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    Re: Iodide:
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2011 Mar 19, 14:13 -0700
    Chernobyl was very different from either Three Mile Island or Fukushima because both TMI and Fuku have two levels of containment -- a thick stainless reactor vessel and a very thick concrete shell around it.  Chernobyl didn't have the latter.   Also Chernobyl was a fundamentally different accident -- it was a runaway reactor.  In TMI and Japan, the reactors were shut down.   The core remains hot, though, and in both cases auxiliary cooling systems designed to cool the core failed. 

    The "explosions" we've been seeing in Fukushima come from releases of hydrogen gas, not a true explosion of the core as in Chernobyl.   The explosion in Chernobyl did release a variety of radioactive materials into the air.

    One of the (more sane) news programs mentioned that the fallout from Chernobyl included radioactive material (Cesium 137?) that was absorbed into plant life.   Cows near Chernobyl ate grass with the radioactive isotope in it and the mineral got into milk, and there was a substantial increase in certain types of cancers among the children in the Chernobyl area.

    And, of course, the Soviet government kept saying "nothing to worry about, nothing to worry about."   So I can understand people's reluctance to drink milk.

    As I understand it, the very very minor releases of radioactivity from Fukushima are not of the sort of isotopes that are going to get into the food chain, much less be concentrated in it as the rain-grass-cows-milk chain in Chernobyl.

    From: P H <pmh099@yahoo.com>
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Sent: Sat, March 19, 2011 11:56:00 AM
    Subject: [NavList] Iodide: WAS: Big Full Moon and Perigee Spring Tides

    I lived in nearby (Czecho)Slovakia when Chernobyl happened.  People refused to drink milk for a while based on worries about leukemia and such; but I don't recall anything more dramatic than that.  But then, it could have been our communist government trying to keep things quiet - after all, Soviet technology could NOT possibly cause a problem, right?

    I recently read a National Geographic article from the 1980s about then current state of the Soviet space program.  It was amazing - you guys in the West had more publicly available information about that than we did - and we were officially their allies.  For us, it was always: "The Soyuz such-and-such was launched at this Moscow time, with these cosmonauts on board.  They successfully fulfilled their mission and returned as planned."  End of story…

    Peter Hakel

    From: Lu Abel <luabel@ymail.com>
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Sent: Sat, March 19, 2011 8:20:50 AM
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Big Full Moon and Perigee Spring Tides

    Ah, yes, sale of Potassium Iodide pills was splashed all over the SF bay area news.   Interestingly, the places featured as "sold out" of PI pills were all "natural medicine" pharmacies in Berkeley.  TV news footage showed very new price stickers on the shelves holding PI pills.

    Rationality?   Who needs that?!

    From: Apache Runner <apacherunner@gmail.com>
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Sent: Sat, March 19, 2011 6:57:01 AM
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Big Full Moon and Perigee Spring Tides

    Regarding the west coast panic, my cousin who lives in San Francisco e-mailed me, asking about potassium iodide tablets.    I resisted the urge to reply "R U NUTS?", and instead composed a thoughtful message with all the reasons why the Daiichi problem cannot affect the US West Coast.

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