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Since the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster on March 11, 2011 and with more frequency recently, there are many reports in the media of the potential impact of radioactivity from Japan causing environmental harm to sea life and people on the west coast of North America.  While this is not a comprehensive treatment of the issue my intent here it to briefly summarize what the scientific community knows about radioactive elements and radioactivity in the ocean and in so doing put the risk associated with the Fukushima disaster here in North America in perspective.

Scientists use a variety of units to measure radioactivity. A commonly used unit is the Becquerel (Bq for short) which represents an amount of radioactive material where one atom decays per second and has units of inverse time (per second). Another unit commonly used is disintegrations per minute (dpm) where the number of atoms undergoing radioactive decay in one minute are counted (so 1 Bq = 60 dpm).

Almost all the radioactivity in seawater is the result of primordial, naturally occurring radionuclides that have been transported or deposited in the oceans by natural processes like the erosion of the continental crust. There is spatial variability in the amount of radioactivity in the ocean that mostly relates to differences in salinity where the dilution of seawater with freshwater reduces the overall activity of the radioactive elements.  The average radioactivity of seawater is about 14 Bq/L of which 88% is from naturally occurring potassium-40 (K-40).  About 7% is from anthropogenic fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing and nuclear accidents like Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima Daiichi (2011).  So there is about 13 Bq/L of natural radioactivity on average is the oceans.  In high salinity areas (where conservative elements that scale with salinity like K and U have the highest concentration) activity can be as high as 22 Bq/L (Persian Gulf) and 15 Bq/L (eastern Mediterranean).  All other amounts of radioactivity resulting from human activities and disasters should always be discussed by recognizing these background values.

For the purpose of putting the radioactivity released to the ocean by the Fukushima disaster in perspective lets consider isotopes of the alkali metal Cesium. Cesium behaves like a salt in seawater and is very similar to potassium (K+).  The radioactive element Cesium 137 (Cs-137) was released in large quantities from Fukushima into the Pacific link.  Pre-Fukushima activities of Cs-137 were approximately 1 mBq/L  in the NW Pacific and about 0.9 mBq/L in the NE Pacific off the coast of British Columbia where I live.  That represents on the order of 0.007% of the radioactivity in a litre of seawater.  Measurements of Cs-137 were made after the disaster at 50 stations 40-600km from the coast of Japan.  At 40 km from the reactor site Cs-137 was elevated to up to 3500 times the background level or ~3.5 Bq/L (to 25% if the total naturally occurring background) and at 600 km Cs137 activity was 0.3 Bq/L (2% of natural radioactivity).  Research scientists did not have to take any precautions while handling seawater, sediment and biological samples collected during the study because the radioactivity was so low. Release estimates of other potentially harmful isotopes like Strontium 90 are much lower (a factor of 10 or more less) than Cs but must be monitored if the situation changes at the disaster site.

Talk of plumes of radioactivity being broadcast across the Pacific must take into account that the background radioactivity of seawater is about 14 Bq/L. It is important that although one can detect isotopes from the reactor in the environment the absolute levels are very low and will be lower as the ocean mixes, and the isotope decays.  

We must recognize Fukushima Daiichi for what it is, a disaster resulting from the application of nuclear technology.  The impact is immense at the site and consequences for the terrestrial environment are dire. There is impact in the ocean as well. For example, bottom dwelling fish near the reactors are so contaminated that they can't be sold or consumed and the local effects near and in the reactors are acute and terrible.  But when I read that the west coast of north America is now dying because of radionuclides leaked from Fukushima I have a responsibility to communicate to the public that this is not so.

Radioactivity that we are exposed to here every day, by being on or in the water or consuming seafood is the same as if the terrible events at Fukushima never took place.

Originally posted to MarineChemist on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM PST.

Also republished by Japan Nuclear Incident Liveblogs.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm no marine biologist... (12+ / 0-)

    but aren't there fish and/or mammals that behave like larger animals on land, and travel over very large areas to hunt for food?

    For example, bottom dwelling fish near the reactors are so contaminated that they can't be sold or consumed and the local effects near and in the reactors are acute and terrible.
    If there's a 'food chain', then chances are that it's easier for submarine predators to eat sick or dying fish than healthy ones that can get away more easily.

    So it seems to me that while the original critters poisoned in the most dense parts of the plume are probably bad to eat, there's probably also other critters that didn't/don't hang around in the plume, but have eaten some of those other critters in passing, no?

    Quite frankly, between Fukushima, BP, and overfishing in general, it seems like giving seafood a pass in general is more of an option these days.  Vegetarianism is looking ever more appealing.

    •  They literally excrete it. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      T100R, Wee Mama, duhban, Wreck Smurfy, Ender

      Here's pdf of an article over at PNAS on the radiation levels of marine life, especially bluefin tuna as they made their trans-Pacific migration.  Those which had started in what's called the "coastal exclusion zone" with comparably high levels of contamination lost most of it in transit; in the end the amounts were negligible.  Eating a single serving of the contaminated tuna would net you "only about 5% of the dose acquired from eating one uncontaminated banana".

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:44:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You know, this whole banana (9+ / 0-)

        scam is really getting old. The amount of K40 on this planet is constant, it accounts for 0.0117% of all potassium, a primordial element. You can eat bananas all day long, and apart from the time their 0.0117% of K40 in the total amount of potassium component is in the digestive tract or uptaken for metabolic duties, the total amount of K40 in our bodies remains the same.

        Now, if you eat a banana - or a tuna sandwich - that has replaced potassium atoms in bodily molecules with cesium, you will get an excess dose of radiation. Because cesium is more radioactive (each atom more likely to disintegrate at any given time) than K40.

        Your body doesn't know the difference between potassium and cesium any more than the banana tree or the tuna's body know the difference. Cesium is excess radiation dose, and disintegration releases a beta particle that does 10 to 20 times more damage to sensitive internal tissues than the same energy level of gamma radiation would do.

        •  Not even wrong. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          duhban, Ender

          The paper is measuring Sv, so the different forms of radiation are already weighted.  That's the whole point of calculating a committed effective dose in the first place.

          The paper is not saying that the fish have 5% the amount of radioactive isotopes as a banana, which would be wrong.  For comparison's sake: within the fish themselves there are some 100x the number of radioactive K isotopes than Cs, but the Sv difference is closer to 30:1.  

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:40:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The dose level of K40 (5+ / 0-)

            is not something that can be escaped, or something that changes over time in our lives. Because 0.0117% of the potassium on this planet is radioactive. THAT is "background." Cesium, strontium, americium, uranium, thorium, plutonium, etc., etc., etc. (about 1500 of 'em) released into the air and water through the burning of fossil fuels - coal primarily - and nuclear power, and nuclear weapons, and medical treatments, and whatever other sources are dumping today is excess dose. It just is, there's no point in arguing a banana inanity.

            Now, strictly speaking, any radioactive contamination that gets beyond the plant boundary automatically becomes part of the "background" activity, that only works well for your basic everyday releases. Accident level releases are kept track of, which is good. Unless from coal. They call that "background" even before they burn it. Go figure...

            •  *sigh* nt (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ender

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:01:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  objective risk estimates, to humans and marine bio (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                waterstreet2013

                I, too say, sigh

                I copied my subject line directly from the article that you linked to. It totally shows that fear of seafood is ridiculous.

                The whole concept of "objective risk estimates" is completely missing from any of the comments in this diary.

                If only we would have listened to Pico earlier, we wouldn't look like such morons!

                I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 03:29:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds hyperbolic to me (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, patbahn, Jim P, Joieau, Sandino

    "But when I read that the west coast of north America is now dying because of radionuclides leaked from Fukushima I have a responsibility to communicate to the public that this is not so."

    I live on the west coast and I know of no one making such claims.
    Do you have a link?

    "For example, bottom dwelling fish near the reactors are so contaminated that they can't be sold or consumed and the local effects near and in the reactors are acute and terrible."

    Some of the radioisotopes, like cesium and strontium, bioaccumulate in the food chain; google "radioactive tuna off california coast" for more info.

    Thanks for a much more thoughtful diary than this morning's offering.

    “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

    by ozsea1 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 03:19:02 PM PST

    •  Here is a good account of recent reports and (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, marsanges, T100R, Wee Mama, duhban

      @JayTCullen http://web.uvic.ca/~jcullen

      by MarineChemist on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 03:24:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  your own report, no doubt? (6+ / 0-)

        I should be clear that I do NOT conflate radioactive tuna with "the west coast is dying" meme.

        The global spread of Fukushima-borne radioactivity does bear much closer scrutiny and more agressive data collection, however. Let the unbiased facts speak for themselves.

        “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

        by ozsea1 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 03:39:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hi Ozsea...not mine but if you search you will see (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doc2, RunawayRose, T100R, wenchacha, duhban

          everything from polar bears to starfish that are sick because of Fukushima.

          e.g.link

          I agree with you wholeheartedly.  We must keep our eye on the ocean.

          @JayTCullen http://web.uvic.ca/~jcullen

          by MarineChemist on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 03:45:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It should not be missed (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Duckmg, ozsea1, Sandino

          that the 15 tuna caught off California that were found contaminated with cesium-137 and 134, were caught and tested in late 2011, about 5 months after the disaster began. I have seen no figures on recent testing, but a majority of the bluefin off northeastern Japan are too radioactive under Japanese regulations to be eaten.

          Their level is 100 Bq/kg. Here in the U.S. the FDA would gladly let us eat food measuring radioactivity of 1000 Bq/kg. I don't find that very comforting.

    •  Well, there has been some sketchy reporting, (6+ / 0-)

      and some diaries on this site have asked whether recent marine die-offs on the West Coast were related to Fukushima (link).  Overall calmer than it could be, though: I haven't seen high levels of panic, but enough that a diary like this is welcome.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:46:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cesium does not bioaccumulate in marine (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      T100R, Ender, River Rover, duhban

      fishes because there is so much potassium in sea water. Fresh water fishes can accumulate it, though. You may be remembering this from Chernobyl.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:15:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Google search of bioaccumulation of cesium in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, Joieau

        marine fisheries returns a more mixed array of opinions.

        “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

        by ozsea1 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:36:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sure it does. Their bodies (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1, Sandino

        aren't biologically alien, you know. Potassium is a common and necessary nutrient, is used in all sorts of metabolic functions in various molecules, and in the structures of our cells.

        Fish bodies can't tell cesium from potassium. If cesium is present, it very much can (and is) uptaken as potassium and put to use in their bodies. To the fish, the cesium is just more potassium. Some of it is uptaken and bioaccumulated.

        •  "accumulated" generally implies to levels above (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          duhban, T100R

          the surroundings. The fresh water fish around Chernobyl bioaccumulated cesium because fresh water has very little potassium, and the cesium was concentrated via the potassium pumps.

          In sea water there is far more potassium than cesium, so the levels of cesium in a fish pretty much reflect the ambient.



          Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

          by Wee Mama on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:24:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it doesn't mean "above background," (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, Duckmg, Sandino, chmood

            because we're talking man-made isotopes. There is no cesium-137 or 134 (or iodine-131 or plutonium-239 or a whole host of other nasties) in the "natural background." That's why they qualify levels of man-made isotopes AS levels of man-made isotopes. They are not primordial, an existential condition of life and death on planet earth that come with the territory. We do that to ourselves.

            Your cesium dose is your cesium dose. Your strontium dose is your strontium dose. Neither of these doses are your K40 dose. See how that works?

            •  Let me get this straight (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PJEvans

              Do you think that radiation from man-made sources is somehow qualitatively different from radiation from natural sources?

              I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

              by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:42:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yep. It's most certainly (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ozsea1

                from different isotopes. Different isotopes interact differently with biological tissues, and that is taken into consideration both for the damage they do and their possible uses in things like medicine and industry. They used to treat thyroid conditions with iodine-131, for instance. That's how they confirmed that it causes thyroid cancer. Strontium-90 accumulates in bones (and teeth). Causes leukemias. There's a whole bunch of nasty isotopes out there that cause very specific and not-so specific problems when they enter human bodies. This is paid attention to and quantified carefully by various disciplines of science and medicine. For good reason.

                •  That wasn't my question (0+ / 0-)

                  I wasn't asking you if certain elements accumulate in certain organs.

                  Do you think that the radiation from the cesium released in Fukushima is more dangerous than the radiation from potassium in bananas?

                  I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                  by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:13:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your question was inherently idiotic (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joieau, chmood

                    of course the radiation is different. The electrons and photons (beta and gamma decays) have different energies depending on which isotope caused them.  But you probably were not trying to ask that, but to ask about the biological effects of different radioisotopes. As Cesium is much more radioactive than Potassium, it has a different effect, pound for pound, in the body. I'm more concerned with the strontium, which builds up in bones. Also, this diary is basically obsolete using measurements that are ancient.

                    •  No. My question addresses a common prejudice (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Wee Mama

                      that radiation from natural sources is harmless because it it natural.

                      We are dealing with Becquerels in this diary. If you think that a Becquerel of potassium in a banana is somehow less dangerous than a Becquerel of cesium in a tuna. please explain your logic.

                      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                      by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 01:15:41 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I KNOW (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ozsea1

                        that 1 Bq of potassium + 1 Bq of cesium is worse than 1 Bq of potassium alone. We cannot get rid of the potassium. Adding the cesium doubles the chances that a decay will cause cellular damage. I am excluding the biological problems caused by the substitution of cesium for potassium for clarity.

                        •  Not one plus one (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Ender, Wee Mama

                          There's about 10Bq of radioactivity in seawater due to K-40, the radioactive isotope of potassium. About 80km offshore from Fukushima Daiichi the measured level of activity from Cs-134 and -137 is 0.0008 Bq/litre (as of 22nd August 2013), over ten thousand times less. Directly offshore from the plant the radioactivity in seawater from cesium isotopes can be as high as 1Bq/litre, still only 10% of the activity from naturally occurring and unavoidable potassium.

                           Some of the Cs-137 count will be from nuclear explosions, especially from the 150 megatonnes of US thermonuclear tests carried out in the Pacific in the 1950s. Cs-134 is shorter-lived with a half-life of only two years so any detectable levels of that particular isotope are almost entirely arttributable to the Fukushima releases.

              •  And just a by your leave... (0+ / 0-)

                if radiation from man-made sources were not somehow qualitatively (and quantitatively) different from radiation from natural sources, we never could have nuked Nagasaki. Or polluted the hell out of the groundwater around Hanford. Or...

                •  Your comment made no sense whatsoever (0+ / 0-)

                  I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                  by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:36:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You can't make a fusion bomb (0+ / 0-)

                    (or even a fission bomb, or a reactor) out of potassium-40. You just can't. That is qualitative and quantitative difference.

                    •  Wow! Talk about a red herring! (0+ / 0-)

                      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                      by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:52:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I can't get over what a ridiculous statement this (0+ / 0-)

                      You can't make a fusion bomb out of radioactive cesium or iodine or polonium either, so I guess that we can quit worrying about releasing them into the environment!

                      Geez. The crazy things that you write.

                      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                      by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:16:53 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  my friends post junk articles all the time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chantedor, nextstep

      we live in California, and, at least once a week, someone is posting some panicky clickbait about how there've been hundreds of deaths reported due to the "radioactive plume" crossing the ocean. I keep having to send them to Snopes.

      •  I see stories (0+ / 0-)

        like that, or hear them, and I wonder if they realize that it isn't a solid mass of stuff travelling, it's just some water in a lot more water.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:01:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In my state, WA, we have seen reports shortly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          after Fukushima happened of batches of solid crud deposited in the ocean, which had amongst the trash items apparently of Japanese origin, and we had a small flap of worry about whether the solid rubbish posed a Fukushima hazard. IIRC, there is a large sort of stable hunk of miscellaneous nonbiodegradable rubbish in the north Pacific in any event. There were a few reports and they then stopped after the first one or two were looked at and IIRC pronounced radioactively harmless.

  •  Again, I hope that you are correct (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsGrin, RunawayRose, polecat, Puddytat, Sandino

    and that the threat is minor. Are some of the radionuclides bioaccumulative in top predators such as tuna?

    •  Of course they are. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Duckmg, ozsea1

      Including uranium and plutonium.

      •  Yeah, okay (0+ / 0-)

        You are a complete font of misinformation.

        Uranium bioaccumulation has been studied (usually in terms of fish near uranium mines), and there's no evidence there's anything significant because neither uranium or plutonium stay very long in the body as they aren't biologically active.

        •  Holy moley, Batman! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, chmood

          You are the first human being I have ever encountered who claims uranium and plutonium - plutonium! - don't cause any significant biological damage.

          That's willful ignorance worthy of a Teabagger.

          But just so you don't stay willfully ignorant, here's some useful information from the EPA -

          What does plutonium do once it gets into the body?

          The stomach does not absorb plutonium very well, and most plutonium swallowed with food or water passes from the body through the feces. When inhaled, plutonium can remain in the lungs depending upon its particle size and how well the particular chemical form dissolves. The chemical forms that dissolve less easily may lodge in the lungs or move out with phlegm, and either be swallowed or spit out. But, the lungs may absorb chemical forms that dissolve more easily and pass them into the bloodstream.

          Once in the bloodstream, plutonium moves throughout the body and into the bones, liver, or other body organs. Plutonium that reaches body organs generally stays in the body for decades and continues to expose the surrounding tissue to radiation.

          How can plutonium affect people's health?

          External exposure to plutonium poses very little health risk, since plutonium isotopes emit alpha radiation, and almost no beta or gamma radiation. In contrast, internal exposure to plutonium is an extremely serious health hazard. It generally stays in the body for decades, exposing organs and tissues to radiation, and increasing the risk of cancer. Plutonium is also a toxic metal, and may cause damage to the kidneys.

          There's a nifty set of links on the upper right side of the page that will inform you of the health effects of a bunch of other radioisotopes too, if you wish to learn something.
          •  Learn to read (0+ / 0-)

            I was specifically talking about bioaccumulation, which you claimed was a problem for those metals but actually isn't to any significant degree. I never said they weren't dangerous: they're toxic heavy metals in sufficient dosage, with additional radiation problems.

            Actually, the title of this is wrong: given the behaviour you've engaged in thus far it's not a problem with reading what I said, but deliberately changing the subject so you can claim to be right by engaging a strawman instead of what was actually said.

            •  Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

              You said:

              ...there's no evidence there's anything significant because neither uranium or plutonium stay very long in the body as they aren't biologically active.
              I linked you to the EPA page on regulated radionuclides saying right there in black and white that:
              Plutonium that reaches body organs generally stays in the body for decades and continues to expose the surrounding tissue to radiation.
              and...
              ...internal exposure to plutonium is an extremely serious health hazard. It generally stays in the body for decades, exposing organs and tissues to radiation, and increasing the risk of cancer.
              Refusing to admit you're talking out your ass when it's been demonstrated that you're talking out your ass is not the least bit impressive on any level. It just makes you look dishonest. That's really not something to be proud of, unless you're going for some kind of Liar's award.
  •  We can expand on this a bit.. (9+ / 0-)

    The thing that is important about Cesium is that it bio-accumulates - chemically it mimics Potassium, so living organisms can take it up as they grow.  

    Things like this have a biological half-life as well - for Cesium, I recall that the biological half-life is about 70 days.  That's the amount of time that it would persist in the body until it is excreted by normal processes.

    Strontium is important for the same reason - it mimics Calcium, and can bio-accumulate in places like bones.  The biological half-life for Strontium is far longer

    And levels in an apex predator will be higher than they would be for a sea creature that only eats lower on the food chain - this process is called bio-magnification.

  •  Perhaps you can answer something that other (7+ / 0-)

    writers on this subject have been unable to address.  Actually that failue has made me expand my question to several?

    1) What is the proven safe dose of radiation, per day?
    2) What is the proven safe dose of radiation per decade?
    3) How much radioactive wate can we dump into our own coastal waters and still shine it on?

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 03:27:41 PM PST

  •  I too hope you are correct (7+ / 0-)

    But seeing as how we are in the age of internet sock-puppets and this is an issue that is not easily understood by the layman (other than radiation == bad), and is one where there are entities who stand to gain (or at least lose less) by misleading the public on this issue:

    I would like to get on the record if you are currently or have ever been under the employ or under contract with:
     -TEPCO,
     -The Government of Japan,
     -The NRC
     -Any other company that currently produces or is in the process of building an entity to produce energy using a nuclear fission reactor

    Your expertise seems genuine, and we value knowledge here, but it is very hard to take things at face value these days.  Especially when it is something we want to hear and someone stands to gain by telling us what we want to hear.

    •  Hi Jim, I'm just a professor of marine chemistry (21+ / 0-)

      here in Canada and have never received any compensation from your list.  All of my friends and family are asking me if what they read about organisms dying off our coast from radiation is true.  It is likely not.  

      @JayTCullen http://web.uvic.ca/~jcullen

      by MarineChemist on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 03:54:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just want to verify one thing.... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wheresjim, T100R, Joieau, duhban, Sandino

        ...about the units you are using...

        1000 mBq/L  is equal to 1.0 Bq/L

        ...correct?

        Also, when do we get the discussion about what partition of cesium-137 and what portion of the iodine-131 each came from emissions to the air vs. as contained in effluents...all from the Fukushima disaster.     .....and if not that, what other nuclear isotopes are of interest in aqueous species radiological assessment?

      •  Then I'll ask this (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wheresjim, Joieau, chmood

        What do you have invested in the commercial production of nuclear generated electricity? Not just money, your investment in your obvious passion for nukes.


        Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

        by randallt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:50:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is a predictable comment (10+ / 0-)

          you're accusing him of being an apologist and insinuating he has some kind of monetary or emotional investment?

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- LutherCEO

          by terrypinder on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:52:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No accusation (5+ / 0-)

            Simply a question. Yes I need to know if he has an emotional or professional commitment to the continuation of nuclear power to generate electricity. Without that knowledge, how I can I trust his science?


            Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

            by randallt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:05:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that's a silly assumption (15+ / 0-)

              anyway, I suspect that if you go to the link that's listed in the italics in MarineChemist's sigline, you'll see that he's a chemical oceanographer at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. And if you click through that link and read through the site, you can see precisely what he's researching. And you can obtain everything he's written by either a. asking him politely for a copy or b. using that twitter account of yours use the #ICanHazPDF hashtag, and ask for them.

              Oh, and did you know you can be anti nuclear power (I am, more or less) and reject the hyperbole around Fukushima (which I do)? That you can recognize that the accident at Fukushima is quite bad while putting it into a perspective that isn't all "holy shit, we're all going to die of cancer" like the diarist has done? And that there's NO emotional or professional commitment at all?

              Your question is a very lazy, uncritical one, in my opinion, and is also a bit rude. But perhaps I should expect a check from TEPCO.

              Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- LutherCEO

              by terrypinder on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:20:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  what has this got to do with (13+ / 0-)

              anything? He´s making statements about science, which are by the way reasonable. There´s not a shred in the diary to say that he even supports nukes, he simply doesnt support hyperbolic scaremongery about radiation. As a scientist, he´s rather commendably living up to our responsibility to educate the public. Even if he were personally in favor of nukes, which I dont know if or if it isnt the case, that would take not one iota from the correctness of his diary.

              You may appreciate that I´m actually a scientist too. Not gonna stand by and let this shit of character assassination pass by.

              •  Scientist (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau, chmood

                I am not. Merely a technician. While I appreciate you standing up for fellow scientists, I don't appreciate you assuming I didn't read everything he referenced and more. I still don't believe his passion is not one sided. Mine is and I make that clear.


                Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

                by randallt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:29:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau

                  That was for terrypender about me not reading Marine Chemist's work and research. marsanges, I do believe it is the responsibility of scientists to educate without prejudice.


                  Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

                  by randallt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:36:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  and MarineScientist has done that. (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    duhban, T100R, PJEvans, pico

                    oh and by the way? There's no requirement that someone has to disclose anything.

                    I really no longer care whether your feelings are hurt because you perceive the diarist is a shill for nuclear energy and I might have incorrectly assumed you were ignorant of his work. your continued posts in this thread suggest I'm correct though.

                    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- LutherCEO

                    by terrypinder on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:42:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Fair enough (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joieau, Sandino

                      Just saying I know it IS a criminal enterprise because I've seen it up close personally. My feelings aren't hurt to bad though, thanks.


                      Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

                      by randallt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:25:39 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I would think that disclosing (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ozsea1, Sandino, chmood

                      any connections to the nuclear industry or its lobbying arms - either personally or departmentally - would definitely be requisite here, just as they should be included in any papers published to journals. There are quite a few scandals ongoing right now and over the years about this very thing, since so many major colleges and universities have sold their scientific departments to industrial corporations. You should visit Chapel Hill sometime. Departments of public health and epidemiology, earth sciences, medicine and pharmaceutical research all have signs as big as the corporate signs on your local professional football stadium. Disgusting, and there has been blowback on tainted research.

                      Often the connections aren't so obvious, but influential just the same.

        •  Fighting climate change? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Isara, PJEvans

          I'll say it again.  Acidification from C02 from the burning of fossil fuels is a far more drastic threat to ocean life than a little radiation.  Polar bears aren't starving because of Fukushima.

          So I'll ask you in the same tone.  Why do you want to keep the coal burning and the C02 pumping rather than invest in new and better commercial nuclear power?

          •  It is entirely unnecessary (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, Sandino

            to build a single new nuke in this country or any other to phase out coal. We are doing it, it will speed up as more renewables come on line. Conservation alone could cut demand by more than current nukes now generate. And don't forget that nukes draw from the grid about half of what they feed to the grid. There's a reason why it takes 2-4 bigger-than locomotive size diesels chugging during an outage just to keep the primary coolant pumps running. AFTER all other plant systems have been isolated - they don't even power the circulatory pumps in the spent fuel pools.

            There is not enough money on the planet to build 4,000 new nukes, which is what it would take before nuclear could replace coal. And even if they printed that much money, they couldn't come on line fast enough to save a single polar bear.

            We are going to have to adjust to a warmer world, and while we are adapting we can also adapt to doing energy differently than we have in the past. Won't hurt us, honest.

            •  Your facts are way off (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PJEvans

              http://www.euronuclear.org/...

              Look at the numbers in that link. Does net output look like half of gross to you?

              Also, if you do some research, you would know that almost all the drop in coal power is due to the increase in natural gas. Meaning fracking, and more C02.

              CNN article today, C02 levels are at record highs. So whatever your plan is, it's not working. But feel free to post some more fake facts and pretend it is.

              In the end though you're right. It's too late now. We could have eliminated coal 40 years ago. But it's cheaper to burn black rocks than split atoms, so that's what we did.

      •  Thanks Jay, I hope you weren't offended in any way (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        T100R, MarineChemist, duhban

        I know very little about such things and am quite impressed with you knowledge and thankful that you have spent time to help enlighten us.

        The Fukushima situation is indeed dire, but it's nice to know that irradiated seafood is at the moment not something to be alarmed about.

        Cheers!

      •  And presumably the BC commercial fisheries (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        who are most impacted by a scare about pacific seafood have no influence on your decision to republish this 'don't worry be happy' press-release of a diary, with its outdated measurements and glib reassurances.

    •  Do you ask people who post dire (8+ / 0-)

      warnings about the radiation the same question? Instead of questioning someone about being a sockpuppet, perhaps you should first point out something he or she wrote that is not factually true.

    •  Conditions at Fukushima (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, WakeUpNeo, Sandino

      have been disastrous for more than two and a half years. The leaks are increasing, and a whole host of very bad isotopes are getting out in hundreds of tons of water flowing through the basements - and around/over three ~150+ ton corium flows that used to be reactor cores.

      I can't figure out how this current Nuclear PR campaign can get away with pooh-poohing cesium in the Pacific that showed up within weeks/months of the disaster, before the groundwater 'river' was shifted by quakes back to its original channel under the facility, and back when they were supposedly filtering cesium OUT of the coolant with Areva's nifty resin system.

      TEPCO, all of Japan's nuclear regulators old and new, their government officials and the nuclear watchdogs worldwide have been lying their tongues off about the releases of radioactivity. Many of them have been caught red-handed lying so many times they had to disband an entire governmental department and create a new one. There is no rational reason to think they're being any more honest about the true figures now.

      They are being more honest recently about how much trouble they're in. The world nuclear industry is trying to drown them out with unicorns and rainbows. It's not going to work - the defueling of the #4 SFP starts this month. It has a real chance of turning into another disaster, much bigger than a Level 7. Seems like a really lousy time to try and hawk new nukes.

      •  funny (0+ / 0-)

        I was looking at photos of the cleanup this afternoon. They were working inside one of the units, and while the workers were clearly wearing protective gear, it wasn't lead suit.

        BTW, we're not going to be able to run the world solely on renewables.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:08:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are no lead suits. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          Though they'd really come in handy at Fukuppy.

          Sure we can run the world on renewables. You just don't want to change anything about your casual consumption of 'trons and are willing to dump mega-tons of waste deadly for at least 10,000 years on the future. Let THEM die with it. All for toasted bagels for breakfast. That's pretty darned callous.

          The world is going to change whether we like it or not. All of us will have to do things differently in order to survive civilizationally. If we want to go ahead and ditch civilization, we'll still survive. Just not as many of us.

          And just so you know, the danger present in the #4 SFP defueling is that damaged assemblies and broken rods (from tons of debris falling on them as well as extended seawater used as coolant when it drained and the zirconium started burning early on) will cause criticalities. If that gets bad enough the pool will boil off again and we'll be treated to the world's first (basically) open-air meltdown in a pool precariously balanced 100 feet in the air and holding decades' worth of extremely nasty spent fuel. Via remote control. With an average now of two earthquakes a day.

          If that should happen, the facility will have to be abandoned. Then the other 3 SFPs will go when there's no one to keep them full of water. And the other two reactors and their SFPs. And the common SFP. The amount of just cesium-137 just in the SFPs at Daiichi is half the total amount released by all things nuclear since the very beginning of the nuclear age. More than 130 million curies of just that one isotope.

          So we should all wish 'em well, and thank IAEA for calling a time out on the operation start, which was supposed to be tomorrow.

      •  Fair is fair (0+ / 0-)

        Are you in anyway associated with any organization or entity which is opposed to nuclear power, or have you protested against nuclear power, and would therefore have a vested interest in making sure that information regarding dangers is exaggerated?

        •  Oh, you bet your bippy. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          Just so you know. I've not hidden that here. They sure enough pissed me off royal when they murdered my brother (health physics runs in the family). You'll have this when the plan for dealing with whistleblowers is bullets.

        •  But no, I don't exaggerate (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, ozsea1

          the dangers. Some people call me a "shill" because I tell them the truth instead of signing on to hyperbolic "OH, NOEZ!" bullshit. I have been calming overwrought fears since March 11 of 2011. When I'd wake up every day (it seemed like) to something much worse than even I ever imagined.

          It does no one any good to be terrified. That's why I'm against terrorization whether it's on the political level, or the scientific [global warming] level, or the nuclear level. It can save your life to know what's going on, and how to deal with it for your own safety and the well-being of your family.

          Still, Fukushima's pretty scary still, I don't care who you are! §;o)

  •  Well the US West Coast kelp would (7+ / 0-)

    like to disagree that it is only exhibiting background radiation:
    http://pubs.acs.org/...

    I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:27:47 PM PST

    •  The question to ask here, and I will look (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago, Wee Mama, duhban, PJEvans

      would be to see how much K-40 the kelp have.  

      @JayTCullen http://web.uvic.ca/~jcullen

      by MarineChemist on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:00:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ??? (0+ / 0-)

        Here you are claiming to be some kind of 'expert' on radioactive sea life, and you don't know the difference between K-40 and I-131? Really?

        Wow.

        •  Hi Joieau (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          duhban, Ender, PJEvans

          I am not suggesting the I = K.  The point of the question is to see the relative contribution of I-131 to the total amount of radioactivity in the kelp tissue.  Is the reported 0.6 to 2.5 Bq per gram dry weight reported in the study of the kelp above a large amount of the radioactivity in the kelp? It is a very relevant and important question to answer.

          @JayTCullen http://web.uvic.ca/~jcullen

          by MarineChemist on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:01:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, the ISSUE (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, Sandino, the dogs sockpuppet

            is that there was I-131 in the kelp. It's a distinct radioisotope. It is measured as a distinct isotope - iodine-131 (plus a couple of longer-lived others in lesser amounts). How much K40 is 'normally' in the kelp is entirely irrelevant to the fact that there was iodine-131 in the kelp and it came from Fukushima.

            I-131 basically 'decays away' in three months' time. That makes it particularly dangerous to thyroids (where it is accumulated), because its atoms are disintegrating at a furious rate and doing physical damage to the organ. How much K40 a child has in his or her body is completely irrelevant to whether or not they get thyroid cancer from I-131. Simply doesn't apply.

            This really isn't that difficult to understand.

    •  Uh. That IS background radiation. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      duhban, PJEvans, pico, Wee Mama

      You can easily prove it. Buy a Geiger counter or some other kind of radiation meter on eBay. Put the meter on its most sensitive setting. Note the reading. Hold the detector up to a piece of kelp. Note that the reading is the same as before.

      You cannot characterize the radiation coming from the kelp as anything but background noise.

      Here is another example: We have satellites in orbit that can detect the sudden increase in gamma rays bombarding the Earth from gamma ray bursters in outer space. Why is nobody claiming the gamma ray bursts are a danger to our health? Because the increase in radiation is so tiny that it can only be detected with very sophisticated instruments!

      The same is true about radionuclides from Japan that make it to the United States. You cannot detect the increase in radiation unless you have a sophisticated instrument that can separate their tiny signal from the background noise. That instrument is called a gamma ray spectrometer. Think of a gamma ray spectrometer as a radio that can tune in to the specific frequency of a radioisotope of cesium and separate that weak signal from all of the background noise. Without a spectrometer, it would be extremely difficult and maybe even impossible to detect any radioactive contamination from Japan in this country.

      I don't understand why everyone is beating up on the diarist. All he has done is present the view of the vast majority of scientists who say that the radioactive contamination released into the ocean by Japan is not a threat to the health of Americans. I would think that Kossacks would be more accepting of the science. Does anyone know of any bonafide scientist who is saying that our health is at risk? Some of the comments in this diary remind me of climate change deniers on Red State. It's like people think MarineChemist is a shill for the radioactive tuna industry or something.

      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

      by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:10:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  would be nice to have a nonpay wall (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ender

      link so that we can all read the article

      Der Weg ist das Ziel

      by duhban on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:10:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes.I wouldn't want to attack scientific consensus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban

        based solely on a one paragraph abstract.

        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

        by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:13:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the lay press article so you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        can read the conclusions.  If you are a scientist (since you purport to have this knowledge about radioactivity in the ocean) then you can probably pubmed the article the same way I can.

        http://abcnews.go.com/...

        I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

        by the dogs sockpuppet on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 08:19:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The article proves my point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          duhban

          "levels unlikely to be detrimental to human health"

          I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

          by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:53:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you look at my previous posts, I never (0+ / 0-)

            said "detrimental" or "non detrimental".  The diarist said that there was no radioactivity above background and I said that there was and then cited the article.

            You appear to have an agenda.  I do not.  Radioactivity from Fukushima detected- true statement.  

            I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

            by the dogs sockpuppet on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 07:28:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know what you think I wrote (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ender

          but I guarantee you I never purported to 'this knowledge about radioactivity in the ocean'. I'm a chemist and as such some of  my training was of course in radioactivity but there are a number of people here including the diarist that understand this specialized topic far better then me. I understand though the generalities of the topics being discussed and have enough of a grasp on the topic to understand that the person complaining about the bananas was wrong.

          The press article is worthless I'm sorry but if I am going to be able to say anything about the article then I need to read the full article. And no I don't have access to pubmed because right now it's a luxury and I have too many other things to deal with.

          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 03:40:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  See my above comment to Ender... (0+ / 0-)

            You guys appear to have an agenda.  I'm just putting out the facts as they are reported in the scientific literature.  Radioactivity was detected from Fukushima on the West Coast.

            I'm sorry you have other problems, but they aren't my problems.

            I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

            by the dogs sockpuppet on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 07:30:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  only science (0+ / 0-)

              which you've offered pretty much nothing on. Sorry I don't have the ability to read your article but because it's not in general access I discount it. That's just the way it works.

              I'm sorry you have a problem with that and apparently with attitude but they aren't my problems.

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 03:05:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Oh and in another diary you said this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, Joieau, Sandino
    Based on its chemistry Cs dose not bioaccumulate (0+ / 0-)
    it is more like a salt.  Bioaccumulation depends on how the element is stored inside organisms.  But again this misses the point. Your perception of risk is not in line with the actual risk.
    But I have been pulling papers that are in disagreement:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

    I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:36:58 PM PST

  •  What if the rods are exposed? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, chantedor, Joieau

    I believe that the correct way to phrase my fear. Maybe we have been spared at this point, but what if more radiation gets out?

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:37:05 PM PST

  •  Terrible, disingenuous (3+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, Duckmg, Sandino
    Hidden by:
    duhban, PJEvans

    I don't think I believe you at all. You have apologist written large across your words.


    Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

    by randallt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:47:26 PM PST

    •  Please explain why you consider the diarist (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      T100R, terrypinder, PJEvans

      to be "terrible" and  "disingenuous" and that you don't believe him at all when you don't even say why you take such a position.

      •  Terrible (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LeftOverAmerica, Joieau, Sandino

        Because I don't believe him. I don't think he is telling the truth. I think from his facts and attitude that he is simply an apologist for the criminal enterprise that is the nuclear power industry.


        Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

        by randallt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:14:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can see that you are prejudiced against the (7+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          T100R, Wee Mama, duhban, Ender, ebohlman, PJEvans, Joieau

          diarist but you just won't tell us why you hold that prejudice.  That you won't say what or why the diarist is wrong is you not wanting to admit that you have a completely emotional response to what the diarist is saying.

          •  Yeah I know (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, Brecht, Sandino

            It was emotional. I was on subs. I've done nuclear chemistry and HP work for many really nasty power plants. Ive seen the whole mining operation system in New Mexico and have seen first hand the harm to Native lands and the toxicity of the whole operation. I've just seen too much up close to think of the industry in any other way. I should have just let it go. Got home from work, saw this on the rec list and was just so disappointed I had say something.


            Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

            by randallt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:59:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Criminal? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kasoru

          I just love your type.  Seriously.  As C02 passes 400ppm and we see daily diaries about all the catastrophic effects of climate change, you call nuclear power criminal.

          Okay, have it your way.  But don't complain when 50 years from now the fossil fuels are still burning, and C02 levels are still rising.

          Nuclear power plants can be shut down when the last of the fossil fuels are gone.  You're either serious about climate change, or you're not.

          •  "Your type?" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, Sandino

            That's a bit Freudian, I think.

            No, nukes can be shut down any time we demand loudly enough that they be shut down. San Onofre, Crystal River, Calhoun (probably in line for decommissioning), Vermont Yankee... why, they're dropping like flies! And the NRC has stopped issuing licenses until the waste situation is dealt with. It's not being dealt with.

            Germany and other countries have shut down their BWRs, and adopted phase-out policies for all of 'em. It can most certainly be done, and is most certainly being done. Nobody wants Fukushima (or Chernobyl, or TMI) in their back yard. Nobody.

        •  just because you believe it doesn't make it true (4+ / 0-)

          really, I would ask you to take a step back from your gut impulse a moment and ask about your own motivations for believing the way you do.

          Here's what it sounds like you said:

          1) I don't like the nuclear industry
          2) Here's a scientist posting a set of facts that don't agree with my perception of how nuclear radiation works
          3) Therefore, he's a shill of the nuclear industry

          Your logic is severely flawed, and, in the process, you're smearing someone without any factual evidence of them having a particular bias.

          •  that's precisely what he said. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Isara, duhban, T100R, PJEvans, marsanges

            I'll stop hijacking the diary, however. The information presented was very valuable and will help a diary I'm planning on writing about radiation, even if I'm, at the present time, skeptical about the harmlessness of nuclear power.

            Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- LutherCEO

            by terrypinder on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:52:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  See above nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau


            Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

            by randallt on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:01:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Any "set of facts" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, Sandino

            predicated on the banana bullshit is subject to a healthy degree of skepticism. And any apparent purpose to lull the public into believing radiation from Fukushima is harmless based on 15 contaminated tuna fish in California in 2011 is... well, it's certainly not authoritative science here in the last months of 2013. The diarist has also NOT acknowledged daily news reports from Japan and the rest of the world, pronouncements by our NRC and DoE, IAEA and every other nuclear concern on the planet of rapidly increasing releases, deteriorating conditions, and an upcoming (THIS month) effort to move damaged spent fuel that is acknowledged to be the riskiest industrial evolution the world has ever known.

            In fact, this PR blitz appears to be timed just for the purpose of dismissing very legitimate concerns about Fukushima's ever increasing environmental damage right when we need to be paying close attention. That's somewhat dispicable, but at least this time the diarist is back to bananas instead of trying to convince people who know better than polonium-210 is "the most common" radioisotope in the oceans.

            That's something, I guess.

            •  asked and answered get a new 'objection' please (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PJEvans

              or even better study the science and put together your own diary showing how the science here is wrong.

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:05:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL!!! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sandino

                Study "the science?" Which science would you have me study, duhban? Last I checked, the field of oceanography was not particularly well known for its expertise in health physics.

                If you want to know something about radiation, ask a health physicist, not an oceanographer. You'll get much more honest and factual answers.

                •  All of the scientists say that there is no threat (2+ / 2-)
                  Recommended by:
                  duhban, PJEvans
                  Hidden by:
                  chmood, cville townie

                  to the continental United States from Fukushima radiation.

                  Why do you think that you know better than all of the scientists when you don't even understand their units of measure like the Becquerel and you don't believe that bananas are radioactive?

                  I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                  by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:59:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  HR'd for massive dickery & personal insult/attack (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joieau, cville townie

                    Common courtesy should have prevented this crap - and flung at a, y'know, nuclear scientist, too....

                    trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

                    by chmood on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 05:56:10 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Stop abusing the Hide Rating! (0+ / 0-)

                      There was no personal insult and you know it!

                      You don't HR people just because you disagree with what they said!

                      If you want to see a personal insult look at Joieau and Joieau!

                      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                      by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:35:04 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Liar AND stupid: if you had the wit (0+ / 0-)

                        you'd notice how "successful" you've been with your intro-to-forum-disruption tool-kit.  You even think you sound smart, authoritative, knowledgeable, don't you?  You sound like strident, ignorant children who are just SURE they're professional rules-lawyers now!

                        Really,  y'all're tiresome, uninteresting, and PROVIDE NO USEFUL FUNCTION HERE.  So expect what you want, you've already shown you'll screech what you want, when you want, but you're just a bad smell.

                        Learn your way around before you're booted: you might learn something.

                        TO THAT END:  your tone and that of your other hand, duhban has been insulting, demeaning and personal in all your comments to Joieau, in addition to the strident, commanding (ie, 'spoiled-brat') tone you use on me here.  My HRs were and are entirely due to your (and its) unnecessary and uncalled-for AND OBVIOUS RUDENESS to a respected member of the community;  maybe that's not how things are on MySpace, but you won't last long here if you persist in trying to get away with it.  And citing JOIEAU for responding to your provocation as a way of getting your provocation of the hook?  Man, that one ball of your must be HUGE...or something.

                        You're out of your league.  Turn back now, before it's too late.

                        trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

                        by chmood on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 05:51:20 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  your elitism is so cute (2+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ender, raoul78
                  Hidden by:
                  chmood

                  We're really talking about a combination of chemistry and physics here however considering it's about marine life I doubt most physicists study this topic.

                  The diarist gave you a great answer to your concern if you would like to post a rebuttal to that then by all means please do. If you question the science of the diary then by all means present your arguments.

                  But right now you're soundly distinctly anti science because of sheer pique.

                  Der Weg ist das Ziel

                  by duhban on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:08:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Radiation is my specialty, duhban. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sandino

                    That's not a secret around here.

                    •  By specialty do you mean something (0+ / 0-)

                      that you comment about without understanding the science behind it just like climate change deniers?

                      That is not something to brag about.

                      Why don't you leave science to the scientists.

                      Why do you think that you understand radiation better than the scientists do when it is obvious that you have no education in this matter.

                      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                      by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:19:18 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  well you're certainly not acting like it (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ender

                      I honestly have no clue what you do and right now it matters not at all. Why? Because despite your outright belligerent attitude you've yet to present an actual argument.

                      Der Weg ist das Ziel

                      by duhban on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:26:17 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh, I admit a bad attitude. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Sandino, chmood, ozsea1

                        This diarist just a few days ago was touting the claim that polonium-210 is the most common radionuclide in the ocean. I attempted quite nicely to get him to correct the error, with lots of links and cites and a suggestion that he look it up for himself. He's an oceanographer. He's smart enough to Google.

                        But no, he stood his (extremely shaky and waterlogged) ground, because a colleague had made that claim awhile back and he believed it.

                        We are all computer literate. Some of us have access to libraries, even university libraries. It's not like there's no actual data out there on primordial radionuclides in the ocean. Or in the planet's crust or mantle. Polonium-210 is not the most common radionuclide in the ocean. Not.

                        An honest scientist would correct a glaring data error quickly when it's pointed out to him/her. A scientist who insists the error is not an error for personal reasons is not doing science. I know that much about science. Don't you?

                        I also have an issue with the timing of this disinfo campaign, because things aren't all fine at Fukushima, and what was in the ocean in 2011 from the disaster that never ends is not what's in the ocean in 2013 from the disaster. I agree that some people are panicked, and I agree it's not an "extinction level event." For humans, anyway. I have steadfastly maintained just that in public for two and a half years plus a couple of months.

                        I know that the dissolving starfish and diseased seals and dying turtles and missing salmon (et al.) on North America's west coast are not directly dying of Fukushima. This has been happening all over the world since before the meltdowns/explosions in Japan. There's something else wrong with the oceans in addition to the biggest ocean radiological pollution event in history.

                        I just don't believe lying people into complacency is the best way to try and calm public perceptions. If they find out - or already know - you're lying, you won't be successful at pushing your agenda. And yes, there is an agenda here.

                        •  :shrug: we all make mistakes (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Ender

                          it happens but really that has nothing to do with this diary and you've yet to offer anything in terms of a scientific rebuttal. People often think science can not be dogmatic but really that's not the case.

                          I read the exchange between you and the diarist on bananas, it was well reasoned and scientifically grounded. Further if you read all of the diary you would see the diarist doesn't claim that things are 'all fine at Fukushima' just that there isn't some 'massive plume' of radioactivity from Fukushima that is off the West Coast poisoning the sea life.

                          If you think the diarist is so glaring wrong either write a reply saying so or a diary. You'll get a lot more traction honestly then what you are doing right now.  

                          Der Weg ist das Ziel

                          by duhban on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:15:15 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I did call the banana bunk (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sandino, chmood

                            out to be bunk. Been dealing with some here who keep claiming that because we have K40 in us, anything less than ~4400 Bq whole-body - from any isotope - doesn't count as radiation exposure. Because that's not true either.

                            Then some claims that cesium doesn't bioaccumulate because it's only got a 70-day biological half-life. Which has nothing whatsoever to do with bioaccumulation, and simply is not true.

                            Then some claims that cesium causes no biological damage even if it does bioaccumulate. Another falsehood. Etc., etc., etc. There's a great deal of essential ignorance and plain old disinformation here, certainly not all coming from the diarist. Obviously not the place for reasoned rebuttal of the entire thrust of the PR push. That time will no doubt come, I'm patient.

                          •  Cs doesn't accumlate though (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ender

                            because while it is picked up it's also passed. Accumulation implies levels beyond the background.  As several people here have pointed out besides the diarist.

                            And yes the exact 'safe levels' are kinda up in the air but that's because for ethical reasons ( I presume) there's not extensive studies on radiation levels in the human body.

                            If you choose to post a rebuttal let me know, I'll read it.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:45:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This is really not difficult, duhban. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chmood

                            If a cesium atom is in your body when it decays and zaps the heck out of molecules within a few centimeters [maybe even DNA molecules], the damage is in addition to any damage you are also suffering from K40 or any other radionuclide that goes off while its in your body.

                            If you have a $100 bill in your pocket and someone gives you a dollar (maybe you brought the coffee today), you have $100 PLUS $1. That you have a hundred in your pocket has nothing at all to do with the dollar you were just handed. It doesn't magically turn into a $99 bill just because you now have gained an 'extra' dollar.

                            This is in fact SO easy to understand that it frankly amazes me that people as exceptionally smart as I know Kossacks to be would even try to argue otherwise. Blows me away sometimes.

                          •  That made no sense (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            duhban

                            The radiation from the K40 is in addition to any damage that you are suffering from the one cesium atom.

                            So what is your point?

                            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:50:13 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, the radiation from the K40 (0+ / 0-)

                            is a dose you receive every second of every day you exist on this earth. All life forms are mortal, always have been and always will be. In part because of radioactive and toxic elements that are part and parcel of the planet we inhabit.

                            The trick is to avoid 'extra' exposures to radioactive and toxic elements so as to hopefully extend our time in time as much as possible. Hence my iteration of the cesium atom as in addition to the K40 atoms. We cannot avoid the K40. We can avoid the cesium.

                            Or, you would be well advised to avoid cyanide even though your body maintains a certain level of arsenic (from natural and unnatural sources). Cyanide is not rendered "harmless" just because arsenic is toxic too.

                            As I said, these are not that difficult of concepts to grok. One need not be an expert on radiation in order to understand why it is advisable to avoid excess radiation exposures.

                          •  How are you going to avoid the cesium? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            duhban

                            It's in everything.

                            How is the K40 in the banana going to hurt me if I don't eat the banana?

                            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:19:54 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Because you are being dosed (0+ / 0-)

                            with ~4400 Bq/whole body* with K40 whether you eat a banana or not, every second of your lifetime here on earth. The banana does not increase your dose, nor does not eating a banana reduce your dose. This has been explained exhaustively here.

                            * If you weigh 70 kg. If you weigh more than that, your constant K40 dose is correspondingly higher. I weigh less than that so my dose is correspondingly lower.

                          •  So by your logic all those people who eat bananas (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            duhban

                            for the potassium are just wasting their time. Do you think that the banana just passes straight through you without being digested?

                            Maybe you should run this crazy theory by a doctor.

                            Even if it did pass through you undigested, do you think that there is some force field around it that protects your guts from the radiation that it is emitting?

                            Look it is simple math: One person plus one radioactive food is going to be more radioactive than one person alone.

                            If you can find a way to prove that 1 + 1 = 1, then you deserve a Nobel prize for something.

                            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:54:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's an average not a constant (0+ / 0-)

                            The amount of potassium in your body is not a constant, so how could the dose rate be constant?

                            They give blood tests for potassium concentration so how could it be constant?

                            They make potassium pills. Taking them will increase the amount of potassium in your body. That is their whole purpose.

                            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 03:50:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  there's so many things wrong with this (0+ / 0-)

                            1. Cs is beta decay so those few centimeters are absurdly optimistic, more likely it goes to the next atom.

                            2. The half life of Cs is 37 years that's practically glacial when you compare that to the fact that it is only in the body for days at most. Do the math I'll be surprised if you get even 1% decay during the duration in the body.

                            You're right this really should not be difficult. Maybe next time before you open your mouth you're double check your logic.  

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 03:46:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nice strawman arguments there (0+ / 0-)

                            Don't you think that if the banana is four times more radioactive than the fish that it will cause you more harm than the fish?

                            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:56:37 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry. The banana is 20 times more radioactive. (0+ / 0-)

                            But it's natural radiation so it can't hurt you.

                            (If you believe that, then I have a bridge to sell you)

                            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:59:14 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  This is a common technique among science deniers (0+ / 0-)

                          Especially among creationists.

                          They find some little thing that is hard to explain in the scientist's essay and magnify it out of all proportion.

                          What difference does it make if the diarist ascribed too high of a contribution to Polonium-210?

                          It has nothing to do with his point that the contributions to overall radioactivity in the Pacific ocean by Fukushima are dwarfed by the other sources.

                          Joieau has contributed nothing to contradict the main point of this diary.

                          I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                          by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:04:46 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Polonium has nothing to do with this diary (0+ / 0-)

                          Joieau is the only person who is talking about it.

                          This is a common technique among science deniers.

                          Especially among creationists.

                          It is called the Gish Gallop.

                          Joieau wants us to believe that because the author of this diary made some mistake about Polonium in the past that we must not believe any of the facts that are presented in this diary.

                          I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                          by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:13:34 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  HR'd for massive dickery & personal insult/attack (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joieau

                    Common courtesy should have prevented this crap - and flung at a, y'know, nuclear scientist, too....

                    trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

                    by chmood on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 06:00:15 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Hi Joieau, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              T100R, PJEvans

              I have never posted anything about bananas. I don't think you can possibly say that. It is not true. And when you consider how many radioactive elements exist Po-210 is a major dissolved radionuclide in seawater.  There is no way around that.  Once you get past naturally occurring K-40 (~11 Bq/L) and Rb-87 (1.1 Bq/L) the list gets pretty thin and at 0.8 milliBq/L Po-210 is an important and abundant contributor to the ~14 Bq/L total found in seawater.

              Again, I can't be more clear than that.

              @JayTCullen http://web.uvic.ca/~jcullen

              by MarineChemist on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:12:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The assertion was that Po-210 (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ozsea1, chmood

                is "the most common" radionuclide in seawater. That is no truer today than it was three days ago. It's #10 on the list by concentration. The number 10 is not the same as the number 1.

                As for bananas, I apologize. I tend to equate all K-40 apologetics to to the banana myth.

                •  This is a common technique among science deniers (0+ / 0-)

                  Especially among creationists.

                  They find some little mistake in the scientist's essay and magnify it out of all proportion.

                  What difference does it make if the diarist ascribed too high of a contribution to Polonium-210?

                  It has nothing to do with his point that the contributions to overall radioactivity in the Pacific ocean by Fukushima are dwarfed by the other sources.

                  Joieau has contributed nothing to contradict the main point of this diary.

                  I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                  by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:20:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You basically stated the banana argument (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ozsea1, Sandino, Joieau, chmood

                whether you mentioned bananas or not.

                Radioactivity that we are exposed to here every day, by being on or in the water or consuming seafood is the same as if the terrible events at Fukushima never took place.
          •  Wisdom in distrust of party line (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, Sandino, Joieau

            "there's no danger" sounds too much like the party line, there is wisdom in distrusting it.

            Also, there are videos showing that rain concentrates radioactive dust at ground level resulting in alarming readings.

            the Clear Light is the consciousness of the quantum vacuum

            by Sharkmeister on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:29:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's not how the reality-based community works (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, duhban, Ender, T100R, ebohlman, PJEvans

          "I don't believe him" is not a counter-argument.

          One of the nice things about science is that it's not about "belief." Everything the diarist is saying is something you can check out on your own. You don't think the background radiation of seawater is 14 Bq/L? Go get a liter of seawater and test it. Don't know how to test it? Then hit the books and find out.

          •  I don't know about who (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, Sandino

            you're responding to, but the issue isn't the background radiation level of seawater. It's about if and by how much radioisotopes from Fukushima are bioaccumulating in ocean life in the Pacific. Given that Fukushima has been acknowledged as the biggest radiological ocean contamination event that has ever occurred and all. And getting worse by the day.

            You didn't understand this from the diary or comments?

            •  You are totally full of it (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ender, pico, terrypinder

              "The biggest radiation contamination event that has ever occurred"?

              Really. The release from Fukushima has pumped more radiation into the ocean than the 106 nuclear weapons detonated in the Pacific Proving Grounds by the United States (including the Castle Bravo shot that was much bigger than planned and actually killed people due to acute radiation poisoning from fallout)?

              Go on, pull the other one. All you've done is spout of terms that you clearly have little to no understanding of.

              •  You need to put decades of testing (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chmood, Joieau

                into a single event to make your dishonest claim of dishonesty. Are you a lawyer?

                •  Why don't you do some research? (0+ / 0-)

                  In a two month period in 1954 (March 1 to April 22nd), 6 weapons were exploded at Bikini Atoll (which included the Castle Bravo test I mentioned), for a total combined yield of over 48 megatonnes.

                  Operation Redwing (May-July 1956), 17 detonations, including one which is considered the dirtiest bomb the US ever detonated.

                  Operation Hardtack I (April-August 1958): 38 nuclear weapons detonated.

                  Operation Dominic (April-October 1962): 36 nuclear weapons detonated.

                  So those "decades of testing" wasn't having the odd weapon pop off every now and then, it consisted of short periods of intense activity with nuclear weapons going off in proximity in space and time. So fine, let's not consider the entire lifetime of the Pacific Proving Grounds. Consider any of the individual operations, which consisted of multiple detonations over a far shorter time period than the 2 and half years Fukushima has been an issue. That better?

              •  It is grossly dishonest to misrepresent (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sandino

                what someone says here - and put quotes on the misrepresentation to boot. What I said is right there in my post, anyone can read it for themselves.

                What I actually said was:

                Fukushima has been acknowledged as the biggest radiological ocean contamination event that has ever occurred
                ...referring to the April 4, 2011 report Fukushima Disaster Produces Worlds Worst Nuclear Sea Pollution from the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety [IRSN].
                •  Wow! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! (0+ / 0-)

                  You used the words: "The biggest radiation contamination event that has ever occurred"

                  We can see it right there on the screen! There is no misrepresentation of what you wrote.

                  If there is anything dishonest going on here it is your fake title for the article. The real title is, Impact on marine environment of radioactive releases
                  resulting from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident
                  .

                  Nowhere in the report do the words "biggest," "worse," "worst" or even "event" appear.

                  I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                  by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 01:11:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wait. Sorry. Northwatch left out the word "ocean." (0+ / 0-)

                    I didn't see it.

                    You are still totally wrong, though.

                    One hydrogen bomb exploded on one island is going to contaminate the ocean a lot more.

                    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                    by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 01:16:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  "The issue" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ender, terrypinder

              You write: "I don't know about who you're responding to"

              Then click the word "Parent" under my comment. It will take you to the comment I was responding to.

              In that comment, randallt stated that the reason the diarist was "terrible" was "because I don't believe him" due to his "attitude."

              "The issue" I was addressing was whether in science one believes or doesn't believe a factual claim based on the character of the person making the claim. (Spoiler: NO.)

              As an example, I cited the diarist's figure about the background radiation of seawater. The character and qualifications of the diarist have no bearing on whether that figure is correct. The figure can be independently checked. It's not a matter of "belief."

              That is all I was addressing. Go debate the larger claims of the diary with someone else. I was just stunned to find someone here responding to factual claims by saying, "WELL I DON'T BELIEVE IT" the way fundamentalists respond to evidence that the Earth is over 6000 years old. This is not a faith-based community. Any given person's "belief" is irrelevant.

              •  You say... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sandino
                "The issue" I was addressing was whether in science one believes or doesn't believe a factual claim based on the character of the person making the claim. (Spoiler: NO.)
                I agree wholeheartedly. Which is where MY bad attitude came from on this nuke PR campaign. This diarist asserted as fact just a few days ago that polonium-210 is "the most common" radionuclide in the oceans. Because a colleague of his said that, and he believed it. The colleague probably got it from one of his nuke handlers, who is no doubt laughing his ass off right now. A lie goes twice around the world before the truth even gets its pants on.

                This is a rather glaring factual error. This diarist has backed off (isn't asserting that any longer, to his credit), his colleague has not corrected it in his version of the current public PR campaign. I checked, just a couple of hours ago.

                So there's your issue - a scientist who believes a factual claim based on the character of the person who made it. However far back along the chain of disinformation that goes, the claim is still not true. And such an error does not inspire much confidence.

                •  In defense of the diarist (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AaronInSanDiego

                  The Nicholas S. Fisher, et all paper states that:

                  To link the radioactivity to possible health impairments,
                  we calculated doses, attributable to the Fukushima-derived and the naturally occurring radionuclides, to both the marine biota and human fish consumers. We showed that doses in all cases were dominated by the naturally occurring alpha-emitter 210 Po and that Fukushima-derived doses were three to four orders of magnitude below 210 Po-derived doses.

                  I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                  by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 01:53:57 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I would say trumpeting aug. 2011 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        measurements as relevant good news, when they are stunningly bad is problematic, though I won't impugn the diarist's intentions, just their competence.

    •  1 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:05:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the hide is for apologist (0+ / 0-)

      I'm past sick of that word.

      Der Weg ist das Ziel

      by duhban on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:08:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about radiation and rain fall? NT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1

    "We need a revolution away from the plutocracy that runs Government."

    by hangingchad on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:53:18 PM PST

  •  I wonder how much radiation I am feeding to my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Joieau

    cats.. all that tuna...

    "We need a revolution away from the plutocracy that runs Government."

    by hangingchad on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:54:18 PM PST

    •  probably very little (0+ / 0-)

      especially if you are using human tuna which well has a lot more stringent guidelines and also is closely monitored.

      Der Weg ist das Ziel

      by duhban on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:09:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope fancy feast... NT (0+ / 0-)

        "We need a revolution away from the plutocracy that runs Government."

        by hangingchad on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:00:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hhmm (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ender

          well honestly you might well have other problems then radiation. I would honestly suggest doing some research on it and even doing something as basic as looking at the lited ingredients for even basic things as 'where is the tuna listed'?

          As I understand it by law ingredients must be listed in descending order and that could be important. Also you can write to fancy feast about where they get their tuna and see what you can dig up online.

          Personally my cat if he ever gets tuna comes from a human can.

          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:08:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Let's ask this question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    T100R, Joieau

    when measuring the radioactivity of a water sample from the standpoint total activity present, how do you address the problem of the thickness of the sample being taken and the the interference of the water itself to transmission of beta particles and alpha particles if the water will suppress some of those particles?

    In another words, can the measurement of disintegrations at or above a water surface always necessarily reflect total particles generated in the interior of the aqueous sample by a known and predictable method or calculation or other protocol?

    •  That would be a pretty simple calculation (0+ / 0-)

      As you say, the water itself absorbs radiation.  But alpha and beta particles are so easily stopped, that the radiation observed is only coming from the near surface.

      So the observed radiation is only attributed to that small volume of surface water, or then extrapolated to the overall volume.

      The water sample would be considered to be uniform throughout.

      •  I wanted to see what Marine Chemist had (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, Joieau

        to say about it as it is kind of a metaphysical
        question about what and how a physical phenomena is measured and what it means.....

        •  Sampling (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ender, LakeSuperior

          Water samples are taken at sea and brought back to a laboratory, the radioactivity is not measured in-situ. One technique used for testing liquids is to spread the sample thinly between two detector plates like a pancake so emissions from radioactive decays aren't likely to be blocked or absorbed before they hit the detectors. The same principle can be applied to seabed mud and other solid materials.

          •  Ha! There you go again with that sciency stuff! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego

            What bugs me is that people assume that we haven't solved this simple problem of measuring water when we have known about nuclear radiation for a century or so.

            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 04:52:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Reporting the analyses (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ender, LakeSuperior

              There are two distinct phases of reporting of seawater radioactivity sampling around Fukushima Daiichi, a primary fast measurement and a more detailed measurement often requiring several days or weeks of accumulating counts. The first "quick and dirty" reading for samples directly offshore to the plant (basically taken with a bucket thrown off the pier or embankment) has a lower bound of about 1Bq/litre (it varies somewhat sample to sample) and most readings reported this way are labelled "ND" short for "Not Detected" i.e. the true radiation level is below that lower bound. In a few cases, for example after spills from the water storage tanks and piping or heavy rainfall in the area the daily or hourly readings might spike above the ND level. The major reason for doing these fast analyses is to hopefully spot if something catastrophic has happened.

               The second phase of analysis detects and quantifies much lower levels of contamination at the cost of time. A reading of 0.0008Bq/l for cesium-137 means there were 8 decays due to that isotope measured over a period of 10,000 seconds or about three hours. Unfortunately there will be 100,000 decays due to K-40 over the same period from the same sample which complicates things. The solution is to look at the energy spectrum of the emissions and identify which isotope caused them but this takes even more time. Typically these high-accuracy results take between four to eight weeks to process and report.

              •  How can you detect Cesium-137 at all without (0+ / 0-)

                an energy spectrum of the gamma rays?

                I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 05:21:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Spectrum analysis (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  raoul78, Ender, LakeSuperior

                  Cesium-137 decay is usually (according to the wiki article, the first source I could find) via a beta particle emission to the Ba-157m isomer and thence via a gamma emission to stable Ba-157. The gamma is usually about 660keV and that's probably what's used to characterise decays to give a Becquerel value for a sample due to Cs-137. K-40's gamma ray energy is 1.46MeV, Rb-87 (the other big contributor to radioactivity in seawater) decays by a beta emission only.

                   My long-ago undergrad experiments in this area used cruder equipment than would be available today -- my "spectrometer" was a thin wedge of aluminium, IIRC, wrapped in a cylinder around a point source. I rotated a scintillometer detector around the source and observed counts at various points and used the varying count numbers due to attenuation through the wedge to calculate the relative energies of gamma photons. I expect modern equipment to be a little bit more sophisticated, especially for measuring very small levels of radioactivity.

                  •  I misunderstood (0+ / 0-)

                    I thought that you were saying that you could detect it without spectrum analysis.

                    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                    by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:15:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  interesting timing (4+ / 0-)

    although somewhat less obvious in fluffery and puffery than the dreck diary from this morning, the timing, coinciding with the pro industry propaganda "special" on Corporate News Network tonight.....well, i am a bit skeptical.

    “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

    by ozsea1 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:19:26 PM PST

  •  Thank you very much. I think many non-scientists (7+ / 0-)

    are not fully grounded in the idea of background radiation or relative contributions. Your numbers are helpful.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:20:49 PM PST

    •  To speak of background radiation though, as a norm (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Duckmg, Sandino, Joieau

      is somewhat misleading, no? What was the 'normal' background radiation before we started burning coal? Before uranium ore mining? Before the open air nuke tests? Before the nuke plants proliferating?

      We're in a situation where the new additions get measured later and 'normal' is always defined upwards, it seems to me.

      As to relative contributions: I hope you don't mean the old banana/x-ray/plane trip business. Because the effects of radiation are cumulative. One insult doesn't have an equal value to another insult, one adds to the effect of the other.

      And nobody but nobody can be practicing science and say they know what a tipping point is for any given person or creature or environment.


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

      by Jim P on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:33:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hi Jim, (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban, Wee Mama, Jim P, raoul78, terrypinder

        Almost 90% of radiation in seawater comes from primordial potassium-40 which would exist whether we had mined uranium, produced nuclear weapons or not.  That is the point of this discussion.  Only 7% of radioactive elements are in the ocean because of human activities.

        @JayTCullen http://web.uvic.ca/~jcullen

        by MarineChemist on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:56:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the effects of radioactivity are cumulative. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Joieau

          I recall a bit of my high school chemistry, and we know that if you add just enough drops of one substance to a solution of another, everything can change instantly.

          So without knowledge of which number drop does what, if anything -- and nobody has more than their best guess on that at this point -- it's a bit much to assert that a tiny more is going to leave everything more or less as it was before.

          And we don't really have measurements for what the level of potassium-40 existed in, say, 1540, do we? Again, best guess, but know way to know if all factors have been considered. Because we don't have 'science' (Latin 'knowing') of all factors. Not enough data long enough.


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

          by Jim P on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:25:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hi Jim, (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ender, PJEvans, raoul78, terrypinder, Wee Mama

            Potassium has a residence time in the ocean of about 12 million years. Its concentration in the ocean and the contribution of primordial K-40 to its total concentration has not changed since long before human beings have been present on the Earth. If Henry the VIII had an interest in and means to determine the concentration of K+ and the activity of K-40 he would have measured just what we measure today.  K-40 and its Argon decay product are a really important tool used to date old rocks and its history and abundance on the planet are very well constrained.

            Hope this helps.  Cheers.

            @JayTCullen http://web.uvic.ca/~jcullen

            by MarineChemist on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:30:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The funny thing about radioactive cesium (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino, AaronInSanDiego

              is that it didn't exist on the planet Earth before the nuclear age and now it is in everything.

              If someone wants to sell you a hundred year old bottle of wine, you can test if the wine is emitting gamma rays from cesium. If it is, then it was bottled after the nuclear age.

              I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

              by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:24:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Then again, lots of us are (3+ / 0-)

      very much aware of background radiation, as well as a lot of unnecessary doses delivered by our doctors and dentists. Medical exposures count for most of the lifetime accumulation we get in this day and age. Oh, and releases from coal burning, and normally operating nukes, and especially melting/exploding nukes.

      It all does biological damage. The less of that you accumulate, the better your chances of system repair or elimination of damaged cells or cells with damaged DNA. Some people don't eat junk food or meat, also for health reasons. Some people are meticulous about adequate daily exercise, also for health reasons. We are entering a time when many will stop eating Pacific seafood (and Gulf seafood, etc.) because of health reasons.

      People can't make entirely rational choices unless they have access to entirely honest data on the contaminates, their levels, and what harms they cause. I remember when the Chesapeak was closed to oystering because of dioxins and PCBs. But the government doesn't always step in. Especially not when some ex-CEO of the polluting industry goes through the revolving door and becomes the erstwhile regulator. That happens a lot.

  •  also, no substantive response (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, Sandino

    to questions regarding cesium  and strontium radioisotopes that bioaccumulate in tuna and other apex predators.

    “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

    by ozsea1 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:22:21 PM PST

  •  Cesium does not bioaccumulate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duhban, PJEvans

    The Wipipedia entry for Cesium says:

    Radiocaesium does not accumulate in the body as effectively as many other fission products (such as radioiodine and radiostrontium).
    The Wipipedia entry for Cesium-137 says:
    The biological half-life of caesium is rather short at about 70 days.

    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

    by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:44:02 PM PST

    •  'as effectively as' 'compared too' equals > 0. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      randallt, Sandino, Joieau

      What your quote means is that it DOES bioaccumulate.


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

      by Jim P on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:35:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The article I linked to shows that Cs-137 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, Joieau

      does bioaccumulate.  Harbor porpoises (top of the food chain) in Norway had far higher concentrations than other sea life.

      I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

      by the dogs sockpuppet on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:49:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have linked to no articles (0+ / 0-)

        You have to linked to sites where maybe you can pay to read an article.

        Your links prove nothing.

        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

        by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:21:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I linked to the abstracts. I'm an academic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          and am able to freely link to the articles.  I'm sorry you can't.  I assumed most of the people here who are able to talk about this in an educated way would have the same permissions I have.  The abstracts cover the conclusions of the articles though... so you don't get to just discount the science.

          I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

          by the dogs sockpuppet on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:52:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So give us the link to the actual article (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PJEvans

            You are the one who is discounting science. Science says that the releases from Fukishima are no threat to the continental United States. You are claiming that they are a threat through innuendo with no facts to back it up.

            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

            by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:01:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yo. Your own cites (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, Sandino

      admit that it does bioaccumulate.

      •  How can it accumulate with a half life of 70 days? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PJEvans

        It is nothing like mercury.

        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

        by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:23:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not being mercury (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, Sandino

          has nothing to do with the bioaccumulation of cesium. Or iodine, for that matter. Which has a half-life of only 8 days. Do you wish to assert for us here in public that iodine-131 does not bioaccumulate and notably cause cancer?

          •  You didn't answer my question (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PJEvans

            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

            by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:09:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, I did. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino

              You said it can't bioaccumulate because it's got a biological half-life of only 70 days. I showed you an isotope with a half-life half-life of 8 days that very much DOES bioaccumulate and is famous for causing cancer.

              Yes, an isotope with a biological half-life of 70 days - and a half-life half-life of 30 years - can indeed bioaccumulate.

              •  That's apples and oranges and you know it (0+ / 0-)

                The thyroid gland hold onto strontium. It doesn't do that for cesium

                The next thing that you are going to claim is that fish swim over from Japan in eight days.

                Besides even if the cesium was ten times higher in the fish than the environment, ten times next to nothing is still next to nothing.

                There is no threat to the health of people eating seafood in America and you have not given one iota of evidence to prove otherwise.

                I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:34:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I won't use the T-word, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino

                  but we have an under-bridge dweller here who is just spouting ignorant nonsense because he gets off on that.

                  Thyroid glands don't hold onto strontium. Or cesium. The information was right there in my comment he replied to with this garbage. Oy.

                  Done with it, under-bridge dwellers should not be fed.

                  •  Since you are resorting to name-calling (0+ / 0-)

                    I will assume that you are admitting that you lost the argument.

                    Please stay out of scientific diaries until you understand science.

                    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                    by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:17:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Name calling? (0+ / 0-)

                      Joy knows her stuff.

                      Judging by your "commentary", you don't.

                      So, you're either misinformed or lying.

                      Your persistence is a huge tell, troll.

                      “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

                      by ozsea1 on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:31:32 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Wow that was informative (0+ / 0-)

                        If you had said that to someone else, I would give you a donut.

                        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                        by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:05:33 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  lol (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Joieau, Sandino

                          In following your exchange with Joy, I've been rather fascinated by just how uninformed you really are.

                          Giving you the benefit of the doubt, of course.

                          Now you bring up threats of donuts, which is an even bigger tell.

                          “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

                          by ozsea1 on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:26:11 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  More ad hominem attacks! (0+ / 0-)

                            Is that all you've got?

                            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:29:13 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  You mean iodine (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ender, Joieau

                  blanket assurances mixed with scientific mistakes are less reassuring than you might hope.

                  •  Ha! You are right! (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sandino, AaronInSanDiego

                    I meant iodine. I couldn't figure out what the hell she was talking about in her reply.

                    The thyroid holds onto iodine and the bones hold onto strontium.

                    Thanks for the correction!

                    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                    by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:46:48 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  duh (0+ / 0-)

          google that word bioaccumulate.  Maybe also look up half-life, then tell me how long it takes for something with a half life of 70 days to be gone completely.

  •  I am doubtful ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, Sandino, Joieau

    as the distribution of radiation from Fukushima is travelling in plumes and pockets of high radiation, whereas other areas are not that affected.

    West Coast of North America to Be Hit Hard by Fukushima Radiation.

    While many people assume that the ocean will dilute the Fukushima radiation, a previously-secret 1955 U.S. government report concluded that the ocean may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents, and there could be “pockets” and “streams” of highly-concentrated radiation.

    The University of Hawaii’s International Pacific Research Center created a graphic showing the projected dispersion of debris from Japan:

    •  Define "high radiation" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PJEvans, AaronInSanDiego

      The article sites no scientific articles and says that the amount will peak at 10 Bq per cubic meter.

      Given the existing level of 14,000 Bq per cubic meter, how could you even detect an increase that small?

      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

      by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:40:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  a 1955 study (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ender

      is probably not very good. We have better information on currents now, for one thing.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:17:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wrong, Wrong and Wrong (5+ / 0-)

    Cesium is not a natural radiation source.

    If one eats a banana which is loaded with radioactive K, your body will excrete the excess and remain in balance.

    If one ingests seafood with Cesium, one becomes more radioactive.

    Further, radiation can become more concentrated as we move up the food chain.  

    It is not at all clear that eating the seafood is safe.  Further we are not even  testing our seafood.

    •  Let me get this straight (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PJEvans

      Do you think that radiation from man-made sources is somehow qualitatively different from radiation from natural sources?

      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

      by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:03:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, Joieau

        Cesium and potassium are obviously qualitatively different.

      •  You already posed this stupid question above (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        like some clever trick, as if we couldn't see it as something between a semantic red herring, and a blanket denial of the scientifically accepted linear response to radiation exposure.

        As i said above, both the radiation is different, and the health effects are different, and of course doubling the bullets in the russian roulette revolver doubles your chances of getting hit, even if there are already 10 out of 1,000,000 chambers loaded.

        •  Let me get this straight (0+ / 0-)

          Do you think that radiation from man-made sources is somehow qualitatively different from radiation from natural sources?

          I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

          by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:50:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  get this straight (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau

            radiation from different isotopes is different. Those of us involved in science use the big word 'spectroscopy' to describe the process of looking at the products from nuclear decays, measuring their energy, and deducing which isotopes they came from. You can really learn a lot from this, but only if you can afford some pretty expensive tools.
             Of course one electron is indistinguishable from from another, and if that is your point with this painfully dimwitted badgering, then of course there is no difference between electrons (or photons!) from primordial 40K and funky fresh 90Sr.  The important point you are struggling to obfuscate is that adding radioisotopes to an organism always increases the risk to that organism that a decay will damage them. For many, doubling their already small chances of cancer is no big deal. Others understand that children are much more susceptible to damage from exposure to radiation, but don't care cause children tend to be loud and often smelly.

            •  Why are you avoiding my question? (0+ / 0-)

              I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

              by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:34:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why can't you read my answers? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau

                You can't just make up some gamey phrase and demand a yes or no answer to pretend to score some points. I haven't even bothered to explain that the difference in decay energy between manmade and natural radioisotopes probably does imply a different biological effect, because that energy depends primarily on the isotope, and is not consistently higher or lower for man-made vs. naturally occurring species.  Your premise is simplistic but misinformed, your 'argument' style borders on disingenuous.

                •  You are still not answering my question (0+ / 0-)

                  Are the biological effects always worse with an artificial isotope or a natural one?

                  I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                  by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:41:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You just changed your question (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ender, Joieau

                    fortunately it is a more patently absurd question.  The answer is NO, the effects are not always worse. It depends on the details of where the isotope is when it decays, which is a matter of chemistry and biology, the forbidden branches of science in your threads apparently.

                    •  Well, That was the question that I meant to ask (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sandino

                      If you know a better way of phrasing it that non-scientists can understand, please let me know.

                      I don't know why we are arguing when we seem to agree on most things.

                      You seem to understand the science.

                      My only point is that the amount of radioactive contamination contributed by Fukushima is dwarfed by the other sources.

                      If you think that this is wrong, please say so.

                      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                      by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 12:57:03 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Here's my question (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Ender, Joieau

                        Are your chances of winning the lottery identical if you have 2 tickets instead of one?  11 instead of 10?

                        Arguing that the effects are small in comparison to a background is fundamentally problematic, since the effect is cumulative. The fact that the diarist has published at least 2 press-release like diaries using outdated science to make false/unsupported claims about the current state of pacific ecosystems is also suspect, given the decades of professional disinformation aimed at downplaying the risks of radioactive contamination.

                        •  The difference between 1 in 10 million and 2 (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sandino, Oh Mary Oh

                          in ten million is too small to measure, so yes, it is pretty much the same chances in a lottery.

                          This "professional disinformation" sounds like a conspiracy theory to me. All the diarist said was that the Fukushima radioactive contamination is not to blame. He never said that there were no problems with the Pacific ocean.

                          I think that the bio problems in the Pacific are due to pollution, over fishing and CO2. If it turns out to be due to radiation, you could knock me over with a feather.

                          These are very serious problems with life in the Pacific ocean. I just think that blaming them on Fukishima is barking up the wrong tree.

                          If you could list the false/unsupported/outdated claims made by the diarist, I would appreciate the information.

                          I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                          by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 01:33:11 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The infamous tuna (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ender, Joieau

                            that the paper here is based on were caught off California in Aug. 2011. That means they did not spend much time hanging around Fukushima. Since that time the releases into the ocean have increased massively. Ignoring this fact, even after the NYT and Wall St Urinal have featured the massive, ongoing and unstoppable releases is, at best, incompetent.
                            The fact that the contamination reached California via tuna so quickly is shocking, and I would never have thought it possible It is nothing to be reassured about. Those are the least radioactive Northern Pacific Tuna we will see in our lifetimes.

                            p.s.
                            The disinformation campaign began with the ABCC and is basically a matter of public record at this point. That is another diary in itself, and was mentioned as context for skepticism, rather than as directly relevant to the current topic or diarist.

                          •  Do you mean the Nicholas S. Fisher, et all paper? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raoul78, terrypinder, Sandino

                            I just found it.

                            Evaluation of radiation doses and associated risk from the Fukushima nuclear accident to marine biota and human consumers of seafood.

                            I am still in the Holy-Shit-somebody-actually-injected-science-into-this-discussion phase. (That is, I haven't read the paper, yet.)

                            The paper was approved on April 18, 2013. I don't know of another paper that has contradicted it. It takes a long time to peer review these things, so I wouldn't say that the information is wrong just because of the calender.

                            Granted that this is just speculation, but wouldn't the greatest release of contamination occur during the hydrogen explosions of March, 2011?

                            I don't know why you say that, "Since that time the releases into the ocean have increased massively."

                            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 02:34:34 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks for finding this (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ender, Sandino
                          •  On the 4th page it says that (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raoul78, Sandino

                            in August 2012, pacific blue fin tuna caught off California
                            were found to have less than half the levels of radioactive Cesium than were found in August 2011, which would result in even lower doses to human consumers.

                            (I am going to quote/steal/abbreviate some conclusions from the right-hand column on the 4th page):

                            Eating a a typical restaurant-sized serving of pacific tuna (200 g) is only about 5% of the dose acquired from eating one uncontaminated banana (assuming 200 g weight) and absorbing its naturally occurring Potassium.

                            More strikingly, the dose from both Cs isotopes is only 0.2% of that attributable to the naturally occurring 210 Po from ingesting the fish.

                            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

                            by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 04:18:40 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I can't wait to see the 2013 tuna (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ender

                            That disproves my comment about least radioactive tuna though. I wish they'd also show strontium levels... or maybe not. I also don't want to think about polonium... at all.

  •  I think that our science has surpassed our wisdom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges

    We have the capability to measure infinitesimally small amounts. Does that mean that these amounts are a threat? No, it doesn't.

    We can detect small increases in radiation coming from outer space. Does that mean that the increase is a threat? No it doesn't.

    We can detect E. coli bacteria on every horizontal surface in your home. Does that mean that the bacteria are a threat to your health? No it doesn't.

    We can detect infinitesimally small amounts of radionuclides from Fukushima. Does that mean that these amount are a threat? No it doesn't.

    Alarmists will claim that every increase in radiation exposure increases your risk of cancer, but they cannot measure how much the risk increases. Is it more risk than smoking a cigarette or taking a coast to coast flight?

    I say that if you can't measure it then you should shut up about it.

    If the increased risk is less than that from smoking half a cigarette, then why are we worrying about it?

    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

    by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:35:37 PM PST

    •  YOU are obviously not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino

      worrying about it. Which is fine, but not a good reason to spout so much insulting bullshit in a discussion of the nature of radiation and the hazards it represents for biological organisms.

      There is no alarmism here, there are disagreements about the hazards radioactive substances represent for biological organisms.

      You are free to expose yourself to radioactive substances all you like, nobody minds. What you are not free to do here on DKos is tell other commenters to STFU.

      •  Do you never tire of knocking down strawmen? (0+ / 0-)

        You have been a total alarmist in this diary and the other one about seafood.

        You were fear mongering about iodine in seaweed above.

        Here is some more of your fear mongering:

        a majority of the bluefin off northeastern Japan are too radioactive under Japanese regulations to be eaten.
        It's not going to work - the defueling of the #4 SFP starts this month. It has a real chance of turning into another disaster, much bigger than a Level 7.
        Here is some of your fear mongering about seafood from the other diary:
        If there's more polonium than cesium in the tuna, no one should be eating tuna.
        Yes, we may presume the concentration in tuna and other migratory predators has gone up likewise, as the levels in their preferred foods - anchovies, squid, sardine, mackerel, sand dab and other small fish - have gone up. And will continue to go up until the sea life just starts dying

        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

        by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 02:00:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Still waiting on you to make one on-topic post (0+ / 0-)

        The diarist says that contributions to overall radioactivity in the Pacific ocean by Fukushima are dwarfed by the other sources.

        Do you agree or disagree?

        And no more red herrings about polonium or bioaccumulation.

        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

        by Ender on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 02:17:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Please update or delete diary (0+ / 0-)

    You are citing data and measurements form 2011, but flows of radioisotopes into the pacific have increased since then, and show no signs of being stopped by man or nature in our lifetimes. If 100% of tested tuna crossing the pacific were already contaminated in 2011, then it seems clear that the contamination in the food chain must be substantially worse after 2 years of increased discharges.  It is reassuring that you feel like adding a bullet to the radioactive roulette revolver is no big deal.   Who wouldn't gladly double their chances for cancer or leukemia for that wonderful sashimi platter!

    •  What do you mean by contamination? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      Something that is only measurable by our most sensitive instruments and is therefore no threat to our health?

      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

      by Ender on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:52:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  From the well established scientific (0+ / 0-)

        principle "What you don't know can't hurt you"? Or is it the 'hide & seek' theory of closing your eyes so they can't find you?

        Your claim that it can't effect our health is, or course, scientifically false. Every additional radioactive decay in our bodies increases the chances of cancer of other health impacts.

        And to answer your question, by contamination, I mean the presence of man-made radioisotopes of Cesium, Strontium, Iodine, Tritium, and a handful or others.

    •  "Who wouldn't gladly double their chances (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh, raoul78, Ender

      for cancer or leukemia for that wonderful sashimi platter!"

      That's dishonest. It supports a hoax, actually several related hoaxes.

      The many postings that assert that people are dying from radiation coming from nuclear power plants, even Fukushima, are pushing hokum.

      The radiation in our atmospheric sewer comes mostly from coal fired power plants. The second biggest contributor is the hold-over radiation from nuclear bomb tests from decades ago -- it gets kicked back up with forest fires and the like.

      Fukushima made a big mess for local scales. But on a global scale it is one tiny mess. The change to background radiation in the Pacific Ocean for the West Coast of the United States is less than 1 part per 1,000,000,000.

      Yeah, eating bananas is way riskier for radiation exposure. Gotta die of something!

      •  Who here has asserted (0+ / 0-)

        that people are dying from radiation coming from nuclear plants?

        Which is not to say that no one has died or is dying because of radiation from nuclear plants over the past half-century. I just haven't seen that here in the diary or comments.

        In the nuclear game they have a thing known as "Cost-Benefit Analysis." They use it for assessing the impacts of other things too, like coal plants and chemical plants and a host of other modern industries and products that are known to cause serious health effects and/or death. They extrapolate statistically their expected releases of said contaminates out to the number of people who will have it dumped on them (usually without being told), determine how many of those people are likely to die of said contamination in the course of the regular operation of the industrial plant, and decide that x-many dead children or miscarriages or stillbirths or ultimately fatal birth defects or other related deaths are worth it because there's x-amount of money to be made on the endeavor.

        A more apt description of this is "premeditated random murder." Because it's random - "nobody could have foreseen" that it was YOU who ends up dead - it's considered a fair price in human lives for the return in cold, hard cash.

        Oh yeah. They almost never do the same analysis on how many will die if a disaster happens and the industrial plant blows up and dumps its load far and wide, and they also almost never count dangers from waste products. Which are often handled by low-level organized criminal outfits.

        In Japan they go ahead and use organized criminal enterprises as contractors and subcontractors for daily operations in a wide variety of industries, including nuclear power plants. Yakuza.

      •  Oh, and just so you know (0+ / 0-)

        to refrain from (yet again) asserting the banana bunk, eating bananas changes your body burden of K40 not one bit.

      •  More perspective (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ender, waterstreet2013

        Plutonium release from Fukushima -- a couple grams

        Plutonium release from atmospheric nuke tests -- a couple million grams

        Since we've haven't all died from plutonium poisoning due to the H-bombs, I think we'll somehow survive the plutonium from Fukushima.

        More perspective. Fernald, Ohio. Over a couple decades, the local uranium processing plant put several million pounds of uranium dust out of the smokestacks. The CDC now monitors the local population. And finds ... very little. Possibly a slight cancer increase, but also possibly statistical noise. Yet if uranium dust really was as deadly as the conspiracy crowd here claims, all of southwest Ohio should be unfit for human habitation.

        •  No one here has claimed (0+ / 0-)

          or even remotely suggested that "we" will all die of plutonium from Fukushima. Or any other source of plutonium. The subject has been cesium from Fukushima, and whether or not that represents excess dose in addition to natural (and unnatural) background.

          At some point "we" will all likely have a 100% chance of being diagnosed with cancer at least once in our lifetimes - if we live long enough to be diagnosed with cancer. There will still and always be plenty of other things to die of before and after that diagnosis is delivered.

        •  Source? (0+ / 0-)
          Plutonium release from Fukushima -- a couple grams

          Plutonium release from atmospheric nuke tests -- a couple million grams

        •  What got ruptured a Fukushima was the cooling (0+ / 0-)

          system.

          Not the reactors. Not at all.

          The reactors scammed before the tsunami arrived. They were all shut down. done automatically within seconds of the first major tremor. This is clear in the timelines and graphic depiction of the 3/11 events.

          Now protecting cooling systems is a different problem. They are not hardened. But this is not a part of the system that sees plutonium in any quantity at all. As in zero.

          Plutonium from atmospheric testing ??? That's all over Japan, more heavily to the north. Want a gram of plutonium, it's there and a lot more. Run off areas have collected fallout to basins for decades.

          •  "The reactors scammed..." (0+ / 0-)

            LOL!!! [wipes eyes] Oh, my. Sorry to take such amusement from a typo, but occasionally typos really are funny just for their suddenly more appropriate descriptions.

            The 'cooling systems' are the reactor/steam loop water and the pumps that keep it circulating. When your pipes break the water drains out. Even if the pumps were still powered (which they weren't), they'd have nothing to pump.

            It doesn't matter whether the control rods are down or not in a large-break LOCA. Without coolant the core will melt - physics. GE and ORNL gamed the long ago. It takes 16 hours from loss of coolant to melt-through. That time frame relative to where the pipe breaks are and how much coolant is lost. If there's no makeup - and if the feed pipes are broken there cannot be - it will take awhile longer for remaining water to boil off before the corium exits the vessel.

            Three cores melted down and melted through at Daiichi in March of 2011. This is known and documented. Three reactor buildings at Daiichi blew up, two of them rather spectacularly and captured on video for all to see. One reactor building blew more out than up, as its corium flow managed to find its way to the torus conduit before it blew. This is all known and documented. The atmospheric plumes of contamination are still circling the globe and fallout is still falling out. This is known and documented.

            So no. The fallout is not from atmospheric testing in the 1950s and'60s (or wartime bombings in 1945). Nor is the current massive and increasing release of waterborne contaminates to the ocean from those sources. This is known and documented.

            You are fooling no one.

          •  Wow. A new hoax. (0+ / 0-)

            "Three cores melted down and melted through at Daiichi in March of 2011. This is known and documented."

            No way.

            The system was engineered so that fire trucks could be brought in if a major tsunami wrecked all power systems. Water from fire trucks was used after 3/11 to keep the reactor cores from melting in the worst hit units.

            A reactor core melt down would look like what happened at Chernobyl with that "RBMK" non-standard Russian design. A meltdown blast would shatter the containment.

            At Fukushima there were two minor explosions related to hydrogen releases. These explosions blew off corrugated sheet on an outer structure used for environmental protection.

            The hoax ??? That nuclear power is extremely dangerous. Nuclear power killing Americans in the last 60 years ??? -- that's nobody from radiation leaks. Zero.

            A secondary hoax is the claim that nuclear engineering is corrupt, like the coal business executives. Again, no way.

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