Fukushima - What me worry?

SUBHEAD:  Radioactivity from Fukushima Daiichi disaster is not a health threat in British Columbia.

By Jay T. Cullen on 21 November 2013 for Times Colonist -

Image above: Man checks radioactivity of mutant on the beach. Detail of photo-art "Radiation" by Ivan Khoenko. Click to enlarge to full image. From (http://howtocarveroastunicorn.blogspot.com/2013/11/plasma-gun-radiation.html).

Since the Fukushima Daiichi disaster on March 11, 2011, there are many reports of the potential impact of radioactivity from Fukushima causing harm to sea life and people on the West Coast of North America.

But radioactivity from Japan poses no danger and little risk to us on the West Coast.

A commonly used unit to measure radioactivity is the Becquerel (Bq for short), which represents an amount of radioactive material where one atom decays per second. When we talk about the radioactivity measured in seawater, the measurements are reported per litre of seawater (Bq/L).

Almost all the radioactivity in seawater is the result of naturally occurring radionuclides that have been transported or deposited in the oceans by natural processes. For example, over time radioactive elements in rocks and minerals are delivered to the ocean through the erosion of the continental crust.

The average radioactivity of seawater is about 14 Bq/L, of which nine-10ths comes from the naturally occurring elements potassium and rubidium. The remainder is fallout from atmospheric nuclear-weapons testing in the 20th century. So the natural level of radioactivity on average in the oceans is about 13 Bq/L, against which radioactivity resulting from human activities and disasters should always be discussed.

The radioactive element Cesium 137 (Cs-137) was released in large quantities from Fukushima into the Pacific. Pre-Fukushima levels of Cs-137 in the North Pacific, present from Cold War-era nuclear testing, represented 0.007 per cent of the natural radioactivity in a litre of seawater.

Measurements of Cs-137 were made by an international team of researchers immediately after the disaster in 2011. Forty kilometres from the reactor site, Cs-137 was elevated up to 25 per cent of the total naturally occurring background, but fell to two per cent of the background 600 kilometres offshore. Scientists did not have to take any precautions while handling seawater, sediment and biological samples collected during the study because the radioactivity was so low.

Talk of plumes of radioactivity being broadcast across the Pacific must take into account that the background radioactivity of seawater is about 14 Bq/L. It is important that although one can detect isotopes from the reactor in the environment, the absolute levels are very low and will be lower as the ocean mixes with distance from Japan and as the isotope decays.

A paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. Nicholas Fisher of Stony Brook University and colleagues investigated the risk of Fukushima radiation to those consuming Pacific bluefin tuna. Their findings indicate that the bulk of a radiation dose to human consumers of tuna results from a naturally occurring radionuclide called Polonium-210, which is roughly 600 times greater than Fukushima-derived Cs-137.

Indeed, the estimated dose of radioactivity from consuming tuna carrying Fukushima-derived isotopes for a year is similar to or less than our annual doses from air travel, terrestrially produced foods, medical treatment (e.g. X-rays) and other background sources. Release estimates of other potentially harmful isotopes from the damaged Fukushima reactors, some of which can concentrate in the marine food web, are much lower than Cs-137 but must be monitored if the situation changes at the disaster site.

We must recognize Fukushima Daiichi for what it is, a disaster resulting from the failure of safeguards at the nuclear power plant. The impact is immense at the site and consequences for the terrestrial environment are dire.

There is impact in the ocean as well. For example, bottom-dwelling fish near the reactors are so contaminated that they can’t be sold or consumed and the local effects near and in the reactors are acute and terrible.

But when I read that marine organisms and human beings are in danger along the West Coast of North America because of radioactivity from Fukushima, I have a responsibility to communicate to the public that this is not so.

The radioactivity that we are exposed to here every day, by being on or in the water or from consuming seafood from the Pacific, is insignificantly different from the time before the terrible events at Fukushima took place.

• Jay T. Cullen is an associate professor and a marine chemist at the University of Victoria’s school of earth and ocean sciences.

Researchers Not Worried about Radiation

SUBHEAD: Researchers at Oregon State University not worried about radiation effects from Fukushima Daiichi.

By Rhoda Krause on 21 November 2013 for KEZI-TV -

Video above: KEVI-TV segment on Kathryn Higley trip to Fukushima. From (http://youtu.be/Q_VkylK5FKQ).

Researchers at Oregon State University say two and a half years after the Fukushima nuclear spill, they are not seeing any negative effects on the West Coast.

Kathryn Higley, a professor and the Department Head of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at Oregon State University says her team has been monitoring the radiation levels not only in Japan but also in Oregon, Washington, Canada, and Australia.

“Immediately following the accident, right along the coast of Japan, right next to the plant, there were some elevated concentrations,” Higley said.

She says though studies in Japan are continuing to examine the effects on species living at the plant site, she says other species surrounding the plant likely will not be affected.

Within the last few years, Higley says the radioactive material Cesium-137 has been seeping into the ocean, but it is chemically similar to sodium. She says once it is in the ocean, it dilutes and diminishes pretty quickly.

“We don’t expect any adverse consequences,” she said. “To the animals, to the marine species, to people consuming those species from the releases at Fukushima.”

Even in Japan, she says she is not anticipating any health consequences of the spill.

“Epidemiologists are saying that they don’t think they’ll ever be able to see an uptick in cancer in the population attributed to Fukushima.”

She says workers at the plant had more exposure to the radioactive material, but that their chances of cancer are only a small percentage higher. Thousands of miles across the coast, she expects the same.

“On the West Coast, no, there’s not going to be any negative effects,” she said.

Though Higley does not believe there will be negative health effects of the spill, she says the Fukushima spill is still an important one to learn from.

“It’s important for us to continue to understand how these accidents could progress to be able to respond to any sort of mixtures of radionuclides and continue to refine the designs so that the possibility of an accident is very, very, very, very, very, very, very unlikely.”

The research is ongoing. Higley says scientists will continue to test areas in Japan and in areas around the world.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: High radiation in Tokyo 8/24/16
Ea O KA Aina: Nuclear Power and Climate Failure 8/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Blinders 8/18/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and Chernobyl 5/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation damages Japan 4/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima's Nuclear Nightmare 3/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fifth Fukushima Anniversary 3/11/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima impacts are ongoing 11/8/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Petroleum and Nuclear Coverups 10/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Contamination 10/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioactive floods damage Japan 9/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fir trees damaged by Fukushima 8/30/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan restarts a nuclear plant 8/11/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima disaster will continue 7/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Too many fish in the sea? 6/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima prefecture uninhabitable 6/6/15
Ea O Ka Aina: In case you've forgotten Fukushima 5/27/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radiation damages top predator bird 4/24/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukshima die-offs occurring 4/17/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Impact Update 4/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima - the end of atomic power 3/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Where is the Fukushima Data? 2/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuku-Undo 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima MOX fuel crossed Pacific 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worst human disaster 1/26/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to kill Pacific Ocean 1/23/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan's Environmental Catastrophe 8/25/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Daiichi hot particles 5/30/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese radiation denial 5/12/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Entomb Fukushima Daiichi now 4/6/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Disaster 3 Years Old 4/3/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tsunami, Fukushima and Kauai 3/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese contamination 2/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Bill for Fukushima monitoring 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco under reporting of radiation 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout in Alaska 1/25/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima engineer against nukes 1/17/14
Ea O Ka Aina: California to monitor ocean radiation 1/14/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Demystifying Fukushima Reactor #3 1/1/14
Ea O Ka Aina: US & Japan know criticality brewing 12/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Forever 12/17/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Brief radiation spike on Kauai 12/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: USS Ronald Reagan & Fukushima 12/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Pacific Impact 12/11/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Berkeley and Fukushima health risks 12/10/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Madness engulfs Japan 12/4/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Edo Japan and Fukushima Recovery 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reaction to Fukushima is Fascism 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioisotopes in the Northern Pacific 11/22/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup in critical phase 11/18/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fuel removal to start 11/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Remove other Fukushina fuel 10/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: End to Japanese Nuclear Power? 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima & Poisoned Fish 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuel Danger at Fukushima 9/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reactor #4 Spent Fuel Pool 9/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima is Not Going Away 9/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: X-Men like Ice Wall for Fukushima 9/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima House of Horrors 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Apocalypse 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radioactive Dust 8/20/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Cocooning Fukushima Daiichi 8/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation coverup 8/12/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Leakage at Fukushima an emergency 8/5/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima burns on and on 7/26/13
Ea O Ka Aina: What the Fukashima? 7/24/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Spiking 7/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: G20 Agenda Item #1 - Fix Fukushima 7/7/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and hypothyroid in Hawaii 4/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to release radioactive water 2/8/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima as Roshoman 1/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushia Radiation Report 10/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout 9/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Unit 4 Danger 7/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima denial & extinction ethics 5/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than Chernobyl 4/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima dangers continue 4/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima children condemned 3/8/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fights chain reaction 2/7/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco faking Fukushima fix 12/24/11
Ea O Ka Aina: The Non Battle for Fukushima 11/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Debris nears Midway 10/14/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Danger 7/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Abandoned 9/28/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Deadly Radiation at Fukushima 8/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima poisons Japanese food 7/25/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Black Rain in Japan 7/22/11
Ea O Ka Aina: UK PR downplays Fukushima 7/1/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Monju Madness 6/19/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima #2 & #3 meltdown 5/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima sustained chain reaction 5/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Ocean Radioactivity in Fukushima 4/16/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan raises nuclear disaster level 4/12/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima No Go Zone Expanding 4/11/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima to be Decommissioned 4/8/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Poisons Fish 4/6/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Learning from Fukushima 4/4/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Leak goes Unplugged 4/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Stick a fork in it - It's done! 4/2/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima reactors reach criticality 3/31/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Non-Containment 3/30/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Meltdown 3/29/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Water Blessing & Curse 3/28/11


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Mox fuel (plutonium uranium mix) melt throughs have left the reactor buildings...
Boiling the groundwater with hot particles for the next 500 million years...
The cradle of life in the Pacific neverending ground zero for the God of the underworld's extinction level event... Plutonium footbath quickly trumps carbon footprint killing and mutating starfish, sea urchins, sea lions, whales, fish, seabirds, etc. with leukemia and outright starvation from dead hot water zones...
Mad Max meets Waterworld...
Get a Geiger counter and check your rainwater and air filters folks... Pluto's four horsemen are riding the world's water cycle...

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