UPDATE: Seaborne Cesium 134, a radioactive isotope released by the 2011 Fukushima disaster, has been detected on the US’ Pacific coast for the first time by independent researchers. While it can take months for Cesium to leave your body, also of concern, are the levels of strontium. Strontium mimics calcium in humans and animals. It therefore ends up in our bones, where it remains for long periods of time, making it a greater health concern than cesium.
Cancer is also a growing concern. One cancer-risk formula calculated by The Straight, which relied on a “widely used cancer-risk formula developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as radiation levels in 33,000 fish tested by the Japanese Fisheries Agency,” concluded that we are likely to see a spike in cancers. Scientist, Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear-policy lecturer at the University of California at Santa Cruz, told the Georgia Straight: “Hundreds of cancers are nothing to sneeze at, and it is a fraction of what I suspect the total will be.”
Dr. Dale Dewar, a family physician in Canada and the executive director of Physicians for Global Survival, a Canadian anti-nuclear group, believes that the Canadian government has downplayed the radiation risks from Fukushima and is doing little to monitor them. She also stated: “We suspect we’re going to see more cancers, decreased fetal viability, decreased fertility, increased metabolic defects – and we expect them to be generational.”
Even more troubling is the huge amount of seafood that is exported from Japan. According to data from Japan, there is contamination in several seafood species that Japan has exported to Canada in recent years. In fact, one in five of the 1,100 catches tested exceeded the ceiling of 100 becquerels per kilogram. “I would probably be hesitant to eat a lot of those fish,” said Nicholas Fisher, a marine sciences professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
One of the most overlooked concerns is not only migratory fish like tuna transporting these Fukushima-derived radionuclides from Japan to the Pacific Northwest but whether Fukushima may have poisoned the entire food chain. Writing on globalresearch.ca, Michael Snyder says: “Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean. That means that the total amount of radioactive material released from Fukushima is constantly increasing, and it is steadily building up in our food chain.” This radiation is also finding its way into sediments which also work their way into the food chain and it’s unknown what the toxic, long-term effect will be of this accumulation.
The most frightening part of all of this is that there’s not really a responsible governmental agency that’s tracking any of this fallout so we really have no idea of the long-term impacts of this nuclear disaster upon our food supply.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: After the catastrophic triple meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011, the Japanese government and the plant’s parent company, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), worked to cover up the damage done and downplay the amount of radiation the disaster had released into the environment. Though the disaster’s many impacts have been suspiciously absent from mainstream media reports in the years since, the radiation pouring out of the plant’s damaged reactors have never stopped.
To this day, 300 tons of contaminated, radioactive water flow into the Pacific Ocean every day as many of the leaks can never be sealed due to the extreme heat. Now, nearly six years after the meltdown, radiation from Fukushima has made landfall on the West coast of the United States, signaling a dangerous new era for residents and wildlife along the Pacific coastal region.
Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), a crowd-funded team of scientists, announced yesterday that they had detected, for the first time, seaborne cesium 134 in seawater on the shores of Tillamook Bay in Oregon. The group has been monitoring the waterborne radiation as it extends from Fukushima across the Pacific for years. According to WHOI as well as other scientists, cesium 134, a dangerous and carcinogenic radioactive isotope, could only have originated from the Fukushima disaster due to its short half-life, or rate of decay.
The samples themselves contained 0.3 becquerels/m3 of the isotope, a relatively small amount that some researchers and corporate media outlets say poses “no risk to humans or the environment.” However, there is no such thing as “safe” amounts of radiation, which is particularly true of strontium as it imitates potassium within the body. Japanese citizens were also told there was nothing to worry about, despite the fact that cancer rates have spiked since the incident. The real and unstated danger here is that of bioaccumulation.
Bioaccumulation refers to the gradual build-up over time of chemicals in an organism, absorbing the substance at a faster rate than it is excreted. Now, that Fukushima radiation has reached the US, those living on the West Coast or eating fish from that region could be at risk if they consume radioactive water or fish as all consumed cesium would remain in their body, continuously causing damage until it is excreted. Children are said to be especially at risk.
Another reason why there is cause for concern is that these samples were actually collected in January 2016 and not tested until recently, suggesting that landfall may have happened earlier than thought. This, in turn, would also mean that higher levels of cesium as more of Fukushima’s radiation has made contact with Western coastal shores in the months since as researchers have said that radiation will not “peak” until well after the plume’s initial landfall.
No matter how often the Japanese government, TEPCO, or the corporate media say that radiation from Fukushima is nothing to worry, ignoring a problem does not make it go away. The world’s oceans, particularly the Pacific Ocean, are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis as mass die-offs of fish and coral are signaling that something is horribly wrong.
These trends, combined with the devastating effects of over-fishing, led the World Wildlife Fund to recently warn that all marine life could die out before the year 2050, less than forty years from now. It is incredible that a nuclear disaster that has leaked 300 tons of radioactive water into the ocean every day for the last five years could have no effect on the massive environmental crisis unfolding before our eyes. Until Fukushima’s consequences are acknowledged and treated with the concern they clearly merit, we will continue to be unable to understand the true scope of the problem.
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This article, By (Fukushima Radiation Makes Landfall On US West Coast – And It’s Only The Beginning) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com. Photo Credit – IOP Science
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