Many don't seem to understand what nuclear radiation is, this failure is rooted in denial of the one true constant in out lives, death. Why do I say this? Because nuclear radiation is evidence of decay.
Quote; "As the nucleus emits radiation or disintegrates, the radioactive atom (radionuclide) transforms to a different nuclide. This process is called radioactive decay. It will continue until the forces in the nucleus are balanced. For example, as a radionuclide decays, it will become a different isotope of the same element if it gives off neutrons or a different element altogether if it gives off protons.
The series of transformations that a radionuclide goes through to reach stability and the type of radiation produced is characteristic of the radionuclide. The stages form a decay series.
What is the difference between radioactivity and radiation?
Radiation is the energy or particles that are released during radioactive decay. The radioactivity of a material refers to the rate at which it emits radiation.
The activity of a sample of radioactive material is determined by measuring the number of disintegrations per unit of time. A disintegration occurs each time a nucleus ejects particles or energy. Activity is measured in a unit called the becquerel - 1 becquerel is equivalent to 1 disintegration per second.": https://www.arpansa.gov.au/understanding-radiation/what-is-radiation/ionising-radiation/radioactivity
Quote; "No matter where you live, some natural radiation is to be expected. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimates that radiation exposure from natural sources like radon and thoron averages 2.4 millisieverts (mSv) per year, although it can fluctuate by a few hundred percent. For comparison's sake, a single chest X-ray puts out a radiation dose of 0.2 mSv. A "radiation worker" (such as one at a nuclear power plant) should be limited to 100 msVs over five years*, according to the International Commission on Radiological Protection.": https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geology/hot-not-what-makes-some-places-naturally-high-radioactivity.htm
It's called "decay" for a reason, after all one can cope with having to clean a latrine one does not, however, go skinny-dipping in a sewer (U.K govt. take note).
Denial merely increases the power of that which we fear..
Certainly true at the moment as Death slips silently up from behind (again), it is, therefore, time to furnish ourselves with the correct data and arm ourselves against the foe.
Quote; "In nature, U-235 only makes up a very small
part of the uranium ore. Given its importance for nuclear power and
nuclear weapons technology, U-235 is often removed from the natural
uranium ore and concentrated through a process called uranium
enrichment. DU is the material left behind after enrichment. Like the
natural uranium ore, DU is radioactive. DU mainly emits alpha particle
radiation. Alpha particles don't have enough energy to go through skin.
As a result, exposure to the outside of the body is not considered a
serious hazard. However, if DU is ingested or inhaled, it is a serious
health hazard. Alpha particles directly affect living cells and can
cause kidney damage.": https://www.epa.gov/radtown/dep
Quote; "All isotopes of uranium are radioactive. Both uranium and depleted uranium, and their immediate decay products, emit alpha and beta particles and a small amount of gamma radiation.
Depletion of U-235 during processing leaves DU appreciably less radioactive than naturally occurring isotopic mixtures. It typically contains 30-40 per cent of the concentration of U-235 found in natural uranium, or about 0.2 to 0.3 per cent by weight. This means that the radioactivity of newly produced DU is only about 60 per cent of natural uranium.
DU munitions collected in Kosovo also contained trace amounts of other radioactive elements, but they increase the overall radioactivity by less than one per cent.
All natural uranium isotopes emit alpha particles – positively charged ions identical to the nucleus of a helium atom, with two protons and two neutrons. Their beta and gamma activity is low. Alpha particles are relatively large, and do not penetrate far in tissue – they are stopped by the skin, for example. This means uranium only poses a radiation hazard if it is breathed in, eaten or drunk, or enters part of the body exposed by injury*.": https://ec.europa.eu/health/sci
*Italics mine, I love this masterly downplaying of the hazards of d.u "only".
I found one dosimeter specifically for mushrooms and other forage (retails at £255), however, it only measures gamma radiation and estimates beta, detectors specifically for alpha particles seem much more difficult and costly to acquire
Because depleted uranium is a slightly "different animal" to standard man made isotopes the thing we really need to know re: dosimeters is the sensitivity necessary (esp. re: alpha and beta emissions), for adequate testing of forage. This applies especially to mushrooms as they have the marked tendency to bio-accumulate toxins from their environment.
Quote; "The ionising power of beta-emitting radionuclides is intermediate between the more ionising alpha particles, and gamma radiation, although they are similarly harmful on penetration into human tissue. When entering the body, they may be harmful to humans."
"Macrofungi have been documented to be good bioindicators of environmental contamination of some anthropogenic agents, including radioactivity."
"The available literature has indicated the artificial beta-emitter, 90Sr, has been accumulated at the highest levels (13 kBq/kg dry weight) in macrofungi from Ukraine, while among natural beta-emitters, the highest level of 210Pb (0.202 kBq/kg dw) was reported in Spain. Wild macrofungi foraged for consumption from areas of high natural radiation background or anthropogenic pollution pose a health risk through potential exposure to radiotoxic decay particles produced by beta emitters. This pathway's total effective radiation dose could range from 0.163 to 518 μSv/kg dw and depends on geographical location and actual consumer behaviour. Following pollution episodes, such consumption may expose consumers to radiotoxic beta particles in addition to other emitted nuclides."
"Mushrooms are the spore-bearing fruiting bodies of macrofungi. They are a unique group of organisms because they are an important, if not the most important, vector for the long-term transmission of artificial radioactivity in the food chain of humans for years after global pollution events (Johnson & Nayfield, 1970; Horyna, 1991; Falandysz, Zalewska, et al.,2019, Falandysz, Saba, et al., 2021, Falandysz, Zalewska, et al., 2021)"
"From the point of view of radio-toxicologist, the nuclides of the most significant concern for food consumption are alpha-radioactive isotopes*(Strumińska-Parulska & Falandysz, 2020). In comparison, beta particles are seen as having medium penetrating power and medium ionising power – beta is less ionising radiation than alpha particles but more ionising than gamma rays."
"In comparison to alpha particles, β− particles travel at a much higher velocity of equivalent energy. Like the alpha particle, the beta particle interacts with matter via ionisation and electron orbital excitation as it dissipates its kinetic energy. Beta particles are moderately penetrating in living tissue, causing mutation and death in cells and can cause spontaneous mutation in DNA. Thus, the ingestion of food contaminated with a beta emitter would be a source of health concern because of its potential effect on internal organs (IAEA, 1963; L'Annunziata, 2016). Sufficient external intensity of beta-radiation can generate burns, rather like extreme sunburn. If beta emitters are ingested or inhaled, they can also damage internal cells and organs in a number of ways. This radiation can cause the early death of cells, prevent or delay cell division, alter cell properties and pass these changes onto daughter cells.": https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924224421003897?utm_source=pocket_saves
*Italics mine. Well there you have it, don't mess with the alpha!
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Quote; "The US and its European allies are importing vast amounts of nuclear fuel and compounds from Russia, providing Moscow with hundreds of millions of dollars in badly needed revenue as it wages war on Ukraine.
The sales, which are legal and unsanctioned, have raised alarms from non-proliferation experts and elected officials who say the imports are helping to bankroll the development of Moscow’s nuclear arsenal and are complicating efforts to curtail Russia’s war-making abilities.
The dependence on Russian nuclear products – used mostly to fuel civilian reactors – also leaves the US and its allies open to energy shortages if Russian President Vladimir Putin were to cut off supplies. The challenge is likely to grow more intense as those nations seek to boost production of emissions-free electricity to combat climate change.
“We have to give money to the people who make weapons? That’s absurd,” said Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Washington-based Non-proliferation Policy Education Centre.*"
"Rosatom, which says it is building 33 new reactors in 10 countries, and its subsidiaries, exported about $US2.2 billion worth of nuclear energy related goods and materials last year, according to trade data analysed by the Royal United Service Institute, a London-based think tank. The institute said that figure was likely much larger because it was difficult to track such exports.
Rosatom chief executive Alexei Likhachyov told Russian newspaper Izvestia that the company’s foreign business should total $US200 billion over the next decade. That lucrative civilian business provides critical funds for Rosatom’s other major responsibility: designing and producing Russia’s atomic arsenal, experts say.
Ukrainian officials have pleaded with world leaders to sanction Rosatom to cut off one of Moscow’s last significant funding streams and to punish Putin for launching the invasion. Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky again pressed Western leaders to target Rosatom after Russian forces captured the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.**
“Ukraine does not understand why sanctions have not yet been introduced against Rosatom and its leadership,” Zelensky said in May.
Nuclear energy advocates say the US and some European countries would face difficulty in cutting off imports of Russian nuclear products. The US nuclear energy industry, which largely outsources its fuel, produces about 20 per cent of US electricity.": https://www.afr.com/world/europe/putin-profits-from-global-addiction-to-russia-s-nuclear-fuel-20230810-p5dvlx
*Italics mine. A nonsensical objection and a good example of neoliberal double-think for, as we have examined in the previous posts on this subject, nuclear power was and still is, primarily, a nuclear weapon enabling activity and will remain so until such is finally eschewed, it is the nature of the beast.
**Italics mine. Zelensky is once again "outed" for this is surely evidential of how the Ukraine is being exploited by globalised interests.
It seems very clear that Putin was posing a very specific question to the NATO member state's electorate when he attacked the Khmelnytskyi ammo-dump, that being; "Do you know that your governments are not only sanctioning the use of depleted uranium munitions but also supplying them to the Ukrainians?" He was able to indulge in such propaganda so effectively not only because the munitions were easily targeted but also because, it seems obvious, the Russians knew they were there! Porous security being an inevitable aspect of this proxy war. Depleted uranium (and other "high-tech" -and very expensive-, munitions), should have been stored securely in hardened bunkers not left out in the open. This reveals several things:
a). Communication between the Ukranian and Western military intelligence services is far from secure.
b). That the necessary infrastructure to conduct the conflict to both its current level and above does not really exist in the Ukraine.
c). That both shortcomings are a function of NATO's Janusian position in that it must be seen to be doing one thing whilst actually planning another.
It's not unlike Putin to show his own hand a touch by posing the question; "Are not your pots the same colour as our kettles?" By so doing he obviously seeks to add veracity to his claim that Russia is the injured party and that he feels that it may do is, perhaps, enough of an indication that he may, indeed, have a point.
The Sword Cuts Both Ways (either way people die)
Surely such two-facedness exemplifies the nature of globalised, untrammelled capital. The truth would seem to be that a faux pluralised, neoliberal (and I would include China*), oligarchy is attempting to secure a future for itself regardless of the consequences for future generations.
*Quote; "With an installed capacity of 56 GWe, China has the world’s third largest fleet of civil nuclear reactors after the U.S. and France and its ambitious expansion programme will give it the largest fleet by 2030. The government’s policy objectives driving this programme are fourfold: enhancing security of energy supply, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, promoting advanced industrial and technological development, and boosting technology exports. In 2021, nuclear power provided roughly 4.8 per cent of China’s electricity supply, 2.3 per cent of primary commercial energy supply and 25 per cent of non-hydro, low-carbon electricity. The country has made great progress in catching up with the most advanced developments in other countries, notably with Generation III and high-temperature gas-cooled reactors. However, it still struggles to deliver more sophisticated technologies such as fast reactors, advanced fuel development and reprocessing. Despite claims that up to 30 nuclear reactors would be built across the world by 2030 as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, the only new overseas plants to have been built recently are in Pakistan. Meanwhile, construction of new reactors within China continues apace and installed capacity could exceed 300 GWe by 2050. At the same time, new technologies are being developed that could allow Chinese companies to become the world’s dominant vendors of nuclear reactors in the future.": https://www.oxfordenergy.org/publications/nuclear-power-in-china-its-role-in-national-energy-policy/
In a recent publication (16 August 2023), three leading researchers in the fields of environmental science and economics (are they really different things, quote; "we can see how closely related the notions of ecology and economics really are, this seems to indicate that the Industrial Revolution (esp.), saw a perversion of the language describing transaction/exchange in order to underpin a Socially Darwinistic model of human evolution, allow this exploitative model to gain ascendancy and fulfil (esp.), capitalism’s imperial and “manifest destiny”. It may, therefore, be the case that a misapprehension of the nature of economic theory has stemmed directly from the exploitation of non-renewable resources.": https://www.arafel.co.uk/2021/06/a-dangerous-conflation-socialism.html ?), concluded, quote; "In a decarbonizing world, delays in nuclear constructions translate to increased emissions. If governments and economic actors believe that nuclear power will come online at a certain date, they will not make alternative plans, and without alternative plans, the current carbon-intensive electricity system will remain in place—rendering climate targets unachievable*.": https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2542435123002817#bib14
*Italics mine. The article tends to soft-pedal on both nuclear power's CO2 profile and it's raison d'etre (that of producing nuclear weapons), yet still concludes that it does not represent a solution for man-made climate change issues.
I call on campaigners like Greta Thunberg to properly acquaint themselves as to the facts regarding nuclear power and not to be swayed by the nuclear cabal's "greenwash"! If one allows oneself to be seduced there will, inevitably, be consequences.
Quote; "Despite the shocking risks that Russian forces have created by their occupation and shelling of nuclear power reactors in Ukraine, the push to keep selling nuclear reactors, even in war zones, continues.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in January moved its Doomsday Clock to 90 seconds to midnight — the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been. It cited Russia’s threat of nuclear weapons use in Ukraine, its occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant “violating international protocols and risking widespread release of radioactive materials,” and the undermining of efforts to deal with climate change. But the global resurgence of interest in new nuclear, most notably among several of Ukraine’s neighbors, but also among countries in Asia and Africa, sets us all up for even more trouble.
Russia’s invasion and occupation of the six-reactor Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Mar. 4, 2022 was not the first time an operating nuclear plant had come under military attack; nor is it something unforeseen. Since 1980 the Middle East has seen some 13 attacks on reactors (in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Israel), according to a July presentation by Henry Sokolski to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Luckily, these attacks by aerial bombing or missile strikes either failed or avoided massive radiation releases because the reactors were mainly small research reactors that weren't operating. Only one, Iraq’s Tuwaitha research reactor, was actually operating when the US struck it in 1991. And, unlike Ukraine’s situation, none of the reactors attacked in the Middle East were large-scale commercial power plants or situated in heavily populated areas as is Zaporizhzhia. In all of these attacks, the aim of the perpetrator, whether the US, Israel, Iran or Iraq, was to destroy a facility seen as integral to a clandestine nuclear weapons program.
Russia’s ground invasion and occupation of Zaporizhzhia, in contrast, demonstrates why commercial plants might become targets in future wars. Russia has used the plant to shield Russian troops and military personnel and equipment, gain control over Ukraine’s energy system, and provide a lever against European intervention through the threat of radiation contamination, according to a paper by the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies.
The idea of using nuclear plants as pawns in war is hardly unique to Russia, however. In Asia, North Korea has over the past decade suggested that nuclear power plants in both South Korea and Japan could be fair game for strikes; similar suggestions or alleged threats have been reported out of both Taiwan and China against each other. A US war manual actually permits attacks on nuclear plants if they serve military objectives*, including their use to deny power to enemy forces or to pre-empt enemy forces from hampering the movement or advance of US or allied forces. And it rejects any military-civilian distinction, stating that “under customary international law, no legal presumption of civilian status exists for persons or objects.”
But attacking nuclear plants, and ignoring the distinction between civil and military targets, or people, totally ignores the 1949 Geneva Convention and protocols to that convention added in 1977. These protocols, signed and ratified by 174 countries, tightened rules regarding military conflicts and discouraged military actions against nuclear power plants. The fundamental idea was to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants — including both people and facilities — and to prevent any attacks that would cause widespread harm to civilians. The US, alongside Iran and Pakistan, signed but did not ratify the protocols, and a further 20 countries, including India and Israel did neither. In 2019, Russia withdrew from the convention’s Protocol I relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts.
It’s important to understand that while some features of existing plants might mitigate a combat type attack, nuclear power plants are not designed to withstand a deliberate state-sponsored military attack. Nuclear safety and security rules are crafted to address conceivable accidents or terrorist threats but don’t address how to prevent or respond to full-on military attacks.": https://www.energyintel.com/00000189-bbea-dbd9-a9df-fffe811a0000
*Italics mine. "Quelle suprise!"
US to send depleted-uranium munitions to Ukraine
Quote; "The Biden administration will for the first time send controversial armor-piercing munitions containing depleted uranium to Ukraine, according to a document seen by Reuters and separately confirmed by two U.S. officials.
The issue surfaced in the past decade after some researchers blamed depleted uranium for upticks in birth defects near US military bases and battlefields in Iraq.
The US military, which says it has used depleted uranium since 1991 when it was involved in the first Gulf War, has described the ammunition as only “slightly” radioactive. It says depleted uranium only poses long-term health hazards if inhaled or ingested in large amounts.
The United Nations nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, says the main health risk of depleted uranium is its chemical toxicity, not radioactivity.
“High concentrations in the kidney can cause damage and, in extreme cases, renal failure,” the agency says. “The general medical and scientific consensus is that in cases of high intake, uranium is likely to become a chemical toxicology problem before it is a radiological problem.”": https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/9/7/what-are-depleted-uranium-munitions-and-why-is-us-sending-them-to-ukraine
Straight from the neoliberal handbook and despite the concerns of the international community, quote; "Qu: So, does the Secretary-General have anything to say about the US decision to send depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine?
Deputy Spokesman: Just to reiterate our concerns about the use of depleted uranium as munitions anywhere in the world.
Qu: So, the UN is against use of depleted uranium?
Deputy Spokesman: The concerns expressed including by our Office for Disarmament Affairs apply to Ukraine, as they do to any other country*.": https://press.un.org/en/2023/db230908.doc.htm
Quote; "British courts have found in favour of at least two Gulf War veterans who suffered ill health from contact with DU.
A tribunal in Edinburgh upheld a war pension appeal by Kenny Duncan. His three children were born with deformities after he had helped salvage tanks destroyed by DU shells.
And an inquest in the Midlands found it was “more likely than not” that exposure to DU caused cancers which killed Stuart Dyson, an ex-soldier who cleaned British tanks in Iraq.
UK military safety studies from 1986-88, found by Declassified, show that an accident in which DU rounds caught fire was regarded as “the most serious hazard”.
A DU round could combust “if it is in a fire whose temperature exceeds 500 degrees celsius”, forming a “toxic aerosol”.
document states that “ignition arising from petrol or propellant will
produce an aerosol smoke containing radioactive particles. There is
danger from breathing this smoke.”": https://declassifieduk.org/contamination-fears-after-ukraine-loses-british-tank/