March 29 Update

No polish right now, but maybe I’ll post some Plutonium Green later. Actually, plutonium is a dull-silver gray, but in my mind I’ve always imagined it was neon green. Perhaps from reading too many comic books?

Plutonium was found in the soil at everyone’s favorite runaway nuclear power plant. Of course, TEPCO pulled out their favorite phrase, “We believe the level is not serious enough to harm human health.”  They blamed part of the presence on historical nuclear weapons testing. The president of TEPCO is hiding out and has not been seen in quite some time in public. He ought to be at his ruined power plant, doing some cleanup. Perhaps he could do it without the proper protective gear, just like the workers TEPCO hired for the cleanup.

Yes, two workers laying cables were standing in a puddle of highly radioactive water and reportedly got exposed to 2-6 sieverts of radiation while doing repairs. 4 sieverts is the LD50, or the dose that will kill 50% of people exposed. The radioactive water got into their boots and burned their skin.  But no one’s giving the names of the affected workers, at least not for now, so I guess we’ll never really know what happened.  Things change every second, reports get retracted (always in TEPCO’s favor) and everything is so muddy that no one knows what is going on. 

But plutonium leaks are a whole new ballgame.  I did a little research on it and while exposure to it doesn’t mean instant death, it is not something I want in my body. It’s not quite as toxic as I imagined, but it’s still nasty stuff.  The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the lifetime cancer risk is raised 1% for inhaling 5,000 plutonium particles. 

So while life looks pretty normal in Tokyo, I think everyone is still unsettled. It’s gone from outright fight-or-flight panic we experienced in the first days, when one or two reactors per day blew up, to a more mundane kind of terror that perpetually lurks just below the surface.  We’re sort of all just waiting for a resolution. The overheating reactors are mostly under control, at least. But I don’t think I’ll really rest easy for a while.


About nevertoomuchglitter

Nail artist. Wanderer. I'm a color-holic, in fact, it was my love of color that brought me to the nail art world. Well, that, and the fact I was too cheap to pay crazy Japanese prices for nail polish while living in Tokyo, so I had to start mixing my own. That's how NTMG began.
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8 Responses to March 29 Update

  1. Lucy says:

    I’m sure there will be so many insane reports and things happening. This is so horrible but how about all the displaced people? I don’t know how you can even rebuild again. Have you gone back to work yet? Stay safe. Now we’re hearing reports of radiation here. What a mess! (((hugs)))

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks Lucy! I am back at work, which is actually a good thing! I never thought I’d actually rather go to work than stay at home, but it was tough being stuck in the house all day.

      It just seems to be more bad news every day here, and we’re continuing to have aftershocks. My nerves are shot!

  2. lilynail says:

    i hope everything is ok for you !!
    now we haven’t lot of info about japanese life this difficult moment !!
    except that the situation is alarmant and japanese need help from france .

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Hi Lily! Yes, the situation is pretty bad here. There is not so much radiation danger, but there is a big problem with food and getting supplies. And thank you, France, for sending some robots and nuclear experts!

      I would also like France to send some delicious cheese and maybe some nice wine to me. 😉

  3. Chris says:

    They are now saying that air monitors are picking up the radiation here in the U.K.
    Not alot we can do about It!
    Stay safe and keep painting those nails. Love to see a neon green soon!!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks Chris! I hope the UK is not affected. I’m working on a neon green with maybe some dangerous glowing flecks. 😉

  4. Jace says:

    Again, thank you for providing the layman’s perspective of the aftermath. It’s funny to me that a company/government would release misinformation in an era when facts can be easily checked. Stay safe. Loved your recent review of TiNS.

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks Jace! Yeah, the press is much more tightly controlled in Japan than in the West. A panic in a city the size of Tokyo alone would cause deaths, which is the general excuse for the lack of facts and shady reporting. Oh, and glad you liked the TiNS!

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