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(The Year 2012 In Review)
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|User Info||Melt-down of Japanese nuke plant; entered at 2012-01-06 08:46:43|
Registered: 2007-09-04 Wilmington, NC
IAEA Implements Technical Cooperation Project on Marine Environment After Fukushima Accident
As a result of the releases of radioactive substances into the Pacific Ocean resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, the IAEA is implementing a Technical Cooperation (TC) Project for countries throughout the Pacific Ocean region to monitor radioactive substances in the marine environment. Twenty-one IAEA Member States and three non-member States are participating in the project.
The first project meeting was held in Australia in August followed by a workshop on quality management in data handling and analytical procedures, conducted at the IAEA Environment Laboratories in Monaco from 21-25 November 2011.
Considerable volumes of radioactively contaminated water entered and contaminated the Pacific Ocean, following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Although the contaminated water will be significantly diluted with time, ocean currents have and will continue to transport and circulate the contaminated water through the wider Pacific Ocean for the foreseeable future. The contaminated water may impact the marine environment. The spread of contaminated water raised concern among countries in the Pacific region that radiation releases may reach and damage coastal zones with possible consequences for communities and economies.
In response, countries throughout the region initiated a project to harmonize measurements of various radioisotopes in marine waters, biota, sediments and suspended matter. The uniform measurement of the radioisotopes in the ocean will ensure that any impact assessment is comparable and verifiable across the enormous volume of the Pacific Ocean. The IAEA TC project will enhance national capacities, which in turn will improve the exchange of data gathered from the ocean measurements, and the information about the potential impact of these radioisotopes and risks to marine biota, as well as to humans through marine food consumption.
"It is expected that the enormous dilution capacity of the Pacific Ocean will lead to low residual concentrations of radionuclides in ocean waters such that any significant contamination of marine food in coastal waters outside of Japan will not occur," said Hartmut Nies, Head of the IAEA's Radiometrics Laboratory and Technical Officer for the project. "To date, only Cs-134 and Cs-137 were detected far offshore from the Japanese coast in the prevailing Kuroshio Ocean current at levels of less concern."
DEC 19th 10
Hundreds of trillions of becquerels of radioactive strontium leaked into sea
At least 462 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium have leaked to the Pacific Ocean since the March disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, making it one of the world's most severe such cases of marine pollution, according to calculations by The Asahi Shimbun.
The Fisheries Agency is doing its own sampling survey to assess the accumulation of radioactive materials in marine life.
The newspaper based its calculations on data released by the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., and other sources.
With regard to leakages of radioactive-contaminated water from the No. 2 and No. 3 reactor buildings in April and May, respectively, The Asahi Shimbun relied on two sets of figures.
One was the volume of water that leaked from each reactor building. The other concerned the concentration of radioactive strontium in water that accumulated in each reactor building.
By multiplying the volume of leaked water by the concentration of radioactive strontium, the newspaper calculated the total amount of strontium that leaked from the two reactors.
Besides, the volume of strontium apparently contained in treated water used for cooling purposes that was confirmed to have leaked to the ocean on Dec. 4 was added to that from the No. 2 and No. 3 rectors.
In what is regarded as the world's worst case of marine pollution from a nuclear facility, some 500 trillion becquerels of strontium were discharged to the Irish Sea from the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Cumbria, Britain, per year in the 1970s.
The volume of strontium that leaked from the Fukushima plant is close to that annual amount.
Strontium accumulates in bones and can cause bone cancer and leukemia.
For this reason, health experts have called for extensive surveys on the amount of leaked strontium so that measures can be drawn up to deal with the problem.
It takes two to three weeks to measure the extent of strontium contamination. Because strontium exists with cesium, and its volume is estimated to be less than 10 percent of that of cesium, few surveys have been done to gauge the volume of strontium in marine life.
The Fisheries Agency has performed surveys only on six kinds of fish through its affiliated organization, the Fisheries Research Agency. The fish, including Pacific cod, were caught in the period from April to July.
The fish were caught about 50 kilometers off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture. According to a Fisheries Agency's announcement on Aug. 30, the amount of strontium detected in Pacific cod came to 0.03 becquerel.
However, a different government survey detected 0.094 becquerel of strontium in fish caught in nearby waters before the disaster at the Fukushima plant.
For this reason, it is unclear whether strontium that had accumulated in the Pacific cod resulted from the crisis in Fukushima.
According to Satoshi Katayama, a professor of marine resources ecology at Tohoku University, detailed studies should be carried out on the accumulation of strontium in fish, such as young Japanese sand lance and white bait, as people generally eat every bit.
"Strontium easily accumulates in creatures, even if its concentration level is low," Katayama said.
Dec, 22, 2010
Medical journal article: 14,000 U.S. deaths tied to Fukushima reactor disaster fallout
Impact seen as roughly comparable to radiation-related deaths after Chernobyl; infants are hardest hit, with continuing research showing even higher possible death count
Dec. 19 press conference on the release of the study
Washington, PRNewswire-USNewswire – An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in the December 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services. This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima.
Authors Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman note that their estimate of 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdowns is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. The rise in reported deaths after Fukushima was largest among U.S. infants under age one. The 2010-2011 increase for infant deaths in the spring was 1.8 percent, compared to a decrease of 8.37 percent in the preceding 14 weeks.
(EDIT) Don't know the "authencity of this source")
Japan to Test Possible Radioactivity in Fukushima Rice
Japan announced on Thursday that it will test the rice harvested in the region around the tsunami-hit nuclear plant in Fukushima to guarantee it is safe for human consumption and prevent sales of radioactive rice.
According to an official press release, agricultural cooperatives and distributors will receive subsidies through a special fund in order to buy high-precision equipment to measure radiation levels in rice.
The measure was taken after high levels of radioactive contamination, exceeding the legal limit, were found in rice harvested in the region in 2011.
The crisis at Fukushima's nuclear plant caused by last March 11 earthquake and tsunami is the worst accident in 25 years, and its radiation currently affects local agriculture, cattle raising and fishing.
In 2011, samples of rice harvested some kilometers from the Fukushima nuclear plant contained more than the 1,000 becquerels of cesium allowed per kilogram.
That is why, the government banned sales of rice grown near the tsunami-hit nuclear power plant.
Last modified: 2012-01-06 08:57:33 by crossthread