also for transportation running LNG such as Taxis and light delivery truks; coverting some running gasoline to LNG might be an option.

Needless to say this has disrupted the system and it will take at least months for areas unaffected by the Earthquake and reactor problems to recover and years for those affected to recover if at all.

But I think restoring the trains will be a very high priority as it was a few years ago when an earthquake too out one line running through the areas now affected.

Japan and China run on trains. We know how to build them and repair them quickly. You work hard 24/7.

Japan will recover. No other choice life goes on.

Solving the reactor crisis is job No. 1, but other things are getting done in parallel. My company had significant earthquake damage to one plant and it will restart in about mid-April but maybe requires until summer to fully recover - if there is enough power and supplies. We'll see.

[ Parent ]

• ##### You can do that?(4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
A Voice, marleycat, koNko, Lujane

LNG = liquefied natural gas,  stored at -162C.  I don't think you can just put it in a bottle; you need a cryogenic maintenance system.
Necessity is the mother of invention, but I hope they don't have any LNG accidents: all the explosive potential of natural gas x 600.

"I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

[ Parent ]

• ##### LNG tankers are a major discussion point in LA...(6+ / 0-)

...where there is concern about a terrorist attack inside the Port of LA/LB and the risk that the resulting explosion could potentially have on surrounding infrastructure and the cruise ships that also dock in LB (I don't have the technical knowledge to evaluate whether or not that fear is legitimate; like all such threats, I suspect that the risk is probably far less than the TV news would like you to believe but still at least something to plan for).  Having said that, LNG shipments can and do happen on a daily (or weekly) basis in most major ports.  I'm glad to hear that Russia is playing nice thus far, I've feared since the beginning of this that Putin would use his new-found influence vis-a-vis Tokyo to try and force absurd territorial concessions over the disputed islands just off Hokkaido, Putin's government has mastered a "kick'em while they're down" manner of diplomacy.

"What Washington needs is adult supervision" - Barack Obama

[ Parent ]

• ##### LNG is another disaster waiting to happen.(4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
A Voice, marleycat, koNko, Lujane

I was involved in discussions of reopening a LNG facility on the East coast a few years back, but it was a time of increasing terrorist activity and the plans were shelved.
And the tanks are very susceptible to terrorist attack.  It hasn't happened yet so we get to stay in denial for a while longer, but someone will think to try it out one of these days.
Gaga-fifi exports a lot of it.  I suspect he has the means to effect such an attack. The results could be comparable to the detonation of a small nuke - albeit without the radiation.

"I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

[ Parent ]

• ##### I was just saying this yesterday(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

but that's just another brick in the "terrorists have won" wall . . .. .

Geez, seems like we can't do anything these day in fear of the the omniscent and omnipotent terrorist threat . . .

• ##### It may not be LNG(0+ / 0-)

Perhaps it is LPG?

In Japan. China.Hong Kong, etc. some type of natural gas ins used for TTaxis. Light Buses and Motor Sooters that is pressurized, but my understanding is hat they are buying for Russia is LNG.

In the vehicles they have small pressureized tanks in the boot.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Yes. I checked.(0+ / 0-)

Actually it is so-alled CNG (compressed natural gas) which is the vapor phase of LNG.

In Taxis it is normally a tank about 1000mm x 200mm diameter.

What we use in China is actually LPG (propane)>

It requires tank safety checking every year but we don;t seem to have problems with it in vehicle accidents.

[ Parent ]

• ##### LPG is just a local hazard at worst.(0+ / 0-)

LNG is a whole different animal, so to speak.

It's a shame the acronyms are so similar.

"I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

[ Parent ]

• ##### That's one of the things that's struck me since(28+ / 0-)

the earthquake happened.

The US is one of a very very few nations on the planet that can think of nation-boundaries on a continental scale. (Canada, China, Russia, Australia, and possibly Mexico and/or Brazil and/or India being the others)

Anywhere else? A disaster of this size is a national problem instead of localized, and evacuating past a point means cramming people against the border or making an arrangement to send refugees into a neighboring country.

Japan's even more disadvantaged because it's sealocked. Taking people off that particular island takes more than land transport, even to get them elsewhere within Japanese territory. The two mainland nations close enough for temporary or long-term refugees to reach without crossing the ocean have historical antagonisms with the Japanese.

Disaster reaction plans from America that presume significant land area without international borders or from western Europe that presume friendly neighbors with constant movement to and fro across national boundaries under normal circumstances will not work for Japan.

Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

[ Parent ]

• ##### japanese dunkirk(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Zinman, Lujane, koNko

they need to  move people with boats then.

George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

[ Parent ]

• ##### Form where to where?(6+ / 0-)

To get to the sea from most of the immediately affected areas you still have the same problem to move people overland; having done so they can go south faster by trains unaffected.

Perhaps understanding the local geography and infrastructure is helpful.

The central section on Honshuto the west & notrhwest of the reactor is generally mountianous with mid size cities and smaller towns dotting the landsape. The main means of transportation is trains followed by busses and cars. North of reactor (where there is a lot of coastline) is the area most devistated with train lines and roads down that is why they are struggling to get supplies and help to these areas, where people are basically stranded. To get to them or get them out is fundamentally difficult.

About 100km sounthwest of the reactors the terrain is flatter and has a denser network of trains but also densly populated and already straining under the burden of reduced capacity. But in an emergency they could be commendeered and quickly.

But what if the wind blows south? Then you are concentrating the effects, and given the small size, then defines the problem.

What would work? A huge number of heilocopters maybe because they could fly more direct routes to the sea, but they can't fly continiously. But if it was my responsibility I would want as many as I could get my hands on and some big ships to land on and I guess that is why the US has an airrcraft carrier off the coast.

In the last Tsumnmi crisis US carriers played a vital role in saving lives and if push came to shove I believe the US would put those sailors at risk to save lives.

But in the meantime, it is a reasonable precaution for vistors to pull back.

Honestly speaking, I work for a Japanese company and my wife absolutely forbids me to travel to Japan now, and so does my company - it is totally reasonable.  So I have to do what I can from here I am.

[ Parent ]

• ##### there's land travel between all four main islands(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
alizard, A Voice, Cassandra Waites

via bridges (between honshu, shikoku and kyushu) and tunnels (between honshu and hokkaido).

but a flood that big would stress the ability of their formidable transportation network to transport. still, housing on the other end is more likely to be the real chokepoint, in the medium term).

• ##### well, the Chinese have(0+ / 0-)

tens of millions of empty apartment units.

China ghost cities

Transportation would get interesting and supporting that many people offsite would get really interesting.

Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Great diary(14+ / 0-)

It explains why we can't have nuclear power plants in highly populated areas.  Or, better yet, not have them at all.

Which is good news for John McCain.

• ##### T & R's(13+ / 0-)

Reposted at Japan Earth Quake and Tsunami Info and Aid group.

E pluribus unum.

• ##### That is frightening.(7+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
PatriciaVa, terra, Kinak, DRo, Siri, ER Doc, Matt Z

I wake up every morning hoping that today was the day they finally got the plant under control.

Take the pledge on Social Security

• ##### Al Jazeera covered this quandary(19+ / 0-)

join the conversation at The Nuclear Free DK

• ##### Good article.(16+ / 0-)

I imagine the hotels and ryokan I stayed at in Yamagata and Niigata will be quite busy for quite some time.  "West" will only take so many people.  And it's not just about space; it's also about resources.  Further west is the beautiful and remote island of Sado, which is quite sparsely populated... but I can't imagine they could support a large number of refugees.  The whole place has a "sleepy fishing village" feel.

The one big thing Japan has going for it is that the people, by and large, will obey whatever orders the government gives.  They may have major misgivings internally, but people over there generally don't like to rock the boat.  We can only hope that the government response is competent and humane.

[ Parent ]

• ##### To lose one's country, one's culture(10+ / 0-)

I can't imagine how devastating it must be.
When will other nations offer refuge to the survivors with no place to go?

• ##### It'd be a wise move.(16+ / 0-)

Japan has a highly educated, hard-working population.  I'd think any country would be glad to have them.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Except Arizona, et al.(16+ / 0-)

"Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[ Parent ]

• ##### Hey. I don't blame you but we got lots of(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
ogre, marina, A Voice

space and we could use some good people.

I am the fellow citizen of every being that thinks; my country is Truth. ~Alphonse de Lamartine, "Marseillaise of Peace," 1841

[ Parent ]

• ##### I think they'd be *fine* additions to the (4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
marina, A Voice, science nerd, adrianrf

population of the state and nation.

Fine, frugal people who know how not to waste energy and water and other resources, with good educations and skills...

I think, however, that the state's legislature and governor would resemble Fukushima Daiichi #3 if it were suggested...

"Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

[ Parent ]

• ##### Who'd want to go to the US?(13+ / 0-)

Our social safety next is a few pieces of string compared to Japan's. Now, Canada on the other hand...

The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them. - Albert Einstein.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Well, weather versus security and easier visas(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
marina

America is still popular in Japan despite the social safety net problems because it's such a large country with reasonable weather. The west coast in particular is quite popular. Close to Japan and the weather is nice. The problem is visas. It's easier to get a visa in Canada. If the US made it easier for people to get visas, I think even fewer would be heading to Canada. I think the weather in Canada scares many away, including Americans. Australia would be another option similar to Canada but with better weather. The big downside of it is it being isolated and it's still kind of a long and expensive flight from Japan.

Please donate to help Japanese tsunami and earthquake relief efforts.

[ Parent ]

• ##### America is still a beacon of hope and freedom to(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
marina

many.  I have a LGBT friend in Macedonia who really hopes to move to the US (I plan to help him out in any way I can); it's no Uganda over there, but how they treat LGBT people is still very bad.

And yeah, he knows about the US's lack of healthcare and all that.  But the positives of the US still outweigh moving to, say, western Europe, for a number of reasons to him.

Of course, the Japanese have plenty of freedom.  Hope may be in short supply these days over there, however.

[ Parent ]

• ##### china has 29 empty cities.(10+ / 0-)

they could lease a few of those.

George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

[ Parent ]

• ##### They certainly do(10+ / 0-)

and that would be a great solution to the problem. In fact it is a genius solution and I see only one problem.

China will never admit these cities exist.

The day they do, the next day will see there economy disintegrate, since their real estate bubble will pop along with several trillion dollars.

• ##### if the cities can become profit(7+ / 0-)

centers or even break even thanks to the Japanese, I suspect that the Chinese government would be very happy to admit that the cities exist and take public credit for their "foresight" in creating them.

They really have to do something with those cities, unused buildings turn to rubble over decades.

Of course, the US has a similar problem with respect to millions of units of "shadow inventory" real estate the banks are holding off the market until the prices return to "normal" (aka bubble), something I doubt any reader of this will see in his or her lifetime.

Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

[ Parent ]

• ##### sendai west.(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
marina

Come to beautiful Sendai West.

George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

[ Parent ]

• ##### Don't assume it has not been considerd.(8+ / 0-)

Politically it would be a hard pill for the Japanese government to swallow, but the best prospets to off load Japnese people would be to South Korea, Taiwan and China.

But costal China has enough unsold luxury apartments built by Yuan speculators that it would be a more viable solution because there is surrounding infrastuture and importiant things like food, water, etc. One of these appartments could host 3 Japanese famillies or more.

It would be a good opportunity for the Japanese governement to make formal apologies for occupying these same areas in the last century and for the hosts and guests to kill the ghost.

Seriously.

[ Parent ]

• ##### To this I can only say (r)amen!(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Pandoras Box, marina, koNko
It would be a good opportunity for the Japanese governement to make formal apologies for occupying these same areas in the last century and for the hosts and guests to kill the ghost.

The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Logistically, it makes so much sense(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
science nerd, koNko

Morally, there would be little argument that it is the right thing to do.
Politically, it would take a giant leap of imagination and courage,
to offer one's country as a refuge.
I would love to witness a miracle like that.
Especially if the people of the offering nation stood in solidarity with the victims.
I'm such a dreamer.

• ##### I don't think it is far fetched(0+ / 0-)

All the countries surrounding the DPRK with the possible exception of the DPRK have taken in refugees before.

And are all nations ith nuclear power plants.

At such times the UN usually takes action to coordenate such work.

[ Parent ]

• ##### oh my gosh! I had no idea!(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
marina, science nerd

I would never have imagined this

"We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

[ Parent ]

• ##### Something Tells Me ...(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
marina

... that they won't be welcoming the Japanese into those cities any time soon. History, you know.

• ##### the chinese never let grudges(0+ / 0-)

get in the way of a profit center.

They hate the Japanese but they
bought a ton of stuff from them in the 90s

George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

[ Parent ]

• ##### excellent(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Nulwee

I am the fellow citizen of every being that thinks; my country is Truth. ~Alphonse de Lamartine, "Marseillaise of Peace," 1841

• ##### women and children(0+ / 0-)

evac the kids under 18,  women of child bearing age.

You can let the people over 40 stay

George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

• ##### you've got a point(4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
alizard, A Voice, Rei, science nerd

Not that I ever bought into the atomic cafe hype, but the nukers have been arguing all along that radiation isn't any worse than getting a ct scan. They always forget to mention that you'd never choose to give a ct scan to a child or a pregnant woman if you could help it because the danger from radiation is so much greater.
It doesn't matter how overpopulated Japan is: they can't choose to let vulnerable members of their society live in circumstances which will certainly result in large numbers of birth defects, developmental problems, immune system irregularities, and early cancers.

"I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

[ Parent ]

• ##### Thank you for doing what our idiot.....(4+ / 0-)

...media could not. Here's what we've had this week:

---Seems to be a discrepancy between US and Japanese evacuation zones. NO EXPLANATION FROM THE JAPANESE
-- Why no White House speech on Libya? Who's in charge?
--Lindsay Lohan dropping last name.
--Elizabeth Taylor (oscar winner) was married a  lot and we say her marriages overshadow her accomplishments as an actress and humanitarian.

The Japanese have nowhere to go, although as far as I am concerned, they can all move to Utah.

British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

• ##### Utah?(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
greengemini

That Republican state doesn't deserve them.  Let them move to California, please.

This aggression will not stand, man.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Shinto-Mormon hybrid state...(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Andhakari, pgm 01, A Voice

Would be an interesting mix.

Renewing the Bush tax cuts was the ultimate sell out of a presidency without any scruples.

[ Parent ]

• ##### The northeast and the rustbelt would die to have(0+ / 0-)

some of the Japanese corporations set up shop in their cities.  Personally I would make a swap, any Japanese refugees that want to move here to the US are allowed in through a very simplified system and anybody wishing to go Galt can set up shop over there in the areas outside of the official evacuation zone.

• ##### The National Weather Service...(7+ / 0-)

...on its Northern Pacific surface conditions map has for days had a United States Coast Guard statement that "...recommends vessels avoid transit within 43 NM [nautical miles] of the Fukushima nuclear power plant...".

That would be a radius of almost 80 km -- the US evacuation zone.

- bp

"I don't care who your goddam emperor is: his clothes still suck"

• ##### Will there be a sacrifice of population?(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
A Voice, MixedContent

Their leaders, and their people, have the capacity of move mountains overnight if they choose to do so.

I say, move your population out of the 80 km exclusion zone until this thing is under conrol, then you can go back as circumstances dictate.  I say, all of Japan must welcome the nuclear refugees into their homes and shelters as if they were brothers and sisters.  Every community has capacity for emergency shelter, every community in Japan should offer what they can to the potential refugees.  The alternative is ghastly, nobody wants to think about it.

A sacrifice of population is not thinkable, so let's do the possible.  Find space and find means to save the people in the evacuation zone.  Please start now, there are no do-overs in this situation.  We are all Japanese now.  Open borders around the world, save the people in the evacuation zones by finding them places to go to avoid staying in harm's way if the people nearby to them are overwhelmed right now.  Find the means for them to temporarily move.  Please do so.

"11 dimensional chess" is a clever form of using magical thinking to obfuscate the obvious.

• ##### Thanks for a very informative diary.(7+ / 0-)

It's heartbreaking to me - I lived in Koriyama in the early 90's and loved it there.  Over the years I've kept in touch with a handful of people I met, lived and worked with there, and was relieved that the city and its environs were relatively unscathed in the earthquake. And, of course untouched by the tsunami.  Which is not to say that Koriyama wasn't impacted, of course. Lack of power, influx of refugees, etc. But this....

I have heard from a couple of my old acquaintances in the last few days, and while you're right that the Japanese people will probably "do as they're told", the impression I'm getting is that the people in the area are developing a deep and growing anger at the government and TEPCO.  If the times and situation were not so extraordinary, there's no telling whether or not the populous would remain so biddable.

• ##### Thank you(0+ / 0-)

I've seen so many people breathlessly insisting that Japan should be evacuating to the 50m range - having been in Japan and actually able to read a map (and see the terrain), it's obvious that even if the 50m radius were the proper solution in a vacuum that it just plain can't happen here.

As to the people on this thread who insist the opposite - how many aircraft does it take to move 2.4 million people (assuming you can get the isolated ones to an airstrip)?  How many boats (assuming you can get them to a pier and/or ferry them to an ocean-going vessel)?  I don't think these armchair warriors are capable of thinking in terms of scope.

"What Washington needs is adult supervision" - Barack Obama

• ##### It struck me today that if you could smell(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
science nerd

a radiation leak, many people would have long since hightailed it out of the 50km range.  And that the Japanese government would of political necessity be more sympathetic to their concerns and wishes to evacuate.

"And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

• ##### Fukushima is becoming(5+ / 0-)

a tragedy of epic proportions, which is saying a lot considering the earthquake and tsunami that came before it.

Our media and government is treating this like some sideshow when it's the main event.  God help the Japanese people it's somehow resolved for their benefit.

We all work, in some form or fashion, for the military-industrial complex.

• ##### Not the main event, but the focus is wrong(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Rei

The US media is focused on immediate health risks. The larger problem is going to be what happens when a large area is uninhabitable. Japan has limited space for farming, so it's going to reduce the amount of farming they can do. It's going to hurt them economically. Tokyo is already over crowded, but other local economies are much weaker since everything is concentrated in Tokyo. There's pressure now from business leaders to decentralize. This could help Osaka which has been on the decline for awhile as Tokyo was sucking up more and more.

Please donate to help Japanese tsunami and earthquake relief efforts.

[ Parent ]

• ##### No(0+ / 0-)

they are focused on Libya.  Cuz bombs dropping is always more interesting than slower-killing radiation.

We all work, in some form or fashion, for the military-industrial complex.

[ Parent ]

• ##### If no one dies on the spot(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

. . . that seems to be a bragging point for any corporate malfeasance. Tainted food, pharmaceuticals, toxic waste, runoff, radiation leaks.

If no one dies right away (that you can easily prove): Hey, we're good! Stop complaining.

• ##### Indeed -- nuclear disasters are disasters in (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
poxonyou, bogmanoc

slow motion.  In general, relatively few people react because you can get out; you don't have to sit around being bombarded by lethal doses (so long as you're properly informed).  But what you can't do is choose to ignore it.  If you try to stay in the danger zone, then you get sick and/or die.

Nuclear disasters are about closure of land, loss of property, fear, hardship, and huge economic losses.  Yet the focus is always on deaths, like with other disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.  Earthquakes and tsunamis kill a lot more people in the short term, and usually overall.  They don't turn the ground to poison and render a large radius unusable for years, decades, or centuries, depending on the level of contamination.

[ Parent ]

• ##### This is why my brother is evacuating his family(4+ / 0-)

not to elsewhere in Japan, but to Shanghai, China, where he is already based and starting a business. He's been there for something over a year now. (Not an atypical thing for a Japanese family, actually.) My nephews arrive in Shanghai on Sunday; hopefully my sister in law will come with them or follow shortly thereafter. It is not known yet what she will do. Complicating the issue is that her mother is not, to the best of my knowledge, evacuating.

Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

• ##### This actually raises an important point(3+ / 0-)

What we are talking about is still relatively low level radiation. You are not going to die on the spot from radiation poisoning, so far as I understand the levels we are talking about. The danger is largely statistical, in that with such exposures you would be statistically more likely over your lifetime to develop cancer, etc.

The greatest possible gain by evacuating would thus be for those who have not already had a large exposure over time to other cancer-causers, chemicals, etc. Therefore, evacuations should presumably concentrate on children and pregnant women.

The grandmother has most of her life behind her. The kids have most of their lives ahead of them. Thinking critically in disaster-prevention terms: How much do you reduce the number for evacuations if you take just the families with kids?

• ##### He'd Better Think Twice About China(2+ / 0-)

I've been there a couple times, and words can only hint at what a festering, polluted shithole it is. Imagine a house with a fireplace. They've got a roaring fire going, but no one has opened the flue. That's China today.

Oh, and if they'll put that shit into the air, just imagine what they'll put into the ground. There are whole provinces of China where nothing grows. I'd never even think of moving a family there, not in a million years.

• ##### He's not moving them there as such(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Charles CurtisStanley

Just evacuating them there, because they're his kids too and that's where HE is; it's where his new business is based.

Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Thanks for important perspective(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Drama Queen, alizard

What should be has to contend with what can be. But let us hope that they are trying their best to give the kids and pregnant women potassium iodide pills.

• ##### Another reason(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
poxonyou, Rei, science nerd

at that point, Japan is about 100 miles across. A 50 mile exclusion zone would go a long way to cutting the country in half.

The potential for massive, nationwide disruption (think rail and highways cut off, inability to repair pipeline and telecom breaks etc) would rise exponentially with each extra KM of radius.

There would be a point, and it may already have been reached, where there is no bigger zone that could be imposed without collapsing the economy.

Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

• ##### This lack of Japan's response to earlier warnings (1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
science nerd

that these plants were not safe enough if there were earthquake activity is an example of what goes on in most countries.  They cut corners on safety because of the bottom line and regulatory agencies are captured by the energy industry.  We saw a similar situation with BP and the Gulf oil spill.  It gives one pause and realization that human societies will never be able to deal effectively with something like global warming.  When global warming reaches a point that humankind is forced to do something about it, it will be too late.

QuietLight

• ##### Hell, the U.S. wouldn't use that zone in the U.S.(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
science nerd, gerald 1969

if it included a major city with millions of people.