The Fukushima Chill Pill

Excuse (yet another) interruption in the merriment.  But one of our prime sources (a real reactor –runner himself)  on all things “glowing” (as in Fukushima) tells us some interesting “tone it down a notch” in terms of the Fukushima Fear Dance:

Hi George,

Happy New Year to you and yours.

I wanted to reach out to you regarding your post at US regarding the federal solicitation for 14 million doses of KI tablets (http://urbansurvival.com/2013/12/31/14-million-what/).  I have avoided commenting on anything related to Fukushima lately as the noise to signal ratio is just off the charts and I tend to go on a rant when I see the mountains of misinformation out there.  Over the last 6 months Fukushima was gonna kill us all because:  We were all going to die because TEPCO is doing fuel routine movements to secure fuel (Reality – the evolutions have been going off without a hitch and fuel is being secured from the spent fuel pools).  Then a bunch of Navy sailors were all dying because they got an extra dose of radiation equivalent to about one tanning bed session (Reality, I want to see the full roster and their medical conditions, plus we are not allowed to talk about the asbestos and chemical hazards the carrier group sailed through to get to Fukushima, it has to be the radiation), and now this. 

The solicitation in question is almost certainly part of the standard procurement cycle for Project Bioshield (https://www.medicalcountermeasures.gov/barda/stockpiling.aspx)  The law was renewed in 2013 and the new rounds of procurement were to begin around the time of the government shutdown.  As part of the national effort to stockpile vaccines and other medical countermeasures (MCMs), the Department of Health and Human Services is the coordinating agency to procure various drugs and vaccines.  The last purchase of KI tablets under this program was 2005.  Depending on the vendor, KI tablets have a shelf life of 5-7 years (http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/potassium-iodide/ki-faq.html#shelflife), so this puts this procurement at the far end of the shelf life for the national stockpile.

I know nuclear topics generate a ton of fear.  Hopefully this can help calm a few of those worries, though I doubt anyone will believe me.  What do I know, I’m just a nuclear engineer.

Keep calm and carry on in 2014.

And, indeed we will, as the best news of all is that this is just a Project Bioshield “prescription refill” but why doesn’t it feel quite safe yet?  And what was that “metalic taste” the deck hands on the Ronald Reagan were reporting?

Ah, but this is the stuff of which 2014 will be made.

A glass, and a toast:  “May the road rise to meet you and may there not be a semi on your butt when it does…”  But what is that air horn, I keep hearing?  Net noise?  Or the Global Consciousness on red alert telling me I’m playing on a freeway?

Oh, did I mention the market high is today or Monday, says another source?  And the Middle East war is next year….

Sheesh!  Champagne and ViceGrips….some party animal, huh?

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