How to protect your garden patch or field against radioactive fall-out
Do you own a garden, a patch of land, a field where you plant, esp. for human food or animal feed? Then you should prepare against letting the radioactive fall-out from Japan into your soil, where it will remain and contaminate your plants and e.g. livestock for probably decades.
Here’s the advice I already gave to people back in 1986 after the Chernobyl incident …
… the nuclear catastrophe in the Ukraine and affecting Belarus (both in the former Soviet Union) which still is responsible for large-scale contamination in most of Europe and parts of Asia, has driven a tribe herding reindeer in Finland, the Sámi, from their pastures into a life on the dole, has wild boars in some parts of Europe regularly culled due to high radiation and rendered mushrooms inedible in many areas to this day, twenty-five years after the fall-out and thousands of miles away from its source.
What you can do, and can do even if some fall-out has already been deposited to prevent it from getting worse:
- Buy cheap foil and cover your garden/lawn/any open soil that’s yours whenever the weather report advises your area of coming rain.
Then the water can’t get into the soil, hence also not the airborne radioactive fall-out.
- Then after each rain is over try and roll up the foil (so that it doesn’t break) and try and drive the water over to one side preferably where it will flow into a sewer, at least try and concentrate it in one spot. If after the rain the foil is too heavy to lift, consider making a hole in one place to let the water out in one particular spot, then use this spot for flowers only, clearly marked and do not plant vegetables or any food at least a few yards around it – it still helps lowering the radiation dose by, say, 90% for the remainder of your garden. Cover again when rain is expected. Dust in dry weather will also leave its marks but consider the damage by leaving the ground covered for too long – in case of radioactive fall-out there’s never an easy solution – the mistake was already made when a nuclear power station was commissioned.
- If airborne iodine-131 is the problem, it will decay after a few weeks to minimal amounts. Airborne caesium and other radioactive aerosols mostly are highly soluble salts which will eventually make their rounds into the rest of your grounds by diffusion.
The case of caesium-137 with a half-life of over 30 years is different from iodine-131. It’ll dissipate again into the rest of your patch so if you have caesium in the air you should try and get rid of that water for good, e.g. into the nearest sewer.
But still, even if it seeped into just one spot it will not “branch out” equally and evenly into all your top soil, rather it will be washed into the ground in a “reverse funnel” shape so that even concentrating it in one or several spots which you mark clearly for later reference (take photographs!) will lower radiation from soluble deposits with longer half-lives extremely for many, many years. 10% or less ist still much better than 100% – it’s like you were living hundreds of miles further off from the source!
Your overall exposition to radiation from these sources you just prevented will be fractions of what it would have been otherwise.
- Lift the cover in between rain showers to let your plants and soil “breathe”, don’t leave it on all the time or you risk rot. However, better lose this year’s planting if you can’t afford to lift the foil every so often or if it were too large or heavy than risk a longer term radioactive contamination.
Secure with stones etc. against wind.
- Consider planting indoors this year and read e.g. Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri’s tips on planting indoors this year on Food Freedom – a blog you consider visiting in any case if you’re into planting and healthy food.
And if you have radioactivity in your tap water read how to cope with this one.
Maybe someone wants to help with translations into Japanese and other languages?