March 15, 2011
Tracking Radiation Levels in Tokyo: A Minorly Scary Photo
This is the pic that’s really making the rounds today. Although the set up is frightening, I think the photo helps to bring into focus the question of how great the radiation threat actually is.
Shortformblog posted the photo with the title: “Tracking radiation levels in Tokyo: A minorly scary photo.” The accompany photo credit reads:
Photo of the day: “A radiation detector marks 0.6 micro-sieverts, exceeding normal levels Tuesday, near Shibuya train station in Tokyo. Concern over possible radiation exposure has increased after a fourth reactor released radiation, Tuesday.”To compare – this level is higher than average, but only a tiny percentage of what’s happening at the plant. 1,000 micro-sieverts per hour equals one milli-sievert per hour. So this is high, but still minor. (Kyodo News/AP) source
The fear would be “more minorly” if the high zone on the meter had a long red line, instead of a green one, and the marking beneath the needle was green instead of red, and the woman in the background wasn’t wearing a mask (often seen in Tokyo due to everyday pollution). Clever shot.
I guess the main issue, in this photo, and in Japan to this point is: what is the definition of “minorly.”