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2:19
BY YIQIAN ZHANG ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO You're watching multisource politics news analysis from Newsy. “While Americans are watching the situation in Japan, many on the West Coast are trying to protect themselves in case of radiation fallout. People there are rushing to buy potassium iodide. It’s an over-the-counter drug that protects the thyroid from radiation.” (KRCG) In some places such as Los Angeles, the pills are sold out. But does potassium iodide even protect against radiation? A writer for medical blog WebMD says, not really. “It’s important to note that potassium iodide pills protect only the thyroid. They don’t prevent your body from taking in the radiation and don’t help prevent radiation damage to other parts of the body.” (WebMD) And a health expert tells Fox News- the risks associated with the medicine may not be worth it. “It can cause thyroid disease, it can cause allergies, it can cause stomach upset, know as you are vomiting it can cause diarrhea…” (Fox News) Regardless of whether the pills work- a health expert tells KSBW- the U.S. west coast isn’t exactly inside the radiation zone. “The evacuation zone they are moving people to is 12 miles from the nuclear plant. That’s what they are saying is a safe area. We are from five to seven thousand miles from there. Do the math.” (KSBW) But an editor for Bay Citizen argues- with all the ambiguous reports about the radiation levels, it makes sense- people are scared. “Experts we spoke to seem convinced that no matter what happens at Fukushima Daiichi, a radiation cloud blowing across the Pacific won't pose any health hazards in California. But since we don't really know exactly what level of radiation exposure might cause long-term health problems, I'm not sure I believe this.” (Bay Citizen) That editor went on to say definitive answers about radiation levels are in quote “maddeningly short supply.” Still - a BlogHer writer says that’s no reason to panic. “You can either run around like a headless chicken, hightailing it to the closest pharmacy so you can buy hundreds of bottles of potassium iodide, while you constantly wonder when the world will cave in, or you can do your best to be informed -- then take a deep breath -- and let it go.” (BlogHer) According to Google Insights, searches for “potassium iodide” and similar terms have increased more than 5,000 percent over the past week- but only in the U.S. Follow Newsy_Videos on Twitter Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy
19 Mar 2011
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3:26
BY TRACY PFEIFFER ANCHOR: CHRISTINA HARTMAN You're watching multisource world video news analysis from Newsy A week after the devastating earthquake that rocked Japan, workers are still struggling to get the country’s nuclear crisis under control. Japan’s nuclear agency has upgraded the situation from a four to a five on a 7-level scale, bringing the catastrophe on par with the 1979 Three Mile Island incident in Pennsylvania. New aerial footage from a military helicopter paints a grim picture of the extent of the damage to Japan’s Fukushima reactor, which has seen multiple explosions since the quake and consequent tsunamis. (Video: The Telegraph) The chopper itself was part of an initial tactic in the fight to keep spent nuclear rods from overheating, utilizing a water dumping technique commonly used to fight forest fires -- but strong winds quickly nixed that idea. “Now the focus of the efforts by emergency workers has shifted away from airborne spraying to ground level and a more extensive use of these firetrucks to try to cool and restore power to the reactors. The aim is to get water back into the pools that house spent nuclear fool rods and avert a major radiation leak.” (BBC) Even though the situation has been upgraded to level 5 -- defined by the IAEA as a quote -- “accident with wider consequences” -- Japanese officials say it’s due to new information about damage already done, not the current situation. (IAEA) And Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano assures the international community, their efforts are keeping the reactors stable at least. YUKIO EDANO, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY (TRANSLATION): “As for reactor number 4, the situation is not as serious as reactors number 2 and 3, but we need to keep adding water to cool them, and be prepared. This is important.” Meanwhile, another high priority goal is to restore power to the plant, which would enable crews to restart generators that power the reactor’s cooling systems. (Video: BBC) The International Atomic Energy Agency says a half-mile power cord has been laid to Fukushima’s reactor number 2 building. But retired nuclear engineer Lake Barrett tells The Washington Post, it won’t be as simple as plugging in a cord. “‘Existing cabling is probably burned,’ Barrett said, meaning crews in bulky radiation suits will have to engineer a high-voltage solution on the fly by boring through thick outer walls and connecting car-size electrical switches and relays.” And while the world watches the battle against further nuclear catastrophe, NBC’s Ann Curry reports -- Japan is a country on edge. ANN CURRY, REPORTER: “Passport centers around the country are full, train stations mobbed. Airlines are scrambling to fly thousands of people out of Tokyo. ... Crowds flocked aboard buses out of Sendai, a city hard-hit by the quake and tsunami, now low on basic necessities. Confusion, anger, and distrust are spreading despite the government’s reassurances about the risks of radiation.” Experts say for now, wind currents are reportedly driving radiation away from Tokyo, Japan’s most-populated city. But a reporter from Global Radio News tells Fox News, those inside the city have been wary of exposure risks. GAVIN BLAIR, REPORTER, GLOBAL RADIO NEWS: “Apparently the staff at the Italian embassy there weren’t trustful of the Japanese government’s pronouncements and took a Geiger counter onto the roof themselves and found that the levels of radiation were actually a fifth of what they were in Rome. So while there has been some panic in Tokyo, levels are back to normal there.” Japan’s National Police Agency has raised the death toll to almost 7,000, and more than 10,000 are still listed as missing. ABC Australia reports there are currently around half a million people living in shelters. 'Like Newsy' on Facebook for daily updates. Get more multisource world video news analysis from Newsy. Transcript by Newsy.
19 Mar 2011
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2:34
BY MIRANDA WHEATLEY You're watching multisource US video news analysis from Newsy. Has the nuclear crisis in Japan -- found its way to rainwater in the U.S.? According to several news outlets, officials say rainwater in Massachusetts has tested positive for Radioiodine-131. “It is 6,500 miles from Fukishima, Japan to Massachusetts but that’s how far radioactive fallout from the plant has traveled.” CNN “Trace amounts of that radioactive material from Japan has turned up in rainwater in at least 13 United States, states.” Fox News “They think the radioiodine may be linked to Japan’s damaged nuclear plant and plan to monitor the state’s drinking water.” HLN Officials say the amount of Radioiodine is not enough to cause alarm. MIT’s Ian Hutchinson tells WFXT in Boston radiation is a naturally occurring element and harmless in small amounts. “Radiation is a completely natural part of our background. The human body has a substantial amount of natural radiation in it, the only reason we know that this particular radiation came from the nuclear reactor site is because it’s a particular type of radiation that comes from this particular type of iodine we can identify it through specific tests.” CNN echoes that response saying spikes in radiation were seen in the U.S. even before the earthquake in Japan. “Las Vegas, there’s spikes, this is the earthquake, there are spikes before the earthquake, after the earthquake. The sun makes more radiation than what you had there in Massachusetts. A plane ride from California to L.A., from California to New York would give you more radiation than that.” The public health commissioner tells WCVB drinking water in Boston is safe. “We want to make clear that here is no health impact. None of the cities and towns rely on rainwater on their primary source of water--that is why we are so comfortable when saying drinking water supplies throughout the states are completely safe.” The Boston Globe reports the Radioiodine won’t be around for long and the public health commissioner says at these levels even drinking the rainwater directly would have little impact. “...only half of the level of radiation will be present in eight days, and so on until it dissipates.” But as Forbes points out - even with reassurance the findings have some Americans worried. “...some Americans have not been content to take the government at its word. Geiger counters have been selling like popsicles in summer, and traffic has never been higher at websites that display data from radiation monitoring stations.” For more information on the EPA’s radiation monitoring site, RadNet, check out the link in our transcript section. Get more multisource US video news analysis from Newsy. Transcript by Newsy.
5 Apr 2011
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2:25
A radiation hotspot in upscale residential district Setagaya, Tokyo had nearby residents worried, but BBC reports the event took an unexpected turn when officials found the source of the radiation. “Officials say they now believe they found the source: not the crisis at Fukushima instead they say, more likely an old wooden box containing some old bottles in the basement of a nearby house.” Old wooden box. Sounds pretty harmless. But NHK has the details on what makes these “mystery bottles” worrisome. “The surface of the bottle measured strong radiation levels of approximately 600μSv/h. Because of this, investigators sealed the radiation-emitting materials inside a lead containment and removed them from the area. Subsequently, the radiation level around the boundaries of the house dropped from 3μSv/h to 0.1-0.3μSv/h.” Found in a powder-form, the radiation-emitting substance is called radon. A Setagaya Ward Assembly Member writes on his blog how this radiation hotspot was found. “I received on an email from a fellow ward resident on the evening of October 2 that... ‘An unusually high amount of radiation was measured’ [by a citizens’ group member]. ...I went to investigate the area with this person on the next day.” So, bravo to the citizens’ group for finding this. According to The Wall Street Journal, this kind of “radiation tracking” is not so uncommon in Japan after the Fukushima crisis. The paper spoke with a resident who lives close to the sidewalk in question. He says... "I know quite a few people around here who have bought radiation counters … There are many families with young kids around here, and the worried parents are rich enough to buy expensive measuring devices." Since, the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, citizens in other residential areas have remained concerned. But ITmedia warns against the use of inexpensive dosimeters, which have become extremely popular, and cities tests done by National Consumer Affairs Center. “Excluding three, all of the dosimeters tested showed varying measurements during the ten trials, showing they are clearly unreliable. One of the dosimeters even showed higher measurements when placed in a box made of [radiation blocking] lead.” NHK reports -- radon has not been stored in its powder form in recent years, and the ministry is investigating how it ended up in an old box in an uninhabited house.
15 Oct 2011
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0:41
One of the largest food manufacturers in Japan is launching a voluntary recall of 400,000 cans of infant formula.
8 Dec 2011
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2:18
July 20, 2011 (2:17) Scientists discover radioactive decay drives over half of Earth's heat.
21 Jul 2011
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15:44
Balanced Health Today Call Now 1(888)277-4980 Radiation is energy. It can come from unstable atoms that undergo radioactive decay, or it can be produced by machines. Radiation travels from its source in the form of energy waves or energized particles. There are two kinds of radiation: ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation has so much energy it can knock electrons out of atoms, a process known as ionization. Ionizing radiation can affect the atoms in living things, so it poses a health risk by damaging tissue and DNA in genes. Ionizing radiation comes from radioactive elements, cosmic particles from outer space and x-ray machines. Non-ionizing radiation has enough energy to move atoms in a molecule around or cause them to vibrate, but not enough to remove electrons. Examples of this kind of radiation are radio waves, visible light, and microwaves. EPA’s mission in radiation protection is to protect human health and the environment from the ionizing radiation that comes from human use of radioactive elements. EPA does not regulate the non-ionizing radiation that is emitted by electrical devices such as radio transmitters or cell phones
1 Apr 2017
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15:44
People are constantly exposed to low levels of naturally occurring radiation called background radiation. Background radiation comes from cosmic radiation and from radioactive elements in the air, water, and ground. Cosmic radiation is concentrated at the poles by the earth’s magnetic field and is attenuated by the atmosphere. Thus, exposure is greater for people living at high latitudes, at high altitudes, or both and during airplane flights. Terrestrial sources of external radiation exposure are primarily due to the presence of radioactive elements with half-lives comparable to the age of the earth (~4.5 billion years). In particular, uranium (238U) and thorium (232Th) along with several dozen of their radioactive progeny and a radioactive isotope of potassium (40K) are present in many rocks and minerals. Small quantities of these radionuclides are in the food, water, and air and thus contribute to internal exposure as these radionuclides are invariably incorporated into the body. The majority of the dose from internally incorporated radionuclides is from radioisotopes of carbon (14C) and potassium (40K), and because these and other elements (stable and radioactive forms) are constantly replenished in the body by ingestion and inhalation, there are approximately 7,000 atoms undergoing radioactive decay each second. Internal exposure from the inhalation of radioactive isotopes of the noble gas radon (222Rn and 220Rn), which are also formed from the Uranium (238U) decay series, accounts for the largest portion (73%) of the US population's average per capita naturally occurring radiation dose. Cosmic radiation accounts for 11%, radioactive elements in the body for 9%, and external terrestrial radiation for 7%. In the US, people receive an average effective dose of about 3 millisieverts (mSv)/yr from natural sources (range ~0.5 to 20 mSv/yr). However, in some parts of the world, people receive > 50 mSv/yr. The doses from natural background radiation are far too low
24 Jul 2017
340
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15:44
People are constantly exposed to low levels of naturally occurring radiation called background radiation. Background radiation comes from cosmic radiation and from radioactive elements in the air, water, and ground. Cosmic radiation is concentrated at the poles by the earth’s magnetic field and is attenuated by the atmosphere. Thus, exposure is greater for people living at high latitudes, at high altitudes, or both and during airplane flights. Terrestrial sources of external radiation exposure are primarily due to the presence of radioactive elements with half-lives comparable to the age of the earth ( 4.5 billion years). In particular, uranium (238U) and thorium (232Th) along with several dozen of their radioactive progeny and a radioactive isotope of potassium (40K) are present in many rocks and minerals. Small quantities of these radionuclides are in the food, water, and air and thus contribute to internal exposure as these radionuclides are invariably incorporated into the body. The majority of the dose from internally incorporated radionuclides is from radioisotopes of carbon (14C) and potassium (40K), and because these and other elements (stable and radioactive forms) are constantly replenished in the body by ingestion and inhalation, there are approximately 7,000 atoms undergoing radioactive decay each second.
12 Sep 2017
263
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15:44
Radiation is energy. It can come from unstable atoms that undergo radioactive decay, or it can be produced by machines. Radiation travels from its source in the form of energy waves or energized particles. There are two kinds of radiation: ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation has so much energy it can knock electrons out of atoms, a process known as ionization. Ionizing radiation can affect the atoms in living things, so it poses a health risk by damaging tissue and DNA in genes. Ionizing radiation comes from radioactive elements, cosmic particles from outer space and x-ray machines. Non-ionizing radiation has enough energy to move atoms in a molecule around or cause them to vibrate, but not enough to remove electrons. Examples of this kind of radiation are radio waves, visible light, and microwaves. EPA’s mission in radiation protection is to protect human health and the environment from the ionizing radiation that comes from human use of radioactive elements. EPA does not regulate the non-ionizing radiation that is emitted by electrical devices such as radio transmitters or cell phones
8 Oct 2017
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15:44
Although many nuclides are stable, most are not. Stability is determined mainly by the balance between the number of neutrons and the number of protons a nucleus contains. An unstable nucleus with an imbalance in the number of protons and neutrons has excess energy and will spontaneously transform into a more stable form at random by emitting radiation. Different nuclei release this energy as particles, i.e. alpha or beta particles and photons (gamma rays and X-rays). The spontaneous transformation of nuclei is called radioactive decay. The unstable nuclide, which decays and emits radiation is called a radionuclide. All radionuclides are uniquely identified by the type of radiation they emit, the energy of the radiation, and the half-life. The activity, used as a measure of the amount of a radionuclide present, is expressed as the number of decays per second. The activity in decays per second is often specified with the international unit the becquerel (Bq) in honour of Henri Becquerel who first identified radioactivity: one becquerel is one disintegration per second. The activity of a specific radionuclide determines the half-life of the radionuclide. The half-life is the time required for the activity of a radionuclide to decrease to half of its initial value by radioactive decay. Half-lives for radionuclides range from tiny fractions of a second to millions of years.
21 Dec 2017
181
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