When it comes to the truth about radiation and health effects, there are no experts who are honest - not in government, not in science, not anywhere. Yet, people would rather listen to liars than challenge their assumptions about the sources of the so-called truth and disregard the purveyors of actual truth on this topic: the non-creditialed self-taught. - Andrew Kishner, May 18, 2013
You are reading from a free online e-book titled 'Deception, Cover-up and Murder in the Nuclear Age.' The book discusses the Trinity test, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hydrogen bomb testing fallout, U.S. experiments done on Marshall Islanders (Project 4.1), the Irene Allen trial, Cosmos 954, the Fukushima meltdowns, Three Mile Island updates, and so much more. Visit the Table of Contents to find this free content.
Footnotes are located at the end of each chapter - press the (right facing) 'PAGE' button icon until you reach the footnotes page, or locate it via the table of contents
|6 of 6||
|Chapter 12 -Fukushima Daiichi|
Our Daily Posts (and thus a chronology) Early-on About Fukushima -
April 3 - Canadian authorities refuse to test the milk in B.C.
April 7 - Blog findings of Dr. Genn Saji, the former Secretariat of Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission
1 A Sr-90 source term of about 4.6 million curies is equivalent to that produced by a 46-megaton nuclear bomb.
2 The low-end estimate of strontium-90 released into the atmosphere from open-air nuclear testing during the Cold War was 19 million curies - more
3 Chernobyl's source term was about 216 million curies of strontium-90, or roughly 8 x 1018 becquerels of strontium-90; more here; Chernobyl's Unit 4 reactor had a generating power of 3,200 megawatts, whereas Fukushima Daiichi's Unit 1 had 1,380 MWt, and 2 and 3 each had 2,381 MWt. In Dr. Saji's analysis, units 1-4 are referred to as units 2-5, and, to add to the confusion, unit 4 (his unit 5) had zero fuel rods in the core. So, the worst case source term mentioned for Sr-90 is really for units 1-3 blowing up their full contents.
April 7 -
April 14 - Some U.S. Milk at Contamination Levels Several Times (Not Thousands of Times) Lower Than One of the Worst Months of Cold War Fallout
April 14 - On April 13, Jiji Press service noted in their article 'Radioactive Strontium Detected for 1st Time in Japan N-Crisis' the following:
"The ministry announced Tuesday that strontium-89 and strontium-90 were found in its analyses of soil samples collected during the two days from March 16 from two locations in Namie of Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is located, and one place in Iitate in the same prefecture.
Maximum detected strontium-89 in Namie or Iitate's soil in March 2011: 260 becquerels/kilogram = 7.02 picocuries of Sr89 per gram of soil
Maximum detected strontium-90 in Namie or Iitate's soil in March 2011: 32 becquerels/kilogram = 0.8 picocuries of Sr90 per gram of soil
The maximum strontium-90 soil value (cited in the article) for Fukushima Prefecture is nearly three times higher than the maximum strontium-90 soil value at a location on the Nevada Test Site (now N2S2) picked for a non-nuclear blast in 2006 dubbed 'Divine Strake' - the large explosive bunker-buster simulation test was cancelled in 2007 because of widespread citizen concerns over the likelihood of lofted radioactive dust.
The highest value for strontium-90 in 26 soil samples at Divine Strake's ground-zero that were tested by the U.S. Energy Department - whose predecessor contaminated the test site via 1950s weapons tests on nearby Yucca Flat- was 0.309 picoCuries per gram. [Draft December 2006 Revised Environmental Assessment, Large Scale, Open-Air Explosive Detonation DIVINE STRAKE at the Nevada Test Site, Table 3-4]
If the radioactive soils that Divine Strake would have ejected into the atmosphere would have posed such a great health risk to the citizens of the American West, then Fukushima Prefecture, whose soils may contain up to three times the strontium-90 levels at the site of 'Divine Strake,' must remain permanently off-limits for habitation and agriculture. It must remain a national sacrifice zone.
The levels of strontium-90 in neighboring prefectures' soil, tap water and grown foods must be expediently determined and conveyed to the public.
The maximum strontium-90 vegetation value (cited in the article) for Fukushima Prefecture was 5.9 Bq/kg (or 159.3 pCi/kg), however this is a value for a non-edible plant. Why has Japan's government taken measurements of non-edible plants when there is an abundance in Fukushima Prefecture of thousands of tons of edible plants growing on the ground?
Japan Finds Radioactivity in More Foods From California: The California Radiation Report
California is the fruit and vegetable basket of the United States and the world. To have this agricultural 'wonder of the world' ruined by radioactive contamination would be a genuine tragedy.
In mid-March of 2011, the reactor meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi released extremely radioactive plumes that, by the time they reached the U.S. West Coast, had become significantly diluted. Among the earliest data made available in California from the EPA was a measurement of 0.068 picoCuries of iodine-131 that was present in a cubic meter of air in San Francisco on March 18, which was some twenty times less radioactive than air captured at the same time at Dutch Harbor, Alaska. It seemed that despite what weather forecasters were predicting - that the plumes crossing the Pacific towards the continental U.S. were going to impact California first - the radioactive clouds were diluted enough such that if dry conditions prevailed and there wasn't a 'rainout' (a process that can result in thousands or millions of times more 'deposition' from plumes than experienced during dry, ordinary conditions) the state could emerge largely unaffected. But Fukushima, not your ordinary reactor accident, occurred during the 21st century, which does not have 'normal' weather. In this day and age of 'climate change,' when it is dry, it's really dry, and when it rains, it pours.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center's 'State of the Climate Global Hazards' report for March 2011 recalled that '...a series of strong storms slammed into the California coast between March 18th and 26th, bringing heavy rain and snow to most of the state. Rainfall amounts of up to 10 inches (254mm) were reported in the San Fernando and San Joaquin Valleys.' These storms affecting metro areas of Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley) and the southern main portion of the 450-mile long Central Valley (San Joaquin Valley) coincided with the arrival of the most concentrated plumes from Fukushima, which infiltrated California's air during the third and fourth weeks of March - lesser contaminated plumes still saturated California's air in April.
The levels of radioactivity deposited by rains in late March varied greatly across the state, even in local areas. The EPA measured 138 picocuries per liter of iodine-131 in rain that fell at Richmond (San Francisco) on March 22. Nearby, at the University of California - Berkeley, a scientific group called the Berkeley Radiological Air and Water Monitoring (BRAWM) team tested rainwater on March 23 and found a staggering 536 picocuries per liter of iodine-131 and about 12 picocuries per liter each of cesium-134 and -137. Considering that normally there are virtually no detectable amounts of these substances in rainwater and the iodine-131 in the one-liter BRAWM rainwater sample would deliver a 1 millirem (10 microsievert) dose to the adult thyroid gland (or four times the daily natural background exposure to our body) or a dose seven times greater to the infant thyroid, these aren't measurements one can easily ignore.1 Furthermore, the possibility that 'rainouts' severely doused California in short and long-lived radioactive particulates from Fukushima can't be ruled out.
The notion that crucially important agricultural areas in California's Central Valley (located mostly south, but also northeast and east, of San Francisco) suffered a 'rainout' hasn't received any serious attention. This is the direct result of the fact there was no information on radiation levels in the Central Valley that could raise citizens' suspicion on the issue. Environmental monitoring for radiation in the state following Fukushima was extremely poor - the EPA, FDA and the State of California all failed to test non-dairy foodstuffs grown in the state in 2011 and only arrayed monitoring equipment along the coast, not in the prime growing areas. Also, scientific studies in the state danced around the topic. In late March 2012, two Cal State-Long Beach researchers published a study documenting their findings that giant kelp they collected along California bays, beaches, and coves in April and May of 2011 had accumulated thousands or tens of thousands of picocuries per kilogram of iodine-131 in the weeks after the meltdowns. Another study released a few months later discussed abnormal radioactive sulfur gas levels detected in La Jolla, Calif., traced to Fukushima.
Although one can surmise that the kelp - via 'biomagnification' - became contaminated because iodine-tainted rainwater washing across the state accumulated in coastal areas, this isn't exactly surprising or new information considering BRAWM has established that rainfall (falling on land) was already quite radioactive. (It has been hard, however, to 'consider' BRAWM's data. The group produced 'final data' values in mid-2011 on not just rainwater but also milk and a variety of wild and cultivated foods. Yet the group was continually revising and re-revising 'final data' in mid-2011 after making adjustments to methodologies and formulas that were new to them. It's still not convincing today that datasets posted online by BRAWM, which idiotically calculates radiation exposures in units of airplane flights, have any validity.)
Looking for evidence of the formation of 'hotspots' in places like California's Central Valley from the state's radiation monitoring agency, which accumulated the most data on radiation in the aftermath of Fukushima, is a head-scratching ordeal. California's Department of Public Health (CDPH) put out data throughout 2011 on environmental levels of the artificial radioactive chemicals emitted by Fukushima for a smattering of stations (8-9 of them) throughout the massive state of California - the CDPH, however, only tested milk and air. More vexing, although the state had three milk testing locations, the CDPH only regularly tested milk produced at the 'Cal Poly Dairy Farm,' near San Luis Obispo (located north of Santa Barbara). (Milk, or cheese, from the other two 'stations' were apparently tested once in May and again in August.) At the 'main' dairy farm, the first milk sample was taken on March 28 and measured 3.33 picocuries (pCi) per liter of iodine-131. The levels in milk fluctuated from zero to the single digits throughout the springtime but the real range cannot be known because the state started collecting milk on March 28 and then suddenly stopped during one critical week. An early April state report that documented levels of iodine-131 in air noted the following 'No milk results for March 30-April 4, 2011.'
Milk testing resumed in early April but only iodine-131 and sometimes potassium-40 were tested. The state, without any rhyme or reason, then began testing for cesiums - in addition to iodine-131 - in milk in mid-May, which is a curiously late 'start date'. On May 5, 2011, milk from the Cal Poly Dairy Farm contained 4.14, 4.55 and 5.11 pCi/Liter of iodine-131, cesium-134 and -137, respectively. The EPA, even though it conducted less rigorous monitoring than the state, did test earlier for cesiums. On April 14, the EPA found 5.9 picocuries per liter of iodine-131 and quantities of 8.9 and 7.9 picocuries per liter of cesium-134 and cesium-137, respectively, in rainwater in Richmond.
That basically sums up the whole story of the monitoring of air, rainwater and milk in a state roughly the size of Japan in the immediate aftermath of Fukushima. U.S. federal and state agencies would have us believe that the extent of monitoring was adequate and that their 'isotopic analysis' of samples collected from a handful of EPA and CDPH air and rainwater monitoring stations - and a handful of liters of milk - would have positively indicated whether or not potent clouds of radionuclides crossed into California in March or April of 2011. But this belief that low-density arrays of monitoring stations can 'track' radioactive debris is utterly ridiculous. Nearly every day we hear about discoveries of new hotspots in Japan that were caused by the plumes emitted by the overheating reactors at Fukushima that Japan's government - which had monitoring in place in multiple prefectures - failed to predict.
Consider the cloud trajectory from 'Schooner,' a 'cratering' nuclear test conducted in 1968 at the Nevada Test Site. The near-surface nuclear test formed a ground-level type of radioactive plume that displayed the peculiar ability to not dilute despite traversing mountains and time zones. Decades after the experiment, the U.S. National Cancer Institute wrote in a report about iodine-131 fallout: "It seems remarkable that a radioactive debris cloud, generated at ground level (about 1.7 km msl) on the Nevada Test Site, would ascend rather quickly to an elevation of 4.4 km msl and remain coherent for two days at that elevation while crossing the length of the United States. Even more remarkable, was the cloud's remaining coherent while crossing the mountains of Nevada, Utah and Colorado."2 If a 'Schooner' type of cloud-mass crossed into the West Coast landmass, it would most certainly evade all ground level monitoring networks because of its mid-troposphere elevation. If the airmass met a thunderstorm inland where no monitoring was in place, a hotspot would be formed. Even if the cloud traveled at ground-level, the gaps in monitoring by CDPH and EPA were sometimes over one hundred miles wide - big enough to let a toxic plume 'through.'
The Long-Winded Fallout-Generated Hotspot Phenomenon
People who have studied nuclear history are familiar with long-winded nuclear disasters. These are events during which airborne radioactivity was released over weeks and months which repeatedly deposited debris over the same areas downwind. One notable event of this type occurred during the 'summer of 1962,' which to downwinders of the American Southwest refers to the time when wind patterns carried much of the fallout to Northern Utah that was generated by about a half-dozen open-air nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site.
The worst part of the summer of 1962 was during one half of the month of July, when fallout clouds from Nevada continually doused Northern Utah - the greater Salt Lake City area - with radioactive debris. The combined effects of sustained increases in iodine-131 deposited by contaminated air and via precipitation events during the month of July increased concentrations of iodine-131 in milk to levels that prompted state government action to divert milk supplies and pressure farmers to put animals on stored feed. Utah public health officials saw milk contamination levels rise higher than they ever saw before. (Interestingly, the removal of tainted Utah milk from shelves in '62 by state officials was at an 'intervention' level about 1/2 of what the U.S. FDA today would regard as a 'level of concern' - or 4,700 picocuries per liter of iodine-131.)
Utah milk in July 1962 reached an iodine-131 concentration that would, using dose 'codes' published in NRC Regulatory Guide 1.109, deliver a 28 millirem (280 microsievert) thyroid dose to an infant.
Northern Utah had been 'hit' by dozens of plumes from the nearly 100 open-air nuclear tests in Nevada carried out since as early as 1951, so what happened in 1962 that caused so much fallout to be dumped there? It was a combination of factors - mainly, it was the result of unlucky wind patterns and days and days of rainouts. Scientists from the U.S. Public Health Service - the forerunner to the EPA - attempted to explain the odd phenomenon in a December 1962 government article subsection titled the 'Comparison of Air and Precipitation Data with Iodine-131 in Milk.' Their discussion focused on 'phases' of 'dry' and 'wet' deposition over northern Utah in July 1962 as fallout from 5 nuclear tests conducted upwind over a 12-day period beginning on July 6th affected this populous region of the West.
The PHS noted that the 'gross beta peak' on July 8, and 'some small dry fallout onto pasture grass' or 'localized rains' or 'inhalation of airborne iodine-131' might have explained the very minor rise in I131 in milk for the period July 7-10. The 'more complex' second phase for July 18-19 'might have been due to the widespread rains...on July 12 and 13' and/or 'more scattered rains on July 14, 15, and 16 or by dry fallout...on July 16 and 17.' The third phase, July 20-26, which PHS found 'difficult to ascribe wholly to any one causative factor,' might have been related to 'trace rains...on July 15-18' and/or activity from 'earlier rains of July 12, 13 and from dry fallout from...July 16, 17.' On or around July 26, the 'decline of iodine-131' in milk was believed due to rains which were 'relatively free of fresh fission product activity.' [p.510, Radiological Health Data, PHS, December 1962].
The conclusion one can make from this PHS 'case study' is that the relationship - the 'tri-causalities' - between air, precipitation and milk for iodine-131 is extremely complex and not fully understood. The PHS's report, however, neglected to point out that 'scavenging' by daily light rains and heavy rains during the latter part of the July 22-July 31 time period removed 'old' fission products in the air which sustained iodine-131 levels in milk at over 500 picocuries per liter for days and weeks (the last 'fresh' radioactive cloud passed through the area on July 17th).
Those with a sharp eye will have already noticed the right side of the chart's Y-Axis that denotes 'age' - this is the age of fission products in the air. Air containing slight amounts of iodine-131 that had actually traveled around the globe and, despite its short half-life, was still radioactive after 50 to 100 days was coming down via rain and boosting up the contamination levels in milk in the Salt Lake City area!
So, let's recap. What we know is that in late July 1962 a week's worth of continuous rains sucked the iodine-131 out of the weak plumes that crossed the oceans and was responsible for sustained levels of iodine-131 contamination in milk. Recall that in late March 2011 California's air also contained slightly elevated levels of iodine-131, also of non-U.S. origin, that was scavenged day after day after day by rains. The data from two CDPH 'South Central Coast' monitors - the Avila Beach and San Luis Obispo stations - included the second highest state-wide airborne iodine-131 measurement on March 18th - of 0.44 picocuries/cubic meter - and the highest state value on March 20-21 of 1.45-1.55 pCi/m3. (The stations recorded levels of iodine-131 through March 25 in the range of 0.43-0.86 pCi/m3. The date of CDPH air measurements noted in this document is actually the "collection end date" - CDPH analyzed air filters after they were exposed for, on average, 48 hours.) Note that these values are similar to the concentrations of iodine-131 over Northern Utah in late July 1962 depicted in the above chart.
Iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days, so the sustained level of around 500 picocuries per liter in milk was the net balance of rapidly decaying iodine-131 already on the ground offset by increasing deposits of the radioactive substance via rains. Now imagine a radioactive chemical that doesn't decay as quickly. What then would happen? Well, had Utah officials tested for longer-lived isotopes in milk, or better yet soils, they would have seen a frightening picture. A graph depicting concentrations of longer-lived isotopes - such as cesium-137 with its 30 year half-live - in soils or milk during late July would have show a much sharper spike. As we will see, when these long-life isotopes fall from air onto grass, the levels in milk don't decline for months, and in soils the levels don't decline for years or decades.
Cesium-134 and cesium-137 were both copiously leaked by Fukushima and these isotopes will stick around for years and years. In 1963, aboveground testing at the Nevada Test Site had been discontinued but radioactive debris was descending daily across the 'Northern Temperate' latitudes via rainstorms 'tapping' the stratosphere, which was saturated with nuclear debris from hydrogen bomb tests in 1962 and early 1963. When fallout clouds in the U.S. in May and June 1963 met with rains, the cesium-137 levels in milk soared. In the below chart, we see an increase in cesium-137 milk levels that grew four to six fold after a rainy May and June and these levels remained elevated for months. The solid line in the graph below depicts cesium-137 levels in milk from pasture fed cows.
Did the same thing happen in California after the Fukushima reactor meltdowns? CDPH data indeed shows a similar pattern. In May of 2011 San Luis Obispo milk contained 4.55 and 5.11 pCi/Liter of cesium-134 and -137, respectively. Through October, remarkably, the numbers were little changed. In mid-October, milk contained 3.85 and 5.15 pCi/Liter of cesium-134 and -137, respectively. In mid-November, the values actually grew to 4.63 and 6.48 pCi/Liter of cesium-134 and -137, respectively!! Finally, in December, there were no detections of cesiums in the milk.
These two case studies demonstrate how long-winded nuclear disasters can give rise to above-normal sustained levels, relative to their half-lives, of radioisotopes (like iodine-131 and cesium-137) in milk. Illogically, there was better and more abundant monitoring data in the 1960s than in the 21st century and we can only guess what really happened to California milk supplies in 2011.3 The same applies to California-grown foods, which, when compared to the stuff eaten by dairy cows (grass), is plagued by a slower 'environmental loss' rate of radioactive chemicals. As contaminants seep into deeper levels of soil, they become out of reach of grass but stay in the reach of the roots of row crops and especially fruit-and nut-growing trees. This is why cesium contamination in Belarus and parts of Scandinavia and the British Isles is still a problem over 25 years after the Chernobyl event.
In 2012, a trickle of data from Japan has shed some light on the contamination of California's food-growing Central Valley, which stretches from the Sacramento Valley southward to the South Central Coast (whose closest monitoring station is CDPH's San Luis Obispo setup). A lab calling itself 'Security Tokyo' began releasing in 2012 radiation levels of cesium-134 and 137 in California-grown items. Among the first items tested - they were taken off the shelves of 'Super Tokyo' supermarket in Japan - were prunes and almonds grown in California in 2011. Security Tokyo's July 2012 test found that the items contained similar levels of the twin cesium isotopes which indicate that a very large fraction of the isotopes came from the Fukushima disaster. The levels of cesium-134 and cesium-137 ranged from 0.07-0.08 Becquerels per kilogram to 0.10 to 0.11 Becquerels per kilogram, respectively, in the snack items.4 (A becquerel is about 27 picocuries.) In 2012, the lab also tested a navel orange grown in California and found 0.47 and 0.49 becquerels of cesium-134 and cesium-137, respectively in the pulp and rind (peel) of the citrus fruit. Astoundingly, the Public Health Service's 1963 radiation monitoring reports show that oranges grown in the U.S. Southwest (SW) (i.e., California) had on average less cesium-137 than what was found by the Japanese lab in 2012.
In August 2012, it was learned that a Japanese supermarket chain tested U.S.-exported pistachio nuts for radioactivity and found 9.54 becquerels per kilogram of cesium-137 but no detectable cesium-134. (98% of all pistachio nuts are grown in California.) The pistachios contained about 95 times more cesium-137 than California almonds from 2011 and surpassed dozens of other food items in the supermarket's lab report for cesium content. The level of cesium-137 - a beta and gamma emitter produced in fission - in the pistachio nuts is equivalent to 257 picocuries per kilogram, which makes it more contaminated than most food items tested by the U.S. Public Health Service during the peak of nuclear weapons testing fallout (in 1963)!
It is downright frightening to know that in one instance an orange grown in 2011 in California was 'hotter' than oranges grown there in the 1960s when hydrogen nuclear bombs were exploding in open-air at testing sites closer to the U.S. than Fukushima! It is even scarier that pistachios grown in the U.S. were the 'hottest' item in an 'isotopic test' selection of supermarket items in newly contaminated Japan in 2012!
A quick search in Wikipedia reveals that the San Joaquin Valley, which lies adjacent to the San Luis Obispo CDPH station and dairy farm, is where citrus products, almonds and nuts are grown. Other foods grown in the valley include a medley of vegetables, as well as cotton and grapes. Is the San Joaquin Valley harboring a secret hotspot from Fukushima? Based on this analysis, which has utilized historical data, the meager monitoring data made available by U.S. state and federal agencies and two Japanese entities who are concerned about the radiation content of U.S.-grown foods, the answer is 'yes.'
It is a curious matter that Californians themselves, who greatly value their fresh, locally grown - even organic and non-GMO - food, aren't concerned that the food they eat and export could be tainted with radiation. Back in March 2011, there were press reports of Californians depleting store shelves of iodine tablets statewide. Back then, why didn't Californians press existing radiation monitoring bodies (or create their own, like a group did in Vancouver, Canada) to ensure their food was safe? What we have learned is that sustained inputs of isotopes into the environment from long-winded nuclear disasters in concert with chronic rains can lead to the formation of 'hotspots'' in 'wet areas' that often are synonymous with arable areas.
Where else did Fukushima create hotspots in California? How severe is the San Joaquin Valley hotspot? These questions are deserving of greater investigation by Geiger Counter-toting bloggers, scientists and government bodies.
1 The ingestion factor for adults for iodine-131 impacting the thyroid was stated as 0.00195 millirem/picocurie (p.1.109-57) and, for infant, as 0.0139 millirem/picocurie (p.1.109-65) in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Regulatory Guide 1.109, which was titled 'Calculation of Annual Doses to Man From Routine Releases of Reactor Effluent for the Purpose of Evaluating Compliance With 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix 1.' Revision 1, October 1977
2 Underground Era Test Series - in data section of National Cancer Institute 1997 study titled 'Estimated Exposures and Thyroid Doses Received by the American People from Iodine- 131 in Fallout Following Nevada Atmospheric Nuclear Bomb Tests'
3 Cows graze an enormous area of grass and accumulate fallout's iodine-131 in their milk such that the dose to the human thyroid gland from cow milk will be 1,000 times the dose received by simply breathing radioiodines in the pasture's air - this is according to a report in 1976 by two Berkeley scientists. This air-grass-cow-milk-human chain is aggravated when rains deposit extra radioactive iodine to the ground because the grass in the 'air-grass-cow-milk-human chain' is that much more contaminated. Thus, the potential of elevated radiation levels in California dairy milk, especially for recent rain-impacted areas, should have been a great concern. This effect, called bioaccumulation, also applies (although to a lesser extent) to cesium-137, strontium-89 and strontium-90 in milk. During America's Cold War era environmental radiation monitoring efforts, the presence of strontium-89 in milk was regarded as a short-term health concern because this milk-to-bone traveling radioisotope emits very strong beta energies in internal organs.
4 Information gleaned from Security Tokyo's website and the August 13, 2012 'Jeff Rense' radio show with Michael Collins of Enviroreporter.com. Collins noted that an individual - a Mr. Yamamoto - running Security Tokyo uses a Canberra germanium detector.
California Department of Public Health Radiation Monitoring - 3rd Quarter 2011Report; California Department of Public Health Radiation Monitoring - 4th Quarter 2011Report; and California Department of Public Health Radiation Monitoring Reports for 3/24, 3/25, 3/28, 3/30 and multiple reports for April, May and June 2011
Incineration an answer? Decidedly, NO! (written on June 16, 2011)
Introduction: The Fukushima crisis is not over. Through a simple process - thoroughly ignored by the media and most scientists - Fukushima is literally boiling off solid radioactive isotopes into the air every second. This radioactive dust - condensed in the cooler air over the reactors from gas into solids - is still being carried across the Pacific Ocean and will do so for decades. But 'volatilization' at Fukushima isn't the only process that will be adding fresh airborne contamination to decaying 'old' contamination in California's water and food supplies during our lives. Japan has been incinerating its waste. Below is a short essay written by a blogger in the U.K. who fought in recent years against the opening of an incinerator in a populated area of London called Croydon.
In early June, Japan's Environmental Ministry affirmed that on June 19 it will formally decide to allow waste operators in Fukushima Prefecture to burn and/or incinerate rubble that may be radioactive (this includes garden furniture, cars, soils, tree bark, etc...) The stink over incinerators has already drawn ire amongst Japanese who believe that sewage sludge incinerators operating near Tokyo are polluting the air with radioactive dust.
Most people don't realise how very far chimney plumes spread downwind, how each location has a unique windrose and how very, very fine the particles are. It's bad enough when it's just ordinary old dioxins and heavy metals, but incinerating radioactive waste may loft heavy, alpha-emitting isotopes into Japan's air. Extensive incinerator plumes (much bigger than people realise) are implicated in higher infant mortality and congenital malformations downwind than "ordinary" dioxins and heavy metals. The random nature of heavy metal radioisotopes such as plutonium and uranium, which are present in pockets of vegetation and soil contamination across north and central Japan, means that whether by accident or design lots of it could go up the chimney, to be spread downwind. The parents of Koto ward, in Tokyo, with the help of a local nuclear physicist, are discovering raised levels of radiation particularly in a local playground adjacent to a sewage sludge incinerator. Kobe University professor Tomoya Yamauchi suggested that the chimney emissions be checked urgently.
Ordinarily, after sludge is burned the byproducts are sold to dealers in raw materials. Not so this time. Officials believe that airborne radioactive fallout debris from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that deposited on the ground flowed into sewage pipes with rainwater and became condensed during sewage treatment. In normal times, most sewage sludge in Japan is recycled into cement and fertilizers after it is incinerated into ash but treatment centers in Japan are now lining the bags on passageways and elsewhere because cement and recycling companies are refusing to accept it - for safety reasons - over radioactivity. There is a similar situation playing out around the Fukushima Daiichi plant with unwanted waste and in steelyards with problematic steelwork (the worldwide practice with 'problem steel' is to put it into smelters).
There will be a very high volume of disposables generated by Fukushima. The people of Japan should act with good sense to make sure there won't be a very high price - paid with their health or their living environment - for that disposal.
Thanks to Stan Prokop - who formerly blogged at No Incinerator For Croydon - for this submission
About Us | Contact | Donate | Prefixes & equivalents, radiation conversions | One-stop atomic elements references | Japan Finds Radioactivity in More Foods From California: The California Radiation Report | Map of eastern U.S. reactors | link to us
Popular pages: Updates (Fukushima and Pacific coast n' catch) | Subcritical nuclear test news | Downwinder Day | Trinity nuclear test | Contaminated wallboard/phosphogypsum | Caged human experiments at nuclear test sites
Important pages: Gummed film & fallout maps | Scientists misled Americans about 'hot' halibut | Fukushima formed a 'hotspot' in California | EPA is not exactly 'monitoring' our milk for radiation | Montana cows died from radiation? | FDA is barely testing our food for radiation | spent fuel fires could harm us all | a NUCLEAR REACTOR from SPACE could land on your house | solar storm dangers | plutonium dust is a problem north of Vegas | Chernobyl contamination was 95% from Chernobyl; 5% Was From a U.S. Secret Radiation Release | Nuclear Reactor Operators Don't Really Monitor Their Pollution - They Guess
Believe it or not: U.S. Government Gave Secret Fallout Maps to Kodak, But Never to Americans | Unexploded Nuclear Bombs North of Las Vegas Could Still Detonate or Reach Criticality| Your Cremated Remains Would be 180 Times the Limit Allowable by the EPA for Beta Radiation in Drinking Water | Quaker Oats and Boston universities gave radioactive cereal to unwitting special needs children