Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chernobyl Again

Updated below:

The American media aren't really telling the whole story here. The initial reports of iodine isotopes being dumped into the ocean were no big deal(the half life of most of them are just a week or so). Now that we know the actual fuel rods are burning we are actually getting isotopes with very much longer half lives such as Strontium-90 which is somewhere in the 1,000 year range if memory serves. This is not good news as these isotopes will be with us for a very long time and within that time infiltrate everything we eat or drink. You can't find any general agreement on the effects of ionizing radiation on the human body but everybody agrees that the less we are exposed the better. I, for one, don't like my eggs to glow in the dark or my morning coffee to be self heating. This is going from bad to worse on a daily basis and it appears the tectonic activity smacking our friends the Japanese around aren't letting up much. I really don't see much upside here.

Sorry for the gallows humor...I couldn't help myself.

Mr. Bates has brought to my attention that the half life of SR90 is only 28 years or so. I must have been thinking of another isotope like Plutonium or Cesium or whatever. There are many that have half lives of thousands of years. Still, whatever radioisotopes are spewing from the Japanese reactors are not just old short lived iodine.

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