Tuesday, April 05, 2011

How long before we see Blinky the three eye fish?

That's a really obscure Simspon's reference from early 90's so you are excused for not knowing who Blinky is :)

While the world's attention has drifted away from Japan and on to the more cable news ready conflicts in Libya and The Ivory Coast the news in Japan continues to get worse.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when the world went nuts with the "radiation levels seen at a million times higher than normal" story? That was quickly put to bed as single bad reading. Nothing to see here move along.

Fast forward to this weekend - now from the Japan Times comes this news

"The unstoppable radioactive discharge into the Pacific has prompted experts to sound the alarm, as cesium, which has a much longer half-life than iodine, is expected to concentrate in the upper food chain.

According to Tepco, some 300,000 becquerels per sq. centimeter of radioactive iodine-131 was detected Saturday, while the amount of cesium-134 was 2 million times the maximum amount permitted and cesium-137 was 1.3 million times the amount allowable.

The amount of iodine-131 dropped to 79,000 becquerels per sq. centimeter Sunday but shot up again Monday to 200,000 becquerels, 5 million times the permissible amount.

The level of radioactive iodine in the polluted water inside reactor 2's cracked storage pit had an even higher concentration. A water sample Saturday had 5.2 million becquerels of iodine per sq. centimeter, or 130 million times the maximum amount allowable, and water leaking from the crack had a reading of 5.4 million becquerels, Tepco said.

The half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years, while that for cesium-134 is two years. The longer half-life means it will probably concentrate in the upper food chain.

"All of Japan's sea products will probably be labeled unsafe and other nations will blame Japan if radiation is detected in their marine products," Yamamoto said.

Tepco on Monday began the release into the sea of 11,500 tons of low-level radioactive water to make room to store high-level radiation-polluted water in the No. 2 turbine building. The discharge continued Tuesday.

While the levels of iodine are startling it's relatively short half life means it's not going to be a huge issue. However, the cessium numbers are very troubling and these readings are all from Saturday, before Tepco started pumping another 2 million pounds of radioactive water into the sea.

The amount of disinformation coming from Tepco and the Japanese government is very disappointing.

The Ten States with the worst property taxes

10. Nebraska
9. Massachusetts
8. Wisconsin
7. Illinois
6. Rhode Island
5. New York
4. Connecticut
3. Vermont
2. New Hampshire
1. New Jersey

So I guess if I want to keep enjoying the beautiful weather in the Northeast but I want to escape the high property taxes I'll have to move to Maine :)

So far Apple is holding up remarkably well considering that it's weighting in the major Nasdaq indexes was cut. Since 694 index funds have Apple as their top holding this could eventually lead to a bit of selling pressure for the biggest of the big momentum stocks but so far so good.

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