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2 relatively new scientific papers released in January and February this year (2014) have been released describing research conducted on the biological effects and ongoing Pacific Ocean contamination as a result of the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi just over 3 years ago.

MutBug
The first paper was published January 13th in the journal Ecology and Evolution by Shin-Ichi Akimoto, about aphid morphological abnormalities - i.e., mutations - in the Daiichi area entitled Morphological abnormalities in gall-forming aphids in a radiation-contaminated area near Fukushima Daiichi: selective impact of fallout?

Look at that photo. There are many more in the paper linked, of various weird mutations documented by Akimoto among "instars" - the stable stage of growth in immature insects between moultings. The abnormalities Akimoto has documented in populations examined in 2012 and 2013 show radical morphological mutations at a significant enough rate in 2012 to present serious selection pressure, reflected in a lesser rate of abnormalities for the 2013 samples.

While there were 7 control populations from outside the area for comparing general rates and factors (such as inbreeding and clonal populations) that tend to affect robustness of the offspring generation(s), Akimoto calls for continuing and expanded research to explore whether populations will actually manage to overcome the contamination-caused developmental abnormalities through selection for radiation tolerance, or will instead express one-off genetic abnormalities in later years due to the accumulation of damaged genes.

From the conclusion -

Several factors are probably responsible for morphological abnormality and mortality in insects, and at present, there is no decisive evidence that any single factor is causally related to the observed abnormalities. However, comparisons between the research results in 2012 and 2013 suggest that a specific environmental factor from 2011 until the spring 2012 was involved in the incidence of abnormalities and mortalities. Evidence from this study suggests that of several potential factors, radioactive fallout from Fukushima Daiichi in the spring 2011 is most likely to have had the strongest effect, because other factors can be readily ignored as the causal factor.
[emphasis mine]

The results seem unsurprising when you consider that in the spring of 2011 there were hundreds of millions of curies of relatively short-lived radionuclides thickly contaminating the area. Those have dissipated (noble gases) or decayed away (iodine, etc.) now, revealing the steady levels of longer-lived isotopes like cesium and strontium. And then there are the dust-sized particles of actual reactor fuel blown out by the explosions that are being found as far away Tokyo and beyond. These will be contributing to radiation levels in Japan for millennia.

How it translates to dangers of mutation in human beings is not something this research is designed to address. Answers there will be forthcoming over time too, per any considerable genetic damage is now latent but will show up down the line. At least Akimoto isn't trying to obfuscate the obvious correlations by hemming and hawing about 'natural background' radiation levels not at issue in the questions being asked. That's kind of refreshing, given the US contingent of oceanographic researchers' odd timidity on the subject of Daiichi's specific effects on the ocean's food chains and how those are affecting sea life now and into the future. We aren't gall-forming bugs, after all. We're food chain overlords.

SubWater
Speaking of impacts on the Pacific, the other paper was presented by its authors at the Honolulu Ocean Sciences Meeting in February of this year and is entitled Submarine Groundwater Discharge as a Source of Radioactivity to the Ocean from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It provides a good geological and hydrodynamic description of the groundwater situation at Daiichi, and why the contamination the groundwater's picking up from the now below ground corium flows isn't being contained by the inadequate seawall around the facility's harbor.

Woods Hole semi-celebrity Ken Buesseler, two of his associates and two Japanese marine researchers contributed to the paper, so here we have some hard confirmation that they are now well aware that, a) contamination's getting out well past the breakwater and silt fencing, and b) it's going out 24-7. While this tends to diminish previous assurances from some of the same players (and associated others) that it's all over and everything's fine now, it is good to see that they do recognize the need for ongoing monitoring and investigation because it's not over yet. And won't be over until somebody figures out a way to contain it. Nobody has so far stepped forward on that, though there are engineering solutions that could be employed if the world got together and committed to it. Bottom line: The world is never going to do that if those in power are not convinced by sound science and popular demand that it must be done.

TPTB [The Powers That Be] project a constant - but feigned - Uber-concern that if the public knew the truth, they'd "panic" and... um... do panic things. Whatever that translates to in their playbook. They aren't really concerned about what we might 'do' about the truth, they're concerned that actual harms being done to us might be considered unacceptable. By us. They are, as always, concerned about themselves, their pocketbooks, and their positions.

Airborne and Waterborne Releases To Get Much Worse

And just in case anyone were to be laboring under the gross misapprehension that the clean-up and decommissioning of Daiichi's ruined facilities will somehow diminish or stop constant releases of radioactivity to the environment, here's a couple of articles demonstrating not so...

TEPCO to begin dumping groundwater into Pacific Ocean in May

TEPCO and their pet government lapdogs have announced that they will begin pumping groundwater from the Daiichi nuclear reservation directly into the Pacific Ocean beginning next month.

Workers at Fukushima Daiichi hope to pump groundwater flowing from the mountains near the plant before it mixes with highly contaminated water in the basements of the crippled reactor buildings, but do not know the levels of contamination that the water will have.
TEPCO says running out of room to store contaminated debris at Fukushima Daiichi
Tokyo Electric believes that they can reduce some 340,000 cubic meters of debris by burning wood debris and other combustible materials and crushing contaminated rubble to use to pave roads within the plant.
Huh. "We're gonna need a bigger boat," said the police chief of Amity when he got his first look at the shark they were hunting. I'd say we're gonna need a bigger planet, but there's no chance we'll get one. This ain't no piddly-assed shark. It's Leviathan.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (34+ / 0-)

    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

    by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:15:11 AM PDT

  •  what a mess and guess you knew (8+ / 0-)

    while i was reading this i had the "hope" that eventually this will dissipate or they will figure out how to contain or something-anything, but you answered that. nope.

    seriously- they want to burn debris and use it for roads? WTH? is that as stupid as it sounds?

    thanks always for your updates.

    OT- but odd you mention Jaws, just was reading about movies that didnt follow the script- that line was one of them.

    •  There was a good deal (16+ / 0-)

      of complaint when Japan chose to burn tsunami debris along the northeastern coast, and when Tokyo insisted on burning sewage sludge so contaminated it qualified as restricted radiological waste all by itself. Not only does the burning do nothing to diminish particulate (carbon) air pollution, it is known to release radioactive contaminates into the atmosphere. Sort of a "what goes up must come down and then go up again" situation.

      The debris they're planning to burn at Daiichi is contaminated waste from the facilities and erstwhile 'clean-up' operations so far. IOW, it's far, far more contaminated than assorted used-to-be wooden houses that might have suffered a bit of fallout before being burned. Included will be those several outbuildings full of coveralls, booties, hoods and gloves used by workers in those extremely high-radiation zones all over the place at Daiichi. This is absolutely unacceptable, or should be, to the citizens of Japan. And all countries known to be in the path of air pollution coming from Japan. I hope they come out loud and not amenable to authoritarian 'persuasion'.

      The problem they have is that the crap needs to be disposed of, but there's no actual 'dry land' anywhere at the facility where they could dig and line an acceptable landfill type place for 'temporary' disposal. Now, they could consider going ahead and purchasing nearby acreage in the dead zone and putting a landfill there, but that would probably be seen as some kind of financial compensation to unfortunate neighbors who can never go home but will never be compensated. Because the nukes/gub'ment won't admit the area's completely beyond redemption.

      The water deal is... something else entirely, about which ALL Pacific nations should have something rather harsh to say.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:43:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a big ocean; the radioactive (0+ / 0-)

    isotopes will disperse (and sink and radioactively decay). While there are mutations in some of these insects, mutations are not always a bad thing (human beings ourselves are the result of a series of mutations happening to lesser creatures). This was a disaster, to be sure. But there are reasons for optimism here as well.

    •  The disaster is nowhere near over, (10+ / 0-)

      so I can't imagine why you'd use the word "was" to describe it. It has just shifted into overdrive once again - as it's done fairly regularly for more than three years now - with these plans to resume direct dumping to the air and water. While yet again NOT even trying to arrange for possibly workable containment methods that would help limit long term damage to important ecosystems.

      I don't find that to be the least bit optimistic. YMMV.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:48:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We don't know what the final (0+ / 0-)

        story will be on this. That'll take many years of study. There is already a naturally-occurring higher level of radioactive isotopes in the ocean than anything threatened by Fukushima, and it is far from clear if there will be ANY material adverse effects on our food supply. This could be wrong, but today there is plenty of reason to view the glass as half full vs. completely empty.

        •  I don't view the situation as (10+ / 0-)

          "glass completely dry." I view it as glass half empty, and leaking like a sieve. Exposures to man-made radioisotopes cannot properly be dismissed just because there's K40 and radon (plus a few) in our 'natural' environment. Radiation exposures as well as biological damage from radiation exposures are cumulative. I presume you know what that word means.

          One of the particular nasties coming out in huge amounts from Daiichi is strontium-90. It's a pure beta-emitter, has been 'masked' for quite awhile now by the beta-gamma emitters such as cesium. Groundwater under the facility is coming in with millions of becquerels per liter of strontium now, it's not getting better.

          Cesium generally isn't retained in the body for very long compared to its radiological half-life. While it is readily uptaken as if it were potassium, the in-use potassium in our bodies cycles through over about 90-180 days. Though in a continually contaminated environment, the levels will find equillibrium and the internal exposures will be constant - i.e., not diminish as a one-time exposure would. Plus the external exposures from such an environment, as cesium also emits gamma.

          Strontium is a calcium mimic, quickly uptaken and stored in bones as well as used for a variety of metabolic functions. Once stored as part of bone or teeth, it doesn't cycle out. And it remains one of the MOST notorious cancer-causing side effects of our ill-starred love affair with nuclear annihilation referred to as "Atmospheric Bomb Testing Days."

          Cesium and strontium aren't the only things coming out of Daiichi, or even the most dangerous of what is coming out. They're just the most prevalent isotopes by virtue of their percentage of longer-lived fission products. Both will bioaccumulate from plankton to predators, and both are known to cause cancer in humans.

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 11:30:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The insect deformations are likely psychosomatic. (5+ / 0-)

      In practice, researchers are finding that, as expected after thinking about it for a minute, radiation does not immediately equally disperse throughout the entire ocean, but is in fact clumping in currents, both atmospheric and oceanic.

      There's no 'pours out of Fukushima into the ocean at 9 a.m., and appears off the coast of Australia at 9:01 a.m., and then the next bit out of the plants transports to Indonesia at 9:02,' and so on.

      We have the case of the student buying seaweed in local grocery stores in Vancouver and finding it at 100x the (fully mythical, and changeable upwardly all the time) safe level.

      It will be a few generations before the particles are distributed equally across the entire Pacific, and then, given the long life of many of the elements, that will just mean the increase of the local population's risk and damage.

      Be that as it may, with the seas definitely rising, the question is how soon before Fukushima, the 16 active US plants and the rest of the world's sitting next to Oceans, become inundated? Has anyone published the plans for moving entire plants, including the cores, yet?


      Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

      by Jim P on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:06:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Psychosomatic, or maybe they just (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, Gordon20024, 3rock

        had a Mama that parasited a banana tree. And moving cores? Meh. They can't even move the spent fuel.

        It is highly unlikely that the radioisotopes going out into the Pacific from Daiichi - with effective decay times anywhere from 20 to 300 to nearly 50,000 years - will ever be evenly distributed. This is because not all the isotopes or formed compounds are water soluble, and many are bioaccumulating up the food chain from plankton and seaweeds to shellfish, crustaceans and 'feeder' fish to the big carnores like tuna and salmon, ending up bioconcentrated by factors of a thousand or more in mammal top-enders.

        Fish that spawn in fresh waters inland - like salmon - will bring their accumulated body burdens to land-based predators too, and bioaccumulation moves onto ice and/or dry land (think: bears). Isotopes like strontium, plutonium and others are bone-seekers that will remain in bodies until well after the critter is dead. Many land and sea top end predators eat the bones when they eat the critter.

        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

        by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:47:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hi Joieau (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dietrich Fuchs
          It is highly unlikely that the radioisotopes going out into the Pacific from Daiichi - with effective decay times anywhere from 20 to 300 to nearly 50,000 years - will ever be evenly distributed. This is because not all the isotopes or formed compounds are water soluble, and many are bioaccumulating up the food chain from plankton and seaweeds to shellfish, crustaceans and 'feeder' fish to the big carnores like tuna and salmon, ending up bioconcentrated by factors of a thousand or more in mammal top-enders.
          The isotopes of greatest radiological concern are soluble because their chemistry is similar to K+ (Cs+ isotopes) and Ca2+ (90-Sr2+).  They mix and diffuse and will be distributed like other salts in the ocean.  Maximum concentrations of 137-Cs in the heart of the radioactive plume of seawater most impacted by Fukushima is about 18 Bq/m3 or 0.018 Bq/L seawater and is found at roughly 400 m depth well below the photic zone where phytoplankton might accumulate it. 90-Sr releases were roughly 100-fold or more lower than 137-Cs releases from Fukushima so that concentrations are significantly lower as is the corresponding radiological health risks.  See papers on Sr Steinhauser et al. (2013) and Casacuberta et al. (2013).  Both are peer-reviewed and open-access so you can read them if you choose.

          Given these concentrations and the propensity of marine organisms to bioconcentrate Cs and Sr the consumption of marine organisms is not likely to lead to significant radiological health risks.  That is what measurements here on the west coast for migratory and non-migratory species indicate at present.

          •  Wile I understand your commitment (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino, Gordon20024, 3rock

            to diminishing any and all public concerns about contamination from Daiichi, I do not consider the results of bioaccumulation in life forms (or 'hot pockets' in the natural deposition of elements in the ocean) to be in any way equal to the "dilution is the solution to pollution" assumption that it all dispurses equally the moment it hits the drink.

            I would mention to you again that the releases are ongoing 24-7, have been ongoing and steadily increasing for more than three years, and are by the informative articles linked here fixing to go up yet again via direct dumping of groundwater and burning of debris, but I already know it wouldn't modify your mission in the least. That's okay. They need all the help they can get to keep the public from doing... um... panic things that might include serious demands that this technology be finally relegated to the dustbin of humanity's history of mass insanity.

            The rest of us will just try to keep up with the dastardly deeds and do what we can to encourage sanity at long last.

            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

            by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 11:52:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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

              You are simply incorrect when you state that releases have

              steadily increasing for more than three years
              The statement is not evidence based. It is directly at odds with all the measurements that have and are being reported.  Concentrations of 137-Cs in the coastal zone have dropped 7-8 orders of magnitude since Spring 2011.

              If you can produce a peer-reviewed reference to support your claims I would happily read it but you never do.

              My goal, as I have stated in the past, is to help provide the public with the best information available to help determine the radiological health risk and impact on the marine environment from Fukushima sourced radionuclides.

              •  You assume that I am as tied to (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sandino, Gordon20024, turn blue, 3rock

                the initial airborne releases - and subsequent fallout - as you are when discussing the constant and ongoing releases to the ocean. I am not.

                Rather, I am talking about waterborne releases. These include the amount of water poured into the corium blow-holes since the disaster that finds its way out tunnels, trenches and open sump release piping, as well as the invasive groundwater flowing into the facility from the mountains, entering the basement levels and below where corium has accumulated, and flowing from there straight into the ocean by several avenues.

                You want it to still be about initial fallout, but it's not. Nobody's going around checking the soil and fresh water supplies on land for Fukushima isotopes (outside Japan, that is), all of which were contaminated by the very same fallout as the Pacific off Fukushima. In which case your insistence that it's all over now might make some sense.

                I, on the other hand, am pointing to those waterborne releases as and for what they are, and none of your appeals to fallout change what's going on with those. Not to worry, I'm sure you'll have great luck convincing many people that there's nothing to see here and no reason to monitor. I don't agree with that, but you'll have this from time to time. I'm sure you can live with that.

                There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 12:43:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

                  The constant and ongoing releases to the ocean are 10,000-100,000 lower now than they were initially. It is not about fallout.

                  When you measure what is being added to the ocean now from air and runoff it is 10,000-100,000 lower than it was initially.  It has not been increasing over time as you state but rather decreasing dramatically since 2011 and leveling off.

                  That is what measurements say and all the sources I link to indicate.  Please reference your statements if you want to be part of evidence based discussion.

                  •  Wait a minute! (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    3rock, Sandino, Gordon20024

                    Exactly where do you propose those 100,000-fold 'greater than' the 450-to-God-only-knows tons of coolant/groundwater that's been getting out 24-7 since water began being added and the underground river shifted back to its original course came from? Please, I'm very interested because from all I've been able to tell about the disaster itself, that didn't happen.

                    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                    by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 01:21:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

                      The volume of groundwater infiltrating the coastal ocean has remained more or less constant. The concentration of radionuclides in the water must be lower than it was initially given the dramatic decrease in coastal concentrations of 137-Cs, 134-Cs and 90-Sr after the accident.  This means that the flux (radionuclides per time) has diminished.

                      You can see how coastal concentrations dropped from 2011 through to 2013 by looking at ourradioactiveocean.org and how the plume has dissipated and mixed with lower concentrations behind it offshore in Figure 2 of the Kumamoto et al. paper here.

                      Lots of water can continue to come out but the concentration of radionuclides in it will determine the rate at which radionuclides are added to the ocean and therefore the concentration of radionuclides that determine impact.

                      •  "Must have"?!? "Must be"?!? (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Emmy, 3rock, Sandino, Gordon20024

                        Oh, Lordy! No, the groundwater hasn't been at its current concentration since before the disaster. The path of that groundwater was in fact diverted when they built the facility atop its 'fossil fault' bed - original path. And the groundwater at the time of the disaster that wasn't flowing beneath the plants wasn't coming into contact with corium flows - the molten remains of not just one or two but three megawatt reactors - until those coriums had melted their way into the shattered basements and the later groundwater flood became the coolant.

                        Here's the scenario, based on data from the facility, the erstwhile Japanese watchdogs, the IAEA, the Japanese Diet investigation and what is known of the disaster's dynamics and the actual technology involved -

                        1. When the tsunami hit, wreaked havoc on the EDGs and then receded back to the ocean, the plants had not yet melted or exploded. Once the EDGs quit supplying power, there was no feedwater or circulation to any of the reactors.

                        2. Military and civilian first responders managed to tap into the exterior feedwater piping of the three plants within the first month to 6 weeks with fire hoses pumping first seawater straight from the lagoon and then fresh water, but TEPCO has since admitted that check valves shunted the water to the turbine building basements instead of to the reactors, and that at least two of the three reactors were without any feedwater at all for nearly 6 months.

                        3. Two bladder-choppers giving a good show of dropping water on the roof-less ruins were dropping into the spent fuel pools, NOT the reactor systems. Oh... and they missed.

                        4. The groundwater situation did not become a big issue until after a 6+ 'aftershock' shifted the flow back to the original channel directly beneath the facility months after the original quake/tsunami. To that point all water escaping from the basements to the ocean was escaping via wiring and piping trenches and tunnels running from the turbine building basements to the lagoon. It was not measured in hundreds of tons per day.

                        What you're ASSUMING happened is simply NOT the way things went down. The initial releases were almost exclusively airborne. Radioactive gases, fission product isotopes and a whole lot of particulate horror that included little (and big) chunks of reactor fuel, some of which was transported hundreds of kilometers to show up along the streets and sidewalks of densely populated areas that still haven't been able to clean it up. That same shit fell out over the ocean. And all the way across the ocean until the plume reached land, whereupon the fallout fell onto the land and into fresh water supplies. Those same plumes, minus what's fallen out so far, are still being measured as levels increase every 40 days like clockwork as they circle the globe in the atmosphere.

                        It was quite literally the worst of worst case scenarios for anyone who understands a bit about this fatally flawed and immensely deadly technology. But your pretense that there was some kind of huge-assed water release in the very first stages of the disaster is simply wrong. Didn't happen. Could Not have happened, because they had no water going in that could be going out.

                        You keep telling us that isolated samples of seawater in 2011 and 2012 tell the whole story of ocean contamination, and that is simply not true. Good on you for taking a few of those early-on samples, that's certainly something I haven't done. But you know little to nothing about this technology or about the actual dynamics of the situation as it has developed over the months and years, and you should probably not keep pretending that you do.

                        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                        by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 02:12:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

                          I did not imply that there were substantial activities of radionculides in the groundwater before the accident.  I refer to the documented decrease in release rate directly to the ocean in the months following the disaster.  You can see the data in Povinec et al (2012) here if you care to look.

                          It is not an assumption.  I refer to the flow of water directly into the ocean immediately after the disaster.

                          The measurements indicate that the flux of radionuclides into the ocean through surface and subsurface flow into the ocean were up to 5 - orders of magnitude higher in March-April 2011 than they are now.  Full stop.  That is what the presentation you write about above says.  No speculation.

                          That 10,000-100,000 fold lower release rate is also consistent with measurements in the coastal and open ocean.

                          •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

                            I notice that you did not provide and references to back up your claims about atmospheric or groundwater releases either.

                          •  I am not as enamored as you are (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            3rock, Sandino, Gordon20024

                            by what counts for 'official-dom' in All Things Nuclear. Given that there are wide variations even in the 'official' data depending entirely on who you ask, that surely cannot be all that surprising to you.

                            The release rates to the ocean in the months following the disaster have not decreased, they have steadily increased. As has the contamination in that water, as water bathing the corium flows mingles with the general groundwater flow. Which, by the way, did not reach ground level until summer 2012. The facility has suffered damage from continual earthquakes - to the tune of several a day at times, some fairly large - that have not just served to expand cracks and holes in the basement walls, but at times threatened to 'liquify' the ground itself and sink the ruins (bringing them and their jam-packed spent fuel pools hovering 100 feet up in the air, right on down to earth).

                            I don't question that sample-takers outside the imposed exclusion area are finding less contamination in their samples in 2012 and 2013 than they did before (if there were any 'befores'), if indeed they sampled the same water from the same place (unlikely). I don't know who confused you with this "5 orders of magnitude higher" stuff that you took to mean direct waterborne releases. Because those didn't happen and you cannot describe how they did when there was no water going in. They developed over time.

                            I have taken exactly zero 'authoritative' figures from authority-trusting paper-writers as gospel on the subject, because I know how this stuff works. There were half a dozen 'authoritative' epidemiological and technical reports/papers (including a 'Blue Ribbon Commission' and the NRC to boot) about how nothing got out of TMI2, all of which dealt purely with the admitted levels GPU/Met-Ed gave them as if they were in any way accurate, and none of which believed in the notion of "plume" (because that wasn't allowed). Hell, they didn't even admit to hydrogen explosions - still don't, in fact. The biggest pegged the containment gage at +32psig, just so you know.

                            Being as I was present at TMI2 for a full month following the accident, keeping track of doses, physically mapping the plumes from every-15-minute helicopter monitoring, and logging the raw data from the release stack vent monitor twice daily, bullshit was easy to spot. As a for-instance, GPU/Met-Ed and the NRC swore more than a few times under oath that there were no particulates. None. Zip. Zero, zilch. None.

                            ...because particulates are not allowed, thus there are no particulate filters in place to stop them from going out. Strangely, the release stack monitor did have a particulate release filter, just as it had a gaseous release filter. And yes, there were particulates going out. Lots of 'em.

                            So the 'official' story in no way resembled what really happened. And that was 35 years ago, they haven't become less clever over the years with covering their filthy tracks. It wasn't until the mid-1990s that epidemiologist Steve Wing of UNC ignored the 'official' crap and just conducted a regular epidemiological survey of people who live(d) there that a plume 'map' of known radiological health effects was finally drafted. Which - not surprisingly - matched exactly the plume maps I'd drafted daily for weeks after the accident showing precisely where the stuff was going and how hot it was. A truth 'official-dom' still pretends doesn't exist. The same will be true of Fukushima for decades into the future. That's how this industry operates. Always has.

                            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                            by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 04:53:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All That Said... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            3rock, Sandino, Gordon20024

                            I have never claimed "immediate danger" from any of Daiichi's releases from the beginning, if you don't happen to have been on-site at the time (and after, during events like "neutron beams"). That little assurance -

                            "No Immediate Danger To The General Public"

                            ...has been the standard disclaimer attached to every single report about every single nuclear oops since the beginning of reporting on nuclear oopses. That is because unless you happen to be in a position to kiss that sucker on the way down, you are never likely to be vaporized into a greasy smear on the wall by anybody's nuclear oops. Or even merely burned to a crispy critter. You may well die within months or years of the damage done depending on your level of exposure, but that doesn't count as "immediate," and "immediate" is all that nukes count as harm. Says so right in their disclaimer.

                            Hope that helps you understand at least something about who you're dealing with when you sign on to help with a coverup. Even if you don't question them honestly enough to know you're helping with a coverup. You're welcome.

                            And by the way, the data I've been accumulating over the past three years comes directly from TEPCO's press releases (always off by a factor of 100), NISA and the newer slightly more honest NRA (who have occasionally documented TEPCO's low-balling), IAEA (bound to the industry at the hip), NRC, and independent activists in Japan and around the world keeping track of the contamination levels on a day to day basis.

                            I admit to not being easily influenced by self-serving coverup artists. I do not apologize for that, to you or anybody else. I earned my bad attitude about this technology the hard way, you will simply have to accept that. Do keep trying to minimize the situation though. I'm sure your benefactors will be forever grateful, might even show it one of these days.

                            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                            by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 04:57:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

                            If you simply wish to write what you believe then do not hold up scientific articles (or abstracts that you think are articles that you read about on ENENews) to support your beliefs and opinions. It wastes your time and misinforms individuals here.

                            The abstract that you speak about above, on which this diary is supposedly based, does not support your statement in the least.  The measurements taken for the study were made as recently as May 2013 in sight (there is no exclusion as you claim) of the reactors in the coastal ocean and wells were sampled to determine activities of radionuclides in the groundwater.  They do not show an increase in release rates.  Release rates of 137-Cs to the coastal ocean were aobut 0.9 PBq/day in April 2011 as determined by a number of studies.  The release rate measured by Charette and others in the abstract you cite in your diary in May 2013 was 0.000009 PBq/day of 137-Cs to the ocean. You could even take the time to contact him and he could explain how they use Ra and Rn isotopes to calculate groundwater infiltration rates and then use them to measure radionuclide fluxes.  Scientists like to talk about their work with the public.

                            Saying:

                            The release rates to the ocean in the months following the disaster have not decreased, they have steadily increased. As has the contamination in that water, as water bathing the corium flows mingles with the general groundwater flow.
                            Is simply not supported by any measurements.  If the release rates increased following the disaster then the concentrations in the coastal ocean measured by the international scientific community would have increased.  They have not.  If you read any of the links that I have posted to open-access, peer-reviewed studies you would see that.

                            I am not concerned with your personal history only by what you say and what evidence exists to support it or not.

                            Regards

                          •  Provide the measurements on (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sandino, Gordon20024

                            how much was going out before and at the time of the disaster from the primary loops. NOT the secondaries, the primaries. You know, water that was in contact with the cores.

                            Hint: You can't. Because none of it (isolated loops, just so you know) was getting out at the time. There was no primary coolant flow. That's why they all melted.

                            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                            by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:24:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Hi Joieau (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dietrich Fuchs, doc2

    Thanks for the new diary.  The summary of the work of Matt Charette's  of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution seems derivative of a recent Energy News story on his abstract for a talk he delivered at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu in February of 2014.  It is not a paper as you indicate and which you should fix. While not a peer-reviewed paper as of yet I am sure he is preparing it for publication.

    The abstract does not give details about what was actually presented in the talk at the meeting and what the main conclusions of the study were.  I attended the talk.  

    The take home message was that the release of radionuclides from the Fukushima site is ongoing but best measurements put the rate of release at 10,000-100,000 lower than in the few weeks following the disaster. What this means is that in order to match the amount 137-Cs released in the first 90 days after the disaster it will take about 5 million days at current release rates. This is what their measurements show.

    This is another example of how Energy News selectively aggregates and selectively reports information that leads to misinforming the public on Fukushima.  They read his abstract, reported no numbers, did not contact the author of the abstract and get the import of the findings wrong and you have parroted that here.

    •  Thanks for the clarification. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, 3rock, Gordon20024

      I presumed that the presentation of the work at the conference indicates the existence of a 'paper' detailing recent scientific research. I did not say it was published in a journal, so will correct.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 11:56:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And just a by the way... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Gordon20024, Emmy, 3rock

      the non-paper you take issue with came with that nifty illustration I've used up top to show how the grossly contaminated groundwater underneath Daiichi is managing to escape into the ocean beyond the breakwater and silt fences we keep being told are holding all the contamination in. I recall explaining this several times in several of my diaries to the subject, to counter your staunch insistence that contamination is no longer getting out (and what did get out was from the airborne plumes pretty much exclusively). Since you attended the presentation, have you come to terms with the fact that the crap is still getting out?

      In addition to that, I should say here that while the airborne plumes were indeed gnarly as hell, many times worse than those from Chernobyl, and contaminated the northern hemisphere's land masses about equally to what fell into the oceans, I do not consider ~5-11 million becquerels per liter (TEPCO's numbers, always low by a factor of 100 at least) of strontium-90 in the groundwater to be inconsiderable. Especially if it's coming up outside the seawall.

      But then again, my specialty in these matters is health physics, not ocean chemistry. My concern is the existence of these isotopes, their propensity to bioaccumulate, and what - if any - dangers that may present to biological life forms over time. Please do inform us of the details once you've figured out what that Magical Ocean Chemical is that renders things like cesium and strontium harmless. We will all be greatly relieved, I promise.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 12:23:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

        You have to stop making statements that are not supported by data and are not factual.  You state

        I should say here that while the airborne plumes were indeed gnarly as hell, many times worse than those from Chernobyl, and contaminated the northern hemisphere's land masses about equally to what fell into the oceans
        Releases from Fukushima both to air and the ocean were 5-10 times lower than those from Chernobyl.  The activity of radionuclides measured in air here in North America were 10 times lower for 131-I and 137-Cs when compared with fallout from Chernobyl as by Smith and others as I summarize here. Based on modeling and measurements 80% of the radionuclides released from Fukushima ended up in the Pacific Ocean.

        I have never stated that there have not been ongoing releases to the ocean at the plant site.  You can go back and verify this to be the case. I have consistently said, as the data support, that those releases are very small (10,000-100,000 fold lower) than the initial releases.  Release rate controls concentration in the ocean and therefore impact on organisms including human consumers.  Maximum concentrations in the heart of the plume are about 4-5 fold lower than the highest concentrations measured post peak atmospheric weapons testing fallout in the 50's and 60's in the North Pacific.  See here.

        There is no magical chemical that will render 137-Cs and 90-Sr harmless.  There is risk associated with them being present in the environment.  At the concentrations that they are present in the North Pacific at present that risk is very very small according to health professionals when compared with other radiological and non-radiological health risks.

  •  Can they pump the contaminated water to offshore (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, Joieau, 3rock

    tankers, filter and otherwise process the water on board the tankers (resulting in some dry waste that has to be stored securely, but not nearly as big a volume), and return it to the plant to run through as cooling water again? If this were feasible, they could avoid generating this unsustainable buildup of contaminated water. The dry waste would have to be stored, say, in more tankers, but at least would not be contaminating the environment.

    •  There are quite a few clever (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Gordon20024, Emmy, 3rock

      and ambitious things that could be done to diminish contamination escaping from Daiichi. None of them will be done because nobody wants to pay for them to be done. Nuclear power is about guaranteed Big Buck profits and immense forever government subsidies to offset the costs. It has always been thus, Fukushima didn't change anything on that score.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 12:26:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No she does not. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, worldlotus

          from a bit above post:

        You have to stop making statements that are not supported by data and are not factual.
          That Japan now has a "Secrecy Law," not supported by a huge amount of Japanese people, does not preclude the rest of the effected world from discussing a disaster that still effects them.
           Questioning, presenting, debating, data, it's source, as to what is factual, is what scientists, environmentalists, activists and humanitarians do.
           Factual: an explosion and three core meltdown with continuing contamination into an underground river of water into the ocean is FAR worse than a one core meltdown, inland. BOTH adding unnatural poisonous LONG lived radiation into the environment.

        March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

        by 3rock on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:00:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you put this in the wrong place, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3rock, Sandino, Gordon20024

          but thanks. Not to worry. MC's got a job to do, and he's doing it. How successful that will be per its purpose is not something known at this point in time. Sort of like the long term effects of Fukushima Daiichi.

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:07:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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

               was meant as stand alone :)

            March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

            by 3rock on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:17:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

            The purpose behind by commenting and writing on this topic is to see that the best information and evidence is put before the public.  I work at a public research university in Canada.  Much like my efforts in the areas of climate change research I am motivated to counter misinformation that is not factually grounded.  Climate change deniers reflexively discount the research of the international science community because it does not agree with their view of the way the world works.  They can not produce any reputable studies which support their opinion that human activities can not affect the climate through altering the radiative balance of our planet.  It is difficult for me to see any difference in the arguments mobilized by you and others here.  You don't believe the scientific community and yet no results exist to support your opinions.

            I would be happy to look at results from scientific investigations of this issue that support your opinion that more radionuclides were released by Fukushima than by Chernobyl or that concentrations of radionuclides along the coast from direct input to the ocean have been "continually increasing". I really would.  That would be important and might change the radiologicial health risk here on the west coast of N. America in the future.  

          •  But since you put your defense here (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino, Gordon20024, 3rock

            (thanks), and it's so late in the thread that I can claim 'last word',

            ...this is for Jay...

            Sigh. You keep mistaking me for some kind of a tenured research scientist. I am not and never have pretended to be, so you can go ahead and let loose of that misconception now. It may help you understand a few pertinent facts.

            I'm a nuke. Well, I once was. Haven't been since nukes murdered my brother back in 1980 for the unforgivable sin of being related to me, but I once was. As my brother was when they killed him. As my husband was when he was gravely injured in the attack that killed my brother. And as were all of the HP/C personnel on site at TMI2 who helped us gather the data after we took the job. As required by federal law and regulation.

            Hence you can see that unlike you, I am not beholden or subservient to anyone else's doctored data or 'helpful' suggestions when it comes to nuclear meltdowns. Or the many ways that utilities, their holding companies, their not-really regulators or their strong-arm henchmen have tried through the years to impose limitations on what I can know, how I can interpret, and what conclusions I may draw from the variety of raw data out there to draw from.

            If you are seeking lengthy citations and footnotes, you'll have to look to your own field, as you don't qualify as 'expert' in mine. I am quite sure that your attendance to such formalities will impress some people, and that your career will bloom with new opportunities offered by those who believe your sheepskins will sufficiently coddle the public angst. That's the point of producing data shrouded in purple fog and gobbledygook, after all. We all have our roles to play.

            I am just letting you know that I consider it semi-humorous that you appear to take me so seriously as some kind of 'threat' to your participation in this game. It's almost flattering, actually, if I were to think of myself as anywhere near as 'important' as you apparently do. Or as you consider yourself to be.

            I am just a Fool. From a long line of professional fools, extending so far back into prehistory that nobody recalls when they first laughed out loud at some authoritarian's pomposity because it was brought to their attention with pantomime and ironic asides. It's my job to speak plain truth when the bullshit gets too deep. In the matter of Fukushima Daiichi, the bullshit is so deep that people are drowning in it. I'm only dipping escape planks in the muck.

            I am as unconcerned with your sheepskins as you are with nuclear reality and my background. In short, I Am Not Impressed by what you believe must be impressive per your ego and its investments. I'm just not. Perhaps you can find others who are impressed, at least enough to give you far more deference than I am willing to provide. You're young, there's time.

            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

            by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:37:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

              Again, I am not concerned with who you are or what you think you are doing.  

              When you write something that is not supported by facts you do a disservice to people looking for good information.  Unfortunately some people look for good information on the internet.  In fact some people find like minded individuals on the internet that reinforce opinions that are not evidenced based (anti-vaccine, climate change deniers etc.).  Some people don't understand that when you say things like you said above (for which statements there isn't any support) they might take what you said at face value and that you are reporting facts.

              I think it is important to report what we know based on observation rather than speculation.  I'll continue to report observations.

              Regards

              •  You do that, Jay. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sandino, Gordon20024, 3rock

                And be sure to let everyone know when you get back to the region to take more samples, as those should definitely support your preconceived conclusions if the situation at Daiichi were anything like what you've been led to believe.

                Just so you know, I'm all about observation too. I just tend to expect people making absolute assertions of supposed 'fact' to know a little something about what it is they're asserting. Just weird that way, I guess. And note, if you will, that I have not challenged a single sample of yours or Buesseler's or anybody else's. That's because I am not an 'expert' in your field of endeavor. Nor will I pretend to be.

                I recall that our very first disagreement here was something incredibly simple and obvious. It was about what radionuclide is the most common one found 'naturally' in the world's oceans. You said it was polonium-210, because Ken Buesseler said it was polonium-210. You were both hilariously wrong, as any fifth grader could have told you after 2 minute's worth of Googling - and I told you that gently, more than once.

                You believed it anyway, though didn't put as much oomph into it as Buesseler did. It was weeks before the assertions were scrubbed from his public page, and such an obvious error should not have taken that long to correct. All because "somebody" y'all shouldn't have trusted told him so (and you bought it hook, line and sinker), and no doubt had a big laugh at your foolish - and nowhere near qualified - expense.

                I considered it to be High Comedy, actually. How often do you see an oceanographer/marine chemist argue radionuclides with a health physicist, all the while acting like they know what the hell they're talking about? I'd have thrown in the towel at that point if I were you. But that's just me.

                You have a presence here, can write diaries whenever you like to sell whatever you're selling today on your own authority [FWIW]. I have stayed pretty much away from them after the polonium fiasco (that was plenty for my amusement), so have at it. In return, perhaps you can let me write what I write without all the nit-picking. I am beneath your notice, as you keep trying awfully hard to make known. Why not go ahead and let me BE beneath your notice?

                At any rate it's late, I'm off to dreamland. You can have the coveted last word, as I know you will. Ta.

                There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                by Joieau on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:57:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hi Joieau (0+ / 0-)

                  210-Po is and continues to be the most significant radiological health risk to those eating seafood from the Pacific.

                  Again, if you can support any of the assertions that you have made about the relative radiological releases from Chernobyl to the air being less than Fukushima or that releases from Fukushima to the ocean have been continually increasing since 2011 I'll be happy to look at them.

                  You linked to an abstract from the Ocean Sciences Meeting (a joint meeting between the American Geophysical Union, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and the The Oceanography Society) and completely misrepresented the findings based on a poorly written ENENews post.

                  Regards

                  •  By the way, since I'm late to see this, (0+ / 0-)

                    whether or not polonium-210 is a health risk to people who eat lots of seafood was not the assertion at issue. The assertion at issue was that polonium-210 is "The Most Common Radionuclide In The Oceans." Buesseler made the assertion as a statement of fact on his page, you defended it here. Just so it's known, polonium-210 is #10 on the list.

                    But then, moving the goalposts whenever you're called on some detail or other is your usual M.O. Honestly, if I cared more than I do about the integrity of 'real science', this sort of shit would be positively depressing. Thankfully, I learned to live with the existence of ego-defensive scientists who will fudge even the most extraneous data to protect their investment long ago. Shrug.

                    If your job is to provide academic cover for any possible lingering public concerns about monstrous nuclear disasters contaminating the air and water (and food chains), one tiny 'mistake' on what the most common natural radionuclides in an environment are shouldn't cast any doubt on findings that man-made radionuclides in the environment are harmless, right?

                    By the way, did any of y'all bother to test for alpha and/or beta emitters that don't emit gamma, or did your handlers waive all that stuff away for you too so you could focus on "non-bioaccumulating" (YOUR assertion) cesium?

                    On second thought, never mind. I don't care.

                    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                    by Joieau on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:29:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Hi 3rock (0+ / 0-)

          It would be possible to have a debate about data if there were any presented to support the opinions of the diarist.

          All available data, despite what you might think about the releases, show that releases from Fukushima to the air, water and land are much less than Chernobyl and much much less than the radionuclides deposited during atmospheric weapons testing in the 20th century.

          I would change my opinion if the measurements suggested otherwise.  I form my opinion based on data made by careful scientists who have been making measurements all over the world.

          See Povinec et al. (2013), Buesseler 2014 and references therein.  Povinec, Hirose and Aoyama have a very fine summary book out as well which can be found here.

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

                if I may, as a tear rolls down my cheek for your brother.
                CUMULATIVE, last for thousands of years!
                Early on in THIS nuclear crisis, a spin about the deaths from Chernobyl was spun. The ludicrousness of attempting to rewrite history from those whose still remember, WERE EFFECTED, let alone ACTUAL newspaper reports, TV reports of the period. LUDICROUS! YOU can ignore and be a part of the attempt to rewrite THAT da ta!
                What they can not change, for someone like myself, born into the cloud of the Nuclear tests at ground zero in Nevada, is the remembrances of family & friends now gone through early deaths from cancer.
                The WALL of what they are up against is the reality of a fatally diseased technology that has no cure. I.e. ACCUMULATION!
                I'm a radiation exposure survivor. YOU MAY consider me a mutant, as I do, because I have the ability from experience to see right through the UNREALITY of the nuclear feasibility.
                It is humorous in the MOST macabre sense to us mutants. You may not understand that to those of us that are sensitive, simply KNOWING what the possibilities are, has this profound calming effect to let us choose healthful ways to deal with and keep an eye out for diseases that MAY happen. EARLY detection if you will. The main problem in the "nothing to see" whitewash is in the attempt to bury the STRESS, it takes away the how to deal with and heal the STRESS, which kills more than the disease. The body has miraculous abilities to heal IF given the chance. WE tire of "let them die."  
                The let them die, as opposed to let them live has this profound problem in the reality of SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION.
                I am a living example of simply eating healthily, who has NEVER worried about what my health is because I am as god damned healthy as I have chosen to feel. Mental BALANCE. I'm god damned stubborn. If god damned stealth radiation takes me, I fought and will continue to fight a god damned delusionall nuclear industry.
                Joieau remembrances from TMI of where the plumes traveled are tied to the highest cancer deaths, is not a disservice for those of us that live our lives in the construct of humanitarianism. The goal is to heal and STOP the destruction of a planet.
                I emailed Joieau one time asking about you, her reply I now understand as someone who used to work in the industry and changed was they are young and hopefully will learn. She's a GOOD teacher IF you take down your rudeness. Not that we hold that against your youth.

            March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

            by 3rock on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:16:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hi 3rock (0+ / 0-)

              I think you mistake my request for rigor for rudeness.  As I keep stating, there is nothing personal in my requests. People can and do say anything. Off the cuff statements not supported by evidence are not useful and do not increase our understanding of this disaster.

              Stay healthy 3rock.

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