The three meltdowns have spewed trillions of becquerels of highly radioactive iodine-131, cesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium-239 into the atmosphere and Pacific since day one of the disaster. The initial explosions and fires sent untold amounts of radiation high into the atmosphere.
A February 28 report by the Meteorological Research Institute, just released at a scientific symposium in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, says that 40,000 trillion becquerels, double the amount previously thought, has escaped Unit 1 reactor alone.
This has resulted in fallout around the globe and especially impacting parts of America and Canada, two countries downwind of Japan on the jet stream. British Columbia, Pacific Northwest, Midwest and Ontario have been hit especially hard by rain, sleet and snow, in some cases with dizzying amounts of high radiation.
Radioactive fallout in St. Louis rainfall, which has been monitored at Potrblog.com since the crisis began, has been repeatedly so hot that levels have been reached that make it unsafe for children and pregnant women. An October 17, 2011 St. Louis rain storm was measured on video at 2.76 millirem per hour or over 270 times background.
The U.S. EPA considers anything 3 times background to be significantly above background. The California Highway Patrol deems any material over 3 times background as a potential hazardous materials situation. The St. Louis rain was 90 times CHP’s hazmat trigger.
Compounding the airborne fallout from the destroyed reactors, the Japanese government has embarked on a program of incinerating 5 million tons of radioactive debris trucked into Tokyo from the devastated prefectures.
“Burning does not eliminate radioactive waste, but it reduces its volume by ashing the original materiel” according to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. “Incineration does not destroy metals or reduce radioactivity of wastes. Radioactive waste incinerators, when equipped with well-maintained, high efficiency filters, can capture all but a small fraction of the radioactive isotopes and metals fed into them. The fraction that does escape, however, tends to be in the form of small particles that are more readily absorbed by living organisms than larger particles.”
The incinerating, begun last October, will last until March 2014 with radioactive burning conducted all over the capital city of Tokyo which is home to over 13 million people. This will re-suspend some of the radiation that has already fallen out.
The incinerated and compacted radioactive ash will be dumped into Tokyo Bay where, Japanese officials say, it will be perfectly safe.
The main wave of water-borne radiation from the meltdowns, including highly mobile uranium-60 buckyballs, is surging across the Pacific along the Kuroshio Current. Sometimes called the Japan Current, it is known for its strong and fast flow clockwise around the Pacific second only in power to the Gulf Stream on the planet.
Millions of tons of seawater and fresh water have been used to cool the melted cores and spent fuel rods generating millions of tons of irradiated water. The Kuroshio Current is transporting a significant amount of this escaping radiation from Fukushima Daiichi across the Pacific towards the West Coast.
The 70 mile wide current joins the North Pacific Current moving eastward until it splits and flows southward along the California Current.
The American government has done nothing to monitor the Pacific Ocean for over half a year even though a Texas-sized sea of Japanese earthquake debris is already washing up on outlier Alaskan islands.
“In terms of the radiation, EPA is in charge of the radiation network for airborne radiation; it’s called RadNet,” EPA Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld told EnviroReporter.com during a news conference about new ship sewage regulations February 9. “And we have a very significant and comprehensive array of RadNet monitors along the, actually along the coast, but on land. We don’t have jurisdiction for looking at marine radiation. Perhaps NOAA would be able to answer that question but we don’t have data or monitor it.”
NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, suspended testing the Pacific for Fukushima radiation last summer after concluding that there wasn’t any radiation to be detected.
“As far as questions about radiation, we are working with radiation experts within the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy,” NOAA media liaison Keeley Belva wrote in a February 10 email. “Here are some contacts information for those agencies at the headquarters level.”
In other words, no federal agency, department or administration is doing anything to sample and analyze water from the Pacific. Fish aren’t being tested for contamination either.
“NOAA is not currently doing further research on seafood,” Belva said adding “NOAA is doing a study related to radiation that is focused on radiation plume modeling.”
The lack of testing disappoints Dan Hirsch U.C. Santa Cruz nuclear policy lecturer and president of Committee to Bridge the Gap which exposed the Rocketdyne partial meltdowns above the western San Fernando Valley in 1979 and continues to lead the fight to clean up Rocketdyne today.
“EPA did some special monitoring for a few weeks after the accident began, then shut down the special monitoring” Hirsch told EnviroReporter.com. “What monitoring was done was very troubled. Half of the stationary air monitors were broken at the time of the accident. Deployable monitors were ordered not deployed.”
Even when the government testing did work, increasingly high levels of radiation seemed to have been ignored.
EnviroReporter.com has learned that the California Department of Public Health halted monitoring of Fukushima fallout when its Radiologic Health Branch issued its last report October 10, 2011.
That report shows an alarming rise in cesium-137 in CalPoly dairy farm milk from June 14, 2011 when it tested 2.95 picocuries per liter (pCi/l) and steadily rising in four subsequent tests until it was 5.91 pCi/l. The hot milk was twice allowable amount of this radionuclide in drinking water according to the EPA’s 3.0 pCi/l limit.
Then the testing stopped for no other reason that the government concluded nothing from Fukushima had sufficiently contaminated anything to be of concern. Even detections of radioactive sulphur-35 in San Diego and plutonium-239 in Riverside did nothing to pique the interest of regulators.
“The lesson to be learned is that both the U.S. and Japan suffer from very lax regulation, a too-cozy relationship between nuclear regulators and the industry they are to regulate,” Hirsch said. “This can lead to dangerous outcomes.”
This was not unanticipated. Yet the need for immediate information was undeniable.
Live streaming radiation readings from Santa Monica began four days after the meltdowns. Since then, this reporter has conducted over 1,500 tests in four states and miles about the Earth where jet radiation registered over 5 times normal even accounting for altitude.
Special tests revealed elevated radiation in Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon rain. Southwest Michigan rain samples were hot.
Santa Monica and Los Angeles rain and mist were also high.
Japanese sake, beer, vegetable juice, seaweed, pastries and tea all registered significant ionization above background. Powdered milk, turkey hot dogs, and jet travel breathing masks were all part of the specific media tested many of which were recorded in these videotaped radiation detections.
Establishing a large and comprehensive data set of interior and exterior backgrounds was and is crucial. Accuracy in readings, however, can be compromised especially in precipitation because of ‘radon progeny’ which are isotopes that are created by the decay of radon gas.
If detected but not accounted for, could give a false positive radiation reading. Some scientists have questioned whether the high readings this reporter has recorded were actually the result of radon progeny.
Dr. Mark Bandstra is one of them. A member of the U.C. Berkeley Radiological Air and Water Monitoring Team in the Nuclear Engineering Department, Bandstra has declared that detecting Fukushima radiation here as “impossible” despite evidence to the contrary produced by his own department. That hasn’t prevented him from dismissing radiation finds.
Not only is this the most important subject to be talking about..it dwarfs Everything else. The incubation period for Cancer is about 5-30 years, so it WILL hit the fan and it’s going to be very, very ugly. Birth deformities, Cancer for everyone, heart problems. Most people don’t know that Radiation causes heart problems. What I don’t understand, is our government’s lack of involvement. Does he think he is a cyborg or something, that he and his family won’t be affected by the Radiation? Is it just that he is That ill informed? It’s mind boggling.
Thank you very much, Mr. Collins. The nightmare just doesn’t seem to have an ending.
I work in radiology and am aware of a world-wide isotope shortage which is used in nuclear medicine for imaging. Do you find that odd?
Good luck everyone.
I find your article quite informative…and am really interested in the reasoning behind “our” governments decisions to stop testing for radiation up our coast lines. Especially when radioactive materials are washing ashore in Alaska? Have shared this with friends and am quite adgitated as to our governments neglect to “protect the citizens”. Is this the “corporations” hushing things for their own greed?
@Bo: To do that we would need the proper equipment, equipment the government has but has not been using to detect Fukushima radiation.
Have you taken samples at the beach and tested them for buckyballs?
Thanks for this article!
I submitted it as a “Quicklink” article at “OpEd News”. We can vote it up there and link with the social networks.
It is important information.
@jack: It’s easy to email any of the links to this article and anything on the site. Just highlight the web page’s address when you’re on the page, copy and paste it into an email or on to your blog or website. It’s that simple.
I would like to email this article to friends and can’t figure out how to do that. Also, I tried to put the info into a word doc to email and the site wouldn’t let me. Sharing helps to get the word out and get people to your site. Consider adding the option to email others like CNN allows.
Thank you for the excellent and necessary info! This is certainly the most important issue of the day. I saw a clip from Asahi TV “morning bird” news from March 8, 2012 in which a Kyoto University Professor of Nuclear Reactor Science said that even a small earthquake could crack the #4 fuel pool, allowing the water to leak out and the rods to meltdown & go critical causing “the end of Tokyo”. I saw that clip first on enenews and tokyobrowntabby’s yt channel. It’s quite astonishing to see network TV tell the truth for once!
Thank you Mr. Collins for practicing real investigative journalism in a world so sorely in need. God bless!
Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful website. Glad your content is protected, I am seeing a lot of material taken and posted on FB without any credit to the author. Please keep up the good work!!
This is your most amazing article yet and your detailed research and knowledge of the subject is absolutely astounding!
I cannot imagine that there is any other article or piece of research available,that can even begin to approach what you have written here, and I can only hope that some solution to the widespread distribution of this article can be found. It certainly is desperately needed as a warning,
as we are all potential victims of the radioactive contamination arriving from Fukushima.(Apparently we already have a fair amount of our own).
It is literally dumbfounding to realize that our government should be, but is not leading the way in providing the kind of environmental testing that you have been doing, along with communicating the results to the public…which they are also not doing. They apparently just don’t get it. We should all be grateful and overjoyed that you do!
Dear Michael & Denise,
I apologize for offending you, for you have, and I am sorry. It was not an ad hominem attack consciously, for I am very appreciative and enthused as well as horrified.
In my experience, not being able to copy and paste is very rare, and since I had recently copied and sent to everyone in my mailbox your ‘Bata’ article; and then to suddenly to confounded and then stunned that such vital information was forbidden, when it is the most salient on the internet! And certainly the most censored!
I wondered if you had been hacked, and went back and checked and discovered that I could not copy ‘Beta’ again.
The purpose for ‘The Freedom of the Press’ was to keep the government from stopping journalist writing and publishers publishing, what they disliked, true or false.
The deeped bases is not free enterprise, it was the not prevent the People’s Right to Know, as well as assembly, petition/demand better government. At the time, the common understanding was ‘Governments get their just powers from the governed.’
That of course is from the Declaration of Independence that was a Declaration of War against British colonialism; by violence too. And they were right, and so would be the American people to have a Revolution based on the denial of critical information they conspired to repress the truth of the effect the unleashed millions of pounds of radioactive materials into the biosphere would happen if nothing was done, and a scenario for “chosen people” to be in their private fallout oasis in far away places, stocked with years of provisions for survival, and we are not even warned!!!
Your article is the warning, all of this information is The People’s Right Know. It is mass murder, criminal negligence, and a Crime Against Humanity; for all those in the public office on any level, or in the private sector, to not “wake the town and tell the people”
That is exactly what I wanted to do with your ‘The Endless Bummer’ and not being able to, was most certainly a great-big bummer! I do not accept that the Obama Administration, the congress, and the media. The issue is the ultimate emergency in world history.
So, from my perspective, someone, effectively hollered, ‘”Stop The Press'” – and copyright argument is ironic, in that I feel, ‘We, the people’ have the Right to Copy and Send! And that is fair use.
But please be the journalist you are. Being short of money is something most of us understand, and activist don’t expect to be paid for their actions, except within the larger public good; and we are facing omnicide, total death worldwide!
Nice job Mr. Collins. I want to down load this for reference but it won’t go.
I have been very concerned about this topic and with my first child on the way living in southern California it scares me. Can you include the links to the EPA data, videos of your own readings, and the UC Davis report you mentioned so I can learn more? A la footnotes or references from a school paper?
Michael, bravo! This is probably the most bittersweet thing you’ve scribed. I wish I knew how to get people to pay attention. Hopefully this will break the surface and causes some ripples. Failing that maybe a Mr. Radioactive Buckyball character??
@Bill Mitchell: I am glad you like the article but to call copy-protecting of our site “press censorship” is outrageous. We are not an activist group – we are journalists who brought you the information in the first place. We are not obligated to allow people to take our work and post it on their website in its entirety violating our copyright (though we are happy with “fair use” which means a paragraph or description followed by a link to our site.) Unfortunately we have found people putting the entire article up on their sites as if it was their own and therefore must vigorously defend our copyright. Please note Bill that we make less than minimum wage doing what we are doing so if people want to read/see/watch/listen to what we are doing, we ask that they come over to our site, just like you have, for free.
Besides, it’s pretty simple to mail a link to the article by copying the URL (https://www.enviroreporter.com/2012/03/the-endless-bummer/). You can also print The Endless Bummer out and give copies to your friends at the coffee shop too – we have no problem with that and, in fact, encourage it.
As for taking a collection for a Geiger-counter, that is a laudable idea and we hope you will share your results with us. But please be careful with loose accusations especially when directed at the very reporter who brought the information to you in the first place.
I wonder what Jim Stone thinks.
Excellent reporting Michael Collins!
Rhada, you want to think it’s Karma – that’s your free right to do so just as it’s Ken t’s free right to sound off like a butt-crack when he disagrees.
Your expose’ are of the most urgent importance to everyone in the world. The internet is the tribune that requires the message to be copied and pasted to e-mail for immediate dissemination by everyone who read it; but they can not copy, paste, and send to all.
I managed to do so with your ‘Bata’ article, but can not do so with ‘The Endless Bummer’ and that must be corrected ASAP!
I am taking a collection toward buying a Geiger-counter and will raise community consciousness with it I assure you. I have been putting the printed copy of Beta before friends and coffee shop casual acquaintances.
Without that hard copy, I doubt any of them would have read anything you produced. Your current release is a dead-letter online without it being copy and paste friendly.
Please for the sake of humanity, life itself, correct this electronic press censorship that prohibits the People’s Right to Know!
Sonoma county, CA
Radha, stop with the karma rhetoric. Those choosing nuclear strikes are almost fully independent of those suffering from fukushima fallout, with the worst if that hitting Japan. Karma does not work through the physical like this anyways.
The more important aspect of this reporting, relative to karma, is that despite being aware of these issues, many who could now spread the word, possibly decrease suffering, are choosing to do nothing.
Thanks for the reporting, keep it up.
We’ve been getting truck loads of fallout in the Southern Hemisphere. From what we’ve seen, we’re amazed anyone is still alive up North.
just karma for our bombing them in 45