Tag Archives | Fukushima

Japan To Abandon Nuclear Power By 2030s

The future isn’t always what we think it is, via Reuters:

Japan’s government said it intends to stop using nuclear power by the 2030s, marking a major shift from policy goals set before last year’s Fukushima disaster that sought to increase the share of atomic energy to more than half of electricity supply.

Japan joins countries such as Germany and Switzerland in turning away from nuclear power after last year’s earthquake unleashed a tsunami that swamped the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. Japan was the third-biggest user of atomic energy before the disaster.

“This is a strategy to create a new future,” a policy statement said, after key ministers finalized the decision on Friday. “It is not pie in the sky. It is a practical strategy.”

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The Fukushima Disaster Produced Mutant Irradiated Butterflies

Radiation turns your dreams to nightmares, via Mother Jones:

Researchers collected butterflies immediately following the nuclear meltdown and six months later, both from the surrounding areas of Fukushima and from various other localities in Japan. As compared with the butterflies collected from elsewhere, Fukushima butterflies showed some abnormally-developed legs, dented eyes, deformed wing shapes, and changes to the color and spot patterns of their wings, with an overall abnormality rate of around 12 percent.

While these levels of mutations were still relatively mild, more alarming were the same data on butterflies collected six months later, in September of last year. The overall rate of similar mutations among these butterflies was around 28 percent, while this number skyrocketed to around 52 percent in the second generation produced from the collected butterflies.

The study renews worries that humans, too, might be affected by the released radiation in the Fukushima area, but the researchers insist that this is not an easy line to draw.

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Radioactive Oatmeal from Fukushima

Via Food Quality news:

Are we about the enter the era of carrying a radiation detector to scan all food before consuming? Damn!

Radiation has been detected in commercial oatmeal in Hong Kong. Despite assurances about “low levels” of radiation, there isn’t truly ANY safe amount of radiation. This is a reasonable concern with extremely hot particles like Cesium-137, which is the culprit in this case.

Even at the miniscule level of 7 Becquerel per kg, I can’t help but wonder about the lifetime bio-accumulation of these particles in the body if they became common in many food products.  There is a lot of conflicting information from all sides of all issues on the radiation legacy of Fukushima … because nobody truly knows the long-term effects.

No recall has been issued by the Hong Kong Center for Food Safety(CFS).

Read more at Food Quality news.

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Full Third of Fukushima Children Face Cancer Risk

 

Photo: Mononeko (PD)

According to  Russia Times, a Japanese public health organization has released grim finding: Aafter examining 38,000 children from the Fukushima Prefecture, site of the infamous nuclear disaster, the organization has estimated that a third of the prefecture’s children will be at risk for developing cancer as a result of radiation poisoning.

The Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey reports that over 13,000 of the children examined exhibited swollen cysts or nodules on their thyroids. Radiation penetrates soft tissues and settles in thyroids. Over time, the nodules can swell and become cancerous.

The children of the effected Prefecture will receive cancer screenings every two years until they turn 20, and will then continue to receive screenings every five years until the end of their lives.

Some physicians in the international community feel that the Japanese are not adequately publicizing the results of the study and minimizing the true danger that the children face.… Read the rest

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Fukushima Tuna Sushi Now Being Served?

Bluefin_tunaIn 2008 the New York Times reported that

“laboratory tests found so much mercury in tuna sushi from 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants that at most of them, a regular diet of six pieces a week would exceed the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.”

If you’re still eating tuna, you can also now start worrying about radiation poisoning, courtesy of the nuclear geniuses from Fukushima, Japan. Report via Reuters:

Low levels of nuclear radiation from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima power plant have turned up in bluefin tuna off the California coast, suggesting that these fish carried radioactive compounds across the Pacific Ocean faster than wind or water can.

Small amounts of cesium-137 and cesium-134 were detected in 15 tuna caught near San Diego in August 2011, about four months after these chemicals were released into the water off Japan’s east coast, scientists reported on Monday.

That is months earlier than wind and water currents brought debris from the plant to waters off Alaska and the U.S.

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51 Japanese Food Items Exceed New Radioactive Safety Standards

RadiationWell, it's good to know Japan's government is seriously testing the food supply. Via the Japan Times:
Radioactive cesium was detected in 51 food products from nine prefectures in excess of a new government-set limit in the first month since it was introduced April 1st, according to data released by the health ministry Tuesday. The limit was exceeded in 337 cases, or 2.4 percent of 13,867 food samples examined by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. Cesium exceeding the previous allowable limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram was detected in 55 cases, while the new limit of 100 becquerels was exceeded in 282 cases. By prefecture, there were 142 cases in Fukushima, 69 in Tochigi, 41 in Ibaraki, 35 in Iwate, 32 in Miyagi, 13 in Chiba, two each in Yamagata and Gunma, and one in Kanagawa.
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Radioactive Particles from Japan Detected in California Kelp

Kelp ForestReports Victoria Kim in the LA Times:

Radioactive particles released in the nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami were detected in giant kelp along the California coast, according to a recently published study.

Radioactive iodine was found in samples collected from beds of kelp in locations along the coast from Laguna Beach to as far north as Santa Cruz about a month after the explosion, according to the study by two marine biologists at Cal State Long Beach.

The levels, while most likely not harmful to humans, were significantly higher than measurements prior to the explosion and comparable to those found in British Columbia, Canada, and northern Washington state following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, according to the study published in March in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Giant kelp, or Macrocystis pyrifera, is a particularly good measure of radioactive material in the environment because it accumulates iodine, researchers said.

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Fukushima Radiation Moving Steadily Across Pacific

Radiation SpreadVia Common Dreams:

Teams of scientists have already found debris and levels of radiation far off the coast of Japan, one year after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Reports are now suggesting that nuclear radiation has traveled at a steady pace. That contaminated debris and marine life could reach the US coast as soon as one year from now, depending on ocean currents.

Radiation from Fukushima’s nuclear disaster is appearing in concentrated levels in sea creatures and ocean water up to 186 miles off of the coast of Japan. The levels of radiation are ‘hundreds to thousands of times higher than would be expected naturally’ according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Researchers are questioning how the radioactive accumulation on the seafloor will effect the marine ecosystem in the future.

“What this means for the marine environment of the Northwest Pacific over the long term is something that we need to keep our eyes on,” said the WHOI.

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Here Comes the Toxic Fukushima Debris!

HedorahWill Godzilla save the U.S. West Coast from Hedorah? Via ScienceDaily:

The first anniversary is approaching of the March, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated Fukushima, Japan, and later this year debris from that event should begin to wash up on U.S. shores — and one question many have asked is whether that will pose a radiation risk.

The simple answer is, no. Nuclear radiation health experts from Oregon State University who have researched this issue following the meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant say the minor amounts of deposition on the debris field scattered in the ocean will have long since dissipated, decayed or been washed away by months of pounding in ocean waves.

However, that’s not to say that all of the debris that reaches Pacific Coast shores in the United States and Canada will be harmless. “The tsunami impacted several industrial areas and no doubt swept out to sea many things like bottled chemicals or other compounds that could be toxic,” said Kathryn Higley, professor and head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at OSU …

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Japan To Open Robot Farm In Disaster Zone

s57bA century or two from now, pretty much most of the world will be a flooded/radioactive zone being farmed by robots. The Telegraph reports:

The project, masterminded by the Ministry of Agriculture, will involve unmanned tractors working the fields of the farm on a disaster zone site spanning 600 acres. Robots will then box produce grown on the farm, including rice, wheat, soybeans, fruit and vegetables as part of the “Dream Project” scheme.

An expanse of farmland in Miyagi prefecture, northeast Japan, which was flooded in last year’s tsunami, has been earmarked by the government for the project. Miyagi was one of Japan’s three worst hit prefectures in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which left more than 19,000 dead or missing and triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in decades.

Farming was hit particularly hard by the disaster, with tsunami water leaving soil laden with salt and oil deposits, as well as radiation contamination as a result of the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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