With all the nuclear radiation fall-out, reactors, earthquake, tsunami-ish discussions as a result of the Fukushima disaster in 2011, I decided to look into what exactly plutonium is - seeing as it had been reported that Japan's nuclear plant leached plutonium into their soil around the plant.

So the research begins. Plutonium, named after the planet Pluto, was uncovered by a team of Berkeley scientist in or around 1940, after toying around with uranium-238, resulting in Plutonium-239; thus essentially a man-made element. Just like all great finds, plutonium was kept a secret.  I’m sure their thinking was “hey this could give us a huge upper hand with our military!” (Not that they really said it like that - just saying.)
This highly radioactive chemical for the most part is used primarily for nuclear power plants, medical research and
nuclear research.  But as we all know, or if you don't, you do now - it is also used for weapons – like nuclear bombs.  I guess as with everything there is a good and evil. Right?!

Plutonium is pretty rare from what I’ve read, and in fact only trace amounts of it can be found in rich uranium ores. It actually has to be separated out – now that’s a process huh?

And, like radiation iodine, plutonium has huge health risks. Instead of targeting the thyroid gland like radiation does, plutonium accumulates in the bone marrow and organs such as the liver. *gulp!*  

The radioactivity plutonium emits is in ‘alpha particles’ (opposed to beta particles of iodine -131) which are known to pose a greater risk to health. (*sigh*)

What is disconcerting is that plutonium-239 (found is now found in the soil along with plutonium 238 and 240 in Japan as a result of the 2011 disaster) has a half-life of 24,000 years. That means it has another a lot of years before it ceases to be radioactive (unlike the eight days for iodine-131 or the 30 years for cesium-137). 

I know this is a lot of "geeky-science" talk (no disrespect intended) and I’m trying to put it more into conversational tone, but this is worth your while to try and understand a little bit about what is going on in Japan and what could possibly happen in our Country as well.

Let me give you an example.  Say Japan was to experience a hydrogen explosion that completely took out all safety measures.  The spread of iodine and cesium would more likely than not, do much more damage than plutonium because it would immediately be airborne.  And, although plutonium particles can also become airborne, they weigh 20 times more than water (unlike iodine and cesium).  So, its more likely than not that they would fall to the ground and in doing so would either attach to clays or stay near the soil surface where winds can pick them up and redistribute them.  If deposited on plants they are not readily absorbed by the roots, and if in the water will usually settle to the bottom in the sediment.

So after all this dog and pony show about what plutonium is, you probably want to know how the heck we supposed to protect ourselves from plutonium poisoning? And that, is a very good question. 

From what I’ve gathered, we need to eat a lot of dulse and iron from plant sources like sea algaes; such as spirulina and chlorella, which by the way provides more iron than red meat.  Also, miso soup has also been shown to have a protective effect. But, because I haven't a clue what dulse is, or for that matter the rest of that stuff, I purchased a stash of iron pills and stocked up on red wine.  Cause I’m telling you, I am not touchin’ liver which is another thing recommended, thank you all the same!  

And on the small chance that iodine -131, or cesium-137 comes our way – you may want to consider having some, if not all, of these in your emergency bag as well:

Calcium - to blocks uptake of stronium-90
Potassium – to reduce uptake of cesium-137
Zinc – to reduce uptake of radioactive zinc-65
Vitamin B12 – to supress the uptake of cobalt-60
Chlorella - Helps detoxify and get rid of heavy metals and other toxic elements
Magnesium - to help with their absorption and their natural bodily use and function.
Cod liver oil - For to help fortify the body and prevent damage due to toxins

Each and everyone of the above mentioned she be a part of your emergency bag. Just sayin'.

- Survivor Jane










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