Chernobyl - is Lake District water safe

Discussion in 'Hydration, Hygiene & Health' started by PhilHo, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    I remember a few years ago there was a ban on sale of meat from an area of the Lake District because of the radio active plume from the Chernobyl disaster. I've not heard otherwise and have always assumed that the water was now safe to drink but haven't seen any confirmation of this anywhere- have you?
  2. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    A few years ago being 1986. ;)
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  3. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    I’ve been drinking the water and I don’t glow in the dark :D

    Seriously, any radioactive fallout would decay pretty quickly and get washed out.
  4. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    I once got a lift off a guy up near Ennerdale who had translucent skin. He told me he'd been doing groundwork up to his knees in ditchwater just outside the Windscale perimeter fence when two guys in spacesuits wandered by inside the perimeter fence. He said the geiger counter they were carrying was crackling merrily away to itself.
    Robin likes this.
  5. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    A quick Google shows that sheep movement restrictions continued until 2012 and 50% of the radiation found predated Chernobyl. I'm starting to think that maybe people who are not white, middle aged men are wise to avoid the place.

    "I think a lot of Cumbrian farmers had their eyes opened when it was discovered that only 50% of the radiation on the hills came from Chernobyl. Some of the stuff was there long before May 1986” she says.

    Indeed, scientists confirmed that radioactive contamination of the fells was not confined to Chernobyl but that much of it came from global nuclear bomb testing, the Windscale Fire of 1957 and routine discharges from Windscale, now Sellafield, in the 1960s and 1970s. Allis-Smith cites an aerial survey revealed the Ravenglass Estuary was contaminated by radioactive discharges from Sellafield long before Chernobyl dumped on us."
    Taz38 likes this.
  6. Bmblbzzz

    Bmblbzzz Trail Blazer

    Depends what it is. Isotopes of caesium have half lives from less than an hour to 2.3 million years.

    As PhilHo points out, most of the sources of radioactivity in Lake District water and soil also affect whatever you're eating and drinking now. Which doesn't necessarily make it wise to add extra sources, nor to get scared with only the 'information' of a few random internet bods.
  7. OwenM

    OwenM Ultralighter

    I think there's a grave danger that if you drink water from the Lakes today you could well be dead in 70 years time.
    Robin likes this.
  8. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    Surely the real question should be "Is Lake District water safe for mainly white, mainly middle‐class ramblers old enough to remember Chernobyl as something other than a TV show?" :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::wacky:
    Heltrekker, Gordon, Robin and 4 others like this.
  9. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    Drank it before that leak and after and I’m ok :roflmao: Don’t forget the 45 gallon drums of waste they dumped out in the Irish Sea,before my time but 50 too mid 60 s.
  10. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Samples of mud taken from the riverbank at Muncaster castle had to be disposed of as 'intermediate nuclear waste'. The guy with the translucent skin told me a sheep farmer in Ennerdale who butched his own sheep had his freezers inspected and was told the meat had to be destroyed because of Chernobyl fallout. One of them contained meat butched before Chernobyl occurred....
  11. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    Heard similar and maybe worse as I was working in an Agicultural engineer spot at the time
  12. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I did a wee project on radioactivity in the environment back in Uni. - just a few decades ago …. :whistling:.
    From memory - at that time the Russians had done most of the work in this field - that may have changed.
    In short radio active Caesium and Strontium are the main radioactive elements to be concerned about. They contaminate the soil and get taken up preferentialy by plants - eaten by cows/sheep and get concentrated at the top of the food chain - especially in milk and dairy produce. Hence why milk produced in the LD was disposed of, for so long after Whinscale and Chernobyl incidents.
    What the levels of radiation are now I don't know ?
    However, I think drinking the water is probably less hazardous than consuming animal products produced in the LD. :)
    Enzo likes this.
  13. Bmblbzzz

    Bmblbzzz Trail Blazer

    As a total aside, I recently learned that the people now living in the Zone around Chernobyl are not only elderly, homesick returnee villagers but also refugees from the post-Soviet wars in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Radiation is less scary and less obviously deadly than war.
  14. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    How time flies.... :jawdrop:
  15. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    I'm nominating your post for an Award at the end of the year... :p:thumbsup:
  16. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    I'm Still grinning like the dog who caught the dropped steak at the gala :biggrin::D:biggrin::D:thumbsup:
  17. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

  18. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Do you take it or put it in the water?
  19. Diddi

    Diddi Thru Hiker

    I'd be more concerned with the crap they put in your toothpaste and decaf coffee than lovely fresh Lakeland spring water ..:hungry:
    Chiseller likes this.
  20. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Or Smart water lol
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  21. Diddi

    Diddi Thru Hiker

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
    Robin likes this.
  22. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Probably more exposure just living in Aberdeen for a stretch (or Cornwall).
  23. Bmblbzzz

    Bmblbzzz Trail Blazer

    It was widely believed by people living around Chernobyl that vodka would help flush radioactivity out of your system. Soldiers sent in on clean-up duties were issued with 100ml a day. I'm not sure if there's any truth in this belief, but it's easy to see other reasons why you'd give workers in the Zone a vodka ration.
  24. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    The area around Trawsfynydd always makes me think twice about collecting water. On a summit camp last year, there were 3 sheep near my tent with what looked like tumours.

    However, I don't worry much and it doesn't stop me.

    I live in an area with high levels of Radon, am surounded by open nuclear waste dumps, spend a lot of time on Granite roads, fly, eat Salmon and Reindeer. I have no doubts that I'm highly radioactive myself.

    A nuclear physisist once told me never to get a Geiger counter, they kill you with worry quicker than the radiation does.
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  25. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    If you
    Just don't measure bananas with one
    Couple of kg bananas will set the meter needle wagging like my dogs tail when i get her lead out
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