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What Is The ACTUAL Risk for Pacific Coast Residents from Fukushima Radiation?

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“[The Odds of] Longer Term Chronic Effects, Cancer Or Genetic Effects … Cannot Be Said To Be Zero”

It is very difficult to obtain accurate information on the dangers from Fukushima radiation to residents of the West Coast of North America and Hawaii.

On the one hand, there is fear-mongering and “we’re all going to die” type hysteria.

On the one hand, there is a tendency for governments to cover up the truth to avoid panic and deflect blame for bad policy. Japan is poised to pass a bill which would outlaw most reporting on Fukushima.   And the U.S. government is not even monitoring radiation levels in the waters off the U.S. coast.  As the Cape Cod Times reports:

With the first plume of water carrying radionuclides from Fukushima due to hit the U.S. West Coast any day now, [the senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Ken Buesseler's]  latest project is to convince the federal government to monitor radiation levels in the sea water.

 

“We don’t have a U.S. agency responsible for radiation in the ocean,” Buesseler said. “It’s really bizarre.”

 

***

 

He spent this past week in Washington, D.C., meeting with representatives of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy, asking them to come up with some sort of plan to keep tabs on levels of radionuclides in the ocean.

 

Buesseler also talked with U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who agreed the federal government has a role in making sure the oceans are healthy and safe.

 

But Markey said in an email that an increased federal role is not likely [because of budget cuts].

Indeed, Dr. Buesseler points out the circular reasoning which the government is using (at 10:00):

I completely agree that no radiation has been seen in the regards that we’re not really testing for it [laughter] in any organized way … We have very few data; it’s not really being organized. The government says we don’t really need to do that because we’re predicting very low levels. On the other hand, you could argue I’d very much like to see study on our side of the ocean just to confirm these values and build some confidence with the public that’s been concerned about this. They’re right to be concerned — as scientists we’re telling them they shouldn’t be, but it’d be nice to have a few more data points to fill that gap … I’ve been told that there’s very little testing going on.

People are certainly concerned.  As the Wall Street Journal notes:

Water containing radioactive materials has been leaking from storage tanks and drains at the plant into groundwater and the nearby ocean, raising concerns across the world that currents might spread radioactivity to faraway places.

But people don’t know where to get accurate information on the risks involved.

This essay provides reliable information on what is really going on … based upon the known science.   It’s divided into 3 sections:

I.     Is Low-Level Radiation Dangerous … Or Harmless?

II.   How Much Radiation Will We Be Exposed To?

III. How Can We Protect Ourselves from Radiation?

I. Is Low-Level Radiation Dangerous … Or Harmless?

You may have heard different claims about whether low-level radiation is dangerous … or harmless.

Fox News reports:

Doug Dasher, who [teaches] radioecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said it remains possible that there will be minor effects for people on the U.S. West Coast, despite the low test results.

 

“No acute effects resulting in mortality or damage to organs … would be expected,” he told FoxNews.com. But he added that more subtle effects might occur.

 

“Longer term chronic effects, cancer or genetic effects… odds are statistically low, if the concentrations in the models remain within the projections, [but] cannot be said to be zero.”

What is Dasher saying?  That even low levels of radiation from Fukushima can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.

A major 2012 scientific study proves that low-level radiation can cause huge health problems. Science Daily reports:

Even the very lowest levels of radiation are harmful to life, scientists have concluded in the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journal Biological Reviews. Reporting the results of a wide-ranging analysis of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over the past 40 years, researchers from the University of South Carolina and the University of Paris-Sud found that variation in low-level, natural background radiation was found to have small, but highly statistically significant, negative effects on DNA as well as several measures of health.

 

The review is a meta-analysis of studies of locations around the globe …. “Pooling across multiple studies, in multiple areas, and in a rigorous statistical manner provides a tool to really get at these questions about low-level radiation.”

 

Mousseau and co-author Anders Møller of the University of Paris-Sud combed the scientific literature, examining more than 5,000 papers involving natural background radiation that were narrowed to 46 for quantitative comparison. The selected studies all examined both a control group and a more highly irradiated population and quantified the size of the radiation levels for each. Each paper also reported test statistics that allowed direct comparison between the studies.

 

The organisms studied included plants and animals, but had a large preponderance of human subjects. Each study examined one or more possible effects of radiation, such as DNA damage measured in the lab, prevalence of a disease such as Down’s Syndrome, or the sex ratio produced in offspring. For each effect, a statistical algorithm was used to generate a single value, the effect size, which could be compared across all the studies.

 

The scientists reported significant negative effects in a range of categories, including immunology, physiology, mutation and disease occurrence. The frequency of negative effects was beyond that of random chance.

 

***

 

“When you do the meta-analysis, you do see significant negative effects.”

 

“It also provides evidence that there is no threshold below which there are no effects of radiation,” he added. “A theory that has been batted around a lot over the last couple of decades is the idea that is there a threshold of exposure below which there are no negative consequences. These data provide fairly strong evidence that there is no threshold — radiation effects are measurable as far down as you can go, given the statistical power you have at hand.”

 

Mousseau hopes their results, which are consistent with the “linear-no-threshold” model for radiation effects, will better inform the debate about exposure risks. “With the levels of contamination that we have seen as a result of nuclear power plants, especially in the past, and even as a result of Chernobyl and Fukushima and related accidents, there’s an attempt in the industry to downplay the doses that the populations are getting, because maybe it’s only one or two times beyond what is thought to be the natural background level,” he said. “But they’re assuming the natural background levels are fine.”

 

“And the truth is, if we see effects at these low levels, then we have to be thinking differently about how we develop regulations for exposures, and especially intentional exposures to populations, like the emissions from nuclear power plants, medical procedures, and even some x-ray machines at airports.”

Physicians for Social Responsibility notes:

According to the National Academy of Sciences, there are no safe doses of radiation. Decades of research show clearly that any dose of radiation increases an individual’s risk for the development of cancer.

 

“There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water or other sources. Period,” said Jeff Patterson, DO, immediate past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Exposure to radionuclides, such as iodine-131 and cesium-137, increases the incidence of cancer. For this reason, every effort must be taken to minimize the radionuclide content in food and water.”

 

“Consuming food containing radionuclides is particularly dangerous. If an individual ingests or inhales a radioactive particle, it continues to irradiate the body as long as it remains radioactive and stays in the body,”said Alan H. Lockwood, MD, a member of the Board of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

 

***

 

Radiation can be concentrated many times in the food chain and any consumption adds to the cumulative risk of cancer and other diseases.

John LaForge writes:

The National Council on Radiation Protection says, “… every increment of radiation exposure produces an incremen­tal increase in the risk of cancer.” The Environmental Protection Agency says, “… any exposure to radiation poses some risk, i.e. there is no level below which we can say an exposure poses no risk.” The Department of Energy says about “low levels of radiation” that “… the major effect is a very slight increase in cancer risk.” The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says, “any amount of radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer … any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk.” The National Academy of Sciences, in its “Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII,” says, “… it is unlikely that a threshold exists for the induction of cancers ….”

Japan Times reports:

Protracted exposure to low-level radiation is associated with a significant increase in the risk of leukemia, according to a long-term study published Thursday in a U.S. research journal.

 

The study released in the monthly Environmental Health Perspectives was based on a 20-year survey of around 110,000 workers who engaged in cleanup work related to the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986.

 

Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the National Research Center for Radiation Medicine in Ukraine were among those who participated in the research.

Indeed, the overwhelming consensus among radiation experts is that repeated exposure to low doses of radiation can cause cancer, genetic mutations, heart disease, stroke and other serious illness (and see this.) If a government agency says anything else, it’s likely for political reasons.

The top U.S. government radiation experts – like Karl Morgan, John Goffman and Arthur Tamplin – and scientific luminaries such as Ernest Sternglass and Alice Stewart, concluded that low level radiation can cause serious health effects.

A military briefing written by the U.S. Army for commanders in Iraq states:

Hazards from low level radiation are long-term, not acute effects… Every exposure increases risk of cancer.

(Military briefings for commanders often contain less propaganda than literature aimed at civilians, as the commanders have to know the basic facts to be able to assess risk to their soldiers.)

The briefing states that doses are cumulative, citing the following military studies and reports:

  • ACE Directive 80-63, ACE Policy for Defensive Measures against Low Level Radiological Hazards during Military Operations, 2 AUG 96
  • AR 11-9, The Army Radiation Program, 28 MAY 99
  • FM 4-02.283, Treatment of Nuclear and Radiological Casualties, 20 DEC 01
  • JP 3-11, Joint Doctrine for Operations in NBC Environments, 11 JUL 00
  • NATO STANAG 2473, Command Guidance on Low Level Radiation Exposure in Military Operations, 3 MAY 00
  • USACHPPM TG 244, The NBC Battle Book, AUG 02

Many studies have shown that repeated exposures to low levels of ionizing radiation from CT scans and x-rays can cause cancer. See this, this, this. this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Research from the University of Iowa concluded:

Cumulative radon exposure is a significant risk factor for lung cancer in women.

And see these studies on the health effects cumulative doses of radioactive cesium.

As the European Committee on Radiation Risk notes:

Cumulative impacts of chronic irradiation in low doses are … important for the comprehension, assessment and prognosis of the late effects of irradiation on human beings ….

And see this.

The New York Times’ Matthew Wald reported last year:

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists[’] May-June issue carries seven articles and an editorial on the subject of low-dose radiation, a problem that has thus far defied scientific consensus but has assumed renewed importance since the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan in March 2011.

 

***

 

This month a guest editor, Jan Beyea [who received a PhD in nuclear physics from Columbia and has served on a number of committees at the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science] and worked on epidemiological studies at Three Mile Island, takes a hard look at the power industry.

 

The bulletin’s Web site is generally subscription-only, but this issue can be read at no charge.

 

Dr. Beyea challenges a concept adopted by American safety regulators about small doses of radiation. The prevailing theory is that the relationship between dose and effect is linear – that is, that if a big dose is bad for you, half that dose is half that bad, and a quarter of that dose is one-quarter as bad, and a millionth of that dose is one-millionth as bad, with no level being harmless.

 

The idea is known as the “linear no-threshold hypothesis,’’ and while most scientists say there is no way to measure its validity at the lower end, applying it constitutes a conservative approach to public safety.

 

Some radiation professionals disagree, arguing that there is no reason to protect against supposed effects that cannot be measured. But Dr. Beyea contends that small doses could actually be disproportionately worse.

 

Radiation experts have formed a consensus that if a given dose of radiation delivered over a short period poses a given hazard, that hazard will be smaller if the dose is spread out. To use an imprecise analogy, if swallowing an entire bottle of aspirin at one sitting could kill you, consuming it over a few days might merely make you sick.

 

In radiation studies, this is called a dose rate effectiveness factor. Generally, a spread-out dose is judged to be half as harmful as a dose given all at once.

 

***

 

Dr. Beyea, however, proposes that doses spread out over time might be more dangerous than doses given all at once. [Background] He suggests two reasons: first, some effects may result from genetic damage that manifests itself only after several generations of cells have been exposed, and, second, a “bystander effect,” in which a cell absorbs radiation and seems unhurt but communicates damage to a neighboring cell, which can lead to cancer.

 

One problem in the radiation field is that little of the data on hand addresses the problem of protracted exposure. Most of the health data used to estimate the health effects of radiation exposure comes from survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings of 1945. That was mostly a one-time exposure.

Scientists who say that this data leads to the underestimation of radiation risks cite another problem: it does not include some people who died from radiation exposure immediately after the bombings. The notion here is that the people studied in ensuing decades to learn about the dose effect may have been stronger and healthier, which could have played a role in their survival.

 

Still, the idea that the bomb survivor data is biased, or that stretched-out doses are more dangerous than instant ones, is a minority position among radiation scientists.

Dr. Beyea writes:

Three recent epidemiologic studies suggest that the risk from protracted exposure is no lower, and in fact may be higher, than from single exposures.

 

***

 

Conventional wisdom was upset in 2005, when an international study, which focused on a large population of exposed nuclear workers, presented results that shocked the radiation protection community—and foreshadowed a sequence of research results over

the following years.

 

***

 

It all started when epidemiologist Elaine Cardis and 46 colleagues surveyed some 400,000 nuclear workers from 15 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia—workers who had experienced chronic exposures, with doses measured on radiation badges (Cardis et al., 2005).

 

***

 

This study revealed a higher incidence for protracted exposure than found in the atomic-bomb data, representing a dramatic contradiction to expectations based on expert opinion.

 

***

 

A second major occupational study appeared a few years later, delivering another blow to the theory that protracted doses were not so bad. This 2009 report looked at 175,000 radiation workers in the United Kingdom ….

After the UK update was published, scientists combined results from 12 post-2002 occupational studies, including the two mentioned above, concluding that protracted radiation was 20 percent more effective in increasing cancer rates than acute exposures (Jacob et al., 2009). The study’s authors saw this result as a challenge to the cancer-risk values currently assumed for occupational radiation exposures. That is, they wrote that the radiation risk values used for workers should be increased over the atomic-bomb-derived values, not lowered by a factor of two or more.

 

***

 

In 2007, one study—the first of its size—looked at low-dose radiation risk in a large, chronically exposed civilian population; among the epidemiological community, this data set is known as the “Techa River cohort.” From 1949 to 1956 in the Soviet Union, while the Mayak weapons complex dumped some 76 million cubic meters of radioactive waste water into the river, approximately 30,000 of the off-site population—from some 40 villages along the river—were exposed to chronic releases of radiation; residual contamination on riverbanks still produced doses for years after 1956.

 

***

 

Here was a study of citizens exposed to radiation much like that which would be experienced following a reactor accident. About 17,000 members of the cohort have been studied in an international effort (Krestinina et al., 2007), largely funded by the US Energy Department; and to many in the department, this study was meant to definitively prove that protracted exposures were low in risk. The results were unexpected. The slope of the LNT fit turned out to be higher than predicted by the atomic-bomb data, providing additional evidence that protracted exposure does not reduce risk.

 

***

 

In a 2012 study on atomic-bomb survivor mortality data (Ozasa et al., 2012), low-dose analysis revealed unexpectedly strong evidence for the applicability of the supralinear theory. From 1950 to 2003, more than 80,000 people studied revealed high risks per unit dose in the low-dose range, from 0.01 to 0.1 Sv.

A major 2012 study of atomic bomb data by the official joint U.S.-Japanese government study of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors found that low dose radiation causes cancer and genetic damage:

 

Dr. Peter Karamoskos notes:

The most comprehensive study of nuclear workers by the IARC, involving 600,000 workers exposed to an average cumulative dose of 19mSv, showed a cancer risk consistent with that of the A-bomb survivors.

Children are much more vulnerable to radiation than adults.  American physician Brian Moench writes:

The idea that a threshold exists or there is a safe level of radiation for human exposure began unraveling in the 1950s when research showed one pelvic x-ray in a pregnant woman could double the rate of childhood leukemia in an exposed baby. Furthermore, the risk was ten times higher if it occurred in the first three months of pregnancy than near the end. This became the stepping-stone to the understanding that the timing of exposure was even more critical than the dose. The earlier in embryonic development it occurred, the greater the risk.

 

A new medical concept has emerged, increasingly supported by the latest research, called “fetal origins of disease,” that centers on the evidence that a multitude of chronic diseases, including cancer, often have their origins in the first few weeks after conception by environmental insults disturbing normal embryonic development. It is now established medical advice that pregnant women should avoid any exposure to x-rays, medicines or chemicals when not absolutely necessary, no matter how small the dose, especially in the first three months.

 

“Epigenetics” is a term integral to fetal origins of disease, referring to chemical attachments to genes that turn them on or off inappropriately and have impacts functionally similar to broken genetic bonds. Epigenetic changes can be caused by unimaginably small doses – parts per trillion – be it chemicals, air pollution, cigarette smoke or radiation. Furthermore, these epigenetic changes can occur within minutes after exposure and may be passed on to subsequent generations.

 

The Endocrine Society, 14,000 researchers and medical specialists in more than 100 countries, warned that “even infinitesimally low levels of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, indeed, any level of exposure at all, may cause endocrine or reproductive abnormalities, particularly if exposure occurs during a critical developmental window. Surprisingly, low doses may even exert more potent effects than higher doses.” If hormone-mimicking chemicals at any level are not safe for a fetus, then the concept is likely to be equally true of the even more intensely toxic radioactive elements drifting over from Japan, some of which may also act as endocrine disruptors.

 

Many epidemiologic studies show that extremely low doses of radiation increase the incidence of childhood cancers, low birth-weight babies, premature births, infant mortality, birth defects and even diminished intelligence. Just two abdominal x-rays delivered to a male can slightly increase the chance of his future children developing leukemia. By damaging proteins anywhere in a living cell, radiation can accelerate the aging process and diminish the function of any organ. Cells can repair themselves, but the rapidly growing cells in a fetus may divide before repair can occur, negating the body’s defense mechanism and replicating the damage.

 

Comforting statements about the safety of low radiation are not even accurate for adults. Small increases in risk per individual have immense consequences in the aggregate. When low risk is accepted for billions of people, there will still be millions of victims. New research on risks of x-rays illustrate the point.

 

Radiation from CT coronary scans is considered low, but, statistically, it causes cancer in one of every 270 40-year-old women who receive the scan. Twenty year olds will have double that rate. Annually, 29,000 cancers are caused by the 70 million CT scans done in the US. Common, low-dose dental x-rays more than double the rate of thyroid cancer. Those exposed to repeated dental x-rays have an even higher risk of thyroid cancer.

It’s not just humans: scientists have found that animals receiving low doses of radiation from Chernobyl are sick as well.

Most “Background Radiation” Didn’t Exist Before Nuclear Weapons Testing and Nuclear Reactors

Uninformed commenters (and some industry flacks) claim that we get a higher exposure from background radiation (when we fly, for example) or x-rays then we get from nuclear accidents.

In fact, there was exactly zero background radioactive cesium or iodine before above-ground nuclear testing and nuclear accidents started.

Wikipedia provides some details on the distribution of cesium-137 due to human activities:

Small amounts of caesium-134 and caesium-137 were released into the environment during nearly all nuclear weapon tests and some nuclear accidents, most notably the Chernobyl disaster.

 

***

 

Caesium-137 is unique in that it is totally anthropogenic. Unlike most other radioisotopes, caesium-137 is not produced from its non-radioactive isotope, but from uranium. It did not occur in nature before nuclear weapons testing began. By observing the characteristic gamma rays emitted by this isotope, it is possible to determine whether the contents of a given sealed container were made before or after the advent of atomic bomb explosions. This procedure has been used by researchers to check the authenticity of certain rare wines, most notably the purported “Jefferson bottles”.

As the EPA notes:

Cesium-133 is the only naturally occurring isotope and is non-radioactive; all other isotopes, including cesium-137, are produced by human activity.

Similarly, iodine-131 is not a naturally occurring isotope. As the Encyclopedia Britannica notes:

The only naturally occurring isotope of iodine is stable iodine-127. An exceptionally useful radioactive isotope is iodine-131…

(Fukushima has spewed much more radioactive cesium and iodine than Chernobyl. The amount of radioactive cesium released by Fukushima was some 20-30 times higher than initially admitted. Japanese experts say that Fukushima is currently releasing up to 93 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium into the ocean each day. And – as we will see below- the cesium levels hitting the west coast of North America will keep increasing for several years. Fukushima is spewing more and more radiation into the environment, and the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs Chernobyl.)

As such, the concept of “background radiation” is largely a misnomer. Most of the radiation we encounter today – especially the most dangerous types – did not even exist in nature before we built nuclear weapons and reactors.

Nuclear Apologists Are Going Bananas

http://www.terry.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/banana_equals_boom.pngNuclear apologists pretend that people are exposed to more radiation from bananas than from Fukushima.

But unlike low-levels of radioactive potassium found in bananas – which our bodies have adapted to over many years – cesium-137 and iodine 131 are brand new, extremely dangerous substances.

The EPA explains:

The human body is born with potassium-40 [the type of radiation found in bananas] in its tissues and it is the most common radionuclide in human tissues and in food. We evolved in the presence of potassium-40 and our bodies have well-developed repair mechanisms to respond to its effects. The concentration of potassium-40 in the human body is constant and not affected by concentrations in the environment.

Wikipedia notes:

The amount of potassium (and therefore of 40K) in the human body is fairly constant because of homeostatsis, so that any excess absorbed from food is quickly compensated by the elimination of an equal amount.

 

It follows that the additional radiation exposure due to eating a banana lasts only for a few hours after ingestion, namely the time it takes for the normal potassium contents of the body to be restored by the kidneys.

BoingBoing reports:

A lot of things you might not suspect of being radioactive are, including Brazil nuts, and your own body. And this fact is sometimes used to downplay the impact of exposure to radiation via medical treatments or accidental intake.

 

***

 

I contacted Geoff Meggitt—a retired health physicist, and former editor of the Journal of Radiological Protection—to find out more.

 

Meggitt worked for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and its later commercial offshoots for 25 years. He says there’s an enormous variation in the risks associated with swallowing the same amount of different radioactive materials—and even some difference between the same dose, of the same material, but in different chemical forms.

 

It all depends on two factors:

 

1) The physical characteristics of the radioactivity—i.e, What’s its half-life? Is the radiation emitted alpha, beta or gamma?

 

2) The way the the radioactivity travels around and is taken up by the body—i.e., How much is absorbed by the blood stream? What tissues does this specific isotope tend to accumulate in?

 

The Potassium-40 in bananas is a particularly poor model isotope to use, Meggitt says, because the potassium content of our bodies seems to be under homeostatic control. When you eat a banana, your body’s level of Potassium-40 doesn’t increase. You just get rid of some excess Potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.

 

And that’s the difference between a useful educational tool and propaganda. (And I say this as somebody who is emphatically not against nuclear energy.) Bananas aren’t really going to give anyone “a more realistic assessment of actual risk”, they’re just going to further distort the picture.

Mixing Apples (External) and Oranges (Internal)

Moreover, radioactive particles which end up inside of our lungs or gastrointestinal track, as opposed to radiation which comes to us from outside of our skin are much more dangerous than general exposures to radiation.

The National Research Council’s Committee to Assess the Scientific Information for the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program explains:

Radioactivity generates radiation by emitting particles. Radioactive materials outside the the body are called external emitters, and radioactive materials located within the body are called internal emitters.

Internal emitters are much more dangerous than external emitters. Specifically, one is only exposed to radiation as long as he or she is near the external emitter.

For example, when you get an x-ray, an external emitter is turned on for an instant, and then switched back off.

But internal emitters steadily and continuously emit radiation for as long as the particle remains radioactive, or until the person dies – whichever occurs first. As such, they are much more dangerous.

As the head of a Tokyo-area medical clinic – Dr. Junro Fuse, Internist and head of Kosugi Medical Clinic – said:

Risk from internal exposure is 200-600 times greater than risk from external exposure.

See this, this, this and this.

By way of analogy, external emitters are like dodgeballs being thrown at you. If you get hit, it might hurt. But it’s unlikely you’ll get hit again in the same spot.

Internal emitters – on the other hand – are like a black belt martial artist moving in really close and hammering you again and again and again in the exact same spot. That can do real damage.

There are few natural high-dose internal emitters. Bananas, brazil nuts and some other foods contain radioactive potassium-40, but in extremely low doses. But – as explained above – our bodies have adapted to handle this type of radiation.

True, some parts of the country are at higher risk of exposure to naturally-occurring radium than others.

But the cesium which was scattered all over the place by above-ground nuclear tests and the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents has a much longer half life, and can easily contaminate food and water supplies. As the New York Times notes:

Over the long term, the big threat to human health is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.

 

At that rate of disintegration, John Emsley wrote in “Nature’s Building Blocks” (Oxford, 2001), “it takes over 200 years to reduce it to 1 percent of its former level.”

 

It is cesium-137 that still contaminates much of the land in Ukraine around the Chernobyl reactor.

 

***

 

Cesium-137 mixes easily with water and is chemically similar to potassium. It thus mimics how potassium gets metabolized in the body and can enter through many foods, including milk.

As the EPA notes in a discussion entitled ” What can I do to protect myself and my family from cesium-137?”:

Cesium-137 that is dispersed in the environment, like that from atmospheric testing, is impossible to avoid.

Radioactive iodine can also become a potent internal emitter. As the Times notes:

Iodine-131 has a half-life of eight days and is quite dangerous to human health. If absorbed through contaminated food, especially milk and milk products, it will accumulate in the thyroid and cause cancer.

(In addition to spewing massive amounts of radioactive iodine 131, Fukushima also pumped out huge amounts of radioactive iodine 129 – which has a half-life of 15.7 million years. Fukushima has also dumped up to 900 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium-90 – which is a powerful internal emitter which mimics calcium and collects in our bones – into the ocean.).

The bottom line is that there is some naturally-occurring background radiation, which can – at times – pose a health hazard (especially in parts of the country with high levels of radioactive radon or radium).

But cesium-137 and radioactive iodine – the two main radioactive substances being spewed by the leaking Japanese nuclear plants – are not naturally-occurring substances, and can become powerful internal emitters which can cause tremendous damage to the health of people who are unfortunate enough to breathe in even a particle of the substances, or ingest them in food or water.

Unlike low-levels of radioactive potassium found in bananas – which our bodies have adapted to over many years – cesium-137 and iodine 131 are brand new, extremely dangerous substances.

And unlike naturally-occurring internal emitters like radon and radium – whose distribution is largely concentrated in certain areas of the country – radioactive cesium and iodine, as well as strontium and other dangerous radionuclides, are being distributed globally through weapons testing and nuclear accidents.

Cumulative and Synergistic Damage

As noted above, a military briefing written by the U.S. Army for commanders in Iraq points out:

Hazards from low level radiation are long-term, not acute effects… Every exposure increases risk of cancer.

In other words, doses are cumulative: the more times someone is exposed, the greater the potential damage.

In addition, exposure to different radioactive particles may increase the damage. Specifically, the International Commission on Radiological Protection notes:

It has been shown that in some cases a synergistic effect results when several organs of the body are irradiated simultaneously.

(“Synergistic” means that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.)

Because different radionuclides accumulate in different parts of the body – e.g. cesium in the muscles, kidneys, heart and liver, iodine in the thyroid, and strontium in the bones – the exposure to many types of radiation may be more dangerous than exposure just to one or two types.

As such, adding new radioactive compounds like cesium and iodine into the environment may cause synergistic damage to our health.

II.  How Much Radiation Will We Be Exposed To?

There are 2 ways that Fukushima radiation has traveled from Fukushima to Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon and California:  (1) by air;  and (2) by water.

By Air

We noted 2 days after the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami:

Pollution from Chinese coal factories routinely hits California. For example, Mongabay noted in 2008:

Previous studies have documented that dust from Asia — especially from deserts and industrial regions of China — routinely crosses the Pacific Ocean on prevailing winds to sully the air over the western U.S.

And see this and this.

As the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory wrote last December:

About a third of the airborne lead particles recently collected at two sites in the San Francisco Bay Area came from Asia, a finding that underscores the far-flung impacts of air pollution and heralds a new way to learn more about its journey across vast distances.In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the California Air Resources Board tracked variations in the amount of lead transported across the Pacific over time.

 

***

 

It’s well known that particles and other aerosols cover long distances through the Earth’s atmosphere. But the details of this transport, such as that of the lead particles’ 7,000-mile journey from the smokestacks of China to the west coast of North America, are largely unknown.

In fact, the jet stream passes right over Japan. The jet stream was noticed in the 1920′s by a Japanese meteorologist near Mount Fuji, and the Japanese launched balloon bombs into the jetstream to attack America during WWII.

If radioactivity got blown by surface winds up into the jet stream, it could spread widely.

Health Canada (the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for national public health) notes that – while people may naively assume that radioactive plumes are weakened and diffused before they hit the West Coast – there can be “sharp features” with higher concentrations hitting North America in certain areas.

This has happened, to some extent. For example, radiation from Fukushima was directly deposited into the kelp off the Western coast of North America … especially in Southern California.     Fish that eat the kelp have also gotten exposed to the radiation … as have the animals that eat those fish.  Moreover, Seattle residents may have been exposed to some Fukushima radiation soon after the accident.

Plutonium was also released into the air.  For example,  the Environmental Research Department, SRI Center for Physical Sciences and Technology in Vilnius, Lithuania reported in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity:

Analyses of (131)I, (137)Cs and (134)Cs in airborne aerosols were carried out in daily samples in Vilnius, Lithuania after the Fukushima accident during the period of March-April, 2011.

 

***

 

The activity ratio of (238)Pu/(239,240)Pu in the aerosol sample was 1.2, indicating a presence of the spent fuel of different origin than that of the Chernobyl accident.

(“Pu” is short for plutonium.)   Fukushima is 4,988 miles from Vilnius, Lithuania. So the plutonium traveled quite a distance.

Tepco – the operator of the Fukushima plants – has been pouring tons of water on the reactors every day.  So this is helping to keep the aerial releases down.

However, the Japanese government has embarked on a massive program of burning radioactive waste throughout Japan.  This is idiotic … and is releasing some radiation into the air.

In any event, unless the Fukushima fuel pools collapse – or the government increases the amount of radioactive materials which it burns – the air will not be the main route for the spread of radiation to Hawaii or the West Coast.

By Water

The jet stream can carry radiation through the air from Japan to the West Coast, as noted above.  A similar dynamic is present in the water, as well.

An ocean current called the North Pacific Gyre is bringing Japanese radiation to the West Coast of North America:

North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone FDA Refuses to Test Fish for Radioactivity ... Government Pretends Radioactive Fish Is Safe

The leg of the Gyre closest to Japan – the Kuroshio current – begins right next to Fukushima:

Kuroshio Current - Colour show water speed.  Blue slowest; red fastest

While many people assume that the ocean will dilute the Fukushima radiation, a previously-secret 1955 U.S. government report concluded that the ocean may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents, and there could be “pockets” and “streams” of highly-concentrated radiation.

Nuclear expert Robert Alvarez – senior policy adviser to the Energy Department’s secretary and deputy assistant secretary for national security and the environment from 1993 to 1999 – wrote:

According to a previously secret 1955 memo from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission regarding concerns of the British government over contaminated tuna, “dissipation of radioactive fall-out in ocean waters is not a gradual spreading out of the activity from the region with the highest concentration to uncontaminated regions, but that in all probability the process results in scattered pockets and streams of higher radioactive materials in the Pacific. We can speculate that tuna which now show radioactivity from ingested materials [this is in 1955, not today] have been living, in or have passed through, such pockets; or have been feeding on plant and animal life which has been exposed in those areas.”

The New York Times reported in 2011:

F. Ward Whicker, a professor emeritus at Colorado State University who developed a leading model for following radiation through the food chain …. said. “There can be hot spots far away from an accident, and places in between that are fine.”

The Congressional Research Service noted last year:

There remains the slight potential for a relatively narrow corridor of highly contaminated water leading away from Japan

 

***

 

Transport by ocean currents is much slower, and additional radiation from this source might eventually also be detected in North Pacific waters under U.S. jurisdiction, even months after its release. Regardless of slow ocean transport, the long half-life of radioactive cesium isotopes means that radioactive contaminants could remain a valid concern for years.

Physicians for Social Responsibility notes:

An interesting fact for people living on the US west coast is also included in the UNSCEAR [United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation] report: only about 5% of the directly discharged radiation was deposited within a radius of 80 km from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station. The rest was distributed in the Pacific Ocean. 3-D simulations have been carried out for the Pacific basin, showing that within 5–6 years, the emissions would reach the North American coastline, with uncertain consequences for food safety and health of the local population.

Below, we will tell you that some radiation has already reached the West Coast … and we will show you some future projections for radiation.

But it is important to keep in mind that – while Fukushima has been leaking massive amounts of water continuously ever since March 2011 – most of the projections being used in models of radiation do not include any releases after March 2011.   As radioecologist Doug Dasher told Fox News:

“The estimates [of radiation] vary substantially and do not, at least so far, account for the continued leakage from the Fukushima site to the marine environment,” he said.

As such, all of the models drastically underestimate the amount of radiation which West Coast and Hawaiian residents will be exposed to.

Radiation Predictions

The University of Hawaii’s International Pacific Research Center created a graphic showing the projected dispersion of debris from Japan:

A joint research project between the Chinese and South Korean governments shows the West Coast receiving Fukushima radiation:

http://www.mrcor.org/ckfinder/userfiles/images/sp.gif

 

Last year, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and 3 scientists from the GEOMAR Research Center for Marine Geosciences showed that radiation on the West Coast of North America could end up being 10 times higher than in Japan:

After 10 years the concentrations become nearly homogeneous over the whole Pacific, with higher values in the east, extending along the North American coast with a maximum (~1 × 10−4) off Baja California.

 

***

 

With caution given to the various idealizations (unknown actual oceanic state during release, unknown release area, no biological effects included, see section 3.4), the following conclusions may be drawn. (i) Dilution due to swift horizontal and vertical dispersion in the vicinity of the energetic Kuroshio regime leads to a rapid decrease of radioactivity levels during the first 2 years, with a decline of near-surface peak concentrations to values around 10 Bq m−3 (based on a total input of 10 PBq). The strong lateral dispersion, related to the vigorous eddy fields in the mid-latitude western Pacific, appears significantly under-estimated in the non-eddying (0.5°) model version. (ii) The subsequent pace of dilution is strongly reduced, owing to the eastward advection of the main tracer cloud towards the much less energetic areas of the central and eastern North Pacific. (iii) The magnitude of additional peak radioactivity should drop to values comparable to the pre-Fukushima levels after 6–9 years (i.e. total peak concentrations would then have declined below twice pre-Fukushima levels). (iv) By then the tracer cloud will span almost the entire North Pacific, with peak concentrations off the North American coast an order-of-magnitude higher than in the western Pacific.

 

***

 

(“Order-of-magnitude” is a scientific term which means http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_magnitude" target="_blank" title="10 times higher">10 times higher. The “Western Pacific” means Japan’s East Coast.)

In May, a team of scientists from Spain, Australia and France concluded that the radioactive cesium would look more www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096706371300112X" title="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096706371300112X">http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096706371300112X" target="_blank" title="like this">like this:
www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/2013-Study1.jpg" title="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/2013-Study1.jpg">http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/2013-Study1.jp..." target="_blank">www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/2013-Study1.jpg" title="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/2013-Study1.jpg">http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/2013-Study1.jp..." title="2013 Study" width="500" />A team of top Chinese scientists published a study earlier this year in the Science China Earth Sciences journal showing that the radioactive plume crosses the ocean in a nearly straight line toward North America, and that it appears to http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11430-012-4520-2" target="_blank" title="stay together with little dispersion">stay together with little dispersion:

On March 30, 2011, the Japan Central News Agency reported the monitored radioactive pollutions that were 4000 times higher than the standard level. Whether or not these nuclear pollutants will be transported to the Pacific-neighboring countries through oceanic circulations becomes a world-wide concern.

 

***

 

The time scale of the nuclear pollutants reaching the west coast of America is 3.2 years if it is estimated using the surface drifting buoys and 3.9 years if it is estimated using the nuclear pollutant particulate tracers.

 

***

 

www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Fuku1.jpg" title="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Fuku1.jpg">http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Fuku1.jpg" target="_blank">www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Fuku1.jpg" title="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Fuku1.jpg">http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Fuku1.jpg" title="Fuku" width="750" />

The half life of cesium-137 is so long that it produces more damage to human. Figure 4 gives the examples of the distribution of the impact strength of Cesium-137 at year 1.5 (panel (a)), year 3.5 (panel (b)), and year 4 (panel (c)).

 

***

 

It is worth noting that due to the current near the shore cannot be well reconstructed by the global ocean reanalysis, some nuclear pollutant particulate tracers may come to rest in near shore area, which may result in additional uncertainty in the estimation of the impact strength.

 

***

 

Since the major transport mechanism of nuclear pollutants for the west coast of America is the Kuroshio-extension currents, after four years, the impact strength of Cesium-137 in the west coast area of America is as high as 4%.

Tepco Is Planning On Dumping All of the Radiation Into the Ocean

The accidental radiation releases have been enomrous. But Tepco is apparently www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-20/fukushima27s-contaminated-water-will-even..." title="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-20/fukushima27s-contaminated-water-will-even...">http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-20/fukushima27s-contaminated-water-wi..." target="_blank" title="planning on dumping all of the radioactive water">planning on dumping all of the radioactive water stored at Fukushima into the ocean.

Some Radiation Has Already Reached the West Coast

Some radiation has already arrived on the West Coast by ocean.  For example,  CBC www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/radiation-from-japan-nuclear-plant-arrives-..." title="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/radiation-from-japan-nuclear-plant-arrives-...">http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/radiation-from-japan-nuclear-plant-a..." target="_blank" title="reported">reported earlier this month:

Scientists at the University of Alaska are concerned about radiation leaking from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, and the lack of a monitoring plan.

Some radiation has arrived in northern Alaska and along the west coast. That’s raised concern over contamination of fish and wildlife.

 

***

 

John Kelley, a professor emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, says he’s not sure contamination will reach dangerous levels for humans but says without better data, who will know?

 

“The data they will need is not only past data but current data, and if no one is sampling anything then we won’t really know it, will we?

 

“The general concern was, is the food supply safe? And I don’t think anyone can really answer that definitively.”

An associate professor and marine chemist at University of Victoria’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences www.cbc.ca/ontheisland/2013/11/20/are-fukushima-fears-unfounded/" title="http://www.cbc.ca/ontheisland/2013/11/20/are-fukushima-fears-unfounded/">http://www.cbc.ca/ontheisland/2013/11/20/are-fukushima-fears-unfounded/" target="_blank" title="told">told CBC on November 20th (8:15):

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans — the Institute of Ocean Science … program which is a time series program that monitors the chemistry and biology of the North Pacific that’s headed up by Maria Robert. They’re making measurements of these Fukushima-source radionuclides offshore, and they’re starting to detect the presence of the plume of radioactivity.

(Incidentally – because www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/08/nuclear-expert-because-japanese-are.html" title="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/08/nuclear-expert-because-japanese-are.html">http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/08/nuclear-expert-because-japanese-a..." title="rain is one of the main ways that radiation can spread">rain is one of the main ways that radiation can spread – seawater which evaporates and then rains on the coast can dump radiation inland for some distance).

Seafood

A former high-level U.S. government nuclear expert – and now one of the main advisors to Tepco regarding Fukushima – says that Fukushima radiation will hit Alaska fish.    http://lbarrett.com/resume.html" target="_blank" title="Lake Barrett">Lake Barrett – the former head of the US Department of Energy’s  Office of Civilian Nuclear Waste Management, which is responsible for implementing the United States’ programs for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, and a high-level official with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission before that – http://video.mit.edu/watch/lessons-from-fukushima-7240/" target="_blank" title="told">told an MIT audience (36:00):

The environmental release is the growing challenge; you’re going to read more and more about it in the paper. Wait until the first cesium-137 shows up in Alaska salmon, which is only a matter of time. You’re going to find it right back in the headlines.

Bluefin tuna www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/absolutely-every-one-of-the-15-bluefin-t..." title="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/absolutely-every-one-of-the-15-bluefin-t...">http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/absolutely-every-one-of-the-15-bl..." title="on the California shore">on the California shore have already tested positive for radiation from Fukushima, and there are reports of http://enenews.com/canada-tv-new-concerns-about-radiation-levels-in-fish..." target="_blank" title="highly radioactive fish in Canada">highly radioactive fish in Canada.

III.  How Can We Protect Ourselves from Radiation?

The government isn’t adequately testing radiation levels in the ocean, seafood or air.

So it is vital that we contact our government representatives and demand that they thoroughly test for radiation … and publicly release the information.

In addition, there are www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/protect-radiation-one.html" title="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/protect-radiation-one.html">http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/protect-radiation-one.html" title="easy, inexpensive and healthy steps">easy, inexpensive and healthy steps we can take right now to help protect ourselves against radiation.

www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/protect-radiation-one.html" title="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/protect-radiation-one.html">http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/protect-radiation-one.html" title="Here’s how …">Here’s how …

 


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Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:28 | Link to Comment novictim
novictim's picture

There is no "Safe Level" of radiation exposure.  There is only the lowest level you can get it to.  

So when you hear folks say "That radiation level is no worse than living in the Rocky Mountains", realize that this is not a statement indicating the levels are "safe"...it's just a statement to get youto NOT CARE that you will face a increased cancer risk.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:24 | Link to Comment Fishhawk
Fishhawk's picture

@Trampy:  hows about you give us some cites for the material you have published.  That way we could know something about these new hazards you mention...

Fishhawk

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:06 | Link to Comment TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

It has become appallingly obvious that our thecnology has exceeded our humanity.

Albert Einstein

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 11:14 | Link to Comment CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

I read radiology techs, radiologists, etc have much higher rates of certain cancers like leukemia, thyroid, brain...due to low levels of exposure over long periods of time.

I doubt it will be different for folks exposed to low levels of the Fuki radiation...just takes a long time to show. People usually do not resond to risks they don't see outright (also like other "silent killers" high blood pressure, etc ... versus a massive heart attack or earth quake).

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 11:38 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

I encourage you to check out the studies done on the U.S. above ground testing at the Nevada Test Site.  You will learn a lot, about the topic but also about the difficulty of getting at the truth in situations like this.  Much of the information was only released recently.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 13:33 | Link to Comment Milestones
Milestones's picture

JM- My army outfit was the 95th Combat Engineers and prior to my arrival in the outfit was appx. December, 1955, some two years after the Nevada tests. My outfit in 1953 built much of the test city that was blown up there. 

In talking to some of the non coms who were part of that test they told me that they were appx 1-11/2 miles (varied) from ground level zero and they were laid out in slit trenches and there only cover they had were their rain slicks to cover them from the fall-out.

There was a very high death toll in just afew years after that testing needless to say. Talk about being bullshitted by our gubermint. Nothing has changed has it?                 Milestones

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 10:13 | Link to Comment fredquimby
fredquimby's picture

There remains the slight potential for a relatively narrow corridor of highly contaminated water leading away from Japan

 

I saw this the other day George.

Captain: Massive amount of debris off Hawaii, “You had to be there… just kept going & going… so odd it was in straight line”

http://enenews.com/boat-captain-massive-amount-of-debris-near-hawaii-you...

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 09:07 | Link to Comment Michelle
Michelle's picture

Per evolutionary theory genetic mutations are good for us. Maybe in a million years our decendents will look back on the geological record and recognize that Fukishima alone was responsible for the big brain on Brad.

sarc/

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 09:35 | Link to Comment Truthseeker2
Truthseeker2's picture
"The Pacific Ocean Is Dying"

http://cosmicconvergence.org/?p=641

 

A Special Report On the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 05:55 | Link to Comment solgundy
solgundy's picture

since gov'ts can never be trusted to pass on the correct info....I've already banned all fish from the Pacific ,especially Alaska and food products grown  on the West coast including wine....maybe it's fine but why gamble when other sources exist for everything.....oh ya....one more reason ,it is fun always to stick it to California for any reason

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 10:51 | Link to Comment cro_maat
cro_maat's picture

I began screening out Pacific seafood over a year ago and give my family kelp pills. When I make sushi I frequent the Lobster Place in Chelsea Market which labels where each fish comes from and whether it is farmed or wild caught. However, I have found only 1 or 2 restaurants that are aware enough to ask their fish mongers for seafood source information. Mostly I get blank stares from waiters and even fish mongers themselves when I ask about what they are doing to ensure non-radioactive seafood. We are all fucked.

Oh and though this does not lessen my exposure one iota: Fuck you Bernanke!!!

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 09:37 | Link to Comment Truthseeker2
Truthseeker2's picture
FUKUSHIMA : A Nuclear Catastrophe of Epic Proportions

http://cosmicconvergence.org/?p=4000

 

The China Syndrome Morphs into “The Japan Syndrome”

 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 08:50 | Link to Comment ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

"Fukushima is 4,988 miles from Vilnius, Lithuania. So the plutonium traveled quite a distance."

GW, you're making the same mistake again. That plutonium was carried to Europe through the jet-stream which blows in the opposite direction (west to east in the N. Hemisphere), and it makes the distance between Fukushima and Vilnius approx. 11,000 miles.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 03:37 | Link to Comment Joenobody12
Joenobody12's picture

I unfortunately lives by the water in Washington and was planning to raise my kid there. Now I have to worry about radioactive fish. I think I will switch to fish from the gulf of Mexico and from Europe.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 09:26 | Link to Comment nickt1y
nickt1y's picture

I hope you live 10 miles away from the coast. My reading has indicated that there may be a 10 mile drift of paticles from the coast where they are created bt surf etc.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 06:30 | Link to Comment mendolover
mendolover's picture

North Atlantic has always been the healthiest source for seafood.  Let's hope nothing happens up there.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 05:56 | Link to Comment krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I live near the GoM and don't eat anything that comes out of it.  There were some research vessels mapping the plumes of Corexit infused oil beneath the surface and last I read, they had found them all the way down to the Tortugas.  The Gulf currrents completely wrap Florida and head to the Atlantic as part of the Gulf Stream.  Friends on the East Coast are saying they're seeing all manner of die-offs and are not satisfied that it's the continuation of normal run-off pollution as they have increased dramatically just in recent years.  I now only eat sushi in limited amounts from a shop that sources deep Atlantic fish caught off South America, through Miami.  I'll probably stop that soon and stick to my tilapia, boring, but at least I know where it comes from.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 05:22 | Link to Comment The Heart
The Heart's picture

"Now I have to worry about radioactive fish"

Yo Joe, you are somebody for speaking your truth to power. KNOW that.

Sadly, more and more of the real truth will be released, but notice it took two and a half years to even begin to crack the lid off the horrid mixture of evil behind this ELE to kill off the planets peoples. Most already have one foot in the grave, and do not even know it yet. How many times people are told this and continue to ignore it is less and less. Sad part of this unraveling horror story is, it is a never ending story. You gotta be rich to survive medically, and japan pays back the ancestors of the Americans that bombed them to death by allowing this to continue unabated. The rottenchid-tick owners of said japanese revengers profit in the population elimination and plunder the sick and dying agendas.

http://enenews.com/professor-it-is-true-that-about-70-of-japans-territor...

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 03:20 | Link to Comment The Heart
The Heart's picture

Bless'ed are the peacemakers...

Advanced are the truth tellers.

Thar be no better place to get real news and reporting about this here horrendous growing ever worse daily catastrophe in fukushima, japan. Many good hearts are thankful for the powerful reporting you do Sir GW. Blessings and grace.

Joyce Riley Interviews Arnie Gundersen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08JgKFgL7Nk

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 02:22 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Thanks, GW, for putting some muscle into this piece.  Nice work.

More on the topic for the Vast Pilez of Teh Interwebz:

http://jopy.org/jimn.pdf

This was my 20-page contribution in September.

A couple of things still stand out....one, the Fukushima incident is more like the sum of above-ground nuclear testing than it is like a mere Chernobyl.  Two, Japan should be intensively monitoring and mitigating the contamination; they just started the FIRST ocean floor cesium mapping in the past few months.  Third, US exposure looks to be something like a fivefold increase in background cesium in the Pacific, on average.  Finally, concentration pathways (currents, bioaccumulation) are not even looked at seriously by the public safety agencies.  Statistically, there have to be some 'vectors' in which contamination gets magnified quite intensely.  No one in power wishes to discuss any such thing. 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 09:16 | Link to Comment cossack55
cossack55's picture

Still working my way thru your paper.  Almost too worrisome to take in one fell swoop.  Much appreciated.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 03:22 | Link to Comment The Heart
The Heart's picture

And thank you too Sir Jim.

You and Sir GW are a double-barrel shotgun of good information and reporting to the crew.

Truly, those who seek the light about this sad situation are not left wandering in the darkness of uncertainty.

You have chosen to be a lightbrigader, wisely.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 02:33 | Link to Comment The_Prisoner
The_Prisoner's picture

Jim,how do they undertake the Cesium mapping? Is it by discrete water sampling and testing or is there a way to do this with detectors?

If there some type of online detection available it would not be hard to mount it into a wave-powered sea drone such as these:

http://www.liquidr.com/products_services/overview.html

 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 11:34 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

They have done some ocean floor sample capture and testing, but for the mapping they used a detector dragged from a boat.  I don't know exactly how far above the bottom it was dragged.  It can be done very precisely in shallow waters using GPS and autopositioning but I don't know what they actually did.

 

Here is a link to the news story about it.  At least it's one step beyond denial.

 

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201308080043

 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 02:11 | Link to Comment Clueless1
Clueless1's picture

So now  I can look forward to some low level radiation, alongside heavy metal poisoning...Oh joy.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 01:56 | Link to Comment gdogus erectus
gdogus erectus's picture

You'll all have to give Jeff some credit on this one!  He never let up on this story and has followed it from day one.  And some day, just like 9/11, everyone will realize that this too was a false flag event.  http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/fukushimatoptext.jpg

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 01:38 | Link to Comment boeing747
boeing747's picture

I do hope next version of iphone comes with drone remote-control functions and a built-in Geiger counter.

 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 00:24 | Link to Comment wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

Thanks GW. Keep it coming.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 00:11 | Link to Comment FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Please, do not worry.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 00:08 | Link to Comment are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

'Trampy' I have a degree in Physics. I have become more selective in buying fresh Salmon. Also the Japanese fishermen off of north east Japan are still fishing, but Google says that their catch is being sent to Thiland for relabeling at canneries owned by Japanese companies for sale outside of Japan. I welcome your discussion if you wish.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 00:08 | Link to Comment Trampy
Trampy's picture

If anyone wants to  know the true Achilles Heel of the entire nuclear industry, both commercial and defense, it's something very near and dear to my heart.  And it has absolutely nothing to do with the theoretical health risks of levels of ionizing radiation at levels so low they'd be practically impossible to distinguish from background.

That "Achilles Heel project" took three years, cost $2 M, and after much gnashing of (my) teeth and two rounds of very expensive reviews by outside technical experts and lawyers too ... the final report ended up being unlimited release, only because it wasn't sent over to NRC for a pre-publication courtesy review.  Thank God for the Balkanization of our government agencies because NRC probably would have wanted it classified and settled for OUO, which would have put a gag order on me talking about it.  After those findings of mine became the bone of contention in some relicensing proceedings, the NRC tried to make a solid and widely-cited technical report disappear; but that too failed.

Psst.  It's not about cancer risks.  Not at all!  Cancer risks are red herring.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 00:22 | Link to Comment George Washington
George Washington's picture

It's not a huge secret:

Forbes points out:

Nuclear power is no longer an economically viable source
of new energy in the United States, the freshly-retired CEO of Exelon,
America’s largest producer of nuclear power [who also served on the
president’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future], said in Chicago Thursday.

 

And it won’t become economically viable, he said, for the forseeable future.

 

***

 

“I’m the nuclear guy,” Rowe said. “And you won’t get better results
with nuclear. It just isn’t economic, and it’s not economic within a
foreseeable time frame.”

U.S. News and World Report notes:

After the Fukushima power plant disaster in Japan last
year, the rising costs of nuclear energy could deliver a knockout punch
to its future use in the United States, according to a researcher at the
Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment.

 

“From my point of view, the fundamental nature of [nuclear]
technology suggests that the future will be as clouded as the past,”
says Mark Cooper, the author of the report. New safety regulations
enacted or being considered by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
would push the cost of nuclear energy too high to be economically
competitive.

 

The disaster insurance for nuclear power plants in the United States
is currently underwritten by the federal government, Cooper says. Without that safeguard, “nuclear power is neither affordable nor worth the risk.
If the owners and operators of nuclear reactors had to face the full
liability of a Fukushima-style nuclear accident or go head-to-head with
alternatives in a truly competitive marketplace, unfettered by
subsidies, no one would have built a nuclear reactor in the past, no one would build one today, and anyone who owns a reactor would exit the nuclear business as quickly as possible.”

Nuclear power is expensive and bad for the environment. And – no matter what you may have heard – it does not help reduce carbon dioxide.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 02:26 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

Exelon - the biggest nuke plant operator in the world.   Guess who's daddy was a board member under an earlier name?  Bill Ayres.  Exelon is an Chicago-Obama company.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 05:45 | Link to Comment The Heart
The Heart's picture

"Exelon - the biggest nuke plant operator in the world.   Guess who's daddy was a board member under an earlier name?  Bill Ayres.  Exelon is an Chicago-Obama company."

DING DING DING!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tarB_LqjCY8

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 00:10 | Link to Comment Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

You do realize that ZH is a financially oriented website?

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 23:53 | Link to Comment Tinky
Tinky's picture

That's all ya got, George?

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 00:07 | Link to Comment George Washington
George Washington's picture

I'd tell you more, but...

mffffmtth!!!@!

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 11:40 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Whoa, I though that was WilliamBanzai7 for a second.... :*)

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 08:33 | Link to Comment screw face
Mon, 12/02/2013 - 23:32 | Link to Comment Trampy
Trampy's picture

 

 

The theoretical risks of radiation levels well below background, and the associated topic of radiation hormesis, are both topics way too complicated to discuss via 140-char Twitter blasts in this peanut gallery.

I'd love to find a fellow atomic scientist here (as in Bull. Atom. Sci.) to discuss both the science of this subject, and the lack thereof, in both the popular press and among fear-mongerers that dominate here.

I was the first to publish some very important insights gained from the TEPCO data which really rattled the cages of the NRC numbskulls.

Please email to PGP under Bio. All inquiries held in strict confidence.

 

 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:57 | Link to Comment Clycntct
Clycntct's picture

"I was the first to publish some very important insights gained from the TEPCO data which really rattled the cages of the NRC numbskulls."

Share the secret stuff with your friends.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 05:30 | Link to Comment MSimon
MSimon's picture

Former Naval Nuke. I have studied radiation hormesis.

 

Radiation external to the body seems to pump up the immune system.

 

http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/radiation-the-no-safe-level-myth.html

 

I'm more wary of ingesting radiation in food. But uranium is in everything. It contaminates the entire planet. Naturally. This was so well before the atmospheric atomic tests.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 00:03 | Link to Comment George Washington
George Washington's picture

Sounds double-plus secret ...

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 02:24 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

I wish they all could be California Grills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ1UqDnY7as

Man - I would love to go piss Cesium 137 and Iodine 131 all over Nancy Pelosi's Nor Cal vine yards.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 16:50 | Link to Comment donsluck
donsluck's picture

You are mean. Intentionally poisoning someone is definetly a sign of a psychopath.

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