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Plenty of radiation has fallen on the USA as a result of the meltdowns in Fukushima.

To compare measurements to Japan, the sample WA98, with its (calculated) whopping deposition of 5100 Bq/m^2 of I-131 in Washington, very near Portland, Oregon, but some 4700 miles (or about 7600 km) away from Fukushima, Japan, lies in the second color range (1000 to 10,000 Bq/m^2) on the Iodine fallout map for Japan.

... ... ...

One sample from California, CA99 tested 1,610 Bq/m^2 for I-131, which would also put it in that same range on a similar fallout map.  In addition, two more samples would fall in the dark blue range of over 100 but under 1000Bq/m^2:  One in California, CA66 with 211 Bq/m^2; and one in Colorado, CO90 with 833 Bq/m^2.

... ... ... ...

Highest Cs-137 contamination found was from a sampled spot in Southern California: 240 Bq/m^2.  By itself not that alarming (I mean, it’s bad, but…  if that alarms you, then you wouldn’t even be able to live almost anywhere in Europe, where worse contamination happened in vast regions due to the Chernobyl accident (see map further below).  But given the distance, this is an extremely high level for being that far away from the accident.

... ... ...

The USA has not done a whole lot of testing since the meltdowns at Fukushima.  Berkeley made a few random tests and nearly all the top soil tests found measurable
amounts of Fukushima radiation.

dried manure sampled from Sacremento sampled on 8/16/2011 showed 5.18±0.52
 [MDA=0.14]  (5.0e+02) Bq/kg (kg*) Cs134 and 7.93±0.79
 [MDA=0.17] (4.7e+02)  Bq/kg (kg
*) Cs137.  This is as much radioactive Cesium as were found in the radioactive tuna fish last August.

Reactor #4 remains as a serious global threat.  If reactor #4 collapses and catches
fire releasing 10% of its radiation this would release 3 to 10 times more radiation
than released last March.  Also the radiation released at Fukushima came from hydrogen explosions and possibly a mini nuclear explosion.  An extended fire would aerosolize the contamination.  This might pose a greater threat for the Northern Hemisphere.

... ... ... ....

If a radiological fire occurs and further cooling is impossible, more than 10 percent of the radioactive material of the [spent fuel pond] cold be released,” read the report. “Release of 100 percent of the cesium, strontium and other isotopes would scale the base case results by a factor of 10 and would clearly present a dire situation for areas of Japan, marine life in the Pacific and the global environment.”

... ... ...

So we almost had 15 meltdowns and not three. It would have been species threatening had that occurred. We really came way too close.

Now there are those that claim that this is hyperbole.  But here we are well over a year past the melting of the Fukushima Daichi reactors and we still face serious additional threats from these reactors.  And the radiation at these reactors is not so high that they need to be abandoned.

What if we had fifteen out of control reactors with radiation levels so high that they had to be abandoned?  Could this be the end of humanity?

It has been said that we are playing Russian roulette with nuclear power.  There may be many more empty chambers than with a six shooter, but if the gun goes off it may be the end of us.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  End of humanity? (5+ / 0-)


    There can be major consequences of such disasters (mainly increased rates of obscure cancers and reduced fertility and such in some areas) but honestly the end of humanity would take a lot more than this. Humans have probably already survived much larger catastrophes of natural origin. Hell I doubt the worst nuclear power disaster would rival bubonic plague for impact on human society.

    Not that I am saying it is safe! Merely that, are engaging in a tad of hyperbole ; -)

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

    by mole333 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:29:07 PM PDT

    •  It would be nice if perhaps you had (3+ / 0-)

      some hard science to back up your claim.

      Just based on the evidence I presented above there could easily be an accident that releases orders of magnitude more radiation than Fukushima has already released

      •  Well... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Empty Vessel, Roadbed Guy, T100R, Ralphdog

        Chernobyl was MUCH worse. And it CERTAINLY increased cancer risk in a huge swath of Europe (this is downplayed, of course, but a friend of mine from Minsk died of a VERY rare cancer almost certainly due to Chernobyl, and he is far from alone).

        Yet I would say Chernobyl, bad as it was, was hardly a blip on the history of humanity. Multiply it by 10 and you still would have hardly a blip in population, horrific though it would be. Multiply by 100 and you would maybe see a statistically significant decrease of human population...but still not anything to compare with the bubonic plague which wiped out 25-30% of humanity in Europe and Asia (and possibly Africa).

        We actually understand a fair amount about radiation and what it does. It can do a whole lot of bad shit. But the level it would take to destroy humanity is a lot more than a single nuclear power plant disaster. LOCALLY it could make a region uninhabitable for generations (look again at Chernobyl). But globally not likely.

        Now full scale nuclear war was the larger threat. Even that I doubt would wipe us out, but sure would bring down civilization.

        FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

        by mole333 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:42:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And what if we multiply Chernobyl by (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Russgirl, peace voter

          one thousand? or ten thousand?

          Where is the proof that these orders of magnitude are not possible?

          And there was danger of 15 reactors going south because of the Tsunami.  So if each one was 100 times worse than Chernobyl, what order of magnitude is that?

          •  Ummm... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Empty Vessel, T100R, Ralphdog

            Please look into the technology of nuclear power plants before making these statements.

            First off, remember I am very much NOT pro-nuke.

            Second, Chernobyl was pretty close to as bad as you are going to see from a single reactor. NOTHING was done right on that one and much was done wrong.

            Most modern reactors OUTSIDE of the former Soviet bloc cannot get as bad as Chernobyl, though they can get bad enough. Within the old Soviet bloc you do have plenty of potential Cherbobyls, but probably not much worse.

            So you tell me how a nuclear reactor can reach 1000-10000x worse then Chernobyl?

            You have plenty of reasons to oppose nuke power. But hypothesizing individual nuclear reactor disasters as ending humanity is NOT one of them.

            FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

            by mole333 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:58:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is debate whether (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              means are the ends

              Chernobyl was worse than Fukushima.

              And the paper cited above claims that a fire in Reactor #4 building would likely release 3-10 times the radiation already released.

              And what if we had a fire at a reactor with hotter fuel that could not be extinguished?  

              There are myriad possibiblities of all kinds of bad cases.

              •  Of course! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                T100R, Ralphdog

                Of course there are myriad possibilities for all kinds of bad cases.

                But not the elimination of humanity. That just isn't possible from a single nuclear plant disaster.

       have many arguments against nuke power. But hyperbole doesn't help them.

                FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

                by mole333 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:12:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Right... cough. "no danger"? Ongoing multiple x's (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Mix of real news + never forget: JPN govt and nuke industry are deliberately whitewashing real facts.  They put out some type of edict about it shortly after this ongoing disaster started.

                Bloomberg: Fukushima fallout may be deadlier than predicted, says Stanford study — 10 times worse if weather was different — A lot more to it than just cancer -Author
                Independent: Why Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl; “Now the truth is coming out” — 72,000 times worse than Hiroshima & 1 million+ cancer deaths, says professor

                “On July 17 2012, at 1118 [EDT], Nine Mile Point Unit 1 experienced an automatic reactor scram due to high neutron flux as measured by the Average Power Range Monitoring system. The cause is currently under investigation.
                “Explosion inside a protected area” at U.S. nuke plant, says local official near Philadelphia — “No impact on public health” says NRC
                Fukushima Mother: Many children are showing symptoms of contamination — Nosebleeds, colds and coughs don’t end; Many kinds of eye problems — Tepco and gov’t ruined my life, I cannot forgive them (VIDEO)
                Fukushima Study: People inhaled up to 85,000 becquerels of radioactivity… in just 4 hours — Includes only iodine-131
                Just when the world needs more REGULATIONS...
                Nuclear Regulatory Commission actively pursuing to trim workforce

            •  No worries mole, there are plenty of nukes (3+ / 0-)

              leaking daily, breaking down, etc.  Mole you don't know what you are talking about... don't dismiss facts.

              This is the time for strangeness for sure... Sun spot CME anyone?  What will keep them going when the electricity and/or water is not there?  When you figure that out then you might just decide... WHAT BOZO started this in the first place?  Follow the money.

              Citizens don't want them.
              Why put our lives and environment on the line when we have other alt. sources today and in future, free energy?  

              Because those involved have a free handout from taxpayers at our expense... so they keep going, w/o our consent... and these psychopaths don't care about you, your health or your environment... just the cash.

              •  Sigh... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ralphdog, sfbob, Empty Vessel, jam

                Actually I seem to know more than the diarist and I certainly don't dismiss the facts, but pay attention to them.

                Sad thing is I am largely on YOUR side, but yet I am told I don't know what I am talking about?

                I have written long refutations of the pro-nuclear industry propaganda here on this site (e.g. here). But I did so based on the facts, not based on hysteria.

                FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

                by mole333 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:52:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  25 years after Chernobyl (0+ / 0-)

          There were 64 immediate deaths from Chernobyl, mostly first responders. In the aftermath, the Soviet government sent in about 60,000 cleanup workers, called "liquidators", each of whom was supposed to received a dose of no more than 200 mSv. A few got a little more than that, many got less, but most got about that amount. For comparison, the typical background dose in the US is 2 or 3 mSv, and radiation sickness generally begins around 1500 to 2000 mSv.

          Those liquidators are among the most intensively studied people on earth, in terms of their health. If the LNT hypothesis (Linear-No-Threshold) were correct, we should be seeing thousands of excess cancer deaths among the liquidators by now.

          But here we are, 25 years after the disaster, and study after study continues to show that the number of excess cancer deaths among the Chernobyl liquidators is statistically indistinguishable from zero.

          We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

          by Keith Pickering on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 04:00:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "0"? What are you smoking KeithP? Wow. (0+ / 0-)
            •  I'm not smoking, I'm reading (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              peer-reviewed literature. You can read it yourself: go to Google Scholar, and search on "Chernobyl liquidators".

              We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

              by Keith Pickering on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:56:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And I should also point out (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              that this result isn't really shocking for anyone who follows the literature of low-dose radiation. Radiation is a stress to the body, like exercise is a stress to the body. Exercise, in moderate amounts, has positive health effects; if overdone, it can kill you.

              More and more studies are showing that low-dose radiation can have beneficial effects too. A recent study with human breast tissue and time-lapse microphotography showed that low-dose radiation increased the number of DNA repair sites in the cells, and that the increased number remained in the cell even after the radiation was removed.

              We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

              by Keith Pickering on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:02:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Sheesh! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Now I'm getting it from the pro-nuke side.

            Well all I can say is that there is considerable controversy over how many have died from Chernobyl (and I ignore claims by Greenpeace and the like). Generally I see the more conservative estimates in the 4-5000 range, so your citation of 64 is not that much above the Soviet claims. I do understand that those are the "confirmed" deaths. And I am sure you understand that can't be seen as a final count.

            Again, at the CONSERVATIVE end I see estimates of at least 3% higher cancer deaths due to Chernobyl among those locally exposed. Now I don't consider Greenpeace's estimates that much more reliable than the Soviet estimates. Union of Concerned Scientists, who are biased but nevertheless I would consider them more reliable either than Greenpeace or the notoriously unreliable nuclear industry, estimates around 25,000 deaths.

            Now my whole point was to point out that even one of the worst cases wasn't nearly on a scale that could eliminate humanity. Which of course is the case whether the death toll is the Soviet-range 64 or the Greenpeace 200,000, so my main point is completely valid either way. But I also don't think low balling the deaths is helpful, particularly when I am pretty damed sure I know someone from Belarus who died from a suspiciously rare thyroid cancer.

            FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

            by mole333 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 04:25:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Uh (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, BFSkinner, sfbob

        We have already had numerous instances when far more radioactive material was released in the United States!  Namely More than 200 atmospheric tests of various Nuclear Bombs.

        To be clear, they were bad.  Folks downwind have had increases in certain cancers.  But, these tests released far more radiation in America than Fukashima and such, without any catastrophic life ending effects on the world.

        You are being hyperbolic here.  It doesn't help.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:46:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And winged monkeys could kidnap me. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        But it's exceedingly unlikely.

        Thing is, you're putting the worst, most hyperbolic, most conjectural possible spin on Fukushima factoids, without any context.

        For instance, there is still more radiation released into the U.S. environment every day from coal burning power plants (not to mention soot, toxic mercury, and thousands of tons of carbon dioxide) than has reached our shores from the Fukushima disaster. Still orders of magnitude more radiation from solar & cosmic sources.

        Shutting down every nuclear plant tomorrow might cause a net increase in radiation exposure in the U.S. due to coal burning and other issues.

  •  To provide some context, in the upper (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, Keith Pickering, mojo workin

    one foot of soil, the level of naturally occurring radioisotopes is something like 240,000 Bq/m^2

    Just saying, that's MUCH higher than what blew over from Fukushima . . .

  •  I am an oppnent of Nuclear Power (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpamNunn, tytalus, sfbob

    but what, pray tell, does this mean

    Also the radiation released at Fukushima came from hydrogen explosions and possibly a mini nuclear explosion.
    The Fukashima disaster is a clear reason to suspect and end our reliance on nuclear power.  But the overly CT and poorly understood diary that you link to ain't the reason.

    Let me say this simply, what Fukashima did to Japan is enough reason to suggest that nuclear power is too dangerous for humans to rely on.  We don't need bogus stories about US contamination to make that argument.  The quantities of radioactive material reaching the states is really not that bad (not good mind you, but really fairly minor).  This sort of story (with links to highly dubious 'sources') does not advance the argument against nuclear power.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:36:04 PM PDT

  •  Nuclear power is safe. (4+ / 0-)

    The safety record of the United States Navy, for example, is stellar.   It has operated over 100 reactors, since 1995, all of them moving, some under the ocean, without a single major reactor malfunction.    

    There have been three major land based reactor malfunctions in the past thirty years.   Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima.   TMI was contained without harm to anyone,  Chernobyl was an intense graphite reactor fire without provision for containment - talk to the Russians about that one.  Only Fukushima severely tested the containment, allowing some release of radioactivity before it was brought under control.

    That's a pretty good record, if you are going to make a risk/reward analysis.

    You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

    by SpamNunn on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:51:20 PM PDT

    •  1955, for the Navy (my typo) (0+ / 0-)

      You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

      by SpamNunn on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:52:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But it only takes one worst case to (3+ / 0-)

      kind of put some doubt on your risk analysis.

    •  And from Nature, here's a synopsis (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      T100R, sfbob

      of the probably impact on human health:

      Studies indicate minimal health risks from radiation in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear disaster.

      Few people will develop cancer as a consequence of being exposed to the radioactive material that spewed from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last year — and those who do will never know for sure what caused their disease. These conclusions are based on two comprehensive, independent assessments of the radiation doses received by Japanese citizens, as well as by the thousands of workers who battled to bring the shattered nuclear reactors under control.

      The first report, seen exclusively by Nature, was produced by a subcommittee of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) in Vienna, and covers a wide swathe of issues related to all aspects of the accident. The second, a draft of which has been seen by Nature, comes from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, and estimates doses received by the general public in the first year after the accident. Both reports will be discussed at UNSCEAR’s annual meeting in Vienna this week.

      The UNSCEAR committee’s analyses show that 167 workers at the plant received radiation doses that slightly raise their risk of developing cancer. The general public was largely protected by being promptly evacuated,

      •  36 % Of Fukushima Children Have Abnormal Growth (0+ / 0-)

           36 percent have abnormal growths – cysts or nodules – on their thyroids a year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, as reported by ENENews

            In 2001 Yamashita co-authored a study that found normal children in Nagasaki to have 0 percent nodules and 0.8 percent cysts.

            ...the results in Fukushima show a "much faster progression compared to Chernobyl" as research done around Chernobyl showed the rate of thyroid nodules in children 5 to 10 years after the accident to be 1.74 percent.

        "Republicans need to figure out where they stand on children’s welfare. They can’t be 'pro-life' when the 'child' is in the womb but indifferent when it’s in the world." -- Charles Blow

        by Belidonk on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 05:47:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Former Father of Nuclear Navy says NOT safe. (3+ / 0-)

      Adm. Hyman Rickover, “father of the nuclear navy,” came out against nuclear power near the end of his life:

      “I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation. . . .

      Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years.

      I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”

      •  He never "came out against nuclear power". (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfbob, Roadbed Guy, mojo workin

        He came out against nuclear weapons, and expressed the thought that he would gladly have foregone the advantages of nuclear power if it meant that we could have avoided bringing nuclear weapons into the world - plus he had a hard on for General Dynamics that cost him his job with Reagan.

        The quote was:

        "I would forego all the accomplishments of my life, and I would be willing to forego all the advantages of nuclear power to propel ships, for medical research and for every other purpose of generating electric power, if we could have avoided the evolution of atomic explosives.'"

        You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

        by SpamNunn on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:49:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We humans use about 15 terawatts of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    T100R, Keith Pickering, mojo workin

    power each year. The question is not whether any particular energy source is perfectly safe, but rather the question is what is the least bad alternative for human beings and our planet? If you are going to talk about the risks of nuclear accidents, you must put that risk in context with the damage done by coal and other hydrocarbons, natural gas fracking, etc. I'm in the solar business and solar is not a near-term solution (nor is wind). Humanity is going to keep increasing its energy usage, and given the dire threat posed by global warming, I remain unconvinced that we wouldn't be better off going 100% fission despite the problems with nuclear. And by the way, claiming that a nuclear explosion took place in Japan last year damages your credibility.

    •  There is all kinds of discussion regarding (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl, peace voter

      the explosion at reactor #3 being a prompt criticality.

      And there is zero evidence entirely refuting the possibility that a nuclear explosion occured at reactor #3

      In fact if you look at films of other mini nuclear explosions and the explosion at reactor #3 they look very similar.

      And we have no other good explanation for the stark contrast between the explosion at reactor #1 and reactor #3.

      •  Of course we do. (0+ / 0-)

        More H2 leaked out at reactor 1, less leaked out at reactor 3. Hence reactor 3 had a bigger explosion. What's so improbable about that?

        We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

        by Keith Pickering on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 04:09:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am opposed to civilian nuclear power plants (4+ / 0-)

    whose safety is often compromised for profit (as opposed to the stellar record of the US Navy, where profit is not an objective), and if the US Navy was in charge of nuclear power generation for civilian use, I might change my mind about civilian nuclear power, however, your article is hyperbolic and does not advance the concerns you raise in a credible way.  

    "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:48:13 PM PDT

  •  The annoying & misleading thing about this article (0+ / 0-)

    is that it gives the radioactivity in terms of Bequerels, which are essentially meaningless, but give you a nice big scary number to throw around.  If it gave us exposures in terms of millisieverts, grays, or even rems, it'd be useful, and might actually tell us something useful about the health impacts of the radiation from the fallout.

    Even so, you can glean some information about it -- at a thousand bequerels, that is, according to a brief mention in your article, only about four times the background radiation of 'much of Europe'.  Given the short half-life of I-131, if that sample was taken 16 days ago, that radiation would already have dropped to one quarter of what it was previously emitting -- from 1,000 bq to 250 bq. So this is, frankly, not a big deal as far as health impact on the west coast.  

    Now, I'm not saying this to poo-poo the dangers of nuclear accidents, but to leaven the alarmism with some data.  If you're going to ask us 'How dangerous is nuclear power' and then tell us that 'plenty of radiation' has fallen on the US, please provide some sort of information to define the scope of the danger.  In this case, the information you provided appears to support the conclusion that the danger == 'not much at all.'

  •  BREAKING: Twice the deaths from evacuation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, mojo workin

    ... than if everybody had just stayed in place and taken the radiation hit.

    Just to be clear: the 600 deaths from the evacuation is known. The roughly 250 from non-evacuation is based on the ultraconservative (and likely wrong) LNT hypothesis.

    We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

    by Keith Pickering on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 03:49:04 PM PDT

    •  Can I rec this 10x's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      OMG - radiophobia is based on politically based junk science originally inspired by the noble aim of stopping nuclear testing / nuclear war.  Noble aims, but in our current context decades later, it is helping those who want to support fossil fuels at the expense of global climate.  

      Low level radiation effects are trumped up by about a factor of 1000.  If everyone around Fukushima stayed home, no one would have suffered any mortality yet hundreds were killed thanks to the evacuation, GODDFUCKINGDAMMIT.  The result of shutting down all their reactors: increase fossil fuel burn by 10's of billions of dollars per year!!!!!

      Our politically inspired fear of low level radiation is killing much more than the radiation itself.  FUCK we are supposed to be reality based
      and, more to ponder:

      Ted Rockwell, technical director of the USA Navy's original nuclear program (also editor of the nuclear bible: Nuclear Radiation Shielding Manual) explains more and from Prof. Wade Allison, Prof. Emeritus Cambridge University, expert  nuclear physics and nuclear medicine:here.

      Fukushima residents would have been exposed to radiation by amounts that are less than some areas in the world where natural levels are higher yet without any observable effect on pathology.  Politically inspired standards based on cold-war politics are KILLING people and hurting the planet by virtue of convincing people that any form of nuclear power is wrong, in spite of the fact statistics show it to be the safest form of energy, and that it emits virtually zero carbon.  The ultiimate of ironies: what many have been convinced to fear the most is demonstrably the safest based on decades of evidence and has the capability to scale to rid the world of fossil fuels!!!!

      We need all science and evidenced based people to reject this pseudo-scientific cult-like thinking.  Nuclear radiation from Fukushima is nothing close to what warrants fear.  And, if this is the only event to happen once in a generation from nuclear power vs. what fossil fuels are doing do us every day, than we better have a lot more of it.  Coal does more REAL harm every day than Fukushima has done... once in a fucking generation.

      Fuck. If you care about the planet, analyse this science, it is that important to get this right and debunk this nonsense.

      The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

      by mojo workin on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:07:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fukushima Plutonium Circled the Globe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, jhm453

    I've read that 5 pounds of plutonium aerosolized in the atmosphere would be enough to give every human on the planet cancer.  Don't know if it's true or hyperbole but it would be interesting to discover how many pounds or ounces of plutonium were released at Fukushima.  Of course, it will only be an estimate and we will all be assured that whatever the amount it's safe, that even asking the question is a sign of hysterical paranoia.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 04:05:39 PM PDT

    •  You can put that in the realm of hyperbole (0+ / 0-)

      for sure - for example, all people have about one billion atoms of plutonium in their bodies - yet most do not get cancer.

      Several populations of people who have been exposed to plutonium dust (e.g. people living down-wind of Nevada test sites, Hiroshima survivors, nuclear facility workers, and "terminally ill" patients injected with Pu in 1945–46 to study Pu metabolism) have been carefully followed and analyzed. These studies generally do not show especially high plutonium toxicity or plutonium-induced cancer results.[91] "There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during 1940s; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them."[97][98]
      •  Plutonium in the human body (0+ / 0-)

        "The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the lifetime cancer risk from inhaling 5,000 plutonium particles, each about 3 microns wide, to be 1% over the background U.S. average." from the LANL Human Health fact sheet on Pu (pdf) published in 2005. Ralph Nader disagrees. I know which one I'd believe though.

         In fact when soil samples (pdf) were tested around Fukushima Daiichi shortly after the explosions they found little or no new Pu, just about the same levels recorded in sampling a few years before the reactor explosions. During the 1950s the US fired a total of 150 megatonnes of nuclear weapons in the Pacific and the resultant fallout including many kilogrammes of "unburnt" Pu-239 spread over the entire planet but deposited mostly in the Pacific Rim countries.

         The bad stuff that got away from the Fukushima site in large quantities were particularly mobile elements such as cesium and iodine. Saying that it might surprise folks to know that the total amount of radioactive material released is, at most, a few kilogrammes.

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