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Fukushima nuclear radiation near to USA West Coast

map-radioactive-ocean-12Fukushima radiation nearing West Coast http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2014/10/17/fukushima-radiation-nearing-west-coast/17437081/ Tracy Loew, Statesman Journal October 17, 2014 Radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster is approaching the West Coast, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is reporting.

sample taken Aug. 2 about 1,200 kilometers west of Vancouver, B.C. tested positive for Cesium 134, the Fukushima “fingerprint” of Fukushima.

It also showed higher-than-background levels of Cesium 137, another Fukushima isotope that already is present in the world’s oceans from nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

The sample is the first of about 40 offshore test results that will be made public next month, said Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at Woods Hole.

Further results, which Buesseler will release at a conference Nov. 13, will show offshore Fukushima radiation down the coast into California, he said, including some samples that are closer to shore. Continue reading

October 18, 2014 Posted by | oceans, USA | Leave a comment

Heating of Southern oceans much faster than previously thought

ocean-heatingOceans heating up faster than we thought: study, SMH  October 6, 2014  Hannah Francis   Oceans in the southern hemisphere are warming faster than anticipated, with implications for rising sea levels and climate modelling.

A team of scientists in California has studied rising temperatures of the southern hemisphere over the decades between 1970 and 2004, and recommended lifting estimates of ocean heat content by between 48 and 152 per cent.

Lead author Paul Durack said it was the first time scientists have been able to quantify how big the gap is between earlier estimates and the reality of rising ocean temperatures.

Sea temperatures are a crucial yardstick for global warming as the ocean stores more than 90 per cent of human-induced excess heat.

Higher sea level temperatures are also closely linked with rising sea levels, because water expands as it warms.

Ocean warming down to two kilometres below the surface accounts for around a third of the annual rate of global mean sea-level rises.

The study by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday, attributed the missed estimates to a history of poor sampling of temperatures in the southern hemisphere oceans, which make up 60 per cent of the world’s oceans.

The region, which includes the Indian and South Pacific oceans as well as the South Atlantic and Southern oceans, has not been sampled nearly as frequently to date as oceans in the northern hemisphere……..  http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/oceans-heating-up-faster-than-we-thought-study-20141005-10qgfn.html#ixzz3FPcZ9tZW

October 6, 2014 Posted by | climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

Radioactive pollution from Fukushima is becoming a wider problem

Japan Times: Fukushima plant plagued by problems as radioactive material bleeds into Pacific — Radiation level in groundwater now 25,000 times higher than when year began http://enenews.com/japan-times-fukushima-plant-plagued-problems-radioactive-material-bleeds-pacific-record-radiation-level-groundwater-25000-times-higher-when-year-began?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Pacific-Ocean-drain

Japan Times, Sept 19, 2014: Tainted water problems still plague Fukushima, despite some positive signs — More than three years since [3/11] the Fukushima No. 1 power plant is still bleeding tons of toxic radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean… [It’s] developed into a wider problem that is stoking public concern… [Tepco] is still trying to find a way to deal with the plant’s utility trenches, which are filled with highly contaminated water. The trenches, which run beneath the plant, were built to house cables and pipes… installed to bring in seawater for cooling purposes… Leaving the tainted water in the trenches is risky. For instance, if another major quake hits and damages the trenches, the toxic water will escape and contaminate the groundwater. Tepco said the trenches… can’t be drained until the leaks from the buildings are plugged…

Asahi Shimbun, Sept 19, 2014: Local fishermen are crying foul over [TEPCO’s] latest plan to discharge processed contaminated water… into the ocean. TEPCO and the central government held the first explanatory briefing… Their explanation was apparently unconvincing. “I can’t believe anything TEPCO says,” one of the attendees said after the meeting… many members of local fisheries associations opposed the plan on the opening day of the briefing sessions… [Others] expressed concern over the plan’s safety. “If a critical problem should occur, (local fisheries) would be severely damaged,” [fisherman Yoshinori Sato] said. “They wouldn’t be able to recover.” Another member criticized the utility for burdening local fishermen with such proposals, asking, “How many times will we have to make a similar painful decision?”

While Japan’s media outlets are focused on the meetings between government/Tepco and the fishermen over the whether to allow ‘processed’ contaminated water releases, new Tepco data published September 18 reveals strontium-90 concentrations are at record levels in groundwater just 100 feet from the ocean. Gross beta has risen to 720 million becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m³) — and according to Tepco’s most recent strontium-90 tests released September 10 (4 months after the samples were taken), strontium-90 comprises over 95% of the total gross beta at this location — resulting in a Sr-90 concentration of 695 million Bq/m³. At the start of 2014, 28,000 Bq/m³ of gross beta was detected in groundwater from the same well — now 8 months later, the levels are over 25,000 times greater.

See also: Ocean hits record high for radioactive Strontium at all 6 locations near Fukushima reactors — Levels up to 20 times higher than reported last week

September 22, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, oceans | Leave a comment

Until at least 2026 radioactive plume will continue to flow across Pacific

map-radioactive-ocean-12assive Radiation Plume from Fukushima Heading Toward American West Coast According to a Scientific Report By David Gutierrez Global Research, September 11, 2014 According to scientific modeling systems used by the European Union, the radioactive ocean plume released by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is likely to remain a massive clump of radioactivity until it slams into the West Coast of the United States in late 2017. On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, knocking out power and cooling capability to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Within three days, multiple meltdowns and reactor explosions had taken place. By March 25, massive amounts of radioactive material were observed leaking directly into the Pacific Ocean.

In 2013, the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway used computer models to project the movement and dispersion of this radioactive plume. Although the results of this study have been cited in official Chinese government documents, they have not been widely publicized.

Levels to remain high through at least 2026

The researchers used two separate scenarios to model leakage of radioactivity from the Fukushima plant into the Pacific. The first scenario assumed continuous and constant leakage for 20 days, while the second assumed continuous and constant leakage for one year.

Although delivering differing estimates of total radiation, both models concluded that the pollution would remain in a relatively unified mass and take the same path across the ocean until crashing up against western North America. Both models show the plume colliding with the U.S. West Coast and beginning to spread out starting around late 2017, with a maximum concentration of radiation hitting the coast toward the end of 2018……..http://www.globalresearch.ca/massive-radiation-plume-from-fukushima-heading-toward-american-west-coast-according-to-a-scientific-report/5401006

September 13, 2014 Posted by | oceans, radiation | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation is just one of the many nails in the Pacific Ocean coffin

Pacific-Ocean-drainNuclear Conspiracies And Pacific Radiation Activist Post, Richard Wilcox, PhD  September 10, 2014 “…….Final Nail?  Fukushima may be one of the nails in the Pacific Ocean coffin but it is not the only one. Many speculate that the Pacific Ocean is dying or that Fukushima is even “an extinction level event.” It may be true the Earth is reaching its breaking point and decades of over-fishing and pollution have profoundly damaged the world’s oceans, but the cause is not only from Fukushima. How do you attribute marine die-offs occurring around the world when not enough of Fukushima’s radiation has reached that far, and there are many other sources of pollutants in those regions?

One mistake the alternative media analysts are making is that they are confusing the huge amount of radiation presently on site at Fukushima versus the amount that was released from the accident and has since leaked out.

There is no question that the amount of nuclear inventory at Fukushima, a site placed on a weak soil foundation and prone to earthquakes and tsunami, is terrifyingly huge:

The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (14).

But that material has not yet dispersed, therefore the ocean die-offs now cannot be blamed on harm that could potentially occur in the future. ……….

Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster,Rense.com. He is also a contributor to Activist Post. He is a contributing editor and writer to the book: Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization? (2014). His radio interviews and articles are archived at http://wilcoxrb99.wordpress.com and he can be reached by email for radio or internet podcast interviews to discuss the Fukushima crisis at wilcoxrb2013@gmail.com.    http://www.activistpost.com/2014/09/nuclear-conspiracies-and-pacific.html

September 11, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans | Leave a comment

Massive transport of nuclear waste crossing the ocean from Fukushima

Fukushima forecast used by gov’t shows nuclear waste crossing ocean in single massive cluster — “Maximum concentration propagates eastward in Pacific toward U.S.” — Highest levels worldwide remain along coast of N. America through 2026 (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/fukushima-forecast-govt-shows-nuclear-waste-crossing-ocean-single-massive-cluster-maximum-concentration-propagates-eastward-pacific-highest-levels-world-remain-coast-america-2026-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (Norway), 2013 (emphasis added): The massive nuclear leakage into ocean from Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant was observed on March 25th,2011. The transport of leaked radioactive pollutant from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant was simulated… assuming constant and continuous leakage for 20 days (scenario 1) and for one year(scenario 2) starting from March 25th, 2011 and was integrated for 20 years… There is no remarkable difference of transport pathways… for the nuclear waste… The results of the ensembles indicate that the nuclear pollutant for both scenarios transports eastward to eastern Pacific… It takes about 10 to 15 years to reach the coast of East Asia… a realistic sourcefunction is required and atmospheric fallout and role of ocean ecology should also be taken into account, in order to get a more reliable assessment of possible impact of the radioactive leakage on the ocean environment.

Media Silent on Fukushima Radiation Impact in U.S.

Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing CenterProf. Ola Johannessen, University of Bergen Geophysical Institute: Ocean spreading of radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan [...] The results show that the maximum concentration propagates eastward in the Pacific toward the United States during a 7-year period while the total concentration drops to 1-2% of the source concentration (100%) after 5 years.

Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, China: Extraordinary earthquake hit Japan and led the nuclear leakage of Japanese Fukushima reactor to the ocean. Dr. Yongqi Gao with colleagues at NERSC and NZC used the numerical model to simulate the propagation of radioactive elements in the ocean. Model system has been used for EU RADARC (Simulation scenarios for potential radioactive spreading in the 21st century from rivers and external sources in the Russian Arctic coastal zone, 2001-2003) and Norwegian Research Council supported project ARC (Arctic Radioactive Contamination, 2004-2006)… results were also cited by the State Council of China.

View the animation here

September 4, 2014 Posted by | oceans, wastes | Leave a comment

Tepco runnng out of space for radioactive water: it’s to be dumped in Pacific Ocean

Pacific-Ocean-drain‘‘Shock’: Water underneath Fukushima reactors to be dumped in ocean — Attempts to deal with problem have ‘failed’ — Officials: It’s better than radioactive substances just “spilling directly into the ocean” like it is now (VIDEO) nenews.com/shock-water-fukushima-reactors-be-dumped-ocean-attempts-deal-problem-failed-officials-better-allowing-contamination-spill-directly-ocean-like-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

AFP, Aug. 7, 2014 (emphasis added): Tepco ‘running out of space’ for tainted water — [Tepco] on Thursday unveiled a plan to dump scrubbed water directly into the ocean, sparking concerns over whether it would be properly decontaminated. […] {Tepco] has admitted that it’s running out of space. It is also fighting to contain contaminated groundwater around the plant from seeping into the ocean […] [Tepco] said it now wants to start pumping out the underground water, purify it […] and then release it […] the firm has long faced criticism over delays in disclosing key information […]

NHK, Aug. 6, 2014: Highly radioactive water [...] is seeping into the earth and mixing with ground water. Experts estimate around 200 [or 400] tons of contaminated ground water are leaking into the ocean each day. [Tepco wants] to decontaminate ground water collected at wells near reactor buildings before releasing it into the ocean. […] They say their plan is an improvement on the current situation, as contaminated water is spilling directly into the ocean.

Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug 7, 2014: Groundwater to be pumped up from some of the subdrain pits includes high levels of tritium, a radioactive substance thatcannot be removed [...] However, TEPCO believes it is possible to [...] meet standards if the water is mixed in tanks with water pumped from other subdrain pits.

Kyodo, Aug 7, 2014: Tepco to collect toxic groundwater at Fukushima, dump in ocean after treatment [...] it is unclear whether [the plan] will work as smoothly as expected, one of the officials admitted. [...] Radioactive substances such as tritium and cesium have been detected [but] TEPCO says it aims to clean the water to a level that would do no harm to the environment, but tritium will remain untreated [...]

Asahi Shimbun, Aug 7, 2014: [Tepco] wants to dump decontaminated water [...] into the ocean. [TEPCO] is in talks with government ministries to pump contaminated water found around the buildings [...] process it [...] then release it [...] “We would never consider dumping the water into the ocean unless we received the consent of local residents,” a TEPCO official said. [...] it would be the first time [...] for contaminated water to be dumped into the ocean after it has been purified. [...] “The water close to the plant buildings is already contaminated,” the official said. “Fishermen are sure to raise objections” [...]

Bloomberg, Aug 4, 2014: [E]stimates [...] suggest filtering the isotope strontium out of stored water will take more time [than Tepco's March 31, 2015 deadline.] Strontium has been linked to leukemia and can enter the food chain [...] Delays in the cleanup could extend a South Korean ban on Japanese seafood imports [...] Michael Friedlander, a former nuclear engineer [said] “They’re basically accumulating vast quantities of radioactive material that isn’t in control” [...] Corrosion has delayed full use of a filtration system known as ALPS [...] Tepco said aplan to divert groundwater into the sea [...] has so far failed [...]

NHK, Aug. 7, 2014: [TEPCO] is running a so-called bypass system [...] But groundwater continues to flow into the reactors’ buildings and become contaminated. Part of it is believed to be seeping into the nearby Pacific Ocean. […] In the closed-door meeting, the officials are said to have explained that they plan to collect contaminated groundwater both at wells near reactor buildings and [...] a coastal embankment. […] Fisheries association head Hiroyuki Sato told reporters that fishermen were shocked to hear that the measure is needed [...]

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

August 12, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, oceans | Leave a comment

Fukushima radioactive releases – Cesium 137 onto the Pacific Ocean

Pacific-Ocean-drainTV: Fukushima radioactive releases into ocean can continue thousands of more years, says nuclear expert — Japan gov’t concerned with tracking radioactive waste in Pacific as it returns to Fukushima from U.S. West Coast after several decades (VIDEOhttp://enenews.com/tv-radioactive-releases-pacific-thousands-years-fukushima-melted-fuel-be-removed-nuclear-expert-japan-govt-concerned-radioactive-waste-ocean-coming-fukushima-several-decades-after-being-west-coast?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

American Chemical Society — Environmental Science & Technology (pdf),Apr. 29, 2014 (emphasis added): 135Cs/137Cs Isotopic Ratio as a New Tracer of Radiocesium Released from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident [...] many important issues with respect to its atmospheric transport, deposition processes, and distributions in terrestrial and marine environments remain to be investigated. It has been estimated that ∼80% of the atmospherically released 137Cs was deposited in the western North Pacific Ocean, in addition to [...] 137Cs directly discharged into the ocean [...] continuous input of 137Cs into the ocean due to river runoff of the 137Cs deposited in heavily contaminated Fukushima forest soil can be expected. Recent studies have revealed the start of the transport of the Fukushima accident-sourced 137Cs into the ocean interior [...] it is predicted that in 30 years the Fukushima accident-derived 137Cs will come back to the ocean surface in the western North Pacific Ocean off the Fukushima coast through its transport by the Kuroshio current. Thus, to understand the environmental behavior and the fate of Fukushima accident-sourced radionuclides in the environment, a powerful Cs tracer is strongly required, because the currently widely used 134Cs/137Cs activity ratio tracer will become unavailable in several years because of the rapid decay of 134Cs [...] 135Cs has a half-life of 2 × 10^6 [2.3 million] years; therefore, we are confident that the 135Cs/137Cs isotopic ratio can be considered as a new powerful tracer for long-term source identification and environmental behavior studies. [...] This study was supported [...] partially by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan [7 of study's 8 authors are from Japan's National Institute of Radiological Sciences]

Nuclear analyst John Large, July 9, 2014: The cores remain active for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, so there’s a commitment to keep either the ice wall technology in place or to replace it with an alternate technology by some future generation. […] Water is coming off the escarpment above the three reactors, it’s then percolating through the ground — there’s hydrostatic pressures pushing the water up toward the sea level — it’s then collecting the fission products and radioactive products from the melted-down cores and taken out to sea. […] What I think they should now have a plan to tackle the root cause… How do you control, manage and eventually remove the reactor cores? […] If the reactor cores remain in there, it’s going to be a constant leachate (water that percolates through a solid and leaches out some of the constituents) of radioactivity.

Watch the interview with Large here

July 14, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, oceans | Leave a comment

120 Quadrillion becquerels of radioactive cesium into North Pacific Ocean from Fukushima

Cesium-137Japan Gov’t-funded Study: Fukushima has released up to 120 Quadrillion becquerels of radioactive cesium into North Pacific Ocean — Does not include amounts that fell on land — Exceeds Chernobyl total, which accounts for releases deposited on land AND ocean (MAP) http://enenews.com/japan-govt-funded-study-fukushima-released-120-quadrillion-becquerels-radioactive-cesium-north-pacific-ocean-include-amount-deposited-land-higher-total-amount-released-chernobyl?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29 1 July 14,

Scientific Reports (Nature.com), Mar. 4 2014: The total amount of decay-corrected 134Cs in the [subtropical] mode water was an estimated about 6 PBq [petabecquerels, i.e. 6 quadrillion becquerels] corresponding to 10–60% of the total inventory of Fukushima-derived 134Cs in the North Pacific Ocean. […] The decay corrected ratio of 134Cs/137Cs in soils has been calculated to be 1.0, which suggests that the total amounts of 134Cs and 137Cs released from FNPP1 were equivalent. […] the total amount of Fukushima-derived radiocesium in the North Pacific remains uncertain, because it has been difficult to obtain sufficient samples of water, especially from subsurface and deep waters, in the vast North Pacific Ocean […] Estimates of the total 134Cs released to the North Pacific Ocean ranged from 10 PBq (direct discharge of 4 PBq + atmospheric deposition 6 PBq) to 46 PBq (16 + 30 PBq). Thus, the 6 PBq inventory accounts for 10–60% of the total release. However, the total inventory in the subtropical region derived from the activity in STMW [Subtropical Mode Water] may be underestimated, because CMW probably carried the radiocesium into the subtropical region, too […] The estimated inventory in the subtropical region (6 PBq or 10– 60% of the total inventory) is probably a lower limit of estimation because contribution of CMW [Central Mode Water]  was not counted. [...]

Funding: “This work was partially supported by a Grant-in-Aid… from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan

Note: The study states that up to 46 PBq of 134Cs is estimated to have been released into the North Pacific Ocean from Fukushima Daiichi. Yet, it also states that the 6 PBq in the study area represents between 10-60% of the  total 134Cs released into the North Pacific Ocean. If the 10% figure is used, the total release into the N. Pacific would equal 60 PBq of 134Cs. The study also states the releases of 134Cs and 137Cs were equivalent, resulting in a total of 120 PBq into the N. Pacific. This total does not include releases deposited on land or in other bodies of water.

Chernobyl Comparison: A report by the Nuclear Enrgy Agency states that when more detailed deposition data eventually became available, the United Nations estimated the total Chernobyl release of 137Cs at 70 PBq. 134Cs is estimated to have been 53.7% of the 137Cs — approximately 38 PBq of 134Cs — resulting in a total of 108 PBq. Unlike the Fukushima total reported above, this does include all 134Cs and 137Cs releases from Chernobyl — not just what was deposited in the ocean.

See also: California Gov’t Report: Fukushima released up to 181 Quadrillion Bq of cesium, Chernobyl was 105 Quadrillion — Radioactive material to flow from Japan “for years to come”

And: Marine Chemist in Jan. 2014: Latest numbers I have are Fukushima has released 80 Quadrillion Bq of cesium-137 (Chernobyl estimated at 70 Quadrillion) — “The radioactive plume itself has actually arrived… it’s already here” on west coast of N. America (AUDIO)

July 2, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, oceans | 2 Comments

USA coastal communiities monitoring sea-borne Fukushima radiation plume

Fukushima radiation concerns coastal communities Tracy Loew, Statesman Journal 25 June 14, Talk in the Oregon coast town of Bandon often turns to the approaching plume of sea-borne radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

“We’ve been worried about it and worried about it,” said Zac Adams, owner of Bandon Designsconstruction company. “We’re really concerned about it affecting the fisheries, the wildlife, the tourism, and most importantly our health.”…….

The radiation is expected to hit the U.S. this year at very low levels that wouldn’t harm humans or the environment. But no federal agency is monitoring it.

So Adams joined a citizen-science project, crowd-sourcing funds in his community to test a sample of seawater that he will soon collect.

Four hours north, the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership has funded two collection sites, in Tillamook and Pacific City.

“Over the last year-and-a-half, it’s been an issue that’s been raising in prominence along the coastline,” said Lisa Phipps, executive director of the partnership. “In our area, there have been groups that have been coming together to talk about what is happening in the ocean.”

And fund-raising is underway for two more sites, in Newport and Winchester Bay.

Altogether about 30 sites, from Alaska to Baja, Calif., have been funded, said Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who put together the project, called “How Radioactive is Our Ocean?”

It uses crowd-sourced money and volunteers to collect water samples along the Pacific Coast, then ship them to Buesseler in Massachusetts to be analyzed on an $80,000 instrument………

Buesseler is looking for increased levels of Cesium-137, which already is in all oceans from previous nuclear testing and accidents; and for Cesium-134, a “fingerprint” of Fukushima.

Because of its short, two-year half-life, any Cesium-134 could only have come from the plant, he said.

So far, Buesseler said, no samples have indicated that the plume has reached the West Coast.

Buesseler posts results on the project’s website. They show Cesium-134 and increased levels of Cesium-137 off the coast of Japan and across the ocean.

“We know it’s out there,” Buesseler said. “We’ve seen it more than halfway across the Pacific.”

Northwest of Hawaii, for example, Buesseler has found Cesium-134 at concentrations as high as 3.8 becquerels per cubic meter.

But to put that in context, he said, the U.S. drinking water limit is 7,400 of those units.

“Every additional radiation exposure causes additional risks for cancer,” he said. “But when the numbers are in the one to 10 range, that’s a very small additional risk.”

That’s the range that is expected to hit our shores, with lower levels coming first.

“As the contamination arrives, we expect the concentrations to go up over the next two years,” Buesseler said……..http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2014/06/25/fukushima-radiation-concerns-coastal-communities/11377463/

June 26, 2014 Posted by | oceans, Reference, USA | 1 Comment

Radiation levels in sea off Fukushima at record high

water-radiationRecord high radiation in seawater off Fukushima plant, Japan Times, 17 May 14 Radiation has spiked to all-time highs at five monitoring points in waters adjacent to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power station, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday.

The measurements follow similar highs detected in groundwater at the plant. Officials of Tepco, as the utility is known, said the cause of the seawater spike is unknown.

Three of the monitoring sites are inside the wrecked plant’s adjacent port, which ships once used to supply it.

At one sampling point in the port, between the water intakes for the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, 1,900 becquerels per liter of tritium was detected Monday, up from a previous high of 1,400 becquerels measured on April 14, Tepco said.

Nearby, also within the port, tritium levels were found to have spiked to 1,400 becquerels, from a previous high of 1,200 becquerels.

And at a point between the water intakes for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors, seawater sampled Thursday was found to contain 840 becquerels of strontium-90, which causes bone cancer, and other beta ray-emitting isotopes, up from a previous record of 540 becquerels.

At two monitoring sites outside the port, seawater was found Monday to contain 8.7 becquerels and 4.3 becquerels of tritium. The second site was about 3 km away……… http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/17/national/record-high-radiation-in-seawater-off-fukushima-plant/#.U3ptgdJdWik

May 19, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, oceans | 3 Comments

Tepco to start dumping Fukushima water into the ocean next week

Japan’s TEPCO to Start Dumping Fukushima Water into Ocean Next Week MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti) – Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, plans to begin releasing underground water near the facility into the Pacific Ocean as early as next Wednesday, The Asahi Shimbun reported Friday.

The first water to be released will total around 560 tons, the agency said citing an official from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. TEPCO will begin releasing the water as soon as it presents results of radiation tests to local government and the fishing industry.

Water-from-Fukushima-to-oce

Initial talks between the government and TEPCO agreed that only water with 1,500 becquerels of radiation or less per liter could be released. Tests conducted by TEPCO and two outside agencies have revealed that the Fukushima underground water met the standards, averaging 220 to 240 becquerels of tritium per liter.

TEPCO began pumping out groundwater from the Fukushima nuclear plant in April in an effort to prevent further radioactive leaks.

The company continues to grapple with the problem of contaminated water storage, with about 450,000 tons of highly-radioactive water currently being stored in Fukushima’s underground facilities and tanks. Experts say some 15,000 tons is also being held in a service tunnel. According to recent estimates, up to 400 tons of contaminated water from the damaged plant is seeping into the Pacific Ocean every day.

In an effort to prevent further irradiation, TEPCO has adopted a plan to draw off groundwater from the plant. The fallout from Fukushima is later to be sent for analysis that will determine whether it is safe to be disposed of by dumping into the ocean.

The practice will allow the operator to reduce the accumulation of radioactive water at the plant by 100 tons a day……..https://news.google.com/news?ncl=d_uao6qIU8QsFkM74lsq0LkpKVl4M&q=radiation&lr=English&hl=en&sa=X&ei=l7N2U52sB8mtlQXZ_4HYBw&sqi=2&pjf=1&ved=0CDsQqgIwAw

May 17, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, oceans, wastes | 2 Comments

Melting shells of the sea butterflies – a sign of global warming endangering oceans

sea-butterlyYou Know the Ocean’s in Trouble When Your Shell Starts Melting http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/47393 Things are getting really dicey for a little ocean creature called a pteropod. Better known as the “sea butterfly,” this delicate little sea snail is serving as an unfortunate bellwether of the deteriorating state of our oceans. Why? Conditions in the Antarctic ocean and along the West Coast of the U.S. have become so unnaturally acidic that the shells of sea butterflies are literally dissolving away.

“We did not expect to see pteropods being affected to this extent in our coastal region for several decades,” said Dr. William Peterson, an oceanographer at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, in a NOAA press release.

Damage that’s “several decades” early is a big alarm bell. We’d better pay close attention before it’s too late.

undersea_light_What We’re Doing to Our Oceans

The chemistry of the world’s oceans is changing, thanks to the carbon dioxide humans continue to spew into our atmosphere. Oceans absorb between one quarter to one third of that carbon dioxide. Over time, it has turned the ocean from a slightly alkaline state to a bit more acidic.

According to some estimates, the ocean’s pH level 150 years ago was about 8.2. It’s now about 8.1. It may seem to be an infinitesimal shift, but it’s worse than it sounds. The more acidic the ocean gets, the harder it is for marine life like oysters, clams and corals to form calcium carbonite skeletons and shells.

In the case of pteropods, the increased acidity of the ocean is actually eating away at their shells.

“The first thing that happens is the dissolution of their shell,” NOAA’s Dr. Nina Bednarsek told PBS. “Dissolution can be mild, [to] very severe. Once you have it dissolving on the outside, you have to put so much more energy into the shell in order to maintain it. The energy that you would otherwise use for other important physiological maintenance you are putting in the shell maintenance.”

Researchers working off the coast of Oregon, Washington and California in 2011 discovered that over half of the sea butterflies they found onshore were victims of “severe dissolution damage.” Offshore, about 24 percent were damaged.

If we don’t change our ways, by 2050, researchers estimate that coastal waters will be 70 percent more acidic than they were in the pre-industrial era.

Continue reading at ENN affiliate, Care2.

May 16, 2014 Posted by | climate change, oceans, USA | Leave a comment

UK’s Drigg nuclear trash dump will be washed away by climate change’s sea level rise

nuke-&-seaLThis Huge Nuclear Waste Dump Will Be Washed Away By Rising Sea Levels http://gizmodo.com/uk-nuclear-waste-dump-will-be-washed-away-by-rising-sea-1565513267    21 April 14,  Geoff Manaugh A dumping ground for nuclear waste located near the British coast is “virtually certain” to be washed away by rising sea levels, a new flag-UKreport warns. The UK Environment Agency has admitted that constructing the Drigg Low-Level Waste Repository so near the coast was a mistake, and that one million cubic meters of nuclear waste will begin leaking into the ocean “a few hundred to a few thousand years from now.”

Sounds bad? Pay no attention, then, to current plans to increase the site’s capacity by another 800,000 cubic meters over the next century, adding new waste that will include “radioactive debris from Britain’s nuclear power stations, nuclear submarines, nuclear weapons, hospitals and universities,” the Guardian reports.

It’s interesting to note that, while the site officially contains only low-level waste, there is suspicion that higher-level wastes with correspondingly higher levels of radioactivity could have been dumped there in the past. Recall the incredible tale of Sellafield nuclear power station—the site from which much of the waste now stored at Drigg originates—where records of previous dumping had been thrown away or lost. This led to the terrifying need to advertise in the local newspaper, saying: “We need your help.” Why? Because they had no idea what was buried there.

“Did you work at Sellafield in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s?” the ad asked with false calm. “Were you by chance in the job of disposing of radioactive material? If so, the owners of Britain’s nuclear waste dump would very much like to hear from you: they want you to tell them what you dumped—and where you put it.”

In any case, the coastal tomb at Drigg is all but guaranteed to break apart in the waves and wash its mysterious and harmful contents into the sea. “A few hundred to a few thousand years from now” sounds like a long time, of course, but think of that as potentially little more than the time between us and Shakespeare (400 years), and the terrifying urgency of this becomes more clear. [Guardian]

April 22, 2014 Posted by | climate change, oceans, UK | Leave a comment

Barents Sea a radiological danger, with its dead nuclear submarines

Kara-barents_seaRussia, Norway urge raising of dumped Soviet-era nuclear subs by Alexey Pavlov and Charles Digges (charles@bellona.noMURMANSK – Two derelict Soviet-era nuclear submarines lying at the bottom of the Barents Sea present a real radiological risk to surrounding waters and could have a negative impact on the delicate ecosystems of Arctic Seas, leading Russian scientists and Russia’s Ministry for Emergency Services have said. April 3, 2014 by 

MURMANSK – Two derelict Soviet-era nuclear submarines lying at the bottom of the Barents Sea present a real radiological risk to surrounding waters and could have a negative impact on the delicate ecosystems of Arctic Seas, leading Russian scientists and Russia’s Ministry for Emergency Services have said………

The long dormant conversation about raising the subs has been reanimatedbecause of the recent joint workshop held by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and Bellona last month in Murmansk, where the Russian side expressed its wish to see the vessels retrieved.

Yet, the subs are hardly all of the radioactive hazards languishing at the bottom of the Kara Sea.

According to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), other submerged radiation hazards include 19 ships containing radioactive waste; 14 nuclear reactors, including five that still contain spent nuclear fuel; 735 other pieces of radioactively contaminated heavy machinery and 17,000 containers of radioactive waste.

Bellona Murmansk director Andrei Zolotkov said an international dialogue about raising radioactive Russian military machinery 20 years ago would have been impossible.

But the overwhelming tally of international cooperative successes on radiological and nuclear hazards in Northwest Russia are, he said, immeasurable. As such, the conference has opened the door for a joint Norwegian-Russian inspection, particularly of the K-159 submarine, later this year………

The radiological archipelago

The Bellona-Rosatom workshop reinvigorated discussion about radiological research surrounding the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, were the Soviets scuttled tons of solid radioactive waste and vessels containing spent nuclear fuel.

The task of past expeditions to this Davy Jones’ locker of radioactive debris has been to inspect sunken reactor cores, ships and containers of solid radioactive waste for leaking radionuclides, as well as to search out other radiation hazards that have not been charted – something Korolyov told the international gathering.

“We have to continue searching for what is lost,” he said, and citing that previous searches for barges loaded with reactor chambers have been unsuccessful, though they are assumed to be in the waters surrounding Novaya Zemlya…….. http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2014-04-russia-norway-urge-raising-dumped-soviet-era-nuclear-subs

April 5, 2014 Posted by | oceans, Russia | 2 Comments

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