In order to give our readers an insight into the problems associated with the nuclear disaster at Fukushima;  a little background is required.  Radiation exposure safety levels are not just a function of the intensity of the radiation that a person is exposed to.  It is also a function of the length of time a person was exposed.  Previously we used this analogy.  The person being exposed is like a large sponge in a empty sink.  The water is like the radiation.   A spigot on full force for a brief time will saturate less than a slow steady stream over a much longer time. 

During a crisis allowable doses of radiation are raised.  Even at the higher levels these experienced workers have to be exposed only a very limited time.  Much of the equipment is one time use only.  Now factor in high temperatures, dangerous levels of explosive gas, the possibility of more explosions, blast damage, high temp steam, and damaged basic infrastructure complicating logistics and resupply.

     This is a Titanic struggle to save lives.  Our prayers are with you Japan.