Monday, July 30, 2012

Plutonium: A Ton in Each Fukushima Reactor


Enenews Headline: Gundersen: A ton of plutonium was in each Fukushima reactor — Host stunned (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/gundersen-a-ton-of-plutonium-was-in-each-fukushima-reactor-host-stunned-video

Source: Arnold Gundersen with the latest on Fukushima: its effects on Japan, and the global risks posed by the No. 4 reactor
Source: If You Love This Planet Radio
Author: Dr. Helen Caldicott
Date: July 27, 2012


Majia Here: Plutonium poses special health risks


Plutonium is a special concern because it poses significant biological health risks as an alpha emitter. All forms of ionizing radiation – gamma, beta, and alpha – pose serious health risks, but alpha emitters such as uranium and plutonium can be especially dangerous when ingested or inhaled into the body because, once there, they decay high speed atoms and electrons that damage DNA.

Argonne National Laboratory’s fact sheet on plutonium emphasizes the dangers of ingested and inhaled plutonium, describing how it can move through the lungs, to the blood of other organs, and be deposited in the liver and skeleton where it resides, emitting genetically destructive radiation (http://www.evs.anl.gov/pub/doc/Plutonium.pdf).

The transversal of a single alpha particle can break DNA bonds.

Speaking at press conference on March 25, 2011, Dr. Yablokov, lead contributor to Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, warned of the potential scale of the Fukushima disaster given plutonium fuel was involved[i]:

[Yablokov] We are seeing something that has never happened – a multiple reactor catastrophe including one using plutonium fuel as well as spent fuel pool accidents, all happening within 200 kilometers of a metropolis of 30 million people. Because the area is far more densely populated than around Chernobyl, the human toll could eventually be far worse in Japan… I am not optimistic about the situation at Fukushima . . .It’s especially dangerous if plutonium is released as inhalation of plutonium results in a high probability of cancer. A release of plutonium will contaminate that area forever and it is impossible to clean up.
[end quote]

The dangers of plutonium have been known for decades. The United States Atomic Energy Commission, established by the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, sponsored experiments between 1945 and 1947 that involved injecting eighteen human subjects with plutonium to calibrate body burden.[ii]

The researchers did not anticipate the subjects would benefit from the studies and deliberately withheld information about the nature of the studies from the patients.

Paul Langley studied the details of Joe Hamilton’s work on the health effects of plutonium studied as part of the Manhattan Project. The study ”The Metabolism of the Fission Products” was later presented at the Thirty-second Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Chicago, Ill., Dec. 1–6, 1946.[iii]  http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/the-metabolism-of-the-fission-products-hamilton-1942-on/

Hamilton’s concluded from his research that ingestion of plutonium is significantly more damaging than external exposure to beta or gamma irradiation:

[excerpt from Hamilton] The most important hazard that arises from the release of nuclear energy are radiations produced directly from fission and subsequently emitted by the resultant fission products and plutonium. The fission products can produce injury either as an external source of radiation or, if they gain entry into the body, by acting as an internal radioactive poison, quite analogous to radium poisoning. This latter consideration is a major concern, since the amounts required within the body to produce injurious effects are minute compared to the quantities necessary to induce damage by external beta and gamma irradiation. The findings were clear: ingestion of alpha emitters is a clear and demonstrable threat to health in quantities far lower than what is required to produce the same biological damage from external radiation.[iv]


[i]              Russian Chernobyl Expert Warns of Dire Consequences for Health Around Fukushima: Dense populations and risk of plutonium releases could mean Fukushima accident worse than Chernobyl, prominent Russian scientists says http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/25-4.

[ ii]  Permissible Dose, Walker, p. 16.

[iii]       Jos. G. Hamilton, M.D.  The Metabolism of the Fission Products and the Heaviest Elements. brief version of material to be published in the Plutonium Project Record of the Manhattan Project Technical Series. Presented at the Thirty-second Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Chicago, Ill., Dec. 1–6, 1946. The document was based on work performed under Contract No. W-7405-eng-48-A for the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Energy Commission. http://radiology.rsna.org/content/49/3/325. Paul Langley presents this information on his website  http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/the-metabolism-of-the-fission-products-hamilton-1942-on/. Langley explains that Hamilton’s report was part of the Manhattan Project and the reports are available from 1942 at the U.S. Department Of Energy Opennet online archive.

[iv]         Eileen Welsome chronicles the details of this troubling medical experimentation in The Plutonium Files. New York, Delta, 1999.  




RELATED POSTS

Why Does Japan's Stockpiling of Plutonium Matter

Nuke Pro has quite a few good articles on plutonium and uranium from Fukushima:

Uranium and Plutonium Launched into Atmosphere
Conclusion – Fukushima really blew up, launching TONS of Uranium and Plutonium into the atmosphere. http://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/2012/03/uranium-and-plutonium-launched-into.html

Nuke Pro: Plutonium admission by the EPA
Mar 25, 2012
Well, lets see, 3 reactors blew up, the one that blow up the most was a MOX reactor which is like 5% to 10% plutonium, and all reactors produce plutonium as a natural part of the process. And of course all of the "fuel transfer ...

Mar 25, 2012
Plutonium that reaches body organs generally stays in the body for decades and continues to expose the surrounding tissue to radiation. http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/plutonium.html. I did a few hours of research ...
 

1 comment:

  1. Plutonium from the MOX fuel has been the worry since it was launched into the atmosphere From Reactor 3 at 11:01 am on March 14, 2011. We have clear video of that event, and know that at least some of the core material ejected and we know the core contained 32 assemblies of recently loaded MOX.

    We know that as a result of that event there was a nuclear emergency aboard the USS Ronald Reagan and the carrier battle group disengaged from assisting at Fukushima on an emergency basis. We also know that Tepco ordered abandonment of the facility at that time, an order that was later overruled by the Prime Minister.

    Then apparently more plutonium - maybe much more - was launched the very next day from Unit 4. We do not have video of that event, but do have extensive photo evidence of the aftermath. Something in the vicinity of the Machinery (equipment) pool exploded in a very violent manner - in one or more events, destroying the #4 reactor building.

    At the time we heard all kinds of crazy stories, none of which made sense. Everything from it was hydrogen from unit 3 that blew up (wow that was sneaky and very powerful hydrogen ), to it was an oil fire in equipment that blew up (yeah right); to it was some secret underground plutonium laboratory (built right under a nuke reactor - how gullible do they think we are?)

    I have finally concluded for myself that what exploded in #4 was a (possibly full) load of MOX that they were readying for loading into the reactor. It was being held in the machinery pool, not the Spent fuel pool - so their claims that "no MOX was in the SFP" is misleading, but technically correct.

    If so, this could have been the cataclysmic event. We cannot know, because the facts are withheld. From the moment I saw the explosion, it has made me feel like the facts are simply too terrible to release. I have pleaded with those I know in Japan to leave the country since that time. Some did, most did not.

    I also feel like we in the US are in serious danger from plutonium inhalation, however I also surmised that if the plutonium is able to travel to the US in inhalable form, then the entire world will be eventually contaminated, so it really does no good to relocate.

    As I've said from the beginning, I hope I'm wrong in everything I've speculated. So far, very little of what I've claimed has been proven wrong - some yes, but most not.

    Perhaps the most disturbing of all is the nearly 100% media ignorance of the event - and the immediate and extensive disninformation and even suppression of information about the event sponsored by the industry, and most disturbingly the Japanese and US and other governments. Perhaps this has been happening my whole life and I'm ignorant, but would have never believed such a thing was possible until I had experienced it firsthand.

    I applaud yours and others ongoing efforts to bring the truth to light Majia.

    James

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