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Old 09-06-2009, 11:55 PM   #1
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Exclamation Michigan Having a Meltdown???

In today's Detroit news...

Medication in case of meltdown: People who live or work within 10 miles of Michigan's nuclear power plants will soon get vouchers for free potassium iodide pills that can partially protect the thyroid gland from radiation exposure if there is an accident. James McCurtis of the Michigan Department of Community Health said the state had stockpiled pills. The companies that operate the nuclear plants provided about $62,000 to cover the distribution.

Part of the new economic recovery plan for ground zero of highest unemployment and bankrupted state?

Anybody else getting pills from their government?
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:25 AM   #2
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Actually this isn't a bad idea, although the emphasis on nuclear power plants is misplaced. The likelihood of a significant radiation release from a nuclear power plant is small.

Where the pills will come in handy is if (or when) terrorists manage to pop off a nuclear device in the US.

For what it's worth, potassium iodide or iodate pills are primarily needed to protect young people who are still growing. Won't have much effect on us older folks.

Iodine supplements are not prescription drugs and you can buy tablets in health food stores if you want them. (At least you used to be able to--I haven't looked lately.)

And remember--your Airstream exhibits good resistance to nuclear blast overpressures! How many other brands can say that!
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:01 AM   #3
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The chance of having a power plant meltdown is probably less likely than some taerrourist setting off a durty bo mb in downtown Cincinnati.

But if it happens, wouldn't you be glad you had a pill that might reduce your risk of thyroid cancer?

What bugs me is that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission won't let the Federal Government hand the pills out because it would cause panic and undermine public confidence in the nuclear power industry. That's a good example of backward thinking. How about giving the public credit for a scintilla of common sense?
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:13 AM   #4
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Van Buren State Park in South Haven, Michigan is right next to a Nuclear Power Plant. Maybe they should hand the pills out to the campers upon arrival!
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:15 AM   #5
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Part of the new economic recovery plan for ground zero of highest unemployment and bankrupted state?
It could even get worst, GM isn't out of the woods yet.

Mark Phelan: Fate of Opel's engineers in Germany is key for GM | Detroit Free Press | Freep.com
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:28 AM   #6
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In today's Detroit news...

the state had stockpiled pills.
i wonder how long stockpiled pills are good for?
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:25 AM   #7
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I could have used some of those pills back in the 1970's, I was entirely too close to the TMI power plant. Which is why, after my initial training, I was not permitted to join the Navy's Nuclear Power Program.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:28 AM   #8
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I think issuing the pills is pretty standard procedure. I know they did it for folks who live near a plant in NY.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:08 AM   #9
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And nuclear power is supposed to be a green part of America's future energy program. It's a bellwether that the Michigan government is preparing for what they see as an inevitable nuclear radiation release. Seems to me if I lived that close to a nuclear power plant and the government was ready to distribute their magic pills I would start worrying about the self fulfilling prophesy that is implied by this action.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:17 AM   #10
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i wonder how long stockpiled pills are good for?
Potassium Iodide is stable and the tablets are good for a long time as long as kept in a cool dry place so the tablets don't break down.

Wikipedia has a pretty good article on the subject for anyone interested. Potassium iodide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:02 AM   #11
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Tablets are good for five years. The shelf life can be extended in two year increments based on accelerated testing.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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Where the pills will come in handy is if (or when) terrorists manage to pop off a nuclear device in the US.
So it might not be a great idea to give Michigan the added bonus of providing local jobs to an area that’s already suffering an unemployment rate of more than 17 percent to hold suspected terrorists now imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay???

Quote:
And remember--your Airstream exhibits good resistance to nuclear blast overpressures! How many other brands can say that!
OK you made me laugh and cheered me up with that one!

NOTE: Actually I got a call earlier today offering me a job!!!! Hey hey cross your fingers. Just to play it safe... I even have my eyes crossed for this one.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:24 PM   #13
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If there is radiation leaking isn't there more to worry about than taking iodine for thyroid?? I hope they keep money in the budget for the care and keeping of reactors.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:42 PM   #14
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If there is radiation leaking isn't there more to worry about than taking iodine for thyroid?? I hope they keep money in the budget for the care and keeping of reactors.
Whoa, there. I very much doubt that the state of Michigan is operating any nuclear reactors! (Aside from maybe a small research reactor or two at state universities.) So the state budget doesn't have anything to do with the state of nuclear power plant maintenance.

The reactors are being operated by electric utilities, which, I suspect, are doing OK financially, whether or not the state of Michigan is. The reason being, they can wholesale their power onto the grid, and nuclear is the lowest-cost way to generate electricity. So even with wholesale electricity rates depressed as they currently are, whatcha bet the nuclear plants are running at high utilization and making money for the companies that own them.
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