<Show: CBS THE EARLY SHOW>
<Date: March 16, 2011>
<Head: For March 17, 2011, CBS>
<Sect: News; International>
<Byline: Chris Wragge, Erica Hill, Terry McCarthy>
<Guest: Cham Dallas, Jennifer Ashton, Rebecca Jarvis>
<High: More examination of the dangers of radiation. How the Japan
situation is affecting the global economy.>
<Spec: Health and Medicine; Japan; Radiation; Economy>
CHRIS WRAGGE: Welcome back to THE EARLY SHOW here on CBS, Chris Wragge
along with Erica Hill. The quake and tsunami in Japan, damage estimates now
two hundred billion dollars plus, as we continue to follow this story here
on CBS. Welcome back to THE EARLY SHOW. Here in the U.S., there’s a little
panic in the air right now, Erica. Some people worried that radiation from
Japan’s nuclear power plants will spread this way.ERICA HILL: Yeah.
CHRIS WRAGGE: As a matter of fact, a lot of folks on the West Coast are
rushing out to buy potassium iodide pills. Now this is supposed to protect
you against some of the effects of radiation. We’re going to check in with
our experts to see if you really need to be concerned at this point here in
the United States.
ERICA HILL: Before we get to that, though, we do want to check in again
with Jeff Glor who’s standing by at the news desk with another look at the
top headlines on this Wednesday morning. Jeff, good morning.
JEFF GLOR: Erica, good morning to you. Good morning everyone.
More trouble at that crippled nuclear power plant in Japan overnight. A
spike in radiation forced workers to temporarily abandon the Fukushima
Daiichi power plant, though, they did return. There was another fire at the
plant this morning. High levels of radiation prevented the use of
helicopters overhead, which are trying to drop water on the plant.
In Bahrain, government forces launched a new and violent assault on
protesters this morning. Pearl Square in Bahrain’s capital Manama has been
the center of antigovernment protests for the past month. It’s reported now
that three policemen and three demonstrators were killed. Yesterday,
Bahrain’s government had declared a state of emergency there.
The man accused of killing a Yale University grad student is scheduled to
plead guilty tomorrow. Raymond Clark is accused of strangling Annie Le in
September 2009. Her body was found on the day she was supposed to be
married. According to his lawyer, Clark will accept a deal with prosecutors
that killing reportedly stemmed from a work dispute.
And American astronaut Scott Kelly is back on earth this morning. Kelly and
two Russians landed at Kazakhstan after leaving the International Space
Station. Kelly’s twin brother Mark, by the way, husband of wounded
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will command Endeavour’s final shuttle
mission in April.
It is thirty-two minutes past the hour. Time now for weather. Here’s what
happening outside your window.
(LOCAL WEATHER BREAK)
CHRIS WRAGGE: The radiation threat in Japan is creating a different kind of
fallout on the West Coast of the United States. Concern that winds will
carry radioactive particles across the Pacific. CBS News correspondent
Terry McCarthy now has the story.
TERRY MCCARTHY: As fears grow of a meltdown in Japan–
NEVIN JONES (Manager, Capitol Drugs): Everything has, you know, been bought
up and disappeared.
TERRY MCCARTHY: –there is panic buying of potassium iodide tablets in Los
Angeles. Pharmacists can’t keep it in stock.
NEVIN JONES: I would characterize it as a bit of hysteria. Demand for it is
off the charts.
MIKE KYLE (Potassium Iodide Buyer): I would like to have something there,
just in case, because if it’s going through the air, I mean I don’t know if
it’s getting to me or not.
TERRY MCCARTHY: Some buyers went from pharmacy to pharmacy in search of the
ELGIN HAYNE (Fears Radiation Fallout): Knowing what the atomic bomb has
done in the past, knowing what nuclear can do, it– it– it concerns, you
DIANA BROWN (Looking for Potassium Iodide): You never know if you’re being
told the whole truth. So you want to make sure that you’re prepared.
TERRY MCCARTHY: Potassium iodide helps protect people who may be exposed to
high levels of radiation. It’s already been given to some affected people
in Japan. Doctor Glenn Braunstein sees patients with thyroid cancer that’s
one of the biggest risks from nuclear exposure in a nuclear meltdown. He
says the five thousand five hundred miles between the U.S. and the nuclear
plant in Japan is more than a safe distance.
DR. GLENN BRAUNSTEIN (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center): People have asked me if
I’m– if I have potassium iodide and I say no. And they ask me if I’m going
to get some and I say no.
TERRY MCCARTHY: And you’re the pro?
DR. GLENN BRAUNSTEIN: And– and I deal with this.
TERRY MCCARTHY: The images of the stricken Japanese plant are disturbing.
But in this country, the fear of nuclear fallout may be much greater than
NEVIN JONES: Everybody is out of stock.
TERRY MCCARTHY: Terry McCarthy, CBS News, Los Angeles.
CHRIS WRAGGE: And joining us now is University of Georgia Professor Cham
Dallas, a nuclear energy expert, and medical correspondent Doctor Jennifer
Ashton is with us once again this morning. Good morning to the both of you.
DR. JENNIFER ASHTON: Good morning, Chris.
CHAM DALLAS (CBS News Nuclear Safety Consultant): Good morning.
CHRIS WRAGGE: Mister Dallas, let me ask you, I know you have a colleague at
the Tokyo Electric Company, which is the company that runs the Fukushima
plant that you’ve been in contact with. What exactly are they saying over
there right now because we’re getting so many different reports?
CHAM DALLAS: Well, these fifty people that are still at the reactor complex
in the control room–
CHRIS WRAGGE: Yeah.
CHAM DALLAS: –although they were evacuated last night briefly, and now
they’re back in apparently. Yeah, one of them had a pretty compelling
quote. He said that, I have been radiated, I’m not afraid to die, and this
is my job. And that’s a direct quote. You– you just got to admire those
kind of people. Right now, they are the ones that are preventing this
crisis from deteriorating even further.
CHRIS WRAGGE: And they really are the last line of defense there. And these
people like you said they seem to be committed to giving their lives in
order to protect whatever people they– they possibly can right now.
CHAM DALLAS: They are. They are the last line of defense. If they’re out of
there, I– I can’t imagine, and I’ve been in contact with a lot of people,
a lot of experts, I don’t know how they would keep those reactor cores
covered if those people get out of there again.
CHRIS WRAGGE: And let’s talk about the situation now. We just saw in Terry
McCarthy’s report a second ago talking about potential radiation making its
way to the West Coast. Is that something that the people of the United
States on the West Coast need to be worried about in your estimation?
CHAM DALLAS: Well, the good news is right now is that is not a hazard at
the– at the present time. The people in California can rest easy. The
amount of radiation that you’re getting now or liable to get in the near
future from Japan would be less than you would get in a TSA screen. Okay.
It’s– it’s just not a hazard right now. And I– I– I can’t see how that’s
going to change in the immediate future.
CHRIS WRAGGE: The examples that we keep hearing about Chernobyl, and with
the disaster there, and with the outreach that it had, can we compare that
to what we’re seeing now in Japan? I– I know they’ve got that– that–
kind of that security cone around the area.
CHAM DALLAS: That’s more good news. I– as you know, I was involved at
Chernobyl for ten years, going in and out of the mostly high contaminated
areas in the world, and what we learned from that is, and you can see on
the map there, that the health effects, and the high-dose radioactivity,
that’s about as far as it got.
CHRIS WRAGGE: Yeah.
CHAM DALLAS: As a matter of fact, most of it was about half of that. And so
that’s with a hundred times as much radioactivity as the Hiroshima and
Nagasaki atomic bombs combined released at Chernobyl. At the Japap– you
know, the Japanese situation right now it’s much, much less than that.
CHRIS WRAGGE: Yeah.
CHAM DALLAS: So if at Chernobyl we didn’t get effects, you know, twelve
hundred miles away and certainly not in the United States–
CHRIS WRAGGE: Yeah.
CHAM DALLAS: –then we can be fairly certain that is not going to happen
here, even if you get a worst-case scenario there.
CHRIS WRAGGE: All right. Doctor Ashton, let me talk to you about this.
Basically, we’ve– we’ve got reports from– from some store owners calling
in, almost a panic there with people–
DR. JENNIFER ASHTON: Right.
CHRIS WRAGGE: –rushing out to buy these potassium iodide pills right now.
I mean is that something that we’re hearing from the professor here, that
they really don’t have much to worry about that out there? But what is the
deal with these pills?
DR. JENNIFER ASHTON: And right, Chris. And we’ve seen this before. We’ve
seen it with– with many other d’isasters in this country. We saw it with
Anthrax and people trying to stockpile Cipro with H1N1 and stockpiling
Tamiflu. For this particular type of disaster, as all of the experts,
including Doctor Dallas have said, there really does not seem to be a need
for people in this country to worry about getting KI or potassium iodide
pills for this disaster. There has been in the past some debate about
people who live within close proximity, ten to twenty miles of a nuclear
plant, having it on hand for an emergency but for this particular disaster,
absolutely not necessary.
CHRIS WRAGGE: Could this have been more of a result of the surgeon general
who was in San Francisco yesterday, Regina Benjamin, who basically said
this could potentially be a necessary precaution because it seems to be
flying off of store shelves.
DR. JENNIFER ASHTON: Right and, in fact, you know we– we had to call over
twenty pharmacies in– in New York City to get this example of potassium
iodide pills. So people are panicking and right now, all experts are saying
that is really premature. We have to remember this only protects the
thyroid. It doesn’t protect the entire body and only if you will have
direct exposure to a source of radiation within twenty-hour hours. So right
now that’s really premature.
CHRIS WRAGGE: So professor, our take away here is the people on the West
Coast have nothing to be worried about.
CHAM DALLAS: Yeah, right now and in the immediate future I cannot possibly
see any scenario that would result in any hazardous levels of radioactivity
getting to California, unless this thing really deteriorates a lot more
than– than is even conceivable right now.
CHRIS WRAGGE: Okay. Professor Cham Dallas, thank you very much. Doctor
Jennifer Ashton, good to see you once again.
DR. JENNIFER ASHTON: You bet.
CHRIS WRAGGE: Coming up next here on THE EARLY SHOW, the disaster in Japan
shakes up Wall Street. We’re going to tell you what’s happening in the
markets and what could happen in the days to come. This is THE EARLY SHOW
ERICA HILL: Those devastating pictures tell one part of the story, of
course, in Japan. But there’s also a lot of uncertainty when people look at
the economy and the impact it could have. Now this was a little bit better
day for stocks in Japan today. They closed up a little bit. The Nikkei did.
But there is still continued concern about what will happen in both the
short and the long-term when it comes to the economy. So joining us with a
closer look at that situation is Rebecca Jarvis, CBS News business and
economics correspondent. So we did see I guess a little bit of good news.
We need to be tempered in how we– how we–
REBECCA JARVIS (CBS News Business and Economics Correspondent): Yes.
ERICA HILL: –say that. But there’s been so much movement in the Nikkei,
the– the index that everybody looks to in Japan for their stock market
over the last few days. What’s the situation right now?
REBECCA JARVIS: Well, of course, it is difficult to talk about economics
when the human toll is so grave here. But the volatility that you’re seeing
on the ground in Japan right now is really being reflected in its stock
market. Stocks started out the week down very significantly, eleven
percent–the biggest drop that we have seen since the crash of 1987.
ERICA HILL: Hmm.
REBECCA JARVIS: But there is a bit of a rebound today. Still, there are
serious fears and concerns about Japan and its economy going forward
because just like the United States, Japan was in a state of recovery–
economic recovery when the quake and the tsunami hit. And this is certainly
going to be a big weight on its shoulders going forward.
ERICA HILL: And it’s been a lot of concern that these three disasters,
because there really are three here–the quake, the tsunami, and now the
nuclear issues–could plunge them into yet another recession. Depending on
the news too that they’re getting every day, literally which way the wind
blows because it brings– could potentially be bringing radiation with it
that’s affecting the economy.
REBECCA JARVIS: Yeah. And this is something I’m hearing from traders who
are on the ground in Japan. A lot of offices, from Bank of America to
Deutsche Bank to even Goldman Sachs are contemplating moving their
locations. Some of them are having people stay home from work as a result
of the radiation in the air. And they say that as long as the nuclear
question remains open, things will continue to be volatile in the market,
as well as the economy there.
ERICA HILL: And, of course, we see this played out here for a number of
reasons because there’s that global– the global impact just on the psyche.
And also when it comes to all of these important companies in Japan, where
a number of things are made that people use around the globe.
REBECCA JARVIS: Yes. Well, there are a number of companies, like you say
from Toyota to Toshiba to Panasonic, Canon, these are all companies that
have seen their operations in Japan on some level change. So they have had
a number of their plants shutdown. In the case of Toyota, for example,
Toyota manufactures its Prius in one place, it’s Japan.
ERICA HILL: Hmm.
REBECCA JARVIS: So, while things have been shut-down in Japan in many of
these companies, we may see some changes in our products here. However,
like you say, we’re in a globalized world now. And so some places can shift
their production back to the United States.
ERICA HILL: Right.
REBECCA JARVIS: But things like computer chips, for example, which go in
Smartphones and iPads, those could be in short supply and that could impact
what we see on the ground here as well.
ERICA HILL: Those are all the things we’ll be watching. And we’ll be
watching the Dow as well which, of course, fell nearly three hundred points
at one day– at point yesterday, finished down at one thirty-seven. We’ll
see the impact again today. Rebecca, thanks.
REBECCA JARVIS: Thanks.
ERICA HILL: We’ll be right back with more. You’re watching THE EARLY SHOW
CHRIS WRAGGE: Welcome back. Hate to even read this next story–
ERICA HILL: Mm-Hm.
CHRIS WRAGGE: –but yesterday and we told you about Taylor Anderson, a
Virginia native teaching in northern Japan, who hadn’t been heard from
since the earthquake and tsunami hit. Her parents back home were
desperately trying to reach her.
ERICA HILL: Well just before we were about to speak with Taylor’s parents
here on THE EARLY SHOW, they got a message that she was safe that she had
been located. Late last night, however, the Andersons were told by the
organization that Taylor works for that, in fact, a mistake had been made
and Taylor is still missing this morning. The family hoping and praying, of
course, she is in an area that has may not yet have been reached by
CHRIS WRAGGE: Now we’ve reached out to that organization that Taylor is
working for and they had no comment at this time. But like we mentioned
yesterday, that section of Ishinomaki right there where– it’s– it’s a
section that’s basically cut off–
ERICA HILL: Mm-Hm.
CHRIS WRAGGE: –from all of civilization at this point. So there– there
was the– was a– there was a, I guess, a remote possibility that she may
still be there. So they’re holding out hope and at this point, we just
ERICA HILL: And what a horrific emotional roller coaster for–
CHRIS WRAGGE: Yeah.
ERICA HILL: –for the family. And so our heart goes out to them; and, of
course, we hope and pray that there is some good news–
CHRIS WRAGGE: Yes.
ERICA HILL: –for them very soon.
CHRIS WRAGGE: Yes.
ERICA HILL: We’ll be right back. You’re watching THE EARLY SHOW on CBS.
CHRIS WRAGGE: And when we come back, interesting story, two young men from
Utah, both struck by lightning, both technically dead for about a half hour
each. That’s the bad news.
ERICA HILL: And the good news is they’re here with us in the studio this
morning. They have made an incredible recovery and they’re going to tell us
how they’re doing. That’s ahead on THE EARLY SHOW. Local news is next.
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