[ RadSafe ] The Campaign to Keep People Ignorant of Naturally Occurring Radiation Continues

Jason Meade meadeja at vcu.edu
Wed Jan 3 08:01:15 CST 2018

When did this group become a rabid anti-nuclear and F everyone who tries to
bring perspective into the discussion listserv?

On Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 4:01 AM, Roger Helbig <rwhelbig at gmail.com> wrote:

> Jim Green exposes the nuclear lobby’s lies about bananas
> by Christina MacPherson
> “The more the nuclear industry claims eating plutonium, strontium,
> cesium, iodine and other fuel and fission products is OK because
> bananas exist and because the potassium is a needed nutrient, the more
> I consider them to be blatant liars.”
> The Banana Equivalent Dose of catastrophic nuclear accidents, Jim
> Green, Online Opinion, 20 December 2017,
> http://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19475&page=0
> The ‘Nuclear for Climate’ lobby group recently attended the United
> Nations’ COP23 climate conference armed with bananas, in order to make
> specious comparisons between radiation exposures from eating bananas
> and routine emissions from nuclear power plants.
> One of the reasons the comparison is specious is that some exposures
> are voluntary, others aren’t. Australian academic Prof. Barry Brook
> said in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster: “People don’t
> understand that they live in an environment that is awash with
> radiation and they make decisions every day which affect their
> radiation dose ‒ they hop on an airplane or eat a banana or sit close
> to the TV.” True ‒ but people choose to hop on an airplane or eat a
> banana or sit close to the TV, whereas radiation doses from nuclear
> plants and nuclear accidents are usually involuntary.
> Another reason why the comparison made by ‘Nuclear for Climate’ is
> specious is that it ignores spikes in radioactive emissions during
> reactor refueling. Radiation biologist Dr Ian Fairlie notes that when
> nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive
> emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500
> times greater than during normal operation. The spikes may explain
> infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants − but operators provide
> no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures.
> The comparison between bananas and nuclear power plants also ignores
> the spike in emissions and radiation doses following catastrophic
> accidents. So, what’s the Banana Equivalent Dose (yes, that’s a thing)
> of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters?
> According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the
> collective effective dose from Chernobyl was 600,000 person-Sieverts.
> The UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
> estimates radiation exposure from the Fukushima disaster at 48,000
> person-Sieverts.
> Combined, exposure from Chernobyl and Fukushima is estimated at
> 648,000 person-Sieverts. Exposure from eating a banana is estimated at
> between 0.09-2.3 microSieverts. Let’s use a figure of 0.1 microSievert
> per banana. Thus, exposure from Chernobyl and Fukushima equates to
> 6,480,000,000,000 Banana Equivalent Doses ‒ that’s 6.48 trillion
> bananas or, if you prefer, 6.48 terabananas or 6,480 gigabananas.
> End-to-end, that many 15-cm (6-inch) bananas would stretch 972 million
> kilometres ‒ far enough to reach the sun 6.5 times over, or the moon
> 2,529 times over.
> Potassium cycle
> Another reason the comparison made by ‘Nuclear for Climate’ is
> specious is explained by Dr Gordon Edwards from the Canadian Coalition
> for Nuclear Responsibility:
> “[T]he body already has a lot of “natural” potassium including K-40
> [which is unavoidable], and any new “natural” potassium ingested is
> balanced by eliminating a comparable amount of “natural” potassium to
> maintain the “homeostasis” of the body. In other words the body’s own
> mechanisms will not allow for a net increase in potassium levels – and
> therefore will not allow for an increase in K-40 content in the body.
> “Here’s what the Oak Ridge Associated Universities has to say; (ORAU
> was founded in 1946 as the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies.):
> ‘The human body maintains relatively tight homeostatic control over
> potassium levels. This means that the consumption of foods containing
> large amounts of potassium will not increase the body’s potassium
> content. As such, eating foods like bananas does not increase your
> annual radiation dose. If someone ingested potassium that had been
> enriched in K-40, that would be another story.’
> “The same argument does not work for radioactive caesium, or for any
> of the radioactive pollutants given off by a nuclear power plant,
> because most of these materials do not exist in nature at all – and
> those that do exist in nature are not subject to the same homeostatic
> mechanism that the body uses to control potassium levels. Consequently
> any foodstuffs or beverages containing radioactive caesium or other
> man-made radioactive pollutants will cause an additional annual dose
> of ionizing radiation to the person so exposed.”
> Likewise, Linda Gunter explained in a 16 November 2017 article:
> “At the COP23 Climate Talks currently underway in Bonn, a group
> calling itself Nuclear for Climate, wants you to slip on their false
> banana propaganda and fall for their nonsensically unscientific notion
> that bananas are actually more dangerous than nuclear power plants! I
> am not making this up. Here is the picture.
> “The oxymoronic Nuclear for Climate people are handing out bananas
> complete with a sticker that reads: “This normal, every-day banana is
> more radioactive than living near a nuclear power plant for one year.”
> “If you smell something rotten in this banana business, you are right.
> So let’s peel off the propaganda right now. In short, when you eat a
> banana, your body’s level of potassium-40 doesn’t increase. You just
> get rid of some excess potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.
> “To explain in more detail, the tiny radiation exposure due to eating
> a banana lasts only for a few hours after ingestion, namely the time
> it takes for the normal potassium content of the body to be regulated
> by the kidneys. Since our bodies are under homeostatic control, the
> body’s level of potassium-40 doesn’t increase after eating a banana.
> The body just gets rid of some excess potassium-40.
> “The banana bashers don’t want you to know this and instead try to
> pretend that the potassium in bananas is the same as the genuinely
> dangerous man-made radionuclides ‒ such as cesium-137 and
> strontium-90 ‒ that are released into our environment from nuclear
> power facilities, from atomic bomb tests and from accidents like
> Fukushima and Chernobyl.
> “These radioactive elements, unlike the potassium-40 in bananas, are
> mistaken by the human body for more familiar elements. For example,
> ingested radioactive strontium-90 replaces stable calcium, and
> ingested radioactive cesium-137 replaces stable potassium. These
> nuclides can lodge in bones and muscles and irradiate people from
> within. This is internal radiation and can lead to very serious,
> long-lasting and trans-generational health impacts.”
> An unfortunate incident in Goiania, Brazil in September 1987
> illustrates the hazards of cesium-137, a fission product. Two people
> stole a radiotherapy source from a disused medical clinic. A security
> guard did not show up to work that day; he went instead to the cinema
> to see ‘Herbie Goes Bananas‘. The radiotherapy source contained 93
> grams of cesium-137. It was sold to a junkyard dealer. Many people
> were exposed to the radioactive cesium and they spread the
> contamination to other sites within and beyond the town. At least four
> people died from exposure to the radiation source and, according to
> the IAEA, “many others” suffered radiation injuries. Those injured
> included eight patients who required surgical debridments, amputation
> of the digital extremities and plastic skin grafts. The incident was
> rated Level 5 (‘Accident with Off Site Risk’) on the 7-point
> International Nuclear Event Scale.
> Terrorists don’t arm themselves with bananas
> There is a long history of nuclear power plants being used directly
> and indirectly in support of nuclear weapons programs. Bananas are of
> no interest to nuclear weapons proliferators. There’s no Treaty on the
> Non-Proliferation of Bananas, no Comprehensive Test Banana Treaty, no
> Anti-Banana Missile Treaty. Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump aren’t
> threatening each other with bananas; not yet, at least.
> Nuclear historian Paul Langley notes that terrorists don’t arm
> themselves with bananas:
> “The potassium cycle in humans is no excuse for nuclear authorities
> anywhere on the planet to claim any benefit or natural precedent for
> the marketing of nuclear industry emissions contaminated food.
> “The fission products are not nutrients. Do not eat them. The nuclear
> industry promises to keep its radioactive sources sealed. When the
> industry invariably fails in this undertaking, it turns around and
> claims that the residue of its pollution is like a banana. Crap. The
> residue is like the residue of a rad weapon. Fact. It’s the same
> stuff. Terrorists do not attempt to arm themselves with bananas. They
> are not dangerous.
> “Radio Strontium, Radio Iodine, Radio cesium have NO PLACE in food.
> Nuke is not clean, it is not green and it relies on lies it has
> concocted over decades. … The more the nuclear industry claims eating
> plutonium, strontium, cesium, iodine and other fuel and fission
> products is OK because bananas exist and because the potassium is a
> needed nutrient, the more I consider them to be blatant liars.”
> Christina MacPherson | December 20, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Categories: 2
> WORLD, Reference, spinbuster | URL: https://wp.me/phgse-yJH
> :
> http://nuclear-news.net/2017/12/20/jim-green-exposes-the-
> nuclear-lobbys-lies-about-bananas/
> Thanks for flying with WordPress.com
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Jason A Meade, AS, BS, MHSA, RRPT, R.T.(T)
Senior Radiation Safety Specialist
Virginia Commonwealth University

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meadeja at vcu.edu

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"A society grows great
when old men plant trees
whose shade they know
they shall never sit in."
-Old Greek proverb

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Bad is passing test depth at 80 feet per second with a thirty degree down
Compared to that, this is a walk in the park."
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