How the nuclear lobby lies about bananas and radiation
Nukers promoting contaminated food – the falsehoods of the Potassium excuse http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/nukers-promoting-contaminated-food-the-falsehoods-of-the-potassium-excuse/http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/nukers-promoting-contaminated-food-the-falsehoods-of-the-potassium-excuse/ I have blogged about this before. Attempts at selling contaminated food in the market of people’s lives by nuclear advocates has to stop in Japan and everywhere.
It will take me the weekend to finish this post as I gather the historic and current sources which show the Potassium equivalent dose (which the industry calls the banana equivalent dose) is a false, incorrect, wrong and deceptive fallacy.
In the interim, this wiki article explains the fallacy in brief:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_equivalent_dose
In brief: radio potassium (K40) is much a very small proportion of all potassium. It is far less radioactive per unit weight (amount, physical dose) than any biologically active fission product.
Potassium in any form is dangerous to the heart in excess, but potassium is a needed nutrient.
The body maintains a potassium balance therefore. This danger to the heart is a bio-chemical effect. The radiological nature of radio cesium (a potassium analogue) poses an additional threat to the heart and other soft tissue. The body maintains the appropriate its potassium balance by excreting potassium. Eating potassium rich food results in excretion of potassium, maintaining the body’s appropriate potassium balance. Eating a banana in fact results in cytokine release, and other biological responses. This is due to the chemical composition of the banana which contain precursors which, according to some people, are radio-protective.
On the other hand, cesium and strontium are not needed by the body in any form. In fact, strontium mimics calcium even though its bio chemistry is not exactly the same (analogue = similar to but not the same as the original). There are about half a dozen different isotopes of radio-strontium. The body is able to discriminate between strontium and calcium at the gut wall and prefers calcium. If the dietary calcium is adequate, the body is able to preferentially absorb calcium over strontium in a ratio of about 4 : 1.
Once absorbed, strontium moves to bone and other places which have a biological demand for calcium. In bone, strontium, which has a large crystal structure than calcium, binds more loosely to bone than calcium. It tends to deposit on the outside of bone structure. (Pecher, 1942)
During pregnancy strontium moves from bone to fetus with the bulk of movement occurring later in pregnancy.
During breast feeding, strontium moves from bone to breast tissue and is excreted into the milk.(Erf and Pecher, 1940).
When uncontaminated orphaned baby mice were given to strontium contaminated mother mice to suckle, the previously uncontaminated mice “became more radioactive than the (surrogate) mothers” Pecher, 1941.
The potassium cycle in humans is no excuse for nuclear authorities anywhere on the planet to claim any benefit or natural precedent for the marketing of nuclear industry emissions contaminated food.
The fission products are not nutrients. Do not eat them. Nuclear industry promises to keep its radioactive sources sealed. When nuclear industry invariably fails in this undertaking, it turns around and claims the residue of its pollution is like a banana.
Crap. The residue is like the residue of a rad weapon. Fact. Its the same stuff. Terrorists do not attempt to arm themselves with bananas. They are not dangerous.
Radio Strontium, Radio Iodine, Radio cesium have NO PLACE in food. Nuke is not clean, it is not green and it relies on lies it has concocted over decades. Despite the fact that nuclear industry has been a beneficiary of fundamental research into these matters, conducted at taxpayers expense, over many decades. It is as if nuclear industry is blind to the actual findings of Projects Gabriel, Sunshine and the Manhattan Project’s Health Division Findings even though these things were participated in by private nuclear corporations at the time.)
“Equilibrium Dose” – in a constantly radiologically contaminated environment, the equilibrium dose of a given fission product is the maximum amount of the substance which remains in the body as a result of the uptake/excretion cycle. Risk increases as a function of time as well as uptake. If the shit is quickly cleaned up, if the source of emissions is stopped then risk is reduced. The reactors at Fukushima continue to vent, previous deposition is washed down from the mountains of Fukusihma Prefecture. (see previous post).
The equilibrium dose of the fission products are all dangerous.
Bio-accumulation is a fact which confounds official attempts at “diluting” radio-contamination by spreading them around.
The more nuclear industry claims eating plutonium, strontium, cesium, iodine and other fuel and fission products is ok because bananas exist and because the potassium is a needed nutrient, the more I consider them to be blatant liars.
The experience and reports of Livermore National Labs in its attempts to remove radio cesium from food grown in the Bikini Atoll further reveal the nuclear lie. The main means of reducing radio cesium from food there involves the use of potassium fertilizer to displace cesium in the crops. It is of some, but limited success. As less than 1% of potassium is the radioactive isotopes of potassium and as the radioactive isotopes of potassium are much less radioactive per unit weight than radio cesium, there is an obvious radiological importance in using potassium to displace cesium from food.
see https://marshallislands.llnl.gov/bikini.php If there is no benefit in using potassium in an attempt to displace radio cesium from food in the Bikini Atoll, why has the American taxpayer spent untold billions attempting to do just that?
If nuclear industry tempts you with the idea that radio cesium is nutrient, dont believe them. They are asking you to take on an internal radio cesium dose in addition to your natural radio potassium dose, to take on an addition radio strontium dose where one does not exist in nature (no form of radio strontium exists in nature, there are about 6 radio strontium fission isotopes), strontium is not a nutrient and baby mice fed stable strontium instead of calcium die (Pecher `1941), There is no natural radio iodine dose. Eating radio Iodine damages the thyroid and consequently the rest of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is needed by the body for many reasons, including it’s important role in fighting the effects of radiation exposure.
There is no natural equilibrium doses of radio strontium, radio cesium, or radio iodine. (and so on, I aint writing a book here). The nuclear industry talks in absolutes to main its propaganda points. Let’s test that.
If radio cesium is ok because, as they say, radio potassium (which makes up 1% of the needed daily uptake of potassium), is in food, well what would happen if all the potassium in the world’s diet was turned to cesium? All mammalian life on the planet would die firstly because CESIUM IS NOT A NUTRIENT and secondly all mammalian life would die due to the radiation dose.
The whole of the history of nuclear has been dominated by the fact that the biologically active fission products contaminate the food supply after they enter the biosphere.
This fact has been known for a very long time. Realizing that nuclear devices – in the first instance, bombs and reactors – emitted both photon radiation – gamma and x rays, and particulate radiation – alpha, beta and neutrons – the first job of the Health Division of the Manhattan Project was to study the nature of the threats posed. Workers located close into a reactor core were exposed to gamma, x and neutron rays. These are very penetrating. They were also exposed to the physical rods – or slugs as they were called then. The hazards of extracting plutonium from fission uranium slugs included the possibility of breathing in or ingesting etc plutonium and fission product dust.
Hamilton was contracted to study the metabolism of the fission products. He was contracted to find the “radiations” which were “effective against the enemy”. He was contracted to find protective methods for US troops and the US population should the enemy attack the US with nuclear weapons. (The contract resulted from the aims defined by the report “Metallurgical Project, A.H. Compton, Project Leader, Health, Radiation
and Protection, R.S. Stone, M.D., Division Director, Health Division Program, May 10, 1943”, document number 717325, Report CH-63255-A, Originally Secret, pp. 2, gives the following additional very significant Scope:
“4. Evaluation of Effectiveness of Radioactive Materials as a Military Weapon. A) Defense -Tolerance of and protection of troops and civilians’. B) Offense – Radiations needed to be effective.”)
In 1943, Hamilton reported to Stone, Groves and Oppenheimer and reported that radio strontium obtained from reactor pile fuel rods (slugs as they were then called) could be used as a weapon. The proposal called for a bomb loaded with radio strontium, which was “violently radioactive”, and packed with explosive. Such bombs, Hamilton wrote, could be used to contaminate enemy food and water supplies. (Source: Advisory
Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, ACHRE, Final Report, Chapter 11.
United States Department of Energy, 1995. Date of memos: 1943.)
Under the terms of his first contract, Hamilton regularly published reports entitled ““Metabolism of the Fission Products, Progress Report for Period Ending…” In the report for the Period Ending April 15 1944, Hamilton reported the following: “The most effective means of reducing the absorption of Sr* (any radio active isotope of strontium) from the intestinal tract is the maintenance of an adequate or high calcium intake. This may be accomplished by increased use of milk and dairy products, by taking medicinal calcium regularly or by use of bread fortified with calcium. The important factor is apparently the general
level of calcium intake rather than the amount present in the intestinal tract at the
This finding was actually implied from data first published in the Sr/Ca ratio studies data and conclusions by Charles Pecher, 1940. (Source: Pecher, C. “Biological Investigations with Radioactive Calcium and Strontium,
Preliminary Report on the Use of Radioactive Strontium in the Treatment of
Metastatic Bone Cancer”, Contributed from the Radiation Laboratory of the
University of California, Berkeley University of California Publications in
Pharmacology. Editor: C. D. Leake, G.A. Alles, T.C. Daniels, M.H. Soley. Volume 2
No 11, pp. 117-150, plates 6-9, 3 figures in text. Submitted by Editors July 21, 1942,
Issued October 23, 1942, University of California Press, Berkeley, Cambridge
University Press, London, England. Prefatory note by C.D. Leake, editor.) pp 133.)
If Doctor Hamilton had been snatched from 1944 and had been transported to NHK TV studios in March 2011
and forced to watch the Fukushima explode and as a result of containment breach deposit portions of their
core contents over Japan and the hemisphere, he would have surely said, “Yea, that’s pretty much what I mean. What are you doing to protect the “friendlies”?”
Japanese authorities have not learnt the lessons of history. Nuclear industry knows the full facts, and yet prefers to justify its nuclear pollution on the grounds that bananas contain a lot of potassium (in dietary terms) and have a proportion of radioactive potassium. How much radioactive potassium is present naturally in all potassium and which therefore is taken up by plants and animals and consumed by humans? 0.0117%. The equilibrium dose in humans is constant, that is, eating some dietary potassium does not result in a greater amount in the body, for the body maintains an equilibrium of potassium and the excess amount is excreted. However, in the long decades following a reactor accident which results in proportions of core contents being spewed out into the country side, the biologically active fission products, including the isotopes of cesium (a potassium analogue) enter the foodchain.
This is results in an additional burden to the radio potassium normally present in food and the body. The presence of potassium in the body is not a valid excuse for nuclear industry and its shareholders to use in order to justify or minimise the consequences of their actions – actions which resulted in the contamination of the biosphere and foodchain.
Cesium is not a nutrient. Why eat it? TEPCO says so? What is TEPCO and its apologists motivation?
The hazards of non radioactive, stable, normal, ordinary, natural, non fission related cesium:
“In September 2009, after three such cases, the Canadian government warned Canadian consumers against taking cesium chloride because of the risk of potentially life-threatening heart arrhythmias. Patients who experience irregular heartbeat or a decrease in consciousness after taking cesium chloride should seek emergency medical treatment. There may also be a risk of heart attack associated with cesium chloride supplements.
Some other potential side effects of cesium chloride are seizures, loss of consciousness and electrolyte imbalances, which is a potentially dangerous condition in which the body’s chemistry is disrupted. Consuming large amounts of cesium chloride may also cause decreased appetite, nausea and diarrhea. Some researchers have reported that their laboratory mice died after taking large doses of cesium chloride, according to a 2004 report on cesium toxicity by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.” end quote, the cesium chloride is the soluble form.
The hazards of radioactive cesium:
“Among the many fission product nuclides, cesium 137 deserves attention because it possesses a unique combination of physical properties and historical notoriety. It is readily produced in large quantities during fission, has an intermediate half-life, decays by high-energy pathways, and is chemically reactive and highly soluble. These physical properties have made cesium 137 a dangerous legacy of major nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl, but it has also caused relatively small incidents as well….Fission of various isotopes of thorium, uranium, and plutonium all yield about 6% cesium-137.  This high fission yield results in an abundance of cesium-137 in spent nuclear fuel, as well as in regions contaminated by fission byproducts after nuclear accidents.  The large quantities of cesium-137 produced during fission events pose a persistent hazard. Its half-life of about 30 years is long enough that objects and regions contaminated by cesium-137 remain dangerous to humans for a generation or more, but it is short enough to ensure that even relatively small quantities of cesium-137 release dangerous doses of radiation (its specific radioactivity is 3.2 × 10^12 Bq/g (10 to the 12th power)). [2-4]
What is the rate of radioactivity of potassium 40, the isotope which makes up 0.011% of all potassium, both environmentally and in food? How much less that cesium 137?
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