Tag Archives | Radiation

Space Travel Can Cause Alzheimer’s, Study Warns

A hidden danger of attempting to establish a colony on another planet — many of the pioneering colonizers could be feeble-minded or demented upon arrival. Via Space Daily:

Long journeys into deep space, including a mission to Mars, could expose astronauts to levels of cosmic radiation harmful to the brain and accelerate Alzheimer’s disease, said US research Monday.

The NASA-funded study involved bombarding mice with radiation doses comparable to what voyagers would experience during a mission to Mars, and seeing how the animals managed to recall objects or locations.

Mice that were exposed to radiation were far more likely to fail those tasks — suggesting neurological impairment earlier than such symptoms typically appear. The brains of the mice also showed signs of vascular alterations and a greater than normal accumulation of beta amyloid, the protein “plaque” that is one of the hallmarks of the disease.

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Experts: The Technology Needed To Clean Up Fukushima Doesn’t Yet Exist

One and a half years later, the consensus seems to be that the site of the Fukushima nuclear accident cannot be cleaned up or contained until future generations invent the technology to do so, Washington’s Blog notes:

World-renowned physicist Michio Kaku said recently: “It will take years to invent a new generation of robots able to withstand the radiation.” The world leader in decommissioning nuclear reactors, and one of the main contractors hired to clean up Fukushima – EnergySolutions – made a similar point in May:

Concerning the extraction of fuel debris [at Fukushima], “There is no technology which may be directly applied,” said [top EnergySolutions executive] Morant.

A top American government nuclear expert – William D. Magwood – told the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works:

There will need to be new technologies and new methodologies created to be able to enable them to clean the site up and some of these technologies don’t exist yet, so there’s a long way to go with that…There’s a long, long way to go.

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Army’s Cold War Experiments On St. Louis Residents Revealed

Our military secretly sprayed experimental, possibly radioactive chemicals in minority and low-income communities in St. Louis during the 1960s to see what would happen, KSDK in St. Louis reports:

Lisa Martino-Taylor is a sociologist whose life’s work has been to uncover details of the Army’s ultra-secret military experiments carried out in St. Louis and other cities during the 1950s and 60s.

[KSDK] verified that the spraying of zinc cadmium sulfide did take place in St. Louis on thousands of unsuspecting citizens. What is unclear is whether the Army added a radioactive material to the compound as Martino-Taylor’s research implies.

Army archive pictures show how the tests were done in Corpus Christi, Texas in the 1960s. In Texas, planes were used to drop the chemical. But in St. Louis, the Army placed chemical sprayers on buildings and station wagons. Documents confirmed that city officials were kept in the dark about the tests.

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The Fukushima Disaster Produced Mutant Irradiated Butterflies

Radiation turns your dreams to nightmares, via Mother Jones:

Researchers collected butterflies immediately following the nuclear meltdown and six months later, both from the surrounding areas of Fukushima and from various other localities in Japan. As compared with the butterflies collected from elsewhere, Fukushima butterflies showed some abnormally-developed legs, dented eyes, deformed wing shapes, and changes to the color and spot patterns of their wings, with an overall abnormality rate of around 12 percent.

While these levels of mutations were still relatively mild, more alarming were the same data on butterflies collected six months later, in September of last year. The overall rate of similar mutations among these butterflies was around 28 percent, while this number skyrocketed to around 52 percent in the second generation produced from the collected butterflies.

The study renews worries that humans, too, might be affected by the released radiation in the Fukushima area, but the researchers insist that this is not an easy line to draw.

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Radioactive Oatmeal from Fukushima

Via Food Quality news:

Are we about the enter the era of carrying a radiation detector to scan all food before consuming? Damn!

Radiation has been detected in commercial oatmeal in Hong Kong. Despite assurances about “low levels” of radiation, there isn’t truly ANY safe amount of radiation. This is a reasonable concern with extremely hot particles like Cesium-137, which is the culprit in this case.

Even at the miniscule level of 7 Becquerel per kg, I can’t help but wonder about the lifetime bio-accumulation of these particles in the body if they became common in many food products.  There is a lot of conflicting information from all sides of all issues on the radiation legacy of Fukushima … because nobody truly knows the long-term effects.

No recall has been issued by the Hong Kong Center for Food Safety(CFS).

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Demon Core: The Haunted Piece Of Plutonium That Killed Several At Los Alamos

Multiple scientists tragically received fatal doses of radiation in freak accidents when handling the so-called Demon Core. Was it karma for our dropping the atomic bomb? io9 writes:

Ever heard of The Demon Core? It was named by Los Alamos scientists — who are generally not a superstitious lot — after it claimed multiple lives, in a series of strange and horrible accidents. Discover a legend of science… that’s worthy of a horror movie.

The Demon Core was a hunk of plutonium that was being used to refine the atomic bomb, just after it had been used in Japan. One of the first reactions tests was conducted, unofficially and without other scientists present, by a gifted 24-year-old physicist named Harry Daghlian. He had built up walls around the core, monitoring it all the while, and then placed a brick on top of the walls. The reaction started cranking up to critical levels, and Daglian hurried to withdraw the brick.

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Full Third of Fukushima Children Face Cancer Risk

 

Photo: Mononeko (PD)

According to  Russia Times, a Japanese public health organization has released grim finding: Aafter examining 38,000 children from the Fukushima Prefecture, site of the infamous nuclear disaster, the organization has estimated that a third of the prefecture’s children will be at risk for developing cancer as a result of radiation poisoning.

The Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey reports that over 13,000 of the children examined exhibited swollen cysts or nodules on their thyroids. Radiation penetrates soft tissues and settles in thyroids. Over time, the nodules can swell and become cancerous.

The children of the effected Prefecture will receive cancer screenings every two years until they turn 20, and will then continue to receive screenings every five years until the end of their lives.

Some physicians in the international community feel that the Japanese are not adequately publicizing the results of the study and minimizing the true danger that the children face.… Read the rest

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1913 Foresaw A Future Of Eating Giant, Irradiated Animals

A century ago, the endless promise of radium pointed toward a future in which a monstrously large frog’s leg sat at the center of every dinner table. Via ZPi, a 1913 article from the Salt Lake Tribune heralding the impending use of radiation to breed enormous livestock of all sorts:

Professor Dawson Turner, at the recent meeting of the British Association, made the astonishing announcement that by treating a frog’s egg with radium he had bred a frog three times the normal size of the species. The application of this discovery may have several very important results for humanity. Perhaps its most obvious value is that it will furnish us with a means of increasing the food supply.

Even at its present stage of development the experiment is capable of greatly reducing living expenses. Frog’s legs are delicious, succulent food similar in taste to fine chicken, and in many ways superior to the choicest quality beef.

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A Major U.S. Nuclear Base Running A ‘Containment Exercise’ Amid Censored Radiation Spikes?

Via the 4th Media:

Amid a number of reports of massive and bizarre radiation readouts coming from experts, eyewitnesses, radiation facilities, and a key choice news outlet, it has now come out that one of the largest nuclear bases is currently running a ‘nuclear containment exercise’. The Minot Airforce Base exercise, running in North Dakota, reportedly involves the use of B-52 aircrafts. The news comes after a developing story arose over the potential cover-up of a nuclear situation stemming from near the border of Indiana and Michigan.

Sources from near where the elevated levels of radiation were observed say that a Department of Homeland Security ‘hazmat’ fleet has been dispatched after ‘years’ of inactivity. The story first erupted after online geiger readings showed an unprecedented radiation spike in the area, with levels reaching as high as 7.139 counts per minute (CPM) over the average of between 5 and 6. While there has been no official reported cause of the spike, there has been quite a bit of foul play regarding the information being put forth by many media outlets, the EPA, and even radiation measurement centers.

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Fukushima Tuna Sushi Now Being Served?

Bluefin_tunaIn 2008 the New York Times reported that

“laboratory tests found so much mercury in tuna sushi from 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants that at most of them, a regular diet of six pieces a week would exceed the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.”

If you’re still eating tuna, you can also now start worrying about radiation poisoning, courtesy of the nuclear geniuses from Fukushima, Japan. Report via Reuters:

Low levels of nuclear radiation from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima power plant have turned up in bluefin tuna off the California coast, suggesting that these fish carried radioactive compounds across the Pacific Ocean faster than wind or water can.

Small amounts of cesium-137 and cesium-134 were detected in 15 tuna caught near San Diego in August 2011, about four months after these chemicals were released into the water off Japan’s east coast, scientists reported on Monday.

That is months earlier than wind and water currents brought debris from the plant to waters off Alaska and the U.S.

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