Nuclear Waste Sits on Ocean Floor U.S. Has Few Answers on How to Handle Atomic Waste It Dumped in the Sea By JOHN R. EMSHWILLER and DIONNE SEARCEY WSJ Dec. 31, 2013 More than four decades after the U.S. halted a controversial ocean dumping program, the country is facing a mostly forgotten Cold War legacy in its waters: tens of thousands of steel drums of atomic waste.
From 1946 to 1970, federal records show, 55-gallon drums and other containers of nuclear waste were pitched into the Atlantic and Pacific at dozens of sites off California, Massachusetts and a handful of other states. Much of the trash came from government-related work, ranging from mildly contaminated lab coats to waste from the country’s effort to build nuclear weapons.
Federal officials have long maintained that, despite some leakage from containers, there isn’t evidence of damage to the wider ocean environment or threats to public health through contamination of seafood. But a Wall Street Journal review of decades of federal and other records found unanswered questions about a dumping program once labeled “seriously substandard” by a senior Environmental Protection Agency official: Continue reading
Sailors on old warship dumped thousands of tons of radioactive waste for years Tampa Bay Times, William R. Levesque, Times Staff Writer 22 Dec 13 They asked the dying Pasco County man about his Navy service a half-century before. He kept talking about the steel barrels. They haunted him, sea monsters plaguing an old sailor.
“We turned off all the lights,” George Albernaz testified at a 2005 Department of Veterans Affairs hearing, “and … pretend that we were broken down and … we would take these barrels and having only steel-toed shoes … no protection gear, and proceed to roll these barrels into the ocean, 300 barrels at a trip.”
The Atomic Sailors Talk of Dumping Radioactive Waste at Sea
Not all of them sank. A few pushed back against the frothing ocean, bobbing in the waves like a drowning man. Then shots would ring out from a sailor with a rifle at the fantail. And the sea would claim the bullet-riddled drum. Continue reading
“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?
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
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.
Scientists in Alaska Warn About Spread of Fukushima Radiation Intellihub, By JG Vibes | November 4, 2013 Scientists say Fukushima radiation has reached Alaska ALASKA ) — For years the mainstream media looked the other way as Fukushima has been irradiating the planet, but there have been clear indications that this nuclear disaster is already having an effect, even on the other end of the world.
This week it was reported that scientists in Alaska are raising concerns about the possibility of Fukushima radiation contaminating the local food supply.
Douglas Dasher, a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, says radiation levels in Alaskan waters could reach Cold War levels.
“The levels they are projecting in some of the models are in the ballpark of what they saw in the North Pacific in the 1960s,” he told CBC……. Throughout the whole entire meltdown process TEPCO and the Japanese government have downplayed the environmental impact of the Fukushima disaster………All parties involved behind the scenes are remaining completely silent, although the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) has already concluded that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima was “a profoundly man-made disaster that could and should have been foreseen and prevented.”
In contrast to the official reports coming from the government and the power company, test after test has shown that the meltdown has had a significant impact on the surrounding area.
It was reported last year that irradiated fish captured near the inoperative nuclear plant showed 25,800 becquerels of caesium per kilo, which is actually 258 times the level determined ‘safe’ by the government. http://intellihub.com/2013/11/04/scientists-in-alaska-warn-about-spread-of-fukushima-radiation/
1 million tons of Fukushima debris floating near US West Coast? Rt.com November 06, 2013 Over a million tons of Fukushima debris could be just 1,700 miles off the American coast, floating between Hawaii and California, according to research by a US government agency.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently updated its report on the movement of the Japanese debris, generated by the March 2011 tsunami, which killed 16,000 people and led to the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown.
Seventy percent of an estimated 5 million tons of debris sank near the coast of Japan, according to the Ministry of Environment. The rest presumably floated out into the Pacific.
While there are no accurate estimates as to where the post-tsunami junk has traveled so far, the NOAA has come up with a computer model of the debris movement, which gives an idea of where its highest concentration could be found.
That area is crosshatched at the NOAA model below (graphic) and resembles an island quite near the US shore……The agency has stressed its research is just computer simulation, adding that “observations of the area with satellites have not shown any debris.”
Despite the fact the tsunami debris is scattered and does not form a solid mass, the researchers still believe it’s a serious matter to keep an eye on. …….concerns such as radiation, meanwhile, have been downplayed. ….http://rt.com/usa/fukushima-debris-island-texas-266/
Public and scientists do not believe Shinzo Abe’s statement that Fukushima nuclear radiation is controlled
For former nuclear engineer Michael Friedlander, who describes himself as “an avid supporter of responsible nuclear power,” these comments are damaging to the atomic industry.
“It’s a very Japanese way of handling the situation, the authorities telling everybody that everything’s OK, don’t worry, we’re in control,” Friedlander said in an interview from Hong Kong.
Abe’s comments haven’t persuaded the Japanese public. A Kyodo News poll conducted Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 found that 83 percent of respondents said they didn’t believe his “under control” statement.
The residents of Namie, a town 8 kilometers from the Fukushima nuclear station that was evacuated, said that Abe is making “irresponsible comments.
Abe’s stance on Fukushima water fuels skepticism Claim radioactivity contained scoffed at by public, scientists The Columbian, By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuriy Humber, Bloomberg News November 2, 2013, TOKYO — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says radioactive water flowing into the sea from the crippled Fukushima atomic station is being contained within the plant’s harbor, a view maintained by operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Marine scientists, Fukushima residents and Japan’s general public don’t agree. Continue reading
Radiation from Japan nuclear plant arrives on Alaska coast http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/radiation-from-japan-nuclear-plant-arrives-on-alaska-coast-1.2335668 Scientists concerned about lack of monitoring plan CBC News Nov 02, 2013 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. More may be heading toward coastal communities like Haines and Skagway.
Douglas Dasher, a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, says radiation levels in Alaskan waters could reach Cold War levels.”The levels they are projecting in some of the models are in the ballpark of what they saw in the North Pacific in the 1960s,” he said.
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.” He says much of the monitoring is being done pro bono by universities, NGOs and state organizations.
Study to focus on Arctic after Greenland Sea found to have warmed 10 times faster than global ocean ABC News, By Phoebe McDonald Sat 2 Nov 2013,Scientists have revealed plans to examine temperature changes in the Arctic Ocean after a long-term study found the Greenland Sea is warming 10 times faster than the global ocean.
Scientists from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) analysed temperature data from the Greenland Sea between 1950 and 2010.
Their results show that during the past 30 years water temperatures between two kilometres deep and the ocean floor have risen by 0.3 degrees Celsius.
Dr Raquel Somavilla Cabrillo, AWI scientist and lead author of the study, says researchers are surprised by the results. Continue reading
Those who still say that the Chernobyl disaster was worse than Fukushima may also want to consider that a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution study conducted in October 2011 concluded that Fukushima had already released up to 100 times more radiation into the environment than Chernobyl at that time. Today, this amount is likely astronomically higher, especially when you take into account all the airborne radioactive plumes that have been detected billowing across the ocean and over U.S. soil.
Radioactive Debris in Pacific Ocean: Fukushima Radiation is Tearing up the West Coast of the US and Canada http://www.globalresearch.ca/radioactive-debris-on-pacific-ocean-fukushima-radiation-is-tearing-up-the-west-coast-of-the-us-and-canada/5355919 By Ethan A. Huff
Global Research, October 28, 2013 As cleanup crews gear themselves up to begin the treacherous task of removing 400 tons of spent fuel from the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor No. 4 in the coming weeks, reports continue to flood in showing that radiation from the stricken plant is still causing major environmental damage all over the world.
Particularly on the West Coast of the U.S., a multitude of strange animal deaths, high radiation readings and other recent anomalies suggest that the Fukushima disaster is far from over. It is simply ludicrous, in other words, for anyone to suggest at this point that these Fukushima woes are dwindling, as fresh evidence suggests that quite the opposite is true. Continue reading
“In terms of the ocean, this is definitely an environmental catastrophe, and it’s still ongoing,”
”though contamination in the most seriously affected areas has been worse than a lot of things that have gone in the past, conscientious testing of seafood can help prevent it from becoming a human health disaster as well.”
“It also shows us that we have to redouble our efforts to fully understand the health consequences of the testing period, because that will help us prepare for the future consequences of Fukushima.”
This article has a misleading title. The author does not “downplay” Fukushima radiation hazards. On the contrary, he is pointing out the seriousness of radioactive matter in the oceans, and how this has been ignored in the past
Scientists downplay Fukushima radiation hazards DW 25.10.2013 Julian Ryall, Tokyo Experts agree that the radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant is an “environmental catastrophe,” but it is only a fraction of the fallout from atmospheric nuclear tests carried out in the 1950s and 1960s, they say…….
Tokyo Electric Power Co. confirmed Tuesday that radioactive cesium had again been detected about one kilometer offshore from the Fukushima nuclear plant, crippled in March 2011 by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami that it triggered……
People forget that the world we live in already has a lot of cesium-137 in the environment,” Dr. Mitsuo Aoyama, senior scientist in the Oceanography and Geochemistry Department of the Japan Meteorological Research Institute, told DW…….
Dr. Aoyama’s studies show that by 1970, an estimated 290 petabecquerels – an alarming 29 followed by 15 zeroes – of cesium fallout was in the north Pacific ocean from atmospheric weapons tests……
an ongoing study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, based in Massachusetts, shows that in 1990 the rate in the Black Sea stood at 52 becquerels per cubic meter, at 55 in the Irish Sea – a legacy of problems at Britain’s Sellafield nuclear plant – and at 125 in the Baltic. Continue reading
“Fukushima Is Here”: Nuclear Radiation On the West Coast, from California to Alaska. http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-is-here-nuclear-radiation-on-the-west-coast-from-california-to-alaska/5355851 Excellent graphics. You really need to go to this link to see those.
The ocean will dilute Fukushima radiation By Washington’s Blog Global Research, October 28, 2013
Radiation Levels Will Concentrate in Pockets at Certain West Coast Locations
An ocean current called the North Pacific Gyre is bringing Japanese radiation to the West Coast of North America: 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.
Physicians for Social Responsibility notes: Continue reading
Washington Post: It’s an environmental disaster, radioactivity levels in ocean hundreds of times above normal — NHK: Countries around Pacific worried about ongoing Fukushima leaks, gov’t wants testing up to 3,000 km offshore (VIDEO)http://enenews.com/washington-post-its-an-environmental-disaster-radioactivity-levels-hundreds-of-times-above-normal-in-pacific-nhk-countries-worried-about-fukushima-leaks-govt-wants-testing-up-to-3000-km-of
NHK WORLD, Oct. 22, 2013: [...] Japan’s effort to clean up what remains of the complex is turning into another kind of disaster. [...] 400 tons of toxic groundwater is flowing daily into the Pacific Ocean [...] the flow of radioactive water amounts to a slow-burning environmental disaster with implications for Japan’s wildlife and its food chain. [...] The coastal Fukushima plant is on an old riverbed [...] rainfall from across the region would funnel toward the plant [...] Both the government and Tepco say the ocean contamination is confined mostly to a man-made harbor around the plant. But some scientists say that assurance plays down significant long-term concerns about marine life and the food chain. Cesium levels are still hundreds of times the pre-accident norm in areas beyond the harbor, said Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who has monitored waters around the nuclear plant, most recently last month. [...] “It’s a serious concern for internal doses. (Radionuclides) are now on the seafloor and could stay in the food chain for years, if not decades.” [...]
NHK WORLD, Oct. 21, 2013: [Tepco] has announced plans to monitor offshore radiation around the clock [...] many experts have been calling for 24-hour monitoring to allow faster responses to unexpected leaks and provide a clearer idea of how much water has escaped. [...] The nuclear regulators have proposed expanding the offshore monitoring from the current 300 kilometers to between 1,000 and 3,000 kilometers. [...] the agency will ask the operators of oceangoing vessels to collect data for northern Pacific Rim countries that are worried about radioactive leaks.
NHK Newsline,, Oct. 21, 2013: “Nuclear regulators proposed increasing the distance they’re monitoring from 300 kilometers to up to 3,000 kilometers”
See also: Official Gov’t Documents: Fukushima to endanger NorthPacific marine ecosystem and health of human beings? “Very important to monitor radiation exposure level and assess effects of radioactive substances”
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