Scientists Track Fukushima Radiation off Pacific Coast

Scientists who are studying the impacts of a nuclear power plant accident in Japan have discovered radiation is spreading to more sites off the Pacific Coast of the United States.

But the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute reported Thursday that even a sample with the highest-documented radiation level to date is still far below a threshold that should cause alarm.

The institute has been tracking the spread of radiation from the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima power plant, in which an earthquake set off a tsunami that struck the plant and caused three meltdowns. That event released some radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean.

Ken Bruessler, the director of the institute’s Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity, is part of a research team that’s monitoring the ocean for traces of that radioactive material. Over the past four years, they’ve observed small amounts of material, cesium-134, off the coast of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California.

The team recently found its most contaminated sample to date — 11 becquerals per cubic meter of ocean water, according to a news release. A becqueral is a unit used to measure radioactivity, and this sample was 50 percent higher than any other that’s ever been found off the West Coast.

Even at its highest figure yet, scientists say the sample is still more than 500 times lower than government standards for safe drinking water. It’s also OK for recreational activities like swimming, and Bruessler said in the news release that it’s also below safety limits for sea life.

Contamination levels are higher near Fukushima.

While Bruessler said in the news release that contamination levels near Japan “are thousands of times lower” than they were following the 2011 accident, recent samples collected there contain 10 to 100 times more radioactive material than those collected off the Pacific Coast. He said that indicates that the plant is still releasing radioactive material, though how much remains unclear.

The scientists also note that virtually any sample of Pacific Ocean water will have some level of radioactive material, as atomic weapons testing was performed there in parts of three decades.

Scientists say they know the contamination they’re measuring is from Fukushima and not left over from atomic bomb detonations because the specific type of radioactive material is different.

First Decontaminated Water from Fukushima Released into Ocean

The first batches of water that have reportedly been decontaminated after being flooded with radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has been released into the Pacific Ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the owner and operator of Fukushima, said they released 850 tons of formerly radioactive water extracted from the ground near the plant into the ocean.  TEPCO says the filtering process used makes the water safe for the environment and aquatic life.

The release was part of a plan to ease the buildup of toxic water at the complex.  Around 300 tons of untainted groundwater is flowing daily into the complex and mixing with the radioactive water within the reactors.

The release comes after years of fishermen fighting the power company fearing that the water is still too dangerous and would harm their livelihood.

However, one member of a committee designed to make sure there is no repeat of the meltdown, says that real danger is contaminated water that is still being stored on the site.

“The risk that you run is that you have all these tanks full of water,” Dale Klein told AFP in an interview.  “The longer you store the water, the more likely you are going to have (an) uncontrolled release.”

At least 680,000 tons of highly radioactive water is still being stored on the site of the plant.

Fukushima Radiation To Reach West Coast in April

Scientists say that forecast models predict the first waves of low-level radiation from the 2011 Japan Tsunami and nuclear meltdown will begin to hit the U.S. West Coast during April.

Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, presented a report to the issue last week saying that more monitoring is necessary now that radiation is starting to appear.

No federal agency is monitoring the Pacific Ocean for radiation levels.

“I’m not trying to be alarmist,” Buesseler said, “we can make predictions, we can do models, but unless you have results how will be know it’s safe.”

A report last week showed that Cesium 134 has been detected in the waters off Canada near the Gulf of Alaska.  Buesseler said that Cesium 134 is part of the release from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

“The models show it will reach north of Seattle first, then move down the coast,” Buesseler said.

Navy Troops Near Fukushima Showing Health Problems

Naval troops who rushed to Japan to help following the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant are now reporting multiple health issues including losing the ability to walk.

Lt. Steve Simmons, a first responder who served on the USS Ronald Reagan, was among the first troops to arrive as part of Operation Tomodachi.  The ship rushed into the disaster zone but was not told they were in the middle of a massive radiation plume released from the meltdown of the plant.

Simmons returned from his deployment and began to experience deterioration of his health.  Seven months after returning home, he was no longer able to walk.

Simmons and over 100 other soldiers are now suing Tokyo Electric Power Company, who operate the plant, saying they never told their government nor the U.S. government of the massive radiation release into the ocean and that rescue ships were sitting in the middle of it.

Congressional officials are now getting involved, asking the Department of Defense about the medical conditions of troops aboard the Ronald Reagan and what the DoD is doing to help them.

California Beach Radiation Proven Unrelated To Fukushima

Observers were more than a little surprised when soil testing showed a California beach that recorded radiation levels as much as 14 times the baseline level were not showing that higher total because of radioactive water from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant meltdown.

Initial concerns were that radioactive water from the 2011 meltdown had finally made its way to California shores.  However, testing showed that the soil did not contain any Cesium-137 found in the Fukushima release.

Testing showed the material was naturally radioactive radium and thorium.

The cause of the radioactivity has not yet been identified and officials say even though the radiation is not coming from the Fukushima disaster it does not mean it’s safe to be on that beach.

Local experts say it’s possible that a thorium vein could be coming out of nearby coastal bluffs.  Reports also found an oil pipeline once ran near the site and those pipes have a tendency to collect heavy radioactive minerals.

Further testing is being done to find the radiation source.

Japan radiation poisoning America?

Like a slow-motion train wreck, the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster is still causing damage long after the world’s media has left the news story behind.

Reports are coming in that the North American food supply is already being affected by Fukushima.

Bluefin tuna caught off the San Diego coast is showing evidence of radioactive contamination. This is the first time that a migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity 3,000 miles from Fukushima to the U.S. Pacific coast. It is a nutrition source that accounts for approximately 20,000 tons of the world’s food supply each year.

According to the report published by the National Academy of Sciences, “We report unequivocal evidence that Pacific Bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis, transported Fukushima-derived radionuclides across the entire North Pacific Ocean.”

Source: WND Health – Japan radiation poisoning America?

American Troops Helping After Japan Tsunami Cancer Stricken

Soldiers from the USS Ronald Reagan quickly jumped in to help the victims of the 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan.

The troops were simply fulfilling their long held mission of helping the poor and unfortunate throughout the world.

Now, months later, some of the troops involved in the rescue are finding themselves being diagnosed with cancers that could be connected to radiation exposure. At least 51 Navy sailors have been found to have diseases likely connected to radiation.

Two soldiers are speaking out about the situation.

Quartermaster Maurice Enis said that a few months after their deployment to the coastline a few miles from the stricken Fukushima Nuclear Plant, he found strange lumps on his body. He was diagnosed with radiation poisoning and told his illness would get worse. His fiancée, Jamie Plym, said she suffered gynecological symptoms and hemorrhaging so bad she needed to be hospitalized.

The soldiers are now suing Tokyo Electric Power Company claiming the company did not warn the Navy that the tsunami caused a nuclear meltdown and sent huge amounts of contaminated water into the sea. The troops ended up within two miles of the plant while the company ordered an evacuation of towns as far as 12 miles from the plant for safety reasons.

The soldiers say they don’t blame the Navy which acted in good faith.

Typhoons Spread Nuclear Fallout

Typhoons that strike Japan each year help spread nuclear fallout from the 2011 Fukuskima Nuclear Plant disaster according to a new research study.

Contaminated soil is washed away by high winds and rain and then placed in streams and rivers according to the French Climate and Environmental Science labrator and Japan’s Tsukuba University.

The accident sent radioactive particles into the atmosphere that normally cling to soil.  The storms then loosen radioactive cesium-134 and cesium-137 from surrounding area into rivers and then into the Pacific Ocean.

Researchers say the mild typhoons of 2012 brought moderate levels of radiation into rivers but the violence storms of 2013 showed a significant increase in radioactivity in rivers.

They said people who use rivers to bathe or coastal fishermen are at risk from the radiation.

Fukushima Nuclear Accident A “Warning To The World”

The head of the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant is warning that the 2011 meltdown should be a warning to the world to prepare for the worst.

Naomi Hirose, president of Tokyo Electric Power Company, said the triple meltdown following the earthquake and tsunami should be taken into account when countries build new nuclear power facilities.

“Try to examine all the possibilities, no matter how small they are, and don’t think any single counter-measure is foolproof,” Hirose told London’s Guardian newspaper. “Think about all different kinds of small counter-measures, not just one big solution. There’s not one single answer.”

The interview came as the British government just signed a deal with EDF Energy to build a new generation of nuclear reactors in the country.

Rescuers Looking For Survivors Of Typhoon Wipha

Rescuers in Japan have been working around the clock to find survivors of Typhoon Wipha, which has killed at least 18 people according to official reports.

The typhoon triggered landslides and storms Wednesday that left almost 40 people missing on Izu Oshima island, south of Tokyo. The typhoon closed schools and shut down airports in the capital city.

Rescuers were teaming with police officers to dig through piles of mud, collapsed houses and other debris looking for survivors or bodies.

“I’d like to offer an apology because some people could have been saved if the town had issued an evacuation advisory or order,” the mayor of the island, Masafumi Kawashima, said according to the BBC.

The heavily damaged Fukushima nuclear plant reported increased radiation levels because of damage from the typhoon. Contaminated soil flowed into a ditch leading to the sea and one the tanks storing radioactive ground water overflowed.