From a visual reckoning thats 3 nuclear meltdowns on one site, on the scale of chernobyl. ie at the worst childhood thyroid cancer, and cancers in general in young people and birth deformitys will end up being anywhere upto three times that or worse of the scenario found around chernobyl upto 150 miles away. watch the chernobyl heart documentary “chernobyl heart”
obviously japans economic situation will enable them to save more children from illness, but still we can expect an increase in these childhood illnesses. 16 years later there is still a 30km exclusion zone around Chernobyl. So Tepco’s three reactors will present a much worse situation they need to entomb those reactors now. with halflife of some of these radioactive materials, the wider they distribute into the environment the worse it will be for the population of japan in the long term, the exclusion zone should be widened now, those people should not be returning to their homes in the exclusion zone, unless theyre old and have had children and are not worried about the possible effect, the people who return to near that land, should be adult people who dont want children or are well beyond the age of having children. As its those organisms that are newly born, young or growing that will be most affected by the uptake of the radioactive compounds, dust etc.
for instance here is the countries affected by fallout from chernobyl :
so superimpose that size of fallout on japan and times it by three
see whether you can do snap with these images ?
to me thats at least 2.5 times chernobyl and these reactors contained a great deal more radioactive material on site. so its probably 3 times chernobyl.
This might be considered a one off, but really nuclear power stations rely on trying to control runaway reactions, similar to those that occur in a nuclear explosion and keep them under control for the purpose of generating electricity, the problem is once they get out of control theyre almost impossible to bring back into control, especially if you have no way of cooling the reactors as in this scenario, and then what happens is kind of inevitable … a nuclear meltdown and its related explosions distributing radioactive material into the atmosphere and environment. Radioactivity can be thought of being a bit like magnetism, in the sense, that one one magnetic object can magnetise others, so its the same with radioactivity, in the sense that one source of radioactivity can make other things radioactive, the problem with the environment, radioactivity and the long half life of these materials, is the inevitable portability of this radioactivity and its almost inevitable diffusion into the wider environment.
Just read the “cat in the hat comes back” by Docter Seusse and imagine the pink stuff as radioactive compounds and you get an idea of what will be going on.
Also my prediction is they will go for an entombment approach as they did with chernobyl, the brush it under a rug scenario, which is possibly the best scenario ? shipping the radioactive material elsewhere will probably just distribute more radioactivity, but how are they going to entomb this site quickly ? its going to be exposed to the wider environment for many months now, and secondarily this isnt the russian era where you can pay 150,000 volunteers to recieve their lifetime dose in 15 minutes of work to clear the mess up, theyll now either have to use robots which will take forever, sadly theyll need an army of old heroic volunteers who arent going to be having children or have already had them to do this work. the tomb will have to be three times bigger than chernobyl, and they will still have big risks from rainwater leaching radioactivity into the water table underneath.
my hope is that the seriousness of this situation is gauged correctly by the government officials tasked with dealing with this situation, and that all possible measures are being brought in to contain it.