Iodine radiation in Japanese seas

Governments tell the people not to panic about the nuclear plants at Fukushima, and there seem to be good scientific reasons why we should not panic. Panic is usually counterproductive, but not panicking and being extremely worried are different states of mind.

We humans have, within the space of less than a year, polluted two major seas of the world. We have fed the Gulf of Mexico with oil sludge and dispersal chemicals and stuffed the seas on the eastern coast of Japan with radiation. In Japan the radiation levels have risen by eightfold and we are not given any explanation for this. It could have come from airborne radiation, or sea water penetrating the nuclear plant and then returning to the sea, or fresh water being used to cool the plant leaking into the seas or a mixture of all these and other possibilities. Do not panic.

Radioactive levels in one of the nuclear reactors have been found to be ten million (10,000,000) times more than normal and radioactive iodine in the sea 1,800 time higher than normal. Do not panic.

The half life of the type of radiation that has been found – iodine radiation- measured is eight days. Other types of radiation found in nuclear material at nuclear power plants (like certain types of waste), for which there is no news of their presence, have a half life of ten thousand years. A half life of eight days for the radioactive iodine means that in eight days (from when the radiation was measured) the iodine will probably decay (or lose its energy or activity) to half its original value. However, the decaying to half its potency only applies to the radiation measured; if new radiation leaks there will be the start of another measuring period for half life. Do not panic.

People are told that you will have to eat unimaginable quantities of seafood from the Japanese seas to be at risk of radiation poisoning from iodine radiation. In a few days time the seafood will be even safer. Do not panic.

The brave people working at the nuclear power plants have measured the intensity of radiation in water found in the nuclear plants’ turbine rooms. They report that radiation is 10,000 times more than normal levels found there. Do not panic.

Most developed and developing nations have nuclear power plants. Do not panic.

Do not panic. We will need to remain calm, clear headed to enable us to do what we need to do about the nuclear power plants upon which we depend for our energy.

Apart from the people killed when the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan there have been very few deaths or illnesses caused by radiation from nuclear power plants. I would imagine that coal mining has killed far more people. Do not panic.

However the fear of the effects of radiation from nuclear power plants must affect the health and well being of millions of people, possibly hundreds of millions. If the Government tells you not to panic you will probably see the sense in it. If the Government tells you not to worry, it will have no effect – you will continue to worry because your experience has taught you that when you are told not to worry by a Government, then things are probably much more serious than they have revealed.

One Response

  1. So the best thing to do is to filter the water which is typically done in power plants with an ion resin filter. The filter itself becomes extremely radioactive but it is contained. When a core is typically shut down, it is the ion filter that is the most active site.

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