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Jakarta Post

Radiation can be good for you

  • Nury Vittachi

Jakarta   /   Sun, March 20 2011   /  10:00 am

Let’s stop panicking about radiation. This message is aimed at my friend A. F. who told me to shut the windows despite the warmth of the morning. “I calculate that the radioactive death cloud from the Fukushima nuclear plant will arrive here by noon,” he explained.

I doubted that shutting the windows would provide enough protection, but I’m no expert, so I did as he told me. Around 11:50 p.m., he leapt to his feet and pointed through the glass. “There it is, right on schedule,” he said. I followed the line of his finger, and said: “That’s not a radioactive emission from Japan. That’s just a cloud.”

None of this surprised me. The main thing that happens after a disaster is that panic arises among people who enjoy that sort of thing. An hour later, A. F. claimed he could smell radiation. I pointed out that 1.) Radiation doesn’t have a smell, and, 2.) He ...