What it doesn’t include are uranium-filled buckyballs that aren’t attached to fine sediment particles as is the case in the Pacific. Buckyballs, which, as noted, may make up the bulk of the Fukushima meltdown goo that poisons the Pacific, would be extra in the West Coast sea radiation exposure scenario.
“Other studies show that sea originating Pu, Am and Caesium 137 and other radioactive wastes transferring across the surf line have been deposited on terrestrial produce and entered the human food webs in coastal regions of the Irish Sea, Inner Hebrides, and South West Wales which are distant from point sources of discharges,” the NFLA report continues. “In some cases those doses have been comparable to those received by populations adjacent to Nuclear Power Stations.”
The report cited information that sea spray-blown cesium 137 was found 200 kilometers from the discharge source in the New Hebrides islands in northern Scotland. The Cs-137 concentrations were so high that the bone-seeking radionuclide entered the food chain in island-grown produce so hot that the dietary doses were the same and higher than workers’ dietary doses at nuclear power plants.
Studies found that the Irish Sea has a micro layer on top of it, perhaps only thousandths of a millimeter in thickness that can get imbued with fine particulate material and its absorbed radiation. These concentrations of plutonium and americium are four to five times their concentrations in ambient seawater.
Plutonium concentrates by 26,000 times in floating algal blooms at sea says the report.
NFLA describes “the enrichment of marine aerosols (generated by bubble production in breaking waves and the surf line) with non-soluble nuclides (associated by adsorption to fine sediment particles)” as the basis for creating the hot sea spray. The aerosols enriched are a witches brew of radioactive poisons including Pu-238, Pu-239, Pu-240 and Am-241.
Some of the worst news comes in like the unperfect wave. Not only do waves help launch sea spray aloft but these “coastally generated aerosols may produce higher enrichment factors than those produced in more open sea environments,” says the report. Surfers, body surfers and swimmers, plus people and pets strolling along the sand, populate this the hottest zone of all.
The 2010 Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk further explored the new realities of life where the silent killer could be the very sea spray people cherish as one of the joyful wonders of nature.
“The geophysical processes involved are well described and in the case of Plutonium and Sellafield, measurements have been made which show the presence of Plutonium and other radioactive particles in marine intertidal sediment, in the air near the coast, in sheep faeces, children’s teeth and autopsy specimens taken from parts of the UK,” the Radiation Risk report reads. “The concentration of Plutonium with distance from the sea follows a trend with a sharp increase in levels within 1km of the sea falling rapidly and flattening out to a finite but reducing level up to 300km or more from the sea.”
“So much for reliving those moments of wind and sea spray in my face while galloping my horse along the beach at Montana de Oro (immediately adjacent to Diablo Canyon),” wrote Radiation Conversation commenter Annette2 January 20. “Buzz kill.”
That’s not the only thing killed. Last week the EPA eliminated federal funds to monitor the contamination in coastal and Great Lakes waters. These cuts come before as the agency crafts new beach water quality standards that environmentalists say gut the protections. Even before the cuts, there was no funding for testing for ocean and lake Fukushima radiation.
The EPA and the state of California have no budget to monitor the iconic beaches of the Golden State for radiation from the Fukushima meltdowns already making its presence known in Southern California. Millions of people and billions of dollars are tied to the health of these waters and the coast.
Given that potential cancers can take years to develop, and will never have a bar code stating “Fukushima,” it is the perfect crime where nuclear industry and government officials convince unknowing victims to be unwitting accomplices to their own detriment.
It isn’t the Endless Summer anymore. It’s the Endless Bummer.