Thursday, April 7, 2011

NHK Reports Seawater Radiation Levels at 7.5 Million Times over Safe Limits: Ecologists Warn of Possible Devastation of Pacific Marine Life

 Tokyo's 23 Million residents depend upon fresh fish from shops such as the Tsukiji Fish Market for their daily survival: How will this environmental catastrophe further result in the Food Crisis of 2011?

Da New Seas World Report 
via Daniyel

As shocking revelations that radiation levels 7.5 million times over legal limits were recorded from seawater samples taken offshore the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant this past weekend, Japan is now seeking Russia's help in handling the vast amounts of contaminated water, and other radioactive debris. 

Sergei Novikov a spokesperson for the Russian State-controlled Rosatom Corporation, informed members of the media on Monday that Japanese authorities have expressed an interest in obtaining the use of the Russian barge Landysh a floating treatment platform for radioactive waste that was reportedly first built with Japanese cooperation.  

While Tokyo Power Company (TEPCO) maintains that radioactive contaminants in the Pacific are being diluted to safe levels, their ongoing lack of containment has brought on increased concerns for the long-term safety of the Japan's seafood industry. A very genuine concern of fishermen, as well as their consumers on both sides of the Pacific rim.

In radiation readings taken in the proximity of the intake pipe of Fukushima Daiichi reactor # 2, the astonishingly high radiation levels estimated to be 7.5 million times over safe limits were made. This data was originally withheld while TEPCO officials desired to confirm the accuracy of this sample. 

Follow up samples have shown a decline from Saturday's readings of radioactive iodine being 7.5 million times over legal standards, down to 5 million times such levels on Monday. Meanwhile other outlying monitoring stations have shown drops to near 1,000 times legal limits, from earlier readings near 4,000 times over such limits. 

While Tepco officials maintain that these massive amounts of radioactive seawater will have "no immediate impact" upon the environment, Yukio Edano a chief Japanese Government spokesperson had previously admitted that a prolonged radiation leak could have a tremendous negative impact upon marine wildlife. While Banri Kaieda, Japan's Minister of Industry, assured his fellow citizens that the discharge of radioactive waters into the Pacific would not endanger the public's health, he did apologize to a concerned group of Japanese fishermen. 

Ocean fish caught recently in Ibaraki prefecture have been discovered to already contain trace amounts of radioactive iodine 131, and cesium 137. Government officials have pledged to increase their monitoring systems, and have called for a ban of fishing in area waters until after the radiation leaking from Fukushima Daiichi is contained, and the sea has time to heal itself.  

Taking a cue from BP's Public Relations dept. TEPCO declared to the media that it will pay provisional compensation to affected farmers, fishermen, and local residents as well as other persons affected by this ongoing nuclear accident. One may only speculate if Alaskan, and other Pacific Fishing Industry concerns will receive any future economic consideration from TEPCO as this crisis goes global.

On Monday TEPCO initiated an intentional discharge of 11,500 tons of somewhat less contaminated water into the Pacific, to free up some additional containment storage for more highly radioactive waters that is oozing out of the stricken reactors. 

Meanwhile in Tokyo, South Korea's Ambassador has expressed concern about TEPCO's continued dumping of radioactive waste water into the Northern Pacific.  

"For now, we have no clear standards to determine how much, is how bad for us." An embassy official was quoted by Yonhap news agency. 

Environmental Groups warn that the Ocean's Food Chain will be severely impacted by the harmful accumulation of radiation.  

Shaun Burnie, a nuclear adviser to Greenpeace Germany stated that:

"The discharge from unit 2 is incredible. This is clearly water contaminated by direct contact with the core fuel, which means it is likely to contain heavier isotopes, such as plutonium. The release of long-lived radionuclides will have a severe impact on both public health and coastal economies. The plutonium will persist in coastal sediments effectively for ever." 

Clearly the ongoing efforts to re-stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant may well go on well into the summer, and hopefully this part of Japan will not be impacted by a severe Typhoon yet that is by no means out of the realm of possibility. Banri Kaieda admitted that the reactor basements, and underground trenches in the Daiichi facility have already been flooded with over 60,000 tons of radioactive water that will need to be pumped into barges, and/or adequate waste tanks once the current high levels of radiation in the area begin to be contained.

  Restoring the public's confidence not just in Nuclear energy, but more importantly in government both in Japan, and worldwide may take much longer to be fully restored.

In Japan there is a growing distrust among their citizens for both their media, as well as in their government. Japan's Weather Agency has been caught withholding accurate forecasts on the spread of radioactive materials across Honshu Island. While the  Meteorological Agency has given accurate information to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Japanese public was given the Asian Mushroom Treatment. 

Kinda like how in America CNN withheld the cell phone video uploaded by a Japanese Youth to YouTube of the massive mushroom-cloud like explosion of the MOX fueled Reactor # 3 on Monday March 14.

Now compare the video above with CNN's coverage of the Reactor # 3 explosion, while they might well have not yet accessed the video footage shown in the clip above at the time this report below was made, for the next several days while the growing thousands worldwide who had seen the real video footage, CNN kept up their charade of looping a Reuters video of the earlier hydrogen explosion of Reactor # 1, rather than showing the actual footage to their audience of millions.

While Japan's Meteorological Agency officials have stated that they did not want to create a panic due to the margin of error for their forecasts of radiation dispersal patterns, now after much criticism by elements of the Japanese media, the Agency has now promised to release future forecasts in the future. NOAH if we could only be so fortunate in the U.S. where both our media, and President have been humming "Don't worry, be happy!"   

Related: From Afar, a Vivid Picture of Japan Crisis

Key Video from Japan: James Corbett of the Corbett Report provides inside analysis of the extent of the nuclear crisis in Fukushima


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