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Dying Pacific Ocean?

Ocean_dumping_of_radioactive_waste_in_Pacific_Ocean

Monday, January 19, 2015

Marine defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean.

Science 16 January 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6219
DOI: 10.1126/science.1255641
Review

Douglas J. McCauley Malin L. Pinsky Stephen R. Palumbi James A. Estes Francis H. Joyce Robert R. Warner

[excerpted] Wildlife populations in the oceans have been badly damaged by human activity…. Human dependency on marine wildlife and the linked fate of marine and terrestrial fauna necessitate that we act quickly to slow the advance of marine defaunation….

Three lessons emerge when comparing the marine and terrestrial defaunation experiences:

  • today’s low rates of marine extinction may be the prelude to a major extinction pulse, similar to that observed on land during the industrial revolution, as the footprint of human ocean use widens;
  • effectively slowing ocean defaunation requires both protected areas and careful management of the intervening ocean matrix; and
  • the terrestrial experience and current trends in ocean use suggest that habitat destruction is likely to become an increasingly dominant threat to ocean wildlife over the next 150 years.[end excerpt]

Ocean Releases

[Majia writes] Consensus holds that Fukushima constitutes the greatest radiological release into the ocean ever to occur. According to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, levels of radioactive cesium reached more than 100,000 becquerels per cubic meter in early April of 2011.[i] The World Nuclear Association suggests that 169 Petabecquerels of Iodine-131 equivalent were releases into the ocean from Cesium-137, Cesium-134, and Iodine-131from March 26 to September 30th.[ii] This figure does not include March releases into the atmosphere, which the World Nuclear Association calculates at 1020 petabecquerels from March 12 to March 31, 011. The French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) described Fukushima as the world’s worst nuclear contamination event ever for the ocean,[iii] reporting that from March 21st to mid-July 27, 27.1 petabecquerels of cesium-137 contaminated the ocean. One peta becquerel is equivalent to a million billion becquerels, or 10^15. [iv]

Atmospheric and direct ocean releases occurring as contaminated water spilled from reactors into the ocean caused radionuclide levels to spike offshore. Woods Hole scientist Ken Buessler revealed (12/12/2011) that Fukushima cesium-137 radiation in the sea near the plant peaked in April 2011 at 50 million times above normal levels (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2011/12/12/fukushima-ocean-radiation-was-50-million-times-above-normal-but-no-threat-scientists/).

In a separate interview with Straight on October 28, 2011, Ken Buesseler stated that Fukushima was by far the greatest accidental release of radiation into ocean waters, the magnitude of which in April 2011 was over one hundred times Chernobyl’s contamination of the Black Sea.[v]

These comments reflect concerns based on ocean emissions during the first few months of the disaster. Ocean contamination did not however end in the first months of the disaster. The releases of radioactive water from the plant into the ocean have been, in this writer’s opinion, ongoing because of the need for continuous cooling of melted reactor corium and the inability to effectively de-contaminate cooling water.

Reactors 1 through 3 have been continuously cooled since March of 2011 with water injections. The World Nuclear Association reports that by the end of March 2011 all water storage tanks – the condenser units and condensate tanks – around units 1 through 4 were full of contaminated water pumped from the buildings.[vi] Tepco built a wastewater treatment facility to decontaminate the water but has struggled with decontamination and storage given the volume of water being pumped into the reactor buildings and the level of contamination. During the summer of 2011 Tepco installed concrete panels designed to seal water intakes of units 1 through 4 in order to prevent contaminated water from reaching the ocean. In October 2011, Tepco installed a steel water shield wall between the units and the ocean.[vii]

Yet, despite these efforts ocean contamination has continued because the site is literally saturated from the ongoing water injections. In 2012, Tepco reported water injections as follows: five tons per hour at Unit 1reactor; seven tons per hour at unit 2; seven tons per hour at unit 3.[viii] No information was provided about any water injections into unit 4 or the common spent fuel pool. At 456 tons a day of water going into the units, we can expect substantial ongoing leakage into the ocean. In November of 2011,Tepco admitted that its filtration system at the plant dumped more 11,000 tons of water contaminated with cesium 134, 137, and Iodine 131 into the sea.[ix] Tepco stated that it had been spraying about 70 tons of water around the Daiichi compound a day since early October and that water in some trenches measured at 10,000 millisieverts an hour, which is 10 sieverts an hour, a fatal dose.[x]

Ken Buesseler speaking in March 2012, described the data from his international research cruise off Japan that took place in June 2011:
Despite the announcement in December that operators of the power plant had achieved cold shut down, we know they are still using tons of water to cool the reactors and that not all the water has been collected or treated. As a result, the ground around the site is like a dirty sponge, saturated with contaminated water that is leaking into the ocean. He noted that other scientists had confirmed his 2011 findings of radiation levels 400 miles offshore Japan. He pointed out that little was known about radiation levels at seafloor levels but evidence exists that marine sediments are collecting radioactive contamination at higher concentrations than in the water. He said that little information was available about the radiation levels of groundwater.

He tells the public that information about the extent of releases of contaminated water are lacking:
Other measurements show trends that are more worrisome. Levels of radioactivity found in fish are not decreasing and there appear to be hot spots on the seafloor that are not well mapped. There is also little agreement on exactly how much radioactivity was released or even whether the fires and explosions at the power plant resulted in more radioactive fallout to the ocean than did direct releases of radioactivity caused by dumping water on the reactors to keep them cool.[xi]  The Mainichi reported on April 3, 2012 that “Cesium up to 100 times levels before disaster found in plankton far off nuke plant” and that the “high concentration of cesium, which is believed to derive from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, suggests that radioactive substances that have leaked from the complex are spreading extensively in the sea.” http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120403p2a00m0na009000c.html

Cesium-134 deposits in marine snow gathered 2000 kilomters away from the plant at depths of 5000 meters measuring 1,200 Becquerels per kilogram indicate that radiation contamination from Fukushima spread far and wide.

Lack of certainty about the extent of initial and ongoing atmospheric and ocean releases of radiation from the plant complicates extrapolations of effects. Tepco has provided no concrete information about the extent of damage to the nuclear fuel in the reactors and pools. Mr. Yastel Yamada, a retired engineer and founder of the volunteer Fukushima Skilled Veterans Corps commented that the fuel from the reactors may possibly be in powder form.[xii]

The radiation contamination of the Pacific will be an ongoing problem. One study that modeled dilution declines of Cesium-137 published in Environmental Research Letters predicted that after seven years the “total peak radioactivity levels would still be about twice the pre-Fukushima values” off the coastal waters of North America”[xiii]. That study did not factor in ongoing contamination.

The risks from contaminated ocean water are not restricted to marine and coastal life. Long-lasting radioactive isotopes, such as Cesium-137 and Plutonium-239, will bio-accumulate in marine life in the same fashion that mercury bio-accumulates currently. Marine animals at the top of the food chain and birds that feed on marine life will become highly contaminated radioactively. The Canadian Museum of Nature notes that orcas are often considered toxic waste when they die based on their high toxicity.[xiv]

Furthermore, contaminants in the ocean do not necessarily stay in the ocean….
http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/compromised-oceans-mean-compromised.html

The Pacific Ocean was imperiled before Fukushima: what have we wrought?

Pacific Ocean tipping points? http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/pacific-ocean-tipping-points.html

Bioaccumulation: Cesium is One Among the 1000 Radi…

ENDNOTES

[i] Cited Hiroko Tabuchi. Fears Accompany Fishermen in Japanese Disaster Region The New York Times (2012, June 25): http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/world/asia/fears-accompany-fishermen-in-japanese-disaster-region.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120626

[ii] World Nuclear Association Fukushima Accident (2012, September last update), http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/fukushima_accident_inf129.html

[iii] Fukushima nuclear pollution in sea was world’s worst: French institute. Japan Today Oct. 28, 2011 – http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/fukushima-nuclear-pollution-in-sea-was-worlds-worst-french-institute

[iv] “Fukushima Disaster Produces World’s Worst Nuclear Sea Pollution. The Maritime Excective (2011, October 28) http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/fukushima-disaster-produces-world-s-worst-nuclear-sea-pollution.

[v] Alex Roslin http://www.straight.com/article-491941/vancouver/what-are-officials-hiding-about-fukushima?page=0%2C2

[vi] World Nuclear Association Fukushima Accident (2012, September last update), http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/fukushima_accident_inf129.html

[vii] World Nuclear Association Fukushima Accident (2012, September last update), http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/fukushima_accident_inf129.html

[viii] Sep 1 2012 TEPCO reports drop in water injection rate at N-plant. Yomiuri (2012, Sep 1), http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120831004812.htm

[ix] Robert Mackey and Ravi Somaiya (November 1, 2011) 14 Japanese Official Drinks Water From Fukushima Reactor Buildings. The New York Times By ROBERT MACKEY and RAVI SOMAIYA http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/japanese-official-drinks-water-from-fukushima-reactor-buildings/

[x] Robert Mackey and Ravi Somaiya (November 1, 2011) 14 Japanese Official Drinks Water From Fukushima Reactor Buildings. The New York Times By ROBERT MACKEY and RAVI SOMAIYA http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/japanese-official-drinks-water-from-fukushima-reactor-buildings/

[xi] Ken Buessler What Fukushima accident did to the ocean By Ken Buesseler, Special to CNN March 11, 2012 http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/10/opinion/buesseler-fukushima-ocean/index.html

[xii] “I Don’t Know What Would Happen”: Fuel from Fukushima reactors may be powder — If so, work almost impossible (AUDIO). Enenews (2012, ) http://enenews.com/dont-happen-future-fuel-fukushima-reactors-be-powder-work-almost-impossible-video/comment-page-1#comment-291586Mr. Yastel Yamada, a retired engineer and founder of the Fukushima Skilled Veterans Corps
Uploaded by: OccupyUkiah Filmed: July 30, 2012 Uploaded on: Sept. 27, 2012
[xiii] Erik Behrens1, Franziska U Schwarzkopf1, Joke F Lübbecke2 and Claus W Böning1 Model simulations on the long-term dispersal of 137Cs released into the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima Erik Behrens et al 2012 Environ. Res. Lett. 7 034004

[xiv] Canadian Museum of Nature. Diving in (2011, March 3), of http://nature.ca/explore/di-ef/wcef_tfw_e.cfm.

Source: Majia’s Blog

http://majiasblog.blogspot.fr/2015/01/dying-pacific-ocean.html

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Canada, Japan, USA | | Leave a comment

All 2014 Fukushima rice cleared radiation tests, thanks “supposedly” to fertilizer

n-fukushimafile-a-20150119-870x652

Jan 18, 2015

All 2014 Fukushima rice cleared radiation tests, thanks to fertilizer

Fukushima Minpo

For the first time since the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 plant throttled the agriculture-reliant prefecture, all rice produced there last year cleared the required radiation tests.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government last year checked every bag of rice produced in the prefecture — some 10.75 million bags — based on the Food Sanitation Law, which bans the sale of rice radiating more than 100 becquerels of cesium per kilogram.

The tests found all bags checked from January 2014 through December 2014 had lower than standard radiation levels, in contrast with those tested in 2012 and 2013, which had a small percentage of rice unfit for shipment, the prefectural government said.

Officials said they hope the results will help raise consumer confidence in Fukushima rice, which was devastated by the nuclear disaster. Experts attribute the achievement to efforts to prevent cesium from entering rice fields during cultivation, and to the use of fertilizers based on potassium chloride, which prevents the grain from absorbing the isotope.

The tests, introduced in 2012, screen the bags on a conveyer belt. Bags sniffed out by the initial screening are tested further with precision instruments. Bags over the 100-becquerel cesium limit are discarded.

In 2012, a total of 10.35 million bags were tested and 71, or 0.0007 percent, failed.

In 2013, the failure rate was reduced to just 28 bags, or 0.0003 percent of the 11 million bags tested.

In 2014, 29 bags were flagged as suspicious by initial screening but later found to be below the cesium threshold.

Given that 867 bags were weeded out by initial scans in 2012, the 2014 results represent a major advance, they said.

To date, the rice farmers, prefectural government and local JA cooperatives have made joint efforts to promote fertilizers based on potassium chloride, which prevents rice from absorbing cesium.

The prefecture is shouldering all costs for the fertilizers. In 2014, it distributed ¥1.61 billion in subsidies to farmers to buy enough potassium chloride-based fertilizer to treat 68,000 hectares of paddies.

Research has shown putting potassium in soil prevents rice from taking in cesium. But it is important to keep the potassium levels high while rice is young. So farmers have been told to keep adding it.

Keisuke Nemoto, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Laboratory of Crop Ecology and Morphology who is studying how cesium gets into rice, said the 2014 test results represent the fruit of the joint effort.

But Nemoto said his experiments showed that rice grown without potassium-based fertilizers still breaks the 100-becquerel cesium limit.

“Unless farmers keep adding potassium to soil every year, the chemical’s density in soil will decline and rice could start absorbing cesium again,” he warned.

This section, appearing every third Monday, focuses on topics and issues covered by the Fukushima Minpo, the largest newspaper in Fukushima Prefecture. The original article was published Jan. 9.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/01/18/national/all-2014-fukushima-rice-cleared-radiation-tests-thanks-to-fertilizer/#.VLx4VS4bKKF

Comments from Marushka France

STEP BACK AND READ, ANALYZE and CONSIDER:
1) Agricultural practices such as these, adding lime, potassium, phosphorus and/or organic materials to contaminated soils is… I repeat IS…. appropriate kind of measure to take!!
2) Testing rice with the appropriate equiment is very important.
Measuring the rice from outside a bag does not tell us the alpha and beta IN THE FOOD, very important that HOW food is tested and with what equipment… Very important
3) because Internal exposure – food and water — is 1,000X worse than external, according to WHO
4) Testing agricultural lands , treating with organic soils amendments after assessing the level of radioisotope contamination and the needs of the soils – and making that public information – is critical… for saving our planet, our food and water supplies and our lives.


It is the only way to restore confidence – in government and in media…. We have been lied to our entire lives. Only honest and full disclosure can restore and repair relationships.
Government . People . Journalism…

Reassess ourselves, reassess for one major reason
“Environmental problems…. contamination from multiple human activities like oil, gas, nuclear, petrochemicals, petroleum based agriculture
Poison, unbalanced, unsus-ainable, all of them

Incorporating an application of organic and mineral fertilizers reduces the levels of Cs137 and Sr-90 accumulation three- to fivefold in herbage grown in mineral soils. Such radical treatment of hayfields on peat soils sharply reduces Cs-137, but is less effective for Sr-90.
5) Owing to degradation of cultivated hayfields, repeated grassland renovation with an application of fertilizers is needed every 3 to 6 years.
As noted above, radiation protection measures are effectively applied in large stateowned and collective farms. In small privatesector households and farms, which in Belarus account for more than 50% of agricultural production, these measures are incidental.

Generally for each cow on a private Belarus farm
there is about 1 hectare of hayfield and improved pasture. This is not sufficient to sustain the animal so the farmers have to get hay
from grassy forest glades and unarable lands that are contaminated with higher levels of radioactivity than cultivated hayfields.

Thus a significant number of settlements, even 23 years since the catastrophe, had inadequate radiation protection for agricultural production.

There are more than 300 such settlements each in Belarus and Ukraine, and more than 150 in Russia (Kashparov et al., 2005). page 312 “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” by Alexey Yablokov, Vasily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko
NY Academy of Sciences, Volume 1181, 2009.
5,000 Slavic language studies reviews, over 1,400 cited.
http://www.strahlentelex.de/Yablokov_Chernobyl_book.pdf
Hard copy now available at Greko Printing P:734.453.0341;
email:orders@grekoprinting.com
Japanese version available at Amazon.jp – Chapter 4 (parts12-15) have not been included, ‘too long’.

January 19, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Futaba town accepts interim storage facilities

The Japanese government’s plan to build intermediate storage facilities for radioactive waste from the 2011 nuclear accident is set to move ahead, now that the candidate sites have accepted the plan.

The government wants to build facilities for storing contaminated soil and debris on a 16-square-kilometer site straddling the towns of Futaba and Okuma in Fukushima Prefecture. The 2 towns host the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Okuma accepted the plan last month. The mayor of Futaba made the same decision on Tuesday in Iwaki city, where most of the town’s residents have evacuated.

Those in favor of accepting the intermediate storage facilities say they will help speed up decontamination efforts in the region.

But others cite the risk of the intermediate facilities becoming permanent unless the government fulfills its promise to dispose of nuclear waste outside the prefecture.

The government plans to continue purchase negotiations with the site’s landowners. It is also working out safety arrangements with the prefecture and the 2 towns for the transportation of radioactive waste to the facilities.

Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa said acceptance of the government’s plan is an unavoidable part of accelerating post-disaster rebuilding.

Source: NHK

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150113_26.html

January 14, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

In the fourth winter since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, many of the displaced residents are still in limbo.

“No, nothing. I have nothing planned for New Year’s. Nothing at all. No one is coming.” A shy, round-faced woman spat these words like darts into the protective mask she wore. Moments earlier she had been laughing happily together with several other former residents of the small town of Tomioka as they reminisced about a friend they all knew. She quickly became raw, however, when asked about the coming holidays.

Tomioka counted 15,839 residents before the March 11, 2011 nightmare of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear explosion began. All but one person has left — Matsumura Naoto, the now well-known rice farmer who refuses to abandon his family’s fifth-generation farm.

Confusion and despair among the others is common, a state of existence that government officials bewilderingly made even worse on March 25, 2013 when they divided the roughly 25-square-mile seaside spot into three zones: never to return, return for short periods, and in preparation to return. Government-sponsored scientists determined such divisions here and in other areas near the nuclear plant based on so-called acceptable annual dosage rates. Such designations may make surreal sense in scientific terms. In daily life, however, it means streets separated down the middle, one side “safe” while houses around the corner are condemned for tens of thousands of years to come.

All involved understand that the official designations are of critical significance in terms of compensation. If your property was anywhere but “never to return” you won’t be paid for much longer. Less appreciated is how such nuances taken together are playing out among those on the verge of their fourth winter in limbo.

Life in Internal Exile

Many of the former residents of Tomioka are now living 25 miles to the west in the rural town of Miharu, famous for its 1,000-year-old cherry tree.  Miharu currently houses about 2,000 people of a total of nearly 140,000 officially classified as “displaced” by the crisis. The term “nuclear refugee” is out. All are lumped together as one. Yet those permanently shut out of their former lives since the Fukushima Daiichi power plant spiraled into meltdown include some who have been in as many as 10 shelters in three-and-a-half years.

On a recent afternoon a small group of Tomioka’s forever “displaced” villagers gathered to talk in a brightly lit common room hidden among twenty or so rows of tightly spaced sand-colored buildings that have been subdivided into small rooms for couples and individuals mainly in their sixties and seventies. A younger man in his fifties stood out. Before the crisis, his business supplied lunches for workers at the nuclear power plant. Vibrant and seemingly able to go anywhere, he is trapped by rules that among other things prevent him from living in Tomioka yet allow him several times a week to visit his beloved dachshund Chocolat, whom he refuses to leave to die.

Many of the displaced still believed in the possibility of return up to a few months ago. The group’s mayor Matsumoto-san no longer sees such a resolution. “If only they had told me then, told me that we wouldn’t be able to go back, I could have taken my family and moved to Aomori (in northern Japan), and we would be together,” he said. He was sharing what many express as the worst of it: families torn apart, children and grandchildren now living scattered throughout Japan and rarely if ever visiting. The shelters offer small, attached units, yet there is little open space, and certainly no land to farm. Freshly painted signs on the streets point to the housing units and appear welcoming, yet those inside say they know they are “in the way” and that “after a while you understand they don’t want you anymore.”

A Lottery Winner

One woman had a surprise for the others. “I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you before,” she began, perhaps taking advantage of the two strangers in the mix to break her news. “I applied to the (housing) lottery, and I’m sorry to tell you that I won. I’m very sorry. In a few weeks I’ll move away to a permanent unit. It isn’t much. I know I had a better chance because I’m on my own. I hope you’ll forgive me.”

Some might reduce these words to cultural essentialisms, yet a powerfully unprocessed atmosphere filled the room. The thin sense of community was yet again torn asunder, and while a few wished her luck — she had been in six different shelters before this — the rest gradually looked as if they would be sick and said nothing. Another woman fought off tears.

The newly published housing policy appears under the awkward slogan in Japanese and English — “Future From Fukushima” — and reveals itself for what it has been from the beginning: make it up as it goes along. Tiny details drive home the point. Even if you’re fortunate enough to win a permanent place and you manage to survive for more than 11 years, you’ll start having to pay rent.

The woman who won did not know this, nor did anyone fill her in if they did. She would escape to a place to call home this winter. Meanwhile, some among the others would become part of a sad statistic, one of the only clear facts to come out since March 2011. More people have died from stress-related causes than from the initial disasters in Fukushima.

Alexis Dudden is a professor of history at the University of Connecticut, a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, and the author of Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States (Columbia University Press, 2008). 

 

Source:  Foreign Policy In Focus

http://fpif.org/fourth-winter-fukushima/

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Foreign Ministry to help local governments export food in face of radiation fears

Dec 29, 2014

The Foreign Ministry will help local governments tear down overseas barriers on food imports maintained because of worries over radiation, sources said.

Some states still ban some imports of agricultural, forestry and fishery products because of the fear of contamination from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. As a result, the ministry will cooperate with local governments in organizing events overseas to assure regulators and consumers that products are safe.

In 2015, the ministry plans to hold two to three such events, the sources said Sunday.

Unfounded rumors are a matter of life and death for municipalities where agriculture, fisheries or forestry are key industries.

The ministry said 13 countries, including Canada and Vietnam, have lifted import restrictions imposed after the accident on agricultural, forestry and fishery products from affected areas, but nine economies including South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan still have bans.

South Korea bans marine products from prefectures such as Miyagi and Fukushima.

Many countries also implement some kind of import control, such as requiring safety certificates.

When the ministry holds the events abroad, it will give assistance through embassies, aiming to allay concerns among local companies and media organizations.

A senior ministry official said the support for local governments boils down to wanting to disseminate correct information and to sell Japan’s attractions.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/12/29/national/foreign-ministry-help-local-governments-export-food-face-radiation-fears/#.VKKNeP8ASA

December 30, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Fukushima mothers compile booklet derived from radiation seminars

xMasaharu Tsubokura, center, and the members of the Veteran Mothers’ Society in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture

December 29, 2014

MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture–Mothers living near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have compiled a booklet offering basic knowledge about radiation and explanations addressing safety concerns arising from the disaster.

The booklet, titled “Yoku Wakaru Hoshasen Kyoshitsu” (Radiation and Health Seminar), is available in both Japanese and English and was created by the Veteran Mothers’ Society, which consists of five mothers from the city of Minami-Soma.

The members, some of whom are former high school classmates, decided to create the booklet “for children’s sake.”

The information incorporates lessons learned from doctors at seminars the group organized following the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in March 2011.

Amid the confusion and fears over radiation after the disaster unfolded, the mothers convened their first seminar for children and guardians in December 2011. They invited Masaharu Tsubokura, a doctor of hematology from the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science who had been providing consultations at the Minami-Soma municipal general hospital.

Other physicians later joined the effort to spread accurate information about radiation, and the mothers have held the sessions once or twice a month.

In the seminars, the children peppered Tsubokura with questions, such as “Can I touch my pets?” and “Is it OK to lick the snow?”

Ikumi Watanabe, the society’s 54-year-old vice chairwoman, recalled that Tsubokura’s explanations “were spoken in an easy-to-understand manner so the information popped straight into our heads. It was nice that we could talk with him on the same level and in person.”

Even now, the nature of the questions has not changed much.

“People have felt pressured not to talk about radiation, and some mothers have finally gotten the information only now, more than three years after the accident,” Tsubokura said. “I hope I can help them make decisions without thinking negatively about themselves or losing their self-confidence.”

In addition to basic knowledge, such as the differences between external and internal radiation exposure and between becquerels and sieverts, the booklet answers questions like: “Can radiation be transmitted from one person to another?” and “Is the tap water OK?”

According to the Veteran Mothers’ Society, 20,000 copies of the Japanese version were distributed to schools, companies and other organizations. The English version has been ordered by international schools, international exchange organizations and other groups.

Inquiries to the Veteran Mothers’ Society can be made via email (beteranmama0808@gmail.com).

Source: Asahi Shimbun

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201412290023

December 29, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Last recommended evacuation warning lifted in Fukushima, but many remain wary

December 29, 2014

MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture–The central government lifted on Dec. 28 the last recommended evacuation advisory for several districts in this city, saying radiation levels from the nuclear accident fell below the annual exposure limit.

However, many of the residents of 152 households within these districts voiced their opposition to the lifting.

The central government designated areas that registered high radiation levels outside the zones under mandatory evacuation orders as specific recommended evacuation spots following the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The residents living within these locales were encouraged to evacuate from their homes.

The districts in Minami-Soma were designated as such because they were at risk of exceeding the annual accumulated dose limit of 20 millisieverts, or 3.8 microsieverts per hour.

The central government in June 2011 issued the advisory for some locales in the cities of Minami-Soma and Date and the village of Kawauchi, all in Fukushima Prefecture, home to 281 households. The advisory for Date and Kawauchi was lifted earlier.

Central government officials explained their latest decision to the residents and local officials, saying that the health risks are not expected because radiation levels in their sites now measure well below the designated limit of 20 millisieverts.

They also presented support measures to encourage the residents to return to their homes.

However, evacuee Katsuji Sato, among the residents of the 152 households, said he would not immediately return home.

The 79-year-old, who lives in temporary housing in Minami-Soma, had lived in a family of six of four generations before the Great East Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, set off the nuclear disaster.

Sato’s mother died where she evacuated to, and his eldest son, the son’s wife and their elementary school child moved to Miyagi Prefecture.

“My wife and I cannot return to our home even though we want to unless decontamination work is undertaken again,” Sato said.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201412290040

xThe head of the Takakura district, right, reads aloud a statement in opposition to the lifting of a recommended evacuation advisory to officials of the nuclear emergency local response headquarters

in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Dec. 21.

December 29, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | 1 Comment

WHERE DOES FUKUSHIMA GO – Pacific and Atmosphere

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By Marushka France

WHERE DOES FUKUSHIMA GO UPON ENTERING THE OCEAN?

September 25, 2013   [Last Update Feb 111,2014]

PREFACE

Radionuclides go everywhere. The first fallout did fall, first or highest to least amount  (both ocean and landfall):

Coast of North America into north Pacific, Bering Strait, Alaska, Canada, Pacific Northwest of USA

(Washington and Oregon), California and Baja California/Mexico, and then EASTward around the globe. Back sweep also hit Japan hard, of course, far east Asian continent (Russia, Korea)… Initial fallout at least ast far as 1,700 km from Fukushima. (as reported in enews). 

Pure Propaganda

As predicted, IAEA is about control of information – propaganda – and not transparency, not disclosure. IAEA is the pro-nuclear body for U.N., overrides anything and everything W.H.O. can say or do.

As an example, this recent ‘report’ (cough-cough) – this piece of propaganda issued by IAEA —  expects us  to believe  that NO contamination from Fukushima will reach NorthAmerica! Absolutely preposterous!

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/PDFplus/2013/cn207/Presentations/1028-Aoyama.pdf

551275_535528039861003_696688449_n

Not Valid for Tracking Radionuclides – NOAA tsunami map

A)   Often used, the NOAA TSUNAMI MAP IS NOT the same as radionuclides (aka radioistopes) making its way across the Pacific to other shores:

NOAA.org >> the initial Tsunami http://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/honshu20110311/

One year later http://www.noaa.gov/features/03_protecting/japantsunami_oneyearlater.html

B) ‘Thumbs down’ on tracking plastics http://adrift.org.au/fukushima   This one also ignores the far north, Bering Sea, and we know that got hit.

C, Certainly we do want to track the debris from Japan, it could be a mammoth problem, not sure how much radioactivirty might be involved:  Washington blog article includes Japanese debris distribution of U of Hawaii  –  I would NOT assume debris of various sizes, weight, dimensions and type to behave the same as radioisotopes.   Nor do we know if they got hit with radionuclide contamination.  Plastics tracked across Pacific, again, not the same as radioisotopes, cannot expect the same behavior of unlike material.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/west-coast-of-north-america-to-be-hit-hard-by-fukushima-radiation.html

11.11.2013 SYNOPSIS

There is a difference between radionuclides spreading across the Pacific and debris from the tsunami… How it travels, variable depths…  Briefly:  radionuclides’ fallout on to land and rivers and (both) travels to the ocean, radionuclides tend to coalesce and float together (referred to as pools, clouds or streams);  settle in at about 1-100 meters depth, travel along ocean currents (varies by weight).

In the ocean, uranium buckyballs flew across the ocean’s surface in days after 311;  radionuclides also biomagnify up the food chain; can be estimated by the degree of plankton uptake; concentrates in seawater, sea spray and is especially troublesome along coastlines – the entire Pacific rim.

Radionuclides also find their way back into the ATMOSPHERE  via the natural water (hydrolic) cycle.  Radionuclides traveling up with evaporation process is called ‘resuspension,’  thus finding its way to be redistributed on land wherever rain falls.  The life-giving micronutrients from the ocean – the source of life and 50-85% of the oxygen in our world, is thus transformed into genomic instability, every possible breakdown of systems that sustain all life… e.g.  death.  Call it ecocide or omnicide, the more we pollute our environment, the more we pollute ourselves.  The global growth of chronic disease is in step with the spread of man-made radioisotopes and man-made chemicals…. it destroys the ‘stuff of life’ as we know it.

WHERE DOES FUKUSHIMA GO UPON ENTERING THE OCEAN?

Tracking Radionuclides aka Radioisotopes

‘Plume’ is being used to address both Atmospheric (NOAA) and sometimes ‘into the ocean’ dispersal as well. Important to notice the distinction and be clear which one we mean when we post or write about Fukushima. Likewise, ‘cloud’ is being used to describe the coalescing of radioisotopes in pools that float and move together. Another study calls it ‘rivers’ or ‘streams’.  Be very clear in disseminating information.

1. The first detection, of course, “The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is meant to deter nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground.   (All nukes have their own chemical ‘signature as well.)http://www.ctbto.org/verification-regime/the-11-march-japan-disaster/

2. Buckyballs Uranium UC Davis Study

http://www.enviroreporter.com/investigations/fukushima/a-radioactive-nightmare/

(this site mistakenly used tsunami map to represent the spread of radioisotopes across the Pacific)

http://www.pnas.org/content/109/6/1874.abstract?sid=ae203ffc-1b97-4e17-b87f-6114a5936f2

0riginal paper: Uranyl peroxide enhanced nuclear fuel corrosion in seawater

3. Multi-decadal projections of surface and interior pathways of the Fukushima Cesium-137 radioactive plume 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096706371300112X

4. [German] Model simulations on the long-term dispersal of 137Cs released into the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/3/034004/article and with soundt he limitations of the study are well spelled out, read the whole thing, watch their video, it is very informative.

http://brightcove.vo.llnwd.net/e1/uds/pd/105920850001/105920850001_1727324228001_abstract-video-4257289161e45e1f86c5b5c2f0b6128f-converted.mp4

5. Various agencies have done plume modeling estimates. These take weather conditions and releases and estimate where the radioactive releases went or will go.

http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?page_id=9971

6. NOAA and Navy dispersion model “”Science On a Sphere” 

http://www.sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/dataset.php?id=332

The Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model Same model used

http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?page_id=9971

7. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collaborated with the National Atmospheric Deposition

Program in an effort to monitor North American precipitation samples for the presence of nuclear fallout in response to the Japan Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station incident that occurred on March 11, 2011.

http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/fukushima/

8. Radionuclides (aka radioisotopes) like Strontium will collect in ‘rivers’ or ‘streams’ of

contamination…  (SEE ALSO #10b and #11) will not ‘dilute’… Evidence of bioaccumulation in species, biomagnification- denser concentrations in the Pacific, as well as remaining in collective rivers and streams of its own making are derived from decades-long research  chemical changes interacting with the salt…  all speak to multiple, deadlier pathways

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/05/strontium-90-spread-over-1000km-evenly-in-pacific-ocean/in this article of yours:>>>>>

1. Strontium 90 exists ~ 17-62 % cesium 134/137; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology assumed it would be 0.1 %.

2. Strontium90 evenly spreads from 170km offshore Chiba to 1000km southeast to Japan. spreads from 1m to 100m deep in the sea as well.

9. Cesium, iodine and tritium in NW Pacific waters

A comparison of the Fukushima impact with global fallout

http://www.biogeosciences.net/10/5481/2013/bg-10-5481-2013.html

10. Concentration & RESUSPENSION of Radionuclides from ocean back into atmosphere brings the fallout inland – AGAIN – and contaminates through rainfall & snowfall…

10a  In the ocean, radionuclides become concentrated Marine plankton as an indicator of low-level radionuclide contamination in the Southern Ocean

[SciTech Connect] by Marsh, K.V.; Buddemeier, R.W. 1984

in the ocean STRATIFIED about 100m ~> into the atmosphere ~> into the rainfall everywhere…

globally(from the era of atomic bomb tests in the Pacific)   [added 11.11.2013]

http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/6802363-hfGOhq/6802363.pdf

”On May 16, 1958, the Wahoo event was detonated underwater two miles south-west of Enewetak.

Plankton sampling was begun as soon as possible, and at H + 6 hours the major part of the total

radioactivity was found in the top 25 m and about one-eighth at the thermocline, 110 m. By H + 28 hoursthe activity was distributed through the upper half of the mixed layer to about 50 m, but by H +• 48 hours it was concentrated at 100 m, the upper edge of the thermocline. At no time was the activity uniformly mixed; it was always stratified”

[The thermocline is the transition layer between the mixed layer at the surface and the deep water

layer. The definitions of these layers are based on temperature.]

10b Through the water cycle

“National Weather Service; Jetstream-Online school for Weather; The Hydrologic Cycle” [water cycle] and returns inland in rainfall

http://www.srh.weather.gov/jetstream/atmos/hydro.htm

Some Radionuclides undergoes ‘RESUSPENSION‘

“The ocean is known to be a major source of atmospheric particulate [ matter]. There is considerable,evidence, however, that the chemical composition of the particles in the marine aerosol is often considerably different from that of seawater. Barker and Zeitlin found enrichment factors for transition metals in the aerosol approaching and exceeding three and four orders of magnitude relative to sodium. Cattell and Scott suggest that a biogenic agent may be responsible for the approximately 20,000-fold enrichment of copper during aerosol production in the ocean. The whole question of fractionation at the sea surface was the subject of a 1976 review article.^’

It seems possible, even likely, that the correlation we observe between radionuclides in plankton

and in the air samples is due, at least in part, to resuspension.”

Because of the ocean spray being concentrated, as well as fog, and the presence of uranium

buckyballs specific to Fukushima, (at least) and the higher likelihood of fish consumption in

coastal areas (internal contamination) — coastal areas might experience a higher likelihood of

internal, radionuclide contamination.  [added 11.11.2013]

{this is also why Dr. Busby estimates coastal areas being more likely to have higher rates of cancer…   both resuspension and higher likelihood of fish consumption…  see his work relative to Sellafield, UK} 

11. Further understanding of the damage of the atomic age on our environment, and climate

change

11a Dr. Rosalie Bertell talks about the 5 layers of atmosphere and the “Five Rivers or

Vapours” upon which the flow of air and water – sustains us all.

This entry is solely to support the ‘rivers’ and ‘streams’ metaphor as very real, not discovered until mid-Century [and a part was quickly destroyed by an atomic bomb]   and how fast esp jetstream moves, hownthe planet has its own highways, byways, ….  circuitous routes –  types and pathways — in the atmosphere and in the oceans and seas.

Rosalie Bertell – Space Weapons of War – part 1 of 4 – PLANET EARTH

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaSkCZ_Dcg0

11b blog by Jan Hemmer  [update 11.11.2013]

“Nuclear Industry kills Ozone Layer and stops Oxygen production in Oceans”

July 21, 2013 by Mikkai

http://tekknorg.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/nuclear-industry-kills-ozone-layer-and-stops-oxygen-production-in-oceans/

Source : Marushka France

https://www.facebook.com/notes/marushka-france/where-does-fukushima-go-pacific-and-atmosphere/10151889492501649

November 27, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Nuclear evacuees seek rise in TEPCO compensation

Nov 14 2014

More than 2,800 evacuees from a village near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are seeking state arbitration for a rise in compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant’s operator.

Iitate Village is still an evacuation zone three years and eight months after the nuclear accident at the power plant. But decontamination work is proceeding across the village, which is located about 40 kilometers from the plant.

About half the village’s population, or 2,837 evacuees, filed for arbitration with the Center for Settlement of Fukushima Nuclear Damage Claims on Friday.

They say their prolonged evacuation is splitting local communities and families and threatening generations of the village’s history.

The evacuees are seeking increased compensation and an apology from TEPCO. They want the current monthly evacuation compensation per capita more than tripled to 350,000 yen, or roughly 3,000 dollars per month. They also call for around 172,000 dollars per evacuee in compensation for ruining their village lives.

The representative of the evacuees, Kenichi Hasegawa, explained why they filed for the class-action arbitration. He said the evacuees decided they must express their anger as their lives have not improved since the nuclear accident. He added that the evacuees want their village lives back.

TEPCO said in a statement it has yet to learn the details of the documents. But the company pledges a sincere response to the arbitration in line with settlement procedures

Source: NHK

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141114_34.html

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | 1 Comment

Study: Fukushima health risks underestimated

20141111115920229580_20A Greenpeace radiation monitoring team checks contamination in Fukushima City

13 Nov 2014 

Tokyo, Japan - “Hot spots” of nuclear radiation still contaminate parts of Fukushima Prefecture, according to findings from the latest Greenpeace radiation monitoring mission near the Daiichi nuclear power plant that experienced a melt down after an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Experts from the environmental organisation also claim that authorities have consistently underestimated the amount of contamination and the health risks involved.

Greenpeace will use these results to try to persuade local governments with nuclear power plants in their districts to resist lobbying from the central government to have them reactivated. All 50 of Japan’s remaining nuclear plants were shut down following the 2011 disaster. 

Greenpeace began independently monitoring radiation in Fukushima within a few days of the nuclear accident, and it has conducted field trips each year since then. The latest such trip took place from October 24-27.

Heinz Smitai, a nuclear physicist, Greenpeace campaigner and participant in the radiation monitoring mission, told foreign journalists at an October 30 press conference in Tokyo that radiation hot spots exist as far as 60 kilometres from the site of the disaster.

For instance, one street in front of a hospital in Fukushima City “is quite contaminated”, Smitai said, measuring 1.1 microsieverts of radiation per hour. Although this was one of the highest readings, Greenpeace found 70 other places in the city where the amount of radiation recorded exceeded the Ministry of Environment’s long-term target of 0.23 microsieverts per hour.

A sievert is the standard unit for measuring the risk of radiation absorbed by the body. A millisievert is equal to one-thousandth of a sievert, while a microsievert is one-millionth of a sievert. A typical CT scan can deliver from 2 to 10 millisieverts of radiation, depending on the area being scanned.

Source: Al Jazeera

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/11/will-japan-reopen-nuclear-plants-fukushima-20141111112653560643.html

November 13, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | 1 Comment

Japanese doctors threatened for revealing data on how bad Fukushima-related illnesses have become

November 12th, 2014

Japanese doctors threatened for revealing data on how bad Fukushima-related illnesses have become — Gundersen: We had pregnant sisters in Tokyo deliver two dead babies and one with deformities that’s alive; Gov’t refuses to disclose miscarriages or stillbirths around Fukushima

Excerpts from Nuclear Hotseat w/ Libbe HaLevy, Nov. 12, 2014 (at 33:15 in):

  • Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education: We have firsthand knowledge from at least a half dozen Japanese doctors… who have said they have been threatened… if they speak frankly to their patients about the health effects that they’re experiencing; or if they frankly speak in public about their fears — and, in fact, measurements — of how bad radioactive illnesses really are. So we know of at least a half a dozen doctors who are being ‘sat on’, and if 6 are, you can be certain that many more are as well. It’s a pressure that’s being applied up and down the spectrum… [You would now expect] exactly what we’re seeing — earlier cancers and thyroid nodules. Then over the next 15 to 20 years, increased organ cancers as well as muscular cancers… The fact of the matter is, we’re going to see cancers in that 4 to 30 year time span. And I still stand by what I’ve been saying now for 3 years. I think there will be a million extra cancers as a result of Fukushima Daiichi.
  • Gundersen: For Asahi Shimbun, a major newspaper, to basically call on people to [move] back home based on the [claim there’s no increase in birth defects]… is absolutely absurd. The number they’re not giving us is how many stillbirths and how many miscarriages there’s been in relation to the rest of Japan — and those are radiation-induced. You’ll get a stillbirth or you’ll get a miscarriage when a fetus is deformed or it is already developing cancer… The Japanese are not reporting stillbirths and miscarriages in Fukushima… That’s a much better indicationThere are 35 million people in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area [and] their homes are contaminated… We had two women, sisters, both pregnant at the same time — one with twins, and one with a single baby. Two of the kids were stillbirths. The other was born with a deformity. They had the metallic taste in their mouth as the babies were in [the womb]. They lived in Tokyo, 130 miles from the accident. They’re people, they’re not statistics… and they’ve got no place to run…. no place to go.

Download the full interview here:

Nuclear Hotseat #177: Fukushima Update – Arnie Gundersen

http://www.nuclearhotseat.com/2200/

Source: Enenews

http://enenews.com/japanese-medical-experts-threatened-bad-radioactive-illnesses-really

November 13, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Fukushima Radioactivity Detected Off West Coast

cesium in california 10 nov 2014

November 10, 2014

Monitoring efforts along the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Canada have detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident 100 miles (150 km) due west of Eureka, California. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found the trace amounts of telltale radioactive compounds as part of their ongoing monitoring of natural and human sources of radioactivity in the ocean.

In the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami off Japan, the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant released cesium-134 and other radioactive elements into the ocean at unprecedented levels. Since then, the radioactive plume has traveled west across the Pacific, propelled largely by ocean currents and being diluted along the way. At their highest near the damaged nuclear power plant in 2011, radioactivity levels peaked at more than 10 million times the levels recently detected near North America.

“We detected cesium-134, a contaminant from Fukushima, off the northern California coast.  The levels are only detectable by sophisticated equipment able to discern minute quantities of radioactivity,” said Ken Buesseler, a WHOI marine chemist, who is leading the monitoring effort. “Most people don’t realize that there was already cesium in Pacific waters prior to Fukushima, but only the cesium-137 isotope.  Cesium-137 undergoes radioactive decay with a 30-year half-life and was introduced to the environment during atmospheric weapons testing in the 1950s and ’60s.  Along with cesium-137, we detected cesium-134 – which also does not occur naturally in the environment and has a half-life of just two years. Therefore the only source of this cesium-134 in the Pacific today is from Fukushima.”

The amount of cesium-134 reported in these new offshore data is less than 2 Becquerels per cubic meter (the number of decay events per second per 260 gallons of water). This Fukushima-derived cesium is far below where one might expect any measurable risk to human health or marine life, according to international health agencies.  And it is more than 1000 times lower than acceptable limits in drinking water set by US EPA.

Scientists have used models to predict when and how much cesium-134 from Fukushima would appear off shore of Alaska and the coast of Canada. They forecast that detectable amounts will move south along the coast of North America and eventually back towards Hawaii, but models differ greatly on when and how much would be found.

“We don’t know exactly when the Fukushima isotopes will be detectable closer to shore because the mixing of offshore surface waters and coastal waters is hard to predict. Mixing is hindered by coastal currents and near-shore upwelling of colder deep water,” said Buesseler. “We stand to learn more from samples taken this winter when there is generally less upwelling, and exchange between coastal and offshore waters maybe enhanced.”

Because no U.S. federal agency is currently funding monitoring of ocean radioactivity in coastal waters, Buesseler launched a crowd-funded, citizen-science program to engage the public in gathering samples and to provide up-to-date scientific data on the levels of cesium isotopes along the west coast of North America and Hawaii. Since January 2014, when Buesseler launched the program, individuals and groups have collected more than 50 seawater samples and raised funds to have them analyzed. The results of samples collected from Alaska to San Diego and on the North Shore of Hawaii are posted on the website http://OurRadioactiveOcean.org. To date, all of the coastal samples tested in Buesseler’s lab have shown no sign of cesium-134 from Fukushima (all are less than their detection limit of 0.2 Becquerel per cubic meter).

The offshore radioactivity reported this week came from water samples collected and sent to Buesseler’s lab for analysis in August by a group of volunteers on the research vessel Point Sur sailing between Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and Eureka, California. These results confirm prior data described at a scientific meeting in Honolulu in Feb. 2014 by John Smith, a scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, who found similar levels on earlier research cruises off shore of Canada. Buesseler and Smith are now working together on a new project, led by Jay Cullen at the University of Victoria, Canada, called InFORM (http://fukushimainform.wordpress.com/) that involves Canadian academic, government and NGO partners to determine and communicate the environmental risks posed by Fukushima for Canada’s Pacific and Arctic coasts and their inhabitants.

Buesseler believes the spread of radioactivity across the Pacific is an evolving situation that demands careful, consistent monitoring of the sort conducted from the Point Sur.

“Crowd-sourced funding continues to be an important way to engage the public and reveal what is going on near the coast. But ocean scientists need to do more work offshore to understand how ocean currents will be transporting cesium on shore.  The models predict cesium levels to increase over the next two to three years, but do a poor job describing how much more dilution will take place and where those waters will reach the shore line first,” said Buesseler. “So we need both citizen scientists to keep up the coastal monitoring network, but also research vessels and comprehensive studies offshore like this one, that are too expensive for the average citizen to support,” said Buesseler.

Buesseler will be presenting his results on Nov. 13, 2014, at the SETAC conference in Vancouver (http://meetings.setac.org/frontend.php/presentation/listForPublic ). He is also responding to questions from the public on the “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit at 1 p.m. EST on Nov. 10 (http://www.reddit.com/r/science).

Ken Buesseler is a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) who specializes in the study of natural and man-made radionuclides in the ocean. His work includes studies of fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and examination of radionuclide contaminants in the Pacific resulting from the Fukushima nuclear power plants. Dr. Buesseler has served as Chair of the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at WHOI, as Executive Scientist of the U.S. Joint Global Ocean Fluxes Planning and Data Management Office, and two years as an Associate Program Director at the U.S. National Science Foundation, Chemical Oceanography Program. In 2009, he was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and in 2011 he was noted as the top-cited ocean scientist by the Times Higher Education for the decade 2000-2010. He is currently Director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity at WHOI. For more info, visit his lab, Café Thorium.

Funding for the citizen monitoring effort at ourradioactiveocean.org comes from close to 400 individuals and sponsoring organizations including Alaska Ocean Observing System, Alaska SeaGrant, Bamfield Marine Science Centre, Cook Inlet Keepers, David Suzuki Foundation, Deerbrook Charitable Trust, Dominical Real Estate, Fukushima Response Campaign, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Parks Canada, Humboldt State University Marine Lab, Idaho Section of the American Nuclear Society, Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) Network, International Medcom, KUSP Santa Cruz, Lush Cosmetics, Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, Nuxalk Nation, Onset Computer, Pacific Blue Foundation, Peaceroots Alliance, PFx, a Picture Farm Company, Point Blue Conservation Science, Prince William Sound Science Center, Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Santa Barbara Channel Keeper, Say Yes! to Life Swims LLC, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Program National Park Service, St. Mary’s School, The Guacamole Fund, The Institute for Building Biology and Ecology, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, Ucluelet Aquarium, Umpqua Soil & Water Conservation District, University of California Davis Marine Pollution Studies Lab, University of Hawaii, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu

Originally published: November 10, 2014

Source:  http://www.whoi.edu/news-release/Fukushima-detection

November 10, 2014 Posted by | USA | , , | 3 Comments

Fukushima: Japan has chosen to incinerate tons of radioactive waste

Catastrophe nucleaire de Fukushima, pres de 4 ans apres, travaux de decontamination a l'interieur de la zone contamineeThree and a half years after the tragedy, most of plants and materials will be burned and the ashes stored.

By Marc Cherki Published 11/09/2014
Translation by D’un Renard

In Kawauchi, a small village located on both sides of of 20 kilometers division line around the Fukushima plant, many one cubic meter bags, are filled by the decontaminators with radioactive vegetal waste. Plants, grasses, lichens, shrubs that lined the road are now piled into these big bags.

Thus, the radiation received by persons traveling on this path is reduced. The plants are also removed within 20 meters around houses.

With Date and Minamisoma, Kawauchi is one of the “model villages” exemplified by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and the Japanese government.

The committed efforts are huge . In less than a year, since the nuclear accident in March 2011, projects funded by the government were already valued at 10 billion euros only for the decontamination of soils, houses and a microscopic part of the forests.

At present, the kariokiba, the temporary storage sites, are overfull of waste.
About 43 million cubic meters (43 million tons), as plastic bags of blue, black or gray colors depending on the choice of the town, are piling into a thousand temporary sites.

The bags are half filled with plants.
The others contain the contaminated soil removed from the surface of rice fields and schoolyards, materials polluted by radioactive fallout cloud or dust collected in houses gutters,

The Japanese government has pledged to deal with the waste from 1 January 2015. But nobody believes this possible in such a short time. “We’re late,” admits Mr Ozawa, deputy director general of the department of environmental restoration in Fukushima, under the Ministry of the Environment.
As early as our first work, which started in the summer of 2012 and mobilized 17,000 people, “local authorities told us that we were too slow,” he admits.
But it is “like playing chess without having the rules. So we had to make the pieces and invent the rules. ”

At the Otsube storage site in Kawauchi, Youichi Igari, 40, who works for decontamination, admits that the government should not be able to recover the waste in the time promised.
This thorny issue of waste is closely related to the return of populations. Currently, 130,000 people are still displaced, according to the Government, out of which 50,000 out of the Fukushima Prefecture. The family of Youichi Igari family is one of those who left the town of Kawauchi. “My wife is afraid to come back,” admits the technician.

Compared to our own surveys made with a Geiger counter, the measuring of the radioactivity carried by the city is minimized by a third.
A difference that their expert justified by “the margin of error of measurement” … More serious over the bags covered with a green tarp, plants began to grow. Sign that the sealing is no longer guaranteed.
And if in the kariokiba visited in Date the black bags seem tight, the official measurements of radioaction that people can find on the Internet are lower than our measurements.

Divide by ten the number of bags could improve decontamination and encourage the return of the nuclear exiles.
The Japanese government is planning to burn and store its waste on two sites in Futaba and Okuma for those highly radioactive and in Tomiaka for those weakly radioactive (8,000 Bq / kg). Three towns near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The most active ash (100,000 Bq / kg) will be trapped in concrete and stored in an intermediate site for thirty years. Then to be moved after to a final repository to be stored there for more than two centuries and a half.

For already one year the Japanese government has informed the IAEA of its intentions.
“It’s good management, rather than letting the plants rot and release biogas. Burning waste is a method that we already use in France to reduce volumes.
For some of the waste, the operation in France is performed at the Centraco plant near Marcoule, a subsidiary of Socodei, which packages the ash into concrete, “says Bruno Cahen, the Andra industrial director.

This is particularly the case of technical waste containing cesium-137 which radioaction is halved every thirty years. “It is not possible to recover 100% of the fumes.
But technology can improve the collection of emissions to limit emissions into the atmosphere, “says Didier Dall’Ava, deputy director of sanitation and nuclear decommissioning at CEA.
Finally, in the case of the Japanese waste “the safety of the ashes with concrete must be confirmed from a chemical and mechanical point of view,” adds François Besnus, director of waste at the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety.

Still, the scale of the Japanese project is extraordinary, outside the norm.
The Marcoule site has the capacity to incinerate 3,000 tons of solid waste per year, it is quite low compared to 22 million tons of radioactive waste that the Japanese government wants to eliminate. Even if Japan opts for the best technique (rejection of one radionuclide in 100,000 to 1 million, according to Areva) this operation will lead to significant emissions into the atmosphere. As to incinerate waste will not remove the radioaction . Reconquérir le territoire reste une tâche titanesque. To reconquer that territory from radiation will remain a gigantic task.

Source : Blog de Serge Angeles

http://blog.serge-angeles.com/2014/11/09/japon-2014-fukushima324/

November 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 5 Comments

Taiwan to demand certificates for Japanese food imports

One country is at least becoming aware of the food contamination risks and taking measures to protect its citizens’ health. How about the others?

Oct 31, 2014 

Taiwanese authorities are considering requiring production area certificates for all food imports from Japan and radiation check certificates for some, according to informed sources.

The authorities plan to implement the new policy in 2015 after gauging public opinion.

Following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Taiwan banned imports of food products from five prefectures, including Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba.

In addition, radiation checks have been conducted on vegetables, fruit and fisheries products imported from Japan.

Production area certificates are currently not required.

Under the envisioned policy, Taiwan would require production area certificates for all food imports from Japan and radiation check certificates by the Japanese government for those subject to current radiation checks and certain other products, such as tea and biscuits.

Consumer groups in Taiwan have been calling for stronger regulations on Japanese food imports.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/31/national/taiwan-demand-certificates-japanese-food-imports/

November 1, 2014 Posted by | Japan, Taiwan | | Leave a comment

ASAHI POLL: 27% of Fukushima voters want immediate end to nuclear power

AJ201410200031MA temporary housing complex in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, for evacuees

from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis

October 20, 2014
Twenty-seven percent of voters in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, want Japan to immediately abolish nuclear energy, around double the national average, an Asahi Shimbun survey found.
About 55 percent of voters in the prefecture support a break away from nuclear power in the near future, according to the telephone survey conducted on Oct. 18-19.
The survey results showed anti-nuclear sentiment is higher in Fukushima Prefecture than in the rest of the country.
Thirteen percent of voters in Tokyo supported the immediate abolition of nuclear energy in a survey in February, while 15 percent expressed the same opinion in a nationwide survey in January.
In those earlier surveys, 61 percent of Tokyoites and 62 percent of respondents nationwide said Japan should break away from nuclear power in the near future.
The latest survey covered 1,701 voters in Fukushima Prefecture and received 1,091 valid responses.
Only 15 percent of Fukushima voters said Japan should continue relying on nuclear energy, compared with 22 percent in the survey in Tokyo and 19 percent nationwide.
The survey also revealed that 66 percent of Fukushima voters accept Governor Yuhei Sato’s decision to allow the construction of an interim facility to store radioactive waste from cleanup work in the prefecture.
Eighteen percent said they disagree with Sato’s decision.
In addition, 53 percent said they support the central government’s decision to end its policy of helping all evacuees from the nuclear disaster return to their homes and instead assist them in resettling elsewhere. Twenty-eight percent were against the decision.
Up to 56 percent of respondents said they highly evaluate the governor’s efforts to rebuild the prefecture from the damage caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, compared with 25 percent who said otherwise.
Forty percent of Fukushima voters said they support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet, matching the 40 percent who did not support the Cabinet.
Source: Asahi Fukushima

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201410200030

October 20, 2014 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

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