Fukushima Radiation in the Ecosystem, North American West Coast

Fukushima Radiation in the Ecosystem, North American West Coast

 

It is not our aim to create fear over this Global Catastrophe … 

 

Will be updating this post with more Scientific links!

 

For most of us, it’s a question of what/who, is to be believed.

 

Some of the following is dubious/alarmist, from what I have personally learned or has been brought to my attention …

 

 

- John Malloy, The Canadian

 

 

Three nuclear energy experts (Scott PortzlineArnie Gundersen, and Kevin Kamps) in separate hours, discussed the status of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the cover-ups of scientific data, as well as general issues about nuclear power, and nuclear waste. Last week there was a spate of false reports about Fukushima’s Unit 3 having new radiation plumes of steam coming from it, and that people living on the West Coast should prepare to evacuate, Portzline detailed. While this was a hoax, the climate of uncertainty around Fukushima has been created by the lack of truth from TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), as well as the US government, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, he commented. “In my opinion, Fukushima is a level 8 on the international nuclear event scale, (the levels normally only go up to 7),” as there are multiple sources of radiation, and the situation requires international assistance and monitoring, Portzline continued.

Gundersen concurred on the direness of the Fukushima situation– in contrast to Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, the “spigot” isn’t turned off yet, and radiation continues to leak into the Pacific Ocean. Fish are picking up extraordinarily high levels of radioactive materials, and Gundersen said he would not eat fish that comes from the West Coast. In Japan, “the epidemiological data that will develop over the next 30 years [will show that] somewhere between 100,000 and 1 million new cancers will develop as a result of this,” but the nuclear industry can hide behind the fact that a high percentage of people get cancer anyway, he pointed out. Gunderson stressed the importance of stopping the groundwater contamination, and suggested building a trench of zeolite to absorb the radiation surrounding the plant.

Kamps cited that 72,000 gallons a day of radioactively contaminated water is flowing into the ocean, and that really adds up over nearly three years of time since the accident. Making matters works, Unit 4 at Fukushima could be on the brink of collapse, he added. Some countries such as Germany are phasing out nuclear power entirely after the lessons of Fukushima and Chernobyl, he said. As an alternative, wind power has a lot of potential to be tapped, and the first offshore floating wind turbines were just installed in the Gulf of Maine, which could provide as much electricity as five atomic reactors, Kamps asserted.

via … Coast To Coast

Beyond Nuclear on Thom Hartmann: “Military poisoned by Fukushima radiation”

 

On Thursday evening, Jan. 2nd, Thom Hartmann hosted Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps on his television program, in a segment entitled “Military poisoned by Fukushima radiation,” to discuss the apparent radiation sickness and maladies suffered by sailors who served on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, which was anchored just a mile or two downwind and downstream from Fukushima Daiichi in Japan during the first, worst days of the catastrophe. Arnie Gundersen at Fairewinds Energy Education has commented on the sick sailors in apodcast. The re-launching of the lawsuit, brought by 71 sick (half with various cancers) Reagan crew men and women against Tokyo Electric Power Company, comes after the recent exposé by theTampa Bay Times about sick U.S. Navy sailors who were ordered to dump radioactive wastes, over the course of 15 years, into the Atlantic Ocean, a half-century ago, aboard the Calhoun County.

 

 

 UPDATED: January 5, 2014This shocking video was taken December 23rd 2013 with a quality Geiger Counter south of Pacifica State Beach (Surfers Beach) California.Background radiation reading is 30 CPM. Near the ocean it’s 150 CPM. The moister coming from the ocean waves seems to be what makes the Geiger Counter jump up 5X. This is not normal at all. More thorough readings need to be done. Where is the useless government/media? Thanks to rense.com for originally publishing this video.Location:https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=Half+Mo…Geiger Counter used:http://www.geigercounters.com/Inspect…Original video source and info:http://www.rense.com/general96/radiat…Radio interview about this video (excellent info):http://rense.gsradio.net:8080/rense/s…Massive starfish deaths on West Coast:http://www.naturalnews.com/043271_sta…http://www.news1130.com/2013/12/30/st…All sardines gone from West Coast of BC:http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Su…Bald eagles dying in Western US:http://enenews.com/high-alert-mystery…Unprecedented declines in Alaska and BC salmon:http://enenews.com/newspaper-is-fukus…Real-time radiation monitoring for North America:http://www.radiationnetwork.comNOTE: The Radiation Network website, for example, uses a threshold warning level of 100 CPM, mainly because it is unusual to observe levels of 100 or higher without something more going on in the area than just background level.From the Inspector Geiger Counter’s user manual: “CPM (or CPS) and total counts are the most direct methods of measurement; mR/hr (or uSv/hr) is calculated using a conversion factor optimized for Cesium-137, so this mode is less accurate for other radionuclides, unless you have calibrated the “geiger counter” for a specific radionuclide using an appropriate source. It is more appropriate to measure alpha and beta activity using CPM than using mR/hr. Conversion for alpha and beta emitters is calcuated differently, and the “geiger counters” reading in mR/hr may not be accurate.” 

As the prestigious scientific journal Nature notes: Shortly after a massive tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March, an unmanned monitoring station on the outskirts of Takasaki, Japan, logged a rise in radiation levels. Within 72 hours, scientists had analysed samples taken from the air and transmitted their analysis to Vienna, Austria — the headquarters of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), an international body set up to monitor nuclear weapons tests. It was just the start of a flood of data collected about the accident by the CTBTO’s global network of 63 radiation monitoring stations. In the following weeks, the data were shared with governments around the world, but not with academics or the public. The attempted cover up of the severity of the Fukushima disaster is nothing new. Governments have been covering up nuclear meltdowns for 50 years, and the basic design for nuclear reactors was not chosen for safety, but because it worked on Navy submarines … and produced plutonium for the military. (Indeed, the government’s response to every crisis appears to be to try to cover it up; and see this.) Today, Yomiuri Shinbun reports (Google translation) that the U.S. knew within days that Fukushima had melted down:

The subject of evacuating the US citizens was raised in the early hours on March 16 (local time). The US … already knew about the unusually high temperature of the reactors from the Global Hawk data, and determined that “the fuel has already melted”. *** The US high-ranking officials wanted to evacuate the US citizens [Tokyo] but the local officials including Maher objected, as “it would severely undermine the US-Japan alliance” (The Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial aircraft).

 

Fairewinds has fielded a number of questions regarding the removal of the fuel rods from the spent fuel pool in Unit 4 at Fukushima Daiichi. Today’s video shows Arnie debunking TEPCO’s animated film point by point, and highlights the issues TEPCO will have removing the fuel rods. TEPCO needs to be removed as the organization overseeing the cleanup of the site prior to the removal of the fuel rods.

 

  Around 300 tons of highly radioactive water has been flooding into the pacific ocean on a daily basis for the last 2 years… Tepco only admitted recently. I am still trying to make sense of that information, the blatant cover up and the almost suicidal lack of action on the part of the Japanese government. – Gough Lewis

 

FAQ: Radiation from Fukushima

 

Special Thanks to Dr. Ken Buesseler, Senior Scientist in Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

 

Where can people go for reliable information?

Here are some other links I have passed to others. Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Leak: What You Should Know http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130807-fukushima-radioactive-water-leak/ Latest Radioactive Leak at Fukushima: How Is It Different? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130821-fukushima-latest-leak-how-is-it-different/ See also following article from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (w/ links to many others) http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=167749&sectionid=1000 From the special issue of Oceanus Magazine devoted to the cause and impacts of Fukushima: http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/series/fukushima Consider supporting our new Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity and check out CMER public education links, such as ABCs of radioactivity http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=119836

What is the state of fisheries off Japan and along U.S. West Coast?

The coastal fisheries remain closed in Japan near Fukushima, where there is a concern for some species, especially the bottom dwelling ones, which are being tested and many have been found to be above the Japanese government’s strict limits for cesium in seafood. These contaminated fish are not being sold internally in Japan or exported. Because of the dilution that occurs even a short distance from Fukushima, we do not have a concern about the levels of cesium and other radionuclides in fish off the West Coast of the U.S. More about the state of Japanese fisheries (pdf).

Are fish such as tuna that might have been exposed to radiation from Fukushima safe to eat?

Seawater everywhere contains many naturally occurring radionuclides, the most common being polonium-210. As a result, fish caught in the Pacific and elsewhere already have measurable quantities of these substances. Most fish do not migrate far from home, which is why fisheries off Fukushima remain closed. But some species, such as the Pacific bluefin tuna, can swim long distances and could pick up cesium in their feeding grounds off Japan. However, cesium is a salt taken up by the flesh that will begin to flush out of an exposed fish soon after they enter waters less affected by Fukushima. By the time tuna are caught in the eastern Pacific, cesium levels in their flesh are 10-20 times lower than when they were off Fukushima. Moreover, the dose from Fukushima cesium is considered insignificant relative to the dose from naturally occurring polonium-210, which was 1000 times higher in fish samples studied, and both of these are much lower relative to other, more common sources, such as dental x-rays. More about the dose and associated risk (pdf) of radiation from Fukushima to marine life and humans. via … whoi.edu

Video: David Suzuki’s Fukushima Warning

 

UPDATED: November 4/2013 – David Suzuki has a scary warning about Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, indicating that if it falls in a long term earthquake, it’s “bye bye Japan” and the complete west coast of North America should really be evacuated. The “Character of Factors” host designed the responses in a converse posted to YouTube soon after he joined Dr. David Schindler for “Letting in the Light,” a symposium on drinking water ecology held at the College of Alberta on Oct. 30 and 31. An excerpt of the talk demonstrates Suzuki outlining a scary circumstance that would end result from the destruction of the nuclear plant. “Fukushima is the most terrifying predicament I can consider,” he stated. “3 out of the four crops were being wrecked in the earthquake and in the tsunami. The fourth a single has been so terribly destroyed that the anxiety is, if there is certainly another earthquake of a seven or above that, that creating will go and then all hell breaks free. “And the probability of a 7 or earlier mentioned earthquake in the up coming 3 many years is around 95 per cent.” Suzuki claimed that an worldwide workforce of authorities demands to go into the Fukushima plant and aid fix the challenge, but reported the Japanese federal government has “much too considerably pride to confess that.” “I have noticed a paper which suggests that if in point the fourth plant goes less than in an earthquake and those people rods are exposed, it is really bye bye Japan and everybody on the west coastline of North America should really evacuate,” he stated. “If that isn’t really terrifying, I will not know what is.” Suzuki’s warning came as radiation from the Fukushima plant has been detected in northern Alaska and along the west coast, CBC Information documented. Radiation in Alaskan waters could arrive at Chilly War degrees, mentioned Douglas Dasher, a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, while John Kelley, a professor emeritus at the exact college, would not seem as particular that it will arrive at unsafe degrees for humans. “The facts they will have to have is not only earlier details but current info, and if no one particular is sampling everything then we will not likely truly know it, will we,” he told the community. Read More: Article Source   ☢ Japan Needs Worldwide Help NOW! ☢ Fukushima Petitions to Sign & Share! ☢ Impossible is Not and Option ☢ Failure is Not an Option We need a worldwide consortium made up of experts in the field to start brainstorming solutions to what is happening in Fukushima and what can be done to FIX it. We need them NOW. The consequences could be the extinction of all life on earth. It is past time to do this. Japan is calling for help and they can not handle it alone.

 

Despite Fukushima, scientists say eating West Coast fish is safe Updated October 11/13 Following Japan’s devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, fear spread about risks of leaked radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant – for the health of those living in or near Fukushima or involved in cleanup efforts, and for the planet and the potential impacts on our complex marine food web.

Shunichi Tanaka, head of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, told reporters radioactive water has likely been leaking into the Pacific Ocean since the disaster hit. It’s the largest single contribution of radionuclides to the marine environment ever observed, according to one report. With 300 tonnes of contaminated water pouring into the sea every day, Japan’s government finally acknowledged the urgency of the situation in September. Social media is now abuzz with people swearing off fish from the Pacific Ocean. Given the lack of information around containment efforts, some may find this reasonable. But preliminary research shows fish caught off Canada’s Pacific Coast are safe to eat. It will take about three years from the time of the incident for the radiation plume to reach the West Coast, which would be early next year. Recent testing of migratory fish, including tissue samples collected from Pacific bluefin tuna caught off the California coast, assessed radiation levels and potential effects on marine food webs far away from Japan. Trace amounts of radioisotopes from the Fukushima plant were found, although the best available science puts them at levels below those naturally occurring in the environment around us. Natural, or background radiation, is found in many sources, including food items, medical treatments and air travel. The most comprehensive health assessment, by the World Health Organization, concludes radioactive particles that make their way to North America’s waters will have a limited effect on human health, with concentrations predicted to be below WHO safety levels. More reports are in the works. The UN agency charged with assessing global levels and consequences of ionizing radiation will present its findings to the UN General Assembly this month. This is where we may find answers about the amount of radioactive material released, how it was dispersed and any repercussions for the environment and food sources. The ocean is vast and dynamic with many complexities we don’t fully understand. It appears two currents off Japan’s coast — the Kuroshio Current and Kurushio Extension — diluted radioactive material to below WHO safety levels within the first four months of the disaster. Eddies and giant whirlpools, some tens of kilometres wide, continue the dilution and will direct radioactive particles to coastal areas for at least two decades. Fish from the water near the crippled plant are not faring so well. High levels of cesium-134, a radioactive isotope that decays rapidly, were found in fish samples there. Radiation levels in the sea around Japan have been holding steady and not falling as expected, further demonstrating that radiation leakage is not under control. At least 42 fish species from the immediate area are considered unsafe for consumption, and fisheries there remain closed. New concerns continue to arise. While the initial leak contained cesium isotopes, water flowing into the ocean from the plant now appears to be higher in strontium-90, a radioactive substance that is absorbed differently. While cesium tends to go in and out of the body quickly, strontium heads for the bones. A huge accumulation of radioactive water at the plant must be dealt with immediately. Determining the full effects of years of exposure to lower levels of radioactive contamination leaking into the ocean will take time and require continued monitoring and assessment. While Health Canada monitors radionuclide levels in food sold in Canada, and one of its studies incorporates samples from Vancouver, we need to remain vigilant and demand timely monitoring results. Any amount of leaked radiation is harmful to the planet and the health of all species, including humans. A major release of radioactivity, such as that from Fukushima, is a huge concern, with unknowns remaining around long-term health risks such as cancers. That doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to eat all fish caught on the Pacific West Coast. I’m taking a precautionary approach: fish will stay part of my diet, as long as they’re caught locally and sustainably, and will remain so until new research gives me pause to reconsider. Written by David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Communications Specialist Theresa Beer.

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Arnie Gundersen Here is a brief wrap up on what I think is the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Three reactor cores have escaped out of the containment. Nobody knows where this glowing hot stuff is. Thousands of tons of groundwater are passing through the highly radioactive melted “corium” every day. Some of that is being captured by TEPCO and put into an endlessly growing tank farm. The rest is leaking into the Pacific Ocean. In August TEPCO admitted it was missing 300 tons of highly radioactive water from one of it’s tanks. You see, they only had two men checking all those tanks, which are hastily built (and not ready for any earthquake). The people checking the tanks did not even wear a dosimiter, so there is no way of knowing how much radiation they were exposed to. Now with the leak exposed, TEPCO has promised more inspectors. It’s a joke. This Japanese utility, as Arnie Gundersen tells us, is a nuclear plant operator (and not a very good one) – not a world-class engineering firm. Plus, they have gone more or less bankrupt, and don’t have the budget to handle this situation. Finally, after a lot more press and international concern, the Japanese government is going to add more fund, but not much more, because they are broke too. If these tanks rupture in a big way, or if the fuel rod storage ponds suspended in the damaged building Four at Fukushima Daiichi collapse, the whole Northern Hemisphere will be bathed in radiation. Surely this is an international issue which requires a huge response. But both our media and our governments are downplaying the risk. What a joke that Tokyo, which was bathed in radiation that will last at least 50 years (during the March 2011 accident) was awarded the Olympics! Tokyo, the city that shines at night! If there is a major leak at Fukushima, Tokyo will be evacuated by 2020 anyway. Even during the 2011 accident, the government considered evacuating the city. Continue reading … www.ecoshock.info    Fukushima residents question radiation cleanup effort   UPDATE: September 23/13 … Across much of Fukushima’s rolling green countryside they descend on homes like antibodies around a virus, men wielding low-tech tools against a very modern enemy: radiation. Power hoses, shovels and mechanical diggers are used to scour toxins that rained down from the sky 30 months ago. The job is exhausting, expensive and, according to some, doomed to failure. Today, a sweating four-man crew wearing surgical masks and boiler suits labours in 32 degree heat at the home of Hiroshi Saito, 71, and his wife Terue, 68. Their aim is to bring down average radiation around this home from approximately 3 to 1.5 microsieverts per hour.

“My youngest grandchild has never been here,” he says, because radiation levels in this hilly part of the municipality remain several times above what they were before the accident. Since 2011, the family reunites in Soma, around 20 km away. For a few days during March 2011, after a string of explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant roughly 25 kilometers to the south, rain and snow laced with radiation fell across this area. It contaminated thousands of acres of rich farming land and forests. More than 160,000 people nearest the plant were ordered to evacuate. The Saito’s home is a few kilometres outside the 20-km compulsory evacuation zone, but like thousands of others, they left voluntarily. When they returned two weeks later their neat, two-story country house appeared undamaged, but it was covered in an invisible poison only detectable with beeping Geiger counters. Nobody knows for certain how dangerous the radiation is. via … www.cbc.ca

High radiation readings found at Fukushima tanks

UPDATE: September 1/13 – The operator of Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant said Saturday it had found new radiation hotspots near tanks storing toxic water, with one reading peaking at 1,800 millisieverts per hour—a potentially lethal dose. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) detected high radiation readings at four sites around the tanks although none of the containers showed any visible fall in their water levels, according to a statement reported by two Japanese news agencies. Last week the plant operator admitted 300 tons of toxic water had seeped out of one of the vast containers—one of around 1,000 on the site—before anyone had noticed. The spill, which sparked fears the toxic water may have seeped into the nearby ocean, was categorized as a Level 3 event, making it the single most serious incident since three reactors went into meltdown after being swamped by a 2011 earthquake-sparked tsunami. The latest radiation hotspots were discovered during daily inspections on Saturday at three tanks and one pipe connecting the containers to the crippled plant, the Kyodo news agency reported. Although it was unclear if the hotspots indicated a fresh spill of toxic water, traces of water leak measuring 230 millisieverts per hour were found below the pipe, the agency added. At the time of last week’s discovered leak the plant operator said the radioactivity of the puddles was around 100 millisieverts per hour. Jiji news agency said the highest reading of 1,800 millisieverts per hour was found at one of the tanks, adding that exposure to that level for four hours would be fatal to humans. The other readings measured between 70 and 230 millisieverts, the agency added. A TEPCO official said the operator could not rule out the possibility of new leaks of radioactive water at the four sites, the agency reported, adding that the operator had not noticed a decline in water levels inside the tanks. via … www.japantoday.com   UPDATE: August 28/13 – Japan’s nuclear regulator has upgraded the rating of a leak of radiation-contaminated water at its tsunami-hit nuclear plant to a “serious incident” on an international scale, Belfast Telegraph said. The Nuclear Regulation Authority originally gave a Level 1 rating – an “anomaly” – to the August 19 leak of 300 tons (80,000 gallons) of water from a tank at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Last week it proposed raising that to Level 3 – a “serious incident” – and it made that change after consulting the International Atomic Energy Agency. The ratings are designed to inform the international community, and changing them does not affect efforts to clean up the leak by the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). The 2011 Fukushima disaster itself was rated the maximum of 7 on the IAEA’s International Nuclear and Radiological Events Scale, the same as the 1986 Chernobyl accident. Tepco has recovered some of the water that leaked from the tank but says some of it may have reached the sea through a rainwater gutter. Tepco has built hundreds of tanks to hold radioactive water, some of which is ground water that made its way to the plant, but hundreds more tons of contaminated water are believed to be entering the sea each day.

 

Fukushima radiation set to hit the U.S. by 2014

Fortunately, it should be harmless

Unless you were one of the 160,000 thousand people in the near vicinity of the Fukushima disaster who evacuated their homes in 2011, the ongoing nuclear crisis on Japan’s shore can seem awfully far away. It’s worth remembering, though, that the radioactive waste leaking from the plant has been making its way into the Pacific Ocean, and from there, to the rest of the world. According to new research from the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, the radioactive ocean plume from the original disaster will reach the west coast of the U.S. by 2014, 3 years after it was first released. Although there will be a “measurable increase in radioactive materials,” by that point they will be diluted far below the safety levels set by the World Health Organization. So there are no immediate health concerns associated with the plume’s arrival. But it’s important to understand how pollutants are carried throughout the world’s oceans, especially since Japan is still trying to figure out what to do with its 132 Olympic pools worth of radioactive water. The researchers behind this new study have developed a web simulation that helps visualize ocean drift … via …  www.salon.com

 

UPDATE: June 28/13 – Japan’s nuclear regulator has upgraded the rating of a leak of radiation-contaminated water at its tsunami-hit nuclear plant to a “serious incident” on an international scale, Belfast Telegraph said.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority originally gave a Level 1 rating – an “anomaly” – to the August 19 leak of 300 tons (80,000 gallons) of water from a tank at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Last week it proposed raising that to Level 3 – a “serious incident” – and it made that change after consulting the International Atomic Energy Agency. The ratings are designed to inform the international community, and changing them does not affect efforts to clean up the leak by the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). The 2011 Fukushima disaster itself was rated the maximum of 7 on the IAEA’s International Nuclear and Radiological Events Scale, the same as the 1986 Chernobyl accident. Tepco has recovered some of the water that leaked from the tank but says some of it may have reached the sea through a rainwater gutter. Tepco has built hundreds of tanks to hold radioactive water, some of which is ground water that made its way to the plant, but hundreds more tons of contaminated water are believed to be entering the sea each day. via …  panarmenian.net

Radioactive Bluefin Tuna Caught Off California Coast

 

Every bluefin tuna tested in the waters off California has shown to be contaminated with radiation that originated in Fukushima. Every single one. Over a year ago, in May of 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported on a Stanford University study. Daniel Madigan, a marine ecologist who led the study, was quoted as saying, “The tuna packaged it up (the radiation) and brought it across the world’s largest ocean. We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured.”

Another member of the study group, Marine biologist Nicholas Fisher at Stony Brook University in New York State reported, “We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium 134 and cesium 137.” That was over a year ago. The fish that were tested had relatively little exposure to the radioactive waste being dumped into the ocean following the nuclear melt-through that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March of 2011. Since that time, the flow of radioactive contaminants dumping into the ocean has continued unabated. Fish arriving at this juncture have been swimming in contaminants for all of their lives. Radioactive cesium doesn’t sink to the sea floor, so fish swim through it and ingest it through their gills or by eating organisms that have already ingested it. It is a compound that does occur naturally in nature, however, the levels of cesium found in the tuna in 2012 had levels 3 percent higher than is usual. Measurements for this year haven’t been made available, or at least none that I have been able to find. I went looking for the effects of ingesting cesium. This is what I found: When contact with radioactive cesium occurs, which is highly unlikely, a person can experience cell damage due to radiation of the cesium particles. Due to this, effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding may occur. When the exposure lasts a long time, people may even lose consciousness. Coma or even death may then follow. How serious the effects are depends upon the resistance of individual persons and the duration of exposure and the concentration a person is exposed to. The half life of cesium 134 is 2.0652 years. For cesium 137, the half life is 30.17 years … via … samuel-warde.com

Radioactive water at Fukushima creeps toward Pacific

 

Deep beneath Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station, a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant’s reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the Pacific. Now, more than two years later, experts fear it is about to reach the ocean and greatly worsen what is fast becoming a new crisis at Fukushima: the inability to contain vast quantities of radioactive water.

The looming crisis is potentially far greater than the discovery earlier this week of a leak from a tank that stores contaminated water used to cool the reactor cores. That 300-ton leak is the fifth and most serious from a tank since the March 2011 disaster, when three of the plant’s reactors melted down after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant’s power and cooling functions. But experts believe the underground seepage from the reactor and turbine building area is much bigger and possibly more radioactive, confronting the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., with an invisible, chronic problem and few viable solutions. Many also believe it is another example of how TEPCO has repeatedly failed to acknowledge problems that it could almost certainly have foreseen — and taken action to mitigate before they got out of control.

Fishing ban continues

It remains unclear what the impact of the contamination on the environment will be because the radioactivity will be diluted as it spreads farther into the sea. Most fishing in the area is already banned, but fishermen in nearby Iwaki City had been hoping to resume test catches next month following favorable sampling results. Those plans have been scrapped after news of the latest tank leak. “Nobody knows when this is going to end,” said Masakazu Yabuki, a veteran fisherman in Iwaki, just south of the plant, where scientists say contaminants are carried by the current. “We’ve suspected (leaks into the ocean) from the beginning… TEPCO is making it very difficult for us to trust them.” To keep the melted nuclear fuel from overheating, TEPCO has rigged a makeshift system of pipes and hoses to funnel water into the broken reactors. The radioactive water is then treated and stored in the above ground tanks that have now developed leaks. But far more leaks into the reactor basements during the cooling process — then through cracks into the surrounding earth and groundwater. via …  www.cbc.ca

 

11 Facts About The Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Holocaust That Are Almost Too Horrifying To Believe

 

Is Fukushima the greatest environmental disaster of all time?  Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean.  The radioactive material that is being released will outlive all of us by a very wide margin, and it is constantly building up in the food chain. Nobody knows for sure how many people will eventually develop cancer and other health problems as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but some experts are not afraid to use the word “billions”. It has been well over two years since the original disaster, and now they are telling us that it could take up to 40 more years to clean it up.  It is a nightmare of unimaginable proportions, and there is nowhere in the northern hemisphere that you will be able to hide from it.  The following are 11 facts about the ongoing Fukushima nuclear holocaust that are almost too horrifying to believe… #1 It is estimated that there are 1,331 used nuclear fuel rods that need to be removed from Fukushima.  Because of all of the damage that has taken place, computer-guided removal of the rods will not be possible.  Manual removal is much riskier, and it is absolutely essential that the removal of each of the 1,331 rods goes perfectly because a single mistake could potentially lead to a nuclear chain reaction. #2 According to Reuters, the combined amount of cesium-137 contained in those nuclear fuel rods is 14,000 times greater than what was released when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.  Other estimates put this number far higher. #3 Officials in Japan admit that 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima is entering the Pacific Ocean every 24 hours. #4 According to a professor at Tokyo University, 3 gigabecquerels of cesium-137 are flowing into the port at Fukushima Daiichi every single day… Yoichiro Tateiwa, NHK reporter: [Professor Jota] Kanda argues government statistics don’t add up. He says a daily leakage of 300 tons doesn’t explain the current levels of radiation in the water. Jota Kanda, Tokyo University professor: According to my research there are now 3 gigabecquerels [3 billion becquerels] of cesium-137 flowing into the port at Fukushima Daiichi every day. But for the 300 tons of groundwater to contain this much cesium-137, one liter of groundwater has to contain 10,000 becquerels of the radioactive isotope. NHK: Kanda’s research and monitoring by Tepco puts the amount of cesium-137 in the groundwater around the plant at several hundred becquerels per liter at most. He’s concluded that radioactive isotope is finding another way to get into the ocean. He’s calling on the government and Tepco to identify contamination routes other than groundwater. #5 According to Tepco, a total of somewhere between 20 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have gotten into the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima disaster first began. #6 Something is causing fish along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.  Could Fukushima be responsible? #7 150 former sailors and Marines say that they now have radiation sickness as a result of serving on U.S. Navy ships near Fukushima and they are suing for damages. #8 The Iodine-131, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 that are constantly coming from Fukushima are going to affect the health of those living the the northern hemisphere for a very, very long time. Just check out what Harvey Wasserman had to say recently…

Iodine-131, for example, can be ingested into the thyroid, where it emits beta particles (electrons) that damage tissue. A plague of damaged thyroids has already been reported among as many as 40 percent of the children in the Fukushima area. That percentage can only go higher. In developing youngsters, it can stunt both physical and mental growth. Among adults it causes a very wide range of ancillary ailments, including cancer. Cesium-137 from Fukushima has been found in fish caught as far away as California. It spreads throughout the body, but tends to accumulate in the muscles. Strontium-90’s half-life is around 29 years. It mimics calcium and goes to our bones.

#9 It is believed that the Fukushima nuclear facility originally contained a whopping 1760 tons of nuclear material. #10 It is being projected that the entire Pacific Ocean will soon “have cesium levels 5 to 10 times higher” than what we witnessed during the era of heavy atomic bomb testing in the Pacific many decades ago. #11 According to the Wall Street Journal, it is being projected that the cleanup of Fukushima could take up to 40 years to complete. Sadly, the true horror of this disaster is only starting to be understood, and most people have absolutely no idea how serious all of this is.  What fallout researcher Christina Consolo told RT the other day should be very sobering for all of us… We have endless releases into the Pacific Ocean that will be ongoing for not only our lifetimes, but our children’s’ lifetimes. We have 40 million people living in the Tokyo area nearby. We have continued releases from the underground corium that reminds us it is there occasionally with steam events and huge increases in radiation levels. Across the Pacific, we have at least two peer-reviewed scientific studies so far that have already provided evidence of increased mortality in North America, and thyroid problems in infants on the west coast states from our initial exposures. We have increasing contamination of the food chain, through bioaccumulation and biomagnification. And a newly stated concern is the proximity of melted fuel in relation to the Tokyo aquifer that extends under the plant. If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people from the greater metropolitan area. As impossible as this sounds, you cannot live in an area which does not have access to safe water. The operation to begin removing fuel from such a severely damaged pool has never been attempted before. The rods are unwieldy and very heavy, each one weighing two-thirds of a ton. But it has to be done, unless there is some way to encase the entire building in concrete with the pool as it is. I don’t know of anyone discussing that option, but it would seem much ‘safer’ than what they are about to attempt…but not without its own set of risks. And all this collateral damage will continue for decades, if not centuries, even if things stay exactly the way they are now. But that is unlikely, as bad things happen like natural disasters and deterioration with time…earthquakes, subsidence, and corrosion, to name a few. Every day that goes by, the statistical risk increases for this apocalyptic scenario. No one can say or know how this will play out, except that millions of people will probably die even if things stay exactly as they are, and billions could die if things get any worse. The area immediately around Fukushima is already permanently uninhabitable, and the truth is that a much wider area of northern Japan should probably be declared off limits for human habitation. But this just isn’t about Japan.  The cold, hard reality of the matter is that this is truly a disaster that is planetary in scope.  The nuclear material from Fukushima is going to be carried all over the northern hemisphere, and countless numbers of people are going to become seriously ill as a result. And remember, this is a disaster that is not even close to being contained yet.  Hundreds of tons of radioactive water continues to enter the Pacific Ocean every single day making the disaster that we are facing even worse. May God have mercy on us all. About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth.  His new novel entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

 

Fukushima apocalypse: Years of ‘duct tape fixes’ could result in ‘millions of deaths’

 

Even the tiniest mistake during an operation to extract over 1,300 fuel rods at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan could lead to a series of cascading failures with an apocalyptic outcome, fallout researcher Christina Consolo told RT. Fukushima operator TEPCO wants to extract 400 tons worth of spent fuel rods stored in a pool at the plant’s damaged Reactor No. 4. The removal would have to be done manually from the top store of the damaged building in the radiation-contaminated environment. In the worst-case scenario, a mishandled rod may go critical, resulting in an above-ground meltdown releasing radioactive fallout with no way to stop it, said Consolo, who is the founder and host of Nuked Radio. But leaving the things as they are is not an option, because statistical risk of a similarly bad outcome increases every day, she said. RT: How serious is the fuel rod situation compared to the danger of contaminated water build-up which we already know about? Christina Consolo: Although fuel rod removal happens on a daily basis at the 430+ nuclear sites around the world, it is a very delicate procedure even under the best of circumstances. What makes fuel removal at Fukushima so dangerous and complex is that it will be attempted on a fuel pool whose integrity has been severely compromised. However, it must be attempted as Reactor 4 has the most significant problems structurally, and this pool is on the top floor of the building. There are numerous other reasons that this will be a dangerous undertaking. – The racks inside the pool that contain this fuel were damaged by the explosion in the early days of the accident. – Zirconium cladding which encased the rods burned when water levels dropped, but to what extent the rods have been damaged is not known, and probably won’t be until removal is attempted. – Saltwater cooling has caused corrosion of the pool walls, and probably the fuel rods and racks. – The building is sinking. – The cranes that normally lift the fuel were destroyed. – Computer-guided removal will not be possible; everything will have to be done manually. – TEPCO cannot attempt this process without humans, which will manage this enormous task while being bombarded with radiation during the extraction and casking. – The process of removing each rod will have to be repeated over 1,300 times without incident. – Moving damaged nuclear fuel under such complex conditions could result in a criticality if the rods come into close proximity to one another, which would then set off a chain reaction that cannot be stopped. What could potentially happen is the contents of the pool could burn and/or explode, and the entire structure sustain further damage or collapse. This chain reaction process could be self-sustaining and go on for a long time. This is the apocalyptic scenario in a nutshell. The water build-up is an extraordinarily difficult problem in and of itself, and as anyone with a leaky basement knows, water always ‘finds a way.’ via … rt.com

 

Helen Caldicott speaks of toxic nuclear legacy

 

Caldicott went on to explain how uranium particles affect the human person. Referring to Uranium 238 and Uranium 235, she outlined the effects that x-rays, beta particles, alpha particles, radium and neutrons can have on us. Each dose of radiation we receive, whether it is from an x-ray for a dental procedure, going through a security check at an airport, or inhaling alpha particles while working in a mine, dose is cumulative, and with it comes the possibility of inducing cancer, the multiplication of unwanted cells. The incubation period of a single radiated cell which has been struck by a uranium particle is from five to 70 years — a long time, unlike a cold or the measles, she said. Uranium particles are responsible for the mutations of genes; such mutations have resulted in the births of deformed human beings and wildlife. Caldicott cited as an example the terrible birth defects suffered by the babies of Iraq. The parents of these children were exposed to radiation during the bombing of Iraq in the early 2000s. If massive gene mutations occur, the course of evolution will be altered, said Caldicott.

Uranium has 200 “daughters” — that is, various forms of radiation which are emitted by uranium as it decays, said Caldicott. Some of these “daughters” are highly carcinogenic, even moreso than uranium, and have extremely long half-lives, as does uranium itself. In other words, upon their release into the atmosphere, explained Caldicott, once they are out there, they are there to stay for millions of years. The process is irreversible. Various “daughters” are known to attack specific organs in the human body, and there now exists a huge volume of research on this subject. Quoting Einstein, Caldicott said that “nuclear reactors are a very expensive way to boil water.” Also, she explained, it takes a tremendous amount of fossil fuel to run a nuclear reactor. She spoke at some length about Fukushima and the media “blackout” of the ongoing recovery. “It is a disaster,” she said. Half of Japan is now contaminated, as is the Pacific Ocean. Thirty-five thousand children under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with thyroid tumours. In time, many of these tumours will become malignant. Sixteen nuclear reactors in the eastern United States were in the path of Hurricane Sandy. One of those nuclear reactors came very close to a meltdown when there was no electricity and its generators had to be relied upon to produce electricity. Two of its three generators also went down. Had the third one gone down, the results would have been catastrophic, said Caldicott. Canadian uranium was in the bombs which were dropped on Japan in 1945, Caldicott pointed out, and Canadian uranium is being used in the production of nuclear bombs and other weapons of war in the United States. By the 1960s, there were 67,000 nuclear bombs in the world. This number was reduced to 23,000 in the 1980s. However, even though the Cold War has ended, there still exists the situation in the world of a bomb being pointed at every major city. If one bomb was to be released, either accidentally or on purpose, or by a brilliant hacker, another one would also be released by the opposite side, and the unthinkable would happen, the death of our planet. Caldicott questioned the nature of the relationship between the University of Saskatchewan and the unranium mining company, Cameco. A university is to be an independent body focused on objective research and teaching, and should not be intimately connected to any industry, let alone such a controversial and dangerous industry as Cameco, said Caldicott. She also found it “unconscionable” that the Saskatchewan Government would give millions of dollars to the University of Saskatchewan to look into the production of small nuclear reactors after the people of Saskatchewan have said a resounding “no” to having nuclear reactors in the province. via … www.helencaldicott.com

 

Radioactive water overruns Fukushima barrier

 

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which is responsible for decommissioning the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, on Saturday said the protective barriers that were installed to prevent the flow of toxic water into the ocean are no longer coping with the groundwater levels, Itar-Tass reports. The contaminated groundwater, which mixes with radioactive leaks seeping out of the plant, has already risen to 60cm above the barriers – the fact which TEPCO calls a major cause of the massive daily leak of toxic substances. Earlier on Friday, the company announced it started pumping out contaminated groundwater from under Fukushima, and managed to pump out 13 tons of water in six hours on Friday. TEPCO also said it plans to boost the pumped-out amount to some 100 tons a day with the help of a special system, which will be completed by mid-August. This will be enough to seal off most of the ongoing ocean contamination, according to TEPCO’s estimates. However, Japan’s Ministry of Industry has recently estimated that some 300 tons of contaminated groundwater have been flowing into the ocean daily ever since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered the disaster.

TEPCO also promised it will urgently reinforce the protective shields to keep radioactive leaks at bay. The company has repeatedly complained it is running out of space and has had to resort to pumping water into hastily-built tanks of questionable reliability, as more than 20,000 tons of water with high levels of radioactive substances has accumulated in the plant’s drainage system. Water samples recently taken at an underground passage below the Fukushima nuclear plant showed extreme levels of radiation comparable to those taken immediately after the March 2011 catastrophe. The tested water, which had been mixing with ground water and flowing into the ocean, contained 2.35 billion Becquerels of cesium per liter – some 16 million times above the limit. via …  rt.com

 

Deadliest part of Japan’s nuclear clean-up

The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove 400 tonnes of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building, a dangerous operation that has never been attempted before on this scale. Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hirosihima 68 years ago, more than 1300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area. Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is already in a losing battle to stop radioactive water overflowing from another part of the facility, and experts question whether it will be able to pull off the removal of all the assemblies successfully. “They are going to have difficulty in removing a significant number of the rods,” said Arnie Gundersen, a veteran US nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education, who used to build fuel assemblies. The operation, beginning this November at the plant’s Reactor No. 4, is fraught with danger, including the possibility of a large release of radiation if a fuel assembly breaks, gets stuck or gets too close to an adjacent bundle, said Gundersen and other nuclear experts. That could lead to a worse disaster than the March 2011 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant, the world’s most serious since Chernobyl in 1986. No one knows how bad it can get, but independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt said recently in their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013: “Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date.” Tepco has already removed two unused fuel assemblies from the pool in a test operation last year, but these rods are less dangerous than the spent bundles. Extracting spent fuel is a normal part of operations at a nuclear plant, but safely plucking them from a badly damaged reactor is unprecedented. “To jump to the conclusion that it is going to work just fine for the rest of them is quite a leap of logic,” said Gundersen. The utility says it recognises the operation will be difficult but believes it can carry it out safely. via … www.stuff.co.nz

 

The Radiation Warnings You Won’t Get from the Mainstream

 

Radiation from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster in Japan is now actively in the ecosystem all along the North American west coast… even the sea weed is now radiated.  The Vancouver Sun reported one year ago that the seaweed tested from waters off the coast of British Columbia were 4 times the amount considered safe.  No further test results were released after the initial report. The governments of the United States and Canada are not conducting tests for radioactivity – at least not to the knowledge of the public.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has agreed to continue purchasing seafood from Japan, despite the fact that the food is not being tested for radioactive contamination.  Last November, independent testing in Japan showed 65 per cent of the catches tested positive for cesium (a radioactive material).  Instead of refusing to purchase the poisoned fish, food safety agencies in both the United States and Canada have simply raised the “acceptable level of radiation.”  We can’t go offending the Japanese after promising to buy their tainted goods, now can we?

After the North American governments refused to fund testing, oceanographer Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the non-profit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass, along with Nicholas Fisher, a marine sciences professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and other concerned scientists, managed to secure private funding for a Pacific research voyage.  The results? Cesium levels in the Pacific had initially gone up an astonishing 45 million times above pre-accident levels. The levels then declined rapidly for a while, but after that, they unexpectedly levelled off. In July, cesium levels stopped declining and remained stuck at 10,000 times above pre-accident levels. This means the ocean isn’t diluting the radiation as expected. If it had been, cesium levels would have kept falling. The finding suggests that radiation is still being released into the ocean long after the accident in March, 2011. Less than two weeks after the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster, Michael Kane, an investigative journalist, reported, “In the wake of the continuing nuclear tragedy in Japan, the United States government is still moving quickly to increase the amounts of radiation the population can “safely” absorb by raising the safe zone for exposure to levels designed to protect the government and nuclear industry more than human life.” The radiation has absolutely reached the shores of North America.  Water samples from across the continent have tested positive for unsafe levels of radioactivity.  The levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds, known as maximum contaminant levels, or MCL, by as much as 181 times.”This means that the complete ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean is now poisoned with radiation and we aren’t being warned. Samples of milk taken across the United States have shown radiation at levels 2000 percent higher than EPA maximums.  The reason that milk is so significant is that it it representative of the entire food supply.  According to an article published on Natural News, “Cows consume grass and are exposed to the same elements as food crops and water supplies. In other words, when cows’ milk starts testing positive for high levels of radioactive elements, this is indicative of radioactive contamination of the entire food supply.” The GMO Food and Drug Pushers Administration and the EnvironmentalDeception Protection Agency, instead of refusing to prohibit the sale of tainted foods and mandatory testing of foods produced and harvested from the Pacific Coast, have simply raised the “acceptable levels”  of radioactive material in foods. Clearly, the “it’s-all-for-your-own-good” government will not protect us, or even inform us of the dangers so we can protect ourselves, because it might dip into the pockets of the global elite, the nuclear energy industry, and the food industries.  There is big money behind this cover-up. Refusing to purchase and consume their tainted goods is the best way to fight back, while keeping our families safe and healthy.

How can we protect ourselves? First, be aware of what items are likely to be highly tainted.

 

1.)  SEAFOOD:  Question the origin of ALL seafood.  Fish and crustaceans from the Pacific Ocean should all be considered to be poisoned with radiation. 2.)  WATER:  The rainfall and snowfall are all radiated.  Do not drink any water that has not been filtered.   The tap water that flows from your faucet has NOT been treated to rid it of radioactive particles. A recent report from the NY Times stated, “A rooftop water monitoring program managed by UC Berkeley’s Department of Nuclear Engineering detected substantial spikes in rain-borne iodine-131 during torrential downpours … 3.) DAIRY PRODUCTS:  Milk and milk products from the West Coast states currently have the highest levels of radiation in North America. 4.)  PRODUCE:  Leafy Vegetables, Wines, Tomatoes, Strawberries….all produce from California or any other West Coast State are also likely to be tainted. 5.)  MEAT:  If a animal eats any leafy vegetable all along the West Coast, that animal has consumed radiation, and is poisoned.  This is any animal from cows, pigs, goats, sheep to wild deer and other game. If you eat the above foods from areas with high radiation levels, you are eating radiation and feeding it to your children. Slowly the radiation levels within your body will build up.  This is PERMANENT. via … www.thelibertybeacon.com

 

For babies born in the western states (Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California) shortly after the Fukushima disaster, radiation caused an increase of hypthyroidism.

 

MSN reports on this new study: The study, conducted by scientists with the Radiation and Public Health Project, found that babies born shortly after the incident were 28 percent more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism than were children born in those states during the same period one year earlier. In the rest of the U.S., which received less radioactive fallout, the risks actually decreased slightly compared with the year before. The explosions produced the radioisotope iodine-131, which floated east over the Pacific Ocean and landed through precipitation on West Coast states as well as other Pacific countries. The levels of that isotope were measured in levels hundreds of times greater than supposedly safe levels. Radioactive iodine accumulates in human thyroid glands, and,  in babies and fetuses, the radiation can stunt the growth and development of both the body and the brain. That condition is congenital hypothyroidism (which, luckily, is treatable when and if detected early). Fukushima fallout appeared to affect all areas of the U.S., and was especially large in some, mostly in the western part of the nation, the study said. Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid, i.e. it is not producing enough hormones.  According to the Mayo Clinic, if left untreated it can lead to “obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease”.  It is traditionally treated with synthetic hormones, but there are natural treatments, such as eating gluten-free. MSN recommends that if your baby was born shortly after Fukushima, you have tests done to be sure their thyroid is working properly. via …  ecochildsplay.com

  • https://www.facebook.com/gough.lewis Gough Lewis

    WOW! Great post! Reposted many times.

  • http://alignshineprosper.wordpress.com Doreen Agostino

    Something Wicked This Way Comes: The story of Plume-Gate, the world’s largest, provable cover-up http://hatrickpenryunbound.com/?p=3683

  • geobob

    The radioactive plume from the Fukushima “Disaster” reaching the west coast of North America is making headlines, but it’s hard to tell how much reason there is to worry. An animated map of the plume, issued by Woods Hole, has a little bar scale that indicates a radioactivity level of about 100 Becquerels per cubic meter of seawater, apparently due mostly to the cesium-137 isotope. 100 Bq/cu meter = 0.1 Bq/liter of liquid. Becquerels are units of radiation (1 Bq = 1 nuclear disintegration per second) and in order to assess the risk, you need to calculate exposure pathways (physical contact, ingestion of seawater, eating fish from the sea, etc), then convert that into estimated exposure. Ionizing radiation from Cs-137 decaying into Ba-137 is 95% beta particles (a very small high-energy particle produced by changing a neutron into a proton), but beta particles cannot penetrate normal clothing. So, the “radioactive plume” is only a risk if you have prolonged exposure, particularly by ingesting it, or eating the fish that concentrate the radionuclides.

    The US EPA drinking water standard for beta radiation is 4 millirems per year, a measure of EXPOSURE, not radiation. But, for comparison, you get about 40 mrem/yr (10x the drinking standard) from natural radiation in your own body. A bit of research with rad-to-exposure calculations leads me to the conclusion that you would have to drink the equivalent of a backyard swimming pool of the Fukushima-impacted seawater during the next year in order to reach the 4 mrem regulatory threshold. That would be unhealthy for you in many other ways than just from radiation.

    The more I hear about the Fukushima “Disaster,” the less I think it deserves the title, “Disaster.” Of course, a headline saying, “Radioactive Plume Reaching the West Coast” has greater fear power than “Fukushima Pollution No Threat to West Coast.” The scare tactics employed so casually by the news media to frighten us has had the reverse effect for many. We hear so many dire predictions that we’ve been galvanized to worry about them, even when they merit our attention. As for me, seeing a kid peeing in the neighborhood swimming pool is a greater concern than the Fukushima plume.

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