Asahi Shimbun, Jun 17, 2015 (emphasis added):EDITORIAL: No more half-baked plans for decommissioning Fukushima reactors.
The government [and TEPCO] announced… removal of spent nuclear fuel from storage pools… will be delayed by up to three years… due to their new policy of “risk reduction over speed.” This delay, right from the start, must mean that the old road map was poorly planned. Are [they] really able to now foretell that the delay will be three years at most? And why was risk reduction not their top priority until now?… In autumn 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared… the situation was “under control.”… it has become abundantly clear that the situation is anything but under control, and that the previous decommissioning road map failed to accurately assess the high level and extensive spread of radiation contamination. Removing debris releases radioactive substances into the atmosphere… http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/editorial/AJ201506170050
Mainichi Daily News, Jun 15, 2015: The delay is due to unexpected difficulties preventing the escape of airborne radioactive contaminants during decontamination and wreckage clearing work. Decommissioning reactors at the heart of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters is of course bound to be extremely difficult, and this reality is coming into sharp relief… http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20150615p2a00m0na007000c.html
Asahi Shimbun, Jun 13, 2015: … because of the unprecedented scale and nature of the decommissioning project resulting from the triple meltdown… the rush to move on resulted in only more problems… One of the biggest problems has been… stopping leaks of radiation-contaminated water and dealing with radioactive materials that are still gushing…
INSIGHT: Success of revised decommissioning plan for Fukushima far from a done deal http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201506130054
Gov’t Scientists: “Something very unusual occurring” off west coast of US, Canada — “Unprecedented in historical record” — “Will dramatically reduce productivity” in 6,500 sq. miles of ocean — Anomaly extends “across Pacific to Japan” — “Who knows what will happen?” (MAP)
Fishletter Issue 335, July 24, 2014 (emphasis added): There is a massive pool of warm water in the Gulf of Alaska, NOAA scientist Nate Mantua said in an email. It is unprecedented in the historical record, he added… the past year is way out of the historical range — “so who knows what will happen?“
NOAA Fisheries, Sept. 2014: Scientists across NOAA Fisheries are watching a persistent expanse of exceptionally warm water spanning the Gulf of Alaska that could send reverberations through the marine food web. The warm expanseappeared about a year ago and the longer it lingers, the greater potential it has to affect ocean life… “Right now it’s super warm all the way across the Pacific to Japan,” said Bill Peterson, an oceanographer with NOAA… “it’s a very interesting time because when you see something like this that’s totally new you have opportunities to learn things you were never expecting.” Not since records began has the region of the North Pacific Ocean been so warm for so long… The situation does not match recognized patterns in ocean conditions such as El Niño Southern Oscillation or Pacific Decadal Oscillation… “It’s a strange and mixed bag out there,” Mantua said… warm temperatures are higher and cover more of the northern Pacific than the PDO typically affects… cold near-shore conditions in the Pacific Northwest also don’t match the typical PDO pattern.
North Pacific Marine Science Organization (pdf), Summer 2014: In March 2014 there was something very unusual occurring in the Northeast (NE) Pacific that might have substantial consequences for biota in the Gulf of Alaska and southward into the subtropics… we see SST departures of 4.5 standard deviations… The anomaly field covers a large region of the N.E. Pacific… The authors of this article have never seen [such] deviations… Something asextraordinary as a 4.5-sigma deviation requires corroboration… Argo data verify the very large temperature departures… and similar large deviations in salinity… the event is primarily restricted to the upper 100 metres of the water… In most years, a winter region of high productivity is created by this Ekman transport… Without nutrients from the subarctic, theproductivity of subtropical waters must decline… Between 30–40°N, surface chlorophyll dropped to 60% of the average values… weakened nutrient transport from the subarctic into the subtropics this past winter will dramatically reduce the productivity of the eastern subtropics over an area of ~17,000 km² [~6,500 miles²].
Productivity refers to “the rate of generation of biomass in an ecosystem. Productivity of autotrophs such as plants is called primary productivity… Almost all life on earth is directly or indirectly reliant on primary production… the base of the food chain.”
Some of the things I read about Fukushima, make our scientists sound like bumbling idiots. I don’t believe that scientists are idiots. I think that they keep the truth to themselves, and help spread propaganda, but they know the truth. They are not so stupid to think that anything other than Fukushima is to blame for the sea stars, and other bizarre sea creature deaths in California, and else where along the West Coast of the United States.
I understand that they don’t want to cause a panic. People have the right to know the truth. Fukushima will most likely give every one in this country cancer of one form or another. Tell people the truth damn it!!!
Is dilution really the solution to pollution—especially when it’s nuclear waste that can stay radioactive for 100,000 years? A four-member expert group told a federal joint review panel it is.
The panel is examining an Ontario Power Generation proposal to bury low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste from the Darlington, Pickering and Bruce nuclear plants in limestone at the Bruce site in Kincardine, beside Lake Huron. According to the Toronto Star, the experts reported that 1,000 cubic meters of contaminated water could leak from the site, although it’s “highly improbable.” But even if it did leak, they argued, the amount is small compared to Lake Huron’s water volume and the quantity of rain that falls into it.
If the materials were instead buried in Canadian Shield granite, any leaking waste would be diluted by active streams and marshes, the experts claimed: “Hence, the volumes of the bodies of water available for dilution at the surface are either immense (Great Lakes) or actively flowing … so the dilution capacity is significant.”
Others aren’t convinced. The Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump group has more than 62,000 signatures on a petition opposing the dump. Many communities around the Great Lakes, home to 40-million people, have passed resolutions against the project, including Canadian cities Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Kingston, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor and more, and local governments in the states of Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York and Ohio. The United Tribes of Michigan, representing 12 First Nations, is also opposed.
Michigan’s Senate recently adopted resolutions to urge President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Congress to intervene, and for the International Joint Commission, the Great Lakes Commission and all Great Lakes States and Ontario and Quebec to get involved.
On top of that, retired Ontario Power Generation research scientist and chemist Frank R. Greening wrote to the review panel stating that OPG has “seriously underestimated, sometimes by factors of more than 100” the radioactivity of material to be buried.
Greening says the company acknowledged his criticism but downplayed its seriousness, which he believes raises doubts about the credibility of OPG’s research justifying the project. “Their response has been, ‘Oops we made a mistake but it isn’t a problem’ and that really bothers me as a scientist,” he told Kincardine News. “It is rationalizing after the fact.”
According to the newspaper, “a radiation leak at a nuclear waste site in New Mexico—cited by OPG as an example of a successful facility—is further fueling criticism of the project.” In February, radiation was detected in vaults and in the air a kilometre from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, where radioactive materials from the nuclear weapons program are stored. The facility, the world’s only deep geologic repository, had only been in use for 15 years and is closed for now. The cause of the leak isn’t yet known.
Those and other factors led the joint review panel to re-open hearings beginning September 9. They initially ended October 30, 2013. A federal cabinet decision is expected sometime next year.
This “out of sight, out of mind” mentality must end. We can’t continue to dump garbage into the oceans, waterways and air or bury it in the ground and hope it will disappear. If we can’t find better ways to use or at least reduce waste products, we must stop producing them.
In the meantime, this project must be halted. The Great Lakes are already threatened by pollution, agricultural runoff, invasive species, climate change and more. We can’t afford to add the risk of radioactive contamination to one of the world’s largest sources of fresh water.
Just recently, farmers in the city of Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, have begun planting rice in a district previously designated as a ‘no-plant zone’ due to of radioactive fallout. This will be the first time since March, 2011’s core meltdowns that rice intended for public sale will be planted in fields that are possibly still contaminated with radioactive cesium and other toxic materials.
Despite the urging of the people of Japan, the government continues to allow farming in radioactive areas while also permitting large quantities of imported GM canola from Canada. There is also now GM canola growing wild around Japanese ports and roads to major food oil companies.
Genetically modified canola such as Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready canola has been found growing around these ports when being tested for GM contamination. Japan was also recently duped into accepting Monsanto’s GM soybeans. Does this country really need any more toxic food?
In other news, animals and people living near the Fukushima radiation are suffering. Wild monkeys that reside in a forest near Fukushima are now showing alarming changes in their blood composition. This doesn’t bode well for humans who were exposed to radiation from within several hundred kilometers of the Daiichi site.
Just weeks ago, two Japanese farmers whose livelihoods are in ruins due to the 2011 nuclear disaster staged a protest at Tokyo’s agriculture ministry, scuffling briefly with police as they unsuccessfully tried to unload a bull from a truck.
Masami Yoshizawa and fellow farmer Naoto Matsumura have remained at their farms to care for their own and others’ abandoned livestock in areas where access has been restricted due to radiation fears since the March, 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. The livestock they brought with them for the protest had developed unexplainable white spots on their coats. The farmers believe it is due to radioactive fallout.
Thousands of farmers lost their livelihoods when their farms, produce, and livestock were declared off-limits and unsafe, but allowing radioactive farms to plant now doesn’t solve the problem, and neither do genetically modified foods. It seems the corporate biotech bullies won’t stop their own agricultural terrorism, even when a country is down on their luck.
Experts: Fukushima ‘globally enhanced’ cesium-137 levels in air by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude — Radioactive plume that reached Europe “contaminated the land, and as a consequence the whole food chain” — Concentrations greatly underestimated
Environmental Science & Technology (American Chemical Society), Published Sept. 3, 2013:Size Distributions of Airborne Radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident at Several Places in Europe […] Before the FDNPP accident, average 137Cs levels were typically of 1 μBq m−3 in Central Europe and lower average values (<0.3 μBq m−3) were characteristic of northern, western and southern Europe. […] During the passage of contaminated air masses from Fukushima, airborne 137Cs levels were globally enhanced by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude.
Collaboration Network on EuroArctic Environmental Radiation Protection and Research (pdf), March 12, 2014: Traces of Fukushima nuclear power plant accident observed in the EuroArctic region […] As it can be seen from the figure the computer model underestimates the 131I concentrations […] As seen from Fig. 4 [Comparison between observed 137Cs concentrations and results of EEMEP dispersion model (MET, unpublished study)], there is a good agreement between measured and calculated arrival times, but calculated concentrations are at least one order of magnitude too low compared to measurements. Thus, as in the case with modeling of 131I concentrations with Finnish SILAM, the model used in Norway also underestimated 137Cs concentrations.
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Volume 299, Issue 1, January 2014: Radionuclides from Fukushima accident in Thessaloniki, Greece and Milano, Italy […] After the Fukushima accident a number of dose assessments have been carried out for the populations living in the north-west fallout zone of the Fukushima nuclear accident, by MEXT in Japan, DOE/NNSA in USA, IRSN in France, with quite similar projected dose values. In the more affected regions the estimated projected doses reach particularly significant values, some of them even above 200 mSv, which are no longer in the range of “low doses” according to UNSCEAR 2000 definition. The level of external projected doses in upcoming years is up to 4 Sv lifetime in the high-contaminated areas of 30 MBq m-² of 137,134Cs. On the contrary, the radioactive plume that reached European countries has only small amounts of radioactive isotopes. However, these isotopes, that were observed at low-level in the air boundary layer, were deposited by wet and dry deposition and have contaminated the land, and as a consequence the whole food chain. So the radioisotopes of cesium and iodine were found above their detection limits in all environmental samples but very far below levels of concern.
‘Unthinkable Twist’: Japan expert calls for immediate health exams outside Fukushima, must act urgently or damage will be worse — Gov’t Officials: “I don’t want to discuss the issue”… Discovery of cancer could cause excessive anxiety
The Ministry of the Environment Expert Meeting Discussing Health Support After the Fukushima Nuclear Accident is taking an unthinkable twist. At the July 16th meeting, an outside researcher asked for the expansion of health checkups, but the committee chair [said] “I don’t want to discuss the issue.”
Invited guest speaker Toshihide Tsuda, an epidemiologist and Okayama University professor: “Radioactive materials [being disseminated due to the Fukushima nuclear accident] are not thought to remain within borders of Fukushima Prefecture. We need to urgently figure out if there are any cases in non-Fukushima residents. […] Fixating on dose assessments will delay countermeasures, worsening the damage […] health checkups should be immediately carried out within and out of Fukushima Prefecture, in order to identify cases of thyroid cancer and other illnesses.”
Shigenobu Nagataki, the committee chair […] pushed aside what Professor Tsuda pointed out […] Despite inviting Professor Tsuda to the meeting, Chairman Nagataki practically ignored his opinion.
Professor Tsuda retorted, “My opinions are based on a textbook published by Oxford University Press. Chairman, you are the one that is unique.”
Chairman Nagataki unilaterally cut off the conversation, stating, “I have no intention of arguing with you. We are going to carry on discussion based on exposure dose.”
Only about 1,000 had direct measurements of exposure from radioactive iodine taken, which is 0.3% of residents eligible for thyroid examination
A member of the expert meeting and a professor at Osaka University, Tomotaka Sobue, explained disadvantages of health checkups using the term, “overdiagnosis.” This means […] discovery of cancer during health checkups could cause excessive anxiety and a psychological and physical burden due to surgery.
Requests for expansion of health checkups are swelling from […] residents.