Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear’s nuclear waste watchdog (8:30 in): “Another important thing that is very significant is that the radon is continually resupplied… Radon is going to be constantly generated by the uranium contained in the methane… So really you’ve got a chronic constant supply of hazardous radon gas coming out of this breach in California.”
Cindy Folkers, Beyond Nuclear‘s expert on ionizing radiation (16:00 in): “I’m absolutely astounded that they are not measuring for radon that I know of… I can’t believe that they’re not measuring for radon… [Radon] also decays to a number of what are called radon progeny which includes a number of short-lived radioactive substances, some of which are lead and polonium. Both of those can be very biologically damaging… There is question as to the kind of doses that they would be getting of radon, but it still is really very much a worry… I feel like — doing the research that I’ve done — that we are not getting the full story of what’s happening there.”
Richard Mathews, candidate for California State Senate who studied physics & astronomy at CALTECH (32:00 in): “People are really concerned about this, people are seriously getting sick… Thousands of people are getting sick from this — and it really is a major, major disaster… Methane floats away and spreads around the whole world… All the contaminants that are in with the methane are heavier than the air and that includes… benzene and toluene, hydrogen sulfide — all of those are heavier than air — they tend to stay close to the ground and move downhill. This is happening in the hills above the San Fernando Valley [home to nearly 2 million people] and so the poisons are all moving down into the San Fernando Valley and spreading through the entire San Fernando Valley… As the radon and other substances flow around, they are accumulating. They are not easily blown out of the valley, and we are getting higher and higher levels… The lead is going to be around for decades… The initial lead that you get is radioactive. This will be a continuing problem… It could spread through the entire San Fernando Valley… The damage that the radon does stays in your body… and shows up as cancer a decade after, maybe even 80 years later. So we really need to follow through.”
Terry Lodge, attorney (50:00 in): “You have a massive release, probably, of radon going on — and there may actually also be radium particulate… I’d be taking very rapid steps [if I lived in the area], I’d be running like hell. And the reason is, I suspect that there’s little by way of emergency anticipation — what could possibly go wrong? We have this vast underground storage facility… There are not radiation monitors… the problem is sort of the Three Mile Island problem… the radiation emission went way off the meter… there were no redundant rings, there was no monitoring certain distances outside the plant boundary. You don’t even have that at Porter [Ranch]… They don’t know how much radon is being dispersed… [Radon] can be concentrated by rainfall, concentrated by humidity, and inversions… There needs to be some type of soil sampling… air, and all that… So the problem is that radon is around in the Porter Ranch situation — nobody’s prepared for it. They’re not talking about it now — this may months into the crisis.”
Listen to full interviews on podcast.