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Rain increases contaminated water at plan.
Heavy rain brought by a tropical storm has increased the level of radioactive contaminated water at the basements of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Typhoon Ma-on moved east off the southern coast of Japan's main island of Honshu. 115 millimeters of precipitation was recorded in Namie Town, north of the plant, between Tuesday and Thursday.
Rain has been gathering in the buildings housing the reactors because the roofs were severely damaged by hydrogen explosions that occurred after the initial March 11th disaster.
Tokyo Electric Power Company or TEPCO, the plant's operator, says that at 7 AM local time on Thursday, the level of contaminated water pooled at the basement of the building of the No. 1 reactor was 44 centimeters up from the previous day.
Officials at the utility say that there is no immediate danger of the contaminated water spilling out. But it is likely that the level of water will continue to rise for the time being. TEPCO says they are monitoring the situation. Thursday, July 21, 2011 16:17 +0900 (JST)
Japan finally releases a nuclear radiation survey that reveals that 45% of Fukushima children had sustained thyroid radiation exposure by the end of March. Despite government attempts to downplay the survey results the data shows that at least 1 in 20 children will develop thyroid cancer. Unfortunately, this is just the latest side show in the 3 ring circus being ran by our corporate dictators.
Residents in Japan are being forced to take radioactive cleanup into their own hands in the absence of a plan from the government to remediate the problem of the nuclear radioactive fallout that is blanketing the nation. According to a report from Reuters, residents are shoveling radioactive topsoil from their lawns and dumping it into forests, parks and streams in an attempt to protect themselves from high levels of radiation. Reuters quotes one resident as saying a Geiger counter measured radiation levels of 10 microsieverts per hour being emitted from the topsoil in her lawn.
An indication of the severity of the radiation exposure can be derived from a Kyodo news article which reports that Japan has finally released the results of a radiation survey conducted over 2 months ago by the central government and several local government located within the Fukushima Prefecture. According to the article, the study revelead that 45% of the children surveyed in the Fukushima prefecture had already suffered thyroid radiation exposure by the time the survey was completed at the end of March. The survey found levels up to an equivalent of a 50 millisieverts per year of thyriod radiation exposure for 1 year olds. To put that in perspective, the US has an annual radiation exposure limit of 4 millisieverts per year in drinking water for adults.
Despite the findings of the survery, Japanese officials are still deceptively attempting to downplay the risks. For example, The Japan Times reports officials as saying the levels detected “in all cases were trace amounts that did not warrant further levels of investigation”. Officials further attempt to downplay the situation by stating “a 100 millisieverts total radiation exposure” will only increase of the “cancer mortality risk by 0.5 percent”.
Unspinning The Spin
Those who have been following the disaster in Japan will quickly point out that the phrasing chosen by the Japanese government officials closely mimics talking points in guidelines issued by the nuclear industry. As, the Guardian reports, those guidelines have been issued to governments as part of a deliberate conspiracy to launch a PR campaign to downplay the Fukushima disaster to protect the nuclear industry. Re ad the rest of the article here....
Three weeks after an earthquake and tsunami severely damaged Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, Lisa Daniels opened an e-mail with test results of river water samples from Southeastern Pennsylvania.
It was just after lunch April 1. Nationwide, officials were testing rain, rivers, milk, and other substances to learn if radioactivity from the stricken plant was present.
They'd seen it after Chernobyl, and now it was showing up nationwide, including in rainwater from a deluge in central Pennsylvania.
Daniels, a water division chief at the state Department of Environmental Protection, wasn't worried. Enough time had passed that the radiation would have decayed or been carried away.
But when she looked at the sample from the Wissahickon Creek near Green Lane, just upstream from a city drinking water intake, she froze.
None of the other river samples in the batch showed iodine-131. But this one did.
By 6 p.m. that day, that drinking water intake would be getting extra treatment, and officials would be embarking on a detective mission that has generated interest nationwide.
Since then, officials have found more iodine-131 in the Wissahickon, and at several sewage treatment plants along the creek.
They've also realized that worrisome levels of iodine-131 had been detected long before the Fukushima accident in several Philadelphia drinking water samples taken as part of an obscure monitoring program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Within that limited data set of 59 locations across the country, Philadelphia's levels were the highest in the previous decade, the Water Department discovered.
So Fukushima couldn't be the cause after all.
The source they now suspect was a surprise. Iodine-131 is used to treat thyroid cancer, and they suspect it's coming from patients excreting excess radioactivity in their urine, which then winds up in rivers, and ultimately in Philadelphia's drinking water intakes.
Iodine-131 is not good for you.
When radioactive iodine gets into the body, it concentrates in the thyroid gland. Low doses can impair the gland's activity, according to the EPA. Long-term exposure to high amounts can cause cancer.
Officials from the Water Department, the EPA, and the DEP emphasize that the levels detected are tiny and don't constitute a public health threat. Philadelphia's drinking water meets standards for radioactivity and remains safe, they say.