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Originally posted by lcbjr1979
So let me get this straight. The radiation from these nuclear plants are supposed to make it all the way across the ocean, yet when we dropped two atomic bombs on them (which i am guessing had more radiation in them than what has leaked from the plants) wouldnt the radiation from them have followed the same jet stream and made it over here and make some headlines about mass deaths.
Originally posted by projectvxn
reply to post by boondock-saint
Yeah, but with that attitude I'd love for you to get rich.
Between 16 July 1945 and 23 September 1992 the United States of America conducted (by official count) 1054 nuclear tests, and two nuclear attacks.
The number of actual nuclear devices (aka "bombs") tested, and nuclear explosions is larger than this, but harder to establish precisely. Some devices that were tested failed to produce any noticeable explosion (some by design, some not), other "tests" (by official definition) were actually multiple device detonations. It is not clear whether all multiple device tests have yet been identified, and enumerated.
Ever since nuclear testing began it has been very difficult to get a useful accounting of human exposures to the fallout from these tests. Partly this was motivated by military secrecy, partly by a desire to allay public fears (i.e public relations reasons), and partly by a fear of possible legal action by actual of potential victims. Some exposure related incidents have been revealed due to the impossibility of hiding them: namely the high radiation exposures of the Marshallese and the Japanese aboard the Fifth Lucky Dragon after the Castle Bravo disaster. But most information on this subject has been withheld, deliberated buried in obscure reports, or never collected (this is the principle of being careful not to learn what you don't want to know). This information has slowly come to light in bits and pieces over the last 20 years.
What is probably the most important study of the health effects of testing were announced by the National Cancer Institute in August of 1997, and released in October. The study report is now available on line: National Cancer Institute Study Estimating Thyroid Doses of I-131 Received by Americans From Nevada Atmospheric Nuclear Bomb Test.
The basic finding of the report is that internal exposures to radioiodine (I-131) in fallout from continental nucelar testing was the most serious health consequence. Radioiodine concentrates in milk when consumed by cows when grazing, and then concentrates in human thyroid glands when contaminated milk is ingested. This concentration effect is especially strong in children. The NCI study estimates that the average American alive at the time received a thyroid radiation exposure of 2 rads, with some people receiving up to 300 rads. The effect of these exposures is to boost the chance of contracting thyroid cancer some time during a lifetime. This cancer is normally not very rare, and is highly treatable (as cancers go). It is possible to estimate the overall effect of the total radiation exposure of the American population. From the 380 million person-rads of total exposure roughly 120,000 extra cases of thyroid cancer can be expected to develop, resulting in some 6,000 deaths [See note]. For comparison, the worst industrial disaster in history (Bhopal, India; 3 December 1984) killed about 3000 people and injured 150,000.
No effort was made to systematically study the nationwide effects of atmospheric nuclear testing until congress ordered the study -- which was finally released 15 years later. In hearing held in September 1998, Bruce Wachholz, chief of the radiation effects branch of the National Cancer Institute, told a Senate hearing that the basic results were known as early as 1989 and a final draft report was completed in 1992 yet none of the information was made public for five more years.
Scientists estimate that about 25 percent of the radioactive materials released during atomic bomb testing in Nevada reached the ground somewhere in the United States. But information about where the wind carried these materials is not precise. In addition, most adults cannot remember exact details of their milk-drinking habits in childhood.
The basic finding of the report is that internal exposures to radioiodine (I-131) in fallout from continental nucelar testing was the most serious health consequence. Radioiodine concentrates in milk when consumed by cows when grazing, and then concentrates in human thyroid glands when contaminated milk is ingested. This concentration effect is especially strong in children.