A nice review of the events of the last three weeks at Fukushima can be found at the link. It is in Power Point format. If you prefer a pdf you can get that here. You can also get daily status updates from the IAEA here.
So now you know about the apocalypse. What can be done? A guy over at Zero Hedge said there was a do it yourself movement happening in Japan right now to design and build radiation detection instruments. So I looked it up.
You could help design a Geiger counter power supply. I added some words of wisdom in the comments. Another guy working on the Geiger counter problem.
A radio amateur has developed a quasi-calibrated radiation detector (electroscope) that you can build from thread, tin foil, cardboard, and a scrap of wire. Not too sturdy but quite handy in an extreme emergency.
Here is an interesting one from the beginning of the accident: Kimono Lantern and Humanitarian Open Source Hardware.
Written by Akiba Tuesday, 15 March 2011Pictures of the beginnings of a Kimono Lamp.
Things have been crazy here in Tokyo for the past few days. After the Tohoku earthquake, there's been constant streaming of horrible visual images of the disaster on Japanese news. Along with that, there have been warnings of aftershocks up to a magnitude of 8.0, potential nuclear disasters, rolling blackouts, lack of transportation, and dwindling supplies in local supermarkets and grocery stores. It's a stressful situation in Tokyo which has over 25M people and life is anything but normal. It's a chore just to get to work and many feel powerless to do anything but watch the unfolding nuclear situation and hope that it can get contained before a disaster happens. In writing this post, it gives me an excuse to tear myself away from the fear mongering news streams which I'm constantly glued to.
In the hackerspace, we'll be holding our meeting tonight and will probably start hammering out plans to figure out how and where we can help. There are many things that are needed right now in the quake stricken area. There is no power, internet access is extremely limited, food and clean water are dwindling, and transportation to the area is limited. What we decide on will probably depend on what's needed and available at the time.
In any case, one immediate thing that can be done is to provide a source of light to people. With no electricity and limited supplies, flashlights and batteries are a luxury. In the hackerspace, we designed the Kimono Lantern as a solar rechargeable lantern to decorate gardens and patios with. However it has a much bigger use right now as the quake victims have no power and many are spending their nights in the dark. Also, parts of Tokyo will be suffering from blackouts until the power grid can get back to normal levels. With a major nuclear generating plant offline, this could take from weeks to months.
BTW - should anyone be interested I have a design for an LED flashlight that will operate 200 hours continuously or 10 years flashing (it is always on) on two C cells. The market for this sort of thing should be up for the next couple of years. Contact me if you want to take a shot at it.
Cross Posted at Classical Values