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Proponents of medical radioisotopes, and the nuclear industry, continue to hide – through ignorance or malice – the fact that some so-called short-lived radioisotopes, such as Technetium 99m degrade to insanely long-lived radionuclides. Even many anti-nuclear activists fall into this trap. Technetium 99m becomes Technetium 99 which remains radioactive, and hence lethal, for over 3 million years! Thus, there can be no legitimate justification for its use either in nuclear medicine or as discharges from nuclear reactors. Therefore, the US should emphatically not construct a facility for the production of this lethal crap, i.e. “Moly Cow”. And, they should cease to use and import it. Oppose here: “Construction Permit Application for the Northwest Medical Isotopes, LLC, Medical Radioisotope Production Facility. A Notice by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on 11/09/2016 Comment against it before the 29th of December 2016. It’s easy and can be anonymous: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/11/09/2016-27058/construction-permit-application-for-the-northwest-medical-isotopes-llc-medical-radioisotope

Technetium-99 (99Tc) is an isotope of technetium which decays with a half-life of 211,000 years to stable ruthenium-99, emitting beta particles[1], but no gamma rays. It is the most significant long-lived fission product of uranium fission, producing the largest fraction of the total long-lived radiation emissions of nuclear waste. Technetium-99 has a fission product yield of 6.0507% for thermal neutron fission of uranium-235. Technetium-99m (99mTc)is a short-lived (half-life about 6 hours) metastable nuclear isomer used in nuclear medicine, produced from molybdenum-99. It decays by isomeric transition to technetium-99,…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technetium-99 ( Last accessed 27 Feb 2016, version 18 April 2015; Emphasis our own.)

Half-life chart. 15 times 211,000 is over 3 million years.
Half Life Chart

With increasingly sophisticated ultrasound and MRIs, there is no good reason to continue to use these lethal radioisotopes: https://medlineplus.gov/ultrasound.html In fact, even without ultrasound, there can be no true justification for medical tests which damage the environment for millions of years and thus causes more life-shortening illnesses in people and animals, long after the person is dead. Everyone is going to die.

Real cows can be cute. “Technetium cows” aka “Moly cows” destroy life!
USDA cow calf photo by Scott Bauer
USDA Photo by Scott Bauer

And, contrary to popular opinion, people who didn’t die of infectious disease were living very old and healthy – into their 90s and 100s – prior to the usage of radioisotopes. In fact, there was much less cancer prior to the invention of x-rays, the radium craze, and the rise of the nuclear industry. Any increases in longevity have long been known to have to do with better nutrition, better hygiene – “Public Health”: i.e. Outhouses or septic tanks separated a certain distance from water wells in rural areas, plumbing in urban areas, garbage pick-up, zoning, reduction of crowding, hand washing and not spitting in public. It is important to understand the difference between arithmetic average (mean), which by including high infant mortality rates falses the average, and the median (half above, half below) or mode (most frequent), which would be more appropriate.

As explained below, according to the US government funded BEIR VII report, patients who are exposed to 10 mSv from Tc 99m have an estimated 1 in 1000 excess cancer risk, above and beyond the already high risk of cancer which everyone now has. A more recent government funded study of nuclear workers suggests that the excess risk is around 15 times worse than even BEIR VII thought, maybe even higher: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/another-look-at-the-recent-low-dose-radiation-exposure-study-inworks/. This would mean a 1.5% excess cancer risk from this 10 mSv exposure alone, rather than the 0.1% risk estimated by BEIR VII. Thus, these tests are high risk for the patient, those who come into contact with them, as well as the environment and future generations: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/radioisotopes-program-was-cover-for-avoiding-liability-claims-from-vets-human-radiation-experiments-expanding-the-agenda-to-all-americans-with-100-msv-per-year-proposal-of-cancer-for-all-comment-d. The upper bound estimate for BEIR itself is an estimated 3 in 1000 excess cancers for 10 mSv, which appears the lower bound for the new study.

Tc 99 Hazard
Diagnostic treatment involving technetium-99m will result in radiation exposure to technicians, patients, and passers-by. Typical quantities of technetium administered for immunoscintigraphy tests, such as SPECT tests, range from 400 to 1,100 MBq (11 to 30 mCi) (millicurie or mCi; and Mega-Becquerel or MBq) for adults.[64][65] These doses result in radiation exposures to the patient around 10 mSv (1000 mrem), the equivalent of about 500 chest X-ray exposures.[66] This level of radiation exposure carries a 1 in 1000 lifetime risk of developing a solid cancer or leukemia in the patient.[67] The risk is higher in younger patients, and lower in older ones.[68] Unlike a chest x-ray, the radiation source is inside the patient and will be carried around for a few days, exposing others to second-hand radiation. A spouse who stays constantly by the side of the patient through this time might receive one thousandth of patient’s radiation dose this way. “. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technetium-99m (Emphasis our own. As accessed ca 30 Jul 2014). And, after the Technetium 99m enters the environment, it will be dangerous for millions of years, in the form of Technetium 99.

After large donors poured money into his campaign, one should not hold their breath about nuclear safety prevailing in the Trump administration, despite his apparent knowledge of the dangers of ionizing radiation. About his Uncle: “During the war years, Trump switched from work on hospital X-ray machines, to research into similar technologies…, especially the development of radar.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Trump. Trump in March of 2016: “When people talk global warming, I say the global warming that we have to be careful of is the nuclear global warming. Single biggest problem that the world has.https://web-beta.archive.org/web/20160421082652/http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/us/politics/donald-trump-transcript.html This statement was before Goldman Sachs investment banker “alumnus” Doug Kimmelman, an owner of Energy Solutions which owns nuclear waste dumps, poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Trump’s campaign. Doug Kimmelman would want more nuclear waste, because he makes a literal and metaphorical killing off of it. And, don’t hold your breath about Yucca Mountain as a nuclear facility. It will be blocked by an even larger Trump donor – Sheldon Adelson of the Las Vegas Sands Casino Hotel.

From the State of Washington: “Exposure to technetium-99, as to all radionuclide’s, results in increased risk of cancer. EPA has established a maximum contaminant level of 4 millirem per year for beta particle and photon radioactivity from man-made radionuclide’s in drinking water. Technetium-99 would be covered under this MCL. The average concentration of technetium-99 which is assumed to yield 4 mrem/year is 900 picocuries per liter. If other radionuclide’s which emit beta particles and photon radioactivity are present, the sum of the annual dose from all the radionuclide’s must not exceed 4 mrem/year.” They importantly tell us that technetium,[like iodine] concentrates in the thyroid. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/nwp/gwcontaminants.htm
900 picocuries per liter is 33 Bq/liter technetium 99. While they inform us that it is fairly quickly excreted from the body, in an increasingly contaminated environment, the body will simply recontaminate itself.

The Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Technetium-Moly Cow facility claims that there will be no direct releases into the environment – rather the radioactive materials produced will become MORE NUCLEAR WASTE. However, the US NRC does allow high levels of radioactive materials to be diluted and sent down sewer drains, as does the UK. For instance, he US NRC allows 22,200 Bq/liter of Technetium 99 into the sewer system and 2,220 Bq into the waterways. This clearly exceeds the maximum 22 Bq/liter allowed in US “Clean Water”. One US Nuclear Power Station which we examined, Farley, reports liquid emissions of only the short-lived Tc 99m, which later becomes Tc 99.

The Irish Government discusses the problem of Technetium 99 in the Irish Sea, which comes primarily from British nuclear discharges, both nuclear reactors and the Sellafield nuclear “reprocessing” facility:
As part of an ongoing research programme, the Institute undertook a comprehensive study of concentration factors for technetium-99 in fish, shellfish and seaweed sampled from Irish coastal locations. In general the concentration factors for fish and shellfish were higher than those in the literature which were derived from laboratory studies, but agreed well with values which were based on field studies. The data confirmed that crustaceans concentrate technetium-99 to a higher degree than molluscs which in turn concentrate technetium-99 to a higher degree than fish. Of all the seafood studied lobster was the species with the highest technetium-99 concentration factor [Smith et al., 1997; Smith et al., accepted for publication]“. https://www.rpii.ie/RPII/files/7d/7dd84765-857b-4c45-9fab-8542a428a3e4.pdf

Cows are good. “Moly-cows” and Nuclear Power Stations – Reprocessing are bad!
Moorside Cows on the Irish Sea
Cows near the proposed Moorside Nuclear Power Station, along the Irish Sea, which would add more technetium 99 into the Irish Sea.

Is technetium-99 (Tc-99) radiologically significant?
Med Confl Surviv. 1999 Jan-Mar;15(1):57-70.
Barnaby F, Boeker E.
According to radiological protection authorities the radioisotope technetium-99 (Tc-99) is not ‘radiologically significant’ to humans or other species. The Sellafield plutonium reprocessing plant discharges large amounts of Tc-99 into the Irish Sea; by the year 2015 a total of about 3,000 tera-becquerels of Tc-99, weighing about 5 tonnes, will have been discharged. This article considers the effects of Tc-99 on the environment. After discharge, Tc-99 travels large distances in the ocean. Levels of Tc-99 in Norwegian coastal waters increased by ten times between 1991 and 1996. Tc-99 becomes concentrated offshore in seaweed, winkles and mussels. A concentration factor of 120,000 has been reported in seaweed and one of 650,000 has been measured in the green gland of lobster. It may be necessary to reassess the risk to human health following the ingestion of the relevant isotopes, including Tc-99, because of the possibility of radiation induced genomic instability, as well as the cancer risk. The committed effective doses used to determine permitted levels of intake of these isotopes should be increased and the authorized limits for the discharge of radioactive wastes from Sellafield reduced. Authorized limits of the discharge of radioactivity should be based on Contaminated Food Intervention Levels rather than Generalized Derived Limits as they are now.
“. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10218003 (Emphasis our own.)
Blue Mussels Cornwall donated to Public Domain via Wikipedia
Blue Mussels in Cornwall UK donated to Public Domain via Wikipedia

Assessment of Tc-99 monitoring within the western Irish Sea using a numerical model. Sci Total Environ. 2010 Aug 1;408(17):3671-82. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.04.053. Epub 2010 May 26 Olbert AI1, Hartnett M, Dabrowski T.
Author information
Water circulation patterns and associated material transport within a highly dynamic system such as the Irish Sea are complex phenomena. Although Tc-99 monitoring programme undertaken by the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland provides a good insight to the material distribution on the east coast of Ireland, transport patterns within the Irish Sea have not been fully explored. In this study a validated transport model was used to hindcast transport of Tc-99 discharged from the Sellafield plant to determine extents of Tc-99 migration within the Irish Sea and reassess transit times to east coast of Ireland. Transit times are also estimated within a context of changes in meteorological conditions and fluctuations in discharges. Additionally, seasonal and inter-annual circulation patterns were examined.

Relationships between discharge times and timing of far field concentrations are highly variable and are dependent on sea dynamics controlling the accumulation and removal of Tc-99 mass. Transport towards the Irish east coast, and consequently transit times, vary intra- and inter-annually, and depend on the prevailing hydrodynamic conditions resulting from meteorological conditions. The transit times from Sellafield to Balbriggan fall within the wide range of 30-240 days; with summer releases resulting in the shortest transit times. The model also indicated a strong relationship between summer concentration peaks on the east coast of Ireland and the strength of the Western Irish Gyre. Sudden increases of Tc-99 concentrations at Balbriggan coincide with peak of sea surface temperatures when the gyre is strongest and when advection is fastest. The adequacy of the current radionuclide monitoring programme within the western Irish Sea is evaluated, and recommendations are made for the development of a more optimised monitoring programme.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20537687 (Emphasis our own).

The measurement of technetium-99 and iodine-129 in waste water from pressurized nuclear-power reactors., Verrezen F1, Hurtgen C.
Int J Rad Appl Instrum A. 1992 Jan-Feb;43(1-2):61-8.
Author information
The program for measuring the dispersal presence of contaminating nuclides in waste streams produced by pressurized-water-reactor (PWR) power plants required the establishment of analytical procedures for a number of nuclides. In this report the procedure to assess 99Tc and 129I content in liquid samples using liquid-scintillation counting is presented. 99Tc and 129I are adsorbed on AG 1 X2 ion-exchange resin. 129I is then eluted with NaOCl and further purified by liquid-liquid extraction using carbon tetrachloride and an aqueous solution of sodium thiosulphate. 99Tc is eluted with hot nitric acid (6 M/60 degrees C). If necessary any 60Co present in the sample is separated by liquid-liquid extraction of the cobalt-TTA complex with iso-BuOH. The overall recovery yield is 96.5 +/- 2.5% for 99Tc and 90.1 +/- 6.2% for 129I. Finally beta-activity is measured by liquid-scintillation counting. A limit of detection of 5 Bq/L can thus be obtained for both 99Tc and 129I. PMID: 1310304 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] MeSH Terms, Substances
“. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1310304

In an organ like the brain, different topographical regions may vary in their susceptibility to ionizing radiation. The most sensitive area is the brainstem.61

The brain cortex may be less sensitive than the subcortical structures,62 such as the hypothalamus,63 the optic chiasm, and the dorsal medulla.64 Although radiation lesions tend to occur more frequently in brain white matter,65–67 the radiosensitivity of white matter also appears to vary from region to region.62

In this regard, researchers have produced measures of the functional sensitivity of some brain areas and the insensitivity of others.68,69 The activation of behaviors through electrical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus (but not the septal nucleus or substantia nigra) is still possible after 100 Gy.70,71 However, years after clinical irradiations, dysfunction of the hypothalamus remains prominent even without evidence of hypothalamic necrosis.72 Local subcortical changes may exist in the reticular formation and account for radiation- induced hyperexcitability of the brain.73,74 Similarly, postirradiation spike discharges are more likely to be seen in hippocampal electro“. “BEHAVIORAL AND NEURO- PHYSIOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF RADIATION EXPOSURE” ANDRE OBENAUS, PhD*; G. ANDREW MICKLEY, PhD†; VICTOR BOGO, MA‡; BRUCE R. WEST, MS§; and JACOB RABER, PhD: http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/borden/FileDownloadpublic.aspx?docid=2562a36d-571b-4af9-91c5-098947cb57f2

Related: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/alzheimers-disease-and-ionizing-radiation/

Britain was concerned enough about the radiation in the body that it removed organs, causing a scandal:
25 Although Dr Schofield, Dr Lawson or another member of staff from Sellafield commonly attended the post mortem, the organs were actually removed from the body in each case by the pathologist or by a mortuary technician. The analytical process was destructive…”The Redfern Inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities Volume 2: Summary Address of the Honourable the House of Commons dated 16 November 2010 for The Redfern Inquiry into human tissue
analysis in UK nuclear facilities Volume 1: Report Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 16 November 2010

The US Government’s Los Alamos Lab was also concerned about Karen Silkwood’s brain: “Karen Silkwood was buried in the east Texas town of Kilgore after an autopsy was performed in Oklahoma. Some of her organs, including her brain, were removed and taken to the Los Alamos lab for additional testing.” From “Karen Silkwood Case Returns to Haunt Parents : Whistle-blower: The disclosure that Los Alamos lab has had her bone fragments since 1974 outrages family. A worker in a plutonium-processing plant, she died in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter. She had promised to bring proof the plant was unsafe; no documents were in the car.” April 24, 1994 by Laura Tolley. Read the article here: https://web.archive.org/web/20150831011214/http://articles.latimes.com/1994-04-24/local/me-49679_1_los-alamos-national-laboratory-plutonium-processing-plant-whistle-blower

Related: http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/top-stories/federal-judges-toss-state-restrictions-on-nuclear-waste-site-as-too-tough-140922?news=854324