Japan Scientist: “I’ve never seen this before” — White lungs found in dolphins that died during mass stranding near Fukushima — Interruption of blood supply leading to death of tissue — Disease has been linked to radiation exposurehttp://enenews.com/dead-dolphins-washed-fukushima-entirely-white-lungs-head-scientist-ive-never-before-interruption-blood-supply-leading-tissue-death-disease-linked-radiation-exposure-large-spike-after-chernoby?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Asahi Shimbun, Apr 11, 2015 (emphasis added):
- Google Translate: Ibaraki Prefecture… for a large amount of dolphin which was launched on the shore… the National Science Museum… investigated… researchers rushed from national museums and university laboratory, about 30 people were the anatomy of the 17 animals in the field. [According to Yuko Tajima] who led the investigation… “the lungs of most of the 17… was pure white ischemic state, visceral signs of overall clean and disease and infections were observed”… Lungs white state, that has never seen before.
- Systran: The National Science Museum… investigated circumstance and cause etc concerning the mass dolphin which is launched to the seashore of Ibaraki prefecture… the researchers ran from the museum and the university laboratory… approximately 30 people dissected 17… [Yuko Tajima] of the National Science Museum which directed investigation research worker [said] “the most lung 17 was state with true white, but as for the internal organs being clean”… The lung true white as for state, says… have not seen.
Fukushima Diary, Apr 12, 2015: According to National Science Museum, most of the inspected 17 dolphins had their lungs in ischaemia state… The chief of the researching team stated “Most of the lungs looked entirely white”… internal organs were generally clean without any symptoms of disease or infection, but most of the lungs were in ischaemia state. She said “I have never seen such a state”.
Wikipedia: Ischemia is a vascular disease involving an interruption in the arterial blood supply to a tissue, organ, or extremity that, if untreated, can lead to tissue death.
Many reports have been published on the links between ischemia and radiation exposure:
- “It has been shown that the ionizing radiation in small doses under certain conditions can be considered as one of starting mechanisms of… IHD [ischemic heart disease].” –Source
- “Radiation risks on non-cancer effects has been revealed in the [Chernobyl] liquidators… Recently, the statistically significant dose risk of ischemic heart disease… was published.” –Source
- “Incidence of and mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) have been studied in a cohort of 12210 workers [at] Mayak nuclear facility… there was statistically significant increasing trend in IHD incidence with total external gamma dose.” –Source
- “Numerous studies have been published concerning non cancer diseases in liquidators… Risk of ischemic heart disease… seems increased.” –Source
- “In 1990 the International Chernobyl Project has been carried out under the aegis of the IAEA… It is known that the international experts who had taken part in the International Chernobyl Project were aware of the report by the Minster of the Ministry of Health Care of Belarus delivered at an informal meeting arranged by the IAEA… The Belorussian Minister reported about… the worsening of the general health state of the affected population… “Among adults in 1988 there was a two- to fourfold increase, in comparison with preceding years, in the number of persons suffering from… ischemic heart diseases” –Source
- “In a study on a Russian cohort of 61,000 Chernobyl emergency workers… a statistically significant risk of ischemic heart disease was observed.” –Source
See also: Japan Times: Over 150 dolphins wash ashore at multiple locations — 50 miles from Fukushima border — Could be largest mass stranding ever reported in nation’s history — Govt’ Expert: “The dolphins may have had psychological problems… We don’t see any immediate signs of cancer” (VIDEO)
Fukushima radiation in Canadian waters, DW 10 Apr 15 Scientists have detected radiation from Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster off the Canadian coast. Experts disagree as to whether the amount detected constitutes a dangerous level or not. Trace amounts of the radioactive isotopes cesium-134 and cesium-137 have been found in samples that were collected close to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. According to the Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) Network, it was the first time that traces of cesium-134 had been detected off North American coasts.
Ken Buesseler, a marine chemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), said in a statement: “Radioactivity can be dangerous, and we should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history.”
He led an initiative that measured 60 sites along the U.S. and Canadian West Coast and Hawaii over the past 15 months for traces of radioactive isotopes from Fukushima. Using computer models, the scientist had already predicted that the traces would reach the coast,……..http://www.dw.de/fukushima-radiation-in-canadian-waters/a-18367257
“BREAKING NEWS – Scientists detect Fukushima radiation on North American shores” — Coastal communities ‘concerned’ — Over 7 Bq/m3 of cesium from dock in Pacific Northwest — Professor: It indicates arrival of other radioactive substances — “Represents potential radiological health risk” (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/top-headline-fukushima-radiation-reached-north-american-shores-7-bqm3-cesium-detected-dock-pacific-northwest-professor-indicator-other-types-radioactive-substances-arrived-represents-potentia
Statesman Journal, Apr 6, 2015: BREAKING NEWS Scientists detect Fukushima radiation on North American shores — Seaborne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has reached North America… cesium-134 and cesium-137 in a sample of seawater taken in February from a dock on Vancouver Island… It’s the first time radioactivity from the March 2011 triple meltdown has been identified on West Coast shores [see: April 2011 — California seawater squeezed from kelp sample had 400,000 Bq/m3 of Iodine-131]… sample was taken Feb. 19… It contained 1.5 becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3) of cesium-134, the Fukushima fingerprint, and 5 Bq/m3 of cesium-137 [actually 1.4 and 5.8, respectively]… Fukushimaradiation concerns coastal communities… models have predicted that in general, the plume would hit the shore in the north first, then head south toward California… currents can be unpredictable… Woods Hole has received support from the National Science Foundation to analyze about 250 seawater samples that will be collected next month…
CTVNews, Apr 6, 2015: First low-level trace of Fukushima radioactivity detected off B.C. — But the levels are so low they are likely of little concern… Still, researchers say this is the first detectable of radioactivity from Fukushima found in a water sample taken from the U.S. and Canadian West Coast… Ken Buesseler, a marine chemist at WHOI who has been measuring radioactivity in Pacific seawater since 2011, says it’s been important to carefully monitor the oceans, given that the Fukushima disaster saw the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history.
Buesseler’s statement: “Even if the levels were twice as high, you could still swim in the ocean for six hours every day for a year and receive a dose more than a thousand times less than a single dental X-ray. While that’s not zero, that’s a very low risk.. We expect more of the sites will show detectable levels… Predicting the spread of radiation becomes more complex the closer it gets.”
CBC Radio, March 2015: Four years after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, scientists like UVic’s Jay Cullen are still monitoring the Pacific waters near us for radiation. Listen to what he’s found and what he hasn’t… Cullen: “If we see cesium-134 in a water sample or a fish for example we know that that’s been affected by the Fukushima disaster… Not only is cesium a marker for other isotopes that were released… it also represents a potential radiological health risk because if its internalized… it can damage our cells and cause illness. So the risk of illness appearing in individuals relates to the activity, how much of that isotope ends up in their body. Given the nature of this disaster, with most of the isotopes going into the North Pacific Ocean, the most likely way that a human being would be exposed to this radioactivity at this point would be through the consumption of seafood.” >> Full interview here
the abrupt fluctuations offer a glimpse at the duration of the effects of climate change driven by human activity pumping more planet-warming gases into Earth’s atmosphere, Moffitt said.
“What this shows us is that there are major biomes on this planet that are on the table, that are on the chopping block for a future of abrupt climate warming and unchecked greenhouse gas emissions,” Moffitt said. “We as a society and civilization have to come to terms with the things that we are going to sacrifice if we do not reduce our greenhouse gas footprint.
Oceans might take thousands of years to recover from climate change, study suggests, SMH, April 2, 2015 Geoffrey Mohan Naturally occurring climate change lowered oxygen levels in the deep ocean, decimating a broad spectrum of seafloor life that took some 1,000 years to recover, according to a study that offers a potential window into the effects of modern warming.
Earth’s recovery from the last glacial period, in fact, was slower and more brutal than previously thought, according to the study, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers deciphered that plotline from a 30-foot core of sea sediments drilled from the Santa Barbara Basin off the coast of California containing more than 5,000 fossils spanning nearly 13,000 years.
“The recovery does not happen on a century scale; it’s a commitment to a millennial-scale recovery,” said Sarah Moffitt, a marine ecologist at the University of California, Davis’ Bodega Marine Laboratory and lead author of the study. “If we see dramatic oxygen loss in the deep sea in my lifetime, we will not see a recovery of that for many hundreds of years, if not thousands or more.”………
beginning around 13,500 years ago, the seafloor community began a slow recovery with the rise of grazers that fed on bacterial mats. Recovery eventually was driven by a fluctuation back toward glaciation during the Younger Dryas period, a cooling sometimes called the Big Freeze.
“The biological community takes 1,000 years to truly recover to the same ecological level of functioning,” Moffitt said. “And the community progresses through really interesting and bizarre states before it recovers the kind of biodiversity that was seen prior to the warming.”……..
The climate changes chronicled in the study arose from natural cycles involving Earth’s orbit of the sun, and the oxygen declines that ensued were more extreme than those that have occurred in modern times, the study noted.
Still, the abrupt fluctuations offer a glimpse at the duration of the effects of climate change driven by human activity pumping more planet-warming gases into Earth’s atmosphere, Moffitt said.
“What this shows us is that there are major biomes on this planet that are on the table, that are on the chopping block for a future of abrupt climate warming and unchecked greenhouse gas emissions,” Moffitt said. “We as a society and civilization have to come to terms with the things that we are going to sacrifice if we do not reduce our greenhouse gas footprint.” http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/oceans-might-take-thousands-of-years-to-recover-from-climate-change-study-suggests-20150401-1md7qk.html
Fukushima: Uranium and Plutonium Contamination of Large Areas of Oceans, Ground-water, Soils.By Edmondo Burr Global Research, March 29, 2015 Your News Wire Scientists have raised concern over the rate of radioactive contamination of the Pacific, due to the Fukushima nuclear accident.
- Expert : Plutonium-241 from Fukushima nearly 70,000 times more than atomic bomb fallout in Japan.
- Officials : Molten fuel now ‘particle-like’, contains ‘special’ nuclear materials.
- Gov’t Labs : Large areas of oceans contaminated by plutonium from events such as Fukushima; Build-up in biosphere expected; Considerable hazard to humans.
Energy News statement :
Detection of long-lived plutonium isotopes in environmental samples by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) — Plutonium isotopes 239Pu, 240Pu and 242Pu are anthropogenic radionuclides emitted into the environment by nuclear activities. Pu is accumulated in the human body and hence, poses a considerable hazard to human health. Due to the long half-lives, these isotopes are present in the biosphere on large time scales and a build-up can be expected. Therefore it is important to study the contamination pathway of Pu into the drinking water… a method to detect long-lived Pu isotopes by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is being developed. AMS requires only few milligrams of sample material… Consequently, more samples from different locations can be taken which is essential when searching for locally increased Pu concentrations as in the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima accident… Samples from different locations in the Pacific Ocean and from the snow-hydrosphere are planned…
Statement by: Taeko Shinonaga, head of Radioanalytical Laboratory at Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen (research institution founded jointly by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education & Research and Bavaria’s Finance Ministry), scientists from Technische Universitat Munchen (Germany), Verhandlungen der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft 2013 meeting (emphasis added)
Presentation by: Taeko Shinonaga, head of Helmholtz radioanalytical lab (pdf), Nov 2014: Comparison of activity between [nuclear bomb testing] fallout Pu particle and Fukushima origin Pu particle:…..http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-uranium-and-plutonium-contamination-of-large-areas-of-oceans-ground-water-soils/5439271
Gov’t Report: Plutonium at 1,000,000 Bq/m3 was detected in ocean off Fukushima — “Contaminated waters will be transported rapidly to east” across Pacific — This is “the most important direct liquid release of artificial radioactivity into sea ever known” — Scientists: “Remember, its not just cesium that’s released” http://enenews.com/govt-report-1000000-bqm3-plutonium-detected-ocean-fukushima-contaminated-waters-transported-rapidly-east-across-pacific-fukushima-crisis-important-direct-liquid-release-artificial-radioactivity?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Comparison between modelling and measurement of marine dispersion, environmental half-time and 137Cs inventories after the Fukushima Daiichi accident, Pascal Bailly du Bois (IRSN), Pierre Garreau (IFREMER), Philippe Laguionie (IRSN), Irène Korsakissok (IRSN), 2014:Contamination of the marine environment following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) represents the most important influx of artificial radioactivity released into the sea ever recorded… The direct liquid releases from FDNPP represent the largest influx of artificial radioactivity into the sea ever occurring over a short period of time on a small spatial scale… Although controlled releases of liquid effluent from the Sellafield reprocessing plant can be compared in terms of total quantities, they have occurred over several years (1970-1980) instead of days, weeks and months as in the case of the FDNPP accident… [W]hatever the detailed current direction at the time of the accident is, water mass fluxes were governed by the generally strong Kuroshio and Oyashio currents that are stable at this scale… Contaminated waters will be transported rapidly to the east… Contamination of the marine environment following the accident at the FDNPP represents the most important direct liquid release of artificial radioactivity into the sea ever known…
Supplementary material for study: Database of seawater measurements (.xls spreadsheet)
Ken Buesseler (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and Mitsuo Uematsu (Univ. of Tokyo)(pdf): Remember, it’s not just cesium isotopes that were released… What about plutonium?… Surface ocean in June 2011 see slightly elevated Pu – from direct discharge?
See also: VIDEO: Fukushima corium found in Pacific — Flowing into ocean after hydrogen dissolves nuclear fuel — Scientist: We’ve actually seen plutonium floating on surface; “We have no control over this accident… they’ve got leaks everywhere”
Given this research by Nicholas Fisher on Americium and Ken Buessler’s Ph.D. on plutonium testing, one would think that they would test for this at Fukushima. They apparently decided to test for Caesium, instead. The following was an important, taxpayer funded (seemingly DOD) research grant, which is apparently NOT being put to good use
Sea Stars: Sentinels for Radionuclides-Nuclear Waste, Mining Awareness 14 Mar 15 Over 20 years ago, the US government gave money to researchers to study the impact of long-lived radionuclides, which might leak from Russian nuclear waste in the Arctic. It was determined that sea stars could be bioindicators of 241 Americium.
Is seafood totally free from Fukushima radiation?http://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?monthyear=&day=13&id=75191&l=e&special=&ndb=1%20target=Friday, March 13, 2015,
A new report on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan raises concerns as to seafood safety given the radioactivity levels in tuna and other fish.
The 2015 Fukushima Report was prepared under the direction of Professor Jonathan M. Samet, Director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern California(USC), as a Green Cross initiative.
“Our local presence and ongoing activities to help the communities impacted by radioactive contamination in Chernobyl and Fukushima gives us first-hand experience of the human and environmental consequences of nuclear disasters,” pointed out Adam Koniuszewski, Chief Operating Officer of Green Cross International.
“This is why we are demanding more transparency and better governance around nuclear power and the risks involved, and a better assessment of its mounting costs. The management of nuclear waste in increasingly burdensome and the cost of decommissioning plants is escalating. In the meantime, renewable energy solutions are getting cheaper. Over the last five years the cost for utility scale solar has declined by 78 per cent, and by for wind by 58 per cent,” Koniuszewski added.
The radiation released by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was largely concentrated in Japan and over the Pacific Ocean.
According to estimates, 80 per cent of the released radiation was deposited in the ocean and the other 20 per cent was mostly dispersed within a 50 km radius to the northwest of the power plant in the Fukushima Prefecture.
While the expected cancer risk to humans caused by the radiation released over the Pacific Ocean are small, trace amounts of radiation have already reached the North American continent, in particular parts of the North West Coast of the United States.
In addition to the radioactive material initially released in the ocean, water leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant remains a problem four years after the accident.Reports of pipes breaking and water escaping from containment tanks in the months and years since the accident are a source of worry for workers and the public. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) reported that radioactive material had been released as late as May of 2013.
Green Cross is committed to phasing out nuclear energy worldwide. The organisation is also concerned about the effects military use of nuclear materials can have on the environment and health. Because of the worldwide effects of climate change and nuclear disasters, it is urgently necessary for the global community to work together on developing and using renewable energies, boosting energy efficiency, and pursuing a controlled, global end to the production of nuclear power.
The 2015 Fukushima Report is available to download in English at: Fukushima Report.
Report: Fukushima fallout detected in U.S. fish — Dose equal to samples caught 100 miles from plant — Persistently high levels detected in marine life offshore “not anticipated… orders of magnitude” more than expected — “Measurements needed… along predicted plume trajectory” http://enenews.com/report-fallout-japan-reactors-detected-freshwater-fish-radioactive-dose-equivalent-fish-caught-100-miles-fukushima-reactors-ongoing-measurements-needed-along-predicted-plume-trajectory
Excerpts from ‘Radiological Dose Rates to Marine Fish from the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: The First Three Years Across the North Pacific’, includes authors from Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences and Oregon St. Univ., 2015 (emphasis added):
- A more complete record is emerging of radionuclide measurements in fish [from]across the Pacific… Fish 100–200 km east of [Fukushima], coastal fish in the Aleutian Islands… and trans-Pacific migratory species, all had increased dose rates as a consequence of the FDNPP accident.
- FDNPP produced the largest single-event influx of radioactive cesium isotopes into the Pacific [137Cs up to 90 PBq; Chernobyl total: 70-85 PBq].
- Dose rates to the most impacted fish species near the FDNPP have remained above benchmark levels for potential dose effects at least three years longer than was indicated by previous, data-limited, evaluations.
- [Strontium-90] was estimated to contribute up to approximately one-half of the total 2013 dose rate to fish near the FDNPP.
- Evaluations… suggested that the dose rates to fish near the FDNPP… only briefly remained above the benchmark levels for potential harmful effects… However, subsequent data have indicated highly elevated and persistent accumulation of Cs.
- Maximally exposed fish near the FDNPP [had] an increase of more than six orders of magnitude… The elevated activity concentrations were not isolated to one sample, or one species. In 2013, activity concentrations of 134,137Cs exceeding [100,000 Bq] kg were measured in more than 100 fish from ten species sampled from FDNPP port… concentrations in [some species] are orders of magnitude higher than predicted.
- Some of the released radionuclides are being carried long distances…
- At Amchitka Island [in Alaska] the 134,137Cs dose rates to [greenling and rockfish] were only slightly higher than pre-event levels… The increase… appears to be due to atmospheric transport from Fukushima as 134Cs was measured… in freshwater fish[11 Bq/kg in trout].
- Detections of 134Cs in California water samples gathered in August 2014… suggest incremental dose rate increases to resident fish.
- Fish at 100–200 km east of the FDNPP, coastal fish in the Aleutian Islands, and trans-Pacific migratory species all had increased dose rates.
- Persistence of the radionuclides in fish was not anticipated by existing models…ongoing measurements are needed at locations near the FDNPP and further along the predicted plume trajectory… Some areas that have experienced air deposition in 2011 (e.g. Aleutian Islands), should continue monitoring as they may experience a second arrival of 134,137Cs in subsequent years via an oceanic plume.
- This study was in collaboration with the… IAEA
Alarm at Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Radioactivity too High, National Japan News, By Ken Tanaka & Norihisa Taguchi 23 February 2014
“…….There are presently not enough sturdy, above-ground tanks that can be used take the water from the pits in which it is stored, TEPCO General Manager Masayuki Ono said at a news conference. Water has been leaking from the pits over the lst few weekends.“………Contaminated Water And Records Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has revealed that it may not have enough space to store the contaminated water that began to leak from its nuclear Fukushima plant over the weekend.
The company is still facing problems dealing with the consequences of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, as it attempts to keep reactors and spent fuel pools in a safe state known as cold shutdown.
A record quantity of radioactive cesium – 7,400 times the country’s limit deemed safe for human consumption – has been detected in a greenling fish in the waters near the crippled Fukushima plant, two years after the nuclear disaster.
The operator installed a net on the seafloor of the port exit near the plant to prevent the fish from escaping. The bottom-dwelling greenling fish was found in a cage set up by TEPCO inside the port next to the Fukushima Daiichi plant, a utility official told AP on condition of anonymity.
The company also indicated that the previous record of cesium concentration in fish was 510,000 becquerels per kilogram detected in another greenling caught in the same area, TEPCO said.https://onewayjapan.com/News-National/2015/09-Alarm-at-Fukushima-Nuclear-Plant-Radioactivity-too-High.html
The Norwegian government has spent more than $126 million on Russian nuclear safety projects in the last two decades, according to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority.
The 17,000 dumped containers are also a potential disaster, creating a minefield for oil companies looking to drill in the area, particularly because the exact locations of most of the containers are unknown.
The Soviet Union Dumped A Bunch of Nuclear Submarines, Reactors, and Containers into the Ocean https://news.vice.com/article/the-soviet-union-dumped-thousands-of-nuclear-submarines-reactors-and-containers-into-the-ocean By Laura Dattaro February 21, 2015 The 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine remains one of the worst nuclear incidents in history and highlighted the risks of generating power by splitting atoms. But it’s not the only nuclear waste the Soviet Union left behind. Scattered across the ocean floor in the cold waters of the Arctic are nuclear submarines and reactors dumped by the Soviets up until the early 1990s.
Now, as energy companies are seeking to drill in those same waters, the Russian government has shown an interest in cleaning up its nuclear waste. But after decades of sitting on the ocean floor, some of the most dangerous pieces may be too unstable to remove, leaving the potential for radioactive material to leak, which could disrupt commercial fisheries and destroy aquatic ecosystems.
“Taking reactors and cutting out the bottom of your ships and letting them sink to the bottom is about as irresponsible as you can get when it comes to radioactive waste,” Jim Riccio, a nuclear expert with Greenpeace, told VICE News. “We’ve had some weird [behavior] in this country where we haven’t been all that great with it but nothing that rose to the level of what the Soviets had done.” Continue reading
How we ruined the oceans The Week, 14 Feb 15
How does global warming affect fish? As the oceans heat up, many species are migrating to cooler waters to survive. Some inevitably will fail in these new habitats. Warmer temperatures also make coral reefs more vulnerable to “bleaching,” a chemical process that drains the organisms of their brilliant colors and leads to their death. Other problems are caused directly by the burning of fossil fuels. With oceans absorbing a quarter of the world’s CO2 emissions, they have become 30 percent more acidic, causing inhibited shell growth in coral and crustaceans and reproductive disorders in fish. Power plant emissions — especially from burning coal — put tons of highly toxic mercury in the air, which settles into the ocean. The mercury is taken up by sea creatures and concentrated in predatory species. A recent study found that mercury levels in Pacific yellowfin tuna have been rising at a rate of 3.8 percent a year since 1998. “If it keeps going like that,” says co-author Carl Lamborg, eventually almost “every kind of fish is going to be potentially hazardous.”
What about plastic?
Our oceans contain an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic — most of them less than 5 millimeters wide — weighing a total of 269,000 tons. ……..
Why aren’t we doing more?
Like global warming, the plight of our oceans is an issue that affects every country in the world. But with each government beholden to its own voters — and its own fishing, plastic, and energy lobbies — it’s almost impossible to achieve any consensus. Ecologists insist it’s not too late to solve the problems affecting our oceans. Some schemes, such as the introduction of “safe zones” where fish can naturally replenish, have worked on a small scale and could be expanded. The authors of the Sciencestudy say it’s possible to reverse the current crisis, but political will is required. “The next several decades,” they say, “will be those in which we choose the fate of the future of marine wildlife.”
The dangers of a fishy diet
For decades, doctors and health officials have encouraged people to eat as much seafood as possible because of fish’s high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart and brain health. But in recent years that recommendation has been tempered, as emissions from factories and power plants have pushed mercury concentrations in oceans and fish up to potentially dangerous levels. Mercury is highly toxic and can cause neurological damage and accumulate in organs; in children and fetuses, it can lead to long-term cognitive disorders. Last year, the FDA updated its advice on fish to say that pregnant women and children should avoid eating tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel, and limit their consumption of white tuna — all of which contain particularly high levels of mercury because they’re at the top of the food chain. Consumer Reportsrecently criticized the FDA guidelines on fish consumption as inadequate, saying that anyone who eats 24 ounces or more of fish per week — or about six servings — “should steer clear of high-mercury choices,” and warning people not to eat canned tuna or sushi made from tuna. http://www.theweek.com/articles/538881/ruined-oceans
Discarded Russian submarines could cause a nuclear disaster in the Arctic JEREMY BENDER Business Insider, 14 Feb 15 The Arctic could become a site of future turmoil, and not just because of the emerging geopolitical tensions and militarization in the region.
Beyond concerns of a frozen conflict in the icy north, there is the additional fear that the Barents and Kara Seas could become the location of a slow-motion nuclear disaster. Until 1991 the Soviet Union used the seas as a junkyard where it would dispose of its nuclear waste.
Accordingto the Bellona Foundation, citing theNorwegian Radiation Protection Authorities (NRPA), the Soviet Union dumped “19 ships containing radioactive waste; 14 nuclear reactors, including five that still contain spent nuclear fuel; 735 other pieces of radioactively contaminated heavy machinery; 17,000 containers of radioactive waste,” and three nuclear submarines in the seas.
Disposing of nuclear waste and spent reactors at sea was actually a common practice around the world until the early 1970s. But the Soviet Union dumped a significant amount of material into bodies of water that were sometimes not that far from neighbouring countries.
Three scuttled nuclear submarines are the most dangerous of the disposals for the overall safety of the region — the K-27, the K-278, and the K-159, according to The Moscow Times. Of those, the K-27 is the one most likely to cause a Chernobyl-like event in which the casings of the reactors fail and dangerous amounts of radiation escape into the environment.
The K-27 is particularly risky, the BBC reports, due to its unique design. The submarine, which was launched in 1962, was experimentally developed with two previously untested liquid-metal cooled reactors. Soon after deployment the submarine began emitting high levels of radiation, poisoning its crew.
In 1981, the Soviet Union sunk the submarine in the Kara Sea. But the sub was scuttled at a depth of only 99 feet (30 meters), significantly below international guidelines………
“K-159 represents the biggest potential for emission, considering the levels of radioactivity in the reactors, compared with other dumped or sunken objects in the Kara Sea with spent nuclear fuel or radioactive waste,” Ingar Amundsen, the head of the NRPAtoldthe Barents Observer…….. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/potential-chernobyl-like-disaster-in-arctic-2015-2
Southern oceans play major role in absorbing world’s excess heat, study finds February 3, Peter Hannam Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald The world’s oceans are heating at the rate of two trillion 100-watt light bulbs burning continuously, providing a clear signal of global warming, according to new study assessing data from a global fleet of drifting floats.
The research, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Climate Change, used data collected from the array of about 3500 Argo buoys from 2006-13 to show temperatures were warming at about 0.005 degrees a year down to a depth of 500 metres and 0.002 degrees between 500-2000 metres.
Oceans south of the 20-degree latitude accounted for two-thirds to 98 per cent of the heat gain during the period studied, with three giant gyres in the southern Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans largely responsible for drawing down the extra warmth.
“The global ocean heat content right now is the most reliable metric of that radiation imbalance” between the energy received from the sun and what is radiated back to space, said Susan Wijffels, an oceans expert at the CSIRO and one of the report’s authors………..
“The ocean is just vertically transferring the heat away from the surface to the depth,” Dr Wijffels said. “The ‘hiatus’ is not meaningful.”
Even with the relative slowdown in surface temperature increases, 14 of the world’s 15 warmest years on record have been in the 21st century, the World Meteorological Organisation said on Monday.
The United Nations body also confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year, edging out 2010 and 2005. The readings were based in part on United States agencies, including NASA which last month also declared 2014 as its warmest year.
John Church, another of the paper’s authors and also from the CSIRO, said the temperatures in the atmosphere – which accounts for just 1 per cent of the planet’s heat uptake – would rise sharply if oceans absorbed less of the heat……..
As it is, warming oceans are swelling in volume, lifting sea levels, and also affecting ecosystems, he said.
“If we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change then we need to start taking some mitigation action,” Dr Church said. This included cutting carbon emissions and lifting renewable energy targets at home and overseas.
Future Argo missions will extend coverage to higher latitudes, including sea-ice zones, and reach depths of 6000 metres.
However, Dr Wijffels said Australia’s contribution is in doubt with about half of its Argo budget tied up with the Abbott government’s stalled higher education reform bills. Those funds run out “in a few months”, she said.
The Nature study was led by Dean Roemmich of the California-based Scripps Institution of Oceanography. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/southern-oceans-play-major-role-in-absorbing-worlds-excess-heat-study-finds-20150202-133j2p.html
B.C.’s citizen scientists on alert for radiation from Japan, Vancouver Sun BY AMY SMART, TIMES COLONIST JANUARY 25, 2015 Since October, citizen scientists have been dipping buckets into the waters of B.C.’s coast, looking for fallout from the 2011 nuclear meltdown in Japan.
At the centre of the search are two man-made isotopes, Cesium-134 and Cesium-137, which act as “fingerprints” for radiation specific to the Japan disaster. Both isotopes were released when the reactors failed in the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami, just as they were during nuclear testing in the mid-20th century.
While Cesium-137 has a half-life — the time it takes for the radioactivity to fall to half its original value — of 30 years, Cesium-134’s is only two years. That means that if Cesium-134 is found in a sample, scientists can be certain it came from Fukushima.
“It’s been sufficiently long since atmospheric weapons testing last century or the Chernobyl disaster that we don’t see traces of [Cesium-134 from those sources] anymore,” said University of Victoria ocean chemist Jay Cullen. “So if we detect it in seawater or an organism, then we know that sample has been affected by Fukushima.”
The radiation is as close as 100 kilometres, with levels expected to peak over the next two years. But so far, members of the InFORM Network — citizen scientists, and representatives from academia, government and non-governmental organizations — haven’t found anything in seawater samples collected by volunteers at 14 coastal locations.
“The models of ocean circulation that the physical oceanographers have put together suggest that we are going to see it along the coast and we can expect it to arrive over the next couple of years, the heart of that contaminated plume,” said Cullen, who leads the network.
InFORM is also monitoring marine life, which can absorb radiation. The first results, from sockeye salmon and steelhead trout selected for their known migration paths, showed traces of Cesium-137, but no Cesium-134……….
John Smith, a senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, agrees that the health risks are likely to be “extremely low.” At its peak, the radiation in the plume is expected to be three to five becquerels per cubic metre of water. Canadian guidelines for safe drinking water impose a limit of 10,000 becquerels per cubic metre, he said.
For Smith, who began monitoring the plume’s spread in 2011, it provides a “dye test” for testing theories about ocean currents. The results will have implications for all kinds of models, including understandings of climate change, he said.
“This was a unique oceanographic event in that a large quantity of radioactivity was deposited into the ocean off Japan at a given moment in time and at a given location. It was a tremendous disaster. But it has provided an oceanographic tracer for currents that has never occurred before.”…….. www.vancouversun.com/health/citizen+scientists+alert+radiation+from+Japan/10758982/story.html
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- RARE EARTHS
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual