The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Fish in Pacific NorthWest afflicted by deadly black fungus – could it be related to Fukushima ?

Mysterious deadly black fungus being found on fish in Pacific Northwest — Gov’t: There was some concern Fukushima radiation could be involved — Biologists investigating how this landbased mold is now appearing in ocean — Many reports of unusual rotting sores, growths, bumps, cancer (PHOTOS)

Nome Nugget
 (pdf), Nov 27, 2014 (emphasis added): The Nome office of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game received several reports of tomcod with black lesions this year… ADF&G fishery biologists speculate that the lesions are a fungus… Specifically, black mold, commonly found in houses… What the pathology lab finds interesting is that this fungus is landbased and yet it is appearing on fish… Fish pathologists would like to receive as many samples as possible so that they may adequately research what exactly is infecting these fish, as well as its affect on humans. Until further notice, ADF&G recommends that fish with lesions should not be eaten due to possible human health concerns (CAPTION: DON’T EAT THIS— ADF&G biologists are investigating black lesions found on tomcods in the region. Until it is known what the lesions exactly are, the department recommends not to consume fish showing these symptoms)

Brendan Scanlon, fishery biologist for North Slope Dept. of Fish & Game (pdf), Mar 17, 2015: Just a quick word on this fungus that people are seeing more and more of. It’s probably what’s called saprolegnia. It’s a water mold… It’s in the water at all times… healthy fish will swim around and never get it, but if the fish is stressed nutritionally or its immune system has been compromised… that gives a pathway for the mold to attack… It will eventually kill the fish… We saw something similar last summer. We had a very big die-off on the Kobuk River… we had thousands of dead chum salmon… and they had had presence of the same mold on them.

North Slope Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council (pdf), Feb 20, 2014:

  • Dr. Jayde Ferguson, Alaska Dept of Fish & Game: The first confirmed report was from fish caught on Oct. 12, 2013… There was some concern that radiation from the Japanese disaster could be involved, so the North Slope biologist measured ionizing radiation in fish with a geiger-mueller counter and found that there was no elevated levels there… There was no food in the GI track and there was no fat or very little fat internally… The external lesions… corresponded to saprolegnia… it can act as a pathogen particularly in stressed fish because their immune system is depressed… I wanted to touch on a totally unrelated fungal case that is of interest to our lab because there’s not a lot known about it and it’s distinctly different from the saprolegnia in that it’s very black and large… there’s not a lot out in the literature on this black fungus… There’s just not a lot known about transmission or anything else, so we’re wanting to get a better idea of what’s going on…
  • Dr. Todd Sformo, Wildlife Biologist: I think the main concern was that if this mold is really present in the environment… it’s been reported a lot… why is the mold coming up being on fish at this point? So we have very few records in the north slope and Jayde mentioned the one… in the 1980s, so that was just one fish with that mold that we had recorded up until this point… why is it occurring now if it’s so prevalent in the environment?… We measured a number of the fish that were caught that had the mold and that did not have the mold and the size of the fish didn’t seem to matter at all…
  • Ferguson: If we’re seeing it in juveniles that really does support some environmental issue… How many fish are affected?… It might not have an impact at the population level, but if there’s a large amount of fish that are affected, then that’s a different thing.

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium:

  • 02-02-15 – Whitefish that had a bulged out eye ball [and] some type of growth around the cheekbone. Would like to know the cause of these observed abnormalities
  • 12-10-14 – Whitefish… has a brownish moldy growth all over it’s body. We would like to know more about what is going on with our fish and why this is happening
  • 10-24-14 – Trout appeared to have sores… rotting or decaying… [we] have never seen these sores before… We are still seeing a lot of fish with these kinds of conditions
  • 06-12-14 – A codfish that was caught with a deep cut or sore on it was pulled in… We are not really sure what happened to this poor cod, but we think it is unusual
  • 05-26-14 – Whitefish that had a growth… on its dorsal fin. Other fish were also caught with a similar condition… ADF&G: “This whitefish has… probably a neoplasm (cancer)”
  • 02-17-14 – Fish… found with lesions on them… Other people also said they saw these bumps… elders who said they have seen fish with skin bumps like this once before…  people are still worried because they are not sure what it is this time…. these bumps… were like puss. There are quite a few people who are worried…

View all North Slope Advisory Council Meeting minutes here

May 23, 2015 Posted by | oceans | Leave a comment

Scientists investigate effects of Fukushima radiation on Pacific Ocean animals

text ionisingUS university testing animals in Pacific for Fukushima radiation — Photos show bodies riddled with tumors, eyes bleeding, covered in lesions — Some are missing testicles, eyeballs — Skin disintegrating, peeling off, turning yellow — Mammals affected by diseases never seen in species (WARNING: Graphic Pics)

Colorado St. Univ.
, Apr 13, 2015 (emphasis added): CSU partners with Fukushima University to study radiation effects… Many CSU faculty and researchers are contributing to radiation research in Japan… including Thomas Johnson… professor of health physics, who is testing trace radiation samples in seal populations in thenorthern Pacific Ocean, where radiation from the Fukushima disaster was released.

Alaska Marine Science Symposium presentation, Raphaela Stimmelmayr (Dept. of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough) & Gay Sheffield (Univ.of  Alaska – Fairbanks Marine Advisory Program), 2014:

Incidental Gross Necropsy Findings in Subsistence-Harvested Ice Seals and Walruses

• Reproductive system: adnexal cysts [uterus], uterine and penile melanosis [darkening of skin], cliteromegaly [enlarged clitoris], cryptorchism [testicle(s) absent from scrotum], retained placenta;
• Endocrine system
: thyroid cysts, adrenal nodules;
• Musculoskeletal system: synovial cyst [fluid-filled sacs in spine due to degeneration];
• Integumentary system
: panniculitis [inflammation of fatty tissue], epidermal molt, skin sloughing;
• Respiratory system
: lung tumor, parasitic granulomas [inflammation that forms when immune system is unable to eliminate a substance];
• Digestive system
: microdontia [teeth smaller than normal], chronic interstitial pancreatitis [inflammation of pancreas], hepatic cyst [liver], cholestatic jaundice [yellowing of skin caused by thickening of bile or problems in liver], geophagia [eating dirt], and primary diffuse peritoneal tumor [membrane lining abdomen];
variety of the observed disease conditions are reported for the first time in ice seals and/or walruses.
• The majority of observed conditions in our material is classified as benign and are mostly inconsequential to the health of the harvested animals.

See also: Scientists present links between Alaska seal deaths and Fukushima disaster — Exposed to ‘pulsed release’ after fallout that accumulated in ice was quickly set free when melting occurred — “Wildlife health implications” due to radiation exposure discussed

View the AMSS presentation poster here

May 8, 2015 Posted by | oceans, radiation | Leave a comment

Strange and extreme tissue damage in dead dolphins near Fukushima

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 text ionisinglinked to radiation exposure

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)

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, oceans | 1 Comment

Scientists detect Fukushima radiation in Canadian waters

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.

Cesium-137As cesium-134 has a two-year half-life, any cesium-134 detected in the ocean today can only have been added recently – making Fukushima the only possible source.

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,……..

April 11, 2015 Posted by | Canada, oceans | Leave a comment

Arrival of Fukushima’s radioactive isotopes on North American shores

text-radiationFlag-USABREAKING 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)

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

Watch Woods Hole’s latest projection of Fukushima Cs-137 levels through 2021 here

April 10, 2015 Posted by | oceans, USA | Leave a comment

Thousands of years for the oceans to recover from climate change

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.

barrier-reeefOceans 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.”

April 4, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, oceans, Reference | Leave a comment

Plutonium-241 from Fukushima nearly 70,000 times more than atomic bomb fallout in Japan.

exclamation-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:…..

March 30, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, oceans | Leave a comment

Plutonium at 1,000,000 Bq/m3 detected in ocean off Fukushima

text ionisingGov’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”

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”

March 30, 2015 Posted by | oceans | Leave a comment

Sea stars should be tested for plutonium, not just for radioactive cesium

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

highly-recommendedSea 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.

Grant Number N00014-93-1-1287: “This project is assessing the extent to which select species of seastars, brittle stars, and clams typical of the Kara Sea concentrate and retain a variety of long-lived radionuclides known to be (or suspected to be) present in the disposed wastes in the Russian Arctic…. The study we are conducting is examining the extent to which clams (Macoma balthica) and echinoderms such as seastars (dominant asteroids in the Kara Sea include Pontaster, Asterias, and Hymenasier) accumulate these radioisotopes and can be used as bioindicators of released radioactive wastes.
 Results of experiments thus far have indicated that M. balthica can accumulate diverse radionuclides from a wide variety of food sources; seven different algal species have thus far been examined. The assimilation efficiency of ingested radionuclides varies greatly among the radionuclides and less among the different foods for a given radionuclide….have found significant transfer of 241 Am, some transfer of 57 Co and virtually no transfer of 137 Cs to the starfish… 
Results to date indicate that these organisms have unusually long biological half-lives for these radioisotopes (especially the transurnic element, americium), underscoring the likelihood that the echinoderms could be very effective bioindicators of any released radionuclides from the disposed radioactive wastes“[1]

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March 16, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, oceans | Leave a comment

The hazard of Fukushima nuclear radiation in the seafood chain

radiation-in-sea--food-chaiIs seafood totally free from Fukushima radiation?, 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.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | oceans | Leave a comment

Radionuclides from Fukushima found in fish at long distances

radiation-in-sea--food-chaiReport: 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”

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 PBqChernobyl 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

See also: Gov’t: Alaska island “appears to show impacts from Fukushima” — “Significant cesium signature” — Scientists anticipate further impact as ocean plume arrives (VIDEO)

March 6, 2015 Posted by | oceans, Reference | Leave a comment

Record concentration of radioactive Cesium in fish near Fukushima nuclear station port

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.

radiation-in-sea--food-chaiTEPCO has also discovered a record 740,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in the fish, Kyodo News reported.

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.

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, oceans | 1 Comment

Threats for oil drillers and others, in the Arctic’s submerged radioactive trash from Russia

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 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

February 21, 2015 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans, wastes | Leave a comment

The world’s oceans in trouble: it’s US

How we ruined the oceans The Week, 14 Feb 15 

Why are the oceans in trouble?They can no longer absorb the damage inflicted by the 7 billion people on Earth. Over many decades, the human race has overfished key species to near extinction, and polluted them with carbon dioxide emissions, toxic chemicals, garbage, and discarded plastics. A groundbreaking new study, recently published in Science, warned that our oceans are being irreparably damaged by human activity and could be on “the precipice of a major extinction event.” Coral reefs, home to a quarter of the ocean’s fish, have declined by 40 percent worldwide. Stocks of swordfish, yellowfin tuna, and other large fish that people avidly eat are down by 90 percent. Marine scientists say that if mankind does not dramatically change how it treats the oceans and their inhabitants, many marine species will become extinct — with catastrophic consequences for the food chain. “If by the end of the century we’re not off the business-as-usual curve,” says Stanford University marine ecologist Stephen Palumbi, one of the report’s authors, “there’s not much hope for normal ecosystems in the ocean.”

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.

February 16, 2015 Posted by | oceans | Leave a comment

Russia’s sunken nuclear submarines pose danger in the Arctic

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……..

February 14, 2015 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans | Leave a comment


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