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Forum Post: Radioactive Ground Water Under Fukushima Nears Sea

Posted 4 years ago on Aug. 23, 2013, 10:29 a.m. EST by LeoYo (5909)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Radioactive Ground Water Under Fukushima Nears Sea


MARI YAMAGUCHI3 hours agoNatureEnvironmentTokyo Electric Power Company

TOKYO (AP) — Deep beneath Fukushima's crippled nuclear power station a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant's reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the sea.

Now, two-and-a-half years later, experts fear it is about to reach the Pacific and greatly worsen what is fast becoming a new crisis at Fukushima: the inability to contain vast quantities of radioactive water.

The looming crisis is potentially far greater than the discovery earlier this week of a leak from a tank used to store contaminated water used to cool the reactor cores. That 300-ton (80,000 gallon) leak is the fifth and most serious since the disaster of March 2011, when three of the plant's reactors melted down after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant's power and cooling functions. But experts believe the underground seepage from the reactor and turbine building area is much bigger and possibly more radioactive, confronting the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., with an invisible, chronic problem and few viable solutions. Many also believe it is another example of how TEPCO has repeatedly failed to acknowledge problems that it could almost certainly have foreseen — and taken action to mitigate before they got out of control.

It remains unclear what the impact of the contamination on the environment will be because the radioactivity will be diluted as it spreads further into the sea. Most fishing in the area is already banned, but fishermen in nearby Iwaki City were hoping to resume test catches next month following favorable sampling results. Those plans have been scrapped after news of the latest tank leak. "Nobody knows when this is going to end," said Masakazu Yabuki, a veteran fisherman in Iwaki, just south of the plant where scientists say contaminants are carried by the current. "We've suspected (leaks into the ocean) from the beginning ... TEPCO is making it very difficult for us to trust them."

To keep the melted nuclear fuel from overheating, TEPCO has rigged a makeshift system of pipes and hoses to funnel water into the broken reactors. The radioactive water is then treated and stored in the aboveground tanks that have now developed leaks. But far more leaks into the reactor basements during the cooling process — then through cracks into the surrounding earth and ground water. Scientists, pointing to stubbornly high radioactive cesium levels in bottom-dwelling fish since the disaster, had for some time suspected the plant was leaking radioactive water into the ocean. TEPCO repeatedly denied that until last month, when it acknowledged contaminated water has been leaking into the ocean from early in the crisis. Even so, the company insists the seepage is coming from part of a network of maintenance tunnels, called trenches, near the coast, rather than underground water coming from the reactor area.

"So far, we don't have convincing data that confirm a leak from the turbine buildings. But we are open to consider any possible path of contamination," said TEPCO spokesman Yoshimi Hitosugi.

The turbine buildings at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are about 150 meters (500 feet) from the ocean. According to a Japan Atomic Energy Agency document, the contaminated underground water is spreading toward the sea at a rate of about 4 meters (13 feet) a month.

At that rate, "the water from that area is just about to reach the coast," if it hasn't already, said Atsunao Marui, an underground water expert at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology who is on a government committee studying the contaminated water problem. "We must contain the problem as quickly as possible."

TEPCO, nationalized and burdened with the astronomical cleanup costs, has been criticized for repeatedly lagging in attempts to tackle leakage problems. As a precautionary step, it has created chemical blockades in the ground along the coast to stop any possible leaks, but experts question their effectiveness. After a nearly two-year delay, construction of an offshore steel wall designed to contain contaminated water has begun.

The utility has also proposed building frozen walls — upside down comb-shaped sticks that refrigerate surrounding soil — into the ground around the reactor areas, but that still has to be tested and won't be ready until 2015 if proved successful.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this month announced the government would intervene and provide funding for key projects to deal with the contaminated water problem.

"This is a race against the clock," said Toyoshi Fuketa, a commissioner on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Compounding TEPCO's problems is the new leak discovered this week. Most of the 300 tons is believed to have seeped into the ground, but some may have escaped into the sea through a rainwater gutter, said Zengo Aizawa, the company's executive vice president.

That, too, may be a harbinger of more problems ahead.

Some 1,000 steel tanks built across the plant complex contain nearly 300,000 tons (300 million liters, 80 million gallons) of partially treated contaminated water. About 350 of them have rubber seams intended to last for only five years. Company spokesman Masayuki Ono said it plans to build additional tanks with welded seams that are more watertight, but will have to rely on rubber seams in the meantime. Shinji Kinjo, a regulatory official in charge of the Fukushima disaster, said the rubber-seam tanks are mostly built in a rush when the contaminated water problem started, and often lacked adequate quality tests and require close attention.

Workers have already spotted two more questionable tanks during inspection Thursday.

"It's like a haunted house, one thing happening after another," said Nuclear Regulatory Agency Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said, referring to the spate of problems at the plant. "But we must take any steps that would reduce risks to avoid a fatal accident."

Leaks of highly contaminated water from the above-ground tanks aggravate the groundwater problem.

"Any contamination in the groundwater would eventually flow in to the ocean. That is very difficult to stop even with barriers," said Ken Buesseler, a marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. He found that radioactive cesium levels in most fish caught off the Fukushima coast hadn't declined in the year following the March 2011 disaster, suggesting that the contaminated water from the reactor-turbine areas is already leaking into the sea.

But TEPCO hasn't provided the details he and other scientists need to further assess the situation.



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[-] 5 points by LeoYo (5909) 4 years ago

Dying bees, nuclear leaks, pollution caused extreme weather conditions, genetic modifications, transnational privatization, extremist socially facilitated delusions, war, etc. It's almost enough to make one give up and certainly enough to keep others from never even giving a damn.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 4 years ago

Blissfully unaware certainly has its own appeal. Until things start affecting you directly, that is.

[-] 3 points by TropicalDepression (-45) 4 years ago

All of this just further proves why nuclear is such a horrendous alternative. One mishap and its massive destruction.

Heres a house ran on algae: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/business/energy-environment/german-building-uses-algae-for-heating-and-cooling.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 4 years ago

And just think; They're building brand new nuke plants in the U.S. right now as I write. More nuke plants are planned for construction. There has been no major redesign of nuclear plants since the Fukushima plant was built. The nuclear industry and complicit governments are going about their business as if nothing happened.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 4 years ago

It's a virtual "China Syndrome" worse case scenario, only for real. Japan and it's nuke industry ~ having botched the safeguards that could have avoided this ~ have done their best to silence news about this catastrophe, and all they can do now is rearrange the proverbial deckchairs on this radioactive Titanic (UN intervention, please!). Our government and news media are under-reporting it, wisely, because the chaotic damage, crime and casualties from a nuclear fallout panic would be multitudes greater than that which the fallout could ever hope to cause, alone. Can we go alternative, now?


[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 4 years ago

There is nothing wise about "under reporting" what is happening at Fukushima. Its more like industry-government coverup to protect an industry that should not even exist. Fukushima is being covered up for the sake of some greedy few wanting to make money, and they are putting the planet and the future of the human race at risk because of it.

People ought to be getting mad. Get out the torches and pitchforks, march on Washington and demand the end to this foolishness of nuclear power.

Nuclear power produces only about 12% of the worlds energy needs, and only about 20% in the U.S.A. We could simply stop being energy gluttons and totally eliminate the need for nuclear power in one day.

[-] 3 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 4 years ago

Don't be naive or utopian. We live, die, win or lose in reality. Look at the reactionary responses people have made over 9-11, black POTUS, death panels, Benghazi, etc. With a fallout warning, insanity would reign: Millions of people would be fleeing the West, invading the East at full throttle speeds, the traffic accident casualties alone would surpass any possible harm from fallout. Hospitals would overflow within days. Looters? Highway Robbers? Vigilantes? Now, what do do think all those crazy fucks with weapon stockpiles would do?? Enter the military. Total fucking death & destruction, Walking Dead, AmeriKa, Civil War-2! Use your brain!

Until we figured out how to safely control nuclear power, it should never have been allowed for widespread use. But it already has. We let it. We were duped and derelict of our citizen duties. And we forget. We have to learn, eradicate and remember. Big Insurance won't insure nukes, this should have been a warning.

Meanwhile, we have to engage our neglected democratic tools and replace nuke and fossil fuel and energy with alternatives, ASAf-ingP!! But we will continue to fail if we continue to make the perfect the enemy of the better, or the condition for participation. We let ~ with abject negligence and petulance ~ money reign supreme and buy our democracy. This is reality until we fix it. We have to work with the reality that exists in order to fix it. We have lots of work to do.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5173) 4 years ago

This is another example of the diffusion law of our universe at work. The Pacific Ocean is the greatest dilutor possible for Fukusima's radioactive runoffs but the nature of radioactivity is that the dilution reduces the chance of being harmed, not the harm itself if it hits.

The runoffs will increase the so-called natural background radiation level which was increased due to atmospheric nuclear testings during the Cold War. If you believe that nuclear bomb explosions are "natural," the runoffs will just enhance this "natural" level.

It is such a shame that containment measures were not taken more aggressively so not only will we find enhanced tritium level in our bodies from nitrogen and radioactive cesium in our bananas and vegetables from atmospheric nuclear testings, we will soon be getting enhanced Fukushima contributions, too. I expect this to be at least an order of magnitude if not orders of magnitude worse than the erstwhile worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in terms of the total radiation dosage released. Chernobyl was dry but Fukushima is wet so the amount of radiation carried by the air (one-time very bad explosion at Chernobyl that dispersed significant amount of the radioactive material) and water (persistent cooling and ground water spilling into the ocean for decades from up to six reactor units at Fukushima) differ greatly.

[-] -2 points by moiat (5) from North Bergen, NJ 4 years ago

Where did you get your theory of the diffusion of information law? It seems wrong to me. It seems to me information changes, but not necessarily towards a diffusion. Biological evolution is an example of added complexity, not diffusion. What exactly do you mean?

As for the technical information about Fukushima and nuclear radiation, it seems like you don't really know what you are talking about. What kind of reading did you get that information from?

[-] 1 points by grapes (5173) 4 years ago

If you agree that complexity can be measured from 0 to +infinity and everything initially starts at 0 complexity, diffusion away from this wall of lower bound through random or not-so-random processes will necessarily deviate from this wall. Most will be close to the lower bound but a very few will be far away from the wall towards the higher complexity end.

Periodic table of the chemical elements. Cs, I, Sr, K are not gases at normal temperature and pressure so they tend to be much more transported by the water runoffs at Fukushima. T from neutron bombardment of nitrogen is normally found combined with O due to the high temperature to form radioactive heavy water that is sometimes found leaking from nuclear reactor sites into rivers, seas, etc.

Looking back at my posting above regarding bananas and vegetables, I think that you may have thought that the potassium part was incorrect. Yes, I made a mistake there thinking of potassium instead of cesium-137. Cesium is in the same chemical group as potassium so the radioactive cesium can masquerade as potassium and be absorbed into our fruits and vegetables. I corrected it.

[-] 1 points by moiat (5) from North Bergen, NJ 4 years ago

Honestly, you're difficult to understand. Reminds me of new-age kind of writing.

Where do you get your diffusion theory from. Is it of your making, or is it a known theory. I would like to look it up to understand better.

Diffusion usually refers to energy. When something is diffused, the tensions get lower, not strong. Complexity is diffused into something more simple. I'm finding hard to understand what you mean exactly. Do you think the world becomes more complex, or less complex through time?

You need to study chemistry and nuclear physics a bit more. For example, all foods and all things have radiation. We didn't create radiation in banana's, it was always there. You get more radiation from living in a basement than on the first floor (beta rays). The radiation levels from Fukushima are really small. You get more radiation when taking a plane. It's insignificant. I have a feeling you've been reading conspiracy theory websites. Can you provide links to what you've been reading, or a bibliography if it's some books? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I would like to check it out. It goes against all the scientists I have been reading in nature and other publications.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5173) 4 years ago

There are conservation laws that reign supreme even across parts of the universe billions of lightyears apart so that the information about the organization of all energy is NEVER destroyed. Since everything and I mean absolutely ALL of everything IS energy, the diffusion law governing the information about the organization of energy into visible and invisible parts governs everything. In fact, it is possible for instantaneous absolute correlation of information across the opposite ends of the universe but NO information is actually communicated due to the absolute correlation. The essense of communication is randomness. Giving one the complement of something gives no new information although the complement is absolutely correlated. Information allows one to choose among possibilities but absolute correlation allows NO choice at all.

The world changes through time. Whether it becomes more or less complex depends on what you chose for observation. We see changes because we decide to blur our vision - we let information escape our notice. Fundamentally, time is truly a figment of our imagination. There is evolution of the state of the universe but the passage of time exists only after we have partitioned these different states as an act of our consciousness.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5173) 4 years ago

When we measure matter's wavefunctions, we see very similar wave patterns as these. For example, electronic orbitals around atoms appear as standing wave patterns. We can even see diffraction patterns like those surrounding islands of a Zen rock garden. ALL matter has wave properties according to De Broglie's relation.

The essence of being is information embodied in the wavefunctions and everything has a wavefunction from which all that can possibly be known is to be derived.

[-] -1 points by moiat (5) from North Bergen, NJ 4 years ago

When we measure matter's wavefunctions, we see very similar wave patterns as these.

Circular. As these what? It seems like your saying that when we measure matter's wave functions we see very similar wave patterns as the matter's wave functions we are measuring. That makes no sense. It's like saying that if I measure the nose of a pig I'll see a very similar measurement as that of the nose of the pig. Circular.

The essence of being is information embodied in the wavefunctions and everything has a wavefunction from which all that can possibly be known is to be derived.

The essence of being could be felt, measured, understood, etc.. on so many levels. Why limit yourself to the lowest level. If anything, it would be the least important. Usually the essence of a thing (read Aristotle) is a combination of all its smaller parts. How those things are combined. For example, the essence of a drawing is not the individual lines, but the whole. What is drawn on the higher level. On a smaller level everything looks the same. It's not the place to look for the essence of things. The moon and my shoe are identical on the atomic level. What makes a moon different than a shoe (it's essence, again read Aristotle) is how all those atoms are organized.

The essence of being is information embodied in the wavefunctions and everything has a wavefunction from which all that can possibly be known is to be derived.

Again, this sentence is circular. You're saying the same thing twice. You could have stopped after the first "wave function".

everything has a wavefunction from which all that can possibly be known is to be derived.

Absolutely false. Everything cannot be derived from this low level. You cannot understand the moon by viewing the wave functions of it's atoms. There are so many things happening on higher levels.

What you are doing is called reductionism. Hyper reductionism. You cannot understand complex phenomenon by analysing the smallest parts individually. Just like you can't understand the meaning of a photograph by looking at its pixels one by one. The smaller parts brought together create something new and special which is called transcendence. The photograph example is good. If you think you can understand everything that can possibly be known by looking at the wave functions of particles, it's like saying you can understand everything that needs to be understood about photographs by looking at their individual pixels.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5173) 4 years ago

I think wavefunction's meaning is causing problems here. Two-dimensional boundary value problem at the surface of a round cup of hot tea being shaken to create various standing-wave patterns is analogous to but not the same as Schroedinger's equation for an isolated atom.

Schroedinger's equation is the diffusion equation of the wavefunction in imaginary time. The wavefunction for an electron around the isolated atom carries information about where the electron may be found. It is a complex state vector whose magnitude when squared is proportional to the probability of finding the electron at the location and time where the wavefunction is sampled.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5173) 4 years ago

Renormalization connects the macroscopic world to the underlying microscopic world. There are many other disciplines that deal with higher levels of abstraction and impart meanings. I do not encroach on their domains although I am claiming as you said that on one perspective a Rembrandt painting consists of pixels and the organization of which is described by the painting's wavefunction. When higher level meaning is ascribed to it, the meaning is stored physically in the perceiver's brain which again has a wavefunction. All meaning is physical but we often forget about ourselves when we observe. There is NO meaning without the observer.

[-] -1 points by moiat (5) from North Bergen, NJ 4 years ago

OK, I see, you're a new ager. Sorry, I have no interest for such mumbo jumbo.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5173) 4 years ago

New Ager, eh? Now I have been qualified as a New-Age Social Democrat. I need to strive to live up to my label better.

[-] -1 points by moiat (5) from North Bergen, NJ 4 years ago

Yes, you use a lot of big words in an unclear way to formulate sentences that don't mean a thing. New ager written all over it.

For example:

There are conservation laws that reign supreme even across parts of the universe billions of lightyears apart so that the information about the organization of all energy is NEVER destroyed.

What conservation laws exactly. Can you name them? Can you provide links that explain these physical laws?

that reign supreme even across parts of the universe billions of lightyears apart

All laws of physics reign supreme across the universe. This long addition serves no purpose in your sentence. It only gives the impression that the laws you are talking about are special in some way. They aren't. All laws of physics apply to the universe at large.

the information about the organization of all energy is NEVER destroyed.

What do you mean exactly by the information about the organization of energy. Can you give an example of such information? There are all kinds of informations that are destroyed all the time in the universe. For example, when you die a lot of information in your brain dies. If you have particular memories for example, they die.

Can you clarify even that one convoluted sentence? It's easy to string big words and make it seem like your saying something meaningful, but, I'm sorry, what you are saying is convoluted and without any real meaning. There's no precision at all.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5173) 4 years ago

Conservation laws for energy, momenta (linear, angular, intrinsic or spin), charge, etc. Two particles, once having been created together, can fly apart to opposite parts of the universe. Our measuring one's properties instaneously tells us the result of an experiment if performed on the other. The joint wavefunction for the pair experiences a collapse called the measurement problem. You can look up keywords in my text and learn about the topics.

All laws of physics have limitations on their domains of application. The well-known Newton's laws of motion do not work if speeds involved are significant fractions of the speed of light; nor do they work if Heisenberg's Indeterminacy Principle must be heeded. It is a little bit like why a flat paper map of a small town works well but navigational maps for the world show Greenland to be a humongous island. I do consider the laws that I have cited being special because they have the least restricted domains of application.

Death of a brain's memory is only seemingly destroyed. Due to the conservation laws that I have cited, interactions create imprints that endure as long as they are undisturbed. The destruction arises from the disturbance but even through the disturbance these laws still apply. The disturbance make reconstitution of the memory highly unlikely but still possible in principle. There is NO physical law prohibiting running the film backwards and seeing the memory reconstituted. There is only the probabilities involved favoring one direction of "time." Time allows evolution towards more probable states but these more probable states are what we choose for being the result when doing the experiment which allows time to transpire. On the microscopic undisturbed level, we can no longer discern whether the film is being run forward or backwards.

[-] -1 points by grapes (5173) 4 years ago

Some radiation IS artificially created by human follies, such as atmospheric nuclear testings. Others were created by natural processes out of human control such as supernova implosion/explosions. The Cs-137 in bananas is mostly the foolish doings of man because of the rather short radioactive half life of Cs-137. Your basement radiation likely came from the very long lived thorium and uranium produced during supernova implosion/explosions. The radiation you get when taking a plane came from cosmic rays whose origin is to me still somewhat unconfirmed.

Biologically, a single radioactive particle dislodging an electron from a chemical bond (nuclear-process-produced particles tend to have far more energy than at most a few electron volts needed for dislodging) can initiate a cascade that can end up in a deadly cancer, fast growing tissue being more vulnerable because they tend to have more genetic materials in play and exposed. We human beings have been living a very parochial kind of existence where what we do not know do not hurt us. We feel that if we smear things enough, they all become natural and background and by implication harmless, not knowing that some "naturals" are truly very unnatural.

Fukushima put many "Russian roulette pistols" into our biosphere. Someone WILL be killed for sure but our individual chances of getting killed is very small. The U.S. populace tends to take the view that even one human life may be too much to take and in fact some of us even gripe about the taking of other animals' lives, especially pets. Fukushima far exceeded that tolerance level. Due to its being centralized, there is the possibility of containing it long enough to allow the medium half-lived (decades) isotopes to decay sufficiently, thereby avoiding unnecessary human deaths and casualties.

As for sources, I do not even know where to begin. I have been reading for decades and updating my knowledge over time so I do not remember well where the information came from originally. I pretty much do the plausibility check on the information and integrate it with what I already know. I found that the more puzzle pieces one has already assembled, the easier it gets to understand both the big and small pictures. Oh, I remember that Heinz Pagel's "The Cosmic Code" talked about the organization of energy. Other topics to check out is EPR paradox, Bell's Inequality, wavefunctions, radioactive half-lives of the chemical elements, quantum entanglement, communication theory, information, entropy, evolution, etc.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 4 years ago

Scientists Link Spike in Thyroid Disease to Fukushima Disaster

Monday, 23 December 2013 11:06 By Jessica Desvarieux, The Real News Network | Video Interview



JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

There's been a lot of talk on the internet about Japan's electric company, TEPCO, dumping radioactive water in the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. So we here at The Real News wanted to know if there are real dangers to this activity, especially in light of the fact that highly radioactive water from the site has been seeping into the groundwater and the harbor off the plant.

With us to discuss whether this should be of real concern is our guest, Joseph Mangano. He is a health researcher and an expert on hazards of nuclear weapons and reactors. He is also the lead author in a recently published article in the peer-reviewed journal Open Journal of Pediatrics. It's titled "Fukushima Fallout: Damage to the Thyroids of California Babies".

Thanks for joining us, Joe.


DESVARIEUX: So, Joe, just right off the bat, what are you claiming to have found in your study?

MANGANO: Well, we know that the meltdown, the radiation from the meltdown in Japan is coming to the United States in two ways. First of all, in 2011, when it occurred, these 100-plus radioactive chemicals got into the air and went straight around the world, went completely around the northern hemisphere, including over the United States. And it got into our environment through precipitation, into the drinking water, into the pastures where cows graze [incompr.] milk and so on.

The second way it got into our diet and our bodies is still going on now. Since 2011, the Japanese have not been able to control the meltdown and are releasing these radioactive chemicals into the Pacific Ocean, and they have steadily been moving from west to east, hitting the--and are about to hit the West Coast.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. So in your study, you talk about hypothyroidism happening in children. Can you elaborate? MANGANO: Right. Well, not only do we know that the radiation has come here and that the greatest amounts were on the West Coast, but we also know in general that the people that are most susceptible to radiation exposure are the very young--the fetus, the infant, and the young child. A dose to an adult would not nearly be as harmful as the same dose to a fetus or a newborn.

We also know that the thyroid gland is extremely susceptible to radiation. The thyroid gland is a gland--looks like a butterfly kind of wrapped around the throat. One of the chemicals that's in that radioactive mix is radioactive iodine. And when you ingest iodine, it goes immediately from the stomach to the bloodstream to the thyroid gland, where it attacks and kills cells.

So at the time we started the article, really the only data from 2011 that we had was on newborns with hypothyroidism. Every baby in this state, in this country, every newborn baby is tested for certain diseases, one of which is hypothyroidism. And we looked at California, which, of course, is the most populated state, and we looked at the changes in the rates of hypothyroidism for the nine months after Fukushima compared to the previous year, and we found a 26 percent increase in the rate of hypothyroidism

DESVARIEUX: Okay. I know there are going to be some skeptics that are going to say, how can you really make that direct correlation just because you're seeing this effect. How do you know it's really caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster? Can you just speak to what are the other causes of hypothyroidism? And how did you rule them out in your study?

MANGANO: There are very few other known causes of hypothyroidism other than exposure to radioactive iodine, and the same thing for the thyroid cancer as well, which iodine also raises the risk of, things like diet, you know, not enough iodine, nonradioactive, in the diet. But that doesn't occur in the U.S. It's mostly in Third World countries. Other things, like whether it runs in one's family and so on. As far as a real reason--oh, and history of hypo--of a thyroid disease, which doesn't occur in newborns. They're newborn. Really, this is it.

So we're not saying that is no other reason that's causing this, but we have strong reason to believe that that's radiation from Fukushima that affected these little fetuses is a major cause, is most likely a major cause of this. And to prove it, we want to follow up and look at other conditions of the infants--other birth defects, infant deaths, low-weight births, premature births, things of that nature.

DESVARIEUX: Are there similar studies being conducted in Japan? Can you refer to that? Because I'm assuming if we're seeing this happening in California, I mean, it should be astounding in Japan.

MANGANO: That's a good question, because really the doses in Japan are hundreds, thousands of times higher than they were on the West Coast. Unfortunately, there have really been no studies in Japan except for one, and that is one that's being done by the Fukushima Medical University. They haven't looked at hypothyroidism, but what they've done is this: they have taken 200,000 children under age 18 who live relatively close to Fukushima, and they tested for two things. The first they tested for was thyroid cancer. And they have found up to 59 children have thyroid cancer. In a normal population, it's very rare in children. In a normal--we would expect one or two. They have 59.

Second thing that they found is they through ultrasound look at the child's thyroid gland for precancerous lumps, you know, what they call cysts and nodules. And so far, 56 percent of children near Fukushima do in fact have a precancerous cyst or a nodule. And every year it gets higher--two years ago, 35 percent, last year 45 percent, this year 56 percent. Pretty soon we're going to find that almost every child in the area has a precancerous growth on their thyroid gland. And that is--to me that is a powerful statement about how dangerous this meltdown has been.

DESVARIEUX: But let's be honest. The government and the officials that are actually taking care of this cleanup haven't emphasized this danger. And I want to look at the official line being put out there by the TEPCO cleanup boss, chairman of the Fukushima monitoring committee, Dale Klein. He was interviewed by Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and he had this to say. Let's take a listen.

DALE KLEIN, CHAIRMAN, NUCLEAR REFORM MONITORING COMMITTEE: At the end of the day, when the water is discharged, it will be released in a way when it is diluted so there is no risk to the public health and safety. But it is an emotional issue.

DESVARIEUX: So, Joe, what's your response to that?

MANGANO: The statement is half right. Yes, of course the radiation gets diluted. It's most intense closest to Fukushima when it goes into the Pacific Ocean. And as it goes, you know, miles and miles, it gets more diluted.

However, it does not mean that that radiation does not pose a health risk. All radiation poses a health risk, even at relatively low doses. And that's what we believe is happening in the West Coast right now, because it keeps coming and coming.

The other thing is that all these statements about the radiation is harmless is premature because the reactors are still not under control. They are still leaking. They are still spewing out these terrible poisons. Even a meltdown like Chernobyl in 1986, which again went around--like Fukushima, went around the globe and caused many, many people to become sick and die, it was over after a few weeks. They were able to dump dirt and sand and salt on the reactor and put a sarcophagus over it.

Fukushima is still giving out radiation. It's still not under control. And that's almost three years later. And that--so any statement on health, especially that it doesn't pose risk, is very premature and really a disappointment that any official would say that.

DESVARIEUX: And three years later, you know, people are still taking this seriously on this side of the Pacific Ocean. In San Francisco, the San Francisco city council voted in December to test the water for radioactive levels. I guess at the end of the day, if someone's watching this, they're going to ask themselves: should I be concerned? Should I be concerned about the fish that I consume that might be coming from that area, or even local fish that is going to be coming from the Pacific Ocean?

MANGANO: Well, I think evidence of that came last month, November 2013, by scientists at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. They have been monitoring one of these many chemicals from Fukushima called cesium-137, and they're finding higher levels in the waters in the Pacific Ocean in Alaska. And they estimate that in the end the levels are going to reach the same amounts as they were in the mid-1960s.

Now, in the mid-1960s, the United States and Soviet Union were exploding atomic bombs above the ground, hundreds of them, over 400 of them. And people were very, very frightened, not just about nuclear war, but about the fallout, to the point where both countries and the United Kingdom signed a treaty banning all above-ground tests. Everyone would agree that this was a threat to public health. President John F. Kennedy gave a speech talking about we need this treaty because our children's health is at risk here. And here we are at the University of Alaska saying this is going to be the same thing. So I believe we should have similar concerns as 50 years ago.

DESVARIEUX: Alright. Joseph Mangano, thank you so much for joining us.

MANGANO: Oh, thanks for having me.

DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 4 years ago

This article has an interesting link to the "Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center" that posts radiation levels from hundreds of sites in the US and Japan. One wonders how legit it is, though, since zooming in on the Fukushima area shows radiation levels as "normal:"


[-] -1 points by moiat (5) from North Bergen, NJ 4 years ago

Not sure where your comment to me was, but I just wanted to say that I truly and honestly believe conspiracy theories are the biggest danger facing our world today because they blur the line between reality and fiction and cause us to look in the wrong directions.

A simple example is this notion that the 1% conspire to take control of the world over the 99%. Sure, there are people in big businesses conspiring to do this and that and they sometimes work with politicians to achieve their goals, but these are not really the problem or the driving force behind what's going on economically in the world. The real problem is capitalism. Companies make money. That's their job. Of course they'll do all kinds of tricks if they can to achieve their goals. But, don't forget they also compete against other companies. The point is even if you changed the actors, you would still have capitalism as the driving force and you would still get the same problems once again. Conspiracy theories paint simple crude pictures. Almost cartoon-like. They don't lead to truth or organized logical thinking. They lead to fantasy. Conspiracies by the 1% are not that huge really. They do their job. They try to make money. That's what capitalism is all about. These conspiracy theories distract and do little else. There is no NWO order to go after, or a bunch of big CEOs that if we take down all will be fine. The real problem is the capitalist framework.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 4 years ago

Fukushima - A Global Threat That Requires a Global Response

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 09:26 By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers , Truthout | News Analysis


Radioactive Rainwater Overwhelms Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 11:15 By Jaisal Noor, The Real News Network | Video Interview



Jaisal Noor, TRNN Producer: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

In Japan, the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant acknowledged that highly radioactive rainwater runoff has contaminated the surrounding areas.

Now joining us to discuss this is Arjun Makhijani, who is a nuclear engineer with 37 years of experience in energy and nuclear issues. He's the president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research: You're welcome.

Noor: So can we get your reaction to this latest troubling news from the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, saying that this highly radioactive rainwater, which they weren't able to clean up and pump, has again contaminated the surrounding areas? Makhijani: Yes. So Fukushima has had a problem of contaminated water since the time of the accident in 2011, and not only the water that's needed to cool the molten fuel in the reactors, but also all of the rainwater and storm water and so on that has been getting into the reactors and contacting the fuel and so on. They've got about 1,000 tanks with contaminated water on site. Some of these tanks are leaking. And, of course, the site is contaminated from fallout and leaking water and so on.

The latest problem that you're asking me about arose when there was a typhoon last week, which is a very, very severe storm and dumped an enormous amount of rain. And what that has done is in the areas that are highly contaminated with leaking water that was contained by berms and barriers, that containment basically got overtopped, and now we have quite contaminated water that's flowing onto other parts of the site and into the ocean, contaminated water that's flowing into the ocean every day apart from these severe weather events. So this adds to the contamination.

Noor: Has this raised further questions about the management of the cleanup and the way that TEPCO was approaching it?

Makhijani: Well, I think the management of contaminated water has been deficient from the beginning. For some of us it was apparent back then, in 2011, that it was not such a good idea to accumulate millions of gallons of contaminated water on-site. I had suggested back then that they should buy a supertanker and put the water in the supertanker and have it sent elsewhere for filtration rather than storing so much contaminated water on-site, risking leaks and worker radiation, because all of this makes it very difficult for workers to work.

It's not just a question of abstract, you know, there's some soil that's contaminated. Workers actually have a lot of work to do there. They're building buildings to replace the damaged structures from the explosions. They have to put up new cranes. They have to put up equipment to be able to extract the fuel, used fuel that's in the spent fuel pools. So there are thousands of people working on the site, and when you have events like this it makes it very difficult to manage the accident, much more difficult than if you did not have the problem with contaminated water.

Noor: On the topic of working conditions at the facility, CNN recently spoke to a worker who claims that conditions there are very unsafe for those that are working there. What's your response?

Makhijani: As I understand, you know, there are thousands of subcontractors. There are not as many employees of the company itself. As the workers get worn out, tired, reach the maximum limits of radiation, they have to be replaced by other workers who are not as experienced and not as trained. Morale is a problem. I understand drinking is also a problem, depression, and so on. And you can understand. When an accident is that severe and conditions are so problematic, and on top of it the accident has been mismanaged, the situation of workers is going to be very difficult. Many of these workers have also lost their homes to the accident, you know, because they are from around the area, many of them, and they can't go back to their houses, so they are in temporary housing and so on. So conditions for workers are extremely difficult, and many of them don't appear to be even very well paid, as they should be for the kind of work they're doing.

Noor: And finally, there's a typhoon that may make landfall this this week in Japan. Does this raise further concerns? And what does the future look like for the cleanup of this massive radioactive site?

Makhijani: Well, one just hopes that the structures will hold up, because the structures that have been built to protect the reactor and the spent fuel, especially with reactor number four, are very critical to prevent the accident from becoming much worse. So there is a current severe problem, of course, with all the contaminated water and leaks and so on, but there's much more radioactivity inside the reactors in the spent fuel pools, and so what happens with all these storms, severe storms, typhoons and so on, is that--typhoon is the same thing, essentially, as a hurricane--is that there is a risk that there will be much, much more severe spread of contamination. Thankfully, that does not seem to have happened so far. But the longer it goes on, of course, the greater the risk.

Noor: Thank you so much for joining us.

Makhijani: Thank you very much for asking.

Noor: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 0 points by moiat (5) from North Bergen, NJ 4 years ago
[-] 0 points by justaroach (-143) 4 years ago

Oh yeah. I kinda figured when this happened that those people living within many more miles than were evacuated were screwed. it is criminal how the whole disaster was handled from the get go. The people were lied to. Another initial thought was where will all those people move since Japan is so small? Guess tptb just decided to let them die. Nuclear power is a disaster waiting to happen in the US. Especially for the plants on fault lines out in Commiefornia.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

" Radioactive Ground Water Under Fukushima Nears Sea "

Not the only problem that the oceans face:

12 Terrifying Facts About Jellyfish and Why They’re Taking Over Jellyfish in vast (really vast) numbers are now showing up all over the world, from the Black Sea to the coasts of Britain, Israel and Brazil. read more