Don't they have to go in with the permission of the government? I haven't watched the news today because dealing with my sick dog is depressing enough. But didn't Obama's press conference a few days ago say they had teams willing and ready to go in at the discretion of the Japanese gov't?
Have the Japanese requested assistance yet? If not, maybe that's the reason why. Dunno.
But I hope your friend can manage to keep safe somehow. I mean...20 times the normal background radiation? I don't know a whole hell of a lot about how much a human can take, but I'd be worried if someone told me, "Hey, you just snorted down twice the amount of normal background radiation like Charlie Sheen bangs 7 gram rocks, bro!"
And then there's "normal background radiation..."? There's normal radiation? Just in the background? Fuck this shit, I'm going back to my bubble.
I feel the same way, after he said 20x normal radiation I expected the next sentence to be "And so I'm on the next plane out of here after they fix the airport up" but it took him three years of enduring a long-distance relationship before he got over there and got a job (he teaches science and "mother & baby dance classes".)
And you may be right about all that with the gov't, I haven't looked that closely at what agencies are there and didn't hear that speech. I was thinking idealistically, of some sort of U.N. nuclear disaster response that probably doesn't exist in real life. And as you sort of allude to I think, many countries wouldn't want them in right away, I guess. But it seems like, outside of any gov't's natural tendency to want to keep the full extent out of the news for as long as possible, more than 50 exhausted and possibly injured guys in hazmat suits could be applied. Maybe not. But if another large aftershock hits those dudes can only take so much.
I do know we've had troops running rescue missions and other operations and they've had to pull ships and planes back from the radiation spreading, and returning soldiers are being exposed to high levels of radiation.
I'm with you though, I never bought "clean" nuclear energy production. (That being said all energy production has public health costs, coal of course as the obvious example.) But the nuclear cat being let out of the bag sends chills down my spine nonetheless, despite the supposed relatively few accidents resulting in the release of high levels of radioactive particles like this. They were talking about the cancers some of the stuff released can cause and I had to turn off the TV. And the environmental & economic costs--am I going to buy rice from Japan or other items I sometimes stock at home? Hell no I'm not! Not even fucking around with that.
And if the wind changes direction, China and a lot of other countries better watch out.