Early Radiation Data From Near Plant Ease Health Fears

Discussion in 'Environment' started by boedicca, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    Some caveats in this article, but it appears that the radiation fears have been very overblown by our inane media. For the sake of the Japanese people, I hope this is true:

    The first radiation measurements from within a 37-mile radius of the disabled Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant do not reveal any immediate health threat — and perhaps not even any health problems measurable decades from now, if levels stay where they are.

    This may surprise people who assume that radioactivity in the vicinity of the plant must be dangerous, since radiation levels inside the plant are so high that workers can stay outside for only minutes at a time.

    "This is very important information," says Hiroshima-based researcher Evan Douple, who has been studying the health of atomic bomb survivors for decades.

    Douple says the new radiation levels, shown to him by NPR, "should be reassuring. At these levels so far, I don't think a study would be able to measure that there would be any health effects" — even years from now.


    The radiation levels come from 46 monitoring posts scattered around the vicinity of the devastated power plant, from 12 miles to about 37 miles away. The readings were taken at two or three time points on Thursday and Friday and posted on the website of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. They're the first systematic, ground-level measurements to be made public since the crisis began last weekend.

    The general picture is that radiation levels in the vicinity of the power plant are close to "background" levels at some locations. A background level is ever-present, low-level radiation given off by rocks, cosmic rays, fossil fuels and other natural sources. It accounts for about half the radiation exposure everyone gets, with medical tests accounting for the other half.

    "Readings 10 times above background I don't think one would bat an eyelash at, really," says David Brenner, director of Columbia University's Center for Radiation Research.

    The only exception to the generally low-level radiation measurements are from three monitoring posts northwest of the power plant that have measured levels 50 to 170 times higher than the other posts.

    These three posts are clustered together at a point about 18 miles from the power plant....


    Early Radiation Data From Near Plant Ease Health Fears : Shots - Health Blog : NPR


    Personally, I am heartily tired of the self absorbed hysteria of people here in CA who are worried about the risk of eensy bits of radiation. The local news station, KTVU, did some "man on the street" interviews this week. One guy sums up my feelings quite well. When asked whether he was going to stock up on iodide (as recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General), he responded "don't the Japanese need it more than we do?"
     
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  2. Maple
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    Maple Senior Member

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    The reports of this are so overblown that it's ridiculous. People stocking up on iodine- good grief!!!! Our media should be wearing bags over their heads, what really makes me angry is that there are people in that radius that need our help and here we all are being "Chicken Littles," and not getting in there for rescue attempts. My uncle worked at 3-mile island and he repeatedly told me that there was never, ever any danger what-so-ever but the media did it then and they are doing it again.
     
  3. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    Nobody died due to Three Mile Island, but the MSM completely ignore that fact.
     
  4. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I'm glad it turned out to be not as bad as reported but I don't think it's wrong for people worry about the threat of radiation.

    If your gonna' freak out about something, that would be it!
     
  5. westwall
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    westwall USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The problem is people should actually know something about radiation in the first placeinstead of being spoonfed pablum by a media that hasn't a clue of what it speaks. The media allways magnifys the alarm because that sells add space. With a little bit of knowledge the people would know that the threat is nil.

    Last night on Fox they had Dr. Muller from UC Berkley and some twit who is a "green energy investor". Dr. Muller very calmly explained that even in a worst case scenario (where Japan did not remove people from the immediate area of the reactors) 400 people could die. Japan has ALLREADY moved the people out so there is ZERO chance that anyone can die from the radiation, ZERO.

    The "green energy investor" blissfully ignored that and went on with his diatribe against nuclear power emphasizing how many people could die as a result of it. Finally Williams said, "but you have a vested interest in abandoning nuclear power, don't you?" To which the "investor" said "oh, no I 'm just pointing out how dangerous it can be".

    Laughable, and if more people knew how little concern there really is, idiots like him would have to earn money honestly.

    Here's a quick primer. The only radiation you need to worry about is "ionising radiation". Ionising radition comes from radioactive isotopes that have short halflives, 10 days or less is the ones you need to concern yourselves with. While they are radiating they are very powerful and emit gamma radiation which penetrates through allmost everything. The other types of isotopes radiate primarily alpha and beta particles which can be washed off.

    You don't want to ingest them, but so long as they are on the surface they are not dangerous. Gamma doesn't care and penetrates cells and kills them. Kill enough cells and you die. Close proximity for over an hour to a heavily radiating source is not a good thing to do.

    That's it. Stay away from ionising radiation and wash off the rest and you have nothing to worry bout. In a few months even the most heavily radiated area is relatively safe to traverse. Cleanup can then begin with no danger to the cleaners provided simple protective measures are taken.
     
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  6. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    Good post, westwall.

    And as a PSA to combate the inane advice of the U.S. Surgeon General to stock up on Iodide (she originally advised taking it, but walked it back to hoarding):

    Don't do that. Don't do it, for several reasons. First, as the chemists and biologists in this site's readership can tell you, it's not like KI is some sort of broad-spectrum anti-radiation pill. It can protect people against the effects of radioactive iodine-131, which is a major fission product from uranium. It does that by basically swamping out the radioactive iodine a person might have been exposed to, keeping it from being taken up into the body. Iodine tends to localize in the thyroid gland, and that uptake and local concentration is the real problem. An unfolded newspaper will shield you just fine from the alpha particles that I-131 gives off, but not if it's giving them off from inside your thyroid. Correction: I-131 is a beta/gamma emitter - my apologies! The point about not wanting it in your thyroid, of course, stands. . .

    And this is why potassium iodide won't do a thing to help with the other radioactive isotopes found in nuclear reactors. That includes both the uranium and/or plutonium fuel, as well as the fission products like strontium-90 and radioactive cesium. Strontium-90 is a real problem, since it tends to concentrate in the bones (and teeth), and it has a much longer half-life than I-131. Unfortunately, calcium is so ubiquitous in the body that it's not feasible to do that uptake-blocking trick the way you can with iodide. The only effective way to deal with strontium-90 is to not get exposed to it.

    Another good reason not to take KI pills is that unless you're actually being exposed to radioactive iodine, it's not going to do any good at all, and can actually do you harm. Pregnant women and people with thyroid problems, especially, should not go around gulping potassium iodide. Nothing radioactive is reaching North America yet - there's the Pacific Ocean to dilute things out along the way - which makes it very likely that more people on this side are in the process of injuring themselves by taking large unnecessary doses of iodide. This is like watching people swerve their cars off the road into the trees because they've heard that there's an accident fifty miles ahead.


    Potassium Iodide Pills. In the Pipeline:
     
  7. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The hundreds of thousands of hours of accident free, clean, reliable, efficient power production from nuclear reactors around the world, as well as nuclear powered ships, should testify to the relative safety of this form of energy production. But the media positively salivates over the rare accident or problem and makes it look like the end of the world. And because some people focus ONLY on the rare problem, there is inevitable hysteria and demands to ban any more such projects.

    To wit the BP oil well blow out in the Gulf was a serious problem with serious consequences. That well, however, like Chernobyl, didn't use many of the safety precautions normally required in such projects. But the reaction and over compensation was due to focus on that one well instead of looking at the hundreds of deep water wells producing oil with no problems at all.

    The reactors in Japan obviously didn't anticipate a 9.0 earthquake either. In the future they certainly will.

    Of course we need to take the inherent dangers seriously and exercise diligence in safety concerns just as we do with mega dams or other processes that would cause extreme consequences in case of failure. But it's really frustrating when one unusual accident or incident is used as a weapon by activists to bring an entire industry to a halt.
     
  8. skookerasbil
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    skookerasbil Gold Member

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    LMAO.........

    Like I said a week ago........got too many environmental k00ks with waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands and not enough seritonin at the critical synapses..........

    It leads to buying the bag of dog-doo for $1,000 a pop every single time!!!

    Meanwhile.............we have 4 dead fish in Japan due to radiation and Old Rocks attending an anti-nuke rally in Portland!!!



    [​IMG]



    I cant stop laughing.............jackasses like Ravi, Rocks, Chris et. al. were on here for days telling us of the impending death toll on the scale of millions!!!



    :blowup::blowup::blowup::blowup::blowup::blowup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  9. skookerasbil
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    skookerasbil Gold Member

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    bump for entertainment value.............:funnyface::funnyface::funnyface::fu:
     
  10. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    The thing about radiation is that it will either kill you quick and messy, or slow and messy. at my age I am already looking forward to slow and messy, so a little radiation that will take 20 to 30 years to kill me is not something I am all that concerned about, and it is surprisingly easy to avoid the dangers of short term exposure.
     

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