Go and watch the very short video. Find out about the air you are breathing!
Go and watch the very short video. Find out about the air you are breathing!
Published: April 22nd, 2016 at 10:09 am ET
Coast to Coast AM – ‘Fukushima and Nuclear Issues’, Mar 31, 2016 (emphasis added):
Linda Howe’s website ‘Earthfiles’, Apr 1, 2016: PHOTO: Gargantuan beet in Fukushima Prefecture after March 11, 2011; PHOTO: Gargantuan strawberry in Fukushima Prefecture after March 11, 2011; PHOTO: Enlarged maple leaves from two trees of same species
See also: Fukushima Mother: It’s very weird… plants with huge, huge flowers & giant stems — I brought deformed vegetables for radiation measurement, but officials didn’t test any and yelled “Don’t you understand? We say it’s safe!” — “All the beetles were disfigured and died”
Triple meltdowns remain out of control causing up to 66,000 excess cancers say two new reports while Americans feast on fishy Pacific seafoodSnow squalls brought the temperature down to a frigid 15.8 degrees Fahrenheit on the trawler January 20. The sea pitched in a rough chop.
Cold Japanese fisherman plied the Pacific Ocean off the east coast of Japan with three klieg lights at 2:30 in the morning. They were the only vessel around.
These weren’t just any waters the men fished in the freezing winds. The water was ‘hot’ with radiation. But the fish were plentiful and if they didn’t pass rad testing, they could be sold overseas.
The vessel bobbed in the choppy waters several hundred yards away from the still stricken, still leaking, still out of control triple nuclear reactors in full meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Gone fishing in the hot zone.
“Here’s a screenshot I took on 1/20/2016 at 2:36 [Japanese Standard Time] via the TBS Webcam,” says Sierra Nevada musician Chas Haws in a Radiation Conversation comment on EnviroReporter.com not long after taking it earlier this year. “It looks like a very large fishing boat with its trolling lights on. The thought that somebody somewhere could unknowingly consume those fish is a very scary thought. So scary I can’t believe any human being in their right mind would do such a thing.”
Exactly five years after the beginning of one of the two worst nuclear disasters in history, people are doing just that, eating fish from the seas off of Fukushima. If the catch is too radioactive under loose Japanese regulations, it’s sent to seafood consumers in the United States where the allowable radiation limits in fish are even more lax.Americans have been eating meltdowns-contaminated food for half a decade, as EnviroReporter.com’s Fukushima investigation shows. Radioactive cesium (caesium) is rising in fish caught off of British Columbia, the region (including Alaska and the Pacific Northwest) that supplies America’s ravenous seafood consumption.
Two new studies detail the extent of the contamination in Japan, its cancerous impact upon the population and continued Pacific contamination. Government testing has shown sea creatures high in Fukushima radionuclides caught of West Coast of the U.S. and Canada. Yet judging from the robust U.S. consumption of crashing seafood stocks in the Pacific, which have repeatedly tested positive for Fukushima radionuclides, America has ‘gone fishing’ too in the gastronomical sense.
Gone fishing. Most Americans would fit in this category when it comes to the Fukushima meltdowns and their effects. Meltdown fatigue, complicated science and an assortment of pro-nuclear naysayers comparing Fukushima’s radiation with eating bananas has understandably numbed great numbers of people to their peril.
The Long and Ionizing Road
EnviroReporter.com’s 2014 anniversary piece Fukushima – The Perfect Crime? reported that 441 tons of highly radioactive water was sluicing into the Pacific from the stricken cores every day. According to a new report by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) called 5 Years Living With Fukushima, that number is now 300 tons per day.
The reduction in toxic water released is the good news (even though more than 500,000 thousand tons of radioactive waste water has now gone into the Pacific since 2011). The bad news is up to 66,000 “excess cancers” will hit the Fukushima area because of the meltdowns, according to the report. Workers who fought to save the reactors and their comrades paid the highest price for their valor.
“More than 25,000 cleanup and rescue workers received the highest radiation dose and risked their health, while preventing a deterioration of the situation at the power plant site,” the report says. “If data supplied by the operator TEPCO [plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company] is to be believed, around 100 workers are expected to contract cancer due to excess radiation, and 50 percent of these will be fatal. The real dose levels, however, are most likely several times higher, as the operator has had no qualms in manipulating the data to avoid claims for damages – from hiring unregistered temporary employees to tampering with radiation dosimeters and even crude forgery.”Even five years out, no one is allowed to live within 12.5 miles of stricken reactors. The hardships experienced by the Japanese people who had to flee Fukushima is well documented in the new short film Five Years On – Voices of Fukushima. About 180,000 remain displaced.
Coinciding with the PSR/IPPNW report launch March 9, Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar specializing in nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies, Institute for Public Studies, and former senior policy advisor, US Department of Energy, issued a statement highlighting their tragedy.
“Radioactive fallout from the reactors has created de faco ‘sacrifice zones’ where human habitation will no longer be possible well into the future,” Alvarez said. “In November 2011, the Japanese Science Ministry reported that long-lived radioactive cesium had contaminated 11,580 square miles (30,000 sq km) of the land surface of Japan. Some 4,500 square miles – an area almost the size of Connecticut – was found to have radiation levels that exceeded Japan’s allowable exposure rate.”
Some cries for justice are finally being heard in Japan. Three top TEPCO executives including the chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 75, and two former executive vice presidents were indicted February 29 for professional negligence resulting in injury and death. It would seem unlikely that the judgement of these men will happen very quickly since it took five years to call them to task.
Cleaning up the mess in Fukushima won’t happen very quickly either, says TEPCO. The company says it needs 50 years to contain and remediate the reactors with the missing, oozing corium. It claims to have completed 10 percent of that work.
What appears to be a Sisyphean task to restore Fukushima is confirmed in the new March 4 Greenpeace report “Radiation Reloaded: Ecological Impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident 5 years later.” The comprehensive study found that “The current approach of Japanese authorities to forest decontamination is the removal of leaf litter, soil, and understory plants in 20 meter strips along the roads and around homes that are surrounded by forests. In terms of decontaminating the large areas of Fukushima this approach is futile. Over seventy percent of Fukushima prefecture is forested, which is not possible to decontaminate.”
Greenpeace found that even if there is decontamination, it may subsequently be undone. “Mountain streams and rivers transport radioactive particulates and contaminated forest litter downstream, potentially contaminating areas that did not receive fallout, recontaminating ‘decontaminated’ areas, or discharging radioactivity to estuaries and marine ecosystems,” the report said.
Complicating matters even more is hot mist getting into everything, literally. “Both caesium-bearing particulates as well as vaporized, water-soluble radiocaesium were released,” the report says. “Water-soluble caesium, which came down as wet deposition with precipitation and fog, is readily absorbed via bark and leaves into the internal tissues of trees. Hot particles appear to weather and leach caesium under natural conditions. In addition, radiocaesium and 90Sr can be absorbed via root systems. Once absorbed into the internal tissues of trees, 134Cs and 137Cs are translocated with nutrient flows, concentrating in rapidly growing tissues such as new foliar structures, flowers and pollen. Japanese cedar pollen in Fukushima forests appears to have high concentrations of radiocaesium.”Radioactive fog, flowers and pollen? Yes, and hot honey too if the Fukushima sweet stuff soaks up the cesium like Croatian honey did from Chernobyl fallout adding fission to the flowers. It certainly has the potential to make even cherry tree festivals dangerous in the land of the rising radiation.
Naturally, it’s the perfect place to have the 2020 summer Olympics, i.e. Tokyo’s Radiation Olympics. If the swimming events are staged in Fukushima’s rivers, caution would be well advised if Greenpeace’s report is accurate.
“According to radiocaesium discharge projections for the century between 2011 and 2111, the major rivers whose catchments are primarily in Fukushima prefecture (the Abukuma, Arakawa, Naka, Agano, and Tadami rivers) could discharge as much caesium into the Pacific Ocean as is hemorrhaging from the Fukushima Daiichi plant itself,” the report says. “The Abukuma River alone is projected to discharge 111 TBq [Terabecquerel] of 137Cs [cesium-137] and 44 TBq of 134Cs [cesium-134], even with current rates of “decontamination”, in the century after the disaster.”
That is a lot of goo. All of it is headed for the Pacific Ocean. What goes into the water in Fukushima eventually makes its way on the Kuroshio Current to North American shores.
Just Say Glow
Many of the thousands of tests EnviroReporter.com has conducted and reported on since 2011 show Fukushima contamination in fish consumed in California and across America and Canada. Those tests keep coming in and include a variety of animals that have shown signs of Fukushima-related radionuclides in them.
In the summer of 2014, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries division found Fuku rads in northern fur seals. “We detected very small amounts of Fukushima-derived radioactive material in the seal tissue,” the NOAA report says. “We didn’t find any detectable radiation in the marine debris. The two [graph] peaks … show radiation energy for two isotopes of Cesium; 134Cs and 137Cs detected in fur seal muscle.”
Cesium-134 is a Fukushima signature radioisotope because it’s half-life of 2.07 years precludes anything else from being the source like nuclear fallout from atmospheric testing decades ago. It usually is found in tandem with cesium-137 as it indeed was in the seal.
Both of these isotopes of cesium are extremely dangerous with the shorter the half-life, the more intense a rate of ionization. That’s what makes cesium-134 such a perilous poison. NOAA also revealed that it tested water itself positive for cesium-134. Albacore tuna from the East Pacific Ocean, a foodie favorite, came in with 9.6 times higher in cesium-134 than the fur seal reading.“Estimated U.S. per capita consumption of fish and shellfish was 14.6 pounds (edible meat) in 2014,” according to recent NOAA data. “This total was essentially unchanged from the 14.5 pounds consumed in 2013.”
The U.S. fish feast of 2014 weighed in at 4,743,025 tons. Over 72 percent of that haul came from the Pacific with most of that harvested off of Alaska. That’s where so many Fukushima-related isotopes have been measured in all manner of flora and fauna over the last five years.
Foodies gone fishing from Fukushima who just have to have their seafood yet who care about radiation bioaccumulation can take heart. There are fresh water fish and seafood from the Atlantic Ocean. But eating anything out of the Pacific is lunched.
“I know humans do some pretty insanely stupid things, so I wonder,” Haws says of his Fukushima fishing screen capture. “Why else would those fish trolling lights be on… hmm? Did they unload their hefty catch at some far away port and say it came from somewhere else? It would be a crime beyond description. There are no fish police. At least not at 2:30 in the morning just east of ongoing TRIPLE MELTDOWNS.”
The image of that trawler fishing in the freezing night in the fission-rich waters off of Fukushima Dai-chi is truly disturbing. On whose plates will that catch land?
When it comes to Fukushima, and now five years of radioactive madness, most of America – and the world, seems to have simply gone fishing.
Washington Post: “No one knows what to do with Fukushima” — Scientific American: Plant is in “crisis mode”… fuel has melted through containers — Official: Corium may never be extracted — Gov’t suggests dumping it under Pacific Ocean
Published: February 22nd, 2016 at 9:28 am ET
Washington Post, Feb 10, 2016 (emphasis added): Five years after nuclear meltdown, no one knows what to do with Fukushima… one huge question remains: What is to be done with all the radioactive material?… Tepco has built a 1,500-yard-long “ice wall” around the four reactor buildings… however, Japan’s nuclear watchdog blocked the plan, saying the risk of leakage was still too high… [M]ost problematically, there’s the nuclear fuel from the plant itself… “The biggest challenge is going to be the removal of the nuclear fuel debris,” [Akira Ono, Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi superintendent] said. “We don’t even know what state the debris is in at the moment.”… one of the options the government is considering is building a nuclear waste dump under the seabed, about eight miles off the Fukushima coast… Many groups… staunchly oppose the idea of burying the radioactive material at sea in such a seismically active area. “At some point it would leak and affect the environment,” said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center.
Japan Times, Feb 20, 2016: NRA commissioner suggests plan to remove all fuel debris at Fukushima plant may not be best option — A Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner has suggested that removing all fuel debris from reactors at the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant may not be the best option. “I wonder if the situation would be desired that work is still underway to extract fuel debris 70 or 80 years after” the nuclear disaster, NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa told reporters Friday. “There are a variety of options, including removing as much fuel debris as possible and solidifying the rest,” he added… Fuketa said that unlike the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, it is “not realistic” to construct concrete buildings to cover reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant because the situation is different. The commissioner also questioned whether construction of an underground ice wall around the reactor buildings to prevent radioactive water buildup will prove effective.
(bags of radioactive waste)
Scientific American, March 2016 issue: Five years ago this month… half of the facility’s uranium cores to overheat and melt through their steel containers… Today the disaster site remains in crisis mode…
See also: Nuclear Expert: Simply impossible to remove melted fuel from Fukushima — Corium “has spread all over… could actually have gone through floor of containment vessel” — Only way to deal with these reactors releasing dangerous radiation is to cover in concrete — Will take centuries of work (VIDEO):
Official Report: West Coast hit with 220,000,000 atoms per liter of Iodine-129 in rain after Fukushima — 15 Million year half-life — Detected in aquifer that supplies drinking water to large number of people — “Transported rapidly” to Canada and US — Elevated levels continued for many months
Published: February 17th, 2016 at 8:58 am ET
Matt Herod, Univ, of Ottawa Ph.D Candidate, Dec 21, 2015 (emphasis added): A recently published paper (by myself and colleagues from uOttawa and Environment Canada) investigates… [Iodine-129] which was released by the Fukushima-Daichii [sic] Nuclear Accident… Within 6 days of the FDNA 129I concentrations in Vancouver precipitation increased 5-15 times… sampling of groundwater revealed slight increases in 129I… The results in rain show an increase in 129I concentrations of up to 220 million atoms/L… 129I anomalies [in groundwater wells], which occurred exactly when the recharge age predicted they would, suggests that some of the 129I deposited by Fukushima was reaching the wells… [P]ulses of elevated 129I occurred for another several months. Elevated 129I concentrations were measured in two wells… indicating that 129I from Fukushima can be traced into groundwater… [M]odeling has shown that 129I can be rapidly transported to the water table…
Scientists from Univ. of Ottawa’s Dept. of Earth Science and Environment Canada (Government of Canada), Dec 2015: The atmospheric transport of iodine-129 from Fukushima to British Columbia, Canada and its deposition and transport into groundwater
The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident (FDNA) released iodine-129 (15.7 million year half-life)… The mean pre-accident 129I concentration in rain was [31,000,000 atoms/L]… following the FDNA, 129I values increased to [211,000,000 atoms/L]… [P]ulses of elevated 129I continued for several months…
The 129I in shallow… groundwater showed measurable variability through March 2013 with an average of [3,200,000 atoms/L]… coincident with modeled travel times…
Radionuclides released from the FDNA have been detected across the globe… [R]eleases of 129I and 131I… travel great distances…
The Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer… spans the Canada–U.S. border between [B.C., Canada and Washington, US] and supplies ∼120,000 people with drinking water…
A pulse of 129I in precipitation with maximum concentrations of [211,000,000 atoms/L] in Vancouver and [221,000,000 atoms/L] at Saturna Island was observed 6 days following the FDNA. A value of [311,000,000 atoms/L] was also measured during the first week of July…
The high 129I concentrations while the FDNA was ongoing are attributed to the rapid trans-Pacific transport of 129I from Fukushima… This response in 129I concentrations shows that radionuclides from Fukushima were transported rapidly from Japan to the west coast of Canada and the US… [Sampling from Washington State], which is a composite of rainfall events spanning 15 March 2011 to 16 April 2011 shows a significantly elevated 129I concentration of [95,000,000 atoms/L]…
There was a spike in 129I concentration observed in the precipitation sample from the period of 1 July 2011 to 8 July 2011 [which] rose to [311,000,000 atoms/L]… a substantially higher concentration than any other sample… As monitoring at Fukushima detected no pulse of 129I in precipitation in July… this spike is likely due to a… nuclear fuel reprocessing facility. Modeling of the air parcel back trajectories… for the sampling period shows air mass trajectories from Hawaii, north Japan, and Russia…
The initial increase in 129I concentration at the water table appeared within ∼95 days, with a maximum concentration of [10,500,000 atoms/L]…
In the model cases, 129I reached the water table very rapidly…
Groundwater 129I concentrations in two nearby wells showed minor anomalies over the sampling period which could be due to rapid infiltration of the FDNA atmospheric 129I signal… [M]odeling shows that it was possible for a component of the 129I deposited by the FDNA to be conducted rapidly from the ground surface to the water table… We conclude that it is possible that a fraction of 129I from the FDNA is transported conservatively in this aquifer via preferential flow paths to the water table…
See also: Official in Canada advises public not to drink rainwater coming from Fukushima
And: Rain with 20,000,000 particles of Iodine-131 per liter fell on US (VIDEO)
January 23 to January 30, 2016
(San Francisco) January 30, 2016 – Good Day, this is “Your Radiation This Week.” These are the recorded Radiation Highs that affected people this week around the United States.
RADIATION CPM* CITY STATE
Listed in Counts per Minute, a Count is One Radioactive Decay Registered by the Instrument.
Northern Grasslands – Great Plains
Northern Grasslands – Great Plains
The highest radiation reporting city is listed first, the least radioactive city reporting is listed last. Still, all reporting cities are above normal. These are the American cities that exceeded 1,000 CPM this week.
Normal Radiation is 5 to 20 CPM. 
COUNT LABEL AMOUNT TIMES NORMAL TIMES NORMAL CITY, STATE TYPE OF RAD
1,551 CPM, 310.2 Times Normal, Miami, FL. Beta, Gamma.
1,436 CPM, 287.2 Times Normal, Colorado Springs, CO. Beta, Gamma.
1,285 CPM, 257 Times Normal, Little Rock, AR. Beta, Gamma.
1,238 CPM, 247.6 Times Normal, Spokane, WA. Beta, Gamma.
1,233 CPM, 246.6 Times Normal, El Paso, TX. Beta, Gamma.
1,213 CPM, 242.6 Times Normal, Grand Junction, CO. Beta, Gamma.
1,170 CPM, 234 Times Normal, Denver, CO. Beta, Gamma.
1,166 CPM, 233.2 Times Normal, San Diego, CA. Beta, Gamma.
1,133 CPM, 226.6 Times Normal, Louisville, KY. Beta, Gamma.
1,111 CPM, 222.2 Times Normal, Salt Lake City, UT. Beta, Gamma.
1,098 CPM, 219.6 Times Normal, Mason City, IA. Beta, Gamma.
1,071 CPM, 214.2 Times Normal, Tucson, AZ. Beta, Gamma.
1,070 CPM, 214 Times Normal, Laredo, TX. Beta, Gamma.
1,070 CPM, 214 Times Normal, Raleigh, NC. Beta, Gamma.
1,068 CPM, 213.6 Times Normal, Riverside, CA. Beta, Gamma.
1,018 CPM, 203.6 Times Normal, Anaheim, CA. Beta, Gamma.
1,006 CPM, 201.2 Times Normal, Kearney, NE. Beta, Gamma.
1,005 CPM, 201 Times Normal, Idaho Falls, ID. Beta, Gamma.
Normal Radiation is 5 to 20 CPM. 
The Count. eighteen cities exceed 1,000 CPM. There are 17 cities between 900 and 999 CPM.
Have a wonderful radioactive weekend and remember to Dodge the Rads, it’s dangerous out there.
Copyright by Bob Nichols @ 2016. Reproduce and distribute, give full attribution to Bob Nichols and Veterans Today.
Notes and Sources
1. The Radiation charts and graphs of the EPA at http://www2.epa.gov/radnet Individual queries can be built at the EPA RadNet Query Builder. Don’t skip the “2” in www2.
2. The EPA based reporting of http://www.NETC.com an LLC.
3. * This station’s Radiation equals combined Beta and Gamma Radiation. Note: Not all locations report Beta Radiation. Gamma Radiation Monitors are reporting publicly at all these locations.
4. Reference: Digilert 100 Flyer pdf, “Normal background is 5-20 CPM.” http://keison.co.uk/seinternational_digilert100.shtml Copyright @ 2015 Keison International Ltd – All Rights Reserved.
Former US Gov’t Official: “The elephant in the room is Fukushima radiation” when it comes to Pacific Ocean animal die-offs… Gov’t has totally failed to inform public about full extent of fallout… Media’s silence is deafening — Mentions coverage by ENENews
Published: October 20th, 2015 at 6:40 am ET
After serving in the Georgia Legislature, in 1992, Cynthia McKinney won a seat in the US House of Representatives. She was the first African-American woman from Georgia in the US Congress. In 2005, McKinney was a vocal critic of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and was the first member of Congress to file articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney won the Green Party nomination for the US presidency.
Excerpts from column by Cynthia McKinney, former member of Congress who served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Oct. 19, 2015:
• In the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power meltdown… the international community has totally failed in keeping the public properly informed and protected from the fallout. Scientists and environmental officials continue to express concern, even now, at the unusual events and wonder about the causes. At the same time, the media present the facts, but fail to make any connection whatsoever to the ongoing state of affairs stemming from the tragic 2011 events at Fukushima. Here are a few recent examples… A September 2015 audio report from Robin Corcoran, biologist from the Kodiak Wildlife National Refuge, confirms local reports that “emaciated” bird carcasses are washing up on Kodiak Island shores… The program concluded by stating that multiple species of birds have declined in number in other Alaska regions… A few days before the Kodiak reports… Josh Saranpaa of the Wildlife Center of the North Coast was quoted as saying, “Every bird we’re seeing is starving to death. It’s pretty bad.” Saranpaa added, “When you see so many starving, something is not quite right out there.”… Julia Reis of the Half Moon Bay Review writes with understatement, “There have been noticeable changes in the Pacific Ocean that have caused difficulties for marine life of late.” Gerry McChesney of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge says that the die-off has him all the more “baffled” because of the strip of cold water in his area full of food for these birds. In my mind’s eye, I can see McChesney scratching his head as I read that he considers poisoning, starvation, and El Nino as possible causes for the die-off. The article ends with the following comment by McChesney, “We might have to see some other problem in the ocean before we understand what’s causing the die-off.”
• ENENews.com points to the problem of the massive die-off happening from San Diego to Alaska—all along the West Coast of the U.S. It highlights in various reports words like “strange,” “unprecedented,” “crazy,” “worst,” with this iconic quote from The Sacramento Bee: “Our gut tells us there is something going on in the marine environment.”
• [T]he media provide coverage of marine anomalies mentioning global warming, even El Nino and toxic algae, while the elephant in the room is Fukushima radiation. It is this silence that is deafening!… I do want to know why in the face of what appear to be Pacific Ocean die-offs, El Nino is mentioned and not the Fukushima-related elevated levels of radiation. As long as there is a palpable lack of transparency in the mainstream media’s ordinary coverage of extraordinary environmental events, that includes what one senses as a reticence to discuss the obvious, I predict that there will be a proliferation of citizen journalists and citizen scientists seizing upon each piece of new data trying to make sense out of a government-approved narrative that just doesn’t make sense… We should not rely on government officials to tell us the truth about the full extent of Fukushima’s fallout.
See the ENENews report mentioned by McKinney here:
Sickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside” — Cancers… liver, pancreas, intestines shut down… infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics — Unprecedented catastrophe to cause loss of 200,000 sea lions (VIDEO)
Published: January 7th, 2016 at 11:19 am ET
(Garnet the California sea lion, deceased, arrives at the Marine Mammal Center. Azure Gilman / Al Jazeera America)
Al Jazeera, Jan 6, 2016 (emphasis added): In warming ocean, record number of seals and sea lions sicken and starve — Ailing or dead seals and sea lions washed up on California beaches in record numbers in 2015; this year could be worse… They are brought in with all sorts of problems: lockjaw, poisoning, cancer… But most of the record number of seals and sea lions washing up on California’s shores and being brought to a regional rescue center are starving… this slow-motion catastrophe is likely to continue… In 2015, [NOAA] counted more than 4,200 California sea lions, 90 Guadalupe fur seals, and 70 northern fur seals. The [Marine Mammal Center’s] staff began to realize something was different early in the year… the pups brought in for rescue were unlike anything the veterinarians had ever seen… It was the worst year in the center’s 40-year history, staff said… Only half the usual number of sea lion pups were born off the California coast in 2015, [Dr. Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center] said… veterinarians at the Marine Mammal Center are bracing for the worst.
(Volunteers using wooden sheilds to corrall an evasive animalAzure Gilman / Al Jazeera America)
Dr. Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center: “They were basically just skin and bones. Their liver, their pancreas, their intestines were basically shut down. And they were eating themselves from the inside to stay alive by the time we saw them… If it continues, if this is the new normal, the sea lion population and the fur seal population in California are going to have severe drops in their overall population.”
Laguna Beach Independent, Dec 18, 2015: With the lowest body weights ever documented, California sea lion pups are not only starving from lack of food, they’re infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics, said [Keith Matassa] the director of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center… A record number of emaciated and dying sea lion and seal pups is expected along local shores this winter… Last year, 3,500 sea lions and seals were rescued by various California marine rehab facilities. This year, the stranded pinnipeds are expected to hit 4,000… The animals are riddled with intestine-perforating parasites, known as thorny-head hookworms. “We’re seeing such a high level of parasites now, it’s not normal,” said Matassa… Antibiotics for infections are proving ineffective… Conditions have “not gotten much better over the past couple of years,” [Sharon Melin, NOAA wildlife biologist] said… The food web, said Melin, “has been out of whack now for quite some time.”… The fact that northern pup seals are following suit signifies the domino effect of a distressed environment, she said… the California sea lion population tops out at 300,000… she predicts a drastic decline to 100,000 due to low food availability… “There’s so many stressors on the ocean right now,” Matassa said.
( An emaciated sea lion pup. Pups have had trouble finding their usual prey of sardines and anchovies, which are moving to cooler areas because of ocean warming caused by El Niño. Photograph: Noaa Fisheries West Coast)
Guardian, Dec 30, 2015: Unprecedented numbers of dead or starving seals washing ashore as Pacific Ocean warms, with experts saying they are ‘preparing for the worst’ in 2016… According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, there has been a huge increase in stranded sea lions… According to NOAA, more than 4,200 sick sea lions have been washed up in California so far this year, comfortably the greatest number of strandings over the past decade.
( A sea lion pup under normal weight in a picture taken in January 2015. Photograph: Noaa Fisheries West Coast)
Dr Terry Gosliner, senior curator of invertebrate zoology at the California Academy of Sciences: “We are entering a really interesting period where the observations we make don’t have a precedent… It could take decades for these ecosystems to stabilize again.”
It kills me. They will die and go to hell before they admit that the Pacific Ocean has died, and it is just a matter of time for the rest of life on earth!
Baby whales dying along West Coast from unknown cause — Gov’t experts request rush on tissue testing — Scientist: “May have been born weak” — Carcasses washing up on beaches in US, Canada, Mexico — Highly endangered whale “died from abnormal blood clot formations in heart and lungs” (VIDEO)
Published: December 30th, 2015 at 8:36 pm ET
Canadian Press, Dec 30, 2015 (emphasis added): A female orca calf has been found dead on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Paul Cottrell of Fisheries and Oceans Canada said a surfer spotted the dead whale washed up on Mussel Beach near Ucluelet on Dec. 23… a necropsy was conducted on Christmas Day. Scientists are still awaiting results of tissue-sample testing and a cause of death is not yet known… “All our populations of killer whales are at risk, so it’s a shame regardless of which population it’s from,” he said. “You hate to lose a calf out of these populations.” Scientists have requested a rush on the tissue testing… He said it’s believed the calf was about two months old… Cottrell noted it was especially unfortunate that the calf was female because of their value in contributing to the population.
The Argonaut, Dec 23, 2015: Heavy Seas Beach Dead Whale in Santa Monica… The remains of a 10-foot, 1,200- to 1,400-pound newborn gray whale washed ashore Tuesday afternoon on Santa Monica Beach… Lifeguard Capt. Kenichi Haskett said… officials believe the whale died a day or two after its birth.
Weekly Alibi (New Mexico), Dec 23, 2015: I rented a blue Dodge Neon in Chula Vista and decided to drive as far down the Pacific coast as a week would permit… I stopped in Ensenda and got a stamp for my passport… That night I stayed at a little ranch by the sea… The beaches were empty. I found a small dead whale on the shore one day.
NBC San Diego, Dec 11, 2015: Lifeguards closed off beach access to Del Mar Shores Friday morning after a dead, newborn gray whale washed ashore, officials confirmed… According to Jim Gilpatrick with the NOAA Fisheries, the calf is about three to four weeks old… Biologists are not sure why the whale died. There was no sign of foul play or fishing lines, and Gilpatrick speculated the animal may have been born weak. They took samples to try to determine the cause death.
KHON, Dec 18, 2015: Rodney Kuahiwinui sighted a dead whale at South Point… marine mammal experts were able to identify the animal as a highly endangered false killer whale… Scientists were able to determine [it] died from abnormal blood clot formations in the heart and lungs… Only three Hawaiian false killer whales have been reported stranded in the past 18 years. “With less than 200 individuals alive today, every piece of information is critical,” says [Dr. Kristi West, head of Hawaii Pacific University’s stranding program].
Officials now say Fukushima reactor with MOX fuel “leaked directly from containment” — TV: Contamination of environment was due to “failure of vessel” — Experts: This has caused additional worries because MOX is more “radioactively aggressive” due to plutonium content (VIDEO)
Published: December 18th, 2015 at 7:03 pm ET
NHK, Dec 17, 2015 (emphasis added): [TEPCO] says radioactive fallout that polluted the environment in mid-March of 2011 was likely caused by a leak directly from a containment vessel of the facility’s No.3 reactor. Officials… on Thursday reported their latest findings on what happened at the plant… They concluded that radioactive contamination of the environment between the night of March 14th and the 16th was likely caused not by the vent operations but failure of the vessel. They said the vessel likely lost airtightness due to heat from nuclear fuel, leading to the direct release of radioactive substances into the environment.
NHK transcript, Dec 17, 2015: [TEPCO] said the substances in one of the reactors probably leaked directly from the containment vessel… They suspect the heat of fuel caused the containment vessel to lose airtightness.
TEPCO, Dec 17, 2015: A significant release of steam from the night of March 14 to March 16, 2011 is believed to have been responsible for contamination to the surrounding environment of Fukushima Daiichi. The investigation reports that the primary containment vessels in Units 2 and 3 did likely lose leakage resistant properties by March 15 and had been in a condition where radioactive materials could leak directly from them. It is therefore presumed the environmental contamination outside Fukushima Daiichi during that period was caused by steam leakage directly from the primary containment vessels and not from the vent.
TEPCO, Dec 17, 2015: Leakage and release of a large amount of steam from the Unit 3 Reactor Building — The PCVs of Units 2 & 3 lost the airtightness in the end, which is confirmed by the fact that steam escaped from the Reactor Buildings. Analysis of the behavior of the pressure in the PCVs and the situation at the time of the accident has revealed that the environmental contamination from the night of March 14 to March 16 occurred by steam leakage together with radioactive materials directly from the PCVs not from the vent.
UBS Investment Research (via WikiLeaks), Apr 2011: Of particular concern was Unit 3, because, since September 2010, the plant had been fueled with mixed oxide, or MOx… Use of MOx heightened fuel risk — Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 was fuelled with mixed oxide (MOx), which is about 93% uranium and 7% plutonium. This has caused additional worries for TEPCO and the government, because MOx is more radioactively aggressive. We think national nuclear safety reviews might consider restrictions on its use.
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