Safe Levels of Radiation

Safe Levels of Radiation

Several years ago (while living in Pageland, SC) my family decided to make a trip to Dacula, Georgia to visit with the folks.  Before we made the trip we headed for McBee, South Carolina, home of some of the biggest, most beautiful, and best tasting peaches in the world.  I knew that my brother and my dad were lovers of good homemade peach cobbler – and my wife could make a peach cobbler that was worthy of royalty.  So we would take some on the trip.

As planned, my wife took several of the “huge” (and I mean huge) peaches to make the cobbler.  On schedule my brother came over to visit us at my parent’s place (and, of course, eat some peach cobbler). He looked in the basket and could not believe the size of the remaining peaches.  And he could not believe how wonderful the homemade peach cobbler tasted, especially being made with fresh picked peaches.

After eating several helpings of the cobbler, I jokingly asked him if he felt a sense of super power.  I asked, “Did you notice how the peaches had a green glow about them?”  He dropped his spoon and began to stare at me with a serious, inquisitive look.  “Whatchu talking about?” He asked.

Well, not thinking that it would make a big deal, I said, “The reason the peaches are so big, and taste so good is because they are grown in orchards surrounding a nuclear power plant.”  My brother gave me a killer stare saying, “You’re kidding me, aren’t you?”  To which I responded, “No, the peaches are grown in orchards that surround a huge nuclear power plant in McBee/Hartsville, South Carolina.”

He pushed the remaining cobbler away, got up from the table, and said something to the fact of, “I can’t believe you would serve me peaches soaked in nuclear radiation!”

In Charlotte, North Carolina we could stand on the loading dock of where I worked – just off I-77 –  and look toward Rock Hill, South Carolina and see the huge plumes of steam flowing high into the atmosphere from the newly built nuclear power plant.  One of my co-workers refused to stand in the open doorways when it seemed the steam was heading our way.  He did not relish the idea of having that “certain glow” about him when he went home.

Inside that power plant was a cafeteria.  And in that cafeteria was cooking equipment that we serviced.  Because of security measures, it was requested that we send the same “security cleared” tech to service the kitchen equipment.  We did, and eventually that tech passed away from cancer that started in his mouth and spread throughout his body.  Many of the techs “swore” that the reason he came down with cancer was the nuclear radiation. (Of course, no mention was made of the fact that the tech smoked, dipped, and chewed constantly.)

While living in Charleston, South Carolina I worked for an appliance repair firm.  On many occasions the service calls were to residents (airmen) living on the local Air Force Base.  On one of those service calls I had to service a range that belonged to one of the servicemen.  While in the home, I asked the serviceman why he didn’t get his wife a microwave.  I was telling him that, “It would make life so much easier for her….”  when he interrupted me and firmly stated, “There is no way in XXXX I would ever have one of those things in my house!”  “I work on the radar systems on our aircraft, and I am not going to have any of that “nuclear” radiation flying around in my house!”

Through it all, I have come to one major conclusion.  “Ignorance!” – Ignorance generated (in part) by “sy-fy”  images of mutant beings with oozing green slime, and body parts falling off as they drag themselves through the streets.

Granted, there are dangers of nuclear radiation. No one denies the possibility of disaster, if nuclear energy is not handled properly.  And sometimes safeguards do fail, but the chances are very slim with today’s generation of nuclear energy. The thing that we must always remember is that, “It is impossible to rid ourselves of all nuclear radiation.”

With that in mind, just what is a safe level of nuclear radiation?

“If you’ve been listening in on the debate over nuclear energy, by now you’ve heard the Sierra Club, FOE, or Greenpeace recite one of their favorite incorrect mantras: “There are no safe levels of radiation.” Simply put, they’re wrong. As a matter of fact, you’re surrounded by safe levels of radiation right now as you read this post,” writes JACK GAMBLE in “Nuclear Fissionary”

For an interesting read, check here:

I may not convince my brother that those big, beautiful, great tasting peaches are safe, or those former employees they are not going to turn green from the steam of the power plant, or (I’m not even going to try explaining to that genius defending our country that microwave radiation is not nuclear radiation), but I hope some light might be shed by this article. (Hopefully they won’t see it as a “glowing green light!”)