Posts Tagged iodine-131

Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate • The Register

Not news, but a comment (informed one, it seems) on the Great Tokyo Water Scare by a Western blogger, Lewis Page. In the second half of his article, he gives a textbook example of how the media, with some careless reporting, can give a false impression that is quite enough to sow disquiet, anxiety and fear in a whole lot of people, especially in the matter of radioactivity. Can you spot it? (Key points underlined for your convenience.) Blogger Counting Cats in Zanzibar, which is where I found the link to The Register article, comments, “I expect it’s something to do with the unique way it’s funded. TV news is, as I think I’ve probably said before, inherently tabloid in nature.”

Tokyo tapwater – THE NEW GROUND ZERO!!! Fallout!!! Chernobyl!!!Then theres the matter of the tapwater in Tokyo. Two days ago, levels of radioactive iodine-131 were found in the citys water which were above the safety limit for baby milk calculated on the basis of a years consumption: in other words, if babies drank such water for a year constantly they would have a tiny, minuscule extra risk of thyroid cancer.One should note that iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days: it disappears almost completely within a matter of weeks. The Fukushima reactors have not been generating any more of it since they scrammed nearly a fortnight ago, and the residual core heating which is causing it to be emitted has plunged to tiny proportions of that seen in the days after the quake

via Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate • The Register.

It continues… Read the rest of this entry »

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Preventative measures in case of radiation exposure

As the situation in Fukushima remains critical and may still get worse, I’m re-posting some links to sources of information about iodine, potassium iodide, the Japanese diet, and various supplements. I have not tried any of these and amd not recommending them.  Please do your own research. Kelp is konbu 昆布 コンブ in Japanese.

Some people have expressed concerns over the lack of Potassium Iodide available at stores in Japan. Potassium Iodide is used to protect the thyroid gland from the effects of radiation exposure.

First off, in Japan, most druggist do not carry Potassium Iodide as one needs a prescription to buy it. Secondly, the average Japanese gets more than sufficient amounts of iodine in their regular foods that it is not necessary at all to supplement it.

via Marketing Japan: Potassium Iodide Not Necessary for People Who Eat Japanese Diet. Read the rest of this entry »

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Austrian authorities release detailed data on Japan radiation | Science & Technology | Deutsche Welle | 23.03.2011

From VoA reporter Steve Herman’s Twitter feed:

Austrian scientists have released what appears to be the first clear, independent data concerning radiation levels in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima radiation leak.By releasing data from two monitoring stations of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization CTBTO from Japan and California, researchers from the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics in Vienna have calculated backwards to estimate the true levels of radiation from Fukushima.

“The estimated source terms for iodine-131 are very constant, namely 1.3 x 10^17 becquerels per day for the first two days (US station) and 1.2 x 10^17 becquerels per day for the third day (Japan),” the institute said in a German-language statement posted on Wednesday on its website.

“For cesium-137 measurements, (the US station) measured 5 x 10^15 becquerels, close, while Japan had much more cesium in its air. On this day, we estimate a source term of about 4 x 10^16.”

A “becquerel” is the unit that measures how many radioactive nuclei decay per second, and the “source term” refers to the quantity and type of radioactive material released into an environment.

“The nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl had a source term of iodine-131 at 1.76 x 10^18 becquerels of cesium-137 at 8.5 x 10^16 bequerels,” the statement added. “The estimated for Fukushima source terms are thus at 20 percent of Chernobyl for iodine, and 20-60 percent of Chernobyl for cesium.”

However, other scientists are not ready to put the Fukushima fallout into Chernobyl territory just yet.

“My speculation is that it’s going to be significantly less than Chernobyl fallout, but we’re not going to know that until we get more data,” said Jim Smith, an environmental physicist at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, in an interview with Deutsche Welle. “We’re not seeing data from the immediate 20 kilometer radius of the plant.”

Although the Fukushima accident is a disaster, it could have been worse. [Gerhard] Wotawa [the lead Austrian researcher] said it was fortunate that during the first two days of the accident, when radiation was leaking at a greater rate, there were constant winds out to the Pacific.

If the winds had been blowing towards Japan, it would have been much worse, he said.

via Austrian authorities release detailed data on Japan radiation | Science & Technology | Deutsche Welle | 23.03.2011.

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