posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 06:23 PM
Originally posted by JacKatMtn
It's a lengthy read, and while I am definitely no expert in the nuclear field, I seem to get the hint that this is a piece trying to get the nuke
power plants up and running in Japan.
Since I am woefully ignorant, I am presenting this to the members to see how they take this article...
I have handled radioactive materials
which were registered with the proper authorities, and I had to undergo a lot of training before I was allowed to do it. This doesn't elevate my
status to that of "expert" but I certainly know something about radiation as a result of all that training.
I recently watched this video where Arnie Gunderson discusses the subject of "hot particles" with a professional engineer and how they differ from
more electromagnetic radiation like that in Denver:
Hot Particles and Measurement of Radioactivity
In that video they show a photo of lung tissue where a hot particle has been ingested, and you can see localized radiation damage to the lung in the
vicinity of the hot particle. This type of concentrated damage doesn't occur in Denver, where radiation exposure is more uniform. If you don't have
time to watch the whole video, the readers digest version is: "It's complicated", and there are a lot of uncertainties involved.
In my radiation training, I learned things like what radiation doses will kill 50% of the people exposed to it. These things are known with some
degree of accuracy. What is far more difficult to measure are the thresholds at which low levels of radiation start to cause problems like cancers.
One could suggest that humans have evolved to tolerate naturally occurring levels of radiation like those coming from the ground, but this was only
true before we built structures which can concentrate that radiation. By far the biggest threat from radiation I know of faced by people outside of
the disaster areas of Chernobyl and Fukushima comes from radon gas. If you haven't tested your home for radon gas and you live an an area where this
can be a problem (check the EPA maps if you live in the US), I recommend you do this. If radon gas is found to be at too high a level, you can install
a system that will make the home safe to live in. I had to do this in one of my houses. It cost less than $1000 and it cost about $5 a month in
electricity to operate. That risk completely dwarfs any risk coming from Fukushima (outside of Japan), and you can do something about it.
However for people living in the Fukushima prefecture, I have seen some very troubling measurements which make me doubt the evacuation zone was large
enough. There are spotty areas of concentrated radiation which don't match circle shapes drawn on maps, so people living in those areas may have real
reason for concern. The video I linked to talks about how even in Tokyo some troubling results were measured. If you live in Tokyo or any closer to
Fukushima you may have reason to worry about Fukushima radiation.
For those of us living further away, radon gas is of far more concern if your home has high levels of it:
A Citizen's Guide to Radon
Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year