L.A. Air Radiation Surges 419%: EPA to Increase 'Permissible' Radiation Exposure 27,000 Times
April 29, 2013 Michael Collins / EnviroReporter & Jeff McMahon / Forbes
Dust aggregate over 27 days as collected from two HEPA filter machines and a new ionizer at Radiation Station Santa Monica, California. Aggregate measures 90.4% above background. On a per-day comparison, the current period's dust is 419% [greater] than the previous reading, a significant jump. This comes as EnviroReporter.com explores US EPA's nuking of emergency radiation limits, a move so radical that the limits include raising the amount for Iodine-131 by 27,000 times.
(April 13, 2013) -- Dust aggregate over 27 days as collected from two HEPA filter machines and a new ionizer at Radiation Station Santa Monica, California. Aggregate measures 90.4% above background. Previous period of 58 days from just the two HEPA filter machines yielded dust aggregate that was 46.3% higher than background.
On a per-day comparison, the current period's dust is 419% [greater] than the previous reading, a significant jump. This comes as EnviroReporter.com explores US EPA's nuking of emergency radiation limits, a move so radical that the limits include raising the amount for Iodine-131 by 27,000 times.
Nuclear Industry's Latest Lies
Nuclear Lobby Lie: Nuclear power plants have prevented 1.8 million air pollution deaths and a future build out could save 7 million deaths by 2050. (Mining.com 2 /4 /13).
This theory they get from comparing air pollution deaths from coal burning to those estimated from nuclear power plant air emissions, and their estimate of deaths from Chernobyl and Fukushima. Their estimate of Chernobyl and Fukushima caused deaths to 2050 total 4,900.
FACT: for accidents at : • Chernobyl 2009 New York Academy of Sciences estimated 985,000 deaths (and rising).
• Fukushima Arnie Gunderen estimates 100,000 deaths by 2060 and beyond.
• Mayak, Russia a 1992 Institute of Biophysics at the former Soviet Health Ministry found that 8,015 people had died within the preceding 32 years as a result of the accident, and rising death toll- (how many since 1992?)
• Three Mile Island -- number of deaths never properly investigated, but the number of cancers within 10 miles of TMI rose from 1731 to 2847 between 1975-79 and 1981-85. A 64% increase.
Now we haven't even mentioned the deaths from other nuclear accidents -- Chalk River 1952 and '57, Windscale 1957, Tsuruga 1981, and many lesser commercial and military nuclear accidents. Nor did we count atomic bombs, bomb testing, and depleted uranium weapons, all of which projects require nuclear reactors from the start. Yet already, we have a death toll of 1093, 015 -- long before 2050.
Nuclear Lobby Lie: people are exposed to more radiation from bananas than from Fukushima.
FACT: The potassium-40 n bananas is a particularly poor model isotope to use, because the potassium content of our bodies seems to be under balanced control. When you eat a banana, your body's level of Potassium-40 doesn't increase. You just get rid of some excess Potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.
Nuclear Lobby Lie: we get a higher exposure from background radiation (when we fly, for example) and or x-rays then we get from nuclear accidents.
FACT: there was exactly zero background radioactive cesium or iodine before above-ground nuclear testing and nuclear accidents started.
Cesium-133 is the only naturally occurring isotope and is non-radioactive; all other isotopes, including cesium-137, are produced by human activity. The only naturally occurring isotope of iodine is non radioactive iodine-127.
Most derived radioactivity on Earth is man-made: an unwanted long-lived byproduct of early nuclear tests and nuclear fission accidents. The concept of “background radiation” is largely a misnomer. Most of the radiation we encounter today -- especially the most dangerous types -- did not even exist in nature before we started tinkering with nuclear weapons and reactors.
Nuclear Lobby Lie: Nuclear power emits no greenhouse gases, solves global warming. FACT: nuclear power emits CO2 emissions in construction, mining, and manufacturing operations. Every aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle -- mining, milling, shipping, processing, power generation, waste disposal and storage -- releases greenhouse gases,
Assume a 2% growth in primary energy demand per year over the next 35 years, and that demand will double to some 24,000 Mtoe. Even if nuclear power were emission free, to achieve this means building 11,000 reactors, on average, about one a day.
Furthermore, as climate change causes sea level rise and extreme weather events -- nuclear reactors are especially vulnerable. Droughts and water scarcity, rising water temperatures also will severely affect nuclear reactors.
(April 10, 2013) -- The acting EPA director on Friday signed a revised version of the EPA’s Protective Action Guide for radiological incidents, which critics say radically relaxes the safety guidelines agencies follow in the wake of a nuclear-reactor meltdown, dirty-bomb attack, or other unexpected release of radiation.
Although the document is a draft published for public comment, it takes effect as an “interim use” guideline. And according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), that means agencies responding to radiation emergencies may permit many more civilian fatalities.
“In soil, the PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems,” PEER advocacy director Kirsten Stade said in a press release. “This would, in effect, increase a longstanding 1 in 10,000 person cancer rate to a rate of 1 in 23 persons exposed over a 30-year period.”
The non-binding document does not relax EPA’s standards, the agency has said in response to the criticism. But it directs agencies responding to radiation releases to standards at other agencies that are less stringent than EPA. Douglas Guarino has the scoop at NextGov, a publication that follows technology and government:
The new version of the guide released Friday does not include such dramatically relaxed guidelines in its text, but directs the reader to similar recommendations made by other federal agencies and international organizations in various documents. It suggests that they might be worth considering in circumstances where complying with [EPA's] own enforceable drinking water regulations is deemed impractical….
For example, the new EPA guide refers to International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines that suggest intervention is not necessary until drinking water is contaminated with radioactive iodine 131 at a concentration of 81,000 picocuries per liter. This is 27,000 times less stringent than the EPA rule of 3 picocuries per liter.
via EPA Relaxes Public Health Guidelines For Radiological Attacks, Accidents – Nextgov.com.
That EPA rule was designed for a lifetime of exposure, the IAEA guideline for short-term exposure.
The document was signed Friday by acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, but it developed under the Bush Administration and was revised under the supervision of Obama’s nominee for the top EPA post, Gina McCarthy, who has headed EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation since 2009. McCarthy faces a confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday.
EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine told the Global Security Newswire that the agency “is not weakening cleanup standards,” but “building a bridge between managing the effects of a catastrophe and meeting existing environmental standards.” EPA updated the document to bring the science to current standards and to give agencies more guidance and flexibility in the wake of a catastrophe than a reiteration of EPA’s standards.
In a notice published Friday, Perciasepe states:
The 2013 PAG Manual is not a legally binding regulation or standard and does not supersede any environmental laws; PAGs are not intended to define “safe” or “unsafe” levels of exposure or contamination. This guidance does not address or impact site cleanups occurring under other statutory authorities such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund program, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) decommissioning program, or other federal or state cleanup programs.
As indicated by the use of non-mandatory language such as “may,” “should” and “can,” the 2013 Manual only provides recommendations and does not confer any legal rights or impose any legally binding requirements upon any member of the public, states, or any other federal agency.
Rather, the 2013 PAG Manual recommends projected radiation doses at which specific actions may be warranted in order to reduce or avoid that dose. The 2013 PAG Manual is designed to provide flexibility to be more or less restrictive as deemed appropriate by decision makers based on the unique characteristics of the incident and the local situation.
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