Living with Fukushima's Legacy
By By GunsmithG
Greetings, fellow Preppers and Survivalists. With the damage done to Japan's
Fukushima Nuclear power plants from the tsunami, there has been much speculation
about how much damage and what the released radiation is going to do, not only in Japan, but also on the west coast of Canada and the United States. There has been a lot of panicked responses and incorrect information out there in the social media sphere. This is what has prompted us to bring some solid information to everyone, and to give you some idea of how to protect yourself and your loved ones during a nuclear disaster.
First, let's take a quick look at what types of radioactive substances you will
- Radioactive Iodine, or Radio-Technetium.
This is released in venting steam, very lightweight, and can travel on the air currents and in the water for considerable distances. Levels of radioactive Iodine after the Fukushima meltdown have already been found in California kelp.
This is the 800 pound gorilla in the corner. This element spreads quickly in rainfall
around the affected area, gets into the food chain rapidly as it concentrates in plants and animals. Cesium-137 also concentrates in milk, dissolves easily in water, and is chemically similar to potassium. In that way, it can enter the body through the foods we eat, especially in milk
The major long term health risk is going to be Cesium-137. There are a number of
radioactive elements such as Americium, Cobalt-60, Plutonium-238 and 239,
Sulfur-35, Zinc-65, and Strontium SR-90. Here's how we can minimize our exposure to
All radioactive materials, both natural and isotopes, mimic how vitamins and minerals
are absorbed into the human body. By taking the correct supplements, you can
minimize the effects of these compounds in your body. For Radioactive Iodine, an
iodine supplement can be taken. Iodine concentrates primarily in the thyroid gland. By
taking an iodine supplement,(KI), you fill up your thyroid with non radioactive iodine
and your body will process out the harmful substance as waste. This is especially
important for expecting mothers and children, especially below the age of 12.
Once again, our bodies only hold a certain amount of vitamins and minerals, and
discard the rest through urine and feces.
- Cesium-137 - Take Potassium
- Strontium SR-90 - Take Calcium
- Cobalt 60 - Take Cobalamin (vitamin B12)
- Plutonium 238 & 239 - Take Iron
- Sulfur-35 - Take Sulfur
- Zinc-65 - Take Zinc
- Uranium - Take Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
- Americium - Take DTPA (Diethylenetriamine pentaacetate)
Vitamins A, C, D, & E will also help block these substances from metabolizing in your
body and help your DNA repair itself. Anti-oxidants have been found to be beneficial
also. I would highly advise those living on the west coast to, if you are not already
taking vitamins, to start now. Keep your body full of the recommended levels to
minimize the affects of it passing through your system. For the iodine, only take it in
the doses that are chosen by a doctor or rad specialist.
Okay, that's pretty much the gamut of what you can do to minimize the damage it will
do to you internally. Let's look at some other information on reducing the exterior
First of all, if you live on the west coast, I highly recommend purchasing a radiation
meter, (Geiger Counter). They have become easier to find and much less expensive as
the technology has improved. I have seen meters from as low as twenty dollars to
three thousand. I'm sure there's probably one out there to fit your budget.
Radiation is measured in Sieverts.
Here's a scale of radiation doses, in micro Sieverts/hour - (mSv)
- 0.20 = Safe, normal levels
- 0.50 = Safe, medium levels
- 1 = Safe for short term habitation only
- 2 = Elevated risk, take safety precautions
- 5 = Elevated risk, relocate as soon as possible
- 10 = Danger, relocate now
- 20 = High danger, sickness risk
- 100 = High danger, heightened sickness risk
- 1000 = High danger, Evacuate immediately
- 100,000 = Severe radiation poisoning
- 1,000,000 = Severe vomiting, 1 in 20 chance of cancer
- 10,000,000 = Organ failure and death within hours
To give you a better idea of the amounts of radiation involved, a chest x-ray is .1mSv,
average background for a full year is 3 mSv., and a full body CT scan is 10 mSv.
It can be confusing, because of the micro sv - the milli sv - the sv - just remember it's
like the the metric system.
As far as exposure outside and inside your home, leave your shoes outside, Asian
style. Make sure you have HEPA quality filters in your heating/cooling system and
vacuum cleaners. Don't take chances! If you think you are contaminated, or (Crapped up),highly technical term used in nuclear plants, strip off your outer clothing in a safe
area and survey it with your rad meter.
Well, that about wraps it up for me today, Stay safe, stay smart, and be prepared. It
isn't just for scouts any more.
GunsmithG is a former atomic energy plant worker, firearms instructor for civilians and law enforcement, certified instructor for muzzle loading and modern firearms, and a former master class shooter in competition with combat shotgun, handgun, tactical rifle, match rifle, sometimes Harley rebuilder, and former hunter education instructor.