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View Diary: Radioactivity, part 3: rads, rems, etc. (110 comments)

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  •  Not at all. nt (5+ / 0-)

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 10:16:30 PM PDT

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    •  If you lived in the northwest, and God forbid (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee, vets74, BlueDragon

      a plume did start moving off the Japanese coast, would it make a lot of sense for my pregnant daughter in law to leave, for at least a few weeks? Just to avoid the immediate exposure? Is there anyway to determine how much radioactivity would be left in the ground?

      Sorry for such simple questions.

      My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me. Benjamin Disraeli

      by pvmuse on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:40:12 AM PDT

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      •  If you mean the NW USA, then that would be silly. (6+ / 0-)

        Even NW Japan is fine, even if the wind changes. No smoke particles large enough to still be emitting radiation would possibly make it that far. It would be like trying to catch a whiff of a smell from a brushfire in Japan.

        I'm writing in Lizard People on my next ballot.

        by George Hier on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:33:10 AM PDT

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        •  Thanks, I was asking Samer the question. (8+ / 0-)

          Too many people have called things silly over the last 4 days, and now more scientists are saying that this could evolve into something much worse than Chernobyl.

          The amount of radioactivity in the number 2 reactor containing the spent rods, could alone hold much more plutonium than Chernobyl released.

          I was wondering about the specific amount of dangerous isotopes that would be present in a large plume.

          Several hours ago the New York Times reported that all remaining workers trying to contain the situation were ordered to leave, hopefully that has not occurred, because that to me would indicate all the reactors are being abandoned.

          With a total of 6 reactors now under some type of failure or meltdown, I don't think it is unreasonable to think of worst case scenarios.

          My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me. Benjamin Disraeli

          by pvmuse on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 03:04:04 AM PDT

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          •  pvmuse, to answer your questions: (6+ / 0-)
            A plume did start moving off the Japanese coast, would it make a lot of sense for my pregnant daughter in law to leave, for at least a few weeks? Just to avoid the immediate exposure? Is there anyway to determine how much radioactivity would be left in the ground?

            It's difficult to know a priori how much of those isotopes would be released, but it would almost certainly be a mixture of all three. There's also no layman's test that can tell you how much of each one is present. Needless to say, university/industry/government labs should have all the equipment needed to answer that question. [A Geiger counter could tell you how many atoms are disintegrating, but that doesn't tell you all that much.]

            In the worst case scenarios (large-scale release of isotopes that makes its way toward the US), I would definitely consider having your pregnant daughter-in-law leave the area, if only because a child in utero is more sensitive to radiation than an adult. [This is why the recommendations for KI prophylaxis are different for pregnant women.]

            We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

            by Samer on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:49:28 AM PDT

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          •  precisely (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Samer, pvmuse
            Too many people have called things silly over the last 4 days, and now more scientists are saying that this could evolve into something much worse than Chernobyl.

            So when I just saw CNN reporting that some scientists are saying this could be worse than Chernobyl, we should call them silly until it is too late to take any precautions?

            I don't want to be alarmist, but I'll be damned if I won't look at all the possibilities as a way to understand what is happening and what might happen.

            The reality is that I consumed a lot of radiation in milk during childhood in the 50s and 60s.  Most people don't even know this is reality to this very day.

            http://www.cancer.gov/...

            I am awaiting delivery of my new DK4 signature

            by BlueDragon on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:49:27 AM PDT

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          •  Concentration matters (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Samer

            You have radioactive isotopes in your body right now. Radioactive carbon, calcium, iodine, you name it. You probably even have some amount of deuterium (heavy water) in your body right now. And our hunter gatherer ancestors did too, long before we began splitting atoms ourselves.

            If you are truly concerned, buy a Geiger Counter.

            But remember that the west found out about the Chernobyl accident when a nuclear power plant in Scandinavia had its own radiological alarms triggered and it took them a while to realize it wasn't their plant.

            In other words, the whole world has detectors all over the place.

            I don't think there is much threat more than a few hundred miles from any of these reactors in even a worst case accident. Direct exposure, ground water contamination, and long term bioaccumulation are probably the biggest concerns. You are unlikely to have the kind of dispersal you had at Chernobyl because the worst case scenario for this kind of reactor doesn't involve a graphite core fire. It is the escape of molten nuclear fuel.

            Make no mistake, that is a very serious problem. But I doubt it will directly affect the US. I'm sure there will be some elevation of the background radiation. But I think dilution will make it not a severe issue even in a worst case scenario.

            But this could be a very serious problem for Japan.

            I'm semi serious when I suggest you buy a Geiger Counter. Although I note that the site I linked has sold out of most models in the last 24 hours. Provided you learn how to use it properly it can reassure you, if you need a few hundred dollars of reassurance.

            I'm not sure of the general availability of ionizing radiation dosimeters, which would be even better. But be careful. Most "dosimeters" are either for noise or for EMF. Nothing to do with ionizing radiation.

            Another indication that this is probably not something to worry about, go to a site like amazon.com and start shopping for geiger counters or dosimieters. You will quickly see that "customers also bought" is a list of paranoid survivalist gear.

            If you live anywhere near a nuclear power plant, their alarms will be going off before your exposure is anywhere near dangerous.

        •  You see the plume from Mt. St. Helen ? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Samer

          Peace of mind is worth getting a mask.

          No matter the calculations, the girl will sleep better knowing she's gone the extra mile.

          Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

          by vets74 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:29:33 AM PDT

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      •  Buy her an N99 or N100 mask. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        My N99 cost me $30 at Home Depot.

        Hell, that's less than a carton of cancer sticks.

        Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

        by vets74 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 10:27:32 AM PDT

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      •  I feel for you! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pvmuse, Samer, mahakali overdrive, hester

        Our pregnant daughter, 7 months, is in Iwakuni.  We really pushed her to come home this past weekend.  But she is listening to her husband, Marine Officer, that if it were dangerous the military would evacuate her.  We couldn't push her any harder because the stress was too much for her.

        While she is far away, Dr. Stephen Chu said on CNN last night that cancer rates could spike for people within a 1000 mile radius.  

        My nerves are shot.  And I am not a worrier by nature. And I am not one to intrude on the kids' decisions.

        "Since when did obeying corporate power become patriotic." Going the Distance

        by Going the Distance on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:51:39 PM PDT

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        •  I will pray for your daughter. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Samer, mahakali overdrive, hester

          Maybe you could write/email your son-in-law directly about your concerns, and he could revisit the decision to send her home. I understand about not wanting to alarm her anymore, I have been careful about talking to my son and daughter-in-law as well.

          My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me. Benjamin Disraeli

          by pvmuse on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:30:18 PM PDT

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