To better understand radioactive particles concentrating in food, do the simple math. One week and you need to eat over two pounds a day for a heavy dose; after 10 weeks, about 0.2 pounds of spinach for the same dose if the radiation concentrates at the same rate. After 100 weeks, a couple of years--you eat spinach every now and then and you get a HUGE dose. Hopefully, the spinach dies before ti gets so radioactive it's in the markets.
Truth is, the radioactive amounts are quite low now because the wind is going the other way (to sea) and it hasn't rained much. This quiet disaster--no fires or explosions--this poisoning of humanity's breadbasket--that's from power plants that were to make electricity Too Cheap to Meter. And TVA is building more, here?
And what of terrorism? Their fuel storage can't take an RPG hit. Of course terrorists know that, like Libya's squads. Let's get smart and get these nukes cooled and covered while we can. WE can all take turns getting dosed cleaning up the mess--like Osaka and TOkyo firemen--if we don't.
This is very good reporting--and shows how TVA and the nuclear industry (same bunch of buddies) all believe in the religion of technology. They have it all figured out: if the grid goes out in a tornado (common) the back-up generator won't fail (they do, often) but if it does, the batteries will handle it (for a bit) while those ready crews rebuild the power lines. What a perfect world, but not at all reality. Do we have to have a meltdown to see how ridiculous this is?
These plants are so risky that Wall Street won't fund them or insure them without government guarantess. That's our money. Tokyo Electric was planning to build two in Texas, seriously. If the Tea Party got the governemnt subsidies out of this business, the obvious dangers from these financial boondoggles goes away. Rates would go down, too.
I encourage the paper to look at the 'swimmiong pool' type storage of TVA spent fuel rods--racked and packed for a meltdown if they lose water. Germany moved all their spent fuel to dry cask storage over 25 years ago to not have the risk of meltdown in the less protected fuel pool. We should too. That would be a stimulus project that makes sense. It could save our region and lives. Radiation sickness is avoidable: don't make radiation. Cancer is a rough way to die, and children are most at risk, as we will see in years to come. Leukemia is the result of eating radiation--it's not like having an X-ray.
Why eat 2 pounds of spinach every day for a year? Eat any the rest of the foodstuffs on a veggie plate: snow peas, corn, broccoli, whatever--it's ALL radioactive, give or take a few counts per second of decay energy. Point is that the radioactive isotopes are spread far and wide and the 'exclusion zone' will be huge, and this stuff will be concentrating in food.
Worse is that some isotopes dissolve in water. And further concentrate in animals--the Iodine in milk will increase as the cows eat more toxic grass--this just happened a week ago--check back for way-higher levels. And the fish the Japanese will increasingly depend on (with land loss) under the plume over the ocean--bad news.
It's misleading to compare this at all to X-rays and CAT scans--that's energy passing through the body, not radioactive particles ingested to stay inside our bodies hosing us internally with radiation. You can fool rural Japanese and some journalists, but you can't fool Southerners...or can you?
There's a lot of nuclear plants in the region--add Oconee in SC the list of nearby threats, too, but all these releases get in our food and our food here comes from everywhere. Cancer Up! Get the fuel here in dry casks and phase out these risky things. We've been warned, again.