Land of the Rising Becquerels: Into the Forbidden Zone with William T. Vollmann
|Into the Forbidden Zone|
cover image: Byliner
Vollmann reports from his beloved Japan with a tentative sense of urgency. Day by day he creeps closer to the radioactive center of the nuclear disaster site in Myagi prefecture which officials have rated as at least equal in scope to the Chernobyl fallout of twenty five years ago. He purchases a handy dosimeter (Geiger counter) in the states, testing it with some old radioactive material provided by a neighbor.
Once in Japan, he surveys the earthquake damage in Sendai, listens to stories of tsunami survivors, and hires various taxi drivers to drive him nearer and nearer to the TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) reactor site #1, Fukushima. Mr. Vollmann is vigilant to say the least when it comes to tracking his accumulated radiation exposure. We learn about becquerels, millirems and microsieverts and hear about every tick up on the dosimeter. Apparently if you reach an accumulated 500 rems its lethal for half the exposed. He sets his ten day ceiling to 5 rems.
photo by William T. Vollmann
"Should TEPCO be punished?" I inquired.
"It was the government's policy" he said loyally. "They did it for the nation."
- Title: Into the Forbidden Zone: A Trip Through Hell and High Water in Post-Earthquake Japan
- Author: William T. Vollmann
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 355 KB
- Print Length: 61 pages
- Publisher: Byliner; 1 edition (May 1, 2011)