This article was written by Tyler Durden and originally published at Zero Hedge.
Editor’s Comment: Perhaps mankind was genius enough to unlock the secrets of nuclear physics and atomic energy, but not wise enough to know how to manage the lasting consequences of its awesome power. While TEPCO and relevant authorities continue a laughable and dangerous “sweeping under the carpet” routine to hide the effects from the public, it becomes increasingly clear that there is likely no way to stop what is happening. There may be no “cleaning up” the mess there in any span of time, and the contamination continues to pour into the Pacific Ocean at a devastating rate.
The robots that have been sent in cannot function, despite being designed with reinforcements that were supposed to allow it to endure the extremely hostile conditions inside the heart of the nuclear reactor. God help us all – this disaster cannot be underestimated. This is a disaster that no man can undo.
Fukushima Aborts Latest Robot Mission Inside Reactor; Radiation At “Unimaginable” Levels
by Tyler Durden
Two years after sacrificing one robot, TEPCO officials have aborted their latest robot mission inside the Fukushima reactor after the ‘scorpion’ became unresponsive as it investigated the previously discovered hole where the core is believed to have melted.
A “scorpion” robot sent into a Japanese nuclear reactor to learn about the damage suffered in a tsunami-induced meltdown had its mission aborted after the probe ran into trouble, Tokyo Electric Power company said Thursday. As Phys.org reports, TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, sent the remote-controlled device into the No. 2 reactor where radiation levels have recently hit record highs.
The “scorpion” robot, so-called because it can lift up its camera-mounted tail to achieve better viewing angles, is also designed to crawl over rubble inside the damaged facility.
But it could not reach its target destination beneath a pressure vessel through which nuclear fuel is believed to have melted because the robot had difficulty moving, a company spokeswoman said.
“It’s not immediately clear if that’s because of radiation or obstacles,” she said, adding that TEPCO is checking what data the robot was able to obtain, including images.
The robot, 60 centimetres (24 inches) long, is made by Toshiba and equipped with two cameras and sensors to gauge radiation levels and temperatures.
“Scorpion’s mission is to take images of the situation and collect data inside the containment vessel,” TEPCO spokesman Shinichi Nakakuki said earlier.
“Challenges include enduring high levels of radiation and moving on the rough surface,” he said.
Radiation levels inside the reactor were estimated last week at 650 sieverts per hour at one spot, which can effectively shut down robots in hours.
This is not the first robot to become disoriented under the extreme stress of the Fukushima environment…
The robot sent to inspect a reactor’ containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant stopped responding three hours into the operation.
TEPCO hoped to take a look inside the vessel containing one of the three reactors, which underwent a meltdown in the 2011 nuclear disaster.
A group of approximately 40 workers sent the remotely-controlled device, allegedly capable of withstanding high levels of radiation, into the vessel at 11:20 a.m. The robot stopped functioning after covering two thirds of the route at approximately 2:10 p.m., according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co.
But as Michael Snyder recently noted, radiation inside one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power facility has reached an “unimaginable” level according to experts. Because so much nuclear material from Fukushima escaped into the Pacific Ocean, there are many scientists that believe that it was the worst environmental disaster in human history, but most people in the general population seem to think that since the mainstream media really doesn’t talk about it anymore that everything must be under control. Unfortunately, that is not true at all. In fact, PBS reported just last year that “it is incorrect to say that Fukushima is under control when levels of radioactivity in the ocean indicate ongoing leaks“. And now we have just learned that the radiation level inside reactor 2 is so high that no human could possibly survive being exposed to it.
According to the Japan Times, the level of radiation inside the containment vessel of reactor 2 is now estimated to be “530 sieverts per hour”…
The radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor 2 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. said.
Tepco said on Thursday that the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core.
The high figure indicates that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby.
It is hard to find the words to convey how serious this is.
If you were exposed to a radiation level of just 10 sieverts per hour, that would mean almost certain death. So 530 sieverts per hour is simply off the charts. According to the Guardian, this recent measurement is being described by scientists as “unimaginable”…
The recent reading, described by some experts as “unimaginable”, is far higher than the previous record of 73 sieverts an hour in that part of the reactor.
A single dose of one sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea; 5 sieverts would kill half those exposed to it within a month, and a single dose of 10 sieverts would prove fatal within weeks.
And the really bad news is that there appears to be a 2 meter hole that was created by melted nuclear fuel “in the metal grating under the pressure vessel in the reactor’s primary containment vessel”.
The following comes from Bloomberg…
New photographs show what may be melted nuclear fuel sitting under one of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima reactors, a potential milestone in the search and retrieval of the fuel almost six years after it was lost in one of the worst atomic disasters in history.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest utility, released images on Monday showing a grate under the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 2 reactor covered in black residue. The company, better known as Tepco, may send in a scorpion-like robot as soon as February to determine the temperature and radioactivity of the residue.
If that isn’t frightening enough, one Japanese news source is reporting that this melted nuclear fuel “has since come in contact with underground water flowing from the mountain side”…
The melted fuel has since come in contact with underground water flowing from the mountain side, generating radioactively contaminated water every day. In order to dismantle the reactor, it is necessary to take out the melted fuel, but high radiation levels inside the reactor had hampered work to locate the melted debris.
If this disaster was just limited to Japan, the entire northern hemisphere would not be at risk.
But that is not the case.
Most of the nuclear contamination from Fukushima ended up in the Pacific Ocean, and from there it was literally taken around the rest of the planet. The following was reported by PBS…
More than 80 percent of the radioactivity from the damaged reactors ended up in the Pacific — far more than reached the ocean from Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. Of this, a small fraction is currently on the seafloor — the rest was swept up by the Kuroshio current, a western Pacific version of the Gulf Stream, and carried out to sea where it mixed with (and was diluted by) the vast volume of the North Pacific.
We don’t know if there is a connection, but it is extremely interesting to note that fisheries up and down the west coast of the United States are failing because of a dramatic decrease in fish populations. Just check out the following excerpt from a story that was posted on January 18th…
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, California and Washington.
In recent years, each of these fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock biomass or loss of access due to unusual ocean and climate conditions. This decision enables fishing communities to seek disaster relief assistance from Congress.
Things are particularly bad up in Alaska, and biologists are “stumped” as to why this could be happening…
In 2016, the pink salmon harvests in Kodiak, Prince William Sounds, Chignik and lower Cook Inlet came in woefully under forecast and stumped biologists as to why.
The estimated value of Kodiak’s 2016 haul was $2.21 million, compared to a five-year average of $14.64 million, and in Prince William Sound the ex-vessel value was $6.6 million, far less that the $44 million five-year average. The total state harvest was the smallest since the late 1970s.
Although state biologists weren’t ready to declare a cause for the poor pink salmon performance, the Commerce Department press release attributed the disasters to “unusual ocean and climate conditions.”
Further south, it was being reported last month that millions of dead sardines are washing up on the shores of Chile.
I could go on and on with a lot more examples like this, but hopefully you get the point.
Something really strange is happening in the Pacific, and a lot of people believe that there is a link to Fukushima.
Not too long ago, I wrote about how the elite of Silicon Valley are “feverishly prepping“, but the truth is that all of us should be. If you need some tips on how to get started, you can find my prepping book right here. Our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster is just one piece of the puzzle.
But it is definitely a very important piece. The nuclear material from Fukushima is continuously entering the food chain, and once that nuclear material gets into our bodies it will slowly irradiate our organs for years to come. The following is an excerpt from an absolutely outstanding opinion piece by Helen Caldicott that was published in the Guardian…
Internal radiation, on the other hand, emanates from radioactive elements which enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Hazardous radionuclides such as iodine-131, caesium 137, and other isotopes currently being released in the sea and air around Fukushima bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains (for example into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans). After they enter the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, where they continuously irradiate small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years, can induce uncontrolled cell replication – that is, cancer. Further, many of the nuclides remain radioactive in the environment for generations, and ultimately will cause increased incidences of cancer and genetic diseases over time.
Are you starting to understand the gravity of the situation?
Sadly, this crisis is going to be with us for a very, very long time.
According to Bloomberg, they are not even going to start removing melted nuclear fuel from these reactors until 2021, and it is being projected that the overall cleanup “may take as long as 40 years”…
Decommissioning the reactors will cost 8 trillion yen ($70.4 billion), according to an estimate in December from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Removing the fuel is one of the most important steps in a cleanup that may take as long as 40 years.
The unprecedented nature of the Fukushima disaster means that Tepco is pinning its efforts on technology not yet invented to get the melted fuel out of the reactors.
The company aims to decide on a fuel removal procedure for the first reactor during the fiscal year ending March 2019, and to begin removing fuel in 2021.
A lot of people that end up dying as a result of this crisis may never even know that it was Fukushima that caused their deaths.
Personally, I am convinced that this is the greatest environmental crisis that humanity has ever experienced, and if the latest reading from reactor 2 is any indication, things just took a very serious turn for the worse.
This article was written by Tyler Durden and originally published at Zero Hedge.
I choose carbon. Fix this before you attack my wood stove.
Hi Gramps, I shoved a empty hairspray aerosol into my wood burner in an attempt to shift the carbon crap from the flu… BOOOOOM!
oh maaan,what a mess.
The cat ain’t been the same since!
How can you read this article and not think of this:
domo arigato mr roboto
Fukushima just needs robots with attitude.
wow, I’ve been banned at Infowars.com.
Alex Jones is coming across as a tad Trump sensitive!
“wow, I’ve been banned at Infowars.com.”
Getting banned from inforwars/prisonplanet is not a difficult task to accomplish. Say something negative about Israel/Israeli Government is all it takes.
Inforwars did you a favor – don’t bother with Zionist Alex Jones.
He’s an accomplished “Mind Bender Illusionist.”
Those that have not recognized this shill for what he is … those people are heavily under his spell.
I will reread it for you. “After they enter the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain,”
In California and Oregon, if you have a steak, just wave it in the direction of Japan, and it gets cooked.
Putin needs to look like the worlds hero and help Japan cover than place in concrete!
Plus the lefts heads would explode! Russia Did it!
Obama no action poisoned the ocean and the left Coast of America! But in the mind of a communist he was successful!
Curious what people here think about, e.g., eating pink salmon. Obviously, the article here would leave one to be VERY wary, but curious to get a range of opinions, e.g., the article above vs., say, hormesis, or this article in Scientific American (yeah, I know… co-opted media, etc…) Nevertheless, for those of you with scientific training, would be curious to hear your thoughts, relative to the danger of Pacific seafood, such as Alaskan salmon.
Of course, there are greater issues to discuss (new nuke plant designs vs the old one, pebble reactors, using thorium instead, etc.), so go ahead and weigh in on that, but here my concern was more narrow, just the immediate food chain in N. America.
Most of what I read is negative, so I would be curious what defense some might have of the “it’s NOT an emergency” side of the equation.
My question here is a true one, so please dispense with any “how can you be so stupid” comments here, from either side. Rather, I am just trying to be a scientist, gather evidence, and for certain look at at data that will allow me to utilize the null hypothesis methodology. We already have enough fake science with the BIG GREEN MONEY faux global warming scam!
We have had the last cane of tuna in our house this year, all of it was bought prior to 2011 and i wont buy fish unless i know it was not caught or raised in the pacific. I built my own aquaponic system and we love Salmon so I am working towards raising them in my system. Also no fruits and veggies from the Golden state or Washington or Oregon… yep built greenhouses, so almost everything e eat is now grown within 1 mile of the house…..bringin the food chain home…
And can you believe there are people in high places still promoting nuclear power. Ask the people in Japan how they feel about nuclear energy.
The people who first developed nuclear power went to their graves thinking “I can’t believe nobody ever found a real solution for what to do with the waste”.
I’ve read that Fukushima should never have happened. Supposedly the site’s elevation was 25 meters higher, and was cut down to facilitate construction and installation of huge machinery.
I could of been dead 50 + years ago . many times my I think all of my life I was saved 1 believe ANGELS are good spirted beings. Enjoy life as best we can . Bob Marley said it right , Don’t worry Be happy. Now I believe when one door closes another door opens. I forgive all who. trepassed against me. God is good we have free will and I will not give that up . HISTORY IS REWRITTEN BY THE WINNERS.I pray my sins have been forgiven. Every day is a GIFT Each day is our present don’t waste it Their spirits live still , ALMIGHTY JESUS inside HIs timing is all of life that is PRECIOUS.
Bobby McFerrin did the “don’t worry be happy” song. Not that it matters, but just a FYI
This is an extinction event of biblical proportions. But unlike super volcanos, asteroids, gamma bursts, etc…it is playing out in slow motion, rather than an instant catastrophic event. In a few short years your going to start seeing exponential increases of radioactive levels in the northern hemisphere. All the consequences of the increases (cancers, decreased fish populations, etc…) will become all too clear. As the disaster continues to unfold, we will finally understand that mankind is truly in the End times. Why the world allowed Japan to build nuclear reactors near major fault lines right on the Pacific ocean is beyond me. And continuing to allow Japan to fish out the oceans is yet another crime against humanity. All that is left now is prayer.!!!
Take iodine and selenium to protect you.
And red wine.
How often do you take iodine and selenium?
Potassium iodide is cheap insurance if there were ever a major emergency or war. I get mine from http://www.ki4u.com – they also have a lot of background info on nuclear war preparedness, etc. I would NOT be taking KI right now relative to Fukishima and living in CA, OR, WA or BC, but it is extremely cheap, and if I was in Japan during the meltdown, and near Fukishima, I might have for a week or so until I got out of the immediate vicinity. It’s also not for long term use, either.
I’m still looking at the facts around Fukishima, relative to its impact on sea life in the greater Pacific.
And contrary to all labeling, potassium iodide, if kept dry never expires. It’s a simple salt. In a sealed container it’s good indefanately.
Dosage needed varies by age. If there is a radiation release its critical to start to administer it within the first few hours. Waiting for the government to decide to hand out pills is suicide, by thyroid cancer. When you buy potassium iodide pills, make sure it comes with a sheet that fully explains dosage.
It is most important to get it to children, young adults and women of child baring age first. To much iodine is unhealthy and can even be dangerous. Older adults, retired or approaching retirement need very little iodine.
One trick is to use tincture of iodine to stain a small section of skin. If your body is short on iodine, it will absorb it right through your skin, and the stain will noticeably lighten in hours, If the stain doesn’t lighten you likely have enough iodine in your system. For older retired people, a bottle of tincture of iodine is likely all you need, and not the pills to avoid overdose.
Dr. Mercola also talks about fruit pectin as helpful with radiation, interestingly. Go to his site, mercola.com and do a search for it.
Pour melted lead, about 50,000 tons of it) inside the containment building so it will flow into every little space and shield it forever. The lead will absorbe the radio active neutrons, and stop the chain reaction.
I think you mean boron, silver, indium and cadmium since control rods are made of these minerals because they absorb neutrons.
Lead is dense, which shields you but to a lesser degree hydro-carbons work too. Shall we fill the reactor dome with oil?
Distance works well too, anyone up for a vacation on the moon or Mars since we will be experiencing some climate change?
They can’t just dump anything into the reactor pit that might insulate it like concrete or lead. The reactor has been getting hotter in recent months, meaning it’s still running out of control. Allow the heat to build and so will the reaction rate. This reactor can explode again, it has been sitting there running at low level, breeding its own fuel for years. Waiting until 2021 to remove the fuel is such a crap shoot.
That is one hell of a Radiation level.
4-5 Sieverts will kill 50% of all exposed adults in a short time.
The very young, pregnant women and the elderly will leave this world for the next very quickly.
The sailors who went into the reactor room to effect repairs on the Soviet K 19 submarine received 54 sieverts and all died.
A lifetime dose of 500 mSv is the Fed mandated max for all those in the nuclear industry.
500+ sieverts is off the charts and outside of anyone’s actual experience.
I feel sorry for all of the wildlife in the North Pacific.
Just read where scientist are concerned about some radioactive particles, iodine-131, that have been found over Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Rep., Germany, France, and Spain. They are so puzzled as to where these particles have come from. They say the particles are like those that would come from a nuclear accident or an atomic bomb blast. Experts say they seem to be emanating from eastern Europe, but have not been able to say what exactly caused them. They are saying the health risks are very low. The last nuclear accident I can think of is Fukushima , and North Korea’s bomb of Jan.,2016. Maybe this is why the elites are readying their underground shelters.
Iodine-131 has a half life of 8 days. Doesn’t sound like that would be Fukishima…
Again, I believe deliberately caused. Devils controlling our existence, humans and otherwise.
In communication with the M.D. who runs Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, she noted (direct quote):
“There is still much panic-mongering over Fukushima. I have no worries about Alaska salmon or Japanese fish either.”
I’m just reporting what she emailed me, whether you agree or not. Doctors for Disaster Preparedness is a great group to join – $20/year. Not bad.
In Japan doctors are forbidden from mentioning radiation poisoning in reports or on death certificates.
They have government healthcare, and any doctor who doesn’t play ball and help hide the extent of radiation poisoning just doesn’t get paid.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Radiation from Fukushima
Posted on November 27, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog
Is There Anything We Can Do to Reduce Radiation Risks?
Doctors in Hawaii and the West Coast of North American are being bombarded with questions about how to protect ourselves from radiation from Fukushima … especially since it is difficult to assess the amount of radiation we will be exposed to, and exposure may continue for some time.
This essay provides an introduction to some of the main concepts on reducing the risk from radiation. It is broken into the following sections:
I. Step 1: Reduce Exposure
II. Certain Minerals Can Reduce Absorption of Harmful Radiation
III. Other Vitamins and Minerals Which Protect Against Radiation Damage
IV. Antioxidants: Helpful Weapons Against Radiation Damage
V. Other Things Which Offer Some Radiation Protection
VI. What To Do If Exposed to Extremely High Doses of Radiation
Step 1: Reduce Exposure
Initially, we should reduce our exposure to radiation in the first place. For example, if you live in an area receiving any radiation exposure, you should take off your shoes and leave them by the door (Asian style) and use a Hepa vacuum to get rid of excess dust inside your house.
We should also be moderate with our consumption of fish caught off the Japanese, Hawaiian or West coast of the U.S. and Canada, as radiation can bioaccumulate in fish. See this, this, and this … and the video below.
(At the end of this essay, we’ll tell you what to do if you have the misfortune of getting exposed to high doses of radiation.)
Certain Minerals Can Reduce Absorption of Harmful Radiation
It is well-known that potassium iodide works to protect against damage from radioactive iodine by saturating our body (the thyroid gland, specifically) with harmless iodine, so that our bodies are unable to absorb radioactive iodine from nuclear accidents.
For example, the World Health Organization notes:
When taken at the appropriate dosage and within the correct time interval around exposure to radioactive iodine, KI [i.e. potassium iodide] saturates the thyroid gland with stable (non-radioactive) iodine. As a result, radioactive iodine will not be taken up and stored by the thyroid gland.
KI only protects against one particular radioactive element, radioactive iodine, which has a half life of only 8.02 days. That means that the iodine loses half of its radioactivity within 8 days. For example, after the initial Fukushima melt-down, radioactive iodine was found in California kelp. But the radioactive iodine quickly dissipated. *
The longer-term threat lies elsewhere. As the New York Times noted – in addition to iodine-131 – the big danger is cesium:
Over the long term, the big threat to human health is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.
At that rate of disintegration, John Emsley wrote in “Nature’s Building Blocks” (Oxford, 2001), “it takes over 200 years to reduce it to 1 percent of its former level.”
It is cesium-137 that still contaminates much of the land in Ukraine around the Chernobyl reactor.
Cesium-137 mixes easily with water and is chemically similar to potassium. It thus mimics how potassium gets metabolized in the body and can enter through many foods, including milk.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that … once dispersed in the environment … cesium-137 “is impossible to avoid.”
Cesium-137 is light enough to be carried by the wind a substantial distance. And it is being carried by ocean currents towards the West Coast of North America.
Fortunately – while little-known in the medical community – other harmless minerals can help “saturate” our bodies so as to minimize the uptake of other harmful types of radiation.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Army Medical Department Center and School explained in its book Medical Consequences of Radiological and Nuclear Weapons (Chapter 4):
One of the keys to a successful treatment outcome is to reduce or eliminate the uptake of internalized radionuclides before they can reach the critical organ.
The terms “blocking” or “diluting” agent can, in most cases, be used interchangeably. These compounds reduce the uptake of a radionuclide by saturating binding sites with a stable, nonradioactive element, thereby diluting the deleterious effect of the radioisotope. For example, potassium iodide is the FDA-recommended treatment to prevent radioactive iodine from being sequestered in the thyroid…. Nonradioactive strontium compounds may also be used to block the uptake of radioactive strontium. In addition, elements with chemical properties similar to the internalized radio-nuclide are often used as blocking agents. For example, calcium, and to a lesser extent phosphorus, can be used to block uptake of radioactive strontium.
The American Association of Physicists In Medicine agrees:
As does the book published in 2005 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, called Weapons of Mass Casualties and Terrorism Response:
After the U.S. military conducted above-ground nuclear tests on Bikini Island, scientists found that adding potassium to the soil reduced the uptake of radioactive cesium by the plants:
The first of a series of long-term field experiments was established on Bikini Island during the late 1980s to evaluate potential remediation techniques to reduce the uptake of cesium-137 into plants (Robison and Stone, 1998). Based on these experiments, the most effective and practical method for reducing the uptake of cesium-137 into food crop products was to treat agricultural areas with potassium fertilizer (KCl).
John Harte – Professor at the University of California at Berkeley in Energy and Resources and Ecosystem Sciences, a PhD physicist who previously taught physics at Yale, a recipient of the Pew Scholars Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, the Leo Szilard prize from the American Physical Society, and who has served on six National Academy of Sciences Committees and authored over 170 scientific publications, including six books – notes:
Marine fish are usually about 100 times lower in cesium-137 than are freshwater fish because potassium, which is more abundant in seawater, blocks uptake of cesium by marine organisms.
The same is true in mammals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry notes:
Cesium is a close chemical analogue of potassium. Cesium has been shown to compete with potassium for transport through potassium channels and can also substitute for potassium in activation of the sodium pump and subsequent transport into the cell.
Elimination rates of cesium may be altered by potassium intake. Following the intraperitoneal injection of 137 Cs in rats, a basal diet supplemented with 8–11% potassium resulted in cesium clearance of 60 days compared to about 120 days for rats receiving the unsupplemented basal diet that contained 1% potassium
(Richmond and Furchner 1961). After 20 days on the diets, rats receiving supplemental potassium had body burdens of 137 Cs that were one-half those of the rats not receiving supplemental potassium. This finding shows that supplemental potassium reduces the uptake and increases the elimination of ingested 137 Cs.
Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt – a medical doctor with a masters degree in public health, on the Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, editor of the best-seller Food and Nutrients in Disease Management – says that the same is true for humans:
Plutonium is treated like iron by our bodies. So getting enough iron will help reduce absorption of plutonium. And see this.
Here are the recommended daily allowances (RDA) for various minerals (data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture):
You can buy calcium, potassium, iron supplements. You can also buy non-radioactive strontium supplements. Or incorporate foods high in calcium, potassium, and iron.
Other Vitamins and Minerals Which Protect Against Radiation Damage
A number of scientific studies conclude that Vitamin A helps to protect us from radiation. See this, this and this.
Numerous studies show that Vitamin C helps to protect the body against radiation.
Vitamin D can help repair damage to DNA, and may help protect against low-level radiation. As Science Daily reports:
Radiological health expert Daniel Hayes, Ph.D., of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggests that a form of vitamin D could be one of our body’s main protections against damage from low levels of radiation. Writing in the International Journal of Low Radiation, Hayes explains that calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, may protect us from background radiation and could be used as a safe protective agent before or after a low-level nuclear incident.
“Vitamin D by its preventive/ameliorating actions should be given serious consideration as a protective agent against sublethal radiation injury, and in particular that induced by low-level radiation,” concludes Hayes.
It takes a couple of weeks or months to build up our body’s levels of Vitamin D. You cannot just pop a bunch of pills and raise your Vitamin D level. You should never take more than the recommended dose, and – even if you did – it wouldn’t raise your vitamin D level all at once. As such, we should start now …
Vitamin E has also shown promise in protecting from low-level radiation, at least in animal studies. Here and here (the natural form may be healthier for you than the synthetic form).
Here are the RDAs for vitamins (data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture):
You can buy vitamin supplements, or eat foods rich in vitamins A, C, D and E.
Selenium also helps protect our bodies from radiation. See this, this and this. Brazil nuts are the best food source of selenium. (And – given that the New England Journal of Medicine says that eating nuts helps us live longer – eating a handful of mixed raw nuts every day makes some sense.)
Antioxidants: Helpful Weapons Against Radiation Damage
It may sound strange, but it is well-documented that antioxidants help to protect against damage from radiation. Specifically, one of the main ways in which low-level ionizing radiation damages our bodies is by the creation of free radicals. (This 2-minute BBC videoshows how damaging free radicals can be to your health.)
For example, Columbia University explains the damaging effects of low-level radiation through free radical creation:
Indeed, creation of free radicals is virtually the definition of ionizing radiation. Wikipedia notes:
Ionizing … radiation is radiation composed of particles that individually carry enough kinetic energy to liberate an electron from an atom or molecule, ionizing it. Ionizing radiation is generated through nuclear reactions ….
A free radical is simply an atom or molecule that has a single unpaired electron in an outer shell.
Ionization of molecules can lead to radiolysis, (breaking chemical bonds,) and formation of highly reactive free radicals. These free radicals may then react chemically with neighbouring materials even after the original radiation has stopped. (e.g. ozone cracking of polymers by ozone formed by ionization of air). Ionizing radiation can disrupt crystal lattices in metals, causing them to become amorphous, with consequent swelling, material creep, and embrittlement. Ionizing radiation can also accelerate existing chemical reactions such as polymerization and corrosion, by contributing to the activation energy required for the reaction. Optical materials darken under the effect of ionizing radiation.
An antioxidant – on the other hand – is a molecule stable enough to donate an electron to a rampaging free radical and neutralize it … reducing its capacity to damage our body. In other words, antioxidants reduce the ability of radiation to injure us through their free radical scavenging ability.
That’s why doctors recommend eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to help protect against radiation (via CBS’ show The Doctors):
Fresh fruits and vegetables are vital to include in your diet. And some – like blueberries – are quite high in antioxidants. But there are actually more concentrated sources of antioxidants which are inexpensive and easy to obtain.
Glutathione – the “master antioxidant”, which is in every cell of your body, and which helps you utilize all the other antioxidants which you ingest – is probably the most important one to focus on.
Numerous studies have shown that glutathione can help protect cells against radiation damage, including studies published in the following journals:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; and here and here
International Journal of Radiation Biology
Official Journal of the Radiation Research Society
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
The Biological Bulletin
Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
Photochemistry and Photobiology
The journal Nutrients
Dr. Jimmy Gutman – a practicing physician, former Undergraduate Director and Residency Training Director of Emergency Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, who has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians – claims:
Raising glutathione levels protects cells from damage from the most dangerous of free radicals, the hydroxyl-radical, is released when ionizing radiation hits us.
Here’s how to boost your glutathione levels.
One source argues:
During exposure to low-level doses (LLD) of ionizing radiation (IR), the most of harmful effects are produced indirectly, through radiolysis of water and formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The antioxidant enzymes – superoxide dismutase (SOD): manganese SOD (MnSOD) and copper-zinc SOD (CuZnSOD), as well as glutathione (GSH), are the most important intracellular antioxidants in the metabolism of ROS.
Exercise also boosts antioxidants (and see this). So does adequate sleep.
Finally, thinking about radiation may be stressful. But studies show that deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi and other forms of relaxation raise antioxidants and decrease free radicals. Some of the studies can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
Other Things Which Offer Some Radiation Protection
Many other foods, herbs and supplements have shown some efficacy in helping to protect against radiation poisoning. This is not intended as a shopping list … there are just too many things to buy, and some combining some herbs with others may not be ideal. Rather, this is meant as a resource to keep handy, so that – if you have access to some of these items – you know what some of your options are.
Many inexpensive foods have shown protective properties against radiation, including:
Beta-carotene rich foods like carrots
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, collard greens and bok choy
Curcurim (and see this) – the active ingredient in turmeric which, in turn, is in yellow curry (available in Indian and Thai dishes)
Flax seeds (and see this)
Garlic (one Indian tribe living in the desert of Nevada used to eat bulbs of raw garlic to help protect against radiation from the above-ground nuclear tests)
Miso (when it has been “long-fermented”, instead of fermented for a shorter time)
Many types of seaweed (see this, this, this and this; but buy seaweed grown outside of Japan and other polluted waters)
Many herbs and supplements available at health food stores or drugstores have shown some protective properties against radiation, including:
Aloe arborescens (commonly known as “Krantz Aloe”, a lesser-known member of the aloe family)
Alpha lipoic acid
American Ginseng (indeed, one study apparently found American Ginseng helped prevent damage from cesium-137)
Beta-glucan (a yeast derivative)
Chlorella, a blue-green algae (see this and this)
Cordyceps mushroom (and see this)
Holy basil (and see this; also called tulasi; this is the top herb in traditional Ayurvedic – i.e. Indian – medicine)
Melatonin (and see this; or applied to the skin to help protect against radiation burns)
Milk thistle (and see this)
Panax Ginseng, a traditional “adaptogen” in Chinese medicine (see this and this)
Probiotics such as Lactobacillus
Reishi mushrooms (and see this)
Sesamol (an extract from sesame seeds)
Spirulina, a blue-green algae available at health food stores
Thiols such as N-acetyl cysteine and thioproline
Tinospora cordifolia (known as “guduchi”)
Tomato extract (Lycopersicon)
Zeolite (and see this. It’s a type of volcanic ash used to absorb radioactive cesium at Fukushima, Three Mile Island, and the Hanford nuclear facility)
(Consult your qualified healthcare provider before taking any herbs, as they can have side effects. Many of the herbs and supplements work by increasing antioxidants in your body, as discussed above.)
And there is some evidence that brightly-colored produce may have some protective properties.
(And see this and this.)
What To Do If Exposed to Extremely High Doses of Radiation
Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen explains how to reduce exposure in case of a worst case scenario:
[In a worst case scenario, for example, if the fuel pool at Fukushima reactor 4 were to topple over], I would close my windows, turn the air conditioner on, replace the filters frequently, damp mop, put a HEPA filter in the house and try to avoid as much of the hot particles as possible. You are not going to walk out with a Geiger counter and be in a plume that is going to tell you the meter. The issue will be on the West Coast, hot particles. And the solution there is HEPA filters and avoiding them.
Radiative iodine is concentrated in milk. Therefore, when high doses of radioiodine are being released into the air, we might want to avoid milk altogether for a couple of weeks or so. (Radioactive iodine has a half-life of only 8 days. So avoiding local milk for a couple of weeks should help keep you safe.)
Radiation also bioaccumulates in mushrooms. So it might be wise to consider avoiding mushrooms grown in Japan, Hawaii or on the Pacific Coast.
In addition, rain is one of the primary ways that radiation is spread outside of the vicinity of the nuclear accident. As a parent who doesn’t want to tell my kids they can’t play in the rain, none of this is fun to talk about … but during periods of extremely high airborne radiation releases, people might want to keep their kids out of heavy rain.
Evacuation is the most drastic step to take to protect yourself. World renowned physicist Michio Kaku told his Japanese family and friends years ago that they should leave if they can. Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen and physician Helen Caldicott have both said that people should evacuate the Northern Hemisphere if one of the Fukushima fuel pools collapses. Gundersen said:
Move south of the equator if that ever happened, I think that’s probably the lesson there.
The Fukushima pools have not collapsed at this point, and so we’re not suggesting that people leave Hawaii or the West Coast. Indeed, the entire focus of this essay is minimizing risks in our own homes.
Even if you’re hit with large doses of radiation, there are compounds you can take to help protect yourself …
Potassium iodide protects against damage from radioactive iodine, but should only be taken if one is directly exposed to high levels of radioactive iodine, and you should never exceed the recommended dosage.
Other specific substances have been proven to protect against poisoning from exposure to other specific types of radiation:
Prussian blue for cesium
DTPA for plutonium, americium and curium
Sodium bicarbonate (i.e. baking soda) for uranium
These are not candy, and can have their own side effects. So only take them – under guidance from your physician – if you are exposed to high levels of radiation.
For a more complete discussion of commonly-accepted scientific consensus on different prevention and treatment options, please review the Army’s Medical Consequences of Radiological and Nuclear Weapons and the The American Association of Physicists In Medicine’s Medical Management of Radionuclide Internal Contamination.
* As noted above, you should not take potassium iodide supplements unless you are exposed to high doses of radioactive iodine, because it can damage some people’s health. For chronic low-dose exposure, a daily, baseline level of mineral iodine is much healthier. Potassium iodide is found in most common table salt. However, levels are not uniform, and a lot of “iodized” salt has less than advertised. Here is a list of some iodine-rich foods. And see this.
Disclaimer: The material contained in this essay is for general informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. You should consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider before making any decisions about whether or not to take any of the foods, herbs, supplements, substances or actions mentioned herein.
Hi PTPO – can you provide sources for you post? Thanks!
Here’s one from 2013. http://www.naturalnews.com/042426_medical_cover-up_radiation_sickness_Fukushima.html
Google can find more.
Incidentally, while visiting Cannon Beach, OR., last Aug., they noted that some of the starfish at Haystack Rock were experiencing a wasting disease (this was on the display at the rock, at low tide). Interestingly, they didn’t say there were problems, e.g., with urchins or anemones. There’s several ways to look at this, without knowing more details about the differences in these creatures. Offhand, I would think all sea life would have been affected if it were Fukishima related, but then again the starfish might be more sensitive. Or it really could just be a wasting disease unrelated to Fukishima… or perhaps something in between.
Anyhow, again, would love to hear people’s thoughts on this. Both the starfish information, which is negative, and the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness note, cited above, and which is more sanguine, are submitted for people here with greater knowledge than mine to comment on.
here is an idea-round up a bunch of politicians and force them to work inside the reactor building. Work gets done and no big loss to humanity.