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They’re Going to Dump the Fukushima Radiation Into the Ocean Washington’s Blog

They’re Going to Dump the Fukushima Radiation Into the Ocean Washington’s Blog.

Yup … They’re Going to Dump It

Tepco is planning on dumping all of the radioactive water stored at Fukushima into the ocean.

Others are pushing them to do this as well.

As EneNews reports:

Juan Carlos Lentijo, head of IAEA’s mission to Fukushima Daiichi, Dec. 4, 2013: “Controlled discharge is a regular practice in all the nuclear facilities in the world. And what we are trying to say here is to consider this as one of the options to contribute to a good balance of risks and to stabilize the facility for the long term.”

Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, Dec. 4, 2013: “You cannot keep storing the water forever. We have to make choice comparing all risks involved.”

Xinhua, Dec. 4, 2013: Lentijo said that TEPCO should weigh the possible damaging effects of discharging toxic water against the total risks involved in the overall decommissioning work process. […] Tanaka highlighted the fact that while highly radioactive water could be decontaminated in around seven years, the amount of water containing tritium will keep rising, topping 700,000 tons in two years. […] nuclear experts have repeatedly pointed out that [tritium] is still a significant radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin. […] fisherman, industries and fisheries bodies in the Fukushima area and beyond in Japan’s northeast, have collectively baulked at the idea of releasing toxic water into the sea […] TEPCO will be duty-bound to submit assessments of the safety and environmental impact […]

NHK, Dec. 4, 2013: IAEA team leader Juan Carlos Lentijo […] said it is necessary and indispensable to assess the impact the tritium discharge might have on human health and the environment, and to get government approval as well as consent from concerned people.

Japan Times, Dec. 4, 2013: “Of course . . . public acceptance for this purpose is necessary,” said Lentijo, adding strict monitoring of the impact of the discharge would also be essential.

AFP, Dec. 4, 2013: [L]ocal fishermen, neighbouring countries and environmental groups all oppose the idea.

See also: Gundersen: They want to dump all Fukushima’s radioactive water in Pacific — Tepco: It will be diluted, then released — Professor suggests pumping it out in deep ocean (VIDEOS)

In the real world, there is no safe level of radiation.

And there are alternatives.

Dr. Arjun Makhijani  – a recognized expert on nuclear power, who has testified  before Congress, served as an expert witness in Nuclear Regulatory Commission proceedings, and been interviewed by many of the largest news organizations – told PBS in March:

We actually sent a proposal to Japan two years ago, some colleagues of mine and I, saying you should park a supertanker or a large tanker offshore, and put the water in it, and send it off someplace else so that the water treatment and the water management is not such a huge, constant issue. But [the Japanese declined].

Unfortunately, Japan has devolved into a crony capitalist tyranny. Tepco – with no financial incentive to actually fix things – has been insanely irresponsible and has only been pretending to contain Fukushima. And see this.

So instead of doing something to contain the radiation, they’re going to dump it.

Postscript: In related news, the Japanese government has embarked on a massive program ofburning radioactive waste throughout Japan … instead of encapsulating it in glass or otherwise containing it.

What Is The ACTUAL Risk for Pacific Coast Residents from Fukushima Radiation? Washington’s Blog

What Is The ACTUAL Risk for Pacific Coast Residents from Fukushima Radiation? Washington’s Blog

“[The Odds of] Longer Term Chronic Effects, Cancer Or Genetic Effects … Cannot Be Said To Be Zero”

It is very difficult to obtain accurate information on the dangers from Fukushima radiation to residents of the West Coast of North America and Hawaii.

On the one hand, there is fear-mongering and “we’re all going to die” type hysteria.

On the one hand, there is a tendency for governments to cover up the truth to avoid panic and deflect blame for bad policy. Japan is poised to pass a bill which would outlaw most reporting on Fukushima.   And the U.S. government is not even monitoring radiation levels in the waters off the U.S. coast.  As the Cape Cod Times reports:

With the first plume of water carrying radionuclides from Fukushima due to hit the U.S. West Coast any day now, [the senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Ken Buesseler’s]  latest project is to convince the federal government to monitor radiation levels in the sea water.

“We don’t have a U.S. agency responsible for radiation in the ocean,” Buesseler said. “It’s really bizarre.”

***

He spent this past week in Washington, D.C., meeting with representatives of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy, asking them to come up with some sort of plan to keep tabs on levels of radionuclides in the ocean.

Buesseler also talked with U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who agreed the federal government has a role in making sure the oceans are healthy and safe.

But Markey said in an email that an increased federal role is not likely [because of budget cuts].

Indeed, Dr. Buesseler points out the circular reasoning which the government is using (at 10:00):

I completely agree that no radiation has been seen in the regards that we’re not really testing for it [laughter] in any organized way … We have very few data; it’s not really being organized. The government says we don’t really need to do that because we’re predicting very low levels. On the other hand, you could argue I’d very much like to see study on our side of the ocean just to confirm these values and build some confidence with the public that’s been concerned about this. They’re right to be concerned — as scientists we’re telling them they shouldn’t be, but it’d be nice to have a few more data points to fill that gap … I’ve been told that there’s very little testing going on.

People are certainly concerned.  As the Wall Street Journal notes:

Water containing radioactive materials has been leaking from storage tanks and drains at the plant into groundwater and the nearby ocean, raising concerns across the world that currents might spread radioactivity to faraway places.

But people don’t know where to get accurate information on the risks involved.

This essay provides reliable information on what is really going on … based upon the known science.   It’s divided into 3 sections:

I.     Is Low-Level Radiation Dangerous … Or Harmless?

II.   How Much Radiation Will We Be Exposed To?

III. How Can We Protect Ourselves from Radiation?

I. Is Low-Level Radiation Dangerous … Or Harmless?

You may have heard different claims about whether low-level radiation is dangerous … or harmless.

Fox News reports:

Doug Dasher, who [teaches] radioecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said it remains possible that there will be minor effects for people on the U.S. West Coast, despite the low test results.

“No acute effects resulting in mortality or damage to organs … would be expected,” he told FoxNews.com. But he added that more subtle effects might occur.

“Longer term chronic effects, cancer or genetic effects… odds are statistically low, if the concentrations in the models remain within the projections, [but] cannot be said to be zero.”

What is Dasher saying?  That even low levels of radiation from Fukushima can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.

A major 2012 scientific study proves that low-level radiation can cause huge health problems. Science Daily reports:

Even the very lowest levels of radiation are harmful to life, scientists have concluded in the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journal Biological Reviews. Reporting the results of a wide-ranging analysis of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over the past 40 years, researchers from the University of South Carolina and the University of Paris-Sud found that variation in low-level, natural background radiation was found to have small, but highly statistically significant, negative effects on DNA as well as several measures of health.

The review is a meta-analysis of studies of locations around the globe …. “Pooling across multiple studies, in multiple areas, and in a rigorous statistical manner provides a tool to really get at these questions about low-level radiation.”

Mousseau and co-author Anders Møller of the University of Paris-Sud combed the scientific literature, examining more than 5,000 papers involving natural background radiation that were narrowed to 46 for quantitative comparison. The selected studies all examined both a control group and a more highly irradiated population and quantified the size of the radiation levels for each. Each paper also reported test statistics that allowed direct comparison between the studies.

The organisms studied included plants and animals, but had a large preponderance of human subjects. Each study examined one or more possible effects of radiation, such as DNA damage measured in the lab, prevalence of a disease such as Down’s Syndrome, or the sex ratio produced in offspring. For each effect, a statistical algorithm was used to generate a single value, the effect size, which could be compared across all the studies.

The scientists reported significant negative effects in a range of categories, including immunology, physiology, mutation and disease occurrence. The frequency of negative effects was beyond that of random chance.

***

“When you do the meta-analysis, you do see significant negative effects.”

“It also provides evidence that there is no threshold below which there are no effects of radiation,” he added. “A theory that has been batted around a lot over the last couple of decades is the idea that is there a threshold of exposure below which there are no negative consequences. These data provide fairly strong evidence that there is no threshold — radiation effects are measurable as far down as you can go, given the statistical power you have at hand.”

Mousseau hopes their results, which are consistent with the “linear-no-threshold” model for radiation effects, will better inform the debate about exposure risks. “With the levels of contamination that we have seen as a result of nuclear power plants, especially in the past, and even as a result of Chernobyl and Fukushima and related accidents, there’s an attempt in the industry to downplay the doses that the populations are getting, because maybe it’s only one or two times beyond what is thought to be the natural background level,” he said. “But they’re assuming the natural background levels are fine.”

“And the truth is, if we see effects at these low levels, then we have to be thinking differently about how we develop regulations for exposures, and especially intentional exposures to populations, like the emissions from nuclear power plants, medical procedures, and even some x-ray machines at airports.”

Physicians for Social Responsibility notes:

According to the National Academy of Sciences, there are no safe doses of radiation. Decades of research show clearly that any dose of radiation increases an individual’s risk for the development of cancer.

“There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water or other sources. Period,” said Jeff Patterson, DO, immediate past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Exposure to radionuclides, such as iodine-131 and cesium-137, increases the incidence of cancer. For this reason, every effort must be taken to minimize the radionuclide content in food and water.”

“Consuming food containing radionuclides is particularly dangerous. If an individual ingests or inhales a radioactive particle, it continues to irradiate the body as long as it remains radioactive and stays in the body,”said Alan H. Lockwood, MD, a member of the Board of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

***

Radiation can be concentrated many times in the food chain and any consumption adds to the cumulative risk of cancer and other diseases.

John LaForge writes:

The National Council on Radiation Protection says, “… every increment of radiation exposure produces an incremen­tal increase in the risk of cancer.”The Environmental Protection Agency says, “… any exposure to radiation poses some risk, i.e. there is no level below which we can say an exposure poses no risk.” The Department of Energy says about “low levels of radiation” that “… the major effect is a very slight increase in cancer risk.” The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says, “any amount of radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer … any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk.” The National Academy of Sciences, in its “Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII,” says, “… it is unlikely that a threshold exists for the induction of cancers ….”

Japan Times reports:

Protracted exposure to low-level radiation is associated with a significant increase in the risk of leukemia, according to a long-term study published Thursday in a U.S. research journal.

The study released in the monthly Environmental Health Perspectives was based on a20-year survey of around 110,000 workers who engaged in cleanup work related to the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986.

Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the National Research Center for Radiation Medicinein Ukraine were among those who participated in the research.

Indeed, the overwhelming consensus among radiation experts is that repeated exposure to low doses of radiation can cause cancer, genetic mutationsheart disease, stroke and other serious illness (and seethis.) If a government agency says anything else, it’s likely for political reasons.

The top U.S. government radiation experts – like Karl Morgan, John Goffman and Arthur Tamplin – and scientific luminaries such as Ernest Sternglass and Alice Stewart, concluded that low level radiation can cause serious health effects.

A military briefing written by the U.S. Army for commanders in Iraq states:

Hazards from low level radiation are long-term, not acute effects… Every exposure increases risk of cancer.

(Military briefings for commanders often contain less propaganda than literature aimed at civilians, as the commanders have to know the basic facts to be able to assess risk to their soldiers.)

The briefing states that doses are cumulative, citing the following military studies and reports:

  • ACE Directive 80-63, ACE Policy for Defensive Measures against Low Level Radiological Hazards during Military Operations, 2 AUG 96
  • AR 11-9, The Army Radiation Program, 28 MAY 99
  • FM 4-02.283, Treatment of Nuclear and Radiological Casualties, 20 DEC 01
  • JP 3-11, Joint Doctrine for Operations in NBC Environments, 11 JUL 00
  • NATO STANAG 2473, Command Guidance on Low Level Radiation Exposure in Military Operations, 3 MAY 00
  • USACHPPM TG 244, The NBC Battle Book, AUG 02

Many studies have shown that repeated exposures to low levels of ionizing radiation from CT scans and x-rays can cause cancer. See thisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthis and this.

Research from the University of Iowa concluded:

Cumulative radon exposure is a significant risk factor for lung cancer in women.

And see these studies on the health effects cumulative doses of radioactive cesium.

As the European Committee on Radiation Risk notes:

Cumulative impacts of chronic irradiation in low doses are … important for the comprehension, assessment and prognosis of the late effects of irradiation on human beings ….

And see this.

The New York Times’ Matthew Wald reported in May:

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists[’] May-June issue carries seven articles and an editorial on the subject of low-dose radiation, a problem that has thus far defied scientific consensus but has assumed renewed importance since the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan in March 2011.

***

This month a guest editor, Jan Beyea [who received a PhD in nuclear physics from Columbia and has served on a number of committees at the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science] and worked on epidemiological studies at Three Mile Island, takes a hard look at the power industry.

The bulletin’s Web site is generally subscription-only, but this issue can be read at no charge.

Dr. Beyea challenges a concept adopted by American safety regulators about small doses of radiation. The prevailing theory is that the relationship between dose and effect is linear – that is, that if a big dose is bad for you, half that dose is half that bad, and a quarter of that dose is one-quarter as bad, and a millionth of that dose is one-millionth as bad, with no level being harmless.

The idea is known as the “linear no-threshold hypothesis,’’ and while most scientists say there is no way to measure its validity at the lower end, applying it constitutes a conservative approach to public safety.

Some radiation professionals disagree, arguing that there is no reason to protect against supposed effects that cannot be measured. But Dr. Beyea contends that small doses could actually be disproportionately worse.

Radiation experts have formed a consensus that if a given dose of radiation delivered over a short period poses a given hazard, that hazard will be smaller if the dose is spread out. To use an imprecise analogy, if swallowing an entire bottle of aspirin at one sitting could kill you, consuming it over a few days might merely make you sick.

In radiation studies, this is called a dose rate effectiveness factor. Generally, a spread-out dose is judged to be half as harmful as a dose given all at once.

***

Dr. Beyea, however, proposes that doses spread out over time might be more dangerous than doses given all at once. [Background] He suggests two reasons: first, some effects may result from genetic damage that manifests itself only after several generations of cells have been exposed, and, second, a “bystander effect,” in which a cell absorbs radiation and seems unhurt but communicates damage to a neighboring cell, which can lead to cancer.

One problem in the radiation field is that little of the data on hand addresses the problem of protracted exposure. Most of the health data used to estimate the health effects of radiation exposure comes from survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings of 1945. That was mostly a one-time exposure.

Scientists who say that this data leads to the underestimation of radiation risks cite another problem: it does not include some people who died from radiation exposure immediately after the bombings. The notion here is that the people studied in ensuing decades to learn about the dose effect may have been stronger and healthier, which could have played a role in their survival.

Still, the idea that the bomb survivor data is biased, or that stretched-out doses are more dangerous than instant ones, is a minority position among radiation scientists.

Dr. Beyea writes:

Three recent epidemiologic studies suggest that the risk from protracted exposure is no lower, and in fact may be higher, than from single exposures.

***

Conventional wisdom was upset in 2005, when an international study, which focused on a large population of exposed nuclear workers, presented results that shocked the radiation protection community—and foreshadowed a sequence of research results over the following years.

***

It all started when epidemiologist Elaine Cardis and 46 colleagues surveyed some 400,000 nuclear workers from 15 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia—workers who had experienced chronic exposures, with doses measured on radiation badges (Cardis et al., 2005).

***

This study revealed a higher incidence for protracted exposure than found in the atomic-bomb data, representing a dramatic contradiction to expectations based on expert opinion.

***

A second major occupational study appeared a few years later, delivering another blow to the theory that protracted doses were not so bad. This 2009 report looked at 175,000 radiation workers in the United Kingdom ….

After the UK update was published, scientists combined results from 12 post-2002 occupational studies, including the two mentioned above, concluding that protracted radiation was 20 percent more effective in increasing cancer rates than acute exposures (Jacob et al., 2009). The study’s authors saw this result as a challenge to the cancer-risk values currently assumed for occupational radiation exposures. That is, they wrote that the radiation risk values used for workers should be increased over the atomic-bomb-derived values, not lowered by a factor of two or more.

***

In 2007, one study—the first of its size—looked at low-dose radiation risk in a large, chronically exposed civilian population; among the epidemiological community, this data set is known as the “Techa River cohort.” From 1949 to 1956 in the Soviet Union, while the Mayak weapons complex dumped some 76 million cubic meters of radioactive waste water into the river, approximately 30,000 of the off-site population—from some 40 villages along the river—were exposed to chronic releases of radiation; residual contamination on riverbanks still produced doses for years after 1956.

***

Here was a study of citizens exposed to radiation much like that which would be experienced following a reactor accident. About 17,000 members of the cohort have been studied in an international effort (Krestinina et al., 2007), largely funded by the US Energy Department; and to many in the department, this study was meant to definitively prove that protracted exposures were low in risk. The results were unexpected. The slope of the LNT fit turned out to be higher than predicted by the atomic-bomb data, providing additional evidence that protracted exposure does not reduce risk.

***

Click here to read the rest.

Fukushima Debris “Island” The Size Of Texas Near US West Coast | Zero Hedge

Fukushima Debris “Island” The Size Of Texas Near US West Coast | Zero Hedge. (source)

While it took Japan over two years to admit the Fukushima situation on the ground is “out of control“, a development many had predicted for years, a just as important topic is what are the implications of this uncontrolled radioactive disaster on not only the local environment and society but also globally, particularly Japan’s neighbor across the Pacific – the US.

To be sure, there has been much speculation, much of it unjustified, in the past two years debating when, how substantial and how acute any potential debris from Fukushima would be on the US. Which is why it was somewhat surprising to see the NOAA come out with its own modeling effort, which shows that not only “some buoyant items first reached the Pacific Northwest coast during winter 2011-2012” but to openly confirm that a debris field weighing over 1 million tons, and larger than Texas is now on the verge of hitting the American coastline, just west off the state of California.

Obviously, the NOAA in releasing such a stunner could well be hammered by the administration for “inciting panic” which is why it caveated its disclosure carefully:

Many variables affect where the debris will go and when. Items will sink, disperse, and break up along the way, and winds and ocean currents constantly change, making it very difficult to predict an exact date and location for the debris’ arrival on our shores.

The model gives NOAA an understanding of where debris from the tsunami may be located today, because it incorporates how winds and ocean currents since the event may have moved items through the Pacific Ocean. This model is a snapshot of where debris may be now, but it does not predict when debris will reach U.S. shores in the future. It’s a “hindcast,” rather than a “forecast.” The model also takes into account the fact that winds can move different types of debris at different speeds. For example, wind may push an upright boat (large portion above water) faster than a piece of lumber (floating mostly at and below the surface).

Still despite this “indemnity” the NOAA does come stunningly close with an estimate of both the location and size of the debris field. One look at the map below shows clearly why, while the Fed may have the economy and markets grasped firmly in its central-planning fist, when it comes to the environment it may be time to panic:

Source: NOAA

Some of the disclosures surrounding the map:

  • Japan Ministry of the Environment estimates that 5 million tons of debris washed into the ocean.
  • They further estimated that 70% of that debris sank near the coast of Japan soon after the event.
  • Model Results: High windage items may have reached the Pacific Northwest coast as early as winter 2011-2012.
  • Majority of modeled particles are still dispersed north and east of the Hawaiian Archipelago.
  • NOAA expects widely scattered debris may show up intermittently along shorelines for a long period of time, over the next year, or longer.

In light of these “revelations” which come not from some tinfoil website but the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it becomes clear why there has been virtually zero mention of any of these debris traffic patterns on the mainstream media in recent history, or ever.

Appropriately enough, since the US media will not breach this topic with a radioactive 10 foot pole, one has to go to theRussian RT.com website to learn some more:

Over a million tons of Fukushima debris could be just 1,700 miles off the American coast, floating between Hawaii and California, according to research by a US government agency.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently updated its report on the movement of the Japanese debris, generated by the March 2011 tsunami, which killed 16,000 people and led to the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown.

Seventy percent of an estimated 5 million tons of debris sank near the coast of Japan, according to the Ministry of Environment. The rest presumably floated out into the Pacific.

While there are no accurate estimates as to where the post-tsunami junk has traveled so far, the NOAA has come up with a computer model of the debris movement, which gives an idea of where its highest concentration could be found.

Having released the radioactive genie from the bottle, the NOAA is now doing all it can to avoid the inevitable social response. RT has more:

The agency was forced to alleviate the concerns in an article saying there was “no solid mass of debris from Japan heading to the United States.”

“At this point, nearly three years after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, whatever debris remains floating is very spread out. It is spread out so much that you could fly a plane over the Pacific Ocean and not see any debris since it is spread over a huge area, and most of the debris is small, hard-to-see objects,” NOAA explains on its official webpage.

The agency has stressed its research is just computer simulation, adding that “observations of the area with satellites have not shown any debris.”

Scientists are particularly interested in the organisms that could be living on objects from Japan reaching the west coast.

“At first we were only thinking about objects like the floating docks, but now we’re finding that all kinds of Japanese organisms are growing on the debris,” John Chapman of the Marine Science Center at Oregon State University told Fox News.

“We’ve found over 165 non-native species so far,” he continued. “One type of insect, and almost all the others are marine organisms … we found the European blue mussel, which was introduced to Asia long ago, and then it grew on a lot of these things that are coming across the Pacific … we’d never seen it here, and we don’t particularly want it here.”

What is the worst-case scenario:

The worst-case scenario would be that the trash is housing invasive organisms that could disrupt the local environment’s current balance of life. Such was the case in Guam, where earlier this year it was announced that the US government intended to parachute dead mice laced with sedatives on to the island in order to deal with an invasive species of brown tree snake that was believed to have been brought to the American territory on a military ship over 60 years ago. In a little over half a century, a few snakes spawned what became an estimated 2 million animals, the likes of which ravaged the island’s native bird population and warranted government intervention.

Other concerns such as radiation, meanwhile, have been downplayed. On its website, the NOAA says, “Radiation experts agree that it is highly unlikely that any tsunami-generated marine debris will hold harmful levels of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear emergency.”

Independent groups like the 5 Gyres Institute, which tracks pollution at sea, have echoed the NOAA’s findings, saying that radiation readings have been “inconsequential.” Even the release of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear reactor shouldn’t be a grave concern, since scientists say it will be diluted to the point of being harmless by the time it reaches American shores in 2014.

Which is great news: since even the worst case scenario is inconsequential, we expect the broader media will promptly report on the NOAA’s findings: after all, the general public surely has nothing to fear.

Fukushima Is Here | Washington’s Blog

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/fukushima-is-here.html  (source/link)

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Coast of North America to Be Hit Hard by Fukushima Radiation | Washington’s Blog

West Coast of North America to Be Hit Hard by Fukushima Radiation | Washington’s Blog.

 

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