[ RadSafe ] IAEA - New Event on NEWS, Japan, Power Reactor

Jones, Cynthia Cynthia.Jones at nrc.gov
Fri Mar 18 09:55:32 CDT 2011

Dear Dan & RADSAFE-

I am the US National Officer for INES (the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale) and with all due respect, the Japanese issued a INES Level 4 rating form for this event on 3-12-2011, six days ago.  This was VERY early in the event and I believe it was very responsible, given the emergency situations and dire events surrounding the earthquake and tsunami that they are dealing with.

They issued several updates last night, which you received today.  INES is not a requirement for the 70 countries that agree to use it and typically is not issued systematically in emergency situations; their first priority is safety of the people and securing the NPPs, not issuance of an INES rating, which they also translate kindly for us in English.  I have attached the INES User manual for you and others to read and learn about; it is also available on the IAEA website. A shorter version of the INES pamphlet is attached, for your review and understanding of the scale.

Let's not be so quick to rush to judgment.  The Japanese and millions of people around the world are watching and thousands are helping them deal with a crisis of this magnitude. The NRC has manned its Operation Center 24/7 and is working with many other organizations; including Japan's, to provide the best advice and help we can give.  The Japanese upgraded the INES rating level to Level 5 today, and I believe they are doing the best they can given the priority of things that they need to do to get these reactors and fuel stabilized.


Cynthia G. Jones, Ph.D., 
U.S. National Officer and Advisory Committee Member, INES 
Sr. Technical Advisor for Nuclear Security
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Nuclear Security & Incident Response
Mail Stop T4-D22A,  Washington, D.C. 20555
cynthia.jones at nrc.gov
cgj at nrc.sgov.gov 
Work: 301-415-0298
Blackberry: 240-888-9820

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan W McCarn [mailto:hotgreenchile at gmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 10:25 AM
To: 'The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List'
Subject: IAEA - New Event on NEWS, Japan, Power Reactor

Dear RadSafers:

This morning I awoke to find 14 new messages from the IAEA "New Event on
NEWS, Japan, Power Reactor".  Up until now, this news service from the IAEA,
designed to inform the public about nuclear incidents and accidents, has
been silent. I am a registered user on NEWS (Nuclear Events Web-based

Needless to say, I have been disappointed in the level of accurate,
verifiable information about the Japanese situation, and had hoped that my
former organization, the IAEA, would be able to fill-in with more accurate
and timely information.

I would like to ask you as the Radiation Safety Community to contact the
IAEA and encourage them to be more proactive and timely with NEWS reporting.

Ms. Rejane Spiegelberg-Planer, Senior Safety Officer, is the point of
contact for NEWS. 

R.Spiegelberg-Planer at iaea.org 

Dan ii

Dan W McCarn, Geologist
108 Sherwood Blvd
Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
+1-505-672-2014 (Home - New Mexico)
+1-505-670-8123 (Mobile - New Mexico)
HotGreenChile at gmail.com (Private email) HotGreenChile at gmail dot com

-----Original Message-----
From: NEWS Automated Mailer [mailto:ContactPointNEWS at iaea.org] 
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 03:33
To: NEWS.Contact-Point at iaea.org
Subject: New Event on NEWS, Japan, Power Reactor

Dear NEWS User,

This is to notify you as a registered user of the NEWS Web site that a new
Event with the title:

"Loss of the cooling function to the ultimate heat sink due to the big

has as of today, Friday, 18 March 2011, 10:17:15 UTC, been added to the NEWS
Web site.  Additional information regarding the new Event is as follows:

Sender Country:  Japan
Date of Event:   2011-03-11
Facility/Place:  FUKUSHIMA-DAINI-4

For more detailed information about the Event including related documents,
press releases and on-site participation in forum discussions, please visit
the NEWS Web site at:


NEWS Administration

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