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Protecting plants from nuclear radiation

 
Pamela Melcher
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Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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What are good ways to protect our plants against radiation from Fukushima (which I hope you are aware is much worse than they are telling us) or other possible nuclear radiation? How do we best protect the plants? How do we best keep the plants from absorbing radiation? Can what falls on the plants be washed off? Is there a way to soak the harvested plants in substances to draw out the radiation or neutralize it without degrading the nutrition value? Can we mitigate the radiation by growing mushrooms, or plants that concentrate it? How deep does the radiation go in the soil? How much glacial rock dust should we add to the soil? Boron protects people from radiation, but I have been told that it is bad for soilin more than trace amounts; is it indeed bad for soil in more than small amounts? Can anyone suggest resources online or in books and journals? Are there effective ways to filter the radiation out of the irrigation water or out of the collected rainwater? I am interested in any information that people have. I have heard that biodynamic farms appear not to have radiation in them. Is that true? I am posting this in the week when posts may qualify us to win a copy of the excellent book by toby hemenway, gaia's garden. I am confused whether we need to put this in another thread or start another thread. I searched for an existing thread on the subject of radiation pollution, and found none, but I think that just means that I did not find it, not that there is no such thread. Apologies for any redundency. I may not get it right as to where to put the question, but please, please, please, Paul, for the sake of many people who want to know, ask him the question for me if I put this in the wrong place, and post his answer. I want to know what he has to say. If I put the question in the wrong place and lose my chance to win the book, that is sad, but mostly I want to know what he thinks will protect our plants against radiation. Thank you immeasurably. Thank you Toby. I love your book. I have read it countless times and have no plans to stop. Thanks, Paul, I love these forums. I have learned answers to questions I did not know I had. Thanks to all who post. No nukes. Health to all. Pamela Melcher
 
Toby Hemenway
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I know of no way to protect plants or us from the systemic release of radiation from Fukushima. There are specific solutions for specific isotopes and problems, like, some fungi can accumulate certain isotopes. But there is so much misinformation coming from the news--no one agrees on which isotopes, their risk, their amounts, their half-lives, and on and on. I would advise doing research and coming up with solutions that make you more comfortable. Beyond that, as my friend Larry Santoyo says, all you can do is clench your butt cheeks, grit your teeth, and lean into it.
 
Bob Dobbs
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I do know that spiderwort flowers change colors in response to radiation.
 
John Polk
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Bob Dobbs wrote:I do know that spiderwort flowers change colors in response to radiation.


This is not true of all spiderworts. Few of the 70+ species have this trait. It is not the entire flower that changes color, but rather the stamen hairs. They will change from blue, to pink (in the species Tradescantia occidentalis = Western Spiderwort).

Here is some info on the subject, if anybody wishes to follow this (and hopefully, find other species with this trait). Many of the species are strictly tropical, but this one is native from Minnesota to Arizona, as well as parts of Canada.

EDITED to add link:
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09553007614550381
 
Pamela Melcher
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Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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Thank you, John. Be well, everyone. Pamela Melcher
 
Daniel Truax
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Pam most of our nuclear radiation comes from the sun. I work in a old nuclear plant here in the US and I still get most of my exposure to nuclear radiation from being in the garden in the summer.

Unless you live within 50 miles of Fukushima or get your produce from Japan you should be worrying more about radon from your basement or ultraviolet radiation from the sun or even the radiation coming from your computer monitor.

As for damage to plants there really is none, they get a lot of radiation from the sun, but then there is contamination from radioactive particles that they can suck up, elements that take the place of calcium that give off radiation.

These too don't harm the plants, but they can harm the animals that eat them.

Look at Chernobyl, the fauna and flora 50 miles around the site is doing wonderfully. Sure the animals live shorten lives due to bone cancers but they reproduce before that effects them.

The bottom line is that they are doing so well because there are no HUMANS around, the nuclear radiation is protecting them form us.

-Dan.
 
Pamela Melcher
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Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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Dan, I appreciate that you took the trouble to respond. That was very kind of you. I appreciate your good intentions.

I wish that the radiation spewing from Fukushima and coming down in the rain in the Pacific Northwest, where I live, and elsewhere, was as harmless as you believe.

I do not want to enter into a debate with you about the seriousness of the radiation; we could waste endless energy in such a debate.

Infant mortality is up 35% in the Pacific Northwest since Fukushima. That tells me that something is very wrong.

I want to know how to keep my plants from taking up the radioactive strontium instead of calcium, radioactive cesium instead of potassium, and radioactive plutonium instead of iron. and thus prevent my ingestion of the radioactivity

Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D., a world renowned healer of many chronic diseases and authority on health whom I personally know and have come to trust over the last 11 1/2 years, has published the following concerning the seriousness of the threat of radiation in his blog:

"Contrary to the popular belief, the most serious threat of radiation exposure is not an atomic thermal blast (if you survive the heat of it), it is low level radiation that builds up over a long period of time. This is not a new understanding. It was discovered in 1972 through the research of Dr. Abram Petkau. Serious radiation damage is the result of free radical activity and its destruction of cellular structures. This free radical destructive activity may happen from small amounts of radiation exposure as a result of eating radioactive particles that have fallen on food and water. These radioactive minerals are incorporated into the body’s cellular structure. Free radical production causes radiation sickness and contributes to higher rates of cancer, as well as cross-linking among tissue proteins. These free radicals cause inflammations, damage to lung cells and blood vessels (contributing to higher rates of atherosclerosis as pointed out by world radiation expert Dr. John Gofman, MD, PhD), produce mutations, and cause degenerative diseases, including cancer. Long-term exposure to low levels of radiation is extremely dangerous, which is why there is no safe level of radiation exposure. According to Dr. John Gofman and other top radiation physicists and medical doctors, the total dose from our total exposure impacts us, it is accumulative.


According to Dr. Ernest Sternglass, Professor Emeritus of Radiological Physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Petkau found the free-radical effect from chronic low radiation exposure to be one thousand times greater than from a single large exposure from an atomic blast. In this context there is no safe permissible level of exposure. What is called “safe” is simply what the governments can get away with. It is actually at low levels of radiation exposure that free radical damage becomes more efficient according Dr. Pekau’s observation. This explains why leukemia and other cancers are occurring at 100 to 1,000 times more than initially predicted at Hiroshima.


In summary, “There is no safe dose of radiation since radiation is cumulative. Harm in the form of excess human cancer occurs at all doses of ionizing radiation, down to the lowest conceivable dose and dose rate.” ~ John Gofman, Ph.D., M.D. in Radiation and Human Health


“There is no safe level of exposure and there is no dose of radiation so low that the risk of malignancy is zero… the genetic risks, and especially those associated with recessive mutations, may be as harmful and debilitating to the human race as the increases of cancer.” ~ Dr. Karl Z. Morgan, director of the Health Physics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Sept. 1978 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists


The late Dr. John Gofman, as both a physician and a physicist, was hired by the Atomic Energy Commission to investigate the effects of radiation on human beings. I have read all his books, and he has published an immense amount of material. He concluded that radiation exposure produces a direct linear correlation in the increase of cancer incidence. His findings in 1985 indicated that the dose of radiation allowable by nuclear plants (permissible radiation leakage) would result in an additional 16,000 to 32,000 cancer deaths each year.

In the book, Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation by Harvey Wasserman, it’s reported that following the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident the cancer rate of those living in a 50 mile area increased sevenfold and that 58% of the births had complications. Dr. Gofman estimates in his book X-rays Health Effects of Common Examinations that more than 45,000 fatal cancers are induced yearly by X-rays. Radiation is far more toxic than chemicals and pesticides.


Another problem the world faces is that radioactive isotopes stay active for a long time. Strontium-90 has a radioactive lifetime of 560 years. Plutonium-239 has a full radioactive life of 500,000 years. Cesium-137 has a radioactive lifetime of 600 years. I-131 is radioactive for 160 days.


An English physician, Dr. Alice Stewart, a recognized world authority on nuclear epidemiology, discovered that women exposed to diagnostic X-rays during pregnancy had offspring with two times the likelihood of developing leukemia as did children who had not been exposed in utero. Babies exposed to one x-ray during their first trimester were 12 times more likely to have leukemia than those that were not exposed. I obviously do not recommend air travel for pregnant women during the first three months of pregnancy. Dr. Sternglass pointed out that this discovery of a one-thousandfold radiation sensitivity in the early human embryo could explain his findings of increased infant mortality due to all causes following an exposure to nuclear fallout from bomb testing or nuclear plant explosions like Chernobyl. Sternglass hypothesizes that when the fetus or infant is exposed to radioactive elements, such as strontium-90, the radioactive particles accumulate in the bone marrow, where the cells of the immune system are developing, and disrupt their functioning.


We are not simply talking theory. The point is that we have historical models of radioactive disasters. Unfortunately one of our best historical models is the tragedy of Chernobyl. We find in the post Chernobyl statistics for the U.S., compiled by Dr. Sternglass and presented at the First Global Radiation Victims Conference in New York in September of 1987, infant mortality following the Chernobyl fallout showed a general 54% increase. In the Pacific region of the U.S. for three months Washington State had the highest rate in the region with a 245% increase in deaths per thousand live births. California was next highest with a 48% increase in infant mortality as compared to June of the year before. The worst impact was in the Boston area, which showed an increase of 900% per thousand live births. Massachusetts also showed a 70% decline in newborns, and the total U.S. fertility rate decreased 8.3% in July and August to the lowest level ever observed in U.S. history. In the eight months following the accident, there was a total decrease of 60,000 newborns in the United States. This was followed by a return to the approximated average rate of live births in September. There was an additional increase in mortality amongst all ages during this time period, with Massachusetts being the highest, with a total increase in mortality of 43%, followed by California and Washington State with increased mortality rates of 39% and 40% respectively. The statistics show 35,000 more deaths for all ages in the US in the eight months following the arrival of Chernobyl radioactivity than would be expected based on the normal rates for this time in previous years. The potential plagues of the Japanese meltdowns are not a trivial problem, no matter what the mainstream media, or even the President, tells us. For example, the calculations from the Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics expert, Dr. Gerhard Wotawa, said the I-131 released in the first 3 to 4 days from the Fukishima nuclear plant was about 20% of that released from Chernobyl in its first 10 days and the cesium-137 was 50% of that released from Chernobyl during its first 10 days. This can be extrapolated to 120%-150% of the cesium-137 released by Cheronobyl in its first 10 days may have been released from the Fukishima plant during its first 10 days, provided that estimated release has remained constant."

Dr. Cousens has posted many articles on radiation which are accessible at his blog: [url=http://www.gabrielcousens.com] His latest post about radiation can be read here: [url=http://www.gabrielcousens.com/DRCOUSENS/DRCOUSENSBLOG/tabid/364/PostID/165/language/en-US/THE-STATE-OF-RADIATION-IN-OUR-WORLD---UPDATE.aspx]

I am deeply concerned and want to protect myself and my plants, my friends and my planet from this threat.

Again, I appreciate your going out of your way to respond. I wish you the very best.
May we all be safe and well.
Pamela
 
Linda Davis
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Location: southern oregon
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Hi Pamela, Here's some links that I have found on the web, that deal with radiation. I have a quote that maybe somewhat of an answer to the topic question. "Protection of plants from radiation from Fukushima or other nuclear radiation".

“Once radioactive contamination is distributed through the biosphere, a wider range of countermeasures needs to come into play which takes into consideration the transfer of the relevant radionuclides from soils into the food chain. For example, since mineral uptake by plants is related to the total available and relative abundance of their different ions, the application of high levels of potassium fertilizer can reduce radiocaesium uptake; and liming, by increasing calcium levels can reduce radiostrontium uptake. Sometimes it is possible to use alternative crops or varieties that accumulate lower levels of radionuclides than those normally grown in a region - for example, cereals in place of leafy vegetables and pasture. Another possibility is to grow crops such as sugar-beet or oilseed rape where the edible product is processed and contamination reduced. In order to maintain some form of agriculture wherever possible, the production of non-food crops such as flax and cotton for fibre, oilseed for lubricants or biofuel, and ornamental plants must be considered. Finally, burying the contaminated surface of the land by deep ploughing can be an effective procedure for large farms provided the proper ploughs are available.” http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull383/richards.html

Phytoremediation seems an interesting study.

Phytoremediation: Using plants to remove pollutants from the environment by Professor Ilya Raskin, AgBiotech Center, Cook College, Rutgers University
http://www.aspb.org/publicaffairs/briefing/phytoremediation.cfm

Phytoremediation: Using Plants to Clean Soil
http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/pae/botany/botany_map/articles/article_10.html

This is 120 page" The Medical, Naturopathic, Nutritional, Herbal, Commonsense External and Internal Approach" "Here's How to Help Support the Body's Healing After Intense Radioactive Contamination or Radiation Exposure ... The book ain't pretty, but the Radiation Detox Info is FREE" By Bill Bodri http://meditationexpert.com/RadiationDetox/
 
Linda Davis
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Location: southern oregon
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Looks like some discussion along the same lines, The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone Myco-remediation of the Japanese Landscape

http://www.permies.com/t/7316/fungi/Nuclear-Forest-Recovery-Zone-Myco
 
Pamela Melcher
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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Thank you, Linda. I will check out this information. Be safe. Be well.
 
Moses Nagant
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Pamela,

I agree with the guy who works at the Nuclear facility. You simply have nothing to worry about. Infant mortality rises and falls like the tide or the moon, due to many different variables.

I know you will disagree with me because you have already made up your mind. But much of the FEAR of radiation can be explained by ignorance to the idea/theory/best known explanation of what radiation is. Surly radiation in large doses is not healthy for your body. Nothing that fresh dandelion and parsley juice could Help to direct out of the body.

However you probably think im a quack. BUT THIS IS a good national realtime radiation monitoring map

If your still worried.

http://radiationnetwork.com/

state by state. I look at it every day just to view the rising and falling of the numbers, due to far away cosmic events. Which have a big impact much more than fukushima when you consider the radio activity of certain stars in our close proximity that constantly toss off millions of times the radiation released by fukushima.

Also i think its important to note the 500,000 years really isnt that long. Please dont worry about fukushima pamela the worry associated with it is far more destructive.

And then if im wrong, there really isnt much you could do about it anyways.

Just remember if its worrying you, dont worry too much, youll be dead soon enough.

Harsh words, Sorry. Its an old english saying.

TF

 
Linda Davis
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Location: southern oregon
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video uploaded, Jun 3, 2011
"A nuclear rabbit has sparked online panic in Japan. Amateur footage shows an earless mutant rabbit, and the person who made the video claims it was shot just outside the exclusion zone near Japan's crippled Fukushima plant. The clip has given rise to fears the radiation threat in the area is far worse than previously thought. The funny bunny has caused an online frenzy, with predictions that babies in Japan may soon be born with mutations." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw2R7y65nFg&feature=player_embedded
 
Angie Greene
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I am finding the posts here to be very helpful. I am sure that there will be conflicting information for years to come. The radiation network sampling sites are few and far in between. Some testing by others located certain hot spots http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2012/04/radiation_levels_in_portland_a.html; certainly there were others not found by sampling methods.

Linda's remediation suggestions seem promising, and I have seen similar information elsewhere. The hard part is to find fertilizers from relatively safe areas. Any thoughts?


 
Nick Garbarino
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Watching TV, medical tests like X-rays, etc, and air travel also increase radiation exposure. The Fukushima problem is not a threat to the continental U.S. Don't worry, be happy.
 
Leila Rich
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This is a really difficult subject, full of unknowns, ifs and buts .
In my opinion, there's plenty to be worried about with this situation specifically, and nuclear generally.
I think discussing those worries leads to knowledge and we know where that leads...POWER!
Putting on my moderator hat...
I suggest putting "I think" before anything that could read like a statement of "The Truth". It can feel a bit artificial, but it means we each take ownership of what are basically our opinions .
This thread covers lots of aspects of permies one rule that rules them all: 'be nice'. There's stuff about "I think" in there. http://www.permies.com/t/2296/tinkering-site/nice#34978
 
Angie Greene
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Nick Garbarino wrote:Watching TV, medical tests like X-rays, etc, and air travel also increase radiation exposure. The Fukushima problem is not a threat to the continental U.S. Don't worry, be happy.


I found a quick read about types of electromagnetic radiation: http://emwatch.com/EMF%20Explanations.htm I know that some people do try to be careful about other types of radiation as well.

Fukushima is not the only source of nuclear contaminants. It does at this time provide a focus for discussion. I wonder also about contaminants remaining from US nuclear tests years ago and fertilizer plants in the shadows of US nuclear plants.

I agree that it is best not to worry, and also not to have attitudes based on sensationalist reporting for example. It is quite an effort though to be truly informed. The radiation network site is only about real time readings, not cumulative totals for example. And, how can an individual really know the safety of the sources of soil ammendments? A group like this one could help sort it out. It's worth a try at least.

 
Nick Garbarino
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In my humble opinion, we have a lot more to be concerned with regarding chemical pollution of our environment and food, rather than insignificant man-made increases to the background radiation levels that all life on earth has evolved with since that first spark of life appeared. Now, as for people living in some of areas of Japan closer to the source, yes those levels are much higher than background. But even in Japan, there's a certain distance away from the accident that is safe, and that is surely the case in north america (IMHO). We are all immersed in estrogen mimicking compounds and the food is loaded with preservatives, MSG's, and we're pouring carbon into the atmosphere and causing climate instability. Safe, nuclear power and electric cars have the potential to actually start reducing humanity's carbon footprint. No other technologies can get it done on their own, although wind and solar can help. Wind and solar technology would have to get many times more efficient before they would be anything other than marginal. In other words, only rich people can afford those absurdly expensive technologies. We like to have power at night and when the wind isn't blowing, and we can't afford to pay 3-4 times more for electricity than we pay now. The sad thing about Fukushima is that they made some very poor decisions when the plant was designed in the 1960's, which would never fly today, yet some people use that poor example of a nuclear design to be scared of nuclear power - the only way out of the climate change nightmare, combined with electric vehicles. It's too late to go back to the woods. The planet is too over-populated for that and it would be a disaster like the world has never seen. We have to embrace technology now, and start reducing world population slowly. The fewer people there are, the more there is for all of us. That's what I think, now have at it. Love this forum.
 
Elaine Alexander
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Hi. I was looking at this forum and remembered something relevant I had come across recently.

I found it again. It's from the "Humanure Handbook" By Joseph Jenkins. An amazing,revolutionary and enjoyable book!
From Page 57:
" An Austrian farmer claims that the microorganisms he introduces into his fields have prevented his crops from being contaminated by the radiation from Chernobyl, the ill-fated Russian nuclear power plant, which contaminated his neighbors fields. Sigfried Lubke sprays his green manure crops with compost-type microorganisms just before plowing them under. This practice has produced a soil rich in humus and teeming with microscopic life. After the Chernobyl disaster, crops from fields in Lubke's farming area where banned from sale due to high amounts of radioactive cesium contamination. However, when officials tested Lubke's crops, no trace of cesium could be found. The officials made repeated tests because they couldn't believe that one farm showed no radioactive contamination while the surrounding farms did. Lubke surmises that the humus just "ate up" the cesium."
Referenced from an article in Acres USA, December 1989 page 20. "All things considered in the wake of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident".

Grow your soils!!!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Nick Garbarino wrote:we can't afford to pay 3-4 times more for electricity than we pay now.


I think with appropriate housing and technology we don't need nearly as much electricity as we have now, so costs needn't be greater. I personally see no need for new nuclear or coal plants when our society is presently so incredibly wasteful of resources. The long-term costs associated with nuclear power and coal are not calculated in the costs to us in our bills.



 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
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food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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Everything I say here is just my personal opinion..Trying to cover plants is not going to help curb exposure to radiation, unless you have a life time of stored water and air.. crazy filters etc... Mutate now avoid the rush I always say
I do not believe/trust those who say nuclear power can be done right. IMO...the FACT IS we simply have to stop using so much power . Get over our need for convenience..unplug our fridges.. turn off our electric heaters... and go to bed when it's dark. Windmills work by charging batteries if you must have lights at night..my laptop runs fine on a battery back-up. The more you invest in little things to get you off the grid the better. Hospitals, airports, public works, phone company's are the only folx who really need power like that full time (I'm sure there are others) but to ME the rest of us are just soft and lazy. I lived in LA with no power for 3 years in the middle of the city, everyone who came over would remark about how quiet my house was, how peaceful. So when I moved to the boonies into a trailer, it was an easy transition. Think about it ...what do you REALLY NEED? I have hand crank blender and food processor both from yard-sales. I make an oil lamp that lasts 2 weeks at a time by attaching a candle to the bottom of a quart jar and filling with peanut/olive oil to the top of candle. I still need to build another outdoor cooler box to place on the north-side of house here at my new place. A dug-in storage box with air intake low to the ground..a mini root-cellar of my own design. Yes I still buy from stores 2 things that need to be kept cold milk for coffee and butter, which prob makes me a phoney since my coffee comes from the other side of the planet...I'd have to switch to roasted chicory to be really cool and drink it black and unsweetened to show my macho/macha side. I do realize everything I do is available because of the current way of doing things..my oil for lamps, the store where I get my milk etc. but I try I really do.
I don't feel I/we can complain about radiation till we give up the power it is giving, because it's not safe and never will be. If the earth was static then nothing bad would ever happen to these plants (joke) but the earth moves and does not give advance warnings. It's a stupid "get rich quick" way to get power. In My Opinion.
I believe..The best thing we can do for the planet now is plant trees..all kinds as many as you can. Put in place as much food bearing plant structure as you can cram in. I even plant in vacant lots and waysides. Recently I have made a 10 ft hugelkultur hedge with elderberry canes built in on a roadside spot where there were small downed trees and a big elderberry down the road...we'll see how it goes/grows ..plan to add to it in the fall till I see results.
It's true we cannot all move to the woods, but we can all use a whole lot less, limit our family sizes ( an unpopular idea to some) and plant a whole lot more where EVER you are.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein wrote:
It's true we cannot all move to the woods, but we can all use a whole lot less, limit our family sizes ( an unpopular idea to some) and plant a whole lot more where EVER you are.


We can move the woods to us.
 
Angie Greene
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Elaine Alexander wrote:Hi. I was looking at this forum and remembered something relevant I had come across recently.

I found it again. It's from the "Humanure Handbook" By Joseph Jenkins. An amazing,revolutionary and enjoyable book!
From Page 57:
" An Austrian farmer claims that the microorganisms he introduces into his fields have prevented his crops from being contaminated by the radiation from Chernobyl, the ill-fated Russian nuclear power plant, which contaminated his neighbors fields. Sigfried Lubke sprays his green manure crops with compost-type microorganisms just before plowing them under. This practice has produced a soil rich in humus and teeming with microscopic life. After the Chernobyl disaster, crops from fields in Lubke's farming area where banned from sale due to high amounts of radioactive cesium contamination. However, when officials tested Lubke's crops, no trace of cesium could be found. The officials made repeated tests because they couldn't believe that one farm showed no radioactive contamination while the surrounding farms did. Lubke surmises that the humus just "ate up" the cesium."
Referenced from an article in Acres USA, December 1989 page 20. "All things considered in the wake of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident".

Grow your soils!!!


Thanks! A search on the title you provided led me to this very helpful page http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/node/3786. It has specific info on this and other approaches mentioned in this thread.

 
chris cromeens
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Location: north texas 7b now 8a
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I am going to try to stay on the thread topic. I don't think you can do much to protect plants but I think that as a permaculturist we could use systems like lawton's method of speeding up sequestration to lock up contaminated carbon. while food probably would not be edible from these contaminated sites, I believe we could make uninhabitable sites habitable sooner.
 
Pamela Melcher
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Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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Roxanne - thanks for that brilliant idea of ow to keep a veg oil lamp gong. Of course....

I have struggled with other less effective ideas.

This sounds like a major improvement to what I came up with. I will try it out.

 
Pamela Melcher
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Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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Thank you very much, to Elaine and Angie.

No nukes.
 
Bob Louis
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Location: S.W. Washington State
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With recent reports on the continued stream of contaminated water into the Pacific, and now the increased urgency of moving many tons of spent fuel from damaged, may-pop, fuel pools at the tops of the stricken reactor [non]containments, a greater threat (or non-threat, depending on one's bias, as displayed in this thread's diametrically diverse posts) looms for the region/hemisphere/globe. What protection exists for our food sources seems ever more important. I just heard a radio comment calling the ongoing Fukushima disaster, "the biggest non-reported story of the year."

Fukushima apocalypse: Years of ‘duct tape fixes’ could result in ‘millions of deaths’
 
Ben Plummer
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More bad news.
 
Creighton Samuiels
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Yes, more bad news. Fukushima, when all is accounted for, will certainly be the worst radioactive release event/accident in the history of the nuclear power industry in it's history, worldwide. Lord willing, it will remain the record holder forever. That said, much of what the information available in the media, regular or alternative, is hyperbole or misunderstanding. For example, one report talks about "400 tons of radioactive wastewater" entering into the sea each day. This is both awful, and literally correct; but it's only 400 tons because that's how much contaminated groundwater flows into the sea each day. It says nothing about how much actual radioactive material is included in that. Probably because they really don't know, but they mention that the vast majority, if not all of it, is tritritium water. Otherwise known as "heavy water", the stuff is very difficult to make, is damded valuable, and there probably wasn't more than a thousand gallons of the stuff in all of Fukushima. Considering, also, that the stuff has a half life of about 9 days, and has to be continually reproduced to replace the volume 'lost' to radioactive decay, it's really unlikely that the Fukushima plant kept that much on hand when the plant went down. Exposure to tritritum is very, very bad, and release of even a small volume is also very very bad. However, by the time any of it were to make it to North America via either ocean currents or the water cycle; not only would it be so dilute that simple detection above the natural background levels would require some high precision gear, but the short half-life also garantees that you have nothing to concern yourself about. It's a near certainty that coal burning power plants contribute more radioactive material into your near environment than the worst case that Fukushima could present to North Americans, via the release of particulate thorium into the air.

That said, the Japanese are certainly going to notice. The biggest issue for Japanese (those living beyond about 50 miles from Fukushima) is that much of the Japanese diet is seafood, and that could be contaminated for hundreds of miles. I can't really see the Japanese keeping their fish catch in a refrigerator for 90 days before consumption. (90 days being the number of days required for 10 half-life cycles, enough to reduce the concentration or radioactivity to one-thousandth of original exposure, which would probably be safe enough a margin) And the beach-front tourist industry within a couple hundred miles is probably screwed as well. The problem with food is compounded by the fact that, with a nation half the population of the US, living on an island roughly the size of California, wherein only about a third is both quality ariable land and not covered by homes or apartments; the Japanese havn't actually been able to feed themselves without food imports in decades. The practical loss of their domestic fishing industry is going to be destructive to what's left of their economy.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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If I remember correctly, the half life of tritium is 12 years. It is indeed a nasty radionuclide, as it is so small (h3) it is near impossible to filter and it moves through human membranes very easily.

There is also concern that the mix of radionuclides being released have switched towards more strontium rather than cesium. While both have a half life around 30 years, cesium has an effective half-life in the body of 90 days, because it is pissed out along with potassium, while strontium accumulates persitently in bones, where it steadily irradiates bone marrow, increasing risk of leukemia.

I was at a talk by Dr. Helen Caldicott recently in Los Angeles, an woman asked her about the quantities of radiation in food in North America. Dr. Caldicott, who is one of the foremost anti-nuclear activists in the world and expert in radiation-induced illness told her straight up "You're being hypochondriacal. Think about those poor people in Japan." Helen is never one to mince words, and I tend to agree with her. There are still 30,000 children living in what should be evacuation zones and they are resettling areas that have been evacuated.

I've studied the issue at length, as I travel to Japan once or twice a year and must take steps to protect myself and take it quite seriously. When in the US, I simply don't eat pacific seafood (or much seafood at all anymore). Monitoring the food supply more actively for radiation here in N.A. is warranted, but so far measurements of food, except for spikes in iodine immediately after the whole thing blew up, have been very, very low. By all means, pursue prepare for resiliency and plan for future disasters. And keep watching for data.

The last measurements I heard, there was still more cesium 137 from atomic weapons testing in California soil than there was cesium 134 & 137 from fuku. We live in a toxic world, Fuku has just added to that.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Elaine Alexander wrote:Hi. I was looking at this forum and remembered something relevant I had come across recently.

I found it again. It's from the "Humanure Handbook" By Joseph Jenkins. An amazing,revolutionary and enjoyable book!
From Page 57:
" An Austrian farmer claims that the microorganisms he introduces into his fields have prevented his crops from being contaminated by the radiation from Chernobyl, the ill-fated Russian nuclear power plant, which contaminated his neighbors fields. Sigfried Lubke sprays his green manure crops with compost-type microorganisms just before plowing them under. This practice has produced a soil rich in humus and teeming with microscopic life. After the Chernobyl disaster, crops from fields in Lubke's farming area where banned from sale due to high amounts of radioactive cesium contamination. However, when officials tested Lubke's crops, no trace of cesium could be found. The officials made repeated tests because they couldn't believe that one farm showed no radioactive contamination while the surrounding farms did. Lubke surmises that the humus just "ate up" the cesium."
Referenced from an article in Acres USA, December 1989 page 20. "All things considered in the wake of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident".

Grow your soils!!!


Thanks for that.

There is a Japanese (Iyama Iichiro) man who has been promoting lacto fermentation for agriculture for many years, he now has thousands of followers who are fermenting the waste water from rinsing rice. He claims the lactobacillus & photosynthetic bacteria have a mechanism where they encourage radionuclides to give up their neutrons so they can get a hit of radiation. I am skeptical, but it isn't such a huge stretch, considering that certain bacteria will 'swim' towards the side of a bottle facing solar radiation. The EM Bokashi folks in Japan are also claiming their microorganisms are preventing uptake of radionuclides.

It is well known that Japanese from Hiroshima and Nagasaki who ate traditional fermented miso, shoyu & tsukemono survived when others perished. The famous St. Francis hospital, close to the epicenter in Hiroshima, had a stunning recovery rate and no hospital staff became ill. In fat, they were fermenting in the hospital - the whole hospital was probably inoculated with beneficial microbes. Perhaps it wasn't just the diet, but a radiation-resilient microbial ecosystem...

The best solutions to the problem of radioactive soils would seem to lie with either fungi, bacteria or both.
 
Creighton Samuiels
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yukkuri kame wrote:If I remember correctly, the half life of tritium is 12 years. It is indeed a nasty radionuclide, as it is so small (h3) it is near impossible to filter and it moves through human membranes very easily.



I got that from here....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium#Health_risks
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Creighton Samuiels wrote:
yukkuri kame wrote:If I remember correctly, the half life of tritium is 12 years. It is indeed a nasty radionuclide, as it is so small (h3) it is near impossible to filter and it moves through human membranes very easily.



I got that from here....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium#Health_risks


Check the 'decay' section on that wiki.

Half-life and biological half-life are very different. Biological half-life is how long it will stay in the body. Cesium has a half life of 30 years, but biological half life of about 90 days (I think?). Strontium also has about a 30-year half life, but biological half life is much longer than cesium - effectively 30 years because the body incorporates it into bones & teeth. Biological half life is also used to describe how long a drug remains active in the body.

Tritium's half life is a little over 12 years, so the tritium from Fukushima will be with us in the environment for 100 years, though any tritium we ingest, inhale or absorb through skin will mostly be gone in a few months.
 
steve fahlbusch
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Greetings,

First and for most - i just checked on the CDC and WHO site - there is no record of a 35% increase of birth deaths - and they would jump at that. I know, i have worked with them and they are great - and yes they are government. - they are some of the most dedicated folks i have ever worked with -.

Now you are talking (i.e.. tritium) this is a beta ommiter from a Hydrogen element (H2) being subjected to radiation. It is basically bad when you breath this into your lungs when within close proximity to being generated.

No worries about japan to us. no worries for your crop.

Basically if you are not goring into the reactor - no worries

-steve
 
Ben Plummer
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Thanks Steve. "We're from the government and we're here to help."
 
John Elliott
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yukkuri kame wrote:

Tritium's half life is a little over 12 years, so the tritium from Fukushima will be with us in the environment for 100 years, though any tritium we ingest, inhale or absorb through skin will mostly be gone in a few months.


The biological half-life of tritium is much less than "a few months". The standard treatment for a tritium uptake where I used to work (this is hearsay, because I personally never had an exposure) was to go home and drink many beers for a few days. The diuretic action of the beer was enough to flush the tritium out of the system.
 
Kdan Horton
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John Elliott wrote:
The biological half-life of tritium is much less than "a few months". The standard treatment for a tritium uptake where I used to work (this is hearsay, because I personally never had an exposure) was to go home and drink many beers for a few days. The diuretic action of the beer was enough to flush the tritium out of the system.


The cure for nuclear exposure is the same as unknowingly buying a tranny hooker!? Huh, Who da thunk?
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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John Elliott wrote:
yukkuri kame wrote:

Tritium's half life is a little over 12 years, so the tritium from Fukushima will be with us in the environment for 100 years, though any tritium we ingest, inhale or absorb through skin will mostly be gone in a few months.


The biological half-life of tritium is much less than "a few months". The standard treatment for a tritium uptake where I used to work (this is hearsay, because I personally never had an exposure) was to go home and drink many beers for a few days. The diuretic action of the beer was enough to flush the tritium out of the system.


I didn't say the biological half life was a few months. The biological half life is a week or two (depending on beer consumption?). Split the difference and say 10.5 days. After 10.5 days, it will be 50% gone, after 21 days 75%, 31.5 days 87.5%, 95% after 42 days, 97% after 52.5 days, so after 63 days it's pretty much gone from the body.

Thanks for the drinking tip, I will make sure my wife understands why I am spending so much time at the bar next trip to Tokyo!
 
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