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The purpose of this diary is to present measurements of radionuclides released from Fukushima Daiichi to the ocean in the years following the disaster precipitated by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The concentrations of Fukushima derived radionuclides are discussed relative to the background of naturally occurring radionuclide activities and radionuclides present from the global fall out following atmospheric nuclear testing in the 20th century. All of the results discussed here have been published in the online journal Biogeosciences, an open access – peer reviewed scientific journal of the European Geophysical Union or Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Anyone with the interest can follow the links and access the studies mentioned below. The research summarized here was funded primarily through competitive grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the United States National Science Foundation.

We must first familiarize ourselves with some of the jargon and units that scientists use when discussing radioactivity. A commonly used unit is the Becquerel (abbreviated as Bq), which represents an amount of radioactive material where one atom decays per second and has units of inverse time (per second). Another unit commonly used is disintegrations per minute (dpm) where the number of atoms undergoing radioactive decay in one minute are counted (so 1 Bq = 60 dpm). When we talk about the radioactivity measured in seawater in seawater the measurements are reported normalized per litre of seawater (Bq/L).

In a previous diary I presented a primer on the major contributors to radionuclide concentrations in average seawater.  About 93% of radioactivity in seawater results from the presence of primordial, naturally occurring potassium-40 (K-40) and rubidium-87 (Rb-87). The remaining 7% are radioactive elements deposited to the ocean from past atmospheric nuclear testing. The sum of these activities is about 14 Bq/L on average though there are regional differences that scale with ocean salinity.

Studies of the concentration of radionuclides off the coast of Japan in the aftermath of the disaster have been published since 2011 with some of the most recent work being published or in press in 2013.  A study by Povinec and others (2013) measured the concentrations of Cesium-137 (Cs-137), Iodine-129 (I-129) and Tritium (H-3) off the coast of Japan in June 2011.  Cs-137 is one of the most important isotopes to monitor for long-term radiological impact because of the large releases involved, relatively long half-life, and its relative high bioavailability.  The levels of Cs-137, I-129 and H-3 in seawater following the accident in offshore, surface seawater were 0.002–3.5 Bq/L, 0.00000001–0.0000008 Bq/L and 0.05–0.15 Bq/L, respectively. These represent at maximum an increase above the pre-Fukushima background concentrations of a factor of 1000 (Cs-137), 50 (I-129) and 3 (H-3). A companion study by Casacuberta and others (2013)of the bioaccumulating Strontium-90 (Sr-90) determined concentrations of 0.0008 - 0.085 Bq/L roughly 120 fold greater than Sr-90 background concentrations.

So there is clear enrichment of radionuclide concentrations up to 600 km offshore of the reactors in June 2011 resulting from the release of isotopes to the ocean.  If we sum these isotopes together and compare their radioactivity to the natural and fall out background present before the disaster (~14 Bq/L) we see that Fukushima has increased the concentration of radioactivity in the seawater by a maximum of 27%. These concentrations will diminish as the ocean mixes and the isotopes decay.

More recent work that has monitored the concentration of Cs-137 between Japan and Hawaii to track the dispersion of radionuclides from Fukushima was published by Kamenik and others (2013).  They found that Cs-137 levels near to Hawaii were similar to what would be expected for pre-Fukushima background concentrations of 0.0017 - 0.0028 Bq/L.  Between Japan and Hawaii Cs-137 values were measured that exceeded background Cs-137 by a factor of 2-3 and the southeastern leading edge of the plume traveling westward.  These levels are not significant when compared with total radiation levels in north Pacific seawater.

The data we have about concentrations and radioactivity of these isotopes suggest that they do not represent significant exposure risks to human beings through direct contact with seawater or through the consumption of apex predators like Pacific Bluefin Tuna link.  Ongoing monitoring of the release and dispersion of radioisotopes, especially those with the potential to biomagnify in marine foodwebs, from Fukushima should remain a high priority for environmental and public health.

Originally posted to MarineChemist on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 05:54 PM PST.

Also republished by Japan Nuclear Incident Liveblogs, SciTech, Science Matters, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This assumption (12+ / 0-)
    These concentrations will diminish as the ocean mixes and the isotopes decay.
    is based on a false premise.

    Discharge of highly contaminated water into the Pacific hasn't stopped and isn't likely to stop soon.

    "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

    by JesseCW on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 06:05:17 PM PST

    •  incorrect assumption (12+ / 0-)

      mixing over time has nothing to do with the leak not having stopped. It's a matter of the total amount of ocean compared to the total amount of cooling water - which is much, much smaller.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 06:14:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What cooling water? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, 6412093, Joieau, Creosote, JesseCW

        Isn't most of the volume of water being collected in those tanks at the Fukushima site originate as stormwater in and around the damaged nuclear generation units?

        •  It was my understanding (9+ / 0-)

          (and I may have missed something) that the water in the tanks was water they've been pouring down the bottomless reactor vessels for all this time, pretending to 'cool' the corium flows. Which are no longer in the reactors, or the drywells.

          They have been pumping it back out of the first basement level (torus area just below ground level) and running it through the nifty Areva resin filtration system to remove the cesium. They still had to tank it because what's in the corium isn't just cesium. It's highly contaminated with 'everything else', and there's still a lot of cesium too.

          The tank farm has been growing and growing. The ones that are leaking (well, the ones they've told us about) are your basic slap-happy wikiups designed to last two years. These didn't last that long.

          They've been shunting the stormwater straight to the lagoon. Nasty typhoon season over there.

      •  probably need another "much" or two (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, Andrew F Cockburn

        Many orders of magnitude.

        Markos threatens to eliminate UIDs. Therefore, for posterity's sake I'm putting mine here in my sig. It's UID:180. That's UID:180. Have I mentioned that my UID is ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY?

        by N in Seattle on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 06:20:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unwarranted assumptions (15+ / 0-)

        The bay off Fukushima does not have the entire ocean flowing through it. It has currents, and within the currents there are eddies. These are concentrative factors. The 'what's from Fukushima divided by the ocean' idea might be true, but not in our lifetimes. Likely not our childrens', either.

        An analogy to the air releases applies: You could get 'normal' readings at a SPEEDI station, yet walk a few meters away and record off-the-meter readings. Because air currents and vagaries of landscape lead to huge deposits in one place, and little to none right near it.

        The cooling water is not the only radioactivity being added, (though it will continue to be added, 102,000 tons a year, for the next decades to come. Assuming TEPCO isn't STILL lowballing their numbers.). Even TEPCO/Japanese officials have noticed that there is additional water flowing into the bay, and logic says it has to be from the underground streams.

        Additionally, there are still atmospheric emissions. Depending on wind, etc., at some point some of that lands in the water.

        No, dilution will not be a solution within our lifetimes. Unless the Nuclear Safety Fairy makes the plants vanish from existence.

        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 07:33:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Atmospheric emissions? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Do you have a source that says atmospheric emissions are continuing?

          We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

          by Keith Pickering on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 08:36:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Go this site here (13+ / 0-)


            Best site I've found for comprehensive news gathering on

            Fukushima.Insofar as atmospheric emissions go, perhaps this helps:

            BBC: ‘The real dead zone’ at Fukushima — Monitor went off scale, over 180,000 CPM — Experts shook their heads when asked where melted fuel is — Tepco: Don’t ask what we’ll do with Reactors 1, 2, 3 — CNN: Tepco only wanted to show us Reactor 4, strict rules about what we could film (VIDEO)

            There are 3 uncontrolled core meltdowns going on a 100 yds from the Pacific. There exists NO technology to alleviate or stop the irradiating caused by these simultaneous China Syndrome events.

            Here's a pretty generic synopsis of the current plan and state of affairs.

            The downside is apparently as follows with #4:
            If the blow it moving the 1,533 fuel rods and uncontrolled fission results, it could make the entire plant too "hot" which would then cause cooling to cease at the other fuel rod storage tanks resulting in a worse case scenario of over 11,000 fuel rods going "hot".

          •  Is unit-3 still steaming? (5+ / 0-)

            There is a reason they put reactors in those great big super reinforced concrete buildings /domes and filter gaseous releases before turning 'em loose a couple hundred feet over the facility at a certain rate to keep the shit below daily limits.

            There is contamination as vapor being released from 3 of the 4 units to this day. And will be until the backfill the corium blow-holes. Even then the ruins and SFPs will still be emitting to atmosphere. Nothing like Fuku early on, far more than your friendly neighborhood non-melted nuke is allowed to dump.

            We all hope that remains so. TEPCO's new start-time for the unit-4 defueling op is ten days from now.

      •  The isotopes coming out (11+ / 0-)

        of fukushima are everything from tritium to transuranics. Many of the worst of the stew are heavy metals. And they're coming out in aggregate form (bonded molecules, compounds of molecules, lots of oxides, dust-to-sand size particulate clumps). The corium stew coming out in the groundwater flow is rising from seeps (like springs) on the ocean floor, some at considerable distance from the shoreline. Except for times when there is a lot of turbulence, most of that sort of contamination will stay low and fairly close to the source outlet. Fan from there.

        The medium-weight and light elements will spread much farther in the middle and upper level currents. But just as happens on land, there will be areas of greater and lesser concentration. Concentration up the food chain is the biggest problem for now in spreading the ocean contamination around to where people are affected. Everything from plankton to whales are picking up and concentrating radiation.

        Someday, maybe only 200 years from now (probably longer), the north Pacific will be fairly saturated. Or, as saturated as it's going to get outside the source outlet zone (the seafloor off Daiichi and out in diminishing concentration from there). The seafloor off Daichi and immediate dispersal zone is always going to be more radioactive than anyplace else. From Daiichi's source releases to the sea. Atmospheric releases are a whole different matter.

        To talk about magic dilution - where no matter what you're pouring in, it suddenly spreads itself out evenly to all water in the ocean and/or planet - is reminiscent of homeopathic claims for little vials of water or alcohol with 0% content of any possibly useful medicinal molecules in it. To cure your cancer. You may 'believe-in' it, but the placebo effect only goes so far.

        •  Let me offer you a wager... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If I win, you donate $50 to my favorite charity, if you win, I donate $50 to yours. Interested?

        •  This is not how the ocean works really (12+ / 0-)

          The distribution of these radioactive elements will be dictated by their chemistry.  An isotope like Cs-137, that behaves conservatively in seawater, will become homogenously distributed on the timescale of ocean mixing (~10^3 yr).  Isotopes that are particle reactive or that biomagnify will be removed rather rapidly to the sediments.  To talk about the ocean becoming saturated with these rare isotopes is not grounded in any chemical sense.  In Figure 1 of the Povinec study the activity of Cs-137 in Pacific waters is shown in the western and eastern N. Pacific ocean.  It is mBq/L dropping from maximum concentrations at the beginning of monitoring in the 70s and decreasing exponentially with time.  There is a slight increase or blip corresponding to Chernobyl in 86. Cs-137 has an effective half-life of about 13 years in this record owing to mixing.  Please look at the Figure.  

          We do need to monitor those elements like Sr-90 that can biomagnify (concentration in tissues increases with trophic level). Plankton and whales will have radionuclides in their biomass from Fukushima but how much, what the risk to these species and humans might be needs to be assessed.  The studies that have done this to this point for oceanic species suggest that the risk and impact is very small.



          by MarineChemist on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 10:54:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  And there is a leak yes? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Joieau

        And with that leak, and the need to insure the cooling water is always there cooling, that means more water over time...  Given it plays out like we think?

        Probably a small amount of water.

        That site seriously needs global engineering, and it's getting what Japan has and it's not anywhere near enough to insure a livable result at present.

        ***Be Excellent To One Another***

        by potatohead on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 10:37:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  These concentrations will not diminish as (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1, Joieau, MsGrin

        new isotopes continue to replace those decaying.

        C'mon.  This isn't hard.

        "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 01:06:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hi JesseCW (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I will post soon about most recent ocean mixing models.

      •  You're completely missing my point. (0+ / 0-)

        Imagine you inject dye into a pool at one cc per second.

        Now, you're tracking the dispersal of the dye through the pool and calculating how long it takes to dilute to the point that it's no longer visible near the source.

        You've got complex mixing models that are highly accurate.  While that's great, you're missing a key point.

        The dye is still entering the pool at one cc per second.  As long as it's still coming in at that rate, it's not going to fall to a level below visibility near the source.

        "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 07:10:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hi JessCW (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I am not aware of any studies which suggest that the rate at which isotopes are currently entering the ocean at a rate which approximates release immediately after the disaster. This study by Kanda (2013) in in the open-access journal Biogeosciences uses activities of Cs-137 in the artificial harbour and coastal waters to estimate release of Cs-137 to the ocean.  Kanda finds:

          "the average release rate of Cs-137 was estimated to be 93 GBq/d in summer 2011 and 8.1 GBq/d in summer 2012."
          So that is more than an order of magnitude drop in the rate of "dye" dripping into the pool.  The concentrations, barring dramatic increases of isotope release that approach those following the disaster, will diminish as the plume mixes vertically and horizontally and Cs-137 decays.  These results are consistent with the results of the other studies referenced in this diary.
          •  From what part(s) of the facility (0+ / 0-)

            and at which plant was cesium being released into the ocean at that rate 'immediately' after the accident? I seem to recall some very big atmospheric releases and some nasty fallout plumes, but not releases to the ocean apart from 'leaks' from the conduit tunnels under the turbine buildings.

            Trying to figure out how big waterborne releases were accomplished prior to melt-through. Thanks.

            •  Hi Joieau, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Cs-134 was used to determine atmospheric deposition to the ocean at distance from the reactor sites.  Assuming a production ratio of 1:1 for Cs-137 the studies I have read suggest that direct input to the ocean was more important for these nuclides and would be very important for any Sr-90 released as strontium is much less volatile.

              The Kanda paper suggests that most of the Cs came from Units 1-4 and bled directly into the Unit 1-4 intake canal where it was mixed into the artificial harbour and to the ocean via the harbour passage, north discharge gate or the damaged jetty.

              •  Given that melt-through (0+ / 0-)

                didn't take much time (from vessels to drywell/torus), I am just trying to figure out when the direct waterborne releases commenced and became worse than the atmospheric releases. Knowing as we do that TEPCO/Japanese gov't have lied steadily and repeatedly until very recently about the very existence of waterborne releases.

                I am figuring that there couldn't have been direct waterborne releases until the containment 'bulbs' were melted through or seriously cracked on the bottom enough to allow all incoming water to go into the second level basements. Which were built below sea level originally so TEPCO wouldn't have to pump water uphill very far. The sumps that normally kept them from flooding were knocked out and the structures likely cracked in the earthquake, so they quickly filled and contamination flowed through.

                Water in the tunnels was so 'hot' it pegged the meters, nobody knows how radioactive it really was. But we were told they had worked to cut off their leakage early on. Suddenly this summer the waterborne situation became dramatically worse, or the new regulators at NSA just then decided to be a bit more honest. Hard to tell which. But either way, the waterborne releases were characterized by all involved and keeping track (including NRC and IAEA and Areva) as minimal until this summer when the groundwater flow was seismically diverted to its original path.

                The research you've cited here in several diaries belies that rather dramatically. The levels claimed from early in the disaster could not have come solely from fallout, or the 'Dead Zone' on land would be much bigger and Japan would be guilty of crimes against its own citizenry for not evacuating. That may be true, someone should investigate that seriously at some point. Nor have said levels "steadily diminished" if they have been constant or dramatically increased. As we are now told they have.

                At any rate, thanks for your calm responses. Please try to integrate into your understanding the fact that the waterborne situation is now dramatically worse than it was at the beginning, according to all nuclear 'authorities'. 2011 figures on contamination no longer apply.

                •  Hi Joieau, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  No problem.  Please note that the Kanda (2013) study and the Kamenik et al. (2013) study both have measurements from 2012 which suggest that rather than increasing the activity of Cs-137 and the Fukushima source term was decreasing relative to 2011.

                  •  Thanks. And please note (0+ / 0-)

                    that reported levels over these last few months have been increasing dramatically. And don't look to be controlled any time soon. Seems like this is a bad time to try and sell the whole "everything's cool now" scenario. Just so you know.

  •  somebody oughta tell the author of: (10+ / 0-)

    Fukushima Threatens Humanity

    That POS diary was written on Saturday. Despite careful and capable rebuttals/debunking, the diarist refused to accept scientific facts.

    Markos threatens to eliminate UIDs. Therefore, for posterity's sake I'm putting mine here in my sig. It's UID:180. That's UID:180. Have I mentioned that my UID is ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY?

    by N in Seattle on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 06:24:59 PM PST

    •  In that diary, radiation goes to Pacific Northwest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The chart in that diary actually shows the dispersion path bypassing Hawaii, riding currents far to the north.

      So having seen both diaries, my initial reaction would be the opposite of yours.

      The question I asked myself reading this diary (and your comment) was, wait a minute, how can radionuclide levels in Hawaii refute or debunk the other diary? They don't.

      To address the concerns of the other diary, wouldn't the monitoring need to done along the route shown in the other diary, culminating in the coastal regions of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon?

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

      by lotlizard on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 09:46:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (15+ / 0-)

    For a careful, rational, science-based diary, on a topic that rarely attracts such.

  •  Everything is under control (12+ / 0-)

    The oceans are way too big to pollute -- just like the atmosphere.

    •  That's what government told us in the 1950s / 60s (5+ / 0-)

      … about testing hydrogen bombs in the atmosphere.

      Bikini Atoll was a hydrogen bomb test site before that negative mental association was covered up by having its name stolen and given to a bathing suit that, um, was the opposite of a cover-up.

      Imagine being a South Pacific Islander — it's a little like watching the outside world name a sexy bathing suit after Dachau or Auschwitz.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

      by lotlizard on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 09:31:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You sound like you know what you're talking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Emigrant Aid Society, palachia

    about.  I hope you do.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 06:58:17 PM PST

  •  One always must examine the assumptions (10+ / 0-)

    Are you willing to accept that 15 tuna caught off the coast of San Diego 6 months after the earthquake are representative of total bioaccumulation for all time?

    Do we know how much time those 15 tuna spent in contaminated waters?

    Do we know how much time their prey fish spent in contaminated waters?

    Do we have any more current data?

    That paper presents nothing more a single data point early on after the earthquake.

    I'll wait for the follow-on studies that I do hope someone is doing.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 07:33:36 PM PST

    •  According to the paper (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, wu ming, atana, ozsea1, FarWestGirl

      the tuna - all were apparently very young - spent 1 month feeding in the waters off Fukushima before migrating to California. That's part of their explanation for how much the cesium concentration went down in the 4 months it took them to reach California - it says they were 'growing' during that time, thus cycling cesium at a quick pace.

      Any fish (or other sea fauna or flora) that spends more than a month feeding in the waters off Fukushima is going to be more contaminated. And contaminated with more than cesium.

      We're just hearing about that isotope because it's the easiest to find, and its concentration will tell you a pretty good ballpark figure on how much of the other nasties may be present. Calculations based on core inventory concentrations after x-amount of fission and/or x amount of melting. Producing a spectrometer-ready sample involves incinerating the sample to dust.

    •  Here's a paper (5+ / 0-)

      done by a Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science in Australia. The name gives me pause as every "centre for excellence" I've run into has been not so excellent, but I digress. It does have a number of academic types associated with it, and it does seem legit.
      The short article seems to confirm both what the diarist says:

      "Observers on the west coast of the United States will be able to see a measurable increase in radioactive material three years after the event," said one of the paper's authors, Dr Erik van Sebille.
      "However, people on those coastlines should not be concerned as the concentration of radioactive material quickly drops below World Health Organisation safety levels as soon as it leaves Japanese waters."(emphasis mine)
      However, it also seems to confirm some of the things the commenters are saying. The computer model seems to show what would happen if the plant had ceased emitting radioactivity material in 2012, which it didn't. I would think overlaying frames a and b would be closer to what is being experienced.
      I think what bothers me about the Fukushima panic is that TEPCO makes a convenient scapegoat for massive problems in all the oceans that need to be addressed drastically and soon. Everything including degrading plastics, pollution from offshore drilling, ocean acidification, increased ocean temperature, runoff from factories in China and elsewhere, agricultural runoff, diseases endemic in farmed fish populations, and a lot more are probably contributing to what is happening in the Pacific and elsewhere.
      I applaud the diarist for contributing a scientific perspective, and hope the discussion continues, but I also think most of us would like to know why the starfish on the west coast are dying.

      “The universe implodes. No matter.” -Liam Williams

      by northsylvania on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 12:40:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rec'd but with Reminders: (13+ / 0-)
    Cs-137 is one of the most important isotopes to monitor for long-term radiological impact ...
    But it is not the only isotope to be monitored. There's a veritable stew of them. And the half-life of something is not what decides if it does damage. That will be decided by whether or not it is present and absorbed by living things (say a school of fish go through an irradiated area.)
    These concentrations will diminish as the ocean mixes and the isotopes decay.
    But fresh isotopes will be added for a long time to come. From cooling water, from atmospheric release, from streams near the reactor cores. (Wherever they might be right now.)

    That 'the ocean mixes' is misleading in that a particle doesn't just jump out of Fukushima harbor and fly to, say, off the coast of New Guinea.

    Currents run through the harbor, and currents concentrate things (that's how you get masses of tsunami debris riding together). And currents tend to circulate within a hemisphere, iirc. Pick up at Fukushima, drop somewhere between there and North America, wend a way back to F., and repeat the cycle.

    Again, fish also migrate through the waters of Fukushima, so even if they then swim somewhere else where there aren't concentrations, they've still been at risk. As will anything which eats them eventually, if their meal has absorbed anything.

    The data we have about concentrations and radioactivity of these isotopes suggest that they do not represent significant exposure risks to human beings through direct contact with seawater or through the consumption of apex predators like Pacific Bluefin Tuna link.
    We might add 'to this date. Years of close monitoring and honest reporting of findings is necessary.'

    The question of course remains about the exposure consequences for the Tuna? And anything else alive in the Pacific.

    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 07:58:19 PM PST

  •  So where's the tritium coming from? nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, FarWestGirl, duhban
    •  Tritium where? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      palantir, duhban

      US Pacific coast or near Japan?

      •  Near Japan (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania, FarWestGirl, duhban

        what process is creating tritium via the radionuclides from Fukushima?
        neutron capture?

        •  Hi Palantir, (8+ / 0-)

          Tritium production occurred in Fukushima's boiling water reactors through fission (0.01% yield) and from the neutron activation of Li-7. link.


          by MarineChemist on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 08:50:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  the reason I asked... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          palantir, duhban

          is all BWRs leak tritium, so if some is detected in or near the US, it's more likely from a local leak.

          •  Are there any nukes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FarWestGirl, duhban

            on the coast of western U.S. except Diablo? Hmmm... well, I guess there's Bremerton, but those puppies don't produce enough to allow shadow-tracking.

            Do Washington or Oregon have coastal nukes?

            •  Columbia in Washington ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FarWestGirl, duhban

              not quite on the coast, but close.
              San Onofre in California. There also was Trojan in Oregon, but it was retired and dismantled, IIRC.

              •  San Onofre's down for the count. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                atana, FarWestGirl

                And has been for awhile. Now scheduled for decommissioning.

                If Columbia isn't on the coast, it's unlikely to be a 'local' source of tritium along the west coast of North America in general, southern California in particular. Though there's probably a lot in the river. I hear Hanford's God-Knows-What plume is within meters of it now... §;o(

              •  columbia is over 350 miles from the coast n/t (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
              •  San Onefre screwed up big time (3+ / 0-)

                They signed a multi-million dollar contract for new steam generators. The steam generator is where the heat from the radioactive primary coolant gets converted to non-radioactive steam that is used to run the electrical generators. The problem is that they insisted on too many U-tubes. The primary coolant goes through a U-shaped tube in order to lose its energy to the cold water on the other side of the barrier. Over time, a lot of U-tubes develop leaks and have to be sealed off. The management at San Onefre decided that since we have a certain, predictable level of attrition for U-tubes then we should put in more of them to begin with. Unfortunately, the increased number of U-tubes overloaded the framework that was holding them. They vibrated like crazy and developed pin-hole leaks way ahead of schedule.

                The other problem is that San Onefre lied to the regulatory agency by telling them that there was no significant design change in the steam generators, so no regulatory oversight of the new design was required. With actual oversight, somebody would have pointed out that this was a really dumb idea.

                When the new steam generators started springing leaks, they had to shut down the plant. During the shutdown, hearings were held that slowly uncovered the depths of the malfeasance. It was eventually decided that it was best to never start these reactors every again.

                San Onofre had one of the worst safety records of any nuclear plant in the United States, so good riddance. And yet, California must now be buying massive amounts of coal power from out of state.

                I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                by Ender on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 11:51:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not necessarily. During Enron's BS, Grey Davis (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  ok'd a bunch of new gas-fired plants, so I imagine they're taking up a lot of the slack. And we keep adding renewable capacity. The Sacramento MUD, (municipal utility district), is adding distributed PV at maximum speed and they've got a waiting list.

                  Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
                  ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

                  by FarWestGirl on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 11:27:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  An earlier paper from the same authors answered (4+ / 0-)

    some of my questions above.

    Please note they examined 2 year old juvenile tuna. Tuna can live to 50 years of age.

    So the question is how much bioaccumulation will we see in old tuna in the year 2061.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 08:13:50 PM PST

  •  1000X increase (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, cai, FarWestGirl
    These represent at maximum an increase above the pre-Fukushima background concentrations of a factor of 1000 (Cs-137), 50 (I-129) and 3 (H-3).
    is not IMHO a minor matter.
  •  Another way to put this in perspective (6+ / 0-)

    -- that is, besides the 14 Bq/L of seawater (although my source puts it at 17, as you say, it varies) -- is the human body's radioactivity, which is 19,000 Bq, or about 278 Bq/kg.

    We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

    by Keith Pickering on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 08:47:30 PM PST

    •  Since the age of the tuna is relevant I've got to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ask. Is 19,000 Bq for a new born baby like you or an old man like me?

      I've had a while to bioaccumulate and I did spend some time in the Marshall Islands. ;-)

      I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

      by Just Bob on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 09:37:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cumulative. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      live1, atana

      Do you know the meaning of the term?

      Cumulative, adj.

      : increasing or becoming better or worse over time through a series of additions

      : including or adding together all of the things that came before


  •  Did you hear how they are going to stop the leaks? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They are going to bury freezer coils in the ground in order to freeze all of the water under the reactor site.

    I guess that when you are an electric company, you have all of the electricity that you want.

    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

    by Ender on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 09:39:34 PM PST

    •  No, that idea died awhile back. (4+ / 0-)

      It was just another floater in the first place, so it would look like nukes were actually thinking on the problem. They weren't.

      They'd have to invent technology for that in order to come up with something expected to last more than a few years. Since they already made a big mistake with those 2-year water tanks, I don't think TEPCO, GE, the Japanese Government (now backstopping the costs), and the bankers pouring good money after bad were willing to go with that pipe dream. The water's still going out, as it has from the beginning. Only worse now.

      •  Yes, they seem to have scaled back their freezing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This article from yesterday says that they are only freezing the pipes between units 2 and 3 turbine buildings and the sea.

        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

        by Ender on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 10:03:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You should hold back (4+ / 0-)

          on your belief about what they might do, someday until you see it in action. Right now at Fukushima all spotlights are on the #4 Spent Fuel Pool. So you won't pay too much attention to what's going on underground and underwater.

          •  TEPCO's rate of success has been less than 100% (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, atana, FarWestGirl

            to say the least. All eyes will be on the spent fuel pool because it's a difficult and dangerous operation.

            look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

            by FishOutofWater on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 04:52:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree it's a difficult and dangerous (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              atana, FarWestGirl

              operation. Which no doubt explains why the crane operators will be in a separate, shielded building doing it by remote control. No earthquakes allowed. So far, nature has ignored all their orders to stop shucking and jiving on a regular basis.

              Criticalities are likely if the assemblies, bundles and rods are damaged by the tons of debris that ended up on the pool after the blow-out. No one knows how much corrosion the salt water did when it was the only way they could keep water in the pool, but it has been reported that the boron 'blades' used to absorb neutrons from the fuel bundles in the assemblies have all corroded away. I have seen no figures on how borated the water is at present, or how many of the assemblies burned in the first weeks of the disaster.

              Now, sudden criticalities in the pool won't explode like a bomb, but it will produce gamma/neutron radiation galore. Enough to kill anyone within range. Distance and shielding diminish that danger, so expect the wigs to be in Tokyo during the work.

              Criticalities will also generate new airborne contamination plumes of fission products (iodine, cesium, strontium, xenon, krypton and the rest of them. The glorified circus 'tent' erected over the ruins so people wouldn't be reminded of just how destructive the original explosions were is not going to offer much impediment to the resulting releases.

  •  The cited studies, highlighted as 2013 studies, (7+ / 0-)

    rely on data collected shortly after the 2011 accident, data which was collected specifically in order to quantify the airborne pollution from the accident and its distribution and dilution patterns in seawater.  Since that time the contamination of rain and groundwater, and its subsequent infusion into ocean waters has increased dramatically, becoming the primary concern.

    I am not reassured about your assessment of the current situation based on this old data regarding airborne pollution, no mater how "good" the science of these papers may seem.  If we are ever made privy to honest current data, which seems increasingly unlikely given recent history, we may be able to do more than speculate about what is actually happening currently,  in 2013 and beyond.

    It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. - John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

    by ovals49 on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 01:34:28 AM PST

    •  This is an informative diary but (6+ / 0-)

      it deals with the inventory from the large initial release, not the long term flow through the ground to the ocean that's taking place now. We need updated data to understand what the ongoing releases are contributing to the inventory.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 04:34:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Part of a well-organized and financed effort (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, atana, maregug

        to deflect and distract the public with the Shiny Object over here, while missing the Huge Glowing Object right in front of us.

        Still just a variation of the Solution by Dilution meme, and still suspect, to say the least.

        “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

        by ozsea1 on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 08:08:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ongoing monitoring (0+ / 0-)

        The sea area around Fukushima is being sampled and monitored on a continuing basis and the results published frequently. The reporting is being done by the new NRA in Japan as well as MEXT; some folks don't trust the numbers being reported, it should be said.

         Basically they are taking seawater samples daily close to the plant and testing them quickly to spot any anomalies such as a sudden spike of contamination. Sampling offshore and up and down the coast is done less frequently and deep-sea sampling even less frequently -- the last reported set of readings for Cs-134 and -137 levels from up to 300km offshore were taken in May 2013, the inshore samples from Miyagi and Ibaraki prefectures about 100km from the plant were taken in August. I've not seen any recent mid-Pacific (i.e. thousands of km from Fukushima Daiichi) sample reports.

    •  thanks for your VERY PERTINENT comments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

      by chmood on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 05:17:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hi Ovals, (4+ / 0-)

      Quality scientific research takes some time.

      Firstly, it takes time to collect and analyze samples and then the scientific peer review process can also be lengthy. The most recent data reported in the papers is from September 2012 and not 2011 as you suggest. The stated goal of the Kamenik and others (2013) paper was as follows

      "Our objectives were to detect any atmospheric fallout in the surface ocean by sampling immediately after the accident (March–May, 2011) and to monitor dispersion patterns of cesium towards and around Hawaii."
      To do this the collected samples from Japan all the way across the western Pacific (across 80 degrees of longitude) in both 2011 and 2012.  This is all reported in the paper.


      by MarineChemist on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 07:24:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then why would you assume (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atana, maregug, ovals49

        that this research somehow establishes that there is no problem (i.e., health risks to and from Pacific seafood) with Fukushima dumping its load(s) of radioactive elements into the Pacific Ocean?

        That is what you have been steadfastly asserting in this and previous diaries - people should just 'fuggetaboutit' because it's not enough contamination to harm anybody. Can you not see that this assertion is unwarranted and frankly deceptive based on what you have said right here?

        It's not like we don't know the ocean releases have dramatically increased over the past 4 months or so. It's been reported regularly. So why come in with years' old data and try to convince us it's no big deal?

        •  Hi Joieau, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raoul78, duhban

          This is a fact (data) based description of the distribution of radionculides sourced from Fukushima in the north Pacific Ocean. Good science takes time.

          The data we do have suggests that the risk associated with exposure to seawater and seafood on the west coast of North America is small.  The data forms my opinion on this.  If alarming levels of radioactivity would find its way into the food chain in the future I would change this opinion based on that data.  I wrote this and previous diaries because family, friends and others were asking me about a plume of highly radioactive water "destroying" the west coast.  Many in the public watch poorly conceived animations or see figures with a red plume washing our shores and assume that biologically lethal radiation levels exist.  This is not so. This is unlikely to be so in the future.

          A responsible approach to this disaster is to monitor levels of radioactivity in the marine environment, as highly trained oceanographers are doing. Special attention should be payed to isotopes that biomagnify as those are the radionuclides most likely to pose a threat to higher trophic level marine species and potentially humans.


          by MarineChemist on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 09:02:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What will be 'destroyed' (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            by ocean contamination - in the north Pacific, in the Gulf of Mexico, in the North/Irish Sea, etc., etc., are fishing industries that have provided humanity with mega-tonnage of nutritious seafood for many generations. The world's going to miss that food source, and the economic value on many levels it has traditionally provided. Japan is a nation that's going to feel this most accutely, no amount of lies and face-saving will change that.

            There will always be people who will gladly eat seafood whether or not it's radioactive, covered with sores and cancers from dioxins or PCBs or Correxit, 'slightly muddy' due to crude petroleum content, weighted down with mercury and heavy metals, poisoned with toxins more deadly that cyanide, or just full of shit [e.coli]. Don't know and/or don't care what's in it, and don't pay any attention to folks like you trying to convince folks like me that internal radiation exposures are harmless.

            Non-human fish-lovers won't change a thing, of course. The oceans' webs of life will eventually adapt to whatever new reality exists. Or not. The tuna will probably be relieved, anyway.

  •  The ocean is a big place... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chmood, Joieau

    Some actual maps indicating the areas where measurements took place might have been nice.  'Up to 600km' offshore is likely not a spherical area, but probably more like a circus clown sausage shaped balloon, following whatever the current pattern is, no?

  •  Uninformed hyperbole (3+ / 0-)

    masks and confuses the real issues.

    This diary is an excellent start at clearing up significant amounts of unscientific confusion, and thank you for that.

    There are real and serious problems with nuclear power, real and serious problems with Fukushima, and real and serious problems with contamination of the ocean.

    Leaking radio-isotopes are generally local problems when considering ocean water and ocean life, as demonstrated by actual measurements, and as calculated using our (rather extensive) theoretical understanding of the behaviors and concentrations of those isotopes.

    The incredible degree of uninformed, screaming-panic-induced nonsense is really frustrating to see in a so-called "reality based community"...

    Single point source contamination of the ocean will have profound impacts in the LOCAL waters, and very small impacts on the global volume of water.

    Far more devastating, far more detrimental, far more panic-inducing is the change in Ocean pH due to rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

    Far more devastating and detrimental and panic-inducing is the change in global Ocean heat content as the troposphere warms faster than it ever has in measured geological history.

    Do I support nuclear power? NO! It's dangerous, it's unsustainable, it's unstable, and it's not enough to power the needs of a growing industrial civilization.

    Do I think nuclear power represents as basic a threat as hydrocarbon burning? NO! It's destroying the environment we need to survive and leaving behind something that represents the pre-Cambrian environment, suitable for bacteria and jellyfish, and not much else.

    Given a choice between nukes and coal, I'd pick the nukes.

    Luckily, that "either or" choice is NOT the choice we have to make... Luckily, because of the same degree of scientific, fact-based understanding of the natural world and the laws of physics, there are several OTHER options.

    Only when the majority of people have the basic scientific understanding required to make rational statements and rational decisions about risk, reward, cost, and benefit over BOTH short and long time-scales will we have a chance to make rational decisions.

    Uniformed freak-outs based on lack of knowledge don't help, and diaries like this are the first step to correcting our collective ignorance.

    Thanks MarineChemist!

    Sincerely, a geologist who teaches Oceanograpy.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 06:44:57 AM PST

    •  BTW (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the key to understanding the real degree of potential ocean and ecosystem contamination via Fukushima isotope leaks is understanding of conservative vs non-conservative ions.

      Conservative ions remain in solution in ocean water, are well mixed in ocean water, and have relatively constant proportions over geologic time. The variations in concentrations of conservative ions (Na, Cl, K, Ca, Mg, P) is both proportional (thus we can measure salinity by measuring Cl concentration alone, and doing simple math).... and quite consistent over the globe and through time...

      Non-conservative ions tend to come out of solution very fast, are poorly mixed, and vary hugely over relatively short distances and over relatively short times.

      The vast majority of the isotopes produced in both controlled and uncontrolled fission experiments are non-conservative. They get taken up by ocean life, adsorbed onto fine clay particles (clays have charged surfaces and attract charged ions), and are very quickly processed and deposited into ocean-floor sediments.

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 06:53:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conservative ions? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's not a term I've come across before. Can you explain a bit further? Is cesium a conservative ion?

         The big contamination problem from the Fukushima reactors are two radioactive isotopes of cesium, in part because due to the way fission occurs in uranium they are together the most common byproduct (about 15% in total). Cs-137 has a half-life of 30 years meaning it is quite radioactive and also persistent -- short-lived fission products like I-131 are a lot more active but now have decayed well beyond the point of being problematic in the environment. Cs-134 is also "hot" but with a half-life of 2 years or so it is becoming less problematic over a longer timescale than I-131.

         The other problem with cesium is that chemically it forms a water-soluble oxide which means that it washes out of exposed core fuel pellets in damaged fuel rods and contaminates cooling water very easily. It was also spread widely over land and sea during the hydrogen explosions as it is very volatile. In contrast almost no plutonium or uranium fuel escaped the reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi and other less-soluble fission products like strontium-90 are only present in seawater in trace amounts compared to the levels of cesium detected.

        •  Conservative Ions (0+ / 0-)

          are plentiful in the environment, have a long residence time in ocean water, and are generally in constant proportion in any given volume of water. There are variations in conservative ion concentrations from place to place, but those variations are very small compared to the overall abundance of those ions.

          Non-conservative ions have wildly variable concentrations from place to place and over short time scales. Either the supply of those elements is limited, or (in the case of iron or phosphorous (phosphate) or silica) are so integral to the life-processes of abundant organisms, that they are quickly scavenged out of the water in order to maintain metabolisms, build shells, or otherwise form the nutrient basis for living organisms.

          Cesium is quite rare in nature, behaves a bit like Rubidium, and does not accumulate in animals very much, and has a biological residence time of a couple of months before being passed. It does accumulate in some plants and fungi.

          In short, it's not a conservative element, and the radiocesium released from fukushima will probably be mostly deposited out (probably in the body parts of dead phytoplankton or in the fecal matter of animals that eat that plankton) long before the 30 year half life has been reached.

          The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

          by RedDan on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 06:40:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the explanation (0+ / 0-)

            The conservative/non-conservative classification is based on the biological and oceanographic behaviour of individual elemental ions whereas I was thinking it was was a physical chemistry differentiation of some sort (like metal/non-metals).

            •  It's an observational/measurement-based (0+ / 0-)


              And it also applies to charged compounds, not just elements.

              But the basic idea holds.

              Cesium (or Caesium, if you prefer) is not conservative, meaning: its concentration is not constant in time or space, and it will not stay in solution very long at all.

              The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

              by RedDan on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 08:14:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Bioremediation via radioisotope-loving (0+ / 0-)

    algae is looking better and better every day!

  •  Much better diary than prior. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I really appreciate the acknowledgement that ongoing monitoring and the possibility of biomagnification need to be considered.  All the data I've read agree that biomagnification (esp of Cs-137) is possible although aside from some isolated tuna near the reactor site, hasn't been a major player (yet).  

    Ongoing monitoring is the key to assuring that things aren't getting worse or that bioaccumulation isn't occuring.  

    I don't trust TEPCO for one second!

    I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 09:47:25 AM PST

  •  Physical models used with tsunamis (0+ / 0-)

    tell additional parts of the story. There were two major contributors for new isotope levels in the Western Pacific:

    -- Fukushima leakage, principally from damage to the cooling systems

    -- Tsunami run-off, which picked up loads of artificial fall-out materials that had been dumped on Japan from Russian and Chinese atmospheric tests back long ago before the Test Ban Treaty went into effect.

    These materials are quite heavy. Rain water moves the fall-out materials down hill in familiar patterns. Rain water does not mix everything up like a tsunami.

    When the tsunami ran back off into the sea, its water carried everything from houses to bodies to the old fall-out materials in its roiling mud. As we know now from new, previously not done sampling on the western sides of Hokkaido and Honshu there are major concentration of this fall-out in the run-off basins.

    Is it new radiation ??? To the ocean, yes.

    Is it from Fukushima ??? Only if it came from the cooling systems. The reactors shut down automatically when the earthquake tremor was detected -- many minutes before the tsunami hit the shore. There was no core melt down, just hydrogen gas leaks; any such claims of a core meltdown are gross lies, "8-center" stuff.

    •  MarineChemist - can you see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from this commenter's ridiculous bunk how your attempts to minimize the existence and future impact of gross contamination of the planet's atmosphere and oceans plays into the clueless - but brazen - hands of nutty denialists? If you and your colleagues hadn't considered this before (and I don't blame you for being ignorant of just how bad nutty denialists really are), perhaps now is a good time to think about it. They have no compunctions whatsoever about spouting glaring lies and utterly transparent bullshit, all the while pretending to the patina of 'authority' your efforts have encouraged.

      I would like to hope that real scientists still believe in reality, but who knows these days.

      And for you waterstreet2013, here's just a few of the thousands of news articles on the subject over the past two years and 8 months...

      CNN: Fukushima's nuclear power mess: Five big questions

      The meltdowns of three reactors at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant may have happened more than two years ago, but the disaster remains a giant, unresolved mess.
      ABC: Japan's Nuclear Migraine: A Never-Ending Disaster at Fukushima
      This week, the chief nuclear officers of around 100 American nuclear power plant reactors are taking a field trip. They are traveling to Japan and then taking a bus to Fukushima. There, dressed in protective suits, they will walk through the ruins left behind by the earthquake of the century, the tsunami of the century and the resulting triple nuclear reactor meltdown that occurred in March 2011.
      WSJ: Japan Races To Contain Worst Fukushima Spill Since Meltdown

      NYT: Study Shows Worse Picture of Meltdown in Japan

      New Scientist: The fallout from Fukushima

      On 11 March 2011, one of the most powerful earthquakes on record hit north-east Japan. The resulting tsunami killed almost 20,000 people, and caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. In this special report, New Scientist provides ongoing coverage of the most serious nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.
      Nature: Understanding the complete meltdown at Fukushima unit 1

      Or you could take the word of TEPCO, the Japanese government, the U.S. NRC and DoE, the world nuclear industry, its several lobbying groups, the nuclear agencies of France, Russia, Germany, China and India, or the UN's IAEA.

      But of course you don't care what the reality is. This is just a fun ego exercise in game-playing on the intertoobs. Some things never change.

      •  Hi Joieau, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It would be an interesting exercise to hold every diarist responsible for the tone and accuracy of the comments posted in response to their diaries. Do you do this? It seems unwise to me.

        The measurements of radionuclides summarized in this diary, that I have linked to, and that anyone can read are tied to initial activities of Cs-134.  The short half-life of Cs-134 verifies that the tied isotopes were initially sourced from Fukushima.  These isotopes are shown to be above the background fall out levels from past nuclear testing. The levels of Cs-137, Sr-90 and other Fukushima sourced radionuclides still do not exceed radiation emitted from naturally occurring radionuclides like K-40 and Rb-87 off the coast of Japan and their contribution will diminish as they are mixed and decay during transport in north Pacific gyre circulation. Peer reviewed studies of Fukushima sourced radionuclides in apex predators find they pose minimal risk to human consumers.  All of the studies I have linked to are open-access papers that any Kossack can read if they choose to.  The work was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the US National Science Foundation.

        All of this could change, of course, if something more catastrophic happens at Fukushima or elsewhere radionuclides are generated and stored. But the data is the data.  We should collect more to determine risks to environmental and human health.

    •  Meltdowns at Fukushima = zero. (0+ / 0-)

      Phony reports of reactor meltdowns at Fukushima ??? On the internet?


      If there had been a meltdown, no one would have been in there working on the ground in the weeks after the tsunami. Or now. And instead of problems with cooling water and run-off, it would look like the Chernobyl site.

      Faked postings and faked agreement posts ???

      I'm not identifying it. Don't need to.

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