Filtering Radioactive Particles From Water


| 9/23/2013 12:57:00 PM


Here in the Ozarks, we’re aggressively expanding our gardens, acquiring old-time skills and tools, and building people-powered devices. But, preparing for radioactive rain? We hadn’t thought of that.

While global warming still seemed a fairytale, I boycotted Styrofoam, aerosols, pesticides and paper towels after reading “The End of Nature” and “Earth in the Balance” 25 years ago. One little human, I hoped Earth would live a few more centuries.

I skimmed over forewarnings of nuclear mishaps and contamination, which were unfathomable to me then. Now, with an incalculable radioactive mess rolling across the Pacific, I want information.

Australian physician Helen Caldicott said recently, “the world would never be the same again,” after a tsunami crashed into the Fukushima nuclear complex in Japan. Caldicott has opposed nuclear power for decades. Her books include “Nuclear Madness” and “Nuclear Power is not the Answer.”

She warned us this could happen.



Remember how horrifying acid rain was 30 years ago? Picking up industrial emissions, rain killed vast northern forests, fish and birds, even eroding noses from marble statues. Instead of revitalizing life, rain became something to fear.

Graham Ross Leonard Cowan
9/24/2013 1:56:50 PM

"... an incalculable radioactive mess rolling across the Pacific, I want information ... Nuclear contamination in the Pacific is not a temporary West Coast problem" Indeed it is not. The fact that the "radioactive mess" is quite calculable is helpful in understanding why. In the year 1000, the ocean contained 300,000 fukushimas of uranium and 1.4 million fukushimas of radiopotassium*. When above-ground nuclear bomb testing ended the total had increased to something like 1,700,010, had dropped back to 1,700,005 by 2011, and now it's up to 1,700,006. So it's a little surprising that marine biologists who have looked for a Fukushima signature in the gamma ray emissions of Pacific bluefin tuna caught near California have found one. It is not at all surprising that it was a small fraction of the fishes' natural gamma ray emissions in 2012, and a smaller one in 2013 (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/05/22/1204859109.full.pdf , http://blogs-images.forbes.com/monteburke/files/2013/02/EST_2013_DJM.pdf ). * If we define a "fukushima" as the radioactivity of 10 PBq of cesium-137. The actual Fukushima marine 137-Cs contamination was not this much, but there was also some cesium-134, plus numerous other radioisotopes, all of them together adding up to much less than the cesiums.




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