Wednesday~Radiation, Yep

“I had radiation treatment for some new lung cancer growth in my right lung on the first few days of October this year. This may have added a year(?) or more to my life, that is, radiation may have extended my life. That is a positive for radiation in my book. The negative is a macro scale event. Chernobyl and Fukushima are macro scale events. They irradiate large swaths of land, like Chernobyl, or, in the case of Fukushima, the Northern Pacific Ocean. One form is life giving, the micro, the other threatens all life on Earth. A dilemma ensues in my case when I consider talking about radiation.” J Allen

A Dilemma

Radiation Treatment~American Cancer Society~~Unsplash

The photo above is very similar to what I experienced for five consecutive days at the end of September through the 5th of October. Five consecutive business days of radiation treatment. So far the growth in my right lung looks dormant. I consider this a very positive aspect of nuclear radiation and it wouldn’t have been possible without all the scientific advances in nuclear radiation in the 20th century. A nuclear reactor is required to produce the — for lack of the exact term — stuff, used to zap a very specific area on my right lung. You can see part of the mapping used in the photo. I was mapped differently in a lengthy session in a big CT machine. I did get marks on my body from Sharpie markers though.

The Past

When I was a kid in junior high school I lost a 15 year old friend to lung cancer. Yes, one can get lung cancer at an early age without smoking cigarettes. This would be in early 1969. I went with him one time to the hospital to watch his radiation treatment. It wasn’t pleasant to watch. He looked distressed. Afterward he missed school for three days because he was too sick from the radiation sickness following his treatment. 50 years later makes a big difference. I was just quite fatigued, a bit more than usual.

I watched this young man go from a vibrant friend that used to go mountain trail hiking with me to a sick, withering shell in a few short months. Needless to say his radiation treatment didn’t work. His was the first funeral I ever attended. The will of the medical community was ushering in a new form of treatment for incurable diseases. My friend’s death was part of the ongoing research in radiation therapy. I owe some of my life to John S.

The Present~Macro

Chernobyl

Oleksandra Bardash~Unsplash

Now look at the photo above. {First there’s no date so I have no idea how old the picture is. There may be life there now.} I see a brown landscape. I looks dead. This is an area around the Chernobyl disaster that happened in 1986. For me it looks dead. A different kind of dead than, say, what it looks like in a drought. I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I know what a dead field looks like without sufficient water. It’s withered, it’s brown, but it doesn’t look like the monotone brown in the above photo. Adding rainfall makes the field green again. It doesn’t help dead from radiation. Radiation escaping from the #4 reactor caused massive evacuations of the immediate area and laid waste to about a 30km(19mi) radius exclusion zone as defined by the Soviets at the time.

There was a movie shot more recently(early 2000's) in the ghost city of Prip’yat Ukraine. It added to the spookiness of the little horror film whose name escapes me. I’m guessing the film cast and crew had to watch their overall radiation exposure while filming.

The statistics are varied as to how many deaths can be attributed to this disaster. The steam explosion immediately after the cooling water overheated causing the ensuing explosion killed two workers in the blast. There after another 29 died in the following month. Some were plant workers some were first responders. After 10 years at least 4,000 deaths can be added to the death score. Baring the Hiroshima and Nagasaki experiments at the end of WW II, this was the worst in terms of deaths from radiation.

So radiation can save lives on a micro scale and can kill many lives on a macro scale. Chernobyl will be a continuing problem for centuries to come. At least it’s not near an ocean like Fukushima.

Fukushima

There’s a new article in the web paper, Common Dreams, about Fukushima, today. Workers can’t get close enough to one of the reactors(the one that didn’t melt down, three others did, of four total)to initiate a shutdown. In the past they send robots inside the damaged reactors to get a look and the robots were cooked to death in short order. So some of the melted down reactors are too hot to even look at with robotic vehicles. Mars Rovers would probably be cooked too.

The Fukushima disaster is now the #1 nuclear disaster of all time. Even though fewer people were evacuated and killed by the blasts of three reactor meltdowns the continuing after-effects will last for as long as one want’s to project in the future. The Northern Pacific Ocean is slowly being poisoned from the meltdowns. This will diffuse to all the oceans over time. And there’s no known way for humans to stop this from happening. This in itself could be a human extinction level event in itself. A very slow motion event, mind you, but the lasting effects are potentially devastating.

Worker Pointing To Destruction At The Plant~Wiki

I will post the Common Dreams link at the end of my rant. I can’t stress enough at how Earth shakingly dangerous nuclear power generating stations are. Ol’ Sleepyhead has said something about nuclear power in his pre-office ramblings. Even though the technology is assumingly better these days they will still need constant human attention for their working properly. No humans, over 450 Fukushimas the world over, the end. The results would be worse than an all out nuclear exchange between all nine nuclear armed states. Really. I done some research on this. I strongly advise those in the position to licit the decommissioning of all the nuclear power stations while there’s still time to do so.

TV Show~History Channel

Back in 2009–2010, a pilot in ’08, there was a show on the History Channel called, “Life After People”. I’ve seen several episodes in the past and a few reruns recently on Quest. what they show after people seems quite plausible. What they failed to include — maybe because it’s the most alarming(?) — are what happens to nuclear reactors without people. They turn into Chernobyls and Fukushimas. Both of those plants were four reactor plants. Only four of total eight actually melted down. Three in Japan, one in the Ukraine. So by leaving out the loss of people at nuclear power plants, life keeps right on living as shown in the well produced shows.

Of course life will quickly take over our human relics in geological short order if it continues to live beyond humanity. We will leave a layer of nuclear markers. Millions of tons of trash and plastics along with the fallen shining icons of human vanity and hubris will permeate the anthropocene layer of strata in Earth’s crust. A few fossilized human bones of billions should be preserved for future explorers. But I don’t know if life will survive 450+ nuclear power plant meltdowns. I’m not sure if even nuclear scientists working alongside ecologists and biologists could speculate on the following repercussions of all the nuclear plant explosions. I’m guessing the H-bombs will just sit there and decay with time. The nuclear armed ships and subs will sink and decay maybe releasing more radioactive material in the poor oceans. Active reactors are altogether a different animal. Something rarely discussed.

The CW show, “The 100”, has a season capped by what they called ‘Praimfaya’,(season four, episode 13). It was the only time I’ve ever seen mention of future reactor meltdowns and explosions in any corporate(MSM) media source. Quibble; it took a hundred years for this to happen in the show. It would take less than six months in real time without people attending them. Much less time more likely still.

So this excellent History Channel TV series missed this vital element. Remember, I am a critic at some level. I like TV shows and especially movies. The modern streaming services are like gold was to King Midas, to me. Sometimes they are actually good. Like the History Channel when ported to streaming services. Or reruns on Quest. I will point out vital flaws occasionally, like today. The Common Dreams item inspired me to write about the show and tie it all in to what I call nuclear poisoning. Part of my global poisoning/warming milieu, the hyperobject existentially threatening all of humanity and a lot of advanced, evolved life, itself.

Tie Up

To tie up some lose ends, I was watching ‘Life After People’ the other night and was looking for a new way to talk about nuclear power plants. I was all for them until the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. After the Fukushima event adding more nuclear plants, I believe, would be a big, no huge, mistake. That is, if there’s even time to do so. It’s really time to scale back human industrial activity, We don’t need to light the planet up at night like the Las Vegas strip. Photos from the ISS makes this perfectly clear.

So let’s try to get our world leaders to reconsider nuclear power stations. They are all macro-scale mishaps primed and ready to explode without constant human attention. Fukushima had many safeguards built in and a huge tsunami swamped the design parameters. Keep the small ones alive for small nuclear medical use. There may be other micro-scale uses I’m certainly unaware of besides medicine, fine. We need these. We need other ways to generate power besides nuclear power and ultimately, fossil fuels.

Or, in other words, don’t kill Earth and her children trying to over-do industrial activity. Start scaling back big time and just maybe the human species along with other major flora and fauna survives our climate changing, ongoing, extinction level event. Consider the factors before launching another project that lasts for centuries, or even millennia, into the future. And for my readers; be kind to those you love and fellow humans and animals as well. And stay safe. Peace, The Ol’ Hippy \/ : link below

Critic, Cynic, Pessimist “We are all interconnected to Universe and each other whether we like it or not”