Typhoons spreading Fukushima fallout ABC News 29 Nov 2013, Typhoons that hit Japan each year are contributing to the spread of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear disaster into the country’s waterways, researchers say.
A joint study by France’s Climate and Environmental Science laboratory (LSCE) and Tsukuba University in Japan shows contaminated soil gets washed away by the high winds and rain and deposited in streams and rivers. ”There is a definite dispersal towards the ocean,” LSCE researcher Olivier Evrard said Wednesday.
The typhoons “strongly contribute” to soil dispersal, he said, though it can be months later, after the winter snow melts, that contamination actually passes into rivers……….
Studies have shown that soil erosion can move the radioactive varieties of cesium-134 and 137 from the northern mountains near Fukushima into rivers, and then out into the Pacific Ocean.
Last year, the radioactive content of Japan’s rivers dropped due to fairly moderate typhoons. However, more frequent and fierce storms in 2013 have brought a new flood of caesium particles.
This is “proof that the source of the radioactivity has not diminished upstream” said Mr Evrard. Tsukuba University has completed a number of studies on Fukushima since November 2011. Scientists “concentrated mostly on the direct fallout from Fukushima yet this is another source of radioactive deposits” that must be taken into account, he warned. Coastal areas home to fishermen or where people bathe in particular face a potential risk…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-29/an-typhoons-spreading-fukushima-fallout/5124084
“We expected this to be the case. The state engineer obviously spent two years looking at it,” said Aaron Tilton, whose company, Blue Castle Holdings, is proposing the twin-reactor plant in Emery County.
Tilton added that the judge rightfully weighed the merits of Jones’ decision within the context of what state law dictates.
“You got to look at the totality of everything that we have done and the way the law was applied. If we interpreted the law the way HEAL Utah wanted, nobody’s water rights would be approved,” he said.
The decision was blasted by HEAL Utah and other environmental groups that contended Jones’ decision was illegal because there was no demonstration by Blue Castle that the project is economically feasible or the water use is sustainable.
“It’s baffling that this project continues to stumble forward,” says HEAL Utah’s policy director, Matt Pacenza.
But 7th District Judge George Harmond said HEAL Utah and the other environmental groups failed to prove their case, and there was no lawful basis to deny the water use………http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=960&sid=27813730&fm=most_popular
For years, there have been allegations that the ‘Ndrangheta syndicate of the Italian mafia has been using the seas as a convenient location in which to dump hazardous waste — including radioactive waste — charging for the service and pocketing the profits. An Italian NGO, Legambiente, suspects that about 40 ships loaded with toxic and radioactive waste have disappeared in Mediterranean waters since 1994. If true, these allegations paint a worrying picture of an unknown amount of nuclear waste in the Mediterranean whose true danger will only become clear when the hundreds of barrels degrade or somehow otherwise break open. The beauty of the Mediterranean Sea may well be concealing an environmental catastrophe in the making.
Mafia sinks toxic waste ships in the Mediterranean
8. The Somalian Coast
Nuclear Waste Dumping at Sea “paid” – Somalia
7. Mayak Chemical Combine, Russia
6. Sellafield, UK Read more »
So you need that smart cuckoo clock for Christmas, do you?, George Monbiot, Guardian, 26 Nov 13
A global bullshit industry recruits the values with which we’d like the festival to be invested – to sell things no one wants Guilt is good. It’s the feature that distinguishes the rest of the population from psychopaths. It’s the sensation you are able to feel when you possess a capacity for empathy. But guilt inhibits consumption. So a global industry has developed to smother it with a 13-tog duvet of celebrities and cartoon characters and elevator music. It seeks to persuade us not to see and not to feel. It seems to work.
The 2012 Greendex survey found that people in poorer countries feel, on average, much guiltier about their impacts on the natural world than people in rich countries. The places in which people feel least guilt are, in this order, Germany, the United States, Australia and Britain, while the people of India, China, Mexico and Brazil have the greatest concerns. Our guilt, the survey reported, exists in inverse proportion to the amount of damage our consumption does. This is the opposite of what a thousand editorials in the corporate press tell us: that people cannot afford to care until they become rich. The evidence suggests we cease to care only when we become rich.
“Consumers in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, China and India,” the survey tells us, “tend to be most concerned about issues like climate change, air and water pollution, species loss and shortages of fresh water … In contrast, the economy and the cost of energy and fuel elicit the most concern among American, French and British consumers.” The more you have, the more important money becomes. My guess is that in poorer countries empathy has not been so dulled by decades of mindless consumption.
Watch the latest advertisement for Toys R Us in the US. A man dressed up as a ranger herds children on to a green bus belonging to “the Meet the Trees Foundation”. “Today we’re taking the kids on the best field trip they could wish for,” he confides to us. “And they don’t even know it.”
Did Toys R Us Just Make an Anti Science Education Ad?
On the bus he starts teaching them, badly, about leaves. The children yawn and shift in their seats. Suddenly, he announces: “But we’re not going to the forest today …” He strips off his ranger shirt. “We’re going to Toys R Us, guys!” The children go berserk. “We’re going to get to play with all the toys, and you’re going to get to choose any toy that you want!” The children run, in slow motion, down the aisles of the shop, then almost swoon as they caress their chosen toys.
Nature is tedious, plastic is thrilling. The inner-city children I took to the woods a few weeks ago would tell a different story, but hammer home the message often enough and it becomes true.
Christmas permits the global bullshit industry to recruit the values with which so many of us would like the festival to be invested – love, warmth, a community of spirit – to the sole end of selling things that no one needs or even wants…….
Are we so bored, so affectless, that we need to receive this junk to ignite one last spark of hedonic satisfaction? Have people become so immune to fellow feeling that they are prepared to spend £46 on a jar for dog treats or £6.50 a bang on personalised crackers, rather than give the money to a better cause? Or is this the western world’s potlatch, spending ridiculous sums on conspicuously useless gifts to enhance our social status? If so, we must have forgotten that those who are impressed by money are not worth impressing.
To service this peculiar form of mental illness, we must wear down the knap of the Earth, ream the surface of the planet with great holes, fleetingly handle the products of that destruction then dump the materials into another hole. A report by the Gaia Foundation reveals an explosive growth in the pace of mining: cobalt production up 165% in 10 years, iron ore by 180%, a 50% increase in nonferrous metals exploration between 2010 and 2011.
The products of this destruction are in everything: electronics, plastics, ceramics, paints, dyes, the packaging in which our fatuities arrive. As the richest deposits are mined out, ever more land must be attacked to maintain production. Even the most precious and destructive materials are junked when a new dopamine hit is required: the UK government reports that a tonne of gold embedded in electronics is landfilled in this country every year…… A fully referenced version of this article can be found at Monbiot.com http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/25/christmas-selling-things-nobody-wants
“Radionuclides from Fukushima due to hit U.S. West Coast any day now” — Senior Scientist: “Really bizarre” U.S. gov’t not testing for it — Concerned officials contacting him about threat http://enenews.com/plume-of-water-carrying-radionuclides-from-fukushima-due-to-hit-u-s-west-coast-any-day-now-senior-scientist-its-really-bizarre-that-u-s-govt-is-not-doing-any-testing-concerned-offic
Cape Cod Times, Nov. 24, 2013:
Model shows estimated location of plume in 2014
With the first plume of water carrying radionuclides from Fukushima due to hit the U.S. West Coast any day now, [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Senior Scientist Ken] Buesseler’s latest project is to convince the federal government to monitor radiation levels in the sea water. [...] He predicts the radiation will be so diluted after the long journey across the Pacific that it will pose no threat [...] But he knows that’s not enough to reassure the public. [...] he knows people are concerned [...] he fields regular phone calls from surfers and salmon fishermen as well as congressmen. [...]
[Buesseler] 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 [...] Buesseler also talked with U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., [...] Markey said in an email that an increased federal role is not likely considering the budgetary brakes being applied by the Republicans in Congress. “The sequester is a double-punch, cutting funding for the agencies charged with promoting scientific discovery and protecting our natural resources,” he said.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Senior Scientist Ken Buesseler: We’ve known that for two and half years. Every day they are making contaminated water [...] I’m a little disappointed in Japan. What (the denial has) done is made the public extremely mistrustful. [...] We don’t have a U.S. agency responsible for radiation in the ocean [...] It’s really bizarre. [...] Given what’s happened at Fukushima [...] Wouldn’t you want to have some measurement?
Radiation Cleanup at Park on Staten Island to Take Years NYT, By LISA W. FODERARO November 25, 2013 The first sign that something was amiss at Great Kills Park, on Staten Island, came in 2005 when a police flyover of New York City detected a positive reading for radioactive material there. The finding, part of a counterterrorism search, did not come as a complete shock. After all, the 488-acre park was the depository for 15 million cubic yards of fill in the 1940s and 1950s, including medical and sanitary waste. The fill was dumped across wetlands to turn marshy areas into usable recreation space. Some of the waste, it turned out, contained radium, a naturally occurring element that was also used for decades in medical treatments, toys, cosmetics and even toothpaste.
At first, the source of radiation appeared to be confined to a small area behind a parking lot next to a field popular for flying model airplanes. The National Park Service, which operates the park, quickly fenced it off. But in the years since, further investigations by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Army Corps of Engineers turned up more hot spots and a fuller, more disturbing picture.
Read more »
The Global Threat of Fukushima, counterpunch A Global Response is Needed WEEKEND EDITION OCTOBER 25-27, 2013 by KEVIN ZEESE AND MARGARET FLOWERS”………As bad as the ongoing leakage of radioactive water is into the Pacific, that is not the largest part of the water problem. The Asia-Pacific Journal reported last month that TEPCO has 330,000 tons of water stored in 1,000 above-ground tanks and an undetermined amount in underground storage tanks. Every day, 400 tons of water comes to the site from the mountains, 300 tons of that is the source for the contaminated water leaking into the Pacific daily. It is not clear where the rest of this water goes.
Each day TEPCO injects 400 tons of water into the destroyed facilities to keep them cool; about half is recycled, and the rest goes into the above-ground tanks. They are constantly building new storage tanks for this radioactive water. The tanks being used for storage were put together rapidly and are already leaking. They expect to have 800,000 tons of radioactive water stored on the site by 2016. Harvey Wasserman warns that these unstable tanks are at risk of rupture if there is another earthquake or storm that hits Fukushima. The Asia-Pacific Journal concludes: “So at present there is no real solution to the water problem.”
The most recent news on the water problem at Fukushima adds to the concerns. On October 11, 2013, TEPCO disclosed that the radioactivity level spiked 6,500 times at a Fukushima well. “TEPCO said the findings show that radioactive substances like strontium have reached the groundwater. High levels of tritium, which transfers much easier in water than strontium, had already been detected………”http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/25/the-global-threat-of-fukushima/
The Global Threat of Fukushima, counterpunch A Global Response is Needed WEEKEND EDITION OCTOBER 25-27, 2013 by KEVIN ZEESE AND MARGARET FLOWERS ”………….An estimated 300 tons (71,895 gallons/272,152 liters) of contaminated water is flowing into the ocean every day. The first radioactive ocean plume released by the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster will take three years to reach the shores of the United States. This means, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales, the United States will experience the first radioactive water coming to its shores sometime in early 2014.
One month after Fukushima, the FDA announced it was going to stop testing fish in the Pacific Ocean for radiation. But, independent research is showing that every bluefin tuna tested in the waters off California has been contaminated with radiation that originated in Fukushima. Daniel Madigan, the marine ecologist who led the Stanford University study from May of 2012 was quoted in the Wall Street Journalsaying, “The tuna packaged it up (the radiation) and brought it across the world’s largest ocean. We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured.” Marine biologist Nicholas Fisher of Stony Brook University in New York State, another member of the study group, said: “We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium 134 and cesium 137.”
In addition, Science reports that fish near Fukushima are being found to have high levels of the radioactive isotope, cesium-134. The levels found in these fish are not decreasing, which indicates that radiation-polluted water continues to leak into the ocean. At least 42 fish species from the area around the plant are considered unsafe. South Korea has banned Japanese fish as a result of the ongoing leaks.
The half-life (time it takes for half of the element to decay) of cesium 134 is 2.0652 years. For cesium 137, the half-life is 30.17 years. Cesium does not sink to the ocean floor, so fish swim through it. What are the human impacts of cesium?……..
There is no end in sight from the leakage of radioactive water into the Pacific from Fukushima. Harvey Wasserman is questioning whether fishing in the Pacific Ocean will be safe after years of leakage from Fukushima. The World Health Organization (WHO) is claiming that this will have limited effect on human health, with concentrations predicted to be below WHO safety levels. However, experts seriously question the WHO’s claims……… http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/25/the-global-threat-of-fukushima/
Cs-134 : 34,000 Bq/Kg
Cs-137 : 76,000 Bq/Kg
The sampling date was 10/10/2013.
101,000 Bq/kg of Cs-134/137 was also measured from marbled rockfish collected on 10/29/2013. This sample was from the port too.
Radiation level of marine products is still significantly high.http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2013/images/fish01_131120-j.pdf
Organic Italian jam found to contain radiation from decades-old Chernobyl accident – what is Fukushima doing to our food supply? November 17, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, (NaturalNews) More than 5,000 jars of organic wild blueberry jam made in Italy have been intercepted and recalled by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in Japan after multiple batches of the fruit spread tested positive for unacceptable levels of radioactive cesium-137. According to the Japanese news source Shukan Asahi, the blueberries used in the Fiordifrutta brand jam, which originated in Bulgaria, were affected by radiation not from a recent nuclear event like Fukushima but rather from the infamous Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.
This shocking revelation came as officials began tracing the source of the contaminated fruit, which tested as high as 164 becquerels (Bq) per kilogram (kg) of cesium-137, according to the paper. Located some 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) away, the fields where the tainted blueberries were grown somehow came into contact with residual radiation from an accident that took place nearly 30 years ago, illustrating the harrowing long-term effects of nuclear disasters………
Very little imported food is tested for radiation, so contamination rates could be far higher
The paper admits that only a tiny fraction, less than 10 percent, of food imported into the country is tested for radiation. This means that there could be far more affected products than just the jam that millions of people could be consuming unwittingly. And since countries like the U.S. and many in Europe have lower radiation standards for food, this is even more of a possibility in Japan……..
The original Shukan Asahi report in Japanese can be accessed here:
Rio Tinto, Paladin Uranium Mines in Namibia Face Water Shortage, Bloomberg News By Felix Njini November 18, 2013 Uranium mines operated by companies including Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) and Paladin Energy Ltd. in Namibia face a water shortage as a drought in the southwest African nation curbs supply to the operations and three coastal towns.
Volumes from the Omaruru Delta acquifer, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) northwest of the capital, Windhoek, have declined to 4 million cubic meters this year from 9 million cubic meters a year earlier, said Nehemia Abraham, under-secretary for water and forestry in the Ministry of Agriculture.
The source is in the semi-arid Erongo region, which supplies the towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Henties Bay and suffers from severe shortages. Water from a desalination plant owned by Areva SA (AREVA), the country’s first such facility, isn’t enough to meet needs of Paladin’s Langer Heinrich uranium mine, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co.’s Husab uranium project and Rio’s Rossing complex.
“The water-supply situation at the coastal area has become too critical,” Abraham said by phone yesterday. “Mining companies in the area will have to operate with less water. We are reviewing the situation now and from end of November we might be unable to get enough water from the aquifer to supply to mines.”
Langer Heinrich spokeswoman Ratonda Murangi didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed questions. Botha Ellis, a spokesman for Rossing, directed queries to Namibia Water Corp., the country’s state-owned utility known as Namwater.
Rossing’s total water requirement for 2012 was 7.48 million cubic meters, 41 percent of which was for fresh water, while the rest was recycled, according to its website.
The three towns use about 4.5 million cubic meters and there is currently no spare capacity from the aquifer, known as Omdel, Abraham said…… http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-11-18/rio-tinto-paladin-uranium-mines-in-namibia-face-water-shortage
San Francisco families could be at risk of radiation poisoning – report RT.com November 14, 2013 A small island in the heart of San Francisco Bay could be a major source of radiation and the young families that live there may be at risk of poisoning, a new report from the California Department of Health has concluded.
Treasure Island, a man-made landmass within view of the Golden Gate Bridge, is the former site of a US military base that is now home to renovated land areas, playgrounds, and apartment buildings. San Francisco lawmakers previously announced their intention to build an 8,000-unit tower there once the Navy formally cedes land rights.
Earlier this year, workers with the California Department of Public Health found radioactive shards in the ground on the western side of the island. One object was so radioactive that holding it for an hour would result in burns, hair loss, and other maladies, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.
An internal memo written in September and unveiled this week admonished officials’ prior notice for implying that the area is known to be safe.“Further evaluation should be made of the probability of a member of the public, especially critical members of the population (for example, children) picking up a radioactive fragment and being exposed,” state health officials wrote, as quoted by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
“As of 2011, 575 radioactive shards had been found on Treasure Island,” the memo continued. “Regulators have speculated that the shards could have been buried for military practice using Geiger counters, which measure radiation. Earlier this year CDPH officials found radioactive shards buried in lawns near apartments on the island.” …..http://rt.com/usa/san-francisco-radiation-poisoning-report-744/
Radiation threat on Treasure Island, report says SF Gate, Matt Smith and Katharine Mieszkowski, Center for Investigative Reporting, Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Despite six years of Navy cleanup and San Francisco city government reassurances that Treasure Island is safe, children living there might be at risk of radiation poisoning, a newly released state health departmentmemo concludes.
Earlier this year, California Department of Public Health workers discovered radioactive shards buried in lawns near apartment buildings on the island’s western side. One small octagonal object was so radioactive that holding onto it for an hour could cause burns, hair loss and ulceration, according to the memo.
That area of the former military base is now home to a playground, landscaped recreation areas and apartments. The Navy is slated to turn over the land to the city, which plans to build an 8,000-unit high-rise development there…….
In a strongly worded internal memo, written in June and updated in September, state health officials warned that there was no guarantee the area was safe and said findings indicated there still might be dangerous radioactive waste in the ground where children could find it…….
How much is left?
Officials have no way of knowing how many shards remain on the island. But as of 2011, a total of 575 had been unearthed, according to internal health department e-mails.
The new memo again says tests have not been thorough enough to evaluate whether the apartment areas are safe.
Besides the warning about radioactive shards, the health department memo says soil just under the grass contained low concentrations of radium, making it possible that decorative shrubs in the area might have absorbed radioactive material…..http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Radiation-threat-on-Treasure-Island-report-says-4979641.php
Animals living in areas contaminated by radioactive material from Chernobyl suffer from increased oxidative stress and low levels of antioxidants. Therefore, normal development of the nervous system is jeopardized as reflected by high frequencies of developmental errors, reduced brain size and impaired cognitive abilities in humans. Alternatively, associations between psychological effects and radiation have been attributed to post-traumatic stress in humans.
Here we used an extensive sample of 550 birds belonging to 48 species to test the prediction that even in the absence of post-traumatic stress, there is a negative association between relative brain size and level of background radiation. We found a negative association between brain size as reflected by external head volume and level of background radiation, independent of structural body size and body mass. The observed reduction in brain size in relation to background radiation amounted to 5% across the range of almost a factor 5,000 in radiation level. Species differed significantly in reduction in brain size with increasing background radiation, and brain size was the only morphological character that showed a negative relationship with radiation. Brain size was significantly smaller in yearlings than in older individuals.
Low dose radiation can have significant effects on normal brain development as reflected by brain size and therefore potentially cognitive ability. The fact that brain size was smaller in yearlings than in older individuals implies that there was significant directional selection on brain size with individuals with larger brains experiencing a viability advantage……..http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0016862
Texas-sized toxic ‘island’ of Japan tsunami waste approaching US http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_11_05/Texas-sized-toxic-island-of-Japan-tsunami-waste-approaching-US-2200/
A huge chunk of toxic debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami is inevitably nearing the US West coast. Currently 1,700 miles away, between Hawaii and California, the “isle of junk” is worth million tons, while another million is still wandering in the Pacific.
In case the floating junkyard, dubbed by Fox News as the “toxic monster,” reunites with the rest of the rubble, its weight might reach five million tons while the area might exceed that of the States. That’s according to the report released last week by the US Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as the NOAA was trying to predict exactly the point at which the junkyard would reach land.
The “toxic monster” consists of items swept into the ocean by the tsunami – boats, houses, devices, consumer goods.
The data indicates that the movement of the debris is wildly unpredictable, as experts expect the bulk of the rubbish washing-up at any spot of the West coast of either US or Canada in the next several years.
Some of the debris may have already crossed the Pacific, as reports claim Japanese fishing vessels to have been washed up to Canadian shores as early as winter of 2011. In this case, the level of toxic junk already on the US beaches is probably high.
According to the Japanese Ministry of Environment, the tsunami left around five million tons of rubbish on the coast of Japan, but only 30% floated out into the wider Pacific. The rest, the Ministry claims, sunk to the ocean floor around Japan.
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