Skip to comments.Fukushima radioactive material “has reached the west coast as of June 2013 by ocean transport”
Posted on 01/11/2014 2:44:11 PM PST by truthfinder9
Jay T. Cullen, Associate Professor of marine chemistry at the University of Victoria, Daily Kos diary, Jan. 4, 2014: [...] Fukushima derived Cs has reached the west coast as of June 2013 by ocean transport but [the] concentrations of Cs continue to be well below levels thought to pose environmental or public health threats. There have been a number of popular press articles that [...] report the timing of the arrival of the radionuclides but offer no perspective on the actual levels and the associated risk to residents of the west coast (e.g. link). [...] About 93% of radioactivity in seawater results from the presence of primordial, naturally occurring potassium-40 (K-40) and rubidium-87 (Rb-87). The remaining 7% are radioactive elements deposited to the ocean from past atmospheric nuclear testing. [...] Fukushima derived Cs was detected all the way to the coast in June 2013 with the highest levels of Cs-137 farthest offshore (0.0009 Bq/L or roughly 0.006% of background radiation) and lower levels of 0.0003 Bq/L toward the coast [...] Ongoing monitoring will constrain the likely environmental and health risks posed by ocean transport of Fukushima derived radionuclides.
Note the professor changed the units to Bq/L for Cs-134 and -137, instead of using Bq/m3 as in the source document (pdf). The above amounts must be multiplied by 1,000 to get Bq/m3.
In addition, the figures provided by the professor appear to be inaccurate:
According to the source document, its Cs-134, not Cs-137, that measured 0.9 Bq/m3 (or 0.0009 Bq/L if you modify the units like the professor). The professor writes that in June 2013 there were lower levels of 0.0003 Bq/L toward the coast This amount is not in the measurements for 2013, the only mention of it was in 2012: Levels of 137Cs equal to 0.3 Bq/m3 measured at Sta. P26 in 2012.
Last month in a Vancouver-area newspaper Prof. Cullen wrote: the natural level of radioactivity on average in the oceans is about 13 Bq/L, against which radioactivity resulting from human activities and disasters should always be discussed. What is the basis of this claim that natural radioactivity levels should always be discussed when radioactivity resulting from human activities is mentioned?
In the ocean (and human body) different radionuclides have different fate and toxicity, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutions senior scientist Ken Buesseler (who mentions his ability to be quoted in media reports downplaying Fukushima-related data).
Also be aware that fish can bio-concentrate cesium-137 at a rate of 100 times the level found in the surrounding water. For seals and sea lions its up to 1,000 times. (Source: IAEA)
This is probably not good.
Hmm..maybe time to consider a move inland from Puget Sound..
“This is probably not good.”
Sure seems like it on FR today.
And I feel fine.
Don’t eat seafood, don’t swim in the ocean. Problem solved. The risk from doing so is very small but not zero. Avoid these activities and the risk returns to the same level it was befor March 2011. People have NO idea how small a Bequerel is....and the amounts being found are measured in fractions of a Bq. If you or anyone you know ever had a perfusion heart scan due to chest pain they received a dose of radioactive technetium.
A typical dose for this procedure is 1,480,000,000 Bequerels.
I’m hoping all the wildly overblown scaremongering will convince people to stop eating fish so I can get it cheaper
Three garbage threads on Fukushima in ten minuets...impressive.
Three Gators in a row!
If a Freeper can’t believe what’s in the Daily Kos what can he believe?
How close is the Seattle stadium to the shore? could radioactivity be affecting Brees’ throwing?
“Three garbage threads on Fukushima in ten minuets...impressive.”
But we had a cold fusion thread which means we are all saved.
So they have established a baseline?
Fukushima has been pouring hundreds of tons of contaminated water into the ocean every day for 3 years now and if the waste has arrived at North America, this is only the leading edge. The concentration must go up from here because of the continuous dumping that has already occurred (continues to migrate from Fukushima to North America) and daily dumping of contaminated water that will continue to occur for many years (duration uknown - there is no known fix for this problem). So it’s too soon to say “it was sufficiently diluted” because so much of what has already been dumped into the ocean has not made it across the Pacific yet. Also, because even small amounts of exposure to radiation increases risk of serious illness by small amounts. I don’t feel celebratory.
LOL. Let me guess, initial small gains of energy showing hope for future use?
I think it’s a record.
Dont eat seafood, dont swim in the ocean. Problem solved.
Since the ocean deposits salt and other minerals on the rocks and shoreline, why wouldn’t contaminates end up on our beaches and being blown with sand inland?
It’s a gator-nado!
Sand does not bind with Cs atoms, neither does NaCl. There will likely be a tiny amount of Cs and other isotopes that do get carried distances by the wind.....just as the dust blown around the country from the Colorado plateau has radiactive elements mixed in.....again in vanishingly small concentrations. Such amounts are measures in fractions of a Bq.....an amazingly small amount. The risk is not zero for people......just VERY VERY close to zero. Normalcy bias.....people are freaking out about the one in a million+ chance they will die from Fukushima and ignore the one in a thousand chance they will die in a car crash. They scream about pbysics they simply cannot comprehend while stuffing their faces and bloating from fat to obese....doubling or even tripling the chances they die THIS YEAR from a heart attack. Worry about the things that are truly dangerous to you....not the theoretical risks.
Daily Cos? Seriously?? You expect to be taken seriously using Daily Kos Diary as a source?
This is an interesting little speech/talk by Michael Crichton on fear and environmentalism. He hits on some of the things you stated.
I don’t understand those who assure us that there is such a limited risk. THis situation has never occurred before, there is no data that indicates that only small amounts of radioactive waste can or will transfer to land? Those who tell us we should have no concerns have no data to back up their assertions.
For example, someone posted recently that sea bird droppings will transfer radioactive waste to land as the birds eat contaminated fish etc. You’ve just read fish concentrate waste 100 times and walruses 1000 times. I haven’t seen research proving that the problem will remain a non-issue largely because this situation is absolutely unprecedented.
And what about the Seahawls, Chargers and 49ers teams playing like they’re mutated supermen?
The only explanation must be Fukishima radioactivity!
It’s only logical...
You and everyone else is surrounded by lots of radioactive atoms of all types.....diluted to very small concentrations. Adding the very tiny amou ts of materials transferred by bizarre and minimal forces such as bird excrement might increase concentrations from say .000001Bq per unit measure to .000002Bq. An increase yes but a one that is essentially irrelevant.
You will recieve more dose in the form of cosmic radiation from a cross country flight than from contaminated bird droppings etc.
Maybe...but my vote would be steroids....have em pee in a cup.
“Sand does not bind with Cs atoms, neither does NaCl. “
What about “stick toether” as opposed to forming atomic bonds? Sea spray contains other minerals that end up land and they don’t have to “bind” (atomic bonds) to salt to have that happen, they simply are blown from water onto the land.
Ya know, I’d like some data, not just assertions that the public just can’t think and is over reacting. I think it’s reasonable for us to want information on an unprecedented situation.
That’s all I’ve heard since Fukushima - that we shouldn’t be concerned about 3 core melt downs. Situation normal. NOT
Normalcy bias? You want 3 core melt-downs dumping hundreds of tons of radioactive waste water into the ocean for years (and years and years to come) to be the new “normal”?
Went there three years. Science departments are strong, along with (more so) the University of British Columbia.
Any worse than the above ground nuke tests of the 1950s and 1960s?
Those hundreds of tons of contaminated water are 99.999% water.
I too would like to see more hard data, more measurements. I suspect thate the area very close to the plant has lots of contamination. But the amount will diminish rapidly with distance. If you go more than a hundred miles the levels drop to where only VERY high end instruments can detect.
Different....the mechanism of testing then allowed materials to be dispersed quickly and efficiently....and cancers in the Southwest did spike. Washing material into the Pacific is a different mechanism resulting in much less opportunity for people to be contaminated.
Did you forget to mention bananas? That’s always popular with those who assume the rest of us have no access to real information.
The “isotopes are natural” argument makes me wonder why the nuke industry insisted for years that they had established containment that simply could not fail, impossible...besides...the domes were designed to resist aircraft hitting them etc.
But then Fukushima quaked, pipes burst, tsunami hit, domes exploded and going forward, containment is lost on 3 reactor cords - they are “somehwere” under the buildings and, if the testing on the local wells is correct, are heavily contaminated and now have sky rocketing Strontium levels and all that ground water flows to the ocean - hundres of tons daily of “coolant” that doesn’t even reach the molten core - all of it washing into the ocean and SUDDENLY the nuke industry wants us all to understand that it never would have mattered if 3 cores melt down because we are surrounded by isotopes diluted. You are equating three molten cores and the changing environmental conditions resulting with 3 failed nuclear reactors pouring radioactive waste into the air and water daily without interruption for the foreseeable future.
You have no idea, obviously, what kind of dose I will resceive as a result of the incompetence of the nuclear power industry but I see that you say I will “receive more dose in the form of cosmic radiation from a cross country flight than from contaminated bird droppings”
Sadly, you seem to have no idea that your statement is a) unsubstantiated by evidence and b) an apples to oranges comparison (study up on the difference between the deposition of isotopes and cosmic rays) and c) offensive because cosmic rays are naturally occurring and the incompetence and lies of the nuclear power industry, while occurring frequently, are not on par with natural unavoidable sources of radiation exposure. Bad decision making and greed resulting in 3 core melt downs and you compare that with cosmic rays.,.... disgusting.
Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean we should take you seriously.
Do you have reading comprehension issues? Daily...hundreds of tons...for years....with isotopes concentrating in the food chain (fish 100%)
You aren’t well informaed on this subject and I don’t have alot of time. Study Chernobyl - contamination didn’t drop to almost nothing requiring VERY high end instruments as you suggest. Study Fukushima - distance didn’t make detection drop off to require VERY high end instruments.
For example, a dairy in Vermont had to dump milk which contained too much Fukushima radiation (exceeded limits) shortly after the explosions. You haven’t read about dispersion of radioactive waste or you wouldn’t be posting as you are. Here’s a map of Japan -there are later ones which show all parts of the island nation (I do mean ALL) had an increase in radiation - the map I’ve linked shows some of it.)
OK. I’ll dispense with civility and say it more bluntly. Those who insist there is no problem, nothing to see here are flat out lying and I wonder why.
I don’t care if you don’t take me seriously. Don’t. Care. I post to clarify because people like you intentionally mislead.
0.006% of background.
That means for every 1 bq of radiation, 0.00006 bq is from Fukishima, or at least they believe it to be.
I’m amazed at the accuracy of our modern equipment.
Excellent frame of reference!
I once worked at a nuclear power plant during a refueling outage. I did one job inside the containment building. My total exposure for the 6 week job was about 1/3 received by an airline flight crew over the course of a year.
Sure, that's an annual rate about 3 times the flight crew, but then again, I didn't do that constantly and for 20 or 30 years.
A bit of perspective always helps. I'd guess the three nuclear medicine stress tests, barium enema and a few upper GI radiological scans far exceed the nuclear power plant.
Do you have a link or chart comparing other routine medical procedures?
Is a "Nuclear Medicine Stress Test" the same as a "perfusion heart scan"?
So friggin' what? That's still laughably insignificant, at 0.3 to 0.9 Bq/m³. The typical banana has a potassium 40 activity of 15 Bq (multiply *that* by a couple of thousand to get the Bq/m³ value!). Better stay out of the kitchen! Oh, since there seems to be some confusion in many comments here, Bq simply means decays/sec (of whatever radioactive isotope).
I've had at least 3 of the heart scans mentioned by "nvscanman" in comment #9. If we round UP the seawater concentration from 0.9/m3 to 1 per cubic meter, you would have to drink a cubic MILE of that seawater to get the same exposure I've had from those three scans.
You will surely die, some day of some cause. There is no possibility that it will be because of contaminated seawater from Fukushima. On the other hand, if you roast and eat a sea lion from the West Coast every day, that may kill you... by obesity, with a slight, "glow-in-the-dark" side effect.
There, fixed that for you.
The total radiation detected on the West Coast was on the order of 5-6 Bq/m3. That means the natural background radiation due to Cs-137 is larger than the amount added by the reactor leak. The EPA standard (way lower than even most scientists would say was a safe dosage) for cesium-137 in drinking water is 3700 Bq/m3. That's for continuous use as drinking water. So you either have no clue what you are talking about, or you are lying for some agenda. Which is it?
And your proof of that is?
Sheesh. You're just like the idiots who blew hard over the bioconcentration of pesticides farce.
I post to clarify because people like you intentionally mislead.
I haven't misled anyone on this thread because I am not stupid enough to have posted a strident opinion on it. If you are admittedly unsure of the magnitude of relative risk, when it has been shown to be small compared to others that are known and significant, then STFU until you are more certain.
And no, I'm not involved in any industry in any way affected by nuclear power.
Pelosi and Reed have the daily cos written across their foreheads................
Thank you for sharing that.
Thanks for that map; it really puts things in perspective.
I am free to ignore your vulgar demands that I not post information you don’t like.
I am insisting that we have no proof that it is as harmless as some claim. you implied that I am insisting it’s a Big problem. that’s just your distortion. I can’t view map on my cell right now but I am guessing it’s just more of your distortion.
Even if you posit that only 1/10,000 of the Pacific is affected, this leads to Fukushima contaminated water making up 0.028%of the total volume.
The original Daily Kos article was actually quite informative. Cs-134 is not much of a worry as its half-life is ~2 years, which means that about 75% has decayed to non-radioactive barium in the subsequent 3 years. Cs-137 is a bigger worry as it has a half-life of about 30 years.
Combine this with the average 14Bq/L as background radiation (due to naturally occurring radiation as well as hundreds of nuclear bomb tests conducted by the US and France in the south Pacific), the Daily Kos author's conclusions seem pretty reasonable.
My personal opinion is that you are putting your life more at risk by eating garlic imported from China than by eating any fish you get from the ocean.
Interesting graphic. I wonder if they were the same 5 years earlier. Do the Baltic and Black sea levels reflect just Chernobyl, or do they reflect problems further back in the USSR as well. The evil empire was a huge toxic waste dump. As for those Irish sea levels, after a few pints I trust you can find a few to blame Cromwell.