EPA now allowing 27,000 times the previous limit of iodine-131 in drinking water.

The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is spinning out of control. All underground storage tanks are leaking contaminated water into the Pacific. Groundwater is flooding into the reactor buildings, creating 400 tons of radioactive water per day, which leaks into the sea. The alleged spent fuel pools repeatedly have their cooling shut down, which leads one to think that the pools are either leaking like sieves, or all the contents of the pools are on the floor, and they are dumping water on them in a vain effort to keep it cool.

The entire contents of the plant are leaking into the ocean. And, as noted here previously, the radioactive materials into the ocean do not all stay in it, but move into the atmosphere and come down as rain over the North American continent. The ocean phytoplankton, which supply 50-70% of the Earth’s oxygen is going away, sea lions are washing up on the west coast, the ocean is rapidly dying.

In the midst of this unparalleled catastrophe, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published guidelines in the Federal Register which dramatically relax the guidelines of radioactive contaminants which are allowed in water and food.

After years of internal deliberation and controversy, the Obama administration has issued a document suggesting that when dealing with the aftermath of an accident or attack involving radioactive materials, public health guidelines can be made thousands of times less stringent than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would normally allow.

The EPA document, called a protective action guide for radiological incidents, was quietly posted on a page on the agency’s website Friday evening. The low-profile release followed an uproar of concern from watchdog groups in recent weeks over news that the White House had privately agreed to back relaxed radiological cleanup standards in certain circumstances and had cleared the path for the new EPA guide…

Such circumstances could include the months – and possibly years – following a “dirty bomb” attack, a nuclear weapons explosion or an accident at a nuclear power plant, according to the guide, a nonbinding document intended to prepare federal, state and local officials for responding to such events.

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.

“This is public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace,” Jeff Ruch, executive director for the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said in a statement Monday, referring to Peter Sellers’ character in the Stanley Kubrick film of the same name…

In a statement to Global Security Newswire, EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine said the new document does not propose specific drinking water guidelines, but rather seeks comment on what guidelines are appropriate. “The agency would like to hear from state and local partners on this issue and is seeking input from states and local authorities as it considers the appropriateness of, and possible values of, a drinking water PAG,” she said.

However, while the new guide will be subject to a 90-day public comment period once it formally is published in the Federal Register, it has been labeled for “interim use,” meaning it is effective immediately.

Not that it really makes a difference, the government is literally doing nothing to prevent radioactive contamination of our air, water, and food. But it’s “official” now.

According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER),

Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the radiation guides (called Protective Action Guides or PAGs) allow cleanup many times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted. These guides govern evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions following a wide range of “radiological emergencies.” The Obama administration blocked a version of these PAGs from going into effect during its first days in office. The version given approval late last Friday is substantially similar to those proposed under Bush but duck some of the most controversial aspects:

In soil, the PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems. 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;

In water, the PAGs punt on an exact new standard and EPA “continues to seek input on this.” But the thrust of the PAGs is to give on-site authorities much greater “flexibility” in setting aside established limits; and

Resolves an internal fight inside EPA between nuclear versus public health specialists in favor of the former. The PAGs are the product of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for air and radiation whose nomination to serve as EPA Administrator is taken up this week by the Senate.

Despite the years-long internal fight, this is the first public official display of these guides. This takes place as Japan grapples with these same issues in the two years following its Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Don’t look to the US Government for any protection from radiation, any action to fix the situation at Daiichi, or anything, except to promote the radioactive poisoning of Americans.

26 thoughts on “EPA now allowing 27,000 times the previous limit of iodine-131 in drinking water.

  1. The years of internal governmental contest between DOE and EPA has been one by the hormesis cultists. It makes a mockery of the EPA radon data and radon advise to the public. However the data is already in. Natural radioactivity is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the USA.

    That remains the case. And it follows that any addition to natural radioactivity will increase the cost to the community. The consequences of hazard is not borne by the corporations which inflict the risk, but the population at large.

    • The whole idea of the corporation is to deflect liability to other entities rather than the people who own and run them. Obviously, this fictive legal entity has to go away.

      The entire idea of hormesis is garbage. Ordinarily, you have a situation where cancer deaths are elevated at low doses, drop at moderate doses (but never below baseline), and then rise again with higher doses. This is a biphasic response, not hormesis.

      The reason it drops temporarily is due to the body’s immune response to radioactive antigens. The contaminated individual suffers from inflammatory and allergic diseases due to this immune response. This response shows up mainly as deaths from heart disease and stroke, but also includes a whole host of other diseases.

      Since the deaths from these diseases is not included in the dose-response curve, it gives a false impression that radiation is good for you in some way.

      This is fundamentally unscientific and violates all laws of common sense.

  2. These new PAGs are a license for every nuclear polluter in America to dump every radioactive isotope everywhere. This is going to turn the US into a radioactive hellhole far beyond what Fukushima is doing already to it.

  3. I think this is really bad news Bobby. I wonder how long it will be before EPA changes this information: http://www.epa.gov/radon/

    There has been a long process within DOE to lower standards and various DOE have over a number of years been promoting what is claimed as the benefits of low dose radiation. Which I am sure you know. The goldilocks theory of radiation safety. Pre dates Fukushima. Is I believe the guiding principle in the official response to it though. It is wrong.

  4. This is what the EPA says on its radon site: “Exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Radon is a health hazard with a simple solution. Read “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon”.”

    OK. That being the case, any additional dose from anywhere is going to increase the rate of lung cancer. (1 + 1 = 2, maybe accumulated dose is too hard a concept for em).

  5. Cutting Corners, Cutting Costs, Creating Cancer
    For Future Reactor Meltdowns, EPA Means “Extra Pollution Allowed”

    As the nuclear power industry struggles against collapse from skyrocketing costs, bankrupting repair bills and investor flight (four operating reactors were permanently closed this year, more than in any previous 12 month period), the government seems to have capitulated to political pressure to weaken radiation exposure standards and save nuclear utilities billions. On April 15, the EPA issued new Protective Action Guides (PAGs) for dealing with large scale radiation releases — like the catastrophic triple reactor meltdowns at Fukushima, Japan that spread cesium and radio-iodine worldwide. The new PAGs are like a government bailout, saving reactor owners the gargantuan costs of comprehensive cleanup. And eerily, the new PAGs seem to presume the inevitability of radiation disasters that the industry — with its fleet of 100 rickety 40-year-old units — can’t currently afford to withstand.


  6. Posted May 30, 2012 to “Knocking on Heaven’s Shore: Bluefin Tuna Carrying Safe Fukushima Nuclear Radiation” by Carl Safina at the Huffington Post and ENENEWS

    The End…
    When the SFP at #4 reactor is breached and the resulting radioactive firestorm ensues, half of the Island of Honshu will have to be evacuated. Thousands in Japan will die within days, weeks and months from radiation poisoning. It will be a global catastrophe of epic proportions, contaminating the northern hemisphere, resulting in tens of millions of deaths. No country will be spared. Following the jet stream blowing east, the US and Canadian coasts will be the most hard hit/contaminated. The entire US and Canada will not be spared.

    There are reports that the Japanese government has been in talks with China and Russia discussing the potential of evacuating 40 million people, and the associated logistics. Some predict this event will collapse the economy of Japan, and destroy the fortunes of many of its trading partners.

    Your chance of being irradiated from Fukushima (past, present, future) is extremely high/likely. And, as each day ticks bye, we get closer to a radiological firestorm that will make Chernobyl look pale as to what is unfolding. Those of us, who will not be exposed to radionuclides, will be the exceptions.

    You will inhale it, eat it, or have skin exposure. And, it will metastasize into a cancer sometime in your life. Your DNA will be corrupted; and, if you procreate, you will pass your damaged genes on to the next generation, and each generation thereafter.

    Radiation levels in the western US and Canada will be extreme as to cause some radiation poisoning in small segments of the population resulting in premature biological extinctions. Food stuffs grown and produced in California and other western states will be too contaminated to pick, and/or consume. All products from Japan should be suspect as to their potential, to be radioactive.

    Adding more radiation to the atmosphere and the ocean, Japan is incinerating millions of tons of radioactive debris, and then dumping the ash in Tokyo Bay. Incineration doesn’t remove radiation; this process off gases radionuclides into the air, and the other radionuclides are concentrated in the ash. Incineration of radioactive debris only serves as a volume reducer. There is no method to remediate radioactive isotopes except to remove them from humankind.

    TEPCO has admitted to dumping 1000 tons a day of radioactive water…(240,000/GPD or close to 1,000,000 million gallons every 4 days). Historically, TEPCO has fudged and misrepresented its actual discharge rates.

    Many experts believe these numbers have been significantly understated. The radioactive sea plume has reached Hawaii and should reach the US in less than 6 months. Sea water evaporates, clouds form that produce rain, adding another level of contamination to the atmosphere and land.

    Additionally, some approximately 50,000,000 tons of construction and industrial debris is headed our way, expected to hit the US and Canadian coasts in the next 6 months. Some of it is dangerously radioactive.

    This will be the beginning of the end for millions of people, and a mass corruption of the *gene pool for man and all other living creatures and plants. This will be the end of nuclear power; but, it will be the end of many of us, too.

    It’s not a question of if; it’s just a matter of when.

    If you think those who created this nuclear power electricity scheme will be able to contain Fukushima; think again. The same folks who got us into this mess, are the ones charged with fixing it…WTF? Remember the Deepwater Horizon and how the offender BP was left to be the fixer…insanity.

    As Rachel Maddow characterized the possibility of a meltdown at SPF #4, we’d have to invent a way to control/fix it. There is no known solution… http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/46981461#46981461

    *Gene pool corruption…See this Chernobyl preview of our future, I dare you. http://inmotion.magnumphotos.com/essay/chernobyl

  7. I am elated to see that StillJill is alive and well when she was dying, dying, dying, bedridden and down to less than 100 lbs. just a year or so ago on another website! So glad you made it!

    • Bless your ever lovin’ heart No Prevarication! Did you know that I also lost another child? I know that you and I shared this grief. My youngest, Justin Storm, 23,…died this past July 1st in an alcohol roll over. How,…or WHY I am still here,…is a complete mystery to me as well! 🙂

      I think of you often my Dear friend!

      See you at the finish line! 🙂


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