5 Juin 2017
Cesium, iodine, and strontium are naturally occurring elements. Like dozens of other elements in nature, they are not radioactive. Not usually.
But every nuclear reactor mass-produces radioactive versions of these normally stable elements. And so we have radioactive caesium (caesium-137), radioactive iodine (iodine-131), radioactive strontium (strontium-90), and literally hundreds of other human-made radioactive elements, never before encountered by living things prior to mankind's harnessing of nuclear energy — to produce atomic weapons and to fuel nuclear reactors.
When radioactive materials are spewed into the environment by fallout from nuclear explosions and nuclear meltdowns, they enter into the biosphere. They contaminate the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Many of these unstable atoms become incorporated into the innermost parts of our bodies.
Radioactve materials are dangerous to any nearby living cells. Some of the radiation-damaged cells develop into cancerous growths years later. Damages reproductive cells can lead to damaged offspring. Thus radioactive iodine, like regular iodine, goes to the thyroid gland, where it causes thyroid disorders including thyroid cancer. Radioactive strontium, like regular strontium, resembles calcium and is stored in the skeleton where it causes bone cancers and blood diseases including leukaemia. Radioactive cesium, like regular caesium, is chemically similar to potassium which has an affinity for the blood and soft tissues. So radioactive caesium tends to concentrate in the meaty parts of animals.
Pigs use their snouts to dig up and eat underground mushrooms, especially truffles and false truffles, which are rich in potassium. These plants are avid collectors of caesium along with potassium, and when the caesium is radioactive, the mushrooms become concentrated radioactive food for the pigs. Thus the bodies of wild boars become highly contaminated with radioactivity, to the point where their meat is unfit for human consumption. In Germany, the government has for many years paid cash to hunters who kill wild boars, to compensate them for the fact that they cannot eat the meat.
All because of the Chernobyl nuclear accident more than three decades ago. The same effects could result from a leaking radioactive waste repository.
31 years after Chernobyl
Half of all wild boars in southwest
Czech Republic are still radioactive —
Associated Press, via Business Insider, January 17, 2017
PRAGUE (AP) — An agency in the Czech Republic says about a half of all wild boars in the country's southwest are radioactive and considered unsafe for consumption due to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
The State Veterinary Administration said Tuesday that radioactive boars still roam the Sumava mountain range on the Czech border with Germany.
It says the animals remain contaminated nearly 31 years after the Chernobyl disaster because they feed on an underground mushroom that absorbs radioactivity from the soil.
The nuclear reactor's explosion sent a radioactive cloud over Europe.
Cesium, the key radioactive material released, has a half-life of some 30 years. It can build up in the body, and high levels are thought to be a risk.
Similar problems with radioactive wild animals were reported in Austria and Germany.
Caught On Video:
Radioactive Wild Boar Roam Fukushima
By Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, March 10, 2017
With humans long gone, and robots dying off amid the radiation, . When the exclusion zone was set up almost exactly 6 years ago this week - with the surrounding towns population evacuated to a safe distance - The Mirror reports that