Plutonium Discovered in Soil Around Fukushima

From bad to worse….BTW TEPCO has known about this for a WEEK.

URGENT: Plutonium detected in soil at Fukushima nuke plant: TEPCO

TOKYO, March 28, Kyodo

Plutonium has been detected in soil at five locations at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday.

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/03/81589.html

Minute traces of plutonium are usually found in the human body due to the 550 atmospheric and underwater nuclear tests that have been carried out, and to a small number of major nuclear accidents. Most atmospheric and underwater nuclear testing was stopped by the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963, which was signed and ratified by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and other nations. Continued atmospheric nuclear weapons testing since 1963 by non-treaty nations included those by China (atomic bomb test above the Gobi Desert in 1964, hydrogen bomb test in 1967, and follow-on tests), and France (tests as recently as the 1980s).

MOX fuel has been in use since the 1980s and is widely used in Europe.[73] In September 2000, the United States and the Russian Federation signed a Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement by which each agreed to dispose of 34 tonnes of weapon grade plutonium.[74] The U.S. Department of Energy plans to dispose of 34 tonnes of weapon grade plutonium in the United States before the end of 2019 by converting the plutonium to a MOX fuel to be used in commercial nuclear power reactors.[74]

Isotopes and compounds of plutonium are radioactive poisons that accumulate in bone marrow. Contamination by plutonium oxide (spontaneously oxidized plutonium) has resulted from a number of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents including military nuclear accidents where nuclear weapons have burned.[85] Studies of the effects of these smaller releases, as well as of the widespread radiation poisoning sickness and death following the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have provided considerable information regarding the dangers, symptoms and prognosis of radioactive poisoning. PMID 19454804

During the decay of plutonium, three types of radiation are released-alpha, beta, and gamma. Alpha particles can travel only a short distance and cannot travel through human skin. Beta particles can penetrate human skin, but they cannot go all the way through the body. Gamma radiation can go all the way through the body.[86] Alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma radiation all expose the body to ionizing radiation. Either acute or longer-term exposure carries a danger of unfavorable health outcomes including radiation sickness, cancer and death. The danger increases with the amount of exposure.

Though alpha radiation plutonium emits does not penetrate the skin it does irradiate internal organs when plutonium is inhaled or ingested.[32] The skeleton, where plutonium is absorbed by the bone surface, and the liver, where it collects and becomes concentrated, are at risk.[31] Plutonium is not absorbed into the body efficiently when ingested; only 0.04% of plutonium oxide is absorbed after ingestion.[32] What plutonium is absorbed into the body is excreted very slowly, with a biological half-life of 200 years.[87] Plutonium passes only slowly through cell membranes and intestinal boundaries, so absorption by ingestion and incorporation into bone structure proceeds very slowly.[88][89]

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.[90] 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.[91] Ingestion or inhalation of large amounts may cause acute radiation poisoning and death; no human is known to have died because of inhaling or ingesting plutonium, and many people have measurable amounts of plutonium in their bodies.[76]

The “hot particle” theory in which a particle of plutonium dust radiates a localized spot of lung tissue has been tested and found false – such particles are more mobile than originally thought and toxicity is not measurably increased due to particulate form.[88]

However, when inhaled, plutonium can pass into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, plutonium moves throughout the body and into the bones, liver, or other body organs. Plutonium that reaches body organs generally stays in the body for decades and continues to expose the surrounding tissue to radiation and thus may cause cancer.[92]

Several populations of people who have been exposed to plutonium dust (e.g. people living down-wind of Nevada test sites, Hiroshima survivors, nuclear facility workers, and “terminally ill” patients injected with Pu in 1945–46 to study Pu metabolism) have been carefully followed and analyzed.

These studies generally do not show especially high plutonium toxicity or plutonium-induced cancer results.[88] “There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during the 1940’s; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them.”[93][94]

Plutonium has a metallic taste.[95]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium

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2 Responses to “Plutonium Discovered in Soil Around Fukushima”

  1. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi Says:

    governments and media pretend to be clueless;
    plutonium dust mixed into air, ground, and water

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