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View Diary: Obama Set to Create Largest Ocean Preserve (25 comments)

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  •  No need (4+ / 0-)

    International inaction(mainly US since we are down current) with Fukushima makes all this a moot point.

    Fukushima is collapsing into the Pacific and every day sees an increase in levels of toxic radioactive waste freely leaching into the ocean.

    In a few short years anyone eating sea life from the Pacific will be eating radioactive isotopes.

    Last I checked, Japanese were not Republicans.

    •  Not a concern for this preserve (7+ / 0-)

      Fukushima is a problem, especially to the land area in Japan initially affected and to the immediate area's ocean environment. To a much lesser extent, it's a problem in the down-current plume, with the degree of concern dropping fairly rapidly with distance. Fukushima's contaminants are radioactive, yes, but the Pacific is immensely much larger than the amount of material that could feasibly be released in Japan.

      Oh, and also, the Pacific is already radioactive. And has been long before Fukushima.

      See, a lot of nuclear testing went on in the Pacific in the 1950s and 1960s. A lot. Cesium-137 has a half life of around 30 years; surface waters in the Pacific still carry roughly 25% of the Cs-137 load caused by those tests. Depending where you are in the Pacific, the legacy of those nukes is Cs-137 radioactivity to the tune of 1 - 2 Bq/m3. In the 1960s, before half-life decay and dispersion, the numbers were more like 4  - 10 Bq/m3 (or sometimes much more, near the testing areas).

      The most recent testing data I've been able to find from samples taken from the ocean offshore from Fukushima Prefecture report average radioactivity from Cs-137 of about 10 Bq/m3. So, samples from the start of the downcurrent plume are about as bad now as the radioactive load from the nuclear testing era was at the time, except that the former affects a relatively small area (and will be mitigated much more by dispersion as currents dilute the pollutants) and the latter happened to pretty much the whole ocean (due to unrestricted open air nuclear testing). As of June 2014, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute reports that the additional Cs-137 load off the West Coast of North America remains below the limits of their instruments to detect.

      Regardless, the Pacific, like all seawater, is pretty radioactive to begin with. Ignore all man-made contaminants whatsoever, and seawater is still radioactive to the tune of 11 - 13 Bq/m3 because of naturally occurring radioisotopes, mostly Potassium-40 (but also rubidium and uranium).

      The bottom line here is that it's probably prudent to exercise caution with the water immediately offshore of the accident site. But one failed nuclear reactor is simply incapable of affecting the Pacific Ocean to any really significant degree. And it certainly isn't going to be a significant threat to this important expansion of a key US Marine Reserve.

      •  Speaking of Fukushima (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ybruti, KenBee, nosleep4u

        Fukushima’s Children are Dying

        Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal.

        More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 02:24:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not a universally accepted view (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee

          National Geographic's interview with Normal Kleiman interprets the situation in Japan very differently.

          Now, don't get me wrong. Kleiman is a recognized expert in the field, and has done a considerable amount of serious science on low-dose radiation exposure. While that means he unquestionably knows what he's talking about, I am not in any rush to believe that "there's absolutely nothing to worry about, and nothing wrong" will be how everything at Fukushima will play out in the end. This was a significant nuclear incident, and, unfortunately, it's not done yet, either. But Wasserman, whose article you linked, has a long reputation of selecting and interpreting his data sources to advocate a staunchly anti-nuclear view. I would, and you should, take his articles on the topic with a rather substantial grain of salt.

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