HAA Metal Stream ad

Tag Archives: Radiation

  • Insider

    My Personal Preparations For Nuclear War

    Peace of mind today. Salvation tommorrow?
    by Chris Martenson

    Saturday, October 29, 2016, 1:40 AM


    Executive Summary

    • The Importance Of Avoiding Contamination
    • The Steps I Took This Week
    • Resources For Estimating The Threat Level For Where You Live
    • Advice For City-Dwellers

    If you have not yet read Part 1: We Risk Being Collateral Damage In The Neocon Lust For War available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    First up, I promised you that if I ever took any actions I’d let you know about them.  I toyed with breaking that pledge (net very seriously) because I really don’t want to needlessly scare anybody.

    I don’t like focusing on the negative, but I did catch myself thinking and slightly worrying about the tensions with Russia and realized that I did not have a few basic preparations.   So what do we do at Peak Prosperity when we have a gap between what we know and our actions?  We close up that gap with action.

    I’ve written extensively about the possibility of war with Russia, and the possible things to protect against range from minor annoyances and shortages to a grid down event (via EMP or hacking) to a nuclear war.

    Of them all, I suppose the grid down event scares me the most if it involved any protracted outage of more than a month.  Things fall apart never to be properly rebuilt if that happens. 

    But a limited nuclear war, or even a more broad-based one if things really get out of hand, also worry me a lot.

    And I am not the sort to sit around and worry.  I hate sitting around and worrying so last week I did what few things I could to assure that I can make the best of it if a nuclear exchange happens. 

    Look, even if there’s only a 1% chance of a nuclear exchange over the next five years, I personally consider that that to be an excessive risk (given the catastrophic outcomes involved).  Given how I am built, I need to prepare as best I can so that I can relieve my anxiety and get back to living life fully.

    As background, you should definitely re-read our excellent previously-issed reports on radiation and the difference between that and radioactive contamination because those are the building blocks for knowing how to survive. 

    In fact, you should print them out and have them tucked into your preparations area. 

    Having a grounded understanding of what radioactive isotopes are and what they do to a living system is critical knowledge to have.  But maybe you don’t need it yet.  So read the articles of background and put the whole subject away, hopefully forever, never to be revisited.

    I’ll be honest; I am not all that scared by radioactivity.  My view is we evolved with background radiation and life has been dealing with it for a very long time.  Now contamination, on the other hand, which is the ingestion of a hot particle of some sort, now that scares me a lot. And it should scare you too. So much of my preparations are centered around…

    Enroll Now
    Or Sign In with your enrolled account.

    Read More »

  • Blog
    Yuliyan Velchev/Shutterstock

    Fukushima’s Legacy: Understanding the Difference Between Nuclear Radiation & Contamination

    It's very important
    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 2:55 PM


    Are fish from the Pacific safe to eat?  What about the elevated background radiation readings detected in Japan, and recently, in California? Are these harmful levels?

    Should we be worried? And if so, what should be done about these potential health threats? What steps should we take to protect ourselves?

    As many of you know, I'm a scientist by training. In this report, I'll lay out the facts and data that explain the actual risks. I'll start by pointing out that Fukushima-related fears have been overblown as well as heavily downplayed by parties on each side of the discussion

    Read More »

  • Insider

    The Contamination Threat

    What you need to know
    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 2:54 PM


    Executive Summary

    • The "usual suspects" of dangerous radioactive contamination
    • Recently reported incidents of contamination
    • How bioaccumulation and biomagnification exacerbate the impact of contamination
    • Prudent advice post-Fukushima

    If you have not yet read Part I: Fukushima's Legacy: Understanding the Difference Between Radiation & Contamination, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    Sources of Radioactive Contamination

    As mentioned in Part I, polonium provides an excellent and dramatic example of something that is perfectly safe on the outside of the body and perfectly deadly on the inside. That's the difference between radiation and contamination.

    "Radiation, just like with any toxic chemical, is related to dose," said Cham Dallas, a professor and toxicologist at the University of Georgia's Institute for Health Management and Mass Destruction Defense. "If you get a big dose, then you'll die sooner."

    And with polonium-210, a dangerous dose can be a matter of micrograms: smaller than a single speck of pepper, he said.

    If you ingest polonium-210, about 50% to 90% of the substance will exit the body through feces, according to a fact sheet from Argonne National Laboratory. What is left will enter the bloodstream. About 45% of polonium ingested gets into the spleen, kidneys and liver, and 10% is deposited in the bone marrow.

    Radiation poisoning from polonium-210 looks like the end stage of cancer, Dallas said.

    Liver and kidney damage ensue, along with extreme nausea and severe headaches. Victims often experience vomiting, diarrhea and hair loss. The alpha particles emitted from the decaying substance get absorbed in the body, which is what causes harm. Death may come in a matter of days, sometimes weeks.


    Yes, polonium-210 is highly radioactive a half gram of it in a vial will heat itself up to 500 degrees Celsius all on its own just because of radioactive decay but it is not at all lethal until and unless it is ingested.  Once it gets inside, then a fleck the size of a grain of pepper is lethal.

    The much-feared plutonium-238 is also an alpha emitter.  On the outside of your body it is not much of a problem.  Inside it is extraordinarily harmful.

    Iodine-131 (I-131) is another "fairly harmless on the outside, but deadly on the inside" sort of substance.  Even a vastly sub-lethal dose of I-131 in terms of your whole body load will be damaging if not deadly, because iodine is viewed by your body as a delicious and rare treat, with your thyroid gobbling it up, radioactive or not, and storing it for future use.

    As the thyroid does this, the I-131 gets concentrated into a very small body mass where the radioactive load experienced by the thyroid is far higher than any surrounding tissues.  At a high enough dose, the thyroid will be destroyed which is a survivable experience, as anybody who's had their thyroid removed can attest.

    The real difficulty actually comes with… 

    Enroll Now
    Or Sign In with your enrolled account.

    Read More »

  • Podcast

    NASA: Our Technology-Dependent Lifestyle is Vulnerable to Solar Flares

    Understanding the potential impact of CMEs
    by Adam Taggart

    Saturday, August 3, 2013, 2:45 PM


    In 1859, a massive coronal mass ejection (CME) known as the Carrington Event slammed into Earth.

    Fast-forward to 2013. Our planet is orders of magnitude more dependent on its technology systems. And a solar event the size of the Carrington Event has not recurred since. How vulnerable are we, should another one arrive?

    Read More »

  • Blog

    Fukushima Update: A Very Bad Situation

    by Chris Martenson

    Sunday, May 15, 2011, 7:52 PM


    Well, it now turns out that many of my worst fears about Fukushima have been confirmed with the news that TEPCO has finally admitted that Reactor #1 has experienced a meltdown event that may have breached the primary containment vessel. Further, truly alarming levels of radiation are now being reported in and around Tokyo.

    The prospects for containing the situation at Reactor #1 are now much dimmer than previously admitted. A melted core is far more difficult to cool because the geometry of the slag heap at the bottom is not nearly as favorable as long thin tubes around which water can be relatively easily circulated.

    Worse, if the slag has either melted through the primary containment vessel or somehow leaked out through a fitting that has failed, then the ability to circulate water is even more compromised.

    Read More »

  • Blog

    EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Latest Satellite Imagery From Fukushima Tells Sobering Tale

    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, April 1, 2011, 8:54 PM


    Noting that the press has largely turned its resources off of the Fukushima complex, and needing up-to-date information on the status of the damage control efforts there, we secured the most up-to-date satellite photo from DigitalGlobe (dated March 31st), which we analyze below. This is the first photo of the damaged reactor site at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility made available to the public in over a week. That means you, our readers, are the first public eyes anywhere to see this photo.

    Drawing upon the expertise of our resident nuclear engineer and Ann Stringer, imaging expert, we conclude that the situation at Fukushima is not stabilized: Things are not yet at a place of steady progress in the containment and clean-up efforts. It’s still a dance, forwards and backwards, with the workers making gains here and there but the situation forcing them to react defensively all too often.

    In this report, we will tell you what we know for sure, what we are nearly certain of, and what we remain forced to speculate about.

    Here is a portion of a much larger image (covering 25 square kilometers in total) showing the reactor complex as of March 31, at roughly mid-day:

    Read More »

  • Blog

    Daily Digest 4/1 – Low Wage Jobs Fail To Meet Basic Needs, The Global Supply Chain And Japan, Radiation Fears Linger

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, April 1, 2011, 2:49 PM

    • Japan Focus: Returning To Tokyo
    • Many Low-Wage Jobs Seen as Failing to Meet Basic Needs
    • European Monetary Policy: Trigger Happy
    • Broken Links: Japan And The Global Supply Chain
    • Japanese Earthquake Threatens to Shut Down Taiwanese Fabs
    • Spanish Scientists Search For Fuel Of The Future
    • Recycled: Platitudes From The President
    • Plutonium And Mickey Mouse
    • Despite Assurances on Milk, Radiation Fear Lingers
    • New Problem In Japan: Radioactive Corpses

    Follow our steps to prepare for a world after peak oil, such as how to store & filter water

    Read More »

  • Blog

    Quick Primer on Contamination Control Measures

    by Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Thursday, March 17, 2011, 10:02 PM


    This short primer was provided by ChrisMartenson.com member Dogs_In_A_Pile in the comments to our ongoing post covering the developments in Japan. We are featuring it here given the many questions readers are asking on this topic and the importance at this time of clearly understanding risks we do (and don’t) face. It is based on his expertise developed during his military service on nuclear-powered submarines. 

    Radiation and contamination are used interchangeably and they are not the same thing, nor are treatment methods.  You can receive radiation exposure and not need any contamination control, and you can become contaminated and not need treatment for exposure to radiation.  NOTE – I am not saying that if you get contaminated you won’t receive any radiation exposure, because you will.  What I am saying is that you may be contaminated with such a low level of contaminated particles that there will be no need for radiation exposure treatments.  The difference is both subtle and vast. 

    Here is a quick primer on contamination control measures.

    Read More »