Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Living in the End Times: Radiation and Our Future

What we can expect is linked above

The explanation is linked below and excerpted from a CNN John King interview with Arnie Gunderson:

JOHN KING, USA june 7 2011

KING: Japan's government now acknowledges the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was much worse than we were told. It's worse more than doubled now, the estimate the government has of how much radiation was released, and confirms three of the plant's reactors experienced full meltdowns.
The NHK Network reporting tonight the country's nuclear disaster task force today finalized a 300-page plus report and Japan's government promised to release information about the possible health effects. The news validates the concerns of nuclear advocates, experts like Arnie Gundersen. He's the chief nuclear engineer for Fairewinds Associates consults with Vermont's state government on that state's nuclear Yankee -- Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. And Arnie Gundersen is with us now live.

KING: And as we try to judge the fallout, not only in Japan, we'll see what the government report says, but we've talked about some radiation, relatively low amounts, very low amounts, make its way across the Pacific. You've seen evidence of what's called hot particles showing up on the U.S. West Coast, in Seattle, for example.....

What are we talking about? And how worried should people be?

GUNDERSEN: Well, the radiation initially comes out as a big cloud of gases. And that's what you can measure with a Geiger counter. But now what we're finding are these things called "hot particles," and in the industry we call them "fuel fleas" because they're incredibly small. They're smaller than the thickness of your hair.

In Tokyo, in April, measurements indicate that there's about 10 hot particles per day in what a normal person would breathe. And it's interesting, because in Seattle, it didn't go down that much. It was about five hot particles a day. Because most of the time, as we talked about back in April, the wind was blowing toward the West Coast. Now, that's why we were warning to wash your lettuce and things like that.

Now, what that means is that it's -- these hot particles can lodge in your lung or in your digestive tract or your bone, and over time cause a cancer. But they're way too small to be picked up on a large radiation detector.

KING: And so, do you believe there are enough of them that people in the West Coast of the United States need to be worried? Or is it a very minor concern?

GUNDERSEN: Well, the average person breathes in about 10 cubic meters a day. And the filters out there for April show that they were breathing in -- per day, about five particles. Now, these are charged, which is why we call them fuel fleas, too, and they latch on to lung tissue.
You know, I'm still advising my friends to wash all of your vegetables to make sure you can get it off. But short of that, we're at a point now where you just can't run from the particles that are still in the air....

...KING: We'll keep watching that.I want to show our viewers some satellite images that we have now, satellite images of the Fukushima nuclear plant on March 14th compared to May 25th.

When you look at this, three months since, do you get the sense -- looking at the new photos -- number one, first and foremost, do things appear to be under control right now?

GUNDERSEN: No. The units are still leaking. The difference in the picture, though, it was cold in March so you could see steam, sort of like breathing on a cold day. Now, it's hot, so you don't see the steam coming out of the plant. But there's still emitting radioactive gases, and an enormous amount of radioactive liquid....

....KING: And we have some video -- this is from TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Company and it is of unit one. And I want to show this video and I want to ask you, Arnie Gundersen, when you look at this video -- as someone who understands the design, the engineering in here -- what are you seeing?

GUNDERSEN: It frightened me. What it's showing is that the nuclear reactor core has melted, and it's somewhere down below the floor. And you can just see boiling water and boiling steam coming out of that hole in the floor. It's the closest yet they've come to approaching that radioactive core. So, that was the first thing.

The second thing is that the robot -- these were taken with a robot -- measured a dose in that room of 400 rem per hour. We call that LD 50/50. And what that means is that it's a 50 percent chance you'll get a lethal exposure in one hour.

KING: So, if somebody was in that room for an hour or more, they're likely dead or seriously --

GUNDERSEN: Yes. If they're in that room for an hour, it's a quick death. It's not 10 years out. It's a 50/50 chance you'll die within a week....

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