[ RadSafe ] Anyone in Berkeley, CA on Fukushima Response Group Formation

ROY HERREN royherren2005 at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 20 01:34:42 CDT 2012


    I was initially tempted to ignore you comments.  However, I found what you 
wrote to be extremely disturbing.  I can only hope that you were jesting when 
you wrote "That's what we had to do with the people who were worried about all 
the radioactivity kids were exposed to going past Lawrence Berkeley Labs on 
their way to Lawrence Hall of Sciences (tritium from the labs). In vain did 
people say that the extra exposure was comparable to going to school at 1/8" 
higher elevation. (Fortunately in Berkeley, only the wealthy live in the 
hills.)"  I've been to the Lawrence Hall of Science and it is a wonderful 
facility and it would be a perfect destination for school outings.  If an 
organization scared people away from the facility on some cooked up, round 
about, back door attack on the Lawrence Berkeley Labs, then shame on the scare 
mongers!   Take a look at:
"The major natural source of tritium is cosmic ray reactions in the upper 
atmosphere. A minor portion of the annual natural tritium production comes from 
the earth' crust, a result of neutron capture reactions by 6Li in rocks. The 
steady-state global inventory of tritium from all natural sources is estimated 
to be in the range of 1 to 1.3X1018Bq [Okada and Momoshima, 1993]. Based on a 
12.3 year half-life, this inventory corresponds to an annual production of 
0.062 X 1018Bq/y. Measurements taken before open-air nuclear testing began 
(before 1950) indicate that HTO in natural waters in the U.S. ranged from 
0.14-7.9 Bq/L for Chicago rain water, 0.16-0.21 Bq/L for Lake Michigan water, 
and 0.30-0.77 Bq/L for the Mississippi [Okada and Momoshima, 1993].
 X1018Bq of tritium [Okada and Momoshima, 1993]. It is estimated that, in the 
1990's, the legacy of the nuclear weapons test of the 1950's and 1960's is an 
additional 52 X 1018Bq of tritium in the current global inventory [Okada and 
Momoshima, 1993].  

Anthropogenic sources of tritium in recent decades have far exceeded natural 
sources. Atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s are estimated 
to have produced from 185 to 240
 X1018Bq/y and off-normal releases an additional 0.001X1018Bq/y with a resultant 
steady-state buildup of 0.4 X 1018Bq globally [Okada and Momoshima, 1993]. Based 
on total previous levels of production, the legacy of luminous products (such as 
watch dials) is estimated to currently release 0.4X1018Bq/y with a resultant 
steady-state build up of 7.4 X 1018Bq globally [Okada and Momoshima, 1993]. 
However, the luminous-dial source is expected to decrease in time.
Normal releases of tritium from nuclear facilities are estimated to produce 0.02
The combined natural and anthropogenic emissions of tritium result in a current 
global inventory of approximately 53 X1018Bq, which is about 50 times greater 
than tritium levels due to natural sources alone. However, much of this tritium 
is deposited in the deep ocean where it is unavailable to the circulating waters 
of the Earth. Okada and Momoshima [1993] estimate that current levels of tritium 
in surface, ground and rain water are in the range 0.1 to 8 Bq/L. Based on these 
concentrations they estimate that current tritium levels in humans are 1.7 Bq/kg 
and result in an annual dose of 0.05 mGy per year (or 0.09 mSv per year assuming 
that the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) is on the order of 1.8)"

    Given the school children the world over are being exposed to naturally 
occurring tritium, are you going to write to the NY Times and propose the 
elimination of cosmic ray reactions in the upper atmosphere?  No, I suppose that 
would be absurd.  How did your organization "control" for all of the other 
sources of tritium to determine the exact origin of the alleged tritium that 
children were being exposed to as they were driven up the hill to the Lawrence 
Hall of Science?  Could it be possible that there really isn't any way to tell 
the origin of a tritium atom on the loose in the atmosphere?  In other words one 
would have to infer that any tritium atoms concentrations that were measured and 
were determined to be statistically significantly greater than background were 
from Lawrence Berkeley Labs given that one can't tell the difference between 
naturally occurring tritium and tritium made at the labs.  Were your measuring 
techniques and statistical determinations held up to peer review scrutiny?  It's 
really easy to make allegations and point a finger at an organization that will 
in all likelihood ignore your accusations, but that doesn't make your 
allegations valid! 
Roy Herren 

From: Karen Street <Karen_Street at sbcglobal.net>
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List 
<radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Sent: Sun, August 19, 2012 7:55:30 PM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Anyone in Berkeley, CA on Fukushima Response Group 

Wait for the NY Times to cover it. That's what we had to do with the people who 
were worried about all the radioactivity kids were exposed to going past 
Lawrence Berkeley Labs on their way to Lawrence Hall of Sciences (tritium from 
the labs). In vain did people say that the extra exposure was comparable to 
going to school at 1/8" higher elevation. (Fortunately in Berkeley, only the 
wealthy live in the hills.) Then some school decided not to send any kids to the 
lab, and the Times covered it. When another school made the same decision a year 
or two later, the Times covered it. (Normally, it only takes one article in the 

I am sympathetic with the group's complaints about the workers. In the US, 
Nuclear Energy Institute had a blog post saying we hire contract labor as well, 
but we train them—we don't pick laborers up on street corners and pay wages far 
below what everyone else gets. 

> Here is an interesting posting by activist Carol Wolman from the
> FukushimaFalloutForum Yahoo group - there is meeting of a group in
> Berkeley at 2PM today - note the rhetoric about Fukushima - also note
> the last line that they are forming groups like this all over the
> country
> 2 pm on Weds August 15th, at 2550 Dana #5B (at Parker).
> Home of Cecile Pineda, author of Devil's Tango, How I Learned to Fukushima.
> Our purpose is to raise public awareness of the dangers from the
> nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi (F-D) which were damaged in the
> earthquake/tsunami of March 11, 2011. Radiation that was released at
> that time, that is still being released, and that would be released if
> another massive earthquake, typhoon, tornado or manmade error
> precipitates another explosion there- all present huge hazards to the
> Bay Area and to the planet.
> A few of us met with Yastel Yamada last week. He is a founder of
> Skilled Veterans Corps of Fukushima (SVCF). We learned that the owner
> of F-D, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has subcontracted to 400
> different companies, with no overall project manager. TEPCO says it
> can't allow the 700 elderly volunteers of SVCF to work on the
> containment/cleanup because it has no hiring authority, and all the
> subcontracted companies have their own employees. We learn from the
> news that TEPCO is partly owned by the Mafia, the workers are
> underpaid and overexposed to radiation, the work is sloppy and
> inadequate, there are lots of leaks, TEPCO is less than candid with
> information. Cleanup and containment are way too slow, not centrally
> controlled, not done by people who are experts in this area.
> Therefore, SVCF and we are advocating internationalization of F-D,
> which can only happen if there is enough worldwide pressure, from
> governments and from the people.
> There is an active Fukushima Responders group in Sebastapol, which
> meets frequently to plan public events, run a website,
> http://fukushimaresponse.com/, hold workshops, lobby, etc. They are
> vigiling every Friday, in support of the Japanese people, who turn out
> every week by the 100,000's to protest the restarting of nuclear
> plants in Japan. We will network with them, and with other FR groups
> now forming around the country.
> __

Best wishes, 
Karen Street
Friends Energy Project
blog http://pathsoflight.us/musing/index.php

You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list

Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood the 
RadSafe rules. These can be found at: 

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit: 

More information about the RadSafe mailing list