As fallout from Fukushima heads our way, the government turns a blind eye
By Michael Collins
Millions of Southern Californians and tourists seek the region’s famous beaches to cool off in the sea breeze and frolic in the surf. Those iconic breezes, however, may be delivering something hotter than the white sands along the Pacific.
According to a recent U.C. Davis study, uranium-filled nanospheres are created from the millions of tons of fresh and salt water used to try to cool down the three molten cores of the stricken reactors. The tiny and tough buckyballs are shaped like British Association Football soccer balls.
Water hitting the incredibly hot and radioactive, primarily uranium-oxide fuel turns it into peroxide. In this goo buckyballs are formed, loaded with uranium and able to move quickly through water without disintegrating.
High radiation readings in Santa Monica and Los Angeles air during a 42-day period from late December to late January strongly suggest that radiation is increasing in the region including along the coast in Ventura County.
The radiation, detected by this reporter and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, separate from each other and using different procedures, does not appear to be natural in origin. The EPA’s radiation station is high atop an undisclosed building in Los Angeles while this reporter’s detection location is near the West L.A. boundary.
Both stations registered over 5.3 times normal, though the methods of sampling and detection differed. The videotaped Santa Monica sampling and testing allowed for the detection of alpha and beta radiation while the sensitive EPA instrument detected beta only, according to the government website.
A windy Alaskan storm front sweeping down the coast the morning of March 31 slammed Southern California with huge breakers, a choppy sea with 30-foot waves and winds gusting to 50 mph. A low-hanging marine layer infused with sea spray made aloft from the chop and carried on the winds blew inland over the Los Angeles Basin for several miles bringing with it the highest radiation this reporter has detected in hot rain since the meltdowns began, over five times normal.
Scientific studies from the United Kingdom and Europe show that sea water infused with radiation of the sort spewing out of Fukushima can travel inland from the coast up to 300 kilometers. These mobile poisons include cesium-137 and plutonium-239, the latter with a half-life of 24,400 years.
Even with government, University of California and this reporter’s tests showing high radiation in the air, water, food and dairy products in this state, the state and federal governments cut off special testing for Fukushima radionuclides more than half a year ago.
Southern California is still getting hit by Fukushima radiation at alarmingly high levels that will inevitably increase as the main bulk of polluted Pacific Ocean water reaches North America over the next two years.
Luckily, the area is south of where the jet stream has brought hot rains from across the Pacific and Fukushima, more than 5,000 miles away, upwind and up-current of the West Coast. Those rains have brought extraordinary amounts of radiation to places like St. Louis, with multiple rain events detected and filmed, showing incredibly hot rains.
Unluckily, North America is directly downwind of Japan, where the government is having 560,000 tons of irradiated rubble incinerated with the ash dumped in Tokyo Bay. The burning began last October and continues through March 2014, enraging American activists for this unwitting double dose.
American media coverage of Fukushima’s continuing woes and of contamination spreading across Japan and threatening Tokyo’s 30 million residents, while not robust has been adequate. Coverage of contamination in America and Southern California has been practically non-existent.
That’s one of the reasons we started Radiation Station Santa Monica four days after the meltdowns began on March 11, 2011, transmitting live radiation readings for the Los Angeles Basin 24/7 ever since.
With nuclear radiation monitoring equipment, this investigation has performed more than 1,500 radiation tests in different media throughout four states and in and in jet airplane cabins where, even accounting for higher radiation at higher altitudes, readings were more than five times normal according to the manufacturer of our Inspector Alert nuclear radiation monitor.
Those readings, along with the EPA’s, combined with the UC Davis study of buckyballs and a European study of sea spray radiation spread, strongly indicate that Southern California is being exposed to significant amounts of radiation. The closer to the coast, like much of populated Ventura County, the more pronounced the radiation in this scenario.
Researchers from Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, released a study May 28 that showed that all 15 samples of Pacific Bluefin tuna caught off of San Diego in August 2011 showed indisputable signs of radiation contamination emanating from Fukushima.
This suggests that the popular and expensive animal carved up usually for sushi is even more contaminated now nearly a year after it was first harvested and tested as at least 1,000 tons of highly radioactive water used to cool the melted cores and spent fuel ponds are being dumped daily into the ocean, according to recent revelations of the nuclear plants owners, Tokyo Electric Power Company.
The study also suggests that other highly migratory species, like turtles, sharks and marine birds, may also be contaminated with the radiation found in the tuna: cesium-134 and cesium-137.
The U.S. Geological Service (USGS) reported Feb. 21 that Los Angeles had more cesium-137 fallout than any other place in the nation during the opening days of the disaster from March 15 to April 5, 2011.
The amount of Cs-137 detected in precipitation at a monitoring station 20 miles east of downtown was 13 times the limit for the toxin in drinking water according to a report obtained by the VCReporter.
USGS released another astonishing study Feb. 22, from measurements taken at its Bennington National Atmospheric Deposition Program in Vermont, confirming a grim cesium-137 scenario for Southern California.
“Deposition actually decreased as the air mass traveled east to west,” Greg Wetherbee, a chemist with USGS, told the Brattleboro Reformer newspaper before imparting an additional bombshell.
“In the United States, cesium-134 and cesium-137 wet dispersion values were higher than for Chernobyl fallout, in part due to the U.S. being further downwind,” Wetherbee told the paper. “With Chernobyl, there was more opportunity for plume dispersion.”
This double whammy of cesium-137, with a half-life of 30 years isn’t even in a uranium-60 buckyball. But they are in the unfathomable spread of goo throughout the Pacific on the second strongest current in the world headed right for us.
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 March 11, 2011. The initial explosions and fires sent untold amounts of radiation high into the atmosphere.
A Feb. 28 report by the Meteorological Research Institute, just released at a scientific symposium in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, says that 40,000 trillion becquerels, double the amount previously thought, have escaped Unit 1 reactor alone.
This has resulted in fallout around the globe and especially impacting the Pacific and parts of America and Canada, two countries downwind of Japan on the jet stream. British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest, Midwest and Ontario have been hit especially hard by rain, sleet and snow, in some cases with dizzying amounts of high radiation.
A March 6 study Department of Biological Sciences study conducted at California State University, Long Beach, found that kelp along the coast of California was heavily impacted by radioactive Iodine-131 a month after the meltdowns began. The virulent and deadly isotope was detected at 250 times levels the researchers said were normal in the kelp before the disaster.
Radioactive fallout in St. Louis, Mo., 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 Oct.17, 2011, St. Louis rainstorm was measured on video at 2.76 millirems per hour or more than 270 times background.
The U.S. EPA considers anything 3 times background to be significantly above background. The California Highway Patrol deems any material more than three times background as a potential hazardous materials situation. The St. Louis rain was 90 times CHP’s hazmat trigger.
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, second only to the Gulf Stream for power 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 toward the West Coast.