Government Responds to Nuclear Accident by Trying to Raise Acceptable Radiation Levels and Pretending that Radiation is Good For Us

Just Like the Financial Crisis, the Gulf Oil Spill, and All Other Crises, Government Covers Up Instead of Addressing the Real Problems

When the economy imploded in 2008, how did the government respond?

Did it crack down on fraud? Force bankrupt companies to admit that their speculative gambling with our money had failed? Rein in the funny business?

Of course not!

The government just helped cover up how bad things were, used claims of national security to keep everything in the dark, and changed basic rules and definitions to allow the game to continue. See this, this, this and this.

When BP – through criminal negligence – blew out the Deepwater Horizon oil well, the government helped cover it up (the cover up is ongoing).

The government also changed the testing standards for seafood to pretend that higher levels of toxic PAHs in our food was business-as-usual.

So now that Japan is suffering the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl – if not of all time – is the government riding to the rescue to help fix the problem, or at least to provide accurate information to its citizens so they can make informed decisions?

Of course not!

The EPA is closing ranks with the nuclear power industry:

EPA officials, however, refused to answer questions or make staff members available to explain the exact location and number of monitors, or the levels of radiation, if any, being recorded at existing monitors in California. Margot Perez-Sullivan, a spokeswoman at the EPA’s regional headquarters in San Francisco, said the agency’s written statement would stand on its own.

Critics said the public needs more information.

“It’s disappointing,” said Bill Magavern, director of Sierra Club California. “I have a strong suspicion that EPA is being silenced by those in the federal government who don’t want anything to stand in the way of a nuclear power expansion in this country, heavily subsidized by taxpayer money.”

The EPA has pulled 8 of its 18 radiation monitors in California, Oregon and Washington because (by implication) they are giving readings which seem too high.

Remember, for the sake of context, that the government has covered up nuclear meltdowns for fifty years to protect the nuclear power industry.

And now, the EPA is considering drastically raising the amount of allowable radiation in food, water and the environment.

As Michael Kane writes:

In the wake of the continuing nuclear tragedy in Japan, the United States government is still moving quickly to increase the amounts of radiation the population can “safely” absorb by raising the safe zone for exposure to levels designed to protect the government and nuclear industry more than human life. It’s all about cutting costs now as the infinite-growth paradigm sputters and moves towards extinction. As has been demonstrated by government conduct in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of Deepwater Horizon and in Japan, life has taken a back seat to cost-cutting and public relations posturing.The game plan now appears to be to protect government and the nuclear industry from “excessive costs”… at any cost.


In 1992, the EPA produced a PAGs manual that answers many of these questions. But now an update to the 1992 manual is being planned, and if the “Dr. Strangelove” wing of the EPA has its way, here is what it means (brace yourself for these ludicrous increases):

  • A nearly 1000-fold increase for exposure to strontium-90;
  • A 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for exposure to iodine-131; and
  • An almost 25,000 rise for exposure to radioactive nickel-63.

The new radiation guidelines would also allow long-term cleanup thresholds thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever judged safe in the past.

And see this.

Indeed, some government scientists and media shills are now “reexamining” old studies that show that radioactive substances like plutonium cause cancer to argue that they  help prevent cancer.

It is not just bubbleheads like Ann Coulter saying this. Government scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and pro-nuclear hacks like Lawrence Solomon are saying this.

In other words, this is a concerted propaganda campaign to cover up the severity of a major nuclear accident by raising acceptable levels of radiation and saying that a little radiation is good for us.

Note: Environmentalists might naively assume that the EPA is always on the side of the environment and human health. However, the EPA has become thoroughly politicized, and has been instrumental in many recent cover ups. For example, as Newsday noted in 2003:

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the White House instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available.

That finding is included in a report released Friday by the Office of the Inspector General of the EPA.

The senior policy analyst at the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, and former the EPA ombudsman’s chief investigator accused the EPA of “doing a cover up” regarding the use of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico, and said government agencies such as the EPA have been “sock puppets” for BP in this cover up”.

And see this.

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  • Getitright

    It would be nice if you could properly source your information. “This, this, and this” does not cut it. It makes it sound like you’re making all the information up while proving you’re uneducated. I agree that this is a problem and more people need to be aware of it, but poorly written blogs such as yours only give fire to those who either don’t believe this is an issue or don’t want this out there as general knowledge.
    Source facts such as: what were the allowable radiation levels before hand? Where did you get your statistics from? I too can make up numbers!
    There is much more I can say but honestly my best piece of advise for you is if you want to make a difference you have to be prepared to argue your case with undeniable facts. I agree that this is a problem and it needs to e taken care of but your post has so many holes in it it makes it too easy for it to be torn apart and labeled as false. Since this is such an important subject matter please do your best to undeniably make your point!

    • Gerold Becker

      FYI – “This, this, and this” are weblinks you can click to go to the source.

      • Voodude

        I have clicked on those links – that is how I got here – and, it seems, all they do is take you from one unsourced blog post, to another, and another.

        If you left the URL as it was, instead of forming a “hot link” word, then, we could SEE the source. Ah, but then again, I’m using Safari, which does not reveal the http behind, while Chrome does …

  • Your Father

    I agree with mr. Getitright below (or above?) me.. This matter concerns me greatly, but unfortunately all I see is made-up numbers backed by nothing and sketchy blogs being used as sources, when there are any sources being mentioned at all. This article criticizes the infinite growth paradigm as it puts the economy on top of life quality; meanwhile, this blog prioritizes being read over giving its readers reliable information.

  • badforu

    Heres an undeniable fact, of all of the normal background and other “natural” radiation that they are quick to point out, none of those radiation expose you to radioactive particles. The radiation from fukushima is from the radioactive particles from the accident. If you see upped radiation reading, theres a good chance there is radioactive particles in your enviorment. Ingesting or Inhaling these particles are the danger.

    Note there has been a low over the pacific ocean for most of the year, sucking up the ocean and raining/snowing all over north america. There should be clear consice indicators as to “if” the radioactive material is getting into our enviorment. Just cant get reliable information for a while now, has only gotten worse since obama has gotten in there.

    • Voodude

      “none of those radiation expose you to radioactive particles”


      Natural COSMIC RADIATION does not expose you to radioisotopes (contamination, radioactive particles, radionuclides). Drink tap water, however, and you ingest traces of natural uranium and thorium. Breathe, and you inhale natural radioactive Radon (part of the Uranium series). Eat, and you ingest natural Uranium and Thorium, and radioactive 40K (potassium).

      There is a special deal, about potassium. It is naturally radioactive, and your body regulates how much it keeps. Your body maintains a pretty-much-constant value of potassium, so when you eat some, you excrete some, resulting in only a transient radiation dose. But, when you sleep next to some living creature, the 40Potassium in their body, irritates yours … and you get to keep that!

      Are you so worried about radiation, that you are willing to sleep alone? That will cut your dose of radiation by about a quarter, likely ten times what you will get from eating Fukushima-contamintated food. When you eat fish, you ingest natural 210Polonium, which is an alpha-emitter, contained in seawater. Each alpha decay releases a much more powerful “hit” than beta or gamma emissions from radionuclides, but an alpha doesn’t penetrate very far. Outside your body, alpha emissions don’t even penetrate the dead layer of skin on your exterior .. but inside your body, WHAM!

      Before Fukushima, ” … Clove and black pepper were found to have the highest concentration of 137Cs. The annual intake of … 228Ra 226Ra, and 137Cs were found to be … 53.2 Bq, 17.5 Bq, and 3.2 Bq, respectively, taking into account the typical diet of Sao Paulo City, Brazil. …” About 80 Bq annually.

      Venturini, L., and G. A. A. Sordi 1999. “Radioactivity in and committed effective dose from some Brazilian foodstuffs.” Health physics

      A study was conducted in Fukushima, where the food eaten by residents was purchased in double quantities, one for consumption, the other for study.

      ”… This study aimed to provide an urgent estimate of the dietary exposure of adult residents recruited from three areas in Japan to cesium 134 (134Cs), cesium 137 (137Cs), and, for comparison, natural potassium 40 (40K) on December 4, 2011. Fifty-three sets of 24-h food-duplicate samples were collected in Fukushima Prefecture and neighboring regions. … Radiocesium was detected in 25 of 26 samples from Fukushima. The median dietary intake of radiocesium was 4.0 Bq/day (range <0.26–17 Bq/day). … analyses demonstrated that the intake of fruits and mushrooms produced in Fukushima were significant factors for the dietary intake of 137Cs in the 26 participants from Fukushima. … The preliminary estimated dietary dose levels among Fukushima residents were much lower than the maximum permissible dose 1 mSv/year …”

      Harada, Kouji H., et al. 2013 "Dietary intake of radiocesium in adult residents in Fukushima prefecture and neighboring regions after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident: 24-h food-duplicate survey in December 2011.” Environmental science & technology

      Before Fukushima, "The activity concentration in water samples ranged from <0.24 mBq L-1 to 31.96 mBq L-1 [Uranium], and <0.21 mBq L-1 to 5.69 mBq L-1 [Thorium]… ”

      That is quite a range – let's just say 10 mBq/litre for Uranium and 5 mBq/l for thorium.

      That is 15mBq/litre for water – at 2l per day, that is an annual ingestion of about 10Bq just from water.

      Ramli, Ahmad Termizi, et al. 2009 "Health risk implications of high background radiation dose rate in Kampung Sungai Durian, Kinta District, Perak, Malaysia.” Global Journal of Health Science

      Common kitty litter is more radioactive than the seafood. While you don't eat kitty litter, how much is tracked around by your cat?

      radionuclide activities in one sample of cat litter: OVER 500Bq/kg

      members of the uranium series: 148 Bq/kg
      members of the thorium series, 111 Bq/kg
      potassium-40. 296 Bq/kg