Fukushima’s comeback: Radiation from unending mess could threaten Alaska’s fisheries

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Douglas A. Yates

FAIRBANKS — The Obama administration’s failure to alert Americans to the danger of Fukushima radiation is motivated by corporate politics and the interests of the nuclear power industry. The March 11, 2011, earthquake off the northwest coast of Japan wrecked a complex of nuclear power plants, throwing three units into meltdown and exploding high-level radionuclides into the environment. With the industry’s reputation and billions of dollars in financial arrangements hanging in the fire, the president chose expediency, saying there’s no threat to Americans.

These assurances were highlighted recently when Fukushima Dai-ichi’s operators reported that since the earthquake it has been spilling large amounts of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. While great efforts have been made to sequester hot water in tank farms, the tanks are leaking and the buildings are insecure. Among the toxics soaking coastal zone soils are fission products: cesium-134 and 137, strontium-90, iodine-131 and 129, along with various isotopes of tritium, uranium and plutonium. These elements and hundreds of others have escaped containment and are moving into the North Pacific at a rate that varies from 300-900 tons of water per day.

Following the president’s lead, most of the media has ignored the story, leaving many Americans in the dark. But the blinders are off in Alaska and the West Coast of North America as more people figure the implications of tainted seafood. Pacific tuna ranges between California and Japan on its annual migration. Sampled by scientists from Stanford University in 2012 and 2013, tuna were found with elevated cesium-134 and 137 in their muscle tissue. A public health official in British Columbia is urging the federal government to monitor salmon and tuna. Last week, the state of Washington said it will begin testing salmon and steelhead. The newspaper in Alaska’s capital, Juneau, is asking science to settle the question, writing “Let’s be 100 percent sure our Alaska salmon are safe to eat.” (See page F2 for an excerpt.)

Distrust of safety assurances here and in Japan mounted when the plant operator, TEPCO, admitted that it had low-balled previous data and that actual releases were 20-30 percent greater than earlier claims. Numbers are being revised upward almost daily. Currently, while the totals remain in flux, independent observers suggest that Fukushima has surpassed Chernobyl in the amount of radiation released to the environment. Chernobyl spilled 85 quadrillion becquerels across Europe while Fukushima’s totals climb to 276 quadrillion in some estimates. Outliers put it as high as 690 quadrillion. (A becquerel is the international system unit of radioactivity equal to one disintegration of an atomic nucleus per second.)

Approximately half of the initial aerosol releases fell into the ocean. Maps show that 12,000 square miles of land has been contaminated with cesium and other isotopes. Of this area, 4,500 square miles exceeds the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s human safety limit of 1 millisievert per year. (The sievert is a unit of exposure used to compare the biological effects of various forms of ionizing radiation.) Nearly 200,000 Japanese have been turned into refugees.

The Japanese government, as expedient as Obama, quickly raised the allowable dose from 1 mSv to 20 mSv per year — 20 times higher than the limit on March 11. People who should have been evacuated remain at home, soaking in cesium. According to Physicians For Social Responsibility, the dose exposes children to a 1 in 200 risk of getting cancer. “And if they are exposed to this dose for two years, the risk is 1 in 100. There is no way that this level of exposure can be considered ‘safe’ for children.”
Radionuclides concentrate as they move along the food chain, from plankton, kelp and herring, and up the line to salmon, seals, bears and people. Cesium-contaminated food bio-accumulates in the heart and endocrine tissues, as well as kidneys, small intestine, pancreas, liver and spleen.

Children, particularly girls, are many times more susceptible than adults to the effects of ionizing radiation.
When the exclusion zone boundaries were announced, at a place inside the red line the oldest man in the village — 102 — killed himself rather than evacuate. “In front of the village hall, a machine that looked like an oversized parking meter flashed a real-time radiation reading in large red digits: 7.71 microsieverts … 8.12 … 7.57. Being there was equivalent to receiving a chest X-ray every twelve hours,” The New Yorker reported in Oct 17, 2011.

At the Berkeley campus of the University of California, rainwater collected on March 23, 2011, measured iodine-131 radioactivity at 20.1 becquerels per liter. The federal maximum level of iodine-131 in drinking water is 0.111 becquerels per liter. The sample exceeded this level by 181 times. Fukushima radiation was further confirmed when Berkeley researchers discovered iodine-131 in California dairy milk and in a local waterway. Similarly high levels of iodine-131 were recorded in Portland, Olympia, Boise and points east.

The U.S. government organized a multi-agency stealth response in the wake of the reactor meltdowns. Friends of the Earth and others filed FOIA requests to learn how the crisis was being managed in days after March 11. A trove of emails moving between the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, its field agents in Japan and other agencies show efforts to downplay concern and withhold information. Within days of the event, federal managers’ emails tallied plumes of iodine-131 as they approached America.

Supervisors demanded confidentiality while maintaining a press blackout, assuring that most Americans had no chance to prepare or mitigate.
James Mangano, an epidemiologist, and Janette Sherman, a toxicologist, are expert in calculating health effects from radiation exposure. Their review of U.S. deaths before and after the March 11 event indicates that 18,000-22,000 Americans died as a result of radiation from Fukushima. Carried east by the jet stream, and deposited as rain and snow, uptake into people, plants and animals is primarily through inhalation, ingestion and contact. Infants under the age of one had the highest increase in reported deaths in the 14 weeks after Fukushima’s initial explosions. Increased mortality was also seen in the aged, the infirm and immune compromised.

Today, radioactivity washing out to sea is in a combination of seawater that’s being used to cool the wreckage and an influx of groundwater. The groundwater is rising at the toe of the slope behind the facility, threatening to inundate the complex. People working there say the surface is becoming unstable and that building foundations may fail.
Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute, represents a growing consensus that speculates the nuclear fuel in the three melted units has burned through the containment vessels and the basement foundations. The molten fuel (about 600 tons) is now tunneling through geologic strata that underlay the Japanese archipelago. If true, TEPCO’s engineers have lost control; with no options for retrieval, this is an unprecedented catastrophe with no end in sight.

Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear engineer who leads the watchdog group Fairewinds Energy Education, says this is the last year he’ll eat fish from the Pacific, reasoning that Fukushima’s toxic stew has contaminated the ocean. Gundersen says that north of Hawaii, midpoint between Japan and North America, scientists are measuring cesium levels 10 times higher than normal.

Background levels of 1 becquerel per cubic meter have been constant for years. It has now increased to 10 becquerels per cubic meter.
The Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl, it’s ongoing. While the North Pacific is a big place, wind and currents move in Alaska’s direction. Dilution is not a solution. A declassified military report, written in 1955, concluded that seawater may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents and that it’s likely to travel in highly concentrated “pockets” and “streams.”

While the radiation pouring out of Fukushima can’t be seen or smelled, its implications to Alaska’s fisheries, our economy and cultural resources are obvious. It’s past time to begin talking about the threat and planning for its consequences. We might begin by retrieving the president from the pocket of the nuclear power industry.

Related:  Is Fukushima Radiation Contaminating Tuna, Salmon and Herring On the West Coast of North America?

Fukushima: California rainwater manifests radiation poison symptoms

The Canadian

The Fukushima Nuclear disaster changed people’s perspective of nuclear energy. It even forced some countries to stop pursuing Nuclear Energy, like in the case of Italy. It reminded the people of the infamous Chernobyl incident.

The tragedy also inspired many social activists in countries like India to protest against the setting up of new Nuclear Plants. However, the problems caused by this incident do not end there.

Recently, there have been concerns that the radiation released from the two nuclear plants at Fukushima has reached the state of California in the US. Even the Environmental Protection Agency has reported finding elevated levels of iodine-131, a product of nuclear fission, in rainwater in the states of California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The levels exceed the maximum contaminant level (MCL) permitted in drinking water.

Many external agencies have detected high levels of radiations in food items, clothes, and even the sea water in the West Coast of the US. Researchers have even found that many of the sea animals have been affected by radiation poisoning.

An article published in Rense.com talks about how a dead sea lion, which was found lying in the Southern California Coast, was discovered to be radioactive. The article tells us the alarming level of radiation detected in its remains.

“A quick scan with a dosimeter revealed that the sea lion was radioactive. More careful measurements disclosed a shocking 0.48 microsieverts in the heart and liver region. The second most affected area was its rear flippers, probably due to repeated contact with fecal excretions. The nose and mouth were a bit less contaminated.”

Even websites like Enviroreporter.com have talked about the high level of radiation in air and water, including rain water. According to the website,

Over 2,374 tests since March 2011 have yielded high radiation detection in water, air as well as food and drink. Hot rain measurements in California have also yielded similar results.

Being exposed to radiation can result in a variety of health problems and complications, including cancer and organ damage. Even though the officials maintain that there is no serious risk to the health of the people, many people have reported symptoms like nausea, itching and skin reddening etc. which are the symptoms of radiation poisoning.

George Hemminger has posted a video on his official YouTube channel and in this video, he and his friend have suggested a few measures which can help people in staying safe. The video was streamed live on 24 April, 2013 through Google hangout.

Many of the users of social media have also expressed their concern about radiation poisoning.

Related:  California Slammed With Fukushima Radiation
Are tea, seaweed, fish oil, kelp & chlorella supplements grown in Asia….which most are, radioactive and contaminated with heavy metals?

Indian Government Acknowledges Cell Phone Risks United States Doesn’t

Intel Hub

It is widely know amongst well researched individuals that cell phones emit radiation.

However, the FCC and the US Government continue to do everything in their power to not let this issue come to light by claiming tests are flawed (therefore we don’t know the truth).

ABC reports:  A government test used to measure the radiation people absorb from their cellphones might underestimate the levels to which most adults and children are exposed, according to a group of doctors and researchers whose stated mission is to promote awareness of environmental health risks they believe may be linked to cancer.

Researchers from the Environmental Health Trust released a report this morning noting that the Federal Communications Commission test to determine radiation exposure is flawed.

The reason for the discrepancy, the group says, is that the process to determine radiation exposure from cellphones involves the use of a mannequin model that they say approximates a 6-foot-2, 220-pound person. Because the model represents only about 3 percent of the population, the authors report, the test will not accurately predict the radiation exposure of the other 97 percent of the population, including children. The group is pushing for a new testing system to measure radiation exposure in a wider range of consumers.

“The standard for cellphones has been developed based on old science and old models and old assumptions about how we use cellphones, and that’s why they need to change,” said Dr. Devra Davis, former senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services under the Clinton administration and one of the report’s authors.

Apparently the government of India gets it. India is issuing a mandatory requirement to cell phone manufactures requiring them to document the dangers of radiation emissions from mobile devices.

A ZD Net article reports: The debate on whether cell phones and cell towers are injurious to health has no decisive winner. The companies say it’s all good; the skeptics say these companies have deep pockets that make it appear all good. The role of a government in this discussion therefore becomes more important and the Indian government has decided not to sit quiet on this topic. The government has directed cell phone manufacturers to display radiation information on the cell phones.

Earlier this year, the government came out strong on the topic of cell phone radiation and instructed all phone manufacturers to limit the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) to 1.6 Watt/Kg. SAR is the rate at which a human body absorbs energy due to an electromagnetic field. The rate set by the government of India is 1.6 Watt/Kg per 1 g of human tissue. The Federal Communications Commission in the US has prescribed the same levels for cell phone manufacturers in the US; the EU, however, is different.The new SAR levels will be in effect starting September of this year and OEMs are expected to have the SAR mentioned on the handsets going forward. The rule applies to all handsets sold in India irrespective of where they are manufactured.

Fukushima USA: Could We Be Next?

TheIntelHub, June 22, 2011

Starting June 7th, a series of events unfolded which could lead to a Fukushima-style meltdown right here in America.

This meltdown would be caused by very similar reasons to the multiple total meltdowns that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan, sans earthquake.

At 0930 CDT on June 7th, a fire broke out in the West Switchgear room of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station and at 1000 CDT firefighting efforts began. The spent fuel rod cooling tank lost power, although according the NRC the power has been restored and the cooling function is operational.

The NRC reports, “The fire is not believed to be flood related.” No further detail, proof or explanation is provided.

The Omaha Public Power District, or OPPD, has published a brief article addressing the rumors surround Ft. Calhoun here. According to the OPPD, the no fly zone over the plant was established by the FAA and is completely unrelated to the possibility of problems at the plant.

However, the no fly zone over Ft. Calhoun is far from the only example of an unexplained and somewhat suspicious no fly zone being put into place. In fact, there are currently over 50 no fly zones in place in the continental United States (CONUS) according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s official website.

Full story