Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Old Postcard Wednesday—Shore of the Pacific (the Fukushima activism edition)

Fish - Library of Congress Collection

Bluefin Tuna Radiation: Is There A Health Risk?
The Huffington Post  |
Posted: 05/29/2012

Bluefin Tuna, caught in California last August, showed radiation levels that were ten times the norm, according to a new paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. Scientists believe that the radiation -- in the form of the isotopes, caesium-137 and caesium-134 -- came from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that began in March of 2011.

The rates of caesium-137 and caesium-134 were elevated about 3 percent, compared to previous years in muscle samples taken from 15 two-year-old bluefin tuna caught off the coast of San Diego, Calif.

"That's definitely the mark of Fukushima," David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University and a leading expert on the nuclear power plant meltdown who was not involved in the study, told The Huffington Post. "Most likely, the [tuna] would have eaten some contaminated fish off the coast of Japan and then swam across the Pacific ocean."

“That’s a big ocean. To swim across it and still retain these radionuclides is pretty amazing,” lead researcher Nicholas Fisher told the AP. . .

Kanbara - Fisherman Workers - Library of Congress Collection


30-minute Broadcast on Fukushima: “If anything happens, this is not just about the end of Japan, probably start of the end of the world” (VIDEO HERE)


 Fisherman Fishing - Library of Congress Collection


Senator on National TV: I’m so concerned about Unit 4 fuel pool — Tepco’s plan must be sped up — “It’s very clear there are substantial health questions that have to be addressed now” (VIDEO below) 

Former Fukushima worker  turned whisteblower, has reported TEPCO has been falsifying their reports.


Sardines - Library of Congress Collection

Fukushima Spent Fuel Pool 4 Risks U.S. Health and Safety
  • Read excellent fact sheet containing background, many links for additional information - plus sign petition at HERE.



Rob-bear said...

The sedate coastline of the Pacific, with radioactive fish beneath the surface of the water.

And still we get "glowing" reports on how well things are gong at Fukushima.

All a bit discouraging. Maybe depressing is a better word.

Thanks for your work on this.

Blessings and Bear hugs.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

there are already, at least in theory, several alternatives to nuclear fuel - one of which is cold fusion...where instead of splitting things apart you stick them together. It's a clean process but infinitely harder to do.

Other forms of fuel, such as sunlight, waves and wind - we haven't really worked out how to do on a major scale yet, so the reality really is that nuclear fuel is here for the forseeable future. But really, Windscale, Chernobyl and Fukushima - horrendous as they all were - are isolated incidents.

Not saying i'd want to live within the fallout zone mind...

We actually had a friend who was in Japan when it all happened and he was very lucky to be nowhere near.

Finally, on the inevitable musical note, here's a link to David Bowie singing about life after a nuclear explosion - from the film Where The Wind Blows

Anonymous said...

Interesting post - intrigued to read the quote from Nicholas Fisher - almost all the Pacific Islanders and the coasts of Asia have a lot of fish in their diets.
But the bit about it being a long way for the tuna to swim ... what if that radio activity came from somewhere else - have we only started testing for it since the Fukushima disaster?

hedgewitch said...

Saw this on th news last night--terrifying in so many ways how small and sick we have managed to make a huge healthy planet in just a few generations, a blink of geological time. I hope Nature knows what to do with us, because I don't think we do. Great OPW feature, as always, Lydia.

mythopolis said...

It seems like another of those 'incidents' of life going a muck. They keep popping up in all kinds of ways. Don't eat this, don't eat that. The world is outa whack. I do what I can, then after that, I hide.

Hattie said...

It is indeed tragic that Japan forced itself to become an industrialized nation against the inclinations of its populace and without modernizing. They are still a feudal society without the means to deal with the disaster that has befallen them. Terrible.

Lydia said...

Rob-bear~ Depressing is certainly an appropriate word. But I really loved your description of "'glowing' reports".....

Pixies~ Mind I would not want to live in the fallout zone either. I think I'll just go watch the video at your link and get a bit sidetracked.

jane~ It irked me no end to read that, since Americans' tuna sushi is all farm-raised, it was moot point. Which is NOT the point at all, as you point out!!!

hedgewitch~ How astute your comment about hoping Nature knows what to do with us. I hope so too.

mythopolis~ Oh god how perfect your last line is! Says it all.

Hattie~ I have read your comment over and over. Wow, what a perspective you bring to discussions on topics reaching beyond certain borders. Thank you.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Another great post, as always Lydia!!!

Stickup Artist said...

I guess the radiation is in addition to the all ready alarmingly high levels of Mercury found in Tuna. Poor tuna. They are such big fish and they eat all the smaller fish and whatever badness is going around in the ocean gets concentrated in them.

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. ~ Cree Indian Proverb

naomi dagen bloom said...

Lovely images and terrible realities. Thanks for posting. Signed the petition and hope all the others buy into the notion that this is what we can do now. About issues we care about.


susan said...

Thanks for putting together such a well done post about this issue. Although I've been following the reports, particularly Arnie Gundersen's, about Fukushima pretty continuously since the initial disaster I've been too angry to write about it myself. A big problem is the extraordinary difficulty of containment over a huge, seriously damaged area. TEPCO and the Japanese government haven't been nearly proactive enough in requesting all the help they can get. The fact that another much less serious earthquake could cause the unit 4 fuel pool to collapse is a good reason for everyone to be concerned.

I'm among those who believe nuclear power is far too dangerous a way to boil water. There are alternatives (and still a little oil left to grease the wheels of the wind turbines).

Lydia said...

Phivos~ Thanks much!

Stickup~ Wow, I am even more emotionally invested in this topic after reading that Cree quote. Perfect to cap this post, most definitely. And, yes, poor Tuna.

naomi~ Indeed, what we can do now is to make our voices and votes count for something. Thank you for signing the petition, Naomi.

susan~ I would say it was my pleasure to do this post, but, understand. It's all so damn depressing that I want to run away from the issue, but of course I know it is my duty to stay informed and to be heard.
I like your description of boiling water, and agree. If people would just tone down their consumption and their lifestyles and stop feeling so entitled there might be a chance to move in another more sane direction. Fat chance.

Muhammad Israr said...

perhaps this is the price of technology that we pay... with every new technology, there are certain consequences and in this case, these are irreversible... God help us...

Roxana said...

such a good, informative and emotionally powerful post. after watching the video with the fukushima worker, one's only thoughts must be that human beings are so crazy and irresponsible than one wonders how they have survived so far. maybe because they didn't have the technology to cause an ultimate disaster, but now they do.

i loved the way you mixed the japanese stamps with the actual bits of information - only art can be a refuge from such madness, but for how long?

Lydia said...

Muhammad Israr~ You said it all in very few words...God help us, indeed.

Roxana~ I thought of you strongly while I prepared this post. Will never forget your b&w photo of the couple you photographed when you lived there. It is one of my favorite images of all time.
Re: your last paragraph, thanks and what a great question.

Roxana said...

oh Lydia!!! i never thought people would remember a photo of mine to that extent, that it becomes important for them, like a message about life! i am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude...

Lydia said...

Roxana~ That is exactly what the image has become for me, and I am so glad for you to know it. ♥



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