AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] Claims About Three Mile Island

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at
Wed Mar 25 17:43:25 CDT 2009

Dear Ed,


Since you mention „Turkey“ I remember a funny story in this context – though
the Chernobyl situation was not funny at all.


The contamination limits in force during that time were all based on 1 kg or
1 L. We found that Turkish tea, which is mostly grown in the areas close to
the former Sovjetunion was heavily contaminated – no wonder, with this big
leavy area to intercept contamination from aerosols or precipitation,
enhanced dramatically by drying the leaves. Now imagine one kilogramm of
dried tea leaves and compare it, to the amount (four spoonfuls) for a liter
of tea! It was hard work for me to press through, that the contamination
should be on the basis of the final drink! Very similar was the problem with
hazelnuts, which were also heavily contaminated. The whole choclate industry
was at stake before Christmas! Also here I was finally able to persuade the
bureaucrats, that the limit should be regarded for the final product. Since
the export of hazelnuts is very important for Turkey I suppose that the
Turkish authorities were happy to take up my arguments.....


What we can learn from that is, that also in radiation protection we should
use common sense!


Best regards,




Franz Schoenhofer, PhD

MinRat i.R.

Habicherg. 31/7

A-1160 Wien/Vienna



-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: edmond0033 at [mailto:edmond0033 at] 
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 25. März 2009 23:22
An: Franz Schönhofer
Cc: RadiatSafety; Bernard L. Cohen
Betreff: Re: AW: [ RadSafe ] Claims About Three Mile Island




You are correct.  For those who may not be aware, a cloud passed over
Turkey, as they were concerned with their 'spices'.  Apparently hen the wind
shifted the 'fallout' landed on their crops.  We ran samples from this area
and found them to contain a high amount of fission products.


Ed Baratta


edmond0033 at

----- Original Message -----
From: "Franz Schönhofer" <franz.schoenhofer at>
To: edmond0033 at, "Bernard L. Cohen" <blc+ at>
Cc: "RadiatSafety" <radsafe at>
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 2:00:25 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: AW: [ RadSafe ] Claims About Three Mile Island

Ed, Bernard, Roger and RADSAFErs,

To give you a rough comparison between the effect of the TMI and the
Chernobl accident: First of all the TMI accident had only local (if at all
any) impact. The Chernobyl accident had with few exceptions an impact on
nearly all European countries. When you talk about pCi's of I-131 then I can
tell you that our units for contamination were nCi/l of milk. For Cs-137 for
instance in beef we had a limit of 16 nCi/kg (not pCi!) and these values
were very frequently exceeded. We would have been happy if food had TMI

If those people writing horror stories would think for just a second and try
to use common sense instead of paranoia on radioactivity they would
recognize that people in Europe are still living after the Chernobyl
accident and even survived the many years of high fallout after the
atmospheric nuclear tests. 

"Don't disturb me with facts, I have made up my mind!"


Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
MinRat i.R.
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Wien/Vienna

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag
von edmond0033 at
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 25. März 2009 18:17
An: Bernard L. Cohen
Cc: RadiatSafety
Betreff: Re: [ RadSafe ] Claims About Three Mile Island

I agree with you Bernard.  We ( USFDA ) analyzed over 4,000 samples from
this area.  Many of the samples were of unpasteurized milk.  The majority of
the results for Iodine-131 were non detectable.  There were a handful that
did contain some detectable amounts, but were in Range II of the Federal
Radiation Protection Guidelines which called for continued surveillance.  I
believe the maximum was ~40 pCi /L.  The Guidelines for Range II was 10-100
pCi /L.  (Please excuse that I didn't convert it to the new units).  This
amount certainly was exceed by the above ground weapons tests by the USA and
the then USSR.  Also the Chernobyl incident was even higher, in that the
resultant fission products were certainly much higher.  Strontium-89 and 90
was non-detectable from the 

TMI incident.  As for the 'bubble' , I have my own opinion.  The news media
and its adherence's love to draw its own conclusions for their own agenda. 

Ed Baratta 

edmond0033 at 

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