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View Diary: Breaking: Japanese Government takes over Fukushima cleanup (116 comments)

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  •  Not to dminish the badness... (0+ / 0-)

    But, the Pacific Ocean is 714 million cubic kilometers of water.  1 cubic meter is 1000kg=1 metric ton a single cubic kilometer is 1000 meters on a side equaling 1 billion cubic meters.  So, 714 million billion metric tons of water in the Pacific. 7.14 x 10^17 metric tons.  There is apparently 1760 metric tons of fresh and spent fuel at Fukushima.  Most of which is in the storage pools still.  But, let's say we are dealing with the entire amount fully dissolved into the Pacific Ocean.  That would be 1 part in 4 x10^14.  Something like 1 part in 10 billion.

    Considering we are not talking about the entire radioactive contents of the plant entering the ocean.  The concentration will be smaller.  The main concern needs to be biologically active radioactive isotopes.  Strontium is particularly concerning because it is chemically similar to calcium. Cesium is a concern because of its chemical similarity to Sodium.  Therefore, these can concentrate in apex predators.

    ON the other hand you shouldn't be eating apex predators anyways.  They are usually not sustainable and full of mercury.

    Finally, there is this....

    Yes, it is bad that radioactive isotopes are leaking in the Ocean.  Is it a catastrophe for Pacific Rim fishing, highly unlikely otherwise we should be talking about the catastrophe that has been going on for the last 50 years.

    •  Well, the entire Pacific Ocean doesn't (0+ / 0-)

      flow past Fukushima's coastline. If we're to use that measure, add in the Atlantic Ocean, the Great Lakes, and the ocean of Europa for all the relevance of that point.

      What does happen is there are currents which run through the offshore, where the radioactivity concentrates as it flows from the site. Then what doesn't sink moves along the currents.

      What sinks gets in the bottom of the food chain, and then as things eat the lower items in the chain, it concentrates upward. What doesn't sink gets eaten or breathed by fish, higher on the chain, straight off.

      So it is that California found higher levels of radioactivity in Blue Fin Tuna, and specifically radiation traceable to Fukushima, than ever recorded before.

      In every single Tuna. Canada and Alaska have also noticed increased radioactivity, and it seems an entire species of fish has suddenly disappeared in the northern section of the currents from Fukushima past Russia, Alaska, and Northern Canada.

      We have no existing model of how radiation dilutes in an Ocean; nor how it concentrates in food sources. The Pacific Ocean's affected areas were just made the test tube. Neither Nature nor Humanity had a vote on that.

      Fish caught mid-Pacific have already shown 10x increase of Cessium.

      We know that new elements will be generated for the next human generation or three to be added to the mix.

      The "it will all dilute in the Pacific Ocean" is nonsense once you think about it. Best we let that excuse die of its silliness.

      Since the main elements all tend to attack, at the least, the immune systems of living things, we can expect that the other toxins we add will have an even  greater effect than they would without Fukushima.

      Insults to a body are cumulative, after all. That's why the "less damage than a banana or an x-ray" notion is just stupid, because the banana/xray/absorbed strontium-90 (say) taken together are more dangerous than any element in isolation.

      Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

      by Jim P on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 05:50:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You missed a couple of problems.. (0+ / 0-)

        A few logical inconsistencies.  Either it is a problem for the entire Pacific Rim in which case considering at least a significant fraction of the entire Pacific must be considered or it is localized in someway, in which case claiming the entire Pacific Rim is at risk is not true.

        Secondly, you neglected the dumping of much larger amounts of radioactive material over the last 50 years.  So, the experiment has been done.

        We are dealing with a complex and chaotic system and way too many variables to really understand.  There is definitely a concentration of radioactive isotopes off the Fukushima coast.  And, fish move, currents move.  Clearly, stuff ends up in the Pacific garbage pile and stays there, so that could cause some concetration.  It is very hard to tell what the actual end result will be either way.

        And, finally it is bad, no one should be let off the hook for dumping bad things into the environment, if for no other reason than if everyone did it there would be no chance of getting by.  This led me to an interesting idea. The punishment for environmental dumping/damage should be proportional to the damage if everyone did it, rather than proportional to the actual damage done by the particular incident.  Proportional to the incident, makes environmental damage a cost of doing business. Proportional to if everyone were to do it makes the penalty sufficient to discourage the activity.

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