Strontium-90 and DNA damage.

Strontium-90 levels are rapidly increasing in groundwater near the reactor 2 turbine building at Fukushima Daiichi. Enenews has the story:

Xinhua: Very high radioactivity levels were detected in groundwater from an observation well at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Wednesday. […] The observation well was set up on the Pacific side of the plant’s No. 2 reactor turbine building last December to find out the reasons why radioactivity levels in seawater near the plant remained high. The company said the sampled water could be from the contaminated water that seeped into the ground.

Reuters: Testing of groundwater showed the reading for strontium-90 increased from 8.6 becquerels to 1,000 becquerels per litre between Dec. 8, 2012 and May 24

BBC News: High levels of a toxic radioactive isotope have been found in groundwater at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator says. […] Strontium-90 is formed as a by-product of nuclear fission. Tests showed that levels of strontium in groundwater at the Fukushima plant had increased 100-fold since the end of last year, Toshihiko Fukuda, a Tepco official, told media.

And Fukushima Diary has a story about huge amounts of tritium and strontium-90:

On 6/19/2013, Tepco announced they measured 500,000,000 Bq/m3 of Tritium and 1,000,000 Bq/m3 of Sr-90 from the groundwater taken from the east side of reactor2 turbine building. The sample was taken on 5/24/2013.

The radiation level in seawater doesn’t decrease. In order to investigate it, Tepco drilled 3 observation holes on the east side of the reactor1~4 turbine buildings.

These radionuclides are going to end up in the seawater, no matter what Tepco says. It is also likely that they have been released into the atmosphere in significant amounts. This is due to re-criticalities that have and are continuing to occur this year. They are occurring in the underground coriums and in at least one aboveground site.

Tepco has minimized the strontium deposition until recently. I know strontium-90 was released into the Pacific in early 2011, because the Chinese government announced that it had been found in Pacific squid. Not only that, I had just eaten some of it. The worst thing I have ever eaten.

Strontium-90 is a particularly dangerous radioactive toxin. It causes bone cancer, leukemia, and immunological damage. It collects in bone and is more dangerous the younger you are.

I received an email today from Richard Bramhall at the Low-Level Radiation Campaign. Chris Busby has written a review of evidence that ingesting and inhaling radionuclides is causing DNA damage to people, and how the nuclear industry’s ICRP model grossly underestimates the dangers to human health.

The evidence shows that ICRP’s use of “absorbed dose” is invalid for many radionuclides when they are internal… The review defines and discusses situations where genetic damage is massively more likely than from external radiation at the same “dose”; 1) biochemical affinity for DNA, 2) transmutation, 3) hot particles, 4) sequential emitters (“Second Event Theory”), 5) low energy beta emitters, and 6) the “Secondary Photoelectron Effect”:

1. Some substances (for example Strontium-90 and Uranium) have high biochemical affinity for DNA so a large proportion of what is inside the body will be chemically bound to DNA. For this reason the radiation events associated with them are massively more likely to damage DNA structures than the same dose delivered externally.

Sr-90 binds to DNA, and is far more dangerous for this reason that nuclides that are simply in cytoplasm. Uranium is also very dangerous for this reason.

2. Transmutation, where the radioactive decay of a radio-element changes it into a different element (e.g. Carbon-14 changing to Nitrogen), has mutagenic effects far greater than would be expected on the basis of “absorbed dose”. This has been known since the 1960s but it has been ignored by risk agencies such as ICRP, UNSCEAR and BEIR.

DNA is made from Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Nitrogen. Carbon-14 and tritium (radioactive hydrogen) become incorporated into DNA through eating and drinking contaminated products. When the carbon-14 atom in the DNA decays into nitrogen, the chemical bond is broken, and DNA damage results. Similarly, tritium decays into helium. This goes for plants, as well as animals and humans.

3. Hot particles, especially those which emit very short-range alpha radiation, have obvious implications for high local doses to tissue where they are embedded.

It should be added that due to the bystander effect, dozens of times more DNA molecules are affected than those which are directly affected by this alpha radiation. This is due to the release of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha. These cytokines are also themselves associated with cancer, heart disease, strokes, and autoimmune diseases.

4. The “Second Event Theory” concerns the decay sequences of some radionuclides which decay to a short-lived daughter. Strontium 90 decaying to Yttrium 90 is an example; the Yttrium 90 has a half-life of 2½ days so the theory is that the first event (decay of Strontium 90) may damage a cell’s DNA which then sets about repairing itself. The repair process is known to be very radiosensitive and there is a finite probability that the second event (the subsequent Yttrium decay) inflicts further damage which cannot be repaired.

Sr-90 decays into the vastly more energetic Y-90, which last around 3 weeks. As the DNA repair process in underway due to the Sr-90, an atom turns into Y-90 which screws up the repair process, which itself is a radiosensitive function. It ends up with misrepaired DNA strands that go into random configurations.

5. A good example of a low energy beta emitter is Tritium. (Tritium is projected to account for 99.8% of the radioactivity in discharges from the “generic” design of reactor planned for the UK). The review compares Tritium with Caesium-137. The very low decay energy of Tritium means that delivering the same absorbed dose as the Caesium requires 90 times as many radiation tracks from Tritium. This density of events occurring at low doses suggests a mechanism to explain experimental results that show Tritium is a greater mutagenic hazard than ICRP would expect.

The is an immense amount of tritium going into the Pacific, which gets evaporated and becomes rainfall over North America. Again here, the ICRP grossly underestimates the health impacts of this dangerous radionuclide, which affects all life.

6. Elements with large numbers of protons (e.g. Uranium, Plutonium) absorb external gamma radiation efficiently, re-emitting it in the form of very short-range photoelectrons indistinguishable from beta radiation. This is known as the Secondary Photoelectron Effect (SPE). The review criticizes papers which used Monte Carlo methodology in attempts to minimise the importance of SPE after New Scientist [3] published a report on it in 2008…

It is bad enough when uranium and plutonium bind to DNA and cause damage via alpha radiation. When there is gamma radiation in the environment, say, during a global nuclear catastrophe, like right now, the uranium and plutonium absorb it, and emit photons which act just like a beta particle.

The review shows that enhancement factors arising from the mechanisms above can theoretically be as high as 10,000-fold. It lists epidemiological evidence where such enhancements are required to explain clear effects which are denied by the industry, regulators and government on the basis of low average doses. One of these is the recent KiKK study which, if the doubled risk of childhood leukaemia near NPPs in Germany is caused by radioactive discharges, implies a 10,000-fold error in ICRP risk estimates. KiKK is at one extreme of such evidence; at the other, the Seascale cluster implies an error of 200.

All the crap about “safe radiation levels” and “no immediate effect” is just that, crap. Reality is at least 200 times worse and as much as 10,000 times worse than the crap models that the radioactive polluters use.

13 thoughts on “Strontium-90 and DNA damage.

  1. I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling worse Bobby1.

    We haven’t felt very good this week either, after returning from Switzerland.

    Back in Phoenix our muscles ache and we feel fatigued.

    The frequency, duration, and volume of the steam events are increasing.

    Daiichi isn’t cooling down so it strontium and everything else are being feed to disperse in the world’s oceans and winds.

    People in north eastern Japan are being poisoned most quickly.

    The response has been as despicable.

    • Majia, I’m glad that you got a little break from this in Switzerland. Clearly, iodine is way up, and the gases krypton and xenon, and tritium vapor. This means we are still in the early stages of this atmospheric release.

      The response is worse than despicable, they are trying to expose as many people as possible to radiation, by pushing radioactive food, and not evacuating areas with far more contamination than the Chernobyl evacuated areas, and then lying about it. Intentional and premeditated genocide, on the part of the Japanese and US governments, and the IAEA. With children targeted preferentially before others.

      • I didn’t even notice the typos!

        Mental focus and memory are rapidly diminishing here. I am becoming outright stupid at times.

        • I’ve been juggling so much that I see gaps in my writing where my ideas jump ahead of my typing fingers.

          I think I’m experiencing fatigue, but there are plenty of real world demands operating here (kids, publishing, work, etc.).That said, I know that radiation exposure is affecting my local ecosystem because many insect populations are down very, very dramatically, as is the quail reproduction this spring.

          I have no idea what the effects are upon people.

          I have no choice but to eat west coast produce if I want to eat fresh produce at all.

          How much bio-accumulation has occurred in soil, water, food?

          Early cognitive symptoms of radiation exposure probably are similar to those brought upon by fatigue.

          Focusing probably becomes more difficult.

          Stress hormones probably rise if the body’s immunological systems are taxed.

          These hormones would further impair cognition.

          Hard to tell what is going on when governments conspire to hide truth.

          All we can do is practice the best risk mitigation possible, stay vigilant, and pursue quest for truth and non-violent accountability.

          • Majia, I think I am done following Fukushima. It’s over. Some posts on health will be added, it’s possible to prolong some lives. But the writing’s on the wall.

            I am going to try to concentrate on the metaphysical and the spiritual. There is no hope except in this dimension of life. It is too hard to go on as previously.

  2. > It is bad enough when uranium and plutonium bind to DNA
    can you give a source for Pu-binding to DNA? (it’s plausible and likely given it’s similarity to U; but i haven’t seen hard data on that yet – as opposed to U, DNA-binding-coefficients of which are published and which is used to ”dye” DNA in electron-microscopy)

    > When there is gamma radiation in the environment, say, during a global nuclear catastrophe
    do you really think that nuclear catastrophes increase the *global* gamma-level significantly over (natural) background ?

    > photons which act just like a beta particle
    photons??? should probably read: photoelectrons
    recommended reading: Christopher Busby (2012) ‘Aspects of DNA Damage from Internal Radionuclides’ in “New Research Directions in DNA Repair” edited by Clark Chen (available online at intechopen)

  3. Speaking of fatigue and lack of energy, I have just had a quantum leap, backwards, in physical health. I work in construction and lately if i sit down for a few minutes, and go to get up, it’s like my body has been through a physical beating.

    Every body is getting short tempered and, IMHO negative. The least they could do is to just get it over with. A couple of well placed thermo-nuclear bombs would put the planet on a quick road to sterility and clear the way for a much needed alternate terraforming.

    BTW . . . if the new life forms are to be bilatterally symetrical, bipeds . . . dear god please give them four arms. That way we will have one hand for the tool, one hand for the fastener, one hand for the item being mounted and one hand to scratch our itchy nose or butt.

    Seriously folks . . . When the paranoid, hungry, thirsty 50 million or so west coaster masses come in a roaring panic across the continental divide looking for food, shelter. We shall see just how efficient the foreign troops homeland has sequestered here, are, at using up all that 2 billion rounds of hollow point 40 calibur ammo.

    Then the grays, reptiles and liberals will show us the illuminati paradise which glows in the dark.


    • wray, I think it will be more like The Walking Dead converging on the White House & Congress.

      I’m exhausted all the time too. I went grocery shopping in 5 stores today. I had to lay down for about 6 hours.

  4. We are living on the lower West Coast of B.C. near Vancouver. There is a constant “high ringing” created from the “square frequency” from atomic particles, bouncing up and down in the Pacific Ocean. The local Provincial and the National Federal Government elects are all totally ignoring the fact that anything is going on at all. The constant body aches, numerous sleeps or naps during the day, heavy thick clear drool or phlegm that cannot be swallowed but must be “horked out” of the throat…constant slight hunger, “high ringing sound” – not audible…no bees, dying wasps, highly noticeable decline in “song birds” and seagulls and few crows…the crows are turning brown feathered and are small sized and look feather rumpled…the new “three month” death and plants getting “white fluffy” looking mold and spots, burning sensation from eating seaweed and some other processed foods is an indication of radioactive particles in the food supply. In British Columbia – most all of our food supply is imported except for grapes for the government “wine industry” and wine always tastes like rot so who would notice a bit of “heat” in that product?

    • There is also a noticeable “dying out” of full grown trees and bushes…brown dry crumbling leaves and not containing the sugars that turn leaves multi-colored in the fall or autumn. Local fruits have a low sugar content – sour taste when they should be “sweet” at maturity. About one out of every four garden trees are beginning to brown out and many are dead…with one brust of wind in one day….many trees that never rooted in the ground just fell over in a mass taking the earth with them…it is a strange new sight to see full grown trees in a row all lying on the ground with their small roots systems showing. Big winds are common in British Columbia…the rain has not begun yet for the fall months and this is a temperate rainforest normally with an above average annual rainfall….the air contains more nuclides than the Pacific Ocean. At least I have not lost the “gift of gab”—- yet!

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