South Korea Cancels School Over Radiation Fears

April 7th, 2011
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What country is going to win the award for being the stupidest in their response to the events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant?�� Could it be Australia, where ignoramuses who were more than 75 miles from the plant are whining about possible radiation poisoning?�� Could it be the United States, where idiots are frantically calling government officials to ask if its safe to go outdoors?�� How about China, where morons are buying salt thinking it will protect them from radioactive iodine?

Excuse my name calling, but the sheer stupidity of this is starting to really get to me.�� It seems that South Korea is now vying for the title of being the most radiophobic nation of complete and utter idiots by closing schools out of fear of radiation.

Via CTV:

SEOUL, South Korea — More than 100 South Korean schools have cancelled or shortened classes over fears that rain falling across the country may include radiation from Japan’s stricken nuclear plant.

The Education Office of Gyeonggi province said it allowed schools to decide whether to open Thursday.

The prime minister’s office said radiation levels in the rain were low and posed no health threat.

Still, officials said that 126 schools in Gyeonggi province, near the capital, Seoul, shut down and 43 others shortened class hours as a precaution.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said only a few schools outside Gyeonggi cancelled classes Thursday.

Radiation levels fall quickly as you move away from the source, and officials have cleared the 12-mile (20-kilometre) radius around Japan’s crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex.

Recent progress at the plant — which was damaged by a March 11 tsunami — appears to have slowed the release of radiation into the ocean. This week, technicians there plugged a crack that had been gushing contaminated water into the Pacific. Contamination in waters off the coast has fallen dramatically since then.


The sheer stupidity that accompanies the rampant radiophobia that has gripped modern society is breathtaking. Ionizing radiation is easy to detect. You only need simple, cheap equipment and it can be detected right away. In other words, there’s no mystery as to whether rainwater is radioactive to the point of being dangerous. You don’t have to fear or guess. You can know right away.

The level of radiation that a person would be exposed to right outside the nuclear plant at Fukushima is perfectly safe. Although there have been a few high spikes, in general, it’s not high enough to be dangerous. A person would be absolutely fine a mile away from the plant. A person ten miles away has zero possibility of being in danger. Yet these idiots seem to think it’s prudent to close schools that are all the way in Korea.

Finally, let me ask an obvious question: If there were dangerous radiation in South Korea, how in the hell does sending kids home early from school protect them? What, does the radiation just target schools? The way some anti-nuclear groups talk, you might think it does. I could see how canceling school might prevent kids from going out doors (assuming they don’t use their day off to go out and play), but closing early? Are you stupid? Oh, sorry, we already established that, didn’t we.

I should warn the South Koreans though, they are in for some big competition when it comes to claiming the prize for stupidity. Never under estimate the ability of the United States to overtake all others in terms of sheer idiocy. We’re the country that brought you Intelligent Design and chiropractic medicine. We’re the nation of Paris Hilton and Sarah Palin, and goddamnit, nobody is going to take the stupid crown from us without a fight.

Then again, South Korea does have fan death, and that’s pretty damn stupid.


This entry was posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2011 at 10:11 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Culture, Just LAME, Not Even Wrong, Nuclear. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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14 Responses to “South Korea Cancels School Over Radiation Fears”

  1. 1
    Mark Says:

    Agree with you.

    I still have a problem with the word ‘safe’ when dealing with LNT (if that is what is to be believed), if only in order to try and get people to understand other risks in context. Yes, the hazards discussed above are ‘safe’ but probably better defined as negligible, especially if I were a litigation lawyer !!

    Thing is the media and public do not like the word negligible – because it really only means something to them if they can then compare. This is why i often use these images : http://yfrog.com/h7hx6zcdj

    I posted that image on your blog article yesterday. It is useful because I often have a saying ‘Seeing is believing’ – and that is something that many people have a problem with when trying to deal with radiation issues. Anyone who wants to close a school, should quite simply never ever fly again !

    Mark


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  2. 2
    Franck Says:

    It’s good news, in the last few decades, South Korea has been a flourishing country through a heavy commitment to quality education and hard work, we lazy westerners now have our chance again!

    BTW, your site sends an ambiguous message: the conforting nerd-oriented russian bribes for sale ad has been replaced by discount Geiger counter offer, could the situation be worse that what you tell us?


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  3. 3
    DV82XL Says:

    In the long run over the top stupidity like this is going to have the effect of making radiophones look like fools in the eyes of those that might hold soft antinuclear feelings. I suspect that many of those who do not support nuclear energy do so a default position, and nonsense like this may force a number of these people to reevaluate their stand.


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  4. 4
    Anon Says:

    Geiger counter ad, what Geiger counter ad?

            DV82XL said:

    In the long run over the top stupidity like this is going to have the effect of making radiophones look like fools in the eyes of those that might hold soft antinuclear feelings. I suspect that many of those who do not support nuclear energy do so a default position, and nonsense like this may force a number of these people to reevaluate their stand.

    Sounds like the best way to deal with them may be to just ridicule them.


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  5. 5
    XPLAlN Says:

    This widely syndicated syndicated story is a bit dubious as there is no proper source. “Officials” is not a source. Furthermore, none of the quotes used actually link radiation fears to the closing of these schools. There are some quotes about closed schools and there are some different quotes about radiation fears contrived to create an impression. This is a classic journalistic trick.

    One version of this story actually ‘attributes’ 28 000 deaths (clearly of the tsunami) to the nuclear crisis in this manner:

    ‘Not out of the woods yet’

    But as engineers battle multiple crises – some the result of efforts to try to cool reactors – officials admit it could take months to bring the reactors under control and years to clear up the toxic mess left behind at the plant 150 miles north of Tokyo.

    “Data shows the reactors are in a stable condition, but we are not out of the woods yet,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.

    The government has already set up a 12-mile exclusion zone around the plant, banned fishing along much of the northeast coast and set up evacuation centers for the tens of thousands forced to leave their homes following the crisis.

    Nuclear safety experts have said that radiation leaking into the air and water from the crippled site do not pose a health threat outside the evacuation zone.

    An estimated 28,000 people were killed or are missing following the disaster.

    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/226894-South-Korea-shuts-schools-amid-Japan-radiation-fears

    I really don’t think this story tells us much about the South Koreans. Even if things are as portrayed it doesn’t represent what the South Korean man in the street actually makes of all this nuclear crisis scare. With the media whipping up a panic, reporting the panic itself becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Of all countries outside Japan, SK has the greatest excuse for a exhibiting a bit of irrational fear.


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  6. 6
    XPLAlN Says:

    Mark

    “I posted that image on your blog article yesterday.”

    Do you think it was the Grolsch, the peanuts or the fatulence?


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  7. 7
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Franck said:

    BTW, your site sends an ambiguous message: the conforting nerd-oriented russian bribes for sale ad has been replaced by discount Geiger counter offer, could the situation be worse that what you tell us?

    Well they’re fun to have anyway just to demonstrate how radioactive every day stuff is or to go hunting for uranium or thorium minerals.


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  8. 8
    Franck Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    Well they’re fun to have anyway just to demonstrate how radioactive every day stuff is or to go hunting for uranium or thorium minerals.

    I live on over 100m of chalk (north of France used to be a sea), my only geological concern is to prevent my washing machine to prematurely turn into a stalactite.


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  9. 9
    Sigivald Says:

    Franck: I don’t think our host has any direct control over the ads shown.

    (I run with AdBlock Plus on Firefox so I don’t even see them, myself – but these days most of your ads are context-based automatically by analysis of the content.

    When the content includes a lot of talk about radiation, ads with a radiation keyword, if any exist, will likely be chosen.

    Thus, geiger counters.)


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  10. 10
    Josh Says:

    It’s just tiring noting all the ways people can react stupidly.

    Georges Monbiot (the person who was the inspiration for the term moonbat) managed to see reason. Why can’t so many others?


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  11. 11
    Anon Says:

            Sigivald said:

    (I run with AdBlock Plus on Firefox so I don’t even see them, myself – but these days most of your ads are context-based automatically by analysis of the content.

    At the risk of sounding like an AOLer:

    Me too.

            Josh said:

    It’s just tiring noting all the ways people can react stupidly.

    Just when you think no one can be any stupider…

    Still, there’s likely to be a limit to how much stupidity the general public will tolerate (e.g. Sarah Palin losing the 2008 US presidential elections).


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  12. 12
    Josh Says:

    XPLAIN, that has really been bugging me too. Certainly in the early days of Fukushima’s problems you could hear through the HTML the grinding teeth of frustrated journalists who could only report on technical problems and not an actual human disaster relating to the power plant. So they had to pad out their articles by inserting lines at random references the actual natural disaster. The juxtaposition could easily have mislead some readers into thinking the natural disaster was actually caused by the power station.


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  13. 13
    atomikrabbit Says:

    Some of you may be interested in this well-written commentary on media stupidity:
    http://www.thedailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2011-04-04-im-ashamed-for-my-profession


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  14. 14
    Darren Says:

    Yeah, have them at school or leave them at home. No difference either way. Of course radiaton will exist in both places. They can’t stay indoors forever and unless the house is made out of lead then it won’t help anyway.

    Pretty much the kids are screwed.

    If the parents have money they probably should take a long trip to Europe or America and just get as far from Japan as possible. radiation has made its way there also, but it’s further so not as strong. Pretty much if you stay in the area around Japan it looks like you will soon be toast.


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