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Fukushima FAQ: 5 things you should know about water from the disaster

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posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 02:49 PM
I did a quick search and didn't see a post like this. I apologize if there already is one up and I missed seeing it.

Fukushima FAQ: 5 things you should know about water from the disaster

Right now Fukushima is trending because it's now three years later. I decided to see what people were talking about in regards to the tragedy.
I found this article and I've seen an article that was similar, it was done by The Province one of B.C's newspapers.

I've read lots on ATS and it's hard to separate the fear from the facts for me because I don't know much about how different chemicals react in water, how they would travel and so forth. So my question to the people on ATS, is this article correct or is it just something fabricated to try and sooth people's fears?

It's been three years since an earthquake and resulting tsunami caused a partial meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. The first traces of sea water contaminated by that disaster are expected to reach California sometime this year.
There are lots of questions about how ocean water from Fukushima will affect California. Here are some answers.

When will water from Fukushima reach Southern California?

Researchers have already found small amounts of cesium-134 and 137 off the coast of British Columbia in Canada. Those isotopes have been linked to the Fukushima partial meltdown. The cesium was likely carried by the trans-Pacific Kuroshio Current. The coastal California Current is expected to transport that water south all the way to the Baja peninsula.

Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, says there are three models predicting how this water will travel. The earliest prediction has it arriving around April; the latest prediction has it coming in the second half of the year.

Will the water be hazardous when it gets here?
Not likely, says Phyllis Grifman with USC's Sea Grant Program.
She and other researchers studying ocean radiation say by the time any nuclear material from Fukushima reaches California, it will be so diluted that it will not pose a health risk to humans.

However, to make sure there is no threat, Sea Grant helped fund Kelp Watch, a West Coast-wide survey to measure cesium levels in kelp. Researchers have already collected an initial sampling of kelp and will test it for nuclear material.

They will take additional samples later in the year to note any changes in cesium levels.

Grifman says if cesium levels turn out to be higher than expected, it could impact the marine eco-system since many animals depend on kelp. If that's the case, researcher will conduct further tests to assess the situation.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has a similar project to monitor seawater. They have a website where members of the public can suggest sites for testing and learn more about how nuclear material affects our ocean.

What about people detecting radiation on beaches with geiger counters?

There was a video from December in which a man in Northern California detects increased radiation levels using a geiger counter on the beach.

It has hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, but Ken Buesseler explains the radiation most likely comes from "thorium-bearing minerals that are common and often elevated in some beach sands."

He says there is a lot of harmless naturally occurring radiation in the environment.

A study from UC Berkeley shows that scientists have been aware of the natural radiation at beaches since at least 1959.

Is it safe to eat fish from the Pacific Ocean?

Fisheries around Fukushima remain closed due to high cesium levels in some fish, especially bottom dwellers. This has been difficult for that part of the Japanese seafood industry.

Many of the affected fish are smaller varieties and do not travel far from Japan.

However, larger fish like the Pacific bluefin tuna can travel long distances and might pick up cesium from feeding grounds off the coast of Japan.

While some of these tuna may show traces of cesium, it has been observed to be lower than levels of other naturally occurring radioisotopes in those fish and it's considered far below the levels that would worry the FDA.

There have been peer-reviewed studies backing this up, and as Kim Martini of the University of Washington explained in a report on "PRI's The World," a person would have to eat 2.5 tons of tuna a year to get a harmful dose.

“I really love tuna, but I don’t love it that much,” Martini said.

How long will the radiation last in our ocean?

A long time.

The half-life of cesium-134 is around 2 years, while the half-life of cesium-137 is about 30 years. That means it could linger for decades or even centuries, according to Ken Buesseler.

Remnants of nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s and '70s are still detectable around the world.

Around 400 metric tons of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant continues to enter the ocean every day. Tepco, the company responsible for the plant, is working on solutions to this problem but there doesn't seem to be an easy fix.

As noted above, most researchers do not think this poses an immediate threat to people outside the area around the plant. However, this event is unprecedented and that's why scientists will continue to monitor the situation to see if there are any changes in the risk to human health and the environment.

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 06:48 PM
The majority of the folks shouting "doom!" from the rooftops always neglect one simple fact: the Pacific will dilute anything released to nano levels... even dumping MILLIONS of gallons of wastewater from Fukishima is barely a drop in the Pacific's estimated 714 million cubic kilometers of water volume...

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 07:14 PM
It is difficult to believe the words coming from a government funded source. Time and time again we have seen 'experts' alter what they say due to pressure from the government. I also read 2 other articles that stated experts have already found levels of cesium (can't recall the #) that surpassed gov't recommended levels in Canada. Our family has always eaten mostly seafood, some chicken, and very little red meat. We have now cut out all seafood, and eat only organic chicken and red meat. Better safe than sorry.

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 07:56 PM
reply to post by madmac5150

I think it's more like increasing your odds of not getting a radioactive particle rather than diluting it cause if you do get that one particle it doesn't matter how much water it was in you still get irradiated all the same.

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 08:02 PM
Scientists are reporting that you'd have to eat 20 Kg of fish a DAY to be contaminated with the same level of radiation that you'd get from smoking a pack of cigarettes.

I wonder how many smokers on here have said that they're refusing to eat seafood because of Japanese radiation?

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 08:10 PM
reply to post by babybunnies

I think that depends on which fish you ate. There are many plants that draw radiation from the ground. Sounds like you now know why smoking causes cancer. Tobacco does a very good job taking radioactive particles from the ground.

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 09:01 PM

The majority of the folks shouting "doom!" from the rooftops always neglect one simple fact: the Pacific will dilute anything released to nano levels... even dumping MILLIONS of gallons of wastewater from Fukishima is barely a drop in the Pacific's estimated 714 million cubic kilometers of water volume...

Radiation doesn't 'dilute' - it gets dispersed. One of the things all these readings neglect is detecting plutonium and lead that were also part of the numerous man made goodies released from Fukushima - they only talk about detecting Cesium. What's the safe level of plutonium? My understanding is 'zero', that it only takes one partical to be lethal.

It's a risk - it depends on what the fish ate that the fish ate that the fish ate that ends up on your plate. Having an accident is one thing, having an ongoing 24/7/365 out pouring into the ocean for several decades (I've heard them say 40 years before they can stop it?) is quite another. It's a total crap shoot if the fish you eat has particles of plutonium, etc. or not. It's criminal and nasty and totally unnecessary.

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 09:22 PM
3 years on and Fukushima is no better today than it was 3 years ago...

around 109,500,000 gallons of radioactive water into the ocean and will continue for decades.

No good news comes from Fukushima..... only varying degrees of bad news and worse news.

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 11:30 PM
reply to post by wishes

My understanding is 'zero', that it only takes one partical to be lethal.
That would depend on the size of the particle.

Plotunium is highly radioactive (as well as being just plain toxic) and inhaling it is very dangerous but the claim that a single inhaled particle can be lethal just doesn't hold up.

One easily understood aspect of these criticisms is that there were about 25 workers at Los Alamos who inhaled varying amounts of Pu about 30 years ago, and according to the "hot-particle" theory each should have experienced about 200 lung cancers, whereas there have been no lung cancers as yet among them.

Oral ingestion of plutonium is less dangerous than inhalation. If you consume a gram you would probably get cancer. Your chances of eating a gram are not very great. Very little, if any, plutonium has been found in the waters around Fukushima. None in any fish.

The conclusions on Pu toxicity are that we may expect one cancer for each 200 [mu]g of reactor-Pu (2.5 g/Ci) inhaled or for each 1.0 g ingested.

Radioactive materials are indeed diluted in water, their concentration declines the more they are dispersed. At the extremely low concentration that Fukushima contamination will reach the west coast there is little cause for concern.

Bioaccumulation of cesium only occurs when the level of influx exceeds the level of efflux. Cesium leaves the bodies of fish quite quickly so as soon as they leave a contaminated area the levels rapidly decline. There is no chance of bioaccumulation in fish in the eastern Pacific. The fish around Fukushima will not be safe to eat for a very long time, that's why the fishing industry in the region is dead. That's why no one is eating fish from that area. But fish that leave the area lose dangerous levels of contamination. That's why fish from elsewhere in the Pacific are safe to eat, even if they did migrate from Fukushima.

edit on 3/12/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 01:06 PM
reply to post by Phage

"Bioaccumulation of cesium only occurs when the level of influx exceeds the level of efflux." You made that up.
let us pretend you didn't, the fact remains there is a growing volume of radioactive waste.

Also tell me, how can water be contaminated but everything in the water remain quarantined?

I doubt your intentions are benevolent.

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