One Canadian not leaving Japan despite radiation dangers

Despite the turmoil in Japan with the threat of nuclear fallout at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, one Canadian residing in Japan says he isn't ready to flee.

"I’ve been keeping an eye on the news, and it does seem to be getting pretty bad,"  Dean, an English-language teacher currently in Okayama Prefecture said in an email.

"I'm going to wait a day or two more to see what happens. In the worst case scenario, I can fly to Korea or Taiwan if Canada isn’t an option." 

Asked what he thought about foreign media reports about the rising radiation levels, he said, "Western news seems to be hyping up the situation, possibly because it sells more. Over here, it feels as though it’s being underplayed as to keep people from freaking out and having the whole country come to a standstill." 

"It doesn’t help that different nuclear experts say different things about how severe the situation is, but I feel like it’s a lot worse than they say it is."

But US nuclear experts also say that the Japanese government has not been forthcoming about the potential dangers of a radioactivity from the compromised power plant. 

“It’s eerily calm,” said Aileen Mioko Smith, director of Green Action, Kyoto a in a news media teleconference entitled Japan Reactor Crisis on Monday. 
“They don’t  have the answers. They’re very fearful that anything might panic the public so they try to remain calm.They want to cover it up as long as possible. There’s very little transparency in Japan.”

US nuclear experts have voiced strong concerns that the situation could be potentially disastrous for people living in Japan. "[A] partially or completely drained spent fuel could lead to...release of large quantities of radioactivity to the environment,” said Robert Alvarez, a US expert on nuclear disarmament and environmental and energy during a news media teleconference.

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