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Wednesday February 26th 2020


A Nuclear Reaction: My response to the potential danger posed by the nuclear reactors in Japan

Post Published: 14 March 2011
Category: Dear Thyroid News
This post currently has 10 responses. Leave a comment

We’ve had tons of discussion within the past day regarding the nuclear reactors in Japan and the potential danger involved. We don’t all agree with each other, and that’s okay.

Yesterday, Dr. Gottfried shared with us some great information on how we can protect our thyroids if we are ever faced with a nuclear disaster. This information is so important and I hope you paid special attention to it. I believe that we need to be as proactive as we can about our health and treatment plans and that means knowing how to protect our bodies, including during a state of emergency. The guidelines shared earlier by Dr. Gottfried regarding potassium iodide are also available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here.

Professional and government agencies (both federal and international) are claiming that the situation with the nuclear reactors in Japan is under control. They are saying the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska, are not in danger and they don’t anticipate these areas will be in danger of receiving harmful levels of radiation. Is the situation really under control? I don’t know. I do know that spokespeople for these agencies and governments are saying “it’s under control” A LOT. That tends to make me think the situation is not entirely under control. We do that with our own health, too, don’t we? If I’m having a bad day and don’t feel well, it’s evident to the people around me. They ask me, “Are you okay?” over and over, and over and over I respond with, “I’M FINE.” But I’m not really “fine.”

Maybe the situation really is under control and maybe we really aren’t in danger of receiving detrimental levels of radiation. I’m not an expert on nuclear reactors. I do firmly believe, however, that WE NEED TO BE PREPARED. We fight for our health every single day. We cry for our voices to be heard. If we want truly want to raise awareness and change the face of thyroid diseases and cancers, we need to be educated and prepared. So I urge you, do what you can to gain as much knowledge as possible about how to protect your thyroid. Then, take that information to your doctor and discuss what changes need to be made to your treatment plan.

Below I’ve included a list of articles from government agencies and news sources regarding the state of the nuclear reactors in Japan, the damage, and the potential risk. Do the reading and formulate your own opinion. Share it with us. Be empowered. Be radical.

Additional reading:

From the U.S. NRC, “NRC sees no radiation at harmful levels reaching U.S. from damaged Japanese nuclear power plants.”

From the Nuclear Energy Institute, “Information on the Japanese and reactors in that region.”

From the International Atomic Energy Agency, “IAEA update on Japan Earthquake.”

From the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, “Seismic Damage Information, 20th release.”

From CNN, “Report: Explosion at another Japanese nuclear reactor building.

From abc News, “Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant: health risks of a meltdown.”

From the Nuclear Power Daily, “California ‘closely monitoring’ Japan nuclear leak.”

The previous article published on multiple news sites, including here and here.

From Way Out West news, “Health officials say radiation from Japan unlikely to be danger to U.S. West Coast.”

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10 Responses to “A Nuclear Reaction: My response to the potential danger posed by the nuclear reactors in Japan”

  1. Katie Schwartz says:

    Joanna – this is absolutely brilliant, perfectly executed and very empowering. I loved every single point you raised.

    Thank you for writing this.


  2. Donna says:


    I agree wholeheartedly with you. I want all the information I can get my hands on and then I will put my critical thinking skills to work and make a decision for myself and my family that works for us. I understand people can be overwhelmed with differing opinions but when it comes to protecting ourselves it is worth weighing the pros and cons of the information presented to us and then choosing the course of action that we take ownership of and are comfortable with. I have made lots of changes to our lifestyle that I hope will benefit my health and the health of those I love. Some may be a little over the top to some and to others maybe not enough. I’m happy to keep adjusting as necessary because my heart is in the right place and there is always something new to consider. I’m open to suggestion, it works for me. It has helped me to learn and improve the quality of my life.

  3. VC says:

    “Dr. Gottfried shared with us some great information on how we can protect our thyroids if we are ever faced with a nuclear disaster.”

    I think we all agreed that we would be much better off to be prepared and educated if we were at risk of that type of exposure. We appreciate the information, to use *if* we ever become faced with that danger.

    But her article told us we were in immediate danger right now, and that a “giant” radioactive cloud was heading toward California and Canada, and we needed to save ourselves right away. That clearly was not true, nor responsible, and there is no way to justify that kind of reporting.

    She changed the wording of her article several hours later, and began using the more appropriate words “possibly” and “may”, but not until many of us were scared out of our wits and began raising concerns.

    I’m also a victim of radiation exposure from the Nevada nuclear test site in 1961, so I am acutely aware of how dangerous an event like this could be. So telling me falsely that there *IS INDEED* a radiation cloud heading right toward me is not appreciated at all; Especially since I have Graves disease and cannot safely take the Potassium Iodide pills she was touting.

    Besides, its true that you can potentially save the thyroid from the RAI destruction by taking the iodine ahead of time, but you can’t save your lungs, your stomach or colon if you inhale radioactive particles. There isn’t an anecdote for that.

    Also — people with thyroid disorders also need to be warned that high iodine is also inflammatory to a thyroid, as well as having the potential to cause many other critical effects – such as thyroid storm or permanent hypO (Google the many articles about “Iodine induced thyrotoxicosis”, and “Thyroid damage from Amiodarone”).

    High doses of iodine (ie: 1 mg and up) should be used appropriately – but only when necessary.

    Thanks for the update and the links.


    • VC, thanks for commenting. I don’t disagree with you and I’m certainly NOT trying to justify anything that anyone else has written on the subject.

      You’re right–there is no evidence that a radiation cloud is heading our way. All the reports I’ve read from government officials indicate that there is no anticipated threat to the United States and Canada. That said, I also don’t think the nuclear reactors in Japan are as stable as some officials are claiming. BUT, I’m not a professional on nuclear reactors.

      The purpose of my response was really to say that we need to do the research ourselves and consult with our doctors to seek the best treatment and wellness plans possible.

  4. Amanda says:

    Excellent Joanna! I missed the whole thing yesterday because I was worried about making cake and cookies! [=baking therapy] Donna is correct also, we need to gather all information offered and come to our own personal decisions. Luckily I have never stopped at reading just one point of view or article on any subject. I am just glad there is enough awareness about thyroid disease that someone started the conversation about “what if?”.


    Thank you!


  5. Scott Rose says:

    Hi Joanna: Excellent post! I’m so skittish, at first when I read where you said we all have to be pro-active, I thought you had said that we all need to be radioactive. But now that I’m clear on the point, I’m just glowing (with happiness).

  6. I personally love the idea of being informative and proactive. My hubby is a nuclear engineer and has been disappointed about the confusing and misinformation on television. Your resources seem quite sound. THANK YOU

  7. Melissa Travis says:

    Wow- great list. YOU are a woman of great courage and insight to do the research and pose it here.
    Thank you gorgeous.
    Way to think- and way to empower!

  8. Linny says:

    Think about the foods that may be contaminated….fish, rice….etc.
    We need to realize the whole big picture! Think about the effects of our ozone on the whole Earth.
    Lead suits for sale?

  9. Ashley says:

    I am a survivor of thyroid cancer. My motto is “I’d rather take one small step to protect my family then to see them go through what I have gone through.” I had thyroid cancer for 4 years and went through 4 surgeries. If I can protect my son (who has a higher risk then most) I will, (whether that means taking a supplement or eating well and exercising.

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