15 March 2011

Realism on how afraid should we be - Bruce Beach nuclear expert

 1. Now The Numbers (Bruce Beach)


Message: 1
From: "Bruce Beach" <language@webpal.org>
To: <arktwo@mail.pairowoodies.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 13:04:53 -0400
Subject: [Arktwo] Now The Numbers

The numbers -
if you are seeing them at all
probably look strange
and not something you are used to seeing.

Lots of generalities -
that mean nothing.

"The amount of radiation has doubled."
"The level is a thousand times higher than usual."

Without actual numbers -
all that means nothing.

The numbers that we see
look unusual -
because like with metric -
the rest of the world went one way -
and the US another.

Canada and much of the world
uses units from the Système International (SI)
to measure radiation.
The SI is based on the metric system.
These units include the:

   * becquerel
   * gray
   * sievert
   * coulomb/kg

From the early 1900s,
through to the 30s,
until the 1960s,
another set of units were used.
They were called the:

   * curie
   * rad
   * rem
   * Roentgen

The United States still uses these units.
In point of fact -
I do also -
but sometimes in reading scientific articles
I have to go in and make the conversions.

The reason that I still use them
is that the radiation detection equipment
(which is surplus from the sixties) -
that we all have -
is marked in those units.

And - once again -
the US still uses those units -
and so do many of the militaries in the world.

The distinctions between


are insignificant as far as laymen are concerned -
and we speak simply in terms of R.

The distinction between a
mR and an R, however,
is NOT insignificant -
because a milli (the m)
is one thousand times smaller.

And a milli is a thousand micros -
so -
a micro (µ) is a MILLION times smaller amount
than an R.

Here is a conversion calculator for the measurements


and here is a chart
that explains the differences
between the units (methods) of measure.


Okay -
so here is as accurate a figure
as I have found:

Fukushima plant radiation at 882 micro sievert vs ! 500 ! allowable in 1

Now -
what does that tell us?

The key numbers that we want to understand are:

1 sievert (Sv), = 100 rem
10 microsievert (µSv) = 1 millirem (mrem)

Therefore dividing by ten:
88.2 = 88.2 millirem

Let us be ultraconservative and say -
that what we have there is 100 millirem
and not just 88.2

If it were 100
then it would take TEN TIMES that amount
to get up to one REM.

When we consider that it takes
an accumulation of 200 REM
to affect a healthy adult male -
then it would take ten times 200
or 2000 times that amount to affect
a healthy adult male.

What we are saying is -
the adult male would have to stay
on that radiation site
in the presence of that radiation
for two thousand hours -
or about one hundred days -
to feel the effects.

Even then that would not happen.
The reason is -
the radiation at the site
would be decaying (unless more is released)
the accumulation in the individual would be decaying.

Radiation exposure is much like sunburn.
You can get a bit each day -
and it is like getting a tan.

You can get a whole lot over time -
and it won't necessarily hurt you.
My friend Ron -
who died in his eighties -
(from unrelated causes)
being in the industry
got a lifetime exposure of over 6,000R.

600R is fatal in a very short time -
if gotten all at once
(that is to say in a very short time).

So what goes with the statement above -
that only 500 microsieverts are allowable in one hour?

Well - the standards are just set -
VERY, VERY conservatively for peace time -
(non-catastrophic) events.

I do hope that you get the picture -
that nothing is about to come over here -
from the Japan nuclear problem -
and get you in your sleep.
There is just not that much there -
that is coming over here.
At least - anytime soon.

To make a long story short -
when the measurement says micro -
"Don't worry about it".

Don't panic -
you are not on the Titanic.

Well -
not exactly true -
because the whole world is a Titanic -
but I am not sure that the Japan Tsunami -
and the nuclear power plants were the iceberg.

There are other concerns and considerations.
People have written to me
asking me what about this Plutonium thing?

They have pointed out that nuke weapons
are generally made from Uranium -
and that these plants ran on Plutonium.

Among the scare literature
I have read statements such as:
"Plutonium is the deadliest substance
known to man."

Well - not exactly.
Lots of scare literature out there.
Concern is that when it becomes powdered
and people breath minute particles of it
that it can get in the lungs
and into the bone structures
and cause cancer.

Much the same story
that you hear about DU (Depleted Uranium) -
and there really is not much that I can say
to people who are already thoroughly convinced about
Depleted Uranium
Water Flouridation
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
or hundreds of other things
that worry people about our modern technological society.

But yes, the Japan nuclear generating stations
use Plutonium.
There are a number of different isotopes
of Plutonium.


I could go on at length
about their half-lives
and other distinctions.

Unfortunately -
we are getting bunches of this stuff
stored around the world -
and it is not going away soon.
Some of it -
once we create it will be around
for thousands of years.

We now all have minute particles of it
in our bodies -
from the nuclear testing and power plants.

Plutonium is more dangerous when inhaled than when ingested. The risk of
lung cancer increases once the total dose equivalent of inhaled radiation
exceeds 400 mSv.

(That is dose -
not the level of exposure -
or what is in the air.
So many things -
that those who haven't studied the subject -
that is to say - have had formal training -
fail to make the distinction.)

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the lifetime cancer risk for
inhaling 5,000 plutonium particles, each about 3 microns wide, to be 1% over
the background U.S. average.

Ingestion or inhalation of large amounts may cause acute radiation poisoning
PLUTONIUM, and many people have measurable amounts of plutonium in their

As much as 1000 tonnes of plutonium may be in storage with more than 200
tonnes of that either inside or extracted from nuclear weapons.

The rest comes from nuclear power plants.

Immoral, immoral, immoral -
as I keep telling people.
We are supposed to pass a better world
onto our children -
not a worse one.

The plutonium scene
over in Japan
is pretty bad right now -
or could become so -
but it is not coming here.

Even there -
it will only affect those right nearby -
if there is a meltdown.

Nothing like Nagasaki!
Because - it isn't a nuclear weapon.
Weapons are different -
and put the radiation up into the air
which then comes as fallout.

I mention Nagasaki -
because the US dropped two bombs on Japan -
to experiment with them.

The second one was particularly an experiment
because Japan was in the process of surrendering.

The nature of the experiment was
that the first bomb on Hiroshima
was an uranium bomb
and the second bomb on Nagasaki
was a plutonium bomb.

So here we are back again -
to a big plutonium experiment.
The question is -
was nuclear power generated by it -
worth the hassle to the Japanese.

Mind you -
most of the destruction that we are witnessing -
was caused by the Tsunami -
and had nothing really to do with the nuclear power plants.

I do hope that people can really make the distinction
and see that this wasn't a nuclear weapon -
and that the fallout from it
really isn't like what we can look forward to
with a nuclear war.

Still, it is not a bad thing -
if you are prompted to go out and get KI.
I talk with Shane daily -
and he is getting multiple orders per minute -
and has long sold out of the Potassium Iodide pills.

He has asked me to
pass along his apologies
that he can't answer the emails
that he is getting from friends
because he is hundreds of personal emails behind.

He does still have vials
of KI concentrate for $20
which will make up 200 adult doses
or at least 400 child doses
and which you can still order from his web site.

My advice is to get that now -
because while I don't think you are going to need it -
for this event -
you will for the future event
that I have been warning you about.
THAT is going to be altogether different.

You can find Shane's source at the


web site.

Now, because I anticipate that this newsletter
may get circulated around -
I will tell you a bit about myself.

a. I am an OLD guy - (nearing 80)

b. I am a Radiological Scientific Officer

c. I have kept up with field -
       studying and writing on the subject
       for the last many decades.

d. I have a large survival facility called the Ark Two

e. And a web page at:


where you can enroll for my newsletter.

Peace and love,

No comments: