Wednesday was a rough day as far as developments at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Radiation levels were fluctuating high enough that the company deemed it necessary to pull their skeleton crew for a couple of hours, leaving the place unmanned. I admire those workers- they’ll be lucky to live through this, but no one being there to man the hose was a bit of unnerving news at that moment. Before bed we got a radiation report- I understand that normal is in the .001 range. As far as Yokohama- 300km south of Fukushima and down the beach from Tokyo, they got readings in the .01 range. In Tokyo and my area, the .1xx range, and 50 miles north 15.xx… Early this morning the British were advised to leave Tokyo, and the Americans finally diverged from the Japanese on the point of how far away from the plant people should be evacuating if possible. The Japanese are at 12 miles for evac, 19 miles for hunker down. Americans within a 50 mile range have been told to bug out if at all possible, and consular staff are starting to check on those with addresses in that range. Message boards online are indicating that many of the Japanese who are aware of the situation (the divergence has not hit the Japanese news yet), are expressing more trust in the American recommendation. While no one wants to hear that they have to evacuate, the distances so far have just not seemed far enough.
People are being given instructions to remove and wash all clothes and to shower well after going outside. Additionally, gloves, masks, and hats are also advised. Today I’ll be going out for the first time in about 4 days: I need to buy some travel supplies for the kitteh, some boxes for packing up some stuff to send to the US, and get myself a nice sweaty workout at the gym! Most of the employees there have local or farther than Tokyo families, and so do not seem stressed or worried personally about anything yet. One of the reasons that I have not gone out is because I believe that in a situation like this, people and companies should take a knee if possible- I haven’t worked for two weeks and have canceled my lessons for the rest of the month, and all of next month are on hold. On the same principle, I felt wrong turning around and going to the gym like usual. But this will be my last chance in a couple of weeks, as I am escorting Miss Norah, my kitteh, to her new home tomorrow.