Posts tagged: radioactive

5 Most Radioactive Places On Earth – Avoid These At All Costs!

Most Radioactive Places On Earth

In the last century science and technology has advanced to the point that the destructive powers of atomic energy can be produced and harnessed in power plants in order to provide electricity for our urban establishments and in some cases vehicles (ex. nuclear submarines). The pioneers in the area like Albert Einstein and Marie Currie have made their best efforts in order to contribute to mankind’s progress. But such power was easily perverted, and the atomic science was rapidly put to use for military purposes, creating the atomic arsenal which is the most devastating man-made weapon today.

But it doesn’t take an atomic bomb to wreak havoc. A nuclear power plant in which things go wrong (be it human negligence or just bad luck) is just as dangerous and terrifying as a nuclear device set on exploding. History shows that many peaceful applications of nuclear power resulted in catastrophes.

Radiation / Radioactivity

An atom is considered to be radioactive once it begins emitting particles and waves known as radiation. Radiation is being emitted when an unstable nucleus transforms (into something completely different or just pure energy). In the making of nuclear energy, most materials used in the reactors are highly unstable and harmful to pretty much everything alive (carbon based). These materials decay over various timescales (from microseconds to thousands of years), continuously emitting highly noxious radiation in the process.

As I said before, many attempts at creating atomic energy along the years have gone terribly wrong. These places are currently under the effects of very high radioactivity and can be potentially fatal for everybody. Here are the 5 most radioactive places on Earth.

5. The Semipalatinsk Test Site (Kazakhstan)

For a period of 40 years (1949 – 1989), the Soviet Union has conducted around 450 nuclear weapon tests testis in this region. The nuclear missiles were either detonated in the atmosphere or exploded on impact with the ground. However, 5 of these tests have been reported unsuccessful, scattering all around highly radioactive plutonium. In 1961 began the underground tests; 13 out of 300 were unsuccessful, resulting in the release of radioactive gases, quickly reaching the atmosphere. Nearby inhabitants from the town of Kurchatov or from small settlements like Akhzar and Moldari are suffering from health complications due to radioactivity.

Kurchatov City reduced to a ghost-town

Kurchatov City reduced to a ghost-town

4. The Mayak site (Russia)

The accident happened on 29 September 1959 at a plutonium production site. The magnitude of the disaster measured level 6 on the International Nuclear Event Scale. As a result of the unfortunate event, about 100 tons of radioactive waste was released into the atmosphere. All the cities around the Mayak plant were greatly affected by the radioactive debris: Ozyorsk, Chelyabinsk, and Oblast. What’s even more disturbing about this unfortunate event is that the Russian authorities have kept the accident a secret until late 1980, which means the inhabitants of the surrounding areas have unknowingly exposed themselves to a radioactive environment for over 20 years!

The Mayak plutonium production site

The Mayak plutonium production site

3. The Hanford site (U.S.A.)

The plutonium-producing site is located on a 586-square-mile area, in southeastern Washington State. It was put to use in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project. Along the years 9 nuclear reactors have been constructed along the Columbia River. In 1989 production stopped in order to clean and decontaminate the area, becoming the most massive project of the sort the U.S has ever done.

The mass production of plutonium-based weaponry resulted in 43 million cubic yards of radioactive waste, over 130 million cubic yards of contaminated soil and 475 billion gallons of contaminated water (which was discharged in the soil). Today, about 80 square miles of groundwater in the area is contaminated by radiation.

The Hanford site

circa 1955: The American Atomic Energy Commision’s plutonium production plant at Hanford, Washington. (Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)

2. Chernobyl (Ukraine)

Probably the most popular atomic event in history, this 1986 tragedy was the result of a defective reactor which was operated by inadequately trained personnel. Two engineers were killed at the moment of the explosions and one month later, over 40 firemen and plant operators which were exposed to severe radiation, died on hospital beds. It is believed that 6 million people had been exposed to radiation in that period and about 90,000 have been killed by it throughout the years. The explosion caused by the broken reactor is believed to have been 100 times more powerful then both bombs combined dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During the uncontrolled fires, about 5% of the radioactive core material was dispersed into the atmosphere.

The exploded reactor in Chernobyl

The exploded reactor in Chernobyl

1. Fukushima (Japan)

In 2011 a, 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami which hit Japan head-on. The next day, radioactive material began to spread in what was becoming the biggest atomic incident since Chernobyl. Because 3 of the plant’s reactors had lost their ventilation systems due to the tsunami striking, they melted down because of overheating. As a result, enormous amounts radioactive material was quickly spewed into the sea. It is believed that a radius of 200 miles surrounding the nuclear power plant has been directly affected by radioactive waste.

Reactors exploding in Fukushima

Reactors exploding in Fukushima

So next time you’re planning a trip or a vacation to some unknown place, do some little research. Going to a radioactive hotspot is just like entering “the lion’s den”. And if you must go anyways, make sure you take all the necessary precautions, wear protective gear at all time, always have a fully-working radioactive emissions measurement tool on you and go nowhere without your guide.

Nukes And Fallout: How To Survive When Others Won’t

Nukes and Fallout - How to Survive When Others Won’t

Are You Ready Series: Nuclear Disaster Preparedness

Since the dawn of nuclear weapons, we have always been weary of a trigger happy world leader hastily pushing a nuke detonator. However, according to history the two worst nuclear events that have occurred were accidental. Chernobyl, being the first event, had a fire and explosion that released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, and spread over much of Western USSR and Europe. The second largest nuclear event is the infamous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred in 2011.

Each day we are exposed to nuclear radiation, some naturally and some through un-natural means. Those of us who live close to nuclear power plants are exposed more than others.

Are You At-Risk?

Those that live near nuclear power plants should be especially concerned with nuclear disaster preparedness; especially individuals who live in areas where natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes) could damage the nuclear facilities. The map below shows all of the nuclear power plants in the U.S.  Many states are areas where natural disasters could quite possibly take out or damage a power plant. Are you ready for this?

We Are Affected Globally by Radiation

No matter where radiation leaks or disasters occur, they will affect us globally one way or another and we should be ready for them. Due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, our food supplies, water sources, and even our health have become affected from the radiation dispersed. Radiation tests conducted since the nuclear disaster in Japan have detected radioactive iodine and cesium in milk, beef and vegetables produced in California (Source). This video is a great source that explains how radiation gets into our food supply.

According to “Health Ranger” Mike Adams, even growing your own organic produce is no longer enough to guarantee food safety. “Only those who grow food in greenhouses will be largely protected from the fallout.”

How to Limit Our Exposure to Radiation 

1. One of the easiest ways to minimize the effects of radiation is knowing where our food comes from and limiting our exposure to radioactive foods and water sources. Keep in mind that foods, especially seafood from the West coast will be the most effected by radiation.

2. Having an  electroscope that gauges how much radiation you are receiving daily can be a useful tool. A Kearny Fallout Meter can give daily readings of radiation levels in your area.

3. Thoroughly wash your produce. Despite arguments to the contrary, you can wash radioactive particles off of produce. Clearly if the plant has taken in the radiation through the roots, it is irrevocably tainted. Fallout, however, can be dealt with. Washing your food in baking soda or peeling the skin off is a way to avoid ingesting radiation. Calcium bentonite clay is another natural substance that actually absorbs radiation. Interestingly, calcium bentonite clay has a uniquely strong negative ionic charge. When activated with water it works like a strong magnet, absorbing anything with a positive ionic charge (i.e., toxins, pesticides, radiation). The clay captures these substances and removes them as it is eliminated or washed off.” To wash produce with Bentonite Clay: Mix 1 part Calcium Bentonite Clay to 8 parts of purified water in a large non-metallic bowl. Toss your produce in this clay water, making certain the produce is completely covered, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse well with more purified water.

4. Also, by adopting an anti-radiation diet can provide natural alternatives to assist the body in ridding itself from exposure. Foods such as kelp, rosemary, spirulina, miso soup and niacin all assist the body in fighting radiation damage.  Other foods that may help in combating radiation sickness are foods that naturally detoxify the body. Foods that are high in potassium such as apples, oranges, pineapples and pomegranates are foods that are also good cancer fighters. Mushrooms are also a food source to add to your anti-radiation diet. Any mushrooms brown or black in color, and especially reishi mushrooms. Foods that are high in antioxidants will also assist your body in ridding itself of radioactive particles. Foods such as green and black teas (make sure that your tea is not from Japan), garlic, cumin, nettles, dandelions, ginseng, lentils, collards and mustard greens are also suggested.

5. Any food or water stored in sealed containers that have any fallout dust is safe to consume as long as the fallout dust is brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container. Take caution not to allow the fallout dust to get inside the container.

6. If you are concerned about your water sources, use filtered water in everything, including brushing your teeth and sponge bathing. Purchase a reverse osmosis water filter with extra filtration cartridges. Remember, it is important to replace your filters after multiple uses. Drinking apple cider vinegar can also assist in flushing toxins and  radiation from the body. Baking soda and water is another option as it also flushes radiation and cleans the stomach lining. You can also put baking soda in dish soap, body soap, laundry detergent as the radiation will bind to the baking soda thus neutralizes it.

7. Did you know that the Spiderwort plant is Nature’s gieger counter? This plant naturally has very dark purple flowers and when they are exposed to radiation or near an area where radiation is high, the flowers turn pink. Planting these in your yard will be a great way to know if you are taking in excess radiation.

8. Knowing in advance how much radiation you are  exposed to radiation through natural and un-natural means can help you calculate your annual radiation dose. To find this out, click on the Annual Radiation Calculator.

What if You Are Exposed to Radioactive Particles?

Radioactive ionic particles attach themselves to dust floating in the air. Therefore, it can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. If you are told to evacuate or bug in due to a nuclear disaster, keep the following points in mind:

1. If you are driving, keep the car windows and vents closed, and use recirculating air.

2. Due to the fear of panic and gridlock that will ensue from mass evacuations, most governments will delay mandatory evacuations until the last minute. This will only cause mass confusion and chaos at gas stations, grocery stores and on the streets. The best way to prevent this, is to stay ahead of the crowd and prepare ahead of time.

3. If told to stay indoors, turn off the air conditioner and other air intakes and go to a basement. Seal basement windows and entrances to prevent fallout from getting inside. If you go outside, you will need to remove your outer clothing before coming inside the shelter.

4. Likewise, creating a sealed area near the entrance of the shelter will prevent fallout dust from entering. Seal the entryway with blankets, bubble wrap or plastic sheeting to prevent the dust from coming in. Have water and baby shampoo near the entrance to wash and thoroughly rinse any exposed skin and hair. Exposure to fallout radiation does not make you radioactive, but you need to assure that you don’t bring any inside. Some experts suggest having a rain poncho to take on and off when you go outside.

5. To go a step further, covering the windows wood, then sandbags followed by masonry bricks will create a multi-layered protection against you and radioactive particles.

6. If you find yourself outdoors when a nuclear blast occurs, duck and cover for 2 minutes. You will first see a blinding light followed by tornado force winds and dangerous. When all danger is gone, seek shelter immediately. Remove your clothing at the door and place in a sealed plastic bag. You can remove 80% of the particles by removing your clothing. Showering immediately following exposure is another way to remove the remaining particles.

7. If you have signs of radiation on skin soak in a tub of equal parts baking soda, apple cider vinegar and epsom salt. Skin brushing can be very beneficial, because the skin is a primary avenue for detoxification – scrub along with the lungs, kidneys, liver, and colon. An unused vegetable brush would be very helpful with this process.

8. Getting caught out in the rain can also cause you to have more exposure to radioactive particles. If you do have to go out in the rain, completely cover yourself. Experts are suggesting that if your clothes get wet to take them off and seal them in a plastic bag, immediately shower and change clothing. (The detox bath solution and skin brushing would be good here. If radioactive materials get on your skin, burns and blistering can occur.Note: If you are exposed to radioactive particles, you will also need to get your urine tested for traces of cessium at your local medical center.

9. When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets are available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, such as a tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. If at all possible, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.

• For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure.

• For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml.

• For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don’t have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly.

10. When you know that the time to take protective action is approaching, turn off all the utilities into the house, check that everything is sealed up and locked down, and head for the shelter. You should also have near your shelter fire extinguishers and additional tools, building supplies, sheet plastic, staple guns, etc. for sealing any holes from damage. Your basement should already be very well sealed against fallout drifting inside. Now, you’ll need to seal around the last door you use to enter with duct tape all around the edges, especially if it’s a direct to the outside door.

11. Do not use the telephone unless absolutely necessary. Staying on the phone will congest phone lines making it impossible for others in your area to make or receive calls.


Symptoms of Radiation Sickness Include:

• Bleeding from the nose, mouth, gums, and rectum
• Bloody stool
• Bruising
• Confusion
• Dehydration
• Diarrhea
• Fainting
• Fatigue
• Fever
• Hair loss
• Inflammation of exposed areas (redness, tenderness, swelling, bleeding)
• Mouth ulcers
• Nausea and vomiting
• Open sores on the skin
• Skin burns (redness, blistering)
• Sloughing of skin
• Ulcers in the esophagus, stomach or intestines
• Vomiting blood
• Weakness

Preparing for an Imminent Nuke Attack

If you are told to evacuate or bug in place due to nuclear attack or nuclear leak disaster, keep in mind that this type of disaster is survivable.  Even though it is difficult preparing for this sort of disaster, you can put some preparations in place. Many of the preparedness items are similar to the ones needed for other disasters.

You will of course need:

• Two week supply of food and water
• Medical supplies
• Sanitation supplies
• Emergency lighting sources
• Heat sources
• Emergency communications (at least a hand-crank or short-wave radio)

Refer to the 52-Weeks to Preparedness List for emergency list suggestions.

However, you will need additional supplies pertinent to a nuclear disaster. Some of these items include:

• Geiger counter
• Kearny fallout meter
• Potassium Iodate (KI03) tablets for all family or group members
• Apple cider vinegar flushes radiation out of the body
• Baking soda
• Ingestible bentonite clay
• Nuke suit
• Duct tape
• N95 particulate respirator masks
• Hooded rain ponchos for all family or group members
• Home air filter
• Soap, sponges and/or bristled brush (vegetable scrubbing brush)
• Gas masks with extra filters
• Filtered ventilation system, powered with manually-powered back up
• A nuclear shelter that has an entrance designed to reduce fallout exposure.

The thought of nuclear disasters is not something we like to think about. However, in order to be ready for these types of disasters means you have to believe that the possibility of a threat is there. It is possible to survive a nuclear disaster and fallout, but you must be prepared. Having all of your items prepared and in place before the disaster will keep your family or group safe and ready to bunker in more quickly.

This article has been contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. Subscribe to Tess’ Get Prepped Weekly Newsletter for more emergency preparedness tips, homesteading ideas, and insights. As a subscriber to her free newsletter you’ll receive the latest updates from her 52 Weeks to Preparedness Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Planning Series. It’s well worth your time, and oh, did we mention it’s totally free?