"Good Trash, Bad Trash, and Why Should We Care"©

©K.G. Lawton, February 2008

What do you believe our chances are of being hit with a deadly level of atmospheric radiation, either accidentally or on purpose? If you believe "zero", your blue pills are all used up. If you have time for a red pill, you're in the right place. A rather complicated subject, but we'll keep it simple so you can speak authoritatively with your friends.

This paper is not for re-distribution or hi-jacking. Links Only.

These are my musings regarding CBN ("Chemical, Biological, Nuclear") waste problems and interactions. The elements we will be dealing with are on the periodic table you memorized way back in High School. But there is a new table with the more recent "elements" that have either been produced or discovered since then. To see it, visit our fabulous Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Iodine-129 (Or, more accurately; "129I") a radioisotope of Iodine. (using the uppercase I avoids confusion with 1). And please don't get all hung up on technical spelling; different scientists use slight variations. Mine is from the United States Army.

What is a "Radioisotope"? It is an unstable nucleus of Iodine.

What is a "radionuclide"? (“radionuclides” may also be called “Radioisotopes”.)

(*Note: If you're terribly busy and just want the "bottom line", it's at the very end of this review. But if you are going to argue this subject with anyone at all, you should read the entire paper first.)

OK, OK, we know; you're in a hurry. So jump to the Bottom Line while all your friends are staying here reading. They'll know why they care about bad trash. See you later, Alligator.

Alright, now back to class. We'll be using thought bullets first, to know what we need to know.

  1. There are both radioactive and non-radioactive isotopes of Iodine.
  2. Iodine-129 and Iodine-131 occur naturally in the environment. They are not, in their naturally occurring state, exceptionally dangerous to humans.
  3. There are also other isotopes of Iodine.
  4. Two are I-123 and I-124. These have become valuable to medicine. They are not a problem to humans, as they have rather brief half-lives before decaying to half of their energy.
  5. Iodine-129 and Iodine-131 (the radioactive ones, not to be confused with the natural ones) are created during fission of uranium in nuclear reactions (nuclear power plants, nuclear vessels or nuclear bombs).
  6. When created by nuclear bombs, the quantity of radioactive Iodine is so massive that the radioactive isotopes are extremely deadly. The human thyroid collects the radioactive Iodine where it stays until you die.
  7. Actually, the human thyroid collects any Iodine isotopes it can get ahold of. It just can't tell the difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff. Death from radioactive poisoning is usually a very short, gruesome, process. Unless it becomes a longer, gruesome, process.

In the Army, our medical units had supplies of "good Iodine" (in the form of Potassium Iodine tablets) in stock in case the troops were exposed to a radioactive environment. By taking the Potassium Iodine tabs the thyroid would soak up the good Iodine, leaving no space for the radioactive Iodine. This helps you stay alive after a nuclear event. We'll talk about that later.

Radioactive Iodine isotopes have the same properties as stable Iodine. Radioactive Iodine isotopes decay with time. Usually lots of time. I-I29 decays in more than a million years, 1-131 decays in a couple of weeks. Give or take.

Radioactive Iodine-129 and Iodine-131 are products of the fission process. These isotopes form inside the rods as fission takes place. Massive amounts are also produced as a result of any nuclear explosion. By way of mention, Strontium 90 (SR-90) is another product of nuclear explosion and does not occur naturally in our environment. It has a half-life of about 30 years. Even so, the quantities seem to be nearly negligible concerning human health.

SR-90 is also produced minimally by normal nuclear power plant operations but is nearly undetectable with the best equipment. Strontium 90 when taken in from a nuclear explosion is identified by the human body as being mere calcium. It settles in the same places as calcium does; bones and teeth. Not, however, in quantities considerably more concentrated than medical x-ray examinations. Strontium 90 is also present in our environment from previous above ground nuclear bomb explosions.

(Now for why this subject is important to our civilian population.)

When used nuclear fuel rods are taken from their core environment, radioactive Iodines-129 and 131 do escape into the earth's atmosphere.

In the past, spent nuclear rods were processed with acids, which process released the radioactive Iodines-129 and 131 into our atmosphere. This acid-processing phase was used to recover certain other valuable materials that we really don't care about in this discussion. Spent rods are supposedly no longer processed because of legitimate concerns regarding the release of I-129 and I-131 during the processing. Therefore, on-site storage is indicated. The problem is that the world is full of stored rods, getting more all the time, and the purveyors of atomic energy are looking for someone, anyone, any fool whose eyes go watery when money is involved, to take the problem off their hands.

This paper is about "nuclear trash" that people world wide want to store in our back yard. The processing of spent rods into Plutonium like the Japanese are doing to further re-feed their power plants is another subject altogether.

Spent rods from nuclear facilities or whatever, wherever, else are now supposedly (supposed to be) stored "as-is" on site. This is to avoid the release of Radioactive I-129 & 131. The U.S. Navy has an exclusion for their subs. We can understand that singular exception.

When spent nuclear fuel rods are stored, the short-lived Iodine-131 they contain decays within a few weeks. Unfortunately, the Iodine-129 remains lurking, spending its life over the space of something like 16-million years, ...give or take. Which is the best SWAG the scientists can come up with since nobody is old enough to have been watching some decay for that long.

Preventing deadly 1-129 from leaking into the atmosphere is a serious and difficult process requiring eternal monitoring of the containment system and area security.

For years now, ever since nuclear submarines were built, their spent rods have been stored in Idaho. Unmarked tractor-trailer rigs have brought them west for years. At least on one occasion I personally know about they had a nondescript van with darkened windows following. Give you ten guesses what was in the van. You have never noticed these shipments simply because they are not announced beforehand. Nor, by the way, afterward unless necessary for some reason.

There is a company in Utah named "Energy Solutions". The company that wants the same thing in your state will be named something else. I know of one "company" that is actually a front for a european nation. They all want the same thing; someplace to dump their waste nuclear trash, besides in their own back yard. They aren't stupid; they're just looking for someone else who is.

Energy Solutions wants permission to store spent nuclear rods from overseas in our western desert. These rods are the same type of rods which are stored in Idaho and they have the same dangerous radioisotope; radioactive Iodine-129.

When Iodine changes forms it goes directly from a solid to a gaseous state that of course is released into the air. It makes the sudden change to its gaseous state somewhere under 300-degrees F. Therefore, to any terrorist, or enemy combatant country, those radioactive Iodine-129 spent-rod repositories would be an absolutely prime target right after major cities. Not only would the radioactive Iodine from nuclear missiles be spread all over North America, the massive boost gained from the gasification of radioactive 1-129 from all those stored spent rods being explosively processed in temperatures somewhat higher than 300-degrees Fahrenheit would become a monster the citizens downwind from the explosion could never deal with. Color everyone dead.

Also color all the topsoil dead wherever the radioactive 1-129 happened to fall, including the waterways. Save time; just color the continent dead.

But now for the only good news

What can you do to prepare your family against radioactive Iodine poison?

Good Iodine in the form of Potassium Iodine (Kl) or Potassium lodate (KI03) can saturate the body and thyroid with good Iodine. This will prevent radioactive Iodine from being taken into the thyroid.

Both types of good Iodine (Kl and KI03) will accomplish this benefit. There are, however, significant preferences between the two: Kl is not easy to take because of the taste. It also has a short shelf life so preservatives must be added. KI03 has no adverse taste, therefore even children can easily take it. It is available at very reasonable cost and has an exceptionally long shelf life when unopened. Of course, don't open it until a nuclear event threatens your health. "Iodized Salt" cannot do the same thing for nuclear fallout problems because it is impossible to saturate the thyroid with good Iodine from any dietary sources including iodized table salt. Iodized table salt is, however, a valuable dietary item in the prevention of Iodine deficiency. It should be used regularly with food. So-called "Sea Salt" has only negligible amounts of Iodine and is therefore not useful in the dietary prevention of Iodine deficiency.

"The Bottom Line".

*NOTE: Following is the "bottom line" for those who did not want to read the whole paper:

Radioactive Iodine is a deadly product of nuclear events; (nuclear bombs or spent reactor rods).

Radioactive Iodine will be absorbed by the thyroid and will kill you in a miserable manner.

You can defeat the radioactive Iodine by flooding your thyroid with good Iodine before the bad stuff arrives.

The preferred method of flooding your thyroid with good Iodine is with Potassium Iodate tablets (K103). K103 is inexpensive, has a very long shelf life, and is available without a prescription.

And, "BTW"; doctors, hospitals nor Homeland Security will NOT have any for you in an emergency. Read that twice, because they won't even have enough for their own needs!

I got mine from an old retired Marine who runs a decent camping website. http://www.campingsurvival.com is where it's at. They get their K103 from MedicalCorps.org. But you can get yours from a hundred other places for a hundred different prices.

(*Note 21 July 2008*) If anyone thinks this plan for nuclear storage in our west desert is someone's daydream, think again: In just the past week our "Representatives" in D.C. and the University of Utah received massive financial donations from the company wanting legislative permission to store the world's supply of spent rods upwind from us. That's where much of our Utah weather comes from. They claim they can provide "security" for these killers. Anyone who believes any company (or any "dot-gov", for that matter) can provide "physical security for millions of years", has been smoking too much of that stuff that grows wild along the ditches.

This is a picture of K103 from http://www.medicalcorps.org/ It is available in two different strengths. Choose according to your family needs. If you have little people or pets to consider, divide the doses to the recommended levels.

I can guarantee you that our terrorist enemies, whether state-sponsored, rogue, or home-grown, know exactly how to defeat any scheme that claims to be foolproof and secure. The enemies of this Nation could open up those "secure" repositories like a can of beans.

But our own commerce, for a dollar, and some politicians, for another dollar, would sell us out in a heartbeat. "Follow the cash", is not just an idle saying when it comes to buying support for dangerous projects. (Remember Danny DeVito's quote in the movie "Twins"?) Be prudent; get your own K103 on hand, protect your family against the very possible future.

K103 package

This is a picture of K103 from http://www.medicalcorps.org/ It is available in two different strengths. Choose according to your family needs. If you have little people or pets to consider, divide the doses to the recommended levels.

Additional References: Pretty good information, but don't believe they will have any in an emergency. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm

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