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View Diary: Radioactive Ocean Plume from Fukushima hits US West Coast - How Bad Is It? (38 comments)

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  •  Waste of federal money (0+ / 0-)

    The chance of significant radioactive contamination is incredibly minute.  I don't see any reason the amateurs can't handle this one.

    (As a reminder, the Pacific ocean is around 11,000 miles wide)

    •  Not a waste (5+ / 0-)

      Since the government already does other testing as a matter of course, this should be done, too. If nothing else, it will advance the science and calm the fearful. Both are important.

    •  "Amateurs" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      may be well-intentioned, but are woefully under-equipped for this particular task, in large part because measured and anticipated activity levels in seawater and sea life are so absurdly small against the natural background.  I'm one of probably a handful of folks worldwide who runs an HPGe gamma spectrometer in his guest bedroom at home, but I'm still limited in that I couldn't possibly follow ANSI and other established standards for this kind of low-level quantitative counting.  The sampling, sample prep, counting, and analysis are jobs for skilled, trained, professionals with professional labs.

      The typical sensationalist bloggers who grab a Geiger counter, find something hot on the beach, and pop up a preposterous YouTube describing purported connections with Fukushima don't even deserve association with the real amateur nuclear hobby--they're entertainers who pander to a credulous audience.

      I agree with the diarist that marine radioecology studies on the Fukushima plume would be a worthy involvement of the government.  Lots could be learned about radioecology broadly, about the Pacific Ocean, and about Fukushima.  I doubt there would be any conclusions with major implication for human health, but toward that point, we'd be in a better position to know the risks.  I have sent some money to the private Woods Hole study program, but ideally we'd have a higher priority on federal funding for research that potentially impacts lots of people in the near and long term.

    •  Wars are a waste of money and life, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, J Graham

      measuring contamination to protect life is important.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 07:34:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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