Underground Nuclear Tests in North Korea More Dangerous Than Main Stream Media Admits
On May 25th, 2009 CNN ran a segment
their newscast that presented the most recent underground nuclear test by North Korea in which they stated that there are no dangers from any of the
radioactive particles that are released into the atmosphere, namely Xenon 133. What they didn’t mention is that there are a myriad of other
radioactive particles that are released with any nuclear blast. Those travel along with the Xe, wherever it may go. These particles have been known to
cause cancer in anyone in its path, or at least increase the chances of someone contracting it.
In the video, at approximately the 3:11 mark, there is a simulation that illustrates how the 2006 North Korean test released Xenon 133 into the air.
It follows it for a few weeks until it spreads all the way across the Pacific Ocean and passes over Canada and the whole of North America. At the 3:50
mark, it’s stated that radioactive Xenon is not harmful to anyone. They state that no “radioactive fallout” would occur, and that the particles
will not make anyone ill. At 4:40 the reporter states, “No more than you are normally exposed to," referring to the amounts of radiation breathed
in on a daily basis. Now, how can it NOT be any more than normal when it has been added to our atmosphere? Any added amount is "more," correct?
According to guardian.co.uk
, North Korea states that this
latest test was the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in WWII. For those who are unaware, this bomb was named Little Boy
and was dropped by
the B-29 Enola Gay
on August 6th, 1945. According to The National Museum
of the Air Force
, Little Boy
...about 9,000 pounds and had an explosive force (yield) equal to about 20,000 tons of TNT.
This 20 Kiloton bomb was detonated in what is called an Atmospheric detonation, which means that it’s blown up above ground. In the case of the most
recent North Korean test, it was performed underground at an undetermined depth and without any idea of the containment level of the blast. This makes
one wonder just how much radiation could have leaked out and what effects it could have on the local populations as well as globally long-term.
To help shed some light on this problem, we should take a quick look at the USA’s own nuclear testing history. In 1957, the US began its underground
nuclear tests in which they used 1.7 Kiloton charges. The following paragraph from
should illustrate this quite succinctly:
Although underground testing was the rule after August 1963, it is not exactly true that no radioactivity was released into the atmosphere after
that date. First, there were five Plowshare cratering tests conducted underground, but designed to breach the surface (see below). These released a
total of 984 kilocuries of I-131 (radioiodine) into the atmosphere. Containment failures for a few dozen other tests that were supposed to be entirely
underground released another 123 kilocuries (two-thirds of this was due to Baneberry, with Des Moines, and Bandicoot accounting for nearly all of the
rest). For comparison, Trinity released about 3200 kilocuries of radioiodine. The total population exposure to radioiodine from all 'underground'
tests amounted to 9.1 million person-rads of thyroid tissue exposure (about 2% of all exposure due to continental nuclear tests). This can be expected
to eventually cause about 2800 cases of thyroid cancer, leading to some 140 deaths.
To put this into perspective, this is an underground test of 1.7 Kilotons whereas the most recent North Korean test was approximately 20 Kilotons.
This means that, theoretically, upwards of 28,000 people could contract cancer and approximately 1,400 people could die. The truth is that we may
never know exactly what impacts this will have on the local environment or the indigenous population. However, we can rest assured that it will have
some impact on everyone in the area over time, whether by drinking the local water, by breathing the air that has been contaminated with radiation, or
by eating the local food.
It would be remiss for anyone to overlook the fact that tests of this nature directly impact people no matter how isolated the test may appear to be.
The long-term effects on the environment and the people in the area are too much to ignore. It would be in the media’s best interest to illustrate
the facts as they really are rather than telling the people what they want to hear.