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Research Cruise - Fukushima area radiation monitoring in the Pacific Ocean

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posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 02:50 AM
The 'cruise' lasts from June 3 - 17, 2011

This has already started a few days ago and there is a website giving details on participants and giving a daily update blog. The blog, if it continues like the examples on there already, seems to be pretty good.

I think we need to keep a close eye on the progress of this mission and this ship, R/V Ka'imikai-o-Kanaloa belonging to the University of Hawaii.

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 03:07 AM
reply to post by qmantoo

That is amazing. Good on everyone. I need to stay alive for at least five more years so I'm gonna pass on this one.


posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 06:39 AM
reply to post by qmantoo
Anyone remember the three eyed fish named "blinky"?

Let's hope they don't find too many like that.

I read that the nuclear industry got mad at the Simpsons for portraying the dangers of nuclear power in such a manner. Now who's getting angry? The people that follow this story are. But with such little MSM visibility, I wonder if most people even think about it.

Fortunately I already had fish in the freezer on 3/11 and i got some more right after 3/11 that I was sure wouldn't be contaminated. But for now, I've stopped buying Pacific ocean fish until I see the results of some studies like this, so I'll be following these closely to see if and when it's ok to buy Pacific ocean fish again.

They'll be making lots of measurements very close to the disaster. The radiation from the water probably won't affect them on the ship, but I can't say the same about airborne radiation, since Japan doesn't have the tents up yet, those probably won't be completed until the end of the year. They probably are taking somewhat of a risk. I hope they are bringing radiation suits and masks with them. They won't have to wear them constantly, but they'd need them in case they run into some high fallout, which is possible in the areas they will be operating.

posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 08:38 PM
Today is Thursday 9th June 10:30 Japan time and there are no daily updates since the 6th - which is a little strange. I wonder why?

I guess this may be another issue which needs to be kept from the public, but we will see what happens. This does not bode well.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 09:46 PM
Ok, so now we have some blog posts on the Daily Updates page which is good. Posts for the 8th and 9th have appeared.

However, as a preparation to future information releases, we get this...

The signs of radiation that we’re looking for are, we expect, going to be extremely slight. In fact, at the moment we’re receiving a dose of radition that is noticeably lower than the one we were detecting on shore and indoors, and almost certainly far lower than what we experienced on the flight to Tokyo. We’re taking samples of water, air, and biota (mainly the lowest levels of the food chain) to test for a suite of more than a dozen different radionuclides. These natural and man-made radioactive elements include isotopes of potassium, uranium, and thorium that are always present in sea water as well as the telltale fingerprint of releases from Fukushima and Cold War nuclear weapons testing that show up in cesium-134 and -137 and the short-lived isotopes of iodine.

Many of the samples we’re taking will not be analyzed onboard. In fact, the refrain here has been that we will leave the ship with very little data. What we will have instead is a wealth of samples that we are pre-processing and packaging to send to labs all over the world with specific expertise in studying one isotope or another.

It seems that the scientists, with all the equipment on board, wet labs, dry labs, etc will not be analysing anything and they also do not give us any figures for the radiation they are barely mentioning in the blog. Is this another example of how scientists rate the intelligence of the common man and how the actual data is far too advanced science for the public to understand. Perhaps they are afraid we will draw the wrong (or correct) conclusions?

Why dont they realise that we are fighting for our lives here, in this very scary 3-month+ long release of serious radiation from the Fukushima nuclear reactors, and it is still ongoing with no end in sight? We need facts and figures NOW.

posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 01:34 AM
I have put together a map with the positions from the daily update blog. Click on the diagram or the link above it to go to the map page with the positons marked. Underneath the map is the schedule of points mentioned in their website (link above). So far, they have started at the outside and are working their way in towards the coast of Japan.

Six more days to go. I wonder what will happen when they get close-in to shore for the final testing points. I guess it the radiation gets too much they will skip that part and head for port.

posted on Jun, 12 2011 @ 07:36 PM
Scientists diary up to June 12 posted online here. Interesting and informative blog and very well written.

...Instead of working our way toward shore in a series of four-station legs, we are going to cut across the top of the inshore “box” by zigzagging between the top two stations of each leg. That will help get us to the innermost leg quicker and give us a little buffer in case we have more bad weather and have to stop work again.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:55 PM
13 June - All Work, a Little Play

...While the pumps are running, Crystal Breier is on the stern deck filling three large garbage cans with seawater water that she filters slowly (at one liter per minute) to extract radium. Radium is an element that originates on land and has several naturally occurring isotopes, two of which have relatively short half-lives, so any signs of those would indicate that there is groundwater from the nearby coast of Japan mixing into the ocean around us.

Lots of interesting text, but no preliminary radiation figures, I just wonder if Crystal is wise standing so close to a large amount of potentially radioactive water...

(I have changed the Latitude of the 13th June placemarker on the map from 25N -> 35N since 25N is way to the south and an unlikely position)
edit on 13-6-2011 by qmantoo because: add explanation of latitude change.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 10:22 PM
Captain's Daily Vessel Report for the R/V KA'IMIKAI-O-KANALOA KOK-11-08B Fukushima Research Cruise (from the captain of the vessel, not from a scientist)

On the 17th June the research cruise finished and the scientists disembarked the R/V KA'IMIKAI-O-KANALOA. The scientists daily update gives some interesting details yet leaves a lot un-said.

Reading the full thread about the disasters of the Fukushima reactors, I cannot help feeling that there must be more radiation out there than the small amounts they are suggesting. In some of the reactor cooling water there is a vast amount of radiation and a great deal of this has been continuously dumped into the ocean.

If it is not there, where can it have gone?

Re-reading the first paragraph quoted below I have to ask myself
a) "What is their level of concern?"
b) "Where exactly are they measuring that daily dose on the land?"
c) "Why mention radon when there are other far more highly radioactive substances in the air and water, like plutonium for example?"
d) "What is the reading of cesium-134 in the water?"
e) "Why do we need EXACT concentration readings now when time is precious and people are dying from radiation poisoning?"

This delay is killing Japanese people and the playing-down of this serious issue is wasting time that could be well spent in preparation and mitigation by the people of the world.

Quotes from the Daily Updates at the Woods Hole Institute website covering the Fukushima Research Cruise June 3-17th

We are continuing to measure radiation in the air and water, as we have been since we left the dock, but it remains far below the level of concern. In fact, we’re still receiving a background dose of radiation that is one-sixth the average daily dose on land. That’s mainly because we are not surrounded by rocks and concrete buildings—known sources of things like as radon.

We are, however, detecting the presence of cesium-134 in the water, and there is only one likely source of that particular isotope—the damaged reactors at Fukushima just off to starboard.

Determination of the exact concentration will require more precisely calibrated instruments than those we have on the ship (bulky precision equipment does not always take to sea very well). What we can tell for now is that the amount of cesium-134 in our samples is lower than that of potassium-40, the most common naturally occurring radioactive isotope in seawater.

caption under the 16th June image

Jarvis Caffrey from Oregon State University makes his daily assessment of our effective dose on the ship. So far, we’ve received less radiation than we would have on land, primarily due to the lack of such naturally occurring sources as radon out here.

posted on Jun, 20 2011 @ 01:52 AM
"cannot help feeling" vs. actual measurements. I'll favor the measurements.
One point of course is as they say, they don't have high-accuracy instruments on board and many of the samples won't be analyzed until they get them back to the US.
The other is the volume of water involved vs. the entire Pacific Ocean, as well as the dispersive currents. (Kuroshio and Oyashio).
I've always been a bit biased towards facts rather than hysteria.
And it should also be pointed out that they were closely eyeballed by the Japanese Coast Guard when they approached the exclusion zone around Fukushima.
But in the interest of disclosure, I will say I count one of the people on that research vessel among my closest friends. And I live in Japan, although far away from Fukushima. If what my friend tells me is different (worse) than what the mass media are saying, I'll be sure to pass it on (after my family and I have relocated someplace safer to beat the panic).

posted on Jun, 20 2011 @ 07:24 AM
reply to post by 3warped3

I've always been a bit biased towards facts rather than hysteria.
No one can call the figures that are emerging from the Fukushima area "hysteria'. Well, I suppose you can, but even the TEPCO figures are very high so if anyone IS being hysterical, it is them too.

Of course these scientists want to keep their jobs and if it comes to not laying out the full facts and keeping your job, then most people would do what they are doing and quell their consciences. I was only pointing out some of the questions raised in my mind.

Ideally, I would like to see some figures, even if they were preliminary and subject to interpretation. Like all statistics, it is probably open to interpretion depending on different agendas and some groups in this drama must have really strange agendas.

If you are happy with the reports, thats fine - particularly since you have said you live in Japan. I hope you do not leave it too late to leave, thats all.

posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 06:35 AM
From the 18th June daily update we get this

Not bad for two weeks worth of work. But the real work begins after tomorrow, after everyone has gone their separate ways to anxiously wait for their individual shipments of bottles, vials, and bags. Over the coming months 16 labs in seven countries will analyze samples for a laundry list of isotopes that includes cesium-134 and -137; strontium-90; iodine-129; tritium; uranium-236; plutonium-239 and -240; rutherium-103 and -106; radium-223, -224, -228, and -226; and neptunium-237

...and hopefully not too many people will have died or be drastically sick by the time the winter comes around.I bet if it was their family in the firing line, they would pull out a few stops to get this information out sooner.

That is not to say the scientists feel they have the luxury of time in which to carry out their work. There is still a sense of urgency that this work needs to get done as soon as possible. Plans are already underway for submitting results analysis to the appropriate journals (a rough draft showing preliminary data is already circulating around the ship) and for a meeting of collaborating team members later this winter.

posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 08:36 AM
As another independent body, Greenpeace have taken readings off Fukushima.
See here for the data page and map

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 10:47 PM
Hi all,

Looks like this thread has been dormant for awhile but someone told me that I was mentioned on this site. I was on this cruise and would be happy to answer questions for anyone. The maximum concentration of Cs-137 that I found was 3.8 Bq/L (In addition to 3.8 Bq/L of Cs-134). This was in one Eddy current that was pretty close to shore, but still quite a ways from Fukushima Dai'ichi. Most of the readings came in much lower (0.0 - 0.5 Bq/L) until we reached the continental shelf on the West side of the Japan Trench, when readings centered closer to 1 Bq/L. By comparison, the naturally occurring high energy gamma emitter Potassium-40 tends to be around 10 Bq/L in seawater. Prior to Fukushima, Cs-137 was present in seawater at around 0.001 Bq/L thanks to those old nuclear tests.

Daily doses from crew members were actually lower than what we'd receive on land. This surprised me at first, but it makes sense when considering how much radiation we get every day from natural sources (radon, concrete, cosmic, etc.). Most of the dose that I got on this trip was from the plane ride to and from Japan. That said, I brought along potassium iodide just in case of an escalation event but obviously never used it (the probability of serious complications due to an allergy far outweighs the need to use it until a serious incident. On a side note: the fact that we here in the West eat lots of iodized salt means that most people would actually be just fine without it... unless you're ingesting a ridiculous amount of radioiodine of course).

Anyways... I'm a radiation health physicist (undergraduate degree), and am currently pursuing a graduate degree in nuclear engineering. I'm a pragmatist and generally a skeptic to all sides (nuclear industry, Greenpeace, government, my bosses, etc... ). The safety of the public is my number one (and nearly me only) concern, and I'm delving into the nuclear world to make sure that they uphold the standards that they are touting. Feel free to ask anything and I'll do my best to answer!

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