Sometimes the simple and the strange emerge from bigger things. The official accident investigation committee mentions one of the factors in the chaos at Fukushima Daiichi after the quake and tsunami was dying communication batteries. Wireless handsets used to communicate around the plant and with the on-site emergency office died in the first day of the accident.
Without any back up power at the plant they had no way to recharge the batteries in the phones. No one had thought to create a back up power system for communications and there was no stockpile of extra batteries. This simple oversight likely had major implications at the plant as communication was hindered.
Government research has found some very simple factors caused rice from Fukushima to be contaminated or not contaminated with cesium. It wasn’t just the amount of cesium in the soil. The amount of potassium in the soil and if the soil had been tilled were the key factors in rice being contaminated. Sufficient potassium meant the rice didn’t take up the cesium, without enough potassium the rice selected the cesium in the soil. Tilling the soil allowed the roots to go deeper and avoid the layer of soil where the cesium had deposited. If this pans out, crop safety could be drastically improved.
The ostrich is being offered a bit of food from one of the animal rescuers in the evacuation zone. The ostriches belonged to a farm near the Fukushima Daiichi plant. After everyone evacuated someone let those still alive loose so they could forage for food. They are frequently spotted by people in the zone and on security cameras. They have become an odd juxtaposition among the abandoned towns as they wander looking for something to eat. Thanks to Kimiko for the picture!
This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team
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